Buying a car is not as easy a process as walking into a dealership, coughing up money and driving out with a new car. It involves research and probing too. While the research part begins before you even step into a dealership, the probing needs to be done when you speak to the salesperson at a dealership. There are some critical questions that you need to ask the salesperson. We list them here and also tell you why these questions matter.
Question 1: What is the on-road price of the car?
Why it matters: It matters simply because this is the amount you will have to pay to buy the car. This cost consists of the car's price, along with the price of any accessories you have opted for, registration, insurance, extended warranty (if opted for) and handling charges. It may also involve other taxes and charges for an essential kit that dealerships offer with every new car. These costs, when added up, may just push the car out of your budget. So, do ask this question at the earliest.
Question 2: What is covered under warranty? What are the maintenance intervals and cost per service?
Why it matters: Almost every manufacturer covers the mechanical and electrical components in the warranty. But do check whether accessories like stereo that are installed by the dealer are covered under warranty too. Also, do ask about the intervals at which the car needs to be serviced and for a rough estimate of the cost of each service. This will help you understand whether the vehicle is maintenance-heavy or not.
Question 3: Where is the nearest service centre?
Why it matters: A lot of dealerships also double as service centres. However, in some cases, the dealership is separate from the service centre. In such a case, you should ask for the nearest service centre. This will help you gauge how far you need to take your car to get a problem fixed. Also, do ask if the car can be picked up and dropped by the service centre guys at your doorstep. The answer will tell you whether you need to drop your car for service every time or whether someone can pick it up from your house and drop it while you get on with your daily chores.
Question 4: What is the cost of various parts, such as bumpers, headlights, etc.?
Why it matters: When you drive your car, it will take bumps too, be it while coming off ramps or speed-breakers. It could also get involved in an accident. Sometimes, the damage caused is not much and you may not want to claim insurance for the same. In such a case, knowing the cost of the parts will help you know how feasible it would be to get the affected part changed without claiming insurance.
Question 5: Do I have to get insurance from the dealership only?
Why it matters: Car dealerships have a tie-up with an insurance company for which they charge you extra. However, this does not mean you cannot buy insurance for your car from the market. Also, the chances of you getting a better deal from the market are much higher. Since you are spending your hard-earned money, it should be up to you to decide where you want to buy your car's insurance from. Asking this question will help you in this regard.
Question 6: Has the car been used as a demo car?
Why it matters: Sometimes, dealerships have to resort to selling demo cars due to a shortage of supply from the manufacturer. These cars, usually kept in mint condition, may suffer from issues ranging from exterior damage to mechanical issues. Do ask this question to avoid buying a used car for the price of a new car. As an added precaution, you should also give your new car a thorough look for any issues and take it for a short spin too.
Question 7: What are the finance options being offered on the car?
Why it matters: Paying the entire amount for a car in a single go is not everyone's cup of tea. That said, when you ask this question, you should expect to hear about the schemes being offered not just by financial institutions but by the car manufacturer too. Sometimes, the deal offered by the manufacturer is better than those by financial institutions.
Question 8: How soon will my car be delivered?
Why it matters: Sometimes, the carmaker’s manufacturing facility is quite close to the dealership. In such a case, unless the waiting period of the car is long, chances are that you will get your car almost instantaneously. Sometimes, the dealership has the same car already in stock for you. Asking this question will help you understand whether the dealer has your car (in the colour of your choice) in stock or not. If you are in a hurry to get a new car, this will help you save time on acquiring your new car.
Question 9: How soon will my car's RC and number plate come?
Why it matters: When you buy a car, you will have to drive it on a temporary registration number called a Temporary Coupon or TC for some time. The TC is valid for a month from the date of delivery of your vehicle. If you do not get your car's RC within that period, it may be impounded by the cops. So, do not forget to ask this question.
Question 10: Is an updated/upgraded model on its way and in what time?
Why it matters: You would hate it if only after two months of you buying a car, an updated/upgraded version of the same is rolled out by its maker. So, do pose this question to the dealership since it will help you understand whether you should wait for the new version to come out or not. As a bonus, if you wish to forgo the updated/upgraded version, this may help you bag a nice deal on the currently-available car. Do you think we have missed any question you would have asked? If yes, do mention it in the comments section below. Happy car buying!