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: 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.


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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Dynamic New 2016 Vehicles!

Is a new vehicle on your Christmas list this year?  At Richards’ Collision Center we have researched the most dynamic vehicles of 2016 to narrow down your search.  Over the next several weeks we will show case some of our favorite choices.  

The Smart Fortwo vehicles top the charts as the most urban cool, and, cost saving.   Their tag line is: 

“From gas to electric, see which smart is right for you.”



The starting price for the basic gas powered model is only $14,650.  If you are looking for an electric model with a sun roof you can race home with a convenient lease at $199 monthly, and, other options that fit any practical budget.   Click here to discover more about –  American compact cars packed with saving power. 



Next on the list of great American vehicles is the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang. declared this vehicle as the most “Epic Ride of the Year.”  It sports a 526 horsepower, 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V-8 showcasing all the power you will ever need.  “Other contenders for the Epic Ride of the Year were GM products—the 2016 Chevy Camaro and the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V and wild CTS-V (the other favorite being the Lexus RC-F).”

Another informative site that most people are well aware of and tend to respect is the Kelly Blue Book and they nominate and vote for their favorite new vehicles each year.  In the ranks of mid-size SUV’s the crown winner this year is:  2016 Honda Pilot!  It was a unanimous vote with a combination of utility, comfort, features, and price.  Learn more about this dynamic vehicle at

Whether you are looking to save gas expense, or, need the room for a large family, or simply want an attractive car that appeals to your sense of luxury - the new 2016 vehicles offer something special for everyone.  Happy shopping! 




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!



Powerful Sexy 2015 Pickup Trucks!

Looking for a powerful, sleek, sexy, built to last, pickup truck of your dreams? This week we are taking a journey to discover more about several of the new awesome American trucks due to hit the roads in 2015!  

First, we will explore the Dodge Ram 1500 starting price of a little over 25k with a surprising 28 HWY MPG+. Buyers also have the option for a Ecodiesel alternative to create greater fuel efficiency.  The 2015 model is packed in the back with more leg room for passengers and hauling materials, etc. to the job.  Safety features include side-impact door beams and an advanced Air Bag system.   In addition, a 5 year, 100,000 Powertrain Limited Warranty is a nice bonus.       

Another favorite is the Ford F150, the industry best seller, fabulously redesigned with more aluminum and other lighter weight materials, reducing the weight by 700 lbs  making this Ford the most fuel efficient large pickup on the road.  Newer safety features include Lane Departure and Blind-spot warning systems.  Fords' Dream Big Final Days offer to the new buyer could save a bundle of cash on this awesome truck.  

Our last but not least smaller, midsized trucks, favorite is the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon!   Beautiful trucks available in extended cab and four-door crew cabin versions.  The trucks include forward collision and lane departure warning systems to avoid potential crashes.  Learn more through the video reviews from MotorWeek about these awesome trucks! In the mighty pickup search don't forget to check out the Chevy 2015 Silverado

Out of all the sites that we have researched our favorite is the Kelley Blue Book reviews that show in detail the best features through their HD videos.

All of us at Richards' Collision Center wish you Happy Truck Shopping and a Happy New Year!  

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!


Sports Car Dreams...

Have you ever dreamed of owning a sleek, high speed, sports car loaded with every amazing feature there is to offer?  Have you made your dream come true?  Today we will focus on the hottest sports cars hitting the streets in 2015 and a little history regarding the beginning of the world's love for the Sports car. According to  

The basis for the sports car is traced to the early 20th century touring cars and roadsters. These raced in early rallys, such as the Herkomer Cup, Prinz Heinrich Fahrt, and Monte Carlo.[4]  Though the term sports car would not be coined until after World War One, the first sports cars are considered to be the 3 litre 1910 Prince Henry (Prinz Heinrich) Vauxhall 20 hp (tax rating) and the 27/80PS Austro-Daimler designed by Ferdinand Porsche.[4]

Sports cars range in price from premium, top of the line (may need to win the lottery to swing the dream) to affordable for most average middle class budgets.   US News & World Report scanned the web for some of the most affordable sports cars on the market for 2015.  We at Richard's like this site because you  find detailed specs, efficient images, reviews, rankings, average price tag, etc.  that help you decide if it is worth taking a closer look at the lot.    

Photo Source:

Photo Source:

If price is of no concern you may want to first shop online at who showcase awesome images of the raciest models on the road, including, average price, detailed specs, reviews, and safety information, with, a dealer connection to make an appointment.  Wishing every Sports Car dream come true!   

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? 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! 

Shopping for a New Car in 2015?

At Richards' Collision Center we appreciate our talented and skilled automakers from design to production from around the world.   Through the next month we are on the look out for various new unique, innovative designs and redesigns in vehicle models that will make their debut in 2015. We will be searching for the ride of our dreams!  Join us on a journey of virtual cyber research through HD video, dynamic blogs, pictures and news through Christmas and the New Year to find a variety of vehicles to match your budget, needs, and passion.  From the most high-end, high speed to the most affordable, practical models you will find it on Richards' Auto Body Blog! 

To begin our journey we researched the ZR-1 V8 Destino.   This is not only a beautiful car it is fast and furious in power.  Bob Lutz who has worked as an executive for BMW, Chrysler, Ford, and most recently General Motors, reported:   

...Lutz, being who he is, told Fortune magazine that “in the meantime, I’m building a 200mph luxury car that celebrates everything about the spirit of automobiles that has captivated me since the age of 3.

Learn more about this awesome vehicle on YouTube and see Kelly Blue Book to find more than 50 new and redesigned cars for 2015!  Please share our blog with new car shoppers and enthusiasts!