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A few days ago one of the readers of this blog asked a question about car dealers in Sweden. He wanted to know whether they are as pushy and obnoxious as their American counterparts.
That’s a very good question, but I am not sure whether I am the right person to answer it. Why? I’m not a fan of car dealerships and I dislike them just on principle, be it in the US, Sweden or Brazil. It’s all the same to me.
My experience with car salesmen in Sweden is very limited. Though I tried to purchase a car from a dealer on four occasions, I always ended up buying from a private person. Why? The dealers seemed totally uninterested in selling me anything at all.
On all occasions, the experience was the same. Anna entered the dealership and tried to locate someone who would answer her questions. Anna had a list of questions ready already and knew exactly what kind of car she wanted. But nobody looked even vaguely interested in selling her a car. Any car.
I’m not sure why it was like that. Maybe I didn’t look like a serious buyer. Maybe the dealers thought it wouldn’t be worth their time and energy. Dunno.
The one time (the fifth occasion) when a car salesman actually talked to me, he tried to sell me a lemon. What sounded great over the phone turned out to be a total wreck in person. But the guy didn’t figure on me bringing along a friend who inspects cars for a living.
Every time I bought a car, I found it through the word of mouth. Of course, those were all used cars, because I didn’t really see a point of spending the money on a new one, if an older model would do the job just as well.
Buying a car in Sweden is a really straightforward process. There’s no need to change the tags, you (or the previous owner) just have to send in a change of ownership form and that’s pretty much it. After a few days you‘ll get a document in the mail confirming that you are the vehicle’s new legal owner. But don’t forget to insure the car! Every vehicle with a valid registration sticker MUST be insured. Otherwise you may end up paying hefty fines.