When I was a little kid back in the 80s, my father used to have a near-obsession with buying new cars. Every year or two at most, he’d trade in whatever car we had and got something else. These weren’t expensive, fancy new cars, they were vans and station wagons and such for hauling us all around in; he just liked having a new car, and frankly I think he just enjoyed the car shopping experience.
Anyway, I remember when we did this, it took forever. My father was very studious about his research beforehand, so he would go into the dealership with a specific vehicle in mind, and there’d be just one or two test drives before they went to the paperwork. In my memory this took literally all day. I remember more than one occasion of going to the dealership in the afternoon and not heading home (in the new car) until well after dark.
I bought a car yesterday and the time between walking into the dealership, taking a short test drive, filling out paperwork, and driving off the lot was 40 minutes flat.
What took so long back in the day? There was always a trade-in involved, as well as new financing, so I’m sure that took longer than just buying a car outright, but why all day? Or is it just that my memories occurred in “little-kid-time,” i.e. sitting around a boring place for a couple hours with nothing to do?