automartnv https://automartnv.com/car-buying-blog Extended warranties, worth it? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2016/10/28/Extended-warranties-worth-ithttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2016/10/28/Extended-warranties-worth-itSat, 29 Oct 2016 00:01:00 +0000
Extended warranties are now a part of the car buying process. In the search for extra profit, dealers offer them for every customer, new and used. On the surface, having a warranty seems like a great idea but there are differences in the warranties themselves and what they cover. And do you even need a warranty?
Let's talk about the differences in warranties. There are basically two kinds, one offered by the manufacturer of the vehicle and one offered by an aftermarket company. The ones typically offered by the car manufacturer are usually better. Dealers will sell the aftermarket ones to increase their profit as they are usually cheaper. If you do decide to buy a warranty, ask only for that car maker's warranty. IE if you're buying a Ford from Ford, you would want a Ford warranty. This obviously doesn't apply if you're buying a used car from someone who sells a different brand or is a used car store exclusively.
The aftermarket warranties can be just as good if not better than the car makers warranties, but this is usually not the case if they have the option to sell both and are offering you the aftermarket one.
There are differences in coverage with every warranty. From a basic power train to a bumper to bumper. In my experience, the things excluded always seem to be the things that break. The advice I give is to get the highest level of their warranty or don't get one at all. Where you can save money is deductibles, as I would never suggest a $0 deductible. $100-$200 is a very reasonable deductible and is a fairly easy price point to handle if something does go wrong. That deductible will lower the cost of your warranty quite a bit.
Now, do you even need a warranty? If you're buying a new car, or even a newer used car, probably not. Even bad cars today are good cars. For example, one of the worst rated car in consumer reports last year was the Honda Civic. The Honda is a great car, reliable and sensible. But since all cars are good, winners and losers are measured by the smallest of differences. Any newer car can run 250,000 miles with just basic maintenance.
But, what if you're buying an older car or a vehicle with higher mileage? It seems pretty obvious, but this is the point I suggest it. When you're buying a car with higher mileage, the previous owner's maintenance record is unknown and the reliability of the car will be questionable based on that fact.
So if you decide you do need a warranty, just make sure you know exactly what you're buying and make the most informed decision you can about your purchase
]]> Difference between buy here pay here and traditional financing? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2016/09/16/Difference-between-buy-here-pay-here-and-traditional-financinghttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2016/09/16/Difference-between-buy-here-pay-here-and-traditional-financingFri, 16 Sep 2016 21:30:00 +0000
At Auto Mart in Las Vegas, we specialize in selling customers with bad credit great used cars.  These customers have been to 4-5 different dealers on average before finding us.  These dealers have all told them no and they assume that buy here pay here is the only way they can get financed.  Not only is it not true, it's usually the exact opposite of that.
Let me explain what buy here pay here or in house financing is first. It's when the dealership becomes their own bank and finances the car for you.  The alternative is dealers that primarily use finance companies and banks that then carry the loan and handle the finances.  Financially, the difference for the dealership itself is pretty big, Finance company based dealerships are primarily focused on selling cars, buy here pay here dealers are focused more on the collection aspects of the cars they have sold.
The first difference in the two is the down payment.  Low down payments are usually the hot button with customers with bad credit.  Buy here pay here requires larger down payments because the dealer needs to offset their risk. Typically, dealers buy cheaper cars for this kind of model and try and get enough down payment to cover the cost of the vehicle and your payments are their profit for the most part.
Going with a dealer using banks usually means lower down payments.  The banks are assuming the risk and have massive portfolios.  They are competing with dozens of other banks for the same deals and will be very aggressive in this competition.  This is how dealers can do low down payments. 
The next huge difference is in the quality of cars.  The typical dealer with in house financing has an average inventory cost of $1,000 to $5,000 cars.  Your down payment of $3,000 means you can finance a car they paid $3,000 for.  This means cheaper, older, higher mileage cars.  Also, a lot of buy here pay here lots use frame damage or salvage title vehicles to buy nicer cars at a lower price since there is no bank oversight.
Dealers that finance used cars to customers with bad credit usually have an average inventory cost of closer to $8,000 and the down payment doesn't affect which car you can buy, only your income does.  Banks also will not finance salvage, frame or flood vehicles, or cars with excessive miles.  This protects you.
A huge difference is cost.  If the dealer going through banks pays $8,000 for a car worth $10,000, you will pay close to $10,000, or what the vehicle is worth.  The bank will protect themselves by not allowing a larger loan so that if the car repossesses, they can offset their losses.  At a buy here pay here lot, if the dealer paid $1,500, they can charge you... well anything.  Typically, they figure out what you can afford and make you pay that for 3 or 4 years.  You pay thousands of dollars more.
The last major difference is your credit.  A bank will report your loan to all three major bureaus and build your credit.  A car loan is one of the quickest ways to repair your credit.  With a buy here pay here situation, the dealer actually has to pay more to report it to your credit.  The majority of these dealers do not report.
The difference is pretty obvious. The question you may ask is why some dealers choose one over the other.  A good reason is money.  It takes more money to run a dealership using banks because the cars are much more expensive.  It also makes less per car sold but you make up for it at volume.  Another reason is how the owner perceives their dealership: do they want to focus on sales or collecting money?  Buy here pay here is typically better profit wise in the long run and safer, but a dealer going through banks has a much larger opportunity to grow in the future.
At Auto Mart, we use banks for almost every one of our customers.  Not only do we feel that it's ethically better for our customers, it's the way we've done business for 15 years. 
]]> Do you know if you're buying a good used car? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2016/08/11/Do-you-know-if-youre-buying-a-good-used-carhttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2016/08/11/Do-you-know-if-youre-buying-a-good-used-carThu, 11 Aug 2016 21:31:00 +0000
Used car sales are at an all time high in America.  More customers than ever are seeing the benefit of used cars over a new car purchase and the money they can save by making that decision. 
The main reason that people do not want a used car is that they see it as buying someone else's problem.  They feel that new cars are the only way to avoid that.  What many people don't know is that even new cars have issues. As a matter of fact, the most reliable car in America, Lexus, has over 17 problems per 100 new cars sold.  Believe it or not, that's a very impressive number on a man made machine with 10,000 parts.
So how can you avoid buying other people's problems?  It always starts with research.  Carfax or Autocheck can show you the history of the car.  This includes accident history, frame damage or lemon law records.  These cars should just be avoided if at all possible.  With the large volume of used cars for sale today, there is no need to settle.
Ok, so the car hasn't been in an accident, now what?  The condition of the car is a huge indicator of how people took care of their car.  The most meticulous owners pay attention to not only the appearance but mechanical condition of their car.  If the car looks perfect, inside and out, odds are it was taken care of.  On the other hand, if you see cigarette burns, scuffs on all the rims, scrapes on the car and stains on the seats, the car's engine and transmission were probably shown the same attention.
After your visual assessment of the vehicle, you can start taking a closer look.  Take the oil cap off, oil should look like melted honey.  Rub some on your fingers, is there glitter in the oil (if so run, something is wrong), does it smell burnt, is there sludge on the top of the cap?
Look under the hood for examples of overheating. If you see anything floating in the antifreeze, stop leak may have been used to cover up a bad head gasket.  You can usually also see evidence of overheating from coolant running all over the place.
Now drive the car.  Keep the radio off after verifying it works, same with the A/C and heater.  Do you hear any weird sounds?  Metal on metal noises are the worst but pay attention to all of them.  Can you feel the car shift?  Shifting on a well maintained car should be smooth and uneventful, if you feel your head jerk hard when it shifts, the transmission is starting to go.
With a used car and an in depth examination, some things may come up on a car you still like.  The dealer will usually promise to fix the item if you buy the car.  If it's a cosmetic item, just make sure you get it in writing, they should do this automatically.  If it's a mechanical issue, wait until it's actually fixed to buy the vehicle to protect yourself.
Used cars are a great value for the smart shopper.  Follow these tips and protect yourself from a bad choice and you will have a great used car for years to come.
]]> How Do You Repair Your Credit ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/31/How-Do-You-Repair-Your-Credithttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/31/How-Do-You-Repair-Your-CreditSun, 24 Jul 2016 05:48:00 +0000
So how does someone "fix" their credit?  It's common sense that making your payments on time and paying back your creditors leads to better credit.  But after your credit is damaged severely this process can take the better part of a decade.
