Dealership Hell

I am in my 7o’s and have been driving since I was 15, so approaching 50 years. In that time, I have purchased a number of vehicles, one with my Dad, several on my own, a few with hubby. Most of those vehicles have been in my or our lives for only a few years before they had to be replaced or were replaced because they shouldn’t have been purchased in the first place. That changed 16 years ago. We purchased me a brand new Honda CRV not financed and it is still on the road with 252K miles on her. Three years later, we purchased a new Nissan Xterra which finally quit during the first wave of the pandemic with 250K miles on it. We have been using the 16 year old car solely since then and hoping that: 1) the pandemic would end; 2) the lack of computer chips for the vehicles would resolve, and we could seek a car and keep the old CRV as a sporadically used backup vehicle.

Two weeks ago when things took a tumble in our lives with daughter’s serious car totaling accident, me landing in the hospital for 5 days, Son 1 coming to the rescue, but having to put his car in the shop for a few days while here and being forced to rely on my old car to drive daughter around, drive hubby to the hospital, pick up groceries, pick me up from the hospital, etc., we realized that we shouldn’t count on the one aged vehicle as our sole transportation source. I have never liked the car buying experience. The least irritating was when we purchased hubby a new Saturn and they had a fixed sticker price and no negotiating games. Usually, the process is so very irksome. You test drive a car or two, perhaps decide you have found the one you are going to purchase, and then they sit you in a tiny office cubicle with a glass wall so they can make sure you don’t slip out and disappear to “work on the numbers.”

The process was no different yesterday. Hubby had done online research, had the cost of several vehicles noted, reached out to several dealers regarding availability, and off we went, an hour plus west into the adjacent state (where they actually had a few cars on the lot). We wanted a hybrid, all wheel drive, not white exterior or interior. They had 1. We test drove a non hybrid a bit smaller than the one they had, but it lacked most of the new safety features. We test drove a non hybrid the size of the hybrid, but the hybrid was only slightly more expensive and had a nicer add on package. BUT, the car had an additional sticker in the window that indicated a market upcharge of almost $3000 that wasn’t on the website. The manager, of course, apologized all over the place, said prices weren’t supposed to be on the website at all, and more bull shit. Then we were put in the cubicle to wear down our resistance. When the manager finally came in, he had “worked the numbers” and could take $100 off. Really! Oh horse patties. Then the upsale begins. We can knock off x if you buy the extended warranty (that by the way is owned by the dealership owner and cost $3000). No thank you.

Four and a half hours later, we drove off the lot with the hybrid, having been given a $500 reduction for hubby’s military service, but otherwise, the sticker price we saw going in. Such a frustrating business. I guess, this might be the last new car we buy since we are both aging like my old CRV. My CRV will be cleaned up, kept maintained, and driven a bit, but it will be our back up car, one to use when the new one is in the shop for maintenance or when we both have to be out in different directions.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.