Hooniverse Asks- What Was Your Worst Car-Buying Experience?

Whether it was through a dealer, craigslist, or calling the number on a For Sale sign in the window of a street-parked ride, we’ve all had some less than wonderful experiences with buying a car. Some of them just leave a bad taste in your mouth. Some, make you question the fate of humanity- let’s hear about those.

When I last bought a new car the experience was pretty painless as the dealership was offering employee pricing so there wasn’t much haggling over the sticker. They were also giving away free hot dogs and hamburgers to prospective customers, so we got lunch out of the deal to boot. But that didn’t mean that I let my guard down, and sure enough, when we went in to sign the final paperwork, they tried to add-on a bunch of unnecessary crap- okay then- it looks like I can cut you a real deal on that undercoating donchaknow. The finance woman tried to sell us LoJack, saying that the car didn’t have any form of anti-theft whatsoever despite the fact that the owner’s manual I had been reading while waiting for them to get the paperwork ready stated that the car came with a chipped key and had an ignition interlock to prevent theft. Oh well- next.

She then pushed the three-hundred dollar Scotchguard treatment for the interior. When I noted that it was the leather interior, she said it worked on that too. Whoa-boy. We got out without paying for any of the last-minute add-ons despite her dire warnings and today, 5 years later, the car remains un-stolen and the leather is still unsullied.
So that was my somewhat lousy experience (and it should be noted that the dealership remains a great place for service, having never attempted to rip me off). Have you had worse? If so, tell it- it’ll be a cathartic experience.
Image sources:[Flickr, Vlane]

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  1. LTDScott Avatar

    I actually have had decent success and no war stories buying all of my cars, including my current daily drive which has a salvage title.
    The most recent car buying experience I had was last year when my g/f was in the market for a used smallish SUV. We were looking at RAV4 V6s and decided to stop at a Toyota dealer to see if they had any (they were hard to find). A salesman greeted us and informed us that they had no RAV4 V6s, but we should check out the Highlander Hybrid. We thought we'd give it a try and found we liked it. The price was out of her preferred range, but the salesman seemed pretty desperate to make a sale because it was the last day of the month (and also the last day of lower sales tax).
    Long story short, she agreed to buy the car if he would get the payment down to a certain price per month out the door for 60 months. It took several trips for the salesman to "talk to his manager" and after 2 hours of negotiations, they agreed. I was proud of my g/f for sticking to her guns. After that, they tried to add all sorts of add-ons. I told my g/f to decline all of them but ended up changing my mind on one – the extended warranty. Normally I'd say no way, but it is a hybrid car and there are tons of expensive and non-serviceable parts on the car that I can't fix. She is planning to keep the car for quite a while so I left the judgment call to her and she accepted the warranty. We drove out of the dealership at about 10PM!