Friday, February 3, 2012

3 frequently asked questions at a car dealership

Questions at the dealership

The purchase of a new or used car requires a lot of research and planning. Very few people actually buy on a whim or sign a contract without doing their homework beforehand! In fact, the majority of car buyers start their search after finishing off payments on an old vehicle, seeing a change in their financial lifestyle, or experiencing a large event that changes their automotive needs (such as having a child). After doing their research online, a customer will often call or visit a dealership to get more information, and ask certain questions.

Knowing this, I decided to go around the Lou Fusz Toyota showroom and tap into the brains of several employees in different departments, to see what they thought were some of the most frequently asked questions by their potential customers.

Here are 3 questions that get asked on a consistent basis, along with answers and advice from some of our team members:

1. Is the vehicle I want available in a certain color or trim?
According to John Sanchez, one of our sales associates: "I get asked this question often. A customer may want a blue Highlander when we have every other color except blue. One of the things to remember is that while we may not have the exact vehicle you want today, there's a good chance we can get it or have something similar to it. We have one of the largest Toyota inventories in St. Louis, and stock at any dealership changes daily, meaning that a premium XLE Camry could show up tomorrow, even if we only currently have base models on our lot right this moment."

2. How much is my trade worth?
Pat, one of our Business Development Center specialists, tells me customers on the phone tend to ask this question the majority of the time. "The challenge with this question is that it is hard to estimate the value of a vehicle over the phone, even when trying to give a ballpark figure. Many little details can factor into the overall worth of a car, such as how many miles it has been driven, how many owners it has had, and if the car has had any damage or needed significant repairs in the past. It's also difficult to use estimates given by Kelley Blue Book. This is due to onesimple reason: Kelley Blue Book is giving an approximate value on a vehicle that is like yours, but not actually yours. Your trade could be worth more or less than what KBB suggests!"
His advice for asking about trade-ins? Bringing your vehicle in to the dealership will get you the best estimate on the worth of your car. Otherwise, try using the Auto-Trader trade in marketplace if you really need an online estimate.

3. How can I get a better interest rate?
Micah, a manager in our F&I (finance and insurance) department, says this is his number one asked question. "The interest rate is going to be based on things like your credit score, your collateral (meaning how big your down payment is or how much your trade is worth), how long you are going to be borrowing money, and your credit history. We work with 20 different institutions, and while we can't guarantee credit for everyone, we have lenders that can help those with challenging or unique situations. Also keep in mind that if you purchase a new car, you'll get a better interest rate, and you can even get 0% in some situations."

What questions would you like to see answered by our staff? Let us know and they could appear in a future blog post!

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about car dealerships in your area. I am glad to stop by your site and know more about car dealerships. Keep it up! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well.
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