The world of car retailing is changing and it means good news for car buyers. The traditional way of buying a car from a dealership showroom has been around forever, and it is a game where the playing field is heavily tilted in favor of the dealership. The trader knows all the numbers involved much better than the buyer, and therefore knows exactly where margins can be increased and decreased to maximize profits while still appearing to offer a good deal.
It is a bit like a casino; bettors at the tables may have some individual wins here and there, but overall, the house always wins. Buying a car from a dealership is similar in that you can get them to lower the price of the car a bit or add some extras, but they get it all back in the finance package or other extras that you hadn’t realized you hadn’t even realized. I even needed. (but the seller convinced them they were absolutely essential).
The internet has helped buyers somewhat as you can easily check the prices of several different dealers across the country. But that’s still just a starting point; a dealership will often be happy to reduce the price of a car if they can compensate elsewhere, and it becomes very difficult to keep up with the negotiations when you have a new car, your exchange of parts (trade-in), finances, insurance, options and accessories, all make up the final numbers. The dealer is adept at juggling all of these balls at once and knows exactly how much he wins from each part of the overall deal. The client is usually completely in the dark as to how much deal he is actually getting.
More and more car buyers are turning to a car buying agent or car broker to help them manage the car purchase. Here the buyer plays on a level playing field with the dealership, as the auto buying agent or auto broker generally has the same knowledge and experience as the dealership to be able to negotiate all aspects of the deal for the buyer’s benefit.
The other advantage of using a car broker or car buying agent is that it saves you a tremendous amount of time. Researching cars and taking walks around town to visit dealerships, getting quotes from different dealerships on different models, and comparing all the information is a tremendously laborious exercise. A car buying agent or auto broker can take care of all the running and allow you to focus on your work or enjoy your recreational time.
So what exactly does a car buying agent or auto 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 possible about the car you are looking for, and the broker searches for a vehicle that matches the desired specification as closely as possible.
A car buying agent offers a more comprehensive general service, usually involving specific advice and recommendations on the choice of a car and its specifications to suit your needs, as well as the supply of the chosen vehicle. If you are unsure about the best type of car for your needs, the advice of a car buying agent can be far more valuable than the savings you can get from the dealer. Choosing a more suitable car can represent considerable savings over the entire period of ownership, even if the bargain on the price of the car is not as significant. Many people have bought a car completely unsuitable for their needs and using a car broker will not prevent it. However, a good car buying agent will help make sure that you are choosing a car that will do everything you need for as long as you own it.
Brokers and agents get their money from a fee charged to the customer for their service and / or a payment or commission from the dealer. This is an important point for you as a buyer; If a dealer pays your broker, you are ultimately working for the dealer rather than you, which means they may not act in your best interest to secure the best available car at the best possible price.
To ensure that your agent is acting in your best interest and not that of the dealer, you should always look for a car buying agent or auto broker who has a clear fee structure and does not accept payments or commissions from the sales dealer. Fees must be clearly explained, easily understandable and related to the service provided. If a broker advertises that their services are free, the dealer is almost certainly paying you a commission or “search fee.” If an agent or broker offers their advice for free, it is unlikely that it will be a detailed, analytical report that covers all aspects of your driving needs.
A car broker will normally charge a fee based on the value of the car they are buying. If this is the case, you should be clear about your fee structure before you begin; For example, if the relevant price threshold in your rate structure is £ 30,000, then a car that costs £ 30,001 may mean a much higher rate for the broker. than a car that costs £ 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 get from the advertised price. This means that the more money you save, the more they will earn and it will give you some assurance that they are acting in your best interest.
With a car buying agent, there will usually be a fee for their advice and expertise, and a separate fee for the supply of a vehicle. Again, you need to know how their prices work, but don’t be put off by the idea of paying for expert advice, as it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. You can even use a car buying agent for advice on choosing a car, but handle the purchase yourself. This is often the case for company car drivers, who have lease agreements at their workplace but don’t know which car to rent.
In short, a car broker or car buying agent can make the car buying process much more attractive and advantageous for the average consumer, saving considerable time and potentially a lot of money.