All dealerships across the country hope that November and December are their top selling months of the year. The most effective way to ensure you have a great dealership experience during this time is predicated on the time you and your salesperson have together. No matter how tech savvy you think you are, the car presentation during the final delivery process is a step that can’t be skipped.
Here are five features to pay close attention to when taking delivery of your new or pre-owned purchase:
- Phone connectivity
In 2017, CNBC reported that car owners tend to keep their vehicles for an average of 79 months! In comparison, Americans will keep their smartphones for 32 months! With the number of phone changes you might have during a 6+ year period, you should definitely verify that your iPhone or Android is compatible with your new vehicle.
There is no guarantee that the phone connects via Bluetooth or to the Apple Car/Android Auto ecosystem. For example, I’ve got a 2017 vehicle that was manufactured in 2016 – therefore, my Apple iPhone does not feature Apple CarPlay. This is a bummer for people who need smart technology systems for a safer drive. Strategy Analytics reported that 34% of surveyed respondents use Apple CarPlay for all their media and 27% say the same with Android Auto. 23% of respondents also consider these ecosystems a “must have.”
- Tire type
Not to let the air out of your experience, but flat tires suck. What sucks even worse is buying a car and finding out that you don’t have a spare tire. 28% of new cars do not come with an extra tire and expect automakers to continue to remove the spare tire from vehicles. As customer satisfaction numbers for tires have remained constant over the last five years, knowing what type of tires you have will improve your service experience.
In replacement of spare tires, brands will offer you run flat tires or inflatable tire kits. I am not a fan of the inflatable tire kit as set up can be frustrating and time-consuming. I personally have run flat tires on my vehicle as and I find that experience simple. If you can drive 50 miles on a flat up to 50 mph, your experience with run flat tires should not be that bad.
Yes, electric cars are becoming more prevalent in the market, but gasoline fueled vehicles continue to dominate sales. The question to ask yourself is: what type of fuel do I need to put in my car? The octane number (87, 89, 91, or 93) should be displayed inside the gas cap. Premium fuel vehicles are also on the rise, with 11.3% of vehicles sold recommend that the top tier gas be used (highest share in over 10 years). As vehicle prices increase, so is the price you ultimately pay at the pump.
Once you confirm that your phone syncs up with your car, verify that your navigation guidance (if you have it) is up-to-date. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that August 2018 housing completions increased by 11.2% Y-O-Y. With the significant growth in construction, your navigation software may not have the latest information needed for your daily commute. Try to secure an update at the dealership or schedule a service appointment to improve your nav data.
- Service Indicators
As the weather fluctuates during the Fall and Winter, it’s important to check that all your service indicators are functioning properly. Some important service lights and items to keep an eye out during the winter include the tire pressure monitoring system, coolant levels, and windshield wiper fluid.
These five features were frequent causes of phone calls and return visits for sold clients your salesperson isn’t around, check with the staff to see if there is a product concierge or specialist available to assist with the final delivery.
What experiences have you had in the past during the delivery process? What would you add to this list? Feel free to comment or suggest changes to this Drive to 5 list.