Used Cars – How To Know what to look for –

There is no denying that for the last few years the global economy has fluctuated.  Depending on who you ask, there are many theories we will not be going into them. We will leave that to Alan Greenspan and friends and let others spend time theorizing an unanswerable question.

It is important to put things in context and that is what this article does. The economy has everything to do with the used car industry.  Therefore everything to do with your ability to purchase a more luxurious car because the market becomes flooded with high end vehicles at a reasonable price.  When you are in the market for a high end luxury vehicle we recommend that you take some time and research who owned this car, please allow me to explain.

There is a domino effect. When the economy is doing well people lease high end vehicles and use them to their hearts delight.  Here is the first possible issue one can encounter with purchasing a vehicle that was previously a lease.  Some people, not everyone for we cannot make such broad assumptions, but some people tend to treat leases as though they were disposable.  Since these cars are not usually kept or purchased by the lessee then they are occasionally taken for granted, oil not changed, maintenance not kept and overall very little care given to the overall car care.

Why is this a possible issue? Hmmm, because you may be purchasing a car, lets say for the sake argument a Land Rover, a gorgeous SUV with all of the bells and whistles that you yearn for.  This car has 60,000 miles and is only 4 years old.  It has had one lessee or owner and soon it will be all yours. What we recommend is getting the maintenance record if at all available for this vehicle. Some high end vehicles can run forever if they are well maintained, but if they are not maintained well, the repairs especially to the engine can be more costly than its worth.

Before buying a used high end SUV check the oil and the filters, if they are old and outdated and if the oil is sludge then you may want to think twice before you purchase it.  You might end up buying a very cool car that is very problematic and the money you are saving by buying a used vehicle will be useless because you will end up spending it on parts and repairs. It is important to note that it is not land rovers that have issues with their engines or oil build up if the oil is not changed but this would be any vehicle from any car manufacturer. Most people have given Land Rover and Jaguar as well as other British car companies a bad rap and it might just be that the people who own such vehicles take terrible care of getting the scheduled maintenance required to run well and be problem free.
If you cannot get your hands on the maintenance receipts, if the owner did not keep this even if they did perform the maintenance there would be no proof of it.  The dealership might have checked out the car by their local mechanic to make sure that it was in working order.  You can have your fancy SUV and keep the cost down do your research find out as much information that you can about the previous owner of your future vehicle.land rover

Get added Car Appeal

Giving your car appeal

If you are looking to sell your car, there are tried and true tips that will ensure that your car sells sooner rather than later.  When a person comes to look at a used car they usually make up their minds regarding whether or not they plan on buying it within the first few seconds as far as aesthetics go. Other factors such a mileage, price and condition could also contribute to the success of your car sale, however we will be focusing on improving the initial appeal.

A lot of these suggestions may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how few people actually take the time to make the car look its best.  It is similar to going apt hunting and the apt you are shown is dirty and unkempt.  As humans we have imaginations but when it comes to car sales and aesthetics it is best to be proactive. Options for optimizing your cars appeal include washing it and or getting it detailed.  This may end up costing quite a bit depending on what part of Houston you are in. Another option, detail it yourself.  Take some Armor All and wipe down the dash – also, a 2 inch paint brush – the type you buy at any hardware store will be great to removing all of the excess dust that builds up between notches and vents.

If you are stressed for time and someone is meeting with you and you do not have the time to fully detail your car, take it to a car wash that has coin operated vacuums. Buy a car freshener or spray some Febreeze to make it smell more inviting.  Use some Windex on the windows inside and out as well as the mirrors inside and out.

Vacuum everywhere, on the dash, cup holders, gear shifter, on the inside of the doors, trunk and between the seats. The key to getting your car sold quickly is to do everything in your power to make it appealing to the car buyer. Most of the time between vacuuming and washes small amounts of dust or dirt can cover the dash and fall between the nooks and crannies of your car interior.  Take a damp cloth and wipe it down or you can purchase special oil to make it smell great and give it additional shine.

If your car looks like your office (full of papers and supplies scattered everywhere), a closet (full of clothing and shoes) or a trash heap (full of old wrappers and empty cans) you need to get rid of all of it. If you have heard of the term, neat as a pin, then that should be your goal with your car.  The potential buyer will not appreciate trying to see a car that is covered in your stuff. Also, it may reflect negatively on you if this is the impression you allow them to have – because frankly it will demonstrate how little you care for your car. This could affect the sale.

