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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I would like to buy a Clarity. We were thinking about this last summer when suddenly Honda pulled back sales on the East Coast (we live in Western North Carolina). We have been talking about this more, and even have gone so far as look at buying in California. Unfortunately, we can't drive it out of California without paying Sales tax. And dealers seem to not be able to sell to us (much less give us a discount).

Cars seem to be available in Maryland, but dealers want a premium above MSRP.

Is there any hope 2020 models will be available again outside California?
 

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I would say no unless the country (US) accepts more PHEV/BEV/FCV.

Even with ZEV states, it appears that Honda will not make the effort to sell in other states like they did in 2018.

With recent news from Honda Japan saying sales of these cars will not expand and are not pushing for more models, it leads me to believe that unless we experience a huge oil shortage and a decrease in electricity costs, I don't see any expansion.

California is unique in that we pay the highest fuel prices compared to the rest of the nation and our electricity rates are reasonable.

Perfect mix for sales of Clarity...

OP: Have you considered getting these alternatives:
2020 Audi Q5 TFSI eTron
2020 BMW 745Le xDrive PHEV. ...
2020 BMW 530e PHEV
2020 Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid. ...
2020 Mercedes-Benz C 350e and E 350e. ...
2020 Land Rover Range Rover PHEV. ...
2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e PHEV. ...
2020 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV. ...
2020 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar PHEV.
2020 Toyota Prius Prime
2020 Kia Niro PHEV
 

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In early 2019 they pulled Clarity back to mainly just CA, OR and east coast ZEV states. Then shortly afterwards they pulled back to California for the remainder of the year. So most cars on the east coast have been sitting on the lot since early 2019, with no dealer incentives from Honda to help move them. You can tell by the VIN numbers, which range from under 001000 for cars produced at the beginning of the year to 007000 for cars produced in November/December.

In the past few weeks a few brand new 2019 Base models were sprinkled into several states, including Maryland, Ohio, Washington and Oregon. My theory is that being the end of the year some California dealers were holding off ordering any more 2019's and so a few Base models were made available in some other states. Someone says there was even a new Touring recently available in Washington but it sold pretty quickly (probably at MSRP).

We're waiting to see what happens with the 2020 model but no reason to believe things will change, but you never know. The best bet is probably to get one from California and have it shipped. Won't get as good of a deal as a California resident, but I have heard of as much as $2,500 discount from MSRP for non-residents. That will of course be offset by shipping cost, which should be under $1,000, and the cost of airfare, Uber etc. if you want to see the car in person and test drive before purchasing. But still in the end I think a net savings of $1,000 under MSRP should be doable, maybe even better when the 2020's arrive and dealers want to clear out the 2019's. And you will likely have a better chance of getting the color you want and also not have a bunch of dealer add ons. And once you find a car you want and a dealer willing to make a deal you can have the car in your driveway in about two weeks, instead of waiting months possibly for something to show up locally, if ever. You can also try finding a local dealer willing to order a car, but most people seem to hit a brick wall when they try that.

Not all California dealers are open to selling out of state, probably because they wind up spending more time on it especially if the buyer wants the dealer to figure everything out.
I recommend do a little research, go online to the California sales tax website to view the form that dealers submit for out of state car sales, then when the dealer finds out you are familiar with the process they will likely be less wary of working with you which could also lead to a lower price. Even better is to tell the dealer you will handle shipping, it's not as intimidating as it sounds you can arrange that online and get quotes. And tell the dealer that you will arrange for a notary to be present at delivery, easiest way to do that is to have delivery take place at the notary's office.
 

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Not popular in Oregon

I bought a new Touring in August and decided that I need all wheel drive. Couldn’t sell it if my life depended on it even though it has only 4900 miles. $22,900 is what a private party offered, dealers around $20k. I Owe $25K so I’m out of luck. So much for Honda resale value, no one in Oregon even knows what they are, let alone wants to buy one. So it looks like I will be a member here for the foreseeable future.

I suggest looking for late model used Clarity as there are deals to be had.
 

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Clarity in CT

I purchased a new 2019 touring model Oct 31, for $32,097, so that was a significant reduction from the MSRP and I'm guessing it was on the lot for a long time. There were 3 touring models available in CT at the time and at least 1 base model that I knew of. Don't know what the inventory looks like today, but I would check all the eastern states. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions and help. I checked every Honda dealer on Connecticut...no Clarity's to be had. From what I can tell, they are only in California. Makes it a bit of a pain as you must truck the car out of state to avoid California sales tax. Some dealers won't even talk about that because they think list illegal (despite my best efforts to educate). I wish I could find a car in a different state...I could just fly there and drive it home. I have even thought about having the car shipped to Las Vegas and drive home from there but I don't want to make the deal to complicated. In my experience, adding complexity to something like this is usually not worth it.

