Do not be hasty when purchasing a new car. Consumers in the UK are said to pay through the nose for overpriced car finance plans offered through dealerships.
The average plan for car finance carries an APR of around 11%, however a personal loan sourced with the intention of purchasing a car could cost around 50% less. New figures suggest that motorists in the UK will overspend by almost £ 230 million on car finance plans pushed on to them by showrooms.
If you are buying a new car on credit it would be wise to shop around before visiting a showroom. There are at least 3 personal loan providers in the UK offering car loan plans carrying an APR of around 6% or less.
You are also less likely to feel pressured into signing finance agreements if you already have the finance in place.
Not only will dealerships damage your wallet but may also damage your car as well, leading you to borrow even more for the repairs that may be needed.
Recent research carried out by Auto Express magazine reveal that Lexus franchises are, all things considered, the best by a comfortable margin. The justifiably proud Skoda dealer network is runner-up, followed by Subaru, Toyota, Porsche, Honda, Jaguar, Kia, Hyundai and Suzuki, who are all "superior dealers".
Occupying the middle ground of the 30-strong league table are Mazda, BMW, Mitsubishi, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi, the Chrysler / Jeep / Dodge family, Saab, Land Rover and, in 20th place, MINI dealers. Next comes 10th-from-bottom Alfa Romeo, then Nissan, Volkswagen, Seat and Citroën. Bring up the rear are fifth-from-bottom Ford, then Vauxhall, Peugeot, Fiat and outright loser Renault in 30th and last place.
The major complaints against Fiat dealerships are that they're dirty, lacking atmosphere, unhelpful and have attitude problems. But at least they are improving. Renault franchisees have not moved forward in a year. It's bad enough that this French marque and its 330 dealerships are ranked as the lowest of the low at looking after customers. But equally alarming is the fact that they are also judged to be the absolute pits in terms of workmanship and communication, and only marginally better in technical knowledge, helpfulness and value for money.
The value category is an interesting one. When buying a car, we tend not to think about future servicing and repair costs. And that's short-sighted, because the cost of parts and labor can be higher than fuel, road tax and insurance.
Read the report and it becomes clear that Skoda workshops offer the greatest value, followed by those at Lexus, Kia, Suzuki, Toyota, Hyundai, Subaru, Honda, Mazda and Ford, who should all be pretty proud.
The bottom 10 marques / dealerships are the Chrysler / Dodge / Jeep clan, Saab, VW, BMW, Land Rover, Peugeot, Volvo, Renault, Audi and Mercedes. The authors politely suggest that Audi might like to rethink its labor rates and bluntly tells Mercedes that its wooden spoon for value should serve as a "big warning."
The star of the report is Lexus, which comprehensively beats every rival marque in every area, except value.