Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Little Red Corvette

I've been driving a 13-year-old Mazda with 140,000 miles. It's been a good car. Well, up until about 125,000 miles. That last 15,000 was a different story. During that time it burned oil. Drank oil. Consumed oil to the tune of a quart a week. And all that oil had to go somewhere. Some dripped out underneath. But a lot burned off. Every time I drove the car it looked like a rolling smoke screen. Mothers would move their children to the other side of the street when they saw me coming. Other drivers pointed and laughed. And I finally had to admit it was time for a new car.

Well, not a new car. But new to me. So we started the process of used car shopping. And we had our shtick down pretty good. I would tell the dealer what we wanted. My wife told him what we didn't want. I would ask questions if the potential car looked good. My wife would get us out the door if it was clear the salesman was wasting our time.

And some really did! The Toyota first unnamed dealer was clearly not interested in selling a used car. The first salesman asked us to wait while he got someone to help us. We waited. And waited. And waited some more. Finally some guy came out and led us out to the lot. And he gave us the Lightning Round Tour of the lot, pointing quickly at cars, quoting a price, and moving on. He always walked about 10 feet in front of us. He never paused for us to look at any car. And we couldn't get out of there fast enough.

The Hyundai next dealer asked what we wanted and told us he had exactly the car for us. He pulled it around...and it did seem perfect. Used but not too much mileage. Nice condition. We hopped in and drove for a bit and it handled well. Great...let's talk cash. Now keep in mind, when we walked in, the first words out of my mouth were "I want a decent used car and I want to get out the door for under $12,000". But the non-negotiable price he whipped out was $14,999. Huh? Did he not hear us? Or did he just ignore us? Did he think we would kick in an extra $3000 just cause he was a nice guy? Not a chance. Bad salesman. No deal. We walked.

But there were a couple of guys who did try to meet our needs. The Mazda dealer showed us cars that met our needs...just a big high in mileage. The Kia dealer had a very nice car. We went home to think about it. Decided to go for it. Called back a couple of days later. Someone else had already put a deposit put on it.

And then we went to another Hyundai dealer. We told him what we wanted. He said he had three cars that met our requirements. We looked. We drove. And in fact, two of the three were perfect. The third was pretty good too...but a little higher in mileage. So the guy who actually listened and showed us what we wanted...made a sale!

Oh...not a little red corvette though. A little red Accent. We just call it "Little Red". Perfect for getting to work and back every day. Welcome to a smoke free ride!

50 comments:

Jenster said...

Nice ride!! The worst part about needing a new car is the shopping. HATE IT!

Have fun with Little Red!!

Kati said...

Nice car!!! And don't ya just love these jerks who think THEY know better than you, what you need & what you can afford??? Please, I've been very tempted to ask the salespeople if they'd be willing to pay my monthly payments FOR me, since they seem to think it's in my price-range. *rolling eyes*

Congrats on the nice find!!!

meno said...

Because smoking is bad for you!

Dorky Dad said...

Man, good customer service always wins the game.

Why is it that dealers always recommend cars more expensive than what you want, then call it "non-negotiable?" I just don't think they can hear numbers. Morons.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Congratulations on the new car! I really like the color.

EsLocura said...

You could just tell the car it's a little red corvette, he won't know.

Winston said...

The only experience worse than buying a new car is buying a used car. "Little Red" looks great and smells great from here. Hope it works out for you. There must be a special corner of hell just for those who rip-off others. It's called the Pre-Owned Dept. Glad you found a good guy to deal with because they are rare.

Elle said...

Nice car!! Enjoy it!

Bardouble29 said...

Love that new-to-you, car feeling.

Good job on sticking to what you wanted !

Redneck Mommy said...

Very cute. Very little.

Man, I'm so used to toodling about in my boat, er, station wagon, that I couldn't imagine driving something so compact and attractive.

Sigh.

One day I will have me a cute,non-mom-like auto.

One day.

Jill said...

Congratulations on the successful acquisition. I hate shopping for cars and going through the little dance that the salesmen do.It must work on some people, or they wouldn't do it (I assume).

charlottalove said...

love it!

