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Media Post: How to improve the resale value of your car

October 22nd, 2014 No comments

Picture courtesy of newcarsplus.com.au

You’ve already gone through the stress of buying a car and now when it comes to selling it, you’ve realised there are more new headaches coming down the road. Everyone loves a good bargain and they will be on the hunt when looking to buy a car themselves. On the flipside, you as the seller want to get the absolute best bang for your buck. There are a couple tips and tricks to help you along the way that will help increase the value of your car.

Four Quick, Easy, and Inexpensive Repairs:
There are some very simple fixes you can make to your car before listing it to sell. The buyer will look for any excuse to decrease the value of your car so take these easy steps recommended from Kelly Blue Book itself in order to get the most of your car. These 4 simple fixes are fairly cheap, take little time, and will prevent the buyer from having any minor reason to haggle with you:

1. Replace your lights: If you have a broken head or tail light it’s a very simple fix and will improve the value of your car to the buyer. It takes only a few minutes to replace and you just need the replacement bulb and a screwdriver to fix.

2. Fix any chips or cracks in your windshield: Any chips or cracks in your windshield will equate to major money to the buyer of your car. In reality, getting these little dings in the glass will be fairly cheap to fix.

3. Replace your breaks and tires: When a buyer checks out your car, they will look at the wear and tear on your breaks and tires. This is typically a general reflection on the overall wear on your car. If your car has high mileage on top of worn out tires, expect them to ask for a fairly hefty reduction in price.

4. Repair major dents and scratches: Most used cars will have minor dents and scratches but if your car has anything that stands out significantly, expect to get those repaired yourself to save money. Getting dents out and scratches hidden is typically an inexpensive fix but will greatly improve the appearance of your car to the buyer. Installing a vinyl wrap may help reduce scratches and damage to paint as well.

Keep Records and Reports
Every car needs standard maintenance and keeping records of these can help show the buyer that you’ve been taking care of your car properly. Typically a buyer will bring a mechanic to check your car for glaring issues and to check that the car has been properly maintained so it’s better to be prepared with your records if an issue is brought up.

Just like your credit score, your vehicle identification number (VIN) report is important. This report includes the history of your car such as owners, accidents, and servicing. Every buyer typically looks at this before purchasing and if there is a discrepancy in the VIN it’s easier to contact the company to change the error opposed to trying to persuade the buyer that it’s a mistake in the system

Upsell Money Boosting Options
Although you can’t change many of your options already included in your car, you can upsell these options to the buyer in order to increase the value of your car. The Chicago Tribune has a comprehensive list of options that can help or hurt the value of your car when reselling. If your car has the following options be sure to mention them as they persuade buyers to pay a bit more for your car versus the same one without these options:

  1. Premium tires
  2. Better upholstery (Such as leather)
  3. Convenience items in trucks

If your car has fairly standard but optional features such as remote keyless entry, power locks, power windows, and tilt steering wheels it most likely won’t bump your car up too much in price but may still be worth mentioning.

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Media post: Promoting hybrid cars at auto dealerships

October 15th, 2014 No comments

Toyota Prius. Picture courtesy of Motortrend.comToyota Prius

Car dealerships often come up with innovative marketing campaigns in order to attract local customers who are interested in buying or leasing new vehicles. Creating special promotions during the holidays has been a traditional advertising practice in the auto industry for decades. However, some car dealers extend such marketing practices to include relatively unknown celebrations and special events. For example, there are some days in the United States that are dedicated towards raising awareness about the environment and the earth.

It makes perfect to sense to promote fuel efficient cars on days that celebrate the earth and inform consumers about environmental issues. Car dealers can create promotional sales events that have “green” themes. For instance, detailed brochures can be printed on 100 percent recycled paper and then given out to customers who are interested in exploring the benefits of hybrid or electric car models. Similarly, small gift bags could also be given out as promotional items at a car dealership. The bags should ideally be made of recycled plastic materials. Ultimately, the focus of such simple marketing campaigns is to get customers to test drive fuel efficient cars.

Video presentations about the latest hybrid and electric technology can be shown in the main lobby of a car dealership that offers special deals during days that raise environmental awareness. Customers should have access to comfortable seats and some refreshments while enjoying brief multimedia shows about the advantages of driving hybrid or electric vehicles.

During a test drive in a hybrid or electric car , customers actually get the chance to confirm the excellent fuel economy. An extra long trip could be taken to show customers how far the test vehicle goes off a single gallon of fuel or an equivalent electrical charge of a built in battery pack. A car such as Prius C and other hybrid vehicles are examples of affordable automobiles that offer excellent fuel economy. To confirm all claims made by auto dealers, customers can explore official fuel economy data that is generated by the EPA, which conducts rigorous testing on all vehicles in the North American auto market.