Unless you are very car saavy and might have some mechanic experience you may not know how to clean your engine superficially.  This might seem like a waste of time if you had not thought about it, but the engine is perhaps the most important part of your car.  Take it to a mechanic and have them clean it for you.

Your tires should be as shiny as a mirror.  This will make your car look more impressive.  Most of these products might darken the tires or just add shine and most of them come in spray bottles so it is practically mess free.  Also, you may or may not be aware but most car companies provide the exact paint match for your car color. Usually found at car supply stores. This is the case unless your car is custom painted, then you can not go to your local Napa and get the color you need on a moments notice.  You should have problem picking up an inexpensive and small amount to touch up scratches. The applicators resemble a nail polish bottle with a similar looking brush to brush the paint on in small doses where the scratches have be left.

When all is said and done be objective and look at your car from all angles in order to determine that you did what you could to guarantee the asking price you are hoping for and not get low balled because of a few simple fixes.

How To Negotiate Buying A Car

negotiation

When it comes to buying a car, there are some things that you should take into consideration we have some great tips. It is said that when you walk into a dealership you are expected to negotiate the price that is stated.  That is the norm.  Which is why most people who are shy or timid get someone pushier and more aggressive to go with them to “work over the sales man”.

 

If you pay the sticker price then you are letting the car dealership walk away with hundreds and perhaps even thousands of dollars worth of profit. We understand as you must that the services provided by the dealership for having the car that you want is worth something, so how much haggling you do and how much you try to re-negotiate the price on the sticker is up to you.

 

What you need to know is the following:

 

What the invoice price of the vehicle is –

Lets start at the beginning, there is a price that the car dealership pays for every vehicle directly from the car manufacturer.  This is known as the Invoice Price, this money can also be made in the form of money that the dealership gets as a lump sum every quarter.  This is true mostly for new car dealerships, but having said that before you go out and purchase a car you should arm yourself with information.  This information is available on the web, just type in Invoice prices for the car make and model that you are interested in purchasing. The advantage of knowing this information is that you can therefore negotiate the price that is listed on the sticker and what the dealership actually paid for the car on the lot.  It allows you some negotiating “wiggle room” and can be beneficial to your bottom line.

 

Check the Foursquare –

Foursquare is a worksheet that is used by most car dealers, this worksheet has four major quadrants, thus its called a foursquare. Purchase price, down payment, monthly payment and trade in value. Some car salespeople will try to focus on one part of this square. What is important is to remember that if you get a what seems like a great deal on the down payment can make your payments stretch out much much longer than necessary.  As mentioned before the more facts you know the better you can handle the curve balls that you may face at the dealership.

 

Don’t be afraid to walk away –

When it comes to shopping for a car there is just one thing to remember.  No one is forcing you to buy anything you don’t want to.  Ok, lets be honest, if you have ever gone into a store and walked out convinced that you needed an item that is not 100% what you were looking for or even wanted then your salesperson is good.  Really good. People who work at sales for a living do so because they are really good at selling.  Don’t let someone convince you of something that you are not convinced of.  Going to a car dealerships does not mean that you have to leave with a car.  You can go and get information, you can not be thrilled with the offer and choose to go somewhere else.  Another FYI is that if you threaten to go somewhere else to get a better deal you may just end up getting what you needed and wanted all along.

 

Shop around for financing on your own –

If you go into a dealership without doing your homework how will you know that interest rates you are qualified for? How will you know what a good going rate is for what you are looking for looks like. What you are qualified for?  Credit unions, local banks or even your local bank may have some great options for you, lower rates, better interest rates.

 

Get your trade in value to work to your advantage –

Rule #1 if you bring a car that you wish to trade in, do not discuss it with the dealer until you get what you want.  Negotiate the terms of your car once you get the interest rates you want, the purchase price you want.  Remember that regardless the car dealership will be making money and you need to do what is best for you, this tricks will help you get the car you want at a price you can handle.

Do not negotiate monthly payments –

Most of us live paycheck to paycheck, most of us have jobs that pay a certain amount and that is what we have to go on.  Do not be fooled when it comes to getting offered a lower monthly price, this can be a catch 22. Your monthly payments may be lower but you may be paying for it more so than not with payments that span for eternity. Do not make your negotiations based on how little you will pay a month, because your interest rates may inflate over time and you will end up paying more than you needed or wanted to.

