Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A silver 2020 Honda Civic Sedan Sport is parked on a city street.

Visit Your Local Honda Dealer

Back when I was a kid, you were pretty limited if you wanted to buy a new or used car, you couldn’t just type “Honda dealer near me” into a search engine. If you wanted a new car, your only option was to go to a dealership that was a certified dealer for that make. You couldn’t expect to buy a brand new Pontiac Firebird from a Plymouth dealership. If that was the car you wanted, you had to go to the local Pontiac dealer. You had more options if you were buying used, but that was basically used car dealers and the guy down the street. Today, with the Internet, your options are much broader than ever before. There are new and used dealers online, as well as Internet classified bulletin boards like Craig’s List that allow you to find cars, trucks, and SUVs all over the country.

However, with that being said, if you are looking to buy a new or used car, your best bet is still to find a dealer in your neighborhood. This dealer is part of your community and has an interest in maintaining its reputation. Also, if you need service or repairs, this will make it easy to arrange. It is just not feasible to arrange for a routine maintenance visit with a dealer who is on the other side of the country. While it is good to think global when buying a car, it is often best to buy local.

Finding Your Local Honda Dealership

Take a minute and go on their website, as there will be useful information on there as well. Most dealers list their inventory on their website, so you can browse to see if they have the Honda model, trim, and color that you’re looking for. You can also get an idea about pricing, since dealerships can differ in this regard, especially with respect to used and Certified Pre-Owned Honda cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. Some Honda dealerships even offer incentives, special offers, and discounts when you buy, lease, or finance a vehicle. Other things to look for include a service and parts department, their involvement in the community, and their finance center.

Once you have this information from the various dealerships, you should take a minute and check out their reviews. You might start with the Better Business Bureau’s website just to see if there are any problems with this dealership. Most dealers may have one or two complaints because you can’t satisfy everyone all the time. But, if you see a great many open complaints and they seem to be about the same issues, then this should give you pause.

Your next step is to check other review sites, as this will show you how other customers in your area have felt about their experiences with the various dealerships. Again, don’t be surprised if there are a handful of bad reviews. However, a large number of negative reviews can be problematic, especially if the same problems seem to keep coming up. Also, see if the dealership answered the review and addressed the complaints. A dealer that steps up to correct problems is one that you should strongly consider, as it shows an attention to putting the customer first.

A red 2020 Honda Fit EX-L from a Honda dealer near you is driving on a suburban road.

Selection and Ordering

Now that you have found the dealership you would like to visit, it is time to head out on the search for your next Honda model. Set aside a day when you are off from work or school, and take along someone whose opinion you trust, since it’s always a great idea to have a second set of eyes. Once you are at the dealership, take the time to test drive a few different models. You may have gone in wanting to buy a new Honda Accord, but you didn’t realize that a cute, sporty Civic compact is actually better for your needs and is more affordable for your budget. Also, you really don’t know how you are going to feel behind the wheel of a larger vehicle like a Pilot midsize SUV or a Ridgeline medium pickup truck until you take it for a ride. In addition, the professional staff at your local Honda dealership can help you understand the various features and benefits of each Honda vehicle.

If you have come to a decision on which Honda model you like, next is the time to choose the trim, optional features, and color for the vehicle. As you move up from each of the different trim levels on a Honda vehicle, you will notice that it includes additional features, like larger wheels, a different transmission, a more advanced stereo system, leather seats, or an all-wheel drivetrain.

In addition, there are certain options you can add for most trims, like luggage racks or running boards. You can go over this with the dealer representative as well so that your Honda is equipped for your exact needs. Finally, you can choose the color. If you are not sure of which color you like, your dealer will probably have a number of different examples of the same vehicle on its lot, so you can pick the model with the features and tech you desire.

Certified Pre-Owned

One of the best parts about buying your next car at a local Honda dealership is the CPO program. To become eligible to be part of the HondaTrue Certified program, the Honda vehicle must be from a model year only as old as 2015. Once selected, the vehicle will undergo a 182-point inspection to ensure that it is the best used Honda available. To show absolute transparency, Honda has made this vehicle inspection report downloadable for each vehicle in the HondaTrue Certified program.

Each vehicle in this program is backed with a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. This covers each and every part of this critical feature, including the car’s engine and transmission. In addition, Honda provides a warranty for non-powertrain parts. If there is an existing original New Vehicle Limited Warranty on the CPO Honda vehicle, it is extended so that it runs for a total of 4-years/48,000-miles. If the original warranty has expired, then Honda will provide a Honda Certified Vehicle Limited Warranty of 1-year/12,000-miles from the date of delivery. In addition, Honda provides roadside assistance, up to two complimentary oil changes during your first year of ownership, and concierge service.

In addition, all Honda certified pre-owned vehicles receive a free 90-day trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, so you can test out this wonderful programming before deciding whether to extend your subscription. Only Honda dealers are permitted to participate in this program. So, your local Honda dealer will be able to show you how you can get your next vehicle under this incredible deal.

A blue 2020 Honda Pilot Elite with a surfboard on the roof is parked at a beach.

Repairs, Service, and Maintenance

No matter how good your car is, it is going to need routine service and maintenance. Every car needs to have its tires rotated at least once a year. You are also going to have to change the oil and check all the other fluids to make sure they are at proper levels with proper consistency. Unfortunately, cars also get into accidents, requiring repairs. It is going to be very difficult to get your Honda fixed if you bought your car from a dealership on the other side of the country. If you bought it from the neighbor down the road, she will only be able to provide this to you if she also happens to be a trained auto mechanic. You don’t have to worry about this if you buy from your local Honda dealer.

A good dealership has a staff of trained mechanics that know the ins and outs of every car, truck, van, and SUV. With all the advanced systems on these technologically advanced vehicles, the days of just taking it to any old mechanic are long over. By going to a Honda dealership for service or maintenance, you will have the peace of mind that your vehicle is in the best hands.

So what are you waiting for? Visit your local Honda dealer today!

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