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Honda Fit, Hatchback, Wagon
#2079 of 2642 My experience with a misleading Dealer!!! Part One
Mar 19, 2009 (5:18 pm)
This is going to be a long post. I'm going to go through my experience with Freeman Honda in Dallas, Texas. Where I use "quote " enclosures I will be inserting quotes from emails I exchanged with the Internet sales dept.
First about me. I wanted to buy a Honda Fit to pull behind my Motor Home. I had a 2007 and it was totaled. I have my vehicles registered in Montana under a LLC I formed there. This allows me to register the vehicle there and not pay local sales taxes in Texas. I get a temporary 30 day permit and then register and License the car in Montana. No sales tax there. I live in Hawaii and I'm about to retire and travel full time. Keep in mind that I am in Hawaii and plan on flying into Dallas and picking a new car up in May and then continuing my travels.
I contacted several Honda Dealers in Dallas and Shreveport La, because that's where my Motor Home is now. I made the contacts by emails telling them I wanted a Fit Auto Sport and no options.
Freeman Honda contacted me with the following in their email.
FIT SPORT AUTOMATIC
Free 100,000 Mile Warranty
FREEMAN HONDA PRICE:$16195
Limited time only.On all standard equiped vehicles
That looked like a very good price although some of the claims in this forum are in this range. I emailed the company told them I was interested in buying. By the way, there was never another mention of the Free 100.000 Warranty
They replied by senting me the following in an email!
Your price on this vehicle is 16195+670 for destination +400 for adds that may be on the vehicle)wheel locks,( to protect your vehicle from vandalism, tint, to keep your car interior cool, pinstripes door molding, just for a stylish look, tray liner in the trunk, for those spills that might occur or to put mulch in the back of the vehicle with no hesitation. All Dealers have adds. Just ask them for dealer adds upfront and they will tell you, "yes I do have adds". If they say otherwise they'd be lying.
17265 Drive out"
I noticed the destination fee was added and no taxes or fees mentioned but I emailed back.
"Other Dealers are willing to sell the car without add-ons. Most of the options you mentioned I wouldn't want if they were free. Wheel locks maybe. Please let me know if your offer is $16,865 with no options?"
They emailed me back.
"Dear Mrs. Barnette,
That price is with all the add ons."
I then emailed back asking for clarification.
"So your saying the price I sent you of $16,865 includes the Add-ons?
(MR) Sherry Barnette
Their answer. "Yes Mam."
They were now confirming in writing the lower price and it included the Add-ons.
After a couple of telephone conversations in which I went through my desire to register the car myself and avoid fees, which were agree to by the salesman. I sent the following email.
"Hi, I just want to get the entire offer down on one page, with a signature from someone at the Dealership who is authorized to make a binding offer. I'm happy with the deal as we have discussed and agreed upon. I'd like a fax with the following details.
1, Listing the car as 2009 Honda Fit Sport with Automatic., Tidewater Blue Metallic color.
2, List the options, Tint for windows, Luggage tray mat, Pinstripes, Wheel locks.
3, Amount of Deposit at $500.00 by Credit card. deposit will be refundable at buyers choice until April 15th or car is available on your lot whichever is later.
4, Three thousand of total price can be paid by Credit card.
5, Vehicle will be titled and licensed by buyer in Montana and buyer will be responsible for Montana fees and taxes. Texas sales tax will not be charged.
6, There will be no other fees charged and the total out the door price will be $16,865."
Please fax agreement to me at 808- xxx-xxxx"
I then received a fax signed by the sales manager which stated.
Freeman Honda authorizes the sale of:
2009 Honda Fit Sport Automatic transmission in Tidewater Blue with standard equipment and the options listed below:
Trunk Tray liner
I've run out of room, I'll post the rest in the next 1/2 hour.
#2080 of 2642 My experience with a misleading Dealer!!! Part Two
Mar 19, 2009 (6:56 pm)
I left off part one half way through the faxed signed offer from Freeman Honda.
Continued at pinstripes
The amount of the Deposit ($500.00) to secure the vehicle is refundable at buyers choice until 15th of April or car is available on the lot whichever is the later.
Buyer may be able to put as much as $3,000 down toward the car on a Credit Card.
The Vehicle will be titled in(sic) licensed by buyer in the State of Montana. Buyer is responsible for all Montana fees and taxes.
Total drive out cost on the vehicle with no other fees applied will be $16865.
