Buying a new vehicle is a huge commitment for many customers, especially if it’s a first-time purchase or they haven’t shopped for a vehicle in many years. The resources on the Internet make the research, shopping, and even purchasing stages much friendlier to the customer, but there are still some myths about buying from a car dealer that may confuse and frustrate shoppers. Your Valley Honda Dealers want to tackle some of those myths straight on so we can help you get over that major shopping hurdle.
Myth 1 – Cash is King!
This is a holdover from decades ago when the financing process was more complicated, and computerized bank transactions didn’t exist. The plain truth of the matter is that cash will have no impact on your price at a franchised new vehicle dealership. Your bank and the dealership can exchange funds almost instantly, and bringing cash could even potentially slow things down—paying with cash requires counting it multiple times, time-consuming trips to the bank for you and the dealer, and the possibility of losing the money. So, stuff those Benjamins into a mattress instead, if you’d prefer, and finance or pay for your Civic with a check.
Myth 2 – Dealer financing is a bad idea
Shopping around to find the right car at the right price is standard business these days – why wouldn’t you want to shop your finance rate? You can, of course, call a teller at your local branch and get one quote, but a dealership will have many more options available. Your Valley Honda Dealers, for instance, may have access to special incentive rates from the manufacturer that you’ll miss completely if you don’t give them a chance. Lenders make loan decisions when they’re fully informed on the loan request, and dealers will submit the complete details of your purchase (transaction price, term, trade equity, money down) to their preferred financial institution — like Honda Financial Services — or multiple financing sources, then let those lenders compete for your business. Pull the trigger once you have a finance and payment scenario with which you’re happy.
Myth 3 – Shopping finance rates will hurt your credit
The US government has an agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which is tasked with making sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly. Their advice: Shopping for the best rates on an auto loan will generally have little to no impact on your credit scores, and the benefit of lower rates will outweigh any minimal impact. When a customer allows a small number of mortgage lenders to check their credit within a 2-week window, most of those inquiries will be grouped as one on a credit history report. The same thing happens when your dealer researches finance opportunities on your CR-V Hybrid, for instance, through their premium lender network. Unless you repeat the car shopping process multiple times within a year, your credit score shouldn’t be negatively impacted.
Myth 4 – The last day of the month is the best time to buy
We can go both ways on this myth. Our Valley Honda Dealers are going to do everything they can to turn you into a satisfied Honda owner on the first, twelfth, or 27th day of any month. And if we’re being honest, you could argue it’s best to come in during the first days of the month, when the staff is eager to hit the ground running with a sale.
But there’s also some truth to the “buy at the end of the month” theory. There are situations where a sales manager might only be a sale or two away from a big goal, meaning you could find yourself negotiating an out-of-this-world deal. There are some downsides to shoppers waiting, though: dealers could get busy, making them unable to deliver a good shopping experience. Also, because this myth has propelled far into the public’s knowledge banks, the end of the month may bring larger crowds to the dealership. You may lose out on a good mid-month deal on a Honda Accord by risking it all on a slightly better deal at the end of the month. High risk, low reward?
Myth 5 – Always sell your trade yourself
You might have a friend or relative who always sells their trade vehicles by a private party and claims it’s the “only way” to do it. What they might not mention is they’re selling a $2,000 minivan with 205,000 miles to someone paying cash in the parking lot of a grocery store. Does their rule apply if you’re looking to get out of an SUV on which you owe $25,000? What about if that SUV is only worth $19,000, and you must deal with negative equity? It’s usually less painful to just sell or trade that vehicle into a dealer.
Dealers offer many advantages over your standard Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace buyer. They’re easy to find and have clearly stated business hours – no more being ghosted by that “really interested cash buyer” you met online. They have the budget to pay cash for your vehicle if you’re just looking to sell it. They have a network of buyers who might be willing to pay even more because they intend to sell your trade-in in a different part of the country. And exchanging your vehicle for a new (or new to you) vehicle at a dealership allows you to address any negative equity on your trade vehicle. Time is precious these days, and dealerships do a tremendous job of being a one-stop solution to getting out of your trade and into a new Honda – maybe that Pilot you’ve been considering?
Myth 6 – Test drives are unnecessary
“I’ve driven Hondas for years! I don’t need to test that CR-V out.” Honda is a constant innovator in the automotive world, and the products sold at your Valley Honda Dealers will likely change dramatically every few years. If you’re the type of shopper to wait a decade or more between purchases, the changes may be shocking.
For instance, the Honda CR-V has been around since 1997 and has changed significantly since then. Now there’s a CR-V Hybrid model, and all CR-Vs have shifted to a Continuously Variable Transmission and turbocharged engines. Plus, you’ve got advanced CR-V tech like Honda Sensing, backup cameras with dynamic guidelines, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, touchscreen infotainment, wireless phone charging, a 330-watt 9-speaker stereo system, Honda Link, a hands-free power tailgate, and 12-way power-adjustable driver seats – just to name a handful.
We compiled that list of CR-V changes to emphasize what you could miss out on if you skip the test drive. Don’t do it.
About Valley Honda Dealers
Your Valley Honda Dealers near Phoenix are proud to offer Honda’s innovative lineup of new vehicles as well as Certified Pre-Owned Hondas and other used cars. Visit your local dealer or give them a call to request a quote or test drive, and bust those myths yourself.