QOTW #56 – SHOCK! Does Bamford Rose recommend dealer network?

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Welcome to Bamford Rose, and another question of the week. This week it’s about, ‘What should I use a franchise dealer for with my Aston Martin buying servicing repairing? What should I use, independents for, is it okay to use independents?” These are questions that typically new and new owners will ask whilst current owners know full well mostly to stay clear to the dealing Network. But I just wanted to put a couple of points in to advise people in certain circumstances, where to go, when to go to the dealer network.

So, for buying a car especially in this current climate where it’s a buyers’ market, I would actually advise the dealer network over the independent. With the dealer network, you get your car with an approved used timeless warranty, which is more than likely going to sort out any problem that you encounter post-purchase. I’m sure they stand by that policy and it’s going to help you out in all cases. As opposed to the independent world where often I found these days, they’ve given up giving a warranty themselves, bought via a third party like warranty wise. Opting to underwrite the car and after-sales themselves, which then makes you beholden on the goodwill of the vend or whether they repair a problem or not.

And often, a lot of the more prolific Aston used car independent sales outlets are only fraction off the price of the dealer cars. So, if you consider that you get all the bells and whistles with the dealer car compared to only a slightly reduced price in the independent world and you haven’t got that factory approved to use timeless warranty with it. It actually makes more sense more cost-effective to go for the factory option. So, let’s just look at a few examples to show what’s available in the dealer network. The independent that’s often renowned for selling Aston’s and a complete independent, we can compare specs, prices and what you get for your money.

So, first off, we can look at this blue V8 Vantage Roadster from 2008. This is at work service and this looks an extremely well-prepared car. It’s got 34,000 miles on the clock and they’re retailing at 37050, which is a heck of a lot car for the money. And we can now look at this car that’s available from McGurk’s. This is again 2009. If you look at the stretch on Jan 9, there’s actually only a few months difference between these cars. This is similar to 33,000 miles and this is 437,850. Whereas the work service car was the 37,950. We can now switch to someone that, I’ve not really known in the Aston world for selling Aston’s at all Imperials. Again, this looks a very nice well-prepared car.

It’s very very similar to the other two, again 2008 v8 Vantage Roadster. 32,000 miles on the clock, so for all intents and purposes all three cars are exactly the same mileage and wear and tear. And this is for sale at 32,948. So, just goes to show that going at the upper end of the market, then the franchise dealer with the Approved Used warranty scheme is really offering the best package. You know that warranty that comes with that work service car as if you had to put a cost to it in a comparable generic third-party policy. It’s probably something like 2, 25,000 pounds worth of warranty.

Now the last person only a couple of weeks ago that I knew who bought a car from McGurks. It doesn’t come with an independent warranty. This is you know you get a warranty which they underwrite themselves, which you know it’s not frame worked under any real set of list criteria of what will be replaced and what won’t you know. And you know at 37,854 for McGurk’s car when the franchise deal in network car is 37,950. But that’s got 2 grands worth a warranty baked into it, then it really shows the independent seller there has been two high priced compared to the franchise dealer route.

But then if we go to the Imperials, the generic independent reseller, then at 32,950 pounds there or there abouts. Then that’s a heck of a saving for more or less the same car from McGurks. I think you pay your money; you take your choice. But you either go for the upper end of the scale and get the bells and whistles from the franchise dealer. Which as you can see in this example is really worth it, or you go private off a drive or complete generic independent reseller. Because you can often get a car much cheaper. Now I bet those guys will be open to more of a deal. Probably walk in with an offer of 30K and get that Vantage McGurk’s franchise dealer. They’re gonna be pretty steadfast on their price.

If you can get that car at 30K compared to the car at McGurk’s for 37,850, then you know you’ve got nearly 8,000 pounds to play around with in terms of if it needed any repairs or you want to upgrade it. Next example comes right at the other end of the scale. A 2014 Vanquish Volante. So, we show one here from work service which is at 94,950 pounds, which is showing 10,200 miles on this car. Looks absolutely beautiful and absolutely stunning. And we can then go to a similar car at McGurk’s, which they’ve got again another beautifully looking prepared car, 9,900 miles.

So, you know it’s within a couple of hundred miles of the franchise guys just turned that psychological threshold of 10,000, but in reality, that’s absolutely meaningless. And McGurk’s have it up for 94,850, it’s 100 quid cheaper than the franchise dealer. Yep, exactly the same of the V8 Vantage that we just spoke about earlier. In that 94,950 pounds from the franchise dealer. You’ve got over two grands worth a warranty baked into the price, which is the factory approved used timeless warranty which for sure is going to take care of any issues that you have.

Next is if we go to the Generic Car Sales Outfit, then this example that we have here. I’ve certainly never heard of this seller Auto Logix. They’ve got 2014 Vanquish Volante. Again, very low mileage 40,000 and they undercut McGurk’s and the franchise dealer, 89,950 more or less saving five grands from a franchise dealer price. But unlike that V8 at the lower end of the scale that had a much bigger differential, you often find this as the cars get newer and more expensive then there’s less of a differential. And I think this example is the same as the first highlights that you’re better off going to a franchise dealer for your 2014 Vanquish Volante.

So, definitely on say a year or so old DB 11, which you know they were V12 version 160+. Now you can often find them hovering around the 100K mark maybe a bit lower and because it’s a buyers’ market, you can probably get the dealer to throw in an AMR upgrade for it. And you get your timeless warranty package. So, you’re driving away with a in total a much better package than what you’d have gone with a slightly cheaper car at face value from the independent. I think there’s a few dealers that are better than others and certainly hear good stories about Bristol and good stories about HWM as sales outlets.

There’s quite a few that you hear. There are some less good stories from Nottinghamshire would be one. There are a few around the country that are not as good as Bristol or HWM, Bart’s only recommend those two. Next is for servicing. A new buyer is going to be a bit worried; the service book isn’t full of dealer stems. Whereas anyone that owns a car already knows that they’re going to get the best level of care and service in the independent world. But that person might not service it independently, because they’ve got an eye on selling the car in the future and they know that no prospective buyer is going to be looking for a factory stamp.

So, we all know that the best level of care at service proper is a bit of TLC rather than just a fluid change in a couple of hours. It’s going to be done at the independent specialist. So, the whole market got to get over there really and people recognized that the independent stamp actually carries more value for servicing than the franchise deal with stamps. Now the only reason or the only car that I would recommend to service at the franchise dealer would be a car that’s within three-year maker warranty. I would advise cars zero to three years old being serviced at the dealer.

You don’t want to give them any wriggle room at all when you want to claim for something under warranty. So, those cars take to the dealer for service. But after that, especially if we want to use the car spiritedly track days, drive it spiritedly, you know putting the car through its paces it’s the independent world that’s best suited with the skill set to look after that. I mean if your ownership experience is polishing and the odd sandy drive out tickling the car along, then the dealer network will be fine for you. But if you need any sort of fundamental repair anything cab it trick going on this is where the dealer network really reaches its limitations.

Also, unless you’re prepared to spend a little bit on the car then you know don’t look at the cars at the bottom end of the market anyway. And instead of looking at those cars from the independent world that are just a fraction short of the dealer price. I think you’d be quite surprised at this time especially being a buyer’s market with the warranty with some toys that you can probably negotiate into the deal. You’ll actually find yourself off in a better place purchasing the car through a dealer.

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