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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

I'm so sorry about the long post but I really need some advice.

I'm hoping this forum can help me. I'm from California originally and have lived in London for 7 years. I've never felt the need to own a car since transportation is so easy but we are having a baby so figured a car is ideal. I've always had Hondas and my family always had Hondas so we are quite loyal to this particular brand. I've never been to a dealership in the UK before so when I went yesterday, I really wasn't sure if it's more or less the same in the States...

Long story short, we had a salesman that knew nothing about the cars we wanted to buy/see. Our budget is maximum £8000 and he told us that it was way too low for a used car. Our requirements were 3 - 5 years old, under 30,000 miles, manual, Civic 5 door. I'd think £8k was more than enough to find a decent used Civic, no? He then told us about an '07 Civic EX with all the 'bells and whistles', 31000 miles, just under £8k and we were very interested. He went away to find keys to a similar vehicle since the one he talked about wasn't on his lot, he came back and said, 'sorry, it's been sold'. He then told us about another Civic, '07, 27000 miles, 1.8 Vtec SE at £8,500. We test drove it and it was fine, it was like any Honda Civics I've ever driven, probably a bit more powerful but I just couldn't understand why it was more expensive than the EX he was telling us about. He said, 'the conditions of the car' is different...which meant to me that the EX was not in a good condition? Then why did he try to sell it to us in the first place? I then asked questions such as: how many owners have owned this car? (He answered, does that really matter?) How long has this car been on the lot? (He answered, about a week). There were many discrepancies in his answers and I just don't know if these are all warning signs about this dealership...for instance, when we first walked in, I asked about a 1.4L Civic, he said Civics all have 1.8 and above, no 1.4...but I actually printed out car selections from their own site that showed a few 1.4 Civics...I showed it to him and he said, 'oh...um...that's rare...and Dsi are old engines...they don't make them anymore...'

What was more weird was he kept telling us about the 'alloy wheels' how it's so much better than steel wheels...I said, that's just cosmetic and not exactly the deciding factor on buying a car...so he asked my husband if he's a 'gadget guy'?! I asked about Magic seats, he asked me how did I know about it? I said because I do my research. He just sounded so clueless on everything I asked. In the end, he asked me to make a decision, I said I'd like to sleep on it. He said normal people would make a decision on the day. I said then I like to be abnormal...of course he added, 'we sell a Civic everyday so this will probably not be here next week, this is your risk to take if you really want to...'anyway, we walked away.

My husband really likes the car and so do I but I just don't know if I want to go back and deal with this guy again. This is the closest Honda dealership to us, all the others are outside London and we can't get to...so I'd really appreciated if you guys can tell me if:

A. Was I being unreasonable with my line of questionings?
B. In the UK, do people really never negotiate price and always just pay the sticker price? (He just kept saying, 'this is not America')
C. Is it really worth £8k for 07 Civic 5 doors 1.8 VTEC SE at 27,000K
D. Was this guy trying to rip us off?

Thank you so much for reading.

Tiffany
 

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Hi,

I'm so sorry about the long post but I really need some advice.

I'm hoping this forum can help me. I'm from California originally and have lived in London for 7 years. I've never felt the need to own a car since transportation is so easy but we are having a baby so figured a car is ideal. I've always had Hondas and my family always had Hondas so we are quite loyal to this particular brand. I've never been to a dealership in the UK before so when I went yesterday, I really wasn't sure if it's more or less the same in the States...

