We routinely bash car dealers in surveys for being untrustworthy. A recent experience shows such reports may have a point.
A family friend is 18, in the RAF. As a wage earner, he’s just bought his first car, a spanking new SEAT Ibiza from a franchised dealer. Enticingly, it came with insurance included. Our friend was clear to the sales exec this feature was an important part of him choosing that car. Knowing he’s already claimed against his existing insurer, he flagged this to the sales exec who said that wouldn’t be a problem with the free insurance. Crucially our friend didn’t get that in writing.
Car dealers can taint the experience
The day he took delivery of his new pride and joy, he rang to activate the free insurance. Sadly it was only then he was told that ‑ you guessed it – they couldn’t cover him because he’d made a fault claim. The dealer did reimburse him £300. But despite this our friend must fork out an additional £1700 for his first year’s cover.
He’s gracefully resigned to the extra cost on top of road tax and other expenses. That said, his first new car buying experience – something that should be treasured ‑ has been tainted. He trusted an older person in the car industry to do the right thing and offer guidance through a daunting and complex process. They, possibly through ignorance, hopefully not through malice, didn’t do that. At worst they misled him to make the sale. How sad is it that well into the 21st Century some car dealers appear to be ploughing the same furrow they always have?
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.