So a better question is, how does someone "fix" their credit faster?  While nothing is an all in one solution there are a few tips and tricks that will speed up your credit recovery.
First, stop any further delinquencies.  What's in the past, is in the past, but continuing to obtain credit and going delinquent on those obligations will insure you have bad credit forever.  So you must stop the cycle.  The credit you do receive, you must make every effort to pay on time.
Get rid of the reported bad credit that you can.  Obtain a free copy of your credit report. There are a few websites that give you it for free such as creditkarma.com.  Once you get your credit report, comb over it for any errors, pay close attention to the amounts, dates and creditors.  You can then dispute any incorrect accounts.  Old credit is especially ripe for removal as they have been sold off half a dozen times and usually cannot be validated easily.  Make sure you're truly disputing errors as disputing a valid collection has a habit of cementing it on your report.
Quit getting silly inquiries for credit.  Credit inquires stay on your credit for a very, very long time.  Each inquiry drops your score between 3 and 6 points.  So if you have 10 inquires, your score could be 60 points lower!  Only apply for credit when you NEED it.  We see inquires for payday loan places, furniture rental, personal loans, time shares, etc.  If you don't actually need it, don't apply for it.
You need new credit.  You can't fix your credit without proving that you can now make payments in a timely manner.  But how do you get credit after having bad credit?  One of the easiest is to buy a vehicle.  Typically, this is not so easy, but with 40 years of finance experience, our experience means you can get a car loan.  The fact that you're required to make the payment monthly means that it impacts your credit greatly, unlike a credit card that can have a zero balance and not require a payment.
Another way to get new credit is a secured credit card.  If you look online, there are dozens of banks willing to do secured cards.  Secured cards are "secured" by a deposit from you i.e. you give $500 to the bank, they give you a credit card with a $500 limit.  Over time they will return your deposit once you have proven yourself or increase your limit.  Be careful, some secured credit cards prey on those with bad credit and bleed you dry with fees.  Look to local credit unions first.
And now for a nice loophole, the authorized user.  When you have a credit card, you can put others on as authorized users.  This allows others to use their credit card.  It also gives the authorized user a duplicate of the credit the original credit card owner has.  So if your mother puts you on her card that she has had for the last 15 years, you aquire the credit on your report for that card over the last 15 years.  If you have someone that trusts you, you can ask them to add you as an authorized user on their credit card accounts.  Adding just a few of these can make a huge impact on your credit.
What about credit unions...  Credit unions are locally managed banks, they are much more forgiving than national banks.  When you decide to get serious about credit repair, make a small deposit in a credit union to open an account.  Also, use the credit union to acquire your secured credit card.  After a year of car payments, having a bank account with a small balance and having a secured credit card with them, you can then inquire about refinancing your auto loan. 
Refinance your car for double credit!  After following these steps (you bought a car from us, then opened the credit union account and got a secured credit card right?!) apply for a refinance with your credit union.  They will more than likely approve you and lower your interest rate drastically.  This does a couple things for you.  First it pays off your car loan and gives you a paid trade line for a car loan.  Second, it opens another car loan trade line (now it shows that you have 2 cars that were/are being paid well).  Third, it drops your payment because your interest rate drops.
Credit affects your life drastically.  Your car insurance, house, rental, job, car loan, type of car is all reflected in your credit score.  Treating your credit with the respect it deserves can improve your quality of life drastically.
]]> Understand Kelley Blue Book Pricing ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/06/05/Understand-Kelley-Blue-Book-Pricinghttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/06/05/Understand-Kelley-Blue-Book-PricingMon, 06 Jun 2016 03:03:00 +0000
Back in the early 1900's, a car salesman in California, Les Kelley, started making a list of what the local car prices were in an attempt to get an understanding of the real value of each automobile that he was selling.  From this small start, the Kelley Blue Book was created.  And soon, banks, credit unions and dealerships started looking to Kelley Blue Book as the main way to find the current market value of pre-owned vehicles.
What began as one person's basic listing has transformed into a widely accepted source for the value of all vehicles.  Kelley Blue Book has become one of the primary ways for people buying and selling, both dealers and consumers, and professionals and novices to all have a common source of information in the negotiation process.
When these people need a source of unbiased information they turn to Kelley Blue Book for:
* New Car Pricing
* Pre-Owned Vehicle Vaules
* Trade In Values
Establishing New Car Pricing Using Kelley Blue Book
Too many consumers have mistakenly thought that there is no room for negotiation on the price of a brand new vehicle.  A common mistake is to walk into a new car dealership, without doing any previous research, and accept the MSRP on the car.  This is an error that can cost the consumer thousands of dollars.  For example, all new cars have to have the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) displayed.  This official price can trap you with a false sense of security, having you ignore other issues that could have an impact on the car's price.
The Kelley Blue Book guide offers advice beyond the MSRP, showing a few key areas that should be part of the negotiation process:
*MSRP: - This is the price that the manufacturer sets for the vehicle.  This price is just a guide.  In fact, that price is often artificially inflated, so you should pay less than this and never pay any more.
*Invoice Pricing: - Ever think to yourself, "What's the dealership's real cost?" The invoice price for the dealership can shine some light on the car's true cost.  Understanding this price should be considered a starting point for the negotiation process.  Dealers need to turn some profit so you should expect to pay more than this.
*New Car Blue Book: - This is the overall average price that the vehicle has been sold for country wide.  This number can vary depending on the location you are buying the vehicle from.  For example, a vehicle for sale in Florida is going to have a different average selling price than a car in Idaho.
*Additional Equipment Pricing: - Common sense dictates that there has to be a price difference between cars with no options and a vehicle with tons of extras and options.  Kelley Blue Book values takes all these items into account when establishing the true value of a car.
Kelly Blue Book Pricing and Used Car Values:
Just like the price of a pre-owned vehicle is different than the price of a new vehicle, a car bought from the dealership will have a different price point than a car bought from a private party.  The great news is that the Kelley Blue Book values take all these things into consideration:
*Used Car Values: The retail cost of a vehicle is used as a starting point for negotiations between the dealership and the consumer.  This cost takes into account things like marketing, commissions and dealer overhead.  Kelley Blue Book also takes into account money that the dealer has to spend on reconditioning the vehicle and maintenance on items like brakes, fluids and tires.
*Private Party Values:  Private party values are the suggested values of what you can expect to spend for a vehicle bought from a private party.  The values are lower than the prices through a dealership because it takes into account the higher risk of buying from a private party and the fact that the car is sold "As Is".
*Trade In Values:  This value reflects what you can assume you will get for your vehicle if you trade it in at a dealership.  Because the dealership has additional expenses such as overhead, safety certifications, repairs and recon, advertising and salaries, this value is less than what you could typically get selling it private party.
The Difference in Retail Value and Selling Price
Understand that Kelley Blue Book values are only a guide.  Dealerships can use it as a negotiation tactic, explaining that their cars are priced below the Kelley Blue Book listed value.  The problem is that these numbers can be deceiving.  Most pre-owned vehicles have at least some wear, but many dealerships do not take this into consideration when getting their Kelley Blue Book pricing.  This can lead to an inflated value.
]]> Financing Options for a Pre-Owned Vehicle ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/11/27/Financing-Options-for-a-Pre-Owned-Vehiclehttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/11/27/Financing-Options-for-a-Pre-Owned-VehicleFri, 27 Nov 2015 19:27:00 +0000
Do you need assistance on figuring out the best way to finance your pre-owned car or truck?  This article has a few suggestions and guides showing your vehicle financing options to help you make an informed decision on which one is the best option for you.
First Decision, Cash or Credit?
When purchasing a used car, the first decision is always cash or credit.  Understand that paying cash is almost always the best choice for any car purchase as it's a depreciating asset.  This is also because consumers who finance their car end up paying more for their loan because interest and finance charges add to the total price of the car.
Second Decision, Buy or Lease?
