Archive for March, 2009
Men who are interested in buying a used luxury vehicle have yet another reason to make the purchase now that a team of scientists have proven the widely believed thought that women are more attracted to men with expensive cars.
Scientists at the UK’s University of Wales Institute in Cardiff say their study which is published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Psychology, proves that women prefer men who drive a “sexier” vehicle.
In the study the researchers showed women two pictures of the same man. In one he was sitting in a Bentley Continental and in the other he was behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta (essentially the UK equivalent of a Ford Focus).
Dr. Michael Dunn, research leader for the study, says women preferred the man when he was driving the Bentley with women aged 21-40 picking him as the more attractive version more often. Men, Dunn says, did not have a significant preference when a woman was sitting in two different cars, the study showed.
Jennifer Love Hewitt apparently doesn’t need someone to driver her around in an expensive car as the Ghost Whisperer star reportedly recently purchased a Bentley Continental which has a base price of more than $197,000.
Beginning this week and running through April 6, visitors to New York’s Grand Central Terminal will be able to witness two art exhibits involving BMW.
The first exhibit will feature four of the so-called BMW “art cars” including a 1977 BMW 320i painted by Roy Lichtenstein and a 1979 M1 from Andy Warhol.
Since 1975 BMW has been creating the “art cars” and has allowed 16 of the world’s most famed artists to design their vision of a BMW. In addition to the actual cars, the exhibit will feature videos of the artists working on the vehicles and discussing their inspiration behind the work.
A second exhibit in the terminal will feature a painting by contemporary artist Robin Rhode which was created using a 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster.
The car, which had paint dispensers mounted behind the wheels, drove along a football field-sized canvas to create the work. A 30 foot by 40 foot section of the painting will be featured at the exhibit.
Jack Pitney, vice president of marketing for BMW of North America said the exhibits are part of the automaker’s commitment to the arts.
“BMW is proud to bring the works of some of the world’s most respected artists to New York
City as part of a free public art installation,” he said. “It is an honor to know that these artists, and so many others, have garnered inspiration from, or expressed their thoughts and points of view through, our cars.”
For many Americans their dog isn’t just a pet, he or she is part of the family. Because of that, many people factor in their dog when they’re looking to purchase a used car.
While the owner of a Great Dane might decide to purchase a Ford Expedition over a Honda Civic to give the animal more room on car rides, more often used car buyers opt to buy after-market accessories to make their trips with their furry friend easier and safer.
One product that MSN auto suggests is a car seat for the owners of tiny dogs. The seats let the little guys see what’s happening outside the window while at the same time keeping them safe. Some of the more advanced models even have heaters to keep your pooch warm.
Other suggested products from the news provider help keep your dog in his seat and out of your lap which the site notes is unsafe for both the dog and the driver. A ban on lap dogs while driving has also been proposed in a number of states in recent years.
The number of pet- and family-friendly features in used cars grows every year with vehicles being produced now which have everything from entertainment systems to back-up cameras.
In the past, used car buyers who fell behind on their loan payments were in fear of the repo man taking their car in the middle of the night but a new trend has many car owners unable to start their vehicles if they’re late on a loan payment.
According to the Wall Street Journal, in an attempt to cut down on loan defaults many used cars are being equipped with devices called disablers which can keep the car from starting if a loan payment is late.
Don Lavoie, president and CEO of Sekurus Inc., one of the companies that makes the disablers, told the paper that sales rose 25 percent last year and notes that these devices give people the same type of incentive to pay their loan as they have with their cell phone.
He told the paper that many people are hesitant to send a late payment for their cell phone because it may result in their service being turned off. With the disablers, making a car payment becomes more important to some used car owners.
One way many people are trying to save money each month on their car loans is by increasing its length. According to a recent report from Cars.com, the median length of car loans in the U.S. rose to 60 months in February.
Although a number of people are continuing to look at new vehicles when they’re considering the purchase of a vehicle, many are deciding to go with a used car as the economy continues to sag.
According to the Detroit Free Press, it appears that a growing number of people are considering larger, less fuel-efficient used vehicles as gas prices continue to hover under $2 per gallon.
