Archive for December, 2012
The 2013 Ram 1500 was recently named the Truck of the Year by the Detroit Free Press. Mark Phelan, a distinguished automotive journalist who works for the news provider, explained that this model was chosen as the winner because it "combines workhorse capability with fuel efficiency." The Ram gets 25 miles to the gallon, putting it at the front of its class in terms of fuel economy. There are also a number of engine choices, so drivers are able to get the right amount of power that they need to tow heavy loads and handle other big jobs.
"The new Ram 1500 takes a massive step forward in technology and fuel economy, representing the direction the Ram Truck Brand is heading with all its models," said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico for Chrysler Group LLC. "… This award will be well-received by our dealers and customers, reiterating the fact that Ram has the best truck on the market."
Drivers who like the Ram truck don't necessarily have to purchase a new model to get a great pickup, as these vehicles have been produced for many years. This makes it easy to find used vehicles at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of makes and models. If car shoppers cannot decide between a Ram and other popular models such as the Ford F-150 or the Toyota Tundra, they can take test drives to make a more informed decision. No matter what they choose, they can drive off the lot with confidence, as each model is CARFAX certified.
It's no secret that men and women are different in many ways, and a new study reveals that they also have different risk levels when it comes to drinking and driving. While both sexes have a higher chance of getting into an accident if they get behind the wheel after drinking alcoholic beverages, VroomGirls, an online automotive information provider for women, found that the risk may be a bit higher for ladies.
The study examined car accident statistics from across the nation and found that women who were involved in fatal car accidents were 7 percent more likely than men in the these types of car crashes to have blood alcohol levels at or below 0.08 percent, the most common legal limit. Conversely, men were more likely to be involved in alcohol-related car accidents than women, as 17.5 percent of accidents involving male drivers also involved alcohol. Only 9.5 percent of fatal accidents with female drivers were alcohol related.
While these findings are interesting, it is important for men and women alike to take precautions on New Year's Eve and the following day, as this holiday has been found to be one of the most dangerous for drivers. Those planning to indulge in a few glasses of Champagne may want to designate a driver or call a cab to get home from their festivities safely.
"We encourage every driver to be safe and responsible on the road year-round, but it's especially important during the holiday party season that concludes on New Year's Eve," said Tara Weingarten, co-founder and editor-in-chief of VroomGirls. "Drinking and driving never mix."
Should drivers get into fender benders, they can get their cars repaired after the holiday at New Jersey State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center. The expert mechanics can address most major repair needs and give your car a tune-up to ensure it is running well in the 2013.
Hyundai has climbed the ranks to become one of the leading car brands in recent years, and now the popular midsize Sonata has broken its all-time annual sales record. Last year, this model sold a record-setting 225,961 units, but the Sonata has already surpassed this amount in 2012, with a few days left to close out the year. The car has been turning heads for a few years now, standing out among other similar models for its impressive performance and many features.
"Sonata's redesign in early 2010 demonstrates that midsize sedans that paired bold design and fuel-efficiency with long-time segment essentials such as roominess, safety and durability could really break through," said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "We'd like to think Sonata helped spur on the latest generation of bolder midsize sedans, and we're happy to see that this new competition hasn't dented Sonata retail sales, which are now running third behind only Camry and Accord in December."
Since the redesigned Hyundai has been available for a few years, drivers searching for used cars may be able to find previously owned Sonatas. Oftentimes, used models already have many of the great features that are included in the sale price. These same additions would each cost extra for car shoppers looking to buy new models. NJ State Auto Auction has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from, making it easy for drivers in the New York/New Jersey area to find the ride they want. Plus, every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified, ensuring drivers will get behind the wheel of a reliable ride.
As the year winds to a close, Kelley Blue Book predicts new car sales in December will push the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 15.2 million units. At this time last year, the most confident predictions guessed the rate for 2012 would reach 15 million units. Since sales exceeded expectations, this is a clear indicator that the economic environment of the auto industry is continuing to improve. The rash of vehicle sales that followed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy certainly bolstered sales a bit, but this increase only lasted a little more than one month.
