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Discussion Starter #1
i've been interested in the honda insight since inception(was driving a honda crx, now a mazda miata), but couldn't justify high pricing and unknowns. i get the impression that :

- trade-in-values are very low($4-$6k for 00/01)
- only about 13k have been sold in US in total
- the civic hybrid, and esp. the new prius(and in the near future other toyota and honda hybrids) have made the insight almost unsellable except to insight enthusiasts.


does anyone think that it will be possible in the near future to purchase a used insight for about $5k, or an '04 heavily discounted by honda andor a dealership for about $10k?

and how hard has it been for current owners to get a decent trade-in value or private party sale on theirs?

basically, i have an interest in purchasing an insight, but don't want to take a bath on plunging values, dealerships who will give very little for trade(or don't want it at all!), or have a car that is virtually unsellable in the private market due to non-existant demand.

any positive comments are welcome.
 

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Maybe you could find a OK deal on EBAY. 8-10g for 2000 models. But then that 4years of a 8 year battery!!

If your looking at the $$$$ then it might be a good idea to pass on the Insight.
Parts are expensive and limited to find.
You can't even get a tire without ordering it :roll:
Requires high octane fuel - 20-30 cents more per gallon
Low trade in value
Low demand
Dealers are not that smart when it comes to service.
Zero help on service at non dealers.

I'd suggest you look at a used VW Golf with a TDI engine. 50+mpg, common parts, holds its value, lasts forever, four seats. Can be run on biodiesel!

The Insight is a novelty car. I liked it so I bought it. And I'll be driving it for many more years.
 

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Even 00 models with almost 100,000 miles on them are still fetching at least 7 grand. Your best bet for the cheapest possible one is probably ebay, but like cakley said if you don't plan on driving it for several years (or even then) your going to loose a fair bit of money on it.
 

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I don't think you'll ever see a new Insight for $10,000, but, with patience and perseverance you can get gently used one for near that price.

I feel that the Insight really does have, unfortunately, a very narrow market.

Some limiting factors:
1) It's a two seater. Not practical for most people without making some sacrifices. Especially impractical if is your only car.
2) Unique styling. Not all people find the look of the Insight appealing.
3) Fear of the unknown. Most people don't know much about hybrids and this creates worry and doubt.
4) Mine is a stick shift. I think I read that only 10% off all cars sold are stick shift.

Given these limiting factors, I would never tell someone to buy an Insight solely on the expectation of getting a high resale price.
In fact, I would say low resale is a reason why they should keep their Insight until it dies.
 

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Disagree with 2 of cakley's points. 8 years is the battery warrranty and not the battery life. The Insight neither requires nor recommends high-octane fuel.

Dealer service is a mixed bag. Overall my experience has been positive. I haven't had problems with the wrong oil but others have reported it. I have had consistent problems with many dealers underinflating tires, and my Insight came back from its most recent visit with improperly attached rear wheel skirts.

The Insight is still a Honda, so it is reasonable to have similar expectations with long-term vehicle life and low repair costs. Eventually the batteries will wear out, however there are items that will not (no timing belt, no alternator) that frequently require replacement on conventional cars.

With respect to price, Honda has been keeping its production numbers down, so don't expect an oversupply of Insights to bring prices down. Mid-level (sale to private party) Edmunds.com TMV on my 2000 with 60k+ miles is still around $9k. This supports Rick's point. I have been monitoring the Edmunds TMV for over a year now and it has not been "plunging." Based on this, $5k used / $10k new does not seem feasible.

Personally, while getting ~70mpg over the life of my car I expect to save ~$7k in gasoline costs alone with my car relative to a feature-comparable Honda Civic.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
other concerns:

- does the manual state a recommended octane rating

- if the insight is terminated, will dealers keep service people well-trained and up-to-date on abilities to service the insight properly

- has anyone actually had to replace the battery pack out-of-pocket, and at what cost

- anyone get the impression that honda dealers are anxious to get unsold insights off the lot(every insight slot could hold a high profit-margin pilot or such)

- what parts comman to normal cars or not on an insight( no alternator ot timing belt were mentioned) that would effect maintenance costs

in the past i have seen new cvt insights adfvertised in the $12-$14k range.
i'm currently looking at cheaper 5-speeds.
 

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Insights seem to be holding value pretty well. I don't see low demand, because when I try to find one, it is darned hard to find one sold at a decent price. The slow limited quantity situation is keeping prices high, rather than lowering them.

