Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Some pricing experiences to relate regarding getting a hitch installed that may be helpful to others.

I contacted several Honda dealers in my area (San Diego) for the cost of buying and installing a hitch. Many different prices offered, from $885 to over $1,000 for the package price. I ended up getting it for $629 (tax of 7.75% included) installed. I think I could have gotten a slightly better deal with a better strategy. I also imagine that pricing varies by location and how hungry the parts and service departments may be.

I found that in most cases, the parts and service folks were separate, so the service guys wanted to quote me install cost and directed me to the parts guys for parts costs. Interestingly, the service guys seemed to have no concern whatsoever about where the parts came from, so long as they were genuine Honda.

I checked online for various elements of the parts and saw some pretty good deals, but they appeared and disappeared. I'm wondering if this is because shipping of the main hitch assembly is prohibitively expensive? As an example though, one online dealer currently offers the hitch and harness (priced separately) for a total of $388.80, but shipping is $92.77 (slowest), with a total of $481.57. Conversely, if you buy the parts at a Honda dealer, the total cost is $444.60 plus tax. Assuming a sales tax of 7.5%, that's $478. So even if you avoid the sales tax via the online dealer, you get an equal (slightly better) deal at the local dealer. If you pay the online dealer tax, you definitely lose, and you have to wait for the parts. My opinion therefore: Buy the hitch locally at standard Honda parts prices, or see if you can deal an even better price locally by mentioning the online deals.

For a basic set-up, you need the hitch and the harness. Some online dealers and others want to supply a package that includes a lock for the hitch and a trailer ball. One local dealer offered me this whole package for $460, but didn't have the harness in stock and I didn't want to wait. I have no need for a lock personally, but it seems to me you can get both lock and ball (or balls) at the local discount auto store cheap. I see no need for these to be genuine Honda parts.

The dealer who offered me the best price on install ($150) didn't have all the parts. I visited another dealer who wanted over $800 for the parts and install. I bought the parts only from that dealer for the Honda cost and the install was done by the second dealer in 2 hrs while I waited.

One strategy that occurs to me might have saved a little more. The harness is light and could easily be shipped from an online dealer. If you pick one from out of state, you'll avoid sales tax. In the end though, this will probably save only about $30. It appears to me that the big savings opportunities are in the install cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
Call your dealer (or go down) and ask to talk to the internet sales guy/gal. My dealer had a nice price sheet for installed parts (MSRP + a boatload), but as soon as I asked about online prices, they went to their internet guy and gave me their internet prices (a few $ less than Hand A) on the accessories.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
The above links are for a drawtite hitch. I was thinking about this route but it doesn't come with a wiring harness. The one that is sold for the hitch is a 4 wire system that connects to the tail lights (not as good as the factory solution). If you buy this hitch and the factory harness, you'll have to figure out another method to attach the plug outlets because they bolt to the factory hitch (according to the install diagram). Drawtite does make a module that is similar to the Honda solution but costs more than the 4 wire solution and you have to supply your own wiring.

Unless you want to MacGyver a solution to mix factory harness with the drawtite hitch, I'd suggest following Lifesaver's solution and go all Honda or decide you want to go cheap and can live with drawtite and the 4 wire tail light solution.

One thing to ponder, why can drawtite ship their hitches for about $25 and the online dealer costs $92?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,401 Posts
Probably because the online dealer drop-ships from the factory, which adds handling charges, which are then passed on to the consumer.

I promised the dealer I bought My Ridgeline from that I'd be back after the sale for a boatload of accessories. I let them know that I'd expect competitive pricing. They beat the online dealer's prices and I picked them up that day. I kept my promise and they got the sale. If I hadn't committed to the dealer, I would have bought from H&A.

It goes back to the point that Ultra-Hog makes. Not all car dealers are slime. If you cultivate a good working relationship with your dealer, then it will grow dividends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I recently ordered the Towing Package from Honda on line and named my local dealer to do the install. Price: Towing package ($545) Labor ($85). With tax and no shipping costs = $667.80. My concern was that if there was ever a question if anything went wrong, at least I had the dealer as the install to cover any warranty concerns.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
ROColorado said:
One thing to ponder, why can drawtite ship their hitches for about $25 and the online dealer costs $92?
If drawtite managed to make a hitch that fits in a box that is just a bit smaller than Honda's then it would cost about that much to ship. The hitches are heavy, however it is the OS3 status with the shipping companies that makes it so outragous to ship the slightly larger box. OS3 (or Oversized 3) means that they bill it as weighing 90 lbs AND they add an extra $40 fee ontop of the 90 lb shipping charge.

Also when it is sold direct from the manufacture that means they have a LOT more proffit margin in the item so if they eat some of the shipping charge they still clear a workable proffit.

