When your customer asks the question, how do I decide what to buy? It’s go time, this is kind of what we car dealers love! Recently I had the opportunity to share my insight with a first time buyer. One of the perks of being in this business for over 16 years is experience, so I jumped at the opportunity. For first time buyers this is a huge event and can be stressful. The more equipped they are today, the better! 




At 27 they had driven their current car, new in 2015, to 4 years of instate college, used it for work across the entire eastern seaboard, to their new home over 1500 miles away, and now shared it with their spouse. It was a gift so they had not made payments nor established credit through an auto loan. A couple things were clear to me. Their car had been maintained relatively well to keep up with their pace and they’re decision to begin looking was most likely a good one 🙂 

First, I told them that their car appeared to have been a good one so… I had a few questions for them before offering my expert opinion. Establishing if they “need” a new car is a good place to start and gives me some idea of what their next car should be. 


How many miles does your current car have on it? 

Have you properly maintained it? 

Is it failing in some way? 


The answer to whether they needed to begin their search for an upgrade became clear. They had driven it 150 ‘000 miles. Their maintenance was “so-so” and several parts had started to fail, all expensive ones! 



The “need or want” process is an important part of being a successful and reputable car dealer, don’t sell them what they don’t need. Next, if it’s a need, provide the best options possible. There are some basic guidelines for establishing where to begin the search and why it could be time.  I knew from experience that their car was not known for performing well with high mileage so they were flirting with disaster. Poor maintenance means anything could fail from this point on. After further discussion it appeared they were not equipped to afford expensive repairs or the cost of a NEW car payment. 



How far is your daily commute?

Do you have cargo or just yourselves? 

Will you be towing? 

Are you a “point A to point B” or a “enjoy driving” person?

Fuel type? (Diesel, Gas, Electric)

Space costs extra, really need more? 

Plan to improve your maintenance practices or not? 

Cost of insurance?

What is your budget? Be honest


Where To Buy Options 

Within the first year of owning a new car, it could be worth 20% less than what you paid the dealership. Within 5-6 years it may be worth just 60% of its original value. So used cars have an obvious appeal to value / cost conscious customers. There are a couple of options. 


Buy from a dealership ~ Safer 

Buy from a private seller ~ Cheaper 


Why the dealer option is better for first time buyers. The main reason is that dealerships are responsible for disclosing problems the vehicle might have or repairing those issues before selling it. By providing a Carfax the buyer gets the facts. 

Buying from a private seller can be a little cheaper but no disclosure is required, buyer beware. Find the most reputable dealer who is willing to work with you on financing and you’re off to a good start. 




Cash down always helps negotiate a better interest rate which will provide a better monthly payment for a shorter time. Buyers may even negotiate on a longer term loan option with lower rates. By making regular monthly payments on time, credit is established for next time! If the dealer can’t provide a suitable load scenario, your neighborhood bank may be able to help. This is another way of building a credit history and a strong credit relationship. 


Don’t Be Scared, Be Educated 

When it comes to making a first time purchase of any kind it’s a little scary, it’s perfectly normal for a first time buyer to be apprehensive about purchasing their first car. The smart shopper does homework first and reaps the benefits. 

Have questions? I have answers, give TM Auto a call and let’s get you driving!

Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, let me show you how easy a car buying experience can be. 



Joe D’ Allegro “Thinking about buying a car? Here’s what auto experts say you need to know” PUBLISHED: APR 9, 2022 Web. Retrieved from: 

“First time car buyer’s guide: What to know before you buy” PUBLISHED: APR 27, 2022 Web. Retrieved from:



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. Check our inventory


    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, or by phone or text at 757-560-4252. Ask for Mike and start the New Year off right!

Tips on maintaining your used car this winter

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 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.