Jump to content
Create New...
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Afterthoughts: Don't Ask Me For Car Buying Advice

      Trying to figure out a better way of giving advice

    Whenever someone finds out that I'm an automotive writer, sooner or later I will get asked "I'm looking for 'x' vehicle and I was wondering if you could help me out," or some other variation. These are the times where I wish I could make a smoke cloud appear, allowing me to make an escape. But alas, that is only a dream.

     

    This is a common thing that a number of us - automotive writers - tend to get whether it is from family, friends, or some random stranger. We want to try and help, but most of the time the suggestions seem to go nowhere. It comes down to various reasons such as none of the ideas are appealing or the person going in a completely different direction (wanted a sedan, now interested in a crossover).

     

    But I also believe that we as a group need to take some of the blame as we sometimes try to push someone into a vehicle they are not interested or vice versa. I learned this at an early age when I was trying to push my parents away from leasing a Ford Freestyle due to the poor reviews it got in the automotive press. They ended up with one and I ate my fair amount of crow as I grew to like the Freestyle.

     

    Other times, it seems that the suggestions we give out are a bit ridiculous. For example, recommending someone getting a high-performance wagon when all they want is a crossover. I can't help but wonder if some of the suggestions I have heard are due to someone trying to live vicariously through another person.

     

    Aside from wishing I could throw on an invisibility cloak whenever this question is asked, I have been trying figure out what could be the best way to help someone while giving myself some plausible deniability. It hit me recently when I was at friend’s birthday gathering. I was chatting with my friend’s dad and he asked me about what car should he recommend to a co-worker. She was looking at a BMW X3 and wanted to know if this was a good choice. Plus, was there any other vehicles she should consider?

     

    To get my mind in the right place, I found myself asking a lot of questions.

    • Did she have kids?
    • What are her big considerations?
    • Are there types of vehicles or brands she doesn’t want to deal with?
    • How much does she want to spend?


    So on and so forth. It was a version of twenty questions where there is no correct answer and somehow less fun. Once I had gotten enough information to get my mind working, I began to recommend a few vehicles that are worth a closer look such as the Audi Q5, Lincoln MKC, and Subaru Outback. I also said the new X3 is quite good and would possibly consider going with a certified pre-owned model for a slightly lower price and warranty.

     


    After having this conversation, it hit me: I had figured out a possible fool proof way of offering car advice. It comes down to me taking on the role of a guide where I ask a person what they are and are not interested in, and build out a group of vehicles that I can show someone that possibly fits what they are looking.

     

    I don't know what the co-worker ended up choosing and I hope to find out in the near future.

     

    So if you want to ask me what car you want to buy, be prepared to answer a lot of questions and not be given a definitive answer. You might be annoyed by this, but the end result is hopefully you finding a car that works. Plus, we might be on speaking terms after this.


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    So ya want to help me pick out a compact SUV? Joking.....lol....

     

    Yep, tends to be true when you are the car guy-people want you to tell them what is "best"...and quite often they have no idea what they even want! I've been able to help some, but with others you can only shake your head....

     

    Hear you on the crow part, kind eating a little myself! Wasn't thrilled about my parents getting a Town & Country. Figured it would be nothing but problems. So far, in four years it's been pretty flawless-and the few issues it did have FCA told care of it right away. Impressed so far....

     

    I think even us can be a bit confused on what we want as well. When you know all the info about all of the cars, but make a different choice anyways. Here I am thinking the Nox' would be an easy choice-but with my son heavy into scouts and camping now- the Jeep Patriot has reentered the radar as a purchase. Believe it or not, because of the space I can put stuff.....amazing the things you consider as a parent! That, and the buyout is quite cheap (can dump it on the wife for something else)

     

    Still tough either way.....

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    So true, the best thing us auto people can do is to flip the questions back at the asker. After all, what we think is best, what we like and what works for us is very different for others and unless the asker knows what they want and can objectively come to the asking questions of based on reviews and reliability, what are my options for this class, this type of auto, it is a mess to give any advice.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Had a few cars that I recommended need more than one service for issues while under warranty so I stop short of recommending anymore.

