Smart Reasons to Buy Used Cars

If you're purchasing used cars while your friends are driving showroom-new vehicles, then you may feel a sense of envy. However, strategically buying used vehicles can be a smart financial decision. Instead of envying your friends' shiny new SUVs, let them envy your healthy bank account. Take a look at how you can grow your finances by purchasing used instead of new.

Avoid Depreciation

Imagine that you've just purchased a new car. You've made a modest down payment, and you've committed to monthly payments for your vehicle. As soon as you drive your new vehicle off of the lot, the value of that vehicle drops by about one-third.

Look at this scenario in concrete terms. If you paid $ 21,000 for your new vehicle and have a down payment of $ 3,000, then you have $ 18,000 left to pay. However, your car is now only worth $ 14,000. Before you steer your new ride into your driveway, you already owe more on the car than is worth.

Being “upside-down” on your car loan may not seem like a big deal. If you have an accident, however, and the insurance company only gives you what the car is worth, then you're going to be left owed several thousand dollars. In many instances, buying new cars instead of used cars could mean that you expose yourself to significant financial loss.

Increase Savings

Your dealer has a brand new car available for sale as well as an older version of the same car that's in good condition. You can purchase the new car for $ 20,000 or the pre-owned one for $ 12,000. Most experts agree that you should choose the pre-owned car.

If you purchase the new vehicle for $ 20,000 and finance the purchase at 5 percent interest, then you're going to pay a total of $ 21,000 before you own the car free and clear. If you finance the used vehicle at the same interest rate, then you'll only pay $ 12,600. You could save $ 8,400 just by purchasing the second car. Because you've probably paid off the car more quickly, you could save more money on lower car insurance premiums.

You would not only own your car much more quickly but also be able to save that monthly payment and put it towards something different. These savings could help you with big expenses, like a new house or paying for your children's college, or they could have put up something something rewarding, like a boat or a luxury vacation. You could also invest the money toward your retirement, or you could save it and pay for your next car with cash.

Many people say that they purchase new vehicles because they worry that used models could have mechanical problems. Give yourself some peace of mind by asking your mechanic to look over a pre-owned vehicle before you buy it. Another option is to choose a certified pre-owned option from your dealer. When you can realize so many financial benefits by purchasing used cars, your neighbor's sleek new ride may not seem so snazzy after all.

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Key Benefits of Buying a Used Car

Buying a vehicle is a serious and expensive purchase, which is why you have to take your time and do an extensive research before you decide what car to buy. There are lots of things you have to take into consideration, including price, specifications, auto insurance, and payment methods. When looking to buy a car, a lot of people are faced with the dilemma of buying a used one versus a new one. Maybe a new car looks like the obvious choice, but there are some very significant benefits of buying a used car, related to price, maintenance and insurance, which should be taken into account by everyone who believes that new vehicles are the better option.

The main, and most obvious advantage of choosing a used car over a new one is the lower price tag. If you decide to buy a used one, you can get a pretty good model with great performance, at a very low price. For example, you could buy a used sports car that cost more than $ 80,000 a couple of years ago, when it was new, for as little as $ 40,000. This is because new cars lose much of their value the minute they leave the dealership.

Talking about depreciation, used cars are not affected by it as much as new ones are. New cars lose most of their value during the first two or three years. If you buy a used car, you do not have to worry about it losing much of its value, since it already depreciated a lot when it was first sold as a new vehicle. This way, when you decide to sell the used car after a couple of years, you will be able to sell it at a price that will be pretty similar to the price you had bought it at.

Another reason why you should consider getting a used cars is the lower registration fee. DMV's charge less for registering cars that are more than five years old, and you can save a couple of hundreds of dollars a year that way. Also, used cars are not subject to sales tax, which, for new cars, is as much as 7% of the purchase price.

Lastly, insurance for used cars is cheaper compared to new cars. This is because a new car is more expensive and has a higher value, and it costs more to replace parts and repair it in case it gets damaged in a collision.

In conclusion, owning a new car does not have a lot of obvious benefits, but owning a used car has its own advantages, too, and you should consider this option before making your final decision.

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Used Cars Are a Great Value

If you are in the market to buy a vehicle, you have some tough decisions to make. First you have to decide whether to buy or lease a vehicle. Next you must decide how much you can afford to spend. Of course the type of vehicle you want and what you can actually afford may be two altogether different things. Finally you must decide which makes more sense, to look at new cars or used cars.

