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18/Aug/2019
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Buying a new car can be exciting, challenging, and nerve-wracking. Thankfully, with an average of 15 and a half million cars sold every year in the United States, the car buying process has been refined for consumers over the decades. But do you know the best way to buy a new car? Are you prepared for every eventuality? Consumers can follow these eight easy steps.

 

Work out Your Budget

If you’re buying a car, the first thing you do is determine your budget.  The average loan repayment for a car purchase is around $500 a month. Can you afford that, or is it better to buy your car outright? Start by considering the 20/4/10 rule. Car financing shouldn’t take up more than 10% of your monthly income and should be repaid within 4 years. You should also be able to put down at least 20% of the total cost of the car to bring costs down. You should only look to buy a car you can truly afford, so consider your budget carefully.

 

Look Online to Build a Car Wish List

With a budget in mind, you should start to build your car wish list. If you’re not a car fanatic, you can start by looking online at used car buyer guides and ‘top 10’ lists like this to help inspire you. You should think about what you’ll need to use your car for. Do you need a small vehicle to get around in, something with space for the kids, or a pickup truck for rural usage? With SUVs, compacts, hybrids, and sports cars on the market (to name but a few!), you’ll have plenty to choose from. Once you identify the type of car you want, you can then build a wish list of potential car models.

 

Compare Prices (Online and Offline)

Found a few car models you like? Your next step before heading to the car lot is to look at some prices. You might have already done a little bit of this when you were researching models, but now it’s time to look at actual prices in your locale. We’re going to recommend you look online at car ad directories, major car selling sites and local dealership websites, but focusing online doesn’t necessarily get you the best deal. If you have dealerships nearby, don’t be afraid to give them a call and ask what vehicles they have in your price range.

 

Visit Dealerships in Your Area

If you’ve found a car you like, it’s time to move your search outside your home and visit a few in your local area. Dealerships offer the best guarantee possible of finding new or certified pre-owned vehicles. CPO cars are usually the best quality used cars you can find, with lower-than-average mileage and a rigorous inspection and refurbishment process. Visit a few dealerships, take a look around, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the sales process or about any cars you like the look of. If you’d prefer, you can deal with private sellers on directory sites like Craigslist, but you take on added risk. There’s no guarantee that the car you buy is safe to drive, and you may find it harder to get your money back if there’s a problem.

 

Get Yourself a Vehicle History Report

Before you rush to put down a deposit on a car you like, take a step back and get a vehicle history report from your local DMV or from an online provider. Use the car’s license plate number to run the search. A report like this can help you determine if the vehicle you’re looking to buy has a less-than-reputable history behind it. The report will list any recorded accidents, the number of owners, and if the car has a salvage title or not. Be very wary of vehicles with salvage titles. These vehicles were damaged extensively and rebuilt before sale and can harbor unseen issues.

 

Take a Test Drive and Speak to a Mechanic

If the car you like doesn’t have any warning flags in its vehicle history report, then speak to the dealership again about taking the car out for a test drive. You shouldn’t buy a car without trying it out and seeing if it feels right for you. Is it the right size, and is it comfortable to drive? It also gives you the opportunity to do some further inspection yourself. The ‘sniff’ test could be essential here – do you smell anything strange, like oil or gas, when the car engine is running? Test everything you can, from the wipers to the air conditioning. Don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion, either. A mechanic can provide an inspection report for a few hundred dollars to give you additional peace of mind about the car’s condition.

 

Begin Price Negotiations

The car you like is being sold for a price, but it isn’t necessarily the fairest price. Remember, dealerships are looking to make a profit – but just how much is up to your negotiation skills. Speak to your car salesperson about the car and register your interest. Don’t go in feeling vague about your budget, and don’t go above it. Your budget exists for a reason! Choose a starting number based on some of the average prices you’ve seen for the same car model when you were completing your earlier price research. The dealership might not accept your first offer, so be prepared to negotiate. As long as you don’t go above your top limit and you stay reasonable, polite, but firm, you may be able to secure yourself a better deal.

 

Complete the Sale

With a price agreed upon, the final step is to complete the sale. You’ll need to arrange car financing, either with the dealership or with an external financing company, and complete this step at this stage once you know the price you’re paying. You may want to consider some of the extras on offer. If your car is a certified pre-owned vehicle, it will likely come with a warranty included. Remember anything your dealership attempts to upsell, needs to be considered against your budget. Ask yourself, is it essential? Before you sign a sales contract, check, check, and check it again to be sure you’re not being misled. Confirm the price, and question and confirm any administration fees before you sign. Once the sale is completed, be sure your car is covered with insurance before you drive it out of the car lot. u

 

Make the Car Buying Process Work for You

Buying a car shouldn’t be a challenge if you follow these steps and make the process your own. Remember, research is your best weapon in the car buying process. Stick to your budget, find a car you like, and be sure to get it tested before you haggle on the price. Don’t forget, thanks to Texas Lemon Laws, if you’re sold a lemon, you may be able to pursue legal action against the car manufacturer for compensation. That’s where we come in. If you’re based in Texas, Lemon Proof provides protection against the often expensive fees and expenses associated with replacing a lemon.Want to give us a test drive? Drop us a message or give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have!

