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Nov. 11th, 2007 @ 02:37 pm Car shopping 2007, part 2
So, we ordered a car.

We had decided we'd get the Prius, but we wanted the Touring Edition Prius, which is a little nicer and handles better. (Yes, it costs more too, but considering we plan on keeping the car for at least 10 years the amount of money was minimal, and still within our overall budget.) Friday night I look at the Costco auto-buying program and fill out my information. I get contact info for Route 22 Toyota. They will call within 24 hours.

The Touring Edition is also rare, did I mention that? And it doesn't have all the color choices. But I had been running around online and found that according to the online inventory at Hudson Toyota they had 5 of them, including some in colors we'd like (the wife doesn't want white or black cars because you basically have to clean them constantly for them to look good.) So we make the trip to Jersey City (which is only about 25 minutes or so).

On the way we got to see one of the drawbridges lift on truck 1-9, so at least the kid got to see that.

We get there and our salesguy gets us. We go in to what really feels like a cross between an auto showroom and a boiler room, with dozens of empty desks around the room. Lots of activity and lots of deals going down. We make it clear we know what we want and we want to drive it, and we'd be buying today if they have what we need.

So I go back with the salesguy to the lot and we look for Priuses. I quickly realize the 5 Touring Priuses weren't there, instead 4 of them were regular Priuses and they had one touring in white. We decide we should test drive anyway. He goes back for the keys (!) and I call the wife who's with the kid back at the showroom. I explain the situation, and she's flustered too, but hey, lets test drive anyway. I also took the opportunity to take pictures of the car so if we did buy it I'd have things like the sticker and other identifying things. (The sticker BTW had another added sticker with "Remote Start" for $699 and "Xylon Paint Protector" for $595, jacking up the price another $1300. This car was the only Prius that had it.)

So we drive. The car is good--the touring suspension and tires make for a slightly rougher but more responsive drive.

We go back for negotiating. Basically, I told them I don't care about the added sticker and they agreed to lay off. We probably wouldn't get the car, but I figured I could see what kind of deal could be made. I asked for $1000 over invoice (you don't get a Prius at invoice, at least that's what everyone says). I get yelled at and laughed at, and we get up to leave. Salesguy calms us down and says he'll go talk. Comes back with $500 off MSRP (about $800 more than my offer). Go to leave again. Calls us back, says he'll talk to the manager.

Manager comes out, for some reason starts from scratch with us, as if he didn't know anything. Basically, all the standard car dealer bullshit. So I'm really not interested in dealing with this and go off on the fact that we came to this dealership because it said they had tourings in inventory in the colors we wanted, and clearly that was not true. Manager guy tells me that "the website isn't accurate" -- why do you have it then? -- and that he's going to "check his inventory" but right now "his computer is down" and they need to "reboot the router". Meanwhile, the wife is playing gender roles and saying how she doesn't know if she wants to drive a white car. I say we were just out on the lot and clearly you don't have any more touring edition cars. He gets testy and says "That's what I'm going to check for you".

Then I did something which the wife says was a bit harsh, but I thought it was merely competitive. I say, "So, do you guys lose a lot of cars out there on the lot?"

That definitely got him to stop playing around, and he said, "okay, tell you what, we may have some coming in in other colors. If they do salesguy will call you." And that was that. We left.

On the way home, Rt. 22 Toyota called back, saying the Costco guy would get back to us soon. We go home for lunch, and he calls then. For some reason he didn't know we were a Costco referral (or maybe you just have to say the magic word first.) Gives us the $500 under MSRP deal on the phone (because that is the Costco deal) and says he has a white one in stock, but can get other colors quickly. Very nice and much less annoying.

So, long story short, we went in and signed an order with Costco guy. Either we'll get a car this week (silver, like our other one--it's the easiest color other than black or white to get) or after Thanksgiving, but most likely by the end of the month.

Anyone want to buy a 12 year old Honda?
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Date:November 11th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
How many miles on the Honda? I don't want it, I am just wondering. My car is nearing 120,000. I know it's always cheaper to fix your car indefinitely than buy a new one, but I wonder at what point the repairs become frequent enough to get something else. It's only 5 years old, though.
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Date:November 12th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
It only has 108,000 miles! What a bargain!

To be honest, this is not a financially sound decision. There's a few things wrong with my car but its biggest problem is that it's twelve years old. I could spend a grand or two and get it in tip-top shape. Even with the wife commuting in the Prius instead of the Subaru, the best we could say is that the fuel savings offsets the interest of a car loan.
(Deleted comment)
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Date:November 12th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
It is. It is the Jersey stereotype in full force.

Unfortunately, the sales tax break does not apply to cars. If it did, we'd certainly have stuck it out. And so would everyone else in the state.

But, hey, I've seen those gritty sort of industrial areas in many states.
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Date:November 12th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
It does apply to Ikea, for which I'm grateful.