Used Car Fuel Economy Info From The EPA

When you walk onto a car lot you can see how fuel efficient every new vehicle is. It is an EPA requirement that all auto makers must meet. Some people are not shopping for a new car, so that information was not always available to them. The EPA has decided to change that.

According to a recent Consumer Reports announcement, the EPA is going to start posting mpg information on its website www.fueleconomy.gov. This is not exact science, but the posted fuel ratings are based on an average economy formula that is excepted industry wide. So, a ten year old car is adjusted for age. The numbers go as far back as 1984, so most cars on buy here pay here car lots should show up.

The fuel economy numbers posted by the EPA may not be exact, but they are a definite help to used car buyers across the United States.

New And Used Car Loan Rates Down In March 2011

Everyone knows that how much you pay for your car each month hinges on the amount you finance and the loan rate you pay. The news about the average loan rate in March is very pro-buyer, so now might be a good time for you to finance that new or used car.

According to Bankrate.com the average auto loan rate for a new car fell to 5.56% on a 48 month loan. The 60 month option fell to 5.61%. Used car loan rates are always slightly higher than the rates for new cars, but those rates also fell. A 36 month used car loan fell to 6.57% interest. These rates may not be historic lows, but they are very favorable for the consumer.

Combine these low rates with a small down payment of $500 to $1,000 and you could get a new car for as little as $200 per month. One last tip to insure the lowest auto loan rate is to shop around. Call local banks and look online. Of course, if you have bad credit, we help you get pre-approved for buy here pay here financing right from your computer.  Find the best rate before you buy and you will have the lowest possible monthly payment.

Facts About 40 MPG Cars

Can you remember the last time you went to the gas station and did not feel as if you had been robbed? Neither can anyone else. A knee jerk reaction is to unload the gas guzzling donkey that you are driving and buy a fuel sipping hybrid of some kind. It is always nice to have a new car, but will the fuel savings really justify the expense?

Cars that are capable of 40 mpg are all hybrids. The advanced technology of an electric/gasoline integration is more expensive than an all gas vehicle. The ‘newness’ of the technology makes repairs more expensive, as well. Both of these will go down in the coming years, but right now your upfront and long term expenses are going to be higher.

Having said that, a 40 mpg car can save you money at the pump and on your taxes. David Friedman, a research director with the Union of Concerned Scientists, estimates that a 40 mpg car can save its owner $4,000 over its life time if gas prices are $3 per gallon. If prices jump to an average of $4 per gallon, the same car will save you $6,000. Switching to a mainly electric car like the Chevy Volt or the Nissan Leaf will qualify you for a one-time tax federal credit of $7,500 and free you from the dreaded pump.

$40 mpg cars are a reality for niche buyers right now, but as technology improves and sticker prices fall, they will become commonplace on buy here pay here car lots around the country and so will money in their owners’ wallets.

Top 3 Consumer Reports Picks For The Budget Conscious

Every year Consumer Reports releases its lists of top automobiles broken down into categories based on price, fuel efficiency, and other criteria. Here are the three top cars based on Consumer Report’s price and fuel efficiency ratings combined.

Hyundai Elantra

While there are a few vehicles with lower sticker prices, the newly redesigned Hyundai Elantra offers more miles per gallon. With the average price of a gallon of gas rising faster that a hot air balloon, a maximum of 39 mpg is a greater factor than base sticker to many. Still, you can buy a well equipped Elantra for under $20,000.

Toyota RAV4

It may seem strange to include an SUV in the same conversation as  budget consciousness, but the RAV4 delivers on the MSRP and at the pump. The base four cylinder offers a maximum 28 mpg for $22,000. If you want to step up to a more durable six cylinder, you only lose one mile per gallon and $2,000. This is a peppy vehicle with a little extra family room.

Toyota Sienna

There is no way to avoid hauling the entire family from time to time, so why not do it in style and comfort while saving money? The Sienna provides up to 24 mpg from the base four cylinder at a competitive $25,000.

The top picks in other categories are: the Ford Mustang, Honda Fit, Nissan Altima, Toyota Prius, Kia Sorento, Infiniti G37, and the Chevrolet Avalanche. This is a great list of vehicles depending on your preference for class. In addition to fuel savings and low sticker price, each of these vehicles is fairly inexpensive to insure when compared to others in its class.   Look for these at buy here pay here car dealers in your area.

GPS Vehicle Recovery Systems – Invasion of Privacy?

Over the last several years, more and more BHPH car dealers have turned to GPS tracking devices in order to facilitate vehicle recovery in the event of non-payment.  The prevalence of these devices was given a further boost by the down economy, in which dealers were struggling to stay profitable with so many more customers defaulted on their payments.  Although perceived by dealers and financiers as an essential tool, the GPS tracking trend has led, in turn, to worries on the part of some consumers as to whether GPS tracking of this kind is an invasion of privacy.

