Tuesday April 15, 2014
There are fleeting times in my life when I think it would be cool to own a pickup. But then I review one for the side of my life that covers new cars and I'm glad I don't.
Obviously lots of people disagree with me, which is why I wrote an article on 10 tips for buying a used pickup. Based on my experience of those and others, I thought it an article worth sharing.
The usual advice is in there but there's one point pickup owners may strongly disagree on: buying a Japanese pickup. Now I realize that's heresy to fans of the red, white and blue. Think about it, though. The Toyota Tundra is built in Texas. You can't get much more American than that.
By the way, prepare to give up your weekends if you buy a used pickup. Friends you never knew you had are going to come out of the woodwork.
Sunday April 13, 2014
So, I was in Phoenix recently for a new car event and my driver to the airport commented that Arizona was a great place to buy a used RV cheap because lots of widows sold them just to get them out of the driveway.
Well, seniors all over the country are excellent sources of used cars because they are buying so many new cars. Turns out that half of all new-car buyers are going to be over the age of 55 in 2014. That means they're going to be trading in lots of used cars.
And, according to the study I write about in the article, those seniors are likely to take good care of their used cars. Why? They don't look for bargains when it comes to maintenance - they look for convenience. People not focused on cost are more likely to take care of their vehicles.
Wednesday April 9, 2014
CarMD is out with its annual look at used car repair costs called the 2014 Vehicle Health Index and it's a good tool for identifying potential problems in a used car you want to buy.
It's full of helpful information. In an article on the Vehicle Health Index I list CarMD's top 5 most common repairs. The list hasn't changed much from year to year but the one that continues to amaze me is loose fuel cap. In other words, one of the most common repairs for a used car is somebody not putting the gas cap on correctly.
That triggers the check engine light to come on, which for most people means bringing their car into a repair shop to get it checked out. Probably the best part is someone tracks just how this repair costs. Are you sitting down? It's 11 cents.
Of course, that's on average, which means some mechanics charge nothing while others charge 25 cents. Make sure you shop around before getting the work done!
Monday March 31, 2014
It's been said in this space before and it's well worth repeating: Consumer Reports knows a lot about used cars. I would put their knowledge up against anybody who covers cars.
That's why I posted an article about their top used cars. No other organization does a better job evaluating new cars than Consumer Reports.
Heck, they went so far as to erect a building just to objectively test headlights. They used to test them at night but then the results could vary if it was overcast or a full moon. I mean, who else would think of these things? Who else would even evaluate headlights when you think about it?
So, that's why I rely so heavily on Consumer Reports for used car information. Whenever Jake Fisher and his crew say something about a new car, I know it's going to be valuable information for years to come. And, yes, I am both an online and print subscriber to Consumer Reports.