A famous man once said: “You only get one chance to create a good first impression” and this is my first impression on the new Ford Endura Trend AWD SUV

Ford Endura Trend AWD Walk Around

I’ve just taken my Ford Cobra into Torque Ford at North Lakes for a full oil change – engine, gearbox, diff, cooling system – the works. The car has only travelled 3820km, and it’s been over 12 months since it was serviced

Mark Low, the service manager at Torque Ford arranged for me to drive a brand new Ford Endura Trend AWD while they had my car and so this article

Up front, I have always had a soft spot for Ford – that’s the brand that started me in the sales industry way back in 1978. Bathurst? It’s got to be Ford. I have a couple of mementos from my early days in the Ford camp – Alan Moffat’s 1977 dealer team certificate and Dick Johnsons picture of ‘that car’ after the rock re-arranged it

So what do you think I think?

Ford Motor Company hasn’t been in a happy place since I left that company in 2000. It’s been a long 18 years for them, with their market share (how many cars they sell annually) diminishing at a great rate.

Some motoring scribes have lambasted them over quality and with some products I have to agree. My customers haven’t had great experiences with the likes of the Ford Focus, particularly those with the PowerShift transmission.

But make no mistake – Ford does build good vehicles and the current Ford Ranger is one of these. Through my brokerage company, Car Business, I’ve been involved in plenty of sales of Ranger and not one of these people has had a bad experience — good one Ford.

So here are my thoughts on the Ford Endura Trend AWD

What is it? The Ford Endura Trend is a large SUV with either 2WD or AWD. It’s a 5-seater so has plenty of luggage room in the rear. It’s standard with a 2.0 litre diesel engine and 8-speed automatic transmission.

Competitors? And there are lots – ranging from Holden Colorado Trailblazer, Isuzu MU-X, Hyundai Sante Fe, Kia Sorento, Jeep Grand Cherokee, various Land rovers and European luxury marques such as BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Japanese brands such as Toyota Kluger, and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. Add Mazda CX-8 and CX-9, Volvo, Subaru Outback and you have a very competitive segment.

 How Much? My loan vehicle prices out at $48,990 plus dealer delivery and on road costs – about $53,250 drive away in Queensland.

Ford Endura Trend AWD. Photography by Bob Aldons
Ford Endura Trend AWD. Photography by Bob Aldons

When I first started selling cars, my manager taught me what’s termed the 6-position walk around. This process asks the salesperson to show a potential buyer everything important about the subject vehicle in terms of features and benefits.

This is how I review cars for you. I relate what I consider to be the most pertinent aspects and leave the high-speed cornering and 0-100km per hour to the ‘experts.’

I’m demonstrating the vehicle on how you’ll use it on a day to day basis. So off we go.

Front of the Vehicle

The Ford Endura boasts a 2.0l Turbo Diesel engine with an 8-speed automatic. The front of the vehicle is typically Ford in design – I’m not so sure that it appeals to me but heck, it’s the front isn’t it?

It has auto-levelling headlamps, auto on/off and auto high beam function. LED Fog lamps, daytime driving lights and cornering lamps are standard also.

Ford Endura Trend AWD. Aggressive large front.   Photography by Bob Aldons
Ford Endura Trend AWD. Aggressive large front. Photography by Bob Aldons

The 2.0 litre engine produces 140kw of power and 400Nm  of torque – well and truly enough to give this largish car plenty of get up and go.

The fuel tank capacity is sufficient at 64 litres so at combined fuel useage of 6.7 litres per 100km (published) provides a range from full to empty of around 955k.

If you’re using the Endura around the burbs, expect to get about 761klm.

Now if you’re like me, take off about 15% from the Green Vehicle Guide numbers and you’re likely to get about 800klm on the highway and 600klm around your suburb.

Down the Side

Ford Endura Trend AWD. The designers have created a good look. Photography by Bob Aldons
Ford Endura Trend AWD. The designers have created a good look. Photography by Bob Aldons

Apart from the usual passive and active safety features such as ABS Brakes, Dynamic Stability Program and Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, some cars feature other systems which help with the driving of your car.

Here’s a few that are included in the Mazda MX-5 GT Roadster.

