5 Tips for Buying a Used Car

Alfa Romeo Spider

Alfa Romeo Spider

Car buying is on a new upswing.  Reuters recently reported that overall car buying (new and used) has risen drastically in the past 4 years.  Car sales rose 13 percent to 1,188,865 cars and light trucks sold during the month of September at U.S. auto dealerships.  That was the best month since March 2008, just after the start of the recession and this shows promise for the auto industry.

The upswing is mainly due to rising consumer confidence, making people feel safer to open their wallets on car purchases.  However, many Americans are still feeling the tight with their money in this economy as it is still moving at a snail’s pace.  That’s why more people are considering used cars over new cars these days.  If you are one of these people here are “5 Tips for Buying a Used Car.”

Preparation is Key

Preparation is crucial in a used car buying search. Spending time researching different models and trims can help you get a better price and know what car fits your needs. The internet offers a wealth of information about used cars – learn about the different models, options, reliability, prices, etc.  The more you know the better, the better prepared you are to find the car you want and get a good deal.

Check Your Credit

If you’re a used car buyer with potential credit issues who might find it difficult in getting approved for a loan, again turn to the internet to better educate yourself. Better yet, you should probably know your credit rating in advance, so the entire discussion about financing and credit isn’t a surprise to you.

I recommend you look for a reputable credit union that will offer great financing for pre-owned and used vehicles at reasonable rates.  Credit unions offer much better financing than what you will find at a bank all with personalized service.  Credit unions actually offer the same loan rates on new cars as used cars, making them straightforward and easy to understand.  They can also help you improve your credit and some even offer classes on financial literary.

Do the Numbers

When seeking a used car, know what your budget is and where it will be a year from now. Don’t shop for a cool luxury convertible car if you’re living on a shoestring budget, try to find a reasonable and sensible small car that will be easy and not expensive to maintain and insure.

Most used car buyers try to manage a down payment of about 20 percent, while financing the rest. But don’t let that get away from you either.  I don’t recommending financing a car for more than four years (48 months), and it is a good idea to keep your monthly payment lower than 10 percent of your total income.

You can find great tools online to figure out what a reasonable monthly car payment is for you.  It’s best to pay for the car as much upfront as you can but most will need to borrow a little money.

Get the Car Checked

You NEED to get any used car you are considering buying checked and inspected by a reputable independent mechanic BEFORE you buy it.  Unless you are a gearhead, like me, and know what to look for in used cars it’s not a good idea to just take a dealership or individuals word on the history of a car.

Did you know that there is no law requiring body shops to report work they have done on vehicles they work on?  A friend’s dad is master painter and bodyman and he can make any vehicle that has been in a serious accident look new again.  Meaning Carfax reports can be completely clean, but not tell the whole story about the car.

Eyes that know what to look for will be able to see if a car has been in an accident or if it needs any mechanical fixed to be road-worthy.  Having a used car checked out before you buy it is very important.

Watch for Trade Ins

Most used car dealers will ask if you’re trading in a car for the new/used car you’ve got your eye on.  You want to be careful about talking with the dealership about this.  Trade-in talk shouldn’t enter into the negotiation process in my opinion.  Smart used car buyers consider trade-in cars as a separate transaction, and as such don’t mention a trade-in factor into the conversation until the end.  Also you will likely get more for your used car if you sold it online via Craigslist or other local ad listing service or website.  Did you know that dealerships typically make a killing on used car trade-ins and not much on selling new cars?  One of dealerships dirty little secrets!  To be sure you are getting a good deal utilize sites like ClearBook.com which assess the value of your used car for the approximate trade-in value.  You will find you typically won’t get a good deal.

So don’t fret if you are a first-time used car buyer or don’t have the best credit rating in the world.  There are plenty of great tools to help you and you should always be looking for opportunities to buy if you are in the market for a new car.  Ask friends, family, and neighbors if they know of any good used cars for sale.  If you have any questions about buying a used car please leave a comment below.

 

Ferrari Unveils F12 Berlinetta, The Most Powerful Ferrari Road Car Ever

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

Ferrari recently reveled it’s latest automotive achievement, the F12 Berlinetta. The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta will be the most powerful Ferrari road car to date, equipped with a V12 engine that pumps out an astonishing 740-horsepower. That is an increase of 120-horses over the outgoing 599 GTB Fiorano which the F12 Berlinetta replaces. Amedeo Felisa, Ferrari’s CEO, has reassured Ferrari fans that the Italian company will be sticking with V12′s, even with growing environmental concerns and pressure to use smaller turbocharged engines. (Take that Prius!) However the new engine will be 30 percent more fuel efficient.

