The Changing Car Buying Process

I would never know this if I didn’t have a lease, and right now I wish I didn’t. My lease is due in six months which means I have gotten all sorts of emails from Toyota. The first was from the dealership dangling large numbers in front of me for them to purchase my car. With the residual on the lease I would get $13,000 towards the purchase of a new car or down payment on a new lease.

With that dangling in front of me I decided to see what they would really offer so I filled out their little form and got a text. The person texting me must have been the lowest ranking salesperson on staff as they were not good. Not good at all. I had to lead the entire discussion and it was just me asking what car they had available. There was never an offer made or any seeming concern about my wants and needs for a new car.

After all this I decided to go to the Toyota website to see what kind of car I could get and I built a car online. When it came time to select a dealership I selected the one closer to my house rather than the one I bought my car from as I felt they were picking me around a bit.

I immediately received a call. That was nice. Soon I had an appointment set up to get my car appraised and to see what they could do for me. The appointment was on the shorter side and at the end of it I felt I had gotten what I wanted. They had to get my car from another dealership and they told me it wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately it was a problem.

The salesman called later that afternoon to tell me that the other dealership wasn’t going to relinquish the car to them and that he would put in an order to the factory and call me in a couple days. Today was a couple days and I haven’t heard anything. I tried calling the salesman and got voicemail and still haven’t heard back.

These are strange times in the car industry. Dealerships can’t get cars. Cars like mine are holding their value like they never have before. If a dealership is willing to purchase my car for $34,000-38,000 that means they can sell it for somewhere in the mid-$40,000s. I don’t think the car was worth that much when we bought it.

Now is a great time to sell a car but a terrible time to purchase. If I don’t hear back from the salesman by mid-March I am going to have to figure out something else. My big wants are a lower monthly payment, not losing any of the features I have, and getting a car that’s better for the environment. I can get two of those three by purchasing my vehicle but my concern is they won’t let me. This is my first lease and I’m not sure I like it very much.

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