November 18, 2010
I was attending an all Mustang car show on Sunday the 26TH 2010 with Camaro Cheryl at The Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys. While walking around the show, I saw this beautiful Brittany Blue 1968 Mustang with the licenses plate VIV 860. The owner of the car smiled and said “you want to take her off my hands?” I asked…. Why? He told me he had too many toys and needed room in the garage. I looked over the car and found it to be in GREAT condition and only 63, 700 original miles.
He showed me all of his very detailed documentation of the 1ST owner Martha Livingston. The original documentation was astounding. Cheryl and I left the show and went to lunch.
At lunch I could not get that car off my mind. I didn’t go to the show looking for a coupe. I wanted to get a 1971-1972 Convertible. Cheryl encouraged me to go back and look at the car again. We returned to the show just as it was closing. I looked at the car again and knew I had to get her.
I knew it was the perfect thing to do. The former owner gave me all the documentation on the car as well as the four 1ST Place trophies that Vivian had won in the past car shows for being all original.
I have all the original paper work and service records for the last 42 years! I will continue the documentation of this lovely ladies travels.
I love the classic cars. The more I learn about them the more I can help my self and others in this specialty field.
June 8, 2010
1. Know what you are paying for.
Here’s the scenario: You’re at the dealer and see a car you like. You ask, “What’s the price of this car?” The salesman replies, “Can you afford $400 a month?” This is when you should walk away. The key to any deal is to manage the numbers separately (the price of the car, fees, taxes, etc.). Getting preapproved at Burbank City allows you to handle the price of the vehicle without worrying about the financing numbers.
2 . EXTRAS! EXTRAS! (read all about them).
Alarm systems, GAP insurance, chrome wheels, extended warrantees and lease rates have negotiable costs. You can do research on your own or give me a call. I can offer specific advice and facts on how you may be able to save both money and time.
3. Take your time – do your homework.
Big, costly mistakes can happen fast at the dealership. I have members in my office every week that unknowingly put more cash in the dealer’s pocket because they didn’t do their research. Investigate rebates and incentives on the models you’re looking at. And don’t be pressured into signing forms you don’t understand. Taking time before you buy equals more cash in your Burbank City account!
4. Take a test drive.
This is the MOST important part of the car buying experience. What good is the deal, if you don’t like the way the car drives? Find out if you like the head room, storage space, how it feels and handles on the road, and try the heater, air-conditioner and entertainment system. Reduce your chance of “Buyers Remorse” by test-driving the car.
5. CarFax is good – but not perfect.
Buy a used car? CarFax is a good tool to obtain DMV information, but it does not indicate any potential damage done to a vehicle that was not reported to an insurance company. Therefore, spend some time with the car and take note of any dull surfaces or overspray which could be a sign of an unreported collision.
September 1, 2009
From The LA Times:
— J. Mark Sternberg
Hybrid cars are often lauded as a step toward a more sustainable future for cars. However, some of the rare earth metals needed to make the electric motors and batteries for cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are getting harder to come by.
Currently China is the leading provider of metals like neodymium and lanthanum that are used in hybrid batteries and motors. However, as China’s industries begin to use more of the metals themselves, there is less to be exported.
Hybrid enthusiasts can relax a little however, mines worldwide are sure to increase production to meet the growing need for hybrid technologies.
There is an open pit mine in Mountain Pass, Calif. (just north of the Mojave National Preserve on the Nevada border) that promises to supply a massive amount of rare earths. The mine was shut down in 2002 after major environmental concerns, and then finally competition from China drove the mine from profitability. However, with the decline of exports from China and a surge in demand for hybrid technology, the mine is set to reopen and cash in on California’s newest “gold” rush.
June 11, 2009
I have a better question. (After all it is my blog) Is buying that car a good “deal” for you? When leasing, you pay for the car’s depreciation. The remainder is called the residual, which is the same as your lease end purchase price. It’s as if you went to a fortuneteller and they looked in their crystal ball and said, “this is what we believe the car WILL BE worth at the end of the lease. However, is that residual a good deal now? You will need to do some research to find out what the car is worth and compare that to your buy out on the lease. Auto trader .com, kbb.com and cars.com will give you a good idea of what your car is selling for retail. Of course the best idea is to pay closer to wholesale for the car.
Some times the leaseholder or the car dealership can lower the buy out price. Just ask! It can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Start with asking the company to whom you make your payment. The loan company will tell you if they can re-negotiate your buy out or they will direct you to the selling deal. It all depends on their policy. The closer you get to the end of your lease, presto change-oh, the price that they were not going to lower… is now magically lower.
Other factors to consider when turning in or trying buying out your car in at the end of the lease are…
Are you under or over the mileage?
Is there damage to the inside or outside of the car?
Did you check between the seats for spare change?
May 26, 2009
Clients will ask me, “How much over or under invoice should I pay for my car”?
I am not as concerned about the invoice as I am getting a price that is below the market value. When gas was near five dollars a gallon, the market value of a Toyota Prius was between 3-5 thousand dollars over the MSRP (Window Sticker). So, if I could get a client a deal at window sticker, or a little over, it was still saving my clients thousands of dollars. At the same time Jaguar had a program that gave the dealer 6,000 dollars in incentives to sell a car. I could buy their car for 5,500 dollars below invoice. So does the invoice price matter? It only matters as it relates to the more important market value.
May 21, 2009
Remember that a salesman’s job is to take as much money out of your pocket as possible. (Insert shameless plug for Ed Car Guy here) My job is to save you as much money as I can and get referrals for more deals. Clients will tell me that their salesman told them, “You can return the lease whenever you want” (Yes, and you will have to pay a bunch of money to get out of it early) or they will say that they will “include” a CD player or warrantee in the deal. “Including” does not necessarily mean free of charge. They just include it in to your payment. The key to any car deal is to keep everything separate. That way you know what you are getting and what you are not getting.
The point is to get it in writing. Anything that is verbal is not worth the paper it’s NOT written on… Smiles, I think you get what I mean
May 18, 2009
I am often asked “should I get an extended warrantee”? (Now the politely correct term is mechanical repair coverage) The answer is yes and maybe. Here is what I mean. If you are going to finance the car, then yes, I suggest that you have a warrantee that is at least as long as the financing. Clients will only have a 3 years or 36 thousand mile warrantee on their car. They finance it for 60 months (5 Years) or even 72 months. (6 Years) What happens after the warrantee expires? It’s in the later years of the loan that they ask me, as the car is breaking down “Can I trade my car in… even though it has issues?” Remember there is still a balance due on your loan and now it also is in needed of repair. At this point in your cars life together you probably owe more then its worth. This equity position is called being upside down.
What do I mean by maybe? Well, It’s very important when getting a extended warrantee to find out what it does and does not cover. There are several different kinds of warrantees. Some only cover the power train. That covers the engine, transmission, and other parts of the drive train only, which is defined as the 29 parts of the vehicle through which oil flows. These are the parts least likely to fail. That’s why they are usually covered for a longer period of time. Other warrantees will cover your car bumper to bumper… BINGO! That’s the one you want.
There is another factor to consider in getting an extended warrantee of course it’s the cost. The Credit Union has very affordable plans. Be careful of the after market companies that try to sell you one over the phone or e-mail.
The bottom line is that if you take some time now you can save yourself headaches later.