     

    I also suggest they "check into" certain vehicles they might like, short of a recommendation, and make sure I sound uncertain about the reliability, telling them to make sure they do the research on that.




     

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If you don't want people seeking your advice on what car to buy, then why did you choose to become an automotive writer? These people likely ask for your advice or opinion because they think you are an expert on the topic. Unfortunately, most auto writers are not. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If you don't want people seeking your advice on what car to buy, then why did you choose to become an automotive writer? These people likely ask for your advice or opinion because they think you are an expert on the topic. Unfortunately, most auto writers are not. 

     

    I'll direct you this comment

     

    Most people asking for car buying advice don't actually want advice... they just want you to justify the decision they already made so they can say "Well a car guy told me this was the best choice"

    It isn't I don't like giving advice, but it seems most people have their made up. Basically, I try to guide the process along with said vehicle along with a few other choices.

    I'm willing to help out someone, but I can't be sure if it's because they need justification or actual help.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If you don't want people seeking your advice on what car to buy, then why did you choose to become an automotive writer? These people likely ask for your advice or opinion because they think you are an expert on the topic. Unfortunately, most auto writers are not. 

     

    Because reviewing cars is different than giving advice as to which car a certain person should buy..... and as I also pointed out above, often those people already made a decision on what they are buying or have bought, and just hoping you'll justify their choice. 

     

    My favorite question I get </s> is "What's the best car to buy?"..... that's it... no qualifying criteria, no budget, nothing.   I like to answer "The Bugatti Veyron, it'll run you a million dollars".... to which they answer "Oh, I have an Accord LX... is that a good car?".... to which I reply... "Sure, but it's not a Veyron".

     

    If you don't want people seeking your advice on what car to buy, then why did you choose to become an automotive writer? These people likely ask for your advice or opinion because they think you are an expert on the topic. Unfortunately, most auto writers are not. 

     

    I'll direct you this comment

     

    Most people asking for car buying advice don't actually want advice... they just want you to justify the decision they already made so they can say "Well a car guy told me this was the best choice"

    It isn't I don't like giving advice, but it seems most people have their made up. Basically, I try to guide the process along with said vehicle along with a few other choices.

    I'm willing to help out someone, but I can't be sure if it's because they need justification or actual help.

     

     

    I do the same thing.... I find out what they are most interested in and then also suggest viable alternatives they might not have thought about. 

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    All I see when people ask car questions–whether it's car buying or car modding–is that they have tons of preconceived bias that they want you to confirm, and will actively defend their ignorance when you disagree.

     

    A google search gives these people just enough information to be dangerous.

    • Agree 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If you don't want people seeking your advice on what car to buy, then why did you choose to become an automotive writer? These people likely ask for your advice or opinion because they think you are an expert on the topic. Unfortunately, most auto writers are not.

    So the only reason why one should write about cars is so people can seek their advice and if they're not going to give said advice, then they shouldn't even bother writing? That's certainly news to me and makes zero sense.

    Why don't you join C&G guest car shopper? Great discussions to be had here!

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    On 5/9/2016 at 2:16 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

    Try being a car salesman.

    That must be an insane job...dealing with the moronic public on a daily basis...

    On 5/9/2016 at 3:11 PM, cp-the-nerd said:

    All I see when people ask car questions–whether it's car buying or car modding–is that they have tons of preconceived bias that they want you to confirm, and will actively defend their ignorance when you disagree.

     

    A google search gives these people just enough information to be dangerous.

    People are so unwilling to consider alternate ideas it is almost frightening....not just cars...everything from politics to restaurant choices also...

    On 5/9/2016 at 2:41 PM, William Maley said:

     

    I'll direct you this comment

     

    It isn't I don't like giving advice, but it seems most people have their made up. Basically, I try to guide the process along with said vehicle along with a few other choices.

