Buying a tractor from a dealer

Posted by petermain on November 9th, 2019

Buying a tractor from a major manufacturer has many of the same principles and drawbacks as when buying a new or second-hand car. Dealerships of tractor manufacturers will  normally offer for sale new and used tractors, as well as a wide range of other types of agricultural machinery, as well as a huge range of attachments and implements that can be used on a number of different tractors.

Whilst this can make the process of buying a tractor much easier in many ways, it is also easy for the dealership to blur prices, and make discounts seem more attractive than they actually maybe, as a number of different components fall into place.

There are several things to consider when buying any new or used tractor from a dealership. The most attractive one is that you are likely to buy a  tractor that the dealership will stand behind, and support you with for a number of years. If buying a secondhand tractor, it is possible the dealership will have sold it originally, and possibly done servicing and maintenance on it since the sale.

If that is the case, then it is a good solid base to begin with, as it will be possible to track the usage and state of the tractor much more easily.

If buying a new tractor, then it is important to recognise that there is a manufacturer's price, as well as a dealership price, as well as a price that they will be willing to sell it to you at. Most dealerships have quite a significant room for manoeuvre in terms of the manufacturers price, but often have limited scope to move on prices around implements and attachments.

This means that any negotiation around a tractor and/or any implements should really be kept separate, and the focus should initially be on the price of the tractor. The dealership may well offer discounts either to specific groups of individuals, or on specific models and makes of tractor, or at certain times of year in order to clear inventory.

Knowing these discounts in advance can often help if the buyer has flexibility as to when they purchase a tractor, and what type of model and manufacturer they are willing to purchase.

When negotiating price, it is worth bearing in mind that the dealership fitfully will be looking for a long-term relationship with the purchaser, covering areas such as maintenance and servicing, any repair work is doing and possibly the trading in of a tractor in a few year time for another one. Any good dealership will be looking to provide additional services throughout the year which can help both sides in the negotiation.

Bear in mind that with tractors and agricultural machinery, they can often be real transportation problems  from where the vehicle is based on normally used, back to the dealership either for regular servicing and maintenance work, or in the event the machine is damaged in some way.

The issue of a warranty is also important. If new and it will come with a manufacturer's warranty, with a possible extension which may or may not be worth purchasing. If second-hand, then it is important to check what type of warranty the dealer is offering, for how long, what it covers and whether or not it is possible to extend it and if so for how long.

Peter Main is a freelance journalist who specialises in agriculture and farm machinery, with a special focus on buying through manufacturer dealerships, and the adaptability of tractors into machines such as zero turn mowers

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