Friday, May 11, 2007

Speeding Car Salesmen

Have you ever gotten sick and tired of being tailgated by the driver of a car with no front license plate, only to see that it’s a new car salesman when he speeds past? Well, this has happened twice this week.

Aside from being generally ticked off to see dealer tags on new cars being used for commuting and coffee runs and running the kids to school (because the dealer pays about $5-7 for the dealer tag, instead of thousands of dollars of sales or use tax to own the car and put a real license plate on it), I happen to believe that drivers ought to obey traffic laws. I know, I know; I’m the only person in Illinois who still believes this.

What can you do about it?

Next time you get irritated at the illegal, reckless or rude driving of a car with dealer tags, just call the dealer! For new cars, dealers will often have their advertising where the front license plate is supposed to go, and the dealer tag is easily identifiable by its tan color and the abbreviation DLR. Be sure to note the number and letter(s).

Where do you get the dealer’s name? Quite often you’ll catch up with the speeder at the next red light. Just read it right off the license plate frame around the license plate. You’ll see the dealer’s name, city and phone number.

Ideally, the owner or general manager of a dealership will be receptive to a call from you about illegal driving of one of his vehicles. The adverse publicity is bad, and the risk of increased insurance rates is ever present, when that salesman wrecks a new car out of a dealer’s inventory.

This week’s culprits?

Tuesday: A grey BMW (DLR 064G) from Patrick BMW that tailgated me “hard” on eastbound Route 62 in Hoffman Estates before passing me.

Thursday: A black Acura MDX (DLR 4700AV) from Mullen Woodfield Acura speeding about 52MPH in a 35MPH zone on Higgins approaching Golf Road. The male driver was yacking away on his cell phone. Where was he headed? Dunkin’ Donuts! How do I know this? I followed him in, so that I could read the license plate frame with the dealer name!

Almost all dealerships now have websites, on which you can send an email about incidents like these, if you don’t want to phone. It’s faster, smoother, and you avoid a long wait on “Hold” while the operator tries to find the General Manager, Sales Manager or Owner. It also provides them with the details in writing. Hopefully, the manager will wave it under the nose of the salesman and tell him to slow down.

And who knows? You might get a real apology and feel so good about the reception of your complaint that you decide to go there for a test drive and buy a car from them. Be sure to buy a Lottery ticket while your luck is holding!

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