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Buying a new car – should it have a full tank of petrol?

By fabulous_miss - 24 October 2014 34

I’m interested on hearing thoughts on this, I recently purchased a new car from a dealer in Phillip that shall remain nameless (although it does rhyme with shommonwealth boaters).  Anyway, I went to pick it up and when the salesperson was handing over the keys and going through some features (its pretty sick), I had turned it on (thats what she said!) and saw that the petrol light was on.

Huh?

Me: Oh, it has no petrol
Salesperson: Sorry about that, they usually just put $10 in.
**silence**
Me: I guess I’m going straight to the petrol station then.
Salesperson (who I can only assume did not catch the sarcasm/annoyance): you’ll have enough to get there, its just around the corner.

A couple of issues here.  I had just purchased a brand new car, surely they can factor in the cost of giving someone even half a tank of petrol??  Two, they usually put $10 in? Sheesh, why bother!

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Buying a new car – should it have a full tank of petrol?
riotact 5:59 pm 24 Oct 14

Yea, I got “we only had about a jerry cans worth of diesel so we put that in for you” when I bought mine…..but I mean I bargained heaps and got them down plenty on price so can’t really complain.

I think if you walk in the show room and say “I’ll have that one” and pay whatever they are asking you could expect a full tank of fuel……but if you haggle ’em down on price, just wear the ~$80 🙂

grunge_hippy 5:57 pm 24 Oct 14

14 years ago I bought a new car from a dealer that sounds remarkably like canberra toyota (because it was) and it was also empty. I too at the time thought that was a bit slack.

Sandman 5:12 pm 24 Oct 14

I’m stunned. I’ve never bought a new car but I would have assumed that a full tank of petrol would be included. Isn’t that why the bigger dealers have their own bowser. I used to work at the Motorcycle dealer and you never sent out any bike, new or used , without a full tank. I realise that it’s $15 or $20 instead of $70 or $80 but that’s still something that should be factored into selling a car.

Even when selling used cars, I’ll usually fill it up before it gets picked up if I’ve gotten a good price and the buyer hasn’t been a pain.

John Moulis 4:56 pm 24 Oct 14

Don’t forget dodgy sound equipment. When I bought a Suzuki Swift from a local dealership several years ago (rhymes with Slave-on Labster) it included an option for a nudge bar at the front. Noticing that the car just had a car radio I said I wanted a radio-cassette player instead of the nudge bar. “No worries – we’ll install a really good Alpine one” I was told. When I returned a few days later to collect the car I noticed that it had a Sound4 unit installed (a notoriously cheap and nasty brand). “Oh, Sound4 is made by Alpine” I was told (a lie). Within a few months the entire front had come off it and there was no supporting bracket installed so the remainder of the unit had sunk back into the dashboard. A year later I had it removed and had a proper Alpine unit installed by BDL Car Radio.

dtc 4:51 pm 24 Oct 14

rookie error… yes, negotiate to have a tank of fuel and mats thrown in ‘for free’

Some car manufacturers actually require the dealer to provide a full tank, but these are usually the more upper end (although I think Subaru does, although its sort of semi upper end). The rest you have to do it yourself.

Alexandra Craig 4:09 pm 24 Oct 14

I think that’s normal unfortunately. When I bought my new car part of the deal I negotiated was that it would have a full tank. When it arrived it only had half a tank. I’d waited so long to get the car (4 months because it had to be manufactured and then the cargo ship was held up) I literally could not be bothered to even argue over $40. I just took it and left.

Antagonist 3:38 pm 24 Oct 14

The only time I have ever heard of a new car being handed over with a full tank of juice is with the $500 or $1000 of ‘free’ fuel offer with some new car purchases – which I have not seen for a long time. Any time I have bought a car (new or used) I make the assumption that I am going to have to go straight to a servo. And I have been right every time.

dkNigs 3:29 pm 24 Oct 14

I always negotiate a full tank of petrol into the sale. If I’m giving someone 10k+ for a vehicle, they can put $70-$100 in the tank haha. Usually the last negotiation point when trying to drive it down and they wont budge, “okay throw in a full tank of fuel and it’s a deal”.

fernandof 1:36 pm 24 Oct 14

@fabulous_miss, you should submit a complaint.

I had some bad experience with a dealership in Belconnen, so I’ve left a negative feedback (read: complaint) and followed up by phone call to the manufacturer customer service. Things got promptly addressed then.

Going back to your original question: all cars I bought from dealerships came with full fuel tank, and I would be very vocal about getting an almost empty new car.

dungfungus 10:52 am 24 Oct 14

Reprobate said :

Sadly, yes this is common among mainstream car dealers – not just in Canberra. Even though you might be paying a $2000 “dealer delivery” fee on your car, most dealers screw an extra $50-$100 out of a buyer by not filling the tank. In fact many dealers don’t even top up the tank from the small fill at the factory. A common tip is to negotiate for them to include a full tank of petrol as part of the sale contract. Petty, yes, but that’s the way they play the game…

By the way, if you think that’s rough, wait til you start to take the car to them for servicing or warranty repairs – even though most car makers now have fixed or capped price servicing, expect to be billed extra on your near-new car for nonsense like EFI cleaning, oil flushes, a/c deodorising etc.

Enjoy your new car!

Add to the list:
Change pollen filter, replace remote switch battery (I have never had to do this with cars I have bought from Wommoncealth Tomors.

neanderthalsis 10:43 am 24 Oct 14

I bought a new car a few weeks ago. On taking delivery, the salesperson noted that the tank was half full and stated that the dealers fuel card was out being used by someone else and I could either wait until they got back, maybe 20 mins, or just drop in the next time I needed to fill up and they would pay for a full tank.

This obviously wasn’t the same dealer alluded to by the OP, I did wander into that dealership and left after noting the very poor attitude of the salesperson.

Reprobate 10:18 am 24 Oct 14

Sadly, yes this is common among mainstream car dealers – not just in Canberra. Even though you might be paying a $2000 “dealer delivery” fee on your car, most dealers screw an extra $50-$100 out of a buyer by not filling the tank. In fact many dealers don’t even top up the tank from the small fill at the factory. A common tip is to negotiate for them to include a full tank of petrol as part of the sale contract. Petty, yes, but that’s the way they play the game…

By the way, if you think that’s rough, wait til you start to take the car to them for servicing or warranty repairs – even though most car makers now have fixed or capped price servicing, expect to be billed extra on your near-new car for nonsense like EFI cleaning, oil flushes, a/c deodorising etc.

Enjoy your new car!

carnardly 10:17 am 24 Oct 14

yup. you buy the car – these days there’s $10 in it to get you home. Once you’re out the front gate your own your own.

Very Busy 10:04 am 24 Oct 14

That is just plain rude. Incredibly poor customer service and an indication of their attitude. It should at least have enough fuel that the low fuel light isn’t on. I would point out to the dealer principal that you find their attitude unacceptable. Ask them to fill the tank to the brim when you take it in for the first service or you will have the car serviced elsewhere in future.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 9:34 am 24 Oct 14

I’ve bought several new vehicles from this dealership over the past decade, and am now at the point where I refuse to go back. What you have experienced is a small taste of what’s in store for you.

Do yourself a favour, and avoid their service department.

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