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Globe Drive Key to really getting a good deal – the service department

Plenty of Canadians hate doing regular maintenance on their vehicles. This represents a perfect opportunity for car dealers to make inroads with deal-making buyers.

One in four Canadians said brake maintenance ranks second among the top three automotive maintenance tasks Canadians least look forward to doing, reports DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. And 17.7 per cent said switching between summer and winter tires is also a chore. Cleaning the car garnered 15.6 per cent and changing the oil seven per cent.

However, says DesRosiers, "the clear winner of the least desirable automotive maintenance task was paying provincial licensing fees (33.7 per cent)" – although this is not really a maintenance task, but rather a reflection of how Canadians feel about fees and taxes.

A study by J.D. Power and Associates found that almost half of those customers who had a positive experience with a dealership service adviser – a rating of 10 out of 10 - and who had their vehicle fixed correctly on the first service visit, will definitely "purchase or lease from the dealership that serviced their vehicle, compared with only eight per cent among those rating their advisor eight or lower."

The point is, car buyers are hugely influenced in the long term by their dealership service experience, not the sales experience which is fleeting and often superficial. Buyers are well advised to look for dealerships that realize this – and that fully integrate all departments - from sales, to parts to service.

J.D. Power suggests that dealers avoid "silo" thinking, where each department concentrates only on its area; these are not places where customers find joy.

"Dealership staff should be thinking of the customer's entire experience with the dealer, from their interaction with the sales staff to their transition to the service department and ultimately back to the showroom for a future purchase."

Deals of the Week often receives notes from owners who say they love the car they bought with a good deal, but despise the after-sales experience. This suggests that if you're shopping, a rich deal is important, but so is the dealership itself. If the after-sales experience at a dealer is poor, no amount of discounting will make you happy over time.

So, if you like the nearly $5,000 in discounts on the BMW 528i xDrive sedan, then look for a dealership that will take care of you after you've made your best deal. The Jeep Patriot is on offer with more than $5,000 in total discounts and if you like them, you will want to shop at a store where long-term customer satisfaction is paramount.

Discounts valued at more than $3,000 on the Nissan Rogue should be matched by dealer service equal to the Rogue's "winter warrior" hype. And up to $7,000 or more in combined offers on the Kia Sorento look even more terrific when combined at a dealer who wants to hold onto customers in the long term with great after-sales service.

Deals of the Week consulted with www.unhaggle.com, Car Help Canada, www.carcostcanada.com, and other sources on these offers. As usual, pricing information here is subject to change and dealer discounts vary, so consult your dealer for all the final details, including expiry dates for all offers.

BMW

2015 BMW 528i xDrive Sedan

  • MSRP: $59,950
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $2,230
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $3,300
  • Factory discount: $1,500 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $57,380
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $64,839.40
  • All incentives are available with 2.9 per cent financing for 48 or 60 months, 4.49 per cent financing for 84 months or a 3.9 per cent lease rate for 36 or 39 months.

Jeep

2015 Jeep Patriot 4WD North

  • MSRP: $21,295
  • Freight, dealer prep, fees and air conditioning tax: $1,830
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $490
  • Factory discount: $5,000 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $17,635
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $19,927.55
  • All incentives are available with a 3.99 per cent finance rate for 48, 60, or 84 months.

Wieck/Nissan

2015 Nissan Rogue 4WD SL

  • MSRP: $31,298
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,885
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,350
  • Factory discount: $2,000 (The incentive is promoted as a"No-Charge Nissan Intuitive AWD" that applies only to all-wheel drive SUV vehicles and cash purchases.)
  • Taxable subtotal: $29,833
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $33,711.29
  • The factory incentive is not available with a 1.90% finance rate for 48 or 60, a 3.49 per cent rate for 84 months, a 1.99 per cent lease rate for 48 months or a 2.99 per cent lease rate for 60 months. A 0.25 loyalty rate reduction is available with lease and finance deals.

Reuters

2015 Kia Sorento 4WD V6 Automatic SX

  • MSRP: $40,895
  • Freight, PDI, AC tax: $1,800
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $2,000
  • Factory discount: $5,000 (manufacturer incentive)
  • Taxable subtotal: $35,695
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $40,335.35
  • A $3,250 factory incentive is available with a 0.99 per cent finance rate for 48 or 60 months, a 1.99 per cent rate for 84 months or a lease rate of 1.9 per cent for 48 months, 3.9 per cent for 60 months.

Pricing information source:

and

. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Where noted, "dealer discounts" are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis. Unhaggle Savings are actual discounts received by Unhaggle customers.

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