Have no regrets on final fees –

You have found the car you want, you qualify for a good interest rate and have agreed on all the key points.  Ask about fees.  Find out what else will be needed of you in order to drive your shiny new car off of the lot.  Get the facts and ask whether these fees are negotiable or if the dealership will assume responsibility for them in order to make a sale.  Sometimes you can wiggle out of paying them, at other times you cannot, but it never hurts to ask.

Beware Buyers & Sellers of Cars

car used salesperson selling old car as brand new

When it comes to used car dealerships, There is a stigma usually attached to them, but not every used car dealership has to be an uncomfortable experience. At Car Snappy we pride ourselves in getting you the best price for your used vehicle, we pay cash for cars.

There are certain tactics that some used car dealerships tend to use, when you go to buy or sell your car.  Tactics that make the whole experience somewhat uncomfortable. People who go to buy/sell their cars are usually in need of a good reliable vehicle.

What they don’t need is to be manipulated into purchasing something they did not want. HEre are some common issues that some used car dealerships and their employees might try on you.

There are some tactics that they use, tactics they can try on you, here are some examples to look out for:

When a used car salesman asks you as you are ready to leave the lot…

•    “What If i can get you the car for this price…(then they would offer a very reasonable price)… asking if you would buy it then?

This is called lowballing it and doesn’t mean that the car is being sold at that price. What it does mean is that they are trying anything they can to get you to stick around.

•    Some people try to skip steps by calling and asking what the trade in value of their car might be.  If you call regarding the value of your car, what we recommend is to do some research, get to the dealership and get an appraisal on the actual value.  It is important to not assume the value of a vehicle that has not even been seen. It is impossible to give an exact value estimate without having a professional appraise it.

•    If you see ad after ad for very inexpensive cars, so you call and are told that these cars have just been sold, or that it is in process, then…it is usually not true.

then this is a tactic that many companies use to bait you into stopping by.  If a deal seems too good to be true, than it usually is.

•    Do your homework, Read the disclosure, find out if there is some fine print regarding downpayments or a dealer fee.  These hidden costs can make your buying experience a negative experience, leaving a sour taste in your mouth when it comes to future purchases.

What we recommend is the following, here are some Questions to ask before you head out in search of your new vehicle:

•    Call the store, do you have the vehicle still in stock, vehicles like this that are still in stock?
•    Make sure you have choices

You get a price and then that price changes because of less than stellar credit, no dealership can take a fee that a bank is charging and add it to your price.  Once you have a signed buyers order the price cannot be changed and should not be.

Go somewhere transparent, go to someplace reputable.  Do not go after fake inventory, no hidden fees.  Buying or selling a used car should be a pleasant experience, not a stressful one.

The Hassles of Selling Your Car in Houston

The Hassles of Selling Your Car in Houston
If you are over the age of 18, then it is safe to say that you may have owned and car at some point and then decided to change it for something else, and had to sell it. Let’s add to this the fact that it is normally a hassle to sell you car in Houston. This onto itself can be a daunting reality. Having to get it ready to be seen, take pictures of it, find a website where you can place your listing, update all of the information over and over and over on different platforms. This can be time consuming but can also be a frustrating process.

For the most part, there are  common ways that people sell their cars –

Selling your car online, by posting them to car sites, some of which are free, some of which are not in order to get someone interested in buying your car. What does this mean?  Well, that there is a lot of legwork for you to do, you need to find out how your car rates as compared to similar models and years, there is usually a scale of fair, good and excellent conditions.  Then, you need to take a cold hard look at your car –  See it not as something containing countless memories, but a mode of transportation and a whole world of possible memories for someone new, the buyer.  You need to see it with an objective eye, find everything and anything that needs repairing or looks old/torn and replace it.

This process can be arduous, you may need to invest a small amount into minor repairs that might not have “bothered” you, but that may mean the difference between a sale and losing this opportunity.  You must also keep in mind that the better your vehicle looks, the more willing the buyer will be to pay the price you are asking and not feel as though they are being taken advantage of. When you sell online, you are basically selling to private parties.  These are people like you, who need what you have, it is supply and demand.  However, sometimes coordinating with a buyer, finding a time that works for both of you can be a complicated affair considering how busy each one of us is. They will meet you somewhere and check your car out under a microscope and many times will ask that it be taken to their mechanic to ensure that things run they way they should.

Then you have to create a catchy slogan, title tag and great photos to help your post stand out from the rest.  There may be 40 Honda Civics for sale on any given site, what will make a potential car buyer choose your listing versus someone else’s?  Hassle, sums it up in a word.  You may be really good at a great many things, but unless you have a marketing degree, it might be a daunting task to do all of this just to get some cold hard cash for your rig.

