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I hate car buying

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by kingcreole, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    My car gave out Monday. I had it looked at, and at first, the repairs were only going to be about $600. But they still couldn't get the car to start. The next estimate took the repairs well over $1,000, and it wasn't worth keeping any more.

    Once we all realized that, the process to buy a car began. At first, I was going for something used, but I couldn't find one that seemed like a good buy. My dad lives in Kansas City and called me to tell me that some 2014 Chevys. Sparks and Sonics. Good prices. So I emailed my local dealership and told them I could go buy this Spark in KC for $13,718. Local dealership has it listed for $15,580, but if they matched the price, I'd buy from the local dealership.

    After a couple phone calls - including one where Mr. Local Dealership Man said if my car was in better shape he could get me closer to the price I wanted (Hey dipshit ... if my car was in better shape I wouldn't be buying a car) - I was left hanging. I think the guy knew I wasn't budging ... even though I would have gone as high as $13,999. He last said, "I'll see what I can do and get back with you."

    While I could go to KC, it would be a pain in the ass. Lot of travelling with kids in school and involved in activities on weekend, work, etc., I really don't want to. What the fuck is wrong with these pricks? Are they really willing to lose a local customer over a price difference of less than $2,000?

    I need a car quickly, but it's nearly been a week already. I'll go another week if I have to. I'm not planning on this local dealership calling me back since they know I'm not budging.

    And the search continues ... not just for a car but for good customer service. :mad: ??? :-\ :'(
  2. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    Dealerships are willing to lose customers for much less than $2,000, especially if their commission structure is staggered so that they make more money if they hold the line.

    Sad. Not what you want to hear, and I'm sorry for that. But too often, dealerships and good customer service don't co-exist.

    My mother recently found a place that did understand that, and she came away with what she wanted and helped out her brother in the process. Good for them.
  3. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Try Consumer Reports' Car Buying Guide. Best money you'll spend.

    You can also "build" a car and get a few quotes online. I used those on our last purchase, played prices against one another and completely demolished the dealers. Got the car for several thousand less than they were asking.
  4. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I just finished the process of helping my daughter buy a car. It took almost eight weeks, visits to probably 10 dealerships, untold headache and many, many hours on the phone and internet. Our parameters were, to be fair, very difficult; I wanted something that was less than 5 years old and had less than 80,000 miles on it for a max price of $11,000. We found maybe six different cars that fit the bill. Not one, but two different dealers gave up on deals on which we were less than $400 apart.

    The car we ended up buying -- a 2008 Saturn Astra with 30,000 miles for $9,500 -- blew its head gasket four weeks after we bought it. Thankfully, GM kept Saturns under warranty after it ditched the brand. The dealer fixed it for free and it's running like a charm now. But oh my God, what a pain in the ass the whole thing was.

    Given the way car-buying economics have changed in the last few years, I'm not sure I have any real good advice for you. Small dealerships, particularly, have less to work with because they do less volume. There truthfully is very little profit in selling new cars, hence the bullshit fees ($595 for dealer prep? Really?) and my recent experience suggests that nobody is budging much on MSRP.

    I will tell you that the Nissan Versa is a very, very nice car for the $14,000 you mentioned in your original post, if you can find a dealer in your area that has one with the right (low) level of equipment.
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    There's profit there, though not the ripoff that many used/pre-owned cars can be. Of course, the money is in service later ... they assume you'll be back at their establishment for routine maintenance and unscheduled issues and that's where they make their real money.

    But if you think they won't budge on MSRP, you're kidding yourself. The only time MSRP might be in the play is if the model is in serious demand. Otherwise, they don't have much of a leg - or tire - on which to stand. And if they want my business, they can take those dealer prep/doc fees and such and shove them somewhere else. Don't pay 'em ... really simple.
  6. sostartled

    sostartled Member

    We bought our 2012 Rav4 from a huge dealership right before the 2013 models came out. I did a ton of research leading up to our decision to go to a lot and these guys had the best price to start. But they were tricky with their advertising (rate listed on internet is only if you take $1000 cash back and a 4% interest rate; otherwise, add that $1000 back in). They were also a bitch to negotiate with. They wouldn't budge on price for anything. We ended up walking away from a loaded Limited, but then went back to talk with them about the Sport. My wife was very pregnant at the time and they used that to their advantage during the negotiations by talking about our need for a newer car, blah, blah.

