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View Full Version : Buying experience from BMW of Fairfax...not great



mokotoff
01-23-2006, 08:34 AM
Recently I traded in my 2006 330i for a 2004 X3 at BMW
of Fairfax, it was far from the best auto sales
experience I have had.

The sales manager indicated in my original inquiries a
price difference between the trade in and purchase of
$5K back to me since the 330i was basically new. I
assumed with tax/tags etc, probably come down closer
to $4K, interesting what ensued.

I drove the X3 and worked with a sales person who
didn't have authority, or so he indicated, to
negotiate. The sales manager came out and suggested an
even swap right out of the gate, as in no check back
to me, far cry from $5K! I went to a computer, printed
a competing quote from my email, and a listing for a
comparable X3 and said $5K. He said if I do $4500 will
I close deal today? Famous line...he came back and
said $4K, I accepted (complex justification on my part
due to my wanting nav and hard to find nav in an X3).

Here comes the nickel and dime stuff...
1. Net check back to me was actually $3982
2. They indicated I couldn't transfer my MD tags
because the X3 is an SUV where the 330i is a car, so
went through that hassle. They ended up sending me
regular car tags anyhow after I returned my plates,
blah blah blah, and then they send me tags with only 1 year before a
renewal requirement.
3. They required me to inspect car in MD, to be fair,
it didn't cost me anything, just hassle, along with
returning plates I didn't need to return, etc.

All in all, not a great experience and I would not
recommend this dealership to anyone in the market for
a new or used BMW. I have never before had a
dealership renege on a written quote nor go quite so
far in trying to squeeze every possible penny from a
customer.

I gave them the opportunity to comment on this before I posted it, no comment so here you go.

AlfaEric
01-23-2006, 09:49 AM
Recently I traded in my 2006 330i for a 2004 X3 at BMW
of Fairfax, it was far from the best auto sales
experience I have had.

The sales manager indicated in my original inquiries a
price difference between the trade in and purchase of
$5K back to me since the 330i was basically new. I
assumed with tax/tags etc, probably come down closer
to $4K, interesting what ensued.

I drove the X3 and worked with a sales person who
didn't have authority, or so he indicated, to
negotiate. The sales manager came out and suggested an
even swap right out of the gate, as in no check back
to me, far cry from $5K! I went to a computer, printed
a competing quote from my email, and a listing for a
comparable X3 and said $5K. He said if I do $4500 will
I close deal today? Famous line...he came back and
said $4K, I accepted (complex justification on my part
due to my wanting nav and hard to find nav in an X3).

Here comes the nickel and dime stuff...
1. Net check back to me was actually $3982
2. They indicated I couldn't transfer my MD tags
because the X3 is an SUV where the 330i is a car, so
went through that hassle. They ended up sending me
regular car tags anyhow after I returned my plates,
blah blah blah, and then they send me tags with only 1 year before a
renewal requirement.
3. They required me to inspect car in MD, to be fair,
it didn't cost me anything, just hassle, along with
returning plates I didn't need to return, etc.

All in all, not a great experience and I would not
recommend this dealership to anyone in the market for
a new or used BMW. I have never before had a
dealership renege on a written quote nor go quite so
far in trying to squeeze every possible penny from a
customer.

I gave them the opportunity to comment on this before I posted it, no comment so here you go.
Other than you not liking haggling, which I can understand, it doesn't sound like that bad of an experience to me. You expected $4K and got $18 less. Pretty close IMO. MD has different plates for trucks and cars so transferring wasn't an option. I'm not sure if the X3 is considered a truck or not but it seems strange that they would send you regular plates if it is considered a truck. The next time you see an X3, check its tags to see if they are truck plates or not. It might have been an error that they sent you the regular plates. I would look into this before a cop sees it and decides to pull you over. :wink:

MD requires a state inspection for any used car sales. At least you didn't have to pay for it. It usually doesn't cost much but they always seem to find something wrong. The last vehicle I brought in for an inspection (that I knew was fine), the place (not BMW of Fairfax) replaced my wiper blades and a signal bulb. The previous owner had just replaced the blades about a month before and the turn signal had a loose connection, not a burn out bulb. :rolleyes: The blades they put on were MUCH worse than the ones they felt were unacceptable.

If your old tags had more than 1 year left on their registration then you might be entitled to a refund when you returned them. http://mva.state.md.us/AboutMVA/INFO/27300-04T.htm

At least you got the vehicle you wanted (with NAV). Enjoy your new ride. :)

---Eric

SpongeBob
01-23-2006, 07:52 PM
"I accepted (complex justification on my part
due to my wanting nav and hard to find nav in an X3)."

I purchased the Magellan 760 portable model. Works FANTASTICALLY. Really did not want the hassle of putting it into the convertible and not having it available when we use the big car on Sunday.

Did you really do your homework first?

BMW0299
01-24-2006, 02:50 PM
Did you really get passenger car plates? SUV's are "multi purpose vehicles" in the eyes of the MVA, and the plate usually has six numbers and the letter "M" (at the beginning, middle or end).

Vic Maslanka


FYI, I have passenger car tags on my SUV, they are the Chapter plates that came off my 330i.

OwnedbyDuncan
01-24-2006, 03:32 PM
Give BMW of Fairfax a call and see if they kept your car. And see what the price is. Bet you will be surprised. BTW why did you trade a 330 for X3?