14 Answers

We need a new car and I was wondering is it better to go to a website such as carsales.com or straight to a dealer or car show room?
Also how much can you negotiate with the seller if it is a dealer/show room? Thanks

Posted anonymously, 10th February 2016

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  • I would start online just to find out prices and availability etc. Then go to a car yard to find one. Quite often, carsales.com advertise car yard cars any way

  • Dealers can offer things private sellers cannot, including warranty. It is best to visit multiple dealers and let them know that you will be checking out other cars and it is a good excuse to leave when you want. Test drive as many cars as you can so you know the difference in what they feel like.
    Negotiation depends on the dealer. I’ve had dealers who were desperate to get rid of older models that would not sell, so they would negotiate everything. Dealers who have a good product that sell well will tell you that there is little to no room for negotiation straight up, however can end up being the best long term deal.
    Also be aware of extra costs. Is the price drive away? Are there conditions that you need to abide by to keep the warranty? If it is a new car, how many times to you need to service the car for the warranty to stay? Is roadside assistance included in the price?
    Ask questions to keep the dealer on track. They will get you to focus on unimportant things if the car is not that great (e.g., sound system, the colour, etc.)

  • If you buy one from a second hand car yard and it is over a certain price (not sure of the figure) they have to give you a warranty, especially if it is a safety or roadworthiness issue of any type. Some states/territories are very fussy when they see any rust on body panels at all. If you buy a car privately, in SA they are supposed to give you a roadworthy document if you pay $1,000.00 or over. I have no idea whether it applies to other parts of Aust. You have no warranty at all if you buy a car privately.

  • Dealers always put the price higher so you should always try negotiate with them. Some private people negotiate but often not as much. Depends on the person and how quickly they want to sell… So you could offer a grand less and see if they do like $500 less. At a car dealer I’ve known people to get $5000 off one car
    Dealers can offer some warranty

  • Everyone wants to make a car sale and remember that you have the bargaining power.

  • Depends on what you are after. We used an auction to get our second car saving around $1500. If you know what you want ask them what deals they will do and play the dealers against each other.

  • You’ll find at a dealership you can negotiate. You may get a good deal if they are trying to clear the previous models etc. Also you have the option of a trade-in if required. Also ask what extras they can throw in, even if they aren’t able to take much off the price they may be able to throw in car mats, tinted windows etc.

  • We bought our first new car ever just over a year ago. It was great to be able to get into different makes and models and really get a feel for the differences.

    You can and should negotiate – and be prepared to walk away and come back another day – this helps with the negotiations. We ended up paying a few thousand less than their so called “best offer” and had a lot extras thrown in (roof racks, seat covers, bigger car mats, boot liner etc.) This was for a Mazda CX5.

    Negotiations only work if you have time on your side and are genuinely prepared to walk away. They are well trained to sell – be strong!

  • We negotiated with a car dealer and got $1000’s off the price and accessories and extras.

  • I know a guy who had his car checked. A few weeks later a passenger discovered the front seat he was sitting in felt loose. The took it to a service station and had it put over the pits. Two bolts had been broken off and no nut on it at all. It appears it had been in an accident of some type. It was bought from a reputable secondhand car dealer. So much for Motor Association Check

  • If you have an idea of make and model I’d have a look in show rooms to ensure it’s right for you. Get a price, then go off to think on it. Look it up online to find a better deal – also ring around the other dealers and ask what their best price is – play them off each other – tell them you can get it for x amount from elsewhere and see if they can better the price. On a $18,000 car brand new from a showroom I managed to get it for $14,800 for my mother :-)

  • Every area is different and everyone has good and bad experiences with both. Either way shop around and make sure you get something that suits you

  • We have bought our previous 2 cars via carsales from private sellers. We found it was cheaper to buy from a private seller. In both instances we got an RACV check completed on the vehicles to ensure there were no major issues.

  • Both of our cars were purchased from carsales online but were both advertised by car dealers. We felt more confident buying from a dealer because you know the car has been checked out and detailed before it goes on sale and sometimes you get a three month warranty.

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