Car/Truck Buying Experiences

golfballs

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I always figured "certified pre-owned" was just a clever way of selling an extended warranty without giving you the option of declining it. In other words, if they mark up the price a thousand dollars for it being "certified" and say it's on them if certain things go wrong, it amounts to the same thing as selling a plain old non-certified car for a thousand less and then selling you a thousand dollar warranty.
Depends on the car. On dependable models it’s definitely not worth it.
 
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Roustabout

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I always figured "certified pre-owned" was just a clever way of selling an extended warranty without giving you the option of declining it. In other words, if they mark up the price a thousand dollars for it being "certified" and say it's on them if certain things go wrong, it amounts to the same thing as selling a plain old non-certified car for a thousand less and then selling you a thousand dollar warranty.
And you would be 100% wrong. Factory certification is a manufacture process for authorized dealers to follow, which insures the highest quality cars on the market. I don't know of any manufactures that have dealer margin or markup in the warranty activation. The warranty activation is charged to the dealer at time of delivery. Certification insures a consistent and stringent inspection and reconditioning process, assuming the dealer is adhering to the guidelines. Since these things are audited, I doubt many would want to risk losing their franchise over it.
 

Tin Man

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Recently, I purchased a 2019 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid. I called the dealer prior to traveling to it to be assured that the vehicle in which I was interested was still available. When I arrived shortly after 2pm, the salesman greeted me, and we sat down to do some preliminaries. Then, he took me to a lot and demoed a vehicle other than the one I wished to buy. He told me that the dealer had transported the vehicle I was interested in buying to another of his locations. He urged me to examine and test drive the other vehicle, as it was very similar to the one I wanted. He assured me that if I wanted to proceed with a purchase, the vehicle would be retrieved from the other location. We proceeded with the demo and test drive of the 2019 Rav4 Hybrid with the ghastly colors. I told him that I was interested enough to make a purchase if they had the vehicle I desired. He discovered that the dealer had not retrieved the vehicle which had prompted me to visit the dealership. My salesman would have to drive a used car to the other location and retrieve the vehicle himself. He urged me to meet with his finance officer while he did so. I was disappointed but agreed. To this point, the service of the salesman had been good. He was earnest enough that I accepted that he didn't know the dealer had moved the vehicle in which I was interested.

The finance guy was entertaining. I told him that I did not need financing and would simply write a check.* We reviewed the paperwork that I would sign to complete the purchase, provided that the salesman returned with a vehicle I wanted to buy. Then, I was left to kill time. About a half-hour later, the salesman returns with the vehicle. I test drive it. I indicate that I'm willing to buy it at the price and terms previously discussed. While I execute the paperwork, the vehicle is prepped.

Ah, but there's been a shift change and the location is short-staffed. My salesman has to wash, vacuum, and fuel the vehicle himself. Someone on the last shift has disabled the fuel pump at the dealership, so, he has to take the senior manager's gas card to fuel the vehicle at a station nearby.

By the time the vehicle is actually delivered to me, I've been at the dealership ~6 hours. All that time for a cash transaction because some dealership poobah moved the vehicle without inputting the change of location into their inventory system...

A couple of weeks later, the dealership mails me a check for the $25 tag fee with a note advising me to obtain a tag from my county office...

So, in summation, the salesman was a decent fellow. He wasn't a schmuck. The dealership had competitive terms on the vehicle I wanted to buy. The finance guy was quick, efficient, and somewhat entertaining. BUT, some higher-up muckity-muck moved the vehicle without recording the move in their system, and as a consequence, it took six hours to complete a cash deal.

I've yet to have a completely positive vehicle purchase experience. If this Toyota lasts as long as I hope it does, I may not purchase another vehicle.

*When you finance a vehicle, after you own it free and clear, each month, put the same amount of your loan payment into savings. If your vehicle is a good one and you keep it for a decade or more, you'll have accumulated quite a chunk with which to buy the next one. I had driven my former vehicle for 19 years. I had invested my savings prudently. I had enough on hand to buy the Rav4 Hybrid with cash.
 

