ADVENTURES OF PITTSBURGH FRUGAL MOM & BUYING A CAR~MY DAY was MADE!

                  It has been a ONE month journey from start to finish for me trying to acquire a new car.  It has been an up and down roller coaster ride and I am never sure day-t0-day what I am buying. You all have stuck with me, written in about YOUR experiences and together we have grown learning about all the different dealers.  I love all the letters I received from you describing horror stories to best buying experience stories. I have to say, buying a car as a WOMAN has posed a whole new challenge, talk about becoming an ‘Educated Consumer’!

I definitively ruled out a FORD because of a NEGATIVE buying experience at a local Ford Dealer(no I am not going to publish the name, that gives them FREE ADVERTISING.. ) .  The General Manager of that facility was astounded that his employee would reject my request for a price quote and then the GM handled his situation at his location.  After the entire experience there, I decided NO FORD.

I had previously chosen a really nice looking vehicle at a GMC dealer, but as luck would have it, the dealer we WERE going to work with had a BAD APPLE sales rep and I REFUSED to be hollered at when negotiating price, and I WALKED OUT.  The car was all cleaned up, paperwork was all set to go, including a credit app and I had a Credit Card Hold on the vehicle..the sales representative had a SHORT TEMPER and no tolerance for allowing MY HUSBAND and I to ask for Better pricing, and got ANGERED when we did.  The sales rep began telling my husband ‘hey buddy, you don’t ask for better pricing, I have been doing this for a long time…’ had a file in his hand threw it on his desk.. I got upset with his behavour and walked out, and guess what their General Manager just sat there and watched! SO much for buying a car there. (again, NO FREE ADVERTISING and no need to trash a place that already has a LOT of problems and unhappy employees)

A NEW DAY

The very next DAY I traveled a bit out of the normal PITTSBURGH COMFORT zone and traveled EAST to purchase a car, OH yes I broke the Pittsburgh Rule and drove from North to East across bridges to another part of our city (LOL- I Have had more people tell me this in the last few days).  My DAY was made when I found a black  on black vehicle and a sales staff that met us at the door, and basically rolled out the red carpet. I had spoken to JERRY on the phone briefly, he is an expert in his field with a ton of experience and I knew from the second I talked to him on the phone that we would be fine!

I drove in with my 3 children and when we pulled into the Parking Lot, Jerry and Corey were waiting for us.  My DAY was made! They got my kids comfortable and walked me to my new car.  Corey and I took a drive and had a life altering experience! We were sitting at a red light waiting to turn left when an 18 wheeler came out of nowhere, did not have brakes on and engaged in a turn that almost took the front of the SUBURBAN out! My poor Sales Consultant and I were shocked and at the same time THANKFUL we were not HIT.  The truck continued about 500 feet more and got stuck doing another RIGHT  HAND TURN, this time he stopped traffic.  I thought my DAY was over with that.

We drove back to the dealership and I worked with Corey and Vic and Shane to get everything done so that I could leave with my car on Thursday.   The GM, VIC made sure that everything was as I wanted and JERRY made sure that my vehicle had what I was looking for an then a bit!  Corey made certain I understood all the features. I had contacted Jerry on the Internet the night before and left a random message:  ‘HOLD THAT CAR  – DANA VEE’ via their INTERNET sales and he called me very early to HOLD THAT CAR!

The facility offers life time vehicle inspections(not emission) and lifetime car washes with any service.  In addition, we were treated well.  Jerry has been there over 25 years and he knows what it takes to meet a customers needs and wants. Jerry made sure that there were 2 cars for more to compare and he spelled out the comparison on a sheet of paper versing car A against car B.  Jerry made sure that I knew what the differences were, and what financing versus rebates would mean to the final price. Corey was able to show me all the features in the car and answer some pretty specific questions I had.  Corey made certain that ALL the paperwork that could be complete before I left was complete and made sure I knew what I needed to.

There were no secret guys in secret rooms making the finance deals for us, instead, I went right into the room with the GM, and the finance manager, we all sat and worked out the pricing.  Finance(Shane) not only worked out the numbers, but he extended a call to my husband providing the difference between car A and car B, making this really easy on us. Another nice amenity was the fact that one employee called to my attention that someone else would be working with us the next evening so we would not be surprised, his name was Trevor, this was a GOOD thing to know.  The dealership did not want us, nor did Trevor feeling like we had just been passed from person to person, rather they made the effort to let me know EVERYTHING down to staff differentials which lent itself to comfort. Knowledge is power.

I can clearly tell you, my DAY was made when I could re-explain the entire sale and what I was getting down to the TIRES! Thanks Jerry & Corey.  Trevor worked the paperwork Though we traveled about an hour away to get the car WE wanted, our DAY was great and the trip was worth it.  When you work with a group of people that care about you as well as the end result of the sale it truly makes a difference.

If you want to have your DAY made, ask for Corey, or Jerry, they will Roll out the Red Carpet for you too because that is how this dealership is, customer oriented and driven to make a difference in the end result.  I purchased my car. Sight Unseen my husband LOVED it when he came in to pick it up with me.  We might have been at the dealership for about an hour tops before we left with our new car!

