This week I’m throwing in a new car deal for our BOTW. It’s a rare occasion I know, but with so many deals on the table I couldn’t resist. After trawling the dealers last Saturday I picked my way through a pile of brochures and went back for the kill the following day.
I decided on the new Ford Fiesta for a couple of reasons; Firstly It looks damn good, and secondly Ford dealers seem to be the only ones ready to give thousands away without any initial haggling what so ever. I did trawl over the internet beforehand but what seemed to be value for money on the face of things actually turned out to be more costly with hidden charges and finders’ fees.
The Fiesta is not only a bold direction change but also the blue ovals’ best car since the original Focus back in ’99. Their design language has been pushed further than anyone expected and it’s far more risqué than the current Mondeo. Even so, the guys on the floor tell me that it’s doing a roaring trade and that they also feel robbed not getting the coveted 2009 European Car of The Year award – beaten by a single point by Vauxhalls Insignia. Having looked through equipment levels and discussed discounts over the phone I picked out the 1.4-litre Zetec-S. The verbal deals being thrown around seemed too good to be true, so with a fair distance to cover it was into the car and off to my first Ford dealer.
At £12,331 RRP, the reaction I got from my initial investigation stood me in good stead to get a target price of £10K. It seems unbelievable I know, but with the current state of the economy most eager salesman will camp at work all weekend just to notch another sale up on the board.
Arriving at my first port of call the showroom was already teaming with activity. With my brochure in hand and grabbing the nearest salesman we got straight down to business. The dealer was already discounting most of the Fiesta range but only with the 1.25-litre engine spec and not, it seemed with the 1.4. Even so he went in straight in at £11,500 without asking if I had anything to chop in. No hovering over the calculator or discussions with the sales Manager, just a £831 discount there and then. With a bit more negotiation and my target price slipped into the conversation more than three times I pushed him down to £11,300 but it became stalemate from there on. They even had the car in stock and would stick to the deal whether I paid ‘cash’ or put it onto their tailored finance package.
On to dealer number two and with £11,300 under my belt this dealer seemed reluctant to give away even £500 off the RRP but after convincing him to check my findings he came back with a matching price plus a free first service thrown in. I still tried to knock him down further but I came away defeated and trotted off to dealer number three.
Ten thousand pounds for a brand new Fiesta started to feel a little farfetched but I was determined to get as near as possible even though half the day had already gone. Dealer three would only go as far as £250 discount as they were selling more than they could actually order for stock whilst dealer four stuck to his guns at £12,000. By 5pm it felt as if hadn’t covered much ground but I still had two dealers to go.
Without planning my route properly and being swayed by the initial telephone offers yesterday, I should have popped into my nearest Ford centre first as it seemed they were ready to cut everyone else’s offer by a fair margin. They offered me a 1.4 Titanium (top spec) for £11,000, £841 off the RRP. As much as I was tempted, ten-grand seemed to be my destiny so a pleasant conversation followed and we switched back to the Zetec-S. The usual “if you sign up today” came with £10,695 whether that was financed or paid by a banker’s draught. I was determined not to be beaten. We got nearer with £10,460 but ultimately got stuck at £10,400.
Somewhat bamboozled with the figures running round my head, the mobile rang with Paul at dealer one giving me the offer of the day. With closing doors approaching, he obviously wanted one more deal to finish the weekend off with and came straight out with £10,000 as long as I signed on the dotted line before the 7pm deadline. With sincere apologies to all the hard-working salesman I encountered, I must admit if I was in a position to buy I would have jumped at the chance but as I have no drive space, her-indoors wouldn’t be pleased with yet another set of wheels even if it would have been the cool new Fiesta.
We’ve already covered buying on the internet here at MTI and although it can pay off, on this occasion the good old fashioned day trip to the dealers won the day. In a strange way physically going out and hunting around for the best deal feels more satisfying than staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Whatever way you choose, an MTI top-tip is always do your homework first and always remember that the deal you want could be just around the corner. It does beg the question, though; How far will the dealers go in terms of discount?
As the price gap between new and nearly new starts to close up again and if buying new once seemed too far out of reach, perhaps considering it now wouldn’t seem such a crazy idea.