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A Predictable Whinge - buying a car. Am I just feeling buyer's regret, or did I get conned, or was he just a rude twit?

(19 Posts)
LRDtheFeministDude Sat 22-Dec-12 16:48:19

'A feminist walks into a car dealership' sounds like the first line in a bad joke, sorry. But I am going to whinge anyhow, if I may.

I drive. DH doesn't. I am by no means a car person but I know the basics and have driven quite a lot of different things over time - DH has very little idea.

The first dealers (hello, Vauxhall, aren't you lovely? smile) were really nice and professional and didn't make any assumptions, just asked what we wanted and listened and tried their best to find what would work. They didn't blink that DH wasn't test driving and they asked what my title was instead of assuming. And then didn't blink again when we put down 'married' on the go compare website when we were checking how much the insurance would be. Full points to Vauxhall.

The next place was fucking shit. And we did buy from them because they had the car we wanted - it's a Mazda 2. Tell me if we got badly ripped off? They asked for 6,500, we got it for 5,500 (but traded in my old car which the wisdom of MN reckoned was worth around 500-600). It's a 2009 reg but with a high milage (50,000). It is exactly the car I wanted. And it has MOT for a year and is already taxed until the end of January so I can take it away on Monday.

I am aware we're paying a bit more for buying it right now, and for being able to take it away asap, so I don't mind that.

The guy was an oily creep who called me 'Mrs' automatically, asked DH all about his job and schmoozed him about it, without asking me anything, and explained all the warranty details to DH. He asked how DH 'got away' with not driving. We explained pretty clearly what our budget was and he seemed to really enjoy doing a little patronizing talk about how cheap we were, but also managed to give us the subtle impression he knew he was ripping us off but was daring us to say we didn't want the car (which we did).

I don't know - would I feel like this if he wasn't a creep? Would have have acted differently if I'd been a man?

(FWIW the car we nearly bought was a vectra, and it was lovely and cheaper but too big for us really. And I don't know if I'm being daft so if you have bad stories about ventras tell me so I'll feel better! grin)

BOFingSanta Sat 22-Dec-12 16:54:29

I don't think you got ripped off, but the dealer sounds rude. But you never have to speak to him again, so YAY!

I would do a little feminist ritual in your new car, like wiping the driver's seat with a copy of The Female Eunuch or summat, while chanting Tori Amos lyrics. Then just enjoy your Christmas grin

LRDtheFeministDude Sat 22-Dec-12 16:58:53


Ooh, I like that idea. A feminist exorcism.

I do have to speak to him again when I go pick it up, but that's ok. He was a right twit though.

I'm glad you don't think I was ripped off. Phew! smile

Not ripped off, I have exactly the same car and year.

I do think you should complain about what an oily creep he was to his face, preferably in front of others. Tell him loudly you want to give him feedback about his manner.

BeataNoxPotter Sat 22-Dec-12 17:10:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeataNoxPotter Sat 22-Dec-12 17:12:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDtheFeministDude Sat 22-Dec-12 17:16:52

Ooh, that's good to know laurie! Do you like it then?

I wasn't brave enough to tell him he was a creep while still trying to get the price down. I did correct him on the 'Mrs' bit though. hmm

I think I am only worrying I've been ripped off because of his attitude, if you see what I mean.

It is lovely to know that Vauxhall seem to have a rep for this - maybe they train people well? I think I will give them a postive review online if I can. As well as the negative one for this guy!

I've got the TS2, the diesel version. It's a good, solid car - had it since new, not one issue with it yet. If I compare it directly to every car I've had (a lot) it holds up very well.

The air conditioning, rear windscreen heating and window clearing in this weather is really good, first car I've had that I haven't needed cloths/shammies in the car (apart from the new Mini I had). Economical too, plenty of pull when necessary, good turning circle.

LRDtheFeministDude Sat 22-Dec-12 17:40:00

Oh, I am so glad to hear that!

It's the diesel I'm getting. My mum has the 323 (the old version of the 3), and it's been a lovely reliable car for her too, and nice and comfortable. So I was basing it on that to a big extent.