Driver Attention Alert – The uses a system which detects driver fatigue and decreased attentiveness and encourages the driver to take a rest.

Lane Departure Warning – This systems recognizes when you drift out of the lane that you’re driving in and issues an audible and visible alert to warn

Adaptive Cruise Control

 uses a laser sensor and monitors and senses the vehicle in front of yours.  When the system detects a potential collision, it helps to prepare your brakes to quickly and effectively stop your vehicle.

Hill Launch Assist – Holds the vehicle (by braking) until it senses that the vehicle is moving forward

Rain Sensing Wipers – In the on position this system recognizes when rain is falling and automatically deploys the windscreen wipers at an appropriate speed

Headlights with auto on/off function – You don’t have to remember to switch your headlights on or off. The system recognizes daylight or dusk and switches on or off the headlights to suit. This feature is particularly handy for driving in road tunnels.

Air Bags – Ford Endura comes equipped with 7 SRS air bags. Driver and Front Passenger, Side Curtain, Side Front and Drivers Knee bag are standard.

Traffic Sign Recognition – The Traffic Sign Recognition System helps prevent the driver from overlooking traffic signs and provides support for safe driving by displaying traffic signs on the dash

Autonomous Emergency Braking – features pre-collision assist with Pedestrian Detection. Brakes the vehicle without necessary driver input.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System – The Tyre Pressure Monitoring System monitors the pressure for each tyre. If the tyre pressure is too low in one or more tyres, the system will inform the driver via a warning light in the instrument cluster and by a warning beep sound.

If you’d like to check out the full specification sheet, here’s a link to the Ford Endura webpage – Ford Endura

At the Back

Ford Endura Trend AWD - Large capacity boot.Photography by Bob Aldons
Ford Endura Trend AWD – Large capacity boot.Photography by Bob Aldons
Ford Endura Trend AWD - The End of Everything. Photography by Bob Aldons
Ford Endura Trend AWD – The End of Everything. Photography by Bob Aldons

The Endura has plenty of capacity

In 2 seat mode, it carries around 1847 litres of stuff whilst with the 2nd row up, that reduces to 800 litres. It’s plenty big enough to carry almost everything that you can dream up.

As far as lighting is concerned, tail lamps are LED, it has a rear fog lamp and a manual boot release. Auto tailgate function is available as standard in higher range (and price) models

And a good thing with the tailgate, it opens high enough to allow me to stand underneath it when it’s raining.

Towing

Ford Endura is capable of towing 2000kg with electric brakes and comes pre-wired for the tow bar and trailer sway control features.

Check with your car or caravan/boat dealer to make sure that what you’re planning to tow can be done legally.

Drivers Side

The Ford Endura features Active Noise Cancellation which reduces the exterior noise from getting in to the cabin. Ford designers have done very well with the overall shape of the Endura – looks very Lexus-like to me and pretty easy on the eye.

Rear Doors are wide-opening and allows for easy access to the rear sear.

Ford Endura Trend AWD - Photography by Bob Aldons
Ford Endura Trend AWD – Side Profile. Photography by Bob Aldons

Nice 18” Alloy wheels, a low belt line and a bit of a wedgy shape gets my tick. Heated ‘Powerfold’ exterior mirrors with puddle lamps are standard too.

Driver’s Seat

10-way power adjust driver seat with power lumbar Support. (6-way manual adjust front passenger seat with manual lumbar support)

Ok, so it’s not sporty, but the seating system in the Ford is comfortable both for short suburban motoring or long highway driving.

The driver benefits from an electrochromic mirror (changes the angle of the rear vision mirror if there’s a car behind with high beam activated).

If you don’t want to use the Rotary E-shifter, paddle shifters have been included. The infotainment system is one of the largest on the market at 8” and features 3 x 12v outlets, a 230V Power outlet, a 10” driver display cluster as well as 2 USB ports with iPod and Bluetooth integration.

As luxury specifications in most cars improve, so to the Endura has dual zone climate control air conditioning, an electric park brake, and 8 cup holders scattered around the cabin.

Power windows are auto touch up and down as well as a global system for all windows and the electric sunroof (when fitted)

RACQ  Insurance  – Ford Endura Trend AWD

Ford Endura Trend AWD
Ford Endura Trend AWD – Photography by Bob Aldons

I use RACQ Insurance to give you a guide as to what you’ll pay for your annual comprehensive car insurance. Conditions precedent for this cover are:

  • A male driver over 60 years of age, having held a license for over 10 years
  • Bronze member of RACQ with 2 other insurance policies
  • Has purchased the car for private used. The car is parked in a driveway overnight.
  • The driver resides in postcode 4017
  • The car is fitted with an engine immobilizer and an alarm system
  • One at fault claim in the last three years, with no license suspensions
  • Rating 1 currently, having held that rating 1 for ten years or more
  • No driver under 25 will use the vehicle.

The premium quoted online by RACQ Insurance for Private Use is $503.97with a $750 excess. Variations from the information above may result in different outcomes. Check online with RACQ Insurance for your own particular quote.

Service Costs and Warranty

To overcome some of the previous issues with their vehicles, Ford Motor Company has introduced a suite of service benefits for owners. “With Ford Service Benefits we’re committed to looking after you and your vehicle. Feel at ease knowing that when your purchase a new 2019MY Endura, for eligible customers, the most you will pay is $299 per A or B logbook service for the first 4 years or up to 60,000km, whichever comes first”.

When you service at a participating Ford Dealer, eligible customers can take advantage of the our range of Ford Service Benefits:

  • Service Loan Car
  • RACQ with Roadside Assistance
  • SYNC 3 Satellite Navigation Map Updates and much more

Service Costs for the first 6 years are $2111 or an average of $351.88 per service.

  • Machine Brake Discs Front or Rear                   $94 per
  • Replace Brake Fluid (Every 3 years)                  $145
  • Replace Brake Pads and Machine Discs           $328 Front or Rear
  • Replace Drive Belts (10 years or 240k)              $170
  • Replace Radiator Coolant (10 years or 150k)   $240
  • Replace Timing and Drive Belt (10yrs/240k)  $410
  • Replace Auto Transmission Oil (240k)             $450

ANCAP – Ford Endura Trend AWD – Safety

ANCAP - Ford Endura
If you think you’re confused about safety, ANCAP won’t really help you. CAll me to discuss

What’s doing ANCAP?

The Ford Endura has received a 5-star ANCAP rating based on 2016 Euro NCAP testing. This new model was introduced to the Australian market in late 2018, but was tested in its overseas nomenclature as “Edge” 3 years ago.

And it probably deserves that rating although I would have preferred to see it tested in Australia prior to release.

I’m a firm believer that if a manufacturer brings out a ‘new model’ it needs to be submitted for testing here before going on market, rather than publishing ‘old/overseas’ information. ANCAP will tell you that they’ve matched Euro testing specifications and that’s that. Pity the test was 3 years ago

In my opinion, if the manufacturer doesn’t submit the vehicle for testing here in Australia, then it shouldn’t be able to score any stars at all.

For more information about the Ford Endura, click on the ANCAP link that follows. http://www.ancap.com.au/safety-ratings/ford/endura

Green Vehicle Guide – Fuel Consumption

According to the Federal Governments Green Vehicle Guide, this 2.0L  Diesel Auto AWD Ford Endura SUV achieves 6.7 litres per 100klm on the combination of local and highway. Around the ‘burbs’ it increases to 8.4 litres per 100klm

Green Vehicle Guide - Ford Endura
Want to know what this car gets consumption wise?

Here in Australia, in the wake of the Volkswagen “Diesel Gate” scandal, we’re still waiting for the new “Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure” (WLTP) to be introduced.

When that happens is anyone’s guess, but the new testing is still in a laboratory, but has more ‘real-world’ examination attached. Interested in knowing more about the WLTP? Click on this link http://wltpfacts.eu/what-is-wltp-how-will-it-work/

Don’t hold your breath. While the Feds have agreed that it needs to happen, money is needed to make it happen. And I don’t think that there will be that much left after the pork-barrelling that’s going on with the run-up to the May 2019 Federal election.

If you’d like to see more about the fuel economy and other data, click on the link www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au and select the car that you’d like to investigate.

Where to Buy?