 


18/Aug/2019
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Thinking about buying a new car soon? Are you prepared to handle the most common car salesman tricks? If you’re on the hunt for a new car, you’ll need to go to a local car dealership to do it. However, it’s important that you tread carefully. There are many car salesman tricks that may influence your decision-making process and make it harder for you to make the right choice. Luckily, we’re here to help. Below we’ll give you our top tips for dealing with tricky car salesmen so you can be happy with your final purchase decision.

1. Do Your Homework

When getting to ready to look for a new car, you need to be prepared. By doing your research beforehand, you’ll have a much better time dealing with a car salesman. Try to have an idea of what kind of car you’re looking for in mind before you get to a car lot. What features do you need? What is your price range? Are there specific models you’re interested in? Additionally, you’ll want to know what type of protection the cars you’re considering will come with as well. While a manufacturer’s warranty will be included, you’ll want to find out what else is protected as well. You may also want to consider getting Lemon Proof protection if you want to make sure your money is spent wisely when buying a car. If possible, visit a dealership’s website and look at their inventory online before you go to a dealership in person. By having as much knowledge at your disposal as possible, you’ll be much harder for a salesperson to fool and you’ll be able to spot any bogus claims they make more easily.

2. Be Ready to Negotiate

One of the most important things you need to do when getting ready to buy a car is to learn a few negotiating tactics. While you may think that you can only negotiate with a used car salesman, the truth is that you can do some negotiating for the price of a new car as well. The listed price often has some wiggle room so you’ll usually want to see if you can get a bit less for it if possible. It’s also important that you know how to be assertive when dealing with car salesmen. Car salesmen will often do everything they can to get a sale and may even try to bully you into a purchase before you’re ready. Be ready to stand your ground and to push back against any pressure that you’ll face when talking about the price of a car.

3. Always Test it Out

If a car salesman ever tries to force you into buying a car before you’ve taken it for a full test drive, you may want to reconsider. It’s crucial that you take a test drive and get a full feel for a car before you buy it. Find out how it handles and how it feels to be on the road with it. Additionally, be sure to test everything on the vehicle including the steering, the brakes, the windows, and all of the little electronic features that it comes with. Taking a test drive is an essential part of the buying process, so take your time and make sure you feel comfortable in a car before buying it. If you discover you don’t like driving it weeks later, it won’t be easy to take it back.

4. Bring a Friend Along

There is power in numbers, and it will be easier to stand up to pushy car dealers if you have a friend with you who will have your back. They can also act as the voice of reason. Make sure to bring someone with you when you’re shopping for a car. If you’re all alone at a car dealership, you’ll be more susceptible to pressure and may rush your decision. By having a friend with you, you’ll feel much more confident and will likely be more assertive. Additionally, it’s even better if you can bring a friend along with you who knows a lot about cars and can help you with your buying decision.

5. Don’t Show All Your Cards

Car dealers like to adjust their sales pitch based on the needs, frustrations, and interests of their customers. For this reason, it’s better if you don’t show all of your cards too soon. When going into a dealership to look for a car, you may want to be more on the quiet side. Don’t let a car salesman know too much about you too soon. For example, if you let a salesman know exactly how much money you have to spend early on, it will make negotiating much more difficult. Whatever number you tell them, they’ll be sure to try to get every last dollar from you. Wait for the right time to show your cards if you want to have the best chance of getting a good deal.

6. Watch Out For Extra Fees

One way that car dealerships can trick you is that they’ll list their car for low prices, but then tack on a lot of unnecessary and unexpected fees when you’re finalizing the purchase. Car dealers will get a lot of money from you through the hidden costs that come up during the sale. To combat this, make sure to ask early on what you expect this from the car dealer that you’re visiting. Find out what kind of difference you can expect from the listed price of the car as compared to the take-home price. Remember that extra fees can add up quickly. It’s much better to find out what you can expect early on since can be much harder for you to back out once you’re sitting down doing the final paperwork.

7. Know Your Financing Options Beforehand

Car dealers make a killing off of financing options. While it would be ideal to buy a car outright, it’s not always possible. If you need to rely on financing options to get your vehicle, make sure to do plenty of research beforehand. Know what your options are. In many cases, it’s better to look for financing on your own than to rely on the options given to you by the dealership. You may want to get a car loan from a credit union or consider going with an online peer-to-peer (P2P) lender. Car dealers and car salesmen know that they can make a lot of money with higher interest rates, so make sure you look for better options elsewhere. If you do, you’ll likely pay a lot less for your car in the long run.

8. Go Slow

One thing that car dealers love to do when selling a car is to inspire a sense of urgency for your car purchase. They’ll try to convince you to make your purchase decision quickly instead of thinking about it carefully. Many salesmen will even make it seem as though if you don’t buy the car you want the first time you come in, you may not a get it at all. The price may go up or you may miss out on your chance for some other reason. While you may be eager to get a new car, it’s better not to go too fast. Ideally, even if you like a car you should tell a salesman that you want to go home to think about it and that you may call them in a few days if you’re interested. Don’t make the mistake of buying a car too soon without taking time to fully consider the pros and cons.

