Maybe it's time for me to get that used Cadillac DTS I've always wanted. Cadillac has enhanced its certified pre-owned program in a move targeted at both quality and quantity.
I won't go into the details of the expanded Cadillac certified pre-owned program (because I want you to click the link) but I will say it's a move that demonstrates GM has made great strides in quality. It's fiscal suicide to promote a bumper-to-bumper warranty for up to six years or 70,000 miles (whichever comes first) if your product quality is suspect. The company would head back into bankruptcy if that was the case.
The move is also being done to bring more used Cadillacs into the certified pre-owned field because now GM's luxury division covers more of its certified pre-owned vehicles than BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.
So, if you've been thinking about buying a certified pre-owned Cadillac, now might be a good time to act.
There's a disturbing number circulating out there. According to AutoRemarketing.com, "CNW Research indicated that each month between September of last year and February of this year, approvals for subprime customers rose by at least 40 percent year-over-year."
On the surface that sounds like a good thing because it means more people are getting into used cars after a couple years of tight credit. But that's what lead us to tight credit problems: too many folks borrowing over their head.
It's astounding to hear that new car loans are approaching seven years and some used car loans are inching up to six years. That's just way too long for most people to pay for a used car. If it's going to take you more than four years to pay off a used car, you're probably buying too much used car.
Now, I know it's tempting to get out there and get as much as you can, but don't buy a used car just because you can. Make do with something more affordable. That's a great way to no longer be a sub-prime buyer.
It's always fun to be part of a judging panel, especially when the topic is used cars. Heck, what could be more perfect for yours truly than to be a judge of the WheelsTV.com and New England Motor Press Association Previously Owned Vehicle awards?
The ultimate winner we selected was the 2011 Grand Cherokee. It was a no-brainer for me because I called it the American Range Rover when I reviewed it for the Boston Globe way back when. It's a much better SUV Range Rover at tens of thousands of dollars less and is no less capable off-road.
We selected some other good previously owned vehicles including the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Corolla, and my bucket list car, the Audi A8. What can I say? I have champagne tastes on a Budweiser budget.
Anyway, feel free to question our collective wisdom by commenting below. I'm sure there has to be some dissent about the top prize.
When I was in college, and for about four months after, I worked summers and winter vacations at a rental car lot shuttling cars among various cities and the local airport. Heck, I even got to drive the shuttle bus once in a while, which is why I am comfortable continuing to recommend used rental cars for buyers.
However (bet you were expecting a but), there's a trend in the used rental car market, which I explain in my article: How Used Rental Cars Can Be a Bargain. The good used rental cars are being sold by the rental car companies that earned a lot of money off them.
The bad ones, on the other hand, are being sold at auction and recently there's been some trepidation from wholesalers about buying used rental cars. It only makes sense because the good rental cars have become the certified pre-owned used cars of the rental car dealership lots.
Have you owned a used rental car? I have and I loved it. Frankly, I sold it too early and probably could have driven it for 10 years or more. Comment below if you have owned one.
I think about all the stupid stuff I did as a teen driver - and that's way before smart phones, texting, and small cars. I was probably meant to survive just to write about used cars for you folks.
Anyway, it's coming up on the saddest season of the year for teen drivers: from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That's why now seemed like a good time to post an article about Safe Used Cars for Teens.
Statistics show that eight teens a day, on average, die from Memorial Day to Labor Day. That's a sad figure because I'm sure most of those fatal accidents were probably avoidable.
When you read the list in the article of safe used cars for teens, make sure you buy the right one. After all, a used car without stability control in some form is a lot more dangerous for teen drivers than the average parent might think. I'm glad that by the time my little girl is driving most used cars I'd let her drive will have stability control.
So, there's a debate going on, mostly in my head, about what my next used vehicle is. After reading about used diesel passenger vehicles being so hot, my mind might be made up.
As I discuss in an article on the Best Places to Buy Used Diesel Passenger Vehicles, I think their prices are going to be coming down in the next year or so.
Right now, used diesel passenger vehicles hold their value best of all the vehicles on the road because of their engines that last a lot longer than typical internal combustion engines. That long shelf life appeals to me because we keep our vehicles for a long time.
Stop them from getting banged up in grocery store parking lots and vehicles like the VW Passat TDI could last for a decade or more. That makes a lot of sense if you buy used cars and plan to run them into the ground.
What about you? Any thoughts on buying a used diesel passenger vehicle in the near future? Share your comments below.
Hi, my name is Keith and I'm a former sub-prime, used car buyer. Hi Keith.
Ok, so maybe there isn't a 12-step program for sub-prime used car buyers but there are certain healthy things a sub-prime used car buyer can do, including knowing the Top 10 used cars bought by sub-prime borrowers.
Maybe those types of lists are a dime a dozen, but this list is particularly helpful to sub-prime used car buyers because it's compiled by CarFinance.com. My article on the list helps drive home the point that sub-prime used car buyers have to be especially prudent when it comes to buying a used car.
The first step to take - and this is not an endorsement of any used car financial website - is to pre-arrange financing before stepping foot on a used car dealer's lot. It's going to save you lots of money over the course of your loan - money that can be used to improve your credit.
Or, just do what I did and get married. That helped me improve my credit immensely!
It's always interesting to find out what used cars are most researched in a given month because there are always some surprises on the list.
Such was the case when I was writing about the Used Cars Most Researched for March 2013. http://usedcars.about.com/od/research/a/Most-Researched-Used-Cars-For-March-2013.htm It's a list compiled by the NADA Used Car Guide.
Anyway, there are used cars on there like the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Pontiac G6. People are actively seeking those out for purchase? Maybe if interest had been as keen when they were new, they'd still be rolling off the factory line. Well, maybe not the Pontiac G6 because Pontiac itself doesn't exist any more.
It's also important when looking at a list of the Used Cars Most Research that you realize there might be other deals out there. For instance, if you like the Ford Escape, you might want to consider the Mazda Tribute or the Mercury Mariner. Both are basic twins.
OK, so who's in with me on this great idea I have for making money in the used car business? I'm going to buy used cars from independent dealers in Sioux Falls, S.D., and sell them in the West Palm Beach, Fla., area.
Now hear me out. The idea may not be as crazy as you think after reading about the 10 least expensive markets for independent used car transactions.
As you might have guessed by now the most expensive market for independent dealers is West Palm Beach. There the average transaction price is $10,402 while in Sioux Falls, S.D., the average price is $4809. That's more than a $5100 difference.
What do you think? Can we transport each car for $1000? We'd still clear $4100 a car - minus all those nasty operating expenses of course.
On second thought, maybe I better just stick to writing about used cars and leave the complicated business side to others. After all, I like independent used car dealers. I wouldn't want to compete with one!
It's something I've said before: I read a lot to keep up to date on buying and selling used cars and I've belatedly stumbled upon the value of Twitter for selling used cars to young buyers.
It's because of an article I read at the Fresh Pita Blog, which is produced by an outstanding marketing and communications company based down the road from me. (I know the co-owners but I'd say it even if I didn't.) That article prompted me to write one on Selling Used Cars To Younger Buyers.
I've become more and more convinced that images are what sells younger people. So, if you're selling an American or Korean used car (read the article to see why that's also important), get some good photos, and then head over to Twitter. I think it's going to be a great way to reach younger used car buyers.
Well, at least until the next big thing rolls around for social media. I'll go back to the Fresh Pita blog and learn more about it for you!