Now that I knew I was going to buy a 1998 Toyota Corolla, my dad and I started watching newspaper ads.
At the time I had credit, but no income. My dad and I pre-qualified at my credit union. If you are not a member of a Credit Union, find one here. I am actually a member of two different ones now.
All those Corollas on sale in the Newspapers were going for $13,999. So that was the goal.
Newspapers ads by law have to print the VIN. If they tell you “We sold that already” you can ask to see the bill of sale.
My father and I didn't care. Even if the dealer told us it was not there... we walked the car lots and matched the VINs.
My dad and my mother did this for her car the year before, for a 1997 Toyota Previa (they own it still btw). Nothing like having an ad for a car in hand and being told it was “sold”, then finding it and asking why they lied.
I was ready for this process when buying my car.
The weekend paper actually had TWO for $12,999! $1000 cheaper then I planed on. I didn't care what color, I wanted one of those.
We went to the Dealer and surprise! No games?!! He said they had both in stock?!!
Dealer: What color would you want?
Dealer: OooooOOOookay. Let’s see. Sorry. No lavender. Any other color?
Me: Fine. Whatever one is on top of the list.
(My husband is very grateful that this happened btw.)
We did the paper work. You know that takes hours, from the credit checks, approvals, dot matrix printing things up etc. Toyota Financial would beat the Credit Union offer. Great! We will go with that.
We had a problem.
The black car on top was not one of the $12,999 cars. We did all this paperwork and NOT for the right car. And in the two hours BOTH were bought.
I stared at him. I could tell that he was not playing at a game. I knew his daughter from school and in my heart he was really hoping to help me buy my first car.
He figured out that the difference was the black car DID NOT have floor mats included. It was different and that was enough to make it not qualify for the $12,999.
I pulled out my folder with my last 5 weeks of Newspaper clippings. Showed him the $13,999 was the price that I wanted to buy this car at. It was a regular occurring sale. And I was willing to wait until it happened.
He got $13,999 approved. And I bought my first car.
Now you would think it would end there.
I asked for the floor mats to be included.