I've never purchased a vehicle before (with the exception of buying one from my dad); my husband had far more experience in this area than I did, but with all of the options, even he was overwhelmed. We had no intentions of stopping at Suntrup; I was dead-set on only visiting Toyota dealers. My husband took me into Suntrup on a whim; he didn't even get out of the truck (our baby was sleeping). I went in and spoke with Steve. I have to say, I had no intentions of even looking at this particular dealership, but Steve brought up a Rav4 that had every feature I could have asked for (and hadn't even mentioned to my husband). We did take it for a test drive, and we left shortly after, to visit another dealership.
After visiting yet another dealership, comparing prices and CarFaxes on other cars, and discussing various options and styles, Steve and Suntrup, and the little red Rav4, kept coming to mind. After much thought, prayer, and consideration, we went back to Suntrup and purchased the Rav4. Steve gave us great information; he answered all of our questions, and didn't get flustered when we began negotiating the price. The price ranges are not very negotiable, but based on our experiences at the other dealerships we shopped at, that's the norm for today's world of Internet Sales. :) We probably asked Steve 1,000 questions; he remained courteous, friendly, and gracious through it all, and we're thankful for that.
The only "ripple" we encountered was with the financing department; having never purchased a car before, I felt there were things that could have been presented a little differently. The presentation of Gap Insurance felt rushed and muddled at first; it seemed that numbers were being thrown out at us, without a clear understanding of what Gap Insurance was to begin with. The initial percentage rate that was given to us at the beginning of the discussion of Gap Insurance, Monthly Payments, and the length of the loan, was higher than we had ever considered (which is partially due to the fact that we bought a 2011, and I think partially due to faulty presentation). When I mentioned the financing percentage was too high, suddenly on the printer was a full percentage decrease (poof! It's magical!)! I think that should have been presented from the beginning; even if it wasn't shady, it felt that way. Again, that's with financing, and has NOTHING TO DO with Steve. And the financing guy was super-nice; you could definitely tell, though, that he had a background in sales, and that is the one part of the day that felt pressured. We worked it all out, and we are happy with our decision; it's just that small part of the conversation that raised an eyebrow.
Anyway, that being said, we looked at 20-30 Rav4s online, and over a dozen, in person. We test-drove at least 10 vehicles, and finally found the end of our search at Suntrup. My first car-buying experience was incredibly educational, and I don't believe it was the nightmare that a lot of my friends warned me it would be.
I think that's because Steve made sure that it wouldn't be; we really do appreciate the time he took on a busy Saturday, to make a "newbie" feel better about a first-car purchase. ") If you're looking for a new car, and you don't want to deal with old-school, high-pressure sales, head to Suntrup and ask for Steve. :)
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