What Really Grinds My Gears: $599 a Month

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I recently clocked a billboard offering passersby a Mercedes E-Class for $599 a month. I called the Mercedes dealer in question. Sorry, can’t find the paper, I have to call you back. I’ll wait. Oh, here it is! Here what is? A rear-wheel-drive E-Class luxury car. Which one? A rear-wheel drive E-Class luxury car. Yes, which model? E350. Options? A choice of metallic paint (as long as it’s white or black) and heated front seats. How much down? $5,509. How many months? It’s a 39-month lease, 10k miles per year. $599 a month all in? Plus tax. How much tax? $42 a month. Do you have one in stock? I’m sure we do but we can get one. Uh-huh. It’s not a the worst deal I’ve ever seen but . . . I wonder how much it would cost me to lease that Maybach that’s been in their showroom since 1909. Meanwhile, where the hell is Darwin? By now, anyone stupid enough to fall for a low low monthly payment come-on should be in debtor’s prison. Which would force the dealers perpetuating the sales technique into receivership, where the bank could re-fi their biz. I mean, $1 mil would only be $1666 a month over 50 years. Plus interest, of course. And handling fees.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Brapoza Brapoza on Sep 11, 2009
    How about this for a brutally straight answer: YES, he should NOT have sold her that car. Oh, I get it, he should be answering to some higher moral authority. Secondly: Gee, how about steering her towards a lease on a recently turned in program economy car? Oh. I’m sorry. I forgot. At 22, she should already know to leave her future first born by the dealer’s showroom door as soon as she went through it. Please, you make it sound like it should be an episode on Law & Order but in fact you're only making up the script since you were not there. Perhaps he did try to steer her in that direction. She bought the car she wanted, period. Besides, no mention of her responsibility in the affair. It's entirely someone else's fault, of course.
  • Commando Commando on Sep 11, 2009
    @brapoza: "Besides, no mention of her responsibility in the affair. It’s entirely someone else’s fault, of course." One of my biggest gripes is people who always lay the blame on others. Thanks for the dope slap. I needed that. ; )
  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Sep 14, 2009

    Buying a used car today is not what it used to be. My last handful of cars were bought used, and I had zero issues.. 2001 Montero Sport, purchased with 20000 miles, drove it until it had 86000, zero issues. 1997 Eldorado, purchased with 30000 miles, drove it until it had 85000 miles, at 80K I had to have the passenger interior door panel reaffixed, otherwise, zero issues. 1998 Contour SVT, purchased with 180000 miles, drove it until it had 78000 miles, zero issues. 2001 Mazda Miata, purchased with 68000 miles, now it has 80000 miles, still driving it. 2001 Ford Escape XLT, 5-speed, purchased with 20000 miles, drove it until it had 88000 miles, zero issues. 2007 Grand Marquis, purchased with 22000 miles, now it has 93000 miles, at 90000 the electronic temperature control crapped out ($1100 repair, ugh) otherwise, it's been trouble free. Our CX-7 on the other hand, purchased new, has been a complete nightmare. At least three times in 30000 miles, it's had to go in for a loose gas cap....I need to fix my wife. At any rate, in each case, I purchased the car for many, many thousands less than if I had purchased new. The only thing I missed, was the off gassing of the various adhesives that combine to provide that intoxicating new car smell.

  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Sep 14, 2009

    Sorry, I can't find the edit button. The Contour did not travel backward in time. Though I wish it did. That should have read 18000 not 180K.