Went in to look at a used 2011 Sonata GL with 22,700kms at $14,995 for my 68 year old mother. Stephane was very charming and seemed knowledgeable. Moreover, he was very happy to report that the dealership kept a very limited amount of pre-owned because they were very selective of the cars they choose; they know the history and the condition, etc.
In all, the road test was very positive and my mother liked the car. So we sat down to discuss further. It wasn't long before $745 in various fees were added (not counting $87 admin fees for financing, and then more for plates). This brought the total of the vehicle to $15,745+ before taxes. In part, this $745 program gave us an interest rate of 3.75% over five years. If we didn't go for the $745 program, the rate would instantly jump to 7.99%. According to Stephane, there was no way around that; either, or.
Nevertheless, it appeared to be reasonable (the $745 program more than made up for alternative 7.99%). After some prying, we managed to get him to throw in winter mats ($156).
My mom signed and gave a deposit. A day later, Stephane calls my mom to inform her that, unbeknownst to him, the vehicle had been involved in two separate collisions (one front bumper and side fender for $2620 and one rear bumper for $1705). Stephane then mentioned that the price of the vehicle reflected the two collisions. That was an odd thing to say. Firstly, he had been very proud to mention how well they chose their cars and knew everything about them. Second, it didn't quite jive. So the manager would've know in order to reflect that in the price, but the sales reps would be unaware? But most importantly, a five minute AutoTrader search in a 500km radius yielded five similar vehicles, same trim, same model year and approximate mileage withing a few hundred dollars.
To make up for it, Stephane said he'd throw in winter tires, which is honorable in light of the circumstances. And I must add that I felt he was being genuine when he said he didn't know.
Neverhteless, what do you think any dealership would say to my mother when she'd bring this vehicle in for an appraisal on a trade in? They wouldn't think twice about using those two collisions that against her.
I suggested she cancel her contract. The charming Stephane we met was no more.
Within a day, I found her a 2012 Sonata GL with 16,300kms for $15,995 with two sets of tires and no accidents to report. During the first phone call, the sales person knocked $1000 off. We went in for a test drive. The vehicle was very clean and drove like a charm.
In all, with a reasonable $230 admin fee, the price of the vehicle came to $15,174 at an interest rate of 4.99% over five years. This also included winter mats and a heavy-duty rubber trunk liner and a remote starter. No $745 "program".
So, we ended up with a clean, collision free 2012 (not 2011) with three years of warranty left, winter tires, winter mats, remote starter and 6400kms less for close to $700 less.
Lessons? Ask questions. A lot of them. Address inconsistencies and challenge them. Research. Buying a car is already daunting. A pre-owned even more so. Stephane dropped the ball. If it was the other way around, I don't doubt for a moment they would capitalize.
Oh, and you can avoid Gatineau Huyndai. That would be a good start.