Buying a used car

And god damn is this starting to piss me off.

Through my boss I can get cars here at the auto auction in Jackson, Mississippi. [Insert Joe’s standard rant about how there is nothing redeeming at all about Mississippi]

Well, I want a new-ish Jetta. If it’s not a Ford, it’s not likely I’ll find it at the auction.

The local VW dealer has a whopping three used Jettas in stock. All are not cars I want, one way or another.

So I look online.

I actually got high bid on one for about $7300, got a loan lined up with my bank, and everything was cool. I get the guy to fax a copy of the title to my bank.

My banker calls me and tells me that it’s a salvage title. Thing is, it wasn’t listed as a salvage title. I specifically asked this asshole of it was a salvage title. He said it wasn’t.

When I call this guy about this, he insists that it’s not a salvage title, it is a “Reconditioned from salvage” title.

What the fuck?

So, I go ahead and inform him in a completely hostile way that Satan will be driving to work in a snow plow long before he gets a fucking cent from me.

Problem resolved.

Having been borrowing company cars from the office and bumming rides from friends has been going on near two weeks now, so I’m done with this bidding shit.

I go through the listings and start asking people what it will take, immediate payment, to just cancel the auction and make a deal.

I get a good one on a sweet car from a guy for only $11,000.

Great. It’s Thursday, I’ve gotten the loan approved, just fax a copy of the title to my bank.

The bank calls me and tells me that it’s a lein title, and they won’t do anything until they see a copy of the lein-free title. Not a problem, because they’ll have it back from the credit union holding the lein first thing next (this) week. So, I reschedule my flight to Houston to this coming weekend because, well, flying out there won’t do me a hell of a lot of good without a car to come back in.

Yesterday, I’m talking to this salesman and pointing out that the first part of the week has come and gone. He gives me some shit that he’s got people trying to get them moving and blah, blah, bullshit, etc. But he’ll call me and let me know something today (yesterday).

Because of his previous record of doing a very bad job of calling me back, I make sure to get him to double-dog promise to call me by the end of the day, whether it’s good news, bad news, or no news.

Big surprise, nothing. So, I figure I’ll call and talk to his manager, which will, most likely, do no good at all. But at least it’s something to do besides sit with my thumb up my ass.

Anyone have any other suggestions? Of course, I’m already out looking for OTHER ones since I’m getting tired of the bullshit.

But, anyone have any other suggestions?

-Joe, annoyed

Are these VW dealerships? If so, why aren’t you shopping around at more friendly, less arrogant dealerships than VW ones?

[sub]Unless things are vastly different in the US, VW dealers are known for their arrogance and lack of commitment to customer. For some reason, these pieces of overpriced boredom seem to sell themselves, as VW always have a long waiting list for deliveries. It’s one of the greatest mysteries of our time.[/sub]

Nah, in my experience VW dealers aren’t any worse than others. They’re all lying scum, they’ll kill their mothers for a dollar, blah blah.

-Joe, customer

… lack of commitment to customer satisfaction

Suggestions? Yeah.
Get the loan not tied to any particular car. Like, a home equity loan. Better rates, and it’s easier to just write a check than have to deal with loan stuff for each different car you want to buy.
Go to and look for cars there. Good place.
Be willing to fly somewhere to pick up a car.
Always ask that whoever is selling it do a CarFax report for you. If they aren’t willing to spend the tiny money it costs, or don’t want to do one, their car is not worth buying.
Don’t limit yourself to just one make of car. Why the heck are you looking at Jettas exclusively? It’s not like they are th best of their class.

I also suggest getting a copy of a lemon aid guide. It talks about what to look for when checking out the cars, questions to ask, and things not to overlook. I was looking at a Jeep with my father in law who’s a body repair guy, and what he finds just by looking at a car is amazing. That said, if you want my father-in-law to come with you, just let me know.:wink:

I once found what seemed like the perfect car in Jackson, Mississippi while there on business. It was a 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud in mint condition. I was all set to buy it until the guy told me that its engine was “rebuilt”. Suddenly, I understood why he was offering it for less than a hundred thousand dollars.

My advice: buy from newspaper want ads. That’s where the little-old-ladies still sell their cars, and often there is quite a steal in the bunch — one owner, low mileage, and meticulously serviced.

Or get the CarFax info yourself, all you need is a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). I think it’s $15 a month of unlimited VIN searches.

An easy way to search your local newspaper ads is You can search by distance, cost, make, model, and/or body type.

Have you tried any of the local independant dealers? While I’m not familiar with any in Jackson, MS, I’ve always bought from independent dealers in the past. Three cars, three great deals.

One was Stuart’s Auto in Sumter. 1998 Chevy Malibu, ugly color (but that can be changed.) One owner, low milage, full extras package. $4500 with warranty. The warranty expired. The starter went out. I took it back. They fixed it without charge. Maybe you could find a similar experience.