Know the showroom

Try to keep your showroom visits productive… below, we describe how to make the most of your time. Remember: when visiting a new car showroom, you are in control – not the salesman. You don’t have to talk the sales team if you don’t want to, and most will leave you alone until you ask for help.

On arrival

1 Explore as many of the cars on display as possible before focusing on the one you are interested in. 2 Keep your buying objectives, and your budget clear in your mind – it’s easy to be distracted. 3 Don’t get side-tracked by staff, who may be trying to steer your decision. 4 The more information you go in armed with, the better equipped you’ll be to ask questions about the car you’re interested in.

Focus on the car you like

1 Focus on the model you are interested in and ask as salesperson to demonstrate it to you. Check the driving position, rear-legroom, boot space and storage. 2 This is your chance to put CarBuyer’s expert review copy to the test! Check the car meets your expectations. 3 Make sure sales staff show you exactly how everything works on the demonstrator 4 Remember, not all of the features on show room cars are standard. 5 Ask which options will cost extra. 6 If you like the car, arrange a convenient time for a test drive.

Speaking to the sales staff

1 Showroom staff will give you time to make your mind up, and if you have any specific questions, most are very helpful. 2 However, bear in mind that it’s also up to the sales team to try make you spend as much money as possible. 3 Don’t be afraid of discussing your needs with dealers. 4 Be wary of being offered costly extras you don’t need. 5 Ensure that you ask about long term costs, like servicing and finance options. 6 If you have a car to trade in, this is your chance to agree a value. 7 Get a sense of how much your car is likely to be worth by researching similar cars for sale online. 8  Bear in mind that the trade-in value of an old car will be lower than its resale value.

Before you leave

1 Read the fine print associated with your proposed deal, and work out whether you really can afford the monthly payments. 2 Don’t make an on the spot decision. Even if you took a test drive and really liked the car, give yourself space to think more clearly about whether it’s the right one for you. 3 Write down a list of questions for your dealer. Now is the time to clear up anything you don’t understand. 4 Handing over details like your address and ‘phone number means dealers can stay in touch, but buying the car should be done on the second or third visit to the showroom, not the first.
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