There are several benefits to buying used cars. A good selection of vehicles are often available, and they are usually pretty reliable vehicles. Perhaps the best benefit is affordability. New vehicles are always more expensive than used vehicles. Unless you decide to lease a vehicle the amount of cash you have to put down on a new vehicle is usually pretty substantial. Your down payment is usually ten percent, but if you put less money down down front your monthly payments will be higher. Once you drive a new vehicle off the lot it depreciates in value immediately. It is common for new vehicles to lose thirty percent of their value within the first two years of ownership.

Another benefit that often comes with used cars is the certified pre-owned program. Although this idea first began with luxury models, most manufacturers have instituted these types of programs. Typically the vehicles in these programs are late-model vehicles with relatively low mileage. There also needs to be no history of any major damage. Before these vehicles are able to obtain certification, they must undergo a rigorous inspection process of both cosmetic and mechanical items. It is typical for vehicles in these programs to be covered by an extended warranty that goes beyond the original manufacturer warranty, and it usually includes the same features as a new vehicle warranty such as roadside assistance. Often times these vehicles come with special financing offers, typically at a much lower interest rate than new vehicle financing. Although a buyer will pay more for a certified pre-owned car, they are getting extra coverage and peace of mind.

There are some people who refuse to drive used cars. In some people's minds new is always better, no matter how much extra money they may be spending. When it comes to deciding on a vehicle, some people have the luxury of purchasing what they want, while others have the necessity of purchasing what they can actually afford. In this economy many people consider having a monthly vehicle payment a burden, and they have no problem driving something that they can pay off in a short period of time or just buy outright at a much lower price.

No matter what type of vehicle you are looking to purchase, there are pros and cons to buying versa leasing and new versus used cars. It is up to the purchaser to decide what their needs are, what they can afford, and what exactly type of vehicle will work best for their particular situation.

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Visiting Used Car Dealerships

Visiting used car dealerships will give you access to some of the best vehicles available. While they may not come with the flashy appearance and features that you find with many new vehicles, they do provide you with some exceptional options. You will be able to find a vehicle that you like and that is within your budget. This is a great way to spend less but still get more. Anyone shopping for something more trustworthy or trying to get more for their money will find something at this type of dealership. This will help every buyer to find what they want in a vehicle.

It should be remembered that used car dealerships sell all types of vehicles. There are so many of them around that it is expected to find almost every type imaginable. You will be able to find a variety of models, colors, years, and types when visiting one, allowing you to find exactly what you are after. Whether you want to save and get something a little older or buy a newer yet pre-owned vehicle at a lower cost, there is going to be something out there for you. This gives you a lot more options than simply what is current, making it possible for you to make the very best decision.

Quality is not hard to find with used car dealerships. While there may be this idea of ​​lower quality because of the fact that they are pre-owned, they are actually great vehicles. For the most part, what you can find is going to work well for you. You should be able to run it without experiencing difficulties and you should be able to drive it easily. While not every vehicle and experience are the same, as a whole, there is a lot to take away from this.

Extra services and assistance can be found with used car dealerships. They want to make sure that you are happy as a whole with your choice. This means that you will have someone available when there is a problem and that you will be able to talk to them when needed. This gives you the chance to have peace of mind at all times when it comes to your vehicle. If something happens or if you are worried about it, you just need to reach out. You will be able to figure out a solution or at least become informed quickly.

You might be surprised by the many benefits of used car dealerships. While they may not be your initial choice when you dream of a new car, you can find something amazing. You will be able to find a good vehicle that lasts while spending less on it. You will even have access to various services to keep the car going for you. This can get you on the road and help you to avoid, or manage, serious issues. With everything that is possible and offered, finding a good vehicle and enjoying it is going to be an easy task.

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What Type of Car Finance Is for You?

Personal Loan

Personal loan is perceived to be the most popular way to finance a car according to many surveys.

Borrowing money from a bank, building society or other lender gives you instant ownership of the car. Comparison websites such as money supermarket will show you which lenders offer the best deals.

The annual percentage rate (APR) is the easiest way to compare loans, and essential in working out how much a loan will cost you over the repayment period chosen. If the APR is not mentioned then ask the question, the headline rate is not always what you get it depends on your individual credit rating.