The sad fact is, most people purchasing a vehicle are not in a position to pay cash for the vehicle purchase.  So the options then fall to either buy or lease the car.  The benefit to leasing a vehicle is that the payments are usually less than on a purchase contract.  And because the terms are usually shorter, between 12 and 36 months, you get the added benefit of getting a new car every couple of years.  Leases usually require very little in the way of down payments, that means that if you are a less established car buyer, you can get a reliable vehicle for less up front cost.
The largest problem with leasing a vehicle is that you will always be financing a vehicle and never own it.  If you do decide to purchase the car when the lease is up, you will pay more than if you had elected to finance the car as a purchase.
Leases also have limitations on how the car can be used.  For example, the typical lease has limitations on the amount of miles a vehicle can be driven every year (typically between 12 and 15 thousand miles).  If you go over these limits, you face expensive fines.
The Final Decision, Private or Dealer Generated Financing?
Even though leasing is an effective way to save money on a payment, deciding to finance the car as a purchase is typically the better financial decision.  But even when you decide to finance to purchase instead of lease, there is still another decision to make: Choosing between dealer supplied financing and getting your own loan through a private lender.
The benefits of dealer offered financing is the convenience and ability to qualify people with less than ideal credit.  This is due to the fact that a dealership does everything in their power to not allow financing to stop them from being able to make a sale.
However, if your credit is decent and you are looking to save even more money, deciding to go to your own bank or a credit union is a viable choice.  Banks sometimes offer lower rates than the dealer depending on local specials. This would add up to savings over the term of the loan.
Understand that when debating your options for financing your car, no one choice is the best choice for everyone.  It is vital that you weigh all your options and compare the benefits and drawbacks to each of your options and decide which loan will best fit your lifestyle.
]]> Don't Be a Victim of an Online Car Scam ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/10/14/Dont-Be-a-Victim-of-an-Online-Car-Scamhttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/10/14/Dont-Be-a-Victim-of-an-Online-Car-ScamWed, 14 Oct 2015 21:08:00 +0000
It's a simple fact.  People are using the internet more and more to buy cars. 
As the popularity of the internet grows, car buyers are just not going to dealerships as often.  But this trend of looking for cars on the internet has led to an entirely new type of scam.  To try and save you the hassle, headache and money, we will look at a few red flags of a car buying scam and the easiest way to avoid these scams.
Too good to be true?  Yes.
There is intense competition between car dealers and scam artists have learned that offering a very underpriced car earns the traffic of many internet car buyers.  If you find a vehicle on the internet that seems to be the most amazing deal you've found yet, remember that it might be a scam.  We aren't suggesting that you need to automatically discard what might be a legitimate offer from a seller, but always look at these ads with caution.  Make sure you have a conversation with the seller as to why the vehicle is priced so low and get a vehicle history report every time.
Misspelled, unintelligable ads
More than likely, if you are looking at a listing from a legitimate seller it will be worded correctly, have pertinent information and contain few, if any, errors.  Text poorly written, misspellings, broken english and missing details are a major sign that the seller is, at best, not a professional.  At worst, you are looking at a scam.  Even though a scam may be listed anywhere, most people and companies putting the time into creating a scam online are from overseas.
Unusual Payment Methods
Buying something from someone you have not met in person, a private seller, is always a much higher risk than working with a dealer.  But when buying a car online, sellers requesting a payment through a wire transfer, money order, Paypal or a bank transfer raises huge red flags.  If the seller requests an unusual form of payment, always move slowly with caution and protect yourself.  Some professionals recommend using an escrow or other secure payment method, unfortunately, this has not become very popular with private party buyers and sellers to date.
Remote Buying and Selling
The term "remote buying" applies to purchases from a location other than that of the vehicle or seller.  There are real sellers that live in places other than where the vehicle is being sold out, but here is the question you need to ask yourself: How do they know the condition, value, and situation of the vehicle?  I personally want a private party seller to intimately know about the vehicle and to know its good and not so great features.  Without a reputable person that backs the buying decision, purchasing a vehicle from a seller not at your location usually adds a layer of risk.
Shop With Common Sense
As we talk, there are more and more scams being created every day.  The easiest way to protect your money and yourself is to shop with common sense and trust your gut feeling.  Does the seller refuse to talk to you on the phone, are they offering more than the asking price, do they want you to refund money for the overpayment, do they refuse or are they unable to meet in person?  Even if you don't know what the issue is but the transaction seems "off", it's better to not take the risk and to buy elsewhere than become another victim.
]]> Can You Afford Your New Car? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/08/28/Can-You-Afford-Your-New-Carhttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/08/28/Can-You-Afford-Your-New-CarFri, 28 Aug 2015 19:44:00 +0000
You have finally decided to buy a vehicle you have had your eye on for a while.  Maybe it's a convertible sports car, one that looks amazing even standing still.  Possibly it's a large offroad 4x4 pickup truck.  Whichever car you're buying, everyone has a car they really want.  The key is making sure you can really afford the vehicle.
How much should you pay monthly?
Too many consumers drastically overestimate how much they can afford to pay for a car payment.  The banks will approve you up to 20% of your gross monthly income, in reality, your payment should not exceed 10% of your take-home pay.  And most financial advisors strongly suggest that it should not go above 5% of your take-home pay.  Remember, these numbers include all your car payments, no matter if you are paying for one or five cars.
At AutoMartNV.com, we have our .  You enter in the details of your purchase (down payment, interest rate etc) and it calculates a maximum price that fits in your budget.
How much will the purchase actually cost you?
The car payment is only a portion of the total monthly cost of owning a car.  Financing, leasing or paying cash for a vehicle has additional expenses including:
*Insurance:  If you are buying a newer car than what you have now, are financing and especially if you are leasing, you will probably have a higher insurance rate.  Before you buy the vehicle, make sure you get quotes on that specific vehicle.
*Cost of Gas:  Are you going from a compact car to a large SUV?  What you have been paying for gas monthly might end up increasing drastically.  Keep in mind the gas mileage difference between the two vehicles and if your new vehicle requires premium gas or not.
*Maintenance:  For pre-owned vehicles, things like batteries, replacing/rotating the tires, oil changes, wipers, brakes and timing belts may need to be serviced sooner than you think.  Even with new car purchases, the car's maintenance requirements might be much larger than you're used to on your current vehicle.
Remember that being approved for a loan is not the same thing as being able to fit that purchase into your budget.  Before deciding to buy any vehicle, take the time to figure out your budget and make sure you can truly afford the vehicle you are buying.
]]> What is GAP insurance? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/07/04/What-is-gap-insurancehttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/07/04/What-is-gap-insuranceSat, 04 Jul 2015 21:36:00 +0000
GAP insurance is one of the most sold "back end" items in the finance office at car dealerships.  So what exactly is GAP insurance?
When you buy a car, you also get insurance on that car (hopefully).  When you buy insurance you are insuring that specific vehicle, not a set dollar amount.  That's an important distinction.  If your car is worth $15,000, you paid $14,000 but financed your taxes, fees and had negative equity you could easily be financing $19,000 or more.  If you're in an accident your insurance company will only pay the $15,000 your car is worth.
Some people have a hard time understanding why their insurance company won't pay all the insurance.  An agent in Las Vegas put it in a very clear way for me once.  If your car is worth $15,000, you put down $10,000 and are only financing $6,000 how much would you want back if your car was in an accident?  What you owe or what the vehicle is worth?  Obviously you want what its worth, and it works both ways.
Now that you understand this, where does GAP come in?  GAP or guaranteed asset protection, is an insurance policy that is made to cover that deficiency or "gap" in coverage.
So, do you need GAP?  Yes and no.  If you pay cash, have a large down payment, a free and clear trade worth a few thousand or more, you may not need it.  If your credit isn't great and you have a high interest rate, you're carrying negative equity over from a trade in, or you're buying with no or low money down, you probably do.
For the sake of this article, let's assume you understand GAP now and have decided you need it.  So, where can you buy GAP at?  You can get GAP insurance from your insurance company, online or from dealerships themselves.  My advice is to go with someone other than your insurance company.  The reason is that most aftermarket GAP companies also cover your deductible while your insurance company will not.  That leaves dealerships and online companies, both are very similar and usually from the same underwriting company so there is no large difference I'm aware of.