I recently had a debate concerning my car. I had some MAJOR repairs coming up so I had to decide: repair or trade in. The shopping experiences left me so dissatisfied I gave up. I have since paid a pretty penny for my car...but I love it!

Thumper said...

Sweet. I had a little purple Accent for a while and loved it. It was zippy and just plain fun to drive, and while I like our Sonata, I miss that little Accent...

Rainbow dreams said...

Little Red looks lovely :) We've just found ourselves a new second hand car too... I could hardly believe a car sales man wouldn't want to sell a car but we had similar experiences too it seems...

radioactive girl said...

Smoke free rides are always good!

When I bought my first car, my husband went with me and since we were so bad at/had no idea how to negotiate, he just kept dropping the price. We were undecided because we were undecided, but he thought we were waiting for him to get to the right price. Eventually he did, and we bought it because it would have been stupid not to at the price he offered. That's my advice for anyone buying a car, don't say anything and just sit there looking unsure of the entire thing.

You should know that I have only ever been present for the buying of that one car because it stresses me out so I haven't actually tested my theory at all.

Congrats on the car!

Above Average Joe said...

I took a job a few years back that was 30 miles away. I decided to get a small car to save gas. I went to the Toyota dealer looking for a leftover/used Corolla and nobody wanted to talk to me either.

Doesnt it feel good to know you got what you wanted?

Melody said...

Heehee...Nice set of wheels there Em. Don't you just hate dedgy used carsales men? Urgh?!! It is good when you come across someone who will listen to you and offer you an exact car you are after for the right price with good Kilometers on the clicker. Our car is a 2002 Subaru Outback which we picked up for the right price with the right mileage in 2004. It is a dream car - I love it!!

Good for you. Enjoy the drives you take in it...

thethinker said...

Nice car! I'm jealous. Reading this post makes me wish my parents would buy me a car.

Attila The Mom said...

awww, how cute!

MaryB said...

Glad you got the car-buying experience behind you. Love the car! (I'm a Honda-girl, myself. Or, was. Now, I'm an MTA-girl.)

I do take exception to the "used car salesman" stereotype, as my Kate was a salesperson in the pre-owned dept. at an Atlanta Acura dealership for 3 years. I loved watching her work - very helpful, knowledgeable, good at negotiating. Alas, there are still forked-tongued, arrogant sales folks out there.

Enjoy your new ride!

Chelle said...

Reminds me of the Berenstain Bears book that i used to read my kids when they were little.....Little red goes putt, putt, putt! lol I loved that book and my kids STILL talk about it...lol Anyway, I am sur your "little red" does not go putt, putt, putt! Congrats on the new car. Car shopping is a drag and tose salesmen REALLY can piss me off. However, I am married a a "salesman" and shopping for a car with a sales guy, talking to another sales guy...Well...I think I would rather have a lobotomy! :)

Gardener Greg said...

The only thing worse than a car sales man is two car salesmen. I have a little blue corvette, well actually its a Honda Civic but it gets better mileage than a corvette. Our salesman was rude and took three long phone calls while we were there with him. Then they played that little game between us and the sales manager. When I got my little follow up call, I rated them pretty bad and they were pissed but that's what they get.

foam said...

i think the next car i get will be a little red car..or blue, or green..
depending what's out there in my price range.

Sheila said...

hey Em, it's me. I'm back baby! Check me out

Big Brother said...

Good for you, looks like a nice little car. A good sales person is very important, we bought a Subaru Legacy for my wife, and the salesman was very professional. When the transmission on my Corolla blew , he sold me an Impreza. So professionalism pays, too bad more of them can't realize it.
(I've always had a Toyota and never had any problems but that car was the biggest lemon, problems from day one! They build a lemon every 100 years and I got it.)

FENICLE said...

Very nice (as Borat would say). I hate to shop for cars & I hate car salesmen even more.

We drive to a Ford lot in a very small town about 45 minutes away to deal cars. It's a family owned small place that my grandparents and entire family buy from. I trust them. There is no haggle over prices. It's bottom line & they sell us a good car.

