Buying a new boat is a significant decision because it isn’t a one-and-done deal. When you decide to purchase from a boat dealer, you don’t leave the dealership and never see them again. Your relationship with your boat dealer is one you’ll have for many years, so you must take the time to vet and research prospective dealers before you sign the dotted line.
When your boat needs repairs, you don’t want to deal with an unprofessional boat dealer. Learn what steps to take before you buy a new boat.
Your relationship with the boat dealer lasts for long after you make a purchase. They’re the ones you visit when your boat needs repairs, and when you haul your boat to their dealership, you want to have no doubts whether you’re leaving it in capable hands. Factoring in the importance of the dealer before you buy a new boat can save you stress and frustration later.
There are many qualities to consider when choosing a marine dealer. Ideally, you want a friendly, responsive, and knowledgeable dealership that provides excellent customer service. But how do you assess whether a dealer will be a solid long-term match?
You can start by following these tips:
Sometimes, basing your choice of boat dealer on quality of service alone isn’t possible. Not every dealership carries the same brands, and if you set your mind on a particular model, your options become somewhat limited. Before looking too far into a boat dealer, find out what brands they offer. If the boats on their marketplace match what you’re looking for, carry out the rest of the discovery process.
The steepest obstacle to buying a new boat is finding a financing solution that suits your needs. Before committing to a purchase, you should ask the boat dealer about their financing options. Will they be able to find you the best interest rates and terms possible? Is the dealer candid about all the options available?
A good boat dealer should help you find a clear way forward to qualify for a boat loan. When navigating the boat loans process, your dealer should be knowledgeable and responsive. If a local boat dealer is reluctant to answer your questions and is hard to reach, that’s a red flag and a sign you should look elsewhere.
You’ve found your dream boat. Now what? Finance Solution can help you secure financing for your boat. We find rates and terms that fit your unique situation.
Look around for reviews on the internet. A quick search through Google should yield a few customer experiences. If you find one or two negative customer impressions, you shouldn’t let that affect your purchase decision too much. However, if the boat dealer has many poor reviews, you should be wary.
Look for reviews with details. Pay close attention to reports that mention the dealer’s approach to interest rates, insurance, and warranties. The more specific, the better. If reviews claim the boat dealer doesn’t honor their extended warranty terms, they may not be worth consideration.
Requesting a few references is a great way to gain perspective on a boat dealer. Not every dealer will be willing to hand out the names and emails of customers, but their response to the request is valuable on its own. If the boat dealer is open to the request, they’re likely proud of their reputation. Their cooperation also demonstrates responsiveness and flexibility that hopefully carries into future business dealings.
On the other hand, if the dealer refuses outright and becomes defensive, they may be afraid of what others have to say about them. Check out any references you receive and note any patterns in feedback, both positive and constructive.
Certified dealers have awards and experiences that set them apart. Certifications sometimes demonstrate a boat dealer’s dedication to continued education. Some engine manufacturers offer programs to dealers designed to keep them up to date on the latest processes and technologies. Marine dealers with many certifications under their belt are more likely to know your choice of boat inside-out and can make valuable recommendations when it comes time to upgrade.
When researching whether a dealership has certifications, ask for documentation. Check the documents for legitimacy and relevance. If the certificate is more than five years old, the boat dealer is unlikely interested in ongoing education. They won’t be a reliable source of up-to-date knowledge.
Buying a new boat is a complex process. Even after you’ve found a boat dealer you trust, you need to secure financing, which can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re walking into. Boat financing is a competitive field. Finance Solution is here to help you find and negotiate the best rate and terms for your boat purchase.
Our specialists tell you everything you need to know about qualifying for a boat loan and help you find an insurance plan and warranty that will keep you protected for years to come. Eager to get out into the water? Let Finance Solution lead the way.