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preparing to buy a car

Carvana

Carvana can be considered a dealership that sells used cars in the United States. The particularity of this institution is that sales are made via the Internet. So, it is quite easy to make a purchase wherever and whenever.

This dealership stands out for the car retail. Also, it allows direct financing of the units it sells. In general, to purchase a vehicle, you only have to access the website of the institution, and it will show you a list of those that are available. You must follow the steps and select the mode of financing to make the purchase.

A positive aspect of the dealership is that they provide a 7-day warranty. That is important because you don’t know precisely the conditions of the vehicle until you drive it. If you do not like the vehicle during that period, you can return it, or receive a refund. Usually, they deliver the purchased car for free to most cities. There are certain cities, depending on the location, that requires a fee.

Carvana could revolutionize the way vehicles are sold in the future because it is very practical, easy, and safe.

A Guide To Selecting The Best Used Cars Under $10,000

In my preceding article, ” A Guide To Selecting The Best Used Car”, I listed my personal criteria for finding the best used car in the $10,000 and up price range. My criteria is based on over forty five years of buying and selling cars and over 17 years of selling new and used cars for a dealer. I do hope that you found the article interesting and informative. This article focuses on the buying of a used car less than $10,000, and, as you will see, most of the same criteria apply.

Because of my background in selling Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans, I firmly believe that these brands offer the consumer the “best reliability factor.” Also, very respected magazines such as Consumer Reports gives the highest reliability ratings to Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia. I mention this because when purchasing a used car under $10,000, reliability in the long run is extremely important. Many buyers prefer GM, Ford and Chrysler and that’s fine. The criteria that I list in this article applies to all brands and all models. As an example, if you are looking at a 2007 Jeep Wrangler, it is very important to research the car. Does the Jeep have the right mileage for a 2007 Jeep Wrangler? Are you able to get a Car Fax on the vehicle? Check the interior and exterior condition and of course have a trusted mechanic thoroughly inspect the car.

If you are looking for a $2000 to $4000 car, the first advise I have is to be very careful. A car that sells in this price range is usually 8 – 15 years old and most likely has accumulated many miles. The most important thing is to have a trusted, qualified mechanic inspect the car to make sure it is in good running order. No one wants to buy a car only to find it needs $500 or more in repairs to get it back on the road.

I realize that purchasing any car is, to some people, an emotional decision, and that reliability may not play as important a role in the buyer’s purchasing decision. I experienced this as a salesman. People are spending a lot of money for a car and they want the car that excites them. My main point here is to keep in mind that I am guiding you to buying the best used car under $10,000.

So, when purchasing a used car or truck for $10,000 or less, these are the most important factors to consider:

1.  Road test the car

Road testing a used car, in any price range, is vitally important. Even more so for a car that is in this price range. It is a tricky thing to know how the car was maintained unless the buyer obtains a Car Fax. One of the negatives of purchasing an older car from a private party is that the seller may not have service records of previous owners of the car. Have a mechanic road test the car to listen for pings and noises that might indicate mechanical problems.

2.  ESC – Electronic Stability Control

3.  ABS – Anti-lock braking system

4.  Appropriate mileage for the model year

For example, a 2010 car should have around 96,000 miles on it. The formula is 12,000 miles per year.

5.  A thorough mechanical inspection by a trusted, reliable and  qualified mechanic.

6.  A car fax (if purchasing from a dealer)

7.  Reliable Dealer


I prefer purchasing a used car from a dealer because the car (depending on age) will have a dealer and state warranty. Also, the dealer has serviced the car to make sure it is mechanically sound. The dealer has reconditioned the car, checked the engine and transmission, inspected the suspension, brakes, steering and cooling system and checked that the tires have good tread. A good used car dealer will only sell a car if it is in the best operating condition because of reputation and cost management. If you do intend to buy a car from a private party, be extremely cautious. Remember you are buying the car “as is.”

Listed below are the 10 most reliable used cars under $10,000, as determined by U.S. News and World Report.

Model Reliability Average Price Score
2009 Hyundai Genesis 5/5 $8051 9.5/10
2008 Mercedes Benz E-Class 4/5 $9368 9.5/10
2010 Ford Fusion 5/5 $7548 9.3/10
2008 Acura RL 5/5 $8410 8.9/10
2009 Audi A3 5/5 $7747 9.2/10
2010 Lexus ES 5/5 $8781 9.3/10
2007 Honda Accord 4.5/5 $5002 9.3/10
2010 Mazda Miata 5/5 $9794 9.1/10
2009 Saturn Outlook 5/5 $7329 9.2/10
2009 Toyota Sienna 5/5 $9432 9.2/10

Listed below are the 10 most reliable used cars under $10,000, as determined by Consumer Reports.

