I recently purchased a van from Muskegon Honda (Betten Honda) and want to share with you how I got a rock bottom price without having to haggle, something I hate doing!

Most people don’t realize that you can buy a car from any dealership at any location and your local dealership will still service your vehicle. In fact, service is big bucks for dealers with an average repair cost of $800 on older models. They want your service regardless of where you bought your car.

The first thing we did was figure out exactly what we wanted, color, model and financing. With that in mind, I called Fox Honda in Grand Rapids and talked with Paul Vanderhart. I explained to Paul that I didn’t want to haggle, that I am calling dealerships and seeking a quote for their best price. Betten Honda in Muskegon

I also explained that once I have these quotes, I would pick the best one and buy from them but that my emphasis would be to support my local dealer if the difference was only a couple of hundred dollars. I stressed that I was not going to spend time haggling back and forth. Paul said he’d have a quote for me in 20 minutes.

I then went to Muskegon Honda (Betten Honda in Muskegon) and met with Nick Stafford and explained my plan. Nick introduced me to Charley Nicosia (the manager) who said he would ‘open his books’ and give me invoice, which was 31,744.80 for a 2010 Honda Odyssey EX-L, that is ‘out the door’, title, tax and fees.

Paul from Fox Honda in Grand Rapids delivered as promised and sent this quote:

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My Name is Paul Vander Hart and I am the internet Sales Manager at Fox Honda. I received your inquiry, and would like to reply by saying thank you for the interest our dealership; I have 2 Odyssey EX L’s in stock as we discussed and I am sending this to review pricing with you; MSRP is $34,115.00

Fox Cash Price is: $32,214.31 plus fees

Fox Finance Price is $32,814.31 plus fees and please note special apr is available as low as 1.9% for up to 36 months and as low as 2.9% for up to 60 months

If I read that right, the total would be $34,472:
Price: $32,214.31
Tax: $1,968
Doc Fee: $190
N Plate, Title and Transfer Fee: $100

Fox Honda didn’t even come close to Muskegon Honda (Betten) and was off by a total of $2,728!

Wow! Big difference – and Fox Honda said they were the biggest in the area and could beat any price.

Although I told Paul I wasn’t going to haggle over price, I just had to know if I was missing something so I shared the quote from Betten Honda in Muskegon. Paul came back with $100 under Betten’s price. Needless to say, the only thing I was missing was Fox Honda’s desire to make a killing on the sale of a new car!

This is my second Honda from Muskegon. My old 2000 Honda Odyssey is by far the best running vehicle we have ever owned and the service at Muskegon Honda has always been top notch with great staff. Muskegon Honda (the dealership we are use to) has been taken over by Betten Honda, but from my experience so far, we’re expecting the same level of service.

If you are in the market for a new Honda, visit the Honda dealership in Muskegon. For those considering buying a new Honda from Fox Honda in Grand Rapids, TAKE THE TIME to call Nick and ask for the best price (out the door) and possibly save yourself thousands – I did, a total of $2,728!

This review is not sponsored in any way by Honda, I don’t know any of the sales staff and neither of the dealerships I dealt with had any idea I was going to write about my experience; I wanted a dealership I could trust, not manipulate, into giving me an honest price, upfront, without tricks – Charley and Nick did just that!

4 replies
  1. Jim says:

    Paul,

    You are twisting things around and not being fair with everyone here, so let me clarify.

    When I first contacted you for a quote, you said the amount was $32,214.31 plus fees. That was your fist quote / email.

    After getting a quote from Honda in Muskegon, I called you and explained that Muskegon Honda was much lower. You then gave me another price, $100 lower than Muskegon.

    I then emailed you for clarification on the ‘Plus Fees’ in your first quote.

    What you just posted above is what you sent me AFTER I talked to you on the phone and told you what Betten Honda had offered me. You never did clarify the meaning of ‘Plus Fees’ in your initial quote.

    I wanted to make sure I didn’t misinterpret your initial quote, so I called Okemos Honda and RiverTown Honda to verify how other dealerships would interpret your initial quote. I asked them “when I see something like $30,000 plus fees, is that the out the door price or do I have to pay fees on top of the $30,000?”

    Both dealerships stated that plus fees does NOT include the taxes, title and other fees; those would be extra.

    Your initial quote was $32,214.31 plus fees which really comes to something like $34,472.00 while Charley Nicosia (Betten Honda) quoted $31,774.80 out the door. What it all comes down to is that I asked you for your best price initially, which was $2,728 higher than Honda in Muskegon.

    What you are attempting to do is present your last quote as the original quote, which is not the case.

    Am I to believe that ‘X amount plus fees’ at Fox Honda in Grand Rapids means fees are included (out the door price)?

  2. Paul Vanderhart says:

    In response to this posting below is the communication exchange just interested in Presenting the FACTS related to this. Some of the numbers mentioned above do not match what was really communicated.
    Paul

    — original message —

    From: “Paul Vanderhart”

    Jim,
    Here is a breakdown for you as you make the decision:
    “Low apr Offer”
    $30,870.00
    $190.00 Document Fee
    $1,863.60 6% Tax
    $23.00 Plate tfr & Title
    $32,946.60 – Complete ~

    or
    “Cash” Purchase
    $29,620.00
    $190.00 Document Fee
    $1,788.60 6% Tax
    $23.00 Plate tfr & Title
    $30,011.60- Complete

    Kindest Regards,
    Paul

  3. Nick Stafford says:

    I wanted to thank you for coming down and giving me the opportunity to help you and your family. I’m sure I speak for all of us at Betten Honda in Muskegon, Thank you for your continued business.

  4. Chris Baker says:

    As the owner of the dealership i want to personally thank you for the business. Sounds like we will have a fun and exciting long term relationship. Thank you!

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