"Our analysts believe most buyers seeking a replacement for a vehicle damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy already found the new or used car they needed in November," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "There was some lingering replacement demand coming in from New York and New Jersey through the first week of December, but as the month went on, the sales pace in these states returned to pre-storm levels."
The 13 percent year-over-year increase in new car sales is also beneficial to the used car industry. In the past few years, there has been a high demand for used models, as many people turned to pre-owned vehicles during and following the recession to save money, and others held on to their vehicles for longer. This led to reduced inventories and drove up prices, but now that new car sales are on the rise, the cost of used models is beginning to ebb. Drivers looking to purchase used models can take advantage of the lower prices and find the car they want at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from.
It's no secret that many people consume excessive amounts of alcohol to welcome in the new year, so it should come as no surprise that New Year's Day has been named the deadliest day for alcohol related traffic accident deaths. This is a major part of the reason AAA recently announced its support for devices that help monitor those who have been convicted of drunk driving.
To ensure that anyone, even a first-time offender, who has gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated does not repeat their actions, AAA believes anyone who has been charged with drunk driving should be required to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) that would prevent them from using their vehicle if they're intoxicated
. IIDs have been proven to reduce the risk of repeat offenses and keep drunk drivers off the road.
AAA is not the only organization showing its support for such devices, as the National Transportation Safety Board is also standing behind these helpful devices as an excellent way to curb drunk driving.
"Safety can be improved by requiring ignition interlock device use for all first-time DUI offenders," Anita Lorz, the NTSB's traffic safety and community programs manager, told the Los Angeles Times. "… However, simply mandating the device is not enough. We need to ensure that judges actally order IID use and that there is effective oversight and enforcements to ensure offenders have the devices in place on their vehicles."
The technology can be installed on nearly any vehicle, so drivers can still choose which car they'll be driving. They can find a safe, reliable model at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of makes and models at affordable prices.
Now that Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holidays are over, most people are stocking up on champagne, noisemakers and silly hats to ring in the New Year. Since this holiday is so commonly celebrated with late night parties where people are drinking alcoholic beverages, it also means that the likelihood of car accidents increases in the hours leading up to and following the stroke of midnight on January 1. According to a report conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2007, New Year's was the winter holiday with the most traffic fatalities between 2001 and 2005.
Designate a Driver
If you are planning to indulge in a glass or two of champagne this New Year's Eve, you should also organize a contingency plan to get home from your party safely. Leave the car at home, so you don't even have the option of getting behind the wheel, and call a taxi or use another transportation service. You can also choose someone in your group of friends to be a designated driver and ensure everyone arrives home safely once the festivities are over.
Be Cautious Behind the Wheel
If possible, you may want to avoid driving on New Year's Eve and in the wee hours of New Year's Day. However, if you have chosen to be the designated driver or you need to be on the road for other reasons, you should pay more attention to other drivers than usual. Watch for dangerous behaviors such as swerving and fluctuating speeds that could indicate they may be inebriated. Even if a car seems to be fine, you may still want to keep your distance so you have plenty of time to react if something happens.
Following these tips can help keep you safe this New Year's Eve, but if you do get into an accident, the experts at New Jersey State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center can help get your vehicle back in working order.
Safety is a primary concern for drivers, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts all new models of vehicles through rigorous crash tests to measure their level of safety. The newest test to be added to the roster is the small overlap crash test, which replicates incidents when the front corner of a vehicle collides with an object like a tree or another car. Each car being tested is sent toward a 5-foot barrier, traveling at 40 miles per hour, and 25 percent of the vehicle's front end strikes this rigid object.
The IIHS recently released the results for 29 near-luxury and luxury midsize sedans from the 2013 model year, and the former group turned out much better results overall. The near-luxury group included the top performing Honda Accord and Suzuki Kizashi as well as 11 models that received "acceptable" ratings. Among the 11 luxury midsize cars, only three models earned "good" or "acceptable" ratings.
