"Almost want to buy a car more often! (Almost!)"
Wow. Where to start? 10 years ago for my 18th birthday... Nope, too far.
My neighbor has been teasing me for the last few years to "Get a car from this century!" which is not a hyperbole, my very first car, a '99 Crown Victoria was getting long in the tooth at 280K miles. I tried to replace it a few times over the last year, but something always got in the way, either my credit (non-existent) the prospective car (rust bucket with paint) or the dealer (pushy, with bait and switch pricing) caused me to back away from more than one potential purchase.
Enter Germain Honda of Dublin
My dad was working on purchasing a cross-over SUV to handle some more intensive tasks that his sports-wagon wasn't really meant for. He had checked multiple dealers all over central OH, and was inspecting every possible option for his needs. We rolled into Germain Honda to look at a CR-V, and to inquire about other possible cars right during the busiest hours at most dealerships. While driving through the lot to put the CR-V away, and to find a Pilot to measure up, I spotted a little blue CR-Z. I mentioned it in passing that I had seen an ad on Auto-Trader for that particular car and I might want to take a closer look. Matt, our Product Specialist, was willing, and more than capable of, simultaneously getting my dad acquainted with the SUV while switching back and forth to talk features on the CR-Z without missing a beat. Ten minutes after seeing it on the lot we were on a test drive of the little hybrid. I must admit that I was enamored with the car, and tried to play it like a stone faced pro, but Matt sure knows how to sell a car, and how to tell when, you've found one that you like. I mentioned, my previous woes about purchasing a car, especially the financing part. When we arrived back at the dealership, Matt worked with me to figure out if I could afford the car, and to ballpark the monthly payments (I wish I had enough cash buy a car outright!). Sitting in his office with the possibility to get rid of my old boat of a car, and drive off the lot with that CR-Z was unreal to me, and I went into "Hardball" mode. I chilled out, played it cool, and told Matt that I had to sleep on it. He wasn't mad, he wasn't frustrated (at least as far as I could tell) that after about an hour and a half of hard work he wouldn't be making a sale that day. Instead, he offered to make an appointment for me the next day if I wanted to come in and purchase the car.
I couldn't sleep that night. I was awake worrying about not buying the car, so when I came in at high-noon the next day, I knew what I wanted to buy, and I knew that I would be asked to push my budget around, and that there would be problems with my credit, or the price would have been "actualized" to a much higher value. I'd been in this situation before, looking at other cars. I couldn't have been more wrong on what happened next.
I rolled up in my old boat, stepped out of the car, and never will I ever have to drive it again. Matt and I sat down and went over the credit application, and my options, including having co-signers, different down payments and all the permutations. I'm really lucky that he had a lot of experience purchasing cars, and he was able to seamlessly navigate the intricacies and pitfalls of the modern crediting system. He put together a more detailed estimate, and it was actually LESS than the rates we were looking at yesterday. I was astounded. As we got closer to finalizing the application, the rates were very comfortably within my budget. The pricing on the car hadn't been raised, and the inspection of the vehicle that I insisted on turned out to be a complete waste of time. Peace of mind and all that, but the engine and the undercarriage were actually in fantastic condition, and I have no doubts that I will driving this car for the next 10 years. So I was approved, the car was good, and there were no shady tricks. Sold.
DON'T SKIP THIS PART!
I know that I have tendency to ramble, but let me make this short and sweet for you speedy readers who don't have time to read my full experience. These guys know their cars, they get to know their customers, and the biggest mistake I made was trying to play hardball. Everyone I worked with was great, and not pushy. The pricing is fair (hours on KBB looking for comparable sales of CR-Zs confirmed that), and they don't jerk you around. They got me out of probably my biggest pain point in my daily life, and they made it smooth and easy. Easily the best dealership and team I've worked with in the last 5 years of car hunting, and the proof is in the driveway right now.
Shout-out to Matt S. You're AWESOME