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/

 

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!  

Stay with the Old, In with the New

Make Your Old Car Like New Again

Look out your window, and you’ll see Ole’ Reliable sitting in the driveway. The car that’s been with you for years now and still (mostly) runs great. Maybe you bought it new, used, or maybe it’s a relative’s old car. As nice as a brand new car might sound, those car payments…. Fortunately, here are a few things you can do to make your old car seem new! These tips and inexpensive fixes will get your old vehicle looking and feeling like it just rolled off the lot.

  1. Cosmetic Fixes

The most obvious cosmetic upgrade to your car may be painting it, but the easiest upgrade to make an old car feel new is a nice, thorough cleaning. Not just a vacuum and a car wash. To really spruce up your car, try checking off this list:

  • Shampoo carpet and upholstery
  • Clear out the trunk trash
  • Clean outside and inside of windows.
  • Remove the spare and clean out the tire well
  • Remove and clean under seat cushions. Consider getting cushions covers to make your life easier in the future.
  • Clean off floor mats or replace them with rubber floor mats, which are far more durable than most original versions.

A high quality professional detail is the way to get the outside of your car looking new again. Waxing and buffing can easily make old paint look new! If you really want to clean your car up, consider getting the engine compartment pressure washed as well. Your engine will look new again; it’s pretty amazing. Before going on the lot, all of the cars in my inventory are professionally detailed. I’ve used Gary, owner of Liquid Investments for years. He and his team do an excellent job for a reasonable price. Give him a shout (757) 477-5752.

After you work your way through a solid cleaning session, you car should already be looking good. If your steering wheel is looking a little beat up as well, you might consider purchasing a steering wheel cover for around $10. Another easy to overlook flaw that makes for a noticeable upgrade is your dashboard. You can add a dashboard cover or even paint it with vinyl paint to make it feel newer, and don’t forget to check the dashboard illumination. If your knobs or switches are broken, replacement parts are cheap whether they are new or recycled.  

  1.            Performance Upgrades

There are bunches of simple internal, mechanical fixes that can get your car running noticeably smoother and feel more comfortable. Check these major areas and see if they need upgrading: 

  • Headlights. Cars and trucks built over the past few decades typically have plastic headlamps that fog up over time. Headlight restoration is usually less than $30 and instantly makes a difference. A full headlight replacement can add a sporty look to your ride and will cost between $50.00 and $100.00 to do it right. (top vs bottom image)
  • AC. All cars’ AC systems can get mold, mildew, and bacteria build ups if not cleaned often enough. Make sure the air passageways into the vehicle aren’t covered by leaves, dust or grime before changing or cleaning any filters. Adding an air-conditioning deodorizer to the vents or your rearview mirror can bring back that new car smell, too.
  • Rubberizing. As your car ages, the rubber trim on doors begins to wear and tear, letting your hot and cold air out and wind noise and rain in. The adhesive strips take a little patience to apply, but are incredibly cheap and can instantly make the interior of your car quieter while driving.
  • Windshield Wipers. Old wipers break down and lose their effectiveness over time, making driving in the rain and snow dangerous. Upgraded windshield wipers make the cold, rainy seasons a little safer.
  • Brakes & Suspension. Old cars start getting stiffer as the years pass, and brakes get squeakier and squeakier with every red light. Getting your shocks, springs, dampers, struts, brake rotors, and brake pads checked and possibly replaced can completely change how your car drives.

**New springs can lower your car and improve handling if you’re a car enthusiast!**

  • Wheels. Tires periodically need to be replaced as treads wear down. Use the Penny Test (http://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/penny-tire-test/) to check your car. Even if you don’t need to replace your tires, installing new tires can completely change how your car drives (and looks) and are much cheaper than a new car payment.

After working your way through these cosmetic upgrades and internal fixes, Ole’ Reliable shouldn’t look quite so old anymore and will be much more reliable! Have questions about these upgrades? Call 757-560-4252 and ask for Mike Love with any questions!

 

Sources:

Brown, Evan. “10 Ways to Make Your Used Car Feel New”. esurance. Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. n.d. Web. 1 Nov 2017. http://blog.esurance.com/10-ways-to-make-your-used-car-feel-new/

Huffman, John Pearley. “10 Ways to Make Your Old Car Feel New”. Popular Mechanics. Hearst Communications, Inc. 26 Sept 2011. Web. 2 Nov 2017. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g175/10-ways-to-make-your-old-car-feel-new/

Karim, Andrea. “12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome”. WiseBread. Wise Bread. 14 Dec 2014. Web. 2 Nov 2017. http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Travel In Comfort This Holiday Season

The autumn chill has settled and the leaves are changing, bright pops of reds and oranges along the highways. Holidays are just around the corner, and we can all look forward to spending time in our cars, whether it be a short trip to the grocery store for extra stuffing or a long drive to Grandma’s house. The journey is the destination, as they say, and it’s important to keep comfort in mind during these long hours in the car.

 

Of course, comfort means different things to different people. When you’re looking for a new vehicle, it’s important to keep your specific needs in mind. For example, if you’re headed across state lines with four kids and a dog in tow, your first concern is space and durability. Are you looking for an SUV or a minivan? Would you prefer easy to clean leather seats? Then again, if your family goes all out on decorations, you might consider something with room to store your lights, trees, and figurines, like a pickup truck. But what if you’re looking forward to a romantic holiday of two? Something smaller and sportier might suit your needs. You can keep costs down on your get-away by going for a fuel-efficient option, too.

With your specific needs in consideration, it’s time to narrow down what exactly you’re looking for in a car — and how much you can afford. Start by creating a checklist of features you prioritize in a vehicle and narrow down your options from there.

Some things to consider while creating this list might be:

  • Safety Features 
  • 4WD, All-Wheel Drive, 2WD
  • Wheel Base / Leg Room
  • Luxury / Comfort
  • Towing Capacity
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Price

 

Once you have your ‘Must Haves’ and a solid budget, it’s time to start looking at cars! Check out TM Auto’s inventory online, and feel free to call 757-560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and guide you through your next car purchase.  

The Best Vehicles for Traveling

The Journey Is the Destination

It’s Summer! The kids are home, the sun is out, and the open road is calling your name. Every day is an opportunity 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, any trip can be exciting with the right set of wheels. 

 

How will YOU get there?

TM Auto best vehicles for taveling

 

A weekend drive along the coast with the windows down could be an epic experience in a sporty Mazda RX-8 or maybe a 4dr Jeep Wrangler with no windows at all, 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 the Jeep Wrangler is ideal for summer travel, highlights to seal the deal for die-hard beach lovers.

 

  • 1. Four-wheel-drive provides total beach access
  • 2. Going topless, there’s nothing quite like it
  • 3. Easy to clean floorboards, just pull the floor plugs and hose it out!
  • 4. Removable doors will turn your Jeep into the ultimate adventure mobile
  • 5. 4dr versions have as much cargo space as any full size sedan
  • 6. Did I mention the windshield folds down? Yes, it does
  • 7. The deal clincher is that most jeeps have a reasonably low base price so a used Jeep Wrangler or even a Rubicon are feasible options!

 

A weekend jaunt to the woods with all your gear begs for a roomy Ford Explorer or if you’d rather bring just the essentials, a stylish CR-V! 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 the destination. Make it count from driveway to journey’s end.

If low down, sporty, and road hugging are more your speed, then 2dr coupes and convertibles are perfect. Traveling light can be liberating, just you, your favorite travel partner, and loads of curves to navigate!

 

Think about it while you check out these sporty highlights.

 

  • 1. 5-6 speed manual transmission puts you in control of every peak and valley
  • 2. Sunroof and T-tops are standard options, awesome for sunny days and starry nights
  • 3. Bose, Infinity, & Blauplunkt sound systems are the norm, a necessity for cruising
  • 4. Most handle athletically for speedy turns, yet have comfortable interiors for long trips
  • 5. All the luxury options that you want, AC and power everything are usually standard

You may not always have the need for speed but when you do… nothing satisfies better than putting some distance between you and home in your own sports car. 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.

On The Road… To Health & Fitness

With the sun shining and temperatures rising, more and more people are gearing up for outdoor adventures throughout Hampton Roads. Outdoor activities can spark your fitness life and do wonders for our health! So how do you keep your health and fitness fun?

Make It an Adventure

The Road to Health & FitnessTraveling to new places taps into our adventurous side, adding variety and interest to our active lifestyles. Keep changing up your exercises and activities and you’ll never get bored! It’s simple, just pack up the truck and head out to enjoy one of the dozens of hiking opportunities offered in Hampton Roads. Take Fido and your friends to add a little spontaneity and you’re off! Hampton Roads is also home to Virginia Beach and Sandbridge Beach; a couple five star spots with good surf, paddle-boarding, and a thriving boating community for those who are more at home in the water than next to it. Virginia Beach has an obstacle course in the trees and a beach conditioning facility on the sand. Sandbridge also has playgrounds and fishing and leans towards the back to nature side of fitness, with such spots as Back Bay Wildlife Refuge & False Cape State Park.

Whether you want to venture through tree lined paths and sandy dunes or catch a few waves, a healthy adventure is only a short drive away. TM Auto has your vehicle!

 

  1. Click to see – Small SUV
  2. Click to see – Full Size SUV
  3. Click to See – JEEP 

 

Fresh & Fun

Exercise is king, but health and fitness doesn’t stop there! Enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables instead of prepared or processed foods are one of the most important steps to staying fit. Luckily, for us, Hampton Roads is home to a wide variety of farmer’s markets and farm fields that are open to the public; just park and pick!

You Pick Farms Hampton RoadsFarmer’s markets stretch all across Hampton Roads, over a dozen all together. The experience of hand picking fresh fruits and vegetables ignites the back to basics side of us. It sets the tone for our entire summer! All across Hampton Roads are U-Pick Farms where you can grab a basket and harvest as many fruits and vegetables as you can carry. Check out the links below to find a close farmer’s market or u-pick farm and the TM Auto vehicle for the trip!

 

 

 

Farmer’s Market Guide http://hamptonroadsguide.blogspot.com/p/farmers-markets.html#.WRdL4IjytEY

U-Pick Farm Guide http://www.pickyourown.org/VAsoutheast.htm 

 

How to Get There

Every adventurer needs reliable transportation! TM Auto has a vehicle for every purpose to suit every lifestyle and budget. Please browse my website and See TM Auto’s Inventory. 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.

Get out, get active, and have a great summer!

Every Car Has A Soul

Automobiles & Memories

In this age of throwaways, we sometimes take our automobile’s reliability — as well as its history with us, for granted. In many cases, it has delivered us safely to and from our destinations for years. Instead of “used” cars we might say, “loved” cars… as in family. Every car and car owner has a story to tell…

You walk on the lot and discover the most awesome car ever. Shiny and new-to-you, there’s nothing but a blank slate waiting to be filled as you pull off the lot. Work truck, SUV, 2 doors or 4, it makes no difference, it’s perfect for you and your friends.

First night with your new car, you take all of your friends on a long drive down the coast, windows down, music blowing with the breeze. The next morning on your drive to work, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you smile thinking of your best friend butchering the lyrics of your favorite song.

A few years down the road, there’s a newborn in the back seat and you’re holding your best friend’s hand across the console, matching rings on your fingers. You drive ten miles under the speed limit and can’t stop looking in the rear-view at the bundle of blankets and tuft of hair in the baby seat behind you. Two weeks later, cleaning up a bottle of spilled milk in the back, you smile thinking of the love of your life taking two dozen pictures of Baby’s First Car Ride.

3 months later, you finally get a day off and head to the lake with a handful of friends. A cooler full of ice rattles in the trunk next to a stack of fishing poles. On the way home, you can’t stop laughing because one of your buds fell in the lake and has to ride back in nothing but a towel.

Beach trips, doctor’s visits, birthday parties, and picnics… they all change a car from a bunch of metal, wires and plastic to a collector of memories. Almost every adventure you’ve been on started with you buckled in and heading down the highway. It is these memories and the people you shared them with that give your car its soul.

Picking out the perfect car is important… like family. I’ll work hard to make your car buying experience enjoyable and fulfilling, ensuring your peace of mind from start to finish, guaranteed satisfaction. Let’s get you the perfect car to fill with memories of your own. See TM Auto’s Inventory

I’m always available to answer your questions, feel free to text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love.

 

Turning Over A New Leaf

Start the New Year off right with confidence and a plan! Isn’t that what we say every year? Well this year I have a couple suggestions that may help you achieve these resolutions plus, peace of mind. Financial woes and poor credit scores are two of the most common causes of stress this time of year. Whether it’s challenging credit, no credit, or the need for more credit, finances affect our lives year after year. Tm Auto can help you establish or rebuild your credit this January and avoid “Tax Season” price gouging at the same time. By making stable, monthly payments on a large purchase such as a used car, truck, or SUV, you prove to creditors that you are a trustworthy spender. Every payment you make on time and in full raises your credit score; great news for just about anyone wishing to improve these crucial three numbers. Restoring your credit by purchasing a reliable automobile that would otherwise be out of reach just might be the plan you’re looking for! We offer “Absolute Credit Approval” regardless of your credit score so you can get started on that resolution right away!

You can also save on your used car between December and mid January! Due to suppliers capitalizing on profits as tax season approaches, car prices will go up at many dealerships after the first of the year. I’m able to offer some of my best deals up to January 15th. No gouging; just the most car for your money and a stress free car-buying experience.

            Establishing good credit starts by making regular, on-time payments but there is more to “turning over a new leaf” than this. Below are some suggestions that you may find helpful in the New Year.

  1.     Budget for a Credit Card – You’re checking account is in good standing and you regularly use your debit card, but have stayed away from credit out of a fear of going over your limit. There is no need to fear credit. If you budget correctly, a credit card becomes an easy way to boost your credit rating. It’s not much at first, but if the maximum payment is made every month, your credit rating will go up accordingly.
  2.     Always Pay on Time – Paying off the maximum balance on a credit card is great, but it means nothing if payments aren’t made on time. Payment history is the most important tool in establishing your credit score, and helps you establish yourself as a trustworthy buyer!
  3.     Keep a Low balance – Credit limits vary from card to card, and it can be tempting to use close to your monthly limit. As a rule of thumb however, you should only utilize 10-30% of your credit at any one time. It’s okay to go over this occasionally, but consistently going over this self-imposed limit can indicate financial irresponsibility.

TM Auto Wholesalers specializes in “The stress free car buying experience”. A purchase from our inventory can help you establish or repair your credit while saving you cash for holiday expenses! Feel free to contact me online at mike@tmautova.com, or by phone or text at 757-560-4252. Ask for Mike and start the New Year off right!

The Big Gift

THE BIG GIFT!

Is this the year? You know… for your teen’s BIG GIFT! That long awaited iconic symbol of freedom, sovereignty, and coolness. The singular most important possession that let’s everyone, everywhere know with absolute certainty, “I’m officially grown up.” This gift of all gifts represents the next chapter in your child’s life as well as your trust in them. It is the time-honored ticket to ride, their first car!

Like all astute parents and shoppers, you have questions… lots of questions. At the top of the list may be whether to buy new, used, or to pass down the family car. Well, rest assured that new, used, big or small, it’s going to be a hit. Your decision ultimately comes down to what makes the most sense.

The obvious choice is simply to pass down the family car. It’s often paid for and thoroughly road tested. When it comes to repairs and safety, nothing provides more peace of mind than knowing your car’s service record. It’s also likely to generate lower insurance premiums. There are plenty of good reasons to pass down the family car however; there are some “Not so good reasons” too. It’s a good idea to consider modern safety features such as side-curtain airbags, blind-spot indicators, backup cameras, and forward- and rear- collision alerts which are all good for new drivers. Passing down the family car makes sense as long as it’s safe and reliable.

New cars are also a strong consideration. The most up-to-date safety features and technology often come standard. Those with a good reliability record will need few or no repairs for at least the first three years of ownership. This means peace of mind, less headaches, and little or no maintenance costs. A new car is an easy sell as long as cost is not high on your list of concerns.  

Used cars are also a great choice. Affordable (not cheap) used automobiles are often the best way to go for teens and parents shopping for a starter vehicle. Buying the newest used car possible will likely get you the most up-to-date safety features available for your money. This is very important for novice drivers. By adding a few dollars for a good reliability record, you’ll have less repair costs and greater peace of mind. Check the CARFAX before buying to see it’s history. Small sedans and hatchbacks from mainstream brands, or even better, midsized sedans are great choices for fuel economy and lower insurance premiums.

This opportunity comes but once in a lifetime folks. Buy smart, enjoy the moment, and have a wonderful holiday! Find more articles on ASK MIKE’S blog here at www.tmautova.com and please share! Feel free to call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and assist you with purchasing your next car, truck, or SUV.