Long story short, we had a salesman that knew nothing about the cars we wanted to buy/see. Our budget is maximum £8000 and he told us that it was way too low for a used car. Our requirements were 3 - 5 years old, under 30,000 miles, manual, Civic 5 door. I'd think £8k was more than enough to find a decent used Civic, no? He then told us about an '07 Civic EX with all the 'bells and whistles', 31000 miles, just under £8k and we were very interested. He went away to find keys to a similar vehicle since the one he talked about wasn't on his lot, he came back and said, 'sorry, it's been sold'. He then told us about another Civic, '07, 27000 miles, 1.8 Vtec SE at £8,500. We test drove it and it was fine, it was like any Honda Civics I've ever driven, probably a bit more powerful but I just couldn't understand why it was more expensive than the EX he was telling us about. He said, 'the conditions of the car' is different...which meant to me that the EX was not in a good condition? Then why did he try to sell it to us in the first place? I then asked questions such as: how many owners have owned this car? (He answered, does that really matter?) How long has this car been on the lot? (He answered, about a week). There were many discrepancies in his answers and I just don't know if these are all warning signs about this dealership...for instance, when we first walked in, I asked about a 1.4L Civic, he said Civics all have 1.8 and above, no 1.4...but I actually printed out car selections from their own site that showed a few 1.4 Civics...I showed it to him and he said, 'oh...um...that's rare...and Dsi are old engines...they don't make them anymore...'

What was more weird was he kept telling us about the 'alloy wheels' how it's so much better than steel wheels...I said, that's just cosmetic and not exactly the deciding factor on buying a car...so he asked my husband if he's a 'gadget guy'?! I asked about Magic seats, he asked me how did I know about it? I said because I do my research. He just sounded so clueless on everything I asked. In the end, he asked me to make a decision, I said I'd like to sleep on it. He said normal people would make a decision on the day. I said then I like to be abnormal...of course he added, 'we sell a Civic everyday so this will probably not be here next week, this is your risk to take if you really want to...'anyway, we walked away.

My husband really likes the car and so do I but I just don't know if I want to go back and deal with this guy again. This is the closest Honda dealership to us, all the others are outside London and we can't get to...so I'd really appreciated if you guys can tell me if:

A. Was I being unreasonable with my line of questionings?
B. In the UK, do people really never negotiate price and always just pay the sticker price? (He just kept saying, 'this is not America')
C. Is it really worth £8k for 07 Civic 5 doors 1.8 VTEC SE at 27,000K
D. Was this guy trying to rip us off?

Thank you so much for reading.

Tiffany
Hi Tiffany, In my opinion I would avoid that dealership.

A: You asked all the questions I would have asked, if not less.
B: Personally I think you would be stupid NOT to negotiate pricewise.
C: Can't really answer question C as I'm new to civic and don't know their current prices.

D: He was being damn right rude to you. I hate to say this but if he was saying 'This is not America'. That's slightly abusive in my eyes.

What i'd do would be to have day out go outside London to the other dealerships and i'm sure they will meet your expectations.
On this occasion looks like you got unlucky as 'most' dealerships are very helpful and will do their best to make you feel comfortable with a car before you buy it as buying a car is a massive thing in your life.

Let us know how you get on and if you find anyother civics. Also you don't have to go to dealerships to buy them
 

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Cockup Specialist
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A. NO!
B. Yes we negotiate ;)
C. Dealers charge more than private sales. You expect to get a car that been gone through with a fine tooth comb. Cleaned up, serviced and faults repaired. This is rarely true.
D. Guys a clown. He gives Honda salesman a bad name. Go elsewhere.

Type the 1st half of your post code on here.
Im sure there is plenty of members that can point you in the right direction.
 

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H

A. Was I being unreasonable with my line of questionings?
B. In the UK, do people really never negotiate price and always just pay the sticker price? (He just kept saying, 'this is not America')
C. Is it really worth £8k for 07 Civic 5 doors 1.8 VTEC SE at 27,000K
D. Was this guy trying to rip us off?
A. No
B. Smart people negotiate
C. Don't know, sorry.
D. He was being a pushy salesman, best ignore him and look elsewhere
 

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A: Not at all. It's a lot of money to spend. Ask as many questions as you can to get a feel for the car's past.

B: I've never paid the asking price for a car. Always negotiate on price ;)

C: Shop around and look at similar and you get a feel if the price is right. Price can vary significantly from area to area as well as from the car's history and condition. Dealers do tend to charge more than if you went for an independent used car dealer.

