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Buying a new Civic

NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
edited September 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
My 1999 Civic was stolen 2 days ago. :cry: As a result, I am expecting to have to purchase a replacement vehicle, which I would like to be another Honda Civic EX.

What's the best way to go about getting the best deal on such a car? I've never bought a new car, so I am totally clueless on how to work with dealers and car salesmen. I have 3 local dealerships I can play against each other, and then some others a bit further away.

I am looking for a 4dr, EX, preferably manual, some minor extras like wheel locks, steering wheel wrap, the rugged floor mats and trunk protector. The Honda site lists the 2010 models, but the dealers don't seem to have any in stock yet. Unfortunately, I don't think time will be on my side to wait for the 2009 model price cuts. Should I look Used, and if so, what should I keep in mind when doing so?

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Posts

  • SideAffectsSideAffects Registered User
    edited September 2009
    My buddy just bought a new 4dr Civic Si for ~17000 from a Honda dealer. How much are you looking to spend?

  • GanluanGanluan Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If the 2010 models are going to be in stock soon, you should still be able to get a good deal on a 2009 model. I don't think they changed much from 2008 to 2009 though, so even if you went to 2008 you could still get a great deal.

    I would recommend buying used in some form (you can probably find some used 2008s that were former leases or something similar). You will save money and it's usually not worth buying at new prices. I bought a new Civic Hybrid in 2008 but only did that because I could get the hefty tax credit for buying new.

    As for buying the car: go through the Fleet Sales department at the dealer(s). Find one you like online, get them to quote it over the phone through Fleet Sales, and go through that salesman instead. They normally don't work on commission and getting a quote ahead of time will let you narrow down your choices. Don't let them try to sell you the bullshit addons like mudflaps for hundreds of dollars either.

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    My buddy just bought a new 4dr Civic Si for ~17000 from a Honda dealer. How much are you looking to spend?

    God, I would die if I could get such a deal.

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  • GanluanGanluan Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    My buddy just bought a new 4dr Civic Si for ~17000 from a Honda dealer. How much are you looking to spend?

    Was that 17000 out the door or with a trade-in?

  • SideAffectsSideAffects Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Don't know the details. I DO know that he is an absolute dick to salespeople, and it seems to work out in his favor all the time.

  • StormCrow420StormCrow420 Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Well I don't know your budget but I put $3k down on my 2006 civic and pay about $240 a month, I'm halfway through paying it off as of last month and it still runs like new. Can't go wrong with a Honda.

    Buying a used car is a little different. If you can get one used from a reputable dealership usually they are in good shape. If you are buying something from a used car lot or some add in the paper, it helps to know a little about cars or bring someone with you who does.

    Here are some things to look for

    - Is the engine clean, free of dust/grease? Honda's are generally low maintainence, with regular oil changes and a tune up every 30k or so the engine should appear to be in good condition. Check the belts and hoses for holes/wear. Check the oil, it should be pretty clear if the car is in sellable condition.

    - How does the car handle during the test drive? If you take your hands off the wheel does the car veer to the left or the right? This means it needs a wheel alignment. If it's a newer honda, it should run pretty quiet. Turn off the radio and ac and listen to the car. If you hear any high pitched whinning or ping sounds, steer clear.

    - Do you know how to tell if a tire is bald? Bald tires are a clear sign that the owner isn't taking as good of care as the vehicle as they could. Take a penny, stick it in one of the grooves, with Abe's head facing down. If you can see still the top of his head, the tire is bald.

    That's about the extent of my car knowledge.

    Sorry about you're stolen car bro, that sucks. But on the bright side you get a new car, and it's a civic! Make sure you take time to enjoy the palindrome!

  • GanluanGanluan Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I forgot to mention the simplest rule of buying a car - be ready to walk out. It's really easy to get excited about a car after a test drive and want to buy it right then. Remember that you're just making a purchase like anything else, and don't let the salesperson pressure you. They can tell if you're willing to walk away from the deal unless it meets your criteria exactly.

  • DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Ganluan wrote: »
    I forgot to mention the simplest rule of buying a car - be ready to walk out.

    To pharaphrase Michael Weston, one of the most important parts of negotiating a deal is knowing when to walk away from the deal. Also knowing how your credit looks going in helps.

    That said, the last major revision to the Civic was the 06, and the 01 before it. Likely the 10 will be a refinement of the 09. I bought an 07 Civic last year after my 98 Sentra was rear ended and totalled. It's a really nice ride. The only 'downside' is that on the highway it is very easy to blast past the speed limit because at high speeds it is an amazingly smooth drive compared to my old car. :lol:

    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

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  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Fighting the War on String Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I bought... er, my family bought my 2003 honda used from a honda dealership. I would suggest visiting the dealerships on a field trip with no intention to buy on that day, scout out some deals, compare offers, that sort of thing.

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  • SlagmireSlagmire Registered User
    edited September 2009
    I thought the 09 Clearance sale for Honda was going on currently - have you shopped around already?

  • QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Edmunds. Check it out.

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Slagmire wrote: »
    I thought the 09 Clearance sale for Honda was going on currently - have you shopped around already?

    Nope. I've been browsing online as of this morning. They don't really list specials or clearance prices on the dealer sites. I see Honda has a financing special right now, 3.9% APR for 60 mos.

