The ABC’s of Buying a Used Car

Used car shopping? It’s as simple as ABC with a good plan and the right tools!

Let’s break used car shopping into three parts; finding the right automobile for your needs, researching it, and making the deal!

First, narrow the field with these three questions:

How am I planning to use this automobile?

a. Daily transportation to and from work
b. Hauling the family to sports events, school, trips
c. Work vehicle with room for tools
d. Adventure vehicle for off road
e. Heavy duty vehicle for towing a boat or toy trailer
f. Sports car with just enough room for two

 

How long do you plan to keep it?

Think about the long term… Is this an impulse buy or can I really keep this vehicle. The best scenario would be to purchase used after depreciation and drive it until the wheels fall off.

 

Am I financing or paying cash?

If you’re taking out a loan, get a quote from your bank or credit union so you can compare those numbers with what the dealer may offer in terms of financing. Remember, longer-term loans may lower your monthly payment, but you’ll end up paying more for your vehicle in the long run. Cash means zero percent financing!

 

A: THE CAR

As a rule, it’s best to set a budget first, seriously, set it and don’t forget it. This will help you decide where the funds will come from and how to pay them back. Decide what you need and want, yes they’re both part of the equation, you’ll be making those payments so you should be happy with your purchase. Remember, affording a car is more than making the monthly payment. You may be able to pay for a BMW and a Toyota Corolla but can you afford to repair the BMW? Search online; Car Gurus, CarMax, local dealers, Carvana, and Facebook Marketplace.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what’s in your price range, time to start digging…

 

B: RESEARCH

How is the car’s safety and reliability record? Check Consumer Reports and J.D. Power collect maintenance reports from owners and rate your choice as well as other used cars. Safety first and reliability is key!
You can use a guide like Kelly Blue Book to estimate the market value of the car you’re looking at based on age, mileage and options. It’s not perfect, but it should get you in the ballpark.
Now that you’ve found a car…. What’s next?

Once you find a car you like, contact the seller to ask any questions you have and get a Vehicle History Report from CARFAX by referencing the vehicle’s identification number (VIN). This will give you the good, the bad, and the ugly on the car. A reliable dealership should provide a CARFAX report on every car in their inventory. This report is vital, it will provide you with information that cannot always be seen. Below are just some of the details you’ll get from a History Report.

a. Does this car have a clean title? If a car’s been in a serious accident, fire or flood, and was “totaled” by the insurance company (declared a total loss) it still might be drivable. However, the insurance company will issue a “salvage title” to alert future buyers. It’s best to steer clear of cars with a salvage title because it kills the resale value, and the car might still have hidden problems. NOTE, this is not always the case, especially if you plan to keep the car indefinitely and know that the damage was repaired completely.

b. Serious accidents are reported to the insurance company and will probably be on the vehicle history report.
Shady car lots might spin the odometer back to increase its selling price. The vehicle history report can alert you to this scam.

c. It’s nice to think the car you’re interested in was driven to church by a little old lady for its entire life. If you order the report, you’ll know for sure each time it changed hands.

d. Some reports show if required maintenance was done on time and where the work was performed.

A pre-purchase inspection of the car you’ve chosen can be done before making any deals. A pre-purchase inspection is an independent, third-party professional service that evaluates a vehicle’s condition before a purchase offer is made. … Unless the vehicle is unsafe to drive, the evaluator does not provide a purchase recommendation. It will include a detailed road test where components such as steering and brakes can be assessed. A thorough inspection will include checking engine compression and a computer engine analysis. A basic PPI will cost $20.00 from Firestone and the buyer typically pays for the pre-purchase inspection. This is your opportunity to test drive the vehicle to see what YOU think.

 

C: Make the Deal

Let’s make a deal! A good deal is paying less than the listed price, prepare to negotiate with the comparisons from your online research and your Kelly Blue Book numbers. Considering the seller has probably listed their car a little high, you should have some room to bargain. Start by pointing out the things you love about the car then move to your concerns and what the blue book says the car is actually worth. Play nice, be firm and you’ll do just fine.

Before taking ownership of the car, you should add it to your insurance policy. Then, you only need to pay for the car — usually with cash or a cashier’s check. Make sure you get a title and have the seller sign it correctly. When in doubt, check the state’s registry website for more information. Most states allow about 10 days to register the car in your name. If you’re buying from a private party, and there is still a loan on the car, call the lender to find out how to close the deal. If the lender is a bank, offer to meet the seller in a branch office and sign papers there.
If you’re at a dealer, It doesn’t hurt to see if they can get a better interest rate. Just make sure all the other terms of the loan are the same. Review the sales contract carefully before signing. The contract will probably include the agreed-on sales price, sales tax, documentation fee, and registration fee. Take your keys and hit the road!