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Media post: The Legacy and the Road | Land Rover USA

October 2nd, 2014 No comments

Land Rover has always striven to thrive on the road and the trail. Recent design changes see Land Rover focusing even more on the latter. Their Legacy and the Road campaign accompanies changes made even to their smaller line offerings like the Range Rover Sport. The 2014 Rangie has had its old steel body swapped out for an aluminum frame – a loss of 800 pounds. This, and the sleeker design will surely please customers interested in both efficiency/performance and style.

Other design changes across the whole Land Rover line help the company continue to lay claim to the kind of road adventures it helped pioneer over the decades. Land Rover enables the driver to access rarely traveled roads. Land Rover can make a highway out of any wilderness, and an explorer out of any driver.

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Guest post: 2014 GMC Acadia: Refreshed Design and Enhanced Safety for a Faithful Companion

August 20th, 2014 No comments

GMC Acadia 2015

The 2014 GMC Acadia sports a freshened up exterior and interior design, and offers enhanced safety features this year to boost its reputation as a jack-of-all-trades, full size crossover SUV. Always a faithful companion since the 2007 model year, the Acadia has evolved into what is now a plush, comfortable SUV with seating for up to eight in three rows of seats and enough cargo space to carry just about whatever your family needs to be carried. Let’s take a look at what the Acadia offers.

Innovative Safety Features The latest Acadia has a remarkable new safety item pioneered by General Motors and available only on GM vehicles—the front center airbag. This airbag deploys from the driver’s seat as a secondary airbag between the front seats to cushion impact between the driver and passenger in side collisions.

Also new to the Acadia for 2014 are a forward collision alert system and a lane departure warning system. These advancements helped the Acadia to receive a five-star overall safety rating, the highest rating given, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as the highest safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Powerful Powertrain All Acadias have a 3.6-liter, V6 engine producing 288 horsepower coupled to a six-speed Hydra-Matic 6T75 transmission. Front wheel drive comes standard, with four-wheel drive as an option. The high tech engine has direct fuel injection, dual overhead camshafts, and variable valve timing to maximize fuel efficiency.

Spacious Luxury Interior The updated interior takes the luxury factor up a notch or two for 2014 with impressive build quality, an attractive layout and with most of the surfaces covered with soft, nice-to-the-touch materials. The standard seating holds up to eight people, but with the second row bench seat swapped out for two captain’s chairs, the seating is reduced to seven. Fold-flat second and third row seats give easy access to the cargo area. Speaking of the cargo area, there is 24.1 cu. ft. behind the third row of seats, 70.1 cu. ft. behind the second row, and a cavernous 116.1 cu. ft. behind the first row with the other rows folded flat

SUV Heritage The Acadia is a direct descendant of the original SUV created by General Motors in 1935 with the Chevrolet Suburban Carryall. GMC joined the party in 1937 with its own Carryall featuring an all-metal body, three rows of seats for eight people, and doors at the rear to provide easy access to the cargo storage area. GMC improved the Carryall over the years to include an automatic transmission, a V8 engine and four-wheel drive, eventually evolving it into to today’s SUVs.

Coolness Factor If you’re one of the many who would rather wear a paper bag over your head than be seen driving a minivan, the Acadia is for you. It will transport everything you could put in a minivan and you’ll be cool enough to actually roll down the windows and wave to all of your friends.

Bruce Troxell

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Sponsored post: A new Michelin tire that prolong wet traction

July 17th, 2014 1 comment

I don’t know about you but even though I have been driving for the best part of two decades I always get a tiny bit nervous in heavy rain conditions. Aqua-planning is not a great experience and there is nothing worse than not trusting its car’s behaviour when driving under the rain. But it all comes to tires in the end, not so much the car itself. Michelin has been at the forefront of tyre technologies for decades and their latest invention could have the potential to make me feel much better about driving under heavy rain.

Unlike conventional tires, the Michelin Premier A/S tire uses a new design combined with a unique set of features to prolong wet traction even as the tire becomes worn. 3 main elements provide this traction over time: high-traction rubber compound, expanding rain grooves and emerging grooves. What does it all mean I hear you ask.

Well the technology behind long-term wet traction is actually rather interesting. The high-traction rubber compound is a proprietary rubber compound with extreme amounts of silica and sunflower oil. The silica provides the bonding strength and adherence to keep the treads on the road for high traction in wet conditions. The sunflower oil allows the tire to grip on wet roads at lower temperatures. The new tire also has rain grooves with a specific geometric shape that gets wider as the tread wears, helping maintain the amount of water that the tire can channel away. Finally this tire has another set of grooves that are initially hidden when new but then emerge to maintain wet traction in the long run.

