I’ve already mentioned last week that I’m going to start looking for a new car for myself. I have a 2000 Taurus right now and I love it but it has a little over 125,000 miles and the rust cancer is taking over. It’s still a darn good running car though.
This experience of car shopping so far has been pretty amusing so I thought what better way to remember this than to blog about it so that 10 years from now when I’m out looking for another new car, I can come right back here and remind myself to never buy another new car, ever again!
My very first car shopping stop was the local Ford dealer. I test drove the Fusion and I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the car but I wasn’t happy with the color or the seat fabric. I don’t want movie theater tweed on my seats. Give me some nice solid color tones without dots or stripes and I’ll be happy. Better yet, just give me some leather.
Anyway, the Fusion is a definite possibility if I can find the right color with leather seats and a moonroof.
I’ve been hearing and reading really good things about the 2011 Hyundai Sonata.
Keep in mind the following “RULES” are my own personal rules for the process of buying a car so they may or may not apply to your own situation.
DO NOT TAKE HUBBY FOR TEST DRIVES!
That was MISTAKE #1 .
I should have known better. Hubby is NOT a nice person when it comes to talking to car sales people. I should have gone by myself.
I really did think that we would be able to test drive this vehicle without sitting down with the salesman to go over the numbers afterwards.
I was able to do that when I test drove the Fusion. I told George the salesman, that I was just looking and didn’t want to do numbers right now and he accepted it and freed me after the drive.
That’s what I fully expected to do with the Sonata test drive.
So within minutes of arrival to the Hyundai dealer, out the door to greet us was Ed. Ed seemed like a nice jolly guy and he looked really happy to see us. We were, after all, a rare breed. We were actual live bodies that showed an interest in buying a car, so I’m sure he was just hopping with excitement over the prospect of chaining us to his salesman cubicle chairs once he got us into his showroom.
I know the tricks though .. when simply test driving a car, there’s no need to enter into the showroom. Ya can’t test drive a car INSIDE.
He invited us in to go over the features of the car on display inside before we test drove one.
Don’t let Ed lure you into the showroom.
So here comes MISTAKE #2.
Ok ok, I KNOW we shouldn’t have gone in, but we did.
Once you’re in the showroom, forget it. Ed introduced us to the car and the features and did his very best to convince us that THIS CAR was the best car ever made, EVER!
This takes a lot of time. A good half hour was wasted by doing this when you could have been out driving the car and on your way home.
He finally finished showing us the ultimate best car in the whole world and then allows us the opportunity to drive one, outside.
He naturally wants to see if we have drivers licenses so he asks to see them.
DO NOT EVER GIVE YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE TO ED.
Not only did we GIVE him our drivers licenses, we let him walk away with them, into another room, without us.
I don’t know what he was doing with our licenses for 5 minutes but he finally came back and I noticed, with horror, that he had made copies of them and was holding a sheet of paper in his hand which had our faces on them, blown up to … ohhhh … about triple the license size.
At that point, looking back on this now, I realize, I should have just snatched that paper right from Ed’s hands and RUN out of there as fast as possible. I know hubby would have happily followed, because we’ve been married for so long, we pretty much think alike and he would have known what I was doing.
I didn’t do that though. We followed him, like little puppy dogs, out to the car of my choice, to test drive.
Oh, I really like this car! Leather seats, moon roof, all kinds of buttons and lights and each person gets TWO cupholders each! oh wait … HEATED leather seats!!
Test drive went well. For only a 4 cylinder car, it had pretty good power. It wasn’t as road noise quiet as the Fusion and I don’t think it handled the bumps as well, but it was comfortable, roomy and it felt like a luxury car without that high luxury price. I have some concerns about the quality of the interior though and how well the car would hold up over a 10 year period. In other words, I think it might be a cheaply made car that’s made to look good but in five years, won’t look good.
So back to the dealer lot we drove. At this point, we should have removed ourselves from that lot by shaking Ed’s hand, thanking him for his time and scurrying quickly back to our own car to leave.
DO NOT LET ED LURE YOU BACK INTO THE SHOWROOM TO GET NUMBERS!
See, I’m just test driving vehicles in a process of elimination kinda thing. I don’t know what car I want and the only way to know which ones I DON’T want is to drive them all. I told Ed this. I told him that I still need to try Nissans and Hondas. I don’t want numbers. I don’t need numbers. It matters nothing to me at this point how much this car costs.
Ok, OK, how stupid to get lured back in .. and pulled into his Ed salesman cubicle.
He tricked me though. I told him that I’d prefer the car in red, which they didn’t have … Ed says “but c’mon inside and I can see if we can find you a red Sonata”
Into the showroom … and to the dreaded Ed’s salesman cubicle.
He might as well have just said, “just sit yourselves down and let me make you more comfortable by snapping some chains around your ankles to keep you here.”
At this point, while feeling chained into our Ed chairs, things began to get ugly.
Ed wanted to know what kind of monthly payments we could afford.
I told him that I didn’t know because I honestly haven’t thought about how I was going to pay for a car yet.
A quick glance over to hubby …. oh dear.
You know how pressure cookers work, don’t cha?
Oh dear. The steam was beginning to build inside the Jimmy pressure cooker.
Ed REALLY wanted me to guess how much of a monthly payment I wanted to make so just to shut him up so that he would find me a red car, I gave him a figure.
Ed shut up by leaving us.
Oh dear. Another glance over at hubby and I realized that ED might as well be the devil in hell because hubby does NOT like to be left alone in a salesman cubicle, to wait.
Ed comes back after 5 minutes or so. Hubby is not happy, but still quiet so I thought that we could just get the figures and then politely get up and leave.
Ed mistakenly thinks that we will be willing to pay full sticker price for this car.
He might have us chained to his chairs, but in no way am I stupid enough to be willing to pay full sticker price.
Oh dear. Hubby is about ready to pressure cooker explode.
I knew I had to get him out there, quick.
Hubby grumbles to Ed something about something .. I don’t know what … because I was more concerned about what a hubby explosion might look like.
Ed says he’s going to rework some numbers and he’ll be right back.
Ed left us alone AGAIN.
Ed still hadn’t told me if he could find me a red Sonata.
Ed comes back again, and hubby is getting up out of his chair to leave. He’s had enough of these games and he’s leaving even if he has to take his chained Ed chair with him.
Ed tells me that he’s come down $3.00 in my monthly payment.
Hubby is pushing the chair away and I quickly get up from my chair to leave …
Ed picks up his phone and tells us that he wants us to meet his $ales manager which gets us to ….
RULE # 5
$ales Managers appearing and entering into the negotiating will only make it TWO AGAINST YOU! Don’t let it happen!
We did not make mistake #5.
$ales manager came rushing over but we were almost out the door by then. Thankfully hubby didn’t pressure cooker explode but he did let them know that he would not put up with these stupid games and we would be back if we decided to purchase a Sonata.
IF you ignore RULE # 1 and take Hubby to test drive a car, and then you choose to ignore rules 2-4, be sure to send hubby back to the car to wait while you go into the showroom to get the figures.
Hubby should never be allowed to enter into the negotiation process. EVER.
Honda Accord and Nissan Altima will be test driven today.
To be continued ….