There's been this thought going around that teens aren't interested in driving because of competition from things like social media. After all, why drive when you can tweet instead? Well, my article on what it costs a teen to own a used car offers up some different reasons.
According to the website, driving-tests.org, the main reason teens aren't all that anxious to drive is cost. It's simply out of reach for many teen drivers to get behind the wheel, even if they don't own a used car.
That's somewhat comforting because that's a problem that can be solved, unlike competition with games and social media. They're might be hope yet for teens to drive and buy used cars if we can just make the whole process more affordable.
Even more tempting might be more hybrids, electric vehicles and other alternative fuel choices because the millenials are more interested in going green than any generation before them.
As CarMax marks 20 years in business, I took a few moments to examine what sets it apart from other used car retailers. The top thing is probably going to be its size, I discovered, while compiling 10 facts about CarMax.
In the article, Ten Things to Know About CarMax, I looked at such things as the used car buying process. There's something to be said for no-haggle pricing, which is probably how most people want to buy their used cars because most of us, including yours truly, are not good negotiators.
But what I think is equally important is CarMax has been voted a top place to work for nine years straight. I think a company with happy employees provides better customer service and an overall better buying experience.
There's been a lot in the news recently how WalMart pays its employees vs. Costco. It's made me think long and hard about shopping at WalMart. I'd probably be more likely to shop CarMax, too, because its employees seem to be better treated.
It was only natural after writing earlier this week about the 10 Best Certified Pre-Owned Cars that I follow up with a similar article on Best Certified Pre-Owned Pickups, SUVs and Crossovers. Don't worry. That's the end of my list making on used cars for 2013 - unless I run out of ideas next month.
Anyway, the piece on the 10 Best Certified Pre-Owned Pickups, SUVs and Crossovers includes some of the usual suspects like the Ford F-150. Just by its sheer volume of sales it deserve to be included.
But there are more than a couple of sleepers on the list. A 2011 Toyota RAV4 can be had for a great price. Plus, have you ever considered a certified pre-owned Mazda Mazda5? I've owned one for almost six years and think it's a great little people mover for a family of four (and by now you may have guessed I have a family of four).
Consult the list and share your opinions below. I'm sure I might have missed one or two you would have included.
First of all, if you're reading this on Thanksgiving, why? But seriously, thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a happy day surrounded by loved ones. And, if you're in the market for a used car you're going to be really happy because it's a buyer's market right now.
All signs point to this being a great market for used car buyers. The days supply of used cars (basically the inventory on the lots) is increasing and prices are dropping.
Of course, what makes for a good market for consumers can mean a tough market for independent used car dealers. They're facing pressures from increased advertising and a supply that's moving slowly.
The big guys, the franchised used car dealers, seem to be weathering the downturn a little better but you can still find good deals regardless of where you go in the used car marketplace.
So, go back to your turkey and stuffing and prepare to go used car shopping tomorrow. You might be surprised what you find out there.
It's that time of year when the Ten Best lists start to proliferate, unless, of course, you read Buzzfeed, in which case every day is a Ten Best List kind of day. But after reading so much about the rise in certified pre-owned vehicles over the course of the last year, I thought it was time to write my list of the Ten Best Certified Pre-Owned Used Cars on the market.
I think it's important to note that I have driven every car on the list. I've had experience with them and the list is about more than the boring semantics of one certified pre-owned program vs. another.
I hope I've come up with a list that saves you some money and maybe points you in a direction you did not consider before. One of my favorite cars on the list is the Mazda6. It's going to make a lot of people very happy and I hope my list helps sell even more.
I'm a great believer in those onboard diagnostic tools offered by places like CarMD and Actron. I think they can make a great difference in making your used car last longer through the proper maintenance.
Add to that mix a new product called the Zubie Key. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with its CEO Tim Kelly and talking about all the product has to offer.
Probably the most interesting thing from my perspective as a parent is what it can do to squeal on your kids when they get behind the wheel. My daughters aren't old enough to drive yet but when the time comes I'm totally going to pop something like a Zubie Key into the car so I know exactly where they've been.
Sure, by then they'll be able to outsmart me when it comes to technology but I think a product like the Zubie Key just might be the electronic tattletale I need.
Used cars no longer being sold as new models are called orphans. Not quite sure where the name comes from but it might be loosely based on the fact that their manufacturing parents no longer love them and have figuratively dumped them at a fire station door for safe passage.
So, automotive orphans always fascinate me and they should, in some cases, used car buyers, too. I've taken a look at eight used cars no longer being sold new for the 2014 model year because there are some good bargains to be had there.
Well, there are at least three good used cars on that list that you should be able to pick up for a good price. Usually, outside the exotics market, once a vehicle stops production, its residual value drops. That can make automotive orphans a good deal for consumers.
Any automotive orphans you have purchased? If so, share your thoughts below on why you purchased one.
The drums are starting to beat a tale of caution in the used car marketplace for consumers with some trends from October 2013 used car sales showing some potential problems.
According to my analysis of October 2013 used car sales, prices are starting to creep up again for consumers. As CNW Market Research - my prime source for information on the used car marketplace - discovered, prices in October rose for the first time all year.
There's also the continuing steamroller effect of certified pre-owned used car sales. The numbers just continue to increase, as do the profits on each one. That's going to further diminish the availability of newer used cars for most consumers, especially those with lower credit scores.
It's also interesting to note that used car leasing is show a slight increase in popularity. I guess it's a good market for people who can't afford to lease a new car but still want to be seen driving something expensive (for low monthly payments, of course).
Many times I've been asked, "What should I buy for a used car?" I've never been asked, "What's the best city for buying a used car?" Now I can say I know the answer - and it's New York City.
That's according to a massive online records analysis by iseecars.com, an innovative used car buying website that has done some fascinating research. It's Top 50 Cities for Buying a Used Car shows most of the best cities are on the East Coast and that it's worth your while to drive a few hours for a deal.
Almost one-in-four used cars in New York City are sold below their projected value, according to iseecars.com, which examined used cars selling for less than $15,000. That's a large segment of the market and demonstrates deals are out there for folks willing to look.
And, I'm proud to note, my area of Connecticut (Hartford-New Haven) is 8th on the list. That's good to know the next time I go used car shopping.
As I write this, a brand-new 2014 Corvette Stingray is sitting in my driveway because I also review new cars. Needless to say, but I will anyway, I'm nervous as heck that somebody might find it an attractive car to steal.
Maybe I feel that way because of the article on most stolen used sports cars that I just finished writing. The Corvette happens to be on the list, which just feeds my paranoia.
The Corvette doesn't top the list, though. That honor belongs to the great American muscle car the Camaro. Two other examples of muscle cars come in second and third: the Dodge Challenger and the Ford Mustang. It's a pretty heady list of great used sports cars if you ask me.
Fortunately, as a percentage of stolen used cars, used sports cars are only a small percentage. So maybe that Corvette in my driveway will be safe after all!