How can I get the best price on this sold out car?
November 14, 2008 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Is anybody selling Honda Fits for less than MSRP in central TX?

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I'm in Austin, TX, looking for a 2009 Honda Fit. There's a wait for most configurations at every dealership. The build and color I want will come in about 3 weeks, and I put a deposit to reserve it at one dealership.

So far it seems nobody will consider taking less than MSRP. Edmunds shows invoice as $600 less, but they're "What other people are paying" number is actually $500 more than MSRP.

How can I negotiate this? What leverage do I have, because it feels like I have none. Have I given anything up by putting down the deposit (it is supposed to be refundable)? Any personal stories about buying this car?
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight to Shopping (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I paid MSRP for my Fit a couple years ago, and I feel like I got a good deal. $600 isn't a very big margin for the dealer. I did get my dealer to include the set of floor mats and cargo tray that accidentally came with the car, though (it was a dealer trade).
posted by zsazsa at 8:49 AM on November 14, 2008

What leverage do I have, because it feels like I have none.

You are correct. In the laws of supply and demand, when an item -- any item -- is in high demand like the Fit is, it becomes a seller's market.
posted by anastasiav at 8:50 AM on November 14, 2008

When we bought our Fit (1.5 years ago), all we could do was pay as little over MSRP as possible and get the most useful "add-ons" (read: dealer markup items) by comparing dealerships. As it turned out, there was no waiting list, but very little choice available.

If you want leverage, wait a few years....
posted by JMOZ at 8:59 AM on November 14, 2008

You might have some leverage if you can pay cash, or have financing already.
posted by electroboy at 9:04 AM on November 14, 2008

You might want to try asking this over at the Edmunds forums. The "prices paid" threads there are useful records of what other people are paying. MSRP might well be the best you can do right now, but it's worth doing some research.
posted by RogerB at 9:07 AM on November 14, 2008

Pay cash. Car dealers love people who can ante up the full price and will deal you a better price.
posted by bjgeiger at 9:17 AM on November 14, 2008

Pay cash. Car dealers love people who can ante up the full price and will deal you a better price.

Really? I thought dealers loved people who were going to get dealer financing and make the dealer a big extra chunk over time?
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:51 AM on November 14, 2008

Have you been dealing with the regular salespeople? You will probably get a better deal by calling each dealership and asking for the internet sales manager. Get one of them to give you a price, and then call another dealership and tell them that the other guy quoted you $X and ask if they can beat that. Keep doing this until no one will go any lower.

I bought a 2009 base Fit last week (in Los Angeles) and I paid the invoice price. It's worth noting that, while Fits seem to be in demand, most of the dealerships I called had at least a couple of them in stock.
posted by kitty teeth at 10:13 AM on November 14, 2008

This happened when I bought a MINI Cooper in the second year of production. It was a no-brainer for the the dealer, you either put your name on the list for the retail price, or you didn't. They were so popular at the time that the used last-year's models on the lot were only about one to two thousand less than a new one.
posted by shinynewnick at 11:01 AM on November 14, 2008

I live in Austin. When I bought my Prius a few years ago, I called around to different Toyota dealers in parts of the state that were not quite so Austin-like. I ended up buying exactly the car I wanted, for under MSRP, with less than a week's wait, from a dealer in Lubbock. They shipped it down to me on the back of a flat-bed at no additional cost. Try calling around to other Texas (Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico) dealers.
posted by Addlepated at 11:19 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Pay cash. Car dealers love people who can ante up the full price and will deal you a better price.

If you walk in with a third-party loan already arranged, the dealer gets a check for the full amount anyways. So actual cash doesn't make that much difference here.
posted by smackfu at 8:37 AM on November 17, 2008

Just asked my honda-wheeling and dealing car salesman friend this question:

"Each car there is what is called "a mark up" some can even reach 5,000 on the Honda Fit the mark up is only 300 dollars so the dealership isn't really making any money off of the Fit. That is why there is no negotiating on those cars. So you can tell your friend to start looking at a Honda Ridgeline and then start to haggle. "

Hope this helps.
posted by yoyoceramic at 8:21 PM on November 17, 2008

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