Surviving the Most Common Car Salesman Tricks

While it can be difficult to buy a new car, making the right decision isn’t as hard as it may seem. However, you will need to watch out for these car salesman tricks so that you don’t rush your decision. Make sure to use the tips above if you want to have the best time dealing with a car salesman while also ensuring that you’re spending your money as wisely as possible. Need extra protection when buying your new vehicle? Click here to contact us and to learn more about Lemon Proof protection.


18/Aug/2019
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While people previously shopped for a new car every four to five years, that timespan has started to stretch out. One reason is that many people are afraid of buying a lemon. It’s vital to know what conditions under which your manufacturer’s warranty will protect you from financial ruin on a car purchase. Here is everything you need to know in case you’re worried you bought a lemon.

 

What Does ‘Lemon’ Mean?

Every state in America has a “lemon law” that defines what qualifies as a “lemon vehicle.” While the term gets thrown around all the time, there are some real rules that tell you whether or not you’ve got one. To be considered a lemon, your car needs to have a recurring, unrepairable problem that’s covered by your warranty. That problem must occur within a certain period soon after you purchase the vehicle. If the company has tried to repair your car several times and continues to have the problem, you’re dealing with a lemon. There’s even a set number of “reasonable repair attempts” after which the law considers that vehicle a lemon. Every state sets its own rules as what counts as a substantial defect, but the laws are usually clearly written. Before you make a claim or go into debt trying to fix your vehicle, check the lemon laws and see if you’re covered. The state you bought your car in matters, so pay close attention if you live near the border of two states.

 

What’s a Substantial Defect?

If you don’t understand the factors that define a substantial defect, you’re bound to struggle to get yours covered. You might not even realize you’re dealing with one. If you have a substantial defect, you have a problem that impacts the value of your car, your vehicle’s ability to perform basic tasks, or worse, its safety. A car with faulty steering or brakes that malfunction is going to fall under the category of having a substantial defect. If your glovebox light goes in and out or if the radio antenna is a little bit bent, that’s outside the range of a substantial defect. These minor problems aren’t going to get you the attention you’re looking for from a manufacturer. Consumers have reasonable expectations when buying a new car. The line between a substantial and a minor problem aren’t always clear and with laws varying state by state, there’s no solid definition. A paint job that’s badly done might not seem like a big deal, but it could lead to runs and damage the body of your car over time. No matter what the issue is, it’ll need to fall within a certain window for you to ensure that you get covered.

 

What Are a Reasonable Number of Repairs?

We all have either experienced or know someone who has experienced repeated issues with a product or service. Someone who has to bring their car into the shop every week is dealing with a chronic issue that’s often related to the manufacturer. Dealers or manufacturers are given a chance to fix the problem you’re having. They’re owed that opportunity by law. If they keep repairing the problem and it’s clearly a chronic issue, then you can escalate the concern. The typical standard for “reasonable” repairs is four attempts, though it can vary from state to state. If the problem is a safety issue, they might only get one chance given it’s your life in their hands. There are a certain number of days every year where a car is allowed to be in the shop before it becomes clear there are substantial defects.

 

You’re Protected as a Consumer

According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty act, buyers of any product that comes with a written warranty are protected. If manufacturers cut corners and a take a lot of risks with the health and safety of products, the legal system will hold them responsible. Since warranties are often a selling point for products, they’re not to be abused. If a manufacturer also creates an unfair warranty, making it hard for you to claim your product, then they will be held responsible. As a consumer, you can bring an action to recover your fees, costs for repair, and even the cost of an attorney. A lawsuit is your right under this act. If you find your warranty to be grossly unfair, then it’s your right to hold the manufacturer or your dealer responsible. Contact an attorney who specializes in these kinds of cases. You might be surprised to find that even used cars are covered. This depends on the state you buy the car in and what kind of mileage they have. If the car would have been covered by the original warranty, it’ll be covered by most lemon laws. Read the fine print before you buy any vehicle to be sure.

 

Your Manufacturer’s Warranty Covers You

While you might be worried that the manufacturer’s warranty might leave you high and dry, you’re protected by law. Thanks to several laws on the books, you’ll be covered in case your car is a lemon. If you’re worried you just went home with a lemon, contact us right away for help.


18/Aug/2019
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Have you had the misfortune of buying a lemon car in the past? Well, it may have had less to do with luck and more with not doing the necessary research and investigation that would steer you clear of models that have a higher potential of being lemons. There’s bound to be the occasional car that gets great overall reviews, but is actually a lemon once you buy it and you end up having to report it. But with the internet and other resources available to you, it’s possible to protect yourself if you end up with a lemon car.

 

Steer Clear of Trouble with our List of Lemon Cars

We’ve got eight cars on our list that consistently have problems and should be avoided. It helps to know how to spot potential problems in any car when you’re trying to determine whether it will be a good buy. A thorough investigation of the exterior and interior are great places to start. If looking under the hood doesn’t really tell you anything, then find a professional mechanic who understands cars. He or she may see something you don’t. And be sure to get a vehicle history report that can alert you to possible odometer fraud, past accidents, fire or flood damage, or the presence of a rebuilt or salvage title for the vehicle. In the meantime, if the car you’re considering is any of the following, your best bet is to walk away.

