How to Take a Trial Run Before You Decide to Buy

Having a car during the holidays means you have the flexibility to enjoy time off with friends in the city, or to get out to the countryside where you can find peace and quiet. If you are in the market for a car, trying to decide which make and model is best for you and your family might take some time to figure out. If you are limited by credit issues and your finances, that will certainly narrow down the range of options you have. But there are so many makes and models on the market today, you will still find lots of cars to choose from, and lots of reasons to select a particular style.
For those concerned about their impact on the environment, a hybrid might be the perfect choice. If you are an artist who travels from city to city vending at festivals or art shows, you’ll want a hatchback perhaps, so you can easily get your supplies loaded and unloaded. Are you planning to expand your family? Maybe a minivan will be the best choice. Until you make up your mind, there is one thing you can do, and that is to use a Groupon coupon code to rent a car from Alamo. Why not try out one of their many options to see how it feels, then you can either add it to or eliminate if from the list of possible cars you’ll consider buying. They have a large fleet of economy, compact, mid-size, standard and other cars and trucks that you can choose from. Many people come to us already knowing what they want to buy, because of the last auto they rented. Others have found it a useful way to test the handling and durability of their top choice on a long drive. Either way, when you use a Groupon to rent your car, the price will be so affordable an additional day or two will seem like it was thrown in.
When you enter a Groupon code at checkout, you can see your price drop by as much as 5% to 20% if you rent in Latin America or the Caribbean. And there are other deals that you can unlock when you enter the proper code. Once you’ve decided on the make and model you want, you new adventures are just an application away. When you are ready to buy, you can buy it here – and pay here.

Top 7 Keys to Cleaning, Detailing Your Car

Popular Mechanics, a publication that knows a little something about mechines and their maintenance, has looked into how we, Joe and Jill Q Public, can clean and detail our cars like the pros do.

The magazine’s research turned up seven key steps we can all follow to keep our vehicles pretty. Talking about the importance of keeping cars shiny and clean, Mike Schultz, head of new products at Turtle Wax, said, “Think of the surface of your car as you would your face. It needs to be properly taken care of in order to have a healthy glow.”

The top seven ways to clean and detail your car are (beware, these steps do require a bit of elbow grease):

1. Use compressed air and stiff scrub brushes to clean your car’s carpets and upholstery. The air will expel the dirt and grime from your car’s nooks and crannies, while the brushes will loosen stubborn dirt.

2. Clean the ducts behind your car’s vents with compressed air to keep your car from stinking.

3. Clean your tires and wheels with non-acid-based tire cleaners before you wash and protect your car’s body. This will ensure that you remove any tire cleaner that accidently gets onto your car’s paint.

4. Wash your car by hand using a car washing solution instead of a dishwashing soap. Doing this will give you the opportunity to examine your car’s surface. After the car’s final rinse, dry it with a rubber-blade squeegee.

5. Smooth out your car’s paint by polishing either by hand or with an oscillating buffer.

6. Protect your car’s paint with a coating of wax. You need to wax your car at least once a season to protect it from stains and small scratches. You can use either liquid wax or paste wax.

7. Clean your car’s glass surfaces last of all. They will have picked up dirt and grime while you were cleaning the rest of the car. Once they are clean, buff them with a microfiber cloth.

Remember, many buy here pay here dealers require down payments.  So if you plan to sell your old vehicle in order to get cash for a down payment, then these tips could be especially helpful for making that sale.

Ford Fiesta SFE, Chevy Volt: Great Ways to Feel Good While Breaking Your Bank

Filling up hurts. Prices are at near record highs and those numbers on that dial just flip by so fast, fast, fast. It’s no wonder that fuel economy is at the forefront of the consumer’s mind as she’s walking the showroom floor.