It's a temptation to take a longer repayment period which makes the monthly repayment smaller but you will pay more interest. Keep the loan period as short as possible.

The downside to a personal loan unsecured is that in the event of default any of your assets could be sorted. With dealer finance only the car is at risk in the event of payment default.

Go for a personal loan if you say YES to any of the following:

• You do not have any deposit
• You want to own the car outright
• You plan to keep it for a while
• You do not want annual mileage restrictions

Hire Purchase

After a bank loan hire purchase (HP) is the easiest way to buy a car.

Under HP agreements there's usually a deposit to pay, typically 10% followed by fixed monthly payments. The car is owned by the HP funder until it's paid for including any option to purchase fee. At that point the customer has the right to sell the vehicle.

However some customers do sell their cars before the final payment and the good news is for buyers of non-paid up cars is that the law protects private purchasers who buy without knowing the car is not fully owned and no matter what the police or anyone else tells you you will get good title if you buy a car on HP in these circumstances. The finance company can extremely take action against the seller but that's not your problem.

The credit on an HP agreement is secured against the car, so it's like dealer finance in that the car can only be located in the event of default. If you need to sell the car before the end of your agreement you will have to settle the outstanding monies first and early settlement fees may apply.

Go for HP if you say YES to 1 of the following:

• Ultimate ownership is important to you
• Your budget and circumstances suit fixed monthly repayments
• Your disposable income may decrease over the agreement term (eg if you're planning a family)
• You like credit secured against the car only
• You do not mind not owning the car until the debt is fully paid.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP

This product is probably the most popular product of all.

It's a bit like HP in that you pay a deposit, a fixed rate if interest and monthly repayments usually over 12 to 48 months.
Where PCP differs from HP is at the end of the agreement you have 3 choices.

1. Return the car to the supplier
2. Keep the car
3. Trade the car in against a replacement

The first option returning the car costs nothing, unless you've gone over an agreed mileage or returned the car in poor condition. In either case there will be an excess to pay.

Keeping the car means making a final “balloon” payment. This amount is the cars guaranteed future value, or GFV, which is set at the start of the agreement.

The GFV is based on various factors, including the length of the loan and the anticipated mileage as well as the cars projected retail value. If you exercise this final buying option, you can continue to run the car, or you can sell it and pocket any equity above the GFV that you have paid back to the finance company.

If you're trading in your car, any GFV equity can be used as deposit towards its replacement.

If your car has gone into negative equity which can happen you will have to make up the difference. Shorter agreements are more likely to accurately project the GFV.

Go for PCP if you can say YES to 1 of the following:

• You want lower monthly payments
• You like the flexibility of options at the end of the agreement
• Trade the car in against a replacement

Personal contract hire (PCH)
This product is basically renting your car for typically 2 or 3 years with an agreed mileage limit. There is no option to buy the car at the end of the contract you just hand the car and the keys back to the finance company. Your payments are covering the cars depreciation.

While you're running it, you're responsible for its upkeep. On the plus side, the deposit is low as are the fixed repayments and you can negate the impact of repair bills by including a maintenance element into the agreement.

Cars that hold their value well are a good PCH option because the difference in their new and three year old values ​​will be smaller so you will repay a lower amount whilst cars that plummet in value will see you pay more.

Go for PCH if you can say YES to 1 of the following:

• You do not want to own the car or suffer its depreciation
• You like being able to change cars often
• You like the idea of ​​driving better cars than you could normally afford
• You do not mind looking after cars

Dealer Finance
Research is a must here as motor dealers love lazy buyers who have not done their research. There is no point in haggling on vehicle price if you waste it all on a poor finance deal.

Check out detail on current and upcoming manufacturer finance deals. These may include interest free or low APR rates or deposit contributions.
Do not fix on the rate or monthly payment though look at the total repayable to understand the total cost and compare with what you can find in the open market.
Also do not assume that a dealers finance rate is set in stone, everything is negotiable. Take time to go through things you are not sure about and get the final offer in writing.

The only thing at risk if you do not keep up dealer finance repayments is the car. Bear in mind that even with sweeteners thrown in the dealer will still make money somewhere in the deal and you are paying for it.

