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15 October 2005

The Acquisition

When I decided to get the A3, I was frustrated with my initial dealer experience. Here's what I posted on the A3 forum at vwvortex.com:

My A3 purchase attempt this weekend didn't work out.

Last week I called the guy a the local dealer whom I'd spoken with previously. He checked and said that an A3 spec'd like I want is in-country, but since it wasn't at his store, he couldn't assure that it wouldn't get sold. He faxed me a financing app on Friday, I got it back to him, and he later let me know that I was approved for 100% financing @ 5.9%. I can live with that rate, but was hoping for the 4.9%. Oh well.

Saturday I went to the dealer with my freshly-detailed GTI. I drove an A3 again, and decided that I can definitely live with it, even with 4 doors.

By the time we got back from the drive, the appraisal was done on my GTI. The appraisal was nicely done - lots of photos, all the descriptions correct - and stated that it was exceptionally nice, looks and drives great, like a 50k mile car. The reality of the 167k miles (and increasing daily) killed it, though. They offered me $2500 The sales guy said that for a car in as nice condition as mine, he didn't think it fair to trade it for that little value, and that I should sell it privately and come back to see him (actualy, what he first suggested was to go ahead and buy the A3 and sell the GTI later but there's no way I'm going to give myself 2 car payments.... )

I'm going to try to sell my GTI privately, but I'm not sure if I want to go back to him. He didn't want to budge from MSRP, or at most, give a couple hundred off. He claims that "invoice" is actually what they pay Audi for the car, then they have to pay a $198 regional marketing fee, plus a couple hundred for PDI/prep & a full tank of gas, meaning that if they sold me the car for 'invoice' they'd be losing nearly $500. Furthermore, since this particular one would be traded from another dealer, it would be an additional $500 for transportation. He flat out said "I'm not selling you this car for invoice or close to it."

So.... When I got my GTI in '99, I was in Atlanta but got it from a dealer in Rhode Island because they gave me a fair deal with no BS. I have no problem working with a dealer who's some distance from me, so long as it's a good & fair experience. I've seen people on here getting reasonable deals on A3s, so the idea that I should be happy with MSRP doesn't fly with me. Any dealers on here who can get me the vehicle I want for a fair price, please contact me (IM/email, links in profile) and let's talk.
As a result of that posting, a few people confirmed what I had thought: The regional marketing fee, PDI/prep and full tank of gas are all supposed to be included in the 'destination charge'. I had been lied to, and that was all the justification I needed to not buy from that dealer.

The most important post/email was from Barry Bryant at Inskip Audi in Rhode Island. He gave me actual info (including VIN) on several cars that met my specs. After a couple of emails, we settled on the price in under 15 minutes on the phone. Also, the dealer in Delaware had only gotten me 5.9% financing though Audi, and Barry got that down to 5.5% (also through Audi) with no hassle. The contingency: Selling my GTI....

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