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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been researching the board on how to approach dealers and asking others on personal tactics. I've found a couple Honda Elements in the area that I plan to email and forward the suggested introductory letter that is stickied at the top of the forum section. I've been approved for a $10,000 auto loan through the bank at 5.5% (5.25% if I do auto deposit with my checking account). I may just do the 5.5% to avoid overdraft fee's. Not that they've ever been a problem for me in the past but it's just something I'd like to avoid if possible. Here's the problem, I have to trade my car in and am hoping for at least $5,000, maybe closer to $6,000. A local chevy dealer said, "we could probably do $5,000, $5500, mmmaybe $6,000. It's a 1994 Camaro z28, 50,000 miles, 6-speed, t-tops. mechanically it's not running the best so I need something a little more reliable. Here are the two cars I have found (2008 Honda Element EX & 2008 Honda Element SC). What should I be offering in my initial email to start with? Should my offer include an out the door price to avoid the headaches of all the fee's? thx so much.
http://www.cars.com/for-sale/search...28705&searchSource=GEO_SEARCH&pgId=2102&rd=75
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Site wont allow me to post the link because it's too long. Anyways I basically have about $15,000 to spend. I know I should be shooting for $14,000 because of all the little extra things that add up that first time buyers aren't aware of. What would be my max dealer price I should be looking to bargain with, $16,000, $17,000, $18,000? Based on what I've read I might/should be able to talk them down about $1500-$2000 of their asking price?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
http://bit.ly/9eHfBO I'm leaving here to head to the dealership so some advice would be much appreciated.
Here's a few others in the area that I was considering. http://bit.ly/bm28O9
I'm just not sure what my price should be when looking at dealer prices and what to offer than in return. On the sticky most people were able to get at least a couple thousand off of a new vehicle. However, I'm not sure if the same will apply to a used vehicle. Again, I'm in desperate need to replace my current car and will be signing off on the auto loan papers Monday.
 

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2007 Element EX TRP
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You have ALOT more to $$ play with on a used vehicle than you do a new one. The dealer has a LOT less invested. Look at edmunds.com for a good idea what the vehicle is worth in your area (it's based on zip code), what the dealer (probably) paid for it, and what you can START your negotiations from. I would suggest starting a little below private party value and go from there. You can also negotiate what they will give you for your car as well, running good or not. YOU have the power, they want to sell you a car. Always be able to walk away, DO NOT become emotionally attached. You know how much you have to spend, do not let them talk you into "payments that fit your budget".
$15k should be a good ballpark figure for an '08, so go in there confident, but, do your homework first. :roll::razz:

Good Luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So I went into the car dealership yesterday thinking I was going to see 10 honda elements. Come to find out Honda of Bradenton, Florida post Elements that they have in their inventory nationwide. Basically, they had 2 on location and one was undergoing the 150 point inspection. The first was a commercial lease vehicle and the second was a rental vehicle for a major rental company. In the end I stated that I wanted neither and but would like to make an offer on two others listed on their website instead, which was located 1,000 miles away. http://honda-cars-of-bradenton.ebizautos.com/webdetail.aspx?iid=5196758
Needless to say the saleswoman was PISSED because she spent 2 hours with me showing me around the facility, test driving one of the elements, and even let me inspect the other Element while it was on the hoist (which she got yelled at for because I was underneath of it inspecting the underbody/trans/engine). They were asking $16999 for the commercial lease one. It's a 2006 EX with 48,000 miles and FWD. I offered $13,200 +++. Obviously this didn't happen so I walked on the deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
On a side note I am now considering taking the $10,000 auto loan and purchasing a car through a private sale instead of going through a dealer. This way I could purchase the car with the auto loan now and try to sell my car privately later on. Once I sold my car I should be able to pay AT LEAST half of the loan off. I've found a few 2004-2005 Honda elements in the 65k range. Should I be concerned with any TSB's on this year model? thx soooo much...all of your help is much appreciated.
 
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