One auto dealer told the newspaper that the demand, and price, of SUVs and bigger vehicles has increased as the gas prices have dropped.
The AAA Daily Fuel Gage report finds that the average price of regular unleaded gasoline in the U.S. is $1.966 – about five cents above last month’s figure. But the small increase in March is a far cry from the $3.260 for a gallon of unleaded one year ago.
A rise in demand also could mean good news for people looking to change vehicles. Increased demand and price for a car or truck may allow some used car owners to get more for their vehicle.
It appears that life outside of the White House isn’t so good for the Bush family as a recent report notes that a car in the Secret Service detail of former president Bush’s daughter Jenna was towed recently for unpaid parking tickets.
According to InvestigativeVoice.com, the Secret Service vehicle was towed and impounded in Baltimore, Maryland last week after city workers realized it had expired license plates.
Officials originally said the car was towed because of numerous unpaid parking citations but Baltimore department of transportation spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes told the website on Sunday that the realization that the vehicle had expired tags forced them to tow the vehicle.
It would appear that the parking violations stem from the lack of available parking near Bush’s residence in South Baltimore which residents told the website is notoriously low on parking.
City councilman Bill Cole said he is in favor of the towing, and says the former first daughter should be treated like everyone else.
“I think it is a good thing that the city towed the vehicle – we have a serious shortage of parking spaces,” he said. “Everyone should be treated the same when it comes to traffic laws, and everyone should have to pay their tickets.”
Former vice president Dick Cheney recently told CNN that he is getting used to driving himself again after being prohibited from doing so for the last eight years in office.
For used car buyers, making a new purchase can be a tricky affair – but even when the deal appears to be done, there are some things to consider before driving home with your vehicle.
According to U.S. News & World Report, before paying any money a used car buyer should ask for the vehicle’s title. The magazine also encourages people to pay with either cash or check whenever possible.
It should go without saying, but you need insurance before you can drive your car off the lot. Because of this, it’s a good idea to have all the insurance needs situated before you even go to buy the car.
The news provider suggests double-checking the insurance policy and confirming the registration of the car before you take the keys.
Studies show an increasing amount of Americans are choosing used cars over new vehicles as the economy continues to sag. According to a survey earlier this month from Cars.com, 32 percent of people who would have normally purchased a new car during a better economic situation chose a used car in February.
It’s official, spring is finally here and that means the warm weather in the New York tri-state area is almost upon us which will have many drivers looking to put the tops down on their vehicles. With that in mind, there are some great used car choices for people looking for convertibles.
According to autobytel.com, which allows used car buyers to review vehicles, the most popular convertible used car on its site is the iconic American driving machine – the Ford Mustang.
The latest generation of the car has been around since 2005, meaning even an almost 5-year-old used car will look relatively new. Kelley Blue Book lists a 2005 Mustang GT convertible in excellent condition with 60,000 miles at $18,620.
Next on the list are a couple of BWMs with the 3 Series and Z4 coming in at number two and three respectively.
The 3 Series has been around since 1989, so it’s likely that a used car buyer can find in their price range. The Z4, which can go for more than $40,000 new, can be had for under $15,000 when purchased used.
In a study last month from Cars.com, the Ford Mustang came in came in third overall for most popular used car.
Find Used Ford cars in New York Tri-State Area with New Jersey State Auto.
People usually look for used cars to help save some money, but in the case of one used car, the owner is expecting to get more than $1 million.
As the idea of purchasing things online becomes more mainstream, more people are buying used cars through online auto auctions. But while it may be a good place to find a used car, it seems unlikely many people will be able to afford the SSC Ultimate Aero which holds the title from Guinness World Records as the World’s Fastest Production Car currently on sale on eBay.
The bid for the car is currently at $640,100, well below the expected going rate of $1 million by auctioneer TwentyFirstCenturyAuctions which is auctioning off a number of classic cars including two 1966 Chevy Corvettes and a 1966 Dodge Charger Hemi.
