These Are Your Best Dealer Experience Stories

These Are Your Best Dealer Experience Stories

Believe it or not, some of you have had a good time at your local car dealer. Shocking, isn't it?

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A black and white photo of an old car dealership.
The last time a car dealer was honest.
Photo: HUM Images/Universal Images Group (Getty Images)

We talk a lot about how awful car dealers can be, with sky-high markups and add-on fees, on top of all the unpleasantness that comes with leaving the house. But, every now and then, we like to look on the brighter side of life.

So, yesterday, we turned to you and asked for stories of the best car dealer experiences you’ve ever had. Here are some of the top responses we received.

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Escort > Mustang

Escort > Mustang

A photo of a red Ford Escort from the 1990s.
Photo: Ford

“As a newly coined Petty Officer in the Navy, I ordered my dream car, a final year police package Mustang coupe with few options.

“I went to pick it up and the dealer told me it was a special edition and had the financing set up for an additional $7,000. I was shocked and left.

“At another ford dealer, they had my second choice car, a fully loaded Escort GT on the lot. I told them what happened and they gave me a HUGE discount and said, “Thanks for your service!”

“By the way, I’d just come from six months in Italy so I was really into small cars, so the Escort was a lot of fun.”

Ford canned the Police-spec Mustang back in 1993, so dealers have been pulling shady pricing moves for decades now! At least this tale had a happy ending.

Suggested by: Gary Lane Brooks (Facebook)

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3 / 17

It’s a Ferrari

It’s a Ferrari

A photo of a red Ferrari 458 Italia Supercar.
Photo: Ferrari

“Oh this is an easy one. I’ve had many dealer experiences, not because I buy cars at them all the time for myself (I tend to go the cheap route) but because for a while I was fleet manager for a car share club. Was it the best job ever? Yes! One of my ‘duties’ was to pick up cars from dealers, It took me to many that I would otherwise never find myself in as a customer and was major fun. So back to one of the best experiences out of the bunch….

“We had ordered a brand spanking new dark blue Ferrari 458 Italia and it was time to pick it up. So off to the Ferrari dealership I went. That particular day was in the middle of summer so I was wearing flip flops, a t shirt and jeans with knee ripped out because it was laundry time and I had nothing else to wear haha.

“Anyway, I walk into the dealer and there were about 4-5 people standing around the car (it was on one of those rotating circles on the showroom floor) It was new then and not many had seen it in the flesh so between that and it’s unique color, it was quite the draw. These people were your typical Ferrari customers so when I walked up they looked me up and down and quickly dismissed me as a fan.

“Funny thing is I had just been on the phone with the salesman who I’ve worked with before and all of the paperwork was finished and I just needed to collect the car and go. I had driven several F430’s before so I didn’t need a walkthrough. So after the crowd dismissed me, the salesman walked up to me, handed me the keys and went over to the big glass doors to open the showroom to the parking lot.

“Then he walked over, waved the crowd away and I got in fired it up and drove the Ferrari out of the showroom and onto the freeway. The looks on those peoples faces!!!! Priceless!!! I’ll never forget that moment hahaha. Plus the car had 5 miles on it.”

So the best way to enjoy the dealer experience is to drive someone else’s Ferrari off the forecourt, got it.

Suggested by: travelnman

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4 / 17

Online Only

Online Only

A black and white photo of a young person using an early computer.
Photo: Tony Korody/Sygma (Getty Images)

“One in Houston let me fill out everything online. I came in and picked up my van. It only took 20 minutes at the dealer.

“They didn’t try to upsell any nonsense either.

“It’s why we bought there twice so far.”

The less time you have to spend at the dealership, the better. At least, that’s what this poster’s review suggests.