"It's remarkable that this group of midsize family cars did so much better than the midsize luxury car group," said IIHS President Adrian Lund. "The difference is stunning. Thirteen of these midsize cars offer better crash protection than all but three of their luxury counterparts, and at a price that's easier on the wallet."
Since the IIHS conducts these safety crash tests every year, drivers in the market for used cars can research tests from years past to learn more about the models they're interested in. When they have narrowed down their choices, car shoppers can head to New Jersey State Auto Auction to test drive a variety of cars, trucks and SUVs. Every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified, allowing motorists to get behind the wheel of a safe and reliable ride.
Distraction behind the wheel is a serious issue for all drivers, but technological advances, such as voice commands and hands-free phone connectivity are helping to reduce the risk of distraction-related accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 18 percent of all accidents in 2010 were affected by distractions. This includes everything from texting or talking on the phone to eating and taking your eyes off the road to check a display screen in the car.
Many studies focus on the risk that distractions can create for younger drivers, but aging motorists need to be considered as well, as approximately 10,000 adults turn 65 every day. As people age, their sensory abilities may wane, making it even more dangerous for them to use in-car technologies.
However, a recent study by automotive technology company Agero Connected Services found that voice activated technology can help senior drivers stay safer on the roads. When compared to drivers between the ages of 18 and 30, those aged 65 to 75 demonstrated similar driving capabilities while using voice technology.
"Using either a speech-only interface of a speech interface combined with brief glances to a display screen helped senior drivers improve their driving and leveled the performance gap between the two generations," explained Tom Schalk, vice president of voice technology for Agero.
Without speech recognition technology, seniors only detected 74 percent of peripheral signals in a driving test. This number rose to 94 percent with the introduction of voice activated technology, comparable to the 95 percent rate for younger drivers without the technology.
This feature can be found on some older vehicles, but can also be installed as an aftermarket accessory to make any car safer. Older drivers can find the ride they want at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of makes and models.
As the year draws to a close, dealerships are making every effort to get rid of their 2012 inventory, and as such there are many incentives and other offers for new vehicles. TrueCar.com recently put together a list of the best deals on new cars, and they found drivers looking to buy can save an average of 8.2 percent off the MSRP in December. Models like the 2013 Chrysler 200, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford Focus and BMW 5 Series all have even more savings, each offering over 11 percent off the original price.
"Manufacturers continue to offer attractive year-end incentives to help move metal off dealership lots," said Jesse Toprak, senior automotive analyst for TrueCar.com. "December has always been a good month to purchase or lease a luxury vehicle. This year, we're also seeing some strong incentives on large trucks as well. Car buyers should always to their research before buying a car…"
Car shoppers may want to consider used cars as well when researching options for their next vehicle. Not only can they save on the initial price, but there are other advantages as well. Previously owned cars depreciate much more slowly than brand new cars, which can lose as much as 50 percent of its value in just four years of ownership, according to Edmunds.com. If you are planning to trade in your vehicle after a few years for a newer model, as many drivers do, then you could save a lot more in the long run by opting to purchase a used vehicle.
Additionally, as more drivers trade in their current vehicles to take advantage of new car deals, the inventory of used models will grow as well. New Jersey State Auto Auction has four acres of used cars, trucks and SUVs to choose from, and every model on the lot is CARFAX certified. This allows drivers to know they'll be getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.
The holiday season is a time filled with cheer, friends and celebrations, but New Year's Eve is also full of dangers, especially on the road. A recent survey by Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance revealed that roughly 12 percent of teen drivers admitted to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on this holiday. Even though 49 percent of surveyed teen drivers indicated they believe New Year's Eve is a dangerous time to drive, it is still essential for parents to talk to their kids about the risks as well as good behaviors to ensure they are safe while ringing in 2013.
