With over 3000 Ford dealerships in the United States alone, there is likely to be one very near where you live, and also very likely to be several that you would realistically be able to visit and choose from.
The Internet has given consumers a huge advantage when it comes to buying or leasing a Ford vehicle, not simply in terms of choice of dealerships.
Depending upon what type of car or truck you want, if you are prepared to do a fair amount of research on-line, then there is potential for significant savings.
Most auto dealers acknowledge that the Internet has transformed the nature of the industry from a buyers and sellers point of view, and many dealerships will have dedicated internet teams who are there to help you through this process.
Remember that all Ford dealerships are independent businesses, and all of them want your business. If you are prepared to do the research and negotiate with them either on-line, or by phone, before visiting the dealership then this puts you in a very strong position.
Ford Dealerships Near You
There are two main ways to find the nearest dealership to you live. One is to go to the main Ford website where they have a dedicated page to help you do this.
There is a search engine that allows you to enter your ZIP code/city or state which will bring up a number of results of dealerships nearest to where you live.
There are also a certain number of filters that allow you to break down the search a bit more specifically.
These filters relate to dealerships who can carry out certified electric vehicle repairs, dealerships who carry out collision repairs and dealerships which are open in the evenings.
There also filters that allow you to find a dealership for certain specialities, currently Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center, Owner Advantage Rewards Dealer and tire sales.
The other main way is simply to use Google or Bing and enter the search terms ‘Ford dealership’ together with your ZIP Code or location. This will bring up a number of dealerships close to where you live.
Used Ford Dealerships
Most Ford dealerships will sell a mixture of new and used vehicles, and their websites are likely to give you some idea of their inventories, and their current pricing structure.
If you are looking for a specific used vehicle, and no dealership near to you seems to have one, it is worth contacting one or two local Ford dealerships who may be able to source the vehicle from out of state.
Most Ford dealerships would be willing to do this if they have access to a nationwide database of used Ford vehicles, and would also save you the trouble of having to trawl through 3000 different websites.
Ford Dealership Parts
One reason people like buying from a Ford dealership is that they know that the dealer is likely to have a vehicles history to hand.
If it is a new vehicle this is also not an issue, it is a used vehicle then the dealer may have sold it originally, or may well have made enquiries as to its history when acquiring it.
In any event, a Ford Dealership should be able to specify that all parts that are in the vehicle are Ford made, or Ford endorsed. This is especially true of any vehicle that a certified pre-owned.
Whether a car is bought from a Ford dealership or not, many people like to have it serviced and maintained by Ford dealer simply because they know that Ford parts will be used.
This is sometimes about peace of mind, and sometimes about the fact that Ford parts will be needed in order to conform with any warranty conditions.
People who are mechanically minded will often source official Ford parts themselves, either on-line or through local contacts and do the work themselves.
Ford Dealership Services
When buying or leasing a Ford car or truck, there are a significant number of components that affect the overall cost and pricing of the vehicle, and also its running costs for the next few years.
For this reason, it is well worth breaking down these components into their different areas, working out the best price for each one, and then negotiating with different dealerships to get the best overall deal.
Sale or Lease – Arranging Finance
Many people will apply for Ford Credit when they are considering either buying or leasing a vehicle, even if they eventually use another source of finance.
Arranging finance for a vehicle can be quite a complex process, and it is always a good idea to obtain alternative quotations from different sources, in order to be able to compare them on a like-for-like basis.
Different dealerships are likely to come up with different quotations, and it is worth remembering that all areas of finance are potentially negotiable, depending upon how good your credit score is.
This normally refers to as such as the size of a down payment, the interest rate, the length of the loan or lease agreement and possibly any costs involved in pay off the loan early.
People often think simply about the sticker price for a Ford car or truck, but there are often many more costs involved.
With a new car there is a recommended manufacturer price, although it is widely accepted that a dealership should always reduce this by approx 10 to 15%.
Sometimes this reduction is shown as an incentive or a cashback offer, but it should always be considered a standard part of negotiating the price of the car.
In addition, many people will delve deeper and find out how much the Ford dealership agreed to pay Ford motor company for the vehicle, and base what they are willing to pay on this.
In addition, people sometimes take into account how long the vehicle has been part of the dealerships inventory, and how this will affect its pricing.
With a used vehicle, there are a number of ways of checking what his price should be, using Kelly’s blue book or similar.
Generally speaking, the vehicle’s price will be determined by its age, mileage and overall condition, plus any dealership markup.
Warranty – Roadside Assistance
Any new Ford vehicle will come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which on the whole is self-explanatory. Check that the tires are included. If buying a used or second-hand vehicle then the issue of a warranty becomes a bit more complicated.