Torque Ford at North Lakes  kindly supplied this vehicle when my Ford was in for a service.  I write what I believe are the important aspects of the vehicle – good or not so much.

If you’re in the market to buy a Ford Endura or any other Ford have a chat to the nice people at Torque Ford or speak directly to me at Car Business.

Car Business – Any New Car Cheaper

I’m Bob Aldons, the owner and founder of The Car Guy, and Car Business, reviewing cars, reporting on car industry matters, car tech, Formula 1, the motoring world at large and helping you to buy #anynewcarcheaper

Bob Aldons – The Car Guy

I’ve spent the last forty-one years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership and since 2015, as a new car broker.

I know cars.

Find One

If you’re hunting around for a great price on your next new car, you should call me, the car buying expert, from Car Business.

My company, a Brisbane Car Broker, Car Buyers Agent or Car Buyers Advocate, will return your inquiry within 24 hours and make the process of buying a new car easy and stress-free.

Are you tired of salesperson tricks? I protect you from the pressure exerted by car dealer’s salespeople. There isn’t any obligation – just a pretty significant saving in terms of time, stress and financial reward.

You’re where? Seriously, my services are available for you in any Australian state and territory: from Darwin to Hobart, Cairns to Perth.  Car Broker Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin – I’m available when you need me to be.

 Whether you’re a retail customer, a small company or a large national fleet, I’ll go to work and get that price down. Lower new car prices are my goal. So you’ll get the best prices from me rather than hoping you can do it by yourself.

If I can’t get you the best new car price, better than you can get yourself from a car dealer, I won’t charge you any fee. No Saving, No Fee. – that’s what you should expect from a car buying expert.

Bob Aldons - The Car Guy

Bob Aldons is The Car Guy

I’m Bob Aldons, the owner and founder of The Car Guy, and Car Business, reviewing cars, reporting on car industry matters, car tech, Formula 1, the motoring world at large and helping you to buy #anynewcarcheaper

I’ve spent the last forty-one years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership and since 2015, as a new car broker.

I know cars.

Find One

If you’re hunting around for a great price on your next new car, you should call me, the car buying expert, from Car Business.

My company, a Brisbane Car Broker, Car Buyers Agent or Car Buyers Advocate, will return your inquiry within 24 hours and make the process of buying a new car easy and stress-free.

Are you tired of salesperson tricks? I protect you from the pressure exerted by car dealer’s salespeople. There isn’t any obligation – just a pretty significant saving in terms of time, stress and financial reward.

You’re where? Seriously, my services are available for you in any Australian state and territory: from Darwin to Hobart, Cairns to Perth.  Car Broker Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin – I’m available when you need me to be.

 Whether you’re a retail customer, a small company or a large national fleet, I’ll go to work and get that price down. Lower new car prices are my goal. So you’ll get the best prices from me rather than hoping you can do it by yourself.

If I can’t get you the best new car price, better than you can get yourself from a car dealer, I won’t charge you any fee. No Saving, No Fee. – that’s what you should expect from a car buying expert.

Car Business will help you to purchase your next new car – Cheaper

Car Business WILL save you money on your next new car purchase –guaranteed

Australian Road Safety Foundation

The Australian Road Safety Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose charter is to reduce serious accidents on our roads through training and education.

Car Business donates to the ARSF for every car we sell. If you’d like to support this worthwhile foundation, donate to the cause, become a member today or buy your next new car from Car Business.

People Also Ask

Car Buyers always seem to need answers on a vast number of topics about their cars.

There are a few questions that I’m asked regularly, so to save you a phone call, check out my “People Also Ask” questions and answers below.

If you question isn’t listed, I’m happy for you to call me on 0418 748 498 or send an email to bob.aldons@carbusiness.com.au

My advice is free.

Q: Why Should I deal with a Car Broker rather than just going to a dealer?

A: It’s the goal and the job of a car salesperson to make as much money for his dealership as he possibly can. And that applies to the car, finance (finance and insurance), and aftermarket sales (tint, paint, interior, rust).

It’s the role of a car broker or car buyer’s agent to buy the same car at the lowest possible price. Your broker will get prices from at least five dealers or more, get independent finance and insurance quotes and then only recommend the car protection you need rather than the products the dealer wants to sell you. Dealers, on average, make around $3800 on a car sale. An astute broker will get that margin down to around $1800, saving you about $2000 on your vehicle purchase

Q: Should I take Finance and Insurance through a car dealer?

