Buying a Car II

After yesterday’s post, I have more to add to the saga. It’s of such incredible content that I must do it immediately before I forget.

Last thing yesterday, we put my gf’s details into a car broker’s website. This website will contact all Toyota dealers in the UK in an effort to get us the best deal on the Aygo that we wanted.

Obviously this service notified the first dealer we saw on Satuday, because he rang the gf this morning in an effort to try and revive the previously failed sale. Just as a reminder, we eventually managed to beat this guy into giving us £3500 for the old car, and £200 off the list price on the new car, which made it £7845.

Taking a £500 deposit into account, this would have made the amount payable £3845, which wasn’t good enough. We wanted the car for £7500 with left £4000 for deposit and a finance agreement. We didn’t get anywhere with the salesman, called ‘Phil’, on Saturday, but he rang back today and wanted to talk.

Talk is fine, so we listened.

The first deal offered was as follows:

Aygo Platinum 3-door with AC. AC is not as standard with this model and ordinarily costs £500 on top, so the list price on this model would be £8545. Phil offered this for £8277. With the £3500 part-ex, this would make the total payable £4777 on finance at 5.9% APR.

Hang on, this is more than we wanted to pay. We wanted the Plantinum without AC for £500 off the list price, so if they want to push us at one with AC, I’ll want £500 off that list price too. This deal was still £300 too expensive. It’s pretty much the same deal they offered us on Saturday, except the AC is not included.

No deal, the gf rang back and restated our desire for the standard model at £7500. Off Phil went to try to meet this.

As expected, he came back not with the deal we wanted, but with the most astounding amount of obfuscated bullshit that my gf had to ring me and relay all the figures so I could work out just what the fuck had been offered.

It goes like this:

They claimed to be unable to move on the list price AT ALL, all of a sudden, but said they could give us a saving by being ‘creative’ with the financing. The financing deal, in which numbers were randomly thrown at my gf who couldn’t hope to understand them are as follows.

The car would cost £8045, and they’d give us £3000 for the old car (why this had suddenly reduced by £500 I don’t know), making the total to pay £5045, minus a £500 deposit, so £4545. Here’s where it gets really funky. They told her they could offer her an ‘interest rate’ of 1.5%, making the deal so cheap she’d save money overall.

The payments would be over 48 months. £150 for the first month, 46 payments of £113.93, and a final payment of £198.93. For anyone counting that adds up to £5589.71. On a balance of £4545 this is not 1.5% APR. It’s over £1000 in interest over 4 years and works out to more like 5% APR.

So confused that I was that I took the drastic action of ringing the dealer myself.

I speak to Phil, and query the figures, telling him its clearly not 1.5%, he assured me it is, and passes me on to ‘Mike’, who then ‘explains’ it to me.

It’s not 1.5% APR, it’s 1.5% flat rate. While I’m on the phone I look up what ‘flat rate‘ means, and it basically means that unlike most other loans, the amount of interest paid does not decrease in proportion to the balance. Meaning that on month 47 of the payments she’d still be paying the interest on the full, original balance of £4545.

I told Mike this was a misleading cost for comparisson, because APR is what people are most familiar with and as such the actual deal was no better than that originally offered, in fact, it was worse. What I didn’t realise at that instant was how much worse.

When asking ‘Mike’ to clarify the deal, he mentions the loan amount to be £5045. I query this, as my gf was supposed to pay a £500 deposit which would make any finanace deal start at £4545. Right? Wrong.

Mike starts babbling all kinds of nonsense and I start to tune out. This is bullshit designed to confuse people but I recognise it for the gibberish that it is. During this conversation, Mike tells me that the ‘cost’ of setting up this ‘deal’ is over £1000, of which £500 was being met by Toyota finance, and £500 was being met by my gf.

For those of you not following, this means my gf was due to pay £500 not as a deposit towards the balance, but as a COST of setting up this fucking finance deal.

I check my figures.

£8045 for car, minus £3000 on the part exchange. £5045 outstanding balance. My gf’s £500 goes NOWHERE to set up this fucking 1.5% flat rate deal, and over 4 years she’d pay over £1000 in interest.

Total cost: over £6500 after the part exchange of £3000.

Now, if you were an average, unassuming person, you might have been confused by the conflicting low numbers and intense level of bullshit and actually be taken in by this deal. Unfortunately I’ve heard enough.

