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As I detailed in my previous post I was interested in buying a new Honda Accord 2007 Hybrid. I sent quote requests to several Honda Internet dealers in my area. In the end two had identical pricing and I decided to go with the one that was within walking distance of my house. I told the salesman Keith Kirn that I would be in Saturday morning. I showed up a few minutes after 10 AM. I had hoped for a quick process since all the pricing details had already be determined. We started going over the various details. I had forgotten to ask for wheel locks so those were added. We then went through mountains of details regarding my info and my car I was potentially trading in.
About 90 minutes into the process someone went to appraise my car. As far as I could tell they spent about 5 minutes looking at the car. I had taken the car to CarMax to get appraised as well. The CarMax process is a little more involved. CarMax offered 12,000 for the car, which is sort of sad considering it is a little over 4 year old Lexus GS430. I guess the 111,000+ miles hurt the value a bit. When I started the online contact with Keith I mentioned I was hoping to get 13,000 for trade. After the cursory glance he came back. He said they couldn't do 13,000 and asked if less would be ok. I said just give me the number, it was 12,800 which I was more than happy with. At that point I said ok and we started the full processing.
It was at this point that Keith mentioned they didn't actually have the car I wanted. Needless to say this didn't make me too happy. I think he could tell this. He immediately went to see if they could get it. First he said in a day or two. Then left again and came back and said maybe tonight. He went to check once more and realized that they did actually have one on the lot. At this point he said they would start prepping it for me.
We then went into full paperwork mode. Mountains of paperwork, not as much as buying a house but still. This went on for another 30-45 minutes. I finally went in to see the "finance guy". Since I already had a loan from USAA I was figuring this would be easy. He first tried to sell me a loan, but I quickly shut him up with my rate thankfully. Then he offered up their "post sale" options list, it was a sad photo copied list. It looked like something that had been stretched and shrank and copied way too many times, and then had hand written notes on it. It was standard things like poly-coating, rust protector, wheel warranty and an extended warranty. The only one I was slightly interested in was the extended warranty, which is offered and backed by Honda. I had looked online prior to going in at the Honda Care Source web site which lists prices from many dealers. The prices online were up to 40% less than what Heritage offered. When I mentioned this and asked for a lower price the guy went off. He started ranting about how other dealers outside of Maryland aren't required to be bonded. He said this meant that if he dealer went bankrupt that no one would honor the warranty. Now remember I am talking about a Honda Care warranty, offered and backed by Honda not some other third party. At this point I mentioned that it is sold by Honda so does that mean he is talking about Honda going out of business? He seemed to get flustered and we basically got into a shouting match since his arguments weren't even logical. I then went back to his earlier statement about MD dealers, and he had to admit that (even by his flawed logic) it would be ok to get it from another MD dealer. I said thanks and moved on. I then realized I needed my bank routing number for the USAA pre-approved check. I didn't have it with me. I had to go get it.
I was going to take my old car home and get it. Apparently they took my tags off already though. At this point they said my new car was almost ready. I was just going to walk home, but as earlier they were trying to do anything they could to keep me from leaving, even after I said yes and signed paperwork. Finally at about 2 PM my car was ready. Keith showed me a few things but for the most part I knew more about the car then he did. He took the picture you see above of me. I went home and brought back the completed check.
The process could have been faster and smoother. I am happy I got the pricing out of the way to begin with. I could have done without the heavy sell from the finance guy though. If you want a good price I recommend this method for sure. It saved me several thousand off MSRP.