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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking at a 2011 Element EX AWD and the MSRP is roughly $25,000. I would like to know the invoice price so I can make a reasonable offer, but I can't seem to find it. Also, how much above invoice is a fair deal? As you can tell, I have never bought a brand new car. I don't want to get taken by the car dealer vultures. :evil:
 

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Edmunds.com is a great tool for pricing info. It is location specific, will provide any available incentives, and provide an average running price for location and current time.

I used this back in '08 for two car purchases. Your best leverage is toward the end of the month. Be fair in your expectations.

Good luck!
 

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Car buying tips

I would recommend you read carbuyingtips.com before you buy. It teaches you how to buy a car and not get ripped off. I found it very helpful.
 

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Hi Haulin Honda. Like others' recommendations, check out truecar.com for invoice price and 3 lowest prices that actually customers have paid for same model element in the last 6 months. Truecar.com is a database of prices paid in your local area. Print out these prices as proofs for dealers to match prices. Check out carbuyingtips.com for great advice from start to finish. Check out cars.com and fill out internet price request for dealers to email you with. Very few dealers will send email quotes because their prices may not be the lowest. Use email quotes as leverage for price negotiation. I bought my first ever new car (the E) for under $19800 thru internet only. MSRP was $21600 and invoice was about $20800. I had no car buying experince whatsoever. Limit face-to-face haggling, salesmen are experienced professionals when taking advantage of people. Bring a trusted friend or relative to give you good advice during negotiations. Your judgment could be impaired with tricks and numbers talk from the salesman. Salesmen prefer their victims to be alone, instead of with a buddy. Deal with internet sales manager only, not floor salesmen (they're on commissions). Dont buy accessories from dealers. Their prices are doubled the MSRP. Buy accessories from ebay or our sponsors here. Dont buy third party extended warranty because they're overpriced (5yr for $1800 and NOT Hondacare warranty!). The Karr alarm system will cost under $900, similar to Lo-jack, overpriced by dealer. Element comes standard with engine immobilizer and you will have insurance on it.
Good luck. I hope it you get the best deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Haulin Honda. Like others' recommendations, check out truecar.com for invoice price and 3 lowest prices that actually customers have paid for same model element in the last 6 months. Truecar.com is a database of prices paid in your local area. Print out these prices as proofs for dealers to match prices. Check out carbuyingtips.com for great advice from start to finish. Check out cars.com and fill out internet price request for dealers to email you with. Very few dealers will send email quotes because their prices may not be the lowest. Use email quotes as leverage for price negotiation. I bought my first ever new car (the E) for under $19800 thru internet only. MSRP was $21600 and invoice was about $20800. I had no car buying experince whatsoever. Limit face-to-face haggling, salesmen are experienced professionals when taking advantage of people. Bring a trusted friend or relative to give you good advice during negotiations. Your judgment could be impaired with tricks and numbers talk from the salesman. Salesmen prefer their victims to be alone, instead of with a buddy. Deal with internet sales manager only, not floor salesmen (they're on commissions). Dont buy accessories from dealers. Their prices are doubled the MSRP. Buy accessories from ebay or our sponsors here. Dont buy third party extended warranty because they're overpriced (5yr for $1800 and NOT Hondacare warranty!). The Karr alarm system will cost under $900, similar to Lo-jack, overpriced by dealer. Element comes standard with engine immobilizer and you will have insurance on it.
Good luck. I hope it you get the best deal.
Thanks for the advice. For some reason every salesman I get just happens to be some young stupid thing. I usually know more about the car than he does.
 

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Hello again, Haulin Honda. I want to add a few things. As a first time car buyer, I put in maybe hours and hours of research in buying a car. I studied like it was Finals exam for a class. Not once did I visit a dealership to "window shop" for prices. I wanted to get the lowest price on paper thru internet only. By getting an internet price quote from a dealer, you have the price set on stone and there's no haggling involved later when you show up to that dealer. I'm a first time buyer and poor negotiator, so this was the best course for me. Here are some helpful reminders to bring to dealership:
1. Bring hard copies of invoice prices and actual prices from truecar.com and cars.com.
Also, bring hard copies of dealer email quotes to show other dealers.
2. Bring a copy of your credit score from one of the three credit bureaus. I paid $8 to have my equifax score. It's important to know your credit score for financing thru Honda.
A dealer could pull a fast one on you by giving you a higher loan rate.
3. Bring a copy of kelley blue book value for your trade-in. Dealers offer only fair market value (about half of actual value)
4.Be aware of transaction fees listed on sales contract. Taxes, documentation preparation, registration/titling, dmv electronic filing are legitimate fees.
5. On cars.com or shophonda.com there is a finance calculator that you can plug numbers to see your monthly payments. If you know the sale price, downpayment,and loan rate, you can have a rough idea of how much it will cost monthly and its total cost.
Expect the dealer/finance person to throw rates and monthlies at you that might confuse or overwhelm you. Knowledge is power. If you have questions, please ask. Good luck.
 

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I have been looking at a 2011 Element EX AWD and the MSRP is roughly $25,000. I would like to know the invoice price so I can make a reasonable offer, but I can't seem to find it. Also, how much above invoice is a fair deal? As you can tell, I have never bought a brand new car. I don't want to get taken by the car dealer vultures. :evil:
hard to say, depends on where you live, some dealers belong to associations that they pay fees to and they have to recoup that cost.
but if it helps any; invoice is around $22,800.
if you haven't made a move yet, see my post on financing.
 
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