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Cost of "certification?"


mgiven

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Hi all…

 

I’m in the process of buying a “certified” Civic. I found a particular Civic on the Honda.com (corporate) website by using the search parameters to only display certified civics. This led me to one particular vehicle I was interested in that came up as certified. I then repeated this process on the specific dealer’s page and only searched for certified Civics and again got this vehicle in the search results.

 

The description page on the website for this vehicle shows the price and the “Honda Certified” logo and says in the text description “**HONDA CERTIFIED**” which to me and my knowledge of English as past tense and already certified. The description goes on to further state that it has been “inspected” (past tense) and “repaired” (past tense) and “guaranteed” (past tense) and lists it as having the 1 year/12,000 mile and 7 years/100,000 powertrain warranties. Even further, the Carfax report clearly shows the car as being “offered for sale as a Honda Certified Used Car” on 1/24/11.

 

I went to the dealer on 2/3/11 and they started with the price on the website as the basis and took information and began the financing process and showing the car and all. Then before finalizing the deal they added a $995 charge for “certification” which is they said is the cost to get the car certified and for the warranty.

 

This raises a lot of ethical and potentially legal questions:

Is this a common practice? Is this even near the cost for certification? And maybe most importantly…Can they advertise one price and list in the description something that is clearly “already an included benefit” and then tack on a charge for it later? I thought an advertised price can not be changed for something that is already in the advertised description? I am meeting with them on Monday and will ask for the complete charge be removed or I’ll walk, but any other ideas of what to add to strengthen the case?

 

Thanks…sorry so long.

 

Mike

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every car dealer and every state have different ways of doing things. you are on your own in that respect.

 

on the other hand, be an informed consumer. find other comparable local vehicles from other dealers websites. print out the sales pages and take them with you for negotiations (obviously only take the lower priced ones) check with NADA and KBB for their take on the vehicles suggested value.

 

always keep in mind, on a used vehicle the dealer is often making a considerable profit. if that car is listed for sale at 15,000 they often only have 10,000 in it. there is a lot of room to beat them up on price. if you do not NEED to buy a vehicle play hard ball with them. use your competitive quotes to get them to drop the price to beat competitors, ask for the 'out the door' price which is a complete price with no extra fees.

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