Steps in buying and collecting your Merc

The car selection process :
That's listed here:





So you have set your eyes, heart and wallet on that three pointed star car.

Now I don't need to tell you that you should have done your due diligence on a few things:

- buy it because you like the car, the features, ride, safety etc etc. Not just for the badge. Well at least be clear why you put your hard earned cash on it!
- do your sums on the outlay, financing etc
- that includes the loan package, the duration, interest rate etc
- find a good rep who will serve you well, during the sale and more important, after you have coughed up the dough..
- look at the spec sheet, and make sure whatever you want is in black and white
- go through the details, eg, black leather, may come with black trim, and if you want a lighter trim check that 
- some things are not included, and you should go through the list that the rep gives you, and get them to sign off on it. If it's not on paper, it's not going to be there. There are no freebies

* Entry level Mercs don't get real leather, and the dash isn't covered with leather either, so do check your specs if you want the real deal.

Now for the buying part:

Some words about the overtrade:


- check the NETT price, which is what you pay after deducting the overtrade, any further discounts, without including the service credits. Discounts can be offered on certain models, when they need to push for sales on these models, and come on top of the OT. 
- add on the scrap car value

That's what you need to pay.


Then confirm the loan package, interest rate, duration etc.

Confirm what's the freebie deal:
- welcome pack
A computer backpack, key chain holder, wallet
- Nano sealant X 2 - do this ASAP to seal in the freshness of the car
- interior cleaning X 1
- polish X 1
- windscreen cleaning X 2
- chemical wash of the aircon X 3
- tire repair X 6
- 12 car pick ups
- Huber Optik Solar Film
- JS 400 front and back camera
- free compact umbrella

(your package may vary - eg if you get a higher end model, you may get more)

Service credits begin at $3000 and up. You can trade it in for cash.


Confirm color of the car, leather type, trim and additional specs - if you customise, the package price may not apply or you need to wait longer

Confirm delivery date: this can take months, so make sure you can swop out your existing car at the same time - you may even need to renew road tax

Once you sign, there's a draft contract that you get, and the actual form is sent to you in less than a month. One more contract will be sent nearer the delivery date if it's much later.

You pay the COE deposit of 10k, plus the deposit of 10%. You can use your credit card for this. 

You will also be asked to take up their insurance from AIG for getting the freebies. You can also use your Credit Card for this.

In a few days time, you will get notice of the loan approval. The loan and insurance start when you get your car registered. 

Then the wait begins. 

In the mean time, you can download the Mercedes Benz guides and MyMB - the app for the manual and the service booking app. 

There are many functions, so do read up.

COE bidding:

Merc usually gives a 6 bid non guaranteed deal, but they will get it for you! The rebate may not be great, but you will get your car.

Collection:

Now after that seemingly never ending wait, you get your car!

Your rep will call you up, tell you when he will collect that cheque, which happens two to three weeks ahead.

You register a few days ahead of the collection, then they install the camera (from Eurostyle JS 400, no park mode) and solar film etc. He will ask you if you want the back window to be darker. The insurance starts once you register, and you can pay for it with your credit card.

A few days later, you will then make your way to C&C for the collection. 

For budget level cars like the A and B class, you probably have to take delivery at 209 Pandan Gardens. Drive in, park your old car at level two, there will be reserved lots for you. Clear out your old car and head into the special lounge to meet your rep.

For higher end cars, they will do the collection at Alex or Ubi etc, and if you ask, they may get things like the Nano Protection done first. For the more basic models, you need to do it separately and do ask your rep if he can allow you to do it right after the collection, so you seal in the fresh paintwork.

In the lounge, he will run through the paperwork first,  insurance, finance etc.

Then you will proceed to the car. 

So on the day, you can make sure of some checklists like this: 



But the rep will also give you a list to go through. Do take a half day off, it's a good idea to bring a torchlight and go through, looking for scratches and dents. The rep will take you through the functions etc.


