Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scored the minivan!!!

We scored a wonderful minivan - straight out of our dreams and prayer, and into reality. We had been praying for months that the Lord would give us one. We had looked all over. Salespeople said that we couldn't get one for that price. In fact, the probability to score a 7 seater minivan at that price was difficult.

What did we want? Ideally 8 seats... ideally with vehicle stability control and 3 row side curtain airbags. In the price range that we wanted, this was literally impossible. First, 8 seats already put us at an impossible ratio. For every 20 minivans, the salesperson said, there is ONE 8 seater sold. In the 2005 vintage, the other features were next to impossible to get in an entry-level minivan.

...and literally, as I was about to give up, the Lord made me look one last time at An 8 seater sienna LE (yes, one level up from base model) came up. Traction control, stability control, etc? Well.... I called Toyota and got the spec sheet. Sure enough, scored both... and a JBL sound system with DVD entertainment, power sliding door, etc.... we ended up getting this for less than retail.

God is good.

Lessons learned:
1. If you are Christian, commit that to the Lord and he provides on his own time. God does answer prayer.
2. Do your homework and you won't be taken for a ride. Please see below.

How to not get taken for a ride:
1. Know how to look at a used car - look that up on the internet (what to look for - how to pop the hood, look under things, look at certain areas)
2. use for used car prices (they give wholesale and retail pricing, so you know when you are getting genuinely ripped off). Sienna CEs were being sold at $4500 over retail at the dealership, with etching/lein fees, etc. Knowing the value also allows you to JUMP on something that is good. In this case, I knew the value and jumped all over it.
3. don't buy at a dealership (they were charging us fees - and double taxing us on tires that already had been purchased by someone else)...
4. walk away if they won't let you inspect it (we've had several of these)
5. be willing to drive a little further to buy something
6. phone a dealer to get them to search the VIN for you for TSBs and recalls... and to know the packages/options on the vehicle. My seller didn't know the value of the vehicle (he was a dealer but was oblivious) and priced the vehicle lower than it should have been. I asked a few questions and determined that he had not done his homework...
7. Get the collision history of the vehicle. We got ours from
8. A phone call is worth more than an e-mail. We jumped the queue because of this and were first in line to view the vehicle.
9. Get everything in writing, including any promises, on the bill of sale.

Frugalista tips?
1. See above.
2. Have CASH available. We didn't have to arrange financing, get banks to approve anything. It went straight from the bank account to a bank draft within minutes. Plus, we don't believe in debt.
3. Buying used allows someone else to take the depreciation hit.
4. Be satisfied with what you have. Our vehicle has a few dents here and there, but nothing major.

Enjoy your next vehicle purchase!

1 comment:

cars said...

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