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I went to test drive the new Astra on Saturday at a dealer who is very large and well known in Scotland. I was unimpressed. Not with the car as such but I found the dealer quite unpleasant to be honest. First of all I was chastised for being 3 minutes late for my pre-booked appointment. I let that slide but it didn't get better.

So we sat down and she asks what I was looking for. I say an SRi Nav with a few toys. I then made the the mistake of talking about a factory order. But with the options I was looking at adding, that was likely going to be the case anyway. Indeed a previous salesman had told me as such a few months prior.

"What options??" she says.

"Well, a factory fitted towbar please for starters" , says I.

"Why would you want THAT. We can arrange for one". I said that I didn't want the dealer messing with a brand new car.

Now that should have been that. But no, she wouldn't let it go and my wife was also pressed about it when she took the car out after me (tested separatley to watch our son).

Then I was quizzed why I wanted the eletronic parking brake.

Now I'm guessing that the options of towbar and e-brake are not ordered as part of their bulk orders from Vauxhall and she wanted me to buy a car that's been sitting in a field for a few months? I say as much to her; she has no real reply.

Then she says they can't do the 0% that's mentioned on the Vauxhall website; they do their own and it's not 0%. Fair enough. But I then get told "you would have to order your car direct from the Vauxhall website (on the configurator) to get 0%". Really? I've never heard of such a thing!

I say I don't care, I don't want finance - just want to buy a car! So I list my options again and ask her what the best price is. She reponds with a patronising "Look, it's MY job to sell cars and YOU want to buy a car, so tell me what you're looking for". I list my options again and say I just want the best price for the car they can offer for cash. She bangs on again about how a factory order just doesn't happen and nobody has asked for one; it's never been done there. She goes away to check the process.

"Oh I don't know. I'll have to phone you on Monday night"

Really?? I am here to buy a car. From a car dealer. You'd have thought I'd asked to buy a chimp!
 

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Your experience doesn't surprise me at all.
I went to 3 franchised dealers, none of which could provide a test drive in an automatic or were even that keen to let me try a manual. I asked for the usual figures, best price, part ex value etc., which always has to be referred to the Sales Manager because they have no discretion, and could they email me the figures to confirm. Vague figures provided whilst at the dealer, didn't know their product as well as I did and no follow up via email or phone from any of them.
Maybe they thought I wasn't serious - their loss. Makes me wonder how they stay in business - lucky I'm not their Sales Manager!
Ordered from Car Select, Lex Autolease whose service so far has been excellent.
 

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This is the common problem with all common or "everyday" brands. I cant imagine such problems arising with any Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar or Audi dealer :)
 

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Kristis

I have first hand knowledge of dealings with Alfa Romeo and Audi as an owner, Mercedes and MINI dealerships via my kids, none of which met expectations - the sales staff are just more gushing, even sickeningly sycophantic and you pay through the nose for the flash showrooms, the options and the 'brand' name. I've had better service from my local Ford dealer!
 

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That's a common problem with a certain dealer who is very large and well known in Scotland. Their prices are so low because they bulk buy and generally don't build cars to order. If you want to go the route of adding options I'd find another dealer.
 

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:D

Last time I looked there were a few hundred cars that are built or on the way that are available pretty much straight away. Some of these will may have a few options and a variation of colours, and if you can find one with the bits you want.. bingo.

In the case of the Scottish dealer who can't be named but everyone knows who it is, their sales staff will be aggressively targeted on getting metal through the door in this quarter and so would sadly not be interested in a car that takes 12 weeks to come. Indeed, the rate of staff turnover in these groups is such that the salesperson you spoke to may well not be there in 12 weeks.

We'd be delighted to order you a car with as many obscure options as you like. We won't be as cheap, but you get TLC, not PLC.
 

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My vectra was written off when hit by a stolen vehicle so I needed a new car quickly. I don't use my local garage for servicing and intended to go there to look for a replacement but was pushed towards my local one by Vauxhall. Got a really crappy service. Because I wanted an automatic they tried to push me into getting a diesel, had to book to see them to discuss anything, and when I said maybe I would be better off buying a cheap second hand card until the automatics were ready they said they would sort me out an automatic. But they continued to push me to buy a diesel and then when I started to seriously consider it they said they couldn't get me a automatic loan/hire car as they didn't have one. The next day I walked into my garage off the street, was seen by a really helpful sales guy. We went through want I wanted and when it came up that my automatic would take a couple of months I asked if there was anyway they could help me out, as I had been driving vauxhalls for 27 years. He got his manager who said he would sort out a brand new corsa automatic I could have on a cheap hire and if the car was delayed I wouldn't have to pay any more. I thought about it and came back later and ordered my new car and they delivered the Corsa to me a bit later. The original garage then rang me and I told them the deal I had and they offered to match or better it! Needless to say they were told no. It was just push push push from them, but great service from the garage I had been using for service for years.
 

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I would try a different dealer, its nothing to do with the make of car it a bad dealer! Not sure if its allowed to mention a dealer or not so I won't but I had excellent service when I went to chose my previous car (Astra GTC 2.0 CDTi Auto) and the same level of service continued for the 3 years I owned the car. So much so I went back to the same dealer again this time.

I was unable to have a test drive in the model I wanted back in January as it was not due to go into production for a while so I had to order it blind for the first time but though.

There are good dealers out there, if I was you I wouldnt spend a penny with the ones you went to
 

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Thank god in our small country of Estonia the dealers work their ass off to please you and I've never seen such behavior from them. They usually do their research and know the car and options really well. Donwside is that they usually don't have many options on the showroom so mostly all the new cars you get need a waiting time for factory order.

On a side note my dealer also said that if you want automatic you should get a diesel. Something about transmission sucking on petrol or smth like that. I was going for a diesel anyway so didn't really bother to ask more about it.
 

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Don't know about that Flopi, I have the auto tranny on the 1.4T petrol and it is flawless, compares very well to the 2.0 CDTi GTC I had before
 
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