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Save money with a car broker

It's possible to hire someone to do just about anything for you. There are dog walkers and personal chefs, life coaches and nannies. And when it comes to dealing with your finances, you can go to a stock broker, a mortgage broker, an insurance broker and now a car broker.

Or can you?

Hiring a broker to act as an adviser and negotiator on the purchase of your next new or used vehicle sounds straightforward: Decide on a car, find a broker, pay the fee and reap the savings.

The broker agrees on a flat fee or a percentage of the money saved on the sticker price of the vehicle purchased and in return finds the car, manages the purchase, negotiates for you and then delivers the car and paperwork to you for payment and the appropriate signatures. Fees for brokering services are as low as a flat $500 and as high as $2,000, depending on what kind of car you want to buy and whether it is new or used.

Most car brokers are former car sales professionals who know how the business works. Like insurance brokers or mortgage brokers, they understand where to look and how to work with the dealers so that you get the best price possible.

Sounds good, but first you've got to find one.

Finding a car broker
If you're like most Canadians, you’ve traded your phone book for the internet and if that's where you're looking for a car broker, they’re scarce enough to make comparison shopping a challenge.

Ron Mycholuk of Edmonton's Better Business Bureau says car brokerages are still a fairly new business. Do they have many of them on the books in Edmonton? "We do not. Many of the brokers would be filed as car dealerships," says Mycholuk. "We have two companies that have been listed specifically as car and truck brokers."

It's a start. Do a Google search for "car brokers" and you'll likely come up dry. One reason for this is because the language is flexible. Dealers can call themselves whatever they want and since "broker" means someone who acts as an intermediary between a buyer and a seller, any person selling you a vehicle on behalf of a car manufacturer or between one owner and another is technically a broker.

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-- Posted July 4, 2011
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