Used Midsize Pickups Don’t Come Cheap

2011 Ford Ranger

Want one? Pony up!

Tell someone they can’t have something, and they’ll want it more.

Stop making something, and people will demand it.

Put something in limited supply, and prices will rise. Or, in the used car market, prices will at least fall a little more slowly than usual.

That’s exactly what’s happening with used midsize pickup trucks. Since fewer are made new, there are fewer on the used market, and prices are nearly holding steady. Want a 2010 midsize truck? With prices just 3.7 percent less than the original price, you might be better off snagging a brand-new one! If you can find one, of course.

Continue reading >>>

The Worst Enemy of a Used Car Shopper

Convertible pickup?

The perfect vehicle for someone. Maybe.

My friend Dan tells a lot of stories.

On Friday the topic of conversation turned to cars and, of course, Dan had a story to tell. He spun a yarn about how he once went to a dealership looking for a pickup, but left with a convertible.

Now that’s just exceptionally poor willpower combined with a complete lack of focus. The first rule about buying a car is to find one that fits your needs. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t even need saying, but if you need a truck to haul a boat or load a couple yards of bark, don’t buy a convertible.

I never thought I’d need to write those words, but Dan’s story illustrates what can happen when impulse takes control of your car shopping.

Continue reading >>>

Can Buying New Get You the Best Deal?

the joy of car buying

I got asked a question this week that gave me pause. Typically, when someone asks me a car question, I’m ready with a quick, educated and, if I’m feeling really good, witty response.

This question, though, left me silent for a few moments as I pondered my potential responses. My gut reaction and my logical mind weren’t cooperating with one another, and the resulting battle left me momentarily speechless. The question, in theory, should have an easy answer.

But all I could muster in the early moments of my response was a half-hearted, “Well, it depends, I suppose…”

Continue reading >>>

Hyundai Quickly Moves Upmarket, Demands Higher Prices

2014 Hyundai Equus

2014 Hyundai Equus

Aside from the headline giving it away, if I asked which automaker is currently at production capacity, sells every car it builds, gets nearly MSRP on each sale and is bringing a salvo of upmarket new vehicles into showrooms, I doubt Hyundai would be the first carmaker to come to mind.

The Korean automaker, though, is putting on a school on how to build cars and market them to a hungry American audience. The business model has evolved from its cheap-price and long-warranty roots to a more upscale, quality-based model.

Two new vehicles represent the new direction of this company, while used models still represent some of the best values available.

Continue reading >>>

How to Write a Used Car Ad That Sells

BMW used car ad

Prices sell cars.

Without a doubt, the quickest way to sell a car quickly is to price it below its value. Nothing generates inquiries like a price that seems too good to be true. A few years ago I listed a car online, but made an error filling out the form, so two zeroes were missing from my price. You wouldn’t believe how many people called thinking I had a $45 car for sale. A few even demanded I sell it for that “advertised” price. Ummm, no.

As a seller, though, you want to get as much as possible for your car. So where’s the balance? Write a good ad and come up with a price that’s good for you, and too good for buyers to ignore. Here’s how to do it.

Continue reading >>>

You Can’t Have a Lamborghini Veneno, But Maybe One of These Instead…

Lamborghini Veneno

Search all you want, but you’re not going to find a Lamborghini Veneno in the CarGurus used listings.

In most cases, those listings are a prime place to look for your next sedan, SUV, minivan or sports car. Heck, even used supercars make an appearance for those of you with the money and time to enjoy one. The Veneno, though, is one car not likely to ever show up in the listings. That’s because only three will be made, and each already has its new owner waiting to write the check.

Keep reading to drool all over the Veneno, then view some suggestions on what you might consider purchasing instead.

Continue reading >>>

Five Things I Learned at My Local Auto Show

2013 Porsche Boxster

While it’s nowhere near as exciting as the big U.S. auto shows in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York, the show in my quaint little part of the Pacific Northwest is enough to whet the automotive appetite of plenty of local aficionados.

I’d have to travel to the big shows to see some of the latest offerings from Ferrari, Lamborghini or Rolls-Royce. Heck, even cars like the all-new C7 Corvette don’t bother to make the trip out here. I guess that’s what happens, though, when the show is put on by the local dealers’ association rather than supported by the automakers.

Still, I enjoy attending, and this year I learned 5 very important things.

Continue reading >>>

Want a Good Deal? Buy a Worst-Selling Car!

2012 Acura ZDX

In 2004 I bought a new Jaguar X-Type for $24,000. The window sticker said $32,000, so I was pretty proud of myself.

I got the good deal because X-Types were notoriously slow sellers and no one else wanted the last black 2.5-liter 5-speed. The dealer wanted it off his lot, and I excitedly took it.

Of course, I quickly learned the car wasn’t quite worth even the discounted price, but that’s another story for another time. Now that we’re in 2013, what slow sellers should you expect to find with discounted prices?

Keep reading!

Continue reading >>>

Can Lincoln’s New Name Harken to Success of the Past?

Just a few weeks ago we heard about a potential name change for Lincoln. At the time, I thought it could be pretty big news and represent a shift in Ford’s luxury brand as it seeks to move it away from the stodgy associations of Town Car airport transportation and retired folks in Florida.

Where’s the excitement and performance of the 1961 Continental, and what happened to the luxury and class we haven’t really seen since, well, the 1938 Zephyr? The split grille of the old Zephyr shows up on modern Lincolns, but otherwise the cars are just Fords with a spit-shine and price increase.

And that name change foreshadowed not long ago? It’s really not a name change at all. Instead of being known as Lincoln, the brand will adopt the name Lincoln Motor Company.

And no one will care.

Continue reading >>>