Now that you've found where to get it, how much should you pay?  GAP insurance cost usually varies by the term of your loan, the longer the term the higher risk and cost.  Most GAP policies are now state controlled since they are an insurance item and because of this, their prices are controlled as well.  In Las Vegas and all of Nevada, GAP is set between $200-$500 dollars depending on the terms. Watch out for dealers that try and bundle gap with a much more expensive package implying that it's the only way you can get it.
Now that you understand GAP, you should have a good idea if you need it or not, where to buy it and how much to pay.
]]> VTR,the largest scam in car sales? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/03/18/VTRthe-largest-scam-in-car-saleshttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2015/03/18/VTRthe-largest-scam-in-car-salesThu, 19 Mar 2015 00:16:00 +0000
This is a very dark article and sheds some light on a very underhanded practice that is still used nationwide bilking consumers out of millions of dollars.
You may have heard of it or not.  Odds are you've purchased it, or it's on a car you purchased used.  It's called etch, vehicle theft protection, or a number of other things.  Basically, they take a stencil with your VIN and use a marker with acid on it to "etch" the vin into the glass of the car.
The idea is that it reduces the chance of theft by deterring thieves seeing this valuable glass being marked by a vehicle identification number.  In practice, it doesn't deter theft but it does make it easier for police to bust car thieves.
So, why is this a scam?  Some dealers charge $295 on every car, and I've seen it on contracts for numbers as insane as $3,000.  Keep in mind, most police departments provide this service for free, you read that right, for free.
They justify this by packaging it with an insurance policy that gives you back money on top of your insurance policy if the car is stolen and not recovered.  I've seen policies that offer $1,000 cash back if their car is stolen and they paid $2,000 for that insurance... Seeing the scam now?
Some dealers display it proudly next to the MSRP on their car as a mandatory add on. For the record, it's not mandatory.
I'm a dealer and fully aware of the need to make profit to keep a dealership running.  But there are too many legitimate ways to do this without borderline fraud.
Pay attention to your contracts and the offers in finance.  Make sure you avoid anything resembling etch and demand it removed if you do find it.  Remember, not all dealers do things like this but the few that do can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
]]> Pro's and Con's of a Used Car Purchase ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/04/06/Pros-and-Cons-of-a-Used-Car-Purchasehttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/04/06/Pros-and-Cons-of-a-Used-Car-PurchaseMon, 07 Apr 2014 02:35:00 +0000
First things first, obviously at Auto Mart, we believe that buying a used car is usually the best decision.  It's what our entire business model is based on and it's nothing that we are trying to hide.  So when we have a blog post about the pro's and con's of buying a used car, it can be difficult to stop our bias for used cars from showing.
That doesn't mean that you should discard our opinion.  As always, our purpose is to inform you and help you find the vehicle that is correct for you, no matter if it is a new or used vehicle.  So when trying to make the decision of whether you're better buying a brand new car or a vehicle that is a few years older, let this blog help be your guide:
The advantage of buying a used car
Let's start with the obvious positives:  Buying a used car means that you pay less for the same vehicle.  But not just on the price of the vehicle.  Used vehicles cost less because:
*Depreciation: Typically, a new vehicle purchase will lose roughly 50% of its value in the first 3 years.  So for example, a vehicle that you buy for $50,000 today will be sold in three years for roughly $25,000.
*Insurance:  Insurance is more expensive on a new car vs the same model of used vehicle.  Car insurance rates reflect the value of a vehicle and with the decrease in value of a used vehicle its a cheaper vehicle to insure.
*Options:  You can buy a pre-owned model of the same car that is fully equipped for a fraction of the price of a new car.  Buying a pre-owned vehicle means that you can get things such as automatic climate control, bluetooth, navigation, leather, moon roof and better trim.
The drawbacks to a used car
We can't deny that there are a couple of drawbacks of buying a used car:
*Warranty and Reliability:  When you purchase a used vehicle, you're not sure what you are getting.  Making things even more complicated is the problem of lacking the new car warranty.  You can dodge this issue by purchasing a used car warranty.
*Finance Charges:  Are you financing your vehicle purchase?  Financing a new vehicle usually means a lower interest rate compared to a new car.  These rates are usually provided by the new car companies to drive sales.
The cold hard facts are that you can save a large amount of money when buying pre-owned.  There are concerns that come up from buying a used car when it comes to reliability and warranties.
]]> Your First Car ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/04/05/Your-First-Carhttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/04/05/Your-First-CarSun, 06 Apr 2014 01:42:54 +0000
We frequently run into customers buying their very first car.  They come in alone or with friends and family looking to make their very first vehicle purchase become a reality.
A customer that buys a car for the very first time encounters some unique situations that typically do not impact buyers that have purchased multiple cars.  Budget concerns, vehicle choices, financing, insurance and negotiating are all new territory for this consumer.
The very first thing a first time buyer needs to do is to balance the vehicle they want with their budget limitations. Typically, a first time buyer needs a more inexpensive vehicle and interest rates are higher than a consumer that has purchased multiple vehicles. A common mistake is to buy too much car. Most first time buyers are younger and do not have the creditworthiness to justify a low interest rate and have to deal with higher insurance rates.
Once you have found a vehicle that meets your needs and falls into your budget, the next step is financing.  For a first time buyer, getting a co-signer is your best option.  It allows someone else to "vouch" for you and can get you a much more reasonable interest rate.  If you cannot aquire a co-signer then the dealership is your best bet.  Without some estabilished credit, getting your own financing can prove to be very difficult.
The next big issue is insurance.  It's typically much more expensive for younger people and people that have never had insurance before.  This is where you really have to take your time and shop around.  Insurance rates vary drastically from company to company and the only way to insure the best deal is to get many different quotes.
The hardest part for the first time buyer will be the negotiation process for the car purchase.  Without knowing how the system works, many first time buyers can fall victim to predatory dealerships.  Make sure you do plenty of research on the prices you are willing to pay for the vehicle, the dealerships online reputation and your credit situation, BEFORE you visit the dealer of choice.
After all these things are met, your final step is to sign all the documents.  Read everything carefully.  Make sure that the terms are exactly what you agreed to.  Be highly suspicious of any products that are "included" in your purchase, they may have been rolled into your purchase price without you even noticing.  Pay special attention to the contract itself.
If you follow all these steps, you will be in an amazing position for your first car purchase.
]]> Four Huge Car Buying Mistakes ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/03/08/Four-Huge-Car-Buying-Mistakeshttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/03/08/Four-Huge-Car-Buying-MistakesSat, 08 Mar 2014 19:57:00 +0000
You're at a point where you have done your research and have found a pre-owned vehicle you want to buy.  You probably have even compared the price to similar cars, and have hopefully looked for the lowest rate for financing a vehicle.  It's all downhill now, right?  Getting a great deal after all this work should be as easy as signing on the dotted line.
Hold on for a second, there are still some very costly mistakes that can raise the amount you pay for the vehicle drastically.  Here are 4 common mistakes that will turn a great buying experience into a nightmare very quickly:
Having the dealership payoff the balance of your trade-in:  Dealers will offer to pay the remainder of your loan on your trade in.  The problem is that the offer is not as great as it seems.  The dealer will pay off your trade but the balance above what the vehicle is actually worth will be rolled into your new loan amount.  As an example, a $30,000 car you buy can actually have a loan balance of $35,000 to account for the $5,000 you still owe on the car you are trading in.
Having a 60-72+ month loan:  Getting the best rate is only one part of getting a great loan.  You also need to put quite a bit of thought into the length of the contract.  A 72 month or longer loan will end up costing you much more than a shorter loan.  A common rule of thumb amongst finance gurus is to only buy a car that you can afford at a 48 month or shorter term.
Not doing a quality test drive:  We have talked before about the importance of a test drive and what to look out for, we will go over it again (yes, it's that important!).  Always take the car you're considering buying on a long test drive.  Even if you have already had the vehicle inspected and it's considered a quality brand.  A shorter test drive does not give you enough time to understand how the car reacts under all driving conditions.  By taking a longer test drive you will be able to check for any faults of the vehicle and truly evaluate long term comfort of the vehicle.
Not getting insurance quotes up front:  Even if everything else is perfect and in your budget, car insurance might be much more than you're budgeting for.  Sports cars and vehicles that are targets among car thieves will come with a more expensive insurance cost.  Don't fall into this trap, call your insurance company (and a couple competitors) and get quotes before signing on the dotted line.
