6-year-old misses bus, attempts to drive family car to school

Missing the school bus in the morning wasn’t enough to stop a 6-year-old Virginia boy from trying to get to school earlier this month when he took the family car for a ride to school, crashing more than 10 miles from home.

No one was injured in the crash and police took the boy to school after a local hospital released him for a bump on the head.

On January 6th, the boy, whose name was not released, missed his bus and took the keys to his parents 2005 Ford Taurus while his mother was asleep.

Police say the boy, who was likely standing the entire time he was driving, drove through at least two intersections and over a bridge before losing control and hitting an embankment and a utility pole.

Authorities said the boy told them he learned how to drive by playing video games like Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam.

“He was just bound and determined,” Northumberland County Sheriff Chuck Wilkins told the Washington Post, “he did not want to miss breakfast and PE.”

Used cars are a value in today’s market

There was a time when the thought of purchasing a used car made people pause, but today many factors make buying a used car a great option.

Over the years manufacturers have made cars more dependable, which means there’s still a lot of life left in a car when its first owner trades it in or sells it, meaning cars can often go well beyond the 100,000 mile mark.

“The quality of cars has generally trended upwards,” Santosh Viswanathan, co-owner and managing partner of a Delaware dealership told the News Journal. “I can’t remember the last time a customer called and said they got a bad product.”

Another advantage of buying a used car is a lower depreciation of its value. The buyer of a used car is likely to get much more of its purchase price than in the purchase of a new car.

There are also considerable savings in buying a car that is only a couple of years old. According to the news provider a driver can save 32 percent with a 3-year-old car and 19 percent with a year-old car.

Of course it’s always a good idea for buyers to check the going price of a used car by finding the market value from Kelly Blue Book.

Find New York Used Cars with New Jersey State Auto.

New law could let you trade in “clunker” for cash

New legislation proposed to Congress may allow owners of gas-guzzling older vehicles to trade them in to get cash for the purchase of a newer vehicle. This is great news for anyone looking to swap their car for more fuel-efficient New York used cars.

The legislation, dubbed “Cash for Clunkers” is aimed at removing older, lower gas mileage vehicles from the road and replacing them with cars with better fuel efficiency ratings.

According to the Associated Press, the new law could save 40,000 to 80,000 barrels of fuel each day by the end of its fourth year.

Drivers could be eligible for up to $4,500 for their vehicle, which could then be used to purchase a newer used car. However, vehicles must have a suggested retail price under $45,000, must be drivable, 2004 or older and get less than 18 miles per gallon.

Maine senator Susan Collins, a co-sponsor of the bill, said it “would reduce our dependence on foreign oil, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate the economy,” according to the AP.

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Fun used cars for tough economic times

Just because the economy is down doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun when you’re driving. MSN autos lists a few cars that are a fun ride, but still relatively inexpensive.

Among the cars listed are the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, which Edmunds calls “an example of America’s ability to build a decent compact automobile.” MSN says if you peel away the Cobalt’s plain exterior you find a powerful sedan with a 260 turbocharged horsepower engine.

But if you want to feel like you can enter a weeklong race over the desert, then a Subaru WRX might be a good fit with its rally looks and its ability to hit 0-60 in under six seconds.

Talk of “fun” cars can’t be had without talking about the MINI Cooper. Just looking at the car makes most people smile and since BMW revived the car in 2002, many people have found it to be perfect for tackling urban and not-so-urban terrains.

Another fun car is the Volkswagen GTI. For more than 20 years VW has been selling some form of the GTI, so finding a good used one should be pretty easy.

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Kelly Blue Book’s tips on buying a used car

In what might be helpful to people searching for New York used cars in this tough economy, Kelly Blue Book (KBB) lists some important steps to buying a used car.

It should go without saying but KBB says the first step is to find out how much you are comfortable spending on a used car and find out what type of car is in your price range. After that it’s important to find what kind of car works for you, including a make, model and year.

From there you want to find out what the value of the car is. Various online sites, including KBB, can give you an idea of what the going value of the car you have in mind is.

It’s also important to get a history of the car you are buying and with services like CARFAX Vehicle History Report, it’s easy to find out if the car has been in an accident or had any damage prior to you getting inside.

The website also recommends taking a through walk around and test drive of the car. It’s easy to just fall in love with a car at first sight, but kicking the tires and driving it a few miles can tell you a lot about it.

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Cadillac One revealed

This week General Motors released pictures of what is likely to be the most popular car in the next few weeks as the nation turns its eyes to Washington – the new presidential limo.

The car, which looks like a longer version of a Cadillac DTS, will have numerous safety and security features making it seem more like something out of a Hollywood movie than a presidential vehicle.

