Sunday, November 14, 2004

New Ride!

So...I'm wondering if buying a car is as ridiculous in other civilized nations as it is here. First off, why can't dealers/manufacturers just set a price and stick to it? Why must we play the invoice/MSRP/TMV (true market value, I learned) game? Buying a car is like a sport. You go in with strategy and come out sweaty and exhausted. These are my concerns.
Okay, you start with price. You spend two hours haggling and "dickering" with the salesguy, who spends most of his time trying to reveal to you exactly how much agony you're putting him through each time he has to go back to the Great and Powerful Oz (sweaty guy in back who accepts or denies your price request). You settle at last on a price that is slightly over invoice, which is what the car should cost in the first place, but we must go through this little game.
Oh! And dealer add-ons! Dealer add-ons! The allegedly irremovable additions by the dealer to the vehicle. Such as floor mats. Are floor mats seriously negotiable? Really? Does anyone have a car lacking floor mats? Sigh.
At last it's over and you kick back in relief and shake several hands and accept many congratulations (reminds me of the ritual at the end of little kids' sports games - "good game, good game, good game...")
Just when you're all nice and settled, here comes the Customer Care Representative. They name her something non-threatening and then catch you when your guard is down. This is when they start trying to make more money on top of the exorbitant amount you have already agreed to. Front window tint? $199. Interior sealant protection? Just $299. Exterior sealant protection? $299. All three? A mere $799! And she'll be happy just to roll that into your payments for you! And tie that on to your 6.25% sales tax and 4.12% interest! All for you! [cheeky grin, firm eye blink] When you politely decline, you are of course a colossal imbecile. Ding!
Moving onto Round 3: The Financing Office. It is now 11:30 pm. As in, at night. All we need is to give her our down payment, get the payments all set up, get the keys and vamoose. Unfortunately, this is the stage at which they begin to offer you warranty extensions. Then Lo Jack car retrieval protection. And on and on and on. The extended warranty covers anything that could feasibly happen to your car in 7 years. Excluding dings, cup holders, and those wretched floor mats. The dings, because they are the only thing likely to actually happen to your car, the cup holders, because that was all they could think of not to cover and the floor mats, because they were clearly not part of the vehicle, but a dealer add-on and you previously snubbed them by not accepting their $299 Scotch Gard treatment.
Lucky for us, the finance chick was trying to make last call and offered us the 7 year extended warranty including hotel rooms, rental cars and probably a day at Six Flags for a mere $875 and no deductible. Whew! We really cut a deal! We are smooth operators! We are...are....adding $875 to our car loan. We've been had.

12 comments:

katielady said...

So, what did you get? Are you driving it or is Mike? Can you post a picture? Preferably with you in the car, looking super-cool. (I am living vicariously through you, as we have no car and the mere mention of cruising the highway makes me a little sad. I miss my Honda, it was a lovely car....)

Dex said...

Yes, do tell! What kinda car did you end up with? We're all hanging on here!

Bubba said...

I feel sorry for you, new car and all. So, what did you get? We have no car.

Eddie said...

LOL, how dare you post that long blog about the car and then not tell us what you got! I'm dyin' ovah heah! I too would like to live vicariously through your car since I am still driving my hail-damaged '96 Subaru (probably until it runs out of steam).

Pigs said...

http://www.toyota.com/rav4/

Eddie said...

Ooh, that's such a cute car! I can't wait to drive it!

Dex said...

what year? 4x4? how many miles on it? why's your coat so big?

katielady said...

Very cute! What color? Is it a standard?

Bubba said...

It looks like it is parked in Brooklyn. Can we borrow it? We would like to go on a joy ride through Manhattan.

Pigs said...

Good grief, who knew my car would be such a hot topic! Imagine how much I could write on here if I had time at work to use a computer...
It's a silver 2005 RAV4 L. Not sure what the L stands for, I forget after looking at so many cars. It's either Luxury or Limited. Either way, it means it's got cool stuff. Not sure what all that stuff is now, but you know. It's certainly an automatic, as I am a disaster with a 5 speed.
I asked the salesguy if I would look like one of those women in the picture if I bought it and he assured me that I would. So, I am awaiting my transformation.
I handed off Jane the Civic today to one of our fourth graders' parents. It was a sad moment. But I'm over it now 'cause I got a new car!!!

Dex said...

Freaky Frugality, Batman! Does the new car have a name??

Pigs said...

No name yet. We have to get to know each other properly. I don't just bring a car home for a one night naming, I like there to be a relationship first. I will report in later with possibilities.