"There are approximately 3,000 teenage driving-related deaths a year, a third of which involve alcohol," said Dave Melton, a driving safety expert and managing director of global safety for Liberty Mutual Insurance. "Parents have to play an active role in preventing underage drinking. Talk to your kids before New Year's celebrating begins and make sure they understand the importance of making smart, and possibly life-saving, decisions."
The risk of being involved in a crash is typically higher around any holidays, especially on New Year's Eve. More people are celebrating with alcohol, which increases the risk of encountering drunk drivers. The weather can also be an important risk factor to consider, as there is a chance that roads could be icy. These are both crucial points for parents to discuss with their teens before the holiday to ensure everyone can safely enjoy the celebrations and start 2013 on a good note.
In addition to discussing driving safety and good behaviors behind the wheel with teen drivers, parents can be sure they are safer on the road by putting them behind the wheel of a reliable vehicle. New Jersey State Auto Auction has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from, all of which are CARFAX certified.
Kelley Blue Book recently announced the winners of its annual Best Resale Value Awards, and Toyota and Lexus came out on top again. Experts from the automotive information company examine the value of vehicles in order to project which will have the lowest depreciation over a five-year ownership period. In addition to a handful of Toyota models, the Honda Fit and Civic as well as the Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Volt were also deemed to have the best resale value for their segments.
"The competition for Best Resale Value within many segments has become very heated in the last few years, as major vehicle redesigns and new model introductions have challenged the traditional favorites," said Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting for KBB. "However, for the second year in a row, Toyota and Lexus retain the top Best Resale Value ranking for both non-luxury and luxury brands, based on the average 60-month residual value across all models in each brands' respective lineup."
A total of 12 different Toyota and Lexus models earned Best Resale Value awards, including the Toyota Sequoia and Sienna as well as the Lexus LX and IS. These two brands account for half of the top 10 vehicles in this year's awards.
Drivers looking to trade in their current cars can do so at New Jersey State Auto Auction. The money they get for their current vehicle can easily be put toward the purchase of a used car, truck or SUV. With more than four acres of vehicles, it can be easy for car shoppers to find their next ride. Plus, every model on the lot is CARFAX certified, ensuring motorists will be getting behind the wheel or a reliable car.
Alternative fuel vehicles have been available for nearly a decade, but sales have been slow for the better part of this time period. Recent research conducted by Mintel, a data analysis company, has found that hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles have been growing increasingly popular this year. In fact, the data shows that sales of these types of vehicles increased an impressive 73 percent, making the segment the fastest growing in the industry for the year.
"New midsize hybrid models, such as the Toyota Prius v and Chevrolet Malibu Eco, have proven popular with consumers, in particular families, who want to buy green without sacrificing other features that fit their lifestyles," said Colin Bird, an automotive analyst at Mintel. "The segment will grow even further in 2013, with the launch of several new models, including the full Ford Fusion Hybrid series and the Honda Accord Hybrid, which will fulfill a wider variety of needs than conventional compact hybrids. Midsize plug-in hybrids will also enter the mainstream in 2013, with the introduction of the Ford Fusion
Energi and the Honda Accord Plug-In, which will further improve mainstream acceptance of this still fairly novel powertrain segment."
While there are many new alternative energy vehicles on the horizon, drivers who are looking to purchase used cars have a number of options to choose from. The Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf and a variety of hybrid models have been on the market long enough that they are starting to turn up on used lots. Drivers in the New York/New Jersey area can check out the selection of hybrids like the Toyota Prius at NJ State Auto Auction. Every model on the lot is CARFAX certified, so whether car shoppers find a hybrid or a fuel efficient gas-powered car, they'll be able to drive away with confidence.
The new year is not even here yet, but Cars.com has already begun the selection process to determine the best vehicles of 2013. The online automotive information site recently announced the nominees for the "Best of 2013" awards, narrowing down the list of brand-new or fully redesigned models based on innovation, change, forward thinking and other factors.
