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    Call or Text Mike Love
    By Appointment Only(757) 560-4252
    Fax (757) 277-7320
    mike@tmauto.com
  • T M Auto Wholesalers, LLC, Auto Dealers  Used Cars & Trucks, Chesapeake, VA
  • 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/

     

    Tips for buying your teen their first car

    Is it time to buy your “teen” their first car? Be ready for significant expenses beyond the purchase price: You’re also on the hook for, fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and taxes…  Here’s a few tips!

    Establish your budget?

    Establishing a reasonable budget is critical. The money you have available for a down payment and potential for making monthly installments on a loan will determine your car choices.

    Is this is a car just through high school or whether it will be their traveling companion through college. That distinction will determine how new and reliable the car must be.

    No question, the best way to save money is to buy used. By purchasing used, you can buy more car, meaning you could afford, say, a midsized sedan rather than a tiny econobox. A new car loses almost half its value in the first five years, on average but has more than half its useful life left. Letting someone else take the depreciation hit is a smart bet. But try to buy the newest car you can, in order to get the most up-to-date safety features. And

    Do your homework

    With a budget in mind, now comes the fun part: creating a short list of target vehicles. Focus on practical choices—cars that will minimize ownership costs and suit your needs for the next few years.

    To right-size your costs, resist the temptation to target sporty, luxury, or large vehicles. They can be costly to maintain and insure, and tend not to get good fuel mileage. Look to small sedans and hatchbacks from mainstream brands, or even better, midsized sedans. The insurance company will penalize a young driver in a sporty car; big engines cost more to fuel and maintain; and gee-whiz features tend to carry reliability risks. Plus, financed new cars will command higher insurance premiums to cover collision protection. Simple is best.

    To reduce the risk of purchasing a trouble-prone vehicle, identify models with a good reliability record before you begin shopping. Consumer Reports collects data on more than a million cars a year to present reliability information covering the past decade. Such data can point you to cars that have been shown to hold up well over time. Reliability is a key factor, as it speaks to potential costs and inconvenience.

    Read online reviews of the cars you’re considering from both automobile publications and owner forums. Balance the different perspectives against your preferences, and use the feedback to highlight aspects that warrant closer attention. For instance, complaints about the seat comfort or ride quality can be evaluated on a test drive. Your opinions may differ from those held by others. And ultimately, it is you who will live with the car.

    Inspect and test-drive

    With a used car, every example has led a different life. Some may have been pampered, others abused, potentially by a teenager just like yours! The best used cars tend to be owned by a trusted friend or family member who can share details of the car’s history. When shopping used, carefully look the car over inside and out, top to bottom. Always inspect during daylight hours when paint flaws that may indicate repairs or other troubles can be readily spotted. Essentially, you’re looking to ensure the car is in the condition claimed by the seller. For used cars, the real trick is having the car inspected by a professional mechanic. They will usually charge for the service, but it can be money very well spent.

    Here are some used cars that rate high on the list for teens owning their first vehicle:

    • Ford Focus 2009-2011
    • Ford Fusion 2010-2012
    • Chevrolet Malibu 2009-2012
    • Hyundai Sonata 2006-2014
    • Toyota RAV4 2004-2012

    Need help? Feel free to call me, we’ll get them driving!

    (757) 560-4252 Ask for Mike

    Are one-owner cars really a better buy?

    When searching for your next used car, don’t forget to consider how many owners it’s had. Those that have been owned only once tend to be in better condition and worth more compared to those with multiple owners. You can also expect to see less wear and tear, less mileage, and less years on them! 80% of shoppers prefer to purchase one-owners over other used cars too! Sounds pretty great so far; what’s the catch right? You guessed it, the more reliable the car, the more it will usually cost. But before you make your decision based on price alone consider all those benefits. Also, it may not cost a lot more, only slightly more. According to Carfax most one-owner purchases are less likely to need expensive repairs and are more reliable. However, finding a good deal on a one-owner begins the same as any other used car purchase… homework. Just because it’s a one-owner doesn’t mean its owner was honest Abe. Here’s a few items for your “ask the seller” checklist. Remember to get the full story before considering purchasing a one-owner or any other used car.

    • Was it used for business or personal use? Depending on the kind of business this may tell you if the car has mainly highway or in-town miles. Road miles are preferred.
    • Where was the car registered? Road salt can be a huge problem if the car was from the northern states (Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Boston etc.).
    • How many estimated miles per year was it driven? If it’s been sitting for a long period of time there are a variety of problems you should look out for. Check the battery and around it for leakage. Hoses and other componentry including belts that are vulnerable to “natural decomposer” should also be checked. A full fuel system flush should also be undertaken to clean out “bad fuel that can gum up and clog the injectors,” Probably get a full replacement of air, oil and cabin filters, engine oil and coolant.
    • Was it ever involved in an accident, fire, or flood? Extensive damage such as foam absorber or metal reinforcement bar damaged. If it’s an SUV hit by a small car there could be floor damage if the car slid under it. Mold, rust or smoke damage, could be lurking behind metal, inside the upholstery and car’s frame.
    • What reasons did the previous owner have for selling? This could be HUGE RED FLAG or just a case of personal preference, which makes this a great deal for you!