]]> Lies All Car Sales People Have Heard ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-posthttp://automartnv.com/single-postSun, 02 Mar 2014 23:44:08 +0000
Lying, it seems to be one of the major problems with buying a car.  Unethical salesmen lie to customers, managers lie to their salesmen and customers lie when negotiating.  You, as the consumer are at a disadvantage in this whole process because you do not do it for a living.
The real problem arises when you lie and the dealer knows it.  Your negotiating power is gone, and the dealer knows it.  I can't tell you how many times a customer has told me that dealer "X" has it for some crazy price, the answer back is "wow, you should get that!".  They have called your bluff and you're back to square one.
Here are a few lies that customers say that all salespeople have heard and what you should say instead.
1. I have to leave to "insert random comment here"
The customer having to leave to pick up kids from school or some other sudden appointment is very common.  Salesmen have heard this one more than almost all others combined.  When you drop this line, you're asking for a barrage of managers and other salesman to try and stop you from leaving.
Usually customers say this when they are backed into a corner in the negotation and don't see a way out besides running.  Remember, you are always in control.  If the payment is too high, you agreed to a down payment you're not comfortable with or you don't feel like you're getting enough for your trade; you need to be clear about it.  Being honest and sticking to your guns will always lead to a better deal for you.
2.  I have to talk to my husband/wife.
This is a variation of the first one.  It's the same situation.  You feel like you haven't negotiated a fair deal and need an excuse to say no.  Pawning it off on the significant other just makes you seem weak in the negotiation.  The salesman knows that if they had input in the purchase, they would have come with you. 
If you have a problem with an aspect of the deal or the vehicle itself, make yourself heard.  There is nothing wrong with drawing a line in the sand for the deal you want.
3.  Dealer "X" has this same car for less.
This lie has been around awhile as a way to negotiate a lower price.  First off, understand the car business is a small world.  Odds are that your salesman or his manager know someone at the dealership you are saying has this amazing deal.  I can't tell you how many times we have called to find out the customer is lying.  Also, dealers can read your credit report like a book, they can see which dealers you have been to. 
If you really do have a better deal, make sure you bring paperwork with you. It's a powerful tool.  If not, and you just want a better deal, focus on the aspect that you're not happy with and be upfront and honest about it.
The themes are all the same as you can see.  The key to every successful negotiation is to be well prepared, be honest and stick to your guns.  Don't fall into the lie trap and get the best deal possible.
]]> Sell Your Car Privately or Trade It In? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/20/Sell-Your-Car-Privately-or-Trade-It-Inhttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/20/Sell-Your-Car-Privately-or-Trade-It-InFri, 21 Feb 2014 05:05:00 +0000
So you are in the market for a new vehicle, but you want to maximize what you get for your previous car.  The dealership is trying to convince you to trade it in, but is the ease of doing that worth it?  We will make the argument both ways, for trading in your vehicle and for selling it yourself.  Read the pros and cons of the two decisions, see how they apply to you, and make your decision with confidence.
Pros of Trading Your Car In
*Its easier - The best reason to trade a car in at the dealership is that it is much easier than trying to sell it private party.  By using the dealership to sell your trade in you will save yourself headaches and insure you get the money for your trade instantly.
*Its faster - If you are financing your vehicle you may not qualify to buy another car without selling your current car.  You may also need the money for your vehicle for down payment to qualify for the new vehicle.  You may not be able to wait, it may take you weeks or months to sell your vehicle private party, especially if its a more common vehicle or more expensive.
*Tax Breaks - Most states give you a tax credit on trading in your car with a dealer.  That means you will only pay sales tax on the difference between what the dealer gives you for your vehicle and what the price of the new car is.  Taking this into account, a trade in worth thousands of dollars could add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars in tax savings.
The Cons of Trading In a Car
*Less Money - The value of a trade in is usually thousands less than the private party value.  This is because private parties sell the vehicle as is and the reconditioning is left up to the new owner, when buyig from a dealership these issues are usually fixed and reconditioned to the states minimum standards and then resold.
*Confusing the Deal - Adding a trade in to the negotiation process can create nooks and crannies that dealers can use to hide extra profit.  This is especially the case if you have negative equity (you owe more on the vehicle than what its worth).  This can lead to a worse deal for the consumer overall.
Private Party Sales Pros
*Better Values - The primary reason that consumers make the decision to put up with the difficulties of selling a car private party is that they can get a higher price for their vehicle than they can with a dealer.
*Options - What if you want to give the vehicle to your child or a family member?  Or you need to drive it for a little while after buying a new one (common practice when trading in a pickup for a car)?  Or you want to donate it to charity?  Once you trade it in at a dealership you have no say on what happens with the vehicle and have no other options.
*Money - Selling your car before you decide to purchase a newer vehicle can give you more money towards the purchase of the vehicle.  A larger down payment can save you on finance charges and give you more negotiation ability, especially the case with less than ideal credit.
Private Party Selling Cons
*Extra Work - The most basic of reasons people do not want to sell their car private party is that it requires extra work.  You have to detail the vehicle, fix any obvious issues, advertise the vehicle, schedule appointments and meet with people that are often rude and not serious.  It can be a headache.
*Time - Selling a vehicle takes time.  You have to keep it on the market for as long as it takes to sell the vehicle, be available for appointments, test drives, mechanic visits and phone calls.  Even after the sale it sometimes takes the buyer time to get the loan for the vehicle.
*Loans - If you still owe on your vehicle, a private party sale could be impossible, or close enough to it.  Find out your state's laws to find out what you need to do to be able to sell a vehicle with a lien on it.  Even if its legally possible, finding a consumer willing to buy a car with a lein on it can be daunting.
*Paperwork - It's your responsibility to find out what paperwork is needed to sell a vehicle.  Issues like liens, the buyer using a loan to purchase your vehicle and different state regulations can make this a more complicated process.
*Safety - You will be inviting strangers to your home and accompanying them on test drives.  At the very least you will be subject to meeting strangers of unknown backgrounds.  At worst you could put yourself in a very unsafe situation.
Is it worth your time and effort to sell a vehicle yourself?  Is it worth a few weeks or months of effort to save a couple thousand dollars?  The basic decision comes down to convinence vs money.  The decision is yours.
]]> The Craziest Real Life Car Buying Blunders ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/17/The-Craziest-Real-Life-Car-Buying-Blundershttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/17/The-Craziest-Real-Life-Car-Buying-BlundersMon, 17 Feb 2014 21:12:17 +0000
Over the many years we have been in business we have seen some huge blunders. Sometimes they are hilarious, sometimes they are just sad. These are a few of the most memorable of these blunders.
1. Do Unto Others
At a high volume new car dealership, we had a very irate and rude customer. Car sales being what they are, the customer was still catered to and a sale was made. Everyone knew the customer was out of line but people will often bite their tongue when money is involved.
After the sale, the customer had to come in to pick up his registration paperwork. He comes flying into the dealership narrowly missing what he thought was a salesman on his phone in a parking spot.
He jumps out of the car and starts screaming at the guy. He was yelling obscenities, cursing and shouting threats of physical retribution for the perceived insult. Little did the customer know, the man on the phone was not a customer of our dealership but of the business next to ours. That business was a large motorcycle dealer. They were having a customer appreciation party and had a large crowd of bikers, this man was one of them. He was dressed in a polo shirt and slacks, easily mistaken for the way our salespeople dressed.
The biker calmly put away his phone and walked up to the man as he was still cursing at him. Our customer continued to yell at the biker assuming that he would take the verbal assault, as the other employees had previously. The very large, very well dressed biker calmly and brutally backhanded our customer. We heard the sharp crack of his hand landing home. We watched him fly a few feet through the air and land on the ground with a large thud. The biker then informed him to be careful whom he was talking to in the future and calmly walked back to the biker party.
The customer, with a bruised ego and cheek, scrambled to get into his car and left in the same insane driving manner he arrived in. He never came back to get his registration paperwork and we always wondered if he ever got his license plates.
