Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Charger Wins!

Son did get the 2006 Dodge Charger. It looks like this but has a white racing stripe across the hood, roof and back. I love the color! It is a midnight pearl metallic blue. It hugs the road and is fun to drive.

We've enjoyed seeing him derive such joy from his new car. I am seeing expressions that remind me of when he was a little boy excited about his new bike or Lego set. :) It's also fun watching his friends come over to see it and then go out for a ride.

He has always been a very responsible kid and I have no doubt he will continue to do so with his car. Never the less, I find myself tossing out advice about auto safety. In my opinion the most difficult time as a parent is when they start driving.

Maybe it is because I totaled a car - a brand new 1972 Mach I when I was 17. (not mine)
Maybe it is because of all the MVA injuries that I saw come through the ER.
Maybe it is because I am a mother...his mother.

I feel like I can never impart enough wisdom to him. I thought I cut the umbilical cord but evidently not all the way!

He brought it home in the rain and it has been raining steadily ever since. Unfortunately, when everything dries he will have a perpetual dust covering his car. That is because we have a little dirt road right of way at the end of our property that goes to the land locked houses in the back. Our vehicles are constantly getting covered by the dust that flies up form the dirt road anytime someone drives by. I have no doubt he will be washing his car often. :) Older son did when he got his first cat - a black Grand Am. :)

I like the Dodge/Chrysler names for their cars. Challenger (bringing it back in 2008), Charger, Viper, Crossfire, and Avenger. They sound intriguing, exciting -emotion evoking. :) Maybe it's memories of bygone days...I loved my Challenger.

I want to get a new vehicle once I get established in a new job. We went to car dealers for 6 days before we agreed to this one. I haggled, schmoozed, haggled, left and returned. Son test drove a lot of cars. Haggled some more. It is a painful process...but I know those prices can come down and they did.

Toward the end, we were at the dealer that we bought this car from but hadn't decided on it yet. They knew we liked it and they knew we had one more dealer I wanted to go to - the Honda place. Son and I had gone to Chrysler 3 or 4 times, this place 4 times, Toyota once and they were not very customer friendly I must say, although son did test drive the most cars there. The sales guy who had been talking to us for 4 days now comes out just when we were about to leave to check out the other place and says, "I'm not supposed to do this but you know we aren't open on Sundays and so we take cars like this one ( obviously trying to make us fearful that the car could be sold to some one else. It bothered us but we didn't react) and we put this on there saying we will take an additional 300.00 off any purchase. You can have this if you buy the car but don't tell my boss." SERIOUSLY?! They had already taken a couple of thousand off the car in increments and now this. The 1st thousand came off right away. Then gradually the rest and we got it down to 18,195. I joked that I wanted it down to 17,999 but the stayed firm stating that they were down to bare bones and not making a profit. So, now the 300.00 brought it down to 17,895. Good! Son always wanted this car but I was trying to be thrifty and practical. Auto insurance is expensive in NJ and it had to be figured into the cost of his monthly payment.

I was filling out the forms when he bolts back in the room and says, "We're gonna put the window etching on the car for you in case it ever gets stolen." I questioned it and the price to which he said it cost 189.00 and then I balked and he said it would be covered in the price. Also that he would get an insurance discount for it. I let it go and now am annoyed at myself that I let myself get pushed into it. It won't give him any discount because it already gets the discount for the anti-theft device and our agent said it wasn't necessary and they made a 100% profit on that. (sigh) Now it was back up to 18,084. I know it isn't that much money but it is the principal of the whole thing. Lesson learned.

I think the dealers have a lot of leeway with how they work the payments/interest - new vs used, etc., etc. I still think we did alright with the car price but it does bug me that I don't know by how much. They saw me coming when I bought my blue T-bird. At that time I didn't know you could haggle with them and I bought it for sticker price.

Of all the sales people we spoke too, I liked this guy and dealership the best - even though I don't 100% trust them. there was a family quality too their business. Also our rep was of Italian descent and from the city and so he reminded me of my Italian neighbors when I lived down at the shore. So there was an emotional component there as well.

Dr. Schoor from The Independent Urologist talks about the importance of word of mouth for a business and I agree with him. I would totally recommend this business and I would not recommend the Toyota place. Chrysler was good too maybe not as friendly but still good.

Then Monday we went to get the car and decided son should get an extended warranty. It still has a warranty and I never get the extended ones for myself but figured since he will be a student and he doesn't earn that much that maybe he should have the added protection. Turns out we haggled about that too and we got the cheapest one for 8.00 less than what was first offered although I do wonder if it what we agreed to was what they wanted all along?

I was hoping to see son bring the car home to our house but it turns out that our salesman needed a ride to a local golf course down past our house so that he could pick up a Corvette and wanted to know if I could take him. I said yes but I should have said "Yes -if you agree to reimburse us for the window etching! :)


Elaine said...

Hey - you done good - just remember you can't possibly win EVERY battle :-)

Chrysalis Angel said...

Congratulations on your purchase. Shame you weren't closer..I could have done that window etching for you in 5 minutes! If they are charging that...maybe I ought to go into business for myself.

You should write a letter to that Toyota dealership. That's a shame that customers are made to feel that way. I can tell you, Toyotas are excellent vehicles, the odometers always turn over,they are low maintenance and usually have much better gas mileage than other vehicles. (No, I don't work for them). Just a customer.

SeaSpray said...

Thanks Elaine and yes you are right. I guess losing helps us to appreciate the wins and fine tunes our skills if we are willing to learn.

Thanks Chrys - maybe you SHOULD look into it. :)

It wasn't anything that would compel me to write a letter just not good vibe. I am an easy going person and so is son. Something was off if we both felt it and he is the one who said. "Mom, this isn't a customer friendly place."

I know a doc who owned 2 Porches and a Miata (obviously loved them) but he swore by the Japanese car he commuted long distances. I don't remember what car company,Toyota or Honda.