Attempting to buy a new car

Slowly, over the last few weeks, or even months, I made up my mind to trade my car in and get a new one. My current little Yaris has been faultless and has served me very well over the last 3 or so years. But it had gotten to the point whereby I had to decide whether to keep it until it got old or trade it in for a new car. Given I’ve had so much going on in my life lately, I thought I’d add to the noise and go new car shopping.  I knew that car shopping could be painful, however I didn’t anticipate some of the ridiculousness I encountered yesterday.

I enlisted the help of a male friend, coz let’s face it, we’ve all heard the stories of how car salespeople treat women. Plus it’s nice to have someone to give a second opinion as a passenger etc.  We headed off mid morning full of anticipation.

First up was SUBARU, coz they’re just down the road. A work colleague recently purchased an Impreza (that I keep admiring and peering into) and I have previously owned 2 subarus, so I have a soft spot for them. I was greeted as I walked in and a sales lady came to see what she could help us with. I told her I was interested in the Impreza and would like a test drive. She ascertained that I preferred a manual and got to organising a car for me to drive. Meanwhile I filled in paperwork and looked at the showroom model.  The test drive car turned up and I was handed the keys and off we went. I must note, that not at any dealership do the sales people come on the test drive with you. I was surprised at this, but also thankful. We hooted up and down the road putting the car through its paces. I felt comfortable and the car was familiar. I really liked it.


When we got back they grabbed my current car to have a look at for a trade in price and we sat and spoke to their finance guy. I didn’t like him at all. He was brash and a bit of a dick! As my friend said, you just wanted to slap him on his bald spot. He went through the finance side and I wrote down all my facts and figures. Next up was a different sales guy, who was there during the week – he was much calmer and more relatable. We chatted with him for quite a while. The trade in price they came up with was low, but close to what we imagined they’d say. The salesman did however say that they could be moved on this price as I told him that there was no way I’d trade in for their offer! No pressure to make the decision on the day, they were happy to let me go armed with my brochures and numbers. Overall I was pretty happy.

Over the road was HYUNDAI. They had a deal on their i30 Trophy (limited edition) which turned out to be so limited that they didn’t have a manual in stock and the sales guy we encountered couldn’t have cared any less. He was so blasé he didn’t even bother to show me anything else, telling me they only had automatics in stock because that’s what 90% of their sales were. Given I wanted a manual I walked out of there shaking my head. Epic fail Hyundai sales man.

So just up the road, VOLKSWAGEN were next. I’d already encountered their awful website that was full of broken links and errors, so I wasn’t hopeful. As we walked into the showroom a sales guy greeted us and after I told him I wanted to see the Golf, disappeared. So we found the showroom model and crawled through it. Someone else asked us if we were interested in it, then went out and grabbed the initial sales guy. As he came back towards us he said “weren’t you here the other day?”. I scowled at him and said, no, that was 5 minutes ago when you fobbed us off and disappeared. This guys attitude could not have been more careless. He only spoke to my friend, which pissed me off massively. I even told him it was my car we were trading in and it was me who was purchasing the new car, yet the entire time, he addressed my friend. Thankfully he was quick in finding us keys to drive a Golf and we took off. If it weren’t for the fact that the car was a pleasure to drive, I wouldn’t have even bothered. We dealt with the finance guy, who was just as arrogant and bagged every other car we talked about. I find this really unprofessional. If you have to stoop to rubbishing the competitors then your product mustn’t be all that it’s cracked up to be. No one else did this. They had no brochures to give me and even after I asked them to email me one I got nothing. I’m still waiting Volkswagen! This experience was by far the standout worst of the day, nothing even came close to being as bad as this. The attitude of everyone we dealt with stunk and they appeared to only care about the male species, despite the fact that I made it 100% clear I was buying. Oh and they glanced at my car for a trade in then asked what others had offered, so I bumped the price up. Which they happily said they’d match. Unfortunately for them, I won’t be going back.


TOYOTA was last on the list for the day and I didn’t need to test drive the car (a Corolla Sport Hatch) as I drive them for work. We had a pleasant young female sales person who was likeable and funny. She ran through everything and got my little Yaris valued. Their valuation was on par with Subaru’s and they wouldn’t budge. We met with their finance guy after a lot of talking about nothing and went round in circles about what price I was after and what they could do. This actually pissed me off, because when it came to the crunch they really offered nothing. And they kept pressuring me to make a decision there and then, saying their “offer” may not last! Pfffft. It pissed me off even more when I got home and realised the starting price of the new car was $1K more expensive than advertised on their website. I expect they will ring me during the week and I will tell them how annoyed I am with the whole experience. Needless to say, I’m pretty certain I won’t be buying anything from them, despite the fact that my last 2 cars were Toyotas.


We finished up and came home, completely brain drained and baffled. I’ve got to say though, we laughed a hell of a lot at the whole day, it really was quite comical how it all works and the shit they try to spin you. Time and time again I would say to them, I’m only interested in figures, I don’t care what else you have to say about your safety rating or what some american survey says about your company.  I went in with a completely open mind, and kept it that way right until we got home.

I’m 90% sure I will go with the Subaru. I just need to see what they can do for me. I might even go to a different Subaru dealer and see what they can offer too.


~ by Fen on June 8, 2014.

7 Responses to “Attempting to buy a new car”

  1. brochure? even BMW won’t give one. good idea to go round different Subaru dealers. mentioned in Pointer Sisters Springsteen record what more do we need? out here in the gumtrees their Forrester is definitely the most common car seen on the roads. car dealers are actually selling their finance arm and the vehicle is merely a conduit. wise to trade while yours is newish. I did a Mystery Shopper test drive on Peugot new model once, got $140 for doing it. not clever enough to write post on the bizarre experience though. On $50,000 car they offered me $600 trade for my Toyota. Glad you got laughs out of your day.

  2. You should submit this to the Age’s ‘drive’ section or offer your services as a secret female car buyer… what you shared with us is a real eye-opener. A car sale is a car sale, after all…!

    • Yes, I wonder if they do such things. Volkswagen never emailed me and didn’t even follow up with a phone call, that is how much they wanted to sell me a car. Stunning service.

  3. I’ve got a Mini Cooper S, 2010. (True.) It does the 0-100 in 8.5. You probably couldn’t afford a new one but might find a good one second hand.

    And hey, you’re a girl, get an auto.

    • I don’t want a second hand car! I’ve purchased a new car now, just waiting for delivery. And it’s a manual.

  4. Did you consider a Mazda 2 ?

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