Tidewater Auto Brokers Complaint - More than double kelley blue book value
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- This article is pretty long and is about my whole experience, but the last paragraph is the LONG STORY SHORT.
I went shopping around online and in magazines for cars, I am really only looking for a 4 cylinder, manual transmission car just in case I get deployed overseas my dad could assume my payments and drive that instead of his gas-guzzling truck. I came across a silver Mitsubishi eclipse in the automart magazine and called tidewater to ask about the price and mileage of the car. The salesperson I talked to was very friendly and told me that the car was within my price range and he had several more just like it that I could look at on his lot. He picked me up at the gate of my base in a white Mitsubishi Lancer with loud metal music, and drove like a madman to the dealership (this didn't really affect me because I've driven in Michigan the last 4 years, but I felt I should put that out for people that are uneasy with aggressive drivers).
So we get to the dealership and he gives me some time to walk around the lot and look at their inventory, I point out the four cars I could see myself purchasing (3 eclipses and 1 Acura Integra), I went into the office with him and INSTANTLY he wants to run a credit check on me even though I'd already been approved by another bank. He wouldn't talk prices with me until I said I had been approved for $10,000 and thats when he told me the eclipses were out of my price range (the only reason I had gone up there was the eclipse because it was in my range). The only car he could sell me at that price was the integra, and he told me that even then he was taking off $3,000 of the price.
I entertained the idea of the Integra, I had no intention of purchasing a car on the spot, but I didn't want to end the day without at least one decision to consider overnight. We walked outside with the keys, it started up alright, and I asked for the metal CD that he had in the Lancer so I could hear what the stock speakers sounded like, but the CD player didn't work. I got out of the car and walked around it and looked at the undercarriage.... to say the least "a piece of work" would be an understatement, bondo in the wheel wells covering up something (more than likely rust), dents and dings galor, the carpet was in rough shape but not torn, the floor mats were garbage, the driver side seat was torn and the lock for the rear hatch was "tricky" to quote the salesmen.
At this point I was iffy about the car and about the dealership but I figured I should give it a test drive, because I've had cars that looked like total crap and had been in accidents but ran for 80,000 miles perfectly. The guy that had been my salesperson up to this point had an appointment come in and turned me over to another salesperson. The other salesperson said he would drive out of the lot because Virginia Beach Blvd was a dangerous street to pull out on out of their dealership especially in a car I hadn't driven before (it did seem to make sense at the time). He pulled over into a parking lot and we switched sides so I could do my test drive. He made me hop onto a side street that was a 25 mph speed limit for about half a mile, and then made me take the right onto VA Beach Blvd to go 50 ft and turn into the dealership. I told him that wasn't much of a test drive and his response was "its a test drive, not a test cruise".
Out of the test drive this is what I got, the clutch was extremely soft for a sport vehicle (which means its pretty much done for and needs to be replaced), the brake rotors were rubbing on the pads and needed to be replaced, and there was probably more wrong with it that I couldn't find out because I didn't go more than 30mph. I told him my concerns about the brakes and he said they just passed Virginia State auto inspection, so he was either lying about it, or the ball joint is what was really wrong (which was $400 to replace on my last vehicle).
At that point I told him I wouldn't pay more than $6,000 for the vehicle, he started to get angry with me but managed to keep his cool partially. He pulled out a piece of paper that was printed off of Microsoft word telling me it was a Kelley Blue Book retail value statement appraising the car at about $13,500 and I was getting the vehicle for a "STEAL" at $10,000 I stood firm and told him "there is no possible way this piece is $10,000 I will offer $6,000 and even then I feel as if I'm paying too much" he went inside and talked to his manager and told me that the absolute bottom line for them was $8,500 on the vehicle. I told him I wanted him to go on KBB at that moment and pull up the vehicle, he refused, and asked me what I thought about the car de-valued it down to $6,000. I walked around the car and pointed EVERYTHING out to him, his response was "thats only aesthetics and everyone knows that aesthetics have absolutely nothing to do with the cars value". That was the point where I had no more tolerance for their b.s. and was going to leave the dealership. Before I left the owner and the origional salesperson I worked with offered pizza and pepsi, and apologized that we couldn't come to a deal and offered to let me hang out there any time I wanted. Then I walked to the dealership next door (which could be another VERY long entry)
LONG STORY SHORT: I had a friend pick me up and take me back to base, I hopped onto some car appraisal websites. The value of the car in the condition it was in, was $5,600 on Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds which typically have over-estimates on vehicle prices. So the dealership originally wanted me to pay almost 3 times the amount of the cars value.
I do not recommend this dealership to anyone, and I will be going through my chain of command to have the rear-admiral black list Tidewater Auto Brokers so fellow Sailors and Marines don't get ripped off.
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