Don’t get us wrong, we like Honda more than most. While Civic remains the number one selling compact car in Honda’s lineup, we find used car retail pricing to be a bit over-the top. We’ve written about the extraordinary residual value of the Civic and decided to take a closer look at car lot resale numbers. We were blown away...
Kelley Blue Book tells us that Honda Accord, Civic, CRV and Odyssey all retain greater than 50% residual value at time of dealership trade in or private resale. What we discovered was Honda mania, with used car pricing bordering on hysteria.
Turns out that either used car lots have tossed the Blue Book guidelines out, or demand for a used Civic is so high in our regional market that would- be buyers have abandoned sense and sensibility.
What's your 8 year old Honda Civic worth?
While K.B.B. tells us that a 6 year old Honda Civic retains the highest residual retail value in the industry, we were hard pressed to find one.
On the West Coast of the U.S. a low mileage Civic is worth it’s weight in gold. While that me be a slight exaggeration we found only one 2008 Civic in Portland Oregon. While not ready for the crusher, a high mileage(107,200) Civic Coupe was priced at $12,900. This was an EX and retailed for $18,700 when bought new in 2007. Well past the expiration date for many cars, this 2 door presented in good condition was offered at 69% of original retail price.
Has the used car world gone mad?
We decided to broaden our search a bit and found 270 used Honda Civics offered in several variants scattered between San Francisco and Seattle.Once again we discovered the constant here to be scarcity of low mileage Honda Civic compacts; people buy these cars to drive them. Our search turned up more than one 2004 Civic with well over 200,000 miles on the O.D.. We kept searching…
2006 Civic EX in black, 180,283 miles showing. Price: $8998.
Not too long ago an eight year old compact car with 180,000 miles showing would be headed for the crusher, or, curbed at a hardship lot for far below wholesale. This high mileage Civic was being marketed for 45% of original retail price. We found Civic’s with 200,000 + miles priced at over $5800. They’re good cars but are they that good?
Honda resale popularity is year and trim variant sensitive.
When conducting this price comparison we found ourselves cruising the web, car price guides and local lots. The used car game has been played the same way for well over 100 years. We find it best to establish a relationship with your favorite local dealership, hand them a wish list and hold them to a specific model, mileage and price range. The strategy here is to intercept a trade-in before it goes on the lot. Do your negotiation at the front end of the deal, not after the cars been posted on the hot sheet..
Here’s how it works.
The markup on new cars is dictated by the manufacturer’s msrp, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and other price guides.With an educated buying public forcing the profit margins down on new Hondas, car dealers make their profit on the resale of trade ins.
Dealers buy low, sell high.
In no case is this more evident than Honda. Honda’s reputation for a long lasting , trouble free ownership experience has pushed used Honda pricing to the highest in the automotive industry. The legend of Honda, a younger buying demographic and the climbing price of new cars has raised the price of used Honda Civics.
Here’s a few price examples.
2008 Civic Coupe Ex 107,200 m: $12,900.
2008 Civic Hybrid 86,000 m: $10,500($1250) below book.
2007 Civic LX-M5 1.8 Liter i-4 cylinder: $14,500.
2007 Civic LX 25,578 m: $13,887.
2006 Civic LX 56,598 m: $12,948.
2006 Civic EX 180,283m: $8998.
2005 Civic LX 129,260m: $9995.
2004 Civic LX 128,000m: $7988.
When you walk onto a lot, know that the used Civic you're looking at most likely carries a 20% + price premium, this is your negotiation margin. Try to avoid extended service and repair warranties. If you do opt to purchase a warranty, read the fine print, know what the warranty does and does not cover.
“Kick some tires.”
Honda is known for long term reliability. However, a car with 100,000 miles or more showing on the odometer has a wear part or two ready for repair or replacement. While the engine and transmission may be mechanically bullet proof, brakes, tires, tie rods, suspension, shocks and other “wear parts” may be in need of (immediate) repair or replacement.
When you test drive the car, pay close attention to braking, handling, drivetrain and body noise. When in doubt, take the prospect to a 3rd party for inspection. It pays to perform some due diligence when buying a used car. Yes, we do hear from readers that have reported 200,000 trouble free miles from Civic.
In closing, we find a low mileage, fair priced Honda Civic to be very elusive if not non existent. Good luck in your search. Let us know how you do, we’ll post it here.