Tag Archives: car


man-916494_1280The internal battle rages on with car buying enthusiasts. Is it always better to buy a used car?

I’ve gone looking at cars several times over the past 2 years or so and I’m not 100% sold on what the right decision is.

Those who remain staunchly pro-new buying will answer than used cars are never a sure thing, and if you intend to own a vehicle for the life of the vehicle, then deprecation doesn’t matter. Pro-used car buyers argue that new cars are a waste of money, resources, and will always be a terrible investment?

So how should a person decide whether or not used car buying is the right decision for their transportation needs? Weighing the pros and cons will always help decide whether or not you’re making the right decision when you get ready to buy a car.

...continue reading


buy a carI'm not a big fan of shopping. Some purchases are much more difficult than others, which is why I'm a big fan of online shopping. My wife and I recently had to buy a car after hers was totaled, and the experience left me wondering why the process is so difficult.

I know there are services such as Carvana, which delivers a new car to your door with a seven-day, no-questions return policy.

I may give such as service a try some day, but for now I'm old fashioned and figure if we're going to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a car, I'd prefer to take it on a test drive before buying.

Before I get to the tale of woe and offer ideas for making the chance to buy a car easier, I should explain two things:

1. We only decided to buy a new car after doing plenty of research that showed that a new Toyota Prius was only about $4,000 more than a used one. My normal inclination is to always buy a car used because a new car's value depreciates 9 percent when you drive off the lot.

2. I don't consider myself an expert in car price negotiations — mainly because I've only bought one new car — so before buying the Prius I hired a car broker to buy a used car. The broker not only saved me money, but it took a lot less time and I'm sure less hassle than I would have had at an auto dealer. Eventually, we went with a broker to buy a car for my wife.

Start with a price report

To get a feel for our local market to buy car, I got a free TrueCar report for its estimate of how much the car would cost. I then used a link from my Consumer Reports magazine subscription that allowed three area car dealers to send us price quotes through email.

The offers were all reasonable, based on the prices we found online. But one offer was about $2,500 less than the others. That kind of set off a red light for me, but I called the salesman anyway to make sure the price was accurate and that it included any out-the-door fees, taxes and anything costs they planned to charge me.

He assured me it was, and sent me an email confirming the price as the final price. This is where things started to fall apart. ...continue reading

Takata airbag recallNearly 34 million vehicles — or about one in seven vehicles on American roads — are being recalled in the Takata airbag recall for possibly being defective. It's the largest automotive recall in American history.

Takata, the largest supplier of airbags, admits that its airbags can explode violently when they deploy, sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment. Six deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to the defect.

Steps to check for Takata airbag recall

What should consumers do? There are four easy steps, according to the Consumer Federation of America:

1. Get your vehicles's Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, from the outside of the dash on the driver's side, or on the outer edge of the driver's door. Your registration card and insurance card should also have the VIN.

2. Go to www.safercar.gov/vin and type in your VIN.

3. If your vehicle is part of the Takata airbag recall, contact any dealer of your vehicle immediately to schedule a replacement appointment. The repair is free.

4. Ask your dealer or vehicle manufacturer for a "loaner vehicle" while parts are being manufactured.

If your vehicle isn't currently listed as being part of the Takata airbag recall, check back to see if it is added.

Typical consumer response rates for recalls is around 70 percent, according to the CFA. If consumers don't respond to this recall, more than 10 million vehicles with this defect could be on the road.

Other ways to look for Takata airbag recall

There are other ways to check for a recall. The Safercar.gov site is run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA has its own section of its website to check for recalls and defectsRecalls.gov also lists recalls.

Drivers can also look technical service bulletins, or TSB, for their cars. Automakers use these to inform dealers about problems.