This post has been sponsored by Michelin, but concerns our own opinion.
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Guest post: 6 ways to accessorise the car of the woman you love

June 27th, 2014 No comments

It is the one car I want! Beautiful young couple standing at the dealership choosing the car to buy

Whether your partner has been playing the ‘Soccer Mom” for years, or she has just recently learned how to drive, the least you can do as the man in her life is to acknowledge the hard work she has put in by accessorizing her car which makes for a perfect gift and also makes her time on the road a lot more beautiful and comfortable.

A Navigation System

While most women will argue that their sense of direction is impeccable, a reliable navigation system is always a boon to have in the car. Whether she is expected to drive long-distance for work, on a regular basis or transport your children around town all day, a good navigation system can help her beat the traffic and make it to places in time.

A portable navigation system can be rather convenient for her even when she rents out a vehicle on her travels.

MP3 player with AUX Connection

Make sure your partner stays entertained at all times by installing an AUX enabled music system in your car. Gift her a MP3 player on which she can upload all her favorite music and audio books to keep her entertained during her time on the road.

finger pointing at car GPS navigation system

Personalised Bumper Stickers

Nothing says ‘I Love You’ like a personalised bumper sticker. Customising a bumper sticker for her is a great way to let her feel some ownership for the family vehicle. The sticker could come with a funny one liner or a sweet quote that represents her unique personality.

Car Fragrance

Another great way to make her feel like the family car is hers to use is by installing a car fragrance with her favourite aromas.

Miscellaneous Accessories

In addition to these, you could also gift her a hamper of miscellaneous car accessories such as travel kits, Bluetooth wireless communication systems, a mixed CD with her favorite songs and car seat covers that enhance her on road comfort.

Special Lessons at the Driving School

Chances are that in spite of having driven around your neighborhood for years, your partner is still wary about venturing out on long distance drives on her own. Liberate her from this fear by gifting her driving lessons that help her build the courage of venturing into high speed roads all over the country. If your partner is a car enthusiast just like you, you may also be able to sign her up for adventure driving lessons for your next off road trip.

Finally, a highly impressive solution would be to surprise her with her very own car! Consider looking up Hertz Car Sales that offer a variety of well maintained used vehicles at highly affordable rates. By gifting her a car of her own, you can give your partner a sense of individuality and independence. Not only will you be able to make a great impression, but this can be an excellent way to show how you feel for her!

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Worldwide Photo Snapshot – June 2014

June 21st, 2014 No comments

Kabul Afghanistan June 2014. Picture courtesy of Paul LehmannKabul laughter. Picture courtesy of Paul Lehmann, Kabul Afghanistan June 2014

Just a quick Photo Snapshot from around the world today: 3 pictures taken this week at very different locations. It’s not all doom and gloom in Kabul, Afghanistan where 4 men somehow managing to fit on one motorbike can’t stop laughing. A delicious olive green Lotus Evora was snapped up by my friend Audrey in Paris, and I spotted my first Australian Jeep Cherokee today in Sydney, Australia. Click on the pictures to enlarge and enjoy!

Lotus Evora France June 2014. Picture courtesy Audrey FrancLotus Evora in Paris, France. Picture courtesy of Audrey Franc

Jeep Cherokee Sydney June 2014The all-new Jeep Cherokee has arrived in Australia! In Paddington, Sydney – June 2014 

 

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Collaboration post: Buying new or used?

June 20th, 2014 No comments

VW Golf GTI mk1 mk7. Picture courtesy of caricos.comVW Golf GTI old and new (US versions shown)

This question is as old as the automobile itself and different populations behave in very varied ways when it comes to responding to the ‘buying new or used’ question. For example in France, for each new car sold, 3 used cars are purchased whereas in India trust levels are so low that used car purchase is still relatively rare. Within each country each consumer also has its preferences but sometimes the question is very hard to answer and it can be a difficult decision to make. The pros and cons of each possibility do not change though, and it’s worthwhile going through them again so we can ensure we make the right purchase decision.

New

Less research Choosing a new car means you are cutting the amount of research you have to do prior to your purchase. If you think about it, new car options are relatively limited compared to used cars where on top of the brand, model and variant you have to take into account the age, price and state of the car. Websites and car dealers offering similar models are much more numerous and varied than if you opt for a new car. But the crux of it is the condition of used vehicles as you can never be too sure about it…

No Antecedent There is no prior history with a brand new vehicle. Used cars always raise question marks, especially the issues that can be seen with the naked eye or can be hidden by the seller. History documentation can nowadays generally be obtained, but there can still be this nagging voice in the back of your head that something may have slipped through the cracks. One option is to bring a mechanic with you to inspect the used vehicle you are about to purchase. New cars are a much less stressful option, with no antecedent.