Suggested by: @onebigorangecom (Twitter)

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5 / 17

CTS-Very Fast

CTS-Very Fast

A photo of a white Cadillac CTS-V sedan.
Photo: Cadillac

“We just bought a ‘23 Mazda CX-9 GT (Soul Red!) from Davis-Moore in Wichita, KS. We live about 3 hours from there (the local dealer—Nelson—is great, but didn’t have the car in the exact spec we wanted). I was trading in my ‘18 Tacoma as well. All negotiations were handled over email, text & phone, and were smooth, respectful and painless. I agreed to pay MSRP (as one does these days), and they gave me $500 less for my Tacoma than I’d paid 4.5 years and 50k+ miles ago (sometimes inflation works in your favor!). We agreed on a time, and the salesman met me halfway - above & beyond! We signed the paperwork, and after like 20 mins, I was on my way back home. Fantastic.

“But my best dealership experience was getting paid $100 to drive a CTS-V 120 mph and give the salesman a fun afternoon.

“Second best was test driving a Lotus Elise on my birthday years ago.

“Third best was powersliding an ND Miata on a test drive.

“All sales folks really seem to enjoy when they let me try out their cars! LOL.”

Three positive run ins with car dealers! That’s about as rare as the three disallowed goals I witnessed at the last hockey game I went to.

Suggested by: davesaddiction

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6 / 17

Fix Up, Look Sharp

Fix Up, Look Sharp

A photo of a silver Subaru Forester SUV.
Photo: Subaru

“Best/Worst: wife and I found a 2006 Forester XT about an hour away. It was at one of those industrial park wholesale car sales spots, and while the place looked shady, the Forester was fine. We paid cash and signed the ‘AS-IS’ paperwork.

“Maybe 20 minutes into the drive home, it overheats. I call the dealer and he comes out to meet us. I don’t know if it was because we were a couple with a baby or just his nature, but he took the Forester back for repair, gave us a loaner, and offered to either repair it for free or let us out of the deal.

“We backed out. He 100% did not legally have to do anything, given the paperwork we signed, but he saved us thousands of dollars.”

A dealer letting you back out of the deal, isn’t that nice.

Suggested by: Clay Weiland (Facebook)

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7 / 17

Working Nine-to-Five

Working Nine-to-Five

A photo of Dolly Parton at the premiere of 9 to 5.
Photo: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic (Getty Images)

“A ‘New York’ car, wtf?

“Anyway, my best dealership experience is when one gave me a Mon-Fri job paying decently so I could get out of an increasingly-shitty retail job in summer 2020.”

“Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition and yawn and stretch and try to come to life.

“Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumpin’, ut on the streets the traffic starts jumpin’ for folks like me on the job from nine to five.”

Suggested by: Boter

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8 / 17

There’s Always a Miata

There’s Always a Miata

A photo of a grey Mazda Miata at night time.
Photo: Mazda

“Buying my Miata back in 2016

“Dealer was an older guy, not pushy at all. Spent half the test drive talking about his Solstice GXP. Shame that a year later, they became a Mitsubishi dealer.”

Every time I forget that the answer is always Miata, someone’s on hand to remind me that the answer is always Miata.

Suggested by: @Stranaton (Twitter)

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9 / 17

Pontiac and Proud

Pontiac and Proud

A photo of two Pontiac cars on display at a dealer.
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

“I’ve only really had positive experiences with Pontiac dealers.

“2007: they didn’t have what I wanted on the lot, so the salesmen let me use his computer to browse nearby inventory, sorted by lowest price. Found just the one I wanted for $14,500. No upsells or trying to talk me into buying something they had. They did a swap with the dealer who had it and I drove it away within a week.

“2009: went to the same dealer to test drive a G8. They only had the V6 in stock and couldn’t find any blue with the V8, but again didn’t pressure me to buy when I walked away.

“2009 later on: called a Pontiac dealer out of state at 5pm on a Friday and bought the blue G8 I was looking for right then over the phone. I flew out a month or 2 later and the dealer actually sent someone to pick me up at the airport, which was an hour or 2 away from them. Still have that car now.”

The moral of the story: We should all buy our cars from Pontiac dealers.

Suggested by: stalephish

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10 / 17

No Markup, No Problem

No Markup, No Problem

A photo of a blue Ford Bronco SUV in a factory.
Photo: Ford

“Picking up my 22 Bronco at Tom Holtzer (now Serra) Ford, paid MSRP with zero argument or markup. Great service during the year and a half long wait post-reservation.

