Honda Odyssey Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After determining that my eight-year-old Accord EX V6 Coupe, while a very nice car to drive, was not conducive to driving kids around. We needed a minivan, so after a ton of research, I had to choose between an Odyssey and a Sienna. The determining factor was the backup camera; on the Sienna, the backup camera display is tiny unless you upgrade to a top-of-the-line with Navi. The backup camera display on the EX-L was much larger and didn't require the Navi, which we don't need. All told, about a $4000 difference, and we liked the Odyssey's interior better.

So for a while I played a Honda dealership off a Toyota dealership, and vice-versa. The Honda folks came down to $100 over invoice but just wouldn't budge, and kept screwing up my quote. I just didn't have a good feel for the competence of the salesperson, a young man who seemed out of his depth.

I decided to go to another Honda dealership. I asked them to price me an EX-L with my options - remote starter, mud guards, door edge guards, and a moonroof visor. They came back with a price that was $1000 over dealer invoice. I then showed the salesperson my quote from the other dealership, and after he talked to his manager, he came back to me with a figure $50 over invoice. I couldn't get him to budge off that mark, but according to Consumer Reports' web site, I was getting below market average - and they rated dealer willingness to negotiate in my area (Twin Cities, Minnesota) as "Low".

Next came my trade-in. My Accord had a spotless carfax, and was in pretty good shape for an eight-year-old car. I had them look it over. The salesperson came back and noted the hail damage (about half-a-dozen dings) and the fact that I still had the original timing belt and it needed to be replaced. I figured if that was the worst they could find on my car, then I should get a good trade-in, but he quoted me $6500 - a full thousand below the Kelly Blue Book trade-in value. I tried to get him to move but again, no dice. I left the dealership without a deal.

I had been trying to sell my car for a few weeks, but people are reluctant to buy from a private party. Those who were willing to make me an offer really lowballed me on the price. Really, $7500 is the best you can do? It was a discouraging experience. Part of what worked against me is that my Accord had a manual transmission, which made it a bad car to buy for the kid since most don't know what to do with a stick. I came really close with one guy, but in the end he paid more for a dealership's Accord because it same with a warranty.

So I had come to terms with the fact that I had to trade it in, but I wasn't going to accept $6500. It was time to go back to the Toyota dealership and work them some more.

The next morning, I got a call from the Honda dealership. The sales manager had been looking over yesterday's deals, and asked me what I thought of their offer. I said I was okay with the price on the car but I was disappointed on the trade-in. On the spot, he offered me $1000 more - $7500 for my Accord. When you also factor in the discount on the sales tax (which is rather high in Minnesota), that meant a total of $8000 for my Accord. If I'd tried for another month or two I *might* have gotten $9000 from a private buyer; I decided I'd eat the extra $1000 to avoid the hassle. Really, it was a fair value for my car.

I agreed and said I'd be in on Sunday. They pointed out it was illegal to sell cars in Minnesota on a Sunday (which was news to me), so we agreed on Monday.

When the day came I drove my Honda with a fair amount of nostalgia; according to my wife, this was my "man-toy" and I was sad to see it go. I had been the sole owner and had driven almost all of the 84,000 miles on it. Still, there was a reason I was doing what I was doing. The wife followed in her car, since we anticipated it would take a few days for them to add the accessories.

The paperwork on the car went as expected - we set the price, the accessories, the value of my trade-in - all figures we had set.

Now comes financing.

My credit isn't great; about 650. Before I had even begun shopping, though, I had obtained financing through Capital One for 7.12% for 48 months. I would be just fine with that. Before coming in I had applied for 1.9% financing from Honda and was rejected - as expected.

The salesperson asked me if I wanted them to try and get financing for me, and I told them sure - go ahead and shop me around. My wife, the baby, the salesperson, and I had about twenty minutes of awkward conversation to make as the finance folks tried to get something put together. I was under no pressure, so it didn't bother me. My daughter was a hit as other salespeople kept stopping over to say hello as she smiled at them.

Finally we got paged. The finance guy was in the used car building because the new-car salesperson wasn't in. We took a cold trek across the parking lot, and here battle was joined.

Our sales person was tall and seemed to tower over us. Plus, and I don't know if the was deliberate, the seats my wife and I sat in were low, so he almost seemed to be looking down on us. His office was very nice.

He started with some innocuous paperwork - title transfer, privacy agreement, etc. Then he slapped down a paper and said quite casually, "Sign here, this is for for the VIN etching." My wife later said she would have signed it without thinking, but I looked it over. $250 financed over five years for a mostly-useless precaution? I don't think so. I told him I didn't want it, and he seemed honestly surprised. He had me sign elsewhere on the document that I had declined. From his comments, that rarely happened.

Then came the finance offers. He put a large piece of paper in front of me detailing the options - a "protection plan" for rustproofing and fabric protection, an extended warranty, a "maintenance plan", and an alarm. Along the top in a big font was what my monthly payment would be.

I took the paper and read over it, and there in tiny font at the bottom of the page was the info I was looking for - 7.54% over 60 months. I told him I was going to go with Capital One, and he pointed out the payment would be much higher. Well, yeah - I'm financing it for a shorter term. I wanted to go with Capital One.

I also focused on the extra stuff he wanted to sell me. No, I didn't want the protection plan. No, I didn't want the alarm. My wife and I talked about the maintenance plan - free oil changes for three years for $260 - but decided against it.

