Buying from a Dealer

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Jim, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I have put a few notes together about buying from a dealer. Please add your tips, tricks and advice to this thread so that it becomes the definitive guide to getting a good deal and stealing food from the families of those nice motorhome salespersons

    Buying a Motorhome from a Dealer
    1. Visit a show and see as many motorhomes and layouts as possible. Before you visit a dealer make a comprehensive wish list of the style and layout that that you want.
    2. The dealer will be interested in how much you want to spend, and what repayments you can afford. Tell him neither, some find this difficult, but just say “I’d rather not say” Only tell him what vehicle you want, let the sales person come up with the numbers.
    3. Be flexible. Unless you’re on a substantial budget, it’s unlikely that you’ll find everything on your wish list in one motorhome. Be prepared to compromise but make sure you search has been a thorough one before you commit. Some people spend years trying to find the perfect motorhome, all those summers tours missed!! Others rush in, then regret it. making a costly change after only a few months.
    4. See if your local dealers offer a ‘try before you buy’ service. Many do and most will knock off the cost of the hire if you subsequently buy. Hiring a motorhome, even for a weekend, will help you decide if motorhoming is for you. It’s also an opportunity to live with various layouts your ideal layout might not be so ideal in practice.
    5. Do not be afraid of insulting the dealer with a very low offer, (he will not be afraid of insulting you) You might think of yourself as a customer, however most will think of you as a victim! Most deals will finish somewhere in the middle ground so make your first offer low, the final price to pay will be somewhere between your offer and the asking price.
    6. When you do decide to buy, always buy locally if possible. You may find that the great deal 200 miles away is not so good when you have to keep making 400 mile round trips to see them if things go wrong.
    7. Always ask the dealer to demonstrate everything for you, take copious notes during the demo, or better still a video recording.
    8. You should have a comprehensive list of checks to make prior to parting with your cash. Such a list can be purchased from motorhomefun <here>
     
  2. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    I would also add these

    If your not happy with the deals on offer....walk away

    Go and speak to anyone you see with their pride and joy in for servicing, ask them what the after sales service is like and how any warranty issues have been dealt with.

    When you arrive to collect the vehicle (if paying by bankers draft) ask the dealers to ensure it has gas and water and a hook up connection. Spend at least 3-4 hours actually in the motorhome pressing EVERY button and checking EVERY SINGLE system works and NOTHING is broken or falling off. Check all the doors, hinges, fasteners, adjusters. Bring a car battery tester if you have one and check the leisure batteries are in good condition and are been charged both on hook up and with the engine running, ask to go for an extended test drive and make sure you drive it in reverse. If you find ANYTHING no matter how small DO NOT HAND OVER THE DRAFT until it is fixed to your COMPLETE satisfaction. Personally I would be prepared to overnight in a travel lodge for a couple of days to give them time to fix and problems if the dealer is a long way from your home. Remember "The person holding the cheque is the one in charge":thumb:

    Make sure your new pride and joy will fit on your driveway :Eeek: sounds silly but it happens.

    Oh yes and most of all enjoy your new baby :Wink:
     
  3. Supertractorman

    Supertractorman Read Only Funster

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    Always get the Dealer especially of a new vehicle to have it filled with fuel before the journey home otherwise you could need an extra £70 to £90 with you on collection day. Once you agree your price just add that you expect the tank to be full !.
    If you purchase the van 300 miles away enquire first of the Dealer how any warranty works can be done. In many instances they have contacts in your area and can make the necessary contacts for you, and you want to be covered for parts failures when on your tours.

