Thursday, 10 May 2007

I HATE Used Car Dealers!

Alrighty There People!

This is kinda way off of my usual topic, but I wanted to have a bit of a rant so I thought that this would be the best place to do it.

I currently own a 2000 'X Reg' Nissan Almera 2.2SDi. It's quite a rare car really, there's not many diesel Almeras out there. It has got 82000 on the clock, and has been well looked after, and is in immaculate condition. However, due to the fact that my wife now wants to learn drive, and the fact that road tax is quite expensive, I want to downgrade my car, and benefit from cheaper tax and cheaper insurance.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Almera - I get 40+ miles to the gallon, and it's super fast. I've just had the Turbo sorted, and the car leaps away from the lights. I leave for smoke the boy racers and the BMWs, and the look on their faces is priceless. Anyway, back to my rant...

So I decided to go down the used car route. I thought about selling the car privately, but then thought it would be easier to part-ex it. I knew I'd get slightly less that way, but its less hassle too. You know, someone buys the car from me - I've got no wheels for a week, what am I gonna do? Part-ex it, and they say, "Cheers matey, we'll take that, you take this."

Anyway, after a bit of perusing the papers, I decided that I would go for a Ford Fiesta, 1.4 TDCi. Diesel, 60+mpg, cheap tax, cheap insurance. Right up my street. So I saw one with a national dealership - shall I name and shame? Not yet - a 2003 model, 5 door, silver, £5,199. But it had 71,000 miles on the clock. Now, don't get me wrong - I know that diesel's can go round the clock and still have va va voom - but 71k? That's been hammered in four years... So I thought it was a tad expensive.

Anyway, I saw another one, not a diesel, at a local branch of the dealership - Evans Halshaw - and I thought I might as well take a look, get a feel for the car. But I don't want a diesel.

So me and my wife traipse along to the dealership, where we get pounced on by the salesman, as expected. Now, I bought a car some years ago when Evans Halshaw was still Reg Vardy, and I knew their tricks. I knew what game we were about to play.

So the salesman saunters up to us and says, "Have you seen anything you like?"

"Well, I like the look of this one, but I want a diesel. But can I have the keys to have a look inside anyway, just to get a feel for the space?"

"Yes, certainly," and away he trots. I warn my wife of what is about to happen.

So he comes back with the keys, and we look around the car. It's smart, with light cream upholstery, maroon metallic paint, frong fogs, alloys, cd player - it's nice. But it's not a diesel.
He then asks us, ever so politely - why we want a diesel. I reply that I travel a lot - motorway driving - and rack up a high mileage. My current car gets me 40+mpg, but the Fiesta diesels get 60+. He acknowledged this. I asked what kind of economy the petrol Fiesta gets, and he called us into the office. He's thinking on his feet - drawing us into a trap. But he doesn't realise that we're purposefully striding into it. Hee hee.

We sit down, and he tells me that the petrol gets 40+ - the same as my current car. I point out to him - again - that the diesel gets 60+, and that over a year or two, that makes a huge difference. He agreed.

I asked him - and I quote - "Can you give me a ballpark figure of what the repayments would be on that one on the forecourt?"

So I asked for a BALLPARK figure for monthly payments on a five and a half grand car. At this point I'll mention that the offer on this car is 5 Years 0% Finance - I deal I would like to take up.

One major point I forgot to mention, which I'll throw in now. I had already been to the garage on Sunday and seen this car, and discussed it with my wife - we were seriously interested. But we wanted the garage to think that we weren't. Mwahaha.

So - "Can you give me a ballpark figure of what the repayments would be on that one on the forecourt?"

"Right. What's your name please?"

Excuse me? My name? Why do you need my name to give me a ballpark figure? I knew this game. I played along, and gave him my name.

He asked how much of a deposit I would want to put down. £100. He asked if I had a car I wanted to part-ex. Oh yeah. Now here comes the best part. He takes the details of the car, age, mileage, no outstanding finance, tax, test, blah blah blah. Then he asks for the keys, so that he can 'show his manager around the car'. I oblige.

They disappear, and I prepare my wife for their return. I said that they'll have a quick look at the car, mark down any blemishes on their sheet, and then go back to the office to talk football for five minutes whilst we look out of the window and develop fondness for a car that we don't want. Play on.

They return after a while - we're both pretty hungry at this point, it being 6.30pm and we not having eaten. The sales man returns, and starts to go through figures.

"Okay, so here we are - " he lists the spec of the car, which we already knew. Funnily, he skipped the part of it being petrol.

"Base price of the car, £5,500. Now we have some optional extras - we'll include this in the price, and anything that you want to take off you can, and the payments will be affected."

Now, we only want to pay £50.00 a month on finance - quite a slim figure. Let's see how this goes...

"Fuel - £20.00 - just so that we don't give you a car that you have to take straight to a petrol station." Hmmm. So why can't you just give us a FULL tank for free? We're spending over five grand here...

"Car floor mats - we give you them free!" Wow. Thanks. We bought our car mats from Wilkinsons for £7.99 and they're still going strong. Not much of a freebie there, is it.

"Total loss cover - £700.00. This is in case the car gets stolen or written off, and the insurance company will only give you market value - we'll make sure you get your £5,500 back." Hmmm. No. Don't want that.

"Pureguard - guaranteed to keep the exterior from fading for 6 years, and Scotchguard the interior. £599.99." He also muttered, almost under his breath, that it will only stop the car from fading provided that every month we wash the car with their own branded detergent. Which is probably £20.00 per bottle. I reckon I'll keep the car for 3 years max. Pureguard? Erm, no.

"Deposit - £99.00."

Here comes the best part:

"We'll give you £1600 for your car."

"£1600? Is that all?" My wife asked.

He looked at her sympathetically - thinking typical woman, doesn't know car. Sorry buddy, you're wrong.

"That's just market value - we'd take the car and that's all we'd get from an auction for it."

I speak up.

"But I've seen the same cars going, with higher mileage, for £3500 on Autotrader."

"Oh, well that's just silly, they'll never sell."

Uh huh.

"So, erm, how much were you wanting for yours?"

"Well I know I can sell it privately for £3000, so I was expecting at least £2,200 from yourselves."

"Like I said, we can only offer you current market value..."

Don't believe you!

Anyway, that worked out at £76.00 per month - way above our budget.

So my wife asks how that would change if we put in a £400 deposit - it knocked the price down by a tenner a month - still £15.00 over our agreed price range.

We said that we'd think about it, and perhaps try to sell ours privately. At that point the manager came over - the squeeze.

He asked us if we had been treated properly by his salesman. We said we had. He emphasised that they could only give us market value for our car, they were really sorry about this. I didn't buy his 'really sorry'. He even told us that although we were getting the car on 5 Years 0% Finance, THEY still had to pay interest. Awww, poor things!

He wanted us to lay down a deposit. He said that if we put a deposit down, we could try and sell ours privately, and increase the deposit. The car would be held for us, and worse case scenario, they'd take ours as part-ex at the end of the month. If we didn't sell and didn't want their deal? We'd lose our £100.00 deposit.

We stood up, said thanks, and walked away.

They didn't look too happy.

So, just to recap - we were looking for a car for £50 a month, a diesel fiesta. They offered us a petrol fiesta, initially for £76 a month, then for £66 a month, but they didn't budge on any of their figures.

Used Car Merchants - You Are A Rip Off!

My Almera is now for sale for £2699.00

I Hate Used Car Dealers!!!

No comments:

Thanks for visiting my blog! Please leave a comment. You're visitor number: