Apr 5, 2010

Exceptional Experience

Out to Pasture?
For those of you who've followed my travels the past several years, you know I've had problems and repairs on the GTP. To be expected I guess, for an 11 year old car.

Even though I have LOVED the GTP since it came on the market and it gave me many good years of service, I became increasingly uneasy as to its reliability. So rather than put additional money into it, I decided to look for a different car.


Choices, Choices
I’ll admit it. I’ve been spoiled with my GTP. Fast. Heated Drivers Seat. Power everything. Roomy. Gorgeous Red. Sunroof. Leather seats. Auto Headlights/Fog Lights. Steering Wheel Controls. Heads-Up Display. Rear Window Defrost. Remote Locks. Ahhh, yes!

A couple years ago, the Chrysler 300 caught my eye. I thought they were pretty sharp-looking cars. At that time, I wasn’t ready to purchase so I tucked it away in the back of my mind. Then I saw a Buick Lucerne. Another nice car.


Temptation
Last week the local “advertiser” newspaper had an ad for used cars on the front – one of which was a Chrysler 300 that caught my eye. I found their prices were quite high for the model/options they had available. Seeing the ad was enough to spark my interest to do more research about the models, options, and prices for the 300. I test drove a couple. Solid-feeling, comfortable ride. More research about dealer values, trade-in value for the GTP, bank financing, and insurance rates. I am so freakin very thorough when I’m thinking about making a major purchase!

I found plenty of 300 RWD on the market. Living in the land of extreme snow winter wonderland, I need to have FWD or AWD. Especially with my driveway. Ya’ll remember it, right? So, the search was on to find AWD (no option for FWD on the 300). Again comparing prices and options, I narrowed it down to a 300 Limited AWD listed at $2.5K less than Kelly and NADA retail. The dealership was an hour and a half away. I emailed the dealership and asked an obscene a bunch of questions. The salesman emailed me back almost immediately after each set of questions, and sent a carfax on my request. Duh. I later found out that a lot of my questions were answered on their website, LoL. Oops. Did I *really* want to take a 3-hour round trip for a test drive?


Road Trip!
Sure, why not?! I did take a male counterpart with me for moral support and point out things I may not notice, plus to help with negotiations. I drove 1 ½ hours into another state to test drive a car. Am I crazy? Upon arriving at the 5-star dealership, a guy came out and asked how he could help. After being informed I wanted to look at 300 Limited AWD’s, he showed me the cars, brought me the keys to both and told me to take them for a test drive. Meantime, the salesman who I had been emailing with realized who I was and claimed his “territory” customer.


Drive ‘Em
They didn’t ask for my keys, didn’t ask for proof of insurance, or even my driver’s license. Just “Here ya go. Take them for a drive!” I took the gray one first. Nice. Then I took the white one. (I had seen them both online, and really liked the white one) While out test driving the white one, my friend called and told me that I did NOT want the gray one – it had several flaws including dents. He had given the white one the once-over (lol, maybe twice or thrice-over) while I was testing the gray one. The engine on the white one was cleaner, also. The white one was definitely taken care of better than the gray one.


Negotiations
We sat down and talked numbers. I already knew their pricing was a LOT lower than other dealerships and according to blue book values. The salesman made it a point to tell me, not knowing I did my homework. In essence, they weren’t going to budge on the sales price so the only thing I had to bargain with was trade-in value on my car. They came back with what I thought they would, a bit lower than blue book value. Not good enough. Actually it was, but I wanted to see if they would do better, and they did.

So guess what?! I negotiated my way into a new-to-me Chrysler 300 Limited AWD.


Definitely Unprepared
Then it came time to draw up the paperwork. I hadn’t planned on going home with a different car. As such, I didn’t have the extra sets of keys or the title. Nor did I have my checkbook. The dealership took my word that I was pre-approved for a loan. At this point, I’m still in awe with the whole dealership experience. They let me take the 300 off the lot for $100 deposit, and told me to mail them a check! (Well… the title and keys, too.) Unbelievable. After recently sitting through negotiations at a different (local) dealership who was high-pressure and anti-negotiation, I thought my car buying experience was a piece of cake!