2. Too Good to be True?
I was the general manager of a large Hyundai dealership when the new Equus came out. An overpriced, (almost $70,000) luxury Hyundai. It was not that well received by our customers because of the massive price. The vehicle was amazing in every way though, it even had a wine cooler in it. As nice as it was, very few could justify the price point.
We initially got 3 such cars, 2 the cheaper models and one very expensive "Ultimate". We sold the cheaper models and were left with the much more expensive one. In the last week of December, the huge rebates for these cars were going away. Also, the new model year was already out. This left us with a very expensive car that was about to get much less appealing and much more expensive to purchase.
I put a large bonus on the car for all the salespeople and managers to move the car, with no luck. Two days before the end of the year a customer came in actually looking for the Equus. They wanted the less expensive model (most people did) and knew about all the rebates and incentives for the vehicles. After being unsuccessful closing them on this vehicle, I decided to get personally involved.
The customer, knowing our predicament (salesman told them about the disappearing incentives) decided to play hardball and offer an insane price, and they knew it. To give a bit of a back-story to the situation, they had been negotiating with other dealers on the cheaper model (the base Equus was almost $55k and the top of the line was $70k). They had been able to negotiate a price of $52,500 on the base model. They then offered $45,000, a price that I could not have even come close to on the much cheaper model and they knew it. To be clear, this was a $25,000 discount on a car with a $1,500 markup between invoice and MSRP, an insane deal to be sure. Most days, this would have led to a laugh and then being asked to buy somewhere else. Being desperate and not wanting to be saddled with this insanely expensive car for another year I accepted the borderline insulting offer. Then to my shock, they declined, wanting to "think about it". I asked them why, if they were pleased with a price of $52,500 price on a base model why they would have to think about $45,000 on the much more expensive car? I got no good answer. And they ended up leaving.
The salesman on the deal came to me right after his customer left, shocked at the deal I had tried to make. He then begged me to sell the Equus to him at that price. I agreed and he quickly did the paperwork before I changed my mind. The next day, the customers showed up to talk to me. They had thought about it and wanted to offer me $40,000 out the door, a total of almost $40,000 in discounts. I politely declined and told them I had already sold the car. They immediately freaked out, screaming at how I ripped them off by not selling it to them. I informed them that they could have purchased it yesterday and they had declined. They ignored this nugget of wisdom and offered purchase it at my original offer of $45,000 plus taxes, the offer they refused the day before. I restated that the vehicle was already sold. They demanded I take the car back from the people I had sold the car to. I refused.
I then found out that they had called or visited every Hyundai dealer in the area after leaving our dealership the previous day. After sharing the deal they were getting, they were laughed at, thrown out or outright called liars. After that experience and some online research, the gravity of the deal they were getting truly sunk in.
To this day, I have received 1 lawsuit, dozens of negative online reviews, a Better Business Bureau complaint, complaints from Hyundai Motor America, a dozen visits from the customers, and about 10 angry letters from these customers describing how I "ruined their lives".
3. Karma
A saying in the car business that is often repeated is that "no good deed goes unpunished". For whatever reason, the customers that get the best deals are by far the least satisfied.
I had a friend of a friend call me and ask me for a large favor. A friend of his had moved into Las Vegas and had very bad credit. On top of that, they had a destroyed older Jeep with no air conditioning and very high miles. A very bad combination of things to have in the Las Vegas summer. They had tried buying at a few other dealerships and their credit was stopping them from being able to buy anything at all.
They showed up and I showed them a brand new car, they obviously loved it. I then called in a personal favor with the bank to get them approved. After much back and forth, I convinced a friend of mine at the bank to do the loan for them. To be clear, they did NOT deserve to be able to finance a car... period. They had some of the worst credit I had ever seen. The then ecstatic customer left in a brand new vehicle. Because of the low income, not only did I have to get them approved, but I had to get him a very good loan to qualify him with low payments that fit his income level. And to add insult to injury, he had no down payment except his garbage Jeep.
The next day, I got a call from my friend at the bank. The "favor" I had called in backfired. The customer called the bank to tell them that we had ripped them off and that he was filing a lawsuit. Apparently his 200,000 mile, 15 year old, biohazard Jeep was worth thousands more. His 15% interest rate was insane. And he thought we had overcharged him for the vehicle, his friend told him we should have discounted it thousands more than we already had. Needless to say, the bank wanted nothing to do with the customer after this and sent the deal back.
I called the customer to tell him the situation and that he had to return the car. He was insane with anger. Apparently, he still wanted the vehicle at the terms I had given him, even though he had just complained an hour before to the bank. I informed him that the bank did not want the loan after his welcome phone call. He told me to get him approved at another bank. At this point, I was not willing to call in another favor after his poor treatment of us, and no bank in their right mind would give him a loan without that phone call.
That day he comes storming into the dealership blinded by anger. Screaming, shouting and stomping his feet like a petulant child. In his anger, he calls the police, telling them he is getting robbed and that it’s criminal that we are taking away his new car. The police show up very quickly to find out what’s going on.
After explaining the situation himself to the police, they start smirking and chuckling at him during his retelling of the story. At this point, it's obvious to everyone but the customer himself why he is in the situation he is in. This doesn't sit well and he gets even more upset. They inform him he needs to leave our property. They escort him out to our vehicle so that he can transfer his belongings from our car to his old Jeep and leave.
While he is transferring his belongings, the police notice drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. They then search the vehicle and find a bong, pipe, pot and a few other illegal substances. He is screaming that we planted these items and that the cops are in cahoots with us. He then starts threatening the police and states that he will get them all fired. They immediately place him under arrest and take him to jail. Then out of spite, I believe, they call and have his jeep impounded.
Moral of the story, karma might be real....
]]> What to look for on your test drive ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/16/What-to-look-for-on-your-test-drivehttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/16/What-to-look-for-on-your-test-driveMon, 17 Feb 2014 04:56:28 +0000
Once you've found a car that interests you, taking a car for a test drive is the next logical step.  The test drive is more than just a quick fun drive in the car you like.  It's the time you really need to decide if the car is for you or not.  While test driving the vehicle, look out for the following areas.
Comfort
Once you purchase a car, you will more than likely spend quite a bit of time in the vehicle.  Whether you have a long drive to work or if you're the soccer mom driving your children to soccer practice, you need a car that satisfies your comfort needs.  Being uncomfortable in your vehicle is frustrating and dangerous.  It can take your attention off the road while you're driving.  Adjust the seats, mirrors and steering wheel to make sure you can get them to the correct positions.  Check your ability to get in and out of the vehicle easy and pay attention to the back seat if you have children.
Visibility
Some vehicles have horrible visibility.  With the new rollover rating requirements, B and C pillars are becoming thicker and thicker to handle the increased standards.  These blind spots can cause serious safety issues.  Check the visibility when your car is parked, driving and backing up.  All vehicles have blind spots, you need to make sure you're comfortable with the vehicle you're buying in particular to blind spots.
Noise
The volume of the noise on the interior may not be a deal breaker for the car purchase, but it can add or detract from your comfort level when you are driving the car.  A loud vehicle can be annoying and disctracting when you should be focusing on the road.
Exterior Size
Verify that you are comfortable with the dimensions and overall size of the vehicle you're driving, especially if you are upsizing your vehicle drastically.  One tip is to try parking the car in a variety of situations.  Check how you feel pulling into a parking spot, backing out and even parallel parking the vehicle.  You will get a quick feel for the dimensions of the vehicle and how you feel driving a vehicle of its size.
Handling
Pay attention to how the vehicle handles when you're driving it.  How does it turn, how does it take curves and rough roads?  See how it accelerates into traffic and how quickly you can stop.  Drive the vehicle in conditions that you usually encounter.  For example, if you commute on a specific road daily, you should try and drive the vehicle on that stretch of road to get an apples to apples comparison.
Weird Noises
The test drive is the ideal situation to find any mechanical issues with the vehicle.  After checking the air conditioning, heater and stereo, turn them off.  Drive with the windows open and down.  Listen for any unusually noises, clunking over speed bumps, ticking noises, metal on metal clunking, wind noise etc.  These can all be hints of much larger issues and are good indicators of the overall quality of the vehicle.
When your time comes to test drive the vehicle you're interested in making your own, make sure you try and use these tips.  Knowing what to look out for when driving a car can help you make a quality, informed purchase decision when you're ready to buy your next car.
