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Main dealers bizarre attitude - barney100

Went twice to the local Merc dealers here in sunny Basingstoke to see if I could do a deal on one of their used cars. Despite several staff wondering around doing very little not one even acknowledged I was there! No 'someone will be with you shortly' or the like, just totally ignored. A salesman was dealing with another guy for about ten minutes and I waited patiently for them to finish expecting he would deal with me next, no, he just scurried off into his office without a glance and sat doing nothing at his desk. Is it me?

Main dealers bizarre attitude - paul 1963

We had exactly the same thing happen to us in a Ford dealership..very strange.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - RT

Went twice to the local Merc dealers here in sunny Basingstoke to see if I could do a deal on one of their used cars. Despite several staff wondering around doing very little not one even acknowledged I was there! No 'someone will be with you shortly' or the like, just totally ignored. A salesman was dealing with another guy for about ten minutes and I waited patiently for them to finish expecting he would deal with me next, no, he just scurried off into his office without a glance and sat doing nothing at his desk. Is it me?

I had that at both a Mercedes-Benz and Land-Rover dealer when I was looking to buy a big SUV - I don't "dress to impress" so I suspect I failed their first impressions test.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - elekie&a/c doctor
Yes, been there , seen it . I think most main dealers employ “sales prevention officers “ . Why would they want to sell you a car ?
Main dealers bizarre attitude - Bromptonaut

There is a school of thought that says let the customer look around and then come to us......

Main dealers bizarre attitude - RT

There is a school of thought that says let the customer look around and then come to us......

That only works if there's someone to "come to"

Main dealers bizarre attitude - barney100

That's the thing, loads of people milling around, not one showed any interest.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
Easy solution. Give the dealership a call, make an appointment. If you don’t want to, that’s fine. They’ll find another buyer easily enough.
The everyday world of a car sales exec has just got a whole lot harder. Every car sat in will need to be sanitized again, ditto test drive (keys also need sanitisation). The days of jumping from car to car are over (at least for the time being), and I’d also suggest that a test drive will only be offered once a deal is done.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - Sulphur Man

Go up to the most expensive car in the showroom, and try to open it. If it's unlocked, sit in it, move the drivers seat around to its bump stops, twist and touch everything on the dashboard, prod everything button-related on the roof. Recline the seat all the way back. Turn the steering wheel, ideally into lock state.

If the car is locked, walk around around it pulling all the door handles. Then try the next car, repeating the steps in the first paragraph, and so forth.

They'll soon come over.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
And, if it was my showroom, ask you to leave.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - Andrew-T

Then try the next car, repeating the steps in the first paragraph, and so forth. They'll soon come over.

Your behaviour will depend on whether you enter a showroom convinced that all salesmen are crooks, or at best untrustworthy - or whether you think you may just be lucky and find one who is OK to deal with. It seems you may be the former, but I don't see why the latter attitude may not be preferable, at least until the situation becomes clearer.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
Did you have an appointment? In these ‘just reopened’ days’ most dealers are working on an appointment basis. Maybe the customer ahead of you had been appointed, and there was another one due.
From reports I’m getting from new and used sites, they’re very busy, and selling lots of cars. So, given the amount of admin a sales exec has to do, I’d be surprised if he was at his desk doing nothing.
Evans Halshaw are now charging £10 for a test drive, following production of a driving licence, passport and utility bill. And a dash cam is fitted. If you buy, the £10 comes off the purchase price.

Edited by mcb100 on 16/06/2020 at 10:52

Main dealers bizarre attitude - concrete

I have told this previously on the forum. A late good friend of mine was a car salesman for over 40 years. He was a natural with people and a joy to behold in action. Friendly, funny and polite and very knowledgable. The number of times over an evening beer he would tell us of watching the Merc and BMW dealership across the road, he said they were his best source of customers, as people went in and reappeared several minutes later looking bewildered. Then they would wander across to his showroom. He would greet everyone who came in. If they were simply looking he would give them a card and show them where his desk was if they wish to know anything further. Worked a treat. Simple things like being acknowledged without being pestered, smiled at and welcomed. He also always had a bunch of flowers for ladies and a bottle of wine for men when a car was collected. This is going back some years so I suppose he was ahead of his time, or just a natural with people and their psychology. I also watched him buy a freezer in Curry's. He tied their salesman in knots and secured such a good deal I was actually embarrassed. What a guy. RIP Paul, they broke the mould mate!!!!!

