on 12.06.2010 12:09
While some might think the best shopping days have passed with Black Friday's deals, there are in fact many opportunities ahead for consumers to strike a great deal on a new car, SUV, or truck. With the month of December comes the last days of the year to take advantage of dealers across the country who are anxious to eliminate excess vehicle stock in hopes they'll receive their month- and year-end bonuses and avoid paying tax on excess inventory at year end. In fact, as the days wind down to 2011, manufacturers help dealers clear their showrooms of 2010 models by offering special lease deals, hefty discounts through low- or no-interest loans, and cash-back rebates on most new vehicles in their inventory.
To get the best value while you are shopping, learn as much as you can about the vehicles you're interested in purchasing by browsing the AutoMedia.com New Car Research center, and do some additional research on manufacturer sales incentives to assist you in making your final decision. The following links will help you skim the manufacturer's sales incentive sites while you also find additional information with links to models at our research site. Be aware that some deals are regional, and that the amount of money you could save depends on how well a vehicle is selling, so don't expect big discounts on popular models that are already in high demand; however, now is the best time to win excellent pricing on those remaining vehicles that have been languishing on dealer lots.
Be sure to research all make and model specifics such as standard features, options, fuel economy and pricing in our New Car Buyer's Guide to narrow down your search. More...
on 11.29.2010 15:23
When it's time to buy a new car–or a newer used one–what should you do with your current vehicle? Should you turn it over to the dealer, applying its value to the car you're buying? Maybe it's wiser to try and sell it yourself, privately? Mainly, the question is: how can you get the most for your old car without devoting an excessive amount of time and energy to the task.
Determining approximately what your old car should be worth isn't so difficult. Several used-car valuation guidebooks, online or in print, give average wholesale values; the price a dealer might be willing to pay at auction for the car.
Those valuations assume that the car is in a particular condition, variously described as Clean, Excellent, Good, Fair, etc. Condition makes a big difference in a car's worth.
Transparency in the trade-in process may be the solution to this dilemma, says Brian Skutta, general manager of the new Trade-in Marketplace for Auto Trader, a major online catalog of used cars for sale. Speaking at a Webinar sponsored by Auto Remarketing magazine, Skutta said this Trade-in Marketplace can give the consumer a "live" online offer for any car, which can then be traded-in at a participating dealer or redeemed for cash. More...
on 11.15.2010 13:49
When gas prices peaked above $4.00 a gallon in 2008-09, sales of big trucks plummeted. So did their used-vehicle values. Instead, shoppers turned to smaller, fuel-efficient models.
Then, not long after fuel prices began to ease, that trend toward shunning big vehicles started to reverse. By 2010, the appeal of full-size pickups and SUVs, new or secondhand, stood almost as strong as it had been before the fuel-price crisis. Compact cars and trucks gradually faded in desirability, settling into their usual levels.
Logic suggests that the BP disaster in spring 2010 would send shivers of alarm through the driving populace. As millions of barrels of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico, the incident signaled how vulnerable we may be. Yet, the Gulf spill appeared to have little impact on driving habits, fuel prices, or concern about the future. More...
on 11.01.2010 15:59
Car-shoppers facing financial difficulties have always had the option of turning to a secondhand model, even if they'd previously bought only new vehicles. The reason is obvious: used cars cost less. When dollars are short and job prospects limited, going secondhand (if not third- or fourth-hand) is the only sensible option.
Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting & analytics for Experian Automotive, looked into trends in new-to-used migration during the second quarter of 2010, for that company's Automotive Industry Insights.
Just a few years ago (in 2007), roughly 2.5 used vehicles were sold for each new one that went to a customer. Early in 2009, as financial turmoil reigned and a large number of workers lost their jobs, the ratio of used vehicles to new grew to 4.2-to-1. That broadened differential didn't last long, though. Today, about three used vehicles are registered for every new one that's titled.
Back in the 2007-08 time frame, just over one-fourth of people who disposed of a vehicle they'd bought new turned to a secondhand model instead. In 2009, that proportion peaked near 30 percent, before reverting close to one in four again in early 2010. More...
on 10.11.2010 12:28
People do seem to love contests. And winners. What movie fan can ignore the Academy Awards? Theatergoers turn to the Tony Awards. TV shows vie for Emmys, and musicians cultivate Grammys.
Automobiles are no exception when it comes to annual awards. Each January at Detroit's auto show, winners of the North American Car of the Year and Truck of the Year are announced–chosen by a panel of auto journalists. Various publications and organizations issue "car of the year" honors, generally selected by members of that particular group.
Voting is now underway for a contest that's a little different, in that consumers themselves make their voices heard. For the second season, vehicles are being considered for Internet Car of the Year and Internet Truck of the Year.
As founder Keith Griffin puts it, both "Internet Pros and the Average Joes" can pick car and truck of the year. Griffin says his is the only Internet site not dominated by automaker advertising, which lets consumers express their preferences. The site does not accept advertising from automakers with eligible vehicles. More...
on 10.04.2010 12:42
Automakers enthusiastically proclaim how different their latest models are from the competition. Details certainly differ, and some really are distinctive. Still, telling one car apart from another isn't so easy anymore.
Despite their claims of uniqueness, all too often the end result is more similar to others in its class than distinct from them. It was not always thus.
Back in the late 1950s and '60s, into the 1970s, a flurry of truly distinctive vehicles reached American shores. Most were economy-oriented, but even the most ordinary examples typically had something special about them. Others ranged from unique to odd to bizarre—each one a car with character. More...