Dealerships: my experience as an 18 year old going car shopping

Today my boss asked me to go take the company car to get an oil change at the dealership. Got to the dealership signed the car in and then I had an hour and a half of free time. What better to do than to car shop? My grandparents want a new car and they like my opinion, so why not explore some options?

First dealership I was at was the Chevy dealership. First thing that happened when I walked in The door was I was greeted by a nice salesman in his 20s and given the basic "if you have any questions, just ask." So I looked around for a bit. I was examining the yellow C7 they had in stock when another sales lady walked up. She said "looks like you just want to drive away in it!" We talked for a bit, I mentioned my T/A and she offered that I could drive any car in the place that wasn't a corvette and that I should bring the T/A around one day the next time I go shopping. She was a really great salesperson, answered all my questions without hesitation, listened to my story, and really didn't mention sales at all. I was really surprised that she took the time to have a lengthy conversation with an 18 year old. I mean, I was well dressed and looked confident, but still, I wasn't expecting even any recognition by the staff because I was so young. I would buy a car from her. I wanted to drive a manual Sonic RS but they didn't have one in stock.

The second dealership I went to was the Mopar dealership. The sales people greeted me but were really giving off the "you're young so I don't want to offer you any help and don't waste my time" vibe. I even got an angry glare when I asked if they could unlock a newer charger. I would not buy from them or recommend my grandparents to buy from them at all.

The third dealership I went to was the local BMW dealership. None of the staff bugged me while I was walking around the lot (no staff were outside either), but also none of them greeted me when I went inside either. At that point I figured a dealership selling cars at a higher price point wouldn't even bother with a kid like me. Luckily I was wrong because as soon as I asked for help a delightful man who knew a ton about the current BMW product line came to my aid. My grandparents want to upgrade from their 3 series to a 5 series so I asked a ton of questions regarding that. The man was not afraid to mention the cars faults or BMWs stupid naming scheme and even suggested I look at the 4 series as it was a cheaper alternative.

So really what I learned today was many dealerships are starting to realize the younger generation has purchasing power. Even though we may not buy today or in a few months, a good impression made on a young shopper by a dealership is very valuable in the long run. The other lesson? $35 oil changes at the dealership are way overpriced! Stick to doing the work in your driveway ladies and gentlemen.

What's your "going to the dealership as a young person" story?