entries filed under 'dealer' tag:
posted by Odin on Oct 01, 2009
'2000 VW Passat @ Zimbrick Middleton' by cw, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License & 'Neuer KdoW der Feuerwehr Tübingen' by FWPIX, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
For those rare individuals out there that actually read this blog, you may recall my entry back in July about wanting to buy a new car. Well, a couple of months later, I am the proud owner of a red 2009 Volkswagen Tiguan. Today I want to talk a little about how I obtained an auto insurance plan for my brand-new purchase.
Just to provide a little background and context, I used to own a 1999 Volkswagen Passat that I insured with company A (not through a broker, but direct with the insurer). This insurer covered me from 2003 to 2008, when I sold the car prior to moving temporarily to France.
During that period, my insurance premiums kept decreasing nicely over the years from $1,046 to $771 (these are annual figures, after taxes), even though I made a claim of around $1,700 in 2006. So, obviously, after receiving such great service, before buying my new Tiguan, I first called my old insurer to get a quote.
Man was I disappointed! They slammed me with a first quote of around $1,600! Granted, I was asking for much more coverage, smaller deductibles, and all sorts of additional options (since I'm buying a new car now, whereas my Passat was a used acquisition). But still, I am also now older and married, I live in Westmount and I work from home. No way was I going to pay more than double my previous premium!
So I decided to look elsewhere. A friend of mine recommended a broker from company B. After giving him all of my information, he came back with a best quote of $962. Now this was a good price, given that all the deductibles were at the minimum, the insurance was comprehensive/all-way and included all of the options maxed-out.
Just for fun, I then contacted my old insurer A again, and told him that I would like to stay with him (not really true, but I did also have my condo insured with them, meaning I would get a 10% rebate for multiple products insured), but that his price wasn't competitive at all. So he crunched in some numbers, and came back with $1,041! So he basically went down from around $1,600 to $1,041 for the exact same vehicle and insurance plan!
Needless to say, I still took broker B's plan, since it was still cheaper. But the moral of the story is that you have to bargain and put these people under pressure. Their quotes are not fixed in stone, and they have some leeway.
After poking around, I found out that insurer A couldn't go any lower because I haven't been insured in the last 30 days (which is expected, since I haven't owned a car in a little over a year). So for them, that's almost like starting from scratch. The insurer proposed by broker B does not have such a clause, and is able to give a good price regardless of when my last insurance plan expired.
I actually got a third quote from broker C (the one suggested by the VW dealer that sold me my Tiguan), but that one was still higher than B's. For him, the cut-off limit was one year, but since I had sold my car just over a year ago, I was reset to zero.
The point is; each insurer has a very different method of calculating your premium, based on many variables and factors. It is essential to therefore shop around among brokers and insurers. I would recommend dealing with a broker rather than directly with an insurer, since most brokers represent between five and ten insurers, so at least he's doing some of the shopping for you.
posted by Odin on Jul 26, 2009
'decarie-evening' by afternoon_sunlight, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
Am I really doing this to myself? Am I some sort of masochist? Fifteen months ago, right before leaving Montreal to work in Paris, I had sold my 10-year old car. I didn’t know how long I was going to be away from Montreal, so I figured “why leave this car to sit around and lose value indefinitely?". Plus, I live in Westmount, and have always either worked downtown or from home, so I thought I really wouldn’t need a car when I returned.
Now I am back and working from home again. I have easy enough access to anything I need. I have a bus stop for the 24 line right in front of my building, and the Atwater metro station is ten-minutes away on foot. I can go to Supermaché PA on du Fort for groceries, and get them delivered for $1. For almost anything else, I can go to Alexis Nihon (Pharmaprix, Canadian Tire, Zellers …). Therefore, obviously I don’t “need" a car.
However, after lulling over the issue for a bit, I am starting to want a car again. There are many things I got used to when I owed one before. How else am I going to get my favorite groceries from Adonis in Ville-Saint-Laurent? Or visit my in-laws in Candiac? Finally, I have come to enjoy a number of restaurants scattered around the island, but that are difficult to reach using public transit.