Go for dealer finance if you can say YES to 1 of the following:

• You like the convenience of “package” deals
• You're happy to do some comparison research
• You do not want to do the research but you do not mind paying extra

Self – finance
If you want to own your car using your own money by buying outright it does make some sense when UK savings rates are so low. Buying a car outright is also a sensible alternative to leasing if your mileage is high or unpredictable because of excess mileage charges.

Using a credit card be an advantage as many funders offer 0% on balance transfers and purchases. You can avoid paying interest charges alike by changing you card at the end of interest free periods.

The choice is yours!

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Top 3 Factors to Consider When Purchasing Used Cars

Most of the people may not afford a new car every so often and then auto dealer financing comes in tender. Alternately, some of these people choose to buy used cars because they are less expensive. The used cars are recommended because insurance costs are less for the used vehicles as opposed to the brand new cars. Furthermore, used vehicles depreciate less after purchase compared to the new cars. It is also easier to negotiate the price of a used car with the individual owner than you would with car dealers. The factors to consider when purchasing a used car include:

· The number of years you seek to keep the car

The anticipated length of ownership often has a great bearing on the type of car an individual changes to buy. Car owners are nowdays purchasing vehicles based on how long they can keep them running optimally. Therefore, it is advisable for you to undertake a quality rating research to purchase a vehicle that offers a long-term ownership experience.

Check the car in person

It is advisable to check out the car that you like, in person. This is in light of the fact that a vehicle may look good on the computer screen or paper, only to later discover after you have purchased it that you do not like the way the car drives, dislike the way the seats are configured or hate the blind spots in the back. You can consider researching online and narrowing the options down to a few vehicles. Make sure to visit the used car sales to drive them. It can prove disappointing to spend many weeks narrowing the choices to a specific vehicle only to discover you do not like the way they feel as you drive. Therefore, it is important to have the input of an expert to minimizeize chances of missing out on your desired car.

· Ownership costs

When purchasing a vehicle, many of the customers ascertain the vehicle's value by comparing price tags versus the benefits and features. Many would consider a vehicle that costs more but has more cargo room and better gas mileage to have good value. Other factors that need to be considered when determining the value of a car include depreciation, repairs, financing costs, maintenance, insurance and fuel. The fuel economy is a factor that needs to be considered when choosing a used car. It is advisable to compare at least 4 vehicles in terms of the fuel economy.

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How to Get Out From Under a Car Payment

Are you tired of your car, and want a new one? Or maybe you can no longer take the financial burden of paying it off? To make it easier for you to get a new car, or to get rid of the financial stress, you can get someone else to take over the loan or lease. What this means is that you go through a legal procedure and the new lease holder has the responsibility of paying for the car.

Before we get ahead of ourselves there are some procedures you have to follow to see if a loan or lease takeover is permitted. You have two possible options. You can contact your lease or loan company. If that does not work then you can consult an attorney. If a loan takeover is possible, then the next step, which may be the most important, is finding someone willing to take over your loan or lease.

Thankfully you have several ways to find people who are looking to take over a car lease. The most common method is to ask around. Asking your friends and family is always a good way to get the word out there. You can also friends to ask their friends. You can also use social media sites like Facebook to get the word out there. One post you make can be seen by hundreds of people which is like free advertisement. There are also sites which main purpose is to link you with people who have the desire to take over a lease or loan. If you are not technologically savvy you can always go the old fashion route and put an ad in the paper. Printing an ad in the paper will give you the exposure you need to find someone to take over your lease or loan.

If you are lucky enough to find a person willing to take over your lease the next thing to do is prepare the car for its new owner. You want to make sure you remove all of your valuables from your car such as CDs, mp3 players, and any other personal property you may have kept in it. You should also remove anything that has your personal information on it like auto insurance cards and old receipts. After you do this you're ready for the final step in the process which is turning over your car to the company in charge of the lease or loan. Depending on the company you may have to turn it over to them or they might even pick it up themselves. The very last thing you need to do is sign the car over to the lease company or new owner and you're completely done with the process.

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Ask the Right Questions When Purchasing a Second-Hand Car

Locating the more desirably used or second-hand car can often be a quite difficult process, especially for those that are looking for a first vehicle and limited with experience in this area. So, if you are able to proceed in an intelligent manner and have the right plan of action in place; you might find that it is certainly possible to get a great deal when you are able to explore the wide-ranged used vehicle market. With the right tools and questions asked of the existing owner you should find that it is certainly possible to find a desired vehicle to match the budget.