Firstly, check to see if the manufacturer’s warranty is still valid on the vehicle. These are normally transferable, and if some type of extended warranty was bought on the vehicle at the time of sale, check to see if that is valid on transfer of ownership as well.
Otherwise, see what type of warranties are offered in terms of parts and labour, and if it can be in any way extended and at what cost. Sometimes warranties can be bought from third-party companies, depending upon the age and condition of the vehicle.
As with any warranty, there are likely to be conditions attached to it in terms of using standard Ford parts, and in terms of regular servicing. Make sure these have been adhered to.
Some warranties will include some type of roadside assistance, which can range from being very basic in terms of covering the cost of a call out, through to returning you and fellow travellers to your home address, and can include things like overnight accommodation, replacement car etc as well.
Check to see if this is included, and also if it clashes with any other type of roadside assistance program you might have.
Most people know that you will need to have at least a minimum third-party liability insurance coverage on your vehicle.
Whilst it is obviously beneficial to purchase more cover if you can afford it, it is worth checking with the Ford dealership if they have any links with any insurance companies who may be able to offer you favourable rates.
Before purchasing or leasing any vehicle, new or used, it is worth getting an idea or estimate of what the insurance cost is going to be. Insurance costs are both about the vehicle and the owner, and can be a sizeable factor in the final price that is paid, and in its annual running costs.
Sometimes servicing of the vehicle is included as part of a sales deal, if not it is worth checking to see if it can be, and also if there are any discounts available.
It is also worth checking to see if the dealership will offer you a courtesy car while yours is being serviced. Small things like that can make a big difference at a practical level, and can be easily negotiated at time of sale.
Product Recall – Safety recalls and Airbag Recalls
One advantage of buying through a Ford dealership, is that it is much easier to register your details, and to enable yourself to be notified of any announcements from Ford, or the specific dealership.
Announcements are normally either sales pitches, or product recalls. These normally relate to safety issues or things such as airbag recalls. Whilst not common, these are important and are quite often concerned with specific models of certain cars, often bought between certain dates.
Without being registered with a Ford dealer, or with Ford itself, it is quite easy for product recalls to be missed as they do not always get much publicity in the press or media.
Incentives tend to be inducements to buy. Incentives are normally offered either at a national level by Ford, or at a local level through Ford dealerships, or sometimes both.
There is no doubt that incentives can make a significant difference in terms of savings to any Ford vehicle that you may buy. The problem tends to be that sometimes inducements and incentives can blur the actual price that you need to pay.
It is worth doing your homework and working out what you would be likely to pay without any incentive or inducement, and then approach incentives as an additional benefit if they are applicable.
Incentives can be things such as special deals for students or people in the military, zero percentage interest rates on loans for certain customers.
Often incentives relate to certain models of cars that a dealership is trying to shift, either because a new model is coming along, or they have an overstock inventories that they need to move.
This can also mean that it is often highly preferable to buy certain types of cars or trucks at different times of the year.
The answer to all of this is to do your homework and research. The more time you are willing to put in should reap real benefits in terms of savings.
Dealership fees are often thought of as being not that important, and are talked about in terms of paperwork. In fact dealership fees can often amount to significant amounts of money, often really unrelated to any type of work involved in generating such fees.
Dealership fees are often used as a way of clawing back some of the money that dealers have offered by way of discounts or incentives in order to secure a sale. This tends to be common practice in some, not all, dealerships of all manufacturers.
It is perfectly legal, but it is a good idea to be prepared for it.
The solution is simply to get the dealer to be specific about what the dealership fees are and what they relate to when negotiating the final price of the vehicle. It is simply about avoiding unpleasant extras that crop up once you thought you had agreed a final price.
Certified pre-owned vehicles are a really good way of buying a used second-hand Ford car or truck with some degree of certainty that it is in good mechanical condition.
Ford will have done a number of checks on all main areas of the vehicle, and make sure that everything is in good working order.
It is worth checking with the dealership whether they that were the original point of sale, and/or if they have knowledge or records of the previous ownership of the vehicle.
This should give you some degree of certainty about its lineage, which together with the certified pre-owned checks will give some sense of security about buying a used or second-hand car.
Trade In Value
If you have a car or truck that you are thinking of trading in, it is well worth trying to get an estimate of its value independently before going to a dealership. There are many on-line sites that can refer you to various guides, such as Kelly’s blue book, which should give you an indication of its worth, based on its age, mileage and condition.
This should give you a working knowledge of what its trade-in value is against any new or used car that you may think of buying. Bear in mind that a dealership will offer you significantly less than you might get if you sold privately, simply because they have to resell it and make a profit.
The trade-off from your point of view is really one of convenience, and the option of securing a better price on any new or used car that you may buy.
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