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So you want to maximize your value?

You decided to buy a car because it makes more sense financially as compared to leasing.  And you are going to follow our advice on how to get the best price for that car.  We aren’t done yet!  Through research and testing, we have come up with the BEST answer to the question of how long should you keep your car, and how to get the best resale price for it!

This plan works mainly with cars that sell large quantities, have good reliability ratings and are the ones that people look for first when buying a used car.  The best examples would be the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.  For our example, we will go with the Honda Accord.  From our experience, this car is the ideal model to use this plan due to its high resale value, good reliability ratings and the fact that people look to Honda as one of the first choices when buying a used car.

The quick facts on our plan: Buy a car (of course for a good deal), and then buy a manufacturers extended warranty for the longest term possible.  This warranty MUST only be from the manufacturer itself, and should be a $0 deductible warranty.  Honda works great with this example because they are one of the few manufacturers that offer a 8-year warranty.  Many only offer 7 years.

WAIT, most research says that extended warranties are a waste of money!  Why are we going against that thought?  It is simple-a warranty offers much more then just insurance against repairs.  Take a look at this example we have done:

1) Before buying the Accord, get the BEST price on a Honda extended warranty, called Hondacare.  You can easily get the best price online from various Honda dealers.  Any Honda dealer can sell you this warranty, even after you buy the car.  

There are three well known Honda dealers who sell Hondacare online and who offer the BEST prices.  You just fill in their online form and get a price quote, sometimes it is instant.  Since everything is done online and through the mail, it doesn’t matter what dealer you buy the warranty from.  Go for the 8 year/120,000 warranty with $0 deductible.  The great thing about online is there is no sales tax charge.  You can find other dealers too but these two tend to offer the best price.  You can buy the warranty after you have purchased your car, it does not need to be done on the same day. However you should get a quote and print it out prior to going in to buying your new car.  You can just type in the car info online and say it has 100 miles on it.  This info is for pricing only.

Link to Saccucci Honda            Link to Hyannis Honda            Link to Curry Honda

2) When you purchase your new Accord, you will eventually be taken to the office of the finance manager.  Here is where they will try and sell you and all sorts of things you don’t need which are way overpriced.  A warranty will also be offered.  Before they start their sales pitch you should state that you are going buy a Hondacare Factory warranty online and that you already have a price.  They may tell you that the 3rd party warranty they offer is better, has more features, costs less money, etc.  DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!  Nothing beats the ease and coverage of a factory warranty.    The only warranty you want is genuine Hondacare, straight from Honda itself.  They may also say that you can only buy it from them, at the time of sale. That is not true either!  If they ask, take out the lowest price quote you have.  Remember that there is usually no sales tax on the online warranty.  The dealer will need charge you tax.  So even if they offer to match the price, it will still cost you more.  You can bargain for an even  lower price so that it comes in equal AFTER they add in the tax.  Or you can decide that the dealer was close enough, and go with them.  This way you won’t have to fill out any paperwork and they can roll it into your loan if you are financing.  Either way, you should get a great price on the warranty, generally around $1,200.

This warranty offers free roadside assistance. If you normally get AAA service, you will save money by canceling the AAA.  That can offset some of the warranty costs.  There are also some other smaller benefits such as free rental cars, hotel stays, etc.  If most anything goes wrong on the car, it will cost you $0 to fix.  There is no paperwork to deal with as every Honda dealer has a record that you have Hondacare, they all use the same database.  Make sure to keep a nice, neat record of all of your maintenance receipts.

3) Keep your car for between 6-7 years, or up to 90,000 miles.  They key is that you want to have some of your warranty left when you go to sell the car.  

4) Around the time that you buy the car you should also buy a brand new set of Honda genuine mats that fit the car.  These you will then store away for when you sell the car.  You should get these around the time you buy the car as they will be much more difficult and expensive to get when you sell the car.

5) About 7 years later, it is time to sell the car.  Use Kelly Blue Book ( to determine a fair price.  If your car is in good shape, you should price it near the high end of the range.  We have had good success using Craigslist and other online selling services.  Generally what we have found is that your car will be relatively easy to sell if you follow these steps:

A) Have the car cleaned and detailed/waxed prior to showing the car

B) Have a nice neat folder/binder of all the repair receipts in date order

C) Have your Hondacare warranty readily available for review

D) Just before showing the car, put your brand new mats (that you have stored for the last 7 years) in the car.

Here are your key points to tell potential buyers who are interested in your car:

A) This car has nothing wrong with it.  Since it is covered by a factory Hondacare warranty with $0 deductible, if there was anything wrong with it you would simply take it to the dealer to fix, at no cost to you.  This provides assurance to the buyer that you aren’t hiding a needed major repair.  It also assures them that at any point when you have owned the car, if there was a problem, you would have taken care of it since it is covered by the warranty.

B) You will transfer the warranty to the buyer and they get to enjoy all of the benefits and the same protection for the remaining 8 years/120,000 mile period.  Tell them that you will pay to have this warranty transferred and will take care of all the paperwork.  This is a $50 fee and a simple form to do the transfer.

C) Show them how you have all the organized repair records and offer to show it to them.  

D) When they look at your car all nice and clean with brand new carpet mats throughout, along with the warranty protection and comfort that you took care of all repairs, your car will look great compared to others they have seen.  Especially when they compare it to other cars sold by individuals.  Stress to them how they never know what repair a person is hiding, or how they could drive off with someone elses car and the transmission goes the next day.  With your car that would all be covered at no cost to them.

E) Tell them that you have other prospective buyers interested and you will sell to the first person who gives you the asking price.  If within a few weeks, nobody offers you the price you want, you will consider a lower price.  But tell them that the combination of the condition of the car, and the warranty protection means that the car tends to sell quick and for the asking price.

In the end by doing this plan, you have maximized the resale price of your car and made for a relatively easy sale of the car if you present it right.  You can then take the proceeds of your sale, and start the process over again with a brand new car.  The easier route is to just trade a car in.  However you will get thousands more if you do a little work and sell it yourself.  The warranty is the main selling tool.  Good luck!  Feel free to contact us with any comments or questions on this method.