Me: Ok Mike, I’ve heard enough from you, can I speak to Phil again please?

*I get transferred*

Phil: Hi Pete.

Me: Hi Phil. I’ve just spoken to Mike and he’s tried to explain these confusing rates to me and I’ve done the numbers. I’ve worked it out and I can tell you quite categorically that this deal is actually worse than the one you offered me on Saturday.

Phil: No, how it works is….

Me: No Phil, I’m actually really quite good with my numbers, and it’s an inarguable, mathemetical fact that this deal is NOT as good as the one you’ve previously offered.

Now, we’re in no rush to buy a car, and we’re in a near recession here, so I’m quite happy to sit and wait 2, 3, 4 months for the right deal, even if it means we risk losing trade-in value on the Fiesta. It’s only the dealer that gives me the offer I want that is going to get this deal.

Phil: I can’t do anything more for you Pete, I’ve been really good to you and your girlfriend, I’ve made the absolute best offer I can here, and I’ve worked really hard on it. You can wait for as long as you like, but you’re not going to get a better deal than this. Even if you come back to me later today I won’t offer you this deal again.

Me: But this deal is worse than the last one you offered, you’ve just made it confusing. Let me tell you the deal I want.

Phil: No Pete, I think I’m going to have to end the conversation here. You’re going to ask for more and I can’t give it.

Me: It’s really simple Phil, I’ll tell you the deal I want. If you can offer it, ring me back, if you can’t, don’t. Ok?

Phil: Well, what deal do you want then?

Me: Ok, don’t interrupt me or appear incredulous, I’m just going to tell you the figures.

Phil: No, sorry Pete, I’m going to end the conversation here.

Me: Ok, no problem

*I slam the phone down hard enough to break it*.

I then ring the gf and tell her we’re not dealing with Phil anymore. Amusingly Phil then rings her and leaves a message on her answerphone, thanking her for her enquiry, but that there’s nothing more they can do for her. i.e. Don’t ring us again. As if we would, dickface.

Clearly, Phil realised that he wasn’t talking to an utter fucking moron that could be taken in by confusing figures, utter nonsense and complete lies like other people must. With me, there was no deal he could bullshit to his own advantage and he must be one of those salesman who, if he can’t sell it at the price he wants, won’t sell it at all regardless of whether he’d make a profit.

While I’m sure I appear aggressive (but polite) over the phone, and very no-nonsense, I strenuously refute any criticism of my manner. Why should I react submissively when I’m being told a bunch of lies? They’ve set out to confuse my girlfriend by a badly explained, confusing finance deal that when you work it out is the biggest fucking ripoff we’ve been offered yet. When you try that on, I’m going to react badly.

Consider me even more beyond belief than I was yesterday, as this is a new low that even I didn’t believe to be possible.

I suppose I could agree to the deal, but then go and burn down the dealership. I wouldn’t get the deal I wanted, but they wouldn’t have made any money off me off me, either. It’d be the moral victory, but I’d rather have the financial one.

The search for a car continues.


Buying a Car

This seems to be a recurring problem for everyone – buying a car. The problem is less with the car and more with the people who sell them to you, the fucking car salesmen. These bastards have the morality of a serial rapist. They’re utter, utter shits who will do and say anything to manipulate you into a sale.

People in general are stupid, easily led, and mentally weak. It’s for this reason that these salesmen are capable of reeling off a stream of bullshit that actually works. But not me, for I am not a retarded monkey who believes everything he’s told, so the ‘sales pitch’ as far as I’m concerned is an enormous insult to my intelligence.

I recently bought a car, and generally acquitted myself well. Unfortunately I needed the car fairly quickly so I didn’t have the time to spend weeks going in and out of dealerships in search of the best deal, which negatively affected the price I paid. I paid more than I needed to, I’m sure of it.

My gf has recently declared her interest in buying a new car, and part exchanging her existing Fiesta. She’d quite like a Toyota Aygo, a tidy little 1.0 that has a list price of £8045. So, off we went to the nearest dealership.

I wasn’t of a mind to play anything other than an observational role, but soon it became apparent I was going to have to butt in to prevent the gf from accepting the first ‘deal’ she was spun. By christ, salesman are just the lowest kind of scum in the world. The sheer scale and variation of the lies that came forth from his mouth were incredible.

