We purchased a Toyota Prius V Three from Toyota Palo Alto last week. Not only did they have the best price, they also had the exact color we wanted. We dealt with Lisa, the Internet Sales Director (Toyota direct sales). She is very professional and accommodating. We’re so glad she helped us.
During my initial online search for our car, we had gotten internet quotes from multiple dealers. I checked almost every (ALL!) car buying website (edmunds, cars.com, carsdirect, truecar, etc) and requested quotes from local dealers through these sites. Within a few hours, I received multiple price quotes but when I contacted them, they did not have the color we wanted. The dealers who quoted me were only within 20 miles of our residence (I guess the car websites picks the closest ones to you). Also their price quotes were not as low as I expected. I knew the price wasn’t going to be too low right now since the Prius V is an “in demand” car but I was determined to get the lowest price or best deal I can. These dealers would constantly email or call me to see when I can come in for a test drive or when I plan to buy. I asked them specifically if they had the color we wanted. They said no but 1 or 2 of them said can get it from another dealer. I know swapping cars with another dealer was a hassle and not the way to go. I wanted a dealer who had the car we wanted in their lots. Other dealers tried to convince us to buy one they had but in a different color. We only wanted the Clear Sky Metallic color and no other ones. I knew these were the dealers that I did NOT want to deal with nor buy from.
Frustrated and looking for a better deal, I expanded my search to 30 miles or more (to San Jose) and requested for more quotes. Immediately, I got a great email quote from Lisa at Toyota Palo Alto. Wow! Her quote was over $1,000 less than the lowest quote I received. In fact, it was only a little above the dealers’ cost (NOT the factory invoice, which is higher and commonly published on the web. Find the dealers’ cost – what the dealers actually paid for the car) that I had previously researched on the internet (cars.com, edmunds, and truecar). So I knew it was a really good deal. But I had to make sure it was not the (lower) Two model but the Three and it was in the color we wanted. Also I verified that no other “hidden fees” were included in the quote. I emailed Lisa and she responded immediately. She ensured me the price was for the Three model in the color we wanted and the only other fees not included were tax, license, and doc fees. She even took a picture of the exterior and interior and emailed to me to show me the one they had in stock is the color we wanted. I also went to their website to check their inventory to make sure they had it (yes dealers’ websites lists their current inventory). They were only 1 of 2 dealers in the SF Bay Area (the other was in South San Jose) that carried the Clear Sky Metallic color with dark gray interior (as of that date anyway).
Since we knew this is the exact car we wanted, we put a deposit down to hold the car. She emailed me the car’s VIN # and specs. Yup that’s the car we want. We made an appointment to see Lisa the next day. When we met Lisa, she immediately showed us the car in the lot. It was all detailed, prepped, and with a tank full of gas.
We test drove the car and Lisa went over the features and answered all our questions. After that, we went back to her office to finalize everything with the finance department.
Raj took care of us from there with the paperwork and other options we can add. He (nor Lisa) did NOT pressure us to get the options. He presented and explained the risks, benefits and costs. Also we did NOT get the “revolving door” game with “let me check with the manager or VP” about this and that and they try to pressure you to add this option. Nope – none of that! We just dealt with Lisa in sales and Raj in finance. In the end, we were very satisfied with our buying experience and speed of the transaction. We were in and out of the dealer in about 2 hours – and that includes the test drive! This was definitely nice car buying experience for us. We highly recommend Toyota Palo Alto and their wonderful staff.