The judges chose seven vehicles as finalists, including the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ. These two models are nearly identical and represent affordable options for sports car lovers on a budget. Honda was the only company to have two entrants in the competition – the Accord and the CR-V. The Accord's updated and improved features, and the CR-V's fuel efficiency and styling helped give these vehicles the added appeal to put them at the top of the pack. The BMW 3 Series, Ram 1500 and Toyota Prius c were also included as
"There is no shortage of great cars on the market these days," said Patrick Olsen, the editor-in-chief for Cars.com. "However, these seven cars – representing a variety of segments, buyers and lifestyles – are what we consider to be the best of the best. Car shoppers can be assured that a Cars.com award nominee has out highest seal of approval and is a worthy investment."
Drivers who are gearing up to buy cars are not limited to new vehicles to find models that suit their needs. There are plenty of older cars and trucks that have great features, such as safety technology and fuel efficiency. Car shoppers may be able to find vehicles with infotainment systems, lane departure warnings, backup cameras and more at New Jersey State Auto Auction. The dealer carries a wide selection of makes and models, and every car on the lot is CARFAX certified.
For the right price, you can own a Ford F-150 that once belonged to former President George W. Bush. The Republican leader's truck is going up for auction in January at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona, to help raise money for the Fisher House Foundation. The 2009 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4×4 SuperCrew has been the former president's daily driver since he left office in 2009. Bush and his wife Laura have used the pickup to give tours of their Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas, as well as entertain guests and do work around the ranch.
"I haven't driven on a street in many, many years, but I have been able to drive this truck on my ranch," said Bush. "I want to thank all those who are supporting Fisher House. In supporting the Fisher House, you're supporting our veterans. And in supporting our veterans, you're helping America.
The Fisher House Foundation works to establish homes for veterans near major military and VA medical centers. Vets and their families can use these homes while a former soldier is receiving treatment. The organization also works to help family members of servicemen and women by sharing donated frequent flyer miles so relatives can be with their loved ones while they are in the hospital. They also provide these individuals with free hotel stays through the foundation's Hotels for Heroes program.
"The Fisher House Foundation is an outstanding organization, and we are honored to support their efforts and are thankful to former President Bush for his donation," said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. "Charitable giving is a part of Barrett-Jackson's culture and philosophy and I can't wait to see what happens once this truck crosses the auction block."
Those in the market for a truck or another vehicle have many other options than this particular pickup. New Jersey State Auto Auction carries a wide selection of makes and models for car shoppers in the New York/New Jersey area to choose from.
Chances are that you don't want your car to break down on the way to visit your loved ones this holiday season, so it is important to make sure you are prepared to travel safely. AAA is predicting there will be more than 1.2 million drivers who get stuck on the side of the road during holiday travel, whether they get locked out of their cars, need jumps or battery replacements, have flat tires or need a tow.
"Becoming stranded on the roadway is the last thing on anyone's holiday wishlist," said Marshall L. Doney, AAA National's vice president of automotive, financial services and e-business. "Whether you are staying local or planning a long distance road trip, having your vehicle properly maintained and prepared for holiday driving will help ensure it gets you and your loved ones to your destination safely and without incident."
In order to reduce your chances of being stranded, you should get a routine tuneup and address minor issues that could worsen, such as leaks or worn parts. You can visually inspect the belts and hoses for signs of wear or damage yourself. Belts should be free of tears and should not sag or feel loose. Hoses should be pliable – not too soft or hard to the touch. If you suspect any belts or hoses are in need of replacement, you can bring you car to NJ State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center to have the issue taken care of. This will help you avoid further damages that could be more complicated and expensive to repair.
It is also important to check fluid levels and ensure there is plenty of antifreeze, as this protects against frozen fluids in the pipes of your engine. Top off the windshield wiper fluid and check the wiper blades to ensure they are in good condition, replacing them if necessary. AAA also recommends inspecting tires to ensure they have a good tread and the correct air pressure.
