Happy Veterans Day from all of us at Pettijohn Auto Center

PettijohnAuto News

All of us at Pettijohn Auto Center would like to thank our service men and women for their sacrifice and dedication to serve our great country.

You make it possible for us to come to work every day and live in a country where we’re free to make our own decisions and choose our own path in life.  Freedom doesn’t come free and we’re beyond blessed to have men and women like you fighting for us day in and day out.

To show our gratitude for your service we’re offering 10% off any single repair order in our service department up to a maximum discount of $50 off your next repair now through the end of November, 2016. 

If you’re not a Veteran or active duty military you can still take advantage of our service specials going on right now at Pettijohn Auto Center in Bethany.  Visit our service specials page for more details.

Thank you again to all who served and continue to serve!  Happy Veterans Day!

The Pattonsburg Car Show is this Sunday, October 2nd!

PettijohnAuto Pattonsburg Missouri News and Events

Pattonsburg Car Show Poster The 41st Annual Pattonsburg Car Show is this Sunday, October 2nd in Pattonsburg, MO.

And do you see that car on the poster?  That’s last years overall winner, our very own, Brad Bowman’s 1969 Cadillac Coupe!

Registration is from 9-11am for participants and there will be food, vendors, and music for the whole family to enjoy.

We hope to see you there on Sunday!

Pettijohn Auto Center has been a sponsor of the Pattonsburg Car Show since 2005 and is a proud supporter of local events, schools, organizations, and causes throughout northwest Missouri and beyond.

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Ford Fairlane Returns to Bethany After 56 Years

Carsley Crabtree Uncategorized

On Saturday, June 18th, a 1960 Ford Fairlane started a journey that would span roughly 2,000 miles — trekking across 7 states, starting in San Rafael, CA and ending in Moline, IL.
Quite a hike for a car this old, especially when considering that the driver and navigator started the incredible trip in Arizona.

Tom and Suzanne Jones of Sun City West, AZ took their 1960 Fairlane right up to San Rafael without issue, and started their journey towards what would become an unforgettable experience not only for them, but Pettijohn Auto Center as well.

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The Jones’ completed the 2016 Great Race in just 8 days, and the Fairlane hummed along without any issue. The “three-on-the-tree” beauty provided them with a comfortable ride the entire way. It’s only when they were headed back to Arizona from Illinois that they decided an oil change was in order.

Tom and Suzanne took possession of the car after her father, John S. Chaney passed away. He had received it from his father, Israel Chaney (from Gilman City, MO), who purchased the 1960 Ford brand new from Bethany, MO. To pay homage to the car’s original home, the Jones’ were thoughtful enough to have the oil changed here at Pettijohn Auto Center before heading back to Arizona and complete what was undoubtedly one of the most incredible road trips of their lives.

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The Jones’ were very nice, offering to let several employees drive the beautiful car. Tom drove it up on the hoist, and Clay Rinehart, one of our mechanics, had Tom show him a few things to check while being under there. The underside of the car was in great shape, a testament to Suzanne’s desire to keep such family lineage keep from rusting out in some pasture. She told us several stories about Israel Chaney, the grandpa she simply refers to as “Grampy”.

We cannot thank the Jones’ enough for their thoughtfulness of including not only Pettijohn Auto, but for also paying homage to Bethany, where the car was originally purchased. We wish them well on their journey back to Arizona with their fresh oil change, and hope to see them and “Grampy’s” 1960 Ford again someday!

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serving hot dogs and water to the baseball and softball players and families

Local Harrison County Softball and Baseball Teams Get Recognized and Team Pictures Taken as Pettijohn Auto Center Employees Cook and Serve 400 Hot Dogs

PettijohnAuto Local Events

Thanks to all the kids and families who came out to the South Harrison High School today for photos and recognition of all our teams and players.  We had a blast cooking and serving over four hundred hot dogs to the big crowd.

Also, a big thanks to the local businesses who donated the food and to Jeremy VanMeter and everyone who helped organize the event.  It’s a fun to get the whole community together and we’re honored to have been a part of it for the past few years.

Here’s a few photos from today…
serving hotdogs at south harrison high school Ladies and gentleman the 2016 Pettijohn hot-dog/water serving team! harrison county baseball and softball players and coaches

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Introducing the 2016 Ford F-150 MVP Edition Inspired by the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals

PettijohnAuto Kansas City

In 1985 the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. Led by George Brett at the plate and Bret Saberhagan on the mound the Royals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games to bring the crown to Kansas City.

