You want to buy a new car, but have no idea where to start. In steps your expert Car Buying Concierge, a professional car shopper to do your car shopping for you. Luke Gilbert, founder of How Can I Help You? Car Concierge service, sat down with Life Begins At to chat about how he can help you buy the car you have always wanted – without hassle.
What is a new car concierge ?
A car buying concierge is an automotive and customer service expert who helps guide the client through the often stressful process of buying a new vehicle. The new car concierge will assist the client choose the right vehicle to satisfy their requirements – both present day and with an eye into the future. The car concierge helps the client take control of the buying process and negotiates with the car dealer on behalf of the customer.
What range of expert advice does a car concierge provide?
Whether you are about to embark on your first Grey Nomad adventure around Australia or are looking to “right-size” your family car after the adult kids finally left home, a new car concierge will bring automotive expertise and peace of mind to the process of buying a new car.
For the intrepid outback explorer or long weekend camper, a good car concierge will be able to provide guidance around the following:
- towing capacity,
- new vehicle modifications to safely increase towing capacity,
- engine specs,
- fuel efficiency and reliability,
- advances in safety and performance technology,
- add on features to benefit the intrepid explorer and
- model life cycle and range distinction.
The process of waving goodbye to the grown-up kids can be an emotional one so having a car concierge working with you to offer guidance on replacing the large family wagon with a more suitable alternative is sensible. They can assist with guidance on:
- fuel economy and reliability,
- cost of servicing,
- future carrying capacity/boot space requirements,
- new safety features and technology advances,
- engine specs and
- model life cycle and range distinction.
How is a car buying concierge different from a car broker?
A car buying concierge is an automotive industry expert working on behalf of the client to negotiate a better deal for the client. The concierge works solely for the customer and has no allegiance to any particular vehicle supplier. A car buying concierge takes the time to understand the client’s needs and then works to source a new vehicle within the preferred budget range. As part of this process a car concierge will execute a transparent cost review including vehicle price, predicted cost of ongoing ownership and determine availability of any fixed-priced servicing schemes.
A car broker often holds an inventory of cars or acts as an agent for a particular car dealer or chain of dealers with the aim of selling cars that offer the best margin and that may be currently available.
How is a car buying concierge different from a car dealer?
The primary role of a car dealer is to sell cars for the brand they represent, at the best possible margin for themselves. Car dealers are bound by sales targets, holding vehicle stock that requires showroom space (and loan repayments to be made), finding rent for expensive showrooms and huge marketing costs. A car concierge is bound by none of these cost burdens and independent of any particular car brand. The aim of the car concierge service is to help clients with true comparisons and guidance built on years of experience, years spent comparing deals and researching vehicles.
Why would car dealers offer a better deal to new car concierge clients?
Car dealers carry monthly overheads including showroom rents, wages, finance on their in-stock vehicles and so on. This can put pressure on the dealers to move stock regardless of the fit for the customer or the circumstances – their objective is to sell cars 1st, 2nd and 3rd! A car concierge can take advantage of their motivation to sell cars and help cut through the costly procedure of getting people to buy their cars. The car concierge will introduce dealers to clients who have made their product choice and are ready to buy. Dealers are often happy to reduce their margins for a bona fide customer.
Do car concierges only assist with buying new (or near new) vehicles?
New and near new cars offer the following benefits that aren’t always attainable when shopping for pre-owned vehicles.
- Manufacturer’s warranty – Motor Vehicle brands offer the best warranties on their new vehicles. The car concierge will only work with brands that have a track record of honouring their warranty claims and ensuring that any issues are dealt with in a timely and professional manner.
- Competitive Finance – Generally speaking motor vehicle finance for new vehicles is approved quicker and with lower interest rates than are available to most used car buyers.
- The latest safety features – new cars are evolving at a rate never seen before. The technology age has allowed for amazing advances in both active and passive safety features. New cars are often equipped with an entire suite of features designed to protect you and your loved ones.
- Efficiency and performance – new cars are far more fuel efficient than in the past. Coupled with significant advances in on-road performance this means that many current four cylinder offerings are better than their V8 counterparts from only 10 years ago!
- In car tech and gadgets! – Apple car play, radar cruise control, seat massagers, lane keep assist, active high beams, automatic parking and multi zone air conditioning are some common options available on many new cars today.
- Residual value – buying and maintaining your new car will ensure competitive future value when it’s next time to change vehicles. A car concierge can help people understand the true ownership costs of their vehicle purchases and new cars often offer a fixed ownership cost with the reassurance that you aren’t in for any unexpected budget impacts!
- Fixed price service – many brands offer competitive fixed price servicing through their dealer network which ensures your new car remains in warranty and is in the right place should you need to make a claim.
Luke Gilbert is the founding partner and lead car buying concierge for How Can I Help You? based in sunny Queensland. Luke is a passionate car enthusiast and perfected his customer service expertise working for over a decade with one of the worlds most awarded airlines.