But the SSC Ultimate Aero, which can reach speeds of 257 miles per hour, is the big seller on the site at the moment. If the top speed and 0-60 in under three seconds weren’t enough, the car also comes with air conditioning, a DVD player and a framed certificate from Guinness commemorating its record braking speed.
For those interested, 20 percent of the price is due within 72 hours, with the remainder due a week later.
Some people think that once they’ve done their homework on a used car and taken it for a test drive all the hard work is over and they just sign the paperwork put in front of them. But experts say this is the time that a used car buyer needs to take their hunt to the next level.
According to US News & World Report, once you’ve discovered the car you want to buy, it’s important to go back to the internet and do some research by using the car’s VIN numbers to get a detailed history of the vehicle.
If problems are flagged up, the news provider suggests going to a mechanic and talking about the issues. Depending on how bad they are, you might want to discuss a reduction in price for the vehicle.
Although you may really want the car, the magazine says to not get emotionally involved as it might impair your judgment. It also says you should be prepared to walk away from the deal if you’re not comfortable with the negotiations.
A hybrid car might be a good choice for used car buyers as the prices have dropped due to the decrease in gas prices over recent months.
Although Lexus fell to the third spot on the list, Neal Oddes, director of product research and analysis said the car still performs well.
“Buick and Jaguar both lead the industry in nameplate performance,” Oddes told the Associated Press. “In terms of individual model performance, Lexus and Toyota still do very, very well.”
While knocking the luxury Japanese brand from its perch at number one was a big upset, it is somewhat surprising for many in the industry to see Jaguar vaulting to the top spot from last year’s ranking of 10th.
In ranking the car brands, J.D. Power looked at problems car owners complained of over the last three years. It surveyed 46,313 original owners of 2006 model year vehicles.
This means that late model used cars from some of the top brands may be a good choice for used car buyers looking for a dependable vehicle.
With so much information available on the internet today, many used car buyers are able to get almost all the knowledge they need on a car purchase. But there is still one important part of the car buying experience that has to be done in person – the test drive.
The test drive is one of the most important steps in buying a used car. No matter how good the car looks on the outside, if it drives poorly or has horrible noise coming from the engine, it’s probably not going to make a good purchase.
According to U.S. News & World Report, before stepping into the used car to go for a spin, buyers should take a look around the car to look for any signs of damage or other problems.
Once in the car, the magazine suggests driving in a normal fashion, but advises to be conscious of any noises that might be a sign of trouble. It also says to look for factors that might come into play later like passenger space, visibility and the checking to make sure the controls work.
Having a third party mechanic look at the vehicle is also a suggestion made by many experts before buying a used car. If the owner or dealer won’t allow you to drive the car or have it inspected it might be the sign of underlying problems with the vehicle.
Statistics show that as the economy continues to struggle more Americans are buying used cars. But according to U.S. News & World Report, there are some things car buyers should consider before even heading out the door to look at cars.
One of the first things the magazine says to do is to sit down and come up with how much you can afford to spend. With that figure in mind, it suggests checking out the going prices of cars you’re interested in through the websites of the Kelley Blue Book or National Automotive Dealers Association.
The price of the car is not necessarily the only monetary factor to consider, as the news provider says car buyers should also consider the cost of insurance for the vehicle they’re looking at purchasing.
Even before heading to the car lot, the magazine also recommends doing some homework on the used car you intend on looking at. Checking websites like J.D. Power and IntelliChoice can give buyers more insight on the reliability and depreciation rate of the car of their choice.
One type of vehicle used car buyers may want to consider is a hybrid. Because of the drop in gas prices in recent months, the demand for these cars has waned which may give sellers more of a reason to offer incentives.
The state of the economy is causing many drivers with car loans to fall behind on payments, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion.
TransUnion’s report finds that the number of car owners whose auto loans have gone past 60 days due or more rose 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
States with the highest rates of delinquency were Mississippi (1.62 percent), California (1.46 percent) and Louisiana (1.37 percent). Bucking the trend were Alaska (0.19 percent), North Dakota (0.34 percent) and Wyoming (0.41 percent) which had the lowest rates.
