This has been one of the worst car buying experiences I've ever had. I'm not new at buying cars, but here I made the huge mistake of being overly trusting. I guess I just hadn't done it in too long. They tell you that the cars have all been thoroughly inspected. I asked about taking them to a 3rd party for inspection and they said we could, but it would be a waste of money. So being on a tight budget, I didn't...
We went here to purchase two cars for our two 16 year old daughters. The sales people were all very friendly. We ended up speaking with Steve Jr. Super nice guy, and at first I felt like he was doing his best to get us a couple of good cars.
One car was a VW Beetle purchased for $4,500. Steve actually went out of his way to find this one for us and bring it from Spokane to Hayden. It drove well and seemed in pretty good shape. It did have the check engine light on, but Steve assured us that it was only the O2 sensor and was a cheap fix. I wasn't too worried about that. After we bought it, I ran some tests on it at home. The O2 sensor code did pop, but so did a proprietary VW code.
We decided to take the vehicle to a VW dealership and have them give it a thorough look. They knew they wouldn't be doing any repairs, only telling us what needed to be fixed so we could take it back to Auto Credit for repair. This made for an unbiased report. VW came back with $4,300 in repairs that needed to be done. At least half of that was immediately necessary.
We took the car back to Auto Credit, and they split the labor costs and gave us the parts at cost. We had them do all of the most important repairs, and the cost wasn't too bad, but it still added to the overall cost of the vehicle.
The worst of the two was the Mazda 6 that we bought for $5,500. Our daughter saw this one in the back of the lot by the shop and she really liked it. The car didn't look like it was in very good condition and had a wheel missing. Steve initially told us that we didn't want that car because it had too many problems. We went with him to some of the other Auto Credit lots and saw several other cars, but our daughter was stuck on the Mazda.
At this point he had been on and off the phone with the Hayden lot a few times. I told him that our daughter was still stuck on the Mazda, and we might just have to skip that car purchase at the moment since the Mazda isn't a good car. Then he told us the Mazda was fine. He said he was talking about a Toyota that wasn't good before. BIG RED FLAG! I didn't really believe him, but I wanted to. And I wanted to believe that the Auto Credit shop would have the car fixed up good before we took it home. During the purchase, it came up that the car had a rebuilt title. ANOTHER BIG RED FLAG! They assured us that it was ok and didn't negatively affect the history of the car.
We bought the Mazda and the VW together and took them home a week later. They had the cars cleaned up very nicely, and we felt good about them at the time. After dealing with all of the issues the VW had, the Mazda started leaking fluids. Mostly oil and coolant. We took the car to Sears Auto Center for an inspection. They showed us the various places oil was leaking from, couldn't find the coolant leak (turned out that a hose was cracked and the pump needed replacing), the transmission was from a salvage lot, and more issues. They said they would never have purchased this car.
Auto Credit did the same deal as the VW and split labor costs and gave us parts at cost. The shop manager was nice and seemed to do everything he could to make things right for us. Now it's been a couple more months since the repairs, and it looks like the starter is out. This car is big pile of crap.
I blame myself for being so naive, and giving in to what my daughter wanted. She could have been mad at me for a day if we didn't buy the car, and we could have bought a much better car. The sales people at Auto Credit are nice, but super shady. We bought the cars with cash, and they took advantage of that.