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May182014

Used Car Shopping? (Mileage, Models, and Makes…Oh My!)



Tips On Buying A Car: Do you choose low miles or better model age?

Thinking about buying a used car, here's a sure-fire way to buy smart and fast!

When it's time for used car shopping (and figuring out how to price used cars), don't step onto used car lot yet: Follow my lead and you'll be stepping into your gently used car in no time. Today's mega-information age has made it mega-easy to find and purchase the perfect car for you.

Reality Check...we're not living in a commercial.

And don't be discouraged by those mega beautiful cars skating across your TV, only to find that they cost mega bucks. Did you know that the average age of used cars on the road now stands at 11.4 years. That makes me feel a lot better about my own 2002, but I still want to be ready and set when it comes time to go for my next car.

If you are independently wealthy, or already on that merry-go-round of trading in for a 'new' car every couple of years, you can stop reading now. This is for us folk who can't afford an investment that depreciates as soon as it's driven off the lot.

From Finding It To Signing It, In 3 Easy Steps

With an ex-husband that was an ex-car rep and buyer/seller extraordinaire, two car-head brothers, and an oh-so-cool hubby that's been through more hot sports cars than humans should be allowed, I've picked up a few car buying tips along the way. Here's my take on how NOT to get stuck with a lemon...or as my ex and his buddies called it...a sled, while getting the most value you can out of your fastest depreciating asset.

With this little nugget of knowledge under your belt, you should be able to spot a good used car value, recommend it to the hubby, and get a 'yea, baby!" to boot! Not to say we actually know more about the cars than the guys...it's just a matter of who's more willing to do the legwork. 'Nuf said. Basically this is how it goes, easy as one, two, three.

Judge a Pre-owned Car By It's Mile-age, not it's Actual-age

Odometer is king. A 2004 with 20K will almost always be a better investment than a sweet 2010 with 60K miles on it.

Step 1. Get Ready...Choosing A Car To Buy

Consider Your Personal Car Activity.

What type of used car purchase makes sense for you? Does your life style include commuting 60 miles a day to work, lots of road trips, or simply a few trips to the grocery store? Do you have teenagers and their friends to chauffeur, a car-seat to strap in back, or are you riding solo?

Narrow Your Focus: Six Cylinder Or Four Cylinder?

How you use your vehicle should tell whether you want a compact (four cylinder), such as a Honda Fiesta, Toyota Corolla or Mini Cooper; or a six cylinder such as a Dodge Challenger or Ford Taurus. When I was in college, my first car was a little Chevette, (4 cylinder). Later, with three kids in tow, I went with the Taurus (6 cylinder). A few pros and cons regarding engine size.

4 cylinder:

Lower gas receipts

Ease of parking and maneuverability in tight spaces

Sticker price may be less

6 cylinder:

More room for people and stuff

Nicer freeway driving (feels like you're driving 45 instead of 65)

Usually, the sheer size will make it safer in any accident

More power, quicker acceleration from 0 to 10mph on green light

Per Wisegeek: "In a 4-cylinder engine, there are four pistons rising and falling in four chambers. A 6-cylinder engine features six pistons and produces a theoretical 50% more power than the same 4-cylinder engine. While a 4-cylinder engine might hesitate when you press on the gas, a 6-cylinder will tend to be more responsive, with greater get-up-and-go. The 4-cylinder engine is standard in smaller cars, as the relatively light weight of the vehicle makes it an economical choice with plenty of power for average motoring needs. Many models include a 6-cylinder engine upgrade option. The 6-cylinder engine is standard on passenger cars, vans, small trucks and small to midsize sports utility vehicles (SUVs)."

Look Into The Track Records Of Popular Vehicles

Next stop, the library--yes, you have to actually go there; you may save lots of service station trips later with this one research trip now! My favorite place to go for product reviews is still good old Consumer Report. You can only access their actual reviews online for a fee, however, your library probably has all editions in the magazine or reference section. Go to the magazines section and ask for the Index Issue (end of year) of Consumer Report. There you will find the edition of the magazine you need for car reviews. Read up on cars of the type you're interested in (eight or six pack). Now you'll narrow your focus to a few models with good track records, and also note the ones to avoid.

