If you are like most folks, a new automobile is the largest purchase you will ever make, second only to your home mortgage. Frankly, it is a big decision to make. Afterall, the vehicle you choose today will be in your driveway for two to six years from the date of purchase, depending on how you finance. And so, the “big buy” is a big deal indeed!
As you begin the process, you may start by researching on the web. This is a great idea, and you’re not alone! According to Ford Motor Company, around 80% of new car buyers (8 out of 10 of us) begin the process by researching websites! Visit sites like www.ford.com and learn as much as you can about the various models and features. Most automotive websites have an interactive or “build-your-own-vehicle” feature: use it! Feel free to get creative. This will help familiarize you with the products, making you a more knowledgable customer.
When you have a vehicle in mind, go ahead and fill out the “more information” form. At this point, a local dealer will probably contact you by email / phone to share more information, like pricing and vehicle availability. Reputable dealers will do their level best to send pricing information in their first email response to you. If you are seeking pricing information on a custom vehicle, it may take a dealership a little more time to accomodate your request. But, they will still provide the information in a timely fashion. If you think a dealer is not being up front with you or unwilling to share pricing information via email, find another dealer! In this age of instant information, there is no reason why a dealer should not share pricing information on a new vehicle when asked.
The dealership will provide pricing and additional vehicle information as well as the opportunity to schedule an appointment. Be sure to bring your own research with you. The sales consultant should be genuinely interested in what you have to say, willing to answer all of your questions, explain key features, and offer you a test drive. The test drive is the time to experience all of the performance and features you’ve only read about thus far.
Next time, we’ll pick up the conversation as though we were just completing the test drive!
Jason Boothe, M.Ed. is the Internet and Social Media Coordinator for Vallery Ford in Waverly, Ohio. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and son.