A year ago we had the Fiesta valued by a Ford dealer for £4500. While it has more mileage on it since then, the bodywork is unchanged and so we expected about a grands worth of depreciation. When the Toyota dealer came back with a valuation of £2750 my laughter choked in my throat. The conversation went like this:

Salesman (on seeing my reaction): That was less than you expected then?

Me: Yes. Considerably. I don’t mind telling you that we had this valued less than a year ago for £4500, and I know for a fact it hasn’t lost that much value.

Salesman: Right. What kind of price were you looking for?

One of the most fundamental rules when talking to a salesman is to not give him specifics. The more you specify, the more he’ll be able to back you into a corner by appearing to meet your perceived needs with a deal that actually screws you over. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one in this conversation, so after I say:

Me: Let me put it this way, the closer you come to £4500 the happier I’ll be

Gf: I was hoping for about £3500.

I could have chucked her through a window. NO SPECIFICS, FOR GODS SAKE. The salesman cuntface then said he’d go and ‘double check the valuation had been calculated properly’, and get back to us. After he left us I raged at the gf for giving him a specific number, betting a hundred, million, zillion pounds that he’ll come back and quote exactly what she’d specified. No doubt it’s still less than the car’s worth, and plays right into the salesmans hands.

What happened? Surprise surprise, he returned, and after telling us ‘just how much of a struggle’ it would be to get that price, he agreed to part-ex the Fiesta for £3500. Apparently he ‘knows someone’ who might want to buy a Fiesta, and that’s the only reason he can give us such an amazing price. Magical.

The salesman thinks his job is done, and is now trying to get the gf to agree to a deal. £3500 part-ex on £8045, with the remaining £4545 balance to be paid on a finance deal.

"I\'m full of shit today, how are you?"
"I'm full of shit today, how are you?"

Hang on though, something is wrong. Does this salesman seriously think we’re going to accept the list price and walk away happy? Absurd. However he’s pushing too much, asking us to agree to a deal, so we tell him we need time to think about it.

Salesman: When will you be able to let me know? Just because I’ve got to tell this guy that wants to buy your Fiesta.

Me: Later. When we’ve thought about it.

Salesman: Right, when will that be? My manager will want to know.

Me: When we’ve thought about it.

Salesman: Ok, just so you know that price for your car won’t be the same after Monday, as the trade-in prices will have changed by then, y’see.

Me (grinning): Right, bye.


Anyway, we go off shopping, and my gf’s phone rings. It’s the salesman, wanting to know if we’ve decided yet. No, she says, she has to go home and work out some figures and then she’ll let him know.

We finish shopping, we go home and have a cup of tea. The gf’s phone rings again. It’s the fucking cunting bastard salesman again.

Salesman: Have you decided yet? My manager is asking.

Gf: No, I haven’t done my figures yet, I need to work out what I can afford.

Salesman: Well, the deal we’re offering is very limited, and it’s only because we have a target to sell one more car this month that we can do this.

Gf: I haven’t decided yet.

Eventually she manages to get off the phone. Seriously, FUCK OFF with your FUCKING PRESSURE and don’t be so fucking insulting to presume that just because you keep ringing that we’re going to cave in and agree to a deal. Do you think we’re fucking morons? Fuck me.

Anyway, we take our time, and I tell the gf to ring back and say the deal isn’t good enough, and that she wants ‘several hundred’ off the list price. She does, and the salesman says its not possible ‘because they’re only making £18 on the car as it is’. She thanks him and says she can’t do the deal then, and hangs up.

10 minutes later the salesman rings back. Suddenly, incredibly, the unmovable price that they couldn’t previously move on has dropped by £200, the price is now £7845. Still not good enough, so we ask for another £300 off. The salesman says its not possible, so we hang up again. He doesn’t call back.

I’m not bothered by this, because I know for a fact that anything less than £500 of the list price is a ripoff. If that dealer doesn’t want to sell a car, we’ll find someone else that will.

This post is getting rather long, but to cut a long story short we went into another dealership from the same group today, looking at the same car. I should point out that Toyota salesman have unfortunately donned a uniform that looks incredibly like a football top, which just emphasises the preception that these guys are a bunch of pricks.

Again, after letting the gf talk for a while and after hearing the new salesman spew a load of shit, I do lose my composure slightly and tell him to stop with the bullshit. This guy won’t even offer us the £3500 on the part exchange the previous dealer did. He reckons he’d struggle to get as much as £3000.