Beside giving a used vehicle a mechanical check-up, it can also be very beneficial if you are able to ask a range of questions to establish the use and history of the car. A cheap used vehicle is not always going to be a great bargain, since a lot of possible deal breakers might well be detected.

Here are some of the questions that might be asked when looking to purchase a second-hand vehicle:

Why is the car up for sale? If you are looking to purchase the vehicle at a private sale, the answer to this question may give a clue about the price the owner might be willing to accept. If they are looking for a quick sale it might be possible to negotiate a more attractive price.

Ask about the number of owners. It will certainly help if you are able to get an idea of ​​how many owners have previously used this vehicle. You are likely to get the better deal if you are able to purchase a single owner vehicle. In general, a vehicle that has been owned by just the one owner is more likely to mean it has been well-maintained through its life, whereas a car or truck that has experienced multiple owners is likely to be less well-maintained.

Are you able to see sight of the service records? In most situations you should be able to ask that the owner shows a copy of the service records for the car, which should at least report any significant repairs carried out during its history.

All in all, if you are able to ask the right questions and complete a satisfactory test drive when looking to purchase a second-hand vehicle, you have a greater chance of being able to invest in a quality vehicle that it is not likely to start causing issues after a short period.

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Why Is My Old Car So Cheap?

Many of us are familiar with vehicles that are associated with our past in such a way that it can be very hard to let go of them. This is why many people have old cars parked in their backyards for several years. Even though these cars do not work, the emotional attachment with them is what makes it hard to sell them.

Now, however, many people are realizing the disadvantages of keeping a very old car. From hygiene issues to financial ones, there is nothing that favors the ownership of such a car. Therefore, either to free the space being taken up by a junk car or to make some money off the old vehicle, many people are now looking for potential buyers. There are many people wondering, 'How do I junk my car?' The good news is that there are several options. You can now find buyers online who will come to your house to tow the car away. The problem, however, is that the amount you will get will be very low. This confuses several people. Why would a car, even if it is very old, sell for such a meager price?

The most major reason for this is that the technology of your car is probably outdated. This means that even if someone fixes it and tries to drive it, there will be now to go if the parts of the car give away. This is because these are not found in the market anymore! From this point of view, your old car may be pretty much useless. Another reason why old cars sell for such a low price is that all of their parts have given away. An engine that has not been used for twenty years, for example, will obviously be completely useless. This means that it will not sell at all, let alone for a low price. What you get paid for, therefore, is simply the body of the car that can be reused.

Often, the price paid is so low because your car is not being bought as an automotive, but as junk. If it does not function at all, the buyer will pull it apart and weigh the metal parts that can be melted and reused. You will then be paid according to the weight of the metal!

Therefore, when selling an old car, do not expect to get a high amount of money. If the car is over a decade old, there is a good chance that it will be sold only as junk.

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The 10 Best Cars for a Summer Road Trip

Road trips are a rite of summer. No matter how sedentary we become as a nation, the summer road trip is still something that a good number of us continue to look forward to each sizzling season.

However, regardless of how excited one is about long days on the road this summer, it is always good to do what you can to have the car that is right for your type of summer road trip. Do you wish to burn off major miles each day, or carry loads of people and their gear, or, sometimes travel the roads in style and comfort? Here are the top 10 cars that are ready to road trip all summer long.

  • VW Passat TDI
  • VW Jetta SportWagen Diesel
  • Toyota Prius V
  • Mazda3 SkyActiv
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Ford Flex
  • Infiniti QX56
  • Lincoln MKT
  • Mercedes E-Class
  • Volvo XC60

Best Cars for Those Long Summer Road Trips

For those looking to travel long distances, there are four cars that fit the bill: two Volkswagens, a Toyota, and a Mazda. All four of these rides can go and go without needing a fill up.

The VW selections are the Passat TDI and the Jetta SportWagen Diesel. The first gets 31 miles to gallon on the highway and 43 in the city, while the second of the two rates at 42 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Toyota Prius V, rating similar numbers, bringing home 40 mpg on the highway and 44 in the city. The fun to drive Mazda3 SkyActiv earns close to 40 mpg, while costing less than $ 20,000.

