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Long Overdue Review: Prestige Auto (and Donnie Darko)
#1
Hi all,

With all the recent threads related to car sales, dodgy dealerships and so on, it got me thinking that I never got round to doing something I intended to around this time last year.  So without further ado, let me get into it...

In the middle of May, I started scratching an itch that didn't need any scratching - that being test driving a few M cars. This was triggered by the sale thread of the white E90 from Outlaw335 on this very forum.  I thought I should get an idea of what these cars are about and began with all sorts of scenarios and justifications why this is a feasible idea.

I looked at 4 cars prior to seeing the one I eventually bought, will give a summary below, as it sets the context of my review. On all the cars, I did my due diligence in terms of requesting service history, background checks for accidents etc.

So, Car#1, advertised at a fairly prominent dealer here near Greenstone, who deals in exotics and sports cars.  Car was fairly neat, needed a few bits here and there. This fell flat because they guys just couldn't be bothered to get the motorplan history on the car in 2 weeks.  I eventually went myself to query the history.  They were also a bit cocky and arrogant, trying to tag team bamboozle me as to why the car was priced as it was and pretty much pressuring me to complete an application on the spot, without answering any of my other questions.

Car#2, advertised at BMW Northcliff.  Complete engine replacement, new tyres, new brakes etc.  This car was quite nice.  This deal fell flat because quite frankly, the salesman didn't contact me at all to follow up after I had seen the car, or after leaving multiple messages for him to do so.  Also, the test drive was 900m.  Yes that's not a typo.  I pulled out the dealership, drove down the road to the 2nd robot, made a u-turn and back to the dealership.  Didn't even push the car because it was still ice cold.  This was a real useless experience.  Oh and the cherry on top: the salesman was the same knob who owned the Audi S3 lemon which I purchased 2 years ago for my Mrs.

Car#3 was advertised BMW Zambezi, the same day it was advertised, I called to make an appointment to go view it the next morning.  Drive 80kms to the dealership, only to find out that it was sold already.  In actual fact, it was sold before they even advertised it.  So this was clearly a ploy to get foot traffic through the door. C'mon!

Car#4 was a Fanatics car, but just not my ideal spec, so I passed on this one.  That being said: great guy, great car all-round.


And after that long precursor, it brings me to car #5: up to this point, I was really gatvol with dealerships and the empty promises made etc.  A real eye-opener how shocking service can be when you're a potential client for a fairly significant piece of machinery. I stayed off the radar for 2 weeks, then contacted Outlaw335 to discuss his car.  At that point in time, he had traded it in (to Prestige Auto) and encouraged me to go see the car before it was too late.

So an impromptu trip to Randburg was planned, and there I met Donovan, who showed me around the car.  Every question I had at the point in time was answered.  I had received service history from Outlaw, so that angle was covered.  When it came to test drive time, there was no crap about having to complete an application beforehand, or filing in indemnities etc.  We got in the car and off we went.  We trundled through the suburbs, and found some nice open roads where I could stretch the cars legs a bit.  Overall I think the drive was about 20kms, more than enough to get a feel for the car and check out everything.  We even discussed price, and we managed to come to an agreement where we would both be happy as well.  Once again - complete disclosure here made things a lot easier, and there was no greedy mentality present.

I decided to complete an application for the car and see what happens.  I then went away to formulate my own justifications and analysis.  Throughout the process, Donovan and Shireen kept in touch and were professional at all times. That being said, many of the banks were sticky, wanting settlement of the X3 first before proceeding.  Shireen managed to get round all that nonsense, and also got me a decent rate as well (as opposed to the take it or leave it attitude which seems to be the norm when signing for something).  Overall, this process was simple, efficient and effective.

A few days later, everything was in place and it was collection day. Upon arrival, the car was super clean, parked in their showroom.  Kudos to the previous owner for keeping it in a fantastic condition beforehand, so it was a good base to start on.  But the car was detailed and cleaned properly, evident through the use of different cloths for inside, outside, windows, bodywork etc.  And there was no big red F'ing bow on the bonnet. Thank you for that! lol

Overall, it was a very pleasant experience, and I would happily recommend Donovan and Prestige Auto to anyone else looking to empty a healthy bank account, or if you want to stress out your bank manager a bit. Their selection of cars is quite drool-worthy at any point in time.

Thanks again bud.

Now, the only thing missing is an invite to come drive a Porsche GT-something one day.....  *nudge nudge wink wink*
2011 E90 M3 M-DCT, Akrapovic Exhaust, more to come... Build thread here
2011 F25 X3 35i M-Sport, JB Stage 1, ex-Downpipe Build thread here
2007 E87 130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust Build thread here
2007 Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build thread here
The following 5 users Like gavsadler's post:
  • ///M Individual, AshG108, danieltau, michael.joseph, TurboLlew
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#2
Thanks bud. Appreciate the kind words Praise
Ex: 2016 BMW M4 M-DCT
Ex: 2015 BMW F21 M135i Sport Auto
Ex: 2013 BMW F20 M135i Sport Auto
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#3
Eventually a feel good story!
Brilliant work from all parties involved in the final transaction.
It is amazing how many salespeople think they are doing us a favour by being in their presence, when in actual fact, we are doing them a favour by following up on a car we want to buy from them. It quickly turns into an inconvenience when we request that they do their job. Anyway, that's my rant!
Nice write-up on PROPER service!
Current: 1990 320i Low Miler Project
EX:
e30 320i 2.9l stroker Astral Silver
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e34 M5 Calypso Red
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#4
Great to hear stories of good service!

I have unfortunately experienced the first 3 experiences you describe more times than I care to count.
[Image: w0YM6SYl.png]
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#5
Donovan...Donnie Darko...only hear good things about him....if there is something bad then something is wrong with the poster!

I am not surprised at your experience but definitely glad you had it! Makes purchasing so much more happier than it should be ha ha
Current:
2013 EB BMW M135i F20 - DP, K&N Filter, Xcede Stage 2 - 264wkw/635wnm
2016 Ice White Hyundai ix35 R2.0 CRDi Elite -
2008 Silverbird Grey VW Polo 1.4i Trendline

Gone but never forgotten:
2011 Mercedes-Benz C250 CDi BE Avantgarde - Madness Tuned
2010 Titanium Silver BMW 320d Exclusive E90 LCi - Chiplogic Tuned
2008 Stratosgrau Stratos Grey BMW 320i Individual E90
The following 1 user Likes AshG108's post:
  • Donnie Darko
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#6
Nice write up Bluebiggrin Ive also had so many bad experiences with car sellers, private or dealers. People get annoyed with you and think you're a time waster when you want to spend 30min to properly check out a car... Its one of the most expensive things you own and you have every right to make an informed decision and not be rushed into making a purchase. Its my money and if I cant be pedantic with it, I'll walk away
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