A: Generally no. An average car dealer relies on the car buyer to be exhausted after the trauma and stress of actually buying a car. They depend on their finance manager to make an average profit of $1100 for EVERY car buyer coming into their dealership. The income per finance contract rests around $3000 per contract. In recent times, the ACCC (Australian Consumer and Competition Commission) has looked closely at the way that finance companies and their dealers sell to consumers. Recently, voluntarily, finance companies have reduced the flex rate (the maximum rate allowed to be charged over the base rate for particular consumers) to 4%, down from 8%.

There is still need to be wary of some of the non-standard lenders. For those in our community who have fallen on hard times, have bad credit or are on Centrelink benefits, some lenders are still allowed to charge exorbitant interest rates, upwards of 25%.

Q: It’s a fact that dealers, forced by their manufacturers charge very high prices for genuine spare parts. Recently I needed to purchase a set of head bolts for a 2008 Alfa Romeo Sedan. Price quoted by my local dealer was $294. I picked them up from the UK for $115 including freight to Australia. I expect to receive them at the same time as the local dealer would take to get them from Melbourne.

A: It’s not the dealer’s fault on this occasion. Typically a dealer makes around 20% profit on genuine spare parts sales. It’s the manufacturer/Importer who is charged prices higher than dealers in overseas markets can buy at. Shop around. To determine whether you can buy the part you need, you’ll first need the part number. Get your VIN, ring the local dealer and ask for the part number. They may oblige and if they do, just search on the net through Google. You’ll be amazed. There’ll even be local suppliers who can provide a genuine part for you at around overseas prices. For Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Isuzu Ute and Volkswagen, visit my site www.genuinespares.com.au

Q: If you have a larger vehicle, with a lot of glass area, the chances are that you’ll want or need window tinting. At the point of sale, dealers will want to charge you up to $795 to tint the windows of your car. Again, you’ll want to avoid the stress and pressure of negotiating anymore and sign where you’re asked.

A: Window tinting can be obtained for under $400 through Car Business. My company has arrangements with local tint shops to do just that price – $400. Don’t be overcharged. $400 is the price to pay for the average vehicle

Q: How do I pick the right car for my needs?

A: Typically, car buyers will have a general idea of what sort of car they want to buy. However, in a market like ours with nearly 60 brands and thousands of models, historical ownership doesn’t have to be maintained.  Find an honest buyer’s agent and have a chat to them about your requirements. My company, Car Business, offers this service to our customers without any obligation. You can fill out the lifestyle form, by clicking and a representative of Car Business will contact you to discuss your needs. We use the R J Pound Comparative new Vehicle Price Guide to assist buyers in understanding the alternatives. It may not be the one you’re thinking about right now.

Q: I need some accessories for my new car, but I’m not sure that I’m getting the best price from the dealer

A: Accessories are another area that dealers make a lot of their profit. Apart from the window tinting, paint and interior protection and rust proofing, a typical salesperson will run through a long list of accessories. Even the manufacturer has copious amounts of accessories in their new car brochure.

Don’t feel obligated to buy any accessories you want through the dealer. I suggest to a lot of my customers to phone the spare parts department of the same dealer and ask for a quote on the accessories they want. You might be surprised at a price. The other way is to search on the internet. There are lots of retailers who buy the same parts you want from overseas suppliers (even ones that supply the manufacturer directly) and will offer them at a substantially better price. All you have to do it fit them up, but generally it’s a pretty easy thing to do for the home handyman

Q: If I sell my car privately will I get a better price?

A: It is sometimes possible to achieve a higher price with a private sale; however this reduces significantly if your vehicle is not presented correctly and is no longer under warranty. The private buyer today is looking to receive the same benefits they would by purchasing from a Dealer and expect huge reductions in price if they believe they are disadvantaged. Add to this the cost of preparing your vehicle to the same standards as Motor Dealers. Look at such items as Safety Certificates, Service, Tyres, Windscreen, Chips and Scratches, Detailing, and Advertising along with the need to be accessible and available at all times including weekends when prospective buyers will want to inspect your vehicle. It may not be the wise choice to have people you do not know, coming to your home.