    And now that I have dealt with insurance, I find that they wait 30 days before declaring my vehicle a loss. In the mean time, I have rental coverage for at least 30 days, so I am in less of a rush than I initial thought.

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  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited September 2009
    Like other people have said, 2010 models are either on the lot now or they are expecting them soon. This means better deals on brand new 2009 cars. Also look at going towards the end of the month.

    Those were pretty much the two conditions I did for buying my car (ended up signing the papers July 30th) and I saved a ton of money compared to how much I would have paid for the same exact car back in February when I began seriously looking.



    carbuyingtips.com is a great website that will give you most everything you need. Get your credit score beforehand so you can refute anything they throw at you that is incorrect. Do your research on the car, how much its sold for on average etc. etc. etc. Make sure they can't blindside you with anything. Get your quote, take it to the next dealer. Then the next dealer etc. until they just won't budge anymore on the number.

    Believe it or not, most car dealers aren't the slimy guys that they are made out to be. Hell, the guy who sold me my car told me that if I can get more than X for my trade-in, to sell it to someone else. I shopped around and couldn't beat the number he gave me, so it ended up working out.

  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If you decide to go the used route, make sure you look at similar cars at multiple dealerships in the area. In one case, one dealership was trying to sell me a 2005 Corolla with 29k miles for 10,500 and at another, I was able to get a 2008 Corolla with 25k miles for 11,400. While these aren't Hondas, the same applies...look around at dealerships (even non-Honda ones) in your area and do some price comparisons.

    Another thing to do is to always check the carfax to see how many owners, whether they were commercial owners, where the car was owned, and whether any accidents have been reported to the DMV. If the car was owned in a part of the country where it may have been damaged (for example Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina), you might want to think twice about buying it. As for commercial vehicles, there are pros and cons - on the pro side, the cars tend to receive regular maintainance, on the con side, some people treat rental vehicles really badly and they tend to have high mileage. In addition to noting no accidents, you'll want to look for the vin stickers all over the car. There should be one on the doors, the door sidings, the engine, the hood, the trunk, etc. A lack of one of those stickers is a good sign the car has been in an accident with parts replaced.

    Also, even though Honda has great financing right now, you might also want to get pre-approved for a loan by a credit union or bank. This does not obligate you in any way, but does give you negotiating power when you bargain the price of your car. You can also see once you get to the dealership, if they can beat that interest rate.

  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Don't go expecting an amazing deal on an '09 model just because 2010 models are coming in. Manufacturers have made huge cuts in production and the number of new cars each dealer will be getting is going to shrink drastically. When you couple that with all the successful car-scrapping schemes going on you may have to search significantly harder for that deal than you think you're going to.

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    There appear to be no more 2009 Civic EX in manual, and the next shipments of the EX will be the 2010. I test drove the SI, and I was ready to melt. It was quite a fun and comfortable ride.

    The dealer I test drove with did not give me impressive numbers, though. They are only discounting $1200, which comes to $21,700 before taxes and fees. I will be heading to another dealer so my GF can see the car, and I can hopefully get more competitive numbers.

    Odd, though, was that the finance manager told me that if I arranged my own financing, instead of using the Honda special financing, he would take another $1000 off. Seemed shady to me. Why would the financing create a $1000 surcharge?

    Oh, and dealers will get another shipment of 2009 Si's in 4-8 weeks.

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  • dwwatermelondwwatermelon Registered User
    edited September 2009
    That seems strange, usually dealerships act a little butthurt if you have previously arranged financing because they often make money when they arrange it.

    Unless you love new car smell and the air fresheners don't cut it for you, I recommend buying a year old. You save a ton on depreciation and usually the car is in good shape. Take it to a third party mechanic and get it checked out first.

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'm not buying a used car. There is a leftover 2008 Si at a more distant dealer that I am going to inquire about.

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  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I'm not sure, but I've heard that it's still somewhat difficult for banks to get loans these days and I think that includes dealer financial services. Also, from Honda's perspective, if you get your financing elsewhere, they get all their money now versus over time with interest.

    I've often read that you can get a lower price on a used if you get your financing elsewhere, but never heard of the same applying with a new one.

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Best price presented so far is $20k. The salesman kept throwing out the fact that that price was invoice (from KBB mind you) minus the cash incentive. I'm fairly certain that the dealer pays less than invoice. Is that assumption accurate?

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  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Yeah, but you shouldn't expect them to give you the car at cost. Does that 20k include taxes and fees? If so that's a pretty good deal.

  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    zilo wrote: »
    Yeah, but you shouldn't expect them to give you the car at cost. Does that 20k include taxes and fees? If so that's a pretty good deal.

    Nope, which is why I didn't bite.

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  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Yeah, you can probably do better for an '08

    When I helped my mom shop for a Prius, we tried to do most of the bargaining online, between two different dealers. Dealers usually have an online sales person that is relatively no bullshit, and much easier to deal with.

    That said, we weren't able to get a super deal, because the Prius was still flying off the lots, which may be similar to a Civic.

    All I would advise is to do a little research (edmunds, etc...) and see what people are getting it for, and then play all three dealers off each other to get down to (or close to) that price. Whether you do that in the store or online is whatever is more convenient for you, but doing it online is definitely less stressful.

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