The Car Buying Blues, Part Five: Let’s Just Be Done With It

Remember way back at the end of March, when I was eagerly anticipating a quick and painless end to the Car Buying Blues?  I’ve been procrastinating in writing the post because I wanted to feel like it was finally over and it never felt over.  I’m not even sure that it feels over yet, but this might be as close as we’re going to get.

After we returned from visiting the family, we were scheduled to take the car into the shop to have things cleaned up, fixed up, and get our paperwork straightened out.  We called on the day we were scheduled and after chatting with the service person, decided that this was going to take much longer than anticipated and that we should reschedule it for another day, Friday.  On the appointed day, we arrived at the shop and were enthusiastically greeted by the head of the service department, who went over all the things that needed to be done.  He also indicated that they had rented us a car for the day, and that if I would stop by the finance department, they had a check and some new paperwork for me.  I was so encouraged!

I went to the waiting room to wait for my husband to catch up, and the finance manager came out to find me.  He did have a check, for the refund of our taxes and registration fees (we were doing it ourselves) but not for the magically changing car price.  He said we would have to go back to the salesperson for that.  He was very nice and friendly but I swear, it is hard to tell when these people are being genuine or what is just part of their big act.

Once my husband arrived, I realized that I had forgotten some papers in the glove box.  I was a little discouraged to discover that despite having been there at least a half-hour, the car hadn’t even moved into the service bay yet.  I know they are a busy place, and we weren’t their only customer, but they were making every effort to make it seem like they were making us a priority.  They very nicely got the papers from the car for me and I headed out while my husband got organized with the loaner/rental car.

Here’s something that I’ve never understood about loaner/rental cars.  We have six people in our family.  We often haul others, and stuff.  This is why we just bought an eight seat car.  How exactly does it make sense to give us a loaner that only holds four (squeeze in five) people?  Fortunately, it was just for the day.  Shouldn’t be any big deal, we can manage.

Friday evening came around and I was out of town.  My husband is contacted by the dealership, who says that the car isn’t quite ready.  Saturday arrived, I think they were in contact, and Saturday night comes.  The car is still not ready, of course service isn’t open on Sunday, and it will be ready on Monday.  I don’t exactly understand a lot of this.  I wasn’t there, but how does several hours on Friday stretch into Monday.  And I’m sure they think it is no inconvenience to take a two hour round trip on a workday.  What planet do these people live on?

My dear husband drove over and picked up the car on Monday.  We did get the new keys we requested, but the remote isn’t programmed.  The car is clearly aligned, and it has been recleaned, but they missed the same spots they missed the first time.  The tow hitch is installed and we did not pay extra for it.  We did get new windshield wipers and some fluid.  What we didn’t get was a refund for the money we had overpaid, or the tank of gas that the general manager promised when he said, “Be sure to bring it in as empty as possible :)”  (I heard the smiley at the end of the sentence, I really did.)

At this point, I’m ready to be done.  We’ll get the key remote programmed eventually, I think.  I’ll clean the remaining spots myself.  I’ll let the money go.  It is a beautiful car, it drives great, and it will work well for our family.  Time to move on.

Also in this series:

The Car Buying Blues, Part One:  Doing The Research

The Car Buying Blues, Part Two:  The Buying Process

The Car Buying Blues, Part Three:  The Financials

The Car Buying Blues, Part Four:  The Follow-up

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.