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  • Car Finance Guidelines
    Uploaded 9 years ago

    Car Finance Guidelines

  • Precautions When Buying A Used Bakkie For Sale After Lockdown
    Uploaded 12 hours ago

    Precautions When Buying A Used Bakkie For Sale After Lockdown

  • Car Maintenance Hacks With Everyday Objects
    Uploaded 2 days ago

    Car Maintenance Hacks With Everyday Objects

  • The Ultimate Checklist After A Car Service
    Uploaded 4 days ago

    The Ultimate Checklist After A Car Service

  • Car Diagnosis | A Quick Guide To Warning Lights
    Uploaded 1 week ago

    Car Diagnosis A Quick Guide To Warning Lights

  • Budget Options For Used SUVs
    Uploaded 1 week ago

    Budget Options For Used SUVs

Uploaded 9 years ago

Car Finance Guidelines

Car Finance Guidelines

People are often surprised to hear that a dealership's financing and insurance (F&I) department, or "business office," is a profit center.

Reality check No. 2 Everything car dealerships sell you represents a profit opportunity. With few exceptions, the car dealer is a middleman. In the case of a new car itself, you can't eliminate the middleman. Most state franchise laws prohibit manufacturers from selling directly. But you can eliminate the dealer with regard to financing and insurance if you determine that it's in your best interest.

With the widespread availability of invoice pricing, it's harder for dealers to squeeze margin out of the new-car transaction. Much of the profit has shifted to the "back end," which includes the F&I department. The F&I department is also where many buyers let their guard down and squander any good negotiating they've done for the vehicle's purchase price.

You have various options for financing a vehicle, including credit unions, banks and dealerships. In some cases, the loan you'd get from a dealer comes from the same bank you could go to yourself. Dealers play the part of loan agent in trying to get you the best rate, but they can and do add percentage points to the rates they obtain from lenders. In many cases, they split the additional profit margin with the lender, so everyone wins &mdash except you. Though its ethics are in question and consumers have sued dealers over it, this practice isn't currently illegal. Some day regulations such as the Truth in Leasing Act may be enacted to require disclosure of loan rates.

However, since many captive car financing companies offer discounted loan rates, it's possible to get the best deal by financing at the car dealership. Shopping during an incentives period increases your chances for these savings.
In addition to loans and leases, dealerships often offer health, disability and other insurance plans. Some buyers appreciate the opportunity to make all their deals under one roof, but you should look into third-party sources and shop around before choosing an insurance plan.

Back-End Products and Services

The F&I manager is also responsible for selling additional products and services, which are a significant source of dealer profit. They include

Service contracts Often referred to as extended warranties, these plans are meant to take over when the manufacturer's warranty runs out and/or cover repairs not accounted for in the manufacturer's warranty. Consider your needs carefully before purchasing a service contract for a new car. While the cost of new cars has risen, so has their reliability. The period between purchase and major scheduled service is longer than ever. And experts say the parts of a car that are most likely to break after the factory warranty expires are typically not covered by third-party service contracts, though there are exceptions, such as four-wheel-drive systems and turbochargers. If you consider a service contract, bear these issues in mind

&bull    Some contracts have deductibles, and some do not. Amounts vary, and you may have to pay a deductible for each claim or even individually for unrelated repairs in the same claim. Get the details.

&bull    Don't assume your contract will transfer to another dealer if you move. And if it can be transferred, is there a fee?

&bull    The contract also may not transfer to another owner. An extended warranty is a nice selling point &mdash but not if it's tied to you rather than the vehicle. Check for owner transfer fees.

&bull    Sometimes one of a car's parts or systems will be responsible for damage to another part of the car. The best example of this is a timing belt. In certain engine designs, when this part breaks it causes catastrophic (and very expensive) valve damage. A timing belt may cost R300, which will the service plan cover? Some service contracts stipulate that the insured cannot collect for damage to a part covered by the plan if it was caused by an uncovered part, negligence or some other hard-to-define condition.

&bull    If you're financing for a longer term, say five or even six years, check the mileage limitations of the extended warranty. It's possible you could surpass the mileage limit, thereby voiding the warranty, before the financing period ends.

Service contracts represent a significant profit source for dealers, so expect the hard sell. The price and all the terms above are negotiable, and again, you can comparison shop the service plan at multiple dealerships even if you're not buying the car there.