Cheers Concrete

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Engineer Andy
Did you have an appointment? In these ‘just reopened’ days’ most dealers are working on an appointment basis. Maybe the customer ahead of you had been appointed, and there was another one due. From reports I’m getting from new and used sites, they’re very busy, and selling lots of cars. So, given the amount of admin a sales exec has to do, I’d be surprised if he was at his desk doing nothing. Evans Halshaw are now charging £10 for a test drive, following production of a driving licence, passport and utility bill. And a dash cam is fitted. If you buy, the £10 comes off the purchase price.

If the £10 goes towards a proper (hygenic) clean of the inside of the car after the test drive, then that's fair enough, considering the current circumstances, especially as many brokers and car supermakrtes will be relying (as usual) on people getting their test drive in a dealership even though they have no intention of buying a car from them, because they (mostly) cannot price match.

My Mazda dealer is doing the same with the ID side, nothing on their website (yet) about needing to pay for a test drive.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Engineer Andy

My local Mazda is ONLY accepting customers who have made an appointment - no 'walk-ins'.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Roy124

It is not just post-Covid we were in the market for a new car, any make, back in February. Our first choice was a Kia Niro. On the off chance we went into the Grantham Toyota opposite. They were everything you could expect from the moment we walked in the door. After viewing a couple of cars to compare against the Niro we crossed the road. We approached someone and they just said 'it's round the corner' we had a look at the car but an electric car with power off is just a lump of metal and glass. After 5 minutes we left.

Next day we visited the nearby Volvo dealer. Lots of staff, eventually someone left her desk and came to us, walked right passed us and disappeared. There were no customers in. We bought the Toyota. 100% satisfied.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - daveyK_UK
Motorpoint this week, staff very keen to sell, very helpful but sticker prices slightly higher than a near identical vehicle found elsewhere.
No doubt they will correct those prices in the coming days but it means they missed out on a sale on Tuesday.
Staff not willing/able to give discount or in this scenario price match a main dealer.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - barney100

Off to look at a car this morning, have an appointment at another main dealers so if I can get a deal the other lot have lost a potential sale through their awful manners.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - _ORB_

When I was looking in february for the Sportage (amongst others) Local dealer quoted me a lot more than the dealer i bought from (even via carwow) and the salesman didn't really seem interested.

So for a £23.45 train fare i went over to Ebbsfleet to collect the car 11 days later.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - nellyjak

It is not just post-Covid we were in the market for a new car, any make, back in February. Our first choice was a Kia Niro. On the off chance we went into the Grantham Toyota opposite. They were everything you could expect from the moment we walked in the door. After viewing a couple of cars to compare against the Niro we crossed the road. We approached someone and they just said 'it's round the corner' we had a look at the car but an electric car with power off is just a lump of metal and glass. After 5 minutes we left.

Next day we visited the nearby Volvo dealer. Lots of staff, eventually someone left her desk and came to us, walked right passed us and disappeared. There were no customers in. We bought the Toyota. 100% satisfied.

No surprise...my wife bought her new Yaris Y20 from Listers Grantham Toyota just prior to lockdown..great deal...superb service...all that you should expect/hope from a dealer.

.....So we went with their 3 years service plan too.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Terry W

Even if they are operating appointment only at the moment there is no reason a salesman could not say "good morning" and explain that in the current circumstances ............... etc.

Most potential buyers would understand.

More to the point - if they can't be bothered to take some trouble over a customers who may spend £10-50k on a car, why would you have any faith in their ability do deal with servicing or later warranty claims properly.

Walk - on second thoughts run don't just walk.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - barney100

Went to another dealers and bought a car, the local dealers did lose a sale and I don't suppose they give a fig!

Main dealers bizarre attitude - _ORB_

I once heard a colleague at an Audi dealer say to a customer, "we don't sell discounts, we sell cars" and then ended up dealing with him when the dealership sold via a broker.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Andrew-T

Walk - on second thoughts run don't just walk.

Oh no, don't do that - it's so very undignified ....

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Avant

....especially if you run straight into a plate-glass window, with which car showrooms abound.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Will deBeast

Four years ago, I went into our local VW dealer. I needed a new car to tow our caravan, and a Tiguan seemed perfect.

As caravanners know, stability is helped by having a car which is heavier than the caravan. But when I asked for the kerbweight, it wasn't on the brochure. Rather than simply admit he didn't have the figures, he decided to ridicule caravanners and claimed that the car would always be completely stable right up to the maximum towing limit.

