Buyer Be Prepared Before a New Vehicle Purchase!

Whether off the line new or new to you, there are several things you can and should do to prepare to buy your next vehicle. We have compiled a few key items you can check off to help you be a smart and savvy shopper and hopefully a few steps ahead of the game.

Where to buy:

For sale by owner- For vehicles sold by the current owner you’ll need to take a few extra steps and precautions before even going to take a look at a vehicle for sale by these means.

  1. Only meet in public places where you are sure you will be around many other people. If possible only meet during daylight hours, if not ensure this place is well lit. 
  2. Take someone with you, know the sellers' name, phone number and description before you get there.   
  3. Ask for the VIN number and do your homework ahead of time.   
  4. Ask the seller if he/she has a clean title. If not, this is a red flag and it’s best to move on.

Dealerships- One of the best ways to find a good dealership is to talk to your friends! Where have they purchased a new vehicle and had a good experience? Check with the Better Business Bureau, and online reviews for dealerships.

Buy Here Pay Here- Payday loan’s little cousin offers almost anyone a car with often no income or credit verification. That comes with a big cost. According to Road and Track, the average interest rate at one of these dealerships is 19% and as high as 29%. They also often have a “one strike you’re out” late payment policy and will repossess your vehicle after one late payment.

Understanding financing:

Buying a vehicle on credit is the most common way American’s buy their rides. Getting the best deal on financing while protecting your credit requires a bit of being in the know.

  1. Credit Union, Bank, or Dealership financing? Per Bankrate, Credit Unions typically beat banks by 1%. Sometimes dealerships will have financing specials that are the best route to take, however, check with your bank or credit union first to see what they have to offer. Be sure to find out if there are better rates with a higher down payment as well.
  2. Know your credit scores before you go shopping. A low score finance approval may come with such a high-interest rate you might be better off spending a few months cleaning up that credit report before you buy.
  3. Protect your credit in the process of getting approved. Dealerships will often have your credit pulled by multiple lenders to shop for the best rate to offer you. When done in the same day they count as one hit against your credit score, however, if you go to several dealerships over a period of time and apply for a loan it could have a larger negative impact on your credit.

Used vehicle safety:

  1. Recalls- Go to: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. This site allows you to search by VIN number.
  2. Vehicle history reports- There are several online sites that provide full history reports that can provide police reports, repair documents and insurance claims. Many of these reports are free and will help you to know what previous issues and or potential issues exist with the vehicle you are looking to purchase.

Insurance:

Sleep on it and call your insurance company before you buy! Any salesperson who pushes you to leave the lot in one of the lots vehicles is one to be concerned about. Get your data, go home, decide tomorrow. Get an insurance quote on the vehicle you’re thinking about picking up and making your own. There’s nothing worse than finding out the insurance policy is beyond your budget after you’ve already purchased your vehicle.

Blog By: Allison Green

New 2018 Vehicles to Dazzle Your Holidays!

Whether you're a driver that prefers a sedan, coupe, convertible, SUV, truck, pickup, van, minivan, crossover, wagon or hatchback, charting all of the redesigned changes can lead you to pick out the best new vehicle option to suit your preferences. Some models are all-new while others are redesigns.

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American Made Ford Mustang Icon Races through Time to 2018!  

For over 50 years the American made Ford Mustang has delighted young and old alike.  The first generation (1964 ½  to 1973) production of the Ford Mustang was revealed to the public in the Ford Pavilion during the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964, the very same day that it would go up for sale around the Country.  

To everyone’s surprise the Ford Mustang was affordable and loved right out of the lot.  Ford anticipated selling approximately 100,000 models the first year, but phenomenally beat their own goal selling close to half a million! 

From the 1st generation Ford Mustang to the present 6th generation there is no stopping the fame of this beloved American made icon. To learn more about the history of the Mustang visit Edmunds.com who have an excellent article showcasing all the generational history up to 2005 in superb detail. 

How about the 2018 Mustang? Amazing like most previous generations with a slightly sportier redesign in comparison to the 2017 model. As the photo above displays, Ford offers another brilliant new color to dazzle us: Orange Fury Metallic Tri-Coat.

Yahoo.com Daniel Howley, Technology Editor, showcases an interesting informative video of the 2018 model along with an article with extra details including: 

"The biggest changes to the new Mustang’s front end include all-LED lights and updated hood vents. Around back, the Mustang’s rear lights have been reshaped to look like large parentheses. Ford has also outfitted the rear of the Mustang with a new quad-tip exhaust, which just plain looks cool."  

As far as cost this American icon remains beautifully and powerfully affordable for most. The 2018 base 2.3L EcoBoost will cost about the same as the 2017 model at around $27K with the GT V8 costing close to $35K.  Ready to buy one?  The wait will not be long as the 2018 models will be made available for purchase this fall. See Ford.com to receive updates and prepare for the ride of your life! 

