So, we are now looking for a couple of good cars. Used is fine and the car I need doesn’t have to be especially new. We’re both hard-core Jeep people so that puts us in a narrow corridor for buying. Last week we went to our first lot here in our new home in Miami. I was immediately drawn to a very nice looking ’04 Liberty. Yeah, yeah, I know all about the Liberty being a “chick jeep” but I don’t care. I like them.
As I looked it over, right there behind the spare was the tell tale wrinkle that told me the car had been rear-ended. This is how the conversation with the dealer went;
Me: The car has been in an accident.
Dealer: No it hasn’t.
Me: Here’s the damage. I was in an accident in my previous Liberty and had the exact same damage.
Dealer: There was no accident report put in…so, no accident.
Hmmmm…something isn’t quite right about that. We moseyed around the lot and fixed on a 2010 Patriot. As I circled it, I saw that it was really low. Bad shocks I imagined. Then I saw the dent on the front passenger side bumper. Around the front, the grill and headlight housing were pushed out.
I really hated to do it, but I had to speak to the dealer again. Here we go for round two;
Me: This has been in an accident too.
Dealer: The air works great in this one. Let me show you… (the car was wheezing during the slow start)
Me: What about the accident?
Dealer: Feel how cold it gets.
Me: I don’t care about the air. I care about the accidents.
Dealer: This is Miami…everybody cares about air. No report, no accident.
Me: OK, what about the damage then? How much are you willing to take off to fix it?
Dealer: What damage? These little cosmetic things?
So as my wife and I walked out, me fuming and her giggling, I wondered if every lot we go to will be like this. I wondered if all used car salesmen in Miami will be so asinine. I wanted to go back and explain to him that if I punched him in the face and broke his nose, that he would expect me to pay for this little cosmetic thing.
Our next stop will be at a larger dealership where the sales staff wear white shirts and long pants. Where damage to a car is considered more than a little cosmetic thing. Where hopefully, the cars don’t sound as if they need a hand crank to get them going.