Friday, 9 November 2012

How not to buy a car.

Finally, I have a new car. It has been a process that has taken nearly 4 weeks. I am sure people think I make stuff up, but really who could make up this shit haha.

It all started about 2 months ago. My car was on its last legs and it was too low for me to get in and out of with my back. We had seen a few a car yards, but none that really grabbed me. I had been out on the Wednesday night to Brisbane and my air con decided not to work. Fed up, I spent the next morning online looking at cars. I found one at Ross Llewellyn Motors and decided to go and have a look at it.

We were served by a young 20 year old Andrew. We got to take the car for a drive and I was happy with it. The seat height was great for me and it wasn't white (I don't like white cars).

Now when you buy a car these days from a car yard, it isn't like it was the last time we did - oh about 25 years ago. You have to see the sales guy, who then gets in the woman that overseas it all, then you have to see the finance officer. The woman Chezza who oversees it all, told us about the extended warrantee that we could take out and that it also had roadside assist in it, so you wouldn't need RACQ. She said that if we wanted it, to let the finance officer know.

Next came the beginning of the headache. We saw the finance officer, who looked up the rate for the loan and told us how much it would be. We asked how much it would be to include the extra insurance and yes we could afford that, so asked her to include it. She wrote down what we needed to have the loan processed and told us she wouldn't be in the following day.

We raced home, got together pay slips from one of Peter's bosses, got the other to write a letter with what he earnt, bank statements, centrelink statements etc and dropped them back. Over the next two weeks, we played a cat and mouse came of trying to get the information in a form that was acceptable to the finance officer - and some info she gave us I found to be incorrect eg as in things Peter's other boss was doing. She said it was illegal but in fact it wasn't. Because she wasn't in a lot, it dragged things out. I would have to copy and email things to her and instead of just doing a quick 'thanks' in reply, I wouldn't know if she had it or not. I was starting to feel like I was stalking her, when I had to ring all the time to see if she got things and what was happening.

It turned out that the first company said no to finance, the second that they deal with, she had rung and said they said a conditional yes. That was on a Monday. I asked how long before we knew for sure as my rego was due on the Friday. We didn't want to pay it, as they were only giving us $500 trade in for it. She told me that we should be able to pick up the car on the Friday, all going well.

Well Friday came and still no word from her. Someone else rang us, as she was out of the office again, and told us that no it didn't go through. They asked permission to send it to the broker they used. I said yes, but had a feeling of dread. They told me that the broker would be in touch either later that day or the Saturday. I didn't hear from them.

A friend had called in who does do money lending. Normally it is on the scale of home loans but he offered to do up a loan for us. I said no to start with as he was a friend. After talking some more and with it being done not as a friendship but a business transaction, I said yes for him to think about what he could offer us. In the end, I decided not to go with him, so that the blur of friendship and business didn't cross.

Anyway on the Monday the broker rang. He was confident that he could get us the loan. He said he had a copy of our credit history and it was good with no negatives on it. He said that the second company the car yard tried and had the conditional approval on, is not one he would of even considered, as they won't touch anyone with even the slightest centrelink payment. He asked a heap of questions and emailed some forms through to sign.

By that afternoon, I was really down and fed up with the whole process. I could only see him ringing to say no to us. I ended up ringing and leaving a message on his answering machine saying we wouldn't bother wasting his time to go ahead. I then rang and left a message on the finance officers answering machine (yep she wasn't in again) and let her know that we wouldn't be going ahead. I paid my rego on my car, that had lapsed - no it hadn't been driven.

The following morning the broker rang and spoke to Peter. He was sure that we could easily get the loan through one of the companies we had dealt with in the past ( we have ever only had 2 loans, 1 of them being the house). So I rang back and left a message on the car yards answering machine to say hold on.

They rang the next morning and yes we had the loan approved. I rang the salesman and told him and said that I had paid my rego. They wouldn't give me any more for my car, so I said I would just pay the extra $500 and privately sell my car and cancel the rego to get money back.

By the time all the paperwork was done up, it was Friday morning when we met the broker at the car yard to sign all the paperwork. Looking at the paperwork, I noticed that some figures didn't seem right. I asked how much they were giving to the car yard. He told me and I said "That's not right". When the finance officer sent through the paperwork, she didn't include the extra warrantee. She then proceeded to blame others, saying she didn't know we wanted it. Both Peter and I said to her that we had told her we did.

The log books had gone missing and new ones were ordered and the original owners - of which there has only been 1 owner - gave details of the mechanic who did all the services. It is one we know, so all could be verified. Then the owners manual went missing and so we are now waiting for one ordered to arrive.

Anyway, we then went on to sort out when the car would be ready for us to pick up. They didn't want anyone in on Tuesday being Melbourne Cup, so it was decided on Wednesday. They picked me up and Peter met me there. We signed off of everything. Couldn't pay or take out the extra warrantee as the finance officer wasn't there and neither was the girl that oversees everything, or so I was told.

We were taken down to the Holden workshop, as they would be looking after my services and introduced to the manager. He got their welcome pack out, totally ignored me and started to tell Peter what was in it. I piped up with "excuse me!! It is MY car and I will be bringing it here, so please speak to me". He turned and looked at me then, no sorry or anything. Having spoken to others that go there, it is very common and one thing that most woman dealing with them hate.

When I was leaving I rang Jade and said that I would be over to her place so she could see the car. On leaving her house, the check engine light came on and wouldn't go off. I went to where Peter was working and he couldn't find anything wrong. I then rang the salesman who couldn't believe it. For the next 30 to 45 mins, he had to try and find one of their workshops that would take a look at my car. They are set up with 3 or 4 different service centres, one for Toyota, Hyundai, Holden due to the size of their dealership.

I was to go in at 2pm for them to put it on a machine and look at it. An hour later, they came into the waiting room to let me know it was an emission problem that they think occurred due to it sitting around for a month. Whatever they did, the light was out and hasn't come back on.

By the time I got home it was nearly 4 o'clock, I had left at 9am. I wasn't feeling excited or anything about having the car, like I should of.

Yesterday I had to ring to see if we could take out the warrantee, after all, we weren't not going to after Wednesday. I got a call back from the woman who oversees, arranged a time to go in and do it. Oh forgot to say we were having to pay cash for it, instead of the loan. She asked how I would be paying when I came in and I said cash. She then asked credit card? I said no, cash. I got in there, the form was done up, but a receipt couldn't be printed as all managers were busy. No one had change to be able to give it to me and so it was a mad rush looking for some.

I wanted to get a car from a car yard so that we had warrantee and peace of mind. So lesson has been learnt. They do follow up and get you to give feedback and a rating and ask if you would recommend them to your friends. Sorry, but hell no. I won't be telling anyone to go there.

On a good note, yesterday and today I have been able to enjoy the car. I went for a massage and instead of coming out relaxed then having to undo all the good work by falling into a low car seat, I was able to keep the feeling. I did push the wrong button last night and set off the 'find my car' alarm haha.