Buying a car can be a frustrating process and one that caters almost exclusively to cis men. I have purchased several vehicles over the years and have dealt with many salespeople and car dealerships in the process. But, presenting as a small-ish, freckly, pale-eyed blond female, I have been dismissed and underestimated over and over. So I was delightfully surprised then when my partner and I walked into Duncan Dodge recently.
When we first arrived at the dealership, we were a little apprehensive because we are so accustomed to receiving judgement in some form. We are both non-binary and definitely present as a queer couple. Our fears were immediately put at ease, however, when we were welcomed without a hitch.
We interacted with the team at Duncan Dodge over the next week as we each traded in our vehicles. I fell in love with a Bikini Pearl 4-door Jeep Wrangler (the Wrangler makes the cut for the "top 10 most Lesbian and gay cars," so apparently, I'm on point). My partner, Devin, test drove a few vehicles before choosing what has to be one of the sexiest muscle cars out there, a Dodge Challenger with the iconic shaker hood. Hello, date night.
Everyone at Duncan Dodge was welcoming, inclusive and actually fun to work with. Kim Beson, sales manager, and David Williams, sales rep, were both exceptional. They offered service and knowledge that went above and beyond the typical car sales experience. In addition, Jenn Deis in financing made that part of the purchase a breeze.
Between the two vehicles, Devin and I spent days at the dealership. At one point, we got a little lost in our decision-making process. However, Kim Beson patiently offered her expertise, advice, and humour. And she hit it out of the freaking park with the car she came up with for Devin.
When I asked Beson about working with LGBT+ clients, she said all of the staff at Duncan Dodge treat everyone equally, "We hire people who fit within our culture and who we are. We are inclusive of everyone, no matter what."
Beson has a creative take on car buying. "Buying a car is very much like speed dating. You go to one dealership and meet some salesperson, and you're not really a fan, and you don't want to pursue the conversation about the car. And then you go to the next place and the next. And then, finally, you find one that you mesh well with. That's welcoming. That's what we try to do. We cut down on the speed dating."
Beson isn't just spinning a good sales strategy. She has direct experience with the LGBT+ community, both with friends and right at home with family. Her 13-year-old teenager, Jocelyn, is non-binary. She said, "I have my own personal experience. It's something that I notice, and I completely understand."
I asked Devin about their experience buying the Challenger. They said, "I felt respected, I felt welcome, I felt like they honoured our relationship and who we are. From sales to management to financing, everyone went above and beyond."
Kim Beson was a treat. She and her team get my vote for a happy, inclusive car buying experience. If you are in the market for a vehicle, they are worth the first stop in your speed dating journey. The dealership offers Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram vehicles and has an excellent used car inventory.
Ask for Kim Beson and David Williams, and make sure to say you saw the article in TheHub.lgbt. You can also mention that Rowan sent you. Devin and I have a very gay driveway now, with both the Wrangler and the Challenger parked side by side.
Duncan Dodge is at Duncandodge.ca, 461 Trans-Canada Hwy, a short drive from Victoria.
Rowan Brunet (she/they), who identifies as genderqueer, is a writer based on Vancouver Island. Rowan writes a blog called All Kinds of Mischief.