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5 questions to ask your car dealer

Ask the salesperson everything before leaving the dealership
By Entrepreneur Staff |

Think you can march into the dealership, claim the keys to your new company vehicle and power away in only five minutes? Think again.

Because cars and trucks are far more complicated today, taking possession of a new vehicle means taking a detailed inspection of the features and options you ordered, and the salesperson demonstrating how everything works.

Below are four issues to ask the dealer before driving your new vehicle home:

1. Ask the salesperson to explain how the GPS system works (even if you already have one, telematics are changing each model each year). He or she should show you the various modes, how gently you should tap the touchscreen, or how loud you must talk if your system has Voice command.

2. Operating power van doors, hydraulic liftgates, navigation systems and removable rear seats can be a piece of cake, but only if you’re shown how to do it.

3. You should also ask how to get the spare tire (most are concealed) and whether there’s a special place to hide tools. After all, how many of us have positioned a jack or set up flares? In an emergency, even with roadside assistance, it could be an hour before help arrives, so knowing how to change a tire can help you and your company’s drivers avert a potentially dangerous situation.

4. Go over everything listed on the window sticker and the purchase agreement to make sure that the engine size you paid for is under the hood, the hitch is included, or the bed has the liner you chose.

5. Ask the salesperson to explain the remote locking system. Some owner’s manuals neglect to mention where the car’s sensor is or where to point the remote—the door lock or somewhere in the interior.

Be sure to point out any defects to the salesperson, who should state in writing that the dealership will fix the problem by a specific date at no extra cost to you. Before saying goodbye and stepping out the door, also make sure you have a copy of the title, vehicle registration and airbag safety brochures; sets of keys; and the owner’s manual.

This article was originally published in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines.

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