So about a year ago my wife was a few months pregnant, and I had a Volvo C30 R-design as my daily driver. Not an ideal baby hauling car, so after seeing the small over lap crash results on my wife’s fiesta(yes I’m a crazy person, but we drive a lot of back country roads and the risk of a small overlap crash is kinda high). Anywho, I decided I needed to buy a car to haul around the family.
So after the conversation about what my wife and I are willing to drive;
Me: “No suv’s.”
Wife: “no minivans.”
Me “So a station wagon it is.” (Secretly what I wanted any way).So I searched for a Volvo V70R, as a concession to the wife I searched for an automatic transmission car. I discovered 3 for the price I wanted to pay, one was in Ohio; one in Illinois and the other in Wisconsin. (I live in Maryland)
So I called and bargained over phone and email with the 3 dealerships, then set off on a weekend adventure!
I arrived at the dealership in Ohio, the dealer seemed shocked to see me.
“Oh I wasn’t expecting you today.” He said.
“Well I emailed you and said I’d be here” I reply
“Well the car is sitting in the shop at the moment...”
“Alright, I’ve been to a shop before lets go have a look see!”
Not to bore you too much; we went and looked at the car as it was getting fresh paint on the passenger side, the car had been in fender bender that had not been reported to carfax. So I checked the frame over and under looked at the car made sure the frame was still straight and the car had no real damage.
After going over everything, I returned to the dealership office. He sits at the desk and the first words out of his mouth are “So my manager says we can’t do that price we agreed on in email”
“Ok that sucks, see Ya!” I reply as I get up and head to the door.
“Oh hey you drove all the way from Maryland to look at the car don’t you want it?”
“Yeah but at the price we agreed on and there’s another one in Chicago I’m gonna go look at now, then there is another one in Kenosha Wisconsin if that On my way doesn’t work out so I gotta hit the road”
“Uhhhh... Just just give me a second” as he runs off to pretend to talk to his manager. “ turns out we can do that price; but the car won’t be ready until tomorrow to drive.”
“Alright that’s fine, tell you what, pay for my hotel at the place down the street and I’ll buy the car.”
“... Well ok... That seems fair,”
So we sit down start talking paper work and price. We get to a point where they want me to sign and pay for the car.
“Ok I will pay for the car and sign all the paper work, BUT I want in writing that what ever I find wrong with the car on way home, you’ll pay for.”
“We can’t do that there’s no warranty on the car.”
“Alright cool I’m going to Chicago!”
“Uhh... I’ll be right back. Just wait please”
So they come back with the owner, and after vainly trying to get me to sign something saying I won’t sue, they agree to my terms.
So I leave the next day on my 300 mile test drive home. I arrive and we have to replace a window because they had put a heat lamp on the car to try and dry out the paint from the dent fix, and a projection beam head light bulb. Normally the bulb would be the expensive but the widow was made the same way you make a windshield so it had to be done in a volvo dealership, and it ended up being 600 dollars for the window, the bulb was closer to a hundred. So I was quite happy with my CYA paper where they paid for everything for me.
Since all the repairs done and I have been driving the car now for around 32k miles and I have had no issues with it. The car has been a great family hauler.
The tl;dr of the story is when you walk out of all local dealer, they may assume you’ll be coming back. If you walk out a few states over, they know they lost the sale.
Ike is co-host of the Untitled Car Show ( untitledcarshow.podomatic.com ) he has owned 2 Dodge Challengers; a Volvo C30, a V70XC, a V70R, and a 740; and a Saturn Ion . He is a new father and loves driving and autocrossing. He can jerry rig with the best of them, and he wrote his bio in third person. He also has 2 dogs, 2 cats and is a crazy person some say!