How To Avoid Car Dealer Rip-Offs & Scams - How to Buy a New Car, Used Car, Car Leasing, Car Financing, Auto Warranties & More! - Spilling the Beans on the Car Dealers!
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This is a Great Example of What Can Happen if You Believe Car Dealers are Acting in Your Best Interests!

Hi Tony

I can't believe I found your website almost 9 months too late!

I'm so glad that I accidentally stumbled across your website. From what I've read over the past 30 mins or so, I'm astonished at what car dealers can get away with. Thanks for the invaluable service you're providing car owners by making all this information available.

With that said, please be prepared for a long email describing my situation:

In December, my wife and I traded in our leased Honda Civic for a new car. We bought the Civic when our first-born child was only a month old. In December, our son now had a little sister, so we were definitely looking for a larger car... or at least one that offered a larger trunk.

I've been a fan of Mazdas since my late teens (having owned two in the past) and therefore I felt that I wanted to switch brands from Honda to Mazda. So, when the Mazda3 came out in Canada, my wife and I found ourselves in a local car dealership considering a trade.

However, the salesman was fairly suave and managed to talk us into buying a Mazda minivan instead. It was their year-end clearance of the and the finance rate being offered was 0%. A deal "too good to be true!"

We knew deep down that the vehicle we were getting into was too much car for us, but we kidded ourselves into thinking that we actually needed such a large car, after all there were two cars seats to fit, two strollers to put in the back, groceries, etc. etc. etc.

So, out went the Civic, in came the minivan. We literally put no money down, and financed the entire value of the car over 60 months.

We drove it for exactly a year. It was a good car. Good build-quality, excellent design. However, it was expensive to run. The V6 engine meant higher gas bills compared to our Civic.

Plus, it was our first automatic (my wife and I have both been driving manual transmission cars since our teens) so it took some getting used to.

Also, contrary to what we were made to believe, we hardly ever transported more than a few things in the back. The third row was permanently folded into the floor since we never needed to use it. As our children grew more independent, we were able to make do with only one stroller and that's when it hit us "we'd bought the wrong car."

Also, my job was over 60kms from where we lived (one way) so I was putting on 120 kms per day on the MPV. That equated to 1,000 kms per week. Lots of fuel being burned and lots of mileage being accumlated.

In December the following year, we decided it was time to talk to a Mazda dealer about switching the minivan with something more economical. We certainly did not need a minivan. My wife was sick of the handling characteristics of an automatic, she needed to know what the car's doing and demanded that the next car be a manual transmission again.

We visited a Mazda dealer near us (not the same one). The salesman showed us the Mazda3, but commented that there was a waiting list of almost 4 months on that car... and with the specs we wanted, he was almost certain that it might be longer.

He then pointed us to a car that was being sold as a "demo" car, a Mazda6 Sport GT. This car had been driven by the dealership's Business Manager for about 7 months. When the mileage hit 14,000 kms, they took the car off the road, cleaned her up and put her in the showroom for sale.

The numbers they showed me made me think that it made more sense to get the Mazda6 over the Mazda3. Both cars were hatchback models, but the 6 had a nice trunk plus good room in the back seat. The 3's trunk was smallish, but the rear quarters were even more cramped than our Civic. A test drive of both the cars pretty much had me sold on the 6.

In order to put us into the 6, we had to deal with the negative equity present in the minivan. In order to "balance the numbers" they inflated the price of the 6 by what I can only call a ridiculous amount.

They forced us to take extended warranty, rust proofing and sound proofing in order to boost the price even more.

As they were throwing numbers at us, we were being assured that this step was only necessary in order to show something in the paperwork, but in reality our monthly payments would be a certain amount, which my wife and I had agreed that we could afford. It turns out that owning the 6 would run us the same as the minivan payment-wise, but insurance and fuel bills would definitely be lower.

I'd like to think that I'm a fairly intelligent person, so I made the salesman explain to me exactly what the numbers meant that they were showing in the paperwork.

The salesman would start his explanation, and within seconds I'd be confused. I'd ask him to explain things again, and again he'd manage to confuse me. Then I'd ask the Business Manager to explain things, and he'd give me another story that was equally confusing and that also made no sense whatsoever.

In the end, trusting that they were acting in our best interests, we signed the papers and took the car. But, I can't help but think that I've been seriously robbed by that dealer.

This is the second time that a Mazda dealer has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Their cars are great, but it seems their sales and service staff are nothing but crooks.

I think I've overpaid by at least $6,000 for the 6. I don't think I'll be trading her for quite some time to come, in fact I'll probably keep her until my kids grow up and then I'll pass it along to them. Might as well get the most out of her.

How do you feel about what I've related above? Have we been plainly retarded both times?

Can you maybe explain to us what they did when they inflated the numbers? Our final invoice shows the price of the car at $42,000! As far as I'm concerned, a Mazda6 should only cost $35,000 max.

Thanks for taking time to read this, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Haroon C.

Read My Answer to This Story

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