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Buying a new car (floor model at an auto show)

Ok, so I need some help with a part ethical/part practical question.

I recently purchased a vehicle, which I spent considerable time researching, and finally decided on. They were in limited quantity around the country at this point (1 week ago), but there was a catch when I FINALLY found it at a local dealer. The deal was this: it was shipped to the dealer as a show car for the upcoming auto show, therefore I’d have to wait 2 weeks to take it home. I talked them down roughly $1000 on the price, but only from the standpoint that they knew it was a rather specialized car that doesn’t sell like hot cakes, otherwise pre-tax we’re still talking $29,000 (quite a bit more than I’ve spent up to this point in my life for a car!)

To make a short story even longer; I stupidly went to this same auto show yesterday and was FREAKING OUT at what this dealer/manufacturer was allowing people to do to this car. Literally, at one point I saw three kids jump in the car, and start flying up and down, as well as very roughly handle everything in the car (including some pretty expensive components - i.e. electronics on the wheel and the manual shifter). I know that I’m not being paranoid here as I was with several friends who re-affirmed my concerns. I know that it is natural for me to be extra concerned as I’m watching my future car be broken in (or even just broken) in front of my eyes, and I haven’t even driven it yet!

So my question is, what do I do?

A) Call the dealer and cancel (demanding my sizable downpayment back)? Another dealer offered to build me the exact car I want, with only a 2 month wait.

B) Tell them they need to take money off of the price of this car - as it is essentially crossing the gray territory into a used car?

C) Do nothing, knowing that I am the one who accepted these circumstances going into the deal?

C doesn’t seem valid to me as we’re talking about a $30,000 semi-high performance car. I would think they would want to protect their product.

HELP! What do I do?

Tell them you assumed the display at the auto show would be a locked car (no access to the interior) and some rope around it to protect the exterior. The manner of the car display was not what you expected. Then, as far as your actions you can demand that you are allowed a complete inspection of the car, inside and out, before you take delivery. If there are any issues you can either reject the car and get your money back, or give them the opportunity to fix any problems.

If what you saw was so unsettling and you can wait 3 months just demand a refund of your deposit and cancel the deal. They really can’t deny that since you haven’t taken delivery of the car as yet.

I think you should let it go, because if you find something amiss 3 months down the road you’ll be upset and there won’t be anything you can do about it.

They call them dealers for a reason, make a deal that makes you happy. The dealer you already gave the money to will probably want to keep a sale. Let them know you want a different car and I imagine they will work with you.

Tell them about the abuse and that you no longer want that car. They can provide an identical replacement in the 2 months the other dealer can. You don’t need to start by telling them about the other dealer, but you may want to later if they say it will be 6 months for delivery. Be prepared to tell them who the dealer is or they might think you are blowing smoke. If they refuse to work it out to your satisfaction, demand your money back.

Sounds like really good advice.

Having attended car shows since…somewhere around 1961…I have to say that what the OP observed was sadly typical of what goes on at those shows. I have to assume that he/she had never before attended an auto show, otherwise he/she would not have contemplated buying a car that is exposed to the type of abuse that takes place at the hands of the public (including their bratty kids).

That being said, I think that the advice given by jtsanders is valid.

Good luck!

I guess you now know what happens at an auto show. Don’t worry too much unless it has heated seats which can be a difficult thing to fix. No deposit, no probem. They can’t force you to buy it.

What were the terms for the deposit you placed on the car? I.E., under what written conditions can you get your deposit back?

Many dealers often decide to play hardball with deposits.

Pretty much every state has a 3-day no-hassle return deposit laws. I only had one hassle and one call to the states Attorney General and I had my deposit back the following day.

Well, I greatly appreciate the response/suggestions. I doubt many people were biting their nails waiting for a response, but here is what transpired:

I spoke with the dealer a few days ago and setup a meeting, making sure they understood that I was quite upset. So today, I went in to meet with the salesman and the manager, and the salesman informed me that they had shipped me a brand new car (and it was the package that I initially requested, basically the exact car I asked for from the start - that is a whole other story). So, I have decided to keep the new car and have the dealer keep the auto-show car, kind of a no-brainer.

They were unwilling to negotiate the price on the auto show car, I tried just to see what they were willing to take off/offer me, and it was literally nothing. So note to self/others, auto show car means nothing to dealers in terms of ‘used car’ or even a discount.

Thanks for your help!

Glad it worked out and appreciate you taking a moment to update the story.

You’re welcome. Most people don’t tell us how things turn out, and I’m glad the dealer did the right thing. Now you can tell your friends what great guys they are, and help their business. You find out a lot about people when things go wrong, and you found a good organization.

Now you can take back half the bad things you said about them! :wink:

Oh yeah, what did you buy?