I actually had a good car shopping experience, which I have to say is a first.
“Irony” is the word to describe the drive to the mini dealer. For many years I have dreamed of owning 2 cars. A VW beetle and a Mini. I have never had a craving for a sports car or muscle cars, I have always liked the little quirky cars. Unfortunately neither have been within reach due to my life style. I need something to carry a canoe/kayak and be able to handle the Canadian winters. Besides, finding an original VW beetle or a mini is next to impossible. And I am definitely not a mechanic. I filled the VW itch by getting the diesel sportswagen and now Mini makes a car big enough for my lifestyle. Driving to the dealer to find a new mini and this pulls out in front of me to remind me of my love of the beetle.
Arrive at the dealer and my “only works on weekends” sales”metrosexual”man is waiting for me. Boy did I ever put him through the ringer. Out into the parking lot to look at all the cars, figure out which options each of them have, run the prices, etc etc… Unfortunately for him, he’s only allowed to checkout 1 key at a time. In and out, in and out hahahaha…. No blue available – argh, the British Racing green is only in an automatic, none of them have the sound system I really wanted, that one has the small engine and I want the big one, that one doesn’t have a white or black roof and on and on as I eliminated as much of the stock as I could. In the end I was left with the car I had actually circled on my list. The last car standing that had the engine I wanted, minimal options but the ones I wanted and a colour I liked. After all that running around the parking lot, it was the one sitting on the showroom floor which is the first one I sat in last week. My salesman had the patience of a stone, I would have killed me 🙂
He starts to punch up the numbers and I get the first quote. I state, “now you need to give me the discount in the coupon”, “what coupon”, “the one you guys emailed and phoned me about”, “that’s not for the countryman”, “where does it say that?”, “well it doesn’t but the picture on the coupon is a clubman”, “so it was a scam to get me in the door?”, “hang on a minute”. Off to an office he goes, comes back and sheepishly says “well if giving you that 1750.00 off will make this deal then we’ll give it to you” – I was stunned! I figured they would come back with 1000 or some kind of counter offer. I decided to press my luck a bit further “…. you know, all we are from a handshake is black stripes being added to the hood of that car”, his eyes lite up, “be right back”. This time they actually counter offered, I pay the 150.00 for the stripes and they would pay the labour to install them. Done! I got everything I wanted and the came in below my price.
and it continues…. Last week when I was in, Jen and the receptionist got talking while Jen was admiring an orchid they had on the counter. The girl joked, “he buys a mini and I’ll give you the orchid.” Like I said in my last post, I don’t think they took me too seriously given my attire. I look over at her and state “you promised my girlfriend something”, well the look of horror. She then spent the next 5 minutes running around trying to find out if she could give up the Orchid. And she did 🙂
Then off to the finance manager. All my life I have always hated these people, pushing their extended warranties and I have ALWAYS turned them down but this time around I wanted to hear and think this through. The on thing about mini’s is that they are expensive to repair. They do offer free maintenance for the first 3 years or 50k and it has a 4 year 80k bumper to bumper. But I do go through the km’s fairly quickly and the extended warranties they offer really expand the km’s and cover things most dealers won’t. Mini’s have run flat tires (thus no spare – eek) and rarely do you fix a run flat, if you have the coverage they replace it (both winter and summer tires). They replace the windshield if cracked, they fill all glass chips, they fix body scratches and dents, they clean any interior stains or accidental spills, repair fabric or interior damage, replace key fobs (which are apparently grossly expensive) and numerous other things. Not a bad deal. I don’t recall ever having a car that I have not replaced a windshield on (and apparently they are 1400.00 with mini) or had to have a tire fixed. A couple of claims and this will easily pay for itself. They were willing to negotiate the packages a bit and I have taken some extended warranties. I’m now have at least 5 years/200k on basically everything. I’m going to keep track over the next 5 years to see if the price was worth it or not.
I actually walked out of the dealership with a smile on my face, lets hope everything continues that way. Still nervous having never owned a mini before. At no time was a pressured, belittled or felt like I was dealing with a scum bucket. They were polite, patient and really seemed to want me to get what I wanted. They were willing to custom order and they didn’t haggle over 50 bucks or need to have the last word. An example of that was the licensing. They asked if I wanted to pay that separately, my response “why would I pay it? You get an admin fee, that’s what that fee is for”. He smiled and said “don’t worry about the licensing”. Haha. This is where it pays to do your homework before buying a car and staying away from the scumbag dealers. I would rather spend more money at a place who treats me with respect then a grease bag in a suit with slicked hair. Go go metrosexual! LOL
Delivery is Thursday after work (my choice, could have been sooner) and I’ll have her for the long weekend. I have Friday off work, I see a road trip this weekend 🙂
Apparently the tradition is that you name your mini, I think it’s obvious – she’s white in colour and she came with a gift. Her name will be Orchid.