My “New” Ride
Initially, the 300 was designed under the supervision of Mercedes engineers which is why it looks and drives comparable to the Mercedes E-class vehicles, only with a less expensive price tag. The powertrain is the same as the Dodge Charger.


Features: All-Wheel Drive 3.5L V6. 5-speed Automatic Transmission with ability to manually shift. Leather Interior. 6-CD Changer with MP3 and WMA. Sirius Satellite Radio. Boston Premium Sound System. Heated Power Driver –and- Passenger Seats. Electronic Stability Program and Traction Control. 18” Aluminum Wheels. Auto Headlights/Fog Lights. Auto Temperature Control. 60/40 Split Rear Seat. Steering Wheel Controls. Remote Locks. Built-In Programmable Garage Door Openers. Sunroof. Tinted Privacy Windows. Rear Window Defrost. Power/Heated Side Mirrors. Electronic Vehicle Information Center. Of course, there are lots of nice safety “upgrades” as well.

Hard to believe they let this off the lot for $100, isn’t it?

53 comments:

Kathy said...

Nice looking car. Congrats on your new ride. And on such a pleasant experience at a car dealership. Those are rare. :)

In your previous posting. I just love that photo of the squirrel. :) Cute little critters.

Your LK is looking good. Any progress is progress. :)

Have a great week.

EvalinaMaria said...

What can I say? WOW!!! And congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Meari! It's beautiful!!

PennyB

Second Chances said...

Awesome! I know it is a worry off your mind. So glad the deal worked out so easy for you. It usually is such a headache!

valerie said...

Wow, beautiful car! Glad to hear you got a great deal and exceptional service. I can only hope for the same when I get around to getting a new to me car!

Rene la Frog said...

WOW...you found a one in a million dealership. Very nice car....Congrats

Daffycat said...

Congratulations, Meari! Gorgeous new car!

Ranae said...

Congrats!!
I love it.
I think I need a new to me car, lol
Enjoy!!!

Irene said...

Nice looking car ! Glad your experience with the negotiation went well.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful car, Meari!

Berly

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new car!!!!! You are an amazing barterer!!! Your LK WIP is looking great & yes Spring is here. Just hope summer holds off for a little while longer. At least here anyway.

Betty in AZ

Anonymous said...

Meari I am very happy for you. What a great experience. I love your new baby. Does he/she have a name?

Tina

Julie M said...

Beautiful car Meari!! So glad you had a good experience, someday I hope to have one!:)

have a great week!

Emily said...

Glad you did your research and got the car you wanted at such a good price, good for you. Many single women get taken.

Rachel S said...

Love it! Congratulations. Enjoy!

It may be something to do with Chrysler, but I had a great experience when I bought from one of their dealers. I was looking for any reason to get out of there, and I'd had a bad time with our Honda dealer, but they were really nice at the one near me.

Debra said...

Yeah for you!!! You won't be loosing your job, right?

Terry said...

Wow! What a deal and what a beautiful car!! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Well girl looks like you have a very pretty car, hope it goes as well for you as it looks. Enjoy

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

What an acquisition Meari!!!!!!!!! Beautiful car! Loved the photos... your LK is coming along fab... the squirrel is darling and the daffodil beautiful!

Sue

Sunshine said...

Nice Ride! You did Good girl!
Your Squirrely Friend is Adorable. We only have Gray Squirrels around here, and they think they own the place :)

Anonymous said...

Glad you were able to get another car.

Marl

Carolyn NC said...

Girl -what a ride! Gorgeous car - so glad it all worked out!

mbroider said...

Congratulations on your new car!!

Lorraine's Blog said...

Love your new car congratulations
Lorraine

Anonymous said...

