Ask The Experts – The role of the business office
You’ve taken the time to do the research and to test drive various vehicles. You’ve compared technical specifications, looked closely at the pricing and manufacturer incentives, and, finally, you’ve made up your mind to get that car of your dreams. Now what?
Should I lease it over 48 months, or does it make more sense to pay for it in full now? Will my credit application even check out? How do I keep my new car in the best condition in the long run? These are all questions that could go through many people’s minds when purchasing a car. After all, it’s a big purchase, and for many of us, a possession we plan to keep for many years. That’s why it’s important to take some time to think ahead and consider the ways we can best protect our shiny new toy.
Luckily for us, that’s where the dealership’s Business Office comes in. We sat down for a one-on-one with one of OpenRoad’s Business Office managers to demystify the Business Office.
What exactly is the role of the Business Office during the sales process?
The Business Office plays a crucial part in enhancing a customer’s purchase experience. Buying a car is a big purchase, and the Business Office is here to inform the customer on available options to best protect his or her new investment.
When a customer decides to purchase a vehicle, there are many things to consider. Payment option is one of them. Whether someone chooses to lease or finance a vehicle or pay with cash all depends on budget and current incentives. The Business Office can present the various options and explain each in detail so that the customer can decide for themselves which aligns best with their financial situation.
The Business Office is also here to discuss value-add products for the customer’s new vehicle, such as warranty, exterior or interior protection packages, insurance (life and disability), or upgrades (tinted windows, dash cameras, roof racks, etc.).
Is it true that finance or lease rates are higher at a dealership’s Business Office than those offered at other places?
Different financial institutions can offer different rates, but we can typically match the rate offered by any bank. We work with automotive manufacturer finance professionals, traditional banks and other lenders, including our flexible in-house finance team, so we can provide customers with the best financing options.
What types of products are normally offered in the Business Office?
The Business Office offers products such as warranty packages, paint and leather protection, undercoating, or window tinting for new and pre-owned vehicles. Even for normal everyday driving, we put our cars through rough road and weather conditions, so it’s important to protect them right from the start to minimize the wear and tear as much as possible.
Do different car brands offer different products in the Business Office?
Yes, different dealerships can offer different protection plans and warranty packages. Some products are make- or model-specific, so they don’t actually work on other cars.
Why should anybody consider additional protection packages for their newly purchased vehicle? Don’t manufacturers offer them with their new cars already?
Purchasing a warranty is never a bad idea! It often depends on how long you plan to keep your car or how many kilometres you drive per year. Most manufacturer warranties expire after a time period or when you reach certain kilometres, so keep that in mind. Also, most extended warranty plans are transferrable to a new owner, so you actually have extra value when and if you ever decide to sell your car.
I’m leasing my vehicle. Why should I care when I’m planning to return it to the dealer in a few years anyway?
That’s a great question. It’s really important to know what your lease plan includes. Most manufacturers allow for “normal wear and tear,” but what does that mean? What does it include and what does it cover? Items like small dents or a small curbed rim may be acceptable, but any rips, tears or burns in the interior may not. Having the extra protection could save you from unforeseen costs when you return the vehicle.
Which are your top three recommended Business Office products for the everyday driver, and why?
1. Pre-paid maintenance plan, if not already included with your vehicle. This will make things a lot easier when it comes time to service the vehicle. Don’t forget that maintenance plans build value for your vehicle, so they actually make a great investment.
2. Extended warranty packages are great for car owners who plan to keep their vehicle for a long time. It’s like insurance to help minimize potential repair costs in the future. Most manufacturer warranties come to an end within a certain number of years, so it’s good to have that peace of mind and to make sure you’re covered for the years to come.
3. Xzilon protection coating is a great product to invest in. It helps keep the exterior of your vehicle looking like new. Not only does the coating provide a protective barrier, but it makes the surface of your vehicle smooth and easy to clean.
This article was originally published in OpenRoad Driver Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 1.