“Worked with me on all order/option changes I made. Updated me regularly on build progress (except it sat in the lot for three days after it arrived, but a ton of them were arriving all at once, so).

“Picking it up/finalizing finance took a record low time of like 45 minutes, too!”

We found the one guy that managed to get their hands on a Bronco at MSRP.

Suggested by: Travis Meyer (Facebook)

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11 / 17

Sunday Shopping

Sunday Shopping

A photo of a closed Cadillac dealer in America.
Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

“I went to one on a Sunday to look at cars and it was closed and I was not accosted by salesmen.”

A popular joke to make among Jalopnik commenters, you guys!

Suggested by: hangovergrenade

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12 / 17

Sort it In-House

Sort it In-House

A photo of Chevrolet SUVs at a dealer.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

“Chevy Dealer in Tampa. Loan app done online. Brought Bolt to my house for test drive and to look it over. Did most of the paperwork online. They delivered and we completed the paperwork on my kitchen table. Least stressful car purchase ever. Only did a token push for add-ons.”

Another top tip: Don’t go to the dealer, make the dealer come to you. The snacks are probably better at home as well.

Suggested by: @I_love_Quokkas (Twitter)

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13 / 17

Too Good to be True?

Too Good to be True?

A photo of a grey Chevrolet Silverado truck.
Photo: Chevrolet

“My first and so far only experience at a dealership was very positive. In the fall of 2018, I was in the market for a full-size pickup with tow package, and I had zeroed in on Chevrolets for a handful of reasons. I was fairly certain that I’d be shopping used, until I found an online listing for a new 2018 Silverado with exactly what I wanted/didn’t want, at a price that seemed too good to be true.

“I called the dealership (Jim Ellis of Atlanta) late on a Friday to confirm price and availability and made arrangements to come see the truck in person the following Monday. Test drove it, wanted it, negotiated a comfortable deal. The sales people were knowledgeable and not pushy, and left room for me to be a knowledgeable buyer as well. I had a lot of cash to put down up front, but the finance people helped me to work out an arrangement where I could finance just enough to get dealer & manufacturer incentives, have a super manageable monthly payment, and continue building my credit.

“I got out of the door with a brand new truck at an all-in purchase price of a little more than $29k, which still seems too good to be true. This was at a large, long-standing dealer of a number of different makes, and until they give me reason to do otherwise, I’ll go back to them for any automotive purchase when circumstances warrant.

Cudos to you for getting the truck at a bargain price. But, I must say the 2018 Silverado is one of the ugliest trucks out there.

Suggested by: uncletravelingmatt

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14 / 17

Quitting Time

Quitting Time

A photo of a sign saying "Quit work make music"
Photo: Alex Patel via Wikimedia Commons

“My favorite experience at a car dealership was when I quit working at one and swore I’d never work for one again in my life.”

Have you managed to stick to your guns there, Bryce?

Suggested by: Bryce Proseus (Facebook)

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15 / 17

The Maine Event

The Maine Event

A photo of the coast around Portland, Maine.
Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald (Getty Images)

“Bath Subaru in Maine, sent them an email at the time, they said yes they have the car, I asked them if they could do that price, they said yes.

“I flew in to Portland, ME, they picked me up from the airport, brought me to the dealership, I see the car, drive it for a bit, sign the paperwork with the super nice finance person, no hidden or surprise maintenance plan or fees, drive out to my rental place for the week, drive back home. Done.”

So everyone should buy their cars at Pontiac dealers of car showrooms in Maine. Right.

Suggested by: joey-taps

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16 / 17

Trick Question

Trick Question

A photo of a snow-covered Nissan dealership.
Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto (Getty Images)

“Trick question. Every experience with a dealer is awful. Best doesn’t exist”

Our 14 other respondents might like to disagree with you on this one, @kmetzpor.

Suggested by: @kmetzpor (Twitter)

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