Baggott News

James Baggott: What goes on in car buyers’ heads…?

Time 9:36 am, August 17, 2015

Baggot column tyre kickOH, what to do today? Shopping? Well, I quite like shopping. But I could do with replacing that festering Vauxhall Corsa that’s as reliable as a Vauxhall Corsa.

And it’s doing my street cred no good. Why not combine them both and go visit some dealers? Good idea. I’ll take the kids too. And the dog. And the in-laws are down and they’d love a day out. That reminds me, the Vauxhall Corsa really was a poor choice of family car…

Oh look there’s a dealer. It looks respectable – there’s bunting and everything. I like bunting. Why is it called bunting? The world needs more bunting. Why are all the boots open on the cars? Perhaps they’re loading them up with something – free things they’ll throw in with the deal?

I’ll just park the Corsa here. In front of this nice car that looks polished and ready to go. Yeah, it’ll be fine here. Right, everyone out. Oh look, a red one. I like red. I had a red car once and it was really reliable. OH MY GOD there’s a green one! Green is calming. I like green, it’ll be good for the kids. Where are the kids? Oh. Why do they always climb on things? That car looked like it had nice new paintwork too. Oh well, I’m sure the salesman won’t notice the footprints. Hang on, where’s the dog?

Oh look, a yellow one. It’s got no roof. I like convertibles. Oh bum, it’s only got two seats. I need a people carrier. My life has ended. But then it sort of ended when I decided to buy a Corsa, didn’t it? This VW Sharan looks nice.

That’s a lie, it looks hideous, I only said that because the wife said we need a people carrier. I want the convertible. Has anyone seen the dog?

Oh god. The salesman’s coming over. He’s wearing a polo shirt and a bomber jacket. Why are they called bomber jackets? Not very PC, is it. I’d prefer a suit. And a tie. He’s asked me what I’m looking for – I’ll pretend it’s the convertible. The wife’s busy showing the Sharan to the mother-in-law. God, I hate the mother-in-law. But at least in the Sharan she’d be three rows away. But… in the convertible she’d be left at home. With the kids. And the wife. Just me and the dog rolling into the sunset. Lovely. I love the dog. Where is the bloody dog?

He’s rumbled me. He knows I’m just pretending I want the yellow one. Arse. He knows my life has ended, I own slippers and have two very annoying children and extended family I’ve brought to a car lot on a Saturday for entertainment. Well, it is the holiday season after all. What did he expect me to do? I’ll let him get the keys to the Sharan.

Right, let’s talk turkey…

If I kick the tyres he’ll think I know what I’m talking about. I’ll bounce the suspension too – that always looks professional. I should check the oil. OH GOD I have no idea where the oil dipstick is! I’ll just scratch my chin a bit instead and make it look like I’m contemplating something. He doesn’t need to know that I’m contemplating how my life has come to this – trading in a Corsa for a seven-seat end-of-youth machine. There’s the dog! What’s he doing? Oh, hopefully if I keep him talking he won’t notice the squatting.

Right, let’s talk turkey. I’ll ask him what he wants for it. What does he mean, the price is in the window? I know he’s got £5,000 profit in all these cars, what does he take me for – an idiot? I’ll make him an offer. It’s up for £9,995, I’ll offer him £3k. Why’s he laughing? Well, that’s just rude. And why’s he glaring at the kids? I don’t mind him glaring at the mother-in-law, that’s standard, but the kids are just having fun. Swinging on the bunting is what all kids do, isn’t it?

I’ll offer him cash. Dealers love cash. He’s laughing harder. This is weird. I’d have thought £4,000 cash would have been a right result for him. He wants me to take the finance. Oh, I get his game now – he gets half the finance money to himself doesn’t he! Got his card marked. He’s not fooling me.

I’ll ask to see the history. I literally have no idea what history is. Hated it at school. I’ll look at it scornfully. Well, there’s lots of paper here. Oh, some of it is printed nicely. I’ll ask about servicing, that’s important right? Balls, it’s got that, too. How do I get him down to £4k? I’ll let the wife sweet talk him. Actually, bad idea, he’s just looking at her breasts. Where’s the sodding dog?

Right, I need to get out of here. I’m out of my depth and we’ve been here two hours already. I really like the yellow one, though. I wish I was young again. I must say that bunting is mighty impressive. I’ll tell him, might distract him. Right, I need to think of an excuse not to buy this. Anything will do. ANYTHING! Well, the steering wheel was a bit too chunky. That’ll do, I’ll tell him that. Chunky steering wheel fault. Perfect.

He doesn’t look happy. Strange. Oh well, let’s do something else instead. We need to go shopping. Lidl is still open. Actually, is Lidl still open? The wife will know. But first, where’s that bleeding dog?

Who is James Baggott? He’s the founder of Car Dealer Magazine and managing director of parent company @BlackballMedia, an automotive services provider. He now spends most of his time on Twitter @CarDealerEd and annoying the rest of us.

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James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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