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Honda Element Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    Isn't that usually another word for holdback?

    Steve, Host
  • Holdback is different from the flooring charge. Take a look at the site:

    "Dealer Floorplan Assistance" Fees /Wholesale Financial Reserves./Dealer Interest Fee
    Some dealers charge this fee, which is icing on the cake. Have them remove this insult. Dealer Floorplan Interest is the interest that dealers pay for loans to buy the cars on their lot. Usually the factory pays this as part of the holdback, itemized as a separate invoice item. Floorplan interest can cost $150 per month for each car. On an Eclipse invoice I have, the factory gave the dealer $185 in floor plan assistance, and the dealer itemized it to the buyer as a fee, double collecting for $370! The factory gives the dealer 1-2 months of interest. The longer the car sits unsold on the lot, the more $150 interest checks the dealer pays. They want you to "assist" them in "paying it", which is the factory's expense, not yours. Dealers know we are on to them, so some have changed the name to a confusing term called "Wholesale Financial Reserves." or "Dealer Interest Fee".

    Honda includes this on their invoice, not listing it separately like other auto makers. Is User isellhonda a dealer? Hmmm....
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    Still sounds like holdback to me, and no, you shouldn't pay it "twice."

    Steve, Host
  • I guess if you really wanted to, one could think of a floor plan fee as holdback-like, but not really. The reason why it's different is that inorder to get a better idea of the "True" price a dealer is paying for a car, you deducted the 2-3% dealer holdback, and then you also deducted the flooring plan fee and the other rebates (factory to dealership, factory to customer)and fees (destination, "documentation fees", etc.).

    As for mr. isellhondas saying that it is the current "market" that determines the prices on car, boy that sure sounds like a dealer talking. Why should I pay "market" when I know what the dealer is paying. No matter which car or model you look at, dealers will say "This is a hard config to come by", or "Boy did you pick a hot car". When buying a car, I don't care what the market pays; I only care what's the best deal I can get, which better be less than market! People who take the time to read these boards and do research should always pay less than the uninformed buyer's "market" price (aka sucker's price). Knowledge is power!

    On a side note, having an economics and accounting degree, it makes me laugh when dealers throw out terms like "market price", and the finance manager tries to up the price of a car by saying he can lower my monthly payment (paying $10/month for a 5 years is NOT better than paying $20/month for two years).

    Everyone should check out
  • yalsyals Posts: 1

    I have a question to all experienced Honda buyers out here. What in your opinion based on previous years of dealing with Honda is the best time to buy Element? Now - when Honda is offering 3.9% (ending 12/5/04) but Element 2004 is not on the dealer’s lot yet. Or wait month or two? How low the price may drop after its arrival? Couple hundreds or thousand?

    The matter is I have to buy one until last day of February 2004. And if it is depends on market I am in Chicago.

    Thanks for you time and opinion.

  • Dealer came down to $19,590 on 2003 EX AWD Auto with Side AirBags. Sticker was $21,590, so $2000 off.

    Does this seem like a good price? I am curious to hear some replies to the previous posting... 2003 now or wait a few more months when the 2004s are on the lot.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    The longer you wait for an '03, the less likely it will be that you will get what you want. After all, they aren't making any more of them. The prices people (including myself) are paying for the '03s now seems to be about as low as it's going to go. In my opinion, buyers are in a great position now as dealers are trying to rid themselves of their '03 inventory in order to get a larger allotment of '04s.

    I'd say now is as good a time as ever to get an '03, but not for the price quoted to imaveggie. At very least, you should be able to get them down to invoice (around $19,100). With minimal prodding, you can get under $19,000 (at least I did). Must say, however, that I'm not sure about the Chicago market - I'm in Baltimore. As always, timing is critical. The last couple of days in any given month are the best time to get the deal you deserve.

    As for the advertised 3.9% interest rate, my advice to that is to ignore the TV ads at all cost. I'd also leave any reference to desired interest rate or monthly payment out of negotiations over the price of the car. Check first with your bank / credit union, as they may be able to do better. Honda Credit can also do better if they know there's competition (I got 3.65% at the end of November). Just like the price of the car, the interest rate they "advertise" isn't their bottome line.

    Good luck!
  • Seems like they are the ones to beat. They are in Elmhurst. No local dealer would touch them.