Although the delinquency rate rose during the end of 2008, the amount Americans owed on car loans actually fell 0.2 percent according to the agency. The average amount of auto loan debt fell to $12,713 during the fourth quarter which TransUnion attributes to the decrease in lending from banks.
Because of the state of the economy, many Americans are turning to used cars to help make ends meet and save some money. But it appears many are also increasing the length of their loans in order to decrease monthly payments. A recent study from Cars.com found that the median length of car loans rose to 60 months in a February survey – up from 48 months in October.
It’s not uncommon to see a new couple head to the local fast food chain for a quick bite to eat in the afternoon, but it is somewhat surprising when the couple is Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy. And maybe even more surprising when they pull up to Taco Bell in a Bentley.
Hewitt and Kennedy were spotted Sunday at a California Taco Bell driving in what appeared to be the Ghost Whisperer’s new silver Bentley Continental. But only the day before the former Party of Five star was seen in a white convertible version of the luxury car.
According to Automotive.com, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a base 2009 Bentley Continental is $197,100. Switch to the convertible model and the price increases to $217,200.
These prices are without a variety of available features for the vehicle including 20 inch 7-spoke alloy sports wheels which will bump the price another $5,990.
But Edmunds.com says the car may not be worth the money. While a number of high-powered people purchase the car because of its intrigue, Edmunds says a Mercedes CL600 – which outperforms the car in every category – goes for about $25,000 less.
Although most people are buying used cars these days to save money, some might be able to use their cash to buy a car that is also a piece of history – like the Deathmobile from the 1978 film Animal House.
According to a post on the online classified website Craigslist, the Barris Star Car Collection is selling the 1966 Lincoln Continental made famous in the John Belushi film which has become a staple for college students around the country.
“The Deathmobile is by far one of the most easily recognized movie cars ever made,” says the ad. “People flock to this car wherever it goes, people 30 and up all remember the car, people younger than 30 still get a kick out of the wild creation!”
In addition to a 462 340 horsepower engine and automatic transmission, the car comes with a tank style turret which is made of plexiglass to allow for safe driving for quick trips to the grocery store or maybe even destroying a parade or two.
The car, which is currently in Orlando, Florida, can be yours for $19,998.
Although news of car dealers closing is not a good sign for the state of the economy, it may mean savings for used car buyers across the country as many car lots will be overfilled with vehicles.
According to Lang Marketing, at least 2,000 car dealers will shut their doors in 2009 with an estimated 32,000 dealer service bays also shuttering.
However, the company said the exact number of dealer closings can fluctuate as some may shift to the growing used car market.
Jim Lang, president of the company, said the shift will cause an increase in sales to independent automotive dealers and will be the largest change in the auto industry in about 60 years.
“This is part of the greatest restructuring of the automotive aftermarket competitive landscape since World War II, which will extend over a number of years,” said Lang.
The used vehicle market is already seeing growth as more Americans are turning to used cars as the recession continues. A recent survey from Cars.com found that 32 percent of car buys who would have normally purchased a new car in better economic times shopped for a used car instead last month.
During trying economic times, Americans are doing everything they can to make ends meet. But according to some experts, there are some late model used cars that can be had for a relatively low price.
In checking price, reliability, crash scores, safety feature, gas mileage and a number of other features, Boston.com came up with the top cars that can be had for under $10,000.
Ford came out as the big winner, according to the list, with five of the automaker’s cars making the top 10 – including the 2005 Ford Taurus.
According to the news provider, although the 2005 Taurus was predominantly a rental car, that may be one of the car’s positive features as it was able to stand up to daily driving. A car buyer should be able to get base model with 50,000 miles, antilock brakes and side airbags for around $8,000, with a more equipped version going for about $9,300.
Another car maker ranking on the list was Hyundai which had three of the top 10 including the Tucson, XG350 and Santa Fe models.
Earlier this year Cars.com also listed the 2005 Ford Taurus as one of its top buys for used car shoppers, but warned it may be difficult to find a model with side airbags as only 10 percent of the cars came with the feature.
Find Used Ford cars in New York Tri-State Area with New Jersey State Auto.