Many car shoppers would agree that buying a car can be a hard, frustrating and nerve-wracking experience. In fact, according to a recent survey, 46 per cent of Americans would rather clean a toilet than head over to a dealership. Shopping in general can be a chore, but for some reason car shopping specifically gets singled out as one of the worst experiences ever. The question is – why? Why cars? After all, we don’t have difficulties buying other expensive items, such as furniture, fixtures and electronics. So, why do we hate car shopping then? Well, let’s take a look at some potential reasons:
Reason #1: It’s a Big and Complex Purchase
This one is a little obvious, but cars do cost quite a bit of money. In fact, a car is the second biggest purchase most of us will ever make – with the biggest one being a home. Both are huge financial commitments, which means that deciding which car or home to buy can be extremely stressful.
Car ownership is a big commitment as well since you need to pay for a whole set of properties, including gas, insurance, maintenance, tire changes, repairs and, in most cases, a loan. In fact, the average Canadian spends over $9,000 a year to upkeep a car, which amounts to $750 a month. To own something like a TV, all you need to worry about is cable and electricity, with the latter being a necessity regardless of whether you own a TV or not.
Cars require more care than any other product you may own. That’s why Unhaggle, Canadian Black Book and many other car buying services exist in the first place. They are here to assist you with making the right purchase before you make it.
Reason #2: Car Buyers Distrust Dealerships
Many also hate car shopping because they distrust dealerships. There is a wide set of reasons as to why this is the case, but most of them boil down to two basic assumptions:
A) That dealerships are a third party and therefore ill-equipped to represent their respective manufacturers.
B) That dealerships deliberately conceal or misrepresent vehicle pricing information in order to rip off their customers.
Let’s address these two, because they are not exactly true.
Dealerships are indeed separate from manufacturers, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have manufacturers’ best interests in mind. First of all, a manufacturer’s primary objective is to sell their vehicles and that’s exactly what dealers do. As such it’s, better for a dealer to be accommodating to their customers than to neglect them since poor reviews and bad reputation can quickly send them out of business.
Secondly, manufacturers do check up on their dealers to make sure they uphold their standards. The concept is the same as behind other franchises, like McDonalds or Tim Hortons, which always get checked by the upper management to make sure none of the locations misrepresent the brand.
As for the notion that dealerships misrepresent or conceal pricing information, it’s only partially true. One thing they tend to conceal is the invoice price, which is what they have paid for the vehicle. The advertised amount is the retail price (or the MSRP), which is slightly above the dealer cost. It has to be this way because that’s how dealers get to earn their money.
So, why conceal it? Well, that’s just standard practice. ALL retail locations do this, including places like Walmart, Sobeys and similar stores.
When it comes to misrepresenting pricing information – some dealerships do it deliberately, others don’t do it all. The biggest issue, however, is that consumers are often misinformed themselves. A typical price quote has so many fees listed on it that it’s easy to get lost in them or accidentally pay for something you don’t really want. What’s unfortunate is that a long list of fees makes consumers feel as though they are being tricked into overpaying, but very often that’s just not the case. Granted, some dealers may sneak in an optional fee or two, but as long as you actually read your quote, you can spot them.
If you are a car buyer, cross this worry off your list – because dealers are nowhere near as bad as you may think. We talk about the subject at length in this article.
Reason #3: Car Buyers are Afraid of Haggling
The biggest nightmare for most car buyers is the notion that they have to haggle to get a better deal. Since there is a lot of money involved in purchasing a car, making sure all the payments align is often a necessity. So, if a person is shy or prone to anxieties, then haggling may feel like a huge ordeal to them. Yet if they see something disagreeable on their quote, they can’t simply let it go – because it may cost them a lot of money. As a result, consumers sometimes have to negotiate, even if they don’t really want to.
Do you think car shopping is an ordeal? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. And if you are looking for the latest deals, you can find them here too, but keep in mind that they expire on March 31.
Total Savings: $3,792
Manufacturer Incentive (After Tax):$1,250
Audi Loyalty Rebate: $750
Unhaggle Savings: $1,792
Mandatory Fees (Freight, air tax, etc.): $2,230
Total Price Before Tax: $43,338
Total Savings: $2,486
Manufacturer Incentive (After Tax):$1,543
Mandatory Fees (Freight, air tax, etc.): $1,730
Total Price Before Tax:$24,443
The incentives above are for cash purchases only! For more information on financing and leasing incentives, consult the Unhaggle free dealer cost report.