"Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships Investigated

"Buy Here Pay Here" Dealerships Investigated

The Los Angeles Times has an excellent investigation into the national “Buy Here Pay Here” auto dealership phenomenon. These used car sellers purposefully target bad credit borrowers and offer them what no one else will: the chance to buy a car on credit. All they have to do is agree to 20-30% interest rates, a price well above the car’s Blue Book Value, and aggressive repo practices if they fail to pay up. But it’s not a big deal if they don’t. Borrower failure is baked into the business plan. [More]

Economy: Used Car Dealer Becomes Used Horse Dealer Too

Economy: Used Car Dealer Becomes Used Horse Dealer Too

With the economy in the dumps, used car dealers are having to get creative with the trade-ins. There’s long been used car dealers advertising they’ll take any trade that’s “push, pulled, or dragged.” One dealership is adding trots to that phrase, as they’re now accepting horses. [More]

Should It Have To Be Disclosed If A Used Car Was Smoked In?

Should It Have To Be Disclosed If A Used Car Was Smoked In?

You get into the seats, place your hands on the wheel and sniff. That’s not new car smell you’re getting, but the faint notes of incinerated tobacco leaves. Perhaps they’re peaking out from a cloying cloud of freshener, like a bra strap from a tank top. Dangit. You thought you found a good contender and wasted all this time to come out and check the car out, and now it turns out someone used to smoke in it. Reader Ethan wonders if this isn’t something that dealers should have to disclose, or at least something that should show up on CarFax. [More]

Expect To Pay More For A Used Car As Supply Shrinks

Expect To Pay More For A Used Car As Supply Shrinks

Between June and November of 2008, while the nation plunged into economic turmoil, car leasing dropped off by 58% as people looked to save money wherever possible. Fast forward to the present day where, because of that drop-off in leased vehicles, the supply of late-model vehicles coming up for resale will soon be shrinking. [More]

How To Avoid Flood-Damaged Used Vehicles

How To Avoid Flood-Damaged Used Vehicles

Disastrous flooding, such as what the Midwest and Southeast has recently suffered, tends to, well, flood the used car market with damaged vehicles that pass the eyeball test. There are ways to avoid falling victim to unscrupulous resellers try to move water-addled rides, though. [More]

Lithia Motors Doesn't Believe You Actually Want To Opt Out Of Their Text Message Spam

Lithia Motors Doesn't Believe You Actually Want To Opt Out Of Their Text Message Spam

Unwanted text message ads are annoying, but if the advertiser lets you opt out that should be the end of it, right? Apparently the folks at Lithia Motors, one of the nation’s largest auto retailers, think you might not have meant it when you told them to stop bugging you. [More]

This Used Car Ad Is Totally Tubular

This Used Car Ad Is Totally Tubular

Madison Ave, take some copywriting lessons from this radical used car ad: “Looking for a car with a sweet tape deck and a radio with five pre-sets? A car that needs new brakes and maybe some action under the hood?…Than this is the car for you! [sic]“ [More]

Used SUVs & Trucks Costing More Than New Ones

Used SUVs & Trucks Costing More Than New Ones

In a counter-intuitive turn of events, the way the market is now, a used SUV can end up costing more than a new one. [More]

Outsource Used Car Haggling To Pros At Carsala

Outsource Used Car Haggling To Pros At Carsala

For those without the temperament or time to engage in the scrum that is negotiating with a used car dealer, Carsala will do it for you. The site boasts a team of professional negotiators who will contact an average of twenty dealers and work to get you the best price possible. No more getting befuddled by the Four-Square or “Oh, I’m sorry, I really want to make this work but my manager in the back will only agree to…” The pros at Carsala charge a commission of 20% of the difference between Blue Book value and the final price. And, unlike some other car shopping sites, they don’t take kickbacks. Handy! Or you can just use their free tools to check out how a price you’re quoted compares to others in the area, and whether the car you want really fits your budget. [More]

Tips For Buying A Used Car This Year

Tips For Buying A Used Car This Year

The sorry state of the economy the past couple of years has actually led to higher prices for used cars, writes Kiplinger. That’s because more people started buying used cars, which tightened the supply while also reducing the number of fresh trade-ins. It may be a couple of years before prices drop again, but Kiplinger has some suggestions for saving money if you plan on buying a used car this year. [More]

Ford Agrees To Sell Volvo For $1.8 Billion To Zhejiang Geely

Ford Agrees To Sell Volvo For $1.8 Billion To Zhejiang Geely

They always say that cars are the worst investment, since they almost always depreciate in value. But Ford Motor Co. learned the hard way that this holds true for car companies as well. They bought Volvo for $6.45 billion in 1999, only to sell it 11 years later for $1.8 billion. [More]

Beat The "Four Square" Dealership Ripoff

Beat The "Four Square" Dealership Ripoff

Former used car salesman Alan Slone grew a little Jimminy Cricket in his ear and decided to spill his guts on a classic dealership technique used to addle your mind and empty your wallet. It’s called “The Four Square” and the object of the game is to make you lose. Here’s how it works, and how to beat it. [More]

In Praise Of Old Cars

In Praise Of Old Cars

Maybe someday when frugality takes over, beat-up 1988 Honda Accords will trump fresh-off-the-lot Porsches as four-wheeled sex symbols. Blogger Well-Heeled can envision such a future, hyping the money-saving virtues of hoopties. [More]

Man Puts Deposit Down On Used Car, Backs Out, Can't Get Money Back

Man Puts Deposit Down On Used Car, Backs Out, Can't Get Money Back

Back in April, Nait put a $500 refundable deposit down on a used car, then decided he didn’t want to buy it anymore when he found it needed $10,000 in repairs. Five months later, neither the dealership nor Capital One, will refund his money. He gives a blow-by blow here.

Buyer Says CarFax Report Didn't Let Him Know Car Was All Messed Up

Buyer Says CarFax Report Didn't Let Him Know Car Was All Messed Up

CarFax provides a useful tool for used car buyers, tipping them off about the myriad abuses their prospective rides once suffered. But Gyorgy says the service failed him, failing to report a number of modifications and indignities that voided the ride’s warranty. He writes:

Ask The Consumerists: When An "As-Is" Car Isn't What It Seems

Ask The Consumerists: When An "As-Is" Car Isn't What It Seems

Trisha in Oregon bought a great new-to-her car from a used car dealership. Unfortunately, the problem with buying a car “as-is” is that the dealer may not be up-front with you about how the car actually is.

The New Car Deals Are Piling Up — But Do You Care?

The New Car Deals Are Piling Up — But Do You Care?

BusinessWeek did a little math and discovered that if you lined up all the new financing deals, tax incentives and discounts — a new car might actually be cheaper than a late model used one. But do you care?

http://consumerist.com/2009/03/12/best-and-worst-used/

Best And Worst Used Cars Buying a used car is often the best choice for consumers. If well-maintained, it can be a good value and later models have many of the newer safety features as well. Consumer Reports has listed the cars with the best and worst reliability history in the 10 years (1999-2008) covered by their Annual Auto Survey.