As in every industry or market there are good and bad “apples”. One industry that has experienced a bad reputation due to the “bad apples” is the auto sales market. We’ve all heard the stories or even experienced firsthand the “tricks” and “schemes” some salespeople use to bamboozle us into a sale that simply isn’t a good deal, or in our best interest. There is a simple reason so many people dread buying a car: Many “common” industry practices have jaded consumers’ expectations—and rightly so. But, believe it or not, not all car dealerships are unscrupulous and are going to take you to the cleaners. Many really are trustworthy. After many years in the business and working alongside some of these “bad apples,” I’ve compiled a list of things to help you, the consumer, to spot a good deal versus a slick sales tactic when you are buying a vehicle
First you should always consult your owner’s manual, but also use a little bit of common sense. Most owner’s manuals for newer vehicles will tell you it’s acceptable to go 5,000 miles between oil changes under normal conditions. But you should drop to 3,000 miles if you drive under severe conditions? And who decides what “severe conditions” are?
Our mechanic explains that hard stops and starts — the kind people tend to do when racing from traffic light to traffic light — are a prime example. Other factors, include extreme hot and cold temperatures and driving in very dusty parts of the country or frequently driving at high altitudes. But, If you’re just driving back and forth to work during the week, and around the region during the weekend to family outings, then there’s really no need to change your oil every 3,000 miles.
A few years ago, a consumer reports study put the [...]
Many of us, at times, have had financial difficulties and credit problems. Your old vehicle is on its last leg and you need reliable transportation but you don’t know where you can get approved with your past credit issues. Many of us think that we can’t possibly get a vehicle through traditional financing means. And, according to the advertising we see and hear, buy-here-pay-here (BHPH) is your best and only option. But, that’s not always true. These BHPH dealers advertise easy terms and usually the credit requirements are very easy. What could be better? Even with your credit issues, you can still get a vehicle easily and painless. But, this seemingly “easy and painless”, can and will cost you a lot of money!
What most don’t realize is you’ll end up paying double what the vehicle is worth. And, on top of that, the interest rates are extremely high, many times as high as [...]
We all know that when we go to buy a pre-owned vehicle, we expect that it has gone through a good checkout procedure. On top of the mechanical inspection, most vehicles should have also gone through a very good detail (cleaning). This is where all of the nooks and crannies of the vehicle have been thoroughly cleaned and polished. Because, let’s be honest. We all want our (new to us) pre-owned vehicle to look and run like new. After being in this business for 20 years, I’ve learned that it’s important for my customer to “look beyond the detail.” In other words, I want you to know where to look, beyond the superficial detailing, to get a glimpse of how the vehicle was maintained and cared for. There are several “hidden clues” you can look for to help you know the true shape of the car. I always encouraged my customers to do this. [...]