How would you like to pay less by behaving like a fat cat when you buy a car? You can, by having your new (or used) vehicle delivered to your home.
This is a unique new idea touted by my buddy Philip Reed, Consumer Advice Editor for the auto website Edmunds.com. Phil encourages all car buyers to take advantage of this option rather than picking up their vehicle at the dealership.
"When the salesman brings the car and contracts to you," he says, "not only can you reduce the delivery process to a fraction of the time, but you have the advantage of concluding the deal on your home court."
Why would getting more service cost you less money? Let me count the ways:
1. Securing your own loan.
If you're going to receive your car remotely, it makes sense to look into financing it remotely too. And experts say this is what you should be doing anyway. Get your credit checked and your interest rate lined up at your own bank or credit union before dealing with the dealership. Sometimes dealers offer big promotions that beat outside loan deals, but usually you can get a lower interest rate outside the dealership.
2. Sidestepping expensive options.
Auto salespeople often talk customers into lots of expensive upgrades they really don't need or want. Souped up stereos. Fancy rims. It's much easier to say no to all these attempts when you're not held hostage at the dealership in person.
3. Avoiding the Finance Office.
When you talk to the dealership's loan servicing department, often they try to sell you all sorts of last-minute extras like upholstery protection and VIN etching. These services are unnecessary. Consumer Reports estimates they are worth less than a hundred bucks, but many motorists pay more than $1,000 for them.
So how do you go about requesting home delivery? Edmunds.com suggests you test drive vehicles at your leisure until you've settled on what you want. Then, instead of haggling right then and there, leave and conduct your entire deal by Internet and phone. When you've arranged a vehicle and price, tell the dealership that you can't pick up the car until later, but if they will deliver it, you'll finalize the deal right now.
Phil assures me car salespeople are eager to chalk up a deal ASAP and will go for this. He says home delivery should be free, unless the dealership is more than about 50 miles away. In that case he says a delivery fee of about $75 is reasonable. The salesman will bring you not only your new car but all of the sales paperwork. After making sure it's the agreed-upon vehicle and agreed-upon price, you sign and say sayonara.
Total transaction time? About 20 minutes instead of 2-3 hours of rigmarole if you take delivery at the dealership. And what's better than saving money? Saving time. If you'd like more details about how home delivery works, you can read Phil's article here.