Kelley Blue Book recently named the new Ford Fusion as the 2013 Best Redesigned Vehicle. The midsize sedan beat out more than 20 other models that also went through extensive changes for the new year. KBB judges looked at a variety of categories, including exterior and interior design, driving dynamics, technology, comfort and convenience features, performance and value. The Fusion outshone its competitors, and Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for KBB, explained that the choice was an easy one.
"More than a handful of vehicles made the shortlist for this year, but ultimately the 2013 Ford Fusion was named KBB.com's 2013 Best Redesigned Vehicle with impressive gains in design, technology and fuel economy," said Nerad. "Outside, the new Fusion is clearly the hottest-looking car in a class with no fewer than 13 other entrants. The interior is just as striking, and a variety of technological enhancements and choice of five powertrains is just icing on the cake. Whatever mix of value, power and fuel efficiency you're looking for in a midsize sedan, the new Fusion has it."
Drivers who are thinking about purchasing a 2013 Fusion in a few years when they can find a used model can keep their current vehicle on the road by getting regular tuneups and oil changes as well as addressing repairs. The experts at New Jersey State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center can take care of all these automotive needs and more.
Those who need to trade in their current ride for something newer can also turn to NJ Auto Auction, since the dealer carries a wide selection of used makes and models. Every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified, allowing car shoppers to buy with confidence.
Many people travel for the holidays to visit family and friends or take vacations, and the latest projections from AAA indicate the number of those who will be taking to the roads or skies this year has increased compared to the 2011 holiday season. Across the board, AAA estimates there will be approximately 93.3 million people who have end-of-year travel plans, which is 1.6 percent higher than the 91.8 million who traveled last year. The vast majority (90 percent) of these people will be reaching their destination by automobile, and the average excursion is expected to be around 760 miles, round-trip.
"The year-end holiday season remains the least volatile of all travel holidays, as Americans will not let economic conditions of high gas prices dictate if they go home for the holidays or kick off the New Year with a vacation," said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. "Primary economic factors all show modest improvement from last year, and AAA is projecting an increase in the number of Americans stuffing their stockings with airline tickets and hotel reservations."
Those planning to take road trips this month should make sure their cars are in good condition before they hit the road. Everything from checking tire pressure and topping off fluids to getting a routine tune up and addressing repairs should be part of the pre-travel checklist. Drivers in the New York/New Jersey area can bring their cars to NJ State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center, which is open to the public. The automotive experts can handle everything from oil changes to replacements and repairs to ensure travelers reach their destinations safely.
WardsAuto World, a leading automotive publication, recently released its annual list of "Ward's 10 Best Engines," which is comprised solely of gas-powered motors. Electric, hybrid and diesel powertrains were considered, but in the end, the gasoline engines proved more impressive and innovative for the 2013 model year. While there have been significant advancements among alternative fuel options in recent years, these newer engines are not yet ready to stand up against traditional gasoline-powered motors.
"We're always excited to see the advancements being made in hybrids and all-electric vehicles," said Drew Winter, editor-in-chief for WardsAuto World magazine. "But there are still significant barriers for the average consumer to look past when considering these vehicles. The cost for most of them remains high, and the driving ranges of the battery electric vehicles will have to be extended to meet the needs of most people."
A panel of WardsAuto editors considered many different engines, looking at factors like innovation, efficiency, power, sound and how they matched the vehicles in which they are used. The winning engines ranged across European, Asian and American offerings, indicating that design engineers across the board are working hard to keep their engines modern and fuel efficient. Ford, Honda and BMW each had two engines make the grade. Subaru, Audi, Dodge and
Cadillac also had engines that met the judges' criteria.
This list can help drivers narrow down their selection when choosing the next vehicle they will buy. While the awards are for new engines, there are plenty of used cars, trucks and SUVs that have powerful and fuel efficient motors under the hood. The "20 Best Engines" list has been produced annually for the past 19 years, providing a valuable resource for car shoppers.
Drivers in the market for used vehicles can check out the selection at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which has more than four acres of vehicles to choose from.