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Dealing with Dealers – What to Ask a Car Dealer

What to ask a car dealer – A car dealer selling to a customer

Despite the general rumblings and grumblings, not every car dealer is a sleazeball out to get you. In fact, plenty of us are pretty nice people! We’re here to help you find a car and send you off the lot happy. But to do that, we need a little help from you. Here, we will discuss what to ask car dealers to help us help you and have everyone leaving happy. 

1. What are My Finance Options?

Whether you’re buying new or used, budget or balling, one of the first things you should ask a car dealer is if they offer financing. Knowing exactly how far your budget can stretch helps prevent your new set of wheels from burying your bank account six feet under and will assist in narrowing down your search.

While many of us would love to cruise around in a McLaren, for most of us, that isn’t realistic. Through financing, however, you may get something a little better than you thought. Most new and used dealerships will have finance professionals on hand to help work out a realistic framework that works for you.

2. Can I Take a Test Drive?

Finding that perfect new car isn’t just about looks but also the feel. The only way to get a feel for a car is to get behind the driver’s seat, so asking a car dealer for a test spin should always be a priority.

Most, if not all, dealerships will happily let you test drive the car. However, you must bring a valid driver’s license and sometimes fill out a few forms with your personal information.

When driving consider the following

If you are mechanically challenged, bringing someone who isn’t is probably a good idea. Someone with a little experience will be able to pinpoint any issues and positives during the test run. Here are a few things you should look out for when testing driving a car:

  • Take note of how the car accelerates and shifts gears. Is it slow and sluggish, or nippy enough for your liking?
  • How does it handle? Are the breaks responding how they should?
  • What’s the turning circle like, and will it be easy to park?
  • How is the visibility from the driver’s seat? Are the windows and mirrors providing you with a clear view of the surroundings, and can you check your blind spots without difficulty?
  • Make sure to keep your ears open for any odd noises while driving.

3. What Sort of Warranty Do I Get?

If you’re buying a car, new or used, from a dealership, you’re covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). This act means the car you’re buying should be of good quality, meet its purpose and match the description given by the dealer. If the dealer doesn’t meet their legal obligations or the car doesn’t meet one of the guarantees under the CGA, you’re entitled to get it repaired, replaced, or refunded.

However, you should always ask a car dealer about any extended warranty they offer. These warranties will be far more comprehensive than the standard CGA, which might be necessary if you’re the kind of driver at whom cars, poles, and other obstacles seemingly leap out around every turn.

What to ask a car dealer - A car dealer showing a car to a customer

4. What Is the Safety Rating of this car?

We’ve all probably been scared by those NZTA safety rating ads, but that’s the point! They’re purposefully horrific to convey that safety ratings should be a serious concern when purchasing a car.

When shopping for a car, it’s crucial to prioritise safety. You can ask your dealership to provide information on the ANCAP safety rating of the car. If the car is unrated, you can inquire about its safety features. Aim for a four or five-star safety rating, the highest possible rating for a new car. If you’re buying a used car, try to get as many safety features as you can afford, such as six airbags, seatbelt pretensioners, and Electronic Stability Control.

5. What’s the Fuel Efficiency Rating?

With gas costing an arm and a leg these days, it’s always a good idea to ask your car dealer about the fuel efficiency of any car you are eyeing. Every car comes with its fuel economy rating that the dealer should be able to provide you.

Several factors influence a car’s fuel efficiency, including year, engine size and technology, weight, and aerodynamic design. Inform the dealer about your driving habits and how you’ll be using the car, too; this will help them suggest the most suitable car.

Come Visit the Car Dealers at Portage

Dealing with dealers isn’t all that tricky when you know what to ask car dealers to ensure you’re getting steered in the right direction. With the right questions and even better responses, you’ll surely find your perfect car with Portage Cars. Explore our range of cars for sale in NZ online today.


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