Saturday, June 6

Well, that didn't go well.

So, I'm thinking of buying a new car. My current car is 10 years old and has 140k miles on it. It currently has no problems but the miles are high and I'd like to have a new car paid for when I buy my house.

I set out today to test drive a Prius and a Honda Hybrid. It did not go well. I went to the Toyota dealership first to test drive a 2010 Prius. Well, the dealership only had one and they weren't allowing people to test drive it because apparently people like to test drive cars with no intention of buying them. (I didn't know this was a hobby.) According to the web site I could expect to pay around $25k for a new Prius. For the record THAT'S A LOAD OF CRAP. The new Prius is only available fully loaded and for close to $40k. No thank you.

I then decided to test drive a 2009 model instead. They only had ONE new 2009 model --option zero. (I didn't even know they made "Option Zero" cars.) Meaning it is the most stripped down model available. Also, it was white and I don't really want a white car. I'm more interested in a silver or charcoal grey car. Also, I'd like to have a mp3 jack and Bluetooth built into my new car. This is 2009 after all. If I'm going to the trouble of doing this, I'd like it to have a few of the modern conveniences.

I drove the 2009 and thought it was ok but was surprisingly not bowled over by it. Everyone I know who has a Prius LOVES them. I then went into the dealership and gave them my info so they could run my credit and make me an offer. After about 10 minutes I got bored. I was pretty relaxed and mellow. I was texting a friend who was telling me to walk out. At 1:25 pm I announced that I had to leave in 5 minutes. They had the nerve to ask why. I know! I told them I was picking up my niece at 2:00 in La Verne. They wanted to know how long it would take to get there. Unbelievable! After more unnecessary questioning the Manager (or whoever he was) came out and offered me $1000 for my old car.

That's when things got really weird.

I don't know what happened to me. I just saw red. I was furious! You know when Cate Blanchet's elf queen character in Lord of the Rings flips out at the fountain and the wind swirls around and she turns all ugly and freaky? I think that's sort of what happened to me. I went from being calm to entirely pissed off. I told them $1000 was a joke and that I wanted my driver's license back (they hold it while you test drive but mostly so you can't leave when you want to). The guy asked what I thought it was worth. I told him at least $2500. He asked where I heard that and I said "From YOUR WEBSITE!". He looked mystified, which only annoyed me more. He kept asking more questions. I asked for my license. He wasn't moving. He then asked "Have we done something to make you mad?" "Um, yeah. I'm mad. $1000 is ridiculous and I want my license back and I need to leave." I finally stood up, which freaked him out. He finally s-l-o-w-l-y walked towards that bullshit room where they claim to ask the Wizard of Oz for permission to give buyers a better deal. I followed him into the room which made him extraordinarily uncomfortable. I don't know what goes on in there but it if his body language was any indication, it's illegal. He said "Oh, um, I'll bring it out to you." I stood there a moment then turned to leave. He brought out my license, I grabbed it, stuffed it in my purse and walked out. He chased me out saying "If I could give you $2500 for your car could we make a deal today?" I said "No. I told you I don't want that stripped down white car." He was bummed. He had run my credit by then so I think he knew he'd blown it. He had.

I think the thing that made me so mad was that nobody at that dealership told me one thing I didn't already know except that a new Prius is ridiculously overpriced. Every other word out of their mouths was ridiculous. They really must deal with morons regularly. Do people really walk in there not knowing what the trade-in value of their car is or knowing what the different options are? The guy kept telling me I could drive away right then and I'd have a week to bring them a check. I nodded and mumbled "I know. I've bought a car before." That didn't' seem to faze him. I told them I was using a service through my credit union that would shop for the best deal and interest rate and negotiate for me. Nobody at Toyota was listening. They just told me my credit union was offering 5.9% which I already knew. I told them earlier my credit union was offering lame interest rates.

Ugh! It was a horrible shopping experience. I'm not even sure I want to bother getting a new car now.

That's pretty bad. When a person with a pink slip in hand and money in the bank is so annoyed you talk them OUT of buying a car from you... you're a bad car salesman.

I may still try the Honda dealership tomorrow but I don't know if I can stomach it.

When I finally got back in my car I just thought "I like my car. It's clean and roomy and I like it. Why am I doing this?" I figured I should cool off before I try to test drive the Honda Civic Hybrid

At this point I may even look into another Honda Accord. It would be my third and that's really boring but it's an excellent car and I like how comfy it is. Oh, I don't know what to do now...


shandon said...

Wow. What an awful experience! All I can say is, those Toyota people really don't know about sizing up their customers AT ALL if they think they can put that kind of crap over on YOU.

Good luck with the car shopping.

kb said...

Well, nobody ever called me. I guess Junior from the Toyota dealership was way too worried that I'd turn out to be your twin and march down there to give my reference in person!