Just for fun, here's a Ford Cobra we saw at Car Show in West Palm Beach.

See all 4 photos

Just for fun, here's a Ford Cobra we saw at Car Show in West Palm Beach.

Source: E. Gamboa

Peek Into The Car Sales Activity In Your Area

Here's how to gain the perspective of the used car industry and the price of used cars in your area. You want to get a feel for what's reselling easily, what people are paying for different types of cars; which ones have high-repair reputations, etc. The internet has made this very easy. I especially like two informative car sales sites: they also have a What's Hot page, and where you'll find everything from a Research Page where you can look up vehicles by type, such as SUV, and find information on individual models, like gas mileage, options, etc, (At the bottom of that page, a link called Find A (the model) For Sale, will take you to actual cars for sale, to Find Local Dealers. Notice how many are available of any given model to get an idea of how well they resell.

When a model has good resell activity, you'll find better pricing as they compete with each other on the sales pages, and you'll have more to choose from, color-wise and option-wise. On Autotrader, I found lots of Ford Taurus'. I ended up finding one advertised online, that was for sale at a dealership a couple of blocks from my home. It had less than 30K miles on it, and I bought it for 8K.

Litmus Test For Your Car's Cost: Kelly Blue Book

Now look up the value of your preferred car to purchase on the Kelley Blue Book site, where you'll find a section on car values, wholesale and retail. This is the 'bible' of pricing all parties respect, dealers, buyers and sellers. This reputable site also has pages on Car Reviews and KBB Top Picks.

2. Get Set...Finding The One For You

You Found The Right Model, Now Find Your Car!

Where to look: Just about anywhere--start with the internet, and you'll probably end up at a lot near you, anyway. You can log into your local car dealerships, like Ford and Chevy, Google Used Cars and your zip code, or you can use Craigslist. Keep in mind, these sites are flooded with cars from dealerships. That means, odds are good that your targeted car is sitting in a lot near you.

Your Window of Opportunity is Spelled Out on the Odometer

0-25K BUY

30K-40K

60k-70K SELL

100K+

Cherry! My local Mini dealer* doesn't sell any used car with more than 25K on it

Many new car warranties expire at this point, also, this is when major repairs tend to happen (sell a 'bought-new' car before 36K)

Sell your 'bought-used' car before it hits 70K, hopefully before major repairs. Tires and breaks may need to be replaced at this point.

Not as bad as it used to be, running-wise, but significant drop in value and aesthetic condition

* Braman BMW, West Palm Beach

Step 3. Go!



Finally, A Trip To The Car Lot!

This is the fun part. Sometimes we call ahead, sometimes we just arrive on the lot. I like to think of it as a trip to meet a new friend. I dress nice, and expect to be offered a cup of coffee or bottle of water. I have left car lots simply because I didn't care for the sales person, probably because they didn't seem to be a 'listener', felt oppositional, or seemed abruptly inflexible. Not a good way to make a large-ticket-item sale.

Don't be distracted by the sticker price. You already know what the car is worth. Do ask for the Carfax, and talk about the car's history, what state it's from (has it been weathering the storms of Wisconsin, or resting in sunny in Albuquerque), how many and who were the pre-owners (a leased vehicle is taken care of exceptionally well, but may have tons of miles) and how many and what kind of repairs did it have. Warning, low mileage, with major repairs may indicate a lemon that shouldn't have left the production line to begin with.

Do take it for a test drive. If there's a freeway near the lot, all the better. I notice things like how comfortable the arm rest is, while my husband listens to the engine as it accelerates.

You defiantly need to know about any service and repair warrantee the dealership is offering. Listen carefully and ask questions, how long will the car be covered and exactly what's included. When you make your offer, you'll have ample backup for your reasoning, bluebook price, miles on the car, and most importantly, your own budget.

Step Into A Reasonable Contract, Or Step Away

You already know the price you're willing to pay, don't waver. It's time to make the offer, and this is how my husband does it (and it really works!). He states the offer in terms of what he wants the walking-out-the door price to be; or the final monthly payment. Don't waver, you have bills. This is all you can afford.

If you want to include your current car as a part of the deal, be sure you know it's "wholesale" value. The easiest way is to go back to the Kelly Blue Book. All the players will be familiar with that quote. I also like to go the extra mile and get two more quotes--accounting for our mercurial economy. Here, in my community, I visited a local Autobuy; we walked in and had a quote of what they would pay us for the car in 20 minutes. The second, the dealership Chariots of Palm Beach, quoted what they would take off in a trade in if we purchased as car from them. Amazingly enough, both quotes were exactly the same. Which tells me, most dealers are working from the same information database. By the way, when we actually traded in the car at my dealership, the quote was 1k less than the above two. However, since we were targeting our 'walk-out-the-door', it really didn't make a difference.

Keep in mind, once you write your offer, you'll find yourself sitting across from a Finance Manager whose job it is, is to upsell you. Be prepared to say 'no' a lot and be careful what you agree to, unless you want your monthly payments doubled. My husband always adds the 'gap' insurance as he's been in some major accidents. This covers any outstanding amount on your car loan that your regular insurance doesn't cover in the event that the car is totaled. (Personally, I would have passed on that one, since I've never been in an accident.)

This purchase was a done deal within one hour of stepping onto the lot!

See all 4 photos

This purchase was a done deal within one hour of stepping onto the lot!

Source: E. Gamboa

Make Your Goal Their Goal

The finance department has many ways of looking at numbers, especially in the larger car dealerships. Some of the pieces of the puzzle they're using include the trade-in price of your old vehicle, the sticker price, and the loan interest rate, and variables there of, if you are financing the car. I let them do the work. That way, I don't get caught up in working on getting the perfect trade-in margin, only to see it disappear when the list price remains high. Clearly state the walking-out-the-door price you need, again and again, and let them do the rest.

We bought our T-bird at Wayne Acres Ford car dent repair Wakefield by making an offer the moment we walked in the door (we had researched it online before we arrived and had determined a fair price). We told him we wanted it for X amount of dollars, walking out the door. The salesman quickly worked it through because he had a sure thing; and we got it at about $3.5K less than the sticker price.

We bought our Mini Clubman at Braman Mini of Palm Beach by quoting what we wanted our monthly car payment to be (which was the same as our old car's monthly payment). We got the price, although it took two days. Be willing to walk away, and do walk away if you don't get it. In that case; re-read and repeat. Happy car hunting!

Two days after sitting down with our Mini Coop dealer, they called us at home to tell us they 'crunched' their numbers down to meet what we wanted our monthly payment to be.

See all 4 photos

Two days after sitting down with our Mini Coop dealer, they called us at home to tell us they 'crunched' their numbers down to meet what we wanted our monthly payment to be.

Source: E. Gamboa

Do You Watch Elementary?

Now that we have that car thing settled, what are you watching on TV. Click here

for my fav!

 Last updated on March 22, 2014

You can help the HubPages community highlight top quality content by ranking this article up or down.


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Feb232014

4 Means Clever Repair Services Can Gain You

4 Methods Bright Repair Services Can Profit You

If you're unfamiliar with SMART repairs, they use particular methods to execute small-scale and medium repairs without changing or repairing substantial places of the car. This may save you both time and money. Even if you're comfortable with one of these services, you may not know of the many ways they may be useful to you. Underneath you will find several times when the common person can reap the benefits of INTELLIGENT repairs.

Restoring your personal vehicle. Most individuals like driving new automobiles. They're totally unblemished. Nonetheless, no vehicle remains new forever. However well you care for your car or truck, over time you might start to find a little wear and tear. Perhaps there are a few small scratches, or you might have several tears in your seats. A GOOD repair service can quickly take good care of those repairs and several more, restoring your car to its authentic glory.