Just months later Ford decided to celebrate the franchises’ first World Championship by introducing the 1986 Ford Ranger MVP Edition. It was built in Kansas City and sold by Kansas City Area Ford Dealers.  Bret Saberhagan even promoted the truck in this tv commercial that ran in 1986.

Fast forward 30 years and your Kansas City Royals are World Champs once again.

This time they beat the New York Met’s after an unforgettable run that started with an incredible run in 2014 that came up just short of winning it all.

This time it took only 5 games to bring the crown to Kansas City once again. The Royals’ late game heroics and never-say-die attitude gave our hometown team an edge that the Met’s just couldn’t match.

This time Ford has decided to go even bigger…

We’re proud to announce the 2016 Ford F-150 MVP Edition.

Only 300 of these trucks were built at the Claycomo plant in KC and we have one right here at Pettijohn Auto Center in Bethany.

Ours is a Ford F-150 XLT with beautiful Blue Flame in honor of the Royals’ team colors.

To reserve your test drive, pick up the phone and give us a call at 660-425-2244.

2016 Ford F-150 MVP Edition

The 2016 Ford F-150 MVP Edition was inspired by your 2015 World Championship Kansas City Royals.

Ford F150 MVP Edition Kansas City Royals

Ford worked with 1985 World Series MVP Bret Saberhagan to promote the 1986 Ford Ranger MVP, now him and 2015 World Series MVP have come together to promote this MVP Edition of the 2016 F-150.

There’s only 300 of these trucks, and many of the Kansas City dealers are beginning to sell out.  If you want to drive home a piece of history, give us a call at 660-425-2244 to reserve your test drive.

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The 2016 Bethany Area Chamber of Commerce Easter Egg Hunt is Here!

PettijohnAuto Local Events

The Bethany Area Chamber of Commerce is holding the annual easter egg hunt Saturday, March 26 at 10:00 am in the Bethany Memorial Park.

Children ages 2-10 are encouraged to participate in their various age groups.  Everyone is welcome to come to the park and enjoy the events, so bring the little ones and the whole family out to the park!

Many local businesses have contributed cash and prizes to the Easter Egg Hunt.

If you find an egg with “Pettijohn Auto Center” inside, come visit the dealership and you’ll get one of these “dollar-bill bunnies.”

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2016 Bethany Easter Egg Hunt Prizes

pettijohn auto night at graceland university

Pettijohn Auto Center Night at Graceland University

PettijohnAuto Local Events

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Graceland University basketball games last night.

Would have liked to get 2 wins for the Yellowjackets, but we had a great time serving food and getting to talk with all of you.

For those of you who couldn’t make it out, the final score of the Women’s game was Graceland 59, Avila 72 and the Men fell by just 3 points, Graceland 70, Avila 73.

Also, a big thank you to Graceland University for letting us be a part of a special night for all the Seniors.

 

graceland university mens and womens basketball - pettijohn auto night pettijohn auto center night at Graceland University

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3 Dirty Tricks of the Car Business (And How To Avoid Them)

PettijohnAuto Pettijohn Auto Center

Do you know these tricks?

The following is a field guide to prepare you for what you’ll experience in most car dealerships.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, there’s a game being played around you.

Unfortunately, if you want to get a fair deal and drive away with the car you really want, you need to be ready for the tricks that are waiting for you at many car dealerships.

This is not a comprehensive list, but a highlight reel of the car-buying horror stories and big reasons why our customers prefer the way we do business over places they’ve bought in the past.

These tips alone could save you a lot of money, time, and stress that most people experience when shopping for cars.

Trick #1: The “Doc-Fee” And Other Made Up Charges

If you’ve ever bought a vehicle somewhere besides Pettijohn Auto, you’ve probably seen added fees on your paperwork. They come in all shapes and sizes and by different names, but they all exist to “sneak” in a few extra hundred dollars onto every deal.

Some dealers call it a Documentation Fee, but due to legal limitations (dealers can only charge up to $199.99 for a “doc fee” in the state of Missouri) they’ve started calling the fee by other names. Administration fee, restocking fee, service fee, sales consultant fee, and the dozens of others. And while some dealers won’t charge you any “fees” per say, they’ll penalize you to the tune of $1,200 or more if you choose not to finance or if you don’t have a trade in.

dealer doc fees real-life examples

*image used for illustration purposes only – Pettijohn Auto Center does not charge admin or documentation fees or force customers to forfeit any discounts

How To Avoid It:

This is a tough trick to avoid because 99% of dealers have some sort of hidden fee or penalty baked into their sales process. And while some will have disclaimers on their website listing out the dollar amount of the fees, but most dealers won’t mention any fees until you’ve decided to buy and you’re signing the papers…

Trick #2: The Super-Low Monthly Payment

How many times have you been listening to the radio or watching tv and watched an ad peddling a new vehicle for just $99 a month?

