Here’s the script for the “Automotive Finance” video above:
You’ve met the Business Manager and are excited now to move into the final stages. So there are no surprises moving forward, it’s important that you know what to expect with this next step in the automotive finance office, as it is the stop where you’ll make a legal and financial commitment to driving away with your next automobile.
People can get jittery here and excited. It’s ok, and to be expected, buying a car can be a very emotional experience, and since most of you won’t do it more than a dozen times in your life, it should be something that you enjoy.
It is in that heightened emotional state, though, where I’ve seen some people make bad decisions or miss important pieces. That’s why you’ve invested in your education here so that there are very few surprises if any, at all. You will really want to take a methodical approach to this next step because you will be financially responsible for the ramifications of what happens here, potentially for years. If you make an agreement here that you can’t possibly afford and end up losing the car to repossession, then decisions made here could affect you for a decade or more.
The business manager at a dealership has zero fiduciary responsibility to you as a financial advisor to make sure you exercise sound fiscal judgment. They want as much as they can get from you, where a lender will say yes. Their only legal responsibilities to you are to make sure that all state mandates are upheld, that they fill out all your paperwork correctly, and that they provide all required documentation for a lender’s underwriter to process your loan. Other than that, they are a dealer’s employee, and everything they do will be to ensure the profitability and legal protection of the dealership.
Too many people let their guard down at this point because they think the hard part was completed when they signed a preliminary agreement with the sales manager. Do not let your guard down here. The preliminary agreement only allows you the opportunity to sit in the automotive finance office with one of the best salespeople in the dealership. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the tower send a skinny deal back to f&I knowing that the business manager there had the skill to sell well enough to make it a big win for the dealership.
Understand that you will be pitched, and you will be sold here by a very highly trained and motivated automotive professional. There are more products and negotiations. There are complicated forms, contracts, and paperwork with all kinds of fine print and legal mumbo-jumbo. Automotive finance is a very heavily government-regulated process through which you’re about to go, and each state has specific laws relating to how a dealer can conduct themselves during a transaction.
A Business Manager can be very skilled at misdirection when you ask a question saying, don’t look here, look here instead. They are not legally required to be open or honest with you in what they say, because the forms and contracts say everything. You can’t go to Court and say, “Yeah, I signed this, but he said this.” That won’t stand up in Court.
Ultimately what you sign becomes the truth. So focus, ask questions if you don’t like the answer, then read everything. If a term doesn’t make sense, then have a smart device with you and look it up while you’re in here.
This is where buying a car becomes very real and very binding. Yes, it can be fun, but this part of the process is serious business. I can’t emphasize enough how you will want to exercise due diligence now and use extreme caution.