    I'm willing to help out someone, but I can't be sure if it's because they need justification or actual help.

    Given that our highways are filled with the most boring bland sedans and crossovers imaginable and every one of them is painted black, silver or ....black or silver....and I think they need creativity and willingness to take some risks in life more than they need advice.

    It is a good thing people are more willing to take sexual risks than automotive ones....because if everyone lacked sexual imagination like the buying public lacks automotive imagination, our species would die out from lack of procreation.

    • Agree 2
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    19 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    That must be an insane job...dealing with the moronic public on a daily basis...

    People are so unwilling to consider alternate ideas it is almost frightening....not just cars...everything from politics to restaurant choices also...

    Given that our highways are filled with the most boring bland sedans and crossovers imaginable and every one of them is painted black, silver or ....black or silver....and I think they need creativity and willingness to take some risks in life more than they need advice.

    It is a good thing people are more willing to take sexual risks than automotive ones....because if everyone lacked sexual imagination like the buying public lacks automotive imagination, our species would die out from lack of procreation.

     

    I actually wish our kind WOULD stop taking those sexual risks. We'd all be a lot better off.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • google-news-icon.png



  • Community Hive Community Hive

    Community Hive allows you to follow your favorite communities all in one place.

    Follow on Community Hive
  • google-news-icon.png

  • Subscribe to Cheers & Gears

    Cheers and Gears Logo

    Since 2001 we've brought you real content and honest opinions, not AI-generated stuff with no feeling or opinions influenced by the manufacturers.

    Please consider subscribing. Subscriptions can be as little as $1.75 a month, and a paid subscription drops most ads.*
     

    You can view subscription options here.

    *a very limited number of ads contain special coupon deals for our members and will show

  • Similar Content

  • Posts

    • The did not give a reason.  The color could simply be an indicator of the charging speed.
    • @Drew Dowdell Did they say why the Silver Collar would not work with the adapter at charging Ford EVs?   Do they not have all the pins that support the slower charging in the NACS adapter?
    • Yes Hummer did have issues and the Lyriq shipped and then held to address software issues. Those are the only two that seem to still be working with their current software as they are the only EVs that support Android Auto and Apple Carplay as GM used the default Qualcomm software with minimal customization. Course the stupid thing is that they are planning to with the updates for the trucks and Chevrolet SUVs move all EVs to their custom software with no Android Auto or Apple Carplay. Hopefully when they realize they made the mistake everyone thinks they did, they will enable it as it is software switched off/on.  Yup we are in total agreement on GM messing up the Hybrid thing. Ford initially back in 2020 when Qualcomm started to announce OEMs that were going to use their Qualcomm Snapdragon system with Android OS that they would go with a customize experience protecting the end user's data from the cell phone companies. Then in 2023 they started to say they would keep it for ICE and not for EVs at the start of the year and by the end of the year the Ford CEO stated that all ICE and EVs would support Android Auto and Apple Carplay as the customers have stated it is an important part of their auto experience. Much like how Wendy's said at the start of the week in their investors meeting that they would roll out Surge pricing for peak hours of buying their food the internet had an uproar with millions sending via social media their unhappiness with Wendy's about surge pricing. Wendy's has now announced that the customer has spoken, and they will NOT be implementing surge pricing. Ford listened to their upset customers, GM has not realized that their customers are not happy about the lack of Android Auto / Apple CarPlay and I think this will bite them big time.
    • That’s a side effect, but no. It’s harder to do both engine and vehicle platform at the same time than it is to have them alternate in cadence.    but that’s kinda true of all major projects with large separate components.
    • I actually assumed it was more about extracting more money out of a vehicle/platform. Brand new vehicles will spike sales, even with an old engine. Then in a year or two they add a new engine to spike sales again. Rinse and repeat. 
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • My Clubs

×
×
  • Create New...

Hey there, we noticed you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.

Drew
Editor-in-Chief

Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search