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To be amazed at the poor training/low skill set of car dealers?

(24 Posts)
TheInnerSea Sun 03-Feb-13 16:18:08

I'm trying to buy a new car. I don't have any strong feelings about what particular car I want, just a practical family car for a decent price. It will be very much my car (not DH's) and as a general rule all financial decisions are made jointly, although I am more savvy, so DH will usually go with what I recommend.

We live in a large town and most of the motor brands have a main dealer here. We have been to almost all of them and there is no car I can buy, as they have all, without exception, talked to DH as if I wasn't there. This is despite DH (and I) regularly pointing out that it will be my car, me doing the driving when we take a test drive, me doing the talking when it comes to price and on one occasion DS2 telling the dealer "you do realise Mum's in charge?" grin

I can't believe they don't get better training than this. I have worked in sales and the very first thing you're taught is to establish the decision maker. Even if they don't actually believe that I will be the decision maker hmm it must be clear that I am a strong influencer.

Even in "old fashioned" couples, like my parents, a decision like this would never be made unless my mum was happy with it. How do these people ever sell a car?

hazleweatherfieldgirldetective Sun 03-Feb-13 16:21:47

I can't say I've ever experienced this. Dealers will chat to both DH and I about our needs/requirements. It never feels as though they're "favouring" the attention of either of us.

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 16:22:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shushpenfold Sun 03-Feb-13 16:22:37

I've had this on a few occasions, although I've been fairly pointed and asked them to talk to me also unless they'd like to lose a possible customer instantly...I don't have much patience with people like that!!

It was nothing to do with feminism but I do remember a BMW dealer who obviously decided that we were far too young (mid 20's, newly married, and the only time we've ever been DINKY's!) and hence was being pretty impressively dismissive, even as we were buying the car in fact, it got so bad that we stopped the sale and walked out.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 03-Feb-13 16:24:49

We walked out of a dealers once when they treated us like shit. We were young, only 21, but dh had a van to trade in and the cash there for the rest. Even after explaining what we were after (nothing fancy, we're talking 3 year old astra spec here) he insisted on showing us ten year old fiestas. He then ripped the piss out of dh van. It wasn't the snazziest of things but good for £2k on a trade in.

We crossed the road, got the same car at the same price without the attitude.

Saski Sun 03-Feb-13 16:25:19

Ha! This was the case when we recently bought a new car as well. My husband (perhaps a bit nervous about the repercussions) steered the discussion towards me at several points.
The sales guy called me Madame Eco Warrior or something along these lines when I tried to get to the bottom of diesel v regular fuel.

ShellyBoobs Sun 03-Feb-13 16:34:09

I think YABU to think they have had any training whatsoever.

A few years ago I went to an Audi dealer to buy a car. Absolutely no issue whatsoever with sexism but what I was stunned by was the fact that this particular salesman had only been there 2 weeks and was previously a postman so no experience of car sales.

He had no idea whatsoever about cars but was stood there alone with OH and me - a customer intending to part with 10s of thousands of pounds - and couldn't answer any of my simple questions, or seemingly figure out where to get the answers.

A friend of mine works selling MINIs. She got the job almost by accident as she was buying a MINI and the sales manager realised that she knew more about them than any of the sales people in the showroom.

Admittedly she asked a fairly technical question but it was something that would be in the owners manual, and given that the showroom sold nothing but MINIs, you would expect them to know the answer!

I think it's like estate agency: cowboys the lot of them...

TheInnerSea Sun 03-Feb-13 17:01:57

No, I guess I'm not really surprised by that Shelly. Would your friend know what I should aim for as a "target" discount of the list price? wink

magimedi Sun 03-Feb-13 17:11:07

Iam not surprised at all.

Some years ago I was in a car dealers on my own looking at a particular model. As I left the salesman gave me several brochures & said:

"Here's the technical stuff, for your husband to read".

I have them straight back to him & told him that I would never by a car from someone with such a sexist attitude & walked out.

His face was a picture!

BarredfromhavingStella Sun 03-Feb-13 17:52:11

So go by yourself for the initial look, when you have decided what you want go back with DH in tow. This is what I usually do then you've already started a car buying relationship with the dealer, ensures there is no mistake about who the car is for.

HollyBerryBush Sun 03-Feb-13 17:55:37

Hmmm but I've had that when buying a fitted kitchen or bathroom. Dunno why I take DH TBH, proabably because if I'm going to spunk that sort of money I suppose I need to duble check that a 1,000 oven is much nicer than a £500 one grin But in seriousness, he'll be bored to fuckery, agreeing with me but the saleperson will alway look to DH for confirmation that what I want is acceptable. God knows why I ask his opinion on tiles etc because he's colourblind

Bearbehind Sun 03-Feb-13 18:03:22

Just a thought- if you have gone in and said you don't know what car you want, as you've said in your OP, but your husband hasn't said anything, maybe they thought you were a bit indecisive and he was there to make a decision.......

difficultpickle Sun 03-Feb-13 18:05:23

I had this but no dh with me. I was looking to buy a new 4x4. I looked at the Land Rover Freelander and was rather put off when the dealer asked if I could afford the car! The Volvo dealer spoke to me about the looks of the car rather than the performance. The Hyundai dealer was apparently completely unable to offer me any money off the list price of the car I was interested in. Another dealer queried why I wanted the rear seats to go flat (and told me I was being ridiculous when I pointed out that every model in the same class did that). The Mazda dealer lied about another dealer saying Mazda UK were taking legal action (complete lie and defamatory too). The Audi dealer didn't seem to kjnow the difference in performance of the diesel and petrol versions of the A3. And so on.

