Last post on Jun 19, 2013 at 6:04 PM
You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
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Honda Accord, Coupe, Sedan
#28037 of 29871 Accord vs Optima vs Sonata
Jan 13, 2013 (3:42 pm)
It appears that one can get a Sonata GLS with PEP for $20k OTD (with HMF cash, owner and student/veteran rebates), Optima LX with CP for about $21-$21.5K (with KMF cash and student/veteran but without owner or competitive rebate) and Accord LX for $21.5k-$22.5k.
An Optima's safety rating is below Accord but higher than Sonata. The mileage is same as a Sonata but less than an Accord. Hence, one will be paying about $1k more than a Sonata for its slightly better safety ratings.
IMHO, it may be better to spend about $2k more on an Accord instead of about $1k on an Optima (same mileage as a Sonata) because an Accord has better mileage (min $2k gas cost saving for about 100k miles) and highest safety ratings among these 3 cars. Hence, the effective cost of an Accord could be about $20k, if one is planning to keep the vehicle for a long time (> 100k miles), provided there is no huge repair bill due to its shorter warranty. In addition, one's mind will be peaceful knowing that he/she has the vehicle that has the highest safety ratings in its class at the time of purchase, besides the higher reliability and reputation of a Honda vehicle.
Earlier, I was ready to purchase a Sonata. The vehicle was supposed to be at the dealer's lot before Christmas. But it did not come due to some issues. It will be coming only towards the end of Jan. I have the buyer's order but did not sign it yet. Thankfully, I came across IIHS 2013 tests around Jan first week. After seeing the IIHS 2013 small overlap tests, I just cannot digest the fact that Sonata's side-curtain airbags did not open. IIHS says about 25% of frontal crash is similar to this test.
An Accord's style and warranty is not as good as an Optima/Sonata but it's mileage and safety ratings are better. Right now, I decided to go for an Accord 2013. May be it was a blessing in disguise for not getting the Sonata in time.
If, I would have across the IIHS 2013 test before Dec 31, I would have shopped for a Honda before Dec 31 and obtained a decent deal on Dec 31. Right now, I am getting offers (Accord LX) for about $21,200 before TTL. I can get much cheaper price (around $20,600) in CA but its sales tax is very high and it negates the difference.
#28038 of 29871 Two weeks after paying $1100 below invoice (long!)
Jan 13, 2013 (4:47 pm)
Because this forum has been incredibly helpful, here is my report:
The target: 2013 Honda Accord EX-L V6 Black/Black with deck lid spoiler and cargo net. (First Edmunds thank you shout out to “fg_for_honda” who made me realize I couldn’t have installed the cargo net myself). My 1999 Accord is a V6, and it still purrs. I believe the extra price is worth it.
I like to number items, so:
1) Things I’m not good at: face-to-face negotiations and listening to a salesperson tell me something I know to be false (i.e. “my cost is …..” or “this deal is only good today”)
2) Things I am good at: data collection, organization, cheapskateness. I’m a little bit OCD about this. You should see my spreadsheet.
3) What I’m about to tell you took a long, long time. I was sure I knew what car I was buying almost a year ago (Kia Sorrento before the MPG debacle, Prius V, Sonata, and then in the nick of time, the new 2013 Accords were released).
4) The Edmunds forums saved me several thousand dollars back in 2007 when I bought a Camry Hybrid. Forum rules: You Must Read At Least The Last 50 Postings Before Asking Your Question. It’s almost always already been answered. Also, maybe don’t stop by the forums when you only have 30 minutes left to make a decision on a purchase. I’m just sayin.
5) I absolutely realize that if I keep a car for 8 years (or 14 like last time), any $100--$500 in savings won’t really amount to much. But I can’t help it. I also realize that every day these things are for sale, my price starts to look not as impressive. You never check prices _after_ buying a new TV, do you?
