When buying a new vehicle
, consumers are legally required to buy from a franchised new-car dealership, of which there are 1,100 located across Ontario.
But when it comes to pre-owned vehicles, automotive maintenance and repairs, collision repairs, tires and accessories, consumers have many buying options, and the competition is fierce.
Franchised new-car dealerships are equipped to handle all of your transportation needs, and there are many benefits in choosing a dealership for all things automotive related.
Here are seven key benefits in choosing a new car dealership:
Dealerships of today are designed for comfort, convenience and efficiency in an effort to provide an optimum buying experience for the customer. From shuttle service, comfortable lounges with Wi-Fi access and drive-thru service bays to mobile optimized websites, car-care clinics and service-appointment reminders — all points of contact are meant to provide value to customers. Plus, when a vehicle is serviced at a dealership, any warranty repairs are performed at the same time, thereby saving the consumer time.
2. Collision repairs
Many consumers are surprised to learn that dealerships are also in the collision repair business (servicing all makes and models). Dealerships either have a collision repair shop on site or they are affiliated with a reputable shop nearby. If you are involved in a collision, it’s your legal right to choose where you want your vehicle repaired. Dealerships can manage the repair process and restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
3. Service pricing
Dealerships compete with independent garages and automotive retail chains, and their pricing on regular maintenance/repairs (oil changes, tune-ups, brake repairs), brand name tires, accessories and collision repairs are highly competitive. On select items, dealerships are sometimes more cost-effective than independents.
4. Certified pre-owned (CPO) programs
When buying a pre-owned vehicle from a new car dealership, protections are available that are not when buying privately. Most dealerships offer CPO programs with benefits such as multi-point inspections, reconditioned low-mileage vehicles, extended warranties (over and above the manufacturer’s basic and powertrain warranty) and an exchange privilege. When buying from a registered dealer, consumers have protection of up to $45,000 from the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund. This fund can be accessed if someone suffers a loss as a result of an unpaid lien on a purchased vehicle or a non-submitted third-party warranty on an undelivered vehicle.
Developing a relationship with a sales consultant, service adviser or other dealership staff can pay dividends over time. A dealership knows you, your vehicle and your brand better than anyone, and it is a great source of valuable information about the care and maintenance of your vehicle. Many dealerships sell vehicles and provide service to the same customers year after year, and to their extended family and network of friends as well. This is a testament to the power of relationships!
6. Knowledge and expertise
A typical dealership employs between 20 and 100 men and women, who work in a variety of professions, including accounting, controller, human resources, auto/collision repairs, sales, business development, fixed operations, digital marketing and more. Each of these careers require a high degree of skill and knowledge. Professional development and factory-trained learning are requirements for all of these professions.
Dealers are in the tire business and carry brands and sizes that are specified or recommended by the manufacturer for your vehicle. Service advisers and technicians know about the latest tire technology and how tires perform in different environments. Dealers also offer seasonal tire storage as a convenience for a large number of vehicle owners, which is perfect for motorists living in condominiums, apartments and smaller homes hampered by limited storage facilities.
On behalf of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, I would like to wish everyone a happy Labour Day weekend, and please drive safely!
This column represents the views and values of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association. Write to email@example.com or go to tada.ca. Cliff Lafreniere is president of the TADA and is president of Pinewood Park Motors (Ford) in Kirkland Lake. For information about automotive trends and careers, visit carsandjobs.com.