Rustproofing and paint protection All new cars are built with rust-resistant galvanized steel (or aluminum or fiberglass) and treated with a rustproofing agent at the factory. Experts say dealer-applied rustproofing is unnecessary, at best. Paint "sealant" is a similar story factory paint is sealed and durable and can be protected effectively with a coat of wax you apply yourself.

Fabric protectant Unlike rustproofing, fabric protectant can be applied effectively after the car is fully assembled, which means the dealer can do it &mdash and so can you. If you take the time and have the knack for it, you can achieve the same result.

Vehicle Service

Vehicle repair is big business. Thanks to the complexity of modern vehicles, dealer service departments are guaranteed a steady flow of business that might otherwise go to independent repair shops.
In terms of the dealership's bottom line, the service department can contribute a healthy percentage of the profit. It explains why dealers are sometimes willing to sell at extremely thin profit margins.
If you come in with an immaculate trade-in and meticulous maintenance and repair records, then the dealer may intuit that you're good for a few years of regular service and give you a good deal on the purchase price itself.

 

For quality new, used and demo cars, visit www.imperialselect.co.za.
 

Uploaded 12 hours ago

Precautions When Buying A Used Bakkie For Sale After Lockdown

Precautions When Buying A Used Bakkie For Sale After Lockdown

We're finally returning to some semblance of normal life now that level 1 of lockdown has been established, and many people are looking into making lifestyle or career changes in light of events during the past few months. If you're currently looking for a used bakkie for sale for work or personal use, there are certain aspects to bear in mind before making a final decision about the bakkie you're interested in. 

Do Your Homework

South Africa isn't short of options when it comes to bakkies, so you'll need to decide which type is best suited to your needs. If you're not going to need to haul heavy loads or take on rough terrain often, you might not need to invest in a top-end bakkie. You should also look into resale value and the average cost of parts and tyres, so that you don't run into unexpected expenses or resale struggles later down the line. Another good idea is to research the reputation of the make and model of the bakkie you're interested in, as there is a wealth of testimonials, complaints and user reports available online, created by current or previous owners. 

Test Drive It

This is crucial, not only to ensure that the vehicle runs smoothly but also to be certain that you're comfortable driving it. Some bakkies aren't designed with much leeway in terms of seat adjustment, which can be a big problem for women and shorter individuals who may struggle to reach the pedals or have sufficient back support. Be sure to take the bakkie on as many possible terrain variants as you can during your test drive, and include dirt or rocky road to the experience to ensure that the suspension is in good condition. 

Inspect It Thoroughly

If you're not sure what to look for when inspecting the bakkie, it's fairly easy to download a recommended checklist online to use as a reference. If you'd rather be certain that you didn't miss or overlook anything, a certified inspection is available for a fee from the AA. 

If you're set on getting a used bakkie for sale, remember that we stock carefully inspected and prepared used cars and bakkies on our website, so keep checking in!

Uploaded 2 days ago

Car Maintenance Hacks With Everyday Objects

Car Maintenance Hacks With Everyday Objects

When it comes to keeping your car in good condition, we tend to rely on specialist cleaning products and polishes. While they are effective, they're not cheap and sometimes you simply don't have anything on hand other than whatever you can find around the house. Over the years many mechanics and car owners have discovered cheap and easy hacks to clean, fix and maintain cars, and today we're going to share a few of them with you. So before you run to the best car repair workshop in your area, give these a try.

Keeping The Exterior Spotless

If you want to keep your car shiny and spotless, you'll be surprised by just how many items at home will work wonders to do so. Rust and gunk on your rims? Rub and buff it with some Coca Cola &ndash it's acidic enough to loosen hardened materials without damaging your rims. If you don't have access to car polish and want to give your vehicle sparkle, simply mix two cups of water with half a cup of hair shampoo, and apply to your car as you would with regular polish. Over time headlights become dull and can turn a slightly yellow colour. You can easily fix this problem by applying toothpaste to the headlights and buffing it off with a toothbrush. Cracked window? Clear nail polish will help prevent the crack from worsening until you get your windshield repaired or replaced. Nail polish is also a great solution to masking scrapes and scratches on your car's bodywork. Another great hack is using the cooking spray for those stubborn bug marks on your bumper - just spray the area, leave for a few minutes, and wipe the surface. 

