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I live in the East Midlands area and have been a bit of a pain with cars as I tend to buy one virtually every year but at the end of last year 2009 I wanted to buy a car which I could just relax in and keep for a long period of time.
Near my home there is a place called Northampton and just off the A43 there is a destination which is clear to see named the Car Shop.
I have to say at first they appear to have plenty of cars in stock and they claim to have 1000 vehicles, I am not sure how accurate this is. When you come into the place you get greeted at a gate and by a man who tells you where to park and as soon as you step outside your vehicle a member of staff is there to start talking about their vehicles.
The first thing they want to know is the type of car you want and price range and they usually take you back to their offices to scan the computers. They even ask what car you currently have in terms of a part exchange deal. When they return they always find the expensive cars which are over your budget and they do this because it means they get more out of you so I tend to quote them a budget which is a good amount under what I have due to this reason.
They take you round the cars they have and all cars are usually open and you get a good feel of the vehicle but that is about it. You might see the price on the front windscreen and you do get plenty of colours and options in there ranging from the smaller cars to the bigger estate cars.
I found a vehicle I liked which was a Vauxhall Corsa and they quoted me a good price but I instantly knew when I sat down in the vehicle something was not quite right with it and I struggled to find out what is was until I lifted up the car mat and there was a giant hole next to the brake pedal where someone had obviously had an accident.
They attempted to sell me a car which they tried to cover up and I was disgusted. I was more astonished than anything else and they claimed they would sort it out and have it repaired and yet you saw the front tyre as well on the driver’s side was always flat and scratched and they wanted full price for it.
I decided to explore more and throughout the time I was there this assistant would not leave me alone for a second he was just constantly there even when I asked him to leave but he did not seem to understand my needs. He kept quoting me prices and telling me I could get insurance for it from them and they would MOT checks and even had free interest and deals like this but the prices of the vehicles I found were definitely overpriced.
You had some vehicles which you could see at any car salesroom which were half the price this company were selling them for and I found out they buy most of their stock from auctions nearby which is of no surprise in some of the cars I witnessed. I did find one car and I managed to get it down in price and we went for a test drive of just 1 mile down this rather busy industrial estate nearby, we never tested it on the dual carriageway which was literally a minute away at all and it lead me to suspect there might be issues with the vehicles.
They sell cars which are either manual or automatic and they have diesel or petrol cars as well, they even sell vans and occasionally sports vehicles but for me the constant nagging of the staff and the lies they tell frustrate me.
They never seem to know what they are talking about either when you ask them a question about the car like the fuel economy and whether it is a good insurance group and it is details like this you would hope the people who run the firm would be able to tell you but they never do.
I did eventually put a deposit on a car and they said to return in a few days time to test drive it properly as they had to sort out a problem with a window wiper it was a cheap small car which had not sold for a while. I went for a test drive and I felt good inside and managed to go for 3 miles this time (a huge achievement) and then as I went to sort out my details they told me the car was no longer for sale as it was lined up to go to auction that afternoon. They told me to go ahead to the auction down the road a few miles away and bid for it there and that was it. Now this was a car which had not been sold, I had a deposit in place and test drove it to be told it would be up for auction.
It appeared this happened a lot with the company and they have a bad reputation for this behaviour. I never usually go to places like this it was only through curiosity and hoping to find a decent vehicle but after this behaviour I decided to go elsewhere. They had annoying staff, cars with problems which were hidden and they would not let me go anywhere on the test drive unless it was slow moving traffic.
I would avoid this company and the other places they have which I know are in Cardiff and I believe Bristol.
I would say Dealers are just as bad after a recent experience with have had with a Nissan we have just bought. We have had the car for 8 weeks now and the problems still haven't been sorted out
brittle1906 03.03.2010 02:55
Eeek! I know this place too! We have a boat moored fairly close and went in to enquire about a vehicle, as we arrived on foot the gateman was reluctant to let us in! The salesman was very pleasant until he realised that we were not buying that day, merely exploring our options....My advice is to steer clear!