Dealers, test Drives and general pushiness.

kdh

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
170
Car
E Class 320cdi Estate
I went to look at a car for my wife and son at the weekend. (£6000).

I told the dealer on the phone that we had just started our search and that "I wouldn't be buying today."

He said still come over and have a look, which we did.

The car was nice and we asked for a test drive.

He asked us to 'do the paperwork' first and then we could test drive it.

'Doing the paperwork' meant us buying the car or leaving a £500 deposit.

I reminded him that "I wouldn't be buying the car today" and asked if he could give us an idea of price on our p/ex.

He said as we were not "buying the car today" there was no point.

I said that we couldn't decide whether we liked the car without a test drive.

Now either Dealers today are so bloody rich and successful to adopt an attitude like this or he was clearly a knob, treating me like an imbecile and making me feel like a time-waster.

He explained that if we liked the car then there was no reason not to buy it.

I said that we didn't know if we like it without my wife test driving it first.

He insisted that if we 'weren't buying the car today" then there was no point.

It didn't end well. We walked away. He didn't say goodbye.

Apparently, most of his customers view his cars, hand over their debit cards, take a quick test drive and off they go with their new car. It wasn't a Car Supermarket btw.

Call me old-fashioned (which I am) but is that the way it works these days?

(We didn't kick the tyres and my son wasn't wearing a baseball cap back-to-front).

I asked what the cash price was and he said it was the price on the advert with no negotiation as there was nothing I could find wrong with the car.

If this is the way it all works, I'm in the wrong business.

I welcome your thoughts, especially from any dealers.
 
Last edited:

PobodY

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 23, 2016
Messages
2,537
Location
Stoke-on-Trent
Car
CLK350 Sport
Knob.

When I went to see the CLK there was no pressure; they gave me the keys and said "it's parked out the front, we've just given it a wash". - Sure they wanted to talk to me about putting a deposit down after I'd brought it back, but when I said I'd have to talk to my wife they were confident that it was a good deal and I'd be back.

They were right, but part of the appeal was their low pressure approach and confidence that the car was priced correctly for what it was.
 

Red C220

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
4,196
Location
Surrey
Car
2015 SL400 : 2017 S6 Avant
That sounds like the MO of Big Motoring World in Kent and isn't the way I'd be buying anything.
 

Petrol Pete

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 11, 2016
Messages
6,104
Location
Petrol stations ...everywhere
Car
C55 AMG Wagon
What's going on here ? kdh seems to have a legitimate concern then PobodY has another approach. are we talking about the same car at the same dealer ?

I'm confused.
 
OP
OP
K

kdh

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
170
Car
E Class 320cdi Estate
This was a small independent outfit (in Kent) run by three blokes and situated in a nice Barn type premises.

Not a Merc specialist, most of the cars were £5000.
 

gaz_l

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
2,608
Car
Mini Cooper S, BMW M140i
There's all sorts out there, good and bad.

I remember (back in the day when the Autotrader only came on badly printed paper) driving 70 miles to view a car - having rung previously to confirm it wasn't sold - and although I was keen to do a deal the salesman wouldn't let me test drive as "it's at the back of the showroom, I'll have to move loads of cars to get it out, do you want to buy it or not?".

On the other hand, I went to view another car and the salesman was happy to let me test drive with the Mrs. (just us, unaccompanied) on condition that I left my car keys and driving licence as security. We took it out for 20 minutes or so, decided it wasn't for us and took the car back full of apologies for wasting his time. No problem at all, he said, this is what test drives are for.

Guess which garage I'd go back to next time?

Cheers,

Gaz
 

wil992

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
141
Car
E63 S W212 & Mini JCW F56
I'd have told him to stick it a lot sooner than it sounds like you did. Well done for showing so much restraint. :)

I've walked out of plenty of car showrooms if I get a hint of knobbish behaviour.

On the other hand, when Mrs wil992 was thinking of getting a tts, the mk3 had been out about 5 minutes, we went to local Audi dealer, salesman threw us the keys to the demo and said we close at 5 so try not to be back later than 4:30 (it was lunch time). When we got back he apologised he was too busy to talk to us at that time and to call him if we wanted to talk numbers.
So some (even franchise) dealers can be great.
 

Doodle

MB Enthusiast
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
5,447
Location
Echo Beach
Car
R129, Leon Cupra 290, BMW R100
What's going on here ? kdh seems to have a legitimate concern then PobodY has another approach. are we talking about the same car at the same dealer ?

I'm confused.

I think an extra comma might clear this up.

When I went to see the CLK, there was no pressure

Pobody is (I believe) talking about an entirely different dealer.
 
OP
OP
K

kdh

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
170
Car
E Class 320cdi Estate
I'd have told him to stick it a lot sooner than it sounds like you did. Well done for showing so much restraint. :)

I've walked out of plenty of car showrooms if I get a hint of knobbish behaviour.

Thanks. I thought was just me.
 

markjay

MB Master
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
33,928
Location
London
Car
W204 C180 Executive SE 2013 Automatic / COMAND NTG4.7 and Morel speakers fitted by www.comand.co.uk
I went to look at a car for my wife and son at the weekend. (£6000).

I told the dealer on the phone that we had just started our search and that "I wouldn't be buying today."

