Buying a car online: Women should do it. #chicago #auto #show


#buy car online
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You should do it. Especially if you’re a woman.

If you ve ever bought a car, you are familiar with the stomach-churching moment after the test drive when the salesman asks, What would it take you to buy today? and starts scratching out numbers on a pad. The process is notoriously confusing for everyone, but there s tons of evidence showing this system disadvantages women more than men. Buying online doesn t merely eliminate the physical discomfort women feel in car dealerships, though that counts for a lot. (Over email, no one asks about your husband; heck, no one even needs know your gender.) More importantly, it eliminates the landmines of Haggling While Female.

For a variety of reasons, women are not as good at negotiating as men. For one thing, we re not as practiced at it. Several studies have shown that women tend to negotiate less often. in part because the assertiveness required for the task gets socialized out of us. After all, nice girls aren t supposed to cause conflict, and there are real-world implications for those who buck the rules. In one study. both men and women pronounced female job applicants less hirable when they asked for more compensation than when male applicants did the same thing. (Male subjects in particular were less likely to want to work with women who tried to negotiate.) So it s not surprising that negotiating causes women more anxiety than it causes men and that women are less likely to realize they can negotiate in a given situation. You have to do all sorts of tricky things to get them to haggle, like describe it as asking instead of negotiating or explicitly tell them that they re allowed to do it. It s no wonder that women were said to flock to the defunct car company Saturn. which was known for its no-haggle policy.

Part of what s so crazy about buying a car the traditional way is that the Wild West pricing means there s no way to know whether the deck is stacked against you from the outset merely because you re a woman. Studies conducted in the 90s by economist Ian Ayres showed that Chicago-area dealerships routinely quoted blacks and women higher initial offers than white men, so that even after haggling they wound up with higher prices. Data from auto repair shops shows something more nuanced: Women are quoted higher prices unless they break gender stereotypes, either by showing they know the market rate for a repair or by insisting on a discount. All of which is why, when women buy a car, we first research the bejesus out of it. We know that certain salesmen will be inclined to treat us as easy marks, and we ll need to defy their expectations. So we prep and prep and then show up, hoping we don t get a jerk. Sure, we can request a different salesman or hit another dealership, but we ll pay for it in wasted time.

There s one factor that does away with a ton of these gender-based problems. According to the work of DePaul professor Alice Stuhlmacher, women consistently do better when they negotiate virtually. Stuhlmacher and colleagues compared face-to-face negotiations with those conducted online, by phone, or by video and found that time and again, women were more assertive when they weren t haggling face-to-face. Perhaps because they were less concerned about preserving relationships or coming across as nice, women were more apt to do things like lie for tactical reasons or stand firm at a number instead of making a counteroffer. There wasn t this gap between what s considered appropriate female behavior and what s smart negotiating behavior. Men, who face no repercussions for what s deemed a typically masculine endeavor, behaved the same regardless of the setting.

Virtual settings also appear to upset hierarchies. conferring more favorable outcomes on those with less power. Car dealerships are a prime example of settings where women have less power for a whole host of reasons because they are a minority, because automobiles are considered a traditionally masculine realm, and because the consumer in general is confused by the way car pricing works. (Is that $795 destination fee really necessary? Has the dealer s invoice price been inflated so you think you re getting a better deal?) Not only do virtual settings eliminate the status markers that might otherwise inhibit behavior, but they make it easier to remain poker-faced even if you are intimidated.

The major advantage I felt I had negotiating over email was time. High-pressure tactics in car dealerships rely, in part, on the consumer s desire to end a stressful experience as soon as possible. But, thoroughly empowered by all the information I had at hand, I found emailing back and forth with salesmen to be fun. The power dynamic was reversed; the dealerships now were the ones eager to secure my deposit before I got a better deal or before the end of the month, so they could make their numbers. I took my time. I looked up what others in my area had paid for the same car. I emailed around the lowest price I got (a good $2,500 under the highest) to see if other dealers could match it. I asked the dealers to enumerate every fee being added to the quoted price, and then I looked up the fees to see if they were legitimate. I inquired who was willing to trade with other dealers to get us the car in blue and who was willing to deliver the car to our house. (One dealership was, but the price was still too high.) Reading questions other buyers had asked alerted me to issues I hadn t considered and gave me social reinforcement that such questions were allowed. What surprised me was that, freed from that terrible certainty that I was going to get screwed one way or another, I really liked negotiating. Being the well-informed, hard-nosed customer felt like karmic retribution for all those women talked down to, quoted higher prices, or told they d look so good in a certain car.

In the end, playing dealers off one another was an interesting experiment, and several places lowered their prices by quite a bit, but the shop with the initial lowest quote was still the best. So I put down a deposit by email, and one Saturday, my husband, my daughter, and I drove out to New Jersey to pick up our new car. We walked in, signed our names a thousand times, and drove out with our Mazda 5 at the agreed-upon price in a mere hour.

Afterward, my husband said he d noticed several salesmen in the store preferred to make eye contact with him. Maybe so, but if it were the case, I didn t notice. I was so damn happy.


Why You Should NOT Buy a New Car – ReadyForZero Blog #auto #advance


#buy a used car
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Why You Should NOT Buy a New Car

17 Oct 2012 by Ben

Welcome to the 5th  Smart Money Debate at ReadyForZero . To see the other side  of this debate, read Miranda s post: Why You Should Buy a New Car (Not Used). And then let us know which argument was more convincing!

Buying new things is fun. I love unwrapping the shiny packaging, opening up the box, and smelling the factory made scent of something brand new. There is nothing quite like holding something in your hands that nobody else has ever used. It makes you feel well special.

You know what makes me feel even more special than buying something brand new? Saving money. That is why almost everything I purchase is used. Don t get me wrong I m not one to purchase a used pair of Hanes. However, with most items, you can find great deals if you are willing to buy used. This is especially true when it comes to major purchases like cars.

While I wouldn t recommend buying any old lemon, buying used cars is the only thing that makes sense financially. Our family has purchased new before, and we consider it to be one of the biggest financial mistakes we have ever made. Here is why we will never buy a new car again and neither should you!

Reason #1: New Cars Don t Hold Their Value

We ve all heard this before, but it bears repeating: a new car begins losing value the minute that you drive it off the lot. How much value you ask? According to Edmunds.com, a new car loses approximately 10% of its value as soon as you drive away. 10%. Furthermore, it loses about 20% of its value after the first year, and 10% off the original purchase price per year after that. Depending on the make and model of your new car, you may have lost up to 80% of the value from the purchase price within 5 years!

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Would you invest $25,000 in the stock market if you knew that you were going to lose $2,500 the moment you completed the transaction? Would you buy a house for $200,000 if you knew for a fact that it would only be worth $180,000 the minute you were handed the key and $160,000 a year later. Of course you wouldn t! No sane person would. Why would you do the same thing with a car? Let somebody take that huge financial hit by buying the new car. Then, you can take advantage of their silliness and buy the car used after they trade it in a few years later.

Reason #2: Used Cars are Cheaper

Since new cars are clearly a poor investment, it makes sense that the sticker price for used cars is far less expensive than the newer models. For instance, a brand new 2012 Toyota Prius is currently selling for around $28,500. Earlier this year, we were able to purchase a used 2009 Prius with under 25,000 miles for only $17,500. While red isn t exactly my favorite color, I was happy to suffer through it in order to save $11,000.

Reason #3: Less Worry

You know the nervous feeling that you get when you buy something new? You become very protective of it. You don t want anything to spill or scratch it. You re so proud of it that you want it to stay looking all brand new and shiny for forever. That is why you bought the product new in the first place. Afterall, what good is a new car if it doesn t actually look new.

I hate to tell you this, but eventually everything that is new is going to become blemished. When it does, you may be devastated especially if you spent as much money on it as you would a car. Why not save yourself all of that worry, headache, and stress? Just buy your cars used. A nick, dent, or scratch doesn t seem like such a big deal then.

Reason #4: Warranties are Available

People who tell you to buy a new car will tout the great warranties with which new cars come. Guess what. Most used cars will come with a warranty as well. In fact, the most important warranty the manufacturer s powertrain warranty should still be in effect as long as the car has not exceeded its age or mileage limits. This warranty covers all of the big stuff that might break like your engine or transmission. So, the warranty argument doesn t really hold water. If the warranty is in effect, the argument that you are going to have to pay for more repairs to a used car than you would for a new car doesn t really work either.

Reason #5: A New Car is a Bad Investment

Have I mentioned that a new car loses 10% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot and 20% of its value over the first year alone. Oh, I did? Good. Well, this is so important that I m mentioning it again. If that new car smell is still tempting you, go back and read Reason #1 to help snap you back into reality. Then, go out and buy a New Car Smell air freshener to put in your used car, and save yourself thousands of dollars.

As you can see, buying a new car is not the best decision for your finances. While that new car smell may make you feel like you are loaded, buying a new car is just another way of trying to look wealthy. It is a status symbol that savvy spenders can do without. If you re in the market for a new car, do yourself a favor and buy a used one instead.

No matter what you decide, use ReadyForZero to track your debt payoff it s a free online tool that helps you stay motivated and pay off your debt in the fastest time frame possible.

To see the other side  of this debate, read Miranda s post: Why You Should Buy a New Car (Not Used). And then let us know which argument was more convincing!

This post was published by Ben, Content Manager and Writer for » ReadyForZero. ReadyForZero is a company that helps people get out of debt on their own with a simple and free online tool that can automate and track your debt paydown.


How should I go about buying a car? #full #coverage #auto #insurance


#buying a car
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Feedback

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” Thomas Paine was, of course, not talking about the freedom of automobile or even horse carriage ownership. Nonetheless, there’s a point to be made: having a car can be a blessing and a burden.

Know the facts first: a car is not an investment. It is a depreciating asset, meaning it loses value over time. On average, new cars and trucks lose more than 20% of their value in the first year (Motley Fool). On the flipside, that means that if you can find a well-maintained car that’s just one or two years old, you’ll get a huge discount on an almost-new model!

The following outline will walk you through the process of selecting and purchasing a car.

1. Can you afford it?

  • Create a budget. Start setting aside money from your paycheck to buy a car if you don’t have enough in savings already.
  • Research. Determine the type of car that you want to buy, and make sure it is the best car for you. Things to consider:
    • Cost
    • Brand reputation
    • Size (sedan, truck, van etc.)
    • Gas mileage
    • Safety
    • Typical repair costs
    • Ability to meet long-term needs
  • Determine if you have the money for repairs, maintenance, gas, insurance, plates, taxes, registration, and all the other costs of owning a car. Buying the car is only one cost of owning a car.
  • These helpful websites can help you figure out pricing information:
    • Autobytel
    • Car.com
    • CarsDirect
    • How to buy a new car (Consumer Reports)
    • Edmunds.com
    • Invoice Dealers
    • Kelly Blue Book

2. Do you need a loan?

  • If you can’t pay for the car out of pocket, you can make a down payment and obtain a loan with monthly payments for the rest. To minimize the interest you pay, you should maximize your down payment.
  • Shop around for the best interest rate and other terms: check with the dealership, with local banks and credit unions, and online.
  • Read more in our car loans section.

3. New or used?

  • The biggest reason to buy used instead of new is the price. Determine if you have the means to buy a new or used car.
  • Risk of a used car: You typically buy a used car “as is,” meaning you are taking on the risk of there being any defects that you were unaware of. Unlike with a new car, which is warranted to be in new condition, you need to use caution when buying a used car and get all the details out on the table before making the purchase.
    • Ask questions and know everything about the history of a used car:
      • Number of previous owners
      • If the car was ever in an accident
      • Any previous mechanical problems
      • The maintenance history of the car
    • Have the car inspected by an independent mechanic with a good reputation, preferably one specializing in that brand of cars. If you’re buying from an individual, you can get the car appraised at CarMax and they’ll tell you if they find anything wrong with it.

4. Where do you find a car?

  • Car dealerships
  • Used car websites
  • Classifieds/Craigslist

5. At the dealership:

  • Be sure to have already done some research to try to figure out how low the dealer is willing to go on price. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Every salesman’s goal is to get you to pay more than the bottom-line price. You may even have to walk away and wait for them to call you back. To the fearless go the best prices.
    • You can find out what dealers pay for a vehicle for $14 from Consumer Reports. Use this information to your advantage.
  • The best times of the year to buy a car are at the end of December and between July and October.
  • If you’re looking for financing, know your credit history. Get a credit report before going to dealers to make sure you’re all on the same page.

6. Before making the purchase:

  • If buying used, get a full inspection from a reputable mechanic before buying .
  • If buying used, obtain a Vehicle History Report from CARFAX.com. It will enable you to determine whether the car was ever salvaged, stolen, or recalled, the number of previous owners, whether it ever failed inspection, and whether someone has tried to create a fraudulent odometer reading.
  • Be wary of signing an “as is statement for a used car dealer. You are paying more to a dealer than you would to a private party, so you should demand at least 30 days to make sure the car is in good condition.
    • On the other hand, when you purchase a car from an individual, signing an “as is” statement is standard practice. That’s why it’s imperative to have the car thoroughly checked out before you buy it. If nothing’s wrong, you’ll get a better deal versus going through a dealer.
  • If you’re obtaining financing from a bank or credit union, have your loans finalized.

6 Things Every Sucker Should Know Before Buying a Used Car #mazda #auto #parts


#buying a used car
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6 Things Every Sucker Should Know Before Buying a Used Car

By: Robert Brockway

| October 25, 2012

1,274,221 views 866

Buying a used car is like going to a dentist who wants to knock out your old teeth and sell you new ones. Everybody involved in the process is assuredly biased, possibly psychotic, and actively wants to do you bodily harm. More sad, dissatisfied people have left car dealerships than strip clubs, and it’s no wonder: Cars are extremely complicated, terribly expensive, and for some reason every one is guarded by a small gang of pathological liars. It’s one of the worst experiences of your life, and you need somebody trustworthy to help you. Unfortunately, you’ve got me. Lucky for you, I have bought and destroyed more cars than is technically allowable by the United States government, and am therefore legally obligated to actually try to help you in this column, which I do as a “service” to the “community.” I think we can get through this, if you take my advice to heart.*

*Well, except for all the times I tell you to “flip the table on them bitches.” That’s just some good general advice I try to work in everywhere, and may not be applicable to the situation at hand.

#6. Do Your Research

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Never, ever walk into a dealership “just to see what they’ve got.” Salesmen see that aimless stare on your face and they’re like starving cartoon wolves — they don’t even see a person; all they see is a giant walking turkey leg. Most small and midsize dealerships will have online inventories. Check those out in advance and start looking up the models you’re interested in, then read up on each one: Comb through car sites like Edmunds, click on forum posts by owners, get the specs and find out about users’ experience with reliability — hell, go to Wikipedia and bone up on the entire history of the model and the powertrain you’re considering. Back in school, you’d do the same amount of research for a book report on Huck Finn just because an older lady in a paneled skirt threatened you with the alphabet — you can do the same legwork for a multi-thousand-dollar purchase you’re going to entrust your life to every time you leave the house to get a burrito. Whatever you do, the point is to come in with a mental list: Do not let them steer you outside of that list to a car that you’re not familiar with. Adventure is wondrous and grand, but the used car lot is not the place to listen to strange old men in tattered clothes whisper of magical chariots.

“It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this Daihatsu!”

Now this is the important part, so pay attention: No matter what anybody tells you — no matter how respectable the source — never, ever, ever buy the Kia. Regardless of dealership affiliation, every used car lot on the planet has a dull red Kia out back that they want to show you. It’s going to feel wrong, somehow, like the air around it has gone stale. That’s the universe trying to warn you. There will be rational arguments, and your brain is gonna be all like, “Hey, it sounds like they’ve gotten a lot better lately,” and, “Look, even the car magazines think they’ve got some decent models.” But there’s a very simple explanation for this illusion: It’s a vast government conspiracy and everybody is in on it but me. They are terrible cars that will explode and betray you, no matter how meticulously you care for them. Isn’t that right, Optima, you fickle bitch?! You broke my heart! And for what? A measly 15,000 miles? I thought we had something! I spent two years inside of you. Does that mean nothing?!

#5. Dealing With the Dealer

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You need to treat the first few moments at a dealership like an old-timey mobster being interrogated by the coppers: You don’t say nothin’ about nothin’. Financing? What’s that? Trade-ins? Ha, what a hilarious portmanteau of gibberish! Price range? I don’t even speak English.

The first step is just and only to find the car you want, go over it carefully, take stock of any work that needs doing, and barter out the final price. Only when that’s all settled do you talk about trading in something. Why would you discuss trade-ins right up front if you haven’t even found a car you like? You’re not even sure you’re shopping there yet. The grocery store doesn’t pull you aside when you walk in the doors and ask how much you’re planning to spend today. So why do dealerships always want to know your price, payment and trades first? Because it gives them leverage against you: “Oh, well, if we’re going to do you a favor and take this trade-in off your hands, you have to buy one of these pre-selected vehicles.” Or, “Oh, you’re financing? Those aren’t our finance cars. Our finance cars are all dull red Kias; let’s go out back and take a look.”

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“Ignore the disembodied voices telling you to flee. That’s a. feature. Ghost-voicing. Costs extra.”

That’s bullshit. Everything is a finance car. Just like everything is a cash car. The car does not care how you pay for it. It is a car. Even if it becomes sentient, it’s mostly only going to care about fighting crime and ramping shit, like K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. And brother, if that happens: You let it. You buy yourself a leather jacket and a perm and get the fuck out of there; your car search is over.

#4. Vehicle Inspection

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There are a few basic things you can check, even if you know nothing about cars. First thing you want to do is get right up close against the side of the front fender. (This should also serve to draw out any potential sentient-car crime-fighting partners, as they cannot resist wisecracking and will likely say something cute like, “Geez, buy me dinner first.” If so, then you’re done: It’s all cowhide coverings and curly hair for the rest of your days.) If there’s little to no rapport between you and the vehicle at this point, just sight down the trim lines to make sure they’re straight with no fluctuations — offset doors, fenders, and uneven lines could indicate frame damage. Look around the engine bay at the spots where the metal struts come together — the joints should be straight, with no signs of recent welding. Take a look underneath the car and watch for rust on the rails, in the wheel wells, or basically anywhere else. Be afraid of rust. Rust is the mind-killer. You’ll think you can take rust — it’s just some pansy little oxidation, right? But you can’t. Rust is better than you. Rust will laugh at your feeble angle grinders; it will spit at your steel wool and mock your puny acids. Rust will shrug off all your mightiest efforts and then, when you are broken, it will take your woman in a way that you never could.

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“F. from behind? I don’t know, man; I’m just a chemical process.”

Also remember to CHECK. THE. FUCKING. FLUIDS. Don’t just stare at the engine with your dick in your hand, wondering if you could stop the flywheel with your cock (no matter how awesome it would be to seize a V8 with nothing but your willpower and steely erection, this is not the time for it). Pull those dipsticks out and check the reservoirs. Brake fluid is, in an ideal world, clear to slightly yellowish. But the world we live in is broken and flawed, so it’s usually tea-colored. If it looks like strong coffee, you’re going to need to bleed the brake system, at the very least. That’s a few hundred dollars right there. It doesn’t require a lot of know-how or expensive parts, so you’re going to want to do it yourself.

Do not.

Bleeding brakes is exactly as traumatic as bleeding your only child, only it takes like, four times as long (depending on size and age of child). Check the oil: If it looks like a Wendy’s chocolate Frosty, just turn around and run. Run as fast as you can. Hop into your car and tear ass out of that dealership like The Dukes of Hazzard. That means a blown head-gasket, and it is death. If somebody assures you, “It’ll still run,” you can respond, “So will a man with no legs, if you shoot at him enough; that doesn’t mean he’ll get far.” (The casual murder references let ’em know you mean business.)

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“Hi, Bob. Nice to meet you. I’ve killed four men. Every one of them stole from me.”

Make sure the coolant is clear, the transmission fluid is red or purplish (just not black or oily) and all the belts and hoses are free of cracks. Finally, if it’s a new car or a big expense, you buy yourself a copy of a program like Torque, then go on eBay and get an ODBII scanner. Plug that into the car (the ODB slot is usually beneath the dash on the driver’s side) and you can see literally everything about its engine in real time, right there on your smartphone. Do me a favor and look at the salesman’s face when you do it: See that expression? That’s what hope looks like, as it leaves the world. He’s just realized he’s not going to win this one, because you’re from the future — you’ve already done this deal.


How Much Should Your Car Repair Cost? #used #auto #body #parts


#auto repairs
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How much should your car repair cost?

More On Cars:

“auto”

Two of the most comprehensive websites for car-repair costs are AutoMD and RepairPal, which are both free to use. Launched in 2010, AutoMD is owned by US Auto Parts, an online auto parts retailer. It is staffed of a team of automotive data specialists and certified auto mechanics, using data based on average labor costs by ZIP code, time to repair and real-time pricing data on parts. RepairPal was founded in 2007 by a group of auto enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. It creates its estimates based on real-world data, including actual car-repair invoices, labor rates and parts costs.

Both AutoMD and RepairPal offer repair cost estimates based on ZIP code for regular maintenance as well as car repairs, with pricing estimates at a dealership or an independent mechanic. AutoMD also adds cost estimates for do-it-yourselfers.

Testing with sample repairs on each site showed that the estimates were in the same range on both sites. RepairPal’s estimate provides a range for the overall cost as well as breaks down ranges for labor and parts. The AutoMD repair estimate is more comprehensive, also containing the exact time estimate for the car repair as well as the labor rate and parts costs at a dealer and an independent mechanic. As a result, it makes it easier for the consumer to make adjustments if the labor rate at a shop is higher or lower.

Consumers can easily print out the estimate to show to a mechanic. For those who are in need of a mechanic, both sites provide a comprehensive list of shops based on the ZIP code entered. RepairPal’s list shows the shops on a map and provides shop details such as hours, specialties and reviews. AutoMD’s list takes things a step further, showing how many AutoMD users have requested quotes from the business and the type of quotes, and it shows the number of mechanics. It also specifies whether the shop uses Mitchell or Chilton labor standards and if it installs parts shipped by AutoMD partners.

While these sites help arm consumers with solid information to help ensure they are not getting taken advantage of, consumers still need to decide between using a dealer or an independent shop and whether it makes sense to save a few dollars by using aftermarket parts instead of original equipment parts.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter .


Why You Should Buy Car Insurance Online #saturn #auto #parts


#buy auto insurance online
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Cheap Car Insurance for Drivers Now Comparable Through New Insurer Tool Online

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) April 09, 2014

Drivers who are searching for different coverage options to protect motor vehicles during an accident can now use the Insurance Pros USA website. The inclusion of cheap car insurance companies through the open system is now offering immediate comparisons of rates for drivers at http://insuranceprosusa.com/auto-insurance.html.

All drivers who access the public portal this year have the option of reviewing one or more agency to find the less expensive plans offered. A number of providers offering coverage products are now searchable upon a single zip code search inside the automotive tool.

Drivers paying too much for insurance or who are seeking new ways to save money can gain entry to our system to begin comparing the less expensive coverage rates, said an InsuranceProsUSA.com source.

The auto agencies that are listed and capable of underwriting the lowered coverage rates are licensed within the United States. Motorists have the option to explore prices from the list of agencies that are now positioned inside of the search tool for this year.

The system uses a driver s zip code in contrast to more personal data to keep the system secure and reliable for public usage, said the source.

The Insurance Pros USA website is now providing more rates than standard auto insurance prices in 2014. The prices that are now available for review includes renter, health and life insurance that can be found on the homepage at http://insuranceprosusa.com.

About InsuranceProsUSA.com

The InsuranceProsUSA.com company is helping American motorists to explore different insurance options through its portal online. This company offers direct access to agency pricing through its public system for research. The InsuranceProsUSA.com company website is designed to present updated information and offer immediate comparison shopping options to the public. Company staff helps to research and add new providers inside the portal to ensure all interested drivers receive information about all applicable protection plans in the U.S. Immediate quotes in price are now offered for the products listed online.


Should I Buy a New Car? 6 Reasons to Buy a New Car over a Used Car #auto #loans #rates


#buy used car
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Should I Buy a New Car? 6 Reasons to Buy a New Car over a Used Car

By Jason Steele

Despite big promotional events and appealing advertisements, new cars come with hefty price tags and lose their value very quickly due to depreciation. In fact, there are many benefits to buying a used car for cheap over a brand new one.

However, there are a few specific occasions when a new car isn t just a luxury indulgence and a way to pamper yourself. It actually makes more sense to buy new in these cases.

Benefits of Buying a New Car

1. New Safety Technology

In the automobile industry, the amazing power of computer processors has sparked a technology revolution, and manufacturers are finally using technology to enhance safety. When you spend on a new car, you can find advanced safety features including:

  • Stability control
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear-view camera

As with earlier developments like anti-lock brakes, these new features are quickly trickling down from high-end luxury cars to family sedans and even economy brands. It s too soon to find them in most used vehicles, but you can find affordable new cars with great safety features.

2. Fuel Efficiency Breakthroughs

Federal regulations have average fuel efficiency set to rocket from 27.5 MPG in 2010 to 39 MPG by 2016. While small fuel efficient cars have been on the market for a few years, the mileage ratings of other vehicles usually the more budget-friendly cars have languished until now. In the next few years you ll see minivans, pickup trucks, luxury cars, and even sports cars posting efficiency numbers that were once only found in hybrids and small economy cars.

If you put a lot of mileage on your car, you can balance upfront cost of a new car with the long-term savings of a more efficient engine (especially with gas prices rising ).

3. Alternative Energy Advances

Though the ethanol boom has faded, other alternative energy trends are here to stay. Pure electric vehicles like the new Nissan Leaf and the Ford Focus Electric promise to dramatically cut energy costs per mile driven. Their equivalent fuel economy ratings are in the triple digits. making a Toyota Prius look like a gas guzzler. Not to be outdone, GM is now selling the Chevrolet Volt, their plug-in hybrid that will run on either gas or electricity. A plug-in Prius and the Ford C-Max Energi should also hit the market next year.

Don t forget that electric cars aren t the only alternative-fuel vehicles. Diesel-engine cars, long popular in Europe, are making a big comeback in North America. They offer very high mileage, especially on the highway. Honda even sells a methane-powered version of the Civic, which is in high demand in parts of the country where natural gas is cheap.

You could save thousands of dollars in energy expenses in just a few years with one of these new vehicles. Electric cars won t be available in the used car market until a few years from now, and they re going to be in very high-demand, which means their prices will be higher than most used cars.

4. Cars for the Long Haul

Used cars make sense if you plan to keep a car for a few years and then sell or trade it in for another used car. But if you plan to keep up with maintenance and watch the odometer roll way past 100,000 miles, you may not want the uncertain history that comes with a used car. Rather than worry about a previous owner who skipped oil changes or abused an older car, with a new car you know that you re responsible for gentle driving and regular maintenance. Owning a car for a decade or more will mitigate the initially high taxes and depreciation enough that they will average out to be close to the costs of a used car.

5. Government Incentives

Cash for Clunkers came and went, and traditional hybrids no longer earn green energy tax credits. But you can still find plenty of government incentives that cut the price of new electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and alternative-fuel vehicles. The natural gas–powered Honda Civic GX, for example, comes with a $4,000 tax credit. If you buy a plug-in hybrid or pure electric car, you ll be entitled to a whopping $7,500 tax credit.

Remember, this is not just a tax deduction, it s a tax credit. the equivalent of cash back. Learn more about the differences between a tax credit vs. a tax deduction .

6. Simpler Needs, Simpler Costs

You might be drawn to a new car by a low advertised price, only to learn from the car dealership that the base price is for a low- or no-frills model. To get the advanced features like cruise control, voice recognition, a navigation system, and seat warmers, you ll deal with a list of expensive options, often adding as much as $10,000 to your total before taxes.

If you know that you don t want pricey options like pearlescent paint coating, larger wheels, or even an automatic transmission, you ll probably find less of a difference between the prices of new cars and used cars. If you re just trying to get to the office or train station and back, you can custom order a new car from the dealer without all of the unnecessary options and get a competitive price for a brand new car.

Final Word

Anyone who tells you that the new car vs. used car debate has an absolute winner hasn t really considered every circumstance.

In most situations, a used car is the lower-cost, higher-value option. But with recent advances in technology and government incentives, new cars have enough significant benefits that they re often worth the extra expense. It s up to you as a smart consumer to weigh your needs against the costs and benefits of both new and used cars. Don t be surprised if you occasionally find that the new car represents better value.

Was your most recent car purchase a new or used vehicle? How did you finally make the decision?


Should you buy a certified used car? CBS News #cheap #auto #parts


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Should you buy a certified used car?

As gas prices have fallen, U.S. new car sales have surged. But buyers are snapping up certified used cars as well, with certified sales in November up 21 percent over a year earlier, according to CNW research.

Thrifty habits developed during the recession are leading buyers to what the industry calls certified pre-owned vehicles, says senior analyst Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. “The last recession increased the price sensitivity of car buyers, driving many to consider certified pre-owned for the first time,” says Brauer. Certified cars typically get a thorough inspection and repair of defects at a dealership, along with an additional warranty.

If you share that price sensitivity, consider a certified used car rather than a new car. You should look to save at least $2,000 to $3,000 with a good deal on a certified used car of the previous model year vs. a new car, says Alec Gutierrez, another Kelley senior analyst.

Gutierrez points out, however, that certified deals vary widely depending on how fast a given model depreciates. He cites the following examples:

  • A Honda Accord is known for holding its value. A 2015 Accord EX-L lists for $27,406 and a 2014 certified used one for $26,129 — a savings of just $1,277.
  • A Ford Escape SE, with about average depreciation, sells as a 2015 for $25,421 but as a 2014 certified car for $21,624. That is a savings of $3,797.
  • As an example of big savings, Gutierrez cited the Kia Cadenza large sedan selling as a 2015 for $33,447. A certified used 2014 model could be bought for $25,622 — a savings of $7,825. Among luxury brands, he suggests likely good certified deals for the Cadillac XTS sedan and the Infiniti Q60 coupe or convertible.

If you are considering a certified used car, take these additional factors into account:

Avoid independent used car lots. Independents may advertise certified deals, but you can not be sure the standards are as high as in manufacturer-backed programs.

Make sure the auto maker backs the warranty. Even at a franchised dealer, double check that the warranty on the certified car is, for example, from Ford or General Motors — not an independent warranty company.

Consider certified with older cars. Many cars returning after being leased are three years old. People who lease cars have incentives to keep the car in good shape in order to avoid penalties at lease end. “If the vehicle is passing the manufacturer’s process to get certified, a buyer can be confident it is a solid vehicle — and has coverage if a problem does develop,” says Gutierrez.

Even as the economy recovers, buyers’ appetite for certified used cars is likely to continue. “The awareness and advantages of certified pre-owned have extended to a larger percentage of car buyers in recent years, reaching sufficient critical mass to keep growing steadily going forward,” says analyst Karl Brauer.

2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


6 Things Every Sucker Should Know Before Buying a Used Car #used #car #dealer


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6 Things Every Sucker Should Know Before Buying a Used Car

By: Robert Brockway

| October 25, 2012

1,274,221 views 866

Buying a used car is like going to a dentist who wants to knock out your old teeth and sell you new ones. Everybody involved in the process is assuredly biased, possibly psychotic, and actively wants to do you bodily harm. More sad, dissatisfied people have left car dealerships than strip clubs, and it’s no wonder: Cars are extremely complicated, terribly expensive, and for some reason every one is guarded by a small gang of pathological liars. It’s one of the worst experiences of your life, and you need somebody trustworthy to help you. Unfortunately, you’ve got me. Lucky for you, I have bought and destroyed more cars than is technically allowable by the United States government, and am therefore legally obligated to actually try to help you in this column, which I do as a “service” to the “community.” I think we can get through this, if you take my advice to heart.*

*Well, except for all the times I tell you to “flip the table on them bitches.” That’s just some good general advice I try to work in everywhere, and may not be applicable to the situation at hand.

#6. Do Your Research

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Never, ever walk into a dealership “just to see what they’ve got.” Salesmen see that aimless stare on your face and they’re like starving cartoon wolves — they don’t even see a person; all they see is a giant walking turkey leg. Most small and midsize dealerships will have online inventories. Check those out in advance and start looking up the models you’re interested in, then read up on each one: Comb through car sites like Edmunds, click on forum posts by owners, get the specs and find out about users’ experience with reliability — hell, go to Wikipedia and bone up on the entire history of the model and the powertrain you’re considering. Back in school, you’d do the same amount of research for a book report on Huck Finn just because an older lady in a paneled skirt threatened you with the alphabet — you can do the same legwork for a multi-thousand-dollar purchase you’re going to entrust your life to every time you leave the house to get a burrito. Whatever you do, the point is to come in with a mental list: Do not let them steer you outside of that list to a car that you’re not familiar with. Adventure is wondrous and grand, but the used car lot is not the place to listen to strange old men in tattered clothes whisper of magical chariots.

“It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this Daihatsu!”

Now this is the important part, so pay attention: No matter what anybody tells you — no matter how respectable the source — never, ever, ever buy the Kia. Regardless of dealership affiliation, every used car lot on the planet has a dull red Kia out back that they want to show you. It’s going to feel wrong, somehow, like the air around it has gone stale. That’s the universe trying to warn you. There will be rational arguments, and your brain is gonna be all like, “Hey, it sounds like they’ve gotten a lot better lately,” and, “Look, even the car magazines think they’ve got some decent models.” But there’s a very simple explanation for this illusion: It’s a vast government conspiracy and everybody is in on it but me. They are terrible cars that will explode and betray you, no matter how meticulously you care for them. Isn’t that right, Optima, you fickle bitch?! You broke my heart! And for what? A measly 15,000 miles? I thought we had something! I spent two years inside of you. Does that mean nothing?!

#5. Dealing With the Dealer

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You need to treat the first few moments at a dealership like an old-timey mobster being interrogated by the coppers: You don’t say nothin’ about nothin’. Financing? What’s that? Trade-ins? Ha, what a hilarious portmanteau of gibberish! Price range? I don’t even speak English.

The first step is just and only to find the car you want, go over it carefully, take stock of any work that needs doing, and barter out the final price. Only when that’s all settled do you talk about trading in something. Why would you discuss trade-ins right up front if you haven’t even found a car you like? You’re not even sure you’re shopping there yet. The grocery store doesn’t pull you aside when you walk in the doors and ask how much you’re planning to spend today. So why do dealerships always want to know your price, payment and trades first? Because it gives them leverage against you: “Oh, well, if we’re going to do you a favor and take this trade-in off your hands, you have to buy one of these pre-selected vehicles.” Or, “Oh, you’re financing? Those aren’t our finance cars. Our finance cars are all dull red Kias; let’s go out back and take a look.”

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“Ignore the disembodied voices telling you to flee. That’s a. feature. Ghost-voicing. Costs extra.”

That’s bullshit. Everything is a finance car. Just like everything is a cash car. The car does not care how you pay for it. It is a car. Even if it becomes sentient, it’s mostly only going to care about fighting crime and ramping shit, like K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. And brother, if that happens: You let it. You buy yourself a leather jacket and a perm and get the fuck out of there; your car search is over.

#4. Vehicle Inspection

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There are a few basic things you can check, even if you know nothing about cars. First thing you want to do is get right up close against the side of the front fender. (This should also serve to draw out any potential sentient-car crime-fighting partners, as they cannot resist wisecracking and will likely say something cute like, “Geez, buy me dinner first.” If so, then you’re done: It’s all cowhide coverings and curly hair for the rest of your days.) If there’s little to no rapport between you and the vehicle at this point, just sight down the trim lines to make sure they’re straight with no fluctuations — offset doors, fenders, and uneven lines could indicate frame damage. Look around the engine bay at the spots where the metal struts come together — the joints should be straight, with no signs of recent welding. Take a look underneath the car and watch for rust on the rails, in the wheel wells, or basically anywhere else. Be afraid of rust. Rust is the mind-killer. You’ll think you can take rust — it’s just some pansy little oxidation, right? But you can’t. Rust is better than you. Rust will laugh at your feeble angle grinders; it will spit at your steel wool and mock your puny acids. Rust will shrug off all your mightiest efforts and then, when you are broken, it will take your woman in a way that you never could.

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“F. from behind? I don’t know, man; I’m just a chemical process.”

Also remember to CHECK. THE. FUCKING. FLUIDS. Don’t just stare at the engine with your dick in your hand, wondering if you could stop the flywheel with your cock (no matter how awesome it would be to seize a V8 with nothing but your willpower and steely erection, this is not the time for it). Pull those dipsticks out and check the reservoirs. Brake fluid is, in an ideal world, clear to slightly yellowish. But the world we live in is broken and flawed, so it’s usually tea-colored. If it looks like strong coffee, you’re going to need to bleed the brake system, at the very least. That’s a few hundred dollars right there. It doesn’t require a lot of know-how or expensive parts, so you’re going to want to do it yourself.

Do not.

Bleeding brakes is exactly as traumatic as bleeding your only child, only it takes like, four times as long (depending on size and age of child). Check the oil: If it looks like a Wendy’s chocolate Frosty, just turn around and run. Run as fast as you can. Hop into your car and tear ass out of that dealership like The Dukes of Hazzard. That means a blown head-gasket, and it is death. If somebody assures you, “It’ll still run,” you can respond, “So will a man with no legs, if you shoot at him enough; that doesn’t mean he’ll get far.” (The casual murder references let ’em know you mean business.)

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“Hi, Bob. Nice to meet you. I’ve killed four men. Every one of them stole from me.”

Make sure the coolant is clear, the transmission fluid is red or purplish (just not black or oily) and all the belts and hoses are free of cracks. Finally, if it’s a new car or a big expense, you buy yourself a copy of a program like Torque, then go on eBay and get an ODBII scanner. Plug that into the car (the ODB slot is usually beneath the dash on the driver’s side) and you can see literally everything about its engine in real time, right there on your smartphone. Do me a favor and look at the salesman’s face when you do it: See that expression? That’s what hope looks like, as it leaves the world. He’s just realized he’s not going to win this one, because you’re from the future — you’ve already done this deal.


Should You Buy a Used Rental Car? #auto #gps


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Should You Buy a Used Rental Car?

(General Motors)

For rental cars, it turns out, there s an afterlife. Each year, rental agencies sell portions of their fleet to consumers and dealerships, so it s possible that if you re in the market for a used car, you ve considered buying a former rental. Last year, Hertz sold 27,000 retired rental cars and plans to increase its sales this year by 65 percent, reports Automotive News. Many rental companies have car sales divisions including Enterprise. Budget Rent A Car and Avis. Buying a former rental car is just like buying any other used car. It s wise to get it inspected by a mechanic you trust and request a vehicle history report so you re aware of any prior accidents. However, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a used rental car.

What Can You Expect?

Some rental car companies sell directly to consumers from their own lots. Others sell them at public or dealer-only auctions, where they might be listed as program cars, defined by the Federal Trade Commission as low-mileage, current-model-year vehicles returned from short-term leases or rentals.

Most of the retired cars Hertz sells have between 25,000 and 40,000 on them, according to its website. If you re looking for a used car with the lowest possible mileage, it s worth noting that rental car companies are keeping their fleet vehicles in service longer than they used to. The average age of a Hertz rental vehicle nearly doubled from 10 months in 2006 to 18 months in 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported last year.

Wear and Tear/Warranties

Typically, rental car companies are diligent about keeping their fleet in shape, says Auto Trader. adding that some rental agencies have in-house mechanics, while others take their vehicles to the dealership for maintenance.

However, you ll never know all the details about a car s past. Depending on a car s age and mileage, it may still be covered by the manufacturer s original warranty, and most bumper-to-bumper warranties will carry over from owner to owner, says Edmunds.com. On the other hand, Edmunds.com points out that most powertrain warranties will not carry over to another owner.

Like you ll find on many used car lots, cars on rental sales lots might include a limited powertrain warranty or be offered with a service contract or extended warranty, which usually cost extra. The terms of a contract depend on the company, says the FTC. and it s worth looking into what is covered to make sure it doesn t overlap with an existing warranty. You should also find out who is responsible for repairs.

Know the Fair Market Value

It s important to know the fair market value for a used rental car and shop around for the best price before deciding to buy it. Look for a similar used car from a private seller and a used car dealer and compare prices to see if buying a used rental car will save you money or not. Hertz Car Sales lists a 2013 Chevrolet Impala LT in Leesburg, Va. with 36,000 miles for $15,998 ($14,898 with promotions). According to Kelley Blue Book. the same model in good condition with 36,000 miles would cost about $14,307 if you bought it from a private seller. We found a certified pre-owned 2013 Impala LT with similar mileage for sale at a Maryland Chevrolet dealer for $16,500.

Many rental companies offer additional incentives to try to get you to buy one of their used rental cars. With each purchase, Enterprise Car Sales includes CARFAX vehicle history reports, a one-year/12,000-mile powertrain warranty and a year of roadside assistance with the American Automobile Association (AAA). Keep in mind that you can get a CARFAX report at any used car dealer and most dealers offer some kind of extended warranty.

Accident Records

When looking for records of accidents with a retired rental car, buyers should be aware that a rental may not have the same records as a private vehicle, John Nielsen, managing director, AAA Automotive Engineering and Repair, told MSN Autos. adding that because rental companies have their own insurance, not all accidents will have a claim on record. That s why having the car inspected by a mechanic is especially important, he pointed out.

As with any used car purchase, buying a retired rental means doing your homework, taking it on a test drive and getting a thorough inspection. Would you consider buying a retired rental car?

In the market for a used car? Check out the U.S. News Used Car Rankings. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook .