Gas prices continue to drop before July 4 weekend

The Fourth of July is often one of the most travel-heavy holidays of the year, and it looks like gas prices are dropping just in time. USA Today reports that price of a gallon of gas continues its steady drop from early May, when it hovered around four dollars.

According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the current average price of a gallon of regular gas is around $3.54, and while it is still significantly more than the average $2.75 fuel was about a year ago, it marks a drastic improvement over recent months.

The drop comes just in the nick of time as well, as many families gear up to hit the road for the upcoming holiday weekend. The news source reports that about 3 in 10 Americans plan on taking a road trip for Independence Day, and that about 70 percent plan on taking a road trip at some point this summer.

Motorists who are planning on taking a lengthy road trip this summer should take several things into consideration, but perhaps most importantly they should fill up on all necessary fluids, windshield wiper fluid and fresh oil especially. 

Chevy Camaro makes third appearance in ‘Transformers’ franchise

When "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" hit theaters on June 28, moviegoers were not going just to catch a glimpse of the actors. Like the previous two films in the series, the Chevrolet Camaro was featured prominently, much to the delight of the popular manufacturer.

"Its role in the films helped make the Camaro the best-selling sports car in America, and one of the best-known cars of any kind around the world," Rick Scheidt, Chevrolet's vice president of marketing, told USA Today.

A yellow and black Camaro has portrayed the character of Bumblebee in each of the movies, and according to the news source, the company recently unveiled a special edition coupe in recognition of the film. In addition to looking like the car from the movie, the update model includes a number of impressive features.

In addition to sitting on 20-inch wheels, the car is outfitted with a black leather interior that is highlighted by yellow stitching everywhere from the center console to the armrests to the seats. Transformers logos also make an appearance throughout the vehicle as well.

Financing tips for first time buyers

Between purchasing, financing, registering, insuring and maintaining an automobile, it's no secret that buying a new or used car can be an costly experience. This can be especially true for first-time buyers who may be inexperienced in such financial dealings. However, this does not have to always be the case. There are several ways individuals can reduce the expenses of owning a car, and according to The MetroWest Daily News, it is not that difficult to do – all it takes is some dedication.

Of course, the most obvious initial cost is purchasing the car, but this can certainly be mitigated by doing plenty of research. Experts say that looking into what your needs are and which car, whether it be new, used, SUV or sedan, best fits them will go a long way in limiting costs. Furthermore, there are plenty of channels with which prospective buyers can gather information about how much their ideal vehicle costs. Coming prepared with the knowledge of how much a certain car should be going for will ensure that you get the lowest possible price.

Financing also plays a large role in the entire cost of a car, and for young first-time buyers it can be extremely important. According to the news source, they should be on the lookout for hidden high interest rates and instead may want to turn to credit unions that offer fair interest rates.

Insurance for young drivers is usually pretty costly, the news provider reports, but there are ways to help lower the expenses. In particular, it all depends on which company to purchase insurance from. The best way to find out which company is best-suited for newer drivers is to check with local independent agents. Also, drivers should be sure that the amount of coverage meshes with the value of the car in the first place.

Additionally, the news source reports that many younger drivers may not take into consideration the fact that there are many costs that go beyond just the initial purchase. When a car breaks down, repairs can be especially costly, so it would behoove first-time buyers to take great care in maintaining their purchase. Specifically, checking the oil, tire pressure and regular waxing are all easy to accomplish and will not only save money in terms of regular check ups but will ensure the car stays in good shape for years.

Toyota Camry tops the charts for “Most American Car”

Although Toyota is a Japanese automaker, its Camry model, which is manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky, and Lafayette, Indiana, was recently named the "Most American Car" in a study for the third consecutive year.

The survey ranks cars based on the percentage of parts that are made within the U.S., where they are predominantly sold and how many are bought by Americans.

"In today's global economy, there's not an easy way to determine just how American a car is," said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief. "Most cars built in the U.S., for example, are assembled using at least some parts that come from somewhere else. Additionally, many U.S. automakers assemble vehicles in Canada and Mexico, while foreign automakers have opened plants on U.S. soil."

Following the Camry in the rankings were the Honda Accord at number two and the Chevy Malibu at number three.

Individuals who want to show their American pride and are looking to purchase a Camry may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which houses a number of makes and models including the Camry.

People seeing more value for their used cars

People who have bought fuel-efficient vehicles may be finding that their cars are able to withstand the test of time in terms of investments, as some individuals are turning a profit when selling a fairly new environmentally friendly vehicle.

The New York Times reports that used car values are increasing dramatically for fuel-efficient automobiles, as there is a high demand from American consumers due to the rising gas prices.

For example, compact cars that are between one and five years old are now worth 30 percent more than they were six months ago, according to the news source.

"There's just so many things hitting the market all at once," Alec Gutierrez, manager of used-car pricing at Kelley Blue Book, told the news provider. "For those really hot, in-demand cars, we're seeing one- and two-year-old vehicles that are selling for very close to [sticker price.]"

Consumers who are looking to purchase a used fuel-efficient car may want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which has a variety of models that will be sure to fit anyone's preference.

Mini Cooper gets a sporty upgrade

The Mini Cooper has raised eyebrows for being one of the smallest and stylish cars on the road, and a new model of the popular vehicle is about to give the brand a whole new look. USA Today reports the new Mini Cooper Coupe offers a sleek design to appeal to drivers with a penchant for sporty cars.

