2012 Honda Fit
Parks McCants's picture

Used car dealer price gouging Honda Fit buyers

We've read from several reader’s comments that used Honda Fit pricing has gone through the roof. Is it possible that used car dealers price gouge Fit buyers? we look to the numbers.

I’d drove past the late model used Fit several times. On first look, the only thing visually exceptional was the asking price of $15995.00. Was this a misprint? I would pull up to the lot on a rainy Sunday and take a closer look.

Note: A 2015 basic model Fit LX posts an MSRP of $15,525 plus delivery, sales tax and applicable dealership charges. The fully equipped EX-L sports a list price of $19,800, if you can find one.

At first glance the Orange Revolution Metallic Fit appeared to be in good if not exceptional condition. I had learned years ago thanks to a checked German lacquer Mercedes Benz paint job, to never buy a car on a rainy day. With no intention of purchasing I walked my way onto the car lot from a neighboring business.. Loved it! no sales person on site.

2012 Honda Fit Sport

The disclosure list posted boldly on a side window informed me that this little orange metallic hatchback was a 2012 Fit Sport with 16,800 miles showing on the odometer. Looking to the interior I viewed great condition black on gray cloth seats, 5 speed automatic transmission, smart wheel with paddle shifters and a decent multiple speaker stereo system. It all looked good, but was this lightly used Fit worth anything near the asking price?

Orange Revolution Metallic was discontinued in 2011

Looking to original Honda Fit specifications, I discover that Orange Revolution Metallic was a color choice discontinued in 2011.* According to Edmond's Auto Guide.* I could use a bit of help from my readers here. If in fact the Fit in front of me was a 2011 model, it would have been originally sold in Oregon sometime in 2010, making this car no less than 4 years old. Yet amazingly, the dealer’s asking price is higher than the MSRP on a new 2015 Fit LX; only $4,000 less than the sticker price of a fully loaded Fit EX-L. Are used car dealer’s gouging perspective Fit buyers?

Is a measurable short supply of the “Made In Mexico” 2015 EarthDreams Fit driving the retail price of used Fits through the sunroof?

Can’t find a low mileage used Fit

Once again Torque News discovers that an affordable, good used, low mileage Honda is a rare commodity. Looking to Cars.Com: Only 9 Honda Fits of various trim levels are listed for sale within 100 miles of Eugene, Or. the second largest city in the state.

Ranging in price from $14,997 for a low mileage Fit LX manual to a 2008 basic 5 speed manual with 78,000 miles showing on the odometer($11,900,) I confirm my suspicions that the rare Fit is perhaps the highest residual resale value hatchback in its class. Earlier in the year we found this to be the case with Honda Civic with Si being the highest residual value automobile in North America.

Are used car dealerships price gouging perspective Fit buyers? Looking to Kelly Blue Book(KBB) I find that most dealers are adding a $1,000 to $1500 premium to Fit.

My contact Chris Martin of American Honda tells Torque News that Fit production should be ramping up a second shift soon. This should pull used Fit prices down a bit in the long term.