Compact Cars

Pontiac Vibe 2008 – 2010
Toyota Matrix 2008 – 2010
Kia Soul 2010 – 2012
Mazda 3 2009 – 2012
Toyota Corolla 2008 – 2011
Toyota Prius 2008 – 2009

Sedan Cars:

Mazda 6 2009 – 2011
Honda Accord 2008 – 2009
Toyota Camry 2008 – 2009

Summary:

In my opinion, for all car buyers searching for a used car $10,000 or less, the following are the most important things to do:

  1. Road test the car
  2. If possible, buy a car with ESC – Electronic Stability Control
  3. Buy a car with ABS – Antilock Braking System
  4. Buy a car with the appropriate mileage
  5. Have the car thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic
  6. If purchasing from dealer, obtain a Car Fax
  7. Purchase from a reliable dealer
  8. Remember that reliability is just as important as affordability
  9. Check with Kelley Blue Book for used car pricing
  10.  

By following the guidelines above, you are insuring that you purchase the best car possible within your budget.

Happy Motoring!

Remember for your auto parts, please shop online from Amazon.com, Tirerack.com, and Vividracing.com.

A Guide to Selecting The Best Used Car Over $10,000

What are the best used cars? This is a “loaded” question because what’s best for one person is not necessarily the best for someone else. A person on a very limited budget may only afford a $2000 car as compared to someone who has $2000 to put down as a down payment. For purposes of this article, I am referring to the “best” used cars as those that are considered the most reliable by Consumer Reports and have purchase prices of $10,000 (retail price) or more.

Since 2003, I have purchased only used Japanese cars. I am a firm believer that the most reliable cars present the best overall “value” to the consumer. What do I mean by “value?” It equates to those cars that offer the most quality and product for the money. I admit to having a bias for Japanese car brands, but that bias is based upon research and many years of experience buying and selling cars.

Consumer Reports, which is my “bible” for rating the reliability of automobiles, has consistently rated Honda, Subaru, Mazda, Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia as the top rated new and used cars. For luxury brands, they rate Infiniti, Lexus and Acura as the most reliable, although it varies by each model year. Toyota has a popular advertising slogan: “The best new cars make the best used cars” which directly reflects the findings of Consumer Reports.

So, reliability is the most important factor in selecting the brand and model of a used car. Once you have chosen a brand, here are the most important things to look for when purchasing a used car:

1.  Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

ESC is computerized technology that improves a car’s stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction. In essence, ESC regulates the degree of traction and helps prevent skidding in inclement weather. I recommend that the used car that you purchase have ESC. (most cars after 2012 have ESC standard.

2. Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS)

ABS is a safety anti-skid system that operates to prevent wheels to lock up during braking. This is a “must-have” feature and is standard in many used cars from 2012 on.

3.  Thorough Examination

Have a “trusted” mechanic, or technician, check out the used car before you buy it. The mechanic will check all operating systems to make sure that they are in good running order. The most important things are: to check the engine and transmission for cracks and leaks; check transmission to make sure it is not slipping; check brake pads and rotors for wear; check axle and suspension for wear – look for cracked ball joints and leaking wheel bearings; check all belts and hoses for wear; check to make sure heating and air conditioning are in proper working order; check tires for wear; check flasher and lights; and, check exterior and interior for wear. This is a vitally important check on the overall condition of the car to make sure it was well maintained by the previous owner(s).

4.  Certified Cars

Certified cars are the most recent model year offerings that have had 120 to 160 point dealer mechanical inspections. They have the best exterior and interior condition and offer certified limited power train warranties that extend the standard manufacturer’s power train warranty to 7 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first (from date of original ownership when new). There is, in addition, a 12 month or 12,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with most certified warranties. I recommend certified cars because they offer security to the buyer in that the car has been thoroughly inspected and serviced, and, as such, protects the buyer from mechanical problems for a specified time and mileage.

5.  Reliable Dealer

Buy from a reliable dealer rather than a private owner. Why? Because when buying the car from a dealer you are protected by the manufacturer’s, dealer’s and state’s warranty. You get no warranty when purchasing a used vehicle from a private party. You buy the car “as is.”

6.  Mileage

A good tip is to always purchase a used car with low mileage. 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year is the normally accepted benchmark for a used car.

7.  Ask for a Car Fax

A Car Fax gives the service history, lists the owner(s) and any recorded accidents. All Certified Cars come with Car Faxes.