Thanks for that alternate vehicles. I have been looking hard at the same list since this fall when i found the stopped shipping cars to the East Coast (actually earlier I guess, but they did not admit till late August). Each has issues..not s much range, more expensive, etc. We road in our friends Clarity over Labor Day and really liked it.

I'm sorry Djpdx1 had a hard time getting any offers on their car. When I have looked in the used market, ther are not many and the lowest for a low mileage touring I have seen was 23.8. It was gone by the time I called about it. Most are in the 25-26 range.

So far I have a dealer willing to sell me a Calif. car at $35. So with shipping, that's $36K. minus the tax credit, that's $28.5. So a $3K premium for a new car with no miles versus a 2018 with 15-20K miles. I hate buying new, but at that price, it makes sense.

So I am continuing to haggle on prices with dealers throughout California. Then I'll have it shipped to NC.

If any one has a recommendation (or someone to avoid) as a car shipper, I am open ears. Also any other advise is welcome.

Regards,

Jeff
 

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This has to be a tough situation... you want to buy a Clarity, but Honda basically doesn't want to sell you one.

If you're willing to wait and don't mind a SUV, Toyota will sell you a plug in RAV4 later this year, or a Prius Prime right now. Or, if you're willing to drive a minivan, Chrysler will sell you a plug in Pacifica.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I really don't want an SUV. We are a small car family. The Clarity will actually just barely fit in my wife's garage with only a few inches to spare front and back. Plus, we live ion the mountains and I like the cg low!

The Prius's don't have much range on EV alone. My wife would like a car she could drive around town just on electric and charge at home. But be able to visit the kids a few hundred miles away with out worrying about charging out in the middle of Kentucky.

Our local dealer actually posted two cars yesterday. We drove down only to be told they are two weeks out, and they are unwilling to negotiate. I can buy a car out of CA and ship it for less, and have it the color my wife wants (anything but white).

We were thinking about a touring model, but after talking with our friend who has one in Atlanta, we are going with a base model. Honda's incentives are changing today. May not affect us as we could not use anyways-- only were for cars registered in CA.

I am still surprised at the used market. it does not price in the tax credit at all. a two year old car with 15K miles is on 2K less than a new one.

Anyways, waiting for CA to wake up so I can dicker with a bunch of dealers again today!
 

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....
So far I have a dealer willing to sell me a Calif. car at $35. So with shipping, that's $36K. minus the tax credit, that's $28.5. So a $3K premium for a new car with no miles versus a 2018 with 15-20K miles. I hate buying new, but at that price, it makes sense.

So I am continuing to haggle on prices with dealers throughout California. Then I'll have it shipped to NC.

If any one has a recommendation (or someone to avoid) as a car shipper, I am open ears. Also any other advise is welcome.

Regards,

Jeff
Looking at the Base Clarity, dealer discount of about $2500 for left over 2019, you should be able to get it for around $32K plus about $1200 in shipping.
Factor in the $7500 tax credit and it should come out to around $26K plus your state's TTL.

Look at USHIP.com for transport competitive costs - they are a bidding trucking site where you can post your item
and bidders will fight to get the business.
You just have to determine what is acceptable for transport (door to door or dock to dock, open transport, closed trailer, pickup truck ramped carrier, LTL, etc...)
 

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Makes it a bit of a pain as you must truck the car out of state to avoid California sales tax. Some dealers won't even talk about that because they think list illegal (despite my best efforts to educate).
Dealers have to pay sales tax to California for each car sold unless they are able to show proof that the car was delivered outside of California. Some dealers get nervous about this, worried that they will somehow get stuck with the bill if they don't collect sales tax from the buyer. When in reality a copy of the shipping manifest is usually good enough, but even better is if the dealer uses form CDTFA-448 Statement of Delivery Outside of California which is designed just for this purpose.

I know you said you have tried to educate them, maybe email the actual form to them so they can see it for themselves which might help. You can get it at https://www.cdtfa.ca.gov/formspubs/cdtfa448.pdf. Tell them they can send this with the paperwork when they ship the car and you will sign it with a notary present. If they still say no then not much else you can do, some dealers would rather just believe that someone will walk through the door this week wanting to buy the car. And they may be right.

But other dealers actually are willing to lift a finger to make a sale, but those dealers are harder to find. But they exist. I have actually heard of dealers that will have one of their employees drive the car across the state line so that the customer can take delivery outside of California. I have heard of this happening Southern California to the Nevada border, and Northern California to the Oregon border. I would guess it has also happened Southern California to Arizona. I'm not saying they take delivery at the state welcome center rest stop (although I suppose you could) but it seems they usually go to the nearest town across the border. Now that is certainly an exception, and wouldn't be convenient for you anyway because that would be a dreadfully long drive back to NC, and after factoring in airfare, hotel, gas, restaurant and miles on the car it would not really save much compared to shipping. I just mentioned it as an example that there are dealers out there who are not nervous at all about out of state sales.
 

