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saving money

How to Maintain Your Car’s Resale Value

I have seen a lot of cars and trucks in my lifetime.  It was part of my job as a car salesman to observe and evaluate the condition of customer’s cars.  Through experience, I got a “feel” for the trade-in value of cars.  Cars that had been well maintained, mechanically and cosmetically, were valued hundreds, even thousands of dollars more than the same make, model and year of cars that had been neglected.

This article will tell you how to maintain your car so that when it is time to sell or trade it you will receive the maximum value.

Guideline#1:  Clean the exterior of your  car – wash, clean and wax.

Keeping the finish of your car clean from bird droppings, dirt, chemicals and acid rain, cleaning the exterior at least twice a month will minimize any damage to its finish.

Guideline #2:  Buy and use auto protective sprays to protect and preserve the exterior vinyl (plastic) trim.

Armor  All Outlast is an excellent product for this purpose.  Use Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover to remove tar and bugs from body panels and bumpers.

Guideline #3:  Keep interior clean and shiny.

Try to avoid getting scratches in the dash, doors and instrument panel.  Here are some examples of protective interior sprays:

Armor All(tm): Interior Detailer Spray and Armor All(tm): Outlast Interior Restorer Cream.

Vacuum upholstery, carpeting and mats.  Use Turtle Wax: Power Out Upholstery Cleaner to remove stains and dirt from fabric and leather seats.  After vacuuming, wash and dry floor mats.  Use car carpet cleaners to remove dirt from carpeted mats.

Another very important consideration when maintaining your interior is to keep it smelling clean.  There are numerous auto deoderants available to keep the interior smelling clean and pleasant.  Avoid smoking inside the car as cigarette smoke is a major deterrent to potential car buyers.


Guideline #4:  Dings and Dents

Have exterior dings and dents repaired by an auto professional before selling or trading-in car.

Guideline #5:  Keep the car in good “running” condition.

Have the oil and filter changed every 3000 to 4000 miles.  Keep fluids at the proper level.  Periodically check all belts and hoses for wear and replace when necessary.  Replace spark plugs at 105,000 miles or check in owner’s manual for your car’s time table to change spark plugs.  Any unusual noises or vibrations should be investigated.  Of primary concern are noises emanating from the engine, transmission and suspension system.

Guideline #6:  Have minor issues resolved before they turn into major problems.

Major problems equal major expenditures.  By keeping up with small issues you will avoid spending a lot of money on repairs “down the road.”  I know some people prefer to fix their own cars in order to save money.  I advocate this if you have the time available to do the work and if you know how to professionally repair your car.  But, most people realize that many mechanical problems require the use of diagnostic computers that pin-point the problem, and this can only be done at the car dealership.  Minor problems can be repaired by a trusted and reputable repair shop.

Guideline #7:  Keep your alloy wheels clean and shiny.

Before selling your car, have scratches and dings removed by professional alloy wheel re-conditioners.

Guideline #8:  Keep your lights clean.

There are special cleaners such as Turtle Wax Headlight Lens Restorer, that give your lights that “new car look.”  For “very clouded” lights you can go to repair shops that can recondition the light bezels (covers).


Guideline #9:  Maintain records.

Keep all repair bills, oil changes, parts bills, emission reports, history of ownership and title documents.

Summarizing:

These are simple guidelines to keep your car properly maintained.  A well-maintained car runs smoothly and looks great, which equates to a car that, when ready to sell or trade, will command a considerably higher resale value than a similar model that has been neglected.  If you follow the nine guidelines laid out in this article, you are virtually guaranteed the highest resale value for your car.

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

Save Money When You Buy Your Next Car: Part One

As a former car salesman for over 17 years, I have had a lot of experience with buying and selling cars.  There are many factors involved in determining the actual car you buy, where you buy it, when you purchase it, and at what price you pay for it.

There are two basic vehicle purchase scenarios.  One is the traditional route of going to an automobile dealership and dealing directly with the salesperson and, two, is the more and more popular method of buying “online” and basically, by-passing the salesperson until it is deemed absolutely necessary to visit the showroom.

Let’s follow the traditional route for this article.  Many prospective buyers of this scenario come into the showroom to “look around”, ask a lot of questions, and ask for exact pricing.  At this point in the buying process, this consumer seems to have no idea what they are looking for, whether their selection will be a Toyota, Honda, Chevy, or Ford; whether it might be a used or new car, whether to choose a sedan or SUV, whether they have considered financing type, and when they want to buy the car.

I am mentioning all of this because all salespeople are paid almost entirely by commission, and since they are paid on commission, their income is based primarily on how many units they sell each month.  Sales managers set monthly quotas for each salesperson.  Therefore, a salesperson is entirely focused on the buyers who have a good idea which car they are interested in and who tell you that they are looking to buy a car fairly soon.

A salesperson’s job is to demonstrate one or two vehicles, and they guide the customer into selecting the “right” car for them, based on their needs and budget.  But, the customer should come into the dealership with a fairly good idea as to which vehicle they would like.  The salesperson encourages the customer to take the car for a test drive and points out the features and benefits of the particular model.  Upon return, it is customary to “negotiate” a “fair price” for both the customer and the dealership.

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