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Romanov Report 42 – June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006

Drivers With Tunnel Vision

Buyer Beware: When buying or selling a  new or used car,click here.

But  First …

New, Lower Insurance Rates Just Released

Massive rate reductions, effective June 1st,  have consumers comparison shopping.  Has your rate gone down?  Even if it has, other company rates may now be even lower.   Drivers previously paying over $1,500 have seen their rate drop  to $1,000.

Go to InsuranceHotline.com and see if your rate dropped, and by how much. If your renewal  is not for a while, tell a friend. If they save money, have them  buy you lunch.

Roadside Assistance

49% of us do  NOT have 24 hour roadside assistance.  I was one of  them, until my car broke down in the middle lane of the QEW last  week, in rush hour. Did you see me? For the remaining 49% still without a card,  I’ve made a special arrangement for you to get  roadside  assistance for less $5 a month.

A good  roadside assistance card should cover you for whatever car you’re driving, throughout Canada and the US. It should also  cover you for one of these services, up to 4 times a year:

- Towing

-  Gas  Delivery

-  Battery  Boosts

-  Tire  Changes, or Inflations

-  Lockouts

The DAA 24 Hour Roadside Assistance Card is one of the best kept secrets. Established in 1946, DAA services  large corporate  employee programs and car dealerships, with  14,000 towing operators throughout Canada and the US.

These  corporate clients are tough customers and demand excellence. DAA  is now available to you through InsuranceHotline.com.

I compared the DAA roadside service to CAA. Here’s what I found:

- DAA’s basic  service has a 15 km towing limit and costs $56 annually, with no
sign up fee.

- CAA’s  basic service has a 10 km towing limit and costs $64.20  annually, with a $12 sign up fee, unless you register online.

- DAA’s Silver Program, which I  recommend, covers you for hotel and meal expenses, up to  $1,000, if your have a mechanical breakdown, are in an accident,  or caught somewhere because of bad weather conditions. The  annual cost is $108.

- CAA’s Plus  Program  does not cover this and costs $99.51 with a $12  sign up fee, unless you register online.

Both  the DAA Silver and the CAA Plus cards carry a towing limit well  in excess  of 100 kms, and can be used up to 4 times a year.

To access  DAA’s special service you’ll need to quote this  Purchase Code:  200601

For more information you can call DAA at  1 877 322 1033.

Buying or Selling A Car

There are  all kinds of ways to buy or sell a car.

Check out Driving.ca.  I was introduced to this site through my friends at Global TV.

Look at some of this free stuff:

- Instant search for a new or  used vehicle, click here.

- Build the perfect car for your  budget, click here.

- Virtual lot tours and dealer  specials, click here.

Here are  10 warning  signs,  which set off alarm bells, alerting you to a probable bad car  dealership:

Having a good car buying experience means choosing the right  dealership. But how do you know, at a glance, if a dealership is  going to treat you well? Here’s a checklist of warning signs:

1. Salesmen are hanging around  in  front of the dealership salivating.  Dealerships have different ways of deciding which salesman helps  which customer.  The  salesmen should  wait inside until a customer  arrives and has a moment to browse the inventory. Then, the  salesman slowly approaches and politely offers his assistance.  In the bad dealerships the salesmen stand on the curb like  vultures  looking for their next road kill.

2. Your  salesman suddenly disappears and another salesman takes over.  This means that you are dealing with a “turnover house.” Turnover is a style of selling where they keep throwing a  salesman at you until you are worn down and sign the contract, “just to get it over with.” The turnover system favors the  dealership, not you. Avoid it.

3. You  call the Internet department thinking you’re getting the inside  track, only to arrive at the dealership and find out that they  have “set you up with” a regular salesman.  You may have just lost most of  the advantages that come with using the Internet department. If  you have already been quoted a price through the Internet, this  price should still apply. If the salesman denies knowledge of  the deal or tries to switch you to another car, it might be time  to try another car lot.

4. Your  salesman demands, “Follow me!” or “Wait here!” They are trying to see if they can control you. When they say, “I have to talk to my boss,” and disappear for a half-hour, they  are trying to get you to invest a lot of time in the transaction  so you won’t go elsewhere. These are old school games. If you  want to beat them at their own game, be as unpredictable as  possible. Leave the sales office when they go to talk to their  boss; don’t follow meekly behind them as they lead. It’s your  car purchase and money, so you should be in control.

5. When you tell them how much  of a monthly payment you want, and the salesman says, “up to”¦?” The “up to?” question  is a subtle way to bump up the price without you knowing it.  Example: If you say, “I want my monthly payment to be $350″ the  salesman will ask, “Up to?” If you aren’t paying attention, you  will probably say, “Oh, up to about $400.” You just bumped  yourself $50 a month. Listen for the “”¦up to?” question and
avoid negotiating against yourself.

6. They  try to “switch” you from the car you want to another car.   Salesmen are instructed to “sell from stock” which means they  are expected to sell whatever they have on the car lot. This  means they might try to convince you that the economy model you  wanted in blue isn’t going to make you as popular as the luxury  model in champagne gold with all the options.  A good  salesman  listens to your needs and does his best to fulfill  them.

7. You’re talking with your  laid-back salesman when a big scary guy suddenly comes in and  sits down across from you.  This is the “closer”,  and he is there to sweeten the deal for the car lot. Stand firm  on your offer if it is fair. Any attempts to bully or pressure  you to improve your offer should be met with a hasty departure.  You can always approach the dealership again via the Internet  department.

8. They  say the advertised car is no longer available. “Ad cars” are a way to bring people into the dealership so they  can be switched to whatever models are on the lot. This is the  classic “bait and switch.” You can insist to see the car that is  advertised and, by law, you can buy the car at that price. But  they will probably tell you, “It’s already sold” or “There was a  misprint in the newspaper” or “It’s out on a test-drive.”

9. Your  trade-in disappears and they say they have lost the keys.  The idea is that then you have to buy a car from them. Just tell  them you brought an extra set of keys and you’ll be on your way  home. They’ll probably “find” the keys very quickly. Then, leave  for good.

10. You  feel uncomfortable or intimidated.  If you go to a nice department store or a fine restaurant, do  they make you feel bad while you spend your money? No. So don’t  stand for it at a car dealership, either. Besides, if you are  intimidated now, what will it be like when you begin  negotiating? Test-drive your salesperson and if you don’t like  what you find, then take your business elsewhere.