Buying a New Car, Part IV (Epilogue)

Well, everything went exactly as expected when we went to pick up our car, and we’re now the proud new owners of a 2005 Honda CR-V LX. Once again, our new car buying strategy worked out exceptionally well, and the actual transaction was totally painless. After a final test drive and top-to-bottom inspection, we shuffled a few papers and then wrote the check. They didn’t even offer to sell us an extended warranty. The whole process took just over an hour, and only about a third of that involved actual interaction with the salesman. Next up… Accessories. There are a few things on our wish list, including all-season floor mats and a cover for the cargo area. The main problem here is that OEM accessories come complete with a tremendous markup when purchased from the dealership. Yes, we could have included these items in our negotiations. This, however, complicates the negotiating process, and I’d much prefer to keep the main transaction as simple as possible. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.

Actually, there’s a couple of easy solutions. The first is to buy after-market accessories rather than buying actual Honda parts. That works well for certain things (e.g., custom floor mats), but for other items there’s no substitute for the real thing. In those cases, the internet is your best friend — sure, you’ll have to pay shipping, but the prices are far lower and you’ll save on sales tax. What follows is a list of some of my favorite sites for Honda parts and accessories.

H and A Accessories
Cheapest Honda Parts
College Hills Honda
San Leandro Honda
Ray Laks Honda & Acura

All in all, I’ve found H and A to be to the best, both in terms of price and selection. That being said, it’s definitely worth checking the various sites as prices do vary. For example, Cheapest Honda Parts wins out by $10-15 when it comes to the cargo area cover.

Read Part I of “Buying a New Car”
Read Part II of “Buying a New Car”
Read Part III of “Buying a New Car”
You’re Reading Part IV of “Buying a New Car”

9 Responses to “Buying a New Car, Part IV (Epilogue)”

  1. Great points Don. I’m aware of Honda’s recent transmission troubles although, as I understand it, these problems have primarily affected their V6 vehicles (which the CR-V is not). With regard to negotiating on a car warranty, I’m aware that these prices are highly negotiable. We had a ’99 Grand Caravan that was showing signs of transmission trouble off and on throughout the warranty period so, with a week to go, I called around to every dealership that I could get in touch with and comparison-shopped the price down to very close to dealer cost. We were able to get a great price despite the additional fees that they claimed we’d be facing if we bought the warranty after the fact.

  2. Anonymous

    Really good article — if more people bought cars this way I think that you’d see a proliferation of “no haggle dealers” with actual across the board price competition, instead of customer to customer competition.

    I would say, though, that the dealer did you no favors by not offering you an extended warranty. I work for the warranty department of the world’s largest dealer group — we carry all makes and models (not to mension a couple of Yacht dealers), including Honda’s.

    Over the last few years, Honda’s quality has really suffered. Unfortunately, most of their problems are focused on the Air Conditioning System, and the Transmission. Honda suffers from what those in the industry call “black death” a/c failures, costing over $2000 to repair. The transmissions have a problem with the shift solonoid B, which in and of itself is only a few hundred dollars to correct — but Honda (like Toyota and Mazda) dealers do not repair transmissions — they are replacement only parts. That Honda transmission will cost you around $4,000 parts and labor.

    Of course, you may never suffer these issues, but remember, dealer cost on an extended warranty is always around $500 – $800 depending on the quality of coverage. Your price is negotiable down to their cost. If you can get a service agreement for $700 – $900…then you’re a fool to risk the money.

    Cars break — yep, even Honda’s and Toyotas. When they do break, they can cost as much as a renovation to your home to fix, $1000 is a small price to pay to ensure that your hard-earned-cash can be used for investing in the market, and not in the parts department.

  3. Anonymous

    I’ve bought from H&A a lot of times and they’re very prompt on shipping. Their prices are one of the better ones on the net, and I have to pay 7.75% tax with them!

    They also have a list of the usual parts that people may need for their car, like oil filter, air filter, and cabin filters.

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