Best Cars for Big Road-Tripping Families

There are three vehicles at the top of the list for folks who want to haul many heads or lots of stuff. The first is the 2013 Honda Odyssey, a van that can carry eight. Another large vehicle is the 2013 Ford Flex. The Flex has three rows of seats and is powerful enough to tow a boat or trailer. Both the Odyssey and the Flex feature a refrigerator.

The final heavy-hauling vehicle is Infiniti's 2013 QX56. This weirdly-named V-8, 400-horsepower SUV also sports three rows of seats. Unfortunately, the QX56 also sports a $ 61,350 starting price.

Best Cars for Road Tripping in Luxury

For the luxury-minded road tripper there are three fine choices to select from: a Lincoln, a Mercedes-Benz, and a Volvo. The Lincoln MKT carries up to seven people and features a navigation system, a panoramic sunroof, and a blind-spot monitoring system. Inside, it has got an entertainment system with two video screens and 14 speakers. However, the top feature of the Lincoln is that it comes with Daniel Day Lewis as its driver.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan is a smooth pleasure to drive. However, it is not just a joy to drive, the E-Class sedan is also safe, safe, safe, sporting features such as a driver-fatigue monitor, an emergency tele-matics service, a lane-departure warning system, a blind -spot detection system, and a pre-collision automatic braking system.

The final luxurious car that considers consideration for summer road trips is the 2013 Volvo XC60. This car, being a Volvo, is suited for traveling families. It has a pair of built-in child seats plus a pair of video screens and a DVD player in the rear. Moreover, the XC60 is a hatchback, which is great for those who have much to carry.

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Skip These 7 Vehicle Add-Ons and Services, Save Thousands

A vehicle shopper has been able to be careful during all the phases of the procurement process: the pre-shopping research, the comparison of auto financing services, the choosing of a vehicle, and, finally, the selecting or refusal of add-ons. Unfortunately, many consumers feel that their work is done by the time they reach this last step, and they are elated by the prospect of driving off the lot in their new vehicle. All of this can end up leading to bad decisions. Just by turning down the seven vehicle add-ons and services described below, a buyer can potentially save thousands of dollars.

  1. The first service to avoid is the processing fee, which can be as high as $ 400. Although car dealers may say that this fee is non-negotiable, the fact is that everything is negotiable. Remember, the dealer wants to sell this vehicle as much, if not more, than you want to buy it, so you do have negotiating leverage in cases like this.
  2. The delivery charge is a reliably recent add-on that car-buying folks are being charged. However, it should not be this way. Buyers already pay a destination fee, listed on the window sticker, so be sure you fight to keep from paying a delivery charge.
  3. Dealer preparation is little more than a money grab when it comes to buying a new car. After all, a new car that is not drive-ready when it leaves the factory is not a car to buy.
  4. The advertising fee is already on the sticker price, so make sure that the dealer does not ding you for it twice. Some do. Do not let them get away with it.
  5. While extra fabric protection may seem like a good idea, the truth is that modern fabrics do not require the extra protection provided by this treatment. And, if you still want fabric protection, do-it-yourself with a spray can of Scotchgard.
  6. Paint protection is similar to fabric protection: it's outmoded. These days, with how advanced painting technology is, there is no need for extra protection other than washing and waxing your car on a regular basis.
  7. Finally, while having your vehicle identification number etched into your car's windows is a smart anti-theft move, it is not smart to have it done by the dealer, where it can set you back upwards of $ 200. Instead of having this add-on done by the dealer, go to your local service clubs or police department and have it done for free or a just a nominal fee.

If you take these add-ons in sum total, they equate to literally thousands in added costs, but few of them are really of any value. Even if you do want to opt for one or more of these add-ons, they can typically be purchased for a lower price from a third-party provider.

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How You Can Identify a Flood Damaged Car

A lot of damaged cars, trucks and SUVs are dispatched to the salvage yard but some of them are refurbished and placed in the auto market and an unsuspecting buyer will think that he is getting a great deal. Water can cause a lot if damage to the vehicle and this can lead to the failure of electrical and mechanical parts quickly. Consequently, you should be very careful when purchasing a vehicle and the following tips will help you.

