I looked online for a low mileage 2011-2014 mustang GT. Mullinax Ford had multiple cars with very low miles, all for around $20k. I was very excited about the possibility of finally being able to afford my dream car. On a positive note all 3 of the employees I dealt with were very good at contacting me and returning emails and phone calls. The motto at this dealer is that the lowest price is always 1st or best price 1st and no dealer fee's. This is how mullinax stops you from negotiating on the real best price. This however, doesn't mean that all the prices are bad at mullinax, in fact some prices are very good. There's a difference between a good price and 'the best price 1st'. For example the black 2013 mustang GT I initially came in and test drove had a 'best price 1st' of $19,900 online. When I arrived at the dealership, to my shock, the windshield sticker was $19,500. How can this be? I later checked the website again and wouldn't you know it, the price was now $19,000! The mullinax slogan is best price 1st, not best price 1st for this week. It also stated on the car itself and online that this mustang had undergone a mullinax 110 point inspection. This is supposed to make you feel good about buying a used Ford from mullinax. Be careful here, ask yourself, what does this really mean? Well it means absolutely nothing! I could be a massive car dealer chain and say my mechanic gave this (fill in the blank) used car a 290 point inspection. Okay, so what? What points were inspected and by who? What were the results of the inspection? What was fixed or replaced if anything? Where's the write up from a mullinax mechanic?
I initially met with Adyel. He's a nice easy going car salesman. I test drove the black mustang with him and showed him my trade. He took my car keys and said someone was going to look at my car (I found out later that some mystery person drove my car without asking me 1st). I opened the center console on the mustang, inside I found 1 sheet of paper. It was from Amsoil, it read completed inspection-replaced brake light switch. I asked Adyel what was going on? He said, "oh yea sometimes we have them do our inspections". This was the mullinax ford 110 point inspection! Buyer be warned!
I felt no pressure from him at all up until the point when we sat down to talk about my trade in. He tried repeatedly to get me to tell him how much I owed on my car. NEVER tell a car dealer what you owe on your car. Finally he asked me who my bank was. I told him and he picked up the phone and dialed my bank (I didn't know he was calling my bank). In a very tiny quiet voice that I could not hear he asked my bank what my pay off was. My bank would not tell him, thank goodness. He then handed me the phone and my bank was on the other line. They gave me the 10 day payoff and hung up. He tried yet again to pry it out of me, saying, "I need it to run the numbers so we can make you an offer". This made no sense at all. I told him I needed clean Nada trade in value for my 1 owner Honda with all service records in a folder, which is $6k. He walked away and came back a short time later with a print out showing 2 things, the price of their black mustang, which was magically back up to $19,900 and the KBB average condition trade in value for my car which is just under $5k. Funny how the price of the mustang went back up, this mustang price hike happened 2 more times on 2 different emailed buyers orders they sent me. This is not a mistake. The price changing (always in the dealers favor) is a common shady dealer tactic that some people don't catch. Their best and final offer on my trade was $5k. Naturally, I got up to leave. Adyel, like a gentleman, walked me back to my car and started talking about the difference between retail value and trade value. I just listened and politely nodded. The Nada retail value of my car is just over $8k.
Almost 1 week later, I get a call from Esteban. He said he was going over his notes and wanted to make me a better offer on my trade. We agreed to meet in the middle at $5.5k. I checked the 10 day payoff again and realized it was $5.6k. I called Esteban back that same day and said that I would need $5.6k to let my trade go as that amount would totally pay it off. He eventually said okay and a deal was reached. $19,500 for the mustang and $5,600 for my trade.
Chris later emailed me a buyers order for me to bring to my bank for financing. Strangely, the buyers order had the black mustang price of $19,900.....again. And even stranger yet there was a non descript fee of $174. And it gets even stranger still, my trade price went down back down from $5,600 to $5,500. Some how, accidentally of course, Chris had managed to add roughly $700 in this latest buyers order for my bank! I emailed Chris and asked him to correct the numbers and I also asked what the mystery fee of $174 was for? After all, isn't this mullinax ford, the NO dealer fees, 110 point ford inspection place? He said, that it was a dealer processing fee. Whoa! Are you as confused as I am yet?
The very next Monday I was at my bank and sadly, I was unable to secure financing on the mustang. My credit score is 695 and I have a good relationship with my bank, but as a independent contractor for a year now I wasn't able to provide them with enough proof of income. My bank said to wait until next tax season and they would try again using my new tax info. Had I been approved, my rate was zero down 2.99% for 60 months on the mustang. (The rate I'm currently paying on my Honda is even better with my bank at 2.49% for 60 months).
That same day Chris called me back and I broke the bad news. He told me he had a number of lenders at his disposal. I explained that all of his lenders would charge high rates and I only wanted to deal with my bank on financing. He said he understood but to call him if I wanted to give mullinax a try on financing.
It has now been between 1 and 2 weeks since I test drove the 2013 mustang. All I could think about was losing the mustang! Against my better judgement I filled out the online mullinax financing form and emailed Chris. I wrote that it couldn't hurt to give them a try at financing a mustang after all. I was so wrong and this is when the real nightmare started. NEVER EVER use a dealer to finance a used car, NOT even as a last resort.
As soon as Chris realized I wanted to use his financing everything changed. It was like there was blood in the water and mullinax was the sharks showing up to feed and rip flesh!
Surprisingly, I was approved the next day and Chris said he didn't even need proof of income. Amazing, I thought, my dream was in my grasp after all. He said, "when do you want to pick up your mustang?" I responded with, "well, wait a minute, whats the APR?". He said he didn't have that info right in front of him, but he would get back to me soon. He insisted that I immediately give him a 'refundable' down payment to 'lock down' the mustang with a credit card. I declined of course. Chris kept his word and sure enough he was back on the phone and the terms were zero down 8.39% for 72 months with Ally or BB&T. *If I had agreed to this the $20k mustang would cost me over $28k after 72 moths* I immediately felt all the air leave my lungs and said to myself, "see you idiot, you knew this was gonna happen". I told Chris thanks but no thanks. He did say that if I bought a car costing closer to $30k he could get that financing rate to go down. I texted him later to say I would think about a 2011-2013 mustang in the $20k range if he came up with a better rate. He said he doesn't have any say in what rates are available. I did some research later that night and found that 2 of the worst lenders on earth for financing a used car is Ally and BB&T. More importantly however, I found out that car dealers are never under any obligation to give you the lowest rate you actually qualify for. Not only that, but they don't even have to really qualify you at all. They just tell you that you are qualified, later after you accept their insanely high rate and they take your trade in, that's when they sell your loan to a lender. THIS IS HOW THEY SCAM YOU THE MOST! Once you are in the finance office (or even after you have left the dealership with your new car) and they have taken your trade, you will usually be told your financing 'fell thru'. Your actual rate is going to be even higher and you cannot get your old car back without paying something.
Shamefully I considered the mullinax rate of 8.39% for 72 months. My flawed logic was to refinance the mustang a year or 2 later with my bank and that way I could justify it. I called Chris back and said I would still need $5600 for my trade, same as last week. Chris said that would change things. What? Why? I responded. He said my rate would change for the worse. I said the lender has no business or care of even knowing I have a trade, its between me and mullinax. This is when I started getting scared. I knew my trade had no affect on the lender financing because they agreed to pay it off clean just days earlier, but Chris insisted that it did because, "it looks like you want to get out of 1 vehicle and into another". Isn't that what everyone wants to do, I thought to myself? What does that even mean? I asked to speak with his manager, Esteban. He said Esteban would call me and like clock work, Esteban did. I would never speak to Chris again after this point.
While on the phone with Esteban it was clear that he had suddenly gotten Amnesia. Less than 2 weeks had gone by and yet nobody remembered I had a trade in. Esteban (the guy who had just called me out of the blue days earlier and made a deal on my trade in) had just forgotten all about it. He continued to say that he would have to roll negative equity into the mustang car loan, "what if you owe $8k on your car and we only give you $5.6k, he stated?". I started getting agitated and reminded him that I owe $5.6k and they all know this already. I said I think Chris is trying to do something unethical. He said he would talk to Chris and call me back. Only hours later Esteban called me back. He said the confusion with Chris was that they thought the $5.6k from my trade was being applied to the loan. This was an outright LIE! They knew all along I needed a pay off for my Honda. They knew I didn't own my car. They knew the loan for the mustang must be ZERO DOWN (not $5.6k down), that's what the numbers showed on all the buyers orders they sent me. Had they thought I was giving them $5.6k towards the mustang, all the numbers would be different, I would be financing around $15k not $20k. He then said he needed $750 down and 11.49% for 72 months on the Mustang because my credit score was 661. There are 3 credit scores that make up your total Fico score. He used the common shady dealer tactic of using the lowest of the 3 scores instead of the highest of 695 in order to get me the highest rate possible. This was the end for me! I told Esteban I did not want to do business with him because every time I spoke with them things got worse and worse and he is a crook. He hung up on me. Please, for your own good, do not buy a used car at mullinax Ford Central Florida. If you have financing and you want a new car you might be okay. But, whatever you do or where ever you go, have a seasoned car buyer veteran with you. This is 1 of the biggest purchases of your life and if you don't know what you're doing or don't always pay attention to detail, car salesmen like Esteban and Chris are out there, just waiting to rip you off and you may not even realize it happened to you.