Another option to selling your car is to trade it in to a dealership.  This seems easy enough correct?  You just drive your trusty steed to the nearest car dealership, spend a few minutes while someone reviews it, rates it and then you get some cold hard cash.  Maybe, at best.  The truth is, that when you trade your car into a dealership – you get an offer that is MUCH lower than what you might get elsewhere. Most dealerships are renown for lowballing and by a lot – what the actual value of the car is, the there are two reasons they do this.  First, because it’s convenient for you, it saves you time and because of that they take advantage of this fact.  Secondly, because they need to make a profit, resell it and earn something that is worth while on the car when they sell it to someone else.

What makes selling your car no hassle?  If you live in Houston Texas, you need to come by Car Snappy.  We are a new breed of car dealerships, because what we specialize in is paying you cash for your car now.  We give you a fair value for your vehicle and we understand that if you are coming to us, it’s because you need to sell your car for whatever the reason.  We are dependable and trustworthy, just ask any of the hundreds of clients that have previously worked with us.  We offer you a reasonable and realistic solution to selling your car.

Car Dealerships and The Benefits of Choosing Them

Colorful Cars Stock

Car dealerships can be a great place to find what you are looking for, a car.  However there are stigmas and generalized ideas about what goes on in such places behind the scenes.  There are some generalized ideas regarding difficulties that car dealerships can encounter and what is fiction from fact.  Here are some common misconceptions and here we share how we handle them.

 Some people believe that during economic downtime, hardships, its hard to sell cars.  Not true, just like in the housing market crash- people still sold houses, bought houses and these exchanges still took place.  When times are “tough” there is always an opportunity, a chance to create some sort of innovation, perhaps create a financing option that allows for lower payments or a more flexible plan to allow people who need this tool the access to it.

Misconception: If you have low credit scores, you cannot get a car loan.  Not entirely true, what this does mean is that you may not qualify for the same financing options as someone with excellent credit.  However, this does not mean that you are out of the car race entirely.  What it does mean is that you would have to put more money down up front and that you payments would be larger and the interest as well.  There is always a way for someone who needs a car to get one, perhaps a co-signer on the loan.  There are many different options depending on what you qualify for and what the financial institution that you are working with have to offer.

When you are selling a car, a big part of it is negotiation.  That is true, that goes for everything, there are many different factors that go into the price of selling a car.  Condition of said car, mileage, any add on’s – or after market parts are a big consideration in pricing as well.  There are websites that can help you adequately gauge what your car may be worth, these will help you get an idea of what your car may be worth. But remember that this is a gauge, if you want your car sold now, and want cash in hand you should be flexible on the price.  The saying is, one bird in hand is worth more than 100 in flight.

Some people believe that if you are Intelligent, you will know what your trade in is worth.  Well, yes and no.  You may have an idea as stated before because you can get an idea, but there is always an emotional component to any piece of property. That is what the issue can be, people tend to invest a lot of time and money in their vehicles, they develop a love and an emotional bond with their possessions.  This however is not the case when it comes to selling your car.  Its value is pretty black and white and that is something to keep in mind when you sell your car.  Your emotional belief is only that your emotional connection with your vehicle. Its important to keep that in mind when you think of selling your once beloved possession.

There is a thought that the smarter the customer, the more difficult the close.  This is not always the case. When the customers who come waltzing through the door know what they want, know what they are looking for, it means that there is less time spent wasted by them sifting through things they do not want.  Its as simple as that.  What is important to educated car consumers?  Honesty, transparency and trust.  All of which can be achieved through honest dealings and answering any questions they might have.

If you believe that any dealership you visit might have a better deal somewhere down the road, then you may loose out on a great opportunity to sell your vehicle.  It is true, there may be specials, or discounts or special offers out there, but it is important to remember that there is an element of need in most car sales.  If you need to sell your car, it is usually because you want to or need to and what you need is to sell your car.  It is important to trust who you are selling your car to and get the best price for your vehicle that meant so much for you.

Everyone who walks through the door only wants the lowest price.  Well, that makes sense.  Car dealerships are in it to make money and they are in the car buying business to purchase quality items and resell them to people who will enjoy them as much as you did.  So have a little faith and remember that there are companies out there who have your best interest in mind, who take the time to offer you the best price now for your vehicle that you once valued so much.