Buying a Car in Goodyear, AZ

I decided I needed a new vehicle, my seven year old Ford was pushing 70,000 miles and while it had been a good car, it was time to move on.

We settled on a pick up truck, we had one once before and miss it ever since we got rid of it when we moved to AZ. This time we decided to get a four door model so the whole family can get in.

I went to look at LOCAL dealerships, to start (8.5% sales tax). We went to look at Chevy, Ford, GMC, Dodge, and Toyota.  I choose those four trucks because Consumer Reports said that while they liked the Ford best and the Toyota was pretty nice, the reliability, safety, and features of all of these vehicles was acceptable and there was not enough difference in customer satisfaction among any of them to rule any out.

I would recommend any of the local dealers that I visited with the exception of Sands Chevrolet.  I ended up purchasing a Chevy from Gateway Chevy.

Chevy dealers.  Gateway is a “one price” dealer.  They give you no hassle, they are helpful, and at the end of the day, since I was purchasing a left over 2011 that they happened to have in stock they actually did lower their “one price” on that particular vehicle.  I would not expect them to do that on most vehicles, however, if you are after the latest hot new car, they’ll answer all your questions, test drive it, but I would expect the price would be the price.  The sales person Joshua Coffman was top notch and he got his management involved when I told them they were close but I was going to buy a Ford.  I was literally driving from the Ford dealer after they failed to have my F-150 ready to pick up as promised when Gateway called me.

Sands Chevrolet in Surprise, AZ is like taking a time capsule trip to an American made car dealership of the 70s.  If you like strong arm, high pressure sales tactics this is the place for you.  The give away should have been all the sales people they had in their showroom.  They must all be on 100% commission or close to it.  The sales person we had was knowledgeable and courteous but when it came time to talk price his management made him (and asked us) to jump through hoops to get to what their price was. Their recent 20% off MSRP advertising is also misleading.  We said no thanks and walked away.  As it turns out, all the other dealerships know exactly how Sands is.  So if you don’t believe me, just ask any car sales person in the area and they can probably confirm it.

Avondale Toyota was very nice and no pressure and only one guy that you work with.  If you get a good guy like I did with Jim, you’ll be happy.  I’m not sure all their sales guys are as good, though.

Rodeo Ford nearly won my business but as it got close to actually picking up the vehicle not everything turned out exactly as I had understood it would and that turned me off.  I was thinking about just sleeping on it overnight when the Gateway guys called.

Chandler at Yates GMC/Buick did not have what I was looking for but a more knowledgeable and easy to work with sales professional would be hard to imagine.

Avondale Dodge had good inventory but their sales person had to keep going to his manager to get product information on trucks. Ask for a “truck guy” sales person if you go there.

Save yourself some hassle, and spend $39 and get a one year subscription to Consumer Reports.  Do all your price, reliability, and feature comparison there, it is very easy to do, and then go to the dealers.  After you drive something you like, get a copy of the window sticker and go back to CR and price it exactly.  That way you know how much the dealer has to offer.  They all know the marketplace very well, so don’t expect to get CR’s “best deal” every time.  It depends on how popular a model you want.

I would recommend any of these local dealers except Sands to anyone.  Gateway Chevrolet was the hungriest and most interested in meeting my terms, however.  And everything they told me came out exactly as they said it would.

If you have other recent car buying experiences in the Goodyear area, please feel free to comment on this post and/or email me at with your info and I will publish it.


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