Have questions? Call or text Mike Love (757) 560-4250. I have answers!
Follow TM Auto Wholesalers on Facebook to see our latest inventory.

 

 

 

Sources:
Reed, Philip “How to buy a used car” NERDWALLET.COM 3/21/2016. Web. Retrieved from

How to Buy a Used Car

Youngs, Jeff “Understanding Pre-purchase inspection (PPI) JDPOWER.COM Shopping Guides 4/19/2019 Retrieved from:
https://www.jdpower.com/cars/shopping-guides/understanding-pre-purchase-inspection-ppi

“Planning to buy a car, take these five steps” ONEMAINFINANCIAL.COM Resorces-everyday living. Web. Retrieved from:
https://www.onemainfinancial.com/resources/everyday-living/planning-to-buy-a-car-take-these-five-steps-first

Berger, Rob “6 Reasons to Pay Cash for a Car (and how to actually do it) Personal finance. DOUGHROLLER.NET 9/26/2018. Web. Retrieved from:
www.doughroller.net/personal-finance/6-reasons-to-pay-cash-for-a-car/

All you need to know about tire replacement

 

Sure, there is more to know… but no more, you need to know. A well-selected and maintained set of tires can contribute greatly to your safety, increased fuel economy, better handling, and stopping in all road conditions as well as provide greater comfort and ride quality. Wow, that sounds like the entire car… indeed, tires are important. Upgrading your tires is another topic all together, let’s talk replacement for now. 

 

I recently had a customer ask me about upgrading the tires on her Jeep. I had some straightforward answers that made sense to her so I thought I’d share some of these basic points with my readers. 

 

First, Do You Really Need New Tires?

Before taking the plunge on a new set of all terrains, perform a quick visual inspection. If you see cracked sidewalls, discoloration, dents, bulging or excessive tread wear, it’s probably time for a new set.  A simple way to check the tread on your tires is the old penny test. It’s not terribly scientific but its all you need to know for your initial assessment. 

If your tires are more than 10 years old, consider replacing them even if they look fine. Rubber deteriorates with exposure to oxygen (beware of tires that have been in storage for long periods). In my customer’s case, the tires on her Jeep were over ten years old and had less than 2000 miles on them. I urged her to replace them anyway. 

 

Is Your Car the Culprit?

If your tires are looking sketchy and you’re confident that a fresh set is needed, it’s time to take the next step. Use the checklist below to eliminate your car as the culprit. The way your tires wear can reveal suspension problems instantly, check them out for possible signs.

 

1. UNEVEN TREAD WEAR INDICATES POOR WHEEL ALIGNMENT.

2. EXCESSIVE WEAR ON ONE SIDE OF THE TIRE SIGNALS INCORRECT CAMBER ANGLE.

3. IF THE TREADS ON THE OUTER SECTION BECOME KNOBBY, IT MAY SIGNAL PROBLEMS WITH THE TOE-IN VALUE.

4. EXCESSIVE WEAR IN CENTER TREAD INDICATES OVER INFLATION OF THE TIRE.

5. EXCESSIVE WEAR ON SHOULDERS MAY SIGNAL PROBLEMS SUCH AS UNDER INFLATION OF THE TIRE.

 

Choosing The Correct Tires

OK, if it is going to happen and new tires are definitely in your future then make sure you select the right tires. The best replacements will be original equipment (the tires that a vehicle was originally equipped with from the factory) or at least the same type and size, the brand is more of a personal preference. That mysterious string of numbers, letters, and punctuation on your tire’s sidewall is its identification code. It should look something like this, P215/65R 15 95H M+S. A good tire center will quickly reference this code and cross-reference all possible replacements for you. For my more inquisitive readers however, check out the cipher explanation below, courtesy of CNN’s 10 great tips for buying tires article… it’s all you need to know. 

 

CODE

 

 

The manufacturer of your car will most likely recommend that you replace your tires with the original type and size. This is to ensure that your tires have a maximum tread life, handle properly, and keep you safe. My recommendation is to replace all of your tires at the same time with a matching set. Your tires will function better, be easier to maintain, and any future suspension issues will be easier to recognize and repair. 

 

Tire Upgrade Time?