6) Research I did, besides Edmunds: I downloaded every free kindle book on car buying I could find. They mostly all say the same thing, which we all sort of know. One guy who stood out runs this website: http://www.fightingchance.com/ I did not pay for his service, nor his e-book (which was free for awhile), but his big, overarching thesis is that INVOICE PRICE HAS NO BASIS IN FACT. I tend to believe him. 15 years ago, before we all knew the exact invoice price, dealers had a much larger spread between Invoice and MSRP. Now that spread is a few thousand dollars at most. It’s still valuable as a comparison tool because the whole country has the same invoice price, but the next time a salesperson tells you that invoice price is “their cost”, you should laugh at them. We have no idea and won’t have any idea how much any particular vehicle costs. Which is fine. You just want the cheapest OTD price. You shouldn’t care how they got to that price (holdback, incentive, doc fees, year-end-quota). He also wonders why we care what an “average price paid” was through truecar.com when none of us want to be average.
7) I signed up at: Carwoo.com (okay to get an idea of names and price ranges of internet dealers), Edmunds/Truecar/USAA/AAA/Costco/cars.com. This was just to collect names and e-mails and to see what the general public was paying. Costco is a valuable service that charges about $500 over invoice at the time I was shopping. If I was short of time, or less OCD about data, I’d definitely do it that way. You walk in and sign. I also tried carhound.com, which is like an online car broker, but they came in several thousand dollars higher.
8) Everyone should read the following post before buying. This guy makes my record-keeping and data collection look like small potatoes. He tracked VINs for Pete’s sake. http://www.piloteers.org/forums/5-your-experience/31956-how-you-should-buy-your-- next-new-vehicle.html
9) Finally, http://www.realcartips.com/guide/newcars.shtml said kinda the same thing.
10) I test drove about six weeks before purchase target date. I told them that they were my first stop of five stops. Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Subaru. Of course, I already knew what I wanted, but they didn’t have to know that. I tried out a few things on the test drive, but didn’t really put the car through the paces. Don’t let them run your credit. Keep your drivers license in view if you can. As I was walking off the lot, a young (kinda sleazy) floor manager asked me to step inside to run some numbers. I politely declined. I didn’t step inside another dealership until well AFTER I had purchased my new car.
11) I aimed for the last few days of December. I must be honest here, though we all believe it, I’m not entirely convinced that my timing resulted in any savings at all. I bought on December 28th. A Friday. After purchase, my sales guy made no mention of my timing after I asked.
12) I sent out feelers for sales people through my social media universe. My klout.com score is 63, for those of you who know what that means. I have a pretty large online social circle. This led to three contacts at three different places. I added them to my spreadsheet.
13) Then I added every sales person who had responded to carwoo, costco, cars.com, edmunds, truecar, etc.
14) Then came the first difficulty. How do you find e-mail addresses for internet sales managers without calling them (I’m no fan of the telephone)? The honda website has links, but you have to change your zip code around to get a full list. I aimed for within 50 miles of my south bay area home. In some cases, the individual dealer websites had e-mail addresses. But most didn’t.
15) I wrote my e-mail asking for a specific model and options and assuring them that I’d buy within 48 hours. I told them I would only accept e-mailed quotes. I wanted to sound informed, but not know-it-all-ish. I mentioned invoice, dealer holdback, my credit score, their satisfaction survey, and gave them three ways to contact me.
16) I felt some loyalty to the guy who let me test drive from my local walking distance dealership. But throughout this entire process, he never once responded to any of my multiple e-mails. In fact, the e-mail address on his business card bounced. Believe it or not, when I got home from a new car joyride the day after I purchased, he had left a message asking me if I was still interested. #fail.
17) California has an upper limit on document fees. $80. I feel sorry for Florida right about now. On the other hand, I had to pay 8.375% sales tax, so you can feel sorry for me right about now. There’s a tire fee and a DMV electronic registration fee and whatnot, but all I cared about was the price of my car, plus my two options. I was afraid my two options would make comparisons difficult, but they were mostly in the same ballpark in terms of cost plus installation ($402--$557). I got a price before TTL from all interested dealerships.
