How To Buy A Cheap Car: 7 Tips The Trade Doesn't Want You To Know

Buying a cheap new car isn't as difficult as your local car dealer might want you to think - all you need is to know a few simple facts and you will be able to get the kind of deals that you hear other people talking about, but never seem to get yourself.

When I was working directly in the motor trade myself, I would get 20%, 30% and sometimes even more discount on new cars that I would sell on to the public after keeping a share for myself. I don't sell cars any more, and I'm ready to tell you my secrets.

If you choose you're moment, you can get a great deal. No dealer will turn you away because you're buying at the wrong time, but the last week of every quarter (March, June, September and December) sees a rush to get registrations, and manufacturers give dealers bonus money for taxing cars then, and the dealers will pass that on to you for being in the right place at the right time.

You can also cash in on the salesman's ego to get a bargain. One of their 'perks' is a company car, which is often a higher spec than standard. Most salesmen wants the latest 'plate, but they have to sell their car first, so when the new plate is out, or the model changes, they'' often sell their own car for little or no profit just to change their own car.

Consider buying a pre-registered car. These are cars that have been registered in someone else's name, either a dealer or a leasing company, in order to get extra discount. You would appear as the second owner, but the car is brand new with delivery mileage, and you will have saved hundreds - maybe even more - into the bargain.

Apart from the obvious 0% finance offers that you see, normal dealer rate are usually lower than the bank to start off with, but you'll find that they're also prepared to reduce their rates if you just ask. And for every 1,000 you borrow, a 1% reduction in interest rate could save you as much as 50 - on a 10,000 car you're another 500 in front - just for asking for a lower rate of interest!

Few people realise that dealers actually need your part exchange vehicle, because if everyone came in without a car - they wouldn't have any used cars to sell. Just before you take your car to a dealer, invest 10 in one of these hand car washes that will also hoover your car out and clean the dashboard. Stick an air freshener in too, and you'll be presenting you're car as 'ready to sell' and the price that you'll be offered will certainly be higher than normal. Few people ever think of cleaning their car before they ask for a price, but those that do always get top money!

In recent years, car dealers have started to buy fleets of late model, low mileage cars from leasing companies and other sources. Because of the huge levels of discounts that these companies command, their fleets are incredibly cheap - you can often get them at almost half price, even though they're only a few months old and have only covered a few thousand miles. They're still under warranty, probably haven't even covered enough miles to need a first service, but you will make massive savings just because your name isn't the first one in the log book - but if you've just saved 5,000, do you really care??

By: Mark Stephens..

Article Directory:

About Mark Stephens: After 23 years selling all models of new and used cars in the UK, Mark Stephens will tell you how to buy a cheap car with the security of dealing with a main dealer. There are more top tips on his website.
Don't reprint the same version as everyone else. Get your own unique content buy a cheap car article here.

Buying a Car: A Problem for Women

by Evander Klum

According to a recent poll conducted by CarMax Inc. the nation's largest retailer of used cars, purchasing a car has remain to be a problem for women. The survey was conducted on the company's website and the result shows slight improvement from last year's poll result.

There were 12,000 women surveyed on and were asked to share the things that they lack or found hard when buying a car. And here are the results:

* A quick, effortless transaction - 21% * A salesperson I liked and trusted - 16%

* Lowest, fair pricing - 14%

* A fair trade-in value - 13%

* Respect for/attention to my wants and needs - 13% * A fair, reasonable finance rate - 7%

* Understandable paperwork - 4%

* Other factors - 12%

To help women car buyers CarMax has offered the following tips:

1. Make use of the internet to research for vehicle types, models, makes, options like whether you can add other components such as Sterling catalytic converter for instance, features and of course prices. Visit automotive web sites the provide car reviews, history reports, and consumer reviews just to get an idea on the car you want to purchase.

2. Make a print out of the car's information you want to purchase.

3. Be sure to bring all the necessary papers with you such as driver's license, car insurance and in case you already have a car bring its registration and title.

4. In case of a pre-approved car loan make sure to bring with you the approval letter.

5. If it's your first time try to ask for referrals from friends and families.

6. Go to a retailer that offers no-haggle prices and provides a menu of pricing on each part of the car buying transaction including the vehicle price, extended service plan, the trade-in, and the financing scheme.

7. If you are to trade-in your car makes sure that you get a separate appraisal. There are automotive websites online just like CarMax that provides free appraisal. Having your car appraised before trading it can help you to understand the fair value of your trade-in.

8. Be confident of your car shopping abilities.

9. Don't be afraid to ask questions. It's your right as a buyer to know everything you need before you make a purchase.

10. It's okay to walk out of a dealer's lot if you can't find anything that's within your liking.

About the Author

Evander Klum is a Business Administration graduate who hails from Alabama. He enjoys extreme sports and he is also a car racing fanatic. At present, he works as a marketing manager at an advertising agency in Cleveland.

Buying A New Sports Car - Twelve Tips To Avoid Financial Sticker Shock

By Valerie Mills

Nothing (well, almost nothing) can compare to the thrill of driving a road-hugging high performance sports car. Instant steering response. Power at the exact nanosecond you ask for it.

Then, if you have one of the sexier models, you'll attract attention on the road, filling up, and in the shopping mall parking lot.

Yes, you can pretend you're driving the Autobahn with the wind blowing your hair. But beware of state troopers just waiting for an "arrest me red" entry on their ticket issuing track record.

Before You Fall In Love . . .

Before you step into that showroom and fall in love, consider the following practicalities:

1) How much do you want to spend? $20,000? $30,000? Or more?

2) What's the tradeoff between performance (power) and gas mileage? Higher performance usually equals less gas mileage.

Does the vehicle use premium gas? Right now, the difference between premium and regular is 20 cents per gallon. At 20 miles per gallon and 15,000 miles per year, the cost differential is $150.

3) What about reliability? Some upscale models cost considerably more to maintain and have a higher incidence of repair costs. Would you appreciate paying $125 just to diagnose the problem when the check engine light comes on? Or paying $70 for an oil change?

4) In a climate where snow and ice are winter realities, do you want to drive it year round? Or store it over the winter?

A rear wheel drive sports car is impractical for winter driving. A front, all-wheel, or 4-wheel drive sport car can be driven in snow and ice, if you use all-season tires. If the little devil comes with performance tires, you will want to buy all-season tires (and possibly rims) for winter driving. Add another $1500 to the price of the car for the right tires and rims.

Do Your Homework . . .

5) Once you've decided price, performance, gas mileage, reliability, and practicality for all-season driving, get on the Internet. Here you can compare models and pricing and read reviews. Google "buying a new car" or "new car prices" and several sites will pop up.

Another source is Consumer Report (the new car issue) where your criteria will be easy to find. Red dots are good. Black dots are not. Most American car dealers consider this issue of Consumer Report a nightmare because it favors foreign car models, especially Asian cars. However, as explained in the newest version of this report, American car manufacturers are catching up.

6) Find out what you should pay before stepping into a showroom. Dealers will offer below invoice prices even on some sports cars because of rebates, dealer incentives, and dealer returns when they make a sale.

7) Remember the incidentals. Yes, you have to pay to transport the vehicle from the manufacturer. Yes, you have to pay for options. And remember the sales (and sometimes luxury) tax.

The Driving Experience . . .

8) Unless you have driven the exact model and year you want to purchase, step into the showroom and test drive the car. Driving the previous year's model is unacceptable. If the dealer lures you into his web and asks you to test drive an earlier model, RUN out of the show room. You're wasting your time.