His mates then joined in. None of them wanted to find the weight - they just wanted to joke about caravanners.

I walked out before I lost my temper. They had their few minutes of fun, but lost a sale.

Very happy with the Kia Sorento I bought instead.

Edited by Will deBeast on 19/06/2020 at 06:55

Main dealers bizarre attitude - johnnyrev

I’ve never understood the attitude of dealers. I tried to buy a Fiat Seicento Sporting 20 years ago. I asked if they had one I could test drive, “no”. Could they give me a trade in value on my car, “no, we won’t take it in part ex”. I left and leased one through my bank.

When I was buying the Logan a few years ago, one dealer made me make an appointment for a test drive, but upon turning up for the test drive we were left standing around for half an hour. Again, went elsewhere.

At the beginning of March I was back in a Dacia dealer with a friend who was collecting a new Sandero. While we waited I thought I’d look at a Duster, but I couldn’t look at the one in the showroom, the doors were locked and I was told the battery was flat and they couldn’t/wouldn’t open it. I asked a salesman at a desk if he could give me a price for my Logan as I was thinking about a Duster and he said to look on We Buy Any Car, and then returned to his work.

I didn’t buy a Duster but it would have been nice to have even been able to talk about it, I might have been persuaded!

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Miniman777

My experience with car salesmen is most, not all, are lazy – and they lie.

Spec’d a Mini after a few test drives, but never got the 48 hour test drive Mini adverts promise, just a 9-5 drive, simply because the staff wouldn’t have a car to go home in! – Nonesense, eh?.

I emailed the spec to the local dealer (A), visited showroom to chat prices ready and to order. Salesman threw a curved ball and offered another built car, £5k more with extra bells and whistles, but promised a bigger discount because it was 'built' not a factory order, while implying it was in group stock.

In fact this ‘bigger discount’ turned out to be no more than 5-6%, yet dealer (B) whom I'd contacted via Carwow had offered 11.1% off my original spec car. The salesman and his boss at dealer also spurned some bulls*** story about how ‘mini didn’t approve of discounts…’, as if I’d just fallen off a tree.

So not liking dealer A’s ‘good cop, bad cop’ charade to pressure an order, dealer B was give the code for the built car, which I hasten to add dealer A had given me, possibly in error. LOL! It transpired this car wasn’t in their stock but at an unrelated dealer. An interesting case of misleading?

Dealer B offered the same percentage off the built car on the basis they could obtain it, my wife asked to get it under a psychological threshold she wanted to pay for a new car – and they did, without quibble. So there are good salesmen but they are few and far between.

I’ll conclude and say despite the interest we’d shown at dealer A, since they reopened last week, they’ve not bothered to enquire if we are still interested in a car, yet have an almost identically spec’d demonstrator for sale at £1k less than we are paying new! Clearly a case of a CBA.

Salesmen are a breed unto themselves, without a doubt, but they wont intimidate me, I just walk away.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Will deBeast

The Toyota dealer where we lived until ~6 years ago had a brilliant scheme.

They'd pay a car valeter or two to come in for the day to supplement the usual car wash staff. Usually at the end of November/early December, when the salesmen would be very quiet.

They invited customers in for a timed appointment. It was made clear that there would be no pressure - just a chat, updating their records, sounding you out about future intentions. You had a nice coffee and your car was given a mini valet.

I understand they only made a few immediate sales, but generated lots of leads and goodwill. For not a lot of spend.

Edited by Will deBeast on 19/06/2020 at 16:11

Main dealers bizarre attitude - barney100
Got an e class cabriolet 220 2016, traded in all as we need 4 seats now. Wish me luck.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - Penumbra

Out car shopping last year and stopped at a Vauxhall dealership. Went to reception and asked to look at one of the forecourt cars. Salesman came out with us, unlocked the vehicle so we climbed in for a look round. I asked for the keys to start the car, and salesman said "Sorry sir, I have to do that for you - i's company policy" They were happy for us to to take the car away for an unaccompanied test drive but we weren't allowed to start it !

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Redcar01

I went into a BMW dealer on a Sunday and the 2 sales people spent that much time talking between themselves we walked out and went to a Audi dealership who was brilliant and I bought a A4 Avant , tough BMW , We went to a Mazda dealer to buy a Mazda 2 new, made an appointment and waited 30 mins and no one spoke to us so we walked out and bought a Ford.

