For lots of things you buy, the general trend is for prices to increase over time. But there are some things that forward-looking folks claim will drop in price — at least for a bit — in this, the year 2013 CE. [More]
As happens just about every time there is large-scale flooding in a region, you can expect that the car market will be, well… flooded (sorry) with vehicles that have been damaged by soaking in too-high water. Thankfully there are some indicators to look out for if you go car shopping. [More]
We often hear from readers horrified to discover that their perfectly lovely used car was once another owner’s total loss. They only find out much later, once something goes horribly wrong due to the previous damage. But once the vehicle is all fixed up and shiny, how is the average car buyer to know the difference? It turns out that there are distinctive signs that a car was previously in a crash or flood. Some you might notice yourself, and others require a mechanic’s eye.
There’s a dearth of good used cars out there, so if you’ve got a particularly fine example you’ve been looking to unload, now is a good time to sell it, say experts. On that note, if you’re trying to find a cheap previously-owned vehicle, prices are probably not going to be in your favor.
Have you ever seen a car dealership ad that promises to pay off the loan balance of your trade-in, even if you owe more than the value of the trade-in? Well, the Federal Trade Commission has stopped a handful of dealers from continuing to deceive buyers with this too-good-to-be-true offer.
Last year, Brandon’s car was destroyed in an accident, and he went shopping for a new-to-him vehicle. He found a nice 2008 Honda Civic at a good price with a clean Carfax report. Sweet deal! Now Brandon’s in the market for a new car. At another dealership, he learned that the Civic isn’t worth as much as he had thought as a trade-in, because the vehicle had sustained severe body damage in an accident, then was rebuilt. How did they know this? The now-updated Carfax report, of course.
When buying a motor vehicle, many customers want that “new car smell.” But we’re going to go out on a limb here and assume that most car buyers don’t want something you’d refer to as “dead body smell.”
Even though you’ve traded in your old car, made a down payment on your new one and driven it off the lot, make sure you are 100% sure that any financing you have on your vehicle is complete. If it’s not, you might soon find yourself out your down payment and without your new wheels — or even the car you traded in.
In the second of a three-part series on “Buy Here Pay Here” dealerships, used car lots that target subprime borrowers with easy credit and triple the national average interest rates, the Los Angeles Times looks at how private equity firms have flocked towards the growing industry, lured by 38% margins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]”
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.
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.