Original equipment tires are all you need unless you’re changing the way you use your vehicle. For example, if you’re planning to pull a trailer, you may need more load capacity or wider tires with less vehicle roll. Upgrading or changing tire sizes can provide several advantages: 

 

1. Enhanced traction on acceleration

2. More grip on hard braking

3. Less vehicle roll in corners

 

There are also disadvantages to changing the size of your tires: 

 

1. You can hydroplane much easier or lose control on slippery or loose surfaces like gravel with wider tires

2. The wider tires may not fit inside your wheel wells

3. Your turning radius can be dramatically reduced as wider tires contact the bump stops sooner

4. Wider tires can be quite costly to install

5. Increased road noise

 

A Good Tire Center 

A qualified tire center representative will be able to explain your tire’s codes and will know which tires are a good fit for your vehicle. Typically, your choices will be summer, all-season or winter tires with extended tread life and better handling options. I recommend taking your sweet time and get as much information as you need to make a confident, well-informed decision. The average cost to replace your set of tires runs from $450.00 for standard, all season radials to $1000.00 for your truck or SUV. Choose wisely shoppers!

Have questions? Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. 

 

 

 

 

Sources:  

Fogelson, Jason.“10 great tips for buying tires” CNN.COM 7/16/2008. Web.   Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/07/16/aa.buying.tires/index.html 

 

“How to tell if you need new tires” FIRESTONECOMPLETEAUTOCARE.COM 2019. Web. Retrieved from: https://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/penny-tire-test/

 

Unrau, Jason “Are Wider Tires Better” YOURMECHANIC.COM 11/12/2015. Web. Retrieved from:https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/are-wider-tires-better

 

 

 

 

Buy a slightly used car for the win!

New Car Depreciation

A new car purchase is exciting, there is nothing quite like the moment you drive off in your new car! It’s the same for all of us, what is there not to love? Well, you probably won’t love the price tag or the drop in value within the first 1-5 years. In fact, that car will be worth 20-30% less within 12 months, that’s a $15’000 loss on the average luxury car! Could you have used that cash?

Look at it like this; your brand new $40,000 car will have a sticker price closer to $45,000. That’s one way to look at depreciation. Carfax data shows that cars can lose more than 10 percent of their value in depreciation during the first month after you drive off the lot. 

 

Make Depreciation Work for You

A used car that is two or three years old will already have taken a big depreciation hit, making it a better value. On average, a used car will already have lost 20 to 30 percent of its value in its first year and half its value by year three or four. If you plan to keep it for a long time, a used car may be an even better value. These days, it’s not uncommon for used cars to go well past 100,000 miles if they are properly maintained. Many can hit 200,000 miles without a major problem.

 

Fastest Depreciating Cars in 2018

If you bought one of the cars used, good job! Look at their depreciation rates after just one year of ownership to see what you may have or could have saved.

 

  • Kia Sedona 30%
  • Toyota Camry 30.7% (due to redesigned new models)
  • Infiniti Q-50 – 32.2%
  • Cadillac CTS 33.4%
  • Lincoln MKZ 33.7%
  • Mercedes Benz E-Class 34.5%
  • Jeep Compass 34.8%
  • Cadillac XTS 38.7%

 

Largest Drop

Every automobile, for specific reasons has its own rate of depreciation. It may be a particular model isn’t quite what the market expected or a high-ticket luxury model that’s at the height of popularity. In most cases, it’s simply the lure of “NEW”, and its depreciation value is your gain.  Below is a list of cars that are known for their high depreciation value. You can expect to get the best deals on these cars after 5 years off the lot. Like what you see, call me!

 

  • Chevrolet Impala 66.2 %
  • Jaguar XJL 66.4 %
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class 67.2%
  • BMW 5-Series 67.3%
  • BMW 6-Series 68.3%
  • Ford Fusion Energi Hybrid 69.4%
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class 69.9%
  • BMW 7-Series 71.1%
  • Chevrolet Volt 71.2%
  • Nissan Leaf 71.7%

 

Percentages will vary from car to car depending on it’s condition and MSRP but on average you can expect a sharp drop within the first five years. Consider buying slightly used when choosing your next car, it’s money in the bank!

Have questions? I have answers, call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. Let TM Auto Wholesalers of Chesapeake help you get the car you want for the price you need.

Follow TM Auto on Facebook to get instant notices on new inventory.

