car prices

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Actual price for Scion xB

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Before I bought the Prius I test drove a Scion xB. Scion uses no-haggle pricing. I got quotes for a bare-bones no add-ons vehicles at a few dealers. The were all consistent at around $19,200. Give or take a $100 dollars because I lost my note sheet.

However, the internet guy at Sunnyvale Toyota asked me if I had a color preference. I said “anything but white.” To counter my hatred of white cars, he offered to sell me a white Scion xB for $300 off because he was overstocked on white Scion xB’s. That would have been ~$18,900.

Therefore, if you aren’t picky about color and you think a dealership may have too many of an unpopular colored car (white), you may be able to get a discount.

Toyota Prius extended warranty 7 year / 100,000 miles

When I bought my Prius the finance guy offered me a pre-paid maintenance plan for $1,275 and the Toyota Platinum Extra Care plan for $1,375.

After briefly perusing the web I found that the Prius Chat forums offer a Discounted Toyota Extended Warranty plan through Warranty Shack. Don’t be fooled by the website’s shoddy looks. It is actually a side website offered by Troy Dietrich from Toyota of Greenfield, Massachusetts. It is the exact same plan as sold by my dealer, but for substantially less at $990. Many people in the priuschat forums and Yahoo! Prius owners group vouch for this discount so I figured I’ll give it a try to save myself some cash for the warranty and service work. I also called the dealership to confirm that Mr. Dietrich is in fact a real person (he is). I sent my check. Now we wait to see if I get ripped off.

Actual prices on 2008 Honda Fit Out the door

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Being a car buying novice I hear all this talk about holdbacks, invoice, rebates, chargebacks, and a jillion other supposed ways to get a good price on a car. Truly, I don’t know if any of that shit works so I just walked into a dealership just to see how much cars cost. Now I realize that is a mistake. Edmunds has a Prices Paid – Buying & Leasing forum where scores of car buyers share their actual out-the-door (or OTD) prices paid. With this kind of information, how can I lose or overpay? I should have looked at the Honda Fit forum before my trip to the dealership.

This afternoon I spent about 90 minutes at my local Honda dealer — Serramonte Honda in Colma, California scoping out the 2008 Honda Fit. I took a solid test drive including a near accident turning left out of the parking lot. We went around the block and up some hills. I am mildly disappointed in the Fit’s lack of uphill power. However, the price is right and I like the interior space. Knowing all this I go into the dealership thinking I will probably buy this vehicle if not today, this month.

Inside the dealership I realized I hadn’t done enough homework to know how much I should pay. The dealer’s initial proposal was $17,700 out-the-door for base Honda Fit with some of the necessary add-ons like power windows, cruise control, AC, etc. I knew the MSRP sticker of $16,100 I thought car prices are supposed to sell for BELOW the sticker! Am I right? I said $14,500. The manager came over to show me what the dealer paid in invoice of about $14,800 — which matches the Edmunds invoice price — and that they would need to sell for $16,885 just to make out OK on the sale of the car. I said no way, knowing that I was sitting there unprepared on price information.

The Edmunds forum would have confirmed me that a regular Honda Fit can be had for less than $16,885. No remorse for passing on the dealer’s offer.

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