Who doesn’t love a car dealership? You show up, talk to someone in an incredibly ill-fitting uniform shirt, and get to take the car of your dreams (that you absolutely cannot afford) out for a spin. At least, that’s how you hope it works — the reality is rarely quite so pleasant. Between markups, false advertising, and straight-up detaining customers, the dealership experience is never quite as smooth as you’d hope.
Today, we want to know your worst dealership experiences. The bogus fees, the dealer-installed accessories, the TruCoat they swore they wouldn’t charge you for that showed up on the invoice anyway. What was your worst experience dealing with a dealership?
My worst dealership experience didn’t even come from my own attempts to buy a car — I was helping someone else shop, and stumbled into a dealer with the worst inventory I’d ever seen. Every car was interesting, either through performance prowess or rarity, but they each had serious problems.
I had visited this unnamed dealership with my dad, who was interested in a used WRX hatchback. The dealership had two on the lot, an embarrassment of riches even in Subaru-loving New England. Unfortunately, neither was a viable option: One had a dilapidated, trashed interior, and the other had no functioning power steering. The dealer wanted over twenty grand for both.
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A lot full of broken-down cars is my worst dealership story, but I bet you all can top that. Did you show up to sign the final papers on a car, only for the price to suddenly skyrocket? Were you locked in The Box until you gave in and paid for tire and wheel protection? Give us your worst dealership experiences in the comments below, and we’ll compile our favorite answers into a slideshow tomorrow.