It is important to inspect the car properly for any trapped moisture. You should open the glove compartment, trunk and console to check for any sign of wetness which is an indication that it is flood damaged car. You should check under the hood and seats for signs of rust and moisture.

Furthermore, you should go inside the vehicle and inhale the air in it. If you notice a sour, mildew-like odor, it is possible that it is a flood damaged car. Seats and carpets that are soaked can not be easily washed, since, mold and mildew will grow inside it which should tell you to stay away. You can also notice some other substances like oil and fuel, depending on where the flood took place.

It is also important to look out for mismatched components in the car. They might have been hurriedly installed after the car was pulled out from flood waters. Check the history report of the car but take note that a satisfactory report is not a guarantee that it has not suffered water damage. You should be sure that it is not recently titled in different states which is an indication that the owner is trying to hide some negative notation on the title like 'salvaged' or 'totaled'.

You should endeavor to turn the vehicle on and go for a short drive. You should check all the electrical systems including external and internal lights, clock, audio system, dash light, gauges and so on. You should confirm that they work properly while the vehicle is on the move.

It is very essential to involve your technician in the whole process because he is more experienced to detect a flood damage car. Your technician must have someone that is experienced so that he will know the exact system to check for evidence and will be able to offer you the best advice. You should try as much as possible to avoid a flood damaged car because of the consequences that may not be pleasant.

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Used Car Auctions – Tips to Avoid Lemons

Buying a used car can save you a lot of money, unless you buy a lemon. There is always a risk of buying a faulty vehicle at a used car auction. Sellers do not give too much information about what their merchandise and sometimes buyers go home with a lemon. Although it's impossible to be perfectly sure that what you purchase is in perfect working condition, you can protect yourself against faulty vehicles by following these tips:

  • Get information

As they say, knowledge is power. In our case, the internet can provide valuable information about the vehicle we are about to buy. A quick search of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can reveal a lot of hidden information. You can see if the car was involved in an accident or where and when it was manufactured. If you have internet on your mobile, do not hesitate to check the car's VIN.

  • A mechanic is a driver's best friend

If you know someone who is good with cars, do not hesitate to bring him or her along. Most of us do not know that much about cars, or at least not as much as a mechanic. Try to bring a professional to the car auction with you. A mechanic can tell if the car is worth buying or not.

  • Buy a used car with warranty

The Californian Lemon Law covers used cars that are purchased under a warranty. So, if you do buy a lemon, you are entitled to a refund. Remember that the car has to be repaired by the manufacturer and not by the retailer! In general, purchasing a used car with a warranty is safer as you are protected by consumer's laws. If your vehicle does not have a warranty, you are not entitled to a refund.

  • Take it for a spin

Test driving a vehicle is very important: you get to feel the car and to see if you are comfortable driving it. While test driving the car, pay attention to every sound it makes. If you notice strange sounds coming from the engine, the car may have problems. Do not buy anything that you are not sure of. A car is a big investment, so do not throw your money on something that you can not drive.

A faulty car can threaten you life, so make sure that you buy a good and safe vehicle! If you are not good with cars, do not hesitate to ask a friend for help!

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Navigating The Auto Finance Process: Credit, Interest, Terms, and Liens

An important part of buying a new or used car is auto financing. Some people pay for their cars all in cash. But most people drive away in their new purchase by paying only a partial amount to the dealer, also known as a down payment. This is the amount in cash that you are willing to pay on the spot to the dealer. What you can not pay for at the time of the sale is covered by a loan. Lenders like banks arrange loans to provide the rest of the money for your car and make arrangements with you to pay the cash back.

The Impact of Credit Score

The amount and repayment terms of your loan are mostly dependent on your credit score. Basically, a credit score tells the lender how likely you are to pay off the loan. Good credit scores are reflected in high numbers, starting at 650 and up, and allow for larger loans. Lower credit scores usually result in smaller loans.

How Interest Rates Work

Of course, lenders will not just simply let you borrow the amount of money you need. All loans come with an interest rate, which is the additional amount over the original loan that the lender charges you for borrowing the money. The interest rate is a certain percentage of the entire loan amount. It is paid on a monthly basis and calculated as an Annual Percentage Rate or APR. The actual APR will depend on your credit score. High scores can mean interest rates as low as 2 to 5 percent. If your credit is less than perfect, expect to have an APR starting at 15 to 17 percent.

