New information from auto sales analyst firms indicates that American consumers are demanding a wide range of accessories, not just for trucks and work vehicles, but for all kinds of cars, trucks and SUVs across the board, and that dealers might not be making the most of the opportunity to upsell. A report from Foresight Research, a Michigan-based company, is showing that nearly half of all buyers spend at least $250 on accessories for their vehicle purchase, averaging much more at around $800 per vehicle. The 2011 automotive accessory market report also shows that the minority of dealerships actively promote these accessories. Steve Bruyn, the company’s CEO, is quoted as saying that dealerships “underserve the market.” However true this generalization may be, there are still many car sales teams that will upsell at every opportunity. Some customers might want to deck out their vehicles at any cost, but many more are looking to get the best value and sets of features at an affordable price and financing terms that fit their monthly budget, where adding costly extras can overwhelm the borrower.
Just because the majority of car buyers want more features and accessories on their vehicle doesn’t mean that cost containment is not important in lot shopping. It’s easy to get carried away and simply add extras, accepting the final sale price and monthly payments as inevitable. But that’s not the way it has to be. Prequalification from a third-party lender can help you to set a price ceiling for your car purchase, where you can negotiate the addition of features and accessories under a firm maximum transaction price. That’s not to say that you can get something for nothing, but bringing a critical eye to the vehicle sales process can help customers get just what they need at a price they can afford. Another way to trim down these prices is to understand the best current financing deals and figure your interest rate into your total sale price and auto loan debt. Don’t just settle for whatever numbers a dealer tells you: do the research beforehand and profit from a “firm offer” on your vehicle of choice.