Not saying Ford are great but at least they spoke to us.

TBH my wife ford has had no issues in 2 years so its ok.

I now have a BMW X1 2018 auto petrol with about with 3k on it from Motorpoint and it was a good transaction

and I love the car its just what I needed

Main dealers bizarre attitude - thunderbird

I posted the following on the CarWow thread I started but its more relevant here since its the local car dealers attitude this time that is bizarre and not the CarWow dealer.

Yesterday armed with a decent CarWow price and an excellent Broadspeed price I contacted my local Toyota dealer to arrange a test drive in a Corolla Estate 2 litre and book an appointment to discuss a deal. Told them what I wanted and they tell me sorry, just sold the demonstrator and no idea when we will be getting another. But once they realised I was serious and would probably go elsewhere they offered to see if they could find us a car (or is this part of their new sales technique to appear helpful?). 10 minutes later they ring back, he had made a mistake, they had not sold the demonstrator after all, its still on site, when did we want a drive. Date and time arranged, details of PX taken, told me we would have to take driving licences and passports, told him we did not have passports, said they were a legal requirement then he said he would ring back after he had found out if they could work round the requirement. 5 minutes later, bring 2 utility bills if no passports. So all OK, I thought. He then told me the test drive would be unaccompanied (they are currently?) and they provide a route. its about 4 miles in total 50% on urban 40mph dual carriageway, 50% on 70 mph dual carriageway with a option to loose 1/2 the 70mph part and drive through town over a myriad of speedbumps. I said that I could not make a decision based on such a short drive and would like to include a decent A road drive as well as some motorway, plenty of both within 5 miles of the garage. Told me it was illegal to test drive a car on a motorway and would not accept we have always asked and been given such drives. I told him we had a 48 hour unaccompanied drive earlier in the year in a Volvo and he all but called me a liar.

It was clear to me at this point I would get nowhere and said it was pointless me having such a short drive and would not take up any more of his time, his reply was "you have wasted my time already".

Nice people. Do they not want to sell cars now Covid is theoretically in retreat, they keep telling us to go out and spend and this is the reception you get.

Thankfully we have 2 good cars and do not need to spend but this garage like all businesses needs to trade and if they treat all customers this way they will go under.

Probably try one more Toyota dealer later today. Problem is the next nearest is 20 miles away and when I was in that area in January there were extensive roadworks and diversions in place for the foreseeable future. Taking a test drive on unfamiliar roads does not seem to be a pleasurable experience, I became totally lost amongst the cones and badly signposted diversion routes when I was driving a familiar car that needed no getting used to.

For the record I have tried to find any evidence regarding the legality of test drives on motorways and can find none. Perhaps they mean't their insurance does not cover people on motorways but if that is the case why not say so, I would have arranged insurance myself if necessary to get a decent drive, covered for 5 days on my own policy at present anyway.

Will report back later.

Edited by thunderbird on 26/06/2020 at 09:23

Main dealers bizarre attitude - RT

Passports cannot be mandatory in the UK - they're only issued to people who need to go abroad so those of us who simply don't go outside the UK have no need to get passports - unlike many other countries the UK doesn't have a mandatory ID requirement.

In this case, I'm pleased the Toyota dealer took the trouble to check the rules/regulations to find out what the alternatives are.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - _ORB_

Last time I was at my local Kia dealers, my driving licence was sufficient.

When I bought my Sportage from JCB Kia Ebbsfleet, All my Id was checked electronically, although I took my driving licence for the handover.

One of the easiest buying experiences i have had. Only real questions were

From me.

What colour available swmbo chose silver.

How long for delivery .... given date 1st week march, but not the monday please.(salesman) (new reg)

I'm pretty sure that some salesmen try to see how subservient some buyers will be so that they can gauge how far they can push them to do as they want.

I have lost count of the times that salesmen have tried to upsell, No sir 3 months wait but higher spec mdel available now.

Edited by _ORB_ on 26/06/2020 at 10:45

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Engineer Andy

You have to wonder, TB, at the attitudes of some car salespeople these days. Given the current climate, you'd think they'd be absolutely desperate for our business.

I too have never heard of it being illegal to test drive a car on a motorway. My local Mazda dealer allowed me to go out (this was 2017 mind you) by my lonesome testing two of their showroom cars anywhere I liked for an hour each (they were 'booked' for others afterwards - fair enough). As part of my test run, I took them both on a range of roads, including the A1(M).