I ended up buying a BMW mainly because I was treated with courtesy and respect throughout my dealings with them by a very professional and helpful salesman. I also got a good deal although the finance director was a bit taken aback when I said I would walk away when we were £300 apart on figures (I had a budget I wanted to stick to).

This was the third new car I have bought. I am always interested in how the sales negotiations go as I think they give an indication of how I will be treated once I have bought the car. My BMW dealer has continued to be excellent.

JamesBexleySpeed Sun 03-Feb-13 18:10:56

I had this at my local Nissan dealer. I knew which model I wanted and I had the cash to pay for it outright. Unfortunately for the dealer, I went there alone and not one of the sales people took any notice of me. One chap wandered over, asked if I needed help, opened a car door for me and then wandered off, never to return.
I left and took my money elsewhere.

Bearbehind Sun 03-Feb-13 18:13:22

JamesBexleySpeed, the last thing a car dealer wants is cash, they make a fortune out of selling finance and if you had actual cash on you they really won't want to know because of Money Laundering limits.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 03-Feb-13 18:19:10

I've never had this problem. The dealers may have thought things against me being female but they haven't made it obvious. I don't mess about buying cars though (not saying you do), but I go in, say I'd like to test drive that car, do so and then buy it or say no thanks and go on to the next car/garage.

Even when I went to the Ford garage and said I'm looking for a car for DH, without him being there as he was too busy they didn't bat an eyelid. I told them my requirements, they showed me a few, I knew instantly which one he'd want. I test drove it, came back the following morning with dh and he bought it. grin DH has no interest in cars, to me shopping is shopping no matter what you're getting. Read some reviews, work out a short list, read some more reviews, go buy. Holidays, shoes, handbags, cars, houses - all boils down to the best spec for the best price.

TheInnerSea Sun 03-Feb-13 18:22:25

Bear, I didn't say I didn't know what I wanted, I know exactly what class of car I want, what kind of engine and what I need the car to do etc, I just haven't decided what model/make I want, in the same way that I might know what kind of shoes I want, but not the exact pair of shoes, until I've actually been shopping for them and seen what's about grin

bisjo - the only one who has been really prepared to talk finance (and happens to be selling my favourite car) has offered some extras free and a 5% discount off the list price. I think they should be closer to 10-15% is that your experience? Hyundai wouldn't budge at all for me either, so maybe that's genuine, but it does mean their "cheap" cars aren't cheap at all.

Bearbehind Sun 03-Feb-13 18:28:43

Innersea, fair enough, it really is a mans world though, rightly or wrongly, and you have to give as good as you get- good luck! wink

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Feb-13 18:44:35

I don't know if car dealers would ever overlook me for my DH because I never bring him when shopping for cars. I do use him as an excuse to get away from pushy salesmen and buy myself thinking time by saying I need to go home and discuss things with my DH before committing to any purchase. They seem to accept that where they won't take other excuses!

YorkshireDeb Sun 03-Feb-13 18:59:25

I had similar problems over & over again when me & dp decided to trade in my car for something more family friendly. List count of the number of dealerships with fuckwit employees who seemed to want us to persuade them to sell us a car. Finally went to Evans halshaw where they were friendly & helpful & we bought a car from them almost entirely on that basis. In future I think I'll be saving the leg work, going straight there & choosing from the selection of cars they have on their forecourt. X

lustybusty Sun 03-Feb-13 19:13:27

I've had a similar issue, I drive, but my then partner didn't. As we only saw each other at weekends, he came car shopping with me. We walked into seat, explained I was looking for a car to do 2000ish miles a month, size, style, budget etc etc. Salesman asked DP what size engine was he looking for. DP told sales man to ask me. I replied, he then asked what colour I wanted. I pointed out as long as it wasn't vomit orange, that was fine. He took us out to look at a car, asked DP what he thought about it. DP replied "it's a car. It's going to be lusty's car why not ask her?" salesman giggled a bit. He then went and got the keys, WAVED THEM AT DP and asked if DP wanted to test drive it. DP took great pleasure (having noticed that I was somewhat pissed off by then) saying he'd love to, and how did they manage to get insurance for people with no driving license? grin I explained to the salesman that if he couldn't comprehend the fact the car was for me, there's no way I could trust his judgement in helping me select the right car. Hr then tried (as we were leaving) to point me in the direction of the 10yo fiestas they had on the forecourt (having explained I was trading in a 5yo panda and been looking at a 3yo Leon...) tosser!!

Purplefurrydice Sun 03-Feb-13 23:16:25

The last time I went into a car dealership told them what car I had at the moment (1.6 small car) and I was looking for a car with similar performance. The dealer then proceeded to tell me how there 1.0 engine car were very nippy. I told the dealer I was not looking at a 1.0 as it wouldn't be fast enough. They then convinced me to test drive a 'very nippy' 1.2. I then attempted to floor it going down a dual carriageway and told the dealer it was too slow when he asked what I thought of it!

I then went elsewhere and bought a 'boy racer' car. Dealers just don't seem to accept that not all women want to drive a 1.0/1.2l car!

JamesBexleySpeed Sun 03-Feb-13 23:45:27

I didn't have the cash on me, Bearbehind, and they didn't know that I was going to purchase a car straight away. They just didn't take me seriously. It was clear from the way the sales people acted that they saw me and didn't think I really was going to buy a car, so felt free to ignore me.

Mimishimi Sun 03-Feb-13 23:53:45

I had this too when I went looking for a new (well new second-hand grincar six years ago. We bought off the first dealer who treated me like a serious customer rather than inviting me to send my husband in to take a look! I probably have ten times more automative experience than DH because Dad used to do up his own cars. It's been a good car too.

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