Though it is smaller, the coupe will include a few more impressive features and also come at a slightly heftier price tag. Among the features that come with the coupe are a 121-horse power, four cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission.

While the base model is sporty enough, the news source reports there are certain add-ons that can make for an even more stylish driving experience. For a little extra, drivers can also get a boost in horsepower, as well as upgrades such as a USB port and adaptive headlights.

Whether drivers are looking for a powerful sports car like the Ford Mustang, or a smaller model like the Mini Cooper, New Jersey Auto Auction has plenty of affordable used cars to offer. unveils top used cars for 2011

Used cars are often the best choice for consumers looking to save money on a quality automobiles. But sometimes it can be overwhelming to decide on a particular make and model since there are so many options at their disposal. To help make the decision process a little bit easier, recently released its list of the top 15 used cars for 2011.

Drivers looking to hop into a midsized sedan will want to check out versions of the Nissan Altima made between 2004 and 2009, according to the news source. The Altima scored so high because of its high performance V-6 engine as well as its exceptionally smooth operation and increased fuel economy. As for smaller cars, the best used compact sedan around right now is the Hyundai Elantra.

However, families looking for a use car that is able to fit plenty of passengers and other items will want to look into the 2004 to 2009 Ford Explorer, which is considered to be the best midsize SUV or crossover. In addition to plenty of family-friendly features, the Ford Explorer offers substantial towing capacity.

When it comes to pickup trucks, Edmunds says the best choice is the Toyota Tacoma, mainly because of its versatility. The popular truck can fit the mold of everything from a street vehicle to off-roading. The Ford F-150 was mentioned as well as good chioce for full-size pickups.

The Toyota Prius stood out among hybrids, the website says. More than just its optimum fuel efficiency, the Prius provides a spacious interior as well as excellent performance.

The list was compiled by auto experts at Edmunds and focused on a number of factors that are most important to drivers across the country. Among the issues they took into consideration were reliability, safety, value and availability, and to be eligible to be included on the list, each car had to be in a range of 2 to 7 years old.

"With used car prices still soaring, it’s important for consumers to have expert guidance to get the best value," said Scott Oldham, editor-in-chief of "By taking into consideration a range of factors from consumer ratings, to NHTSA crash safety tests, to True Cost to Own metrics, these cars are the most attractive options in the used car market."

Whether looking for a midsize sedan or a spacious SUV, New Jersey Automotive Auction has plenty of used cars at affordable prices.  

Fuel-efficiency tops among sports car buyers’ concerns

Sports car drivers are likely known more for their affinity for speed than having a penchant for saving money, but results of a new study may be changing their perception. USA Today reports that a new survey found fuel economy topped the list of what sports car buyers look for in a vehicle.

The study, which was released by Ford and conducted by Martiz Research, found that 42 percent of respondent said fuel economy was very important, with 37 percent saying it was their largest determining factor.

The numbers are indicative of a growing push from Ford to provide better fuel economy in all of its models, including muscle cars like the Mustang.

"Since December, we have seen industry-wide small car purchases increase from 19 percent  to 24 percent," sales analyst George Pipas told the news source. "It drives home the point that consumers are looking at more fuel-efficient choices."

Whether looking for a powerful used car or a fuel-efficient hybrid like the Ford Fusion, New Jersey Auto Auction has pre-owned vehicles at an affordable price.

After recession, motorists more likely to perform own repairs

Though certain industries have struggled in the wake of the recession, one that is faring pretty well is the auto repair and parts business. Newsday reports that as the age of the average car on the road continues to grow, many motorists are finding that fixing their ride is long overdue.

The change comes in people looking to save money any way possible. In years past, individuals may have purchased a new vehicle, but now they are holding onto their cars longer and performing their own maintenance.

"For a lot of the routine maintenance that makes up the bulk of the products and services in the aftermarket, you've seen deferred maintenance taking place," industry analyst Stephen Spivey told the news source. "Now, people are circling back around, having made the decision to keep their cars a few more years."

Rising gas prices has also made car owners more interested in regular maintenance, experts say. Motorists who want to save money by purchasing an affordable used car will want to check out New Jersey Auto Auction, which offers numerous makes and models.

Tips to save gas this summer

With summer fast approaching, more and more cars will be hitting the road, and motorists will be looking for ways to save on gas. Luckily, there are a number of small changes drivers can make to reduce their fuel consumption and save money in the upcoming months.

According to Popular Mechanics, one of the easiest ways to reduce fuel consumption is to coast to a stop rather than slamming on the brakes. Anticipating when a light will turn red and gliding to a stop will help reduce waste caused by hard braking.

Another less widely-known way to save on gas is to close the windows and use the air conditioner when traveling at high speeds. The publication found that at 55 miles per hour, having all four windows open drastically decreases aerodynamics, which has a negative effect on fuel-efficiency. So, unless you want to sweat it out with no way to cool off, A/C is the way to go.

As a final tip, experts stress the importance of cruising at a slower speed. While they don't suggest going 55 while the rest of traffic is going 70, they advise keeping it well under 80, as that will quickly deplete your gas tank (not to mention get you a speeding ticket).