Since the F12 only weighs 3362 lbs (of course I assume that is a dry weight number) and Ferrari has used next generation alloys on the all-new aluminium spaceframe chassis, making overall rigidity increase b 20 percent, this means the F12 Berlinetta will accelerate from 0-60 mph in a ridiculous 3.1 seconds, and 0-124mph in 8.5 seconds. The top speed is 211 mph! On top of that the F12 Berlinetta laps Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in just 1 minute and 23 seconds. That is faster than the much loved and coveted Ferrari Enzo can do around Fiorano.  The only current competition for the Ferrari seems to be the Lamborghini Aventador.

As with any supercar looks are key and the F12 Berlinetta does not fail in this category. The F12 takes design cues and elements from the Ferrari California and Ferrari FF, but the F12 has more sleek and muscular lines giving it a more sporty stance. Looking at pictures of the F12 is reminiscent of looking at the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition models. This is due in part to a design cooperation between Pinninfarina, the well know Italian design company, and the Ferrari Styling Center. We can only look forward to more supercar greatness from Ferrari.

International Bikini Team Finals at the Timonium Motorcycle Show

I think what most guys enjoyed at the 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show, besides all the amazing motorcycles of course, was the International Bikini Team contest, which had several events over the three day show. The best event by far was obviously the Bikini Round.  It was a definite highlight to see all those beautiful ladies walk around in minimal clothing. While the Bikini contest was taking place though someone several booths had some sort of medical emergency and the women hosting the contest ask, “Is there a Doctor here anywhere?” One of the Bikini contestants, Malissa, ran off the stage and through the crowd to help. She is a registered nurse. Additionally several of the other bikini contestants had similar training. I wasn’t able to see what was going on, but it is nice to know beautiful Bikini clad ladies can help. When the Bikini contest resumed Hannah Baker was announced the winner. She will get a chance to compete in the International Bikini Team U.S. Finals in the Bahamas this coming August. What a lucky girl Hannah is! Second place was the Malissa Jayne and third place was Julia Tirenna.  All the girls deserved a prize in my opinion though.

Tori Praver Creates the Greatest Racetrack in History

I hope everyone is enjoying Valentine’s Day.  I am sure most people are enjoying roses, chocolates, cards, e-cards, and… well doing you know what!

If you didn’t know the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition went on sale today.  The stunning Kate Upton made the cover.

Another stunning model, among many, in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is Tori Praver.  Her curvaceous body will make men go crazy.  Lexus has smartly capitalized on this in a very interesting way for the ad campaign for the all-new 2013 GS sedan.

In a new Youtube video Lexus features the TORI 500, showcasing a real racetrack that was inspired by the design of Tori Praver’s body.  Supermodels curves are finally being put to good use.

The video shows the process of taking the pictures and making the racetrack.  Two professional race-car drivers are tasked with going around the track, in a Lexus GS of course.  They compete for a special prize, a victory lap with Tori Praver.  Winning feels great, but driving on the racetrack inspired by a supermodel with the supermodel riding shotgun, priceless!

The luxury car company also has four-page spread in the latest issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine.  As we all know guys from 13-113 go bonkers for this magazine.  Since it features some of the world’s most beautiful women.

Lexus, this is genius!  Actually I would say that the Tori Praver inspired racetrack is the greatest racetrack designed in history. Please give us more supermodel racetracks!

If you want to drive the track, you can with a Tori 500 game for the iPhone.

 

16th Annual Import vs. Domestic World Cup Finals – Nov. 5-6th

One of the largest car shows and events in Maryland is taking place this weekend (November 5-6th, 2011) at the Maryland International Raceway, the 16th Annual Import vs. Domestic World Cup Finals.  It will feature drag racing, a great custom car show, a huge vendor midway, live music, DJS, and a bikini contest (of course it must be cold for the girls in November!).

The car show should have 500 cars of all types.  Cruisers, hot rod, tuners, classics, imports, exotics, etc.  So there should be something there to fit everyone’s tastes.  The vendor midway will have over 2000 different vendors selling a huge variety of automotive products.  The stunning model Jessica Barton will host the bikini contest and car show awards to the winners.

In the past thousands of people have attended.  It will be a great time, so be sure to go if you are free this weekend.

Maryland International Raceway
27861 Budds Creek Road
Mechanicsville, MD 20659

For more info visit: http://www.importvsdomestic.com/