Fitting the Bill ... A speedy service and a real buzz
We were surprised when we parked up at Bill Cullen's and saw the amount of people milling around.
We parked our prospective trade-in in one of the 18 customer parking spaces. More than three-quarters of them were occupied.
From the outside, Cullen's garage is impressive. Some wit might comment that it's the Taj Mahal of Airside.
Before we went on our walkabout, we saw disabled parking and a specific bay with a charger unit for the Renault Fluence ZE. We reckoned 54 used cars were parked and neatly displayed.
As we approached the showroom entrance, we saw empty planters being used for cigarette butts. We suggest fixing a purpose-designed unit to one side and dispensing with these planters or putting them to their proper usage.
Within, we passed a cardboard cutout of the man himself. There was a real buzz about the place.
The receptionist was busy all through our visit. The theme within was Euro 2012 and one car had signage that said 'Free if we win Euro 2012'.
We headed for the Grand Megane, an estate version, and one of eight cars displayed inside.
We were no time looking around when Michael Moore introduced himself.
We told him of our interest. His eyes lit up when we said we had a 10-registered Qashqai to trade. We have come to realise salespeople love the Nissan crossover.
We were shown the Megane; equipment levels on the GT Line were explained in detail.
He asked to see our car and examined it. Back in the showroom, he invited us to have a cup of something in the coffee dock as he worked out a price.
In the customer waiting area we found a well-equipped, comfortable spot with vending machines, TV, couches, drinks counters, etc. We decided a cappuccino would go down well. A cup costs 50c. As we inserted the euro for two cuppas, we thought of 'Penny Apples' for some reason.
The coffee was really good and cheap, considering everything.
Before Michael came back we had time to check the three well-maintained rest rooms, which included a disabled unit. We were impressed to find a selection of (five) child seats on display, accessories, alloys, and even a polish and demo car bonnet to highlight its worth.
As we drooled over the 1999 yellow Renault Spider, Michael invited us to his open-plan desk. He made it clear he liked our car. He never once made an issue of our car having a lot more than average mileage or the fact it had a country number plate.
Michael put two deals on the table. A brand new car with a colour of our choice would cost €9,885. Allowing us €16,500 on the Qashqai, he built in the price of a dog rail and boot liner, which we requested.
He then went on to offer a metallic silver, similar kitted, GT line pre-reg model with no mileage for €7,300. Now we were at €19,085 for our car against a new car wearing a Dublin plate.
He brought us out to see the car, which was similarly equipped with sat nav and all the gear.
We came away impressed because, although the deal sounded like a no-brainer, he explained that a brand new, unregistered model came with a five-year warranty. The pre-reg came with three years.
He put the icing on the cake when he told us we could purchase the extra two years' warranty for €445. He advised us to take out the extra warranty considering the mileage we cover. If we purchased, we would have 12 months to think about extending it. After taking our details we were handed a brochure, business card, and we shook hands, leaving for time to think.