When it was time to return home from my trip to the national model rocket convention, NARCON, I arranged for a rental car from Detroit Metro Airport to my home town of Otsego, MI. My personal car, a Chevy Lumina, died on the trip out. Hence the need for a rented car.
The rental car return is in the same building as one of the local auto dealerships. I had been checking out this particular dealership because it sold the kind of minivan I had been thinking about buying for the last two years. You see I have had the money-in-the-bank to buy a new car for the last couple of years. I wanted a minivan that was big enough to get my tricycle (see userpic) to the shop. (I looked at alternatives, such as trailers and car top carriers, but they were impractical.)
Monday I called the dealership and told them the sort of vehicle I wanted and that evening I went in for a test drive. I test drove the car and $4,000 worth of rebates brought it into my price range.
"Fine, I'll take it. I can have a bank check to you tomorrow."
"Er, ah, for the last $1,000 rebate you have to use credit union loan or use a credit union draft to pay for it."
"Or you could use our corporate zero interest car loan."
"But, I want to pay cash!"
I argued to no avail. We spent an extra hour in the dealership filling out an application for a zero interest, no down payment loan that I did not need. If I didn't, I would have to pay an extra $1,000.
I picked up the car last night. A spiffy Chrysler Town and Country with all kinds of fancy gizmos. So far I haven't paid a penny for it, not even a deposit.
No wonder the car companies are going broke.