]]> How to tell if an odometer was rolled back ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/15/How-to-tell-if-an-odometer-was-rolled-backhttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/15/How-to-tell-if-an-odometer-was-rolled-backSat, 15 Feb 2014 18:27:17 +0000
We are seeing more and more cars with odometer issues at auctions. An odometer issue is usually labeled TMU (true mileage unknown) and sometimes isn't disclosed. Carfax, a vehicle history report company, released a report stating that almost 200,000 cars have the odometer tampered with every year, leading to an estimated $750 million in losses.
Odometer roll backs can be very costly. On older vehicles, which are the primary targets for rollbacks, a large difference in miles can double the cost of a vehicle. And cars with substantially higher miles typically have more wear and tear issues to go along with the increase in mileage.
How is an odometer roll back performed? On older cars, with mechanical counters, they sell odometer repair kits that allow you to manually adjust miles. On newer cars, with electronic counters, people will replace the entire gauge cluster with another cluster from a different vehicle with lower mileage.
Now that we know we want to avoid odometer issues, we need to learn how to spot it. First thing you should always do is get a Carfax or Autocheck vehicle history report. This report lists the mileage at the time of registration of the vehicle and will point out any red flags. Unfortunately, this will only catch some of the odometer issues. Cars that are kept for years by the same owner are the most subject to odometer issues. When you re-register a car as the same owner the mileage isn't updated, so a consumer manipulating an odometer on a car they have owned for 10 years will be hard to catch with a report.
The most reliable way is to have a complete inspection done on the car by your mechanic. Certain items, such as axles, bearings, body and subframe mounts and suspension condition will give you a much clearer indication of the true mileage on a vehicle.
Another way is the visible wear and tear. A driver's seat cushion that is flat, and worn is an indication of 150,000+ miles. The volume of rock chips on the hood are also a good indication, high volumes can mean high miles. Running your hand over a clean windshield is another trick, high mileage cars glass feels like sandpaper from the thousands of little rocks hitting it on a weekly basis. The volume of scratches, door dings, scuffs also add to the evidence of higher than declared mileage.
Odometer fraud has been an issue since cars first started coming with them. Stay ahead of the curve and buy an inspection report and have your mechanic inspect the vehicle before you buy it. Staying vigilant will not only save you quite a bit of money but give you a safer vehicle overall.
]]> Truth About Dealer Advertising ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/14/Truth-About-Dealer-Advertisinghttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/14/Truth-About-Dealer-AdvertisingFri, 14 Feb 2014 21:55:13 +0000
You are bombarded with advertisements on a daily basis from car dealerships.  Car companies and dealerships advertise more than almost all businesses.  It seems that every dealer is shouting the same message, that they have the best deal in town.  It's obviously not possible, someone has to have the best price right?
Let's talk about the different kinds of advertising. There are 3 tiers. Tier 1 is for the brand itself, IE the "buy a Ford" tier. Tier 2 is for the local dealer groups and consists of your Presidents' Day, Memorial Day sales etc. This is typically called the "buy it now" tier. Tier 3 is the individual dealer's advertising and is the "buy a Ford from us" tier.
Each one has different thrusts but the most dangerous one for consumers is the tier 3 advertising as the other two have to be approved by the manufacturer's law team. Tier 3 is your local radio, the dealer's own website, newspaper and similar ads.
The first thing to realize is that all dealers pay the exact same price for their cars.  The dealer may suggest that because they are a high volume dealer they buy them cheaper but it is not true.  Because of fair trade practice law all dealers, large and small, pay the exact same price.  Once you understand this you can see through most of the dealer advertising.
The second thing to realize is that nothing is free.  If the dealer is advertising to double your down, extra money for any trade, a free cruise etc, all these things come out of their profit and that reduces your negotiation room.
The last thing to understand is that any dealership can give you the best deal. The employees may have sales incentives put on by their managers that push them to sell a car cheaper, or the unit may be ageing in their inventory which motivates them as well.
The lesson here is not to be suckered in by any advertised deals and shop around to all your local dealers for the car you are looking for. Compare those offers and make your best decision.
]]> Things to know before co-signing ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/12/Things-to-know-before-co-signinghttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/02/12/Things-to-know-before-co-signingWed, 12 Feb 2014 20:49:33 +0000
Co-signing for a car loan is a fairly common practice.  Co-signing is when you add yourself to a friend or loved one's loan to offset their credit deficiencies to help them qualify for a car loan.
I get questions all the time about this practice and what the benefits and repercussions are of doing something like this.  Let's talk about the different reasons for needing a co-signer, the risks and benefits.
The benefits for the person that needs the cosigner is obvious, it helps them get a loan they otherwise would not qualify for.  Sometimes it's an income issue, others it's a credit issue.  The benefit for the cosigner is usually just a social benefit, if that.
There is not usually an interest rate break for acquiring a cosigner, contrary to popular belief.  If the customer needing a cosigner needs it for credit reasons, the cosigner usually just allows that person to buy a car.  They do not get the person with good credit's rate.  Sometimes this realization leads to shady dealers suggesting a "straw purchase" that puts the loan in the better credit person's name only, an illegal practice.
If the person needing a cosigner is a young child of the person cosigning,there isthe possibility of a large interest rate break.  This is dependent on the child not having much credit and not having bad credit.  This is probably the single most beneficial way to use a cosigner and one of the few I would recommend.
The risks to a cosigner are fairly substantial.  The cosigner is fully liable for the vehicle and the payments.  If the person you are signing for doesn't pay, register the vehicle or pay for insurance, you are then required to do so.  There can also be social problems if the relationship between the two parties degrades.  It's a common situation to have a boyfriend co-sign for a girlfriend and vice versa.  When these relationships do not work out, they will still have joint credit forcing that relationship to stay somewhat open.  There is no way to remove someone from a loan without refinancing the loan completely, a situation that the person with bad credit will have a hard time accomplishing.
Think carefully about cosigning for another person, it's a situation that many people find they regret.  A viable alternative is to help them out with the down payment instead.  If helping them out with a down payment is not possible, consider the fact that you will be committing to a substantially greater amount than that down payment with the loan you are signing for.
]]> What is Good or Bad Credit? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/31/What-is-Good-or-Bad-Credithttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/31/What-is-Good-or-Bad-CreditSat, 01 Feb 2014 06:45:15 +0000
First off, what is credit?  Companies report your payment history, good and bad, to different bureaus.  These reports then reflect a score that determines many things in life.  Your car payment, being able to buy a home, getting a job, and even insurance rates.
Good credit takes work, bad credit is easy.  You can repair your credit but it takes time.  Once you do buy a car, make sure you do everything in your power to make your payment on time.  After only 12 months of timely payments, your credit will be on its way to being healed.
Getting your credit "repaired" is a scam.  There is no way to easily repair your credit.  If there are errors on your report, there are avenues to get them removed but if the credit marks are legitimate, getting them removed by so called "credit repair" companies is all but impossible.  Read carefully, these companies imply that they can remove it but nowhere do they promise it.  Save your money and use it instead to pay your bills on time.
The bills that matter get paid first.  Utilities and rent don't report to your credit unless you are evicted or you do not pay at all, there are no late payments.  On the same note, they do not improve your credit.  Credit cards and car payments report how well you pay them, and they must be paid every month on time.
Do not pay old collections.  I know, doesn't sound right does it?  But old collections that have been sold off to aggressive third party debt collectors is past repair.  They fall off after a certian amount of time with no activity, if you make even a $1 payment, the time starts over again.  Never pay a collection once it goes to a third party, only pay the original debtor.
The quickest and easiest way to repair your credit is to get new credit and pay it on time. Easier said than done.  A new car loan is the most effective way, since you're required to make a payment every month, unlike a credit card, it makes the most difference to your credit.
You can also get a secured credit card.  If you give a bank a deposit of say, $500, they will give you a credit card worth $500.  Some are much better than others, so shop around.
As the old saying goes, anything that works takes work.  Pay your bills on time, set a budget you can live with, and before you know it your credit will be something to be proud of.