 

Sources:

Agadoni,Laura. “Budgeting.nest: Buying a New Car Vs. a 2 or 3 Year Old Car” www.budgeting.thenest.com 4/1/2019. Web. Retreived from:  https://budgeting.thenest.com/buying-new-car-vs-2-3-year-old-car-25758.html

Stocksdale, Joel “MSN: Fastest depreciating cars in America.” www.msn.com. 4/6/2018. Web.  Retrieved 4/1/2019 from:   https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/buying/fastest-depreciating-cars-in-america/ss-BBDY7Oa#image=9

Silvestro, Brian “Road and Track: These Are the Cars That Depreciate Most” www.roadandtrack.com. Oct 12 2018, Web. Retrieved 4/1/2019 from https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/buying-maintenance/g23723032/cars-with-high-depreciation/

Star Trek to Standard Equipment

Automobile Technology changes the way we drive & survive in Hampton Roads

Automobile technology is amazing, right! Do we take it for granted? When you consider that New York was the first state to pass a law, which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts in 1984, yes we do! What was once space technology has become standard in many of today’s base models. Some of these advances are clearly for our comfort, but others are vital for our safety and the safety of our cars. Unbelievably the 2018 Toyota Camry has forward-collision warning, automatic forward braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, a rearview camera and automatic high beams standard! Here’s what you can expect in the way of tech features on new and used cars today.

AVAILABLE SAFETY FEATURES

 

Front and Rear Park Assist: Active safety technology on the Chevrolet Suburban helps the driver park their vehicle and avoid crashing into nearby objects during low-speed vehicle maneuvering when driving forward or backing.

 

Rear Camera: You may not know that the first rear view camera was introduced in 1956! A bit bulky with a TV in the dashboard for viewing, but still! Backup cameras have become standard in many cars today like the 2013 Toyota Avalon and 2015 Ford Focus. The 360-Degree parking camera normally reserved for high-end luxury models is also available on a few affordable models like the 2016 Nissan Rogue.

 

Rear Cross Traffic Alert: The Chevrolet Suburban also has a system that monitors two areas behind you for vehicles approaching from the right or left. Rear cross traffic alert is active once the vehicle is shifted into REVERSE. When backing, you will receive a visual or auditory warning if an approaching vehicle enters the rear cross traffic alert detection areas.

 

Lane Keep Assist: In addition to lane-departure warning system, the lane-keep assist actively steers a car back into its lane if it detects that the car is starting to drift out. This technology generally offered on high-end luxury cars; is included in the Tech package and Ultimate package of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra.

 

Adaptive Cruise Control: is a feature that automatically slows down or speeds up your car to keep  you a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

Blind Spot warning System: The Chevrolet Suburban also features a blind spot warning system can “see” what the driver cannot and issue a visual or audible warning if it is unsafe to make a lane change

 

NEW TECHNOLOGY SAFETY SYSTEMS

  • Pothole Protection: This feature is available on the 2018 Ford Fusion V6 Sport. When the system detects one wheel, dropping into a hole in automatically adjusts the shock absorber to minimize the impact. This not only creates a smoother ride but can protect your car from damage and from an accident or blowout.  
  • Automatic Reverse Emergency Braking: You probably know about forward emergency braking. The 2018 Subaru Legacy has a system that works in tandem with rearward monitoring alerts and will automatically apply the car’s brakes to avoid a rear collision.
  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning: The system available on the Nissan Altima for 2019 not only monitors the car in front of you, it also monitors the cars in front of the car in front of you!
  • Automated Parallel-Parking Systems:  This is available on vehicles as affordable as the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan. These systems can steer for you! Just shift and control braking until your car is parked.
  • Evasion Aid: The forward-facing camera detects a potential impact situation, and the driver begins to make an emergency-steering maneuver, the Evasion Aid can help guide the automobile safely into one of those spaces. Evasion Aid is available on the 2018 BMW 5 Series.

 

SAFETY FEATURES FOR EVERYONE

It’s vital that you purchase the safest car possible within your budget. Here are www.autobytel.com’s list of very important safety features to look for in your next automobile.

  • Strong Crash Test Ratings
  • LATCH Anchors – know how to use LATCH and to make sure the straps used with the metal anchors are fastened as tight as possible.
  • Stability Control – different from traction control, Stability control helps to keep a vehicle under control if it skids or slides.
  • Reverse Camera
  • Blind Spot Warning System (See Inventory)
  • Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Braking – the vehicle can determine situations in which your car may collide with traffic ahead, sound an audible and visual alert of some kind, and if you fail to respond can automatically apply the brakes.
  • Emergency Response and Rescue Service
  • Programmable Safety Features – programmable features that are designed to help monitor your child’s driving and report back to Mom and Dad about inappropriate use of the vehicle.
  • A Safe Driver – No substitute for this one!

