Important Questions to Ask a Car Salesperson Before Buying a Car

April 16th, 2020 by


In 2019, 1,914,357 cars were sold in Canada. While this was a slight decline from the units sold the previous year, Canada is still one of the top markets for vehicles globally.

As car buyers continue to enjoy better deals and easy credit, more vehicles will hit Canadian roads this year. It might be that you’re among the people looking to replace your older vehicle with a new set of wheels.

Before you open your chequebook and sign any agreements, you need to ask the car salesperson several essential questions to ensure you get the best deal.

In this article, we list ten important questions to ask when buying a car from a dealership. The answers you get will determine whether to close the deal on the vehicle you’re interested in or to walk away. Read on to learn more.

What to Ask a Car Salesperson When Buying a Car

Buying a car is a huge financial commitment. Ensure you’re getting the most out of the deal by asking these questions.

How Much Time Do You Allow for a Test Drive?

Once you’ve identified a car you like, you need to perform a test drive before you start any negotiations. This is the best way to find out whether the vehicle meets your needs. In case the dealer claims that they don’t allow test drives or the time allowed for a test drive is too short, move on to the next dealer.

Can You Provide Me With the Purchase Agreement?

Among the first things to ask when buying a car is whether you can see the purchase agreement for the vehicle. Typically, the purchase agreement of a vehicle indicates its price and all other fees included the final price of the vehicle.

Carefully go through the fees and make inquiries regarding fees that you don’t understand well. Beware of accessories and add-on services you didn’t request.

What Are the Car’s Long-Term Maintenance Expenses?

Generally, car manufacturers provide some form of free maintenance for new cars. However, that maintenance is limited to a specific number of years or mileage. One of the essential questions to ask when buying a new car, therefore, is what to expect in terms of maintenance costs once the manufacturer stops providing free maintenance.

Keep in mind that if you’re buying a sports car or an exotic car, the maintenance costs of the car will differ significantly with those of an ordinary car. Inquire from the salesperson the cost of an extended warranty, and what the vehicle’s resale value will be after five years.

What Does the Car’s Warranty Cover?

Many first-time car buyers purchase a vehicle and drive it off the lot without understanding what’s covered in the vehicle’s warranty. As you’re going to find out, the biggest expenses in a car’s life start as soon as it leaves the dealer’s yard. Maintenance expenses can add up, so having a good understanding of the warranty can save you a lot of money down the road.

All warranties are not the same. The car’s manufacturer, model, and year determine how the warranty coverage looks like. Ask the salesperson to go over the details of the warranty thoroughly, so you understand what you’ll have to pay for in repairs and what’s covered in the warranty.

Where Did This Car Come From?

When interested in a pre-owned vehicle, it’s important to know the source of the vehicle. Used cars can come from a wide variety of sources, including the following:

  • Car dealer trade-ins or demos
  • Auctions
  • Rental car fleets

But why is the source of a used car an important factor when you’re deciding on whether to make a purchase? Well, knowing where the vehicle came from can help you obtain an accurate maintenance history.

Have You Done Any Service on the Car?

Besides determining the service history of a car, it’s important to find out whether the dealer has done some repairs on the vehicle since it arrived in their lot. Keep in mind that sometimes a used car can sit on a dealer’s lot for months. Knowing that the dealer has kept up with the car’s maintenance schedule assures you of fewer costs in the future in case you decide to purchase it.

Is That Your Best Price?

You don’t have to pay the price that the car salesman mentions in the beginning. There’s almost always room for negotiating, especially if you’re buying a preowned vehicle.

To get the best price on a used car, do lots of research before paying a visit to the car dealer.

What’s the current rate for similar cars in your area? Most car dealers are willing to lower the overall price of a vehicle, so it fits into your budget better.

Do You Provide In-House Financing?

Almost all new car dealers will provide manufacturer-backed financing. But many used car dealers may not offer this type of financing. That’s why you need to ask about the availability of in-house financing before making any decisions.

In case the dealer provides in-house financing, take the time to learn as much about it as possible. Often, you can get a better deal by taking a traditional auto loan or going back to the financial institution you usually use.

Will You Offer a Discount If I Pay in Cash?

Cad dealers usually make some money from the finance products they provide. However, the majority of car dealers prefer cash purchases. If you can skip the conventional financing route and pay in cash, ask whether you can expect a discount on the vehicle’s price.

Will You Take My Current Car as a Trade-In?

For car buyers looking to replace their existing vehicles, a trade-in can prove very beneficial. First of all, it makes it much easier to pay for the car you’re interested in buying. Secondly, a trade-in saves you the challenge of trying to sell your old car on your own.

Always Ask the Right Questions When Buying a Car

Buying a car can be a stressful venture, especially for first-time buyers. But by preparing the appropriate questions you’re going to ask your car salesperson, you can make the right choices and ensure the process goes smoothly.

Are you interested in the best deal for your next vehicle? Contact us today to check out our special offers.