Repairing company vehicles. BRIGHT repairs are a great way to maintain the vehicles in the best shape possible, in case your business relies on one or several automobiles for its business needs. As a company, you need to make sure your vehicles go combined with professional picture you're trying to project. What this means is making certain they always look their best. As a plus, BRIGHT repairs are more expense and time successful, meaning that you'll have more cash and time to spend on your genuine company needs.

Returning your leased vehicle. When you lease a car, you have to be extra careful about what occurs to that particular vehicle. The firm you rent the vehicle from will probably charge you an outrageous fee for almost any harm they find, even modest dents and scratches. As you cannot keep your vehicle within an impenetrable bubble, before you deliver your vehicle back by the end of the lease you might want to consider employing a CLEVER repair support. They should bill a whole lot less than you'll pay and can be able to repair the damages to the leasing business.

Getting a vehicle willing to offer. While you can try to sell your car or truck "as-is" with all of the little dents, dings, as well as other imperfections, may very well not get the best price you're looking for. Now, if you were to repair all of the little imperfections, you would be able to sell your automobile for a lot more than if you leave it "as-is". INTELLIGENT repairs are extremely economical, making them a great alternative if you need to increase the numerical value vehicle for little cash.

As you can see, there are many ways that SMART repairs can help you. Simply make sure that you go for an experienced and reliable firm to perform the repairs. There are many companies which specialize in SMART

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Feb212014

{What To Check on Before Employing A House Clearance

House Clearance is the procedure for removing things, products and also other commodities out of your house. If you see in lots of countries most of the residents reside for a long duration of time and make plenty of controversies and creating a house clearance Welwyn Garden City mess around when they change with their new dwellings whether it's rent or own house.

Perhaps you have learned, in several countries it is not the legal duty that new resident to clean-up themselves their home or employ a house-clearance service, but nevertheless, it must and obligation for the property brokers or landlords to hire a house-clearance service to clean-up that mess.

There are several things a house clearance can do but you can maybe not yes any dangerous or hazardous materials may be left by the previous tenants anywhere in the home which it's really transformed into an unsafely thing to your kids and pets. Especially the things like Glass, Bottles, rocks, sharp items, appliances, booze, acid, old household goods etc.

Handling the hard job of clearing out a home or an office can be really challenging and stressful for anybody. The optimal answer with this is to employ a professional house clearance providers to prevent the hassle.

First you itself need to learn which things you require and which you do not so that it's easy for you to instruct the house clearance service to avoid any confusion or lost around matters.



Only before you hire a House clearance company enquire them in regards to the packaging and transfer the issues. That is to guarantee the security of the issues while marshaling.

While marshaling care for your sensitive stuffs like Glass Items, Photograph frames, appliances and other cherished ones, ask your house clearance expert and instruct them.

While you clear your house you can locate a few things that are unuseable, recycling is the best thing it's possible to add value to it. So ask your friends or even your house-clearance service to get idea of how you can recycle them-and Go Green.

A lot of people really care about their house and office to be neat and security, but their hectic schedule, children's, pets make them not to have a correct care. So employing a specialist clearance service is among the most successful means to guarantee a clean house that can lead one to an excellent rental business.

Engaging a house-clearance is the quickest, most efficient and least costly route when you are confronted with a house clearance.

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Nov032013

Personal Training Optimising Human Performance

After making comparison between different fitness professionals it has been found the personal training experts have been getting more interest all over. And a variety of reasons are there that favors this.

Regarding human performance, it is essential for you to know the factors that affect the performance. Essential variables that play a vital part in the performance include ability, agility, sport skill, respiratory & cardiovascular conditioning and genetic potential.

Power

To enhance power through private training, increasing flexibility is another major concern. By raising flexibility, the distance is increased which finally results within the growth of power.