    Informed, reliable dealers will gladly provide these answers in hopes of proving the automobiles worth. Remember to ask for a Carfax if the dealer has not offered one. As I’ve said before, this is invaluable when it comes to confirming background information on any used car, truck, or SUV. If the dealer can’t or won’t provide a Carfax, keep looking.

    Sources

    1. Weathers, Cliff. What damage should I look into if I was rear-ended but there is no visible damage? Yahoo Answers.  Yahoo Answers, sourced from: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090814090903AA6kApK
    2. Howie, Craig. Cars parked too long can develop problems. CNN. cnn, 1 April. Web 2009 April. 2016

    Posted 04/08/2016 in TM AUTO UPDATE

    Used Vehicles, Used Car, Used Cars, Used Trucks, Dependable Cars, Pre owned cars, Used SUV,

    When is the best time to buy? Glad you asked!

    best-time-to-buy-a-car

    Whether it’s for your soon-to-be teen driver, off road adventures, work use, or daily commute, now’s the best time of year to get a deal on that car, truck or SUV.

    As a dealer, I constantly monitor the car market’s pulse to provide my customers with the best automobiles at the lowest possible prices. Because dealership’s costs fluctuate throughout the year just like yours, their prices fluctuate as well. Sometimes up and other times down, always changing, depending on a number of triggering factors.

    After the first of the year, car dealerships across the country will begin raising their prices, just like last year and the year before. Why? It all starts at the top with Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam will begin processing income tax returns online as early as January 19th. The car industry responds accordingly with increased manufacturer prices, creating a chain reaction on down the line. Large dealerships, small dealerships, auctions, and even private sellers react by increasing their prices as well. You can expect those prices to remain higher than normal until April or May, just about the time the tax money runs out.

    It works like this, manufacturers charge dealerships more; auctions charge used dealerships more, so we must increase our prices to compensate for our increased costs, i.e. the domino effect.

    That’s the bad news, the good news is, you’re now an educated buyer. You can choose to save that extra cash instead of giving it away! By purchasing your next car before January 15th, you’ll pay less for no other reason than “you bought at the right time”. Yes, it’s that easy. From now until mid January, you can expect to get the best deals. My savings are your savings.
    Have questions? I’ll be happy to walk you through your current situation and advise you on your next automobile purchase. TM Auto’s inventory has a car, truck or SUV to suite every lifestyle and budget, plus guaranteed credit approval. Call 757.560.4252 and ask for Mike Love.

    Posted 10/04/2016 in TM AUTO UPDATE

    Best time to buy, Fall Sale, Used Vehicles, DMV, confidence, CARFAX, Inspection, Used Car, Used Cars, Used Trucks, Dependable Cars, Pre owned cars, Used SUV,

    Know Before You Go!

    tm-auto-know-before-you-go

    There are loads of new and used car dealerships pining for your business. It’s important to remember that when you buy a car, you’re also purchasing a relationship. Your car’s condition, value, and resale depend on the strength of that relationship. Choose wisely, and when you find one with the integrity and high level of customer service that you deserve, stick with them. Knowing WHO you’re buying from is just as important as knowing WHAT you’re buying. You need to know you can count on your dealer, long after the sale.

    So how do you know “who” you are buying from? To start with; the car’s history should be provided by the dealer up front. My motto is “Know before You Go”. Don’t leave the lot until you’re satisfied with your car’s condition. TM Auto is a CARFAX Advantage Dealer so every vehicle comes with a CARFAX vehicle history report. Carfax, Inc. is a commercial web-based service that supplies vehicle history reports to individuals and businesses on used cars and light trucks for the American and Canadian consumers. This information is essential for providing my buyers with confidence. In addition, every vehicle sold by TM Auto Wholesalers has already passed state inspection. I take care of the DMV registration and deliver it right to your front door. TM Auto customers buy with confidence every time and I’m only a phone call away when they need answers. Please feel free to email me at mike@tmauto.com, or call 757-560-4252. Ask for Mike, and see how easy buying a car can be!

    Click here for guaranteed Credit Approval

    Click here to check our Inventory!

    Room to Grow

    room-to-grow

    Remember your first car? Most of us inherited or purchased a starter vehicle about the same size as our checking account back then. I was single with no dogs and had a few less toys than today; it worked! My Toyota pickup did just fine for me; plenty of room, great gas mileage, no payments.

    Fast forward 20 years and about 5 cars later; we have 3 children, 2 dogs, 4 paddle boards and lord only knows how many toys! Does this sound totally familiar? For growing families all across Hampton Roads, the challenge of packing everyone and everything in our vehicles borders on wizardry. It’s only natural that as our families grow, so do our cars. Luckily there are vehicles for virtually every lifestyle and budget to fit us and our stuff.