The faxed offer was signed by the Sales Manager. I read it carefully and I didn't like the following "Total drive out cost on the vehicle with no other fees applied will be $16865." I felt they could claim that meant there could be other fees that (could) would be applied by the dealer on the final invoice. I wrote on the offer the following signed it and faxed it back to the dealership.
"OK, with the understanding that $16,865 is the total cost and there are no other fees except Montana fees by Buyer."
Two days later from the Salesman. "Good morning. I hope you're having a beautiful day. Did you get the fax back yet? I can fax it to you this morning. It's already signed." I did not receive it, instead I had calls about the sales Manager didn't understand why I was requesting the signed acknowledgment of my Understanding. I was told there was no problem, vocally, we had an agreement with no other fees. I said if that's a fact then the Sales Manager should have no problem signing the fax. I sent this email. "No fax yet! I really don't understand the lack of a return acknowledgment of the clarification of the agreement. You said the Out the door price was firm and there would be no other fees or costs from Freeman Honda. It shouldn't cause any concern at all. This makes me think there is a issue here. Can you start by emailing me with your assurance that the deal is Price $16,865. Out the door, no other charges or expenses from Freeman Honda?"
Then the bomb dropped. I received this email. "No other manager wants to commit to this because the deal isn't making any profit. Xxxxxx Xxxxx want an additional $300 for the adds. Xxxxxxx is off today.
So they want more money. They weren't truthful with me I wrote them an email that said "I've been lied to. how do you explain that to me. They answered two days later that they would honor the deal with no fees. What would you do?
#2081 of 2642 Credit application with cash purchase???
Mar 20, 2009 (7:33 am)
My husband and I just returned from a Honda dealership in Santa Monica CA where we thought we had a deal in place for a 2009 Fit Sport/Navigation. This car was going to be a cash purchase. We showed up with a cashiers check in the amount that had been agreed upon over the phone and we were told to fill out a credit application asking for our social security numbers, financial history, and references. When asked why this was necessary we were told it was their policy because they had problems with cashiers checks in the past. They also said that we could stop payment on the check which I don't believe is true, but I will certainly ask when I return the check to the bank. Since we refused to fill out the credit application they offered us $100.00 off if we went to the bank and got cash. We declined this "generous" offer as well. I'd like to point out , that although we hadn't purchased a vehicle from them in the past, we have had our previous Honda's serviced by them for the last 10 years so we were not exactly strangers.
This whole experience was very unnerving and since this dealership is the only convenient place to get Honda service we are now reconsidering buying a honda at all, even though we were very happy with our past 2 cars.
I would appreciate hearing some other thoughts on this.
#2082 of 2642 Drove a little, saved a lot
Mar 20, 2009 (4:39 pm)
Just drove home in our 2009 Fit Sport manual. silky smooth!
Been following the blogs and read "Online Car Buying Revisited".
Having envy for the low prices the East Coast folks were paying. Used Edmund's to connect to local dealers for internet prices. Gilroy Honda replied with a great web brochure that described the car, showed a picture, schedule to set up a drive and best of all the internet price! $15,995 (destination charge included in that price)
Add taxes, $1160, and title and registration fees totaling $286.38.
It was below Edmund's TMV and below the dealer invoice price. It was as good as the deals I was reading on the East Coast. I called them. "Sir, we're a small town honest dealership, everything is as you see, no monkey business" I was quoted the out the door price, had a cashiers check made for the amount of $17,441.38 and showed up the next day. Everyone was real nice, talked story, showed us the car and in less than an hour we were on the road with our new Fit!
#2083 of 2642 Re: My experience with a misleading Dealer!!! Part One [mauicedar]
Mar 21, 2009 (7:09 pm)
I am really glad to find your post. my husband and i are also planning on leaving the island of oahu in may, buying a fit in a different state (california) than home and driving it back to indiana. we are concerned about being screwed over if they can see we really want the car, dealing with the state-to state issues, insurance. we like what you did with the onliine quoting and not taking no for an answer! i am interested to hear how the rest of your story goes! thanks!
#2084 of 2642 Re: [ralphwiggum1]
Mar 21, 2009 (8:33 pm)
Honda of El Cerrito is good. I just came home with 09 Fit Sport at $16990 vs stcker $17880. I took a few add-ons like prepaid maintenance, wheel locks,and the enhanced alarm system because of where I work, but the pretax total still was just over the bare MSRP at $18125 including the $1135 of add-ons. Ask for the guy who helped me with the blackberry pearl one today 3-21. His name is Matt Curren.