This is just a sampling of the safety features available to us due to recent technology advances. Take time to research the car that you plan to buy and see what if offers; if you’d like more options, call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I can help you find the vehicle that you want with the features that you need!

Follow TM Auto on Facebook for inventory updates! NEXT MONTH – Automobile Tech Luxury

 

Sources:

https://www.autobytel.com/car-buying-guides/features/10-cars-with-the-best-safety-features-132646/

 

https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/7-advanced-safety-features-you-can-get-not-so-expe-254180

 

How much will insurance pay for your totaled car? Ask and you shall receive!

Ok, let’s say you’ve had a car accident, thankfully no one was hurt! Oh, actually, your car is hurtin’ pretty bad and you think it might be totaled; sadly, this is often the case. Is it really totaled? Well let’s see, did the airbag deploy? Is there damage to more than one side of your car? Is it driveable? If one or more of these answers is ‘yes’, it is safe to say it’s totaled. Depending on your situation, this could be good or bad but either way you need to get educated. So how do insurance companies determine whether your car is a total loss?

 

  • 1. Damage is so severe that the car can’t be repaired safely.
  • 2. The cost of the repairs is more than the vehicle is worth.
  • 3. Vehicle damage is so severe that state regulations dictate that it must be considered a total loss car.

 

How Much?

If in fact, your car is totaled by insurance standards, how much cash can you expect to receive for it? First off, you need insurance to file a claim so if your insurance coverage has lapsed or your policy limits your claim amount, you may be stuck, but if that’s all good, file away! There is no gold standard for determining your car’s cash value once totaled (This may work in your favor). Though all insurance companies have a basic formula for reaching this number, there are simply too many variables involved for a simple online form approach. Here’s where the insurance company will focus their search but it’s almost always up for discussion in the end.

  • 1. Actual Cash Value is determined. That’s the resale price for your vehicle if it hadn’t been totaled. The insurance company will look at recent listings and sales for similar vehicles in your area.
  • 2. Pre-accident condition is considered. Your car’s mileage, options, trim level, and any pre-accident damage.
  • 3. Your deductible. The insurance deductible you choose for your insurance policy is held back from the payout amount for your claim.

 

Now that your detectable is satisfied, insurance is supposed to pay the estimated difference between your vehicle’s pre-accident appraised value and the deductible amount. The key word here is “Estimated” and whose estimation we’re talking about. Getting the highest insurance payout for your totaled car may take some haggling. Ask for the best price! Truth is most people just accept the first offer the insurance company throws at them without question. Remember this is a negotiable figure so here’s how to get your own rough estimate.

  1. 1. Find the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Value for your car in fair condition.
  2. 2. Work out 20 to 40 percent of the fair condition value, depending on how bad your total loss car’s condition is. It’s probably closer to the 20 percent mark.
  3. 3. Keep depreciation in mind, your car is losing value daily.

 

Diminished Values

What if your car just needs repairs? Be prepared; your car’s value may drop due to repairs after the accident, this is called diminished value. It’s perceived trade or sale value is less than same model vehicles that have never been involved in an accident. Repairing the car won’t recover this lost value. However, like your totaled value, this is a negotiable number. Prepare to pass on the first offer and knuckle up to get the best settlement possible. In some cases it may be necessary file a claim against the other driver. This can sometimes force the insurance company to up their offer to avoid expensive attorney’s fees. You may also offer the court an expert witness. A car dealer may be able to present “actual” diminished values that are higher and more acceptable than the insurance company’s.

You might be surprised at how much you can increase your car’s totaled or diminished value with a little insurance savvy. Need help? Ask Mike, text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ve helped my customers successfully negotiate as much as $2500.00 over their insurance company’s offer. I strongly advise you to stay in the fight when it comes to the final settlement. It’s totally worth it!

 

Source

carbrain.com. “How much insurance pays for totaled car” BLOG, etrailer.com, Web. 10, 25, 2018 Sourced from: https://carbrain.com/Blog/how-much-insurance-pays-for-totaled-car Accessed 4 Sept 2018

 

Head For The Hills With Confidence

 

“I think I can, I think I can!” Is this what your truck says when you’re towing a boat or camper through the hills?

The little engine that could had the distinct advantage of being an American fairytale; you don’t… know before you go!

