As news started coming out about electric cars in early 2016, Michael Young, a self-described “car guy,” knew he wanted to try one. One afternoon, he strolled into his local dealership and asked to test drive the BMW i3, a small, sporty car with a range of up to 150 miles. The salesperson stopped him. “You can’t drive that car on the highway,” Young recalls the salesperson saying, explaining that the car couldn’t go over 45 miles per hour.

“I was kind of dumbfounded by that,” Young said.

Young knew it could go much faster — and, after convincing the salesperson to let him go on a test drive, ultimately bought the i3.


James Richards, the CEO of a water heating company in Davis, Calif., spent days test-driving EVs at Volkswagen, Tesla, Chevy and Ford. But the 40-year-old found the dealership experience “cringeworthy” — the dealers didn’t seem to know much about the EVs they were selling. “I felt like I knew more than they did,” Richards said.

This just in: Old Boys Club doesn’t want to learn new technology, and would rather lie about new technology so they can keep hawking the same bullshit they’ve scammed decades of Americans into buying.

Seriously, that’s not just that they don’t know and don’t care to know, that’s straight up “we don’t care about this newfangled technology so much that we’re literally going to fucking gaslight you about it in hopes you don’t know enough to know better.”

I guess it’s not that far removed from the lies car dealers usually tell, but I mean, god damn fucking just gaslighting customers.

Fuck Dealerships. As much as Tesla sucks because of Elon Musk, I do hope their plan to sell cars directly to consumers pans out and other car makers start following suit as opposed to keeping these fucking grifting ass middle men in the game.


Many states actually have laws that ban Tesla from selling directly. More have laws limiting the number of stores that a manufacturer can have.

Only 14 allow unrestricted direct sales, and many of them only apply to companies that either don’t already have franchise agreements or only sell EVs.

Manufacturers would LOVE to cut out the middlemen and sell direct today.

anonionfinelyminced avatar

I figure it has more to do with the fact that the ICE car comes with a lifetime of engine and other maintenance that the dealership is looking to cash in on long after the warranty is expired. Even within the warranty, EVs don't need oil changes. Just brakes and tires, which are done much less frequently. And after the warranty, it's a long list of minor repairs to engine components, not to mention supporting all the emission control stuff. It's a gravy train and they don't want to get off.


That’s a good point. They make their money on service not sales


I don’t understand anyone who will listen to a salesman versus doing even 10 minutes research. We have the internet and this is the second biggest personal purchase for most people. Why are you just rolling into a dealership like an idiot with no knowledge about vehicles at all?


Of course they are. They lose service and part revenue every time someone switches to emob.


This isn’t even the full news article. The actual news article is on Washington Post, and they charge a subscription fee. Your post fucking sucks, OP


As I explained elsewhere, people don’t like paywalls, so I posted this one. Chill out dude

PP_BOY_, avatar

For all the shit that the company has done, Tesla’s refusal to sell through stealerships and setting a precedent for direct-to-consumer auto sales almost makes up for everything in my eyes.

rustydomino, avatar

When ID.4 came out in the US in 2021, VW had a decent buying experience modeled (presumably) after Tesla and Europe. You could go to a dealership to test drive, then order your desired configuration online for a guaranteed sale price. Sure there were some glitches and it took awhile for them to deliver, but fundamentally it was a great buying experience for me. We went to pick up the car, the dealer only tried minimally to upsell warranties, and we were out the door in 30 minutes. Of course, we can’t have nice things so VW is back to the old “dealership fucks with you” model now.


Interesting. CleanTechnica just posted a very similar article yesterday.…/car-dealers-are-the-biggest-b…

perviouslyiner, (edited )

Many GM dealers have elected to take a buyout from the company rather than make the switch. Some Ford dealers are suing to prevent its electric car mandates from taking effect.

so it’s not merely laziness or ignorance of individual people - this is choosing not to sell EVs at management/ownership level.