    David
     
  4. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    At the risk of offending some people on here -

    can I just put in a word for the 'good' dealer who expects you to spend a week in your new vehicle, free of charge, on his site in Cornwall. :Eek!:

    He expects that one of his Staff will be called upon to explain and demonstrate all the equipment at least once and possibly as many times as the customer wants. :Eek!:

    He expects that one of his Staff will go out driving with you in the new vehicle as many times as you wish until you are happy that everything is in order. :Eek!:

    And in the unlikely event that you break down in the warranty period, many miles away from the dealer - he will send the engineer to you WHEREVER you are! :Eeek:

    I won't say who he is - most of you will know from my signature block - BUT I would like to re-iterate that not all dealers are fly-by-night operators and I, for one, would expect nothing less from ANY dealer that I bought from. :thumb:

    If I wasn't offered that kind of service, I would go elsewhere - after all, every single one of our motorhomes is available from more than one source.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    This thread is about getting the best deal from a dealer. No one is suggesting all dealers are "fly by night". On the contrary, we just want to discuss getting the very best deal from them. In reality a good deal has to be good for both parties. That said if we do not even try to bargain, even the very best dealers will let us pay more than they are prepared to accept:Smile:
     
  6. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi al one very simple rule is get what you have agreed (be it fuel mats etc,)
    IN WRITING
    TERRY
     
  7. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    I hear what you say, Jim - which is why I was trying to be very careful in what I said so as not to appear to be advertising.

    However, I disagree with your comments in as much as very, very few dealers are really worried about the kind of deal that you, as a customer, are going to get - they are only worried about themselves NOT getting a bad deal. It has to be said that no matter what deal they do with you, THEY are not going to lose out on the deal in any way whatsoever.

    In the time I have been involved with RV's I have been shocked, amazed and even appalled at what some customers are told by some dealers, expect to get from some dealers and STILL GO BACK for more.

    The only answer is not to "discuss" what they are willing to give you but to demand what you want - if it is a reasonable demand - and if they can't give it to you - then go somewhere else - don't simply sit back and take second-best.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Of course they must not lose, what sort of business wants to lose money on a deal? They need to make a profit, or they won't be there when you need a service. :Smile:

    But any dealer will let you pay more than he would accept, this thread is about getting the price down to the minimum that the dealer will accept.

    Please keep the tips and advice coming:thumb:
     
  9. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    The most important part!

    Peter
     
  10. Clausentum

    Clausentum Deleted User

    One other item that made us suspicious of the salesman's integrity was that the vehicle had a deal which included 1st year free Caravan Guard insurance. Reading the small print carefully it gave "new for old" replacement value, in fact I phoned them with the salesman present. They did confirm this was so.

    The salesman was not happy as he had gone to great length to tell my family that a customer had written off their vehicle, shortly after driving away from the showroom with another story of a family who had extensive "write-off" damage in a hail storm. He also continually attempted to convince us of the need to take out their own company's "return to invoice book value" insurance policy at an additional cost of £480! Surely this sort of hard selling is a scam and regulated by the Financial Services authority?

    Guess who the large dealers were?
     
  11. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Dont know about it being a scam but he no doubt earnt a hefty commision for selling it, same as Payment Protection Insurance (PP!) on HP agreements

    Total waste of time, extremely expensive and a REAL EARNER for dealer.

    (Banned from my Dealership I might add)

    Peter
     
  12. Supertractorman

    Supertractorman Read Only Funster

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    Peter,

    I know you offer assistance to Swift owners with problems as do some other Dealers, but as a condition of your agency do you have to do this ?. I believe some others show no interest.


    Jim,

    Sorry to sidestep this discussion, but it could be an interesting point, when looking around Dealers and getting their response on many makes and warranties.

    David
     
  13. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Hi David,

    No it is not a condition of any MH Dealership that they have to carry out warranty work on MH's not supplied by them.

    To my mind it makes common sense to help others when we can, they are all customers at the end of the day and to turn someone away when they are stuck miles from home is diabolical and ruins their holiday.

    Theres enough grief in this world as it is.

    Rectification of a warranty problem where another dealer is either incapable or unco-operative just adds credibilty to my dealership.