I did want the extended warranty. Given the reliability concerns about the fourth-gen Odyssey and the fact that we planned to drive it until it collapsed into a broken heap, I wanted to have the security of an eight-year, 120K warranty. The finance guy quoted me $2500. I looked at, then told him I'd pass. From odyclub.com, I had found Bob at Hyannis Honda Care, who'd sell me a HondaCare extended warranty for $1270. The finance guy asked to see the quote, and anticipating this I had printed out the email. He looked at it grimly, and made some comments about folks who undercut dealers and his low opinion of them. He offered to give me a HondaCare extended warranty for $50 above his cost, which he showed me to be $1395. I was all set to refuse, but my wife chimed in and urged me to take it - she'd felt nervous about buying an extended warranty online and also felt more comfortable bundling the warranty with the cost of the car.

The salesman pounced on this, and said if we'd take $50 above cost for the warranty (I wonder if he realized he was admitting his first offer was $1100 above his cost), he'd get me a very slightly lowered interest rate then what he'd been offering, and extended the loan to 63 months, dropping the monthly payment to way below what we'd pay for the 48-month loan. Again, my wife chimed in and said she felt more comfortable with the lower monthly payment and pointed out we could always pay more than the minimum if we wanted to try and pay it off sooner. I later calculated this to be about $400 more in interest we paid for this, but the safety margin is perhaps worth it.

At long last we agreed. 7.54% over 63 months. He made one last try for the undercoating by asking me what my objection was. I was quite frank. "If you're asking, my objection is that you're charging me hundreds of dollars for something that costs you twelve dollars." He tried to sell us that it was worth it because the undercoating also reduces noise significantly, but here he ran into an unexpected obstacle - my wife, who will be the primary driver, is deaf. Noise doesn't mean a thing to her.

Finally we signed the last of the paperwork. The finance guy had maintained a cheerful and pleasant attitude throughout the negotiations, but in the end expressed his frustration by throwing his pen across the desk and then commenting, "I don't like that pen anyway." He'd tried to sell us on thousands of dollars of high-profit add-ons and we'd rejected them all except the extended warranty. I'll let others argue whether or not the extended warranty is also money wasted, but for my peace of mind it's worth it.

They actually wanted to give us the EX-L right away, which I found odd since it still didn't have all the extras like the remote starter. I told them to keep it until everything was installed, as we didn't want to make more trips to the dealership than necessary. My wife and I drove away in her car after high-fiving each other. Yay for not getting taken by a high-pressure sales pitch.

I'll pick up the Odyssey in a couple of days. In the meantime, I'm going to bask in the glow of a successful new Odyssey purchase. I didn't get everything I wanted, but it came close enough to be very, very satisfying.

-Richard
Owner of a 2012 Odyssey EX-L
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Oh, forgot about the GAP insurance. They tried to sell me GAP insurance and I didn't need that, either. It was fun to see him strike item after item off the large piece of paper he put in front of me as I turned down everything he had on it. =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
They wanted you to take the car home because in most states, you have a 3 day grace period to cancel the contract, but not after you drive it off the lot. Dealers are the worst thing about the buying experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Your story is why I did as much of the process via email in advance. I only ended up going to two dealers - one to see what the 'Costco' price was, and the other to buy once I saw that the Costco price was $1,400 higher than the best price I received was.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,639 Posts
Unfortunately, the warranty Bob sells is the EXACT same one as your dealer because Hyannis is also a Honda Dealership. Had you wife not taken the dealer's side, you would have saved $175. I also have doubts about his so called $1395 cost price of the HondaCare.

But it is what it is. You all did a LOT better than most who cave for one offer after the other. Enjoy the new van. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Don't worry - you'll be getting a survey soon about your experience fr Honda...let em now about this 'happy' experience!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I will have to say that I enjoyed the experience. I went into the negotiations fully expecting everything they threw at me. There's a book I bought eight years ago called "Don't Get Taken Every Time" about auto sales that was very, very helpful. Plus I had read some online reviews about the dealership, which said the sales guys were good and friendly but the finance guys would try to steal your eyeteeth. So I knew what I was getting into.

Well prepared is well armed, and that proved to be the case. I felt very confident throughout the process and was able to deflect his attempts to sell me add-ons with ease. I only faltered over the "maintenance plan" because I'd never encountered that before and wasn't sure if it was a good deal or not. I eventually decided that if he was trying to sell it to me, it must not be a good deal, so I passed.

When he threw his pen across the desk, I felt exultant. For the first time in a car-buying experience I had completely frustrated the finance guy. That was quite a rush. =)

-Richard
Owner of a 2012 Odyssey EX-L
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
You should have paid for the oil change. The oil in these vans are synthetic and will cost more than the conventional $40 change. I just had my B1 service done for $162 and A service ran me $80.
Great deal and great job getting those add on's slashed off. It is a good feeling seeing them caught in their shenanigans
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
One other story:

The finance guy also tried to sell us a road-side assistance plan (which is odd because I believe HondaCare comes with roadside assistance). He turned to my wife and asked her how'd she feel if she got a flat tire miles away from anywhere - wouldn't she like having someone she could call? My wife bristled at the vaguely sexist implication and said she'd be shoving aside anyone who stopped to help her so she could change the tire herself. This shut down the sales pitch before it could even get started.

On the way home she admitted to me she's never changed a tire in her life. But still, it was a good tactic. =)

-Richard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Cool starry bra.
images.jpg
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top