We recently bought a new Honda Odyssey. With two kids (10 months + 2 years) it was time to upgrade from our 2001 Honda Civic.
I got several discounts on the car, but the one I want to focus on here is the $500 military discount.
Honda’s $500 Military Discount is only eligible on new cars that are within the last two years (2018 and 2019 models).
In order to get the discount, there are a couple of requirements
- You must use their financing. This is not the end of the world given that they normally have pretty good offers. When I bought the minivan two months ago, it had a 5 year 0.9% APR rate which I was happy with.
- You must be an Active Military member or Retired Military. So basically this is eligible for everyone! (including spouses of current military or retired military)
I was able to get our minivan at a great deal. Here are a couple of suggestions
- Call multiple dealerships in multiple cities. For example, Fresno (CA) and Seattle (WA) are on average 8% higher than the national average. It may be worth driving 40 miles in order to save $1500. Here is a list of the 10 cheapest and most expensive cities to buy a car in
- Once you have a price from one dealership, ask the next dealership if they will BEAT the price. Don’t just say they offered me “20k” will you match it, SAY they offered me “20k” I need you to beat it by $500 for it to be worth my time. Be specific with them. If they beat it ask the next dealership or the original one to beat it by $200, etc. I contacted/negotiated with 7 different dealerships.
- TrueCar is okay, but Costco pricing is even better. Costco will often have specific incentives like an extra $1000 off.
- HOWEVER, Don’t settle for the TrueCar or Costco estimate, I got an additional $1400 off the Costco pricing and $2400 off the TrueCar estimate by asking for additional money off.
- When using TrueCars estimate, don’t include your $500 Military Discount or Graduation bonuses in the cost because you are just cheating yourself.
- I don’t recommend telling them about the Military Discount or Graduation Discount until the last second when you have already come up with a final price. At that time then say “Okay and I’m Active Duty Military so that will be an extra $500 off”. They don’t lose any money on the military discount but if you tell them about it at the beginning they will try and use it to their advantage saying they are giving you $500 off when they really aren’t doing anything
- 99% of the crap they say are lies. After this recent experience, I am convinced Car Salesmen are one of the most dishonest professions out there. They all say the exact same crap. “We’ll throw in tinted windows and nitrogen in your tires. We are the only dealership that will do that”. What they don’t tell you is that comes pre-installed on every new minivan. Every dealership has that in 100% of their cars. When you try and negotiate with them and say the other dealership gave you a better deal, they say crap like, “well that’s what they said now..” but when you get there they will tack on $1000 dollars of extra fees. Not true. Salesmen just love to lie.
- When you negotiate talk about “price out the door”. That’s the price you want to be comparing between all the dealerships. All cars have Title/Tax/License fees. Taxes can be a ton, depending on what state you live in. I live in Texas so the tax is 6.25% which is ridiculously high.
- I made a google spreadsheet so I could keep track of all the different offers and update it when they gave me a lower price
- If you call them on the phone to get a quote, give them your email and ask them to email you a quote for the total “out the door” price, including tax, title, license, dealer fees, and any other applicable fees. Don’t fall for their trick of saying you have to come into their store to get a quote. Just another sales tactic.
- If looking specifically for a Honda – use this webpage (http://tellmethebest.com/honda.html) for what your goal should be to get the car for (the list includes – Odyssey, Accura, and CRV models)
There are a lot of other companies that offer military discounts (Here are a few examples)