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Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

Today I drove three cars on behalf of the other half as she will be needing a new car when she moves to blighty. So I had a good chance to compare the Fiat/Alfa dealership with the Japanese dudes!

The car has to be an Auto as the Canadian licence doesn't discriminate between manual and auto, so the only other choice is to take a UK driving test. Mmm... not so attractive.

So on a short(?) list of ten or so cars I drove today a Fiat Punto 1.4, a Suzuki Swift 1.5 and a Toyota Yaris 1.4D.... would have liked to have had a go in a Peugeot or Citroen but that didn't happen...

I started at the Fiat / Alfa / Peugeot / Citroen dealer as I had to book the GT in for a service. I asked the relatively simple question of how much would the 24,000 mile service would cost... but could not be told as the computer was not responding. And as my car "was an Alfa" she didn't know off the top of her head. I wonder what the large Alfa logo was doing in the dealership then?

I found a Fiat sales person after being redirected twice and luckily they had a 1,4 auto in stock. I say luckily as this model is not normally there but they had a one year old model. Had a test drive, car sucked (mainly due to the wheezey engine and auto box) but otherwise not too bad service. The sales guy was new that week and did his best.

Next I found the Peugeot sales person and enquired if they had a 207 auto I could drive. 'No' was the answer. Can you get one? I asked. 'No.

Mmmm...

How about a Citroen C3? No. Can you get one? No.

Ya boo to the cheese eating surrender monkeys then. They are off the short list!

I had pre booked a drive of the Suzuki Swift so drove the 200m to the dealer. This industrial estate has all the big names so competition is rife!

Was presented with a bright buzzy atmosphere, polite staff and an offer of a drink as soon as I stepped in the door. None of that in the previous multi dealer.

The sales guy remembered my name, handed me the keys and left me to it! No forms, no nothing! Just took my licence and said I hoped I enjoyed the drive after giving me the basics on the car. Brilliant!

Suzuki Swift is a wicked little car if anyone is interested. Delivery in ten days if you want one. Mad eh?

On to Toyota 50m up the road to look at the Yaris. I was greeted in reception by a lovely bouncy girl called Jess () who took my name, called a sales person who came down within one minute, shook my hand remembering my name again.

Have you got the Yaris 1.4 in Auto? Yes, sir! Diesel or Petrol? We have two of each.

We had a brief chat and he went away and gassed up a brand new Yaris 1.4D with only 11 miles on the clock! Tearing myself away from Jess () I had the brief run down again and I took the drivers seat. Cracking little car again and the 1.4D pulled very well and does 62mpg. Yikes!

On the way home I popped into Mini which won't be an option due to the cost but thought it would be worth a look. I didn't want to waste their time with a drive but again I was greeted by an equally bouncy girl called Mandie () who eloquently told me about the range, and yes they had an Auto available to drive.

So Alfa/Fiat/Citroen/Peugeot, why is it so hard to be like Toyota? No wonder people return in their droves. The whole place reeked of professionalism. Kudos to Suzuki as well. Both fantastic.

Ho hum!

DG
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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

I test drove a Corolla T-Sport a few years back, the Toyota dealer was excellent. Shame the car was so dull

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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

Ahh tis a problem!

But was there anyone there called Jess?
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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

Are you sure you want your GF to move??
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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

Uh oh! Now I am in trouble!
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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

I know what you mean dgrover. I arranged a test drive at a big multi-dealer in Peterborough while hunting for my Alfa. I phoned 40mins before i due to be there to check that everything was still on, then made the journey on time only to find that they had lent it to someone for the afternoon. Wasted trip. I complained to the manager basically saying that he had missed a sale as i wouldnt be wasting my time by coming back, and he said he suspected that the couple who were trying it out would buy it anyway!! No appology. No explanation.

They phoned me a few days later as the couple had been refused the finance. I asked to speak to the manager again and reminded him that he lost a sale. I had found my dream car by then anyway with barely 20k on the clock and a full years warranty to boot.

I think in the bigger places you are just a number to them. They have so many people go through their doors. Shame really.
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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legless View Post
DGRover. We own several cars, one of which is a 56 plate Citroen C2 VTR (Fully automatic, Semi-automatic or fully manual with S/W paddle shifts). Try one - you can pick up a less than 12 month old car for £8K. Great fun, cheap to run but sadly we only get 44mpg which can't compare to your Yaris. The dynamic difference can't be compared though. 110bhp, vicious brakes, nice airy interior, like a go-kart to drive but very stiff suspension. I love driving it.
Thanks for that! I will have a look. :-) Could be an idea.

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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

Shame the Fiat wasn't up to scratch
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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

In France there are particular US/Canadian states/provinces&territories that
have better swap deals for driving licences.

I think Ontario and Quebec licences get you a full licence.

Could be the same in the UK.

 
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Re: Spent a day of Test driving (Not Alfas)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev View Post
In France there are particular US/Canadian states/provinces&territories that
have better swap deals for driving licences.

I think Ontario and Quebec licences get you a full licence.

Could be the same in the UK.

Oddly enough, when I came to the UK, I was permitted to drive for a year on my Canadian licence (Ontario). The information given to me at the time was that had I been from the United States, I would have been able to get a UK licence straight away (reciprocal agreement between UK/USA), but would need to take the test as I am Canadian...



Um, Canada is still part of the Commonwealth, whereas the Americans fought a war to become a separate entity...


Go figure...


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