I admit it – I hate having to buy a new car. We lease our car 3 years at a time – so every 3 years we go through this absolute horrific (to me) and delightful (to my husband) routine of picking our next car.
I wish I lived on another planet.
The ritual starts with a visit to the annual car show. My husband argues that this allows him to see all the newest cars in one place. But in my experience, the cars he’s interested in are rarely displayed – and if displayed, rarely open. So he takes his list, goes from dealership to dealership, asking if the MTX5GL is available to see. After waiting in line to find someone who has not just been hired to look good at the show, but might actually have some car knowledge, the answer seems to be – No – we have the MLX4GQ here – but if you want to see the MTX5GL – it’s a) not available in this country, or b) only available at the showroom, or c) only due to arrive in Montreal in 5 weeks.
For this I have to pay for tickets, suffer the crowds, and push pass stroller after stroller full of kids.
Best part of the car show – the free pens and the shopping bags. And I loved the simulators. But for seeing cars – it’s so close to a waste, it’s hard to defend.
Back at home, my husband pours over the colorful – but information empty – brochures. No one is going to say – this car is a road hog, or we are lying about the gas mileage. Nope – it’s pretty pictures of a smiling family on the road driving past glorious scenery. So little truth in advertising that they Photoshop out the windshield wipers. They ruin the sleekness of the cars. (Don’t believe me – check it out!)
Eventually – we pick 3 or 4 or 5 different brands that might offer a car that sounds like it might offer the right combination of price, drive-ability, comfort, and size for our needs. And then begins the test drive phase. For reasons known only to Quebec, car dealerships can not be open on Saturday or Sunday. So no test drives on the weekends. You have to either go after work, or during work. For those of us with real jobs that require real effort – neither option is going to result in a stress-free experience.
And getting an appointment is a joke. We had a 6:00 pm appointment at one dealership in particular (I’m not naming names – but you know who you are) and arrived on time to wait an HOUR for someone to recognize that we weren’t there is admire the cars on display. It’s really hard to get energized after cooling your heals that long. I’ve gotten more attention in the emergency room of a hospital!
Ok – test drive phase over, it’s now time to actually pick the car. We like specific colors, and certain options. The sales team want to sell the cars on the lot. So they work hard to convince us that blue isn’t that great – glossy pink is the hot color this year! Eventually we manage to make them understand that we don’t really want pink. Really not. So there’s a draft contract – and then the fun really starts.
The salesman is just that – a salesman. His job – get a draft contract for something – anything – in our hands. Then he has to call his ‘boss’ – who tries to make us think that our salesman has overstepped his bounds by offering us that price, that color, that combination of features. Something, anything to a) increase the price or b) get us to immediately hand over money. We’ve walked out countless times at this point – only to be called back and told – ok – you can have the car you want at the price our salesman quoted you.
What a joke.
Anyway – we’re now at the final phase – car delivery. And since that is yet to happen – let’s all imagine that it will go swimmingly. Should work. Right?