How Long to Finance

It is important to consider is the term of the loan, or the number of months it will take you to pay back the money. Typically, loan periods range from 36 to 60 months. More months result in smaller monthly payments but, over the loan's lifetime, will result in higher interest payments. For shorter terms, you repay more each month but will save on the total APR paid. Your monthly income will determine how large a repayment you can afford to make.

How a Lien Works

While you possess the car, the lender is the one who actually owns the car until the loan is fully repaid. This is called a lien and is the security for the loan. Once paid off, the lender will issue you the certificate of ownership. However, if you miss or stop making payments, the lender can legally take the car back. Beside losing the car itself, you will also lose all the money you have paid for the car up to that point.

Options for People with Credit Problems

If your credit is so bad that banks will not lend to you or will do so only with outrageous repayment terms, your other options are credit unions or if you are a member or private financing companies. Many automakers have their own in-house financing departments; a possible drawback to this type of loan is that you can buy your car only from the dealers who are part of that financing network. If possible, avoid financing through the dealer, as it makes a commission off every loan arranged, which is added to the APR and increases the total cost of your car.

Possible Vehicle Restrictions

Lenders may also limit the amount of the loan and the condition of the car. Sometimes loans are available only for cars of a certain model year and total mileage. These conditions help reduce the amount of risk taken by the lender on the loan. Before buying your next car, make sure you know the financing options that are available to you so you can decide which one best suits your budget.

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How to Maximize The Trade Equity of Your Existing Vehicle

While purchasing a new car, it's convenient to trade in your old one. There is a lot to consider about the trade-in process itself before you start car shopping, and it's best to consider this before the onslaught of other decisions you'll have to make regarding a new car purchase. Here are eight important tips to getting the best value for your old car to make it go more smoothly.

  • Make Your Car Shine. Wash your car and clean up any garbage, stains or dust inside. Have your old car look as “new” as possible. If it needs an oil change or minor maintenance, fix that first. Have your maintenance records organized and be ready to demonstrate to a dealer that your old vehicle was well-treated to establish its full value.
  • Have Your Trade-In Appraised. Before you even window shop for a new car, determine what your old car is actually worth. You can use an online tool like True Market Value (TMV) tool from Edumunds, then print out the results to take with you while looking at new cars. Alternately, CarMax can provide a detailed inspection of your vehicle with a written appraisal (valid for 7 days) as well. According to their website, CarMax buys cars regardless of age, make, mileage or condition and regardless if you buy one from them in return.
  • Check State Sales Tax Laws. Sales tax is typically only charged on the difference in value between a new car and a trade-in. Determine if this is true in your state – it's one more reason to negotiate a high cash value for your trade-in.
  • Use The Internet. Shopping online can be an effective way to find a new car and get a trade-in estimate. Most dealerships have web pages and you can browse through their policies on trade-ins to decide who to contact first. You can conveniently use our Dealerhip Locator, of which there are many available online, to search and contact local car dealers from the comfort of your computer.
  • Focus on Trade-In Value First. Be sure to tell the car salesman up front that you want full credit for your trade-in and establish the figure they're willing to pay before you start negotiating for a new car. Look around their lot to see what they might have an excess of if its less than you think is fair. Most dealers will offer less for a trade-in if they already have several of the same general make and model in stock. Try another dealership before making a commitment.
  • Get It In Writing. Make sure that the actual cash value amount for the trade-in is written into the contract as a credit against the purchase price. Do not accept a sales person's verbal promise that it's accounted for elsewhere.
  • Focus On The Financial Outcome. Dealerships will be looking at all the aspects of the deal as ways to financially benefit them: your trade-in, the new car, financing costs and aftermarket sales. Approach your car purchase the same way. Pay attention to every cost and detail in the contract. Consider accepting a lower trade-in offer if comes in exchange with something even more beneficial like reduced interest rate on financing.
  • Be Realistic. If several dealerships quote the same trade-in value for your car, that establishes it's current market value in the area. You can consider selling your old car yourself instead. Ultimately go for the trade-in or sale that most affordably gets you what you need in a new car. Keep your priority on the new car and how much benefit your trade-in provides you financially for it.

Many consumers do themselves a disservice by underestimating the importance of their trade-in. Keep these considerations in mind, and you can end up getting a lot more for your existing vehicle.

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