Roustabout

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Recently, I purchased a 2019 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid. I called the dealer prior to traveling to it to be assured that the vehicle in which I was interested was still available. When I arrived shortly after 2pm, the salesman greeted me, and we sat down to do some preliminaries. Then, he took me to a lot and demoed a vehicle other than the one I wished to buy. He told me that the dealer had transported the vehicle I was interested in buying to another of his locations. He urged me to examine and test drive the other vehicle, as it was very similar to the one I wanted. He assured me that if I wanted to proceed with a purchase, the vehicle would be retrieved from the other location. We proceeded with the demo and test drive of the 2019 Rav4 Hybrid with the ghastly colors. I told him that I was interested enough to make a purchase if they had the vehicle I desired. He discovered that the dealer had not retrieved the vehicle which had prompted me to visit the dealership. My salesman would have to drive a used car to the other location and retrieve the vehicle himself. He urged me to meet with his finance officer while he did so. I was disappointed but agreed. To this point, the service of the salesman had been good. He was earnest enough that I accepted that he didn't know the dealer had moved the vehicle in which I was interested.

The finance guy was entertaining. I told him that I did not need financing and would simply write a check.* We reviewed the paperwork that I would sign to complete the purchase, provided that the salesman returned with a vehicle I wanted to buy. Then, I was left to kill time. About a half-hour later, the salesman returns with the vehicle. I test drive it. I indicate that I'm willing to buy it at the price and terms previously discussed. While I execute the paperwork, the vehicle is prepped.

Ah, but there's been a shift change and the location is short-staffed. My salesman has to wash, vacuum, and fuel the vehicle himself. Someone on the last shift has disabled the fuel pump at the dealership, so, he has to take the senior manager's gas card to fuel the vehicle at a station nearby.

By the time the vehicle is actually delivered to me, I've been at the dealership ~6 hours. All that time for a cash transaction because some dealership poobah moved the vehicle without inputting the change of location into their inventory system...

A couple of weeks later, the dealership mails me a check for the $25 tag fee with a note advising me to obtain a tag from my county office...

So, in summation, the salesman was a decent fellow. He wasn't a schmuck. The dealership had competitive terms on the vehicle I wanted to buy. The finance guy was quick, efficient, and somewhat entertaining. BUT, some higher-up muckity-muck moved the vehicle without recording the move in their system, and as a consequence, it took six hours to complete a cash deal.

I've yet to have a completely positive vehicle purchase experience. If this Toyota lasts as long as I hope it does, I may not purchase another vehicle.

*When you finance a vehicle, after you own it free and clear, each month, put the same amount of your loan payment into savings. If your vehicle is a good one and you keep it for a decade or more, you'll have accumulated quite a chunk with which to buy the next one. I had driven my former vehicle for 19 years. I had invested my savings prudently. I had enough on hand to buy the Rav4 Hybrid with cash.
The logistics of inventory management.
I would have secured the key and car once I knew you were in route.
 

superdave1984

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This happened about 25 years ago but it still bugs me. I was looking for a good used truck. I found one I liked at Sunrise in Memphis. I had cash. Drove the truck, made an offer. The sales guy waffled and wanted me to go up $300 over what I offered. I said no, I have the cash right here and that's all I am paying. After a couple trips to the sales manager he comes back and says, let me show him the cash to show that I am serious. I stupidly handed him my envelope with the cash in it. He comes back a couple minutes later and says sorry, can't make the deal. So I left. I didn't think to count my cash. It was $100 short. No possible way to prove what happened though. I have never made that mistake again.
 
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JustFunnN'Orange

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Maybe not the tight forum for this but :
I had an 07 Ford Sport Trac (had owned an 05 before). I loved this truck and had really taken care of it! Two yrs. ago my wife got rear ended in a traffic slow down on interstate. Crazy chick admitted to officer she was on phone a probably hit my truck at 70 mph. Fortunately, wife only got minor bumps n bruises.
Now, Ford stopped making the Sport Trac in 2010....so they are already hard to find. Ford changed suspension on 07 - 10 models and they ride much better than earlier models.
I check Craigslist n ebay often but can't find one that's not high miles or over $10K (over 100,000)
If anyone knows of one of these trucks for sale I'd really appreciate the info.
Thanks VolNation
 