Veedem, avatar

Has anyone ever gone to a dealership and left feeling like it went great? You prepare for a fight, there’s fees everywhere, and you can’t trust a thing they say. The whole model needs to change. I own my car and don’t plan on getting a new one anytime soon, but my wife leases, and it’s a pain in the balls everytime we have to go to get a new one because we know they’re trying to get over on us and we have to play defense.


Go to the dealership? Can’t you just order a car online to be delivered to you? A lot of dealers do that here in the UK.


Just finishing purchasing a car in mexico, pretty much no hidden fee and a reasonably low cost of debt considering the high government interest rate we have.

I think you guys have the problem of having the government in bed with dealerships, they hold way too much power and don’t even try to compete if they can cooperate against the consumer.


…the problem of having the government in bed with dealerships…

I believe the correct phrase would be “having the government in bed with whoever pays the most money”.


My most recent car purchase went pretty well. I knew exactly what I wanted, I saw the car in stock on their website, and I called them saying I’m picking it up today. It went so fast they didn’t have time to pull any bullshit.


Absolutely right. Consistently awful dealership experiences are the primary reason I have kept my cars for a long time. If the dealers weren’t so miserable I would have owned twice as many vehicles and would be driving something much newer right now. Who needs a fight and to spend tens of thousands of dollars just to end up feeling screwed?

It seems like some of the car manufacturers might have figured that out by now.


I think I am reasonably happy with my civic purchase 11 years ago. I knew what I wanted and a local dealer had it. Price was what was advertised. Sorry no real bad memories of the experience. Maybe I got lucky or maybe I just don’t remember.


I did but I had already done all my research online and knew the exact car I wanted and how much I would pay and I didn’t deviate. All you have to do is put your foot down, be a stone faced asshole, you will break them.

FlyingSquid, avatar

Actually, when I bought my Prius, it was a really easy in-and-out once we secured the loan. Maybe because it was used? I don’t know. But the dealer was not pushy at all.

On the other hand, we once had another experience where my wife test-drove a Scion model she was interested in and the salesman talked directly to me the entire time, even when I told him more than once to talk to my wife because I wasn’t buying the car.


I ordered a Chevy Bolt in Dec 2022 after hearing good things in /r/boltev about Aundre at Chriswell Chevy in Maryland.

MSRP, no markup (during the height of Bolt markups), no add-ons, everything by email and phone. Just one trip there to drop off the check. Dude even personally delivered the car to the house.

Recommended Aundre to a friend who had the same experience. Boom!


Yeah, it really depends on the dealership (which I will admit sucks). We bought a Hyundai earlier this year at a dealership (at the recommendation of a body who is a mechanic for that brand at a different dealership) in NoVa and overall it was a really great experience.


Do all of the dealing via email only. Then go in to test drive when you have the numbers you like with explicit instructions that if those numbers change, you’re walking. Only be available to come in 30min before closing. Understand that during the paperwork process the finance person has to try to sell you the warranties/dealer shit. Let them know upfront you aren’t buying any of it and will say no to everything. Don’t be mean, but don’t be nice. They have a job they gotta do, but it’s best to let them know they’re not getting any more commission out of you, so efficiency is their friend.

They will want to call you. Don’t answer. Plenty won’t deal with you like this. That’s ok. Don’t give them your $. Find those that will.

Your leverage is your ability to walk from the deal at any time.


Buying a Tesla was a great experience. You go in and test drive the car (while knowing the price it’ll cost before leaving the house) to make sure it’s a good fit. If you like it you can talk to them about ordering one and they’ll walk you through everything. You can also buy it online and have it delivered to you without having to visit a showroom. Elon is a dick but Tesla has perfected the car buying experience.

cosmic_slate, avatar

When I wrapped up my test drive, the reps took the keycard and didn’t try to upsell or anything… I had to explicitly ask what the ordering process was.

Placed an order 5 mins later.


Just wait. Don’t be in a hurry.

Prices will come down, products will improve.

Don’t rush to buy something new just to fit in.

FlyingSquid, avatar

If you need a new car, waiting is often not an option.


Really? Now is the time where the cars are actually worthwhile. Yes, tech will always get better, but if it makes sense for you, go ahead!


Both are true

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