However, according to a recent story in the New York Times, it is not wise to choose a car based solely on its fuel economy. In fact, the paper argues, doing so is a costly mistake since it takes years’ worth of not pumping gas to make up the difference between, say, a Chevrolet Cruze and a Chevy Volt. Writing about this, the paper said, “The Volt, which costs nearly $40,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, could take up to 27 years to pay off versus a Chevrolet Cruze, assuming it was regularly driven farther than its battery-only range allows. The payback time could drop to about eight years if gas cost $5 a gallon and the driver remained exclusively on battery power.”   

Shockingly, the Volt with its 26.6 years to break even was not the worst investment. The Ford Fiesta SFE at $16,170 would take 26.8 years to break even with the $15,557 Ford Fiesta. Though nowhere near as poor of a choice as the top two, the Honda Civic Hybrid, $23,999, takes 12.1 to break even with the (non-hybrid) Civic, $18,675, while the Ford Escape Hybrid, $30,204,requires 11.5 years to match the cost of the (non-hybrid) Escape, $23,048.

In this way, buying an affordable, fuel-efficient yet non-hybrid pre-owned vehicle from a used or buy here pay here dealer may be a better option than forking out the big bucks for the latest in hybrid/EV technology.

Which Cars Maintain Their Value Over Time?

These days we’ve simply got to do what we can to be smart with our money. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t buy new vehicles, but instead it means that when we are in the market for a new or used car, we need to look for one that offers a great purchase price and also keeps its value for the long haul.

Two reports listing the brands and cars with the best resale value have just been released by Kelley Blue Book and ALG (formerly known as Automotive Lease Guide) to help prospective car buyers navigate the crowded and sometimes confusing new car market. 

Making things as simple as can be, both listings named Lexus as the luxury brand that held its value the best. The reports did not agree regarding mainstream brands with Kelley Blue Book giving this honor to Toyota and ALG to Subaru.  Still, if you are going to purchase a new vehicle via buy here pay here financing, these are two brands to seriously consider.b

Other names earning spots on the pair of lists are Audi, Jeep Wrangler, Ford F-Series Super Duty Full-sized pickups, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Camaro V-6, Traverse full-sized SUVs and Volt.      

Remember: Lemon Laws Affect You as a Seller, Not Just a Buyer

Many people know that selling their used car can bring in more money than trading it in to one of the local buy here pay here car lots will. What they don’t know is how the lemon laws in their state can affect private sales.

Lemon laws have been enacted to protect buyers. They became necessary because of the widespread habit of selling a car that was potentially unsafe, immobile, or had issues affecting the value of the vehicle. The lemon laws vary by state. Some do not cover used vehicles and others closely define what constitutes a lemon. The best way to understand the laws in your state is to use the internet. All you need to do is type ”lemon laws (your state)” into the search bar and plenty of links will come up.
Even if your state does not have used car lemon laws that you must deal with, honesty is still the best policy when selling your car. Mention any problems to potential buyers. After all, the money they are spending could be all they have. Do you want to be responsible for stranding a family just to make a few extra bucks?

Not Servicing Your Car Regularly Could Lower Its Resale Value

Times are tough and money is tight. People are looking for reasonable ways to lower their expenses. One way that some chose is to delay or skip service appointments for their car. While that may save money today, it will cost you more than it is worth in the future.

On the resale value front, a recent study by research group ICM showed that a car with a complete service history could sell for up to 26% more than one without. That could be as much as $3,000 out of your pocket when you trade in your car to a buy here pay here dealership or sell it to a private buyer.

From a repair aspect, skipping service appointments could cost you thousands of dollars while you own the car. Failing to change your oil on time could cost you an engine. Not rotating your tires can cost you as much as 15% more in fuel. A dirty air filter can rob an additional 15% of your car’s fuel efficiency. That doesn’t even take transmission issues, belts, or your battery into consideration.

Delaying or skipping service appointments for your car only make sense if you can not look past today. Your car is an investment that must be protected and regular service is that protection.