Once the costs and time involved are assessed,  most people choose to trade their present vehicle or to use a professional Car Buying Service to ensure they get a good price without the expense or hassle.

Q: Do you allow and/or recommend RACQ Inspections on second-hand cars?

A: Yes, we welcome the RACQ Inspection Process in our business and recognise the need for such an independent examination. Once completed, I’ll discuss the report with you and facilitate any repairs that are deemed necessary. You can arrange for the RACQ to visit my business. I can arrange for them to inspect your choice of vehicle and have them send the report directly to you if you prefer.

Q: Why are dealers so expensive for service in comparison to other service centres?

A: Dealers service and maintain vehicles as set out by the manufacturer’s recommendations to protect your new car warranty. They will generally be willing to match other service providers as long as they are comparing “like for like”.

Your circumstances can be taken into account regarding changing some filters and coolants etc. They also have factory trained technicians and have the support of specialised equipment and of course the proper factory support. There are many other reasons such as resale value, and when it comes to trade-in price, car retailers always look at maintained service books and especially if a dealer has serviced them.

On the other hand, if you’re carefully managing your money, we can arrange a log book service at one of our preferred providers.

Do I need to return my vehicle to the selling dealer for service?

The simple answer is NO!

While dealers may suggest or insist that your new car is brought back to their service department, the reality is:

  1. You can take your car to any of the brand’s service centres for routine or warranty service. Brand X warranty is covered by the manufacturer, not by the dealer. So if there’s a more convenient location to have your car serviced, take it there.
  2. Dealers may suggest that you have to have your car serviced at the franchised dealer to maintain your warranty. Again that’s a falsehood. You can have your car serviced by any qualified mechanic or technician, provided that they follow the service guidelines for your vehicle as specified by the manufacturer
    1. They should use as a minimum the oil grade specified by the manufacturer and also parts that are of the same quality standard. You shouldn’t use inferior parts. While I would suggest using the manufacturer’s parts, there are similarly high-quality non-genuine parts available on the market. Things like brake pads, brake rotors, air and oil filters, spark plugs and the like are often cheaper and as good quality as those supplied but the manufacturer

How often should I check my Tyre Pressures?

I check my tyre pressures monthly. I have a tyre gauge purchased from Repco that I rely on to check the pressures in my tyres. Arguably, it’s probably better to check your tyre pressures every second time that you fill your fuel tank. High volume petrol centres have good quality air pumps, and it only takes a few minutes to do that after you’ve got your fill.

What should I do if my car breaks down at night?

Firstly, I’m suggesting that you be in a roadside assistance program such as provided by the RACQ.

If you’ve purchased a new car, you’ll have coverage under your new car warranty. Kia Motors Australia provides seven years of roadside assistance in coordination with their warranty. Hyundai and Ford have a 5-year program.

Mitsubishi provides roadside assistance after the first year provided you’re having your services done at one of their dealerships.

If you run out of roadside assistance, best sign up with RACQ or your state motoring body. (NRMA, RACV, etc.) It’s far from sensible to break down on a dark or unlit road and then have to do repairs yourself, particularly for younger drivers.

A phone call from inside a locked car is preferable to having to find a phone booth or a ‘friendly neighbour’ to call for help

If you’d like to discuss anything to do with purchase, trade-in, private sale, service, warranty issues or just have a conversation about the motor industry in Australia, please give me a call on 0418 748 498 or email to bob.aldons@carbusiness.com.au 

Car Business will help you to purchase your next new car – Cheaper

Car Business WILL save you money on your next new car purchase –guaranteed

Australian Road Safety Foundation

Australian Road Safety Foundation. The Australian Road Safety Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose charter is to reduce serious accidents on our roads through training and education.

Car Business donates to the ARSF for every car we sell. If you’d like to support this worthwhile foundation, donate to the cause, become a member today or buy your next new car from Car Business.

People Also Ask

Car Buyers always seem to need answers on a vast number of topics about their cars.

There are a few questions that I’m asked regularly, so to save you a phone call, check out my “People Also Ask” questions and answers below.