9) Pick at least 2 different road types for test driving. The winding, hilly road is one road type. Road hugging capabilities are tested here. If the car is standard, smooth-shifting is another test. A car that cuts back after you release the clutch is NOT smooth shifting.

The highway is another road type. Make sure power is sufficient to handle entrance ramps and merging with traffic. If you get an instant response at highway speeds, the car is a possible winner.

Closing the Deal . . .

10) If you like the car, get the dealer's best quote. Then, find at least one other dealer to give you another quote ON THE SAME CAR. If you don't like the car in the test drive, you probably won't like the car - ever. Move on to the next model.

11) When you decide on a car, call your insurance company and find out what the vehicle will cost per year. And don't choke on your coffee when you hear the amount - you can shop around.

12) Estimate how much the real estate taxes will be on the car, especially if it's a high-priced model. This could be another financial shocker!

As you can see, sports car buying is a process. Do you need to do all this stuff? Nope, you don't. But consider the financial sticker shock when you're paying an extraordinary amount for maintenance, repairs, gas, insurance, and taxes! Just for that Autobahnesque experience!

Article Content from:
About the Author: Good "Car Reviews" site:

Why should you buy a safe car?

There is no doubt that safety should be one of your most important considerations when looking to buy a new or used car. Unfortunately, safety is something that a majority of car buyers take for granted.

Research shows that the safest cars on the road can offer up to five times more protection to drivers and passengers in crashes than those that meet the minimum standards. That is a significant statistic, that can quite literally mean the difference between life and death.

The number of safety features offered by makes and models is growing daily. Although, in a majority of cases, a modern car will provide a better level of protection in a crash than an older one, this is not always the case. Furthermore, not all modern cars are equipped with the same level of safety features.

Two key safety features to ask for when buying a new car are Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and side curtain airbags. ESC is considered to be an 'active' safety feature in that it can help a driver to avoid a crash. Side curtain airbags are consider to be 'passive' safety features, in that that help to protect drivers and passengers when a crash cannot be avoided.

ESC helps drivers to avoid crashes by reducing the danger of skidding. It does this through the use of sensors that detect loss of control and then automatically applies the brake to the relevant wheel, effectively bringing the car back on its intended path. Statistics vary worldwide, however most experts agree that ESC reduces the risk of single vehicle crashes by an estimated 40%.

Side curtain airbags deploy from the top of a cars door rails, above the side window. They are designed to protect a driver's head in a side impact crash. Research conducted in the USA estimates that side curtain airbags have the potential to reduce driver deaths in the event of a side impact crash by around 40%.

Safety features such as ESC and side curtain airbags aren't available in all vehicles, but they should be! It is your own best interests to ask for features such as these when you are looking to buy your next car. Hopefully you will never need to use them, but if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a crash, then you just might be thankful that you took the time to buy a safe car.

By: MotorDude

Article Directory: provides the latest car news as well as advice for car buyers. Maybe it's time you asked yourself the question, how safe is your car?


A growing number of Americans have steered clear of rising gasoline prices by turning to electric cars.

by Wendy Mitchell

Fans of electric cars-which run on a battery that is charged by plugging into an outlet at home-say they offer drivers a variety of advantages over their gas-powered counterparts.

For instance, by some estimates, electrics could reduce CO2 emissions by more than 90 percent compared to internal combustion vehicles (even counting the emissions from fossil-fueled power plants). Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that plug-in cars can meet the needs of 80 percent of the American driving public.

The Best Electrics

So what's hot on the electric car circuit? A new car called the Xebra, made by ZAP (stands for Zero Air Pollution), has become popular. It's offered in a sedan, truck and even "xero" model, which comes complete with a rooftop solar panel.

New types of electric cars offer fast, fun rides for less-with minimal impact on the environment-and produce hardly any vibrations or exhaust. But the real draw? They cost just 1-3 cents per mile to operate, compared to about 20 cents a mile for a gas car. Here's a closer look:

How Fast Does It Go?

The car runs at up to 40 mph, which is ideal for in-town or city use.

How Does It Charge?

A standard 110v outlet is all that is required.

What's The Battery Life?

With normal use, the no-maintenance, deep-cycle batteries should last up to three years.

How Long Do The Batteries Need To Charge?

A full charge takes eight hours, but an optional Fast Charger is available that can charge in less than an hour.

An optional Solar Charger is available to trickle charge the batteries while it is just sitting in the parking lot.

"Electric car technology is here and the race is on to see who can take the lead in creating sustainable transportation that is affordable and will meet the needs of the future," says Chairman Gary Starr of the publicly owned California corporation. "EV's will play a major role in the fight against global warming, and at about $10,000, the Xebra is a big step towards affordable, nonpolluting technology."

In addition to providing electric cars, Starr says ZAP is working with individuals, corporations, government, professionals and nonprofits around the world to plant 1 million trees throughout the world by 2010. "We are also committing to plant trees for every electric car we sell, and with the help of our partners we have already planted over 69,686 trees," Starr explains.

Article Directory:

See Ready To Take A Ride? People can arrange a test-drive or visit a dealer by calling (800) 251-4555 or registering at Plugging In-New types of electric cars offer fast, fun rides for less-and with no gas or smog.

The Legacy Continues For Subaru

by Anthony Fontanelle

Since its introduction in the auto market in 1989, the Subaru Legacy has attracted the attention of many car buyers not only for its good looks but also because of its reliability and performance. For the 2008 model year, the Japanese automaker gave the Legacy a mid-generation upgrades.

On the outside, the Japanese auto manufacturer changed the front end of the Legacy. Although Subaru changed the looks of the front end of the car, the change is subtle. Among the changes made by Subaru to the Legacy are the headlights, revised grille and the new side mirrors. On the rear end of the car, changes were made to the rear bumper and taillights.

With the changes dome to the front end of the Legacy, it no longer looks exactly like the Subaru Outback. The changes though could not hide the similarity between the Outback and the new Legacy. Although some critics labeled the Outback and the Legacy as bland in design, there are also those who claimed that the clean lines of the Subaru Legacy is one of its strong selling points.

The powerplant of the Subaru legacy also received upgrades. The engine of the current generation Legacy is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine. The upgraded engine provides mid-range torque thanks to the modifications made to the cam timing of the engine.

According to Subaru, the Legacy's engine can produce as much as 170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. That power is adequate enough for the power need of the midsize car. Another engine available with the Legacy is a turbocharged version of the boxer engine. The turbocharged engine can produce as much as 243 horsepower and 241 lb-ft of torque.

A new feature for the Legacy, specifically for its drivetrain is the improved five-speed automatic transmission. Following the trend in the auto industry, Subaru gave their automatic transmission a paddle shifter. Precision engineered, the Subaru Legacy's five-speed automatic transmission has a shifting time of 0.2 seconds, that time is considerably less than the 0.6 seconds shifting time for the previous transmission.

One of the most notable features of Legacy even previous models is its handling. Subaru engineers have been developing suspension systems for the Legacy which gave it good handling and steering responsiveness. With that, the Legacy can handle tight cornering even on high speeds.

Aside from the upgrades given by Subaru to the new Legacy, its looks and performance can be improved by using Subaru aftermarket parts. But even without the aid of these components, the Legacy with all the upgrades given to it by the Japanese carmaker is enough to make the Legacy worth every cent spent on it.

