Using A Car Buying Agent Or Car Broker To Buy Your Next Car

The world of car retailing is changing, and it means good news for car buyers. The traditional way of buying a car from a dealer’s showroom has been around forever, and it’s a game where the playing field is tilted heavily in the dealer’s favour. The dealer knows all of the numbers involved much better than the buyer, and so knows exactly where margins can be increased and reduced to maximise their profits while still appearing to provide a good deal.

It’s a bit like a casino; the punters at the tables may have a few individual wins here and there, but overall the house always wins. Buying a car from a dealer is similar, in that you might get them to drop the car’s price slightly or throw in some extras, but they get it all back again on the finance package or the other extras you hadn’t realised you even needed (but were convinced by the salesman that they were absolutely essential).

The internet has gone some way to helping buyers, in that you can easily check prices from several different dealerships all over the country. But that’s still only a starting point; a dealer will often be happy to cut the price on a car if they can make it up elsewhere, and it becomes very difficult to stay on top of the negotiations when you have a new car, your part-exchange (trade-in), finance, insurance, options and accessories all making up the final numbers. The dealer is expert at juggling all these balls at once, and they know exactly how much they are making from each part of the overall deal. The customer, usually, is completely in the dark as to how much of a deal they are really getting.

More and more car buyers are now turning to a car buying agent or car broker to help them manage their car purchasing. Here the buyer gets to play on a level field with the dealer, as the car buying agent or car broker usually has the same knowledge and expertise as the dealer to be able to negotiate on every aspect of the deal to the advantage of the buyer.

The other advantage of using a car broker or car buying agent is that it saves you an enormous amount of time. Researching cars and trekking all over town to visit dealerships, getting quotes from different dealers on different models and comparing all the information is a tremendously laborious exercise. A car buying agent or car broker can take car of all the running around and allow you to concentrate on your job or enjoy your recreational time.

So what exactly does a car buying agent or a car broker do?

Let’s explain the difference between a car buying agent and a car broker.

With a car broker, you provide as much detail as you can about the car you are looking for, and the broker sources a vehicle which matches your desired specification as closely as possible.

A car buying agent offers a more comprehensive overall service, usually involving specific advice and recommendations on choosing a car and its specification to suit your needs, as well as the sourcing of the chosen vehicle. If you are not sure on the best sort of car for your needs, a car buying agent’s advice can be far more valuable than the savings he or she may be able to get from the dealer. Choosing a more suitable car can be worth a considerable saving over your whole ownership period, even if the deal on the car’s price is not as significant. Many people have bought a car completely unsuitable for their needs, and using a car broker won’t prevent that. A good car buying agent, however, will help you ensure that you are choosing a car which will do everything you need for as long as you own it.

Fees

Brokers and agents make their money from either a fee charged to the client for their service, and/or a payment or commission from the dealer. This is an important point for you as a buyer; if your broker is being paid by a dealer, they are ultimately working for the dealer rather than for you, meaning they may not be acting in your best interests to secure the best car available at the best price possible.

To ensure that your agent is acting in your best interests and not the dealer’s, you should always look for a car buying agent or car broker who has a clear fee structure and does not take payments or commissions from the selling dealer. The fees should be clearly explained, easily understandable, and relate to the service provided. If a broker advertises their services as being free, then it almost certainly means they are being paid a commission or ‘finder’s fee’ by the dealership. If an agent or broker offers their advice as free, it is unlikely to be a properly detailed and analytical report which covers every aspect of your driving needs.

A car broker will normally charge a fee based on the value of the car they are sourcing. If this is the case, you should be clearly aware of their fee structure before you commence – for example, if the relevant price threshold on their fee structure is £30,000, then a car costing £30,001 may mean a much larger fee for the broker than a car costing £29,999.

Some agents or brokers will charge a flat fee for their services, and some may charge a fee based on the level of discount they achieve from the advertised price. This means that the more money you save, the more they will make and gives you some reassurance that they are acting in your best interests.

With a car buying agent, there will normally be a fee for their advice and expertise, and a separate fee for sourcing a vehicle. Again, you should be aware of how their pricing works, but don’t be put off by the idea of paying for expert advice as it may save you thousands in the long term. You may even use a car buying agent for advice on choosing a car but handle the purchase yourself. This is often the case with company car drivers, who have leasing arrangements in place at their workplace but don’t know which car to lease.

In summary, a car broker or car buying agent can make the process of buying a car much more appealing and advantageous to the average consumer, saving considerable time and potentially a lot of money.

Getting Cash for Cars and More Cash for Junk Cars

Before selling, any of your good cars makes sure that the title of the car is available, and then visit a mechanic to check for it any problems and get it cleaned to impress any potential buyers. Remember that you are doing this to get big money for any cars that are still in good working condition. If you are looking to get money for cars you are selling you need only to assure that said the car has a title and you need an assessment value to ensure that you are getting the maximum value for cars you are selling.

The next step is to find a potential buyer in the car market who pays good money for any vehicle that are still good and advertising in print or online is the best way to do it. Seasons have an effect on said market so it’s easy to find people who will pay for cars that are in demand during the said season. Any potential buyers will pay good money for cars that are family sedans for any basic inexpensive during the spring break or summer holidays. It is a slow time to sell cars during fall and winter is hard, but if you do know of someone who is willing to pay cash for cars you’re selling during said seasons let them know that you have what they need.

There is also a market for people who pay cash for the cars that are classified as collector cars like a 1966 Ford Mustang GT and a 1940 Ford Custom. Such cars take some time before being sold because said buyer will want to evaluate the price of the car first. However, with the right buyer expect goodly sum of cash for the cars that you are buyer has taken a fancy.

Now you are thinking of getting cash for the cars that you have around. Let the buyer know what body parts and systems don’t work anymore and you must also let the buyer know which parts are missing. Try getting your junk cars repaired; you can expect a buyer to pay more cash for junk cars that are working and road worthy.

If you are junk cars, seem to be unsalvageable, try checking it again. You might be surprised to know that you can get some cash for derelict cars that have parts that are salvageable and can be sold individually. While it seems to be a good idea to get cash for junk cars that are whole, in some cases it is better to sell each car part individually. To save some money try delivering junk cars yourself instead of getting it towed, salvage yards that have towing services will be billing you for such services and you can also get more money for junk cars that they will not have to drag.

Buying a Used Car Part Wisely!

Each time you want to buy a used car part, insist on a great deal. Don’t think you will count on luck though – no way. There are a few things you need to do for making sure you don’t end up with a bitter deal.

Spend a little time now to save you serious money in the future. Make sure to check on Consumer Reports on the safest car parts out there. Appearance is one thing, but safety takes the priority.

Use a credible car yard shop and find out if you can bring the car for on-site fitting. Ask what cars they normally repair most frequently. Get details about the scope of inspection and, how long it takes, including the price. Have this information written as a precaution.

After car part inspection, get a written report with all costs involved for repairs. Also the vehicle’s make, model and VIN must be mentioned in the report. Read through every single small print and where in doubt seek for clarification. Your final offer should be based on the estimates if you ever decide to bargain for the car.

Why you should not buy used part from an individual?

Individuals or private sellers are not covered by the Used Car Rule. They also do not have to use the Buyers Guide. But, you can rely on the Guide’s list of an auto’s major systems to do your shopping. Do not be enticed by the outside look of the used car part, instead depend on the inspection by an approved mechanic.

A private sale is likely to be on an as is basis, the only exception is when your purchase agreement with the seller states otherwise. If a written contract exists, the seller has to live up to their full responsibility. Consider the manufacturer’s warranty or any other purchase contracts. The issue is whether these warranty and service contracts are transferable or not. Prior to the car part purchase, enquire if it’s still under warranty or service contract.

3 Things All Dealerships Should Know About Car Buyers

Our previous articles have been largely aimed at buyers, but we would also like to share some insight with all the dealers out there as well. Here are three things all car dealers should know about car buyers:

The media make a good living out of demonizing you.

During any given week, we (buyers) are sure to find several articles on Yahoo! news, CNN, or one of the other news sites that tells us how car dealers try to screw us over. And when we are actually in the car market, we are flooded with "how-to" articles detailing how to avoid your tricks.