Emergency Fixes

If you're suddenly stuck with a breakdown, you may be able to temporarily fix the problem with common items. A pair of pantyhose can be fashioned to replace a fan belt or timing belt until you get to a repair workshop. If you find a break in your pipes, an empty Pringles can and some duct tape will hold everything together for long enough to get you to safety. A leak in your fuel tank? Apply some chewed bubblegum to plug the area.

We hope these tips will be helpful to you in the future and would like to remind you that if you need the best car repair workshop for those issues you can't fix yourself, we have several specialist centres across the country to help get you safely back on the road in no time.

Uploaded 4 days ago

The Ultimate Checklist After A Car Service

The Ultimate Checklist After A Car Service

Taking your car to a car repair workshop for a service or repair when it's no longer covered by a service plan from an authorised specialist means you'll have to fork out cash for whatever needs fixing or maintenance. It also means that, unlike with a service plan backed by a known supplier, you won't necessarily have the automatic certainty that everything will be done thoroughly or correctly. To ensure that you don't get swindled or left with more problems than before you took it in, we've compiled a quick checklist to follow when you take your car to a service centre or repair shop.

1. Proper Documentation

This is crucial from the get-go, as you will need to have a clear track record and evidence of what was agreed to, terms of service, as well as proof of payments and invoices. The first document to get a copy of is the job sheet. All mechanics and service centres use this as a guideline for the job, and it should include all of your details, the date, specifics about what the job will include, as well as notes on any specific issues you need them to look at. Once your service has been completed, double-check the job sheet to ensure that they have marked all of the itemised tasks as complete and also look out for any extra notes they may have added during the process. Secondly, ensure that you get an itemised bill or invoice, clearly stating what was included and how much it cost. Check carefully that no pre-discussed additions were made and if you're unsure about any of the items listed, ask them to elaborate. 

2. Check Fluids

Check your car's petrol level before and after the service - it should not have dropped by much as mechanics typically only take a drive around the block to ensure everything is in order. If you've requested an oil change or oil filter replacement, check that the oil in your tank is light in colour to confirm that it is the new oil. Confirm whether they have replaced the coolant and brake fluid as well.

3. Tyre Condition & Wheel Balancing

Although it's unlikely, your car's tyres may be swopped with older ones if you've had wheel rotation or wheel balancing done. Pay attention to how they look before and after the service.

4. Double Check Before Leaving

Ensure that you have your service booklet, belongings and tool kit with you before you leave the service centre. Sometimes these items can be misplaced or forgotten and it's much harder to convince them that something's gone missing after you've already left.

If you'd like to have absolute peace of mind that you're dealing with a reputable service provider who ensures absolute customer satisfaction, contact one of our Imperial Select Service Centres for professional and friendly assistance. We have a car repair workshop near you, wherever you are in the country and will get you back on the road in no time!

Uploaded 1 week ago

Car Diagnosis A Quick Guide To Warning Lights

Car Diagnosis A Quick Guide To Warning Lights

Sure, many things could go faulty with cars and often we don't consider many of them to be all that serious. A squeaky window or seatbelt that won't click into place without a few tries may be annoying but they don't affect your car's mechanical performance. However, warning lights are installed in your car's console for a very good reason they all indicate when an urgent or serious problem has arisen and you should immediately take action if any of them light up. The moment you notice a warning light coming on, find the closest safe area to pull over as continuing to drive can very likely completely wreck your car. We're going to review some of these lights and what they indicate so that you can go to a car service and repair shop to get it corrected.

Check Engine Light

If you see this light turn on, you must get your car to an automotive specialist as soon as possible. This light can activate for several possible reasons, including a possible faulty sensor, it typically indicates that something is seriously wrong with your car's engine.

Oil Pressure Light

When your car detects critically low levels of engine oil, this light goes on.  You may have sprung a leak or crack in your oil tank or rings, or you may just have forgotten to fill up with oil. Either way, this problem causes your engine to overheat and can cause severe damage, so pull over as soon as possible and call for help. Or, if you're very close to a petrol station, park there and refill your oil tank until you can determine the definite cause of the problem. 