According to auto industry experts, the new Subaru legacy is a positive step for Subaru. The new Legacy is seen as the one to usher a new era for the Japanese auto manufacturer in terms of competing with established nameplates. The midsize Legacy is directly competing with the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord and the reigning North American Car of the Year, the Saturn Aura. With the improvements made on the Legacy, the nameplate is on its way to being a serious competitor in its segment.
About the Author

Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

BMW 520d Gets New Engine

by Hailey Kerr

In September, BMW's best selling 5 Series will be equipped with a new engine that exhibits increased power output while economy and emissions figures both improve at the same time. The new four-cylinder single-turbocharged powerplant is capable of an output of 177hp, an increase from 163hp as compared to the previous 520d.

Such an improvement has led to refined performance figures with the zero to 62mph reached in 8.3 seconds in the Saloon as compared to the previous 8.6 seconds.

With quality BMW window regulator, the 5 Series has a top speed of 144mph.

Since then, a BMW 520d has always made sound financial sense. Further monetary incentive is on offer with the new 1,995cc engine in place.

And because modern engines are built to reduce gas consumption, the model achieves greater fuel economy with a combined 55.4mpg figure.

With a CO2 emissions figure of 136g/km the vehicle sees to drop into Band C for Vehicle Excise Duty saving an owner further expenditure. And with the new engine in the Touring model, similar impressive figures are achieved. The 520d Touring achieves a zero to 62mph time of 8.5 seconds. This is a combined consumption figure of 53.3mpg and 140g/km emissions.

The powerplant in the 520d reaches its class-leading performance figures courtesy of Efficient-Dynamics technology plus Brake Energy Regeneration, active aerodynamics, optimum gear shift indicator and low rolling resistance tires. You can buy a BMW 520d Saloon from £27,190 OTR while at £29,200 OTR you can afford to have the 520d Touring.

About BMW

Along with its automotive concerns such as building quality auto parts, the BMW Group's activities encompass the development, production and marketing of motorcycles, as well as comprehensive financial services for private and business customers.

With BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the group is the only car maker in the world to pursue a purely premium strategy for all market sectors covered by its brands, from exclusive smaller cars to top-of-the-range luxury limousines.

Other business interests of the group are insurance (Bavaria Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH), IT consulting and systems integration (Softlab GmbH).

The BMW Group claims to have: outstanding brands with an unmistakable profile; automobiles and motorcycles that mesmerize people all over the world and which win mass of new admirers every day; and a degree of success which sees the BMW Group go from strength to strength. To achieve its aims, the company knows how to utilize its strengths with an efficiency that is unparalleled with any other group in the automotive industry. BMW Group is committed to the very highest in quality for all its products and services from research and development to sales and marketing. The company's phenomenal success is a proof of its strategy's accuracy.
About the Author

Hailey Kerr is a Business Administration graduate. She is currently part of a business consulting firm in Massachusetts. Hailey loves to write and enjoys doing her favorite hobby during her free time - cooking French cuisines.

What You Should Know About Car Auctions

by Staggerlee Phillips

Police and seized car auctions are a good place to find a used car. It's possible to find a car, purchase it, and drive it home the first day without a lot of red tape or hassel. However, you should make sure that you know what you're doing before you go. A car can be a long-term investment.

What is not a scam is that the federal government really is actively making second hand luxury vehicles available for sale. Some cars the feds owns but want to dispose of. These vehicles are usually vehicles that are no longer needed in service for the federal government.

However, most of these vehicles offered by the government are not actually owned by the feds, but have been seized because of criminal activities. Vehicles that are used in the commission of certain crimes, particularly drug offenses, often become the property of the arresting agency, depending on local laws. While these seized vehicles are occasionally used by the agency, in the vast majority of cases, the vehicles are sold at auction.

Before you start placing your bids on that sweet 'Vet that you fell in love with on first sight while browsing your favorite online auto auction site, remember that a picture is only worth so many words, which makes it difficult to get a complete assessment of a vehicle.

Do your homework and due diligence first. Some things to keep in mind:

» First off, before you go to a car auction make sure you have enough money in your bank account. All cars purchased at a car auction must be paid in full. It won't work to say, "I'll give you a portion now and the rest later"I'll give you half now and the rest when I get paid." That's not going to work. You must have the total cost of the vehicle.

Cars at auctions are sold "as is" and the auction house is not responsible for any damages"as is" and not only is the auction house not responsible for any damages, but they are also likely not aware of them.

» They are not required to do inspections or to validate the condition of the cars that they are selling. You might want to purchase an extended warranty on the vehicle you win from auction so that you are covered for any unexpected problems or expenses.

» There are some cases where the automobiles will come with a warranty and if this is the case, they will let you know before bidding but typically there is not one, especially with repo cars.

» Car auctions are competitive, and it's possible to end up paying more than the vehicle is worth. Have your Kelly Blue Book handy and do not pay over the blue book price. Some people will run up the bid price because they have no idea what the auto is worth.

» If possible, bring along a specialist in bidding for a car. Vital information is important to know whether a car is of decent quality.

» Remember: state and government seized cars are those that are done by people who committed crimes, so the seized cars may be more damaged and more fragile than a car that the government may have seized in a different manner (a repossession, for instance).

» Be careful. Before you ever place a bid, pull a Carfax or Autocheck by Experian. In order to reveal any odometer or title problems. Important issues like if the car has been wrecked or flooded is also revealed.
About the Author

Do you know what some of the common pitfalls are when attending a car auction? Protect yourself now with this free report - Car Auction Tips - Know Before You Go

Buying a New Car - Things You Need to Know

by James Kronefield

There are a number of people that want to know how they can back out of a car deal or vehicle that they have already signed wondering if they back out of the deal if they will be able to get their deposit back.

So here is some good advice that you should head so that you don't find yourself asking these same questions:

First, of all you should never sign any sales contracts, lease contracts or finance contracts until you are absolutely certain that you want to go through with the deal.

Never give a dealer or private party a down payment on a car unless you are absolutely sure that you are going to see the deal through to its end.

Take your time when deciding on which car to purchase. Don't make any hasty decisions. Take a day or two, to sleep on the deal before you make a decision.

Always use common sense when you go shopping for a vehicle!

The majority of car dealers want you to make a quick, emotional buying decision. They pressure you to make a decision on the spot. They don't want you to take your time making decision, because they know that if you leave the lot without buying a car there's a good chance that you won't back. This is why they pull out all the stops in an attempt to seal the deal with you once they have you there in their clutches.

Every year a countless numbers of people fall prey to these pressures, and then the next morning they wake up with a bad case of "Buyer's Remorse!" This is where all of their trouble begin, because at this point they have already signed a binding sales,or finance contract, and more than not they have already put some money down as a deposit.

Have you ever wondered why car dealers ask you to give them a deposit in the first place? It's not a legal requirement. They ask you for a deposit because once you give it to them, they control you. This guarantees that you are locked into the deal just in case the "Buyer's Remorse" monster decides to rears it's ugly head!

When you go shopping car, take your time. Don't let the salesman push into making an emotional decision. There are plenty of car for sale out there. So don't worry, your guaranteed to get the one you want. If a car dealer happens to get too aggressive, or obnoxious with you, simply break off negotiations, and get up and walk away. Remember that your the one thats in control, not the car salesman!

About the Author
Get more advices on buying a new car at

How to legally buy or sell a used car

by Nick Phagan [ Website ]

Why you need an Auto Bill Of Sale Form before you buy or sell a used car

It is important to complete an auto bill of sale form when selling or buying a used car. For the seller, an auto bill of sale form provides proof that title to the used car has been legally transferred. For the buyer, the auto bill of sale form documents the purchase of the used car. The auto bill of sale form should contain:

1. name and address of the buyer;
2. name, address and signature of the seller;
3. complete vehicle description, including the Vehicle Identification Number(VIN);
4. description of trade-in, if any;
5. purchase price of the vehicle.

Auto bill of sale forms are required in many states to register the newly purchased used car. These states usually require a state specific auto bill of sale form that documents specific information such as the purchase price for tax assessment or to obtain the actual mileage/odometer reading of the used car. A generic auto bill of sale form will not be accepted in these states. You will need to obtain a state specific auto bill of sale form.

To register a used car in other states, all that's required is that the title assignment section on the title be completed and signed. Many of these states have added to the title assignment section of the title the information that was previously collected with separate documents (i.e. odometer disclosure statement, sales price/tax statements, etc.). In these states, an auto bill of sale form is not required to register the used car and is used by the seller/buyer to document the initial sale/purchase of the automobile.

A promissory note form is a written promise to pay money to someone. A promissory note form can be used to create a legally binding agreement when financing the sale of personal property, such as a used car. You can complete a promissory note`s payment schedule to fit your needs. You set out the terms of the loan in a secured promissory note form: how much is loaned, the interest rate, the rate of repayment and the security interest.

How to Get the Best Auto Loan Rates and Terms with Subprime Credit

by John Campbell [ Website ]

Even if you have subprime credit you can still get an auto loan. Find out how here!

If you need an auto loan but find out your credit score isn't exactly very good, don't throw in the towel just yet. There are still loans available to borrowers with subprime credit.

What is considered subprime credit, you may ask. Subprime credit is essentially bad credit. If you've missed payments on credit cards or utilities, have too many debts or filed for bankruptcy in the last 7 years, your credit score could take a beating. Generally, most lenders consider subprime credit scores to be 679 or below. The farther down your score is, the harder it will be to get loans with acceptable rates and terms.

Your best bet to get a subprime loan is to shop around for a direct lender who will provide you with an affordable auto loan. The interest rate you pay on a subprime auto loan may approach 20 percent; three times what you might pay for a loan with good credit. The high interest rate on a subprime loan may price you out of the market for a brand new vehicle. A cheaper used vehicle may be your only alternative.

Direct lenders will often place restrictions on the used vehicles you may purchase with a subprime loan. Many lenders will only allow you to purchase a used vehicle that's less than 5 years old with fewer than 60,000 miles driven. An older vehicle with more mileage could need expensive repairs or other costly maintenance more often; draining your funds and increasing your risk of defaulting on your loan.

The most important thing to consider when shopping for a subprime loan is if you will be able to afford it. With its higher interest fees, a subprime loan on a used vehicle can cost over $100 more than a comparable prime rate loan for a new vehicle. If you can't make the payments on your subprime loan you'll lose your vehicle and end up with an even lower credit score.

On the plus side, if you can afford the payments on a subprime loan from a direct lender, your payments will be reflected on your credit report and your credit score will likely go up.

If you get approved for a subprime auto loan, the lender may place restrictions on where you may purchase your next vehicle. You may be required to purchase the vehicle from a reputable dealership. This restriction helps protect you from buying a "lemon" without a warranty from a private owner. The more money you have to spend on repairs, the less likely you'll be able to pay off your loan.

If you can't get approved for a loan from a direct lender some auto dealerships will be willing to get you approved for a subprime loan. This can have a number of costly disadvantages, however.

The biggest disadvantage to getting a subprime loan directly from a dealership is that you're at their mercy. If the car you want is sitting on the dealership's lot, you'll have to accept any loan terms or conditions the dealership presents to you or you won't get the car.

Some dealerships will inflate the price of vehicles you are interested in purchasing with their subprime financing. You may also be required to make a large down payment before being approved for financing from the dealership. Even dealerships that offer low introductory financing rates may drastically increase these rates after you've started making payments.

You should also watch out for dealerships offering long-term loans. If you can't pay off your car before the warranty expires, you could end up paying for costly repairs while still making loan payments. The depreciation of the vehicle at the end of a long-term loan period could leave you with a vehicle with little or no trade-in value.

Avoid obtaining financing from dealerships that won't report your timely loan payments to any of the three national credit bureaus. If you can't use your loan to build credit you may not be able to refinance the loan or obtain loans with better rates in later years.

If you have a subprime credit rating, obtaining an auto loan is not something to be done without careful research of all your available financing options. When in doubt, ask lots of questions and make sure you have all loan terms and conditions spelled out in writing before agreeing to any loan.

Be informed so you can make the financial decisions that are right for you. You'll get better rates and may improve your credit score while doing it.

Auto Loan Considerations

by John Campbell [ Website ]

If you find yourself shopping around for an auto loan there is much to consider before you ever sign the dotted line.

The first thing to consider is if you want to pay a down payment on the vehicle. Many lenders today don't require a down payment but it is still a good idea to pay as much as possible, initially. The more you pay for a down payment, the lower your payments may be on the loan.

If you have a used vehicle you can trade-in, the money you get for the trade-in can be added into the down payment. Don't expect to make a lot of money on your trade-in unless your car is in absolutely perfect condition. Any cosmetic flaws or mechanical work needing to be done on your old vehicle can significantly lower its potential trade-in value.

The next thing to consider is what your interest rate will be on the loan. If your credit is good you may qualify for a loan within the 4-8 percent range. If you have subprime credit the interest rate on your loan could jump higher than 20 percent. The percentage rate you pay on the loan will play an important factor in how much your monthly loan payment will be.

You also have to consider how long you would like the loan term to last. Many auto loans are usually available with anywhere from 3-6 year terms. The shorter the loan term, the larger the monthly payments will be. On the flip side, the total price you pay for the loan will be cheaper than a loan with a longer term. You'll pay less in interest on a loan with a shorter term.

Never take out an auto loan with a term that's longer than the amount of time you plan to keep the vehicle. Otherwise, you'll end up throwing away money on a vehicle you no longer own. Also, if possible, try to get a vehicle with a warranty that runs throughout at least most of the term of the loan. You don't want to get stuck paying for costly repairs at the same time you're paying off your auto loan.

The most important thing to consider before taking out an auto loan, is how much you can afford to pay for the loan on a monthly basis. Kelly Blue Book and Capital One suggest no more than 15-20 percent of your monthly budget should go toward your vehicle. If you'll end up spending more than that, even with a longer loan term, you should consider looking for a cheaper automobile.
By considering the many factors that influence the true costs of an auto loan you may save money in the long run and improve your credit rating. If you do your homework before signing the dotted line, you'll find a loan that is right for you.

Good News About Bad Credit Car Loans

by Mike Hamel [ Website ]

If you have bad credit and are thinking about buying a car, here are a few things to know.

Almost half of all car purchases in America are financed. Couple this with that fact that 30 million Americans have credit problems and you see why there’s such an interest in bad credit car loans.

While carrying higher interest rates than prime loans, bad credit car loans are not hard to get. Even people who have filed for bankruptcy can find a decent deal on auto financing if they shop around. It won’t make that much difference whether they buy new or used.

Bad Credit Car Loans - Buying New

For peace of mind, safety and hassle-free driving, there’s nothing like buying a new car. When you buy new, you have more control over optional features than if you buy a pre-owned vehicle. You will also get a new warranty that lasts much longer than the extended warranty you can buy for used cars.

The danger in buying new is getting “upside down” on the bad credit car loan. One way to avoid this is to have a decent down payment—20% or better. Another way is to choose a vehicle with high resale value. This will help slow down depreciation.

Depreciation is the difference between the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) when you bought the vehicle and what it’s now worth. A $25,000 car will depreciate an average of 15% the first year and between 7% and 10% annually for the next two years. Cars with a prestigious nameplate hold their value longer and are less likely to depreciate faster than the car loan.

Bad Credit Car Loans - Buying Used

Buying a used vehicle makes sense if you want to keep your monthly payments affordable. Since used cars depreciate slower than new cars, they make better short-term collateral for lenders. However, some lenders will decrease the loan’s term and increase the rate on bad credit car loans.

When you buy used, you have the chance to get a more expensive model than you could afford if you bought it new. For about the same amount, you could own a new Hyundai, a two-year-old Taurus, or a six-year-old BMW.
Getting a used vehicle from a private party will be cheaper than buying the same car from a dealership. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask the seller:

- How long have you owned the vehicle?
- Has the vehicle been in an accident or repainted?
- When are the next state inspection and emissions tests due?
- How often has the oil and filter been changed?
- Why are you selling the vehicle?

First Things First

With the ease of the online application process at sites like, you can pre-qualify for a bad credit car loan before you start shopping for a vehicle. Make sure to borrow enough money to cover all the costs associated with the purchase such as dealer prep charges, if you are buying new, license plates, title and registration fees, etc.

Remember that total price is more important than the monthly payment. Stretching the length of a bad credit car loan will mean paying more interest. For instance, the payments on a $20,000 loan can be lowered from $500 a month to $360 by extending the term from 48 months to 72 months. However, this will cost about $2,000 more over the life of the loan, or 10 percent of the loan amount.

When Buying an RV, It is Worth it to Shop Around

By Michelle Yau

Rising airport security can make cross-country travel a hassle, bringing back the appeal of the old fashioned family road trip. However, before buying an RV, it is worth shopping around. Even with the rising cost of gas, driving a few hundred extra miles to purchase your new motor home can mean saving thousands of dollars.

In Hollywood, the cross-country family trip is often used as an easy way to get laughs. Most people chuckle when they picture Chevy Chase's poor family crammed into the metallic pea Griswold family station wagon from National Lampoon's Vacation, even as we sympathize. After all, how many of us were forced to sit for hours "on the hump" in the back of the family sedan with two siblings complaining bitterly each time one of your legs crossed into "their space"? And all of this in the guise of taking a fun family vacation!

Certainly, cars have continued to become more comfortable and luxurious with each passing year, and the number of SUVs available means it is no longer a necessity to take the family's compact car on vacation at all. Let's be honest though, if you've ever sat in the back of an SUV (or any car) with two other people, it stops feeling comfortable after the first twenty minutes or so. For this reason along with countless others, many families choose to skip the driving experience entirely and schedule a flight instead. However, with escalated airport security resulting in long delays, cramped seating on the planes, limits to what can be carried on the plane, and maybe even a touch of nostalgia for the car trips of our youth, the siren song of the open road begins to have increasing appeal.

If you are a parent who doesn't want to hear, "Mooooooommmm, he's touching me," for several hours straight or a retiree longing to take that dream cross country vacation at a leisurely pace, there is a clear choice, a RV. Recreational vehicles, or what my family always referred to as motor homes, are no longer the gaudy rolling trailers with cheap fixtures and cramped spaces that many people picture. Imagine those rolling luxury hotels that rock stars travel in with features like plush carpeting, ceramic tile, cabinets designated to store wineglasses, LCD televisions, retractable awnings, and even storage for motorcycles. Many of them have a level of opulence so enthralling that you'll be tempted to live in it, even while it's parked in your driveway! The added bonus is that you never have to deal with the hassles of staying in a hotel, such as checkout times, missing reservations, or noisy people in the adjoining room.

Once you decide to purchase a RV, the next choice is the model. There are multiple manufacturers of motor homes including Gulf Stream, Fleetwood, Winnebego, Holiday Rambler and more. With such a large array, it's important to do a lot of research into what features you want and the reliability of the various manufactures. Of course, nothing beats hands on experience, and websites like can help you locate an RV dealership close to you.

Now that you've found your dream vehicle, you are probably ready to jump right in and purchase it. After all, when you are buying something new, there can't be that much of a variation in price from dealership to dealership, right? Surprisingly, the cost variance when comparing new motor homes with identical features can actually be more than the disparities you'd find when buying used recreational vehicles with vast mileage differences. As an example, a 2006 Gulf Stream Crescendo Model 8386 found on was $186,360.00 in Oregon, but it was over $26,000.00 less at the Pennsylvania dealership, Martinsburg RV. You don't even have to drive across the country to find such vast price range. The difference between the cost of a RV purchased in Ohio and Michigan can be anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over twenty thousand dollars. Even with the soaring cost of gas, it's well worth the trip to save that much money!

These price changes aren't limited to only the most expensive models either. The same Gulf Stream Independence model 8330LS that costs over $90,000.00 in Indiana can be found for $87,000.00 in North Carolina, $66,000.00 in Minnesota or $63,000.00 in Pennsylvania. Certainly once you do some more in depth research, you may locate some options on the $90,000.00 model in Indiana that aren't on the $63,000.00 version in Pennsylvania, but there is little doubt that the dealership charging less would be able to get you the vehicle of your dreams without tacking on an additional $27,000.00 for similar options.

Realizing all of that, it makes perfect sense that your first family vacation in the new RV could be a cross country trip bringing it home from the dealership with the best price!

How To Avoid Car Dealer Trade In Scams

by exforsys abhi

The basic concept of a trade in sounds like a good idea. You take a car that you currently own and put it towards the price of a newer car, effectively saving money.

However, it is important to note that some car dealers are less than honest, and will try to scam customers who trade in their current cars to go towards the price of a new vehicle. Understanding these scams can help save you a lot of money while avoiding potential legal issues.

One common scam that dealers will try is to lure you into trading in your old car for a new car with very low financing. After you've traded in your old car and made a down payment, the dealer will call you back a week or so later and tell you that they will need to increase the price of the loan, and if you can't pay it, you will need to turn in the car. If you decide not to pay the higher price and ask for your old car back, they will tell you that they sold it. People who don't understand the law may be forced into paying a higher loan amount.

The dealer is not allowed to change the terms of a loan after they have sold your trade in. If it happens, demand back your car or the refund along with the down payment. When you trade in your old car towards the price of a new car, there are a number of things to remember. Never hand over your title or the key until the purchase agreement has been signed. Sometimes dealers will not add in the agreement that you traded in your old car, or they will list an incorrect amount. Read over the agreement to make sure the trade in is mentioned, and make sure it is the exact amount the dealer paid you for it.

If you have to go to court, having these terms in the agreement will work in your favor. Avoid car dealers that offer to give you a price for your trade in which matches the value of the loan for a new car. While it may seem like an even trade, the loan is being given by the dealer, and they may find a reason to increase it. Once they increase the price you will have to pay the difference plus taxes. If you have a car that is only worth $3000, and you want to buy a car for $5,000, never trade in your car for $5,000. Only trade it in for the price it is worth.

If you run into a problem with a car dealer, contact your attorney as soon as possible. However, it should be noted that the best way to handle a scam is to avoid it. Having to go to court can be a waste of time and money. Understand the different scams which you'll run into with dealers can save you a lot of money and headaches.

Declining Truck Sales Cripple GM

by Anthony Fontanelle

General Motors Corp.'s sales sagged in June as demand for its small cars dropped. Also, aggressive discounting by the Toyota Motor Corp. injured GM's pickup trucks. Of the Detroit Big Three, GM suffered the largest monthly decline, with sales diving 21.3 percent - the number is slightly weaker than June last year.

Overall, vehicle sales fell three percent from year-earlier levels, and the drop would have been sharper if there had not been an extra selling day in June. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the annual selling rate dropped to 15.6 million vehicles in June from 16.2 million a year earlier.

GM's truck sales were down 22.9 percent. The figures reflect big declines in its new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, which offered incentives averaging less than $3,700 in June. Sales of the GMC Sierra pickup dropped 26.5 percent, while sales of the Chevrolet Silverado fell 23.5 percent. GM is contemplating on its rejoinder. "If we have to make changes in our incentives play, we will," said Paul Ballew, GM's director of industry analysis. "We're certainly not going to cede ground in a category where we're best in class."

Additionally, the Ford Motor Co.'s sales fell 8.2 percent, for an eighth consecutive monthly decline, and the DaimlerChrysler AG's sales were down 1.8 percent. But leading Japanese automakers reported remarkable gains.

"The industry is substantially below normal levels right now and below where we'd like it to be," Ballew said. In addition, "we weren't anticipating that Toyota would go zero (percent interest) for 60 (months) on a brand new truck, and that has hurt our results," he said.

Toyota offered big discounts on the Tundra to put its introduction back on track. Demand for the first full-size truck from the Japanese automaker was running below the company's annual sales target of 200,000 units. But in June, Tundra sales more than doubled to 21,727 after Toyota offered no-interest loans and other incentives amounting to $5,083 per pickup, according to auto data firm

"The only large truck with a higher level of incentives in June than the Tundra was the (Dodge) Ram," said Alex Rosten, the manager of pricing and market analysis at "Everybody else was lower."

Jim Lentz, the executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales USA, explained Tundra's incentives: "Any time a manufacturer puts incentives (on a vehicle), it's probably deeper than they want to go." However, "in a segment like full-size trucks, customers expect and in some cases need incentives to help them out of negative-equity positions," Lentz added referring to trade-in vehicles worth less than the payments owed.

The ferocious truck competition mirrors the hardship domestic automakers face as they try to patch up bad habits like excessive discounting. In the previous months, they have reined in low-margin sales to rental car companies that had bolstered their volumes but slashed their profitability. That was the main reason for a 24.7 percent drop in Ford's car sales in June, said Ford industry analyst George Pipas.

GM executives said that they had anticipated a slowdown in June as the company scaled back its business with rental car companies. But the effects of anticipation were not hindered by the Saturn brake pad.

"Our retail performance for the month was also below the solid running rate we've experienced for the first half of the year, which we attribute to a soft industry and lower incentive spending than our competitors," said Mark LaNeve, the GM vice president for North American sales. "However, we continue to believe that maintaining a disciplined approach to both incentives and daily car rental sales is key to making our marketing strategy work in the long run."

About the Author: Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

Big Three Lost Purchasers In June

by Anthony Fontanelle

The Detroit's Big Three share of the American auto market dived to a record low in June, statistics showed last Tuesday thus predicting another summer of deep discounts, cheap car loans and deals on leases.

The General Motors Corp. had its worst month in nine years as its sales of cars and light trucks dropped more than 24 percent from the period a year ago. It plummeted to a market share of 22.1 percent, according to an estimate by the Autodata Corporation, a firm that tracks industry statistics.

Sales also dropped at the Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group, although not as gravely as that at GM, while Japanese competitors all reported significant raises. Ford said that its decline was because of its voluntary cuts in less-profitable sales to rental car companies.

Overall, Detroit automakers wound up only about 3,000 vehicles ahead of their foreign competition for June. Auto analysts said that it could be only a matter of time before Detroit's market share fell below 50 percent. To keep that from happening, "there are all the indications that we're going to see an incentives war this summer," said Jesse Toprak, the director of industry analysis at, a car-buying Web site.

Paul Ballew, GM's chief sales analyst, acknowledged that its sales in June fell short of the company's expectations. But he said that total sales for the first half of the year did meet the goals GM set in its turnaround plan. He added that the largest American automaker, which introduced no-interest financing plans after the September 2001 attacks to help give a boost to the American economy, now is pondering how it should respond to bigger discounts being offered by its rivals, chiefly Toyota.

Sales of the big Toyota Tundra pickup truck increased in June, after the Toyota Motor Corp. started offering five-year no-interest loans and thousands of dollars in rebates on the truck, which it introduced in February. Toyota executives said that sales were particularly strong in Texas, an important market for Detroit's pickups and the home of the Tundra factory in San Antonio. In contrast, sales of the Chevrolet Silverado, which has been only the market only since last fall, fell 24 percent.

"In June we just had competitors flailing away," Ballew said. "We don't think we have to match dollar for dollar, but we're not going to allow a competitor to try to steal sales away."

Toyota officials stressed that the company, on average, paid less in incentives than Detroit automakers. They said word of mouth had helped spur sales of the pickup, and pointed out that the pickup truck market had long had some of the deepest discounts in the vehicle business.

Toprak expects to see more subtle discounts, like lease incentives and no-interest financing, rather than cash rebates or the 'employee pricing' deals of two years ago that temporarily lifted Detroit sales but led to steep declines when they were discontinued.

The Big Three has been trying to get away from such discounts because it hurts their brand images, the resale value of their vehicles and their profit margins. But all three companies have no other clever option.

James Lentz, the executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales, said that the discounts did not indicate a new strategy for the company. He said such deals could help win over shoppers who might otherwise not be able to afford a new vehicle because the value of their trade-in was less than their remaining loan.

The doldrums also affected Mercedes-Benz USA, which sold 19,589 units, down from 20,802 in June 2006. Critics said that product lines and auto parts like the Mercedes Benz oxygen sensor might need timely upgrades.

About the Author: Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

GM Hopes Action Flick Will Transform Sales

by Anthony Fontanelle

General Motors Corp. is dragging out all the stops to tout four of its cars in Paramount Picture's forthcoming summer action flick "Transformers."

Posters outside theaters countrywide list Jon Voight, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel and Megan Fox as the stars of "Transformers." But in the labs where GM workers design and market new cars, the true stars are the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Solstice, GMC TopKick and the Hummer H2. "You're going to see these cars as the heroes. You're not going to see the other actors," said Dino Bernacchi, GM's associate director of branded entertainment. "These cars are the stars, literally, in the movie."

The largest American automaker, which seeks to reach younger auto shoppers to remedy mediocre sales, is hoping to pull the 18-to-34 set to its showrooms. This is why the company is invading more than just the big screen. Additionally, it is trying to plague online and video games, television shows, radio programs, magazine issues, toy stores and more.

The Detroit automaker is spending millions to promote and market its "Transformers" ventures, but refused to give a figure. Amid tight auto competition and a shrinking American auto market, GM is banking on the exposure translating into sales.

"This is hopefully a discovery point for maybe some of those who didn't know the great design, the great-looking vehicles that we have out today," Bernacchi said. "I find it really difficult to believe that a global blockbuster movie like this that has so many merchandising components to it that we're not going to get incremental exposure."

"Product placement has never been so blatant, and the potential for a global platform to build brand awareness could not have come at a better time for GM," said David Koehler, a clinical marketing professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "The younger demographic most likely to flock to the theaters is exactly what GM needs."

But Erich Merkle, the vice president of forecasting for Grand Rapids-based auto consulting company IRN Inc., cautions that even though young people might be impressed with the rides in the movie does not mean they will end up buying GM. "Keep in mind that some of the vehicles they're showing are vehicles the youth market won't be able to afford. But they do have a tremendous influence over what people who can afford those vehicles go to buy. You shouldn't underestimate the influence of the youth. I don't know a Baby Boomer out there who doesn't want to be cool," Merkle stressed.

"Transformers," which arrives in theaters July 3, probably are not all that concerned about declining market shares. They want pure action, and that is what they are going to get from these GM product lines. Action unimpeded by EBC brake pads are there for them to seize.

For the film's producers and director Michael Bay, it was a natural to bring in GM on the project. Bay has helmed a number of GM commercials and worked with the company on past films, including "Bad Boys II" in which a Hummer plays a central role in a car chase.

The director of "Pearl Harbor" and "Armageddon" saw a concept version of the new Camaro in 2005 at a GM design center and then in early 2006 at the Detroit auto show. Right there and then, Bay knew he wanted the iconic car to be the yellow-and-black Bumblebee who protects LaBeouf's character from danger.

"We are the stars of this movie," said Dino Bernacchi. "This put us right at the forefront and lets us showcase the leading designs we have out there now. I really think it's going to make a difference."

About the Author: Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

The Lowest Priced Aura

The efforts made by General Motors to revitalize its Saturn brad is working well as the brand becomes the fastest growing brand in the United States auto market. By partnering the German car manufacturer Opel with Saturn, the company has come up with a new lineup for Saturn which is attracting more and more car buyers into Saturn dealerships.

One of the most notable vehicles in Saturn's lineup is the reigning owner of the North American Car of the Year title - the Saturn Aura. The Aura is actually based on the Opel Vectra. The Aura is offered in three variants - the XE and XR trim levels and its hybrid version.

Of the three, the least expensive in terms of MSRP (or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is the XE model. But the hybrid version of the Aura, called the Aura Green Line, is also being considered the cheapest in the Aura lineup. This is because the disparity in the price of the Green Line and the XE trim level can be justified in the fuel economy of the hybrid Aura.

The fuel saving capability of the Aura is complemented by tax breaks offered by the government on hybrid car buyers. Tax credits for as much as $1,300 is being offered in certain states and with that incentive, the Aura Green Line would only be $400 less than the base XE. That $400 disparity can be recovered by savings on fuel consumption within a year.

According to General Motors, the hybrid powertrain that the Aura Green Line is equipped with consumes 30 percent less gasoline compared to the V6 engine that comes with the Aura XE. This is because the Green Line’s internal combustion is significantly smaller than that of the XE. This means that it will consume less fuel because its power is augmented by an electric motor. With a Saturn cold air intake system, the fuel efficiency of the Green Line, or the XE for that matter, can be increased.

The fact that General Motors can offer a hybrid vehicle for a price significantly lower than its competition is due to the hybrid powertrain used by the Aura Green Line. What the hybrid Aura uses is the “mild hybrid” powertrain developed by General Motors prior to the development of its two-mode hybrid system.

The mild hybrid powertrain is not as fuel efficient as the two-mode hybrid powertrain or Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy for that matter. This is because using a mild hybrid powertrain means that the electric motor used by the Aura cannot power the car alone. It is only used to provide additional power. The result is, of course, a Toyota Camry Hybrid that is more fuel efficient than the Aura Green Line.

While the Camry Hybrid is more fuel efficient than the Aura Green Line, it is priced thousands of dollars more than Saturn's Aura. Another strong selling point for the Aura Green Line is its European styling. The new Aura incorporates European styling and has increased interior space - a fact that it will surely be appreciated by American car buyers. Of course, the fact that the midsize sedan is the reigning North American Car of the Year will help. Currently, Saturn dealerships are offering their customers the chance to test drive the Aura side by side with the Camry and the Accord.

About the Author: Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

GM Cars Won Starring Roles In 'Transformers'

General Motors Corp. will unleash four vehicles to grab the limelight and take pleasure in stardom. In a product placement coup, four GM vehicles, including the all-new Chevrolet Camaro to be launched in 2009, won starring roles in the new action flick, "Transformers."

While other automakers have regularly wheel and deal to put their product lines in movies, GM’s vehicles are cast as shape-shifting action stars in the projected summer blockbuster.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for General Motors to get its product in front of millions of people," said Tim Calkins, a clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "It keeps (GM) current; it builds awareness." While vehicles starring in a movie would not necessarily "drive people into showrooms like a rebate program will drive them into showrooms, it will reach people in a very different setting," he said.

Michael Bay’s "Transformers" also stars Pontiac Solstice, Hummer H2 and the GMC TopKick pickup truck. "We're the heroes, all four of our vehicles are good guys," said Dino Bernacchi, who oversees GM's movie deals. "They all are cool cars that fit the personalities of the characters."

Detroit automaker’s officials will be on hand for the Hollywood premiere of the DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures production. GM officials did not have to search out this film opportunity. Hollywood came to them, even before the automaker's executives had decided to show a Camaro concept coupe at the auto show in Detroit in 2006, and later to put the new Camaro into production. "This is the ruby of rubies for a car company," said Michael Bay, "Transformers" director. Bay previously worked with GM on "Bad Boys II" and "Armageddon."

The ‘Transformers,’ set to open Tuesday, was a popular toy line and TV cartoon in the 1980s and has a cult following around the globe. The lore revolves around good autobots battling evil Decepticon robots, with vehicles transforming into giant robots. The vehicle-robots may not have the Mercedes Benz spoiler but they are absolutely more striking!

Still, GM was not a shoo-in for the prime vehicle roles. In fact, Bay initially was considering another automaker for the Bumblebee character, which was originally a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. But the yellow Camaro concept became the inspiration for the movie Bumblebee after Bay saw a full-scale model. It is a perfect fit because "it's a muscle car and still state of the art," he said. "The biggest problem was that the car wasn't being made."

This did not stop Steve Tihanyi, the Cadillac regional/divisional marketing manager, who was then overseeing GM's movie deals, and the automaker's design staff from using whatever they could to create the Camaro and fiberglass shells in time for filming in 2006.

Pontiac's Solstice will be playing Jazz, which was played by a Porsche in the cartoon. The Solstice also had to be created because GM was only selling it as a convertible as filming began. Bay wanted Jazz to be a gray, hardtop Solstice. Ratchet, the search-and-rescue vehicle, is played by a Hummer H2 painted fluorescent light green and modified with off-road lights, a winch and brush guard in front, and shovels on its sides. Ironhide, a rugged off-roader, is played by a GMC TopKick pickup truck with a Duramax diesel engine.

The film is aimed at attracting a wide audience, which means the exposure for GM's vehicles. "The fact is, we're showcasing really exciting products, like the Hummer, like the Solstice and the Camaro, and they can be cool and hip for a new generation worldwide," Tihanyi said.

Also, the Ford Motor Co. has put its Decepticon Saleen Mustang police car in the action flick.

About the Author: Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive.buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

Car Buying Tips: New Cars, Used Cars - Pros and Cons

Some very wealthy people have never bought a new car in their lives. With so many super-low mile used cars out there, what’s the point of paying thousands more for a few less miles?

Then there are those who refuse to buy used, regardless of their financial situation. They would rather buy a brand new beater than get into a high quality vehicle that has had someone else behind the wheel.

After all is said and done, it really comes down to personality and goals when deciding between new and used cars. The 20/20 rule applies – 20 percent of people will never buy new, while 20% of people will never buy used. For the other 60%, this article is for you.


Between huge dealer inventories, the option of dealers trading and bringing in a vehicle from another dealership, and custom ordering becoming more popular, the selection factor goes hands down to new cars.

For popular vehicles, it is definitely possible to find a used car. The internet makes it simple for someone to search around the corner or across the country for that perfect used car. Still, it’s nothing compared the options available with new.

Price Matters

Even in today’s ultra-competitive new vehicle market where MSRP has been replaced by Invoice as the starting mark for price negotiations, a car still loses 10%-20% or more of its value the moment it hits the street.

Low mile used cars a year or two old can be dramatically less expensive than its brand new counterpart. There are exceptions – Honda, for example, tends to lose less off the top because they rarely have rebates and their reputation is very strong.

Other than the few exceptions, a used car is normally dramatically cheaper than a new one.

Interest Rate

For the 95% of us who borrow money and make car payments, interest rate becomes an issue. New cars are less of a risk for the lender, so their bank rates are lower than on a used car. The manufacturer loan divisions make it even more appealing to buy new with 0% financing available on most vehicles at some point after their release.

Two or three points against a $30,000 loan can mean big money on a 4-6 year note. For shorter loans, the rate is less important.

Loan Term

While the rate is normally lower for new cars, the term is usually longer. A prudent buyer can get the same payments on a used car that they can get on a new car, only for fewer payments.

There is also the option of extending the term on a used car purchase to the length of a new car. Vehicles last longer. There are loan companies that will extend a note to 6 or more years on a 3 year old vehicle because they expect it to still be running after that amount of time. In those cases, the payments can be much cheaper than on a new car.

Peace of Mind

Going back to the new car smell, the new car knowledge is very appealing. A rough driver who doesn’t do car maintenance and likes to drive 90 mph in their Kia Rio can really hurt a vehicle, even with low miles. When you buy a used car, you take the risk of getting that car and not knowing the bad things it went through for months until it starts having problems prematurely.


Vehicles are not like homes. They depreciate, regardless of what happens to the market. Some depreciate less than others, but no matter what, every day makes it worth less than the day before.

Used cars have already absorbed the initial depreciation and are closer to leveling out on the depreciation scale. The first 2-4 years of a vehicle’s life result in a loss of up to 75% of its original value. In the first couple of years of a standard 5 year note, it is nearly impossible to trade in a vehicle that was bought new with no money down and not have negative equity.

With used cars, it is still difficult, but not nearly as hard as it is with new cars.

Final Thoughts

How often you trade, how well you negotiate, and the make and model of the vehicle you buy will determine a lot regarding the pros and cons of a new or used vehicle. Prudent buyers will seek out dealerships such as Portland Lincoln Dealers or Harrisburg Ford Dealers to help determine which is best.

If there is no local dealership that is trustworthy enough, do the research online. Check Kelley Blue Book for new car values and UsedCarsOnly to compare used car prices.

Information is the key to making a good decision, whether you buy new cars or used cars.

About the Author: J.D. is Marketing Specialist and SEO Consultant for Dealer Websites in Orange, CA.

Honda's Sales Threatened by Maruti's SX4

by Ally Wahlberg

Honda City with its high quality Honda mirror is the hottest selling car in the mid-sized car (A3) segment has been overthrown from its top position with the launching of the Maruti’s SX4.

The Maruti so far was the first real challenge for the Honda City in the big car segment. Despite the fact that the Maruti did not announced the retail figures of the SX4 for the first six-week period following its May 7 launch it was still able to dispatch around 3,000 units during the period. The said figure includes the cars displayed in showrooms and those that are used for test drives.

According to the figures provided by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) the company was able to sell 5,008 units in the A3 segment last May. This figure constitutes a astounding growth of over 100 percent as compared with the same month last year. From 14.7 percent in May of last year, the Maruti’s market share in the A3 segment has amazingly doubled to 25.2 percent. On the other hand, during the same period Honda City’s market share has fallen from 22 percent to 14.2 percent.

For the FY 06-07 Honda City has remaind to be the market leader in the A3 segment selling over 40,000 cars followed by Ford India which sold 39,822 cars. However things have started changing in April as Hyundai stole the spotlight with a sale of 3,028 units of its Maruti as compared with Honda’s 2,915 cars.

The in May it happened, Maruti has finally upstaged both the auto majors whereas Honda sold only 2,838 cars a decline of 23 percent as compared with the corresponding period last month.

The other new car in the segment, Mahindra & Mahindra Logan which was introduced in April and begun deliveries in May was able to record 2,787 units for the month snatching a market share of 14 percent in its first month in the A3 segment. As Logan is planning to ramp up production of the model in June, this could add up to the growing challenge in the segment.

Honda has admitted that the new cars have made quite an impact as a matter of fact according to Janeswar Sen, Senior General Manager-Marketing, HSCI, “There is some initial disturbance (in the sales of the City) which was expected. But in the long run, we will aim to maintain our leadership in the segment.”

Despite the initial hindrances that Honda is facing especially with the surfacing of new competitions it is still targeting a sales growth of 5 percent for the City and hopes to sell 42,000 units this year more than the 40,400 units that they have sold before the end of the current financial year. Sen also said that the five-day maintenance shutdown in May has minimized Honda’s numbers.

Maruti’s SX4 top-end variant is priced at 7.24 lakh which is by far cheaper than all the variants of the City except the base model which is priced at 6.77 lakh. Meanwhile Logan’s top-end variant does not even come close to the Rs 7 lakh barrier with the base variant pricing only Rs 4.28 lakh.

As answered to Maruti’s challenge, Honda has circulated a 12-page document among its sales force citing reasons why the City is a better buy than the SX4. The Maruti was not at all alarmed by such move of Honda in fact the former considers it more of an acknowledgment that Honda’s sales did get a substantial damage.

Rajesh Jejurikar, MD, Mahindra Logan said, “Our biggest selling point for Logan is the fuel efficiency of the vehicle, which is better than the competitors (City and SX4). Moreover, we will be ramping up capacity from July, working on one-and-a-half shift basis. The factory will work on full capacity from August onwards.”

About the Author: Ally Wahlberg is a Computer Information Systems specialist. Ally leads an active lifestyle and he is a fan of extreme sports. He is also a car enthusiast and writing about his interests is one of his passions.

Honda Models Obtains Top Awards at the 2007 J.D Power APPEAL Study

by Ally Wahlberg

Honda the maker of high-end Honda Civic parts has been able to grab four model segment awards at the recent J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout Study in short APPEAL, more than any of the other vehicle nameplate included in the survey.

The study is in its 12th year and measures owner’s delight in terms of design, content, layout, and performance of their new vehicles. APPEAL is designed to complement the other J.D. Power survey, the Initial Quality Study of IQS which deals on the problems experienced by owners during the first 90 days of ownership. APPEAL measures the level of comfort of owning and driving a new vehicle.

Honda’s four segment-leading models are Honda CR-V, Fit, Honda Ridgeline and Honda Odyssey. BMW and Mercedes-Benz obtained three segment awards, while Ford, Nissan, and Volkswagen each garnering two awards. BMW models that were awarded include BMW 3 Series, BMW 6 Series, and BMW X5. On the other hand Mercedes-Benz earns awards for its E-Class, S-Class, and GL-Class.

There were also Ford models that were awarded such as the Mustang and Edge. Europe’s largest automaker, Volkswagen receives awards for its Jetta and GTI while Nissan earns awards for the Nissan Altima Sedan and Nissan Armada.

The Nissan Armada came out as the highest in its segment for the fourth consecutive year. There are also several models that include the Ford Mustang, Honda Ridgeline, and Honda Odyssey that ranked highest in their respective segments for the third consecutive year. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class also ranks highest in their segments in both APPEAL study and IQS.

The 2007 APPEAL Study was based on responses from 91,000 purchasers and lessees covering the months of February through May 2007. Included in the survey are new 2007 model-year cars and trucks that were surveyed after the first 90 days of ownership.

About the Author: Ally Wahlberg is a Computer Information Systems specialist. Ally leads an active lifestyle and he is a fan of extreme sports. He is also a car enthusiast and writing about his interests is one of his passions.