D: Salesmen that use pressure tactics and don't have a clue about what they are selling are best avoided. You want someone you know you can trust to go back to if you experience any problems.
 

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You sound very clued up and were right to question what was being told to you by the salesman, he sounded very rude, arrogant and ignorant.

The 1.4 DSI engine is old but was replaced by the 1.4 I-vtec in 2008. and is still available.

He tried to pull you in with the top spec EX and when he knew he had you interested it was sold (standard marketing ploy) then he showed you one that he had that was slightly more than you wanted to pay again another ploy to squeeze money from you.

By changing the subject and asking your partner about gadgets seems to me that he was intimated by your knowledge and line of questioning.

As for prices check out auto trader, similar models to the one you looked at are around £7,500. Don't be afraid to ask for discount. If this is the only dealer near to you ask to speak to the sales manager or another sales person who knows more about the cars they are trying to sell. Good luck!
 

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I wouldn't waste my time going back to that dealership to be honest, there's plenty more out there more than happy to answer your questions honestly and actually have a clue about what they're selling.
 

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A. NO!
B. Yes we negotiate ;)
C. Dealers charge more than private sales. You expect to get a car that been gone through with a fine tooth comb. Cleaned up, serviced and faults repaired. This is rarely true.
D. Guys a clown. He gives Honda salesman a bad name. Go elsewhere.
A. No
B. Smart people negotiate
C. Don't know, sorry.
D. He was being a pushy salesman, best ignore him and look elsewhere
A. Agreed, no!
B. Never be afraid to walk away, see just how far they can go.
C. Have a root around online for up to date prices.
D. He sounds like a tool. At worst he should at least know what he is selling, or be polite about it.

Good luck with your search!
 

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Onto my second Civic
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A. Not in the slightest.
B. In many cases no but car buying is definitely an exception. Dealers are notorious for "going high" and I would always try to bring them down. A car that's nearly five years old is always worth haggling over.
C. Seems a little high to me but a lot depends on the condition of the car and what the local market is like for models of that age. It's always good to be able to quote a comparison when trying to get a dealer down on a used car, for example, stating that you've seen a similar car for £500 less but your preference is this one.
D. You don't have to go far to find a poor salesman in a car showroom (I've come across my fair share). A few years ago I sat across one who was so surly and pushy I found it hard to believe he was for real...
 

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Do you have a UK friend with a little bit of balls to go with you next time?

To give an idea on price range I've paid £9000 for an 08 EX with leather n SR with 24000 miles.
The dealership offered me £2200 for a Part exchange.
I negotiated £2500 for the PX, a full tank of fuel, a 12 month warrantee and car mats. I then said £200 off the screen price.

I think your budget is correct.
For a cash deal, you are in control and you are the customer. You don't HAVE TO buy their car.

It's also the end of the month and near the number change.
Dealers will be looking for their end of month figures and clearing the lot ready for new cars

Buyers market at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for all the replies!!

I was feeling really self conscious about it all because I thought maybe this is not how it works in the UK?! My husband is British and we also had another friend with us who's also English and both guys just sat there really quiet and when I asked them if I was being unreasonable, they said no but they said they think the salesman didn't expect me to know so much...I took it as a compliment. =)

I have done a few research about cars with the same specs and it seems £8k is a fair price to pay. To be perfectly honest, I don't really want to pay more than £7k for the car..maybe £7.5 but £8k I thought was a bit much for a SE.

I have since contacted the dealership and got a called back fro the Assistant Sales Manager who apologised profusely about the way I was treated. I missed her call so she left a message. I will call her tomorrow and let her know how I feel. In the message, she did say she wants to make it better and wants us to go back. Our plan is to go back next weekend to purchase a car assuming the conversation with the Assistant Manager goes well tomorrow.

