Archive for June, 2009
While seniors may consider purchasing used cars in New Jersey as an affordable way to continue driving, AAA wants to make sure they have the best information to help them continue to operate vehicles in a safe manner.
The company’s new website AAASeniors.com brings together research and information about cars that may be more amenable to older drivers, who could represent 25 percent of motorists in America by 2030.
“Many adult children, grandchildren and seniors will at some point be faced with a difficult decision about a mature adult’s ability to drive safely,” said gerontologist Dr. Alexis Abramson. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to be proactive in developing a plan of action based on factual, compassionate and objective information.”
Media on the website include instructional videos on various traffic maneuvers to help seniors who want to brush up on driving skills in used cars in Jersey and other states, as well as methods of dealing with declining night vision.
An online brochure also helps seniors consider what features to look for when making their next purchase, such as sedans with lighter doors than their two-door counterparts.
With smaller cars beginning to have many of the same features as larger models, those looking for used cars in New York may want to consider a Mazda3, which has continued to make a “cool cars” list for the past six years.
Kelly Blue Book says that the Mazda3 has again been named one of the top 10 coolest cars under 18,000 because of its options that include leather seats and ability to connect portable electronics via bluetooth and iPod connections.
“The auto manufacturers have made the low-priced segments the most personality-filled in the industry,” said Jack R. Nerad, Kelly Blue Book executive editorial director and executive market analyst, adding that the cars chosen “are loaded with technology and amenities.”
For buyers considering a used Mazda3 in New York, the 2005 model could be a good choice, according to the editors at Edmunds.com
They say that in its second model year, its “good looks, strong engines and sharp handling add up to an economy car that feels anything but cheap,” with the possibility of extra space in hatchback models.
Most 20-year-olds would have their licenses stripped if they were caught driving a used Ford F-150 in New York at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, or worse.
But Colin Braun drives specially-designed versions of the truck on racetracks that host the Nascar Truck Series, and he wants to bring his experience and youth to the Ford Driving Skills for Life program.
The initiative is designed to reduce the number of traffic fatalities caused by teen drivers, which is currently about three times the rate of other motorists by instruction in handling, recognizing hazards and space management.
“I think teenagers are more likely to listen to a message coming from someone closer to their own age, so I hope my involvement will make a difference teaching young drivers how to be safer on the road,” said Braun. “Having grown up racing all my life, I learned early on there is a time and place for driving fast, but public roads are not it.”
DSFL is a private expansion of state-based driver education for teens who may be considering used cars in New York as more affordable alternatives to newer cars.
For younger first-time buyers, used cars in New York and other states may be their most likely choice, but auto financiers say they may not recognize the benefits of taking out a car loan.
Capital One Auto Finance recently released the results of a survey of college students about to graduate, having asked them about their budget for their first vehicle purchase and how they planned to pay for it.
The company found that about two-thirds of the respondents were planning on buying used cars because of their budgets, but nearly half also want to pay cash, up 15 percent from last year.
“Buying a car is not an intuitive process and it can be intimidating for first time purchasers, especially in such a challenging economic environment,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, president of Capital One Auto Finance, but added that parents who have been through the process can help their children understand what options make the most sense in terms of paying for a car.
He says that graduates considering used cars in New York and other options should research and compare prices, as well as financing options, and be sure to know what their credit rating is prior to approaching a seller.
Joining fellow Republican and green car driver Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator John McCain recently picked up a Ford Fusion hybrid, but for those who want to get good mileage like his new ride a used Ford Fusion could also be one option.
McCain wrote on Twitter that he was “excited” to pick up the car he had decided on a few days earlier.
A spokeswoman told the Associated Press he “was sold when he left the parking lot” in the vehicle, a replacement for the less fuel efficient 2004 Cadillac STS he had used previously.
But while he may be an early adopter of hybrids compared to other conservatives, he’s not the first in his family to go green.
His daughter Meghan, a Republican blogger, has owned a Toyota Prius since 2007, according to Newsweek.
Looking at hybrids like a used Toyota Prius in New York could save some buyers money at the gas pumps as well as be more environmentally friendly.
The 2004 model gets 44 miles per gallon, a fuel efficiency that is more than double that of the average passenger from that year, according to the Bureau of Transportation statistics.
Figuring out which kinds of used cars in New York and other states to buy could come down to one factor, according to a new Kelly Blue Book survey: the price of gas.
Nearly 9 out of every 10 shoppers who responded said they thought that the price of gas would continue to increase, a belief that is causing them to consider more fuel efficient cars.
“As summer approaches with household budgets still pinched by the weak economy, car buyers are once again becoming very conscious of rising gas prices,” said Jack Nerad, Kelley Blue Book executive editorial director and executive market analyst. “Current economic conditions compounded by the pain at the pump may make $3-per-gallon gas a new threshold for car buyers” in terms of what mileage they prefer in their purchase.
That attitude change was reported by about 60 percent of potential buyers who say they are now considering cars with smaller engines, or even smaller vehicles because of the rising cost of gas.
