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Hottest Cars – What Cars are Best Sellers?

most reliable carsThe best selling cars are those that car buyers like best and buy most often. Given that most of those buyers do at least some research before they make a decision, they choose their cars wisely and make informed decisions. If other buyers don’t want to do the research and make their decisions based on what other buyers are choosing, that’s okay. They still end up getting great cars.

Although we will be talking about best-selling new cars here, the same cars are generally the best-selling used cars as well. Furthermore, we won’t talk about trucks, but suffice it to say that the Ford F150 pickup has been the best-selling vehicle of any type for years.

Before we present our list, let’s take a moment to discuss why some cars are super-popular and others not so much.

Generally, the best-selling cars are those that have the best combination of all the things that buyers are looking for — the optimal “package.” Smart buyers want good value, a reasonable price, quality construction, high reliability, good performance, a comfortable drive, adequate space for passengers and cargo, good styling, good fuel economy, modern features, an excellent safety rating, and maybe some luxury features. They also want a car that is reasonably inexpensive to insure, maintain, and repair.

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Preparing Your Teen for Car Safety: Four Tips

teen car safetyPreparing a teen for their driver’s license is both exciting and frightening. The freedom of driving is exhilarating, but the dangers are real. Car insurance for teen drivers is significantly more expensive than it is for more experienced adults — for good reasons. Inexperience and unsafe driving can lead to accidents, and accidents, even minor fender benders, can make a teen’s car insurance even more costly. Using the following five tips while preparing your teen for safe driving can help to ease your concerns and pay dividends down the road.

Buckle Up

Teaching your teen the importance of using seat belts is one of the most important safe driving tips that they can learn. Drivers and passengers who are properly restrained during the unfortunate event of an accident almost always suffer far less serious wounds, and have a far lower mortality rate, than those who are not wearing their seatbelts. It is estimated by the National Highway Safety Administration that properly worn seatbelts lower the risk of fatal injuries by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate-to-critical injuries by 50 percent.

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How to Really Screw Up a Car Purchase

According to questions I see posted on Yahoo Answers, there are a huge number of first car buyers out there who have somehow found exactly the WRONG way to buy a car. They then look for help AFTER they realize their mistake. It’s nearly always too late by that time.

Here’s how NOT to buy a car:

Leave a deposit with a seller or dealer for a car you are not absolutely sure you’re going to buy. The problem is that you may not be able to get your deposit back if you change your mind, unless there is a clear written document that states that you’ll get your deposit refunded and under what conditions. In the worst case scenario, the seller sells the car to someone else AND keeps your deposit. Don’t leave deposits unless you absolutely must.

Buy a used car without having it inspected by a professional mechanic before the purchase. Used cars are sold “as-is” which means you can’t get your money back if you find the car has problems later. There are no “right-of-return” or used-car lemon laws to protect you, even if you feel the seller or dealer committed fraud. You can’t rely on a seller’s statement that a car “runs fine” or “has no problems.” A mechanic’s inspection will cost $75-$125 but can prevent you from making a multi-thousand dollar mistake.

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What’s a Good First Car?

first carI frequently visit the popular web site, Yahoo Answers, and answer questions about cars there. Many of the questions are from teens and other young people who are buying their first car.

One of the most common questions is, “What is a good first car?” or simply, “What is a good car?”

Sometimes the asker has already narrowed down his or her choices to a few makes and models but, more often, they simply don’t know and want some advice or suggestions.

It’s difficult to recommend a specific car to someone when you have no idea of their needs or preferences. But I usually suggest the popular Honda Civic as a good first car because it has a great combination of most of the things that buyers are looking for. It offers a lot of car for a relatively low price, whether it’s used or new. It’s very reliable and won’t be expensive to maintain.  It has good gas mileage which makes it relatively inexpensive to drive. Insurance costs are low, compared to many other cars. It’s safe and comfortable. And its 4-cylinder engine provides peppy performance.

Although the Civic is a great car for a great price, it doesn’t fit everyone’s needs.

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Common Car Scam

car scamThe most common car scam is one in which a nice car is listed for sale at a low price on Craigslist.com, Autotrader.com, or other web site.

There is no hint, other than the low price, that it is a scam. They show you a couple of good pictures of the car and even provide the VIN number.

So, what’s the problem.

The problem is that the picture of the car and the VIN were snagged somewhere on the Internet and it’s not the “seller’s” car. In fact, the “seller” is only trying to get your attention so that he can separate you from your money.

You won’t find out enough details to determine it’s a scam until you contact the “seller.” At that time you’ll get an email from him much like this one:

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What Car to Buy?

best cars 2013Many people know they need/want a new car but struggle with what car to buy. There are so many choices.

How does a person go about deciding what car is best for them?