$99/mo lease offer - read the fine print

*This is NOT an offer from Pettijohn Auto Center – image used for illustration purposes only

At first glance this sounds like an awesome deal. For just $99 a month you can be behind the wheel of a brand new car. But here’s the catch. First, these offers are almost always for leasing the vehicle, not buying it outright. Second, to bring your monthly payment to that figure you’ll likely have to pay up to $5,000 cash up front plus the additional fees and charges for the lease. The problem is, the only way you’ll hear about these catches is if you relentlessly read the fine print, if it’s even posted, on the website (which in the example above, it is.) Just remember this, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

How To Avoid It:

Do your research and read the fine print. 90% of the time you’ll find fine print on a tv ad or website that explains the details of the deal. However, sometimes you’ll never know for sure until you’re signing the papers.

The best way to avoid this confusion is to find a salesperson you trust and ask them to explain the deal. Ask them how much is due up front and what the terms of the deal are. If they can’t give you a straight-forward answer, then you’ll know there’s more to the story and you’re probably going pay more than it appears at first glance.

 

Trick #3: Mark ‘em Up To Mark ‘em Down

I cringe every time I see a tv ad or hear a commercial on the radio promising $10 THOUSAND OFF EVERYTHING ON THE LOT. Here’s why…

Many dealers will do everything they can to make the “discount” look huge. The “before” price is almost always thousands above market price or what any customer would even think about paying for it. On new vehicles they’ll look at the window sticker and use the “top” price on the sticker before all the “discounts” taken off to arrive at Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Oftentimes these markdowns are for options not included on the current model.

The Second, and biggest reason you need to beware of giant discounts is this; if you read the fine print, the $10 THOUSAND off can assume a trade allowance of $5,000 or more. They actually include the estimated value of a trade in the discount posted. If you don’t have a trade in, the $10 grand discount all of a sudden becomes a $5 grand discount.

Next, they’ll include every possible rebate under the sun (even if most people don’t have a chance to qualify for them) and stack them all together.  For example, some dealers include military, supplier, and employee discounts that most customers won’t qualify for but it helps them show a bigger discount on the final price.

How to avoid it:

Read the fine print and do some back-of-the-napkin math.

Let’s say the tv commercial promises a $10,000 discount. First we need to figure out what “original price” they’re using before applying the discount. A quick Google search reveals the MSRP of almost any vehicle.

If you go to pettijohnauto.com and you’ll see the MSRP listed on the top line.

If the price they’re starting out with is above MSRP, then you know they’re artificially marking up the price of the vehicle just to show a bigger discount.

Now, take that MSRP minus Manufacturer Incentives.  This will give you a baseline price to work with.

Finally, we’re going to find out what the true price you’ll pay (before any hidden fees that may show up when you go to sign the papers).  Take that number and add to that price any rebates included in the fine print that you might not qualify for (military discounts, supplier pricing, employee discounts, etc.).

Go back and compare what you’re at to the original price they’re offering.  If it’s more then you know they’re artificially marking it up to show a bigger discount or stacking rebates that many people just won’t qualify for.  If it’s still less, then it’s either a good deal or there’s more to the story and you might not find out about the added fees or forfeited discounts until you’re in the dealership signing papers…

As you can see there’s a lot of work involved when you’re trying to figure the true price of a car!  We decided it’s easier to just post the real prices on our website that you’ll actually end up paying for the vehicle.  It’s easier for us to be up front about it and it’s better for you because you actually end up paying the price you think you’ll pay.

 

How To Get The Most Out Of This Guide And Avoid These Tricks Altogether

Print this guide and keep it handy for the next time you’re thinking about buying a vehicle. If you want to avoid the needless costs, stress, and time that come from being unprepared for these selling tricks, then you’ll want to know these 3 tricks by heart.

If you have any questions about the 3 tricks above, leave your question at pettijohnauto.com/contact or call 660-425-2244 and we’ll be glad to help you avoid these dirty tricks and help you find the vehicle you want at a fair price.

Car Window Sticker

Insider Secret: Dealerships Pay The Same Price For New Vehicles

Carsley Crabtree Car Dealer Secrets

Have you ever wondered why a company like Walmart can price it’s items so low?

They may sell the same exact item as the store down the street but at a price that’s far lower.

Oftentimes, it’s because of their vast size that Walmart is able to get bigger discounts on the products it resells to customers.