               Even though our cars do more shuttling and shopping than cruising these days, style matters. This is one of the reasons that SUV’s are one of my best sellers. With ample room for a family of 5-6, sophisticated entertainment systems, and the muscle to haul campers, boats, and other water craft, they remain a top choice. Most have optional 4WD and loaded interiors that rival any luxury car.  Don’t rule out minivans; they’re still one of the smartest choices available for growing families today. They offer ample room, comfort, and have great features for transporting the little ones like power sliding doors, entertainment systems, and built in window shades. Fold-flat third row seating is often standard and they are low to the ground for easy passenger (and toddler) loading. When comparing gas mileage to similar sized SUV’s, the minivan is the clear winner. Multi-passenger vans are the ultimate “Family Haulers” with room for 8-9 and then some. These thirsty beasts are built for travel, cargo, and lots of people. From traditional body styles that seat up to 15 to modern tall vans seating 7-12, they are all rock solid options. These hefty transporters are a little lean on luxury, but hey, it’s all about family.

            My car suggestions for growing families starts and ends with practicality. The Honda Odyssey is impressive on all fronts; an ideal choice. Equally popular is the tried and true Chevy Suburban. You may prefer instead, something a little smaller like the top ranked Toyota Highlander. Whether you want big, really big, or just a step up, make the best choice by doing a little test driving with your crew first. Everyone’s situation is different so feel free to call or text 757-560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ll be happy to walk through your current situation with you!

    Posted 06/16/2016 in TM AUTO Update

    Family Cars,Best Family cars,Minivans,SUV,Multi-passenger vans,Chesapeake, TM Auto Wholesalers,Hampton Roads,

    Healthy used cars provide long term savings

    Let’s say it’s time to purchase a second automobile. Maybe it’s just a weekend driver for the beach or special events so you’ve set aside a small budget and plan to go all out to save money. It’s a fair bet that buying a less expensive “new” car has crossed your mind since many have attractive service plans and may cost less in repairs. Is the monthly payment worth it? What about the down payment; would that be best spent on a well maintained used car instead?

    Saving money usually begins with less expensive down payments and no monthly repair bills indeed, but you may discover that your cheap “new” car ends up costing you more down the road. While some dealerships offer an attractive monthly service agreement that may include free oil changes and a free wash, rest assured that you’re going to pay for those freebies sooner or later. The 50’000, 80’000 and 100’000 mile service visits are not so easy on the wallet and are in addition to your regular monthly car payment. They can cost from $300.00 to $1’500.00 depending on the dealer and required service work. Granted these regular check ups are meant to ensure your car’s health over the long term but if saving money is your goal then this could be more than you originally bargained for. To save money you may choose not to have these services performed as they are often sold as “preventative” work. Buyer beware, if they are required to support your car’s warranty, you’re probably better off spending the money. Should a breakdown occur as a result of worn parts due to a skipped service visit then you may be in for big trouble.

    When buying used, begin with a healthy vehicle by referencing the vehicle’s Carfax. Your initial outlay of cash should be far less as well as your monthly payment. Is many cases you may be able to pay cash for your weekend excursion vehicle! Plus, you can continue to save money by maintaining your automobile properly and avoiding expensive repairs and service visits at a dealership. Do-it yourselfers love this option and often thrive on the feeling of accomplishment they get from both the finished service work and saving money. Still others may prefer less or no time under the hood and wish to hire a pro to take care of the regular maintenance work on their used cars. Either way, by following a simple monthly maintenance plan your initial savings on your used weekend traveler won’t be gobbled up by repairs or expensive service visits. Owning a safe, reliable, inexpensive used automobile is great way to save money all the way around. Your car’s well-being begins with knowing it and what it needs to stay in great shape. Your maintenance list should consist of regularly check tires, oil, windows, brakes, interiors and fluids. Newer cars will have all status reports displayed in the dash board panel of the car. It’s easy to follow up and do the maintenance. Preparing a car maintenance chart for referencing manually on a regular basis is also a good idea.

     

    • Check engine oil and change according to manual

    • Check engine coolant and flush annually

    • Change air filter according to manual

    • Check automatic transmission fluid and change according to manual

    • Battery (Fill and check for leaks)

    • Wipers Blades (Change as needed for proper performance)

    • Tire Rotation (According to manual)

    • Take care of small problems fast (Odd noises, unusual vibrations etc)

    • Wash and wax regularly (Check for corrosion)

    • Regular state inspections

    • Annual mechanic Inspection (Have your mechanic giver her the once over)

    As with all car purchases and monthly service plans there will be exceptions on both sides so a careful analysis of your car’s maintenance requirements is advised. Whether you choose to buy new or used, protecting your 4 wheeled investment is a great way to save money.