 

Can your vehicle pull its own weight and then some?

Anyone who’s ever towed a fully loaded trailer knows that it can get a little sketchy sometimes. If your underpowered or have too little stability, you could get into a number of bad scenarios. Your vehicle’s engine, transmission, brakes, tires and suspension, are all under pressure when towing an RV, boat trailer or toy hauler. Factor in adverse weather conditions and you may find yourself in a real pickle.  

What you need to know about your car, truck or SUV’s towing capacity

All towing vehicles have a maximum weight that they can safely tow. Exceeding that limit and trying to carry more than the recommended value could lead to accidents that cause damage as well as extreme wear and tear on the vehicle. (You can find the recommended weight in the owner’s manual.) Your vehicle’s tow rating takes several factors into consideration, including:

 

  1. Vehicle structure

  2. Chassis and suspension design

  3. Engine type, axle ratios, and other drivetrain variables

  4. Hitch design and class

  5. Tire ratings and load capacities

 

It’s important not to exceed these vehicle tow ratings, however there are other important weight limits that should never be exceeded while towing, including:

  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which represents the maximum weight your vehicle can carry, including passengers, cargo, fuel and the vehicle itself.

  • Gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) on both the vehicle and trailer, which represent the maximum amount of weight a particular axle can carry, including the wheel and tire.

  • Gross combined weight rating (GCWR), which represents the maximum weight of your loaded tow vehicle and your loaded trailer combined.

  • Tongue weight or hitch weight, which should be between 10-15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight for conventional trailers and 15-30 percent of the total loaded trailer weight for gooseneck or fifth wheel trailers.

The above “Gross” ratings are on your vehicle’s door tag. See image below.

 

Exceeding even one of these ratings while towing could not only cause severe damage to your vehicle or trailer, but also put yourself, your passengers and others in danger

 

How heavy is your trailer?

Gross trailer weight is the weight of a fully loaded trailer. It’s not a weight rating determined by the manufacturer or a weight combined with any other weight — it’s the actual weight of the trailer after you’ve loaded all of your bikes, firewood, camping gear, people or any other cargo onto (or into) it. Any weight that you add to the trailer adds to the gross trailer weight. It’s as simple as that. How do you find your (GTW)? Most communities have public scales. For just a few dollars and a few minutes of your time, you can get the answers you’re looking for.

 

Inventory TM Auto Trucks

Inventory TM Auto SUV’s

 

If you’re a first time hauler, practice towing your trailer on some deserted roads before doing any actual towing out on the highway. Backing up, turning and braking should all be part of your training regimen. All that practice will come in handy for the real thing, because if you’ve done everything properly up to this point, including meeting the weight requirements, loading properly and checking equipment, then you can handle almost any challenge up or down the road.

 

Have questions about your vehicle’s towing capacity, trailer weight or other related specs? Ask Mike, text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’m always happy to help you find the best vehicle and ensure you’re in it for the long haul!

 

Sources:

Etrailer.com. “Are Tongue Weight, Hitch Weight and Pin Weight The Same Thing For a Fifth Wheel Trailer

” Q&A, etrailer.com, Web. 9, 4, 2018

Sourced from: https://www.etrailer.com/question-124243.html Accessed 4 Sept 2018

Uhaul “How to determine your hitch system rating”

Sourced from: https://www.uhaul.com/Articles/Tips/33/How-To-Determine-Your-Hitch-System-Rating/ Accessed 4 Sept 2018

COUNTING CARS

Can one have too many cars? Well, as a used car dealer my knee jerk reaction is…, never! I mean I have around 20-30 at all times and seldom drive the same one two days in a row, it’s great! Ok, I get that I might possibly be a little tiny bit bias but still, is that something that people are concerned with? Should we be considering the risks of owning too many cars or is there even such a thing?

It’s easy to imagine that most people own 2, maybe 3 cars each, considering the variety of styles available, and the level of importance most Americans place on their automobiles. However, the peak amount of cars per household in 2006 was only about 2.05. That number correlates roughly with the economy’s highs and lows as you might expect and the recession of the late 2000’s created a bottomless pit decaying into 2010 bringing that number down to a little over 1.8. The lasting effects of this were pedestrians choosing public transportation and carpooling over driving, some ultimately relocating to cities where no personal transportation was even necessary. Some of you here in Hampton Roads may remember the “big move” to northern Virginia beginning around 2012. Also, generation Y (millennials) who as consumers showed much less interest in car ownership due to conservation concerns and affordability also helped drive the percentage of car owners down.

