FTC to Host Public Workshop Examining the U.S. Auto Distribution System Workshop Will Explore Competition, State Regulations, and Emerging Trends in the Industry, Project No. P131202
In regards to "Auto Distribution Workshop, Project No. P131202" // I am now leasing a 2013 Nissan Leaf, which replaced my Versa (which replaced my old Sentra). I "ordered" the car through a dealer, as required, and had to wait months with few updates. I couldn't pay for anything or even know how much it would cost, but I assumed it should be around the advertised lease rate I see on the Nissan website and in ads. Yet when I finally get the call and drive all the way to Columbus (~60 miles to the dealer, if I recall correctly), we begin to negotiate and I am annoyed already. They want the 2000 down and 350~400 a month for a lease that was advertised as 2000 down and 250 a month. We met at 300 a month and the dealer told me he was "surprised" I got it at that price. // While going to the dealer, I was excited and looking forward to seeing my car. I thought it would take maybe 45 minutes to finish all the paperwork and I might negotiate it down to 240 a month. What I found was a strong sinking feeling and a lot of stress as I suddenly realize they want far more than the advertised rate, even though I kept asking if we could negotiate before I ordered the car (can't because the incentives change too quickly, as I was told). // It is insane that I couldn't just order the car through Nissan and pick it up in TN, at the factory, like I wanted to do. I could have gotten the top of the line car for the rate I have, according to the advertised numbers. I later met someone that got 4 dollar lower than the advertised rate and he got the optional QC package with it (~1350 dollars, I believe). I was told the advertised rate doesn't include taxes and fees, but why can this be advertised then? Why did my friend get a discount on the advertised rate when I felt pressured into what I got? At least my dealer wasn't like Ricart in Columbus, which is so high pressure I felt more free in Fort Jackson during basic training. // Now ALL of this could have been avoided if I could have simply went on the Nissan website and clicked "order" at the end of the car I "built" on their site. I "built" a car there and thought about it for a month, planned everything, checked out all my options, and finally decided to go find a dealer to work with. But if I could have simply pressed "order" on the site, I would have seen all the costs and had no pressure up front. It is insane they the cars can be advertised at low rates then have the prices jacked up when you finally sit down to purchase/lease it. The fact that different markets have different taxes and fees is ridiculous, they do not get away with this claim in Europe, where taxes and fees are included in the price tag of all products and markets may be FAR smaller. The FTC should go beyond simply ending the car dealer cartel and force the dealers to advertise the fees imposed by the automakers and states in the advertised rates. Right now I can only order TWO cars, the Model S or the Model X, online from an automaker that actually includes all this information before you go to purchase the car. I cannot think of a single advantage I have with a dealer and I really believe my next car will be a Tesla, partially because I hate dealers, even though I am interested in a few other cars.