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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Insight owners. I'm hoping to join your ranks soon. I've been researching the Insight for a little while, and have ended up with two current possible choices for purchase.

I thought I'd seek the advice of those with experience with the Insight on these two possibilities that are available to me now:

2006
New Honda Insight
Asking price: $22,080
Silverstone/beige
Automatic
Climate Control
AM/FM/CD
Standard wheels

2005
Used Honda Insight
112 miles
Asking price:
$19,995
Silverstone/beige
Automatic
Climate Control
AM/FM/CD
Custom mooncap wheels
Tinted windows
Clear 3M Protective Bra
HOV Lane Stickers

The used 2005 Insight was apparently purchased by a wealthy guy who only drove 112 miles and decided he didn't want to keep it. The dealership is selling it on consignment for him. It's essentially new but technically (and legally) used.

The new 2006 Insight is the only new Insight I could find anywhere near my area (and it's still 100+ miles away).

I have read that there is a $2600 tax credit available if a new Insight is purchased in 2006. Is this true? If so, it obviously makes a difference in my choice--but it's also a fact I could use in negotiations for the used 2005 Insight.

Any thoughts? Anything I should keep in mind?
 

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Hmm, I'd go for the used one. However, I would take it for a thorough test drive...just to make sure the previous owner isn't getting rid of it for a good reason (like a really bad rattle).

Keep in mind that you'll have to pay sales tax on the new one. In California that would be about $1800.

Good luck with your decision.
 

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I suppose there really isn't a huge difference between the two. Not so sure how excited I'd be about the moon eye wheels (they're just caps right?), the the other stuff like the tint, clear bra, etc are deffinitely nice things to consider.

Just make sure the used one hasn't been crashed or anything.
 

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jbrasure said:
Hmm, I'd go for the used one. However, I would take it for a thorough test drive...just to make sure the previous owner isn't getting rid of it for a good reason (like a really bad rattle).

Keep in mind that you'll have to pay sales tax on the new one. In California that would be about $1800.

Good luck with your decision.
You guys don't have used car sales tax where you are? In Michigan we sure do.

Also, I believe the tax credit for a 2006 CVT insight is more like 1300-1400, isn't it?
 

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There is some kind of tax credit, sorry don't know the specifics. Given the accessories looks like the difference is a wash.

Although I'd want to know if the OEM LRR tires are still on the car. Expect a 12% reduction in attainable MPG without them. :(

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... php?t=2738

HTH! :)
 

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Hard to believe someone would go to the trouble of customizing a new car and trade it in after only 112 miles. What could possibly have changed since his test ride and little more than driving it home? He must have taken a beating on the trade in as now the dealer has to sell it as a used car. Regardless, When all is said and done I also agree the 2 cars would be fairly close in price.
 

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2006 Hondas have a better warranty.

2006 Hondas have a better warranty.

5 years 60k on power train versus 3 years 36k.
 

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HOV stickers

You might consider that the 2005 (and 2006) don't actually qualify for the HOV stickers. Seems the DMV doesn't really enforce those rules though...

If the stickers are important to you, take the 2005 and at least you'll have them. DMV might have wised up by the time you apply for the 2006 car.

Jim

'01 #191
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all for the generous advice. This is some very useful information for me.

Checking with my acct on the tax credit. Will post the info I get.

Does anyone know if the CA HOV stickers expire? I.e., would I be getting HOV access for the life of the car that has the stickers, or just for a limited period?

James--what's preferable about a 5 spd? I actually prefer manual myself in general (never owned an automatic), but is there something in particular about the Insight that makes a 5 spd superior?

Scott--Word from the dealership (actually a luxury and exotic car dealer) is that the owner of the 2005 Insight has a habit of buying "a lot of cars from us." The guy buys Ferraris and such but "was obsessed with hybrids for awhile, and we had to buy one of every kind for him." Obviously, I don't know if this is true, but it fits with the character of the dealership. I plan to check out the car and the title thoroughly, though.
 

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trasfer of HOV stickers

Just for fun, I called the California Air Resources board regarding transfer to a new owner of the HOV stickers. They said the stickers go with the car. There is no transfer procedure, when you buy a car with stickers you get 'em.

CARB at (800) 242-4450

The program as a whole expires January 1, 2008. (unless extended by the legislature). The legislature also can
restrict or cancel the program at any time if the HOV
lanes get too congested.

Jim
'01 #191
 

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What is special about the 5-speed? $1200 less MSRP, and 18-22 MPG better economy, for starters. Billy......
 

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Find out about the total tax credit (new federal credit for 2006) and tax differences, then maybe you can use that info to get a better price on the used one.

The mooncap wheels look more aerodynamic from the picture, but I have to believe Honda put the vents in the OEM wheels for a reason. Also, the custom wheels may carry a weight penalty (= higher rotational inertia = slower acceleration).
 

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I have bought three Insights over the years and to date it is still my dream car. I would recommend buying used to avoid the depreciation hit. If I lived in the United States and had access to the higher numbers of used Insights, with the benefit of experience I would look for:

2003 or younger - for updated battery management hardware / software
5 speed manual - a much better drive and more economical (lean burn available)
Low odometer mileage - to reduce the risk of potential problems
In either Red (like a little Ferrari) or dark Blue (quite classy).

Separately, I am only aware of one Insight in the UK that meets the above criteria and unless a new good looking mileage king emerges in 2006, I will be trying to persuade the owner of that one to take it off his hands!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again for the new batch of advice.

I don't know how long I'd have to wait for that perfect Insight to come around, though (red, 2003+, low mileage, 5 spd). Checking the online resources in my area (Auto Trader, Recycler, Craigslist) I have found a grand total of zero manual-transmission Insights later than 2003 for sale within 100 miles of me. It's pretty slim pickins all around.

If anyone knows of any Insights for sale in Southern California, I'd appreciate the tip.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am now an Insight owner

I bought the 2005 Insight yesterday. $17K, for those who are keeping track of what Insights are going for.

I drove it approximately ten feet before I almost hit my first pedestrian. Boy, do I need to get used to the rear visibility issue. The pedestrian was foolishly hugging a blind corner and walking fast without looking, but I would have seen her about two feet earlier if I had been backing up in my Honda Civic instead.

Poring through the manual now, learning about how the car works. I'm thinking about re-setting the LMPG right away so it reflects my own experience, not the previous owner's. Any cons to that?

Oh--I said in an earlier post I would report back about the tax credit info I got from my accountant. Unfortunately, he only knew there was indeed a credit, but didn't know how much yet. As I didn't end up buying the new Insight, I didn't bother checking further.

I used the $2600 estimate here:

http://www.hybridcars.com/tax-deductions-credits.html

in my negotiations for the 2005. It helped.
 
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