I'm so glad you guys said the salesman was such a tool! When we went for the test drive, he wasn't even talking to us about the car! My husband has never driven a Honda and he had to ask, so...how do I adjust the seats? How do I start the car? I was expecting the guy to start telling us about the car but he didn't, he just sat in his seat quietly...and then turned on the radio! When I asked about the 'Magic seats', he said, 'how did you know about the magic seats...?' Did he really think people don't do their research these days?!

I will keep you guys posted! Thank you so much again!
 

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i-VTEC - DO YOU?
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When I got my second I knew more than the saleman - he accepted this and said if you're happy and want to discuss money I'll be at the desk, in the meantime do you want a drink? :D
Good luck going back with the assistant manager, hopefully they will put things right which it seems like they are trying to.
 

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I knocked over 2500 pounds off the initial price of my car (although it was brand new). Please please and please....NEGOTIATE!! and also make sure you get the following as extras:

1. Full tank of petrol
2. Foot mats in the car
3. Key rings for your keys
4. Space saver (the tyre in the boot) if you are really really lucky.
5. Free MOT from the dealer (anything between 1 year and 3 years).
6. If you are as brave as I think you are...try getting your next car service free!!

;)

Good Luck
M
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I knocked over 2500 pounds off the initial price of my car (although it was brand new). Please please and please....NEGOTIATE!! and also make sure you get the following as extras:

1. Full tank of petrol
2. Foot mats in the car
3. Key rings for your keys
4. Space saver (the tyre in the boot) if you are really really lucky.
5. Free MOT from the dealer (anything between 1 year and 3 years).
6. If you are as brave as I think you are...try getting your next car service free!!

;)

Good Luck
M
I appreciate the vote of confidence! You know, the tool actually said he'll knock off £400 from the car he showed us but we had to pay for the road disc. Apparently, I was the only one this was total BS! For the price he was banging on about, I was going to ask for everything you just said and another 12 month of service warranty!
 

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You'll always have to be the one that pays for road tax. It's not allowed to be shown on their invoice and needs your insurance documents to apply for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update on douche Honda salesman

So spoke to the Assistant Sales Manager today who was so apologetic, I actually felt really bad. She told me the douche guy has only been there 10 weeks and she's really sorry how he treated me. We worked it out and I said I'll still buy from a Honda dealer and possibly theirs.

Now here's the kicker...remember the Civic EX the douche told us about then 5 minutes later said it was sold? Well, I went on their site to check and saw the car was still available, just not in their lot. I called their sister dealer where the car is and confirmed that the car is still available!

I don't understand why he would tell us it was sold? Just to sell us a car £500 more expensive? I mean...how would that be worth it?!

Anyway, we're going to the sister dealership now this week to check out that car...hopefully it is good and we will be driving away this week!

Now if I can only find an insurer that will give us a decent quote...
 

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I'm glad it's all working out better for you and yes, a salesman will tell you lies to sell you something more valuable. (even more so if he's making more profit)
 

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i-VTEC - DO YOU?
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Glad they smoothed it over, good luck with viewing the car later this week. Be sure to provide an update. :)
 

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So spoke to the Assistant Sales Manager today who was so apologetic, I actually felt really bad. She told me the douche guy has only been there 10 weeks and she's really sorry how he treated me. We worked it out and I said I'll still buy from a Honda dealer and possibly theirs.

Now here's the kicker...remember the Civic EX the douche told us about then 5 minutes later said it was sold? Well, I went on their site to check and saw the car was still available, just not in their lot. I called their sister dealer where the car is and confirmed that the car is still available!

I don't understand why he would tell us it was sold? Just to sell us a car £500 more expensive? I mean...how would that be worth it?!

Anyway, we're going to the sister dealership now this week to check out that car...hopefully it is good and we will be driving away this week!

Now if I can only find an insurer that will give us a decent quote...
judging by my experience, ex Carland employee. more like uneducated stormtroopers than sales people.
 
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