larjoranj

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I was considering a new Thunderbird years ago, early 80's. I believe it was Bob Frensley Ford, or whichever Ford was out on Charlotte Pike in Nashville back then. I liked it well enough to sit down and try to work out a deal. They took the keys to my car so the used car guy could test drive it and appraise a trade value. When we sat down to talk numbers they dogged my trade like it was a covered wagon. Listed more things wrong with it than I knew there were things. Then we couldn't get close to a deal so I got up and said thanks but no thanks. I asked for my keys so I could go and they wouldn't get them for me. Said they were "looking" for them. They kept trying to persuade me while they "looked" for my keys. I was getting mad. They basically started insulting me. The sales manager came in and asked if I was afraid to buy a car without my wife's permission. Seriously? Does that tactic work much? I told them they had 2 minutes to get my keys. They didn't get them. I walked into the showroom and said loudly "Can I have your attention please. I have been trying to leave this dealership for 30 minutes and these mother effers will not give me the keys to my car so I can go." I had the keys in 30 seconds. I'm still amazed to this day that people think they can treat a person like that and sell them something. I rarely trade now. I almost always sell the car myself. The few times I have traded since then I always make sure my keys are back in my pocket before we start haggling
 
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NEVolFan

Ima dude playing a dude..
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I was considering a new Thunderbird years ago, early 80's. I believe it was Bob Frensley Ford, or whichever Ford was out on Charlotte Pike in Nashville back then. I liked it well enough to sit down and try to work out a deal. They took the keys to my car so the used car guy could test drive it and appraise a trade value. When we sat down to talk numbers they dogged my trade like it was a covered wagon. Listed more things wrong with it than I knew there were things. Then we couldn't get close to a deal so I got up and said thanks but no thanks. I asked for my keys so I could go and they wouldn't get them for me. Said they were "looking" for them. They kept trying to persuade me while they "looked" for my keys. I was getting mad. They basically started insulting me. The sales manager came in and asked if I was afraid to buy a car without my wife's permission. Seriously? Does that tactic work much? I told them they had 2 minutes to get my keys. They didn't get them. I walked into the showroom and said loudly "Can I have your attention please. I have been trying to leave this dealership for 30 minutes and these mother effers will not give me the keys to my car so I can go." I had the keys in 30 seconds. I'm still amazed to this day that people think they can treat a person like that and sell them something. I rarely trade now. I almost always sell the car myself. The few times I have traded since then I always make sure my keys are back in my pocket before we start haggling
Good on ya... I like to sell my used vehicles on local Craig's List... a little research lets you set a fair price and you get to hang onto a few extra grand compared to trading in.
 
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K-town Vol Fan

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Wife just purchased a 2015 Mazda Cx5 Grand Touring a couple weeks ago. The tires were basically bald. Why they were trying to sell a 20k vehicle with bald tires is beyond me. Long story short they agree to put a new set of tires on it and we will purchase the car for the price listed. Sales manager comes back, "hey, its going to cost me 1k to put tires on this vehicle. At this sales price, I dont have enough profit to put tires on the vehicle." He proposes we split tires 70/30. We reluctantly agree. They add $300 to sales price and he would cover the $700. I asked what tires they were putting on it, he said the same factory tires. I assumed they were good tires. I should have researched.

The next day wife runs over something and gets a flat tire. This leads me to start doing some research on the tires. Turns out I can purchase these tires myself and have then mounted for less than $550. I'm immediately furious. I was told by the scum bag sales manager it was going to cost 1k. I realize I've basically paid for them to put tires on it myself.

Next day called the manager of the dealer. Toyota of Bristol if you're curious. He understands why were upset. Offers to either take the car back, refund $300, or install better tires. I say I just want my 1k worth of tires I was told I was getting. He agrees to put a set of Continentals on it.

Learned some lessons for sure on this one.
 
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I had a good time buying my Outback from Autonation in Johnson City. Price was right, car was right, gave them the check, signed docs, went to Pal's to celebrate.
 

Frivolous

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I had a great experience buying a new Silverado at Dan Cummins Chevrolet in Paris, Kentucky.

My old Nissan Titan turned 10 years old last year, so I started looking for new truck in December. With the end of the year and a new body style coming out, Chevy dealerships were really trying to move the 2018 Silverado's. I wanted to have as little dealer interaction as possible, so I did a lot of shopping online. The problem was that every time I would see a great price advertised online, it would have rebates factored in that pretty much no one is eligible for. What was also frustrating is that contacting the "internet sales manager" for a price would always result in a request for a phone call and to "come on down to see if we can work something out." The few that would give an emailed price would never give me a written out the door price with taxes, dealer fees, etc. Why do these dealerships have internet sales departments if they aren't willing to do business over the internet?