If you question isn’t listed, I’m happy for you to call me on 0418 748 498 or send an email to bob.aldons@carbusiness.com.au

My advice is free.

Q: Why Should I deal with a Car Broker rather than just going to a dealer?

A: It’s the goal and the job of a car salesperson to make as much money for his dealership as he possibly can. And that applies to the car, finance (finance and insurance), and aftermarket sales (tint, paint, interior, rust).

It’s the role of a car broker or car buyer’s agent to buy the same car at the lowest possible price. Your broker will get prices from at least five dealers or more, get independent finance and insurance quotes and then only recommend the car protection you need rather than the products the dealer wants to sell you. Dealers, on average, make around $3800 on a car sale. An astute broker will get that margin down to around $1800, saving you about $2000 on your vehicle purchase

Q: Should I take Finance and Insurance through a car dealer?

A: Generally no. An average car dealer relies on the car buyer to be exhausted after the trauma and stress of actually buying a car. They depend on their finance manager to make an average profit of $1100 for EVERY car buyer coming into their dealership. The income per finance contract rests around $3000 per contract. In recent times, the ACCC (Australian Consumer and Competition Commission) has looked closely at the way that finance companies and their dealers sell to consumers. Recently, voluntarily, finance companies have reduced the flex rate (the maximum rate allowed to be charged over the base rate for particular consumers) to 4%, down from 8%.

There is still need to be wary of some of the non-standard lenders. For those in our community who have fallen on hard times, have bad credit or are on Centrelink benefits, some lenders are still allowed to charge exorbitant interest rates, upwards of 25%.

Q: It’s a fact that dealers, forced by their manufacturers charge very high prices for genuine spare parts. Recently I needed to purchase a set of head bolts for a 2008 Alfa Romeo Sedan. Price quoted by my local dealer was $294. I picked them up from the UK for $115 including freight to Australia. I expect to receive them at the same time as the local dealer would take to get them from Melbourne.

A: It’s not the dealer’s fault on this occasion. Typically a dealer makes around 20% profit on genuine spare parts sales. It’s the manufacturer/Importer who is charged prices higher than dealers in overseas markets can buy at. Shop around. To determine whether you can buy the part you need, you’ll first need the part number. Get your VIN, ring the local dealer and ask for the part number. They may oblige and if they do, just search on the net through Google. You’ll be amazed. There’ll even be local suppliers who can provide a genuine part for you at around overseas prices. For Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Isuzu Ute and Volkswagen, visit my site www.genuinespares.com.au

Q: If you have a larger vehicle, with a lot of glass area, the chances are that you’ll want or need window tinting. At the point of sale, dealers will want to charge you up to $795 to tint the windows of your car. Again, you’ll want to avoid the stress and pressure of negotiating anymore and sign where you’re asked.

A: Window tinting can be obtained for under $400 through Car Business. My company has arrangements with local tint shops to do just that price – $400. Don’t be overcharged. $400 is the price to pay for the average vehicle

Q: How do I pick the right car for my needs?

A: Typically, car buyers will have a general idea of what sort of car they want to buy. However, in a market like ours with nearly 60 brands and thousands of models, historical ownership doesn’t have to be maintained.  Find an honest buyer’s agent and have a chat to them about your requirements. My company, Car Business, offers this service to our customers without any obligation. You can fill out the lifestyle form, by clicking and a representative of Car Business will contact you to discuss your needs. We use the R J Pound Comparative new Vehicle Price Guide to assist buyers in understanding the alternatives. It may not be the one you’re thinking about right now.

Q: I need some accessories for my new car, but I’m not sure that I’m getting the best price from the dealer

A: Accessories are another area that dealers make a lot of their profit. Apart from the window tinting, paint and interior protection and rust proofing, a typical salesperson will run through a long list of accessories. Even the manufacturer has copious amounts of accessories in their new car brochure.

Don’t feel obligated to buy any accessories you want through the dealer. I suggest to a lot of my customers to phone the spare parts department of the same dealer and ask for a quote on the accessories they want. You might be surprised at a price. The other way is to search on the internet. There are lots of retailers who buy the same parts you want from overseas suppliers (even ones that supply the manufacturer directly) and will offer them at a substantially better price. All you have to do it fit them up, but generally it’s a pretty easy thing to do for the home handyman

Q: If I sell my car privately will I get a better price?