This all makes perfect sense and predictably, these numbers have rebounded with the economy’s upward climb. However, there are some noticeable behavioral changes in the average car buyer. Americans today have fewer light-duty vehicles, drive less, and are consuming less fuel. Hmmm, more car but less motoring over all tells me we’re onto something. We want our cars to last, we want comfort and convenience and saving money is higher than ever on our priority list. Once bitten twice shy? You could say that car enthusiasts today are justifiably more discriminating. The economy, fuel prices, and the negatives of consumption are great teachers. In addition to a greater economy, many of those Gen Y millennials are in their 30’s now. They’re getting older and at a stage in life where salaries are higher and guess what… kids are on the way! The percentage of car owning millennials has gone from 14 to over 29. The fact is we need transportation and though specific demographics are bound to hoof it and others will take trains and busses, the majority of Americans love their cars.  

So what do the studies say? The total number of cars per household falls naturally around 2, going up slightly as kids reach adulthood and prepare to leave the nest. What we also know is that heavier duty vehicles are more popular and that car owners are spending more responsibly using less fuel, and driving shorter distances. So how many cars are cool you ask? Well, look in your driveway… that’s about right 🙂

 

Sources:

Schmitz, Matt. “How many cars does the average American own?” CARS.COM CARS.com. 15 March 2017. Web. 8, 20,2018 https://www.cars.com/articles/how-many-cars-does-the-average-american-own-1420694459157/

 

The Great Wide Open!

Vehicles for camping and beachWhen I say camping, we all get a different visual. Some folks see rocky trails that their 4×4 must carefully navigate to reach a lone peak at the top of a mountain where no human in their right mind would attempt to set up a tent… and they love it! My version is backing up to our camper, plugging in the life support, filling up the truck with diesel, and hitting the open road in search of an exciting man made forest with all the amenities that my family and I could possibly imagine! Any way you see it, camping or just leaving to go anywhere on an adventure is fun! Something about leaving the convenience of our homes and day-to-day routines that makes us all feel alive.

 

Whether you’re experiencing your first trip to “The Great Wide Open” or you’re an old pro with a sticker from every park, beach, and campground in the country, we all can agree on one thing; our vehicle plays a significant role in the quality of our journey. I still remember packing three days of supplies into our two door Toyota and feeling like a legit explorer! The fact is, no matter where you are on the “Stuff” scale, you’re going places come Hell or high water and you’re going to fit it all in. It’s also pretty likely that the longer you take trips the more your choice of vehicles will adapt to how you prefer to travel.

 

 

For example:

Pre-kids = 2 door compact car or pickup / AC optional / Comfort optional.

With-kids = 4 door 4×4 SUV / DVD Players / AC / Power Everything / Comfort Package.

Post-Kids = 40 ft mega RV fully loaded with 3 bedrooms and no room for kids!  

You get the picture 🙂

Bottom line is that wherever and whenever you travel you need a people mover that has enough room for your current collection of toys, supplies, and “stuff” that is reliable, comfortable, equipped for your level of adventure, economical, affordable, and available! 

So what makes the difference when it comes to your ride? It can be as simple as letting in the sun…. A convertible like this 2007 Ford Mustang can turn a day trip to the beach into a favorite summer memory. Even camping, on a small scale of course, is cool when you can see the trees and moon at night! Not to mention it’s really fun to drive.

For transporting an army, consider the cargo space and power of this 2003 Ford Excursion. It’s the final solution for getting the family comfortably to any camping or beach destination.

If something in the middle works better for you then checkout one of my Grand Cherokees like this 2012 Overland 4×4 with sunroof, cooled seats, backup camera, cruise, the works!

Finding the right car for you and your adventures is important! Yes, it matters what you drive…

 

Have a car in mind that you don’t see in the TM Auto Inventory? Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I can find it for you! Pick a destination, load up, and make summer fun!

Oh the places you will go!

Finally! The sun is out, and the road to Summer vacation is calling your name. It’s time for a brand new adventure. A weekend in the woods, a day at the beach, a cross-country road trip or just a trip to the store can be exciting with the right set of wheels. 

 

The Road is Calling Your Name

 

A weekend drive along the coast with the top down could be an epic experience in a sporty BMW Z-4 convertible or 427 Ford Mustang Convertible or the more adventurous 4dr Jeep Grand Cherokee with climbing power, just depends on your cargo! Your kids and your family dog may squeeze into your current mode of transportation, but if you’re serious about beaching it, you need more.

