The Finance Box at the Car Dealership

There Is A Box At The Car Dealership… And You’ll Be In It.

Okay, the photo at the top of the page just may be a bit of an exaggeration of the car buying process. But, often, the car dealership can feel similar to a police interrogation room.

When purchasing a vehicle from a car dealership, every car buyer will find themselves in the office of the dealership individual whose job it is to complete all the necessary paperwork. They will collect funds, arrange financing and offer you various after sale products and services for your car.

For years, the slang term used has been “the box.”

The person you’ll meet with usually has the title of Finance or Business Manager, and their office is referred to as the finance office. For years, the slang term used in the car business for this office has been “the box”, and “boxing a deal” is slang for signing up the customer when delivering a car.

They don’t want to be associated with the sleazy “box man” stereotype…

Many of today’s Business and Finance managers cringe when they hear it referred to as “the box” because of the negative connotations from the past. They don’t want to be associated with the sleazy “box man” stereotype who tried to lay away customers with finance payments loaded with high profit extras like “croak and choke” (credit life and disability insurance), extended warranties and rust proofing packages.

Though today’s version of a car dealership’s finance manager is much more friendly, professional and eloquent, the one thing that hasn’t changed is their goal of making profit. They’re well trained in picking up the gross on your deal and want to see your new vehicle’s tail lights as you leave. Often more “back end” profit is generated in the finance office than on the sale of the vehicle itself.

Clients are prepared before entering the office and know what to expect.

Part of the role of an independent car buying advocate is to sit with clients in the finance office during their delivery process. This is such a great vantage point for an advocate, because he or she is constantly exposed to (and entertained by) a variety of sales approaches. Clients are prepared before entering the finance office and know what they can expect.

This is why I want you to think out of “the box” before you wind up there with that deer in headlights look. Be ready to consider the plethora of finance or lease terms, incentive choices, extended service contracts, gap insurance, maintenance plans, tire and wheel insurance and cosmetic protection options that will be offered to you.

Don’t allow yourself to be unprepared for this portion of the transaction.

You may have done your homework on car prices but don’t allow yourself to be unprepared for this portion of the transaction or costly mistakes will happen.

About Gary Eisenstein

Gary Eisenstein is a third generation veteran of the auto business. He was a new car dealer for over 30 years before founding Better Auto Buying, a consulting service that utilizes his expertise to help individual consumers make successful vehicle purchases. He serves as an independent auto consultant, consumer advocate and wholesale used car broker. Learn more at: