This last Saturday Veronica and I broke down and went car shopping. We stopped off at a local Toyota and Honda dealerships. We were originally thinking about getting a new Toyota Corolla to replace Veronica's old Camry. While we were at Toyota and looking through the lot at the Corollas, Veronica saw a nice Rav4 and mentioned that vehicle as a possiblity. Veronica test drove the Corolla LE and we both looked inside the Rav4. We then went to a local Honda dealership and checked out the Civic and Honda Fit. I really liked the Honda Fit but the price was as much as a Rav4 and there were no rebates or lower financing rates. We then went home and thought about what we should do. Veronicas car, a 1998 Camry, has about 216,000 miles on it. The body is old and rusty and the interior is a complete dirty mess. Everything is discolored on the inside...from years of cigarette smoking...which we have quite. We knew that we would eventually have to get a replacement for the Camry but did not know if the time was right. We sure have enjoyed the couple of years that we have had absolutely no car payments at all. We will now longingly call those times, "the good ole days"...why?....because on Sunday we went back to the Toyota dealership and ended up purchasing a 2008 Rav4. The Corolla was only a little less than the 2008 Rav4 but you get so much more vehicle on the Rav4 and it met our needs better than the Corolla would have. They did have the new 2009 Rav4s and there wasn't much difference between the 2008s and the 2009s as far as the price between the two year models. The main difference was a $1,000 rebate and 2.9% financing for the 2008 models and nothing for the 2009 models. Then came time for the boxing gloves to be put on....there is almost nothing worse than wheeling and dealing with car salesman. Because we are AAA members, we could get the vehicle for a maximum of $500 over the dealers invoice. Our salesman brought us the invoice and some figures. After seeing the figures that he had, I told him that tI knew there was more wiggle room in the numbers and that what I expected at this time, was for him to go to his boss and come up with the lowest possible price that they would sell the car for. I won't tolerate playing the game of going back and forth with the boss and the numbers just to get to a place where everyone is happy. Time and life is too short for that game. I told the salesman to bring the absolute lowest price or we would take our business elsewhere. The salesman asked us what kind of comitment we would give him. We told him that if the numbers were right, we would buy the car today. We also told him what the amount of down payment that we would give him would be. The salesman came back and we ended up getting the vehicle for $100.00 over invoice. I realize that there might have been some type of incentive that the car manufacturer gives the dealership for a vehicle...I think they call it a holdback but I am not sure. I was not sure if they had one on this vehicle but at $100.00 over what the dealer paid for the vehicle, I knew that they had to make something on the vehicle and we were satisfied with the outcome. Even with the abbreviated cat and mouse games that were played, it still took us 5 hours to get everything completed. Tomorrow we go and pickup our new vehicle, which is the good news. The bad news is that we now have monthly car payments for several years to come. I haven't made a payment yet but I can tell you right now....I already miss "the good ole days".
Posted by Rick Rosenshein at 12:31 PM