Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Pays to Get a Good Deal

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Pays to Get a Good Deal

Article excerpt

Byline: By Steve Hughes

It seems that everything is negotiable these days, including the cost of car servicing. We all know that the advertised price of a new or used car often bears no relation to the amount that a dealer is prepared to take.

Indeed, many dealerships openly subscribe to the "make me an offer" style of salesmanship and anyone who pays the full asking price without haggling is considered na-ve.

It seems strange then that when it comes to other aspects of the cost of motoring, we accept the advertised prices without question.

If a spare tyre costs pounds 50 then that is the price you pay and the same applies to all other accessories.

You would not wander into your local branch of Halfords and expect to negotiate a reduced price for a new road map or flashlight.

Nonetheless, it appears that one of the most expensive aspects of motoring is negotiable even though most of us would never have thought it to be the case.

One chap rang his local dealer for a quote to service his eight year-old car this week and was given a price of pounds 291.

He then rang an independent garage who offered to carry out the same service for pounds 170.

He rang back the original garage to inform them of the rival's price and expected to get a half-hour ear bashing about the cost of overheads, training and the use of genuine parts.

He was flabbergasted when the franchised dealer's response was to shave pounds 91 off its quoted price and do the job for a straight pounds 200.

The garage said it would still be making a profit, albeit a lower one but cheaper work was better than no work at all.

It is a similar story with new cars. Last year there were 6 million up for grabs but only 5 million were sold, which means a lot of nearly new models at knockdown prices. …

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