And high intensity strength training is dependent upon the factors like past experience, present fitness level, age, fiber types, aims and personal taste.

Agility

Another human performance is detected through agility. The agility is all dependent upon specific fitness goals of the enthusiasts. So that one can receive the desired outcome from the activities the trainer prepares the plans accordingly.



Going to the next operation part which is the cardiovascular or respiratory conditioning. If there's an increase in the person's respiratory or cardiovascular output and endurance, performance increases automatically. Cardiovascular training likewise aids in improving one's conditioning within the metabolic pathway in which he performs or competes.

Motor skill

Different strategies and techniques are employed by the personal trainers suiting to the actual strength and flexibility amounts of the individuals. They are trained with various approaches to optimize the performance of a specific move or skill. The primary aim of the training will be to develop the technique, raise the accuracy and speed at such amounts which the skill can be done.

Comprising of all of the above discussed factors of operation, the private training is thought for the persons who want to get better outcome when it comes to equilibrium, neuromuscular coordination and stability also. It might not be wrong to state the functional training is a pleasant addition to the welldesigned strength as well as comes with different benefits. The combination strategy of the training uses body weight, machines, freeweights, balls, and other items that are going to deliver the desired effects to the individuals.

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Sep212013

Alloy Wheels - New or Refurbished, Enhance the Look of Your own Vehicle

Alloy Wheels for your own automobile are quite definitely a must have for all motorists these days. Alloy can be viewed on modern cars as well as on custom vehicles and would seem to be gaining in popularity each day.
Alloy Wheels perform the exact same function in since the ordinary steel wheels automobiles but they have particular added features which make them distinct and arguably better.
Besides that, did we discuss about the fashion that a pack of alloys can add to your car or truck? You no longer require those odd looking (and often rather pricey) wheel trims and you can undoubtedly prevent exhibiting those (very often) unattractive looking steel rims.
A reality worth considering is that used alloy wheels really often are accessible at a substantially lower price in the marketplace as opposed to the price often paid to purchase a whole new set of alloy wheels. You receive the features and fashion of alloys without having to spend much. Which leads us into repairing or refurbishing alloy wheels in order that they look just like new utilizing the cutting-edge aEUR~Diamond CuttingaEUR(TMark) program.
Unmatched style is probably the main reason most people today prefer alloy wheels for their vehicle. There isn't any question that alloys produce the vehicle look posh and raise its cosmetic appeal but there are just two other definite advantages of fitting them in your own car instead of the normal steel wheels:
aEURcent Alloy wheels are lighter, meaning your vehicle has less un sprung mass. This means your vehicle handles better and there is improved road grip on most terrains. A lighter vehicle will clearly perform better on the mileage count at the same time.
aEURcent They're also great with regard to balancing. Your vehicle balances properly reducing tension on other parts of your automobile such as the axles and the suspension.
The typical alloy wheel is produced either by the complete process of cast or by forging of steel alloys. Forged alloy are much more lasting and lighter than cast alloys however they are just a little hard in the pocket. These wheels are normally the preferable option for high-performance sports cars but that will not mean you canaEUR(TMark)t fit them on any car. Comparatively, cast aluminium alloys are heavier but they are cheaper yet have almost the same styling as that of forged alloys.
There is however another sort of stylish wheels called Mag-Wheels. Magnesium alloys or magwheels are entire magnesium cast or cast wheels found in racing vehicles as they're the lightest wheels available. Mag-wheels are high on functionality and on styling.
A protective layer of lacquer is subsequently added to finish off the process.
Most wheels might be skimmed in this manner for the latest in alloy style and also to supply your ride the design that gets you noticed, though a diamond-cut finish is not possible on all cars. It can even add a little additional protection against kerbside lumps and scrapes and splintering from the trail.
So there will always be a blend for you companies specialising in refurbishment and alloy wheel repairs will offer the diamond cut repair service, plus alloy wheel painting services for all alloys in a wide variety of designs and colours.

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