It was time to get a new minivan. Our “Old Reliable” was still reliable, but she was starting to show her age. Pieces and parts were wearing and needed replacing, rust was beginning to get bad and was eating away the body and after 8 years of a wonderful relationship that spanned two different houses in two different cities and a dynamically changing family configuration (additional children), a newer and safer vehicle was in our near future.
Like many of our peers, my wife and I dislike car-shopping. Let’s face it, in order to do it right, it’s time consuming and, pending one’s negotiation skills and ability to understand the sales process, potentially frustrating. In the past, no matter how much work we have done (scouting, researching the competition, features, rebates and ‘time of the year’ sales), we always felt taken advantage of at the end of the deal. We were happy to get the vehicle we wanted, but we always wondered if we could have done better, with less hassle and less time.
Imagine my surprise, then, when out of the wild blue yonder of Facebook, one of my old friends from middle school and high school announced she had opened her new business – CarPal National Auto Purchase Consulting at http://www.car-pal.com. Essentially, CarPal is a car-buying service.
With the goal of helping customers get the best deals and best service when buying new or used vehicles, CarPal offers two simple types of car-buying services: ‘Full Service’ and ‘Beat Your Best Deal’. You can read about both here: http://www.car-pal.com/services.html.
My wife and I were interested in the Full Service because all we wanted to do was test drive the competition and choose the vehicle. CarPal did the rest. And when I say “the rest” I mean:
• Helped us clarify exactly what we were looking for (this was actually easy as we knew this already).
• Set up all the test drives of the three potential candidates (all we had to do was show up).
• Helped explain the different ‘packaging’ options when it came down to deciding what creature comforts we wanted (or didn’t want).
• Negotiated the pricing.
• Was available by phone, email, chat and text pretty much whenever it was convenient for us.
• Once we decided upon the vehicle, they found the one we wanted for the best price – nationwide –and arranged for delivery to our door from three states away and with no miles on the vehicle.
All in all, we spent less than 24 hours of actual time with this purchase. The total elapsed time between initial contact and final sale was 2 weeks (although with shipping direct to our door, took a few days longer before we actually received the vehicle). CarPal worked with *our* schedule.
With the perfect combination of professionalism and casualness, Lindsay and her team leveraged their 30+ years of experience to get us into the vehicle of our dreams – a 2011 Chrylser Town & Country. Thanks to their expertise, we were able to stay within our budget *and* obtain a vehicle that ordinarily would have been out of our price range *and* covered the cost of the Full Service fee.
If they did it for me, they can do it for you too.
I will continue to use CarPal car-buying service and have already
forwarded my friends there as well. In addition, when it's time for my children to start getting vehicles of their own, I will return to get their help again.