By Gina Sifers, Bella Media Services, LLC

 

 

2017 Auto Design Summed Up In One Word - Technology

It feels like a recent memory that Auto Technology meant having a CD player instead of a tape deck.  Previous to that, we had a portable CD player that plugged into the cigarette lighter with a cassette tape popped into the car’s tape deck.  One bump and that ever so fun music jam was over.  Just twenty years later, 2017 is proving that auto technology is far from ceasing to surprise us in improving our driving experience.

So let’s start with the ever present device of the times, the smartphone. Automakers have found new ways to make the smartphone experience safer while driving by integrating the technology into our vehicles and for good reason. Smartphone use while driving is attributed to 26% of all car accidents. According to ATT, texting alone causes 1.3 million crashes a year, and this doesn’t include gaming, app use, checking in on social media, video chat, and web searches.

The Providence of Newfoundland, Canada began banning cell phone use while driving in 2003. Today, all ten provinces have strict driving with cell phone laws. Touching your phone while driving in Ontario will result in a $490 - $1000 fine.

Here in the United States as recent as September of this year, California extended its cell phone/driving laws to include banning all uses of a cell phone. To our health, and, longevity 2017 autos bring even more hands-free options for that cell phone than ever before.

Photo Credit: Chrysler Pacifica -  http://www.nwitimes.com

Photo Credit: Chrysler Pacifica - http://www.nwitimes.com

Addressing this issue, and one up-ing smartphone/vehicle technology, we now have… Onboard Infotainment.  Which is, basically, everything you love about your smartphone in that center spot of the car where only your stereo used to reside. A simple, touch screen access to Bluetooth, social media, GPS navigation and more. The Bluetooth technology even allows connecting to your favorite online commercial-free music such as Jango or Pandora. 

This technology is too new at this juncture to analyze if it’s less a distraction overall than actually touching a phone while driving, although as of today it is a legally allowable way to continue communicating with the outside world as you drive by it.

A few other new technologies coming to a dealer near you include:

  • Predictive Forward Collision Warning system
  • Improved Smartphone Infotainment Integration
  • Smartphone Vehicle Management
  • Self-Parking Systems

Ford, Lincoln, Toyota, Lexus and BMW all have new Self Parking technology. Thus far, my system of landing a parallel parking spot has been to keep driving until a more convenient parking spot appears.  The 2017 Ford Super Duty Pickup Truck has at least SEVEN cameras to make anyone look like an expert parker. 

Also look to see more vehicles with Predictive Forward Collision Warning systems and smart braking technology. Those capabilities are sure to help avoid accidents, an August 2016 report from AAA, states it is best to still keep you as the driver in control of the brakes.

For more mind-blowing details on what to expect in 2017, check out the following links:

Whereas it may still be a few years before the standard vehicle drives itself like that awesome car from Night Rider, we are every year closer to living like the Jetsons than we ever thought possible.

By Guest Blogger: Audrey Elder - See more of Audrey's blogs at Past to Present Research 

 

 

Vehicle Hackers Breach Automakers Cyber Dashboard Technology

cyber.technology.jpg

Do you know that hackers are able to control vehicles through the latest online systems equipped with cyber technology?   This is very concerning for many people.  Recently viewed a video from Wire.com that demonstrated how hackers can literally take control of a vehicle from a distant location through a computer.  The driver of the Jeep Cherokee in this particular scenario had no control and he was nearly run off the road.  Fortunately, some hackers do care and are willing to assist auto makers by revealing the tricks of their dangerous trade. 

You may ask:  what is being done by major auto makers to resolve this very serious issue?  Can it be completely resolved?  With such major safety implications Chrysler has issued a patch to secure their vehicles.  Fortune.com reported this month:  That the AAM,  An alliance of twelve automakers including Ford and General Motors said it will create a center for sharing information and analysis to help make cars more secure.”  The new ISAC hub will make it efficient for major automakers to transmit and share new security threats specifically targeting vehicle cyber systems as they come into the new hub. 

Fortunately, the major auto makers are on top of the threats and doing everything that they can to make the online systems in vehicles more secure.   Only time will tell if the security breaches hamper new vehicle sales.   One of our Twitter followers tweeted:  “Note to self, do not buy a new vehicle with online technology.” 

We understand the concerns and will keep you updated as automakers, technology firms and other related auto industry teams work together to make us all feel more secure as we travel with our online world at our fingertips. 

Technology & Transportation – How it will change our lives?

Technology is changing our lives in nearly every facet including the way we drive and for many who work in the transportation industry major changes and eliminations will eventually take place in industry positions.  Employees of various industries are concerned that their jobs could be replaced by driverless technology.  These concerns according to the technology industry are premature and Huffington Post who has followed the driverless cars story explains that the technology is inevitable and will replace jobs but it will be more like a marathon than a sprint in arriving.  Employees in the transportation industry have plenty of time to come up with a plan. 

