Thursday, December 2, 2010

Buying a car via the internet…

Stock PhotoBuying a car has become easier since the internet came about since so much information is now easily at our fingertips.   After reading reviews, safety reports, and bloggers who atoll the virtues of this car as the toad of choice for RV’ers we are looking to replace our current vehicles with a 2011 Honda CRV EX.

So how do we now shop for this car?  First the bride and I, being short in stature, needed to test drive one of these so we went off to the local dealer.  Here we looked at the CRV and actually found one exactly as we wanted one.  We test drove the car and we loved it easy handling and it was very drivable for the two of us. After letter the sales agent know of our intentions we gave him the opportunity to give us his best written offer before we hit the web in search of deals (we told him what we were expecting to pay based upon our web research).

So how did we do our web research? The best starting place in my opinion is to go to Truecar’s website where one is able to get a thorough price report on the car that they want.  In our case we are looking at a 2011 Honda CRV EX where according to our zip code the costs are as follows:

  • Dealer Cost $24,015
  • Factory Invoice $24,520
  • Average Paid $24,791
  • Sticker Price $26,025

They go on to point out that in our area the prices one should expect are as follows:

  • Great Price $24,337
  • Good Price $24,925
  • Above Market Price more than $24,926

Other sites such as and give further details:

  • kbb suggests a fair purchase price of $25,504
  • Edmunds projected five year cost of ownership ®  suggests our fuel costs to be $8,429 and insurance to be $5,491
  • Edmunds suggested True Market Value®  $24,603 or between truecar’s great and good price
  • Edmunds projected five year cost of ownership for maintence and repairs is $2,783 and $671 respectively (great for budget forecasting)

Further when comparing the true cost to our our second choice model, a 2011 Jeep Wrangler, we learned that it would cost us more than 11,000 dollars more to own it. With $2,000 per year more in our budget I think we will just rent a Wrangler for those occasions when we want to do some hard core 4WD off roading.

So we sent off many an email to many a car dealer and are starting to get some prices in.  The best one so far is slightly above the average price of truecar’s prices, however, this one does have an incentive of a $500.00 gift card thus lowering it to below average in pricing… time will tell who we buy from…


  1. Never thought of doing it that way! You are a good teacher. Keep us posted on how it works out for you.

  2. Looks like you have done a lot of good research. We found Herson's Honda (internet sales lady was Ginny Marshall) to be the best in our area. You might call them and see what they can do for you.

  3. Honda CRV was top of my list but I couldn't find a used one for a good price. Enjoy it. Since you are still looking for a rig, have you checked out Brue and Margie's rig for sale? It's a really nice one. I would be all over it if I was looking for a diesel.

  4. Ugggg!!! I hate car buying! Those sales guys see me and think I'm such a sucker. They don't realize I have inherited my mom's viper negotiation skills :)

    BTW...thanks for stopping by the blog and commenting. And to answer your question, heaps of praise will do! LOL!

  5. Certainly sounds like you have done your home-work. Good luck, and may you get the best deal out there....

  6. As a followup the CRV is very competitively priced... I have been able to get 4 written out of the door quotes for what we want and the prices are only a few hundred dollars apart... am considering doing the same thing for a Jeep :)

    Nellie - I am worried about you and the heaps thing :)
    Randy and Pam - thanks will send them a request as well

  7. I am constantly surprised at how organized you guys are. Of course maybe that's because I'm not. Thanks for the info. I'm going to bookmark this post for the next time I buy a car.

  8. With leasing, the headaches of selling a used car are eliminated. When your lease ends, you simply turn it back to the leasing company and walk away, unless you decide to buy it or trade it.