If their firm's insurance policy doesn't cover trips on a motorway, that's very poor. Let's hope it does cover people doing so with their courtesy cars!

I suspect some of these showroom muppets have succumbed to COVIDiocy.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Zippy123
The car sales process has always been hit and miss.

A couple of years ago my daughter purchased her first car, a pre-reg /ex demo Toyota Aygo and the experience was dreadful. If we could have got the car at that price elsewhere we would have walked in a flash.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
‘I have lost count of the times that salesmen have tried to upsell, No sir 3 months wait but higher spec mdel available now.’

Of course they try and upsell, that’s their job.

‘Given the current climate, you'd think they'd be absolutely desperate for our business.‘

Dealers, new and used, are really busy at the moment, with three months pent-up demand they’ve not been able to satisfy. Many sales execs, however, are still furloughed or have been made redundant to lessen dealers’ or groups’ outgoings.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - thunderbird
Dealers, new and used, are really busy at the moment, with three months pent-up demand they’ve not been able to satisfy.

Understand now, customers are flocking to the dealers and they simply cannot cope with the demand.

We will have to wait and see if that is a fact or simply make believe in a few months time. Perhaps they will pre-reg loads of stock to bump up "sales" figures.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
Used dealers have been struggling to buy stock - cars at auction are still selling at above CAP, and because of social distancing meaning auction staff are fewer, they’re then delaying getting hold of stock. Finance companies are harder to get hold of with contact centres being closed or staff working from home.
Manufacturers have had very little turnover for three months, so there will be deals. Especially with stock they’ve had sitting in a compound since early in the year. But there are fewer staff to handle enquiries. I have friends that have received redundancy notices in the past couple of weeks. Each transaction, with the additional demands placed upon it by the pandemic, will take longer.
As I’ve said above, there is now a need to allow unaccompanied test drives - and insurance companies are insisting upon proper proof of ID.
As with every experience in life, you’ll tell 10 people if it went badly but nowhere near as many if it went well.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - thunderbird

As suggested earlier I have just been on the phone to another local(ish) Toyota dealership.

Test drives not an issue. Not familiar with the roads in the area so the salesman will programme a route into the SatNav that will include city, A roads, 70mph dual carriageways etc and take about 30 minutes. Their insurance will only allow them to cover one driver per test drive so once back we will change drivers and do the same again.

That is one hell of a lot better than 2 miles each way changing drivers 1/2 way.

As for identification all they need is your driving license.

Asked for Wednesday next week and booked for early pm.

Lets hope it all works out when we arrive. Had a bad experience at this garage 10 years ago, the salesman we had been dealing with on the phone was tied up when we arrived and he handed us over to a new colleague who was most unhelpful, he even told us it was illegal to ride in the front on a test drive when we wanted to sit together. We had asked for diesels and they supplied us with petrols which were poor (Avensis and Verso). Easy to say no.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
And I hope all goes well for you.
There is, obviously, no legal position on where a sales exec sits on a test drive, however it may be an insurance requirement for he/she to be in the front passenger seat.
Best practice is for the exec to drive initially, and change over in a safe spot away from the dealership.
They have an opportunity to drive smoothly, and show that any jerkiness of clutch/throttle aren’t car related....
I would always want to be in the front seat in case I need to intervene with the steering wheel.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - RT
And I hope all goes well for you. There is, obviously, no legal position on where a sales exec sits on a test drive, however it may be an insurance requirement for he/she to be in the front passenger seat. Best practice is for the exec to drive initially, and change over in a safe spot away from the dealership. They have an opportunity to drive smoothly, and show that any jerkiness of clutch/throttle aren’t car related.... I would always want to be in the front seat in case I need to intervene with the steering wheel.

Over the years, I've often had unaccompanied test drives where the salesman says "just leave your own car keys" - sometimes on trade plates, other times not.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
Not saying for a moment that it doesn’t happen, it obvious does. And COVID will dictate more unaccompanied test drives, or just one customer driving and sales exec in the rear passenger side seat.

Edited by mcb100 on 26/06/2020 at 12:10

Main dealers bizarre attitude - _ORB_

Just remembered.. The excellent Kerridges in Needham Market gave me the keys to The new MG HS back in december, and said off you go, so off i went.

