I just entered this story at Carsala’s contest for the worst car buying experience. If you enjoy it, please vote for it at Carsala’s site!
It was a 1980 moss green Chevy Citation. My mom and felt some trepidation when we saw its condition and asked to drive it. The salesman handed over the keys to my “prize” and we headed over for our maiden voyage.
The first thing we noticed was an area beneath the passenger door window where the paint was scratched off down to bare metal. Next was the ruined lining inside on the passenger door panel. Some previous owner had let a dog really tear up that passenger side! There was also a gaping hole where the glove compartment should have been. The rest of the upholstery in the car was dirty and torn in places.
Trying to put its appearance aside, I started the engine. Great clouds of black smoke erupted from the tailpipe. I drove it out onto the road, looking in the rear view mirror at all that nasty smoke, smelling exhaust inside as well. The car would barely go 40mph as it sputtered and backfired. What a lemon!
By the time we got back to the dealership some five minutes later, I was in tears. I was so disappointed!
To top it off, the salesman said he could understand it not being an ideal car for me and offered to take it as a trade-in on another car. He offered some ridiculous amount like $500 for it toward another car on their lot! Talk about a racket!!
I spoke to my mom outside of the salesman’s earshot. She suggested I take the car and sell it either for scrap, parts or to someone who’d put in a new engine. When I told the salesman this, he became angry. He couldn’t do anything but sign it over to me, though, since I’d won their “prize” car.
That dealership had probably given the car away a dozen or more times, taking it back as a trade-in or watching as ticked off “winners” stalked off the lot. What a sneaky, horrible way to get business. Believe me, we told MANY people about that nasty place and the experience we had there.