The proof of value for resale is that if you are in the market to buy one, it takes a lot of searching to find a 'good deal'.

There has been plenty of discussion about what gas to use, and the general feeling seems to be that premium is NOT required. The manual states 87 octane or above.

I agree that dealers are on a case by case basis. My local Honda dealer out here sees quite a few Insights and knows all about them. Maybe I am just lucky!
 
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Hi Rwh63:

___I picked up my own Honda Certified 2000 5-speed for $10K w/ just a bit over 28,000 on it a few weeks ago. The owner before me received $9,000 for it from the same Honda dealership although there was a brand new Honda Element and a Civic EX involved in the transaction … At $9 - $10K, a low mileage used Insight is a steal. At $13K +, it isn’t given what the TIV market will bare.

___As for un-sellable due to the HCH or Prius, the Insight never did sell particularly well before those two Hybrid’s were offered so I don’t think it was those vehicles that made or broke the Insight’s attractiveness or disdain. Ericbecky’s post more then nailed it imho … might I add that I thought I had read somewhere that only 5 - 10% of US drivers know how to drive a stick? I wish I could track that stat down but it limits a 5-speed’s attractiveness even further.

___As for its uses and paybacks and such, make sure you need a car like the Insight. I would not recommend one to someone if they are simply driving around town, have a family, or are commuting so few miles as to never get one warmed up. I would also not recommend a 5-speed to someone that sits in traffic jams even 10% of the time. Where I would highly suggest an Insight (the 5-speed in particular) is to someone with great patience (not those that drive 75 + mph most of the time) that want to cheat OPEC out of their cash cow and does a lot of highway miles … The warmer it gets in my locale, the easier the Insight seems to receive mileage in the 80’s and 90’s but it can take upwards of 90 + miles before those type of numbers appear depending on how cold it is. In other words, it isn’t just an enthusiast choice although I am an enthusiast, it just so happens to be a very practical automobile for this long haul highway commuter in particular.

___Good Luck in your hunt for the perfect Insight if that is what you decide upon.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1jzklqdt][email protected][/email:1jzklqdt]
 

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Tim Maddux said:
Personally, while getting ~70mpg over the life of my car I expect to save ~$7k in gasoline costs alone with my car relative to a feature-comparable Honda Civic.
You'd have to drive well over 250k miles to save $7000
I hope one battery pack yields you that many miles..

200,000/70mpg = 2857 gallons 2857x1.50= 4285

200,000/40mpg = 5000 gallons 5000x1.50= 7500 thats a $3215 saving
several cars can get over this @ the speeds the Insight requires to get 70mpg.

200,000/30mpg = 6666 gallons 6666x1.50= 10000 thats a $5715 saving

Is that math correct?? Never was to good at it :?

The savings are based on a single battery pack.

My only hope is that when my car requires new batteries I can find a wrecked Insight. Pretty much any wreck and the car is totaled out.

Maybe the price of batteries will be cheaper in a few more years.
 

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Wayne,
Were you describing me. I am looking for a car for my teenagers now that they are both in the driving age. Anyway ebay has a new 02 one for sale that has passed 14K so I don't think a 04 will be selling for 10K anytime soon. I am considering the Insight for its reliability (I have had no dealer service trips in 85K), styling and fuel economy. The only trouble is that if the kids drive it to school will someone find it odd enough looking to take the fender skirts as a joke. Have fun, Rick
 

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Regular back over $2.15 a gallon here in CA

Don't forget that it is time again for the gas companies to illegally collude to gouge consumers. :evil:

The price for a gallon of regular is already well over $2 at a lot of stations here in Northern CA and is going higher every day now.

Some pundits are predicting (NBC news out of San Jose) prices of over $3 per gallon for REGULAR this summer.

If that is true, you can double or more than double those savings calculations!
 

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rwh63 asked
anyone get the impression that honda dealers are anxious to get unsold insights off the lot(every insight slot could hold a high profit-margin pilot or such)
I don't know about Honda dealers, but I can tell you that if you see one on a non-Honda dealer lot, you may have a great opportunity to negotiate.
I saw a blue 2000 on a lot that a Jeep dealer took on trade. He wholesaled it pretty quick because he did not want to deal with it. Heck, I knew more about it than the salesman. It sure looked so odd sitting there between all those huge Cherokees and Wranglers.

