Our (beloved) Honda Odyssey had an oil leak, and with new winter tires needed and "shaken" (expensive car check) coming up soon, we decided to find a new car...
My husband looked on Yahoo and found a used car at an official Honda Used Car Dealer, very close to us. We went in and decided on it immediately (that was in late Nov.).
This past Saturday, we went in to pick it up, and say goodbye to our old one. :(
The new one is 10 years old and has about 83,000 km on it, but that is a lot fewer km than our other one had when we bought it. And the dealership fixed it up - it's SO clean and beautiful inside, and they did various work on it, that they say is worth up to about $2,000. We spent less than $4,000 on it anyway, so we thought this was pretty nice of them! It won't need a "shaken" until March of 2011, and it came with winter tires that are still useable for one winter.
Also, they quickly and easily arranged a car loan for us, which is a much better deal than our credit card, and when our insurance decided to get a bit difficult about the age of the car, they easily arranged insurance for us, too! This was all done so naturally and nicely, without any ho-humming or even the slightest weirdness about us being an all-gaijin (foreigner) family.
We came away feeling like we are really valued customers, even though we are just these random people that walked in and took a cheap older car with an accident history off their hands. They have already sent us a postcard with a photo of the whole dealership staff smiling and making peace signs, and also an elegant thank you card with a hand-written letter of thanks. And the car comes with a one-year warranty!
The only slight problem in all of this is that it will be very difficult now to avoid letting them do our "shaken" in Mar. 2011, even though it will probably be about $500 more than our local Idemitsu gas station, with whom we have built up a nice relationship over the last 1.5 years.
Anyway, we really liked doing business with Honda and I am so impressed with how seriously their company takes things like customer service & the reputation of their products. And they have a great attitude towards international communication, too (fitting for a huge international corporation). Yay HONDA!! (p.s. I come from a family of Honda-lovers -- my dad & his brother, both in the U.S., have been driving Hondas exclusively for more than 20 years!)