  • Just purchased an '04 Element off the truck.
    Orange, EX, 4WD, Auto for $20,186 + tax and tag.
    I think it was a reasonably good deal.
    Hope this helps somebody else.
  • OK, your the first that I know of that got an 04. How do you like it?
  • Like it fine. Very utilitarian. My kid loves all the leg room and the stadium style seating for his car seat mounted on backseat. Gonna love the room in the rear when I load my paintball equipment in. Biggest complaints after having driven 1.5 hours in it are the lack of a good place to put ones left foot rest and the door is hard on the knee when leaned on it. Also, the drop down armrest is very close and narrow so not very usefull. If the shallow floor level cupholder area could be replaced with an armrest level center console (like you see in SUV's and pickups) that would be awesome. Anybody here of a 3rd party addon to do that?
    The car doesn't like sprinting much and the highway noise is a bit bothersome but it has pretty good handling around town.
    For what it is and the cost I think it's a good vehicle.
    I think 2004 added keyless entry and passenger armrest but don't notice anything else different form 2003.
  • Blue EX. $20,733. Added All Weather Mats and a Trailer Hitch for $754(takes a while to get the hitch on, I guess). I agree about the arm rest and lack of a place for your left foot. It drives nicely. My 2 dogs should love it. Only bummer I can think of right now (after 1 day) is that when both seats are folded up, it is hard to see when backing up. Otherwise, I think in the EX, there should have been a few more accessories like the fog lamps and roof rack included. Other SUV's do this on their highest end models. Maybe it's a good thing, because I have found the accessories to be far less expensive out on Ebay than from a Honda dealer. Most of the parts on Ebay are genuine Honda parts from actual dealers willing to sell for less. I hope someone comes up with a tall center console that will fit right into the existing one and that it has a padded arm rest....will write more after driving for a month or so.
  • mreamymreamy Posts: 6
    Turns out Honda already thought of the armrest issue. Should've been standard.
    Search for armrest...looks good, gonna order one.
  • Out here close to DC at Tysons Corner

    Last week we went into the second dealership and I told the sales manager I wanted the 2003EX4WD Auto in satin silver with:
    Seatback bungees
    Shade Screen(for skylight)
    Carpet floor mats
    Keyless entry
    Cargo net
    Cargo Cover

    Plus taxes, processing, destination, DMV fees-


    My highest I (silently) felt comforable was $20700.
    He took five minutes and said $20850.
    We got started on the paperwork.

    2/30,000 worth of free oil changes

    Of course my fiance wanted the extended dealership warranty which added another $985 so we have 6/100,000 with an insane amount of things covered including rental cars or hotels away from home til the work is finished.

    No financing.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    If you are having buyer's remorse about the extended warranty, often they are cancellable. Check the fine print.

    Steve, Host
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,348
    I've been gone therefore I didn't respond before.

    Yopu can have all of the degrees in the world however, it's always the prevaling MARKET that determines pricing. Same thing applies to houses and other things.

    So, it really doesn't matter what the dealer paid for a car. If the dealer won the car in a contest, and got it for free, it's still worth whatever the market is at that time.

    If a dealer's lot is crammed with a slow selling model, of course, they will take a very slim deal just to move the inventory. If it's a hot seller in short supply it'll be a different story.

    This should all seem so simple.

    As far as your "floorplan" advise, your facts are terribly distorted but I won't respond to that. No, we do not list or charge a "floorplan" charge. I have no idea what other dealers selling other brands do.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    There's actually a good reason why they put the small armrest and a floor center console on the Element. Just like the CR-V, Honda wanted to provide the ability to climb through to the backseat easily without getting out of the car. The concept is common among minivans, and seems to be aimed at the parents among us. Odd, however, that the car is not exactly marketed to those in the minivan segment.

    I too thought about springing for the larger armrest, but decided against it when I saw that the installation requires you to cut into the seatback cover with a utility knife. I would think that once the integrity of the fabric is compromised, that little cut can easily become a gaping hole over time. I'll stick with the smaller armrest, thank you.
  • I am poisting this info out of being nice. To those shopping in the Chicagoland area, no one seems to be able to beat Grand Honda in Elmhurst, IL. This was in this Sunday's paper.
  • elby1elby1 Posts: 2
    That sounds like an excellent deal, Kayla. For comparison purposes so I can translate to NY $s, may I ask what the VA sales tax and DMV would have cost (or at least what the VA tax rate is)?

    Thanks very much,
  • ycyashycyash Posts: 1
    I just bought a Honda Element EX 2004, Side airbags, Manual. With 6 Year / 100,000 mile warranty for the total of about $21,200 with tax & tags & a cargo net. The MSRP for the warranty is around 1100, but I was able to get it for 850.
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