18) I sent out 39 e-mails. Yes, 39. At 23 dealerships. From two blocks away to 62 miles away (a place I heard had good deals). Yes, in some cases I sent more than one e-mail to a single dealership. This may have caused some internal strife. One recommended salesman couldn’t work with me because his team had alr
#28039 of 29871 Re: Post dealership Names [darrin8]
Jan 13, 2013 (5:05 pm)
I live in VA and used a quote from Weymouth to negotiate my deal from a VA dealership. Two months ago I purchased an Accord 2013 EX-L V6 no navi. Price paid was $27,794 (includes Destination Fee), $55 for wheel locks, $399 Processing fee plus VA sales tax and tags. There was no trade involved, just a new car purchase. Car dealership is in Stafford VA (Pohanka Honda). I researched pricing on the Weymouth website and secured a quote $27,794 from the Weymouth dealership (includes Destination Fee) plus a $239 processing fee. The Weymouth quote addressed the process associated with an out of state purchase. I took a copy of the Weymouth quote to Pohanka Honda and negotiated a very comparable deal. The Pohanka deal was based on the same price quoted by Weymouth for the car plus Pohanka's $399 processing fee, ($160 difference).
#28040 of 29871 Two weeks after paying $1100 below invoice (long!) [more]
Jan 13, 2013 (5:04 pm)
18) I sent out 39 e-mails. Yes, 39. At 23 dealerships. From two blocks away to 62 miles away (a place I heard had good deals). Yes, in some cases I sent more than one e-mail to a single dealership. This may have caused some internal strife. One recommended salesman couldn’t work with me because his team had already received an e-mail from me.
19) I heard back from just 12. If I was Brian125, I would have called the other ones up. But I was determined to do this without using the phone. I sent followup e-mails to those I didn’t hear from. I find it incredible that I had $30,000 in my pocket which I was going to give to one lucky salesman within 48 hours and a large number of people never responded. I left contact information to prove I was real and motivated. In one case, I sent five e-mails to the five people listed as “internet sales manager” at one dealership. None of them have responded to this day.
20) The first prices came in. Some were exactly what they offered at carwoo, some were over invoice, some were a little bit below invoice. The lowest initial offer was $500 below invoice. After 24 hours, I sent a second e-mail mentioning the lowest offer. Some of them didn’t respond at all to this, some responded that they thought they could sell their cars over invoice; most were polite. I was likewise polite. Just because I didn’t buy their $1000 over invoice car, doesn’t mean it didn’t fly off the lot just the same. The cars are great and they are still new in the marketplace. No hard feelings. Most came down in price.
21) I now had five places substantially lower than the rest. So I began my Edmunds-informed final push. “I am aware of how important the Customer Satisfaction Index survey is. I look forward to giving the winning bid’s dealership the highest ratings on my post-sale survey.” Next e-mail: “I have high credit scores and may be persuaded to use Honda Financing if it brings my cost down” Bingo! “If you finance with Honda at 2.49%, I’ll give you $500 in flex-cash towards your downpayment.”
22) Yes, I already applied for and was approved at Penfed at 1.49% which I will use to refinance the Honda loan thereby saving me $500 over the life of my car loan. Penfed cost me $20 to join.
23) Final e-mail to the winning dealership (15 miles away): “If that flex-cash ‘disappears’ before I get there, I walk; If our out the door prices don’t agree, I walk”. He assured me it was all good.
24) And then, the big final demand from me: “We will sign papers at a Starbucks. I am NOT coming into your dealership. Do you have one nearby?” “Yes, across the street. I’ll meet you there.” SOLD!
25) We met, I bought his coffee, we sat down and looked over the numbers. I showed him my huge spreadsheet of every dealer in California. He marveled at it. While we were there, two of his managers came into the Starbucks. They likewise looked over the spreadsheet. They were most amazed at the fact that so many dealerships simply didn’t respond. Did I miss out on a great deal from the unresponsive dealers? Maybe. But I know they missed out on my money by not responding.
26) The winner was “CC” at Morgan Hill Honda. After my very first e-mail, he punched numbers into his computer, took a photo of his screen, and e-mailed it back to me. Within ten minutes. The guy responded to each and every one of my e-mails within 20 minutes. He didn’t pressure me. He used proper grammar and spelling. He didn’t make me wait for answers. This guy is going to make a ton of money as more and more young people buy cars online. He had his iphone with him at all times. Some of the older salespeople are going to have trouble keeping up.
27) After papers were signed, I was required to go to the dealership to drive the car off the lot. But by then, CC and I were pals.
28) The holidays messed with parts ordering and it took a week to get my options installed, but now with the deck spoiler lid, my car looks like an “almost BMW” from the back. My three tank overall mileage is 29 and I’ve been tearing over hills and around curvy back roads. In Econ mode, I blow over the Altamont pass without the RPMs going over 2k.