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Comments

Gouging? Of course not. The fit is not some commodity that a consumer must have. Sure it is one of the only low-end electrics but still it is not essential to life in any way. So a used car is priced at what a dealer thinks someone will be willing to pay. If there is a shortage of new versions of the car and it is popular then it gets priced near the new ones. On the other hand, when a new high-end performance car and all the rich guys want one the dealer is likely to add $ to the MSRP. I guess that's OK too if the guys with deep pocket want to dig deeply. Again, it's not something essential to life. So, it's not "gouging."
Good morning Steve. Growing up on the back-lot of a Ford dealership I'd be hard pressed to counter your well intended statement. True enough! i'll leave it at this: Buyer beware! Know that if and when you pay above KBB indicated retail value for any used car, you will be "upside down" on driving off of the lot. Now, if you plan on keeping the car past the duration of the loan, no worries.Yes, your residual value will be dinged, but limited to the difference between purchase price and KBB indicators. Happy shopping and thank you Steve.
Last May, I bought a used Orangeburst 2012 Honda Fit. That looks like the color shown in the article. I believe this color was just for 2012. I've seen it on a Honda Element too. It likely replaced the Orange Revolution color and then was replaced by the Midnight Plum Pearl for 2013, per my 2013 Fit brochure. I was looking to save some money but would have bought new if I would have saved just hundreds. I didn't want to wait for the new model with all the big changes, including being made in Mexico vs Japan. Anyway, I used cars.com and found some Fits absurdly priced and some as very good deals. I saw many with under 10-15Kmiles. Some appeared to move fast and some languished on lots. I saw a orange manual sport for around $14K but never checked it out as I wanted an automatic this time. At a Hyundai dealer, I drove one that was on the lot for a month or more, but I waited too long and someone had left a deposit on it. It was a one year old 2012 Blue Sport with 7K miles for a bit under $15K. It was absolutely flawless and I would have bought it in a minute, if it was available to sell. The orangeburst one was on the lot for more than a month too and I took it for a drive. At 24,500 miles, it had more miles than I wanted but was in good shape (a few minor scratches and dings I over looked as it was a great deal). Some blemishes I saw later as the car was not clean when I bought it so don't buy cars in the rain or dirty ones! I offered them a bit less than the asking price and bought it for $13,700, which was $4500-5000 less than new. On this Honda dealer website, I saw a window sign on this car that they were asking $14,600 at one point. Maybe the color was too strange for some and would not sell. They had a black one for a similar price and lower miles that sold quickly. I very rarely see the orange ones, but see this color or very close on other models and makes. I like it as do many others who see the car. Anyway, that was my buying experience. Of course, I haven't looked for Fits since but would expect their prices to drop given the all new 2015 Fit out there. BTW, I like the car. Not nuts about the constantly shifting automatic, mostly on just about any hill (but not when going over 50 or so), it could use more guts and torque but it handles well, has lots of space for its size and gets great fuel mileage, usually over 40, more on the highway. Better than expected. I don't find it noisy but don't expect a Lexus. It has the tiniest, low power battery I've ever seen in a car that I need to trickle charge if I don't drive it every few days. Without modifications, that some have done, not much room for a larger battery under that tiny hood. Some services, like spark plugs, look tough to access but most new cars have these issues. Oil changes are very easy once you raise this low car. Keep looking and using sites, like cars.com, to see what's out there.
Welcome G Miller love your extensive, comprehensive ownership review. Your Fit will service you well for years to come. All of the issue's you've expressed have been eliminated by CVT transmission technology, 130 horsepower " EarthDreams" engine and greater sound deadening. As to the battery? This remain a problem for Fit owners. I read about the low amp hour capacity often. I like your trickle charger idea. You may wish to check the availability for an advanced technology gell cell battery or? This is the quickest changing technology in the auto industry. Thank you and take care.
Parks, Funny thing about the Fit. Few know much about them. Some don't even know they exist. Maybe they will make and sell more now and that will change. Of course gas is going down and pickups and Hummers will be what many want. Few actually like small cars. I do. The owners seem to love and hang on to Fits and some may be fanatical (Fitfreaks site, etc). There is plenty of competition now but few offer all the good things the Fit has. Some are prettier, but not as much space, poorer resale, not as much fun to drive, etc. I have not driven the 2015 Fit yet. I hear it is better in some ways, such as power, passenger space, ride, interior quality, new tech. Less in others, such as handling not as sharp, not as much cargo room, CVT (for some). Too bad the 6 speed doesn't drop the RPM's in 6th more. I am not nuts about the new radio touchscreen thing. Honda's slogan in the 70's/80's was "We Make It Simple", but there are no simple cars anymore. I would wait to see the long-term reliability of the CVT and direct injection. Give Honda chance to fix bugs, make upgrades and adjustments. I am sure the quality of the cars from the new plant will improve with time as well. My last car was a Focus hatch also from Mexico and it proved to be very reliable. Given the mpg's I get from mine, I bet I'd get 45+ from the 2015. I am still under warranty, so if the battery acts up this winter I'll go to Honda. If they don't agree and provide a new one, I'll buy one myself. A few outlets, such as NAPA are under $100. It should be $50 for the size of it. Pep Boys and others have them for a bit more. The 51R size is a few inches longer and can fit but you have to modify the battery tray to fit it at an angle. 500 vs 340 cranking amps though. A real battery. Maybe I'll go this route down the road if I continue to have battery issues. When I park and the doors unlock I can see the headlights dim. That's how weak the battery is. It starts well so far and doesn't take a lot of charge on my automatic charger's meter. The acid strength and voltage after sitting a few days are quite low, so I doubt it will last long. Some do recommend the Optima, it may be a gell cell. If you are still hunting for a Fit, I wish you luck on your quest.
The, "Optima" battery would be the way I would go if size is available. It is not a, "Gel-cell", (often mistaken for such), but what is referred to as an, "AGM", (Absorbed Glass Mat). They typically last much longer, provide superior cold cranking amps, retain a charge longer, and have a stronger case. If one is available for the, "Fit", it would solve the battery, "problem" and well worth the extra $. I have one in my 2004 Toy 4Runner and am quite happy with it, definitely a difference that is most apparent when it is cold as a witch's................., starts with no complaints at all.
Jeff, Thanks for the tip. I'll look into the Optima when I purchase a new battery. An issue is I don't use the car every day. I put an automatic charger on it if I don't drive it for 3 days or so. It starts at 6A and is at 1A in a few minutes and stays there for a few hours before going to 0. The car still starts well but I can tell the battery is weak and should have it load tested. IT hasn't got too cold yet but that will be the test.