The media isn't just making these stories up, though. After all, according to the Better Business Bureau new car dealerships were the 4th most complaint ridden industry in 2009 while used car dealerships ranked 7th. But even still, it seems that whenever it is a slow day on the news desk pumping out another article describing dealers' awfulness is an easy way to produce some content.

Buyers' expectations when they walk into a dealership are that they will get pushed around by a salesman, they will endure time-consuming and uncomfortable negotiations, and that they will overpay for the car that they actually want. And that is just what buyers expect. Buyers are generally not surprised when the vehicle they came to see is no longer on the lot or that the advertised price was an amazing sales deal that just ended yesterday. This tends to cause a lot of unwanted stress and anxiety on the buyer's part. In the car business, dealers call this "burn-out." Nothing is worse for a dealer than a burned out buyer because that buyer will always feel as if they've been taken for a ride.

Although this seems bad for dealerships, I'm not so certain that it is. Because dealers have the ability to change many of the negative perceptions of the buying process, this is an easy way for any dealership to enhance its competitive advantage. Imagine a courteous dealership that genuinely tried to figure out its customers' needs and recommended appropriate models and features. Imagine a dealership that understands that buyers have so many other matters in life and that the car-buying process needs to be quick. Imagine a dealership that trades unpleasant negotiations for transparency. That is the dealership buyers want to patronize.

We Want To Find Our "Go-To" Mechanic

Unless we have an established relationship with the mechanic around the corner, most of us think that we get ripped off every time we bring the car into his shop. The waiting area (if there is one) is small and uncomfortable, the coffee's been brewing since last Christmas, and the mechanic always finds a way to "save me big time" by repairing something before it actually breaks. After walking out of there feeling like a fool one too many times, I'm looking for an alternative.

This reality presents dealerships with a fantastic opportunity. We're hungry to service our vehicles at a place we trust. If we had a great car-buying experience, we're happy to take our vehicles back to the same dealership for regular service for the life of the car – even if it does cost a little extra for an inspection and an oil change.

We offer dealerships this loyalty because they have earned our trust in previous transactions. Instead of selling me a car, you walked me through my options and empowered me to make the best decision based on my needs. Instead of just telling me you "saved me big time" when you replaced the alternator belt, you showed me the belt so that I could see why you needed to fix it. These are small, seemingly trivial actions but they are necessary to gain my trust.

The learning point here is that dealerships must have a holistic approach to customer engagement. The salesman on the floor must understand that the way he treats me directly impacts how much I trust the entire dealership, which directly impacts my desire to service my vehicle at that dealership and my inclination to return to that dealership when I'm searching for my next vehicle.

"You don't earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day."
JEFFREY GITOMER

In 2010 Chrome reported that brand loyalty continues to slide, with only 35% of buyers responding that they want to purchase a car from the same brand they previously owned (down 4% from 2009). Dealer loyalty is also on the decline with only 24% of respondents claiming that they chose a dealer based on a prior purchase, or someone they knew purchased, from that dealer.

There are a multitude of factors contributing to these falling numbers. The internet, for one, has made it much easier for buyers to weigh the pros and cons of different car brands. The internet also makes it much easier to see the competing offers different dealers are making, reducing the opportunity cost of physically visiting multiple dealers just to get an initial offer.

The internet has also degraded buyers' relationships with dealers to a certain extent. 15 years ago car salesmen served the dual role or educator and salesperson simply because information about different vehicles was not as easily accessible as it is today. The internet is somewhat marginalizing car salesmen by obviating their role as educator. Without that role, buyers understand their relationship with salesmen, and dealerships, as largely transactional – buyers want a car and dealers want to close the deal – without clear mutual understanding. Transactional relationships are the most superficial form of human interaction. Engaging in a transactional relationship implies that the relationship is severed as soon as the two parties are finished extracting value from each other.

Therefore one obvious way to improve loyalty is for dealerships to cultivate relationships with buyers that aren't purely transactional. Instead of dealers thinking about how they can extract the most value from a customer, dealers should be thinking about how they can create the most mutual value from their relationships with buyers.

How does a dealer do this? A good starting point is being honest and fair with every customer. It's really that simple.