29) For those of you data minded, these are historical pre-TTL prices for a 2013 Honda Accord EX-L V6:
30353 Truecar Average Seven Weeks Ago
29813 Edmunds TMV Seven Weeks Ago
29785 Google Cars Regional Price Seven Weeks Ago
29467 Carsdirect Seven Weeks Ago
29459 Edmunds TMV Four Weeks Ago
29192 Costco Twelve Weeks Ago
28792 My highest bid--he politely told me that he had more buyers than he knew what to do with at this price.
28693 USAA Seven Weeks Ago
28566 Carwoo Offer Seven Weeks Ago
28292 INVOICE PRICE
28272 Truecar Target Seven Weeks Ago
28193 Truecar 65 Miles Away Seven Weeks Ago
28064 Truecar Target Four Weeks Ago
27998 Carwoo Offer (but then revoked and dealer stopped using it--rogue salesman?)
27931 Truecar Target Three Weeks Ago
27788 Internet Quote From Online Inquiry Recent
27739 WEYMOUTH quote for comparison (higher doc fees, though)
27695 Bid from 50 miles away
27492 Bid from 39 miles away
27477 Bid from 30 miles away
27192 Winning Bid from 15 miles away.
From my sales contract:
27192 Cash Price Vehicle
446.76 Deck Lid Spoiler + Cargo Net installed
80.00 Document Processing
29.00 Electronic Vehicle Registration
301.75 California State Fees (title, tires, etc.)
2363.32 Sales Tax (ouch)
30412.83 Out The Door
Thank you for all the help in this forum. Good luck out there. Remember that a car is a commodity. There is no shortage. You can wait
#28041 of 29871 Re: Two weeks after paying $1100 below invoice (long!) [michaelvox]
Jan 13, 2013 (6:45 pm)
can you guys try to keep your post to a short novel. i hit my head on paragraph 148 from eye strain.
i posted in the honda cr-v forum post number 11919 Jan ,10th on how to start to get pricing from out of state dealerships then apply it to your state . If your not a good negotiator check it out . Or if you want to read mikes above post you hopefully will be done reading it before the end of the month..
#28042 of 29871 Re: Two weeks after paying $1100 below invoice (long!) [michaelvox]
Jan 13, 2013 (6:45 pm)
Thanks for all the information and the effort to post so many details on the Forum. Your dedication is simply applaud worthy.
#28043 of 29871 2013 CVT Special Auto. Transmission Fluid
Jan 13, 2013 (8:05 pm)
The Honda CVT Auto Transmissions needs Special hydraulic fluid
only provided by the Honda Dealer. According to a Honda Salesperson
the system can only be opened by the dealer.
If this is true it is not a deal breaker but is important
to know regarding maintenance and emergency repairs.
#28044 of 29871 29.00$ Electronic Registration Fee LOL
Jan 13, 2013 (10:58 pm)
29.00$ Electronic Registration Fee LOL
I asked a dealer about this fee when he presented it
in his offer. He said it expedites the delivery
of your registration. When I asked him if it
was necessary to have this added service,
he said no and would remove it.
Anyone in the forum had a situation with this fee??
CA DMV has an awesome new car fee calculator that
#28045 of 29871 Re: Two weeks after paying $1100 below invoice (long!) [michaelvox]
Jan 14, 2013 (2:10 am)
Thanks for all your helpful information, i live in the same area as you and plan to buy the exact same car. My first stop with be Morgan Hill Honda and hope to get a great deal as you have.
#28046 of 29871 Re: Two weeks after paying $1100 below invoice (long!) [michaelvox]
Jan 14, 2013 (7:45 am)
Thank you for the detailed post(s). I don't feel so bad now about our 4.75% sales tax. My local dealer charges $499 for doc fees and on top of that we pay the sales tax on doc fees. One thing I have noticed is that all of the Honda dealers in my area had great sales in Dec. Inventory is very low and few EX-L sedans are on their lots. I don't know if it was the season or the 2013 Accord that accounted for high sales. Like you, I drive a V6 (07) and love the extra power. Trying to decide if I would be happy with the 4 cylinder.