To be fair, I don’t really know which is the better dealership. I also think this question only applies when buying a new car. If you’re buying used, you just need to be solid enough to not let them bowl you over.
So I’m pretty sure about a car. With the exception of some last minute deals (I mean, we are right up on Memorial Day and all), I have it narrowed all the way down to one car – the Hyundai Sonata. I like that car. I like it a lot. The gas mileage is pretty good, the standard equipment is pretty good, the comfort is great, and the drive is awesome (for a family sedan, that is). Most importantly, the NEW price is in my wheelhouse. Even more importantly, it’s around at a good discount these days.
So here’s the question – where do I buy it? I can get it from a place in Bowie. Not everything about that dealership is perfect. While their Honda buddies of the same company are infuriating, the Hyundai dudes have been really cool. Better yet, they are selling the model I want at about $3,000 below MSRP.
HOWEVER – a dealership that I FUCKING HATE is selling it at about $4,000 – $5,000 below MSRP. I don’t really know if they are a shitty dealership. I know they must be at least good at selling cars, because they are clearly making money. On the other hand, I can’t stand their commercials and ALL of their sales people are super-douchey.
Thing is, it’s a new car and I’m fairly responsible. A new car with a good standard warranty means the dealership will do excellent service at little to no cost. So anytime something goes wrong or feels wrong, I’m going to the dealership. Every point I hit for maintenance, I’m going to the dealership. Every time I want a change or update to the electronics, I’m going to the dealership. So I don’t want to have to deal with a shit-assed dealership. Of course, once it’s out of warranty, going to the dealership for just about anything will likely be stupid, but that’s further down the road.
Since a few years ago, a little before I bought my condo, I realized something for myself. It’s my money. I’m the boss. Realtors, dealers, salesmen. If they are selling to you, they are your employee. You are the boss. You make the calls with your own money. Don’t let them strong arm or bullshit you into a bad deal. This is my money, I’m the boss, I make the calls. If I’d rather spend an extra grand and drive an extra fifteen miles to deal with friendlier people, then that’s my call.
tl;dr – This is happening, but I still have some decisions to make. It may seem trivial, but it’s money so I’m the boss.
There’s actually a third option – get it online and split the difference. The online price is right between the prices of the two dealerships, and I can choose from a list of dealerships to deal with in the future. Something to think about, but in my case, I’ll need to think quickly.