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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm new to the forum, hoping to buy an insight soon... I'm finding that I'm needing to expand my options outside of the cars for sale in my area because they are tough to find (they either have lots of miles on them, are too expensive, or both).

I did an autotrader search and found some good cars - a lot of which were on the other side of the country. I know that the obvious answer is, buy a one-way air ticket and drive the insight back! If I can't take time off work to do that, however, is it risky to just have the car shipped without having seen it in person? Has anyone on here bought their car this way and had it be a great/awful experience?

I wouldn't normally consider buying a car I hadn't seen in person but in the case of a car this uncommon I'm willing to go to a little more extraordinary measures!

Also, other than yahoo, ebay, craigslist and autotrader (and the for sale board on this site) are there any other places worth looking?
 

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have some one from this list go and check it out for you if they live
close to where it is.
just ask and i'm sure some one would help you out.
 

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I can drive 100 mile radius from Indy to look at the car for you.
 

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Hi zoomylurch and welcome to the forum :!: :)

While its done with higher end cars and the seller must also agree to the trouble, a pre purchase inspection provided by a facility of your choice (and expense) is not uncommon.

But it is a bit of a roll of the dice in that you don't know the reputation and intergity of your selected shop. And those will be the key to whether or not the information they provide is valuable or worthless.

HTH! :)
 

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When I bought my Insight , I was living in Lancaster Pa.... and I found one I liked combination of price / miles on it / and car history, condition.... but it was in New York State .... some 8 Hours north of me...

It was being sold by a Honda Dealer there and was certified and had the warrenty and everything.... I called them up .... and it just so happens that they go to the Manhiem Pa Auto Auction 4 times a year to get or sell some of there cars.... and Agreed to put it on the Truck going to Manhiem and just shipped it directly to my house....

I was a bit concerned about buying the car without having seen it or driven it first.... so the New York Honda Dealer called up the local Lancaster Pa Honda Dealer and arranged for me to have a week to "Test Drive" The Car and if I didn't like it I could just return it to the Local Honda Dealer And cancel the Sale.... I talked to my wife about it.... I called the local Honda Dealer on my own to make sure nothing funny was going on ... and after about 20 minutes I talked to the manager who had talked to the Honda Sales Man in New York... And he confermed that it was all set to go... the New York Dealership was paying for the transportation and handeling all the paper work, but if I wanted to cancel the Sale I would have to bring the car in less than 1 week.. and I forget now how many miles....

I was a bit nervous for a while... but it all worked out ... and on my first drive I knew I was keeping it.....

I dont' know how common week long test drives and such are... or how common dealers ship the car to your house.... but that one did and it was nice.

Getting someone on Insight Central to check it out is a very good idea.... but you could also ask about the test drive thing The New York Dealership setup for me and the Delivery they setup for me... if they do the same things for you.... distance doesn't matter as much.
 

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Having purchased cars online, I can say:
Do not buy without hiring a remote mechanic to inspect in advance.

Even Honda Certified used - which is sometimes "better than new" with extra warranty.
( esp. in January ).

Finding a mechanic - ??
superpages.com or Google for
Automobile service honda, city, state
might turn up non-dealer mechanics,
and dealerships do it for a varying fee, e.g. $70.

I've done that & had a 5-min. chat - just be sure he follows a
checklist and you get a copy of results.

cars.com is another - contains many newspaper ads from across the country,
plus other sources.

Lastly: never ever trust a car salesman's word.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks!

thanks to you all for the insightful tips!
<rimshot> <hopes to not get banned for that comment>

I'm going to try to keep looking locally but if I find a deal on an Insight in another part of the country that is too good to pass up I'll post something here. Is there a 'wanted' board on here that if someone was selling their Insight they could pm me?

Seriously, it is nice to be looking to buy a car that has a community of cool devoted enthusiasts, as opposed to say, a Chevy Lumina or something... (well, I haven't googled luminacentral.net...)

-z
 

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Re: thanks!

zoomylurch said:
thanks to you all for the insightful tips!
<rimshot> <hopes to not get banned for that comment>
Tweeeeeet, tweet, tweet. <referee's whistle> Foul :!: of the punniest kind. :p

Looks like I'm gonna have to watch your posts closely. ;)

Looked in the Buy / Sell fourm yet :?:
 

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I bought my Insight without ever having sat in one let alone a test drive.
No regrets. It was brand spanking new .
 

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I hate sounding like a broken record, but whatever you do please, please, please be careful picking a transporter, or your Insight may be in a worse condition than when it started. A search of this forum should give you some good ideas. I would definitely not have it shipped without having it inspected first.

HTH
 

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I had good luck calling area Honda Dealers and asking about:
- pre-purchase inspection by the dealership
- car transporters they use - their answers were *never* the online-advertised ones.
 

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You won't find many "good" technicians up to this task in the setting you infer.

There's a clear potential conflict of interest. You start a very clear conflict between the Sales and Service departments. And they don't build / call the Service department the "back" (rear) end for nothing.

Its a lot more trouble, but to get a pre-purchase inspection that's worth your money and the effort, you've got to go to a differently owned and operated shop than the point of purchase.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: thanks!