#2085 of 2642 Re: Credit application with cash purchase??? [rabbit13]
Mar 22, 2009 (9:20 am)
If I were you, I would not purchase this car from this dealership. Unfortunately, I have gotten this bad attitude from other Honda and Toyota dealers here in AZ. There are other alternatives to a Honda Fit (although it is a very nice small car) such as the Kia Soul, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Hyundai Elantra - all of which have similar features and a much better warranty. In fact, I believe Consumer Reports rates the Hyundai Elantra the #1 pick in the small car category.
#2086 of 2642 Re: My experience with a misleading Dealer!!! Part One [norton56]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Mar 22, 2009 (9:40 am)
If you buy the car in California, you'll have to pay CA sales tax, even if your residence is elsewhere. Considering that CA has (or will have) some of the highest sales tax rates in the country, I'd suggest purchasing it elsewhere, preferably in a state that doesn't collect tax from out-of-state residents.
#2087 of 2642 We got our car, totally love it.
Mar 22, 2009 (10:18 am)
I figured I'd post a followup about how we made out with our honda fit. My mom and I did competitive bidding, following a youtube video of a lecture about how to buy a new car without getting screwed (i posted the link previously). We were looking to get the Fit Sport with navigation and automatic transmission, in either white or tidewater blue.
After calling about 20 dealerships in the Boston area and southern NH, our best bid was $19,303, including 5% tax and all fees. A couple of places offered to match that price, and one of them, Honda Village, on Washington Street in Newton, was conveniently located and offered a few free incentives (free towing, free loaner car, 10% off all Honda accessories). So we went with them.
A couple of things people should know:
-In that video, the guy tells you not to trade in your car to the dealer, because the dealer uses this to make up any loss they'd take from giving you a good price. That makes sense, however there are some reasons to trade in that he doesn't mention. For us, the main advantage was the tax. In a trade in, the dealer discounts the price of the new car by the amount of the old car, and thus you get taxed on a lower amount. For example, 5% tax on a car that costs $19,000 is $950, whereas if the car is discounted to $13,500 with a $5,500 trade in, is $650. Still, the only reason we traded in our old car was because a used car dealer who is a close friend of our family told us that our car was worth $5,500, and that he would buy it from Honda Village for that price if they gave us that for trade in value. Before we told them this, the dealer only offered us $3200! They finally agreed to buy the car for $5,500 themselves after we got up to leave.
-One thing I was fairly surprised about was how dead right the video was about the scams they try to pull once you've set a price. Accessories and warranties really are how they make their money. Before we went to the dealer, I looked on Honda's website and picked out some accessories for the car, expecting to get them at 10% off like the salesman told me. I decided on all weather floor mats, the storage armrest, wheel locks, and the protective strip on the door panels. Once we got to the point where we picked out our accessories, I noticed something strange. With the exception of the side strip, all of the prices were much higher than they were on Honda's site.
all season mats: honda-$130, dealer-$172
armrest: honda-$240, dealer-$324
wheel locks: honda-$55, dealer-$76
When I asked what the deal was, he said that the higher prices include installation. Really? for wheel locks and floor mats? Yea, well, that and shipping...
Needless to say, we didn't buy that stuff. I found the exact same items at partscheap.com, the wheel locks are $35, the mats are $72, and the armrest is $180. I can "install" the mats and locks myself, but the armrest is beyond my expertise. I called a couple of the nearest dealers and asked what they charge to install it, and Herb Chambers came in the lowest with $109. Not a huge savings, but I'd still say it's worth it. I'd rather not line the pockets of a misleading dealership.
Anyway, we LOVE the car, and wish everyone else the best of luck with their purchases!
#2088 of 2642 Good deal or not?
Mar 23, 2009 (2:38 pm)
Just want to get everyone's opinion on this. I went in to a dealership for a 2009 Honda Fit Base Auto.. and then sales manager tried to sell me a 2009 Honda Fit Sport Auto (1600 miles) on it for about $18300 OTD.. The reason why it has 1600 miles on it is because the previous owner had financial difficulties and couldn't afford it. No accidents or any other upgrades.. the previous owner did put on the tint on the windows though..
Warranty still on, inside seems okay.. took it out for a test drive, seemed okay.. Should I offer a lower price??