Any honda well maintained and not driven abusively should be able to
put 200K on the clock without any major repairs. If you must have a
new ride - sell the old one yourself and wait till the end of the model
year - August is the best month if you are not looking for an unusual
model combo to get the best deal.
To me a dealership is a high crime zone - always make a show of hanging
on to my wallet when walking through those places - those who must get
a new car to satisfy some sort of need is something I will never fall
for. In the past 10 years there have been precious few real advances
in autos - there are so many other neat things to do with your money
then feed some nasty stealer/dealer.
All good suggestions, but the guy asked for tips for BUYING, not
AVOIDING -- so be sure to be fore-armed with information, and shop
around for a few quotes.
Sell your old car yourself. OR, get the best possible deal on the new
model, and THEN introduce the possibility of a trade-in. That's the
only way to get an honest price on the trade-in alone.
Do NOT shop without some paperwork with figures. Know the invoice &
msrp on every possible model you're looking for. $500 over invoice is
acceptable, and there will be a doc fee -- typically around 70 bucks.
That much is normal. Anything beyond that is your call, but I'd call it
excessive. I don't begrudge a dealer a profit, but too much is too much.
Beware of added 'extras' the dealer throws on, like pinstripes for $220
or splash guards for $250.
You recieved a lot of good advice here but always remember every deal is
different. Like if you are buying a hot car in beginning of year, like the
2004 TL when it first came out, expect less flex on sticker. I have seen
cars such as the S2000 and the original Miati that actually sound thousands
over sticker in thier initial year. That is, of course the exception rather
than the rule.
I trade every two years and have two cars in family so basically I buy a new
car every year. Yes my neighbors think I am nuts. Works for me though.
First I always use same dealer and they are always a big dealer who has
lot's of cars on their inventory. Volume dealers have to move them. I own my
cars so after the initial car purchase everything is cost judged by what I
wrote a check for.
This years deal. traded Acura 04 TL non Nav 22k for Accord 06 EX 6cyl w/Nav.
Bottom line was my car and $3500 ( all costs included ). Hence it cost me
$145 a month to drive the TL, can't get a lease deal on a Civic for that
hardly. Buying the first one outright is the hard part but after that you
always drive a new car. You never put a dime into maintainence except oil
change ( TL needed tires would have been 900 ) new car comes with new Tires
:) I get top dollar on trade both because car is high value and excellent
condition and is also still under warranty so any work the new buyer may
want done is usually handled under warranty. Being from NY the tax dollar
savings is nothing to sneeze at. 24k on trade = $1836 real money saved.
So honestly, if one can buy that initial car cash and then trade every two
or so years I don't know what could be better. Always driving a new car
works for me better than driving an older depreciating car that may or may
not need major work only the way.
So pick out a dealer with lot's of cars.
Research and decide what you believe is a good deal. ($500 over invoice is a
good point to look at but remember a hot car it won't happen, a overstocked
or not hot car you can do better )
Always deal on a car already on lot or one already on truck and scheduled to
arrive in 48 hours or so. Nothing better for a dealer who is paying for
everycar on lot than selling inventory. Yes they can locate a car for you,
or order a car for you but the better deal is always what is sitting right
in front of them that has to be moved.
If you are financing know what is out there and what real deal is. Shop your
local bank rates, incentive rates and remember that many rates are pure bull
for many. In example went to a dealer offering ZERO Percent financing. Of
course you knows, he says, that I can only give you ZERO financing on first
10,000 and naturally I can't discount the car at all if you have ZERO
financing. My answer short and sweet. You are a deceptive and probably
crooked dealership. That's what you tell me when you have huge ZERO
financing ads and immediately go to back away from same. Even legit deals
usually apply only to TOP score borrowers. Makes sense after all that no
lender is going to loan at best rate to someone with a horrid credit rating.
So Honda was offering 4.9% but, and much to their credit most ads mentioned
it albeit in small print, only to those with credit scores of something like
740 and above.
Finally and most important go in to salesman and make it clear, you are not
price shopping, you are not testing waters, you are there to have a deal
inked on the table in the next 15 minutes. YOU are there to buy a car. I
walk in and make it cleare that I expect to own a new car in the 15 minutes.
I make it clear I know what going rate is and that I want better ( usually
taken in add on's with big numbers but dealer cost relatively inexpensive ).
In recent case with 06 Accord I said your sticker is 29,850, I want it for
27,400 and I want electronic day/night mirror and fog lights on it. My trade
is 24K and I have the title in hand and can make the deal and take delivery
right now. Advised him that he had two cars listed in his inventory that met
my equipment need but were wrong color. I told him the color I preferred
but that I was not totally locked to it although the two inventory vehicles
were totally not acceptable for any deal price. This allowed for him to go
check and see if he could produce the preferred color easily, he could not.
He said he could do a deal for the color I wanted but it would be $500
higher ( having already researched I know that Nav's were not flowing into
dealers locally, out of 89 Accords only 3 in his inventory were Nav and one
of those was an 05, another dealer had none and a third had 1 scheduled for
delivery right color also whihc I knew ). So I believed that he would want
that extra $500 to close on that color. BUT he says, I have a charcoal with
a light interior coming in next day or so. I can do the deal on that. Have
exact color without Nav sitting right here. So I checked it out decided I
could live with it and the deal was done.
Did the business manager sit down, never buy or add anything that would
raise the price.
The very last thing, be happy with the deal you made! There will always be
someone that tells you that you could have done better, you have waited, you
should have gone to their sales guy, whatever. Know what you are willing to
spend, understand that a couple of months down the road there may be a
better deal, better incentive, but you are buying now so be happy with your
own where and when.
