They have two choices: Get you a quote and see you walk out the door, or try to get you to enter negotiations.
This leaves the customer with two choices: Very common, and very time consuming for customers.
It's why I'm not surprised to see a study showing that many women find buying a car intimidating and sexist because showrooms are "misogynistic" and "stuck in the dark ages".
The Good Housekeeping survey found 66 per cent of 2,600 women thought dealers should be more female-friendly.
But I, as a motoring journalist, knew within five minutes it must be a 1.2 litre.
When we got back and sat down with him - after a load of waffle and factually incorrect rubbish from him about the model in question - he told my mother, a senior career woman of many decades, with huge earning power and a team working for her: “I expect you’ll need to go back and discuss it with the husband”. The saddest part was, however, that she returned to buy from the dealership after she’d calmed down. Because, as they well know, she’s a captive audience, with no knowledge of cars, worries about servicing, and little time to go hunting for deals.
When the customers rush in from all around town, they are promptly “switch sold” to another car.She had just retired and got rid of her company car, so wasn’t used to the car-purchasing experience. As a nervous customer, she went to her local dealership, one of the brand’s biggest, in Kent.For the first half hour, on the forecourt, looking hopefully at cars, she was ignored by salesmen, who pounced on a couple in their 30s who turned up in an old Audi A4.All the salesman has to do is to point out why the car is undesirable, and then get the customer to pay more for a better car.This practice has become even more common with the growth in internet advertising, and it seems this electronic media has emboldened unscrupulous dealers to take this a couple of steps further.Rockar, in Bluewater just off the M25, has been up and running since November last year. An impressive 37,250 people have visited the shop to date, of which the average age is 37, and 60 per cent are female.