In conclusion, I thoroughly agree with the year-by-year findings of Consumer Reports that the best used cars are those manufactured by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Infiniti and Acura. The “best” means the best value and the most reliable. After you have decided on make and model, make sure the used car you are purchasing has: ESC, ABS, a thorough mechanical inspection by a trusted technician, a manufacturer’s certification and, has low, or normal mileage. It is also very important to buy from a reliable dealer rather than from a private party. The above facts are based on my many years of car ownership and over 17 years of experience as an automobile salesman. If you utilize the information above to serve as a guide to purchase a used car, you are insuring yourself a quality car and trouble free driving for many years to come.

Happy Motoring!

Remember for your auto parts, please shop online from Amazon.com,  Tirerack.com and Vividracing.com.

When Buying a New Car Follow These Simple Guidelines

Buying a car is a major investment and sometimes a stressful process. It can be exhilarating when you find the perfect car at a reasonable price. Though there is great value in purchasing a used vehicle, buying one “fresh off the lot” is a personal aspiration of many.

A new car has state-of-the-art engineering, the latest style, better fuel efficiency, and newest innovations. It will also have the latest safety devices. Then there’s that new car smell!  It’s thrilling to own a car that is truly yours, one that’s never been driven by anyone else!

With a new car comes peace of mind. You need not worry about the car’s history or question its accident history. Dealerships will offer you attractive incentives for buying a new car. It can be anything from a cash rebate to 0% financing. Manufacturers also offer incentives for new car sales.

There are several ways to search for a new car. Dealerships typically advertise in local newspapers and television.  There are many websites that offer new cars for sale and others who provide detailed reviews of new vehicles. Safety reports are available on the Internet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Consider the resale value of the car. Every car loses its value once you drive away from the dealership. Some vehicles maintain their value very well. You will want that virtue when you are ready to replace your vehicle. Refer to the Kelley Blue Book website to get an idea of the vehicle’s resale value.

Once you go to a dealership, don’t pick the first car you like. Visit other dealerships and look at more vehicles. Take your time. Once you know that you have found your perfect car, begin negotiating the price. The “sticker price” is always higher than the actual worth because the dealer will then have room to negotiate down in price.

Buying a car is not a one-time expense. You should think of its cost as the total cash outflow over its lifetime. You will have also have registration, insurance, maintenance costs. So do not spend all your money on the purchase of the vehicle itself.

2019 Toyota Rav4: Review and Commentary

The new 2019 Toyota Rav 4 is the best Rav 4 since its introduction in 1995.  It has state-of-the art technology, a better quality interior, an array of safety features and the most comfort and convenience features ever in a Rav 4.

The new Rav 4 is slightly shorter, a bit wider and has a longer wheelbase.  It is available in front-wheel drive or all wheel drive.  Its standard engine is a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder, and, a new hybrid model will be arriving soon.  The new Rav 4 is slightly lower than last year’s model.  An 8-speed automatic is standard on all models.  The hybrid version will have a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

  • New Exterior Styling

Exterior Styling is more aggressive and edgy – more truck like.  There is a strong resemblance to the 4 Runner and Tacoma pickup.  Because of its longer wheelbase, it has a shorter front and rear overhang.  It has more “rugged” styled roof-rails.  The new Rav 4 has higher ground clearance.  Some models have a contrasting roof color.

 

  • All New Interior

*  The Rav 4 interior has higher quality materials, and it too has more “edgy” styling

*  7″ touchscreen is positioned on top of the dashboard

*  8″ touchscreen is included in an upgrade package.  The 8″ screen has an infotainment system with built in navigation

*   A digital display rear view mirror switches from a conventional mirror to a rear view monitor

*   Other upgrades include a panoramic roof, ventilated seats and hands-free power lift gate

  • Technology

*   Rear camera with a wide angle picture in the rear view mirror

*   7.0″ touchscreen is standard and comes with:

  • Apple Car Play
  • Amazon Alexa connectivity
  • Wi-Fi antenna

*   8.0″ touchscreen (optional and/or as part of upper trim levels) has

  • JBL audio system
  • Up to 5 USB ports and charging pad for Qi compatible devices
  • Higher trim levels have a 7.0 inch TFT display in the instrument cluster (driver’s line of sight)
  • Climate and comfort controls are located below infotainment screen
  • A control knob for different off-road drive modes is positioned next to the transmission lever.  This is a standard feature on all Rav 4 trim levels

*  Engine

  • Engine has been revised to produce 15% more horsepower than last year
  • The hybrid model will be more powerful than the standard 4-cylinder models
  • Expect considerably higher MPG than 4-cylinder models

*  Transmission

  • 8 – speed automatic on all 2.5 liter 4-cylinder models
  • Continuous variable transmission (CVT) on hybrid models

Note:  As of this writing, there are no specifics as to the different trim levels, and, there are no specifics as to which features go with each trim level.