In my case could there have been a better deal made, who can ever really
know. I went in expecting to pay more simply because of the limited
availablilty locally of the vehicle I wanted with Nav and was surprised to
do as well as I did. I traded down, TL to Accord, in most eyes and which
always helps on the numbers but I am happier with Accord than I was with TL.
I truly like the Accord better! And other than losing blue tooth phone which
I found over-rated, memory seats, and tilt down mirrors I lost no extras and
gained Nav extra all at a considerable savings.
George in NY
the SOLE reason to trade up every 5 years or so, at least so far, would
be safety. Advances in safety are very meaningful. A car that was
ultra-safe 5 years ago could easily be bested today by a safer model.
Other than that....I've come to the conclusion that I want a car with
power locks and windows and mirrors, and cold A/C, and a good stereo,
and leather seats, and an automatic transmission, and.....that's it.
Period. All the other crap? Dual zone climate control, navigation,
fifteen way seats, etc, etc, are things destined to break.
So take the money and time and effort that went into the bells and
whistles, and put it into making the car WORK WELL and BE RELIABLE.
I want a car that WORKS. Every time. Without my even thinking about it.
Pay attention to consumer goods. Take treadmills, for example. The
sub-$1000 treadmills are chock full of blinking lights and buttons and
programming that no one will ever use--but, like peacock feathers, those
are the things that attract people.
Under the hood, though, are wimpy motors and treads.
Now go find a treadmill that has no bells and whistles, has nothing but
a speed control and an incline control. I bet it's $3000 or so. Why?
Because that treadmill's incline motor is twice as beefy, powerful, and
reliable as the $800 units's tread motor. And the expensive one's tread
motor is godawful heavy and designed to be used and designed to last.
Many years ago, Sony released to the Japanese market an integrated
amplifier with no tone controls whatsoever. It was very expensive; Sony
claimed that it was so good, there was no need for tone controls (kids,
this was prior to "equalizers") and in fact they didn't want users of
this equipment messing with anything like tone controls.
Their US consumer stuff, on the other hand, is nothing BUT bells and
whistles--with nothing under the hood to speak of.
But hey, those bells and whistles attract people who are willing to part
with their money, so...
best suggestion I can say is know your numbers, know your credit (if you
plan to finance) and know what others are paying (check local newsgroups
such as this one to see prices paid) also trading in USUALLY isn't the best
way to go (although if you do trade in bring it up after you get the price
of the car where you want it. most dealers will take kbb's price at "fair"
condition (doesn't matter fi you car is in mint condition, they usually
won't pay above fair)
also, trading in can have tax advantages in some states (in RI where I
live, if I buy a 30,000 dollar car, and my trade in is 10,000, I'm only
taxed on the remaining 20,000, not the full 30,000). see if your state has a
similiar policy, and if so, crunch the numbers and see if it makes sense. if
not, best bet is to sell it yourself. (my maxima I got "offers" of 9,000 and
10,000 from dealers, I sold it myself for 13,500 in about a week or so
simply putting it up on autotrader.com which was around 50 dollars)
as far as negociating goes, I just contacted 2 dealers on teh net, and got
prices, then went to one talked them down and left. Called the other and
talked him down and then went to the first dealer, told them the price I had
gotten and they beat it. was pretty pain free (about as pain free buying a
new car can be anyway). just make sure you get quotes in OTD (out the door)
prices. one dealer could easily be a few hundred below the other, but then
make it up in dealer fees and other fees. and get your quotes in writing!.
good luck to ya, hope some of this helped
don't take the word of the special "internet only" sales people at the
brick and mortar dealership that they are giving you a good price.
Everytime I have tried this, they have given me a worse price than just
the casual price quote I got in person in two minutes. (I always start
my shoping by just picking up a brochure in the dealership, people there
almost insist that you let them give you a price even though they know
you just want to go over some catalogs).
Know your numbers, know exactly what options you want, figure out
exactly what you want to pay then say the magic words, "you can sell
this car right now for $$$$$" In fact don't even go to the dealership.
I staple the guy's card to the brochure right in front of them and
unless he/she has been very rude I always call them back and make an
offer. If they try to tell you your price is unreasonable, politely
thank them and say good bye. If they try to engage you longer tell them
that $$$ price is going to be offered to the other Honda shop (say the
name). Remember you have all the time in the world.
Now, in the above, you need to buy without a tradand the price does have
to be realistic. I would think 2% over invoice or $500 whichever is
greater would be in the ballpark as someone said. Find the invoce a t
As far as a trade in, it's a pain to deal with. But if you must, just
ask for the price both ways outright and with a trade. It wont be any
better but at least yo will then know iexactly what they are valuing
your car at. By the way, the best deal in the world can be the worst
if they nail you on the finance charges. If financing go get pre
approved at your credit bureau, their rates are usually cheaper and the
teaser rates at the dealer can usually be substitued for a cash
allowance although we are talking Hondas and i don't recall seeing any
subsidized interest rates in the papers.
Working the trade in, the only thing you can do is take the car to
several dealerships and ask for a price on exactly the same deal, IE the
same new car with the same options. I have never gotton a good trade in
offer at the dealer yet.
And if you do sell your car privately, be realistic when you set the
price. You are not a dealer, you didn';t recondition it and you don';t
warranty it, so unless it is an amazing vehicle you should be asking
somewhere around trade in value.
One last tip, you must pay the freight charge, no one discounts it and
make sure iti s included in the price, ie, the quote should be for the
"full delivered price". Also, very important make sure any "document
fees" are included. in MA Herb Chambers loves to give you a price and
then later tack on a $200 document fee. In RI the document fee was
limited to $25. by law (I think they accidentally let it expire,
I HATE BUYING CARS.
best of luck. let us know how it works out.
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