This blog entry isn’t just about cars. It is also another jab into the Montreal public transit system (or the lack of it). Had we had a better, more connected grid with more metro stations, maybe I could have done without a car. During the fifteen months I spent in Paris, I was really able to go anywhere without too much complication or distance to walk.
So now that I have actually started to look at car prices and what sort of deals are out there, my hate of all automotive-related professionals is coming back to me. Am I really going to put myself in a situation where I have to deal with all these clowns again? The SAAQ, dealers, mechanics, insurance agents! They’ve all given me a hard time in the past! Not to mention all the costs associated with owning and maintaining a car! And what about being stuck in traffic and not finding a parking spot? Do I really hate myself this bad?
Finally, there’s the whole “environment" issue. I consider myself eco-conscious to some extent, so I do feel a little bad owning a car for non-necessities. Maybe I can get a hybrid to feel better about myself, but they’re pretty expensive and the choices are few.
At this point, I still haven’t made up my mind for certain: do I get a car or not? However, of all the disadvantages, the one that worries me the most is having to deal with mechanics (especially at the dealer): their high prices, their “invented" problems with your car, their pressure tactics … Man, do I hate this bunch!
posted by Odin on Mar 04, 2009
Today I am starting a series on my blog. I will call it the “What's the deal with" series (yes, I am a huge Seinfeld fan). In this series, I am just going to rant and vent off about one service category at a time. These rants will not necessarily be based on recent episodes in my life (which is how a blog normally functions), but rather they will summarize my lifetime experience in dealing with professionals in each service category concerned.
To start off the series, today I will tackle auto mechanics! I hate these guys with a passion! Along with dentists, they form my most hated professionals out there. What do the two have in common, you may ask? They both pretty much ‘force you' to take action and pay for something that you don't always really need. They both have this ability to guilt-trip you if you don't follow their recommendations. And the worst part is that you have NO IDEA what they're talking about (if you're not a tool-head, which I am certainly and regrettably not). They can tell me I need a new “Johnson rod" for all I care, that it would cost me a couple thousand bucks, and I wouldn't be able to argue with that! (Seinfeld reference again).
I always thought that having a friend that's a mechanic is a friendship worth more than GOLD! The problem is that most mechanics out there are just plain dishonest, ESPECIALLY the ones working for dealerships! They suggest repairs that are not necessary, they over-charge for parts and supplies, and they more than overbill you for labor!
I used to take my car to the dealer for oil changes, regular checks and repairs. I always knew they were ripping me off, but I liked their location downtown near my work, plus their shuttle service was pretty useful. I mean come on, they used to bill me an hour for an oil change! Everyone knows that can be done in fifteen minutes, 20 if you're slow!
I also once took my car in for a water leak on my rooftop. They fixed it for their usual outrageous price, and the next day when I picked it up, while I was still in their parking lot, the “Check Engine" light was flashing. I go back inside to complain and report this, and now they want to start a new “work order" and pretend like it's a “second" problem that I did not report the previous day when I brought my car in. I told they guy at the counter “listen, buddy, that light wasn't there yesterday!". So now it was my word against his, so I decided to take my business elsewhere.
As if that wasn't enough to teach me a lesson, I actually brought my car back in a year later for something completely unrelated. My car was producing a faint, grinding noise from around the rear axle area. After their diagnostic, they slam me with a work order containing 4 items (3 of which had nothing to do with my original problem) for a total of around two thousand bucks! That was enough for me. I took my car to this independent mechanic that a friend referred me to, and he told me that it was all a bunch of crap I could do without. He suggested I get one of the items repaired, and took a couple hundred bucks.
Now I'm not saying that this new guy is all honest and perfect, but so far I haven't had any major issues with him. The point is, I hate mechanics, and I would consider never buying a car again just so I can avoid them for life!
about the blog
MTLRants© is Seek Odin's brand new blog, bringing you entries from our staff and other contributors. The blog will cover topics and issues related to SeekOdin's central themes. Mostly, it will deal with the difficulties and frustrations of dealing with service-related businesses in Montreal.
|browse by tag|