Buying a 2015 Toyota Prius 3
I’m bringing you a very special Teal Thursday today. Yesterday I bought a 2015 Toyota Prius 3 in Sea Glass Pearl. I needed to buy a vehicle to replace my 2004 Pontiac Aztek, which has been on its last legs for probably a year. You may remember that we bought Ray a 2015 Toyota Prius C in Sparkling Sea Metallic in April this year. After driving the Prius C, I fell in love with the Prius lineup. I wanted to share with you how I made buying my new Prius a stress free experience.
When trying to decide what car to buy to replace my SUV, I initially thought I would want the Prius V, which is much larger than the Prius. Ray went with me to test drive cars. After test driving both, I realized the original Prius would be enough space for me. Then the hard part began!
Dave and I emailed 7 different dealerships in the Tampa Bay area, each with a specific set of information listing the vehicle we wanted to trade in, the exact car from their website that we were interested in, and the price we were looking for ‘out the door.’ Out of the dealerships we contacted, only one got back to us the same day with the information we wanted. 3 other dealerships responded within 2 days. The rest of the dealerships didn’t respond the same day. They didn’t read our initial emails and kept asking us questions we’d already answered in that initial email, which disgusted me. A few of the quotes we got were ridiculously high. The places where I test drove vehicles gave us ridiculously high quotes, too. So we finally went with Clearwater Toyota, which is the only place that got back to us the same day. Their quote wasn’t the lowest, but it was definitely reasonable and more in line with what we thought was a fair price.
Clearwater Toyota made the entire process of buying the Prius 3 painless, especially when compared to the experience that we had at the previous dealership. We were able to get in, test drive the specific car that we wanted the ‘out the door’ price on, get an estimate on the trade in vehicle, get the credit financing, everything that needed to be done in about 3 hours. We already knew going in what my (very high) credit score would be, what sort of financing we could bring to the table on our own (so we didn’t have to rely on Toyota’s unless we wanted to), and that I qualified for 0% financing. Dave actually used the financing as a leverage point. We were able to get the car we wanted for the price we wanted with the trade in. It was stress free! I’ve never had a stress free experience buying a car before!
Car dealerships (in general) tend to try and make the car buying process as difficult as possible. They try to obfuscate the numbers, confuse the information, and make it hard to truly comparison shop. If you’re going to do this, you have to compare a car with the exact trim level. You have to be willing to accept that the dealership you end up working with may not have the car in the color you like (my 2nd and 3rd choices for colors were Winter Grey Metallic and Black; Sparkling Sea Metallic and Sea Glass Pearl are the two teals in the Prius family), and most importantly, you have to be willing to walk away during the negotiation process if they’re not willing to meet you on the price you want. Because Ray and I absolutely suck at negotiation, we had Dave negotiate.
I picked out a 3 (trim levels come in 2 to 5) in Sea Glass Pearl with Misty Gray interior (light grey, bleh, would have preferred dark grey, but like I mentioned above, you gotta be flexible if you’re going to negotiate). It’s a hatchback, which gives ample storage for my needs. It comes with a backup camera, Sirius XM, EnTune (which is really neat except it relies on Bing search technology, yuck), hands-free phone, Bluetooth streaming (which Ray loves), etc.
Our household has clearly been assimilated into the Prius cult. All it took was driving one for a while to fall in love. The amazing MPG certainly helps. If your family is techie like ours, you’ll love what the Prius has to offer.
Have you ever had a stress free car buying experience?