It might surprise you, however, that the automotive industry doesn’t work the same way.

Many consumers think that the large, city automotive dealers can offer bigger discounts than the hometown dealership because of their size. They’d be justified in believing that, too. Considering the Walmart vs. hometown grocery store scenario, it makes sense.

Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for large auto dealerships to advertise huge discounts (more on this in a bit), making it appear as though they get the same vehicle for less than the smaller dealership would.

The truth is that a dealership that sells 75 cars per month in a town of 3,500 people pays the same price for a vehicle from the manufacturer as a dealership that sells 750 cars per month in a city of 35,000 people. Manufacturers do this to ensure that the industry stays competitive, but in a fair manner.

It also ensures that consumers get transparency during their car-buying journey. Sadly, old and outdated sales tactics by dishonest dealerships have tainted this fairness for the consumer.

The truth is that a dealership that sells 75 cars per month in a town of 3,500 people pays the same price for a vehicle from the manufacturer as a dealership that sells 750 cars per month in a city of 35,000 people.

So, how do bigger dealerships show bigger discounts? The answer is in the question itself: “show”. Dishonest dealers might “show” one thing in an advertisement, but the actual price could vary significantly once you actually purchase.

Just like one Ford dealership in a small town will pay the same amount for a new Taurus as another dealer in a large city, the rebates are fixed as well. In fact, rebates aren’t based off of the dealer you purchase from, they’re calculated by where you live.

Given that dealers pay the same amount for a vehicle, and given that your rebates won’t be any different no matter where you purchase, why do some dealers advertise cheaper than others?

Here’s the sad-but-true answer to that question: too many dealership play games. While no car buyer should have to suffer through getting games played on them, the sad truth is that it does happen.

The fine print bites consumers every time. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. For example, many dealers will run advertisements that show thousands below MSRP. It sounds good on paper, but what they may not tell you is that the price is dependent upon a minimum trade allowance of $5,000 dollars.

That means if you don’t have a trade-in, or if they don’t deem your trade as being worth $5k, you won’t actually get the advertised price.

Kind of sneaky, don’t you think?

Another tactic is to use rebates that you won’t actually qualify for. It’s true that there’s a rebate for almost anything you can imagine. If you belong to a certain organization, you might get an extra $500 rebate. If you own a certain vehicle, you might get a bonus rebate.

Remember, however, that rebates are the same for you no matter which dealer you buy from. Unfortunately, many dealerships price their vehicles in a way that reflects every rebate possible. Hardly anyone qualifies for the full amount.

They’re lucky if they qualify for half of the rebates!

Every day however, consumers blindly walk into dealerships, unfairly believing that they’re getting a great deal. Once they’re fired-up about the vehicle they’re buying, and just as they’re getting ready to sign on the dotted line and drive their new vehicle away, the dishonest dealership blindsides them with the actual price to purchase.

It’s a terrible feeling to feel like you’ve been tricked. Many times, however, the dealership has built so much anticipation around the vehicle that the customer purchases it, anyway!

The worst part?

They might have just paid more than they would have with the honest dealership.

Not only did they pay more than they were told they would, but they were also hit with fees in the business office while signing papers.

So, how do you spot an honest dealership? Believe it or not, they do exist. First of all, you should NEVER pay fees to buy a vehicle. You’re already paying for the vehicle, why would you pay a dealership to be their customer?

Be careful, as dishonest dealers will disguise these fees as “administration fees”, “DOC fees”, “title fees”, and much more.

Dealerships like Pettijohn Auto don’t charge fees, and are quick to tell their customers that.

What does this all mean for you?

Since most other dealerships charge their customers anywhere from $99-$599 for these so-called fees, it means that you’re instantly saving that much by going with a non-fee dealer such as Pettijohn Auto.

Honest dealers also advertise without a lot of small print, and their prices won’t seem “too good to be true”.

AVOID DEALER FEES
Some dealers charge up to $599 just to do paperwork for your vehicle purchase. Pettijohn Auto does not.

It’s a total shame that people all across the country are paying more than they should for a vehicle, when they’re told that they’ll actually pay less!

At Pettijohn Auto, we believe in transparency.

Being in a small town since 1924, we know that our honesty is key to our continued success.

That’s why we charge zero fees.

That’s why we advertise prices we can actually give to our customers.

Next time you’re looking for a new car or truck keep in mind that every dealer pays the same for new vehicles from the manufacturers next time you shop, and the rebates you qualify for will often be the exact same regardless of where you actually buy from.

Stop paying fees just to be a customer and when you’re ready to start shopping, we’d be glad to help you find the right vehicle for you.