Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A recommendation, if you're so inclined.

We recently had the pleasure of purchasing a certified used car to replace my previously um... disabled car. We had been waiting until the house approval came through, but we had been using Dalton's car since then and we could no longer continue to put miles on it. So we began the search for a car, with a pretty good idea that we would be getting another Chevy. I wasn't ruling out a Toyota or maybe a Nissan, but preferred to go with an American car if I could.

I quickly found a Chevy Cobalt 4 door that was priced pretty reasonably, certified used and had pretty much everything I needed. I test drove it and then sat down to see about making the purchase. My credit is not the greatest, so I expected that the interest rate I got would be a bit high. The initial rate they came back with was 16.99%. I walked on that rate and went home.

The next day, I had decided to just go with it, thinking that I would not get a better rate and I called the dealership. The salesman told me he'd talk to his finance people and see if he could get a little better rate. Making a long story short, they came back with an even higher rate, so I bailed on that car and kept looking. Fast forward to the car I found at Rydell Chevrolet in Northridge California. I had gotten my own bank, Wells Fargo to agree to a pre-approval at a rate of 11.99% which was much more acceptable. I went into Rydell expecting that rate.

The car was an awesome price, having only 15,000 miles on it, and priced below it's blue book. I was saving myself all the depreciation, and getting the car I wanted. Due to the late hour on that Saturday afternoon, unfortunately, we missed getting the approval of the underwriters for the bank and would have to wait until Monday morning. We were prepared to put a $500 dollar deposit and come back then. Enter the finance manager. I hate to say it, but I don't recall his name and don't have the business card nearby. As he was writing up the contract, he asked us what our credit score was. I told him what they had said it was at the other dealership and he seemed amazed at the high rate I was getting. He asked if he could make a call on our behalf and we said ok, feeling skeptical, but let him try anyway. He got on the phone with one of his bankers, with whom he has a pretty good relationship, and chatted us up, talking about our kids and telling her about our blog and stuff. They were obviously familiar as we heard her laughter over the phone as he chatted and joked with her. Withing a few minutes, he looked at us and said, "approved...at 8.5%". I nearly fell out of my chair. This car dealership finance guy, had gotten us a rate that was 8 or 9 points below the other dealership and still 3 and a half points below what I had thought was a great rate (considering my credit) from my bank. Plus I was getting a barely used car at rock bottom pricing with the features I wanted. This has turned out to be the best car deal that Christi and I have ever gotten. The whole experience this time around was awesome and for that reason I HIGHLY recommend Rydell Chevrolet on Devonshire street in wonderful Northridge, California. If you are anywhere near Los Angeles and looking for a car to buy, Google them and give them a shot, I think you'll like them.

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