With Tesla announcing its release of the autopilot function on their Electric Cars this summer we are speeding faster toward driverless cars on a personal level than most could have imagined.   Google announced that it will also be launching their driverless cars this summer in California.  Of course, “safety drivers” on board will be available to assist and the cars will be slowly moving along at 25mph. 

Photo:  Official Google Blog 

According to Google from a post on their blog:  “…and during this next phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. We’re looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles, and to uncovering challenges that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle—e.g., where it should stop if it can’t stop at its exact destination due to construction or congestion.”

In the meantime, as we await the driverless cars, hands free experience, to allow us the freedom to text, email, take conference calls and chat with our buddy on FB (hopefully without any legal limits) we have the Auto Industry offering new online capabilities in our vehicles with a touch of a finger at an app ready console. 

GMC and Buick are kicking off their 2016 models with many of the comforts of home and office.  Here are some of the latest inclusion of high tech in the auto industry one can celebrate in the coming year:

 “Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features customers want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner. This allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay-supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay. Apple CarPlay is compatible with iOS 7.1 or higher.

Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify and podcast players. A full list of supported apps is available at g.co/androidauto. Android Auto requires a phone running an Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or higher.” See Buick.com and GMC.com for more details.

Prepare yourself for the ultimate driving experience with the anticipation of driverless cars without limitation in using the technology that makes the world go round!

Dynamic Links for New Vehicle Buyers!

Over the last month Richards' Collision Center's Blog has reviewed many sites and videos regarding new 2015 vehicles from the hottest sports cars to the safest, family vehicles in the market this year. This week we will include all of the dynamic links we have provided over the last month with a few new links that caught the eye.  The list below will assist you in finding your dream ride by providing excellent specs,  reviews, videos, incentives, and more!

Photo:   Jalopnik.com 

Photo:  Jalopnik.com 

Top 2015 SAFEST Vehicle Picks!

How important is safety when your considering to buy a new vehicle? For many people safety is a top priority.  This week we have conducted research to discover the best performing 2015 vehicles involving safety.  The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) is a non-profit organization that provokes the auto industry to hold a high standard regarding innovative safety features to prevent deadly car crashes. 

Each year the company conducts extensive studies and performs crash tests on the newest models.  They help consumers by reporting the results and explaining the information through their popular "Top Vehicle Pick(+) rating process."  They also provide videos on YouTube and their website of the actual crash tests.  

The auto industry continues to create new innovative safety technologies to eventually make deadly car crashes a thing of the past. Let's take a look at the various top award winners.

Top Safety Pick+ goes out to the new midsize luxury sedan 2015 Acura TLX. 

According to the results from the tests performed by IIHS: 

 "The TLX earns good ratings in the Institute's long-standing moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. Good ratings in these tests, a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap test, and a front crash prevention rating of basic or higher are the requirements for the Institute's highest award for 2014, TOP SAFETY PICK+."

The 2015 Subaru Outback easily wins the award parading some of these amazing safety features:

  • Side airbags: front and rear head curtain airbags and front seat-mounted torso airbags
  • Rollover sensor: designed to deploy the side curtain airbags in the event of an impending rollover
  • Seat cushion airbags: separate airbags in the forward portion of the driver and passenger seat cushions to prevent occupants from sliding under the seat belts
  • Electronic stability control
  • Antilock brakes
  • Daytime running lights

The 2015 Toyota Sienna minivan also performed exceptionally well with the same stunning safety features as the former vehicle, except: 

  • Side airbags: head curtain airbags for all three rows of seats and front seat-mounted torso airbags

To see the results of all the best performers review the IIHS website. Pass the word on to those you love who are shopping for a new safer vehicle.  

All of us at Richards' Collision Center wish you a safe & Happy Holiday!

 

Jack Frost Blows in Top 2015 Winter Vehicles!

Living in the Midwest we find that winter weather can be mild or messy and if predictions prove true we may end up with some hefty snow.  What are you driving to overcome the snowy, obstacles this winter?  

Do you prefer a fiery, fun, 6 wheel drive, like the Mercedes-Benz G63 6X6 that effortlessly plows and spins through the snow with speed that reaches 60 mph within 4.4 seconds?  How about a more luxurious, family model, like the GMC Yukon with seat warmers through the entire cabin to keep passengers and driver toasty as you travel in spacious comfort and style?  

Yahoo.autos.com has picked 5 awesome vehicles that make the grade for winter driving that will blow your mind and keep you safe and happy in any snowy tundra from here to Russia! Out of these 5 models what is your ultimate favorite?  Richards' Collision Center team has a special liking for the souped up, all wheel drive, 845 Horspower, winter machine, Hoonicorn 1965 Mustang!