Your LK piece looks beautiful and Congratulation, that car looks great.

Lovely flower, It is so nice to see those Spring pictures :)

I can just shovel snow out of my flowerbed, LOL

Tinna

Mylene said...

Congrats on the new car, Meari. Looks great!!

Bette said...

Looks like you and I had the same kind of weekend. Congrats on the new ride and I know your enjoying yours as much as I am mine.

Carol said...

That is quite a car, Meari!! You'll have a great time driving that around town--enjoy :)

Mary Ivancicts said...

WOW! beautiful Car, enjoy! I need to catch up on some of you blog, with Joe in the hospital, I haven't been reading them, I will get back to them now.

Shelley said...

Wow!! You hit the jackpot! That car is gorgeous and it sounds like it is everything you wanted. What a wonderful dealership. I wish we could all be so lucky to have someone like them to deal with. Congrats and have fun in your new ride.

Katrien said...

congrats on the new car!

Kelly said...

Congratulations! My current car is 8 years old so 9/11 was still pretty fresh in people's minds and cars were not being sold. I bought a brand new Lincoln for zero financing and zero money down and drove off the lot. I even had to get an IL drivers licence the day before because we had previously been living out of state. I am guessing the dealers could track us down if they did not get their money so they are comfortable with sending us on our way. Enjoy the new car! It looks nice.

Binky's Blog said...

Congrats on the new car!! It is really a gorgegous car.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Meari, congratulation with the new car!! I think it look just marvelous!!

Sure I would love to have a car like that one, but they are far too expensive for me, I`m afraid!

Love and hugs from Torun

Anonymous said...

I love your new car!!!!!!!

Hugs,
Nancy Cricket Tucket

silentsgirl said...

I'll say your negotiations were a piece of cake. When I bought my car, I left a bit of my soul behind. Congratulations!

Mel said...

*happy dance*
So glad you got it. :)

htimcj said...

Great car!
Heidi-ILCS

Anonymous said...

Your new car looks brilliant, Maeri! Enjoy it! Much better than a chocolate egg!!!

Josephine

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the car, Meari!
It looks beautiful!

Debbie - CSE

Cynthia said...

Beautiful car! I bet you look so cute in the drivers seat! LOL Very impressed with your dealer, I'm sure they have a customer for life!

Anonymous said...

Aww... You are so lucky! What a great looking car!

Cyndi in So Cal

Vicki in CO said...

Wonderful new ride Meari!

Kristin said...

What a sweet looking car. I think I'm just a little jealous:)

Nancy M said...

Guess I'll have a new ride when I come visit next! I've bought my last 2 cars off Ebay and didn't test drive either before I bought them! And the first one I drove to Chicago to buy it! Both have been great cars.

Carol said...

Congrats Meari! That's a sharp looking ride! Painless vehicle purchases are rare. It sounds like my experience at a nationwide used car franchise. I'll never purchase a used car from an independent dealer.

Louisiana Momma said...

we think a lot alike - the 300 is always the car I say I will have once my children are out of the house.. I would like to have a pink one with pearlized paint :-) Yours is very pretty!! Congrats!!

too_busy_to_stitch said...

Wow! What a gorgeous jam jar! (Car, round here, lol!) Our van is sixteen years old, and would love to replace, but...

Barbara said...

Beautiful car, Meari. Congrats and how nice to have a good car buying experience.
Barb in TX

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new car Meari!!! It looks really nice! I'm sure you're enjoying it! Also, nice stitching!! And love the pic of the chunky squirrel!! Nuts must be plentiful this year! LOL!

Happy Trails,
Pam K. :o)

Lillie said...

Congrads!!! Enjoy its gorgeous indeed.

Sharon said...

That was an exceptional experience! Congrats on the new to you car! It looks great.

Cindy said...

Very nice!

When I bought my car recently, I was amazed that it was as painless and haggle-free as it was. Much different than the last time (more than 15 years ago!)