Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Car Shopping

Heckyeahwoman and I discussed it, and we decided we are going to trade in my Dodge Charger for something, likely a vehicle. My first thought was a Subaru or a full suspension fat bike or a nice boutique titanium plus hardtail or a cross bike or an RV or a camper. She was 100% on board with the Subaru. The following words are a quick run through of our search for a new vehicle and the end result.

Current sitch: I drive a 2007 Dodge Charger, needs a little work, less than 90k miles. Heckyeahwoman drives a 2002 Honda Civic, 120k something miles, meticulously maintained. With a beautiful full grown German Shepherd (from a shelter, not a breeder), maybe a baby at some point, and our need to haul more stuff, we decided a Subaru Forester or something similar would be about right.

Quick run through of the vehicles we considered:

We didn't want to spend a shitload, so that meant used, probably 2013 to 2015, less than 30k miles, proven reliability, hopefully not a base model but if a deal came up then whatever. Ideally it would have a roof rack, maybe even a hitch. We both thought a backup camera would be sweet too.
  • Subaru Forester - took one out for a test drive, wasn't super impressed. Looks cool, but I didn't get the "heck yeah" feeling I did with the eventually winner. Went to the local Chilson Subaru dealership, talked to a turd of a typical car salesman dude. He super lowballed me on the trade-in, and wouldn't budge on the price. When I was getting really close to buying, I even asked him what he can do to help me buy a car today. Lol, nothing.    
    • Side note here about the Forester, we briefly considered a hail damaged one with a salvage title, but ultimately decided against it. There's a dealership in Minnesota that has some nice deals. But those idiots wouldn't email me a better picture of any of the vehicles.
  • Nissan Rogue - didn't even get to take one for a test drive, as I was turned off by the transmission issues I kept reading about; their CVT seems to blow up earlier than it should. They look cool, similar to a Forester, but are a little better on the bells and whistles to price ratio.
  • Honda CRV - another one I didn't take for a test drive. That's OK because even though HYW is biased towards Honda (I'm not mad either), neither of us love the look, and there just weren't any available locally that met our criteria.
  • Toyota Rav4 - *spoiler alert* - this is the winner - a 2014, 23k miles, XLE trim, bought from Eau Claire Ford. It drives noticeably nicer and is a better value than the Forester. Peppy enough for a four cylinder, and it has a hitch and remote start! HYW saw it and agreed. So we took it down to our mechanic for an inspection, and it passed! It is exactly what we are looking for, at the price we wanted. The following is the play by play.
While lurking the internet, I saw the Rav4 on a Wednesday, emailed it to HYW, she approved. Nice. So I emailed the dealership about it, basically just told them my plan: I will test drive it on Thursday evening, if I like it and the price is right, I'll schedule an inspection for Saturday morning, and if it passes the inspection, I will buy the goddamn vehicle. So I drive it, like it, and let them know I will schedule the inspection in two days. The sales manager comes over and lets me know that there is an appointment on Friday morning to check out the vehicle - a lady coming from over an hour away! First thing in the morning too!

OMG!

So if I want to take it off the sales floor and have them hold it, I need to put a $500 deposit down! Sure, sounds good let me give you my credit card. WTF no I am not putting a fucking deposit down.

I called the sales manager early Friday morning to let him know I wouldn't be depositing a goddamn thing, and he gave me the runaround about "I can't hold the vehicle for you, we get dicked around all the time". Told him he's gotta do what he's gotta do. Sure enough, I talked to the sales guy on Friday afternoon and the appointment never showed. No shit.

The dealership is "no haggle", so I was not able to get anything on the price. It seems that sometimes "no haggle" really does mean "no haggle", sometimes not though. But the trade-in value they offered was high enough where I felt pretty good. Actually really good. All we really needed was the sale price minus the trade in value to be where we needed it to be.

Anyway, they wouldn't even throw in a second key. The sales guy even had some guy come over and explain why it's so expensive. Dude even said they tried really hard to get the second key from the previous owner. But when I handed over the single key for my trade-in, they never even asked about a second key. Fucking look me in the eye and say no, just like I did when I told you to throw in the key. So whatever, I left with almost exactly what we were looking for at the price we wanted, while maybe a little salty about the lack of concession on their end.

On the plus side, I have to thank the dealership for not dicking around with my time. Each interaction with them was pretty quick and easy. Even the Business/Finance Manger trying to sell me the lol warranties was painless. Aside from the amateur sales tactics, it was super easy to buy a car from them. Bonus, the dealership offers a lifetime powertrain warranty too.

Odds and ends:
- This was my first time buying a car from a dealership.
- Our credit scores are balling.

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