We had the 2003 Honda Accord for 10 years. I guess maybe 9 years really. 135,000 miles on it. So, reliability was a big factor in deciding to get another car. This time, we were looking VWs. Dad was also involved, he kind of pushed us toward a TDI. I’d been reading about the significant improvements in the miles per gallon for TDI over gas engines with VW for a few years. At one VW dealer in town, we sat in the seats of a Golf R, and I really liked the huggy seats. We didn’t take a test drive in the Golf R. But I liked the seats. Fran is the driver in the family, and she wanted a Passat. I guess the car sales people buy and sell cars all of the time, so they have an unfair advantage when it comes to working out deals. Friday evening we were still in the process of looking. The sales man at Reeves Import Motorcars tried to hard sell us. Thursday evening we had stopped by the Reeves late that evening, and that was when we were sitting in some vehicles to determine comfort. The first sales guy was nice, but it was late, the finance guy wouldn’t have been available. On Friday after work, we went to the dealership at Reeves, and were told that the car payments would be about $500, and we’d just need to accept that. I’ve read enough advice about the process to know that focusing on the payment is is one way they make money. First an agreeable price needs to be achieved. Then when we were talking, about the value of our trade in, the appraisal guy went home right at 8. It was 8. So the deal wouldn’t be done yet. We called dad. He got excited about the TDI. I checked the internet. Supposedly there was a TDI VW Passat at an internet price of $27,112 at Brandon VW. Most of the Passat TDIs were around 32,000. The manager guy valued our trade in at $1,000. So to me, that would be $26,112 that would need to be financed. I shook the guy’s hand and explained that we’d probably be back, but we needed to talk about it. The manger guy was able to provide us with $2,000 for the trade in, if we could do the deal. The Honda dealership valued the trade value at $4,913 or some number close. So now I’m thinking $25,112 is a better number, so I accepted. Then the part about financing came into play. I figured 25,000 at 0% financing for 36 monthly payments would be 700 a month. The estimate at the dealership for the 25,112 plus tax title, etcetra would be 793 to 803 a month. I figured a smaller payment spread out over a longer term would be easier to make. The finance guy tried to upsell us an extended warranty, which actually should be called service contract extensions. We declined the paint and wheel guarantees. The finance guy was trying to make money as well. We called Dad, and the finance guy was trying to explain to him how VWs finance arm was willing to offer me a lower rate, based on my assumption of an extended warranty. Dad probably said that the rate shouldn’t be dependent on my assumption of the financial obligation of the extended service contract. And maybe that we should leave over the matter. The finance guy said, “no, I’m not trying to take advantage of your son.” But then he proceeded to rip up the print out of the contract for financing at 2.99 percent, and redoing financing at 1.9 percent. The finance guy then said “your dad just doesn’t understand.” The contract ended up being signed for $484 for 60 months. I hope the vehicle won’t need a lot of costly repairs over the next 10 years.
We spoke with dad, and he said that we maybe should have gotten another 500 to 1,000 for the trade in, but I figure the dealers have to have a reason to stay in business too. The way I figure it, if I was in the sales business, and knew what the processes were, I could maybe have gotten a better deal. But I prefer helping people arrive at happiness. I mostly fix computers which enables people to perform documentation of procedures and other duties at work.
We drove to Orlando and back last night. We hung out at Downtown Disney. One of the musician’s assistant guys liked my peace love and sunshine T shirt, and asked me if I got it from Tiki Jim’s, and I said yes. We had an order of fish and chips and we split it. We also stopped at an ice cream place on 27 while on the way back from Orlando.