In addition to normal safety features in a Cadillac, the Presidential car, dubbed Cadillac One, includes night vision cameras, windows that can withstand armor-piercing bullets, and a five inch thick steel plate running beneath the car to protect against explosions.

Cadillac says great lengths were taken to make sure the car, which is being referred to as “The Beast” by Secret Service Agents, was as safe as possible.

“The car was designed, developed and tested by specialists who adhered to an extensive set of specifications,” the company said in a statement. “It was subjected to an extreme testing regimen to ensure performance that achieves precise functional requirements.”

The previous presidential limo, also a Cadillac, will go to Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

Obama’s used car could pull in big bucks

In a tough economy, it’s cost effective to buy a used car, but for one Chicago man, the purchase of President-elect Barack Obama’s used car may turn into a jackpot.

Tim O’Boyle says he bought Obama’s used 2005 Chrysler 300C – which has a HEMI engine, moonroof, leather interior and GPS – at a Chicago area dealership for $24,000 and was told at the time that it was the former car of the President-elect.

O’Boyle put the car for sale on an internet auction site yesterday and as of 5pm Thursday the bidding was up to $150,000. For someone who just had to have the car, it could be theirs for $1 million.

“Overall, the car is immaculate. If you were to jump inside the thing and drive it, you’d think you’re driving a brand new car,” O’Boyle told the Associated Press. “Hopefully he takes as good care of the country as he did the car.”

Kelly Blue Book lists a 2005 Chrysler 300C in excellent condition at just under $24,000.

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In winter weather a Volvo might be a good choice

With recent snowstorms that have battered the East Coast, many people are looking for a New York used car that can handle the snow and ice and keep them safe. For a lot of people, that has turned out to be a Volvo.

Jim MacPherson, who writes an auto column for the Harford Courant, says Volvo’s reputation as being equipped with numerous safety features make them a popular choice for people looking to buy a used car this time of year, especially in snow affected regions like New York and New Jersey.

For those who want to haul some groceries, or people, around during the winter months, MacPherson says the Volvo XC90 is a good option with its “car-like” feel and roominess that seats five to seven passengers.

MacPherson writes that dealers are hardly able to keep the SUVs on the lot, with one reporting that seven were recently sold in a single day.

“Comfortable, safe, roomy and highly competent in the snow, it is little wonder that seven Volvo XC90s would be sold on a single Saturday,” said MacPherson.

According to Edmunds, late model XC90s saw few changes over the years, although a high-powered 268 horsepower, twin-turbocharged model was sold from 2003-2005.

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Used car choices when buying a first car

A first car is a big deal in American culture. It’s going to be the car a man remembers for the rest of his life, so it’s probably a good idea to make it a good one.

Askmen.com recently compiled a list of the best used cars when guys are making their first purchase, and all are under $21,000.

According to the site, the best car is the 2004 Mazda3, which can be had for under $18,000. Although the car would be considered a compact, it’s got the largest trunk in its class and with 148 horsepower it has some zip too.

Saturn has had a pretty good record for reliability, so it’s no surprise that the website lists the 2005 Saturn Ion as one of the best buys. Although it has a sporty look, the Ion comes in a four-door model which makes it easy to fill up with groceries, moving boxes, or just friends. Plus, with dent-resistant panels it’s a good car when parking can be an issue.

Towards the higher end of the price range, askmen.com lists the Honda Civic Hybrid as it’s number three choice. But the higher price tag might be offset by the fuel economy – 51 miles per gallon highway and 46 mpg in the city.

Rounding out the list are the 2004 Toyota Corolla and the 2004 Volkswagen Golf.

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Most fuel efficient used cars

Even though gas prices have fallen to a more reasonable level over the last few months, it appears that the days of buying gas guzzlers are over as more people look to buy fuel efficient models.

According to Consumer Reports, there are a number of top models buyers should look at when trying to find the best used car for their money.

According to its research, the most fuel efficient car in the $10,000 – $20,000 range is the 2004-2006 Toyota Prius. It’s really the car that started the hybrid phenomenon and at 44 miles per gallon overall, it’s one of the most fuel efficient cars in the country.

The magazine also lists the 2003 Prius, which gets 41 mpg.

In fact, Honda and Toyota really seem to have cornered the market on fuel efficient used cars. Of the top 12 spots in the price range, all but the 2004-2007 Mazda3 i are in the Honda and Toyota family.

The top five cars on Consumer Reports list read as follows:

2004-06 Toyota Prius 44mpg
2003 Toyota Prius 41mpg
2006-07 Honda Civic Hybrid 37mpg
2003-05 Honda Civic Hybrid 36mpg
2007 Honda Fit Sport (manual) 34mpg

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