3 Reasons To Delay Buying A Compact Car

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Gas prices have driven Americans to the brink of bankruptcy. One way that many people have been dealing with the extra costs is to buy a smaller vehicle. As the demand increased, the prices of those more fuel economic cars went up exponentially. Here are three reasons that you should wait and not fall into the gas miser craze that is gripping the country right now.

  1. Many experts think that gas prices have stabilized and may drop by year’s end. With lower gas prices, you may still be comfortable driving your larger car with the V6.
  2. The disasters in Japan closed many automotive plants. They will be reopened and at full production by year’s end. A larger supply means that prices on compact cars will drop.
  3. With Japanese production in full swing the other automakers will be forced to lower their prices as well. Incentive programs will improve, allowing for even better deals.

Some industry analysts project that as production of compact cars increases the average sticker price for one could drop as much as 5% to $19,300. Delaying your purchase another 4 months could leave as much as $1,200 in your pocket.

Avoid These 10 Used Vehicles

Buying a new vehicle is not affordable for every American family. With an average price of $30,000 that is pretty understandable. Used vehicles are a reliable option if you know which ones to choose, or avoid. Here is a list of ten used vehicles to avoid based on reliability surveys, resale values and safety ratings. A lot of weight was given to the most recent J.D. Power & Associates U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study which determines the least dependable three-year-old cars.

  1. Chevrolet Aveo
  2. Mitsubishi Lancer
  3. Dodge Avenger/Dodge Charger
  4. Dodge Magnum
  5. Mitsubishi Eclipse
  6. Jeep Liberty
  7. Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon
  8. Suzuki XL7
  9. Jeep Wrangler
  10. Land Rover Range Rover Sport

All of these vehicles lose a big chunk of value immediately, suffer maintenance issues frequently, and/or offer uncomfortable rides. The Land Rover and Suzuki issues are made worse by their lack of a widespread dealership and parts network. When looking for a car at your local buy here pay here car lot, you might want to avoid these used vehicles at all costs.

How To Get Value From A Used Car Purchase

Used car prices have be rising steadily for some time, but in the last year there has been a real surge in prices. The year has not reached the halfway point and prices have surged over 10% on average, with some models trading nearly 15% higher than they did last year. If you keep these few things in mind, you can still get value from a used car purchase.

  1. Set a budget and stick to it. Not just for the car, but insurance and a figure for weekly gas.
  2. Do a price comparison. If you are set on a Honda Civic, you may pay more than if you are flexible and consider other cars within the  same class. Other automakers offer similar cars for thousands less. Also, know a fair price range for the car you are shopping for.
  3. Look for trouble signs. You do not have to be a mechanic to notice a slight difference in paint color that can mean a past accident or a small puddle of fluid under a car. When in doubt, skip the car.
  4. Always…Always…Always get a vehicle history report.

If you take care, you can still get a used car that will offer you long term reliability without the major depreciation that a new one will take in the first year. Price changes may not be as obvious as they were when you dad shopped, but value is still there.

Ways To Avoid Overspending On Your Car

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Regular maintenance on your car is expensive enough. Add to that the cost of gas, insurance, parking, etc and the cost of owning a car can be amazing. Here are a few ways to avoid overspending on your car and lower the cost of ownership.

  1. Do not change the oil every 3,000 miles. Most automakers recommend changing your oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles on newer cars. Read the owner’s manual for specifics on your model.
  2. Change your air filter regularly. Read the manual for recommended change periods, but look the filter over from time to time. A dirty filter can rob as much as 15% of your car’s fuel efficiency.
  3. Investing in most fuel efficiency boosting additives and devices is a waste of money according to AAA.
  4. Skip buying the navigation system when you are shopping for a new car. They cost an average of two grand and most smartphones have similar apps available on them. You are already paying for the phone, so why not lower your monthly car payment?

Regular maintenance is a necessity if you want to keep the car for an extended period of time. Putting it off can cause much more expensive repairs down the line. By avoiding some of the unnecessary stuff, you can keep plenty of money in your pocket to perform needed maintenance.

Looking for a used car?  Click here to find a buy here pay here lot in your area.