Of course, the titled to any vehicle being financed is owned by a buy here pay here dealer or auto finance company who funded the loan until it has been paid off, so dealers and financiers do have the right to track the location of their assets.  However, that doesn’t necessarily provide comfort to Joe The Consumer, especially in the USA where freedom and independence are so highly valued.  But there is another small detail which may set many minds at ease:  the fact that the majority of GPS tracking devices remain inactive unless a buyer defaults on his or her payments.  So dealers are not sitting around “big-brothering” their clients.  On the contrary, in many instances the dealer must pay a hefty charge just to activate the device, so they only do so when absolutely necessary – as in when a vehicle must be repossessed. 

2010 Bankruptcies Were Up – But Rate Has Lessened

On the bankruptcy front, there is good news and bad news as 2010 final statistics have come rolling in.  According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, there were 119,406 more filings in 2010 versus 2009.  That represented an increase of 8%.  That might sound disheartening, but if you look at these figures with a historical perspective, there is a silver lining. 

2010 marked the first time in the last three years that the increase in bankruptcies from the previous year wasn’t more than 10%.  What can we attribute to this slow-down in bankruptcy filings?  Experts say that US consumers have very much tightened up their spending in line with our tough economic climate, and that lessened spending is translating into fewer bankruptcies.  This can be seen especially in the realm of business-related filings, which were actually down by nearly 8%. 

In any case, the market for post-bankruptcy car financing is still growing, as consumer filings (more than 70% of which are Chapter 7) continue to rise.  That means more business for Buy Here Pay Here car dealers.

New 2011 VW Made in The USA

On January 10, Volkswagen is going to unveil their new midsize sedan which will be replacing the existing Passat.  VW has yet to reveal the name of this new sedan, but we do known that it will be manufactured in Tennessee – of all places.  Yes, it used to be easy to “buy American.”  All you had to do was buy a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge product.  But automakers seem to be moving increasingly “onshore.”  How about the all-new 2011 Kia Sorento, which is selling like hotcakes?  It’s manufactured in an enormous plant in West Point, Georgia, of all places. 

In any case, the Passat was a much-beloved sedan which offered style, luxury, performance, and safety in an affordable package.  With its new mystery replacement set to hit the market this month, look for more Passats to begin showing up on buy here pay here car lots in your area.

Fall Auto Sales on the Rise

The US automotive industry – particularly the new car segment – seems to be picking up steam, and that’s good for the whole economy. Last month, the vast majority of automakers reported significantly increases in auto sales. In fact, the following four companies set best-ever sales records for the month of October:

  • Audi
  • Hyundai
  • Kia
  • Subaru

Additionally, Suzuki, a company which has been seriously suffering in both motorcycle and auto segments, reported a year over year rise in sales for the first time in more than 2.25 years! The US automakers also put up great numbers, with the big 3 (Chrysler, Ford, General Motors) posting increases of 30% or more! For shoppers looking at the used car market for their next auto, this is a good sign. The slowdown in new cars sales has meant fewer cars being funneled into the pre-owned market, which has in turn resulted in increased used car prices. With more people buying new cars, more vehicles will end up on buy here pay here lots, which will reduce scarcity and bring down prices – a win/win for everybody!

Nissan Recalling 2.14 Million Cars (Worldwide)

We recently reported on the Toyota recall currently in progress. Now Nissan has announced a recall of their own:  762,000 vehicles in the US and Canada, as well as another 835,000 in their home country of Japan. The vehicles span more than a dozen different models, including the Titan pickup truck and Infiniti QX56; all models were built between August 2003 and July 2006.

Reportedly, the problem relates to a faulty ignition component which could lead to stalled engines. Nissan says the relay should take no more than 25 minutes to fix. If you were planning to purchase a vehicle via Buy Here Pay Here financing, be sure to determine whether the ignition system needs to be addressed as part of this recall. With winter and cold weather fast approaching in many parts of the US, a stalled engine could lead to serious trouble.

Wal-Mart Auto Loans?

Apparently, many credit unions and smaller banking & lending institutions are nervous over the fact that Wal-Mart seems aimed to enter the financial services arena. In 2007, Wal-Mart failed to gain a formal banking charter. However, they have still begun to offer a range of banking services at some stores via US MoneyCenters. According to the recently-published Fine Research Report, Wal-Mart will be targeting:

…young, blue collar, early-career shoppers who come for the low prices and choose the plastic card.

Services Wal-Mart may ultimately offer include:

  • Auto Loans
  • Small Business Loans
  • Demand Deposits

The strength of the Wal-Mart brand could make them highly successful in this field, as well as the convenience and cross-selling opportunities they can offer.  The most worry seems to be coming from credit unions, who traditionally marketed to the aforementioned demographic. Buyers with very poor credit will still need options such as Buy Here Pay Here financing, which de-emphasizes credit score in favor of ability to pay.