A: It is sometimes possible to achieve a higher price with a private sale; however this reduces significantly if your vehicle is not presented correctly and is no longer under warranty. The private buyer today is looking to receive the same benefits they would by purchasing from a Dealer and expect huge reductions in price if they believe they are disadvantaged. Add to this the cost of preparing your vehicle to the same standards as Motor Dealers. Look at such items as Safety Certificates, Service, Tyres, Windscreen, Chips and Scratches, Detailing, and Advertising along with the need to be accessible and available at all times including weekends when prospective buyers will want to inspect your vehicle. It may not be the wise choice to have people you do not know, coming to your home.

Once the costs and time involved are assessed,  most people choose to trade their present vehicle or to use a professional Car Buying Service to ensure they get a good price without the expense or hassle.

Q: Do you allow and/or recommend RACQ Inspections on second-hand cars?

A: Yes, we welcome the RACQ Inspection Process in our business and recognise the need for such an independent examination. Once completed, I’ll discuss the report with you and facilitate any repairs that are deemed necessary. You can arrange for the RACQ to visit my business. I can arrange for them to inspect your choice of vehicle and have them send the report directly to you if you prefer.

Q: Why are dealers so expensive for service in comparison to other service centres?

A: Dealers service and maintain vehicles as set out by the manufacturer’s recommendations to protect your new car warranty. They will generally be willing to match other service providers as long as they are comparing “like for like”.

Your circumstances can be taken into account regarding changing some filters and coolants etc. They also have factory trained technicians and have the support of specialised equipment and of course the proper factory support. There are many other reasons such as resale value, and when it comes to trade-in price, car retailers always look at maintained service books and especially if a dealer has serviced them.

On the other hand, if you’re carefully managing your money, we can arrange a log book service at one of our preferred providers.

Do I need to return my vehicle to the selling dealer for service?

The simple answer is NO!

While dealers may suggest or insist that your new car is brought back to their service department, the reality is:

  • You can take your car to any of the brand’s service centres for routine or warranty service. Brand X warranty is covered by the manufacturer, not by the dealer. So if there’s a more convenient location to have your car serviced, take it there.
  • Dealers may suggest that you have to have your car serviced at the franchised dealer to maintain your warranty. Again that’s a falsehood. You can have your car serviced by any qualified mechanic or technician, provided that they follow the service guidelines for your vehicle as specified by the manufacturer
    • They should use as a minimum the oil grade specified by the manufacturer and also parts that are of the same quality standard. You shouldn’t use inferior parts. While I would suggest using the manufacturer’s parts, there are similarly high-quality non-genuine parts available on the market. Things like brake pads, brake rotors, air and oil filters, spark plugs and the like are often cheaper and as good quality as those supplied but the manufacturer

How often should I check my Tyre Pressures?

I check my tyre pressures monthly. I have a tyre gauge purchased from Repco that I rely on to check the pressures in my tyres. Arguably, it’s probably better to check your tyre pressures every second time that you fill your fuel tank. High volume petrol centres have good quality air pumps, and it only takes a few minutes to do that after you’ve got your fill.

What should I do if my car breaks down at night?

Firstly, I’m suggesting that you be in a roadside assistance program such as provided by the RACQ.

If you’ve purchased a new car, you’ll have coverage under your new car warranty. Kia Motors Australia provides seven years of roadside assistance in coordination with their warranty. Hyundai and Ford have a 5-year program.

Mitsubishi provides roadside assistance after the first year provided you’re having your services done at one of their dealerships.

If you run out of roadside assistance, best sign up with RACQ or your state motoring body. (NRMA, RACV, etc.) It’s far from sensible to break down on a dark or unlit road and then have to do repairs yourself, particularly for younger drivers.

A phone call from inside a locked car is preferable to having to find a phone booth or a ‘friendly neighbour’ to call for help If you’d like to discuss anything to do with purchase, trade-in, private sale, service, warranty issues or just have a conversation about the motor industry in Australia, please give me a call on 0418 748 498 or email to bob.aldons@carbusiness.com.au