The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Wait, How Many Of You Have A 'Detained At The Dealership' Story?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled Wait, How Many Of You Have A 'Detained At The Dealership' Story?
Photo: Denis Tyrin/AP (AP)

Jeez, reading the comments (currently sitting at 643) from Tom’s post on dealerships detaining people against their will, it’s pretty clear that a lot of you have awful dealership stories, which makes sense, because everyone who has been to a dealership has at least a few awful dealership stories.

In fact, I’d imagine that among American adults, interacting with a car dealer for any reason sits somewhere around turning yourself into the police and putting a pet down on the list of things they’re eager to do. It’s not that good dealerships don’t exist, I’m sure there are some great ones, it’s probably that “I had a normal/pleasant experience buying a car” doesn’t make make for much of a story.


A Honda salesman once told me not to buy a Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen because Volkswagen was going to pull out of the U.S. market, that he’d read about it on a special website that was available only to people who worked at car dealerships. I’ve been told that the car I was after (package zero Mk5 GTI) “didn’t exist,” so I should just buy a DSG-equipped GTI with leather and a sunroof — only to have my cousin who worked for VW find me the exact car I wanted just a short drive away. I’ve intervened in some goofy service/warranty situations, including having to contact a dealer group owner about his service department making women feel uncomfortable. But I’ve never had someone try to physically keep me from leaving a dealership.

But apparently, it’s not unusual! It happened even to Lawrence’s mom and it happened a few weeks ago to another colleague here at G/O. So what about you, do you have a “detained at the dealer” story? You ever have someone try to park you in or hide your keys? How many of you have “detained at the dealership” type stories?