There are actually a number of different approaches that be taken in making a decision.

One way is to simply do detailed research. This can take a lot of time and work depending how much you can narrow down your possible choice before you start. For example if you already know you want a Nissan, it’s just a matter of researching the various Nissan models, styles, options, specifications, and prices to find the one that best fits your needs. One of the best ways to do it is to visit the car company website. In this example, it would be www.nissanusa.com.

Another way is to start with a popular make and model as a first consideration — such as a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry — and decide what you don’t like or what you want different about those vehicles. Then research other makes and models for those characteristics. This is the approach we suggest in our article, What Car Should I Buy?

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Negotiate Car Price

negotiate car priceWhen buying a car, everyone knows you don’t pay the asking price or sticker price. Right?

Right.

The process of buying a car in the United States is unusual in that it’s one of the very few times when we actually negotiate or “haggle” over prices. We don’t do it when buying a refrigerator at Sears, or a TV at BestBuy, or a watermelon at the supermarket. With cars, it’s more like haggling over an old lamp at a garage sale or, if we lived in the Middle East, getting a price on a donkey.

Although buyer-seller negotiating is common in many other countries, most people in the U.S. find it uncomfortable and awkward. Since we don’t do it very often, we’re not very skilled at it. Many people hate it.

Negotiating New-Car Prices

All new cars have standard manufacturer-suggested-retail-prices (MSRP) — retail prices — “sticker” prices that are exactly the same for the same car, same model, same equipment everywhere in the U.S.. Including the word “suggested” suggests that the prices are not necessarily the prices we have to pay. And dealers encourage us to expect less-than-sticker prices by their ads and TV commercials — “We beat anyone’s prices,” or “Less than invoice prices,” or “Lowest prices in town.”

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Do You Need a Lease Kit?

Car Leasing KitLeasing a car is a bit more complicated than buying a car with cash or with an auto loan. Because of that, many people are leasing when they shouldn’t be, and others who should are making mistakes or paying too much.

It’s a fact that many people who lease cars make their decision based on nothing more than monthly payment. They know that lease payments are lower than loan payments — it’s true — but what seems like a low lease payment can often be a bad deal. It’s very difficult to calculate lease payments on a simple calculator, especially if you don’t know the standard lease formula. And even if you know how to calculate a payment, it doesn’t tell you if the lease deal is good or bad.

This is the reason that LeaseGuide.com (also by Al Hearn) created the Car Lease Kit a few years ago. It’s a collection of online tables, calculators, and guidelines that give car leasing customers the tools they need to make sure they get the best possible deal and avoid mistakes.

The Lease Kit helps in the following ways:

– Tells you which car makes and models make the best lease deals (have the highest lease-end residual values)

– Shows you average lease-end residual percentages for all vehicle makes and models so that you can compare the lease residual offered by your dealer

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Money for Your First Car

money for carThe need or desire for a first car often comes before sufficient money is available.

This is especially true for many teenagers or college graduates who are eager to buy that first car, but lack the necessary funds. What to do?

This is a common problem for lots of folks buying their first car. It can be solved in a number of ways.

There are essentially four ways to get money for a car:

  1. Save the money
  2. Be gifted the money
  3. Borrow the money
  4. Earn the money

Let’s take a closer look at each of these ways:

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Where Are the Best Car Deals?

best car dealsEveryone buying a new car wants to get a bargain and a great deal. So where can those deals be found?

Although we’ll be primarily discussing brand new cars here, we can make some comments on used cars, if that’s the direction you think you want to go.

Used Car Deals

Finding a great deal on a used car is a bit more tricky than finding a new-car deal. That’s because used cars are, well, used. No two are alike. Even used cars of the same year, same brand, same model, and same equipment can have different mileage, different problems, may have been driven and maintained differently, may have been wrecked (or not), and may have very different prices for these and other assorted reasons. When you find a used car at a bargain price, it might be for a good reason — or the buyer may simply be desperate — or it could be a common scam, especially if bought online. Therefore, it takes much more care when buying used.

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Is It Better to Lease or Buy a Car?

better to lease or buyAlthough we’ve discussed this topic previously (see Lease vs Buy), there is one aspect that we haven’t discussed and continue to hear questions about.

The question is essentially this: “If a car dealer is offering a special promotional lease deal, a purchase rebate, and a low interest loan on the car I want, which one is the best deal?”

The short answer to this question is that the lease deal will nearly always be better — and it’s not simply because monthly payments are less. If the lease deal is one that is being offered by the car manufacturer, the company has usually applied a price discount, a low money factor (finance rate), and a high lease-end residual value. The combination of all these things makes for an attractive low monthly payment. Customers are not able to negotiate these kinds of deals for themselves  because a dealer only controls one of those three things — price.

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