The economic downturn may be kicking up more than just concerns about finances these days, as some counties are increasingly likely to save money in paving costs by transforming local streets into gravel roadways.
For those looking at used cars in New York and other states, a new paint job or recently remodeled car could bear the brunt of the cost-saving measures which are one option for governments looking to save money.
In Michigan, CBS affiliate WWMT says that some rural roads are now going unpaved, a trend that has begun to extend from the state where it is most popular.
“Our survey results indicate the accuracy of this predication,” said John Niemela, County Road Association of Michigan director in a report on roads in the state. “We are literally reverting to the stone age,” as state funding has dropped and maintenance work is either reduced or avoided entirely.
Road conditions like those should be avoided by those who may have gotten new paint jobs for used cars in New York, several paint companies say, because the gravel can kick up and erode the clearcoat finish.
Although car lovers say that General Motors makes like Saab and Hummer are worth saving, for Pontiac enthusiasts looking to own a piece of the brand’s history, used Pontiac cars in New York may be one of their options because of GM’s recent decisions.
According to an online survey from CarGurus.com, 44 percent of the nearly 1,700 online customers who responded wanted Pontiac to survive elimination, with niche brands like Hummer and Saab also receiving support from more than one-fifth of the community.
“Pontiac has a trailblazing heritage, the 1964 Pontiac GTO is widely credited with starting the muscle-car craze, and its current G6 is the 20th best-selling car in the U.S., so I’m not surprised to see consumers vote to save this historic brand,” said Langley Steinert, CarGurus CEO.
Their passion may not be enough to sway the mind of corporate decision-makers at GM, however, as the New York Times reports that while sales of Hummer, Saturn and Saab are likely to allow those brands to survive in some fashion, Pontiac is still expected to be dropped from the GM lineup after next year, leaving those who like those models to search for used Pontiacs in New York and other states.
For NASCAR lovers looking for used Ford Mustangs, buying one now may enable them to try out their own pony cars before they appear in the Nationwide Series next season.
Several companies are considering entering their sports cars into designs that fit the standards of the recent “Car of Tomorrow” design update mandated by NASCAR, and that includes the Ford Mustang, according to Fox Sports.
Unlike some cars in the Sprint Cup series which may only share body work with their everyday namesakes, a NASCAR official told the news provider that the designs will probably look a lot more like production cars and the designs that are coming into his offices are “10-fold better than a Cup car.”
Those looking for used cars in New Jersey can get their hands on a Ford Mustang before their favorite drivers will be able to, however, if they check out similar-looking models from 2005, the first year of the Mustang’s new body style.
Edmunds.com editors said that the remake, which incorporated design features from the car’s heyday in the 1960s, was powerful with cabin controls that were improved over previous years.
The next two months may be a good time for consumers looking to buy a used car in New York who were waiting to get a bargain.
Sometimes an end-of-the-month car purchase may yield some extra savings for the customer if the dealership they are buying from is running below their targeted quotas, the LeafChronicle.com reports. And it just so happens that July and August is a typically slow time in the market in terms of car sales.
However, there still may be more of a reason to wait, especially if a buyer wants more of a selection. Kathleen Calligan from the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee told the news provider that September often has many used cars on the market since that’s when many consumers buy new or trade in.
Earlier this year, AOL Autos published a list of some of the best used cars under $20,000 a person could currently buy.
People looking into a decent sports car may be interested to know that the 2006 Pontiac GTO made the list, calling it “one of the best sports car deals available” with a V8 engine and 400 hp.
Some fans of Toyota‘s Prius may find it better to buy a used version of the car manufacturer ‘s popular hybrid car in an effort to avoid being placed on a waiting list that, according to the New York Times, is several months long.
The third generation of the fuel-efficient vehicle has been an “instant hit” in Japan with approximately 80,000 orders prior to the car being officially placed on sale and has begun entering American showrooms, which in turn is creating a buzz, according to the article.
Yet, because of the popularity of the car, the waiting lists to purchase one have become long. In the U.S., one reason may be because of government tax incentives for residents who buy fuel-efficient cars.
People interested in used cars in New Jersey may find comfort that they can bypass the waiting game buy purchasing a used Prius.
According to the editors at Edmunds.com, the 2009 Prius has “outstanding fuel economy” and is “particularly well-suited to the city,” thanks to its ability to spend more time in full-electric mode during stop-and-go driving.
This could be the beginning of the end.
It’s being reported that General Motors is close to a deal that will sell its Swedish unit Saab to Koenigsegg, a car manufacturer known for making “a handful of $1 million supercars” with its 50 employees, according to Reuters. This runs counter to Saab’s current image of a brand that produces a number of family cars which are touted for its reliability and safety features.
Both sides have reportedly signed a letter of intent and financing has been agreed upon, which leaves minor issues to be resolved prior to an official sale, according to the article.
Despite its popularity, Saab has reportedly not posted a profit in 10 years.
Considering a sale may be imminent, this may the last chance for some people to purchase a used Saab.