 

1. Chevrolet Silverado (2016)

Chevy Silverado claims to be solid as a rock. But the 2016 model was not quite so solid. That particular year was recalled because of the possibility that the mounting stud used to secure the airbag sensor and diagnostic module were incorrectly positioned. If that was the case, there was the risk of a fracture that would allow water into the module and cause it to malfunction and hinder the deployment of the airbags in an accident.

 

2. Oldsmobile Alero (1999-2004)

The Alero may have looked nice, but it had several problems. For starters, the intake manifold gasket may develop an external engine oil or coolant leak. Additionally, a coolant leak may develop from the water pump. A problem with the fuel pump caused the engine to stall and not restart. The pass lock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder was known to fail and cause an anti-theft system fault and inability to start the car. A fail in the turn signal switch caused the hazard/turn signal flasher to continue to click even when the turn signal switch was not on. The front windows came off track as the result of broken window sash brackets.

 

3. Ford Escape (2008-2013)

Given the Escape’s popularity, this one might surprise you. Among the complaints for the 2008-2013 Ford Escape were:

·        A “check engine” warning light illumination

·        Engine stalling and no-start

·        Loss of power

·        Automatic transmission problems

·        Hard-start

·        Steering, power steering, alignment and pulling problems

·        Suspension and brake problems

·        Air conditioning problems

·        SYN/MY TOUCH infotainment malfunction

·        “Tire pressure” warning light illumination or SRS/airbag warning lights illumination

 

4. Jeep Cherokee (all years)

This is another very popular vehicle. And though the list isn’t as extensive as that for the Escape, there have been some serious issues with the Cherokee. More than a few of the problems concern airbag deployment, which is a big problem. Then there have been issues with the radio software permitting third-party access to networked vehicle control systems. Finally, there’s the issue of a possible misrouting of air conditioning suction and discharge hose which put the hose in contact with the exhaust manifold. So what does that mean? Risk of a vehicle fire. Not an issue to take lightly!

 

5. Dodge Challenger (2015)

Despite its sporty and tough guy exterior, the 2015 Dodge Challenger had its own challenges. It was recalled because of a potential instrument cluster failure that would make the gauges oscillate at zero and the “Vehicle Theft Alarm” light to stay illuminated. This, in turn, increased crash risk. On top of that, possible O-ring seal damage and fuel rail crossover hose increased the chances of leaking of fuel and, therefore, vehicle fire. There was also a chance of increased injury as a result of a faulty mounting bolt on the driver’s side airbag inflated curtain.

 

6. Chevrolet Cruze (2009-2011)

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze contained steering wheels that could suddenly detach from the steering column while driving. Cruze models manufactured from 2009-2011 were also recalled because the shaft to the steering gear input separated, resulting in loss of steering control. Another big issue was the possibility of the transmission shift linkage being faulty, rendering the car unable to restart and having the vehicle potentially roll away after the driver exited the car. There were other issues, but those three should certainly should give you pause if you’re considering a Cruze.

 

7. GMC Acadia (2007-2017)

The first generation 2007-2017 GMC Acadia has an impressive laundry list of problems:

·        Engine misfiring and knocking

·        Surging and stalling

·        Cooling system overheating and/or leaks

· Consuming too much oil

·        Problems with the transmission

·        Loss of power or warning lights while driving

·        Repeated dashboard warning displays

·        Power steering problems

·        Headlights not coming on and fuses burning out

·        “Check engine” light problems

·        “Service engine soon” light problems

·        Suspension issues

·        Passenger seat airbag problems

·        Traction control and stability control system problems

·        “ABS brake warning light” problems

While these problems are not as potentially dangerous as some of the others in our list, there are just far too many of them. This is a car that spends a lot of time in the shop.

 

8. Jaguar X-Type (2002-2009)

Looking for luxury? Look elsewhere. It’s not unusual for the Jaguar X-Type to experience premature automatic transmission failure or for the the engine oil pan gasket to develop a leak. The small plastic lines or tubes that carry the hot coolant to the radiator may become brittle and break. Plus you’ll be dealing with hard shifts and transmission slippage on models equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission. This a luxury automobile that you can afford… to skip.

 

You Are Ready to Head to the Dealer

Just be sure to keep this list of lemon cars in mind when you head out for a new car. Better yet, print it out. Don’t get stuck with a lemon. Then once you get that great new vehicle, be sure to lemon proof it with us! You’ll be so glad you did.


18/Aug/2019
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What should you do if the car you buy turns out to be a dud, and breaks almost immediately after you buy it? There are actually laws for that, appropriately called lemon laws. These laws differ across America. For instance, what if you get a lemon car in Texas? How do the lemon laws work there?

 

The Lemon Law Explained

The Lemon Law is a law that states that the manufacturer can be sued for a nonfunctioning car provided the car meets certain requirements.

 

Proof of a Lemon Car

To qualify as a lemon car, at least one out of three requirements must be met. Your claim becomes invalid if these conditions were met after the warranty ran out or the car has driven 24,000 miles. The claim is also invalid if the warranty doesn’t cover the issue you’re dealing with.

1.      At least four attempts have been made to repair the car, and none have worked.

2.      The car has been in the shop for a cumulative period of thirty days or longer.

3.      The defect threatens the safety of those in or around the vehicle.

These first three conditions establish that the car is, in fact, suffering major performance or functionality issues and that the burden, therefore, falls on the dealership or manufacturer to fix it.

 

Attempts to Solve Out of Court

The consumer must also give the manufacturer a certain number of chances to fix the car, and a description of the issue by mail, if possible. If these chances have been given and they have either been rejected or for some other reason the problem has not been fixed, it is time to see a lawyer.

 

Age of the Car

Another thing to consider is that the car must have been new when you bought it. If the car had any previous owners, it’s basically impossible to be sure that the car’s problem was an error of the dealer or manufacturer. Even if you bought the car from a dealership, the dealership can’t be held responsible for the issue.

 

What a Lawyer Can Do?

A lawyer can guide you through the process of getting your case to a hearing. A hearing is a somewhat informal court session – less so than criminal law, at least. One key difference is that there’s no jury in a hearing. Nobody wants to sit through court for six hours listening to you talk about how your car doesn’t work and explaining why it’s the manufacturer’s fault. Instead, you will present your case to a judge and they will make the final decision. Usually, this happens sometime after court adjourns, so the judge has time to consider everything.

 

Who to Contact

More often than not, it’s going to be the manufacturer that you’ll have to take to court for your Lemon Law hearing. The dealership was only responsible for selling the car, and usually can’t be blamed for any defects it was built with. Not only that, but the dealer may try to convince you to spend more money on a different car. You might need to get a new car depending on how your case works out, but that’s something to deal with later.

 

Outcome

The hearing may bring more good news than you’d expect. Winning a lemon car case means that the car manufacturer or dealership, depending on who you took to court, has to pay your attorney fees. This is a law in most states. However, if you lose your case, you will have to pay for any lawyers’ fees you may have. The good news is that at least a few companies have thought of this and offered a solution. It is possible to buy lemon insurance that covers anything your warranty doesn’t. With this in mind, you may want to plan ahead.

 

Car Recalls and Lemon Laws

It’s a valid question as to whether or not a car recall is grounds for a lemon law case, and the answer is maybe. It is common to see lemon car cases where there was a recall issued, but it’s not guaranteed. If there was a recall and you think you have a lemon law case, it’s worth pursuing. However, a lawyer is going to have a better perspective on your case than you are.

 

Is Your Lemon Car Grounds for Legal Action?

There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for what counts as a legitimate lemon law case. There are legal requirements that your lemon car must meet, but the laws were written as a reference point. They were designed to present a situation that almost always merits legal action. Once these conditions have been met, you’ll need to go to a lawyer. Keep in mind that there are law firms that deal especially in lemon law cases, so, naturally, they’re the ones you should be looking for. It will often be the manufacturer that you end up taking to court, and if you win, they’ll have to pay your lawyer bills. If you want to avoid all the hassle of lemon law cases, please visit our site. We sell insurance that helps cover what a warranty doesn’t. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!


18/Aug/2019
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So, your credit score is in the dirt and you need a new car. But, can you even buy a car with no credit? The short answer is: it depends. Lenders tightened their underwriting restrictions significantly after the 2008 recession. The good news is that they are slowly lifting some of these restrictions in favor of borrowers with less than stellar credit scores. That said, buying a car with no credit is no easy feat. You’ll need some tools to navigate the process effectively and successfully. If you’re wondering how to buy a car with no credit, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to find reliable wheels. Keep reading to learn more.

 

How to Buy a Car with No Credit

If the question, can I buy a car with no credit is reeling through your mind at every waking moment, you need answers. And, it’s a good thing you’re performing your research because buying a car is a big investment, regardless of your credit score. If this is your first time buying a car, there is even more to think about. Follow the tips outlined in this article to make the car buying process itself a little easier on your psyche and your pocketbook. But of course, if you have no credit you should read this, first:

 

Get a Co-Signer

Whether you have a bad credit score or no credit at all, lenders look at your financial habits as risky. This means they are less likely to offer you a loan without assurance that they will get paid. A co-signer is someone with a favorable credit score that agrees to pay your debt if you don’t fulfill your end of the agreement. Usually, a co-signer is a close relative or trusted friend.

 

Pay Cash

One way to avoid worrying about your credit score altogether is to pay cash. This is a great alternative to financing that can further strap you later down the line causing more negative impacts to your credit. You’ll also pay less for your vehicle overall without interest piling up on a loan. Of course, most folks don’t have stacks of cash lying around.

 

Shop Around

Keep in mind that you have options for financing outside of the dealership. In fact, you may be approved for a fair rate with your own bank or credit union. Credit unions, especially, are well known for offering loans to people based on income. Likewise, if you have a strong income and employment history, lenders are more likely to consider you as a borrower. Do your homework to find out what kind of loans you may be eligible for before you start shopping.

 

Length of the Loan

If you do secure financing, take a good look at the length of the loan. Especially if you’re being charged a high interest rate (which you probably are). The longer your loan, the more interest you are paying in the long term. On the other hand, some lenders may actually require that you take a shorter-term loan. This helps to lessen the lender’s exposure to risk.

 

Down Payment

Lenders consider the loan amount when making their determination to give you a loan or not. If you have a significant down payment for a vehicle to bring the loan amount down, you may be more likely to get approved for financing. This will also reduce your monthly payment so try to budget your down payment according to what you can afford.

 

Buy Here, Pay Here Dealers

If you just don’t have the credit to buy a car, there is one last option to get on the road. They’re called ‘Buy Here, Pay Here’ dealers. These are small, generally, owner operated car lots that provide in-house financing at extremely high interest rates. Be careful with these type of dealers. Some cars on the lot could be lemons that are going to break down after only a few thousand miles leaving you with a loan on a car that you can’t drive. Look for a dealer that provides written warranties or other written assurances regarding the car’s roadworthiness.

 

Start Building Credit

If you have time to spare before you need to buy a car, the best thing you can do is start building credit. You should have at least one credit card or a revolving personal loan with monthly payments.

 

Average Credit Score to Buy a Car

But, then, what’s a good credit score to buy a car? Typically, lenders like to see that you can make payments on time for at least a year regardless of your credit score. It will probably take at least that long to build up a credit score anyway. The average minimum credit score to buy a car with a traditional dealer is around 660. Of course, your interest rate will still be higher than that of someone with a credit score of 700-750.

 

Credit Building Tips

Don’t miss a payment on your revolving credit accounts. Also, don’t be late with your payments. Set reminders or enroll in auto pay with your credit accounts to avoid a crippling effect on your score. Also, use no more than 30% of your total credit limits at any given time. This will help build your credit score and show lenders that you are a responsible borrower.

 

Final Thoughts

If you want to buy a car with no credit, you can but it takes determination and generally involves higher interest rates. Now that you know your options you can start making a game plan and put it into action. Make sure to set a budget so that you’re sure of what you can afford when you begin shopping. When you find a car that you love, you’ll want to protect the investment. If you are considering buying a new vehicle, contact us with questions about how Lemon Proof can help protect you.


18/Aug/2019
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In 2018, there were over 17 million new vehicles purchased in the United States. This was up 0.3% from 2017 and these numbers are expected to rise again in 2019. But finding the best new vehicle for you means taking time to consider what you need and what is in your budget. For most people, it also requires them to prepare themselves for the car-buying process at a dealer’s showroom.

 

1. Stay Calm 

When you are shopping for a new car at local car dealerships, it is important to stay calm and cool while you do it. It is fine to express your interest in a vehicle, but you should not show your hand too much. If you let on that you are set on driving away in a new vehicle, this will send the wrong message to the sales representative. Shopping for a new vehicle can be exciting and stressful at the same time. But by staying cool and collected, you can stay focused on the reality of the situation and the potential costs of buying that vehicle.

 

2. Avoid Trade-In Discussion

You should avoid discussing whether or not you have a trade-in vehicle to offer against the price of a new vehicle. This matters because when you bring a trade-in vehicle into play, a new car dealership can play with the numbers. These include offering you a certain amount for your trade-in but making it up on the back end with extra fees and/or a higher selling price. Your initial goal when you walk into the dealership should be to keep your focus on the selling price. You want to ensure that you have the lowest total sales price before you begin to discuss financing, trade-ins or any other incentive.

 

3. Don’t Mention Maximum Monthly Payment

When you are shopping at new car dealerships, you should not mention the maximum monthly payment you are willing to make. One of the most popular tactics that a salesman takes is asking the question, “What is the maximum monthly payment that you have budgeted for?” If they are being less aggressive, they may ask you what monthly payment range you are comfortable with. The problem with this approach, from the buyer’s end, is that this puts your focus on the wrong thing. That’s because a dealer can play with the term of your payment plan to get to the number you want, with a wide range for the total sales price. Ultimately, this means that you could be paying more for the vehicle than you would like. Do research on what is a fair selling price for the vehicle you want, that way you identify what is a reasonable sales price and what is not.

 

4. Take a Test Drive

Test driving a vehicle is an important way to identify if the vehicle you like is the one for you. When you perform an internet search for, “new car dealerships near me”, you may get several results for the vehicle manufacturer you are interested in. It is often worthwhile to do research on the price you are willing to pay and then take the vehicle for a test drive. However, keep in mind that going for a test drive doesn’t mean you have to purchase the vehicle. The test drive is a way for you to get behind the wheel of the vehicle and see what you like and don’t like. It’s also a good way for you to compare apples to apples. Identify a few vehicle makers that you are interested in and go for a drive of each model. Then you will have a sense of what makes one vehicle stand out from the others.

 

5. Research the Dealership

Buying a vehicle is one of the single most important and expensive purchases you can make. This means that you need to take time to research the dealerships you may buy from to learn as much as you can about them. One good place to start is on the internet. You can perform a search to read reviews and see what other people have to say about dealerships in your area. You can also learn a lot by speaking to a friend or family member about their vehicle and the buying process. Did they have a memorable experience at a dealership that was particularly good or bad? If they were in the market for a vehicle more recently, they may be able to shed some light on which dealer was worth working together with or not.

 

6. Be Willing to Walk Away

Standing your ground at a car dealership is an important part of the vehicle purchasing process. There is a lot of allure to buying a brand new vehicle. These include the “new car smell” and the feeling of being behind the wheel of a car or truck that no one has driven before. But in order to make the most of your experience and get the best deal, you have to take those emotional parts of the process out of things as much as possible. This means being willing to walk away if you do not get what you want. Walking away from a potential deal during negotiations can send a strong message that you are not willing to budge on an issue that is important to you.

 

7. Avoid Unnecessary Add-Ons

If you narrow down the vehicle you want and receive a fair price, the next step is to sign the paperwork. But that often comes with an additional sales pitch about add-on’s that you should make on your vehicle. This includes products like nitrogen for your tires, advanced tracking systems for vehicle theft prevention, extended warranties, and more. You should consider whether each one of these items is absolutely necessary. That’s because each one of these items drives up the price that you will pay and may not be in your budget.

 

Wrapping Up: How to Approach Shopping at New Car Dealerships

New car dealerships can be an intimidating place for someone who is in the market to buy a new vehicle. Taking advantage of these tips can help you feel more confident and better prepared to participate in the process. Buying a brand new car doesn’t completely protect you from receiving a bad apple. At Lemon Proof, LLC, we offer peace of mind by covering potential expensive attorneys’ fees and costs incurred when a buyer’s new vehicle turns out to be a lemon. This happens more than 150,000 times a year in the United States. Contact us today to learn more about Lemon Proof and how we can help protect your new car or truck!

 


18/Aug/2019
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American dealerships sold 17.6 million cars and trucks in 2016. It would be great to walk into a car dealership, explain your needs and budget, and be able to drive away with a fairly priced new vehicle in no time. In reality, all car dealerships in Houston are not for you. Some dealerships will pressure, condescend to and take advantage of you. However the best will let you leave the dealership knowing that you were a respected customer whose needs and interests were taken seriously.

 

What to Look For in Car Dealerships in Houston

Reputable services, including the Better Business Bureau, rank car dealerships with an A to F based on customer experience and number of complaints. JD Power also conducts surveys allowing car buyers to rate their satisfaction. These platforms can be more reputable than online reviews, although those should be considered as well. Before you visit a dealership, check their inventory online and compare prices of similar vehicles with the same amount of mileage. You will want to be confident when you walk in the door that you can expect a reasonably good deal for your requirements. Ask about warranties before you purchase. Services covered under the warranty should be provided for free, including the removal and replacement of major systems. Many dealerships offer basic warranties when you buy, as well as extended warranties for an additional fee. Extended warranties can add onto the time you are able to request free service. You can consider lemon-proofing your vehicle when you buy a new vehicle for further assurance your purchase will not be a tragedy. Choosing the wrong dealership may mean the dealer won’t take service concerns seriously after you make a down payment and driven away. If your car has major complications, you may even find yourself reporting a lemon and starting a new car nightmare. The best car-dealerships have been hailed time and again by customers for being honest, trustworthy, genuine, and friendly.  You will feel from the minute you walk in the door that you are getting a great buy, and can bring your car back at any time for service and attention.

 

1. Motors on Wheels

The owner of Motors on Wheels has been praised many times by customers for being pleasant, professional, transparent, and not too “salesman-y.” Customers who call ahead of time are greeted at the door with the keys to a car to test drive. The staff is efficient and fast. And financing options are sometimes even better than those recommended by credit institutions. The warranty at Motors on Wheels allows car-buyers to take their vehicles to the maintenance shop, which is right next door, for no deductible. Customers are impressed with the clean, tidy space they are served in.

 

2. Houston Auto Sales, Inc.

This small, family-owned dealership is noted for its honest, trustworthy service. Customers report finding beautiful cars, friendly service, and a “fun” experience. Houston Auto Service listens to customers and helps them find exactly what they are looking for. Their Superior Warranties offer coverage from a car’s rear suspension to its engine, and the Supreme Warranty offers maximum breakdown protection.

 

3. Fred Haas Toyota Scion World

Customers at Toyota Scion are treated like friends and are made a priority, with fair pricing on all vehicles. The dealership has been given Toyota’s President’s Award for Excellence. They were also given the Better Business Bureau’s Winner of Distinction Award from 2004 until 2017. They received BBB’s prestigious Pinnacle Award each year from 2008-2014 for 100% customer satisfaction.

 

4. Team Autoplex

Known for selling sports cars, this used dealership leans toward the higher end of the market, but also has some reasonably–priced options. Customers report the staff as being organized and efficient. They bring up questions and concerns that buyers hadn’t even considered before they began shopping. Inspection companies will go to the dealership for you and run a rigorous inspection before your purchase. You can also have a local mechanic of your choice perform the analysis. Team Autoplex also offers low-cost extended warranties.

 

5. Beck and Masten Buick/GMC

This dealership offers new and used cars and trucks. The vehicles available are praised by customers for being attractive and affordable. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and not too pushy. Beck and Masten offers a “luxury lease” option to customers. They can get a factory-limited warranty for the first four years or 50,000 miles. At the end of the lease, there is the option to extend it or purchase the car.

 

6. Talisman Motor Company

The salespeople here are known to be thorough and patient. They are respectful of customer’s wishes as well as their price ranges. The used cars available here come from makers like, Lexus, Mercedes, Nissan, Ford, and Saab.

 

7. Dixon Motors

This dealership is known for its professionalism and warm, friendly service. Customers do not feel that they are taken advantage of, even if they are first-time car buyers. You can get pre-approved for financing online before you even walk into the dealership. You can also view their inventory and get an idea of the types of vehicles available.

 

Get on the Road

Professional, relaxed service and attractive, reliable vehicles are what you can count on from the best car dealerships in Houston. You won’t be disappointed with the knowledgeable staff at businesses like Motors on Wheels, Fred Haas Toyota Scion World, and the Talisman Motor Company. So, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle or have just made a new vehicle purchase consider adding Lemon Proof for peace of mind today.

 


18/Aug/2019
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It’s time to leave that old jalopy to rot by the curb, you need a new car. So where to begin? Well, first thing’s first, do you want to buy new or do you want to buy used? If money doesn’t grow on a tree in your backyard, then that’s an important question. Getting a new car is awfully pricey, but getting a used car can be a money pit. Decisions, decisions… Having to buy a new or used car is an exciting, but also terrifying thing to do. The next few years of your transportation life are at stake and it all comes down to this choice. The good news is that the internet exists, and there’s plenty of research to be done. Let’s walk through the pros and cons of buying a new car, the pros and cons of buying a used car, and other things to look out for when making this important decision.

 

Pros and Cons of Buying a New Car

When the time comes to get a new vehicle, the first thing that you’ll probably do is take a look at your bank account and income to determine the budget that you’ll be dealing with. Here are the pros and cons of buying new:

 

Pro: It’s New

The most obvious thing to throw in the “pro” column is that your new car will be…new. No one else has driven it before, so all of the fear-of-the-unknown stuff isn’t an issue. In addition to that, it’ll come with the latest state of the art technology that makes driving fun. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, GPS, and all the newest gadgets will be at your fingertips. And it will have plenty of miles ahead of it covered by a new car warranty.

 

Con: Depreciation

What you might not be aware of when you’re buying a new car is that its value goes down significantly as soon as you drive it off the lot. It’s common for a car’s value to depreciate by 20% after the first year of mileage, wear and tear. Once driven, your new car becomes a used car to the rest of the buying market.

 

Pro: Safety & Gas Mileage

A benefit of having the latest technology in a vehicle is having all of the advanced safety features that are available in new cars. Autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning are standard features in many vehicles today, even the cheaper models. While having these things won’t make you or anyone else a better driver, it’s comforting knowing that your car is looking out for you. Most of the above safety features have become common in the past five or so years, making it less likely to find them in a used car. Also, if there are any defects with the safety features of a new vehicle, they are usually covered under a lengthy warranty. If you run into problems with a new vehicle’s safety features or the vehicle has a substantial unfixable defect, Lemon Proof purchased with the new car, saves new car owners thousands of dollars in getting out from under the Lemon. Automotive manufacturers are often trying to increase the fuel economy in new models, so buying new may save on fuel costs. So, though your car lost some of its value as soon as you drove out of the dealership, you’re slowly making that money back with longer trips between fill-ups.

 

Con: Insurance

The simple fact of the matter is, cars that are worth more have higher insurance costs. Consider this if you’re on the fence because you could be looking at a drastic difference in monthly insurance payments between a used car and a new one. This is exacerbated by whether or not you’re paying in full or paying off the vehicle over time. Many dealerships or financial institutions will require full coverage until the vehicle is fully paid off.

 

Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Car

When buying a used car, a lot more prep work has to be done in figuring out what kind of car you want, actually finding the right make and model, and then making sure that the car isn’t going to break down on you within the month. However, people are moving on from their vehicles at breakneck speeds these days, so you can find newer vehicles for better prices.

 

Pro: So Much Cheaper

Nowadays, on used car websites, you can easily find quality used vehicles for pretty much any budget. Rather than pay $30,000 for a brand new car, you are able to get the 2007 version of the same model for about a tenth of the cost. It’s that depreciation thing that’s hurting new car buyers giving a hand to used car buyers. Speaking of depreciation, when you purchase a used car, the value doesn’t dip nearly as much as it does with a new car so your net loss when buying another car in the future isn’t so bad.

 

Con: The Unknown

Yes, the worst part of buying a used car is that you haven’t the slightest clue what kind of trouble the thing has been in. As long as you have some knowledge, or buy from a trusted source, then you will be fine. But there could be something a dealership isn’t telling you or some undetectable problem that can arise down the road.

 

Pro: You Can Get a Nicer Car

Another benefit to choosing a used car is the ability to shop a class above where you would have to look if you’re buying a new car. Because of the huge depreciation that even luxury vehicles experience, models that are even a few years old become much more affordable to people who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

 

Con: Repairs

One more major con for used cars is the repairs that come inherently with a car’s aging process. As more miles are tacked on, the possible need for major repairs goes up a lot. You could find yourself spending a lot of money at your local garage.

 

So…Which Is Best?

As we’ve laid out here, there are pros and cons to buying a new car and a used car. If your budget allows for the purchase of a new car, that might be the better bet, but remember that its market value decreases as soon as you own it. But the value in a new car is the higher probability of problem free operations for a number of years. While you can find used automobiles for a fraction of the price of a new one, there is the real possibility that you’ll be spending all that savings on repairs down the road. And if you decide on buying a brand new car, contact Lemon Proof before you do so you can have peace of mind protection against the possibility that your new car is a lemon.