Warranty The warranty situation with a new car is pretty clearcut and can be one element of deciding between different brands as warranties can differ widely in what they cover. With used vehicles, a warranty is sometimes relatively rare.

Used

Price The number one reason behind almost every used car purchase. Depreciation of a new car is sudden and can put many people off buying new. Count on average almost half of the value of the new vehicle lost within the first 18 months, whereas a used vehicle is already depreciated and therefore will lose much less value over time. Plus keep in mind if you are buying a car for resale value, it is almost impossible to make a profit, whereas it can still be the case with used cars, especially if you purchase a classic car.

Insurance The cheaper and the older your car is, the less you have to pay to insure it. Therefore insurance for new cars is much more expensive than for used cars.

Regardless of whether you’ve decided to buy new or used, John Hughes is Western Australia’s most trusted car dealer since 1969, and the place to go for New and Used Cars in Perth. John Hughes is the only dealer in Australia to offer the ZX Auto Grand Tiger and the Geely MK as new and used.

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Collaboration Post: How to afford the car of your dreams

June 20th, 2014 No comments

Lamborghini Aventador. Picture courtesy of dexigner.comLamborghini Aventador

Everyone remotely interested in cars has one car they only see themselves driving in their wildest dreams. It can be easier to achieve than you previously thought.

Don’t dismiss used

If your dream car is a classic car, unless you purchased it when it was still on sale, you will have to buy it new and depending on exactly what you are after this can be a relatively affordable experience. When thinking of a supercar like a Ferrari or Lamborghini, it’s all about buying the car at the right time, after it has devaluated greatly and before it gains value as a classic. The ‘right time’ to buy is very different for each car but a bit of online research can help finding that golden moment. Be aware on the running costs of such a purchase though such as insurance.

How about lease

Driving your dream car does not have to be a day-in-day-out thing and you also have the option to lease your dream car short term or long term. This can end up being much cheaper than owning the car outright. More and more companies specialise in short-term luxury rentals and you can feel like a Hollywood superstar for a fraction of the price.

Financing options

Once you have settled on a model and ownership option, sometime nicely packaged financing can make all the difference. Westralian Auto Finance has expert finance consultants experienced in finding the right finance to best suit your needs in terms of car purchase. They can help anyone looking for a great deal on car finance, first-time loan applications and people who have been turned down by the banks. They offer access to a wide range of specialist lenders, including access to a lender specialising in credit issues.

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Media post: Can you afford to own your dream car?

June 12th, 2014 No comments

Lamborghini Huracan 3 Geneva 2014The answer is no (as far as I am concerned)

Take a stroll around the royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea or the posher parts of Notting Hill or Holland Park and you will quickly notice that the streets are lined with expensive cars: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Porches, Aston Martins and Bentleys are as familiar a sight in many parts of London as wood pigeons or red phone boxes. Given the hefty price tags of these cars the conclusion would be that the capital is a wealthy place, a playground for the rich and famous from around the world.

Whilst this assumption is not without merit it is not the only explanation for the influx of Italian supercars on the streets of London. The fact is that owning your dream car is not as out of reach as you might think and many of those driving them aren’t famous actors or Russian Oligarchs, but normal nine to five guys and girls with a clear idea of what they want and how to get it. So what’s their secret?

Find the right dealer

Finding a dealership and assessing your options is the first step to owning that dream car. Dealers such as HR Owen specialise in new and used Lamborghinis and will discuss the type of finance options available to you. As well as traditional car loans there are other alternatives that might work for you such as Lease Purchase agreements and Personal Contract Purchase agreements where a guaranteed minimum future value is agreed with the finance company. With the low-interest finance packages available that dream of owning a Lamborghini could potentially be within reach.

Consider used

One option is to buy used; where once Lamborghinis and other supercars were once built in small numbers, modern high tech production techniques and computers has meant that in the past 10 to 15 years very powerful cars have been built in relatively large numbers. As a result finding one on the second hand market is much easier, and because there are more of these cars around, prices are more affordable.

It is also worth remembering that these cars are always highly desirable and in time will increase in price, meaning buying one is a much shrewder investment than a Ford Mondeo. Of course buying the car is just part of it, the on-going running costs can be considerable and it is important that you do your homework before buying. Depending on your age and history insuring a Lamborghini is still manageable and it is a case of shopping around for the best deal and checking out the specialist insurance companies.

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