SHOPPING FOR A CAR: RULES for SHOPPING

by Pittsburgh Frugal Mom

I did visit many other dealers, and I shopped online, and I researched everything that I looked at.  Some crucial items I would love to tell you about may actually help you when purchasing a car. I listened to every representative when they spoke and I then applied their knowledge to my shopping skills.

Shop the Internet, you can learn quickly what features you want, what pricing there is and what dealer has a car in stock.

Shop the internet to get some of the best pricing there is. Internet managers want your business and they work with you quickly and efficiently to get the sale.

Purchase a car that is not brought in from another dealer, but one that is already on the lot, you savings WILL add up.

Wheels can make a HUGE price Tag Difference and some of them PIT! (CHROME)  Upkeep will be expensive

Try to see what features you REALLY need versus what you WANT – wanting makes you buy more than you can afford(I fell victim to it as well, trust me)

Some features that may drive the cost of your car up that you can really do without: Trunk Auto Lift, as well as Seating heating and cooling and WHEELS(chrome and aluminum)

If you have a trade, do it as a courtesy trade so you can have the TAX dollars off of your whole amount.  It is a sale in and out for the dealer if you already have a buyer.  (some dealers don’t tell you about this, I had to ask)

If a dealer offers you a car that the OWNER is driving and the car has 5000 miles on it, you have the right to have a large chunk of money taken off the vehicle. (if they won’t walk away, we walked away from a situation like this, and the warranty was from that point forward as well—it is a USED vehicle)

Find out how many miles are on the car you are purchasing if it is new.  Was it a Demo, is it being sold as such, believe me you have to ask because not every dealer is forthcoming with the information even though they are supposed to be and the car SHOULD be marked as such.

Find out if you get lifetime inspections with the car.  Yes this can work for and against you as most of you figure that the dealer may include the inspection with the vehicle in order to tell you down the road that the car needs such in such in order for it to pass.. just be prepared.

Things you need to have with you if you are purchasing a car, your driver’s license and proof of insurance. (someone wrote in and asked me so I thought I would add)

You do not need to have a color forced on you just because that is all they have on the lot, I had a different FORD dealer try to do this to us on  MEMORIAL DAY weekend, there is no pressure to buy a car unless you let yourself become pressured.

WHEELS can be taken off of a vehicle. IT is possible.  We really did not want CHROME 20″ wheels, it was the make-it or break-it part of a car deal we were negotiating.  It was a $3k price difference.  My brother-in-law and a few others put me on this path letting me know they had all been in the same situation, but the dealers they were working with went ahead and took off the fancy wheels in favor of ascertaining the sale and provided them with a $3k less option! I also understand if they come factory installed to the dealer this changes things a bit, because they are now associated with the cars’ VIN, but it is possible to make it happen !! I only write about what I KNOW, so go ahead and assume away on this one.

Never allow a sales associate to HOLLER at you and tell you not to question price, it is OUR job to question price, after all it is Car Sales.

If you truly have not been treated fairly at the dealership, call CORPORATE.  There are a lot of GREAT dealers out there, find one, don’t just settle because a price is great.

You can try the cars out before you buy them.  We worked with one Chevy Dealer that allowed us to bring home the vehicle and test it out for the weekend.  A KIA dealer offered to bring one to our home as well.  It does happen, and many people don’t know this.I would advise this option for SERIOUS buyers only.

Did you know that you can get SIRIUS and ONSTAR for bargain pricing? You do not need to pay their subscription price, everything is negotiable, EVERYTHING. ( I will be writing more about this in a future article)

Don’t let incentives entice you.  If you let a rebate or a financing option steer you into a deal or pressure you because it is a TIMING thing, you will not make the best decision, unless this has all been planned out ahead.  Don’t let TIMING work against you.

Keep a car at a more modest cost by not going to the ‘SPECIAL’ Paints. A few paints have mark-ups on them. Yes the paint may be more sheeny but can your wallet take the hit? In most cases the paint will range from $300-$1800 (yes, I almost fell into this as well)

Extra policies are just that, extra. If you did not budget that into your beginning amount be prepared for a different  outcome than the original pricing scenario.

Ask about what kind of OIL is going into your vehicle, prices can add up after the sale and make your bottom line different.

When a sales representative can only say this phrase over and over but never gives you a price, walk away! “I just want to earn your business” Earn it by giving me pricing and telling me features, not just by saying you want to earn my business.

Talk, talk, talk! Talk to people that have the vehicle you want, talk to people in the waiting room about their vehicles. For every good story there is a bad, so really see what made a bad story and a good one, ASK.  Get the Facts.

 

See  WOMENDRIVERS.COM

See what response I got! Love this.

Day Chevrolet.. Where WOMEN can buy cars … with CONFIDENCE! – see COREY.. He’s a Pro.. and explains EVERYTHING:)

 

 

 

This article is not sponsored or affiliated nor is PFM with any company mentioned above.  This is written based on my OWN experiences and situations that have occurred while shopping for a vehicle. I am not affiliated or working with anyone in this article.

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