Prior to that when I had asked about a test drive of a car for an afternoon or half day, no problem. On that occasion it was me that didn't take the test drive, but no problem at all.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - sammy1

I would always want to be in the front seat in case I need to intervene with the steering wheel

Best to check with the dealership whose insurance you are driving on presumably theirs. As to the need to possible intervene with the car while a qualified driver is in charge would I think seriously invalidate any insurance and would I think be illegal except in a possible medical emergency.

I have test driven cars on the motorway, cannot see any legal hinderance. The proximity to a motorway may well be a problem as would the distance between junctions for return to dealer. If you can sustain the legal speed limit on a duel carriage way why do you need a motorway?

I once went to a Nissan dealership to enquire about a car and get some idea what mine was worth as a part ex. I had not got far and the demand was to test drive MY car before things could progress. I told the salesman that I was not prepared to let someone rag my car round the block and left!

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Avant

Hopefully unaccompanied test drives will become commoner now. I've found that Toyota dealers have been some of the best for allowing this in the past.

I had a go in a 2.0 Corolla a couple of weeks ago - I must do a brief report in case people are interested. Platinum Toyota at Trowbridge couldn't have been more helpful, even though I said I wasn't likely to change cars until next year, but just wanted to start a shortlist. I would want the estate, but was happy to drive the hatchback as long as it was a 2.0.

They booked me out for 3 hours which was easily enough. I took 2 and a bit hours and did about 80 miles, including a stretch of the M4. Very impressed with car and dealer. As Thunderbird has done, you just have to look around, Undoubtedly there are some dud salespeople around, but we can reasonably hope that the majority of them actually want to sell us a car.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Jamie3141

It's interesting that there are a number of people who are definitely in favour of an hour-long (or longer) independent/unaccompanied drive, but were vehemently against somebody plugging an OBD scanner in, under supervised conditions! Bizzare!

Considering most of these tools are smaller than pocket-size and can fit in the palm of a child's hands, it'd be completely feasible to do this on a test drive.

It seems like a double standard to me, though perhaps I've missed something?!

Main dealers bizarre attitude - Zippy123
And I hope all goes well for you. There is, obviously, no legal position on where a sales exec sits on a test drive, however it may be an insurance requirement for he/she to be in the front passenger seat. Best practice is for the exec to drive initially, and change over in a safe spot away from the dealership. They have an opportunity to drive smoothly, and show that any jerkiness of clutch/throttle aren’t car related.... I would always want to be in the front seat in case I need to intervene with the steering wheel.

When my daughter test drive the Aygo I went with her. I couldn’t fit in the back so the salesman needed to go there whilst I sat i. The passenger seat.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
Again, not saying it doesn’t happen. We can all produce examples of when things have gone ‘not to standard operating procedure’.
Looking from the dealer perspective, I’d rather accompany a test drive for several reasons:
It gives me opportunity to overcome objections generated by a customer not understanding how things work.
It gives me an opportunity to keep the car safe.
Third is an example. Working on a Lexus ride and drive event a few years ago, I was doing demo drives in a Lexus IS-F. Whilst out, I came across one of the other event cars, a CT, stopped on a busy roundabout in the middle of Edinburgh. The old boy driving (unaccompanied) had spotted the ICE stop whilst waiting to enter the roundabout, perfectly normal, and had panicked and started pushing buttons. To say he was causing chaos would be an understatement. I had to park up just off the roundabout, run through the traffic to get him started again and then get back to my car.
And that’s why I would always have a sales exec in the car.
Main dealers bizarre attitude - thunderbird

Not saying for a moment that it doesn’t happen, it obvious does. And COVID will dictate more unaccompanied test drives, or just one customer driving and sales exec in the rear passenger side seat.

It does happen its happened to me.

When we bought the Fabia they loaned us a car for the afternoon and then took us out in the actual car we were considering. That had to be on trade plates because it was a used car of the forecourt thus with a salesman but not an issue since we had done probably 50 or 60 miles in the other one on our own.

When we bought the Pulsar they loaned us the very car we bought for the morning.

When we bought the Focus diesel they sourced a car specially for us since they did not have a suitable one in stock. Took it for 1/2 a day.

In all 3 cases they got a sale since we knew we were happy with the cars and the deals.

No garage will get a sale with us if the can only let each of us drive 2 miles or be lied to by a salesman. If they treat you like that before they get your money how will they treat you after.

