Sold my Civic in the morning and brought home a new Corolla by evening
During the whole process, I interacted with the dealership for a max 1.5 hours.
BHPian Theyota recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Back in the down south United States, about 4-5 months into my first job after graduate school, one morning, I was with a senior colleague who liked to call me “bubba” on the shop floor of my employer. Something got me to tell him that I had to leave work a little early because I had to go and get myself a new car in the evening. My student time 1991 Honda Civic had broken down and it was not worth fixing it.
He told me he knows a couple of dealers in the small town we were in, through his firefighting volunteer work and he can hook me up with a nice car. With him being a quintessential “bubba”, his issue was that the only cars that fit me are pickups. I told him that, after 4 months out of college into a job, I have only so much money in my bank account and I don’t like bank loans for depreciating assets.
As most typical desis at that time in the US, I told him I want a Toyota Corolla because that was the best Toyota I could afford without a loan at that time. In hindsight, I wished I had bought a Tacoma. I missed out on so much fun. He poked fun at me and called a contact of his in the Toyota dealership in the town. Told the guy on the other end that a brother from another mother is in need of a Corolla and they got to hook me up with a good one and passed the phone on to me. They told me to come over and have a look. I told them I know the exact variant of Corolla I want and just hook me up with one of them. They told me to come over at least for a few minutes so that I can also make a comparison between a Corolla and a Corolla Matrix. They also told me I would still have to go there at least for paperwork. So went in during lunchtime, I liked the Corolla Matrix, but they didn’t have the variant I wanted on their lot. They told me, I may have to wait for a couple of weeks if they need to get a new one from Toyota or they can check the inventory of other dealers in that region and if they find one, they can get it in less than 24 hours for an extra $150.
They found one and gave me a total on-road price which was fair compared to what I had seen on edmunds.com valuation and I did not negotiate a single dollar on it. Finished the paperwork. Then asked them if they would buy my old 91 Honda Civic. I told them what the problem was with the car and they just started the car for barely a minute and offered $600. I asked them for $800 and they were like, “done” without any haggling. So I got $800 for a car I had bought for $1900 and had driven about 50,000 miles. All this was done by 1 pm.
They kept my old car and gave me one of their cars to go back to work until they could get my new car. At around 5:30 pm, they called me and said they have my new car ready with the plates and they could bring it to my work. So around 6:30 PM, they handed over my new car to me, took back their car and the transaction was done.
Between the phone call in the morning at around 10:30 am to having a brand new car in hand at around 6:30 pm and selling my old car in that period, I might have interacted with the dealership for a maximum of 1.5 hours. Never ever have I felt cheated in that transaction. This was was in early 2005. I drove that car for 115k miles with only basic oil and tire changes plus a one-time serpentine belt change at around 80k miles.
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