Friday, April 22, 2011

Car story: part 2

Two days of my spring break and two nights this week were spent sacrificed for car shopping. This is what I learned.  All cars have issues (like people) it is just figuring out which issues you can and can't live with... or figuring out which ones are lurking under the surface waiting until you sign on the bottom line. 
I had a bit of a disadvantage.  If I were to use the money the insurance company gave us in order to replace our car, I was looking at cars with 100,000, previously wrecked cars that had been repaired, or cars that smelled bad with an attempt to mask over the odor with some "magic cleaner".

I hate car shopping.
I hate haggling.
I dread thinking of how much money I am going to spend, and the possibility that it could have major issues shortly afterwards, I wouldn't be able to do a thing about it (Utah is a buyer-beware state).


Finally we decided to look into a new car that was very affordable.  Many of the cars on the used car lots were more money than the new Hyundai Elantra, so that is what we started looking for.  Yeah, well, apparently everyone else was looking for one too.  Dealers had cars on the lot, but most had already sold.  The trucks coming into most of the dealers had the cars already sold before the trucks even arrived.  Some of the cars would be what we were looking for and then it would have added features that were not cost effective nor necessary.  Wednesday I got out of school early, and decided to go look at a local dealer.  There were 10 on the lot, but only four were not already sold.  Three of those four had the navigation system we were not willing to pay extra for, so that left one car.  

This is where the drama began.

I spent two hours at the dealer, driving cars and looking around.  The salesman helping me was... hmmm... how do I describe him best?  If you have ever seen the skit on Saturday Night Live with Chris Farley as the motivational speaker, then you will remember he wears pants he keeps having to hitch up, the tie that barely makes it half way down his rounded belly, and talks about living in a "van down by the river".  Yeah... this guy could have been him.  To a "T".
I find out his daughter was in my class a few years back, and he is working me for a deal.  I tell him I need to run to grab my daughter and come back with my husband, and head home.
This is at 3:00pm
4:15  Hayden gets a call from the dealership (same) letting us know that the Costco pricing inquiry that we submitted online earlier that day would give us an additional $700 off.
5:15 I text the salesman and tell him we are on our way
5:30 I text and let him know which car to have out for Hayden to see
5:45  We arrive, the car is out, the salesman sits us at his desk and puts the keys on his desk.
5:50  Hayden mentions the Costco discount.
This is where the pants-hitching, Chris Farley antics went into high gear.
Salesman leaves to get a "different" invoice for the Costco pricing
6:00  We are waiting still, walking around looking at cars inside the building.
6:10  A couple walks in and begins wandering and looking as well.  Our salesman sits down with this couple and begins working on something... we are still waiting.
6:40  The couple leave, and the manager and our DUDE comes over.

Manager:  "We have some bad news.  We just sold that car to those people"
Us:  silence
Manager:  "We did find this car (sits down an invoice) for a car in Logan that can be driven down here tomorrow"
Hayd:  "What is different about this car?"
M:  "Nothing, it is the same car, basically"
Hayd:  "Then why is it almost $700 more expensive?"
M:  "Oh, that's the NEW pricing coming out on this model now"
Hayd:  "We are leaving"
Our DUDE:  "What?  Was it something I did??"
To make a long story short (relatively), we left and headed north.  We made it to downtown SLC ten minutes before closing time, got the same car, better color, $1000 cheaper, and from a MUCH MUCH nicer set of people than where we had just been.  

Did I mention I hate car shopping??

1 comment:

Julie L said...

I'm assuming that picture is of your new car - it looks terrific! What a pain and miserable game to have to play! Glad you got past it and are on wheels again.

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