Main dealers bizarre attitude - mcb100
I’m always intrigued by the phrase ‘lied to by a salesman’. Do you think that they deliberately told you an untruth, had misinterpreted rules with which they had been issued, or simply told you something that you found unacceptable?
Main dealers bizarre attitude - 72 dudes
I’m always intrigued by the phrase ‘lied to by a salesman’. Do you think that they deliberately told you an untruth, had misinterpreted rules with which they had been issued, or simply told you something that you found unacceptable?

I have been lied to by a salesman, quite unequivocally last September.

Test drove a Peugeot 3008, enquired about any discount off the Advanced Payment (Motability car for Mrs 72 dudes)

He went into great detail about how any discount was illegal, would get his dealership struck off the scheme and would mean that the DWP would throw Mrs 72 dudes off the Motability scheme.

All lies, presumably to protect his commission.

When I pointed out other garages openly offering discounts plus the Which Motability Car forum full of posts discussing where to get the best Advanced Payment discounts, he just replied again that it was illegal.

Coincidentally (not), this was the only car salesman who insisted on an accompanied test drive, out of 4 other makes/dealers.

His patter included rubbishing the other cars we were test driving.

Edited by 72 dudes on 26/06/2020 at 13:47

Main dealers bizarre attitude - thunderbird
I’m always intrigued by the phrase ‘lied to by a salesman’. Do you think that they deliberately told you an untruth, had misinterpreted rules with which they had been issued, or simply told you something that you found unacceptable?

They lied.

It is not illegal to ride in the front on a test drive with a salesman in the rear. It may be company policy or an insurance requirement but it is not illegal.

Another example. Salesman told us that the model we were buying had topped the reliability surveys (it hadn't - that was Lexus and Subaru - the one we were looking at was mid table) and he went on to that they had never had a warranty claim on that model but would not (or could not) provide proof.

One salesman confirmed the details of the car over the phone before we travelled 30 miles to see it. It was advertised as a 5 door with 6000 miles in blue, in reality it as a 3 door with 10,000 miles, he blamed the admin staff. Wasted journey not because of the mileage (car drove fine) but simply because we wanted 5 doors to replace a 5 door.

And the best. Brand new, previously unregistered car was delivered with only 6 months tax but the invoice showed 12 months. Salesman said all their cars come with 6 months and he would not change even when I told him the OTR price included 12 months. We were so annoyed that we began to walk away with a plan to seek legal advice the next day when the salesman came and agreed to send us a cheque for the 6 months tax. I asked for it there and then but he said all cheques came from head office (in Bradford) and he would send a requisition the next day.

A couple of weeks went past and no cheque so I rang. He blamed the office girl and said he would do the requisition as soon as I put the phone down.

2 weeks later and still no cheque so rang again, salesman on holiday so explained to the switchboard what the problem was and they asked if I would like to speak to the dealer principle, said yes. Explained it all again and he promised to call back. 10 minutes later got a call apologising telling me there was no evidence of a cheque request and that it was not company policy to only put 6 months tax on new cars. He had noted that he only lived about 300 yards form us and suggested he drop a cheque off the following evening, good as his word it arrived.

So yes, in my experience salesmen lie.

Edited by thunderbird on 26/06/2020 at 13:49

Main dealers bizarre attitude - thunderbird

I had a go in a 2.0 Corolla a couple of weeks ago - I must do a brief report in case people are interested. Platinum Toyota at Trowbridge couldn't have been more helpful, even though I said I wasn't likely to change cars until next year, but just wanted to start a shortlist. I would want the estate, but was happy to drive the hatchback as long as it was a 2.0.

I want an estate this time simply for convenience. Tried a couple before but found them very boomy at speed (both Mk 2 Focus's) and in both instances simply bought a Focus hatch. With the Corolla that is not an option since the boot on the hatch is pathetic (smaller than the Fabia) and with the estate you get a space saver as standard.

Salesman I spoke to today had a 2 litre hatch but the only 2 litre estate he has is a Trek (the raised up one). Don't want that model (daft price) but decided to give it a go, should not make it any worse for noise from the rear.

I have read that the noise is caused because of the shape of boxy rear end and the fact that they normally come with a blind instead of parcel shelf which does not absorb any noise. I have also read that when the boot is full the noise will not be there. But who drives with a full boot in an estate all the time (other than Police and Ambulance). But many hatches like the Fabia, Pulsar, Golf have boxy rear ends with no boom, but they do have proper parcel shelves.

 

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