Also, Figgy wrote
Insights seem to be holding value pretty well. I don't see low demand, because when I try to find one, it is darned hard to find one sold at a decent price.
I guess I tend to disagree. I bought my used 2002 in October 2003 with 29,000 miles on it via an autotrader ad from Illinois. I paid $10,500 and it had all the goodies. The original sticker price was just over $20,700 not including cost of the dealer installed cruise control and Honda 6 cd changer which the dealer added afterwards. To me losing almost 50% of the value of your car in one year's time, even with the high mileage, is not good.
 
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Hi Rick Reese:

___I was thinking of you but actually, I was referring to me. I have a 180 miler daily and the Insight works to perfection for it … I would love to run your round trip someday as well ;)

___However … There is always one of those. Over the two coldest months here near Chicago, I have a lmpg of 76.6 mpg shown as of tonight. This is really great with the possibility of leveling off somewhere around 80 - 85 mpg over an entire 12 months? With that, the 03 Corolla LE w/ Auto (it has 57,500 miles on it now) is a lot more comfortable and a lot easier to drive for decent mileage. My last 3 commutes in the Corolla in < 32 degree F temperatures, I received a touch over 45.9 mpg’s while traveling faster and less conservatively then in the Insight because it has so much unused power on tap. This is just my opinion but if you have a family, if you drive fast, if you have shorter drives, or if you get stuck in traffic quite often … a brand new $14,500 Toyota Corolla LE or Honda Civic LX w/ an Automatic might be a better overall choice then a new Insight or HCH. A new 04 Prius might meet some prospective automobile purchaser’s idea of perfection as well but the drawbacks in terms of initial costs in comparison to the fuel savings against the Civic/Corolla are a rather large leap imho.

___Cakely, your numbers are pretty close. The Corolla would receive an ~ 44 mpg year round average driving less conservatively then the Insight. The Insight will probably balance out at ~ 82 mpg year round average for me. I am using a higher $1.75 which is the highest price I have ever paid (~ 3-1/2 years ago we hit that cost for a week or two) but I am expecting higher averages over the next few years.

Corolla: 200,000 miles/44 miles/gallon = 4545 gallons x $1.75/gallon = $7,953.75
Insight: 200,000 miles/82 miles/gallon = 2439 gallons x $1.75/gallon = $4,268.25

for a total fuel savings of $3,685.50. A Corolla or Civic with 200,000 miles of light hwy miles is just broken in. An Insight on the other hand might be ready for a bit more of an overhaul. I am using Arizona Rick’s description of 3? Insight’s that he knows of that had to have new engines around the 100,000 mile mark for some reason? I hope he will jump in and give us even more details.

___Sorry for jumping on the soapbox with the above OT discussion …

___Ericbecky, you got a steal :D Remember that the next depreciation hit when you sell yours will be a lot less …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3kw0serx][email protected][/email:3kw0serx]
 

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"I am using a higher $1.75 which is the highest price I have ever paid..."

Yesterday it was $1.97 at the el cheapo place by my usual grocery store. Didn't stop :)

Maybe the price difference between the Midwest and West Coast has something to do with the price difference of Insights. At least when I was looking for mine, there seemed to be around a 25-30% geography factor.
 

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I noticed today that prices on the honda insights on ebay are going up again after being low for a while. Just so happens that gas prices are also going up, at least in my area.
 
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Hi James:

___Yes, I have read and seen the > $2.00 a gallon gasoline in the far west with California in particular being seen more then once … Even with prices hitting $2.00 a gallon for Premium Unleaded in the City of Chicago proper, I just filled up with Regular Unleaded at $1.61 from my local Marathon tonight. I can only hope however that I continue to see an average of $1.75 or less over the next few years.

___Counselorkv, Rick has seen the same in his watch of Insight pricing in comparison to Gasoline costs over at least the last 6 months to a year IIRC …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1uzxbx9l][email protected][/email:1uzxbx9l]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks for the continuing input. i'm going to be keeping my eye open for both used and new insights, and maybe throw out some very low offers and see what happens. definitely seeing many 00-02 models with low miles for less than 10k. i'm attracted to cars that are reliable and economical to buy and run, but also make me happy to get into every day, are fun to drive, and are good looking. right now my year-round 25-32 mpg miata has fit that bill for the past 2 years. i'm also looking at the new scion xb. gas prices have been going up here in the northeast, but regular can be has for $1.55-$170/gal. i tend to drive 15k plus a year.
i wonder if this is the last production year, if people will try to snatch up
the remaing 04 stock(i don't know how many 04s are being produced).
 
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