]]> Upside down on your trade? ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/18/Upside-down-on-your-tradehttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/18/Upside-down-on-your-tradeSun, 19 Jan 2014 01:16:23 +0000
Flipped, upside down, negative equity, buried in the trade. All these phrases mean the same thing.  You owe more on your car than what it's worth.
How is something like this even possible?  With lenders and dealers becoming more aggressive and customers wanting nicer cars for less money, compromises in financing are made.  Extended financing terms, higher interest rates, low down payments and trading out of cars early can all contribute to owing more on the car than what it's worth.
20 years ago, it was common practice to put at least 20% down on the car and finance for 36-48 months.  But as consumers tastes rose with the prices of the cars, terms had to be extended so people could pay for these loans. Terms started to rise slowly and today there are car loans up to 120 months.
Also, take into account that the average car loan is now over five years.  While the average consumer keeps this new car only two and a half years.  That means the average person is trading in a car that is only half paid off.
People who buy a car new are especially open to becoming "upside down".  New cars take a large depreciation hit as soon as you buy them.  People are willing to put up with this to get the exact car they want or to have the peace of mind of driving a new vehicle.
Factor all these things together and you have an estimated 65% of all consumers trading in a car with an active car loan are upside down. 
So how can you avoid negative equity? Try and purchase your car with the shortest term you can afford.  Also, put down enough money to cover your sales tax and 20% of the price of the vehicle. 
Negative equity is a trend that's unlikely to change in the near future.  Try and avoid it by purchasing a car that is reasonable based on your income.  Attempt to purchase the car at the shortest term you can afford and save a reasonable down payment to buy the vehicle.  If you follow this advice, you can be confident you will never have to deal with being buried in your vehicle, from a sales standpoint that is.
]]> Get the most out of your trade in! ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/17/Get-the-most-out-of-your-trade-inhttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/17/Get-the-most-out-of-your-trade-inFri, 17 Jan 2014 22:33:11 +0000 Being polite in the car business ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/17/Being-polite-in-the-car-businesshttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/17/Being-polite-in-the-car-businessFri, 17 Jan 2014 22:32:06 +0000
Your mother always told you to mind your manners, be polite, and to say thank you.  Little did she know, that advice can save you quite a bit of money on your next purchase.
There have been surveys released by the NADA stating that customers would rather go to the dentist than to shop for a new or used car.  The car buying process can be extremely stressful for some consumers.  The problem arises when that stress turns into aggravation and annoyance that is released towards the dealership and their staff.
Dealers have thick skins, it's just the name of the game.  The abuse an average dealer puts up with in the name of sales and profit are sometimes unreal.  I've seen everything from customers jumping up and down on the hood of their own car screaming obscenities (over not qualifying for a loan), to old ladies throwing a used diaper (yes, theirs) at a service writer because her oil change was taking too long.  You cannot affect change inside of a dealership at any point with negative behavior, they are immune to it.
On the reverse of that, most dealers are suckers for a thank you and a smile.  Even customers who get great deals and customer service leave with a sour taste in their mouth assuming they missed something and still were taken advantage of.  So a genuinely polite and appreciative customer cuts through a dealer employee's defenses like a laser.
I've personally been involved with hundreds of cases where a customer was upset with something that was a simple fix.  But because of their abusive, vulgar and dehumanizing behavior they were thrown out and told never to return.  I've also seen cases on the other end of things where a customer that is truly in trouble and is asking for help gets what they need even if it costs the dealer thousands of dollars.
Your manners in the negotiation of the deal can get the salesman on your side.  I've heard the quote "c'mon man, these people are really nice" used to close more than one desk manager in my days. 
I recently had a conversation with a customer on the phone.  She was upset because a car she bought a year ago had a blend door go bad, a small $40 dollar part.  I answer the phone and the first words out of her mouth, before I even finished saying hello, were curse words insulting me, my mother, wishing I died, hoping we burned etc.  It was amazing, and again, dealers have thick skins.  I calmly asked the lady "what did you expect to accomplish?  Make yourself feel better or to get your car fixed?".  She answered she wanted her car fixed.  I then asked what she would do if I called her, said the things she said and then asked for help?  There was a long silence on the other end.
Be prepared when you go to the car dealership and try and make it as positive as an experience as you can for yourself.  If you do this and keep a smile on your face, you might save yourself quite a bit of money or get your problems fixed with very little hassle.
]]> Understanding the Four Square ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/17/Understanding-the-Four-Squarehttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2014/01/17/Understanding-the-Four-SquareFri, 17 Jan 2014 22:29:35 +0000
Ahh the classic four square.  It seems every day a sales genius or company comes out with a better wheel for dealers to replace a piece of paper that has been used since the 70's.  The four square is a dealer's best tool in the battle for profit and sales.
What is a four square?  If you look at the image, it shows you an actual four square of a deal.  As the name implies, the negotiation is split into four different squares.  One for the trade, one for the price, then payment and down payment.
The idea is that if you can focus on one instead of the entire picture, it leads to more profit.  The typical "pencil" begins with the desk manager filling this out after your test drive and application.
All those scribbles and garbage are actually important and effective at the art of misdirection.  The typical situation is that the sales price is full retail, the trade is less than you wanted, down is more than you wanted to put and the payment is higher than you are comfortable with.  This is all intentional.
The dealer's ideal situation is for you to focus on one box, we will use the trade as an example.  You did your research and everyone says it's worth $4000, they offer you $2000.  Upset, you point this out to your salesman.  He counters with the compromise that if they give you the $4000 you want would you do the deal?  The car was always worth $4000 and your negotiation did nothing except keep you off the big picture.
So, how do you beat this tool?  You don't, you can't, so just avoid it all together.  Ask what they are giving you for your trade, your interest rate and what the out the door price is.  Avoid any conversations about down payment or term and payment.  This puts you back in control of the negotiation.  Negotiate each of these items by themselves.  Only after you've got these items to a point you're satisfied with do you discuss payment and down payment.
The four square is the equivalant of bringing a bazooka to a knife fight.  Pay close attention and change the negotiation to the terms that really matter and you will leave knowing you got a great deal on your vehicle purchase.
]]> Understand the finance office ]]> https://automartnv.com/single-post/2013/05/01/Understand-the-finance-officehttp://automartnv.com/single-post/2013/05/01/Understand-the-finance-officeWed, 01 May 2013 09:58:20 +0000
Consumers today have more information about buying a car than any other item on earth.  You can find out a dealer's true cost, what your vehicle is worth, interest rates and more at the click of a button.  This wealth of information led to a sharp decline in profits and left dealers scrambling for ways to make up this lost revenue. 
The answer came in the form of the finance manager.  Most customers wrongly believe that negotiation is over once they agree on terms and ring the bell.  Little do they know that almost 75% of the dealers profit is about to be negotiated for.  This is intentional.  Your guard has been up all day, you came to an agreement and shook on it.  They want you to believe that the negotiation is over and it's all rainbows and puppy dogs.
A finance manager is typically the best salesperson in the entire building.  This one person is typically responsible for a huge portion of the profit of the dealership.  You need to prepare for your negotiation with this person in advance.  And you will be negotiating even if you don't realize it. 
The negotiation usually starts at the presentation of the menu.  The menu is a piece of paper that shows a few options usually labeled in an ascending way.  For example: bronze, gold, platinum, or diamond.  Obviously bronze pays them the least and costs the least and goes up from there.  This menu will package high profit items that don't have as much value to the consumer with low profit high value items.  This is done to maximize profit.
You do not need to buy a package at all, and if you do decide to buy products you can buy them in any combination you choose.
When talking about these items make sure you always ask the cost of the items, do not negotiate these or make your decision solely based on payment.  The idea of $5 a month covering your expensive tires and wheels from road hazards sounds ok, until you realize it's costing you $480 for that.
The finance manager also has a large discretion on what rate they charge you.  A common sales tactic is to lower the interest rate in exchange for you agreeing to buy products.  This is an opportunity to use shady tactics to save yourself money.  Demand the lower rate they offered, no matter what products you bought.  No bank lowers rates based on you having a warranty or gap insurance or any other products.
Some items have more value than others. Read more on this blog for specifics about different items and try to decide before you go if it's a product you will need or not.  Being prepared in the finance office can make more of a difference in your purchase than at almost any other point of the sales process, so make the most of it.
]]>