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Part of the out of State delivery nervousness is that the purchaser must sign the form after delivery of the vehicle, get it notarized, and then return it to the selling dealer. If they don't, the dealer is on the hook for the sales tax. The completion of this is completely out of the dealers control (unless their staff physically deliver the vehicle out of state in the presence of a notary).

The dealer must then also send a copy of the form and the purchase/lease docs to the State (along with CTDFA-447 signed by the purchaser).
A dealer may feel that they need get a substantial amount over what they could sell for locally for to cover the tax liability exposure and extra paperwork and processing required. I can see why some would think it not worth the hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi all,
I am continuing to hunt for a car. Hard to convince dealers I am going to ship a car. From what I understand the $4000 Honda to dealer incentive ended yesterday. Any idea what the new one is/ will be? Any ideas on the conditions/ the previous was only for CA registered cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi 2002,

I agree, finding folks willing to work with you is hard. I found a pretty good dealer out there, but then we decided we wanted the base instead of the touring, and he does not have any base cars.

I spotted that form in another one of your posts and I have been sending that out as well...we will see how it works. And the other issue is even gettin g them to read what I write to them. I start of telling them it is a long distance, out of state sale, and they finally get it after 10 emails back and forth.

It would be great if a dealer would drive the car out of state for me, but I would be happy if they would just give me a reasonable deal and be willing to shipit.

Thanks for your help so far!

Jeff
 

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Hi 2002,

I agree, finding folks willing to work with you is hard. I found a pretty good dealer out there, but then we decided we wanted the base instead of the touring, and he does not have any base cars.

I spotted that form in another one of your posts and I have been sending that out as well...we will see how it works. And the other issue is even gettin g them to read what I write to them. I start of telling them it is a long distance, out of state sale, and they finally get it after 10 emails back and forth.

It would be great if a dealer would drive the car out of state for me, but I would be happy if they would just give me a reasonable deal and be willing to shipit.

Thanks for your help so far!

Jeff
Jeff, you should do this:
1. Arrange your OWN transport (find an LTL or auto transporter) and get quotes - that relieves the selling dealer from having to find a shipper.
2. Use overnight mail to get documents, payment, identification - back/forth - especially the signed purchase agreement.

Then the dealer would have almost no objection to making the sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi 4sallypat,

Good advise about the overnight shipping on documents. I have a dealer in San Diego at a price I can live with. But he wants someone present to sign. my son lives 15 minutes from him so I might give him power of attorney and let him sign the documents.

I have another dealer in LA that has the color my wife prefers. My wife is willing to take any color (but really would prefer not to have white car). So if I can get her the color she wants at the price I have in SD, I will likely go that way. My son is game to drive there also (2 hours away). But if they will let me fed ex docs, that's even better.

I already have a number of trucking firms lined up. Once I know what dealer I am going to go with I can finalize that situation. I'm hoping maybe early next week I'll have a car on its way east.

I've been corresponding by email so far. Now its time to get on the phone and finalize the deal. Hopefully I'll have a firm understanding tonight. Thanks for all your support.

Jeff
 

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I have a dealer in San Diego at a price I can live with. But he wants someone present to sign. my son lives 15 minutes from him so I might give him power of attorney and let him sign the documents.
As long as they can do that without collecting California sales tax. If they say they need to collect the tax but you will later get it refunded they are wrong.

That being said, what is your sales tax in NC? Some states will waive sales tax paid in other states, in that case your only loss would be the (presumably) higher sales tax paid in California compared to what you would have paid in NC. And the tax rate in California depends on what county and even city the dealer is located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In North Carolina, its 3%. They do not appear to credit you if you pay it out of state. At this point, it looks like using the form you suggested we can avoid paying CA sales tax. Waiting for the dealer to be available for my call. Hope to finalize soon.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi All,

Looks like we will be new Clarity owners. We struck a deal on a CA car, now we just need to fill out the paperwork,pay for it, and get the car shipped. Looking forward to you insight as we start our ownership of a new Clarity! If any one has shipper s to either recommend, or discourage, I'm all ears!

Jeff
 

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I bought a new Touring in August and decided that I need all wheel drive. Couldn’t sell it if my life depended on it even though it has only 4900 miles. $22,900 is what a private party offered, dealers around $20k. I Owe $25K so I’m out of luck. So much for Honda resale value, no one in Oregon even knows what they are, let alone wants to buy one. So it looks like I will be a member here for the foreseeable future.

I suggest looking for late model used Clarity as there are deals to be had.
Have you considered Ebay?
 
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