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Car Deal -- Should I have walked away?
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:27 AM
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mjr mjr is offline
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Default Car Deal -- Should I have walked away?

Ok, here's the deal. I know it's too late now, just getting some basic feedback from here.

Last September (2019) I bought a new car. I had worked via email for a couple of weeks to negotiate a price among a couple of different dealerships in my area. I was asking them for an "out the door" price. I managed to get it down to $28,000 for this particular car (about 4% or so over invoice). which, I think, was below MSRP, too. They seemed very confused by the fact that I was more interested in "How much?" rather than "How much per month?" I think it threw them a little. Though I was a bit frustrated when I asked for an "itemization" of what things would cost, and no dealership would provide me with one.

Anyhow, the price is agreed to, and I tell the salesman that we'll be there on the weekend to finish up the paperwork and such.

So the family and I head to the dealership that Saturday, and we meet the sales guy.

Then the following happens:

1. I'm told that the price only applies to "in house" financing. I'd gotten pre-approved through my bank, but they wouldn't sell me the car at that price and let me finance through my bank.

2. The interest rate was WAY higher than it would have been through my bank. It was over two percentage points higher through dealer financing, and they wanted me to do it for 72 months. This surprised me, but my wife and I had decided that we were going to pay it off as quickly as possible anyway, so we just sucked that up.

The next one is the kicker. And at this point, even with a negotiated price, we'd been there a few hours. That's how they get ya.

3. When we get to finance, they're going over everything with us, and they spring on us some sort of maintenance package (one of those scammy things where they apply some kind of "paint protector" or whatever every six months) for $600. We told them to take that off, because we didn't want it, as we live 50 miles away and wouldn't use it. We're told by the finance guy that they "can't" take it off. We ask to speak to the manager. Manager tells us it's a "standard" thing, and that goes back and forth until we agree to an extra $200 off on the car (which made them have to re-print a bunch of stuff, and the finance guy wasn't real happy with us).

At that point, my wife and I look at each other. We're both kind of disgusted, and I think we were very close to walking out at that point.

But as I said, we'd been there a few hours (even though it's a sunk cost at that point) and that's how they get ya. And with my family situation, we moved forward with the transaction and a new "out the door" price of $27,800. Then the finance manager (because he kinda understands what we're doing) asks us to do him a "favor" and not to pay the car off in less than six months. We weren't planning on it, but we "agreed" anyway.

So my question is: Should we have walked away from that deal?

I have the car now, and have no real complaints about it. I'm working diligently to pay it off as quickly as possible, hopefully by the end of this year.

What would you have done? Did I make a mistake? I hate car shopping, that's why I did as much as I could online.

I will say this: I do credit the salesman for delivering it to my house later in the evening.
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