Tue, 20 Oct 2009

Car Buying Hiatus?

I'm half-considering abandoning our car shopping endeavor.

Am I bewildered by the bevy of cars and options and in over my head?

To the contrary, I'm motivated to finish my research and get a deal done, but I also want what I want.

Perhaps part of the problem is being spoiled by build-to-order options on the Internet, which makes the on-the-lot options which lack the packages and options I want, less appealing.

But I think the real culprit is a convergence of a few factors that have made car buying for the consumer a real pain, at least right now.

For one, the economy went south, and the car companies, apparently without exception, scaled back production substantially.

Second, the "cash for clunkers" program wiped out the inventory of lots of dealerships for certain car types, particularly those getting good gas mileage.

Consumers like me that want a specific configuration lose the negotiation ability since there isn't a car on the lot that I'm interested in buying. It's special order, and when the sales person knows you're looking for a special order, there's no incentive to negotiate.

With certain car makes (Volvo, Mercedes, etc.) there's the option for "European Delivery" which apparently saves the buyer a certain amount of cash (made up for with the expense of the vacation typically accompanying Euro delivery), and (at least it's my impression) puts the negotiation of the car price into a more narrow 'no haggling' arena.

So it seems my choices right now are to settle for some base configuration and find a way to add on the packages I want aftermarket, to order from the factory (and pay closer to MSRP), or to order European Delivery (so long as I don't decide to get a Toyota)...

Khan Klatt

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