Daily Archives: 11/29/2005


this buying a new car thing is not so fun. this is one of the most frustrating per dollar experiences I’ve ever paid for, actually!

So, 2 weeks ago after my last pros/cons post, I went ahead and talked to a dealer. Actually, I called the dealer in Albany where I’ve ordered the civic hybrid (still coming in, and I still get the first one!) and left a message, and I emailed 2 local dealers through the Honda website. No one got back to me. So the next day I called Metro Honda in Jersey City where I’d test drove the insight, and spoke to Horatio who was pleased to order me a car. No joke. I explained my needs (manual transmission, silver, and by the end of the month because my inspection sticker is expiring and I DON’T want to have to tape my rust holes up). He told me 2 weeks, for sure, and he’d let me know exactly when that week. I filled out credit information, gave him a deposit, and went merrily on my way.

And he never called me back. I left him a Very Important Message last week before thanksgiving in light of my knee surgery, and he never called me back. I called him yesterday, and he said oh, that car I told you you could have was sold that day, and I can’t find you another silver one. Mid-December? um. I HAVE A HONDA CIVIC HYBRID COMING IN THEN. I don’t want it, but if it’s there and yours isn’t….

Seriously, yo. you’d think, if I showed up somewhere waving roughly $22,000 around people would jump to help me! especially because I know what I want and I’m not playing hard ball about it. Really, the only special treatment I am asking for is that the dealer get me the specialty agriculture license plates, because if I have to drive in NJ I’m driving a stick shift with funny plates and the best darn gas mileage I can swing.

in other gearhead news, does anyone think I need to worry about the electromagnetic fields in the insight?

Tax Deductions? I hardly know them!

I’m trying to figure out if I’m getting a 2005 or a 2006 hybrid insight. Of course, a very pity and entertaining post regarding the lengths to which I must travel to get the insight follows, but here’s the info I’ve found:

I talked to the IRS, because based on this table the 2006 insight isn’t eligible for the tax deduction (that’s ending this year). Vehicles that are eligible are:

Ford Escape Hybrid — Model Year 2006
Mercury Mariner Hybrid — Model Year 2006
Lexus RX 400h — Model Year 2006
Ford Escape Hybrid — Model Year 2005
Toyota Prius — Model Years 2001 through 2005
Toyota Highlander Hybrid — Model Year 2006
Honda Insight — Model Years 2000 through 2005
Honda Civic Hybrid — Model Years 2003 and 2005
Honda Accord Hybrid — Model Year 2005

AND, according to the UCS analysis of the 2005 energy bill 2006 insights aren’t yet accounted for in the new tax CREDIT system, either, though it does look like the manual insight will be a bust there entirely. Something about it only being a ULEV instead of a SULEV, I think. Something. Although, frankly, if you consider pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions for a ULEV that gets 65+ mpg and compare that to a hybrid pickup that gets 18 mpg and a $650 tax credit, it might not seem like a really valid way of awarding tax credits, regardless of the complicated formulas that pop out these results. I’m just saying.

So, anyway – the IRS said that the list is constantly in flux. They said that Honda had to apply for the tax credit/deduction, and that they had just added new information. So, I called Honda to find out if they’d applied. And they said they didn’t have any more information but that there was a process in place. And gave me a case number (because my stepmom is in the computer at Honda as the original purchaser still! creepy!) and I can call back and check.

it’s a crap shoot, I guess – I could really try to get the 2006 model and hope that I get a deduction, or I could get the 2005 and be sure of the deduction. After my tax bracket etc. we’re probably talking about $500, but hey. Just another thing to research obsessively on the internets, I guess. Anyway, this is all a moot point if I can’t get my new car on the road before the end of the year, because then I could revert to the exceptional civic hybrid tax credit, and actually save a bunch of money.