    Peter
     
  14. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    just bought a new to me 1998 swift 520:BigGrin:
    needed a crawl through hatch in the rear so i could park beetween mine and next doors house:thumb:
    been waiting 2-3 weeks still not done:Sad:
    contacted dealer told him i have three weeks holiday from 01/09
    he said take the van have holiday bring it back we will fit it then :Eek!:
    noticed on collection shower tray hadnt been changed (small crack in the top )
    as promised:Angry:
    while completing the deal and the van was being washed
    said to the salsman as shower tray is not yet exchanged so i will withhold £250
    he said yup seems fair enough :Eek!:
    and then when paperwork completed
    he gave me an insurance policy that hadnt been mentiond before no charge
    probably hidden in the price :Wink:
    to me it seems somthing for nothing
    i thought little had been done till i checked round later
    no sign of previous occupants anywhere trust me i looked
    van inside as if never used
    window on the side when we viwed had had a light roasting( from the fridge flue i assmed flue:cry:
    that had been changed:thumb: i assumed it woudnt be
    all in all quiet pleased :BigGrin:
    its just well would have been nice not to have to return :Doh:
    but then its only 15 miles:thumb:
     
  15. motoroamin

    motoroamin Read Only Funster

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    The sale (or inclusion in a sale) of insurance products relative to motor vehicles is regulated by the FSA. Before any discussions commence regarding any insurance product, including 'free' warranties, extended warranties, PPI or Gap insurance, the person doing the presentation must present their Disclosure Document, which outlines the insurance products the Company is licensed to sell or administer. The person doing the presentation must also be suitably FSA qualified and should also carry out a Demands and Needs assessment with you.

    Sounds onerous, but the system is designed to avoid situations where clients are pressurised into taking out unnecessary cover.
     
  16. Jan Pendreigh

    Jan Pendreigh Read Only Funster

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    We're not saying that we've got it right but I always made a check list of 'must have', 'would like', 'would be a bonus' and 'definitely must not have' which helped a lot.

    I would suggest that you check that the water heats on both gas and electric and also that some form of heating works on both as well (why pay for hook up and then have to use gas). Check the upholstery for signs of use, often low mileage doesn't mean low useage and some cushion fillings and coverings are definitely inferior. Electric sockets (or lack of) and their positioning is also one area where we've tripped up in the past.

    Also, make sure the engine is sufficient to haul the weight of the camper - doesn't do your cred any favours being overtaken by a Volvo towing a wobble box on an uphill road!!!!!!!!

    Jan
     
  17. Pusser

    Pusser Deleted User

    While this is an excellent idea there are a few twits around and I am one who read all there is to read and on the big day ignore everything due to excitement, not wishing to be a nuisance and a belief that the nice people who have sold it to me would not dream of not checking everything out for me especially as I tell them I know nothing about anything that has wheels on.

    I know that I will suffer a price premium for my lack of knowledge but I am happy to pay a higher price for something that just works straight out of the box.

    But when I see that I have in effect been mugged by the dealer, in this case Elite from Banbury, who have not cared for my problems or the condition of the new motorhome I paid cash for virtually, then these people quite honestly make me sick. I am not a bitter person of course, but I do from time to time hope they are shit on from a great height by a large swan with bird flu.
     
  18. josielynne

    josielynne Read Only Funster

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    i have an burstner argos ,,i phoned perthshire caraven scotland ,and asked them if they would do a service and any repairs ,,,they asked if i bought it their i said no,they told me they only do stuff they sell ,,well i wont be buying anything from them ,,,i would have next time if they would have helped me out ,,,,burstner should make these people service there vans or take away there franchise,,
     
  19. slurps2

    slurps2 Read Only Funster

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    My advice would be if a dealer says it got bells and whistles on it ask him / them,to prove it works.then check them for any damage .then when your happy and you got everything in writting .keep in mind if you cannot get any problems sorted out it will cost you £3,000.00 to take them to court.
     
  20. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Pusser you never fail to make me laugh!:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Peter
     
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