I tell him that we’ve already been offered £3500 for the car, and that the previous dealership lost our business because they wouldn’t move sufficiently on the list price.

The conversation then goes like this:

Salesman: Well if they didn’t offer you the price you wanted, what makes you think I will?

Me: Because you might actually be interested in selling a car today.

Salesman: I am interested in selling a car. What price do you want then?

Me: £3500 for the part-exchange, and £500 off the list price for the Aygo.

At this point the salesman does the worst thing he can possibly do. He laughs incredulously at me.

Me (to gf): Right, let’s go. If this fucking joker is just going to laugh at me then there’s no deal here.

We start to stand up, I’m halfway to the door. Suddenly the salesman appears contrite.

Salesman: Hang on, hang on, sit down. Maybe there’s something we can do. I need to check it out.

Me: The first thing you need to do is stop laughing at potential customers when they tell you the price they want, but ok, you go and see what you can do.

So we sit there for 10 minutes, a good ten minutes, before the little fucker comes back and assures us he’s still working on it and he’ll be back as soon as possible. I start to pace the room, I’m ready to go. After another 5 minutes the little shit comes back, and having been very firm with him I’m rather expecting him to quote something extremely fucking close to what I’ve demanded.

Salesman (not looking at me): As I expected, I’m really struggling. At best I can only get £3200 for your old car, and with the financing you can’t possibly borrow less than £5000.

Then something odd happens. He doesn’t say anything else. Apart from the fact this ‘can’t borrow less than £5k’ is a load of fucking shit, I’m confused that he hasn’t said more.

Me: What, and you’re not going to improve on the list price?

Salesman: I can’t.

Me: Right. Goodbye.

And off we go.

Talk about a fucking piss take. Clearly, he thought he’d try to back me into a financial corner. He must have retardedly believed that I needed the financing in order to buy the car at all, and if he made up some bullshit about how it was a £5000 borrowing minimum, I’d be forced to buy the car at the higher price in order to do it at all.

It’s a poor move, because it’s a lie, and it ended badly for him. No sale. It occured to me immediately afterwards that he must have already decided he wasn’t going to give me the deal, and instead just wanted to waste 15 minutes of my time sitting there before coming back with a load of fanciful shit, just to piss me off.

But I’m forgetting things here. In the midst of furious rage various parts of the conversation blank themselves out and occur to me only later.

Other things the salesman said during the conversation included:

  • The car we wanted was not available in the UK for ’14 weeks’. Toyota, he said, only have a fixed number they’re allowed to sell and after that no more. As such the only car available was a 5 door model that was £400 more expensive. Later in the conversation, after losing my cool and telling him no deal would be made on a 5-door model, MAGICALLY as many 3-door models as we wanted were suddenly available. What an enormous fucking lie, to actually tell us the car we WANTED wasn’t available in order to try to force us to buy something more expensive. What a CUNT.
  • He started talking about the deal not in terms of what the car cost, but in terms of how low he could make the monthly repayments. Since I’m not an idiot I’d already forewarned the gf that he’d try to do that. It’s just another divertionary tactic to abstract the deal from its real, ripoff cost.

I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t remember it all.

Even now it still amazes me. Everything they say isn’t a bit of an exaggeration, it isn’t a bit of misleading nonsense, it’s a full, blatant, outright fucking lie. Lies and deception in a full psychological onslaught designed to beat the average mind into submission, and what depresses me most is that I bet it works.

Well not to me, you fucking cunts. Even though this post seems enormous I could rant and rant about this subject for hours, detailing every little thing they try on in order to confuse and deceive you into thinking the deal they’re presenting is the only one you can accept.

Even if it means I have to scour every dealership in the country, I’m going to get the deal I want (for the gf). I know for a fact the price I’m asking for is not unreasonable, because I’ve checked out the lowest dealership prices on a handy website, just so I know I’m not toiling under a misconception of what the car is worth.

What car dealers tend to forget, and what they certainly don’t mention, is that this country is grip of a credit-implosion, a near recession, and even if they can still offer finance deals it doesn’t mean for a second that people are going to use them. In such a climate, dealers really can’t afford to be pissing you off by bullshitting about what is and is not possible on the car’s price. Fuckers.