Thursday, February 24, 2005

Car Talk

Last Saturday my husband asked me if I wanted to go with him to look at new cars. He had decided it was time to get a new one for safety reasons and had been checking car brands online. Now, my husband is not a man who makes decisions lightly so I know he had been thinking about this for a long time before he mentioned it to me. But once he makes up his mind he is ready to follow through, which makes him the only person I know who takes forever to quickly make up his mind.

He had decided to look at a Honda Accord and a Toyota Camry. A town about 100 miles to the north of us had both a Honda and a Toyota dealer so we drove up there. On the way we talked about what we wanted in a new car and came up with the following things:

1. Side impact airbags in addition to front ones.
2. Quiet interior
3. Six CD changer (me)
4. Leather seats (him)
5. Power windows and doors
6. Cruise control
7. Anti-lock brakes
8. A/C

Then we discussed why we want each thing on the list:

1. Side impact airbags- Increased safety since almost all of our driving would be highway along side large trucks.

2. Quiet interior- Since almost all of our driving would be highway along side large trucks. Also safety because noise is tiring.

3. Six CD changer- Increased safety since almost all of our driving would be highway along side large trucks and I cannot make myself stop and pull over to change a CD.

4. Leather seats- Easier to clean than cloth seats.

5. Power windows and doors- Because we can.

6. Cruise control- Since almost all of our driving would be long distance and for safety. Less tiring.

7. Anti-lock brakes- Safety.

8. A/C- Since almost all of our driving would be highway along side large trucks. Also safety because noise is tiring and so is heat.

We agreed on 1,2,5,6,7,8 and compromised on 3 and 4. He would get his leather seats and I would get my 6 CD changer.

We went to the Honda dealer first and found out how different things are in a small town. The salesman gave us the car and let us take it for a test drive without getting any information about us or looking at our driver licenses. After we brought it back he gave us a more expensive version of the car and again let us take it for a drive alone. Next we went to the Toyota dealer but the salesman there was not as trusting and came with us on our test drives. He was also what I would call a bit of a goofus and what my husband called an idiot. We liked the Camry better but they did not have the exact car we wanted so we told the salesman we needed to think about it and that we would call him after we got back home.

When we got home my husband called the salesman and asked if they could get the car we wanted with the options we wanted. If so, what would they ask for it? The salesman would have to call back. Twenty minutes later he called back and said yes they could get the car and told us how much it would cost. My husband told him he would call him back. Ten minutes later he called the salesman and made an offer. He explained that this offer was his one and final offer and for the salesman to check with his boss and to call back with a yes or no answer. Twenty minutes later the salesman called back and started talking. My husband said all he wanted to hear was yes or no, did they accept his offer? The salesman told him they had a major misunderstanding because my husband had got the cost of the car wrong. Since the salesman had been the one who told him what the dealer wanted for the car and was now was telling him that he (my husband) was the one who had made a mistake my husband got angry. He again asked whether his offer was accepted and again the man would not answer yes or no. My husband said goodbye and hung up.

I was not surprised by this outcome because each time my husband spoke with the man the less respect he had for him. He wanted a straight answer and this man was incapable of giving one.

On to plan B. My husband called two dealers in Denver and told the two salespeople he talked to what he wanted. A half-hour later one salesperson called back saying he had the car we wanted and my husband made an offer. The dealer accepted the offer and my husband drove to Denver that night and bought the car at the price he wanted, which he found out was $175 dollars more that the lowest price the car dealership was willing to accept. They did try to get him to pay more by asking him if he wanted to participated in the sales promotion they were having right then. All he had to do was write a check for $1000 and they would give him the car for $3,000 less than the sticker price. My husband laughed and said no since his offer really was $3,000 less than the sticker price. The salesman had the good grace to shrug and say he wouldn't be doing his job if he hadn't asked.

So now we have a new car.


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