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Car Chase

The Agony of Buying a New Car

By Steven S. Brooks Published: February 2, 2009

As an avid antique car hobbyist, I probably buy and/or sell ten to fifteen old cars per year. In nearly thirty years of doing this, I can proudly say that 99.9% of these transactions have been very pleasurable and I have formed a lot of great friendships with people around the world.

Unfortunately, I can't say that about the majority of my new car buying experiences. Despite the fact that I'm an educated buyer and I always pay cash, the ordeal of purchasing a new car is often insulting and demeaning. Sure, I've been treated well occasionally at new car dealers but, overall, I can honestly say that my limited experiences with oral surgery have proven to be more pleasant.

As an example, this past Saturday, I was reminded again about the trauma of new car buying. My wife and I had determined the make and model of a new car we wanted, basically through research on the internet. In Saturday's Beacon Journal, an established local dealer advertised just the car we wanted at a price we were willing and able to pay. I called a salesman at 8:45a.m., told him we were ready to buy, and asked him to email the final, out the door price (doc fees, etc.). I was shocked when the first price he sent was almost $9,000 over the advertised price! Before I could contact him to find out what was going on, I received a second email stating that they had made a mistake. My relief was very short-lived when I saw that the new price was still $5,000 more than the advertised price. When I followed up and asked about the advertised price in that day's paper, there was a short period of stunned silence and then, a curt "we're out of them". All of this despite the fact that I called at opening time the day of the ad.

Needless to say, we didn't buy a car from them. In today's economic climate, you would think that all dealers would stick to the highest principles of honesty to build their reputation and maximize their unit sales. My question to you is; why do many still insist on playing games?

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