Thursday, September 01, 2011

Our Story Thus Far III

III. Buying the Car

Was relatively painless. It had taken me a month or so of shopping to get serious, a while longer to email Honda to ask for their help in finding a stripper, and then a couple weeks for it to come in.

For the first time in my life, I didn't even bother to drive the thing beforehand, figuring that the ninth-generation Civic could offer me no surprises, certainly no surprises that would be a dealbreaker. As the Death Car shows, I'm reasonably accepting in what I can accommodate myself to driving. So, why even bother with the test-drive ritual?

The salesman was somewhat bemused by my car and by my deal: he noted that the CUSTOMER is allowed to call Honda and request a specific configuration of car, but the dealership is supposed to take what they're allocated.

They DID try to sell me a dealer-installed radio: $730, plus sales tax, plus financing. That was nearly 5% of the price of the car. I passed on that chance.

(ProTip: you can spot the DX at a hundred paces because the cheap version comes only in silver, and it has cheap black-plastic doorhandles; every other Civic on the road has door handles that match the paint job. And we quickly learned that a "four-door compact sedan in silver gray" is just about the most anonymous car on the road. It's like every tenth car matches this description.)

The deal itself was only a nominal 2% off sticker - but the sticker price was just about 15% below the MSRP of the standard LX version that they wanted me to buy, so I'm happy enough. Honda offered 0.9% / 60-month financing: a total cost of ~$410 for the loan, spread over five years. That's only about 27ยข/day for the loan. Even my Credit Union was at 2.75%, fully a thousand bucks more. My payment is only $303.51. I see 4-year-old used Civics being sold for more than I paid. (Just for the record, I should look up the sticker prices of the top-end Civic, and of the hybrid Civic. Later: The top Civic (EX-L with Sat. Nav.) is a remarkable $24,225; the Hybrid is $24,050, and comes only with a CVT, and gets 44/44/44 mpg. Oh, and there's a 4dr Si for $24,675.)

Now I'm trying to think of something interesting to do with the money I saved. (Something more interesting than buying fuel oil for the winter, anyway....)

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