Lifesaver1 said:
I found that in most cases, the parts and service folks were separate
Exactly, Some dealers may have the same person in charge of more than one department, however most of them have individual managers with their own sales goals to hit and customers to keep happy. Losing a service customer by refusing to install a genuine Honda part doesn't make much sense or benefit any department at the dealer. Now if someone goes in and makes a huge deal about how much they saved with buying the stuff online compared to the parts department the dealer may get annoyed and tell them to take a hike.

Occasionally we run into a dealer that gives a customer a hard time about a warranty claim on an item, which always cracks me up because Honda pays them more for the warranty part than we made when we sold it.

-Trevor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
For my parts and accessories, I went through my salesman, who actually went in to parts and negotiated for me. I felt like I got a pretty sweet deal with his help, how's that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
rtbaron said:
I recently ordered the Towing Package from Honda on line and named my local dealer to do the install. Price: Towing package ($545) Labor ($85). With tax and no shipping costs = $667.80. My concern was that if there was ever a question if anything went wrong, at least I had the dealer as the install to cover any warranty concerns.
Interesting. Does this mean that by going to Honda's own website, you were quoted a fixed install price (i.e. nationwide) of $85? If so, this seems like very valuable information for an item that is best dealer installed (unless you like pulling apart your Ridgeline's dashboard yourself). It also seems like it would help greatly in negotiating any dealer installs. How does this work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,885 Posts
Install price is quoted by dealer of your choice. ;) Parts may be too as I was quoted a lower price ($426) for towing package but a higher labor if I wanted it installed. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,401 Posts
Don't be afraid of the factory hitch installation. It's a piece of cake. I did it myself with no help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,648 Posts
^^^

Ditto. It is easy to install yourself. Check out the threads on how others on this board have done it.

There's so much satisfaction knowing you did it yourself. I got my sons to help me - great experience for the youngest one. Plus you get to know your vehicle when installing accessories yourself. Don't let strangers open your hood - do it yourself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
I bought the Drawtite hitch and purchased the factory harness from H&A. After having installed out the door price was 611.00. That is 275.00 cheaper than the dealer. I am happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
as julesk mentioned going through the salesman will help sometimes. if you have the internet prices you can use it for bargaining. also keep in mind the online prices typically do not include the S&H. my dealership gave me good prices installed on the following:

roof rack $282( around 250 from most online sources)-prior to tax
tow package$586(hitch and harness was 388 from H&A i think)-prior to tax
camera(included taxes)$698.60

i did end up paying $95 for mudguards since the located vehicle came with it installed and supposedly the other dealership was not budging from the price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
All my local dealers here in NJ are quoting me the same price...Towing package is going for retail same as the on line store of $545...all my contacts in Hondas parts dept at 3 dealerships are quoiting me a price of $85-100 for dealer install which is in line with the internet ordering. The $545 includes Hitch, Harness, Locking Hitch Pin and Ball.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
When I bought the truck I got a price from my salesman, had a book on the showroom floor with prices on hitches installed on the different models. He said 615 and when I was done it was 609. You want to remember you also get the sub harness for plugging in an electric brake controller if you have a trailer with electric brakes and the 7 pin connector plugin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Just did my hitch install on my one week old RTL this weekend. I got a Valley (Draw-Tite) hitch for $139, and the OEM harness for $129. I have access to a lift, so that made the hitch install a breeze. Had to bend the muffler heat shield in a little, and bent it back out once I bolted everything.

As expected the harness install took more time. I used a spacer and installed the 7/4 pin assembly to the bumper bar. Had to consult the threads here on ROC a couple of times to figure out the under dash installation.

I did not remove the dash side panel and just reached up and plugged in the relay. That was probably the hardest part.

Also almost forgot to intall all the fuses under the hood until I looked in the box and saw the new fuse box cover.

I didn't diconnect the battery and did not blow the vtm4 fuse.

To me the hitch looks as good as the oem. It is a round tube and fits perfectly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Hey, new to this site, seems like a whole lot of wasted $$$ to me--got a Hidden Hitch online for ~ $160, have a torque wrench from Sears (Craftsman), $80--time to install, 30 minutes--if you want a wire harness it was ~ $50 more and the instructions to install it suggested ~ 45 mins., didn't do that as I don't have a trailer--I felt like the dealer's prices for accessories were a rip-off.--Also installed an Access roll-top bed cover myself ( soft cover not hard )--$350., ~3.5hrs. to install--dealer wanted $1800 for the hard cover top that took away 1/2 of the vertical space of the bed, what's the point of a 5 foot bed with 2.5 feet being unusable?
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top