I'm amazed at some experiences others have had, but mine was quite superior. I drove our 1997 Caravan with over 150k and a lot of abuse. We are cradle to grave owners afterall. Our local dealership didn't respond to our inquiry and pre-authorized loan, so my wife did the online thing and soon Charles Countryman called and we told him what we wanted. He gave us a resonable expectation as to how much we might be able to save off an average msrp of 30k depending on the extras involved. We kinda felt he shared industry secrets with the information he shared and informed us of an extra $1000 incentive for retired military, so we changed our plans and drove the 300 miles to make a deal. Arrived late on a Friday afternoon. We found Charles very quickly and he had pulled a 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew that most matched our "wish list". It had a bit more but none of the other models came close. The finance guy (can't remember his name just now) was an ex-cop and looked it as he delivered the bad news at the turn in value. Very matter of fact stated that they could only offer $300 less than the blue book. I have read that they have their own blue book values and that would make a difference if the trade in was in good shape, but we were ready to abandon it on their lot so we took the extra discount. The final offer was nearly 7k lower than the msrp of just over 30K and with taxes and tags it was just over 27k... too much for our pre-approved loan of 25K. We were debating calling to increase it but Charles asked about our loan deal and wanted to see if they could best it. By this time it was past bankers hours but we were told it would be approved. They gave us a 50% discount at a local hotel and we arrived at 9:30am on Saturday. We were approved at a loan percentage less than 50% of our pre-approved rate which would save us $100 a month on a bigger loan. Wow! within two hours were on the road and have been loving the new car since. I feel we received a great value based on comparisons with our local dealer. The van we purchased was better than the 2011 van we had rented from the dealer that had a sticker of over $28k,... as per the dealers son/manager. I recomended a friend to talk to Charles and they are up talking a deal as I write this. I realize we're talking car salesman here, but I have other experiences to gage this on and I'm not looking for free lodging, food and thrills. I just want the best possible deal understanding they are in business to make a living too and I feel I got that deal. I hope Charles Countryman is there when I look for the next one.
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