Then I came across Dan Cummins Chevrolet. Frankly, I was skeptical of their prices because they were in some cases $4000 better than the local dealerships' supposed rock bottom. However, when I contacted their internet sales guy, I got an email response with prices on in-stock inventory that met my criteria. There were no games with obscure rebates. My price was actually LOWER than the advertised price because GM had a $500 rebate for Costco members. I chose the one I wanted and was emailed a deal sheet with the taxes added in, and there was no funny business with dealer add-ins. I put a $250 deposit on it, and the salesman pulled the keys for me. I was not about to drive to Kentucky only to find that the truck had already been sold.

I did not have a trade (I sold my Titan on Facebook marketplace), so I rented a car from Enterprise for about $100 and drove up to Paris (about 20 miles east of Lexington) on a Friday afternoon. My salesman took some of my information for the loan application over the phone so we could get that part started. When I got there, I inspected the vehicle, signed the paperwork, met with the finance guy, and was on my way. Could not have been easier. And at 8:00 on a Friday night, the dealership was hopping. Every time someone bought a car, they'd put your picture up on the TV's and everyone in the dealership would cheer. That was happening constantly.

I wish I could have bought locally, but the dealerships around here would not even attempt to get close to the price I ultimately paid. They just said Kentucky dealerships must have incentives that we don't. I appreciated Dan Cummins Chevy's willingness to do business remotely and the fact that their advertised prices were actually legit. Plus, this dealership offers a lifetime powertrain warranty. Only catch is that you have to bring the vehicle in to them once a year for inspection (regular maintenance can be done elsewhere). I travel to Lexington about once a month anyways, so this is not a big deal to me.

Sorry for the long post. But, like everyone else, I have had my share of bad dealership experiences. When a dealership does it right, I feel like it deserves attention.
 

Roustabout

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I had a great experience buying a new Silverado at Dan Cummins Chevrolet in Paris, Kentucky.

My old Nissan Titan turned 10 years old last year, so I started looking for new truck in December. With the end of the year and a new body style coming out, Chevy dealerships were really trying to move the 2018 Silverado's. I wanted to have as little dealer interaction as possible, so I did a lot of shopping online. The problem was that every time I would see a great price advertised online, it would have rebates factored in that pretty much no one is eligible for. What was also frustrating is that contacting the "internet sales manager" for a price would always result in a request for a phone call and to "come on down to see if we can work something out." The few that would give an emailed price would never give me a written out the door price with taxes, dealer fees, etc. Why do these dealerships have internet sales departments if they aren't willing to do business over the internet?

Then I came across Dan Cummins Chevrolet. Frankly, I was skeptical of their prices because they were in some cases $4000 better than the local dealerships' supposed rock bottom. However, when I contacted their internet sales guy, I got an email response with prices on in-stock inventory that met my criteria. There were no games with obscure rebates. My price was actually LOWER than the advertised price because GM had a $500 rebate for Costco members. I chose the one I wanted and was emailed a deal sheet with the taxes added in, and there was no funny business with dealer add-ins. I put a $250 deposit on it, and the salesman pulled the keys for me. I was not about to drive to Kentucky only to find that the truck had already been sold.

I did not have a trade (I sold my Titan on Facebook marketplace), so I rented a car from Enterprise for about $100 and drove up to Paris (about 20 miles east of Lexington) on a Friday afternoon. My salesman took some of my information for the loan application over the phone so we could get that part started. When I got there, I inspected the vehicle, signed the paperwork, met with the finance guy, and was on my way. Could not have been easier. And at 8:00 on a Friday night, the dealership was hopping. Every time someone bought a car, they'd put your picture up on the TV's and everyone in the dealership would cheer. That was happening constantly.

I wish I could have bought locally, but the dealerships around here would not even attempt to get close to the price I ultimately paid. They just said Kentucky dealerships must have incentives that we don't. I appreciated Dan Cummins Chevy's willingness to do business remotely and the fact that their advertised prices were actually legit. Plus, this dealership offers a lifetime powertrain warranty. Only catch is that you have to bring the vehicle in to them once a year for inspection (regular maintenance can be done elsewhere). I travel to Lexington about once a month anyways, so this is not a big deal to me.

Sorry for the long post. But, like everyone else, I have had my share of bad dealership experiences. When a dealership does it right, I feel like it deserves attention.
Impossible. No one has a good car buying experience.
 

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