*  Safety

All new Rav 4’s come with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 that has a bevy of safety features including:

  • Forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian detection
  • Advanced adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keeping assist with lane-trace assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Auto high-beam headlights
  • Traffic sign reader
  • Optional blind-spot monitors, surround-view camera and rear cross-traffic braking

*  All-Wheel Drive System

  • New, all-wheel drive system features a rear drive train disconnect that deactivates the rear wheels when demand is low

– Benefit:  Improved highway MPG

Note:  Available on upper trim levels

  • The Hybrid All Wheel Drive model will feature its own all wheel drive system that sends more power to the wheels than the 4-cylinder (gasoline) models.

What Do We Like?

  • The new technology and safety features
  • The overall smoothness of the engine, transmission and ride quality
  • The terrific hybrid model’s MPG
  • The better quality interior materials and improved interior layout
  • The new multi-terrain control knob select system
  • The more rugged styling
  • The outstanding quality, fit and finish and reliability
  • The new all wheel drive system
  • More luxury features
  • One of the largest interior volumes in its class

Overall, the new 2019 Rav 4 is improved in every aspect.  It has a myriad of safety and comfort features.  It has more power and increased MPG.  It offers a new, top-of-the line hybrid model that incorporates all the new features and the highest MPG.  Above all, it is a Toyota:  highest reliability, high MPG, high resale value and equipped with an assortment of comfort, convenience and safety features.

Bottom line – You cannot go wrong with a Toyota.  Check out the new Toyota Rav 4.  They should be in Toyota showrooms now.

Happy Motoring!

Remember for your auto parts, please shop online from Amazon.com, Tirerack.com and Vividracing.com.

Thank you.

Kreativecars.com

Save Money When You Buy Your Next Car: Part Two

As a follow up to Part One, I want to make it clear how knowing what you want saves you money when purchasing your next car.

There are basically three reasons why people go to an automobile showroom.  One, they are there solely to look at different models on display.  Two, they are there to gather information, i.e., fact finding, and, three, they have already finished steps one and two and are ready to buy the car, either today or soon.  The trained sales person qualifies potential customers to find out why they are in the showroom, and, since it is this third group of people who are the ones most likely to buy a car, the sales person’s focus is directed exclusively to them.  Customers who are “just looking around” or strictly there to gather information are least likely to get a competitive price from the salesperson because they are not willing, at this time, to commit themselves to purchasing a car today.  The customer who is “looking around”, getting information and asking for prices and not committed to buy, will not get a competitive price: the sales person will quote (and I know this from personal experience as a retired car salesman) an approximate price.  For example, the 2018 Toyota Camry LE is “around” $25,000 plus taxes and fees.  If a customer was not ready to purchase the car that day, some sales people are instructed, by their managers, to not quote prices at all unless the customer disclosed they were ready to buy the car today.  This was the conclusion of Part One:  No customer commitment to purchase equals no competitive price.

Commitment means that the customer tells the salesperson, up front, that they are interested in purchasing a car today; or, that they have already received quotes from other dealers and are ready to buy, now, if your price is competitive.  Note: it is the salesperson’s job to find out what the customer’s time frame is for buying a car, if the customer has not disclosed this.

This brings us to another way in which the customer can save money: get at least three quotes, in writing, from the salesperson at three different dealerships, make sure that each quote has the make, model, trim level desired equipment and/or packages and MSRP of the exact car you are interested in.  By doing this, you are guaranteeing that you get each dealer’s best price on the car that you want.

I also purchased many cars before I became an auto salesperson and for years I didn’t know that this was the best course of action in securing a “good” price, and, as a result, I paid too much for the car.  Being in the car business for many years, I learned that the best way to get the best price from each dealer was to get at least three quotes on the exact car you are interested in.  Many customers purchase from a dealer with the lowest price.  But others, like myself, will compare quotes and purchase the car at the dealer whose price is competitive and whose salesperson I preferred because the salesperson treated me with respect.

In conclusion, saving money when purchasing a car is: (1) a commitment by the customer to purchase the car (2) getting three quotes from three dealers and (3) then deciding which dealership and salesperson you feel the most comfortable with.  If you follow these simple guidelines, you will definitely save money and you will have peace of mind when purchasing your next car.

Remember for your auto parts, please shop online from Amazon.com, Tirerack.com and Vividracing.com.

Thank you.

Kreativecars.com