 

It’s no news that these cars are ideal for summer travel, highlights to seal the deal for die-hard DRIVERS.

 

*Four-wheel-drive jeeps provide total beach access to FUN!

*Going topless, there’s nothing quite like it in a Jeep OR Sports Car

*Only enough room for two in your sports car, this is a good thing!

*Jeep Cherokee offers the advantages of an ultimate adventure mobile with added luxury for long trips 

*Most jeeps have a reasonably low base price so a used Jeep Wrangler or even a Rubicon are feasible options!

*If you’ve never driven a convertible classic like the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro then call me, it’s an experience everyone should have 

*5-6 speed manual transmission puts you in control of every peak and valley

*Sunroof and T-tops are standard options, awesome for sunny days and starry nights

*Bose, Infinity, & Blauplunkt sound systems are the norm, a necessity for cruising

*Most handle athletically for speedy turns, yet have comfortable interiors for long trips

*All the luxury options that you want, AC and power everything are usually standard

 

A weekend jaunt to the woods with all your gear begs for a roomy Ford Explorer or if you need more cargo room AND four doors then this loaded 2012 Ford F-150 will do the job perfectly! A few hours in most cars are doable, but for a family excursion along the coast or to the mountains, your time at the wheel is much more of a consideration. Make it count from driveway to journey’s end.

Road hugging, sporty, and fast or off-road adventurous driving, these vehicles welcome the challenge. Two door coupes and convertibles or four door, four wheel drive SUVs and trucks, fun awaits!

 

Think About Which Car is Right for YOU

You may not always have the need for speed and adventure but when you do… nothing satisfies better than putting some distance between you and home. See TM Auto’s inventory

Wherever the journey takes you, make every mile a memory. Your journey begins and ends with transportation and your ride can make or break the experience. Buy your vehicle with your journey in mind and you’ll never regret it. Sure, we all have a need for our daily driver, a trusty shuttle is essential. However, traveling in these can be great or not so great, depending on where you’re going and who’s tagging along. When selecting your car, it’s smart to look at the bigger picture. Whether you’re planning a perfect family beach day or a weekend camping trip, how you get to the promised land is important. Having the right vehicle for the occasion is vital so the journey is as memorable as the destination itself.

Every family, big and small, has different needs. There are plenty of makes and models to go around and one to fit every lifestyle and budget. Whatever your adventure and whichever vehicle you prefer, let me help you get there!  Please browse my website and See TM Auto’s Inventory. Choose from a wide variety of used vehicles.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, I can find it for you! I’m always available to answer your questions, feel free to text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love.

2018 Best Cars for Summer

With the exception of an occasional cold day, the end of winter is in sight and the sun is finally peeking through the clouds! We’ve had a long, cold winter and now we can all look forward to hanging up our coats and unpacking our tees! This change in the weather brings big changes in our lifestyles too. More time outside, exercise, fresh air, and lots more fun are on tap for the coming months!

Spring is when it all begins again; beach trips, Saturdays in the park, boating, golfing, surfing… too many to list right? It’s easy to get excited about travel and vacationing this time of year. So, you and your family are ready, but what about the family ride? The right car is essential to enjoying the Spring and Summer. After all that time indoors, you’re planning on getting some distance between you and home! Yup, enjoying a good beach breeze and a drive along the coast in a cool convertible would be awesome. Check out this 2007 Ford Mustang in our inventory right now. What a great way to kick off Spring Break!

More like the Griswold family… Wally World? Spring Break is coming fast so check out this 2010 Chevy Traverse with plenty of legroom. It may be your best choice! There’s plenty of space for the kids, cargo, coolers and friends, including the four legged variety.

Spring is every weekend warrior’s favorite season. Whether it’s for work of play, something more functional with lots of space for equipment and tools is always great choice. Trucks like this Ford F450 or Ford F150  are ideal for tough jobs. This is the perfect time of year for catching up your home improvement list; could be fun with a new truck! Own a construction company and need more space? Check out this pristine extended cargo van and the cab forward box truck that has plenty of room for a growing business.

 

Top down tooling around or truck bed full of tools; embrace a new season with a new ride. Whatever your lifestyle, TM Auto has the right car for you! Experience stress free car buying with TM Auto’s Guaranteed Credit Approval, and cruise into summer 2018 in style! Email me at mike@tmautova.com or phone/ text me at 757-560-4252. Ask for Mike Love. I’m always happy to answer your questions get you in the car you want!