Rebecca said...

Car shopping is the worst thing ever. Glad its all behind you and you now have this new sweet ride.

Sheila said...

your new car is cute!!! I need a new car.... but unfortunately for me I cannot go to college and buy a car at the same time. I will have to settle for buying the car parts my POS needs and drive it until it dies. Hopefully when it kicks the bucket I won't be on the expressway!

liv said...

woo-hoo! i just bought a new car too, but managed to wear the toyota people down enough to get my new camry at $70 over invoice...i call it my fexus, for fake lexus since the guys at the dealer are very keen to say that it's the ES 300 in every way except for logo attached... insert eye rolling here!

Mom not Mum said...

Nice little car you got there!!

Gretchen said...

I remember when we purchased our (first) minivan...Poor Husband had to have the "sport" variety. He was 31, and thought it was just too emasculating to be seen behind the wheel of a non-sport minivan. Hmmm...our minivan was red, too. Too bad we never thought of telling her she was a corvette. May have saved us gas mileage!

Gretchen said...

Okay, I'm really NOT stalking you, but I read this today and it really made me chuckle, since obviously, the blogosphere is full of folks needing new rides.

Check this out: http://clemntineschronicles.blogspot.com/index.html

Jocelyn said...

Maybe every now and then you can guzzle some oil, lifting your glass in memory to the departed car.

Pendullum said...

What a great addition to your family!!!
Welcome Little Red!

Chicky Pea said...

I kept waiting for the corvette to enter the story. That was pretty tricky. :-)

Beth said...

that car is cute! Can a man drive a "cute" car? I don't know....in that case...it's very masculine!

Logophile said...

Nice ride!
I am well over 100,000 on my 1999 Toyota and its still hanging in there, fingers crossed.
I like your new wheels.
I've dealt with the same carsalesman as much as possible, I found an honest one and how can you beat that?

A wildlife gardener said...

Congrats, em! Looks like a super car to me. Happy motoring!

Sally Lomax said...

Well done you finding a salesperson that listened. I found you on Wendz's blog and was interested because we too have just bought a car. And we too had a few hurdles to cross before making the purchase!

CS said...

You and your wife sound like a good car buying team. I have alittle Mazda 3 that I just love, but I recognize now that it is my only vehicle I need soemthing with a hatch for hauling things. I just dread the idea of shopping for it, though.

tkkerouac said...

Hot red car,
you'll be in for some attention now.
Just need a red dress to go with it!

Mamma said...

Little Red rocks!

What a cute car.

I'm the negotiator at out house, because I'll walk. Actually, I really love doing it and having them run after you.

Shoot, I think I have issues.

Rene said...

Oh heavens. My husband is a total gear head. We have 5 cars for 2 drivers and will probably be adding another real soon. And they are all Fords. AND they are all V8's. AND they all take premium.

Car shopping with my husband is one of the most miserable experiences ever. I swear, and I'm not exaggerating, we have been in dealerships for 8 hours while he negotiated *shudder* for the car.

creative-type dad said...

Man, I really hate car shopping. I think I would buy more often (well not really) if you could just pick one up at Target along with toothpaster and toilet paper.

Minka said...

Congratulations. My Honda Civic has a lot of mileage too and I drea dteh day, I have to replace him. Born in 1999 and all :)

My first car, too.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Lovely. No, not lovely. Totally manly. But make sure you wear your raspberry beret when you drive it.

velvet girl said...

Ugh, car shopping is a pain in the neck! Good customer service is a rapidly disappearing thing in most areas of retail, it really is. Looks like it all worked out well for you in the end, though. :)

Judd Corizan said...

Congratulations! Your post from May 30, 2007. called “Little Red Corvette” has been selected as our Post of the Day on “The Rising Blogger”. It is a new site that awards posts, not blogs. We have emailed your winning badge and all our info. To reach “The Rising Blogger” site:

http://therisingblogger.blogspot.com

Have a great week!
Judd

Akelamalu said...

Just popped over from Rising blogger to read your winning post - congratulations, well deserved.

PS Glad you got your 'new' car! :)

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