This is a guest post from Lee McLemore of Lake Hill Motors & Marine in Corinth, MS. Lee wanted to share some tips for purchasing from a dealership. His bio can be found at the bottom of the post.
Get the “Out the Door Price”
Probably one of the most important things to know when shopping at a dealership is how to get an accurate price. Some dealerships price their machines at a seemingly low price, but then have add on fees like dealer prep, assembly, destination, documentation, freight, set-up, etc.
Make sure you ask and get informed up front about what all will go into the pricing of your bike, so you will have an accurate idea of the cost while making the decision and comparing prices across dealerships. If you are trading in a unit, be sure to focus the total balance left to get the new machine. Don’t get caught up in how the deal is structured or how the individual prices break down. Always look at the total cost when making the decision or comparing from dealer to dealer.
Get the Right Machine for Your Needs!
I have seen new riders too often show back up at the dealership a few weeks after making a purchase wanting to trade for a different bike. Really take into consideration and be real with yourself about, your experience and skill, how you will ride, and what you will need from your new bike.
Really talk with the sales people about what you will be doing with the bike and how much experience you have. Most of them will have good information and be helpful. If not ask if there is anyone that specializes in bikes or has lots of riding experience there you can talk to.
Ask About Your Taxes
If you are seriously looking at purchasing a bike at a dealership, it is important to know your tax and payment situation before making the deal. Whether you pay cash, finance at the dealership or at your bank, and purchase in-state or out of state it, makes a difference in where and when you pay taxes. You may also find the purchasing in-state or out of state actually has tax advantages in your particular situation. Taxes can usually be financed in with the deal if done correctly. It is important to know what your tax responsibility is before making the deal so you won’t be surprised with a hefty tax bill you were not expecting to have to pay out of pocket.
There is Not a Universal “Best Time to Buy”
There are always myths floating around about dealerships needing to sell lots of units at the end of the year, end of the month, or at the end of a particular season. That is not always the case. Different manufacturers and dealerships end their fiscal year at different times of the calendar year for accounting purposes. Manufacturer rebates programs are normally based more upon how much inventory they have left of a specific machine in the warehouse than time of year or season. Ask about what rebates are going on and check prices against MSRP. If it seems like a good deal, pull the trigger. In my experience, it usually doesn’t pay off for buyers to try and wait until what they think is a better time to buy.
Know About Credit
First-time buyers or new riders often times want to finance their new bike. The world of motorcycles, ATVs, and watercraft is different in the eyes of the finance industry than homes or automobiles. Homes and autos are considered necessity items and powersports are considered luxury items when it comes to financing so they have different criteria. Most dealerships have good financing options for you and will be glad to help you figure out what is the best option for your needs. Most dealerships and manufacturers will have credit card loans and installment loans. Ask them at the dealership what type of loans they have. Find out the specifics. Some loans will be a fixed rate for the complete term, and others may have variable rates that go up after a short term if you don’t have the note paid off. If you have no credit or very limited credit, you very well may need a strong cosigner for your new bike. Do some research on the internet, use a reputable site to check your credit score. Most of these sites have great resources to learn more about credit and suggestions on how to improve or build your credit.
Hello, my name is Lee McLemore. My family owns and operates Lake Hill Motors and Marine in Corinth, MS. We are one of the nation’s largest full-line Honda, Yamaha, and Bennche dealerships. My grandfather David McLemore started the business in 1964. My father Dwayne McLemore and uncle Dan McLemore have been involved in the business since their youth, as have I. I started riding at a very young age in the mid to later 80s and have had lots of different bikes: dirtbikes, street bikes, sportbikes, cruisers, and vintage bikes. My dad Dwayne raced bikes for many years with lots of success. He had a 2nd place finish in the Daytona 200 in the early 70s. My nephew Casey Cochran is continuing the racing heritage and is currently a 2 time AMA MX Amateur National Champ. We also have at our dealership one of the largest vintage motorcycles collections around. We have around 200 vintage bikes as old as 1901 going up through the 80s. We would love for you to come by and visit our museum if you are ever in the area or give us a call or check our site to check on a new bike.