Thanks so much for reassuring me, I feel a lot better now! smile

(Isn't it funny how little it'd have taken for the dealer to make me feel better?! Like, er, ever talking to me properly instead of to DH!)

Enjoy it smile

LRDtheFeministDude Sat 22-Dec-12 17:45:51

I will. smile

And thanks again.

namechangeguy Mon 24-Dec-12 12:09:29

I would be hugely surprised if Mazda UK aren't in touch with you soon after your purchase. They should want a quick survey of how you were treated etc. This is your perfect opportunity to put the boot in. Give yourself 5 minutes now and write down your thoughts coherently and unswearily, and then use those notes to tell them exactly what you thought. There is no better way of giving a bad salesperson a good kick up the arse.

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 24-Dec-12 12:27:40

It wasn't a mazda dealership, namechange - I'm not saying who it was but I don't want to give the impression mazda are to blame!

I picked it up today. I am happy with the car - less happy with them going through 'why doesn't your husband drive' and then 30 seconds later 'and which of you is the registered keeper'. hmm

Also got asked 'and is it Mrs or Miss' twice (once by the manager trying to flog more shite and once by the seller who had to take my card out of the machine to look at the title and ask about it).

I was thinking on the way back - obviously it'd be lovely if I could vote with my feet and just not buy there. But it was the car we wanted at the price we needed, and we couldn't find others easily. But I don't honestly understand what they got out of it either? confused

namechangeguy Mon 24-Dec-12 12:39:56

Sorry, misread your initial post. Console yourself with getting a very well engineered car that should last you years. Mazdas are excellent. Just make sure you got the service history documents with the car. Some of the private garages can be a bit slipshod with providing all the paperwork, and if you don't go back for another 6-12 months you will probably have no chance of locating it.

As for what he gets out of his behaviour? He probably doesn't even realise he is doing it. Once people get out of the main dealer network, I don't think they do any further sales training. I think this is why people find the Vauxhall/Ford etc main dealerships don't provide experiences like this - they train their staff properly. Mind you, you pay for it grin

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 24-Dec-12 12:42:40

Not at all - I'm glad you mentioned it as I don't want to give the impression the wrong people are at fault.

I'm glad to hear another positive vote for a Mazda. I hope it will work out.

I wondered if he just doesn't realize he's doing it. It was a main dealer, btw - just not for Mazda. They just happened to have the Mazda as someone had traded it in.

Blistory Mon 24-Dec-12 16:11:01

I've walked out of many showrooms and garages because of sexist behaviour and assumptions. So far this year I've boycotted Kwikfit, Nissan and Mazda. RAC made up for the crap attitude of the AA who had a patrolman who asked me if I struggled to handle my "muscle" car. Not unless I'm trying to pick it up and hoist it over my shoulder.

If you're happy with the car and price paid, good job but I wouldn't be giving them any further work without making your feelings about the salesman clear.

higgle Sun 30-Dec-12 19:14:18

I have recently changed my car. I didn't actually trade in my old one in the end but I started off my researching the cheapest cash price my new car could be obtained at in this country. I then ascertained the fair value of mine from a contact in the trade and I then rang the dealer to say I wanted to buy a the car and that £x was what I was prepared to pay for it. Didn't involve DH at all,
and dealt with the matter in a straightforward assertive way.

tinselahohoho Sun 30-Dec-12 19:21:56

Had this at Arnold Clark, who suggested that 'hubby' come in before I make any rash decisions hmm. Sales rep was so sexist it was as if he was a caricature.

Found independent dealer who were sooo lovely that they brought the car to us on the scheduled day (300+ mile round trip), and never once said anything I could complain about. When I pointed out to him what a refreshing change this was, he said that it would be like throwing sales away to do otherwise even if he felt that way (I don't think he was a great actor, I think he was genuinely nice and non-sexist). If anyone's in Scotland, PM me and I'll let them have the details of who it is if they're keen.

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 31-Dec-12 00:24:41

Good for you higgle. I did exactly the same thing, but unfortunately met with a sexist twit. Not fun.

Nice to know there are good dealers out there tinsel.

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