Insightful Trekker said:
Looked in the Buy / Sell fourm yet :?:
yes, I've been looking there pretty regularly! I also found this helpful thread about transporters (hat tip: bretthans) - seems like a lot of work and $$$$ and possibly a long wait - so I think I'm going to try and hold out for a car on the west coast i.e. something I can drive back home myself in a day.

We might go the Civic Hybrid route as those seem more available but where's the fun in that?

I wish there was something like Honda Motorwerks out here, seems like they have about 10 used insights on their lot right now... La Crosse, WI is quite a bit out of range for me though.

I will also definitely do a pre-purchase inspection at an independent mechanic before buying the car.

Thanks again for the good tips, folks!

-z
 

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For 850-mile delivery of an Insight, I paid
$450
for Top-Load (gets less road grime)
by calling Honda Dealers near seller and asking which tranpsorter they'd recommend.
The car arrived 5 days after I agreed with the transporter, who was an owner/driver.
 

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ship it!

I've shipped several cars over the last 5 years with DAS and have had excellent service each time. Top load us worth the extra money to minimize road debris and oil leaks from cars above.

I would suggest looking for a Honda CPO and purchasing the Honda Care Extended Bumper to Bumper Warranty. Then just ship it. If there turns out to be an issue at least you're covered by Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
some more info

well, I haven't totally ruled out getting the car shipped, but in my research I did find a site called movingscam.com and they even have a huge thread about DAS... (I haven't read it all but it's 24 pgs. long :shock: )
 

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What I did

I am a newbie Insight owner. I bought mine on Friday. I've been educating myself by reading many of the posts here and decided to look for an Insight in my area. After test driving 4 in my local area, I found many bad examples of a great car. I decided to widen my search using Autotrader . com and found what I thought looked like the right car with only 40,000 miles on it.

After exchanging e mails and phone calls with the owner, who used words like "pristine" and "immaculate", I decided to book a flight to New Hampshire. It was a leap of faith that the owner wasn't embellishing, but I was willing to walk away even after going so far. It turns out that the car was gorgeous and extremely well maintained. It looks brand new. Money changed hands, and I drove the car 1200 miles back to Florida this past weekend. Damn I'm tired!

I feel good that although I went to great lengths to get it, I now have a "pristine" Insight that will last many years to come. I think the time and money spent was well worth it versus having the car shipped. I drove all the way to Florida on approximately 2 tankfuls of gas!
 

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Re: What I did

Hi slipstream and welcome to the forum :!:

slipstream said:
<snip>...I drove the car 1200 miles back to Florida this past weekend. Damn I'm tired!

<snip>

I drove all the way to Florida on approximately 2 tankfuls of gas!
Wow :!: Thats some enthusiasm :shock: :D (but its common in here ;) )

It was the bigger than expected lump remaining in your right rear pocket (if that's where you keep your billfold) that contributed to your fatigue. :p

Sincerely,
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: What I did

slipstream said:
After exchanging e mails and phone calls with the owner, who used words like "pristine" and "immaculate", I decided to book a flight to New Hampshire. It was a leap of faith that the owner wasn't embellishing, but I was willing to walk away even after going so far. It turns out that the car was gorgeous and extremely well maintained. It looks brand new. Money changed hands, and I drove the car 1200 miles back to Florida this past weekend. Damn I'm tired!
Slipstream - how long did you plan to be away to get the car? I'm trying to figure out if the amount of time I'll need if I end up doing that. I'm assuming I need to allow time to:
- test drive
- have a mechanic look it over
- do the exchange of money / title
- DMV (did you have to get a temp. license plate?)
- drive the car back home

did I miss anything? 2 tanks of gas - that's awesome!

-z
 

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Thanks for making me feel welcome. I would not have done this for just any car.

If the car didn't turn out to be so nice, I would have looked like a fool to my wife. I guess I was prepared for that risk. Fortunately, she's always in my corner.

My test drive was only a few minutes long. When you spot a cherry car its usually pretty obvious. It looks and drives brand new. Part of my research was test driving a few Insights to be able to know what a bad example was.

I didn't have a mechanic look it over, which I don't recommend. Fortunately, the price was more than reasonable and would have offset any minor repairs needed. I did pay close attention to the battery guage. If there are any issues there, that's not a cheap fix, as you know.

I took Friday off from my business and took the 6 am flight from Orlando to Boston. I took Boston's wonderful Transit system to the nearest "T" station, where the previous owner met me with the sparkling red teardrop. We then drove directly to the DMV where we did the transaction. No matter what state you end up buying in, just assume that the DMV will make you wait for hours. You will have to purchase a "transport tag", which cost all of $10 in NH and gives you 20 days to make it to your home state and reregister. NH doesn't require insurance, believe it or not, but make sure you have insurance prior to the trip home. My deal happened so fast, that I flew to Boston before my agent opened for business. I had to have the proof of insurance faxed to a Fed Ex/Kinko's while I waited.

Its been an eventful few days. Although I had to sacrifice my weekend, I now have a sweet little ride. :D

I also get to hang with you guys now. 8)
 
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