The Van is Almost Paid Off

I am not allowed to have new things. I break and damage them too quickly. So we buy used cars.

Four years ago, we were in search of a minivan. We knew we wanted a 2004 Honda Odyssey, but we did not know from where as there are several dealerships in Columbus. It was very nice knowing exactly what car we wanted because there was no wishy washy crap to go through at the car lots.

We found a suitable car at a Columbus dealership and I went in to discuss financing. Sadly, I got the stereotypical financing run around.

First they wanted me to bring our trade in to the dealership before they could run the numbers. I said, give me numbers and then we’ll look at the trade.

They then wanted to know what I wanted to pay a month. I tried to not do this, but ended up giving him a range. He came back with a number hand written on a piece of paper that was higher than my range. He said, do we have a deal?

I said, what’s the percentage rate? He said that he’d have to go back and check.

While he was checking, I called Miss Sally to double check on the price and she said it was $500 more than advertised on the internet.

The salesman came back and gave me a typed up sheet with ten or so random fees, the wrong price, a terrible percentage rate and all this paid out over five years. I told him this was not in my range and that we would need to lower the price of the car or get rid of the bullshit fees. He said he would need to talk with his manager. I said thanks and stood up to leave.

The salesman said, “If you are not happy with the numbers please talk to my manager.” I said no thanks and kept leaving. “Please don’t leave. I will lose my job.” I fell for it. We went to the back office and spoke with the manager. I said I was shopping around and not ready to buy. He told me my time was very valuable and that I was wasting money comparing prices. I said thanks and left.

That next week, I went out to Marysville Honda and had the opposite experience. After looking at the van we saw online, I went in to talk financing. The salesguy printed up a sheet with percentage rates and lengths of loan and monthly payments neatly in a grid. They guy even left me a calculator. I was able to make a sound financial decision from the information presented. Instead of going with a five year loan, I went with a four from the information provided.

As I was writing this up, I remembered that I actually recorded the conversation at the bad dealership. I sat and listened to myself talk to the salespeople and wonder how many other people get caught up in all the bullshit.

I know it is four years late, but I found my experience at Marysville Honda to be top notch and completely opposite of the one at skanky dealership.

When I returned to Marysville Honda to drop off my trade in and pick up the van, they had me leave my car up front. At some point, a guy came over and got my keys so that he could drive the car around and switch plates. I handed over my keys and told the guy that the clutch was tricky. Five minutes later, the guy came back in and said he could not get my car to move because the clutch was completely gone. Over the past year, I had become one with my disappearing clutch and able to find the sweet spot that allowed the gears to change. I jumped in and drove it around back. Later they came back around to tell me the bolts on my plates were frozen stuck and that they would need to cut it off. And to think they gave me $500 for the trade in.

1 comment:

Capt. Schmoe said...

Screwing the Honda dealership was not very holy, Juan.