(Note: This was written some years ago but has stood the test of time and still gets the best Honda deals today.)
When it comes to car buying, the internet has definitely leveled the playing field, if you know how.
It used to be that nearly all car buyers were at the mercy of the dealership when it came to negotiating price. The dealer had all the information while the consumer was simply guessing about good prices.
The internet has changed all that ... at least for those who use it properly. (Many still don't - even in 2023.)
So, What's The Secret To Low Prices On New Hondas?
Well, it's not the availability of invoice prices online, although of course that information can help, even though they are a bit sketchy. Sure, knowing what a dealer supposedly paid for a particular vehicle is a step in the right direction. So, by all means, get invoice prices from sites like Edmunds.com and NADAguides.
But the truth is, this information can be a bit inaccurate ... sometimes a lot inaccurate.
Secondly, car dealers are now ready for car buyers armed with invoice prices.
Walking into a dealership with a bunch of invoices has now become even a bit comical to them. They can convincingly argue why your information is wrong. And they'll pull out their own version of invoice to prove to you that the price is actually a lot higher.
No, the key to the best new Honda deals doesn't lay in internet invoice prices.
The Most Effective Technique? Get Multiple Emailed Competitive Car Quotes!
In other words, negotiate for a new Honda online. Yes, the name of the game in car bargaining is to get Emailed car quotes from competing dealerships before having any discussions about price ... actually, before even setting foot in a dealership.
Not only does this get them fighting over your potential business, but it's also done from the comfort of your own home ... not face-to-face. This method really reduces the stress factor as well.
And dealerships are particularly hurting right now due to the financial crisis and the generally negative economic situation. They have large inventory levels they simply must sell-off to greatly reduce their carrying costs.
This has resulted in absolutely outstanding prices for Honda buyers recently who have used this method because Honda dealers are doing a bit of sweating right now.
Here's the lowdown on exactly how this process works and exactly what to do: How To Get Dealers To Give You Crazy Prices In About 2 Minutes.
Here's some of the news items about what happened:
From the Wall Street Journal:
"The Japanese auto maker is coping with a sharp drop in its North American sales and excess manufacturing capacity."
"Honda, Japan's second-largest automaker, sold 96,626 vehicles, down from 127,200 a year earlier, spokesman Chris Martin said in an interview. Sales fell across the Tokyo-based company's product line ... "
And again from Bloomberg.com on the outlook going forward:
"U.S. auto sales this month may fall to their lowest rate in at least 25 years as showroom traffic slows ... "
And J.D. Power and Associates has slashed its forecast for US auto sales for 2008 from 14.2 million vehicles to 13.6 million - about 16 percent below last year - and predicted 2009 sales could sink to 13.2 million. Honda is feeling the pain and it likely will continue.
Another indication of Honda's soft sales and their increased willingness "to deal" now is their new 9.4% increase in incentives, driven by a 73% spike in the average incentive for its light trucks to $2,200.
Please understand that I'm not saying that Honda is in any danger financially, far from it. In fact, they're doing a lot better than many other carmakers. The American manufacturers had sales declines of over 30%. Even Toyota had a 32% trouncing.
And The Most Ideal Time Is When Auto Sales Are Down
And if sales continue to be off 30% going forward, the other 70% are in a very strong "buyers market" to negotiate an outstanding deal ... perhaps the best in their lives. And this goes for Honda as well.
Even in normal times, the competitive price quote technique gets the lowest prices when done properly. But, no surprise, it works that much better when car sales have slowed because the dealers simply need any business they can get.
And in terms of selection, we particularly like the new Honda Civic and the new Honda Accord. These are extremely well constructed, fuel efficient vehicles with well-proven reliability and durability track records. Good choices in a soft market.
In the SUV segment, the new Honda CRV is simply one of the best out there in the small SUV market.
What's more, there are still plenty of last year's new Hondas on dealer lots. We've been hearing of especially aggressive discounting on these (again, when using this technique) due to the need to make way for the latest models on the way. (Note: And it still works great today in 2023.)