As used vehicles go, the Saab 9-7X SUV from 2005 to 2008 was the highest ranked in the Saab category on ConsumerGuideAuto.com, with the reviewers saying the vehicle “delivers better driving dynamics and interior design than the General Motors SUVs on which it’s based.”
For those who are looking for a used car in New York as their first vehicle purchase, they may want to heed the advice from a national magazine with a list of debunked summertime myths.
Before vacationers hit the open road, Popular Mechanics has answered some common questions about car maintenance in the summer, especially for used cars.
While a new vehicle may be able to function on thinner engine oil, such as 5W-5, it’s important for used car buyers that their vehicles will be different.
Most used cars require thicker oil in the summer with many car manufacturers listing 10W-30 as good for driving in higher temperatures.
There are some older used cars that may require 10W-40, though the magazine suggested people consult the vehicle’s user manual before using that kind of oil.
In terms of coolant, the mixture is the same whether or not a person has a new or used car: it’s 50 percent coolant and 50 percent water.
Finally, and this may be of importance to first-time drivers, Popular Mechanics reminds summer vacationers that if they find their engine overheating, it’s time to turn off the air conditioner and turn on the heat.
The loan market has tightened for new cars as dealerships have increased standards for loans, and it may make used cars in New Jersey or other states a more attractive option for buyers.
Experian Automotive says that independent dealers showed the largest gains in used car loans, with their share coming in at more than one-third of the market, as used car loans overall now represent more than two-thirds of all automotive financing.
“Banks, credit unions and captive finance companies appear to have tightened their lending criteria as they look to mitigate risk,” said Melinda Zabritski, Experian Automotive director of automotive credit. As lenders change terms, it “is pushing some consumers out of the new vehicle market and into the used vehicle market.”
The company says that the independents generally serve customers with lower credit scores find used cars in New Jersey and other locations.
That could be attractive to the increasing number of customers who have lower credit ratings, a group 6.3 percent larger compared to last year, according to Experian.
While a new liquid propane system is currently being tested on F-250s, those who can find a used Ford truck in New Jersey may still benefit from its ability to haul heavy loads.
The propane-fueled pickup will be put to work by Ferrellgas as part of a partnership between the company, which distributes the fuel nationwide, and Roush partners.
“Our goal at Ferrellgas is to promote the use of propane as a certified green fuel, as an excellent way for vehicle and machine fleets to curb emissions and as a great way for fleet owners to lower vehicle expenses while receiving significant tax incentives,” said Steve Wambold, Ferrellgas president and chief operating officer.
But while the fuel option may be a more prevalent option than some other alternative fuels, it may be difficult for some to find a way to refuel their vehicles.
Even with regular unleaded gasoline, however, a used Ford F-250 offered “best-in-class” performance both in payload and towing in the 2005 model year, according to Edmunds.com.
For some who enjoy caffeine, test driving used cars in New York may help them make an informed decision about their car based on the feel of the interior and the car’s handling characteristics.
But depending on what cola they drink, they could have a shot at test-driving a tube-chassis, V-8 powered NASCAR racecar, too.
Coke Zero is sponsoring a ride-along with a NASCAR driver for people who register at the MyCokeRewards website.
The contest “is making it possible for race fans to experience the real speed and power of a stock car,” said Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ford Fusion. “The fan who rides with me better hang on tight, because I plan on pushing the pedal to the floor and showing why Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR.”
If they watch the Coke Zero 400 on July 4, the four winning fans will be able to check out the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Biffle’s car, though it may not be a daily driver like some used cars in New York.
For those looking at buying a used car in New York or New Jersey, the better business bureau in neighboring Connecticut has offered some guidelines in making the right choice for a purchase.
While a computer can help make the process easier, even offline work could lead to a more-informed purchase, including talking to friends and family about experiences with various cars and trucks.
Many local libraries have copies of the National Automotive Dealers Association Official Used Car Guide, and other resources include print versions of Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds, which help potential buyers understand what prices they can expect to pay for different makes and models.
“Buying a used vehicle requires homework and planning to ensure that an attractively-priced used car or truck doesn’t have hidden problems that can turn it into a very costly investment in the long run,” says Paulette Scarpetti, Connecticut Better Business Bureau president.
Another hidden cost may be repairs based on recall announcements from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; interested buyers can call a toll-free number or visit the government organization’s website.
For those looking at used cars in New York, new legislation could make the prospect of making a purchase much more reasonable.
Senator Dianne Feinstein recently announced a modified “cash for clunkers” program, designed to get less efficient cars off of the road, and the bill includes payments for those who are looking to make a used car purchase this year.
If the car to be traded in gets less than 18 miles per gallon and is from 2002 or later, buyers could get $3,000 dollars on a used car, a voucher that drops in value with the model year of the trade-in car, to a minimum of $1,500 for a car built before 1998.
Feinstein says the legislation is a response to the fact that lawmakers know they “face real challenges with trying to encourage drivers to trade in their older, less fuel efficient vehicles – particularly in this tough economic climate,” Senator Feinstein said.
Along with co-sponsors Senator Susan Collins and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, she hopes that the bill will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and use of between 40,000 and 80,000 barrels of oil a day.