Brake System Light

Another serious indicator, you may simply be driving with your handbrake up, or there may be more serious problems with our brake fluid or brakes. A quick way to confirm the issue is by pumping the brakes if they feel soft or the brake pedal drops without much resistance, you need to have your car checked out.

Temperature Light

This one is quite straight forward your car is overheating and suffering damage the longer you keep driving it in this condition. You may just be out of coolant liquid, but there are also other possible causes.

Check Battery Light

If your battery light comes on, you are either dealing with a dead battery that needs to be replaced, or there may be a more serious issue causing failed power distribution.

If you experience any of these issues, it's best to take your car service and repair shop to avoid any further - and very costly - damages from happening.

Uploaded 1 week ago

Budget Options For Used SUVs

Budget Options For Used SUVs

Every so often our lives change and as they do, so do our lifestyle needs. If you've realised your current car isn't big enough to accommodate your growing family, you may be considering upgrading and finding a suitable used SUV for sale. If your budget is fairly tight and you want to ensure you get the best value for what you can afford, read on as we list some of the best budget options available locally. 

Honda CR-V

Honda has long been a trusted name in the automotive industry and the CR-V has been a firm favourite among prudent buyers since it was initially launched nearly 30 years ago. It's ideal as a family car and will be a great companion on long road trips and holidays to the coast, just as much as the usual day-to-day work and school runs. Features vary somewhat, depending on which edition you're looking at, but the benefit of buying a used model that has a few years on the clock is that you'll be more likely to pick up a higher-end variant at an affordable price. Four-wheel drive, ABS, traction control and the usual array of SUV features come standard in all models but you will enjoy features including leather seats, sunroof, climate control, steering wheel controls and an upgraded audio system if you scout around for an upper-end variant. 

You can expect to pay anywhere from R50,000 for a 2004 model, to R250,000 for a 2015 model.

KIA Sportage

Because it's always been a very popular SUV in South Africa, you won't struggle to find quite a range of options in terms of used Sportage models. Sporting a more modern design than the Honda CR-V in similar year classes, the Sportage is a fun, reliable and very well-equipped SUV that won't leave you wanting for much. This model has won many awards in a variety of classes, including the 'Crossover of the year' and 'Best car for towing' awards at the 2019 Auto Trader New Car Awards. It is also praised for its stability on the road and has been the top-selling KIA model in the UK for years. Last year it also won the award for 'Best used car' and 'Used car of the year' in the Auto Express and Scottish Car Of The Year Awards, respectively. 

Models produced around 2006 go for about R60,000, while more recent variants will set you back in the region of R250,000 for a 2015 model. 

Suzuki SX4

The SX4 is quite a bit smaller than most SUV models, but the interior was designed in such a way that you'll get the impression and feel of a much bigger vehicle. It's a sporty, compact mini SUV that will be ideal for a small family or people who enjoy weekends away or trips to the beach. Roof racks come as a standard feature on all models, giving you even more freedom to transport bikes, surfboards or other larger items. The SX4 was designed as a budget option to the buyer market, so don't expect lavish features and finishes from this model. You'll find it's a comfortable drive with a practical interior, so if simplicity and reliability is what you're after, this might be a good match. 

Price-wise, you can pick up a 2011 model for around R50,000, while the last and most recent models will set you back about R180,000 for a 2015 model. 

Daihatsu Terios

If you haven't seen a lot of new Daihatsu models on the road lately, it's because the company pulled out of South Africa in 2015. They were very popular for their Terios and other models, however, and you won't have to worry about maintenance, parts or servicing support as they were acquired by Toyota a few years ago. If you're not all too familiar with the manufacturer, Daihatsu has a strong reputation for building extremely durable vehicles that can comfortably take on heavier weather conditions with impressive road grip and control. It is very straight-forward in terms of looks and features, but you'll have access to fundamentals like remote central locking, air conditioning, electric windows, as well as classic SUV elements including a roof rack and permanent all-wheel drive. 

You can pick up a 2008 model for around R50,000 and can expect to pay in the region of R135,000 for a 2014 model.

As they were designed to endure rugged and daunting road conditions, SUVs are designed and built to be exceptionally durable, which is why even an older used model will provide you with many years of comfortable and reliable driving. Contact us if you'd like to be notified when new stock arrives or if you'd like to discuss how we can assist you with claiming your own budget used SUV for sale.