    I had to sweeten the deal (for me) by having them throw in the auto car starter. Looking back on it now, with all I know, I would have had them throw in mudflaps, body-side moldings, cargo tray, all-weather mats, etc. Basically all the things I ended up buying on my own after the fact

    I'm still happy with the car, I'm just bummed I didn't get more for the price.
  7. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    If you don't mind my asking, what did it cost you? I'm looking at replacing my 1999 RAV4 L that has 310,000 miles on it (still on original clutch, too). It's been such a great vehicle that I figure I have to buy another one but haven't shopped yet.
  8. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    Thanks for the tip about the Nissan Versa. I might go that route.
  9. sostartled

    sostartled Member

    $26,800, including taxes, titles, fees, and a remote starter (4WD 2012 Sport). 0% interest for 60 mos. I love the car, but if I were to do it again, I'd get a Highlander. Too much baby crap to carry around.
  10. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Don't email anyone. Go right at them face to face and be firm.

    I was petrified about replacing my wife's Volvo wagon last summer, but after about five dealerships, you learn fast that they all pull the same moves. We did a ton of research. We knew what we wanted (a 2009-11 CRV or Rav4). We ended up with a 2011 Rav4 for a price that we were both happy with.

    But a couple of tips:

    1) If you're feeling pressured (and the will pressure your ass), walk away. You can always come back another day. These people are like robots. They have no feelings.

    2) Bring in printouts from other cars from other dealers. This was the key for us. We had another Rav that we were looking at, with a really, really great price. We actually told them that we had a deposit down to take it for a test drive. When we started negotiating, we kept bringing up the other car. We said, "That's an OK price, but I have to see what Podunk Dealership will give us." The guy really didn't want us to leave because he knew we wouldn't be back.

    3) There's always the, "Let me check with my boss." Now this one might be hard for you, because you're in a time sensitive situation. But it lets them know who is in charge. When you come to some kind of an agreement, and the guy goes to bring in the big gun from the corner office, he's not going to allow you to take it for that price. Either the boss will come out, or he'll come back and say no. So before he goes, say, "Look, if you get up from this table, I'm leaving. We have a price that we've both agreed upon right here." And if he says he can't do that, leave your number and say, "Call me when you can."

    4) You will be stunned by how little they offer you for your trade. Lie through your teeth and say, "Joe Bob's Dealership offered me $2000. How can you guys be that far off?" If they won't come up, tell them you'll be taking your business to Joe Bob's.

    5) You have to be willing to walk away or you will be taken. Again, you're in a time-sensitive situation, so it might not be easy for you, but start tomorrow (seriously). Take the morning to find a few online that you like, and start visiting dealerships. Have your printouts ready and visible. Don't let them "up" sell you on something that is out of your price range.

    Hope this helps. Keep us informed with how it goes.
  11. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    Don't know if my plan will work the next time I have to go buy a car, but it's worked the last three or four times. We go into a dealership, with tons of research already done, and essentially say to the salesperson, "We're paying cash. We're willing to write you a check right now for $___, and that's my drive-out-the-lot price . . . no additional fees for X, Y and Z."

    Three years ago the Toyota dealership said, "No, 'fraid we can't go that low," and I replied, "Thanks for your time," and we walked out and drove a mile down the road. On the way I told my wife, "He'll call back within 90 minutes, saying he'll take the deal."

    We went down the street and bought a Honda; on our way home, the Toyota salesman calls and says they had reconsidered our offer.

    I laughed.
  12. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I am really fortunate that I deal only with one person at a family-owned dealership. My dad started buying from his dad in the 60s. When it's trading time, I just go to the dealership and say, "Todd, I'm here to buy. This is what I want. This is what I'm willing to spend. Show me what you've got."

    It also makes things really easy because I drive extended cab, 4WD Ford Rangers, period, and I keep them 10 or more years. He actually hooked me up the last time I traded. It was Jan. 2012, and I was looking to trade my 2000 for a 2010. He said he could sell me a brand new 2011 (had 17 miles on it) cheaper than a 10 because Ford had instructed the dealers to get them off the lot, and he had a dozen of them.

    We did the same thing getting my wife's Escape a few years back. The deal was made in principle before we even got to the lot. The only thing she had to do was pick the color. This place is so good to my family it's not even funny. The last time my dad bought a new F-150, he had to custom order it to get the options he wanted. The dealership called one Saturday morning and said to come get it. We went with money in hand to pay for it, but the owner said "Ahhh, the girls who take care of that stuff are already gone and closed out for the week." He wrote my dad a bill of sale that said "paid in full" so he could take care of all the insurance, tags, etc. and told my dad to come back the following week and pay sometime.
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