You hand over the keys of your old car, get a LTA pin to handover ownership and pass him your old insurance form to sort out. Spend a day taking out the old stuff, don't forget any items under the carpets etc

Other items to consider:


There's no 1000km run in, the rep says, so go ahead and enjoy that ride :)
(that's what the rep said, despite what is in the handbook)

Try the various controls, and switches, but main thing is check the paintwork. And take some pics :)


A few weeks later, they sent me the paperwork for the sale of my car.

Just in case anyone is keen to know who my rep is, he is Andrew Tang, from the Leng Kee branch. Good chap.. mention my blog when you approach him :)

Overtrade - how does it work?


Some companies like Merc have this magical overtrade (OT) thing, which means the sticker price is much higher than what you can expect to pay


The OT has Nothing to do with the scrap car value.
 Say a car SRP = 180k
OT is what the agent gives as a discount. The condition is you must trade in a car. Any car ( only condition is that you own it > 6months apparently) 

Say OT = 10k
 Then whatever value you get for your car is dependant on the SALE price of your current car. Eg if you have a 5 year old Camry and you get an offer of 50k for it.
 So you pay 180-10 net, then minus the 50k for the Camry.
 The net price is 170k, PLUS whatever freebies they give. That's the ad trick. They will add in the freebies which you get if you get a loan.

Eg Nano, DVR, service credits, solar film etc, things which I have posted earlier. Say all these have a net value of 10k, then they will say your car is 180-OT-Freebies or 160k.

So the ad will say, get a C180 for 160k.

My Car Buying Process

My own take


Phase I

Aim - who drives the car, what's the purpose (eg, fetch kids, mum or personal vehicle) &
Budget - most important, how much do I want to spend, now not some nominal sum, but what I feel I can afford, and if I want something nice, will it fit, and does it make sense

Phase II

Research - what's out there, what is nearing the end of it's lifespan, what are the got to have features etc

Reliability issues, safety, maintenance

Delivery date - some conti cars take a few months to reach, can you wait?

Phase III

Walk the ground - showroom time!

To avoid too much confusion, avoid considering more than 5, max 10 cars. And choose the type first, i.e. MPV, SUV, sedan etc

Test drive:

Understand that most of time, we aren't going to be like Top Gear, so things like ergonomics, comfort, economy etc matter more than handling under severe conditions 
Test the handles, switches etc and of course easy egress - my mum is the gold standard. If she can climb in, and she feels comfortable, that's the car.

Phase IV

Showtime with the sales rep!
My rule of thumb:
Never buy from a pretty lady... you might go nuts and buy something you shouldn't - ha ha
Understand the black and white - what are the features, maintenance costs, pricing, COE amount, bidding process

Phase V

Financing, speaking to the banker etc

Phase VI

Do the deed

Then wait for the car, and enjoy :)

A few pointers and reminders about getting the best surround effects



A few pointers and reminders about getting the best surround effects

Priorities - 
WAF or good speaker position

Some basic rules of speaker placement are needed to get that surround ambience. For a 3D sound, the 5.1 or 7.1 surround layer needs to be around the ear level when seated. It's very hard to get ceiling mounted speakers to sound right, even if they are pointed at the MLP.

For the Atmos / DTS speakers on the ceiling, don't fret if you can't get the right angle, there's a decent range, and if you use a coaxial speaker with adjustable tilt and swivel, that will help spread the sound. And again, that's the word - spread the sound.

Maximum Effort

We have said this countless times - getting the right ambience surround isn't a simple press button solution. It doesn't mean that you have the latest Audyssey, MACC, or REW software installed in your amp = sound surround. 

AFTER you do the initial calibration, you will need to adjust speaker levels, with a SPL meter and avoid using the internal test tones. Then shift the speakers accordingly.

The honest truth about the sitting position

If you are seated in a less than ideal position, you won't get the best surround, and no matter what kind of software you use, that will not be able to cure the issue totally. 
So if your room is not ideal, you are backed up all the way to the rear wall, room too small for a 11.2 setup but you insist on it, you will not get the same surround that you heard or the bass you felt in the best setups.

In which case, just enjoy the setup with your family and kick your heels back and chill, we can't always fix everything in the world...


Cheers 

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Another day with the Neural X, and DTS-X, and I took out a disc from the not too distant past: Get The Gringo A relatively simple plo...