He said still come over and have a look, which we did.

The car was nice and we asked for a test drive.

He asked us to 'do the paperwork' first and then we could test drive it.

'Doing the paperwork' meant us buying the car or leaving a £500 deposit.

I reminded him that "I wouldn't be buying the car today" and asked if he could give us an idea of price on our p/ex.

He said as we were not "buying the car today" there was no point.

I said that we couldn't decide whether we liked the car without a test drive.

Now either Dealers today are so bloody rich and successful to adopt an attitude like this or he was clearly a knob, treating me like an imbecile and making me feel like a time-waster.

He explained that if we liked the car then there was no reason not to buy it.

I said that we didn't know if we like it without my wife test driving it first.

He insisted that if we 'weren't buying the car today" then there was no point.

It didn't end well. We walked away. He didn't say goodbye.

Apparently, most of his customers view his cars, hand over their debit cards, take a quick test drive and off they go with their new car. It wasn't a Car Supermarket btw.

Call me old-fashioned (which I am) but is that the way it works these days?

(We didn't kick the tyres and my son wasn't wearing a baseball cap back-to-front).

I asked what the cash price was and he said it was the price on the advert with no negotiation as there was nothing I could find wrong with the car.

If this is the way it all works, I'm in the wrong business.

I welcome your thoughts, especially from any dealers.

That sounds a bit like the Dead Parrot sketch.
 

flowrider

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
3,636
Location
Great Britain
Car
SL500 (R230) / Audi S5
Sounds like the salesman i dealt with when i was looking for my SL. The premises was is East Grinstead. I walked away.
 

Rory

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
7,427
Location
Cheshire, UK
Car
C270CDi Estate (late 2004 facelift model)
It's easy to be critical but the way they do business must work for them, otherwise they won't be there for long.

There's also a school of thought in the trade that you shouldn't test drive used cars to see if you like them, you should only test drive to check if they have faults, and that should be done after you say you want the car. They don't see it as their role to allow people to try all sorts of cars in the same way as you would with new cars.

I guess their experience must be that people who "aren't buying today" will test drive, ask lots of awkward questions, then disappear never to be seen again. Someone who works in a sales job should be thinking they could persuade that person to buy - perhaps you just too insistent that you wouldn't?


I've discovered that it's really important to say as the salesman walks up to you "how much a month is this, mate?" You'll get a lot of attention then. Whatever you do, don't suggest you'll be paying cash. :)
 
Last edited:

wil992

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
Messages
141
Car
E63 S W212 & Mini JCW F56
On the other hand, I got a BMW late 2015 and decided it was a mistake so I wanted out of it after just a few months.
Went to local merc dealer to search for E63's. Bloke there just told me they dint have any and to look on we buy any car for a p/ex price for the BMW. Shows how good a judge he was of people who are serious buyers.
 

PobodY

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 23, 2016
Messages
2,537
Location
Stoke-on-Trent
Car
CLK350 Sport
I think an extra comma might clear this up.

When I went to see the CLK, there was no pressure

Pobody is (I believe) talking about an entirely different dealer.

Syntactical feedback duly noted. :thumb:

Yes. I assume it was a completely different dealer, unless kdh was in the Wirral. - I simply meant that not all car dealers behave that way; in the last year I'd had an encounter with one with a completely different attitude.
 
OP
OP
K

kdh

Active Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
170
Car
E Class 320cdi Estate
There's also a school of thought in the trade that you shouldn't test drive used cars to see if you like them, you should only test drive to check if they have faults, and that should be done after you say you want the car. They don't see it as their role to allow people to try all sorts of cars in the same way as you would with new cars.

I guess their experience must be that people who "aren't buying today" will test drive, ask lots of awkward questions, then disappear never to be seen again.

I think you're absolutely right, Rory and I fully understand. I think that is exactly the way they work.


So in that case, where do we test-drive a ten year-old car?
 

Lit91

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
1,268
Car
MB
I really don't understand all of this.

Anyone selling the car, whether they are a dealer or private individual, have to expect that there is work involved, what the seller mustn't forget, is that they need to sell the car, no one needs to buy the car.

If every buyer was not to tolerate this sort of attitude, there will be none of this happening.

I would suggest that the dealer is named and shamed, as well as google rated.
 

JohnDavies

Active Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
131
Location
Ripon, N. Yorkshire
Car
ML270cdti & C200 Coupe
I apologise from drifting away from the thread but regarding doing a P/X has anyone else on here been downright insulted by Autotrader for their valuations? Who are these idiots running this site? They are most definately on the side of the dealer and NOT the potential buyer that's for sure. Gave me a valuation of less than half bottom book on Glasses Guide, £850 absolute insult and never again.
attachment.php
 

Attachments

  • 003.jpg
    003.jpg
    221.1 KB · Views: 41

Wheelsnuts

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 27, 2014
Messages
1,448
Location
Up in the North East
Car
W246
We called at the Hyundai agent in Durham because they had some good offers on new cars and my wife was interested. We explained that we just considering options at that stage but the salesman just handed me the keys to a brand new car and asked us to take it away for a test drive - unaccompanied! No paper work, no pressure whatsoever. We were away half an hour and when we returned he simply asked us what we thought. We bought the car. :D
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom