Media post: Hire Purchase? Personal Contract? Leasing? Ways to Finance a New Car Compared

Car finance

There are a multitude of ways to finance a new car, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, and it can be difficult to work out which is the best overall. We’ve put together a quick comparison of some of the most common types.

Hire Purchase

You buy the car with a loan secured against the car itself, meaning that the vehicle is not fully yours until the full sum is paid off, and failure to pay could mean losing the collateral—in this case, the car. Many dealers offer this and it’s easy to arrange with low monthly repayments, but it’s fairly expensive over the full term of the loan so your money might go further if you can afford another option.

Personal Contract

This works similarly to hire purchase, but instead of paying back the full value of the car, you pay it less the car’s resale value and at the end of the term of the loan you have the option to either return the vehicle to the dealership or buy the car outright. This is nice because it keeps your options open, though its an expensive option overall with one big bill at the end if you want to keep the car.


You lease the car long term from the dealer for a set period of time. Monthly payments are a little higher and there is sometimes a deposit to pay, but you always know how long you will have the vehicle for, and the dealership covers service costs within the leasing period as long as you stay within an agreed mileage. Because you don’t own the car with leasing, you also don’t need to worry about resale value.

The Verdict

Owning things is overrated—for our money the winner is leasing, which is flexible when you arrange it, so it can suit your needs, and then has fixed terms, so you have peace of mind that you always know what you need to contribute and what you can expect from the arrangement. The true beauty of this form of finance is just how stable it is and how it keeps unexpected costs that you’re not ready for to a minimum.

Media post: Keep Your Dealership Secure and Profitable With the Power of Information

Car dealership. Picture courtesy of

If you’re aiming to make a business of buying and selling cars, there’s one thing you’re always going to need more of, and that’s information. Anything and everything you can find out about the vehicles you stock will be valuable, especially if you deal in used cars.

What You Need

What you need is a car checking system—access to some sort of database that will tell you everything you need to know about vehicles as you acquire them, even things the sellers don’t know or don’t want to share.

How it Helps

Access to this information can net you a number of benefits. Knowing the full specifications of a vehicle can help you maximise profits and conversion rates by highlighting all the car’s best features. A complete record will also clue you in to what’s going on under the hood, which is especially important if you’re working in the used car industry, where a motor’s storied past can affect its performance.

This allows you to accurately price the cars you sell. Not only does this mean you’ll never let a vehicle go for less than it’s worth because of what you don’t know, it also protects you from the risk of overcharging a customer for a vehicle that’s in less than stellar condition.

Mitigating Risk

When your dealership is in its infancy, the last thing you want is the liability for mis-selling a vehicle, and all the financial consequences and damage to your reputation that come with it.

A good vehicle database will also have a record of a car’s history. One in three vehicles has pertinent information hidden in its past. This includes not only any repairs, replacements, or modifications that might affect its value, but also whether the vehicle has ever been written off or stolen. You expose yourself to significant risk of loss if you sell a vehicle without knowing about any of these—or, in the case of a stolen car, if you sell it at all.

Which to Use

So you can see the value of car checking systems, but as a parting word, we recommend you seek out a system designed and optimised for business use. Some are meant primarily for consumer information, and these will be comparatively poor value for your purposes.

Media post: Three of The Top 4×4 Jeeps of All-Time

1975-jeep-cj-51975 Jeep CJ-5

Early 70’s Jeep CJ-5 or CJ-6

Here we have one of the final Jeep models that were strongly against the automatic transmission as an option, in fact for these early CJ models it was either manual transmission, or you were SOL. For those of us that love to go off-roading or mudding, there is only one real choice, and that is stick shift or scram.

They came with manual transmission options of either the T-15 three-speed or the T-18 four-speed, and had a stretched wheelbase of 84 or even 104 inches in length to accommodate the AMC six-cylinder base engine. They had optional upgrades such as the 258 inline six-cylinder. Then if you toss in the fact they had a superb power brake option with 11-inch drum brakes, there is no debating it belongs on this abbreviated top 5 list.

1986 CJ-7

Jump forward more than a decade later, and we will introduce the CJ-7 from 1986 into the mix. By this point the Jeep engineers have learned a lot from their earlier CJ models, and it is safe to say they have discovered a way to master the build for this CJ-7. With a 30-spline Dana 44 and a Trac-Lok differential makes the CJ-7 a masterpiece, and for some, they consider it the leader when it comes to off-road performance, spliced with modern age comforts.

It didn’t come with the large V-8 option that early CJ-7 models had been known to come with, but it had a very strong inline six with 258 horsepower, and a much wider track for better performance. Many would opt for the hardtop, and you have yourself one very reliable and vintage looking Jeep to hit the trails with.

Early 2000’s XJ

The XJ was planned to have been killed off in 2002, but Chrysler Corporate decided they would make the cut from their lineup a year earlier than planned. This sent a lot of Jeep and off-road enthusiasts scrambling to acquire a 2000-2001 variation of the XJ. This decision by Chrysler could have more or less helped the XJ solidify itself on our list of these 3 Top off-road Jeep models, solely because of its story and demand.

One note worth mentioning is if you can find an early 2000 factory made, you can probably find one that has a high-pinion XJ axles to avoid the use of low-pinion axles which came later that year, and followed through into 2001, likely due to the fact they knew this was the last dance for the XJ at that time.

Recapping These 3 Jeeps

The 1970s CJ models were incredibly durable, and most of all had the most power for its size, when compared to these other two. But where the smaller CJ models lacked, the CJ-7 made up for plenty in the mid 80’s with a much wider track, to provide greater traction for off-roading. What interested us the most of these 3 models, was the XJ. Not because of its early death from production, but because in stock, it truly was in a league of its own. Most other Jeeps you will need to add several aftermarket parts, from a dealership like Clear Lake Jeep of Houston, where as the XJ was able to handle the trials of trail right off the lot.

Media post: Cities with the Worst Traffic


Despite advances in public transportation and ride sharing, in most cities around the world you can still spend a lot of time stuck in traffic. And, as Brennan Dodge of Ruston, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Ruston, LA, humorously relates “This is time that you lose forever.” What we find interesting, though, is that few people factor this into a decision of where to live. That may be a mistake because if you are moving to another city, you might want to look into the traffic flow there. Life is short, don’t invest your time in traffic jams. Just to make you feel better, though, there are probably cities that are worse than where you live or are moving to–in fact, far worse. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Worst in the US

You might be tempted to say that New York City is the most traffic congested city in the United States. However, according to TomTom, the Amsterdam-based GPS company, the most traffic-clogged city in the United States is actually Los Angeles. Commuters in Los Angeles spent an average of 41% more time stuck in traffic than what normally-flowing traffic takes. Just for clarity purposes, here’s what that statistic means: if traffic jams cause commuters to spend 30 minutes getting to or from the office, compared to 20 minutes for the same trip when there are no traffic jams, then the daily delay amounts to 50%. In other words, it takes 50% longer than usual to get to the office. So, Los Angeles isn’t quite at 50% but is pretty close at 41%.

Worst on Earth

The distinction of the absolute worse city to commute in must be Los Angeles, right? Well, no, that distinction would easily go to Mexico City where its drivers spend 59% more time getting to and from work when traffic is jammed up. And that’s the daily average – Mexico City motorists spend a whopping 97% extra time behind the wheel during the morning rush hour!

Other Cities

Los Angeles: 41% average extra travel time

Salvador: 43% extra travel time

Moscow: 44% extra travel time

Rio de Janerio: 47% extra travel time

Bangkok: 57% extra travel time

Mexico City: 59% extra travel time

The future

Hopefully the traffic will be flowing better in the city you live near, in the future. Most US cities have infrastructure improvements going on to achieve that result. However, its not so cut-and-dry. TomTom states that congestion is getting better for some cities and worse for others. America may be the worst. The United States leads the globe with a 17% jump in congestion over the last eight years. By contrast, traffic in Europe, which remains in the financial doldrums, experienced an increase in demand by only 2% since 2008. Traffic congestion in Southern European nations like Italy and Spain has actually been on the decline over the last decade, by -7% and -13%, respectively.

Media post: The Dodge Challenger Scat Pack


Talk to a typical Dodge Challenger Hellcat owner about their car and they will likely tell you that it’s the finest muscle car ever built. And, you know what? It’s hard to argue. With modern technology and 707 HP, the Challenger Hellcat is one heck of a performance car. Problem is, though, who can afford one? With a starting prices of $62,000, many people can’t afford a Hellcat.

The 1968-1972 Scat Pack

Fortunately, Dodge has a close second choice prepared, just for that very reason: the Challenger Scat Pack. The name will sound familiar to those who were around back in the 60s. From 1968 until 1972, Dodge offered the Scat Pack package in the Dart Swinger 340, Coronet Super Bee, Challenger and Charger R/T. The Scat Pack package varied by model but included things like triple carburation, free-flow exhaust, special graphics, extra gauges and other performance goodies. The vintage car guys at Century 3 Kia of West Mifflin, a local Kia dealer in West Mifflin, PA, tell us they were very popular models and genuine original examples are quite valuable today.

The 2016 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack

Today, we have the reincarnation of the famous Dodge Challenger Scat Pack model. It is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.4-liter Hemi offering a healthy 485 horsepower, all while maintaining a very affordable $37,995 starting price. For an additional $4,800 you can get the outstanding Shaker Package added. For 2017, this option offers the instantly recognizable hood protrusion, badging, tasteful black touches and lots of interior upgrades. Let’s take a closer look.

The 2016 Scat Pack Exterior

The Challenger Scat Pack is retro but tasteful, has huge C-pillars and classic muscle car colors. The running lights and tail lights are ultra-bright LEDs and the vehicle comes stock with bold 20-inch wheels. For those that want some “outrageousness,” go for the Shaker Package.

The 2016 Scat Pack Powertrain

Starting with a 392 cube V8 Hemi offering 485 ponies and 475 foot-pounds of torque, this car has the power. Optional is a six-speed manual gearbox and active exhaust for real throwback muscle car fun. Fuel efficiency isn’t too bad at 14/23 miles per gallon. Owners say that they get around 17 MPG average. The car comes with Good Year rubber, Brembo brakes and Bilstein sport suspension.

The 2016 Scat Pack Interior

The dash offers vintage flair with a retro-looking gauge cluster and to the right is the 8.4-inch UConnect touchscreen infotainment system. With the Shaker upgrade you get heated and ventilated leather seats., a power telescoping steering column and sport pedals.

The 2016 Scat Pack Tech

The tech end of the Challenger is largely focused on keeping Mopar performance at the center of attention. That being said, a $845 upgrade gets you an 506 watt audio system with 9 alpine speakers and a sub-woofer. Smart safety tech touches like Dodge’s ParkSense rearview camera, hill start assist, rain brake support, forward braking alerts, and all speed traction control are all standard.

Wrap up

The Shaker-equipped Scat Pack makes for a very tempting Hellcat alternative. It may not have the nameplate or the insane power, but it does have a traditionalist’s approach to performance that does not disappoint.

Media post: A Look at the Most Common Engine Problems in Trucks

1959 Chevrolet-NAPCO Apache 31 Deluxe Fleetside Pickup truck

When your truck starts to act up it’s never a fun time. Often we jump to the worst case scenario imagining a ridiculously high repair bill. It’s important to understand there are actually a number of engine problems that can occur in diesel trucks, and not all of them are as serious and expensive to repair as the others. Here’s a look at the most common diesel truck repair & service procedures that take place.

Engine Issues

The engine can cause all kinds of issues, typically these can be attributed to compression that isn’t up to par or engine timing that just isn’t right. The mechanic will typically look at things like the valves, piston rings, cylinders, injectors, and filters if there are engine issues. One of the tell-tale signs of an engine problem is smoke.

Dirty Fuel

It’s amazing how much damage dirty fuel can cause. It will circulate through the fuel filters clogging them up, the air filters, and the motor. If the clogs become severe enough it will get to the point where the motor won’t be able to receive the fuel, which means you won’t even be able to start your truck. The typical fix for this problem is to replace the air and fuel filters. The fuel lines and fuel pump should also be checked as well as the ECM and injectors. To prevent this from happening try to fill up at reputable gas stations only and get the highest grade fuel your truck will allow.

Hauling Too Heavy of a Load

Trucks haul all kinds of loads and sometimes either knowingly or by accident they can be overloaded. Unfortunately, when this happens you risk overheating the engine, as it will be forced to work much too hard. If you’re trying to climb steep hills, this is even more likely to happen. It is suggested you gear down to help in these kinds of situations. Obviously, the best way to avoid this problem from happening is to not overload your truck.

EGR is Acting Up

If you have found that your engine is idling extremely rough lately, then you may have an issue with the EGR, which is the exhaust gas recirculation. The sensor is extremely sensitive on the EGR and can even give false readings from time to time, so this is a problem you’ll want to have looked at by a professional. If you need to replace the valve and EGR sensor then you can expect this repair job to run you a few hundred dollars.

Check Engine Light is On

Unfortunately this light alone isn’t enough to tell the full story. When you see this light come on, it’s time to visit the mechanic. It could be anything from the emissions, to the electronics, to the parts itself.

Best Not to Take Chances

If you suspect there are some engine problems going on with your truck it’s best not to take any chances. Putting off having it looked at can make the problem worse, and end up costing you more to repair in the end.

Media post: Automobile brands lost to history

marquis-de-soto-picture-courtesy-auto-bild-deMarquis De Soto

Carmakers build specific car models to appeal to specific market segments. Take General Motors for example. You could say that their Chevrolet line is essentially slotted for the working class and the Cadillac, well, to the upper class. Over the course of time things change, though. A model that was once targeted to a specific segment just won’t work anymore and it gets discontinued. Consulting the automotive experts at Stork, we have resurrected 4 models that were once big names but now are almost forgotten.


From 1927 to 1940, LaSalle was one of the most prestigious brands in America. It was a General Motors model designed to occupy the niche above Buick but below Cadillac. In fact, they were often referred to as “The Poor Man’s Cadillac.” LaSalles were great cars and outsold Cadillacs from 1933 to 1940. The brand used to have tremendous brand loyalty but for some reason GM decided to discontinue the brand in 1941.


The Nash Automobile Company was started in 1916. Based in Kenosha, WI, Nash was small but highly innovative. For example, in 1939 Nash introduced the “Weather Eye,” a heating and ventilation system that became the template for every modern HVAC system made today. In 1941, they introduced the Nash 600, the first unibody automobile built in America. Today, virtually every car built anywhere uses the same construction methods. And in 1951 they launched the Nash-Healey, a Pininfarina-designed sports car that predated the Corvette by several years. In 1954, Nash merged with Hudson to form the American Motors Corporation (AMC) and in 1988, AMC was bought by Chrysler Corporation.


De Soto was Chrysler’s mid-market automobile. It was designed to compete with cars such as the Mercury and Oldsmobile. Launched in 1929, it set a record as the best-selling first-year model ever built. De Soto offered bold, luxurious cars that were tremendously popular but a changing segment doomed the brand. Chrysler retired DeSoto in 1960, at least in the US. They continued to sell trucks badged as DeSotos in Europe, South America and Australia. There has been talk of Chrysler bring the brand back to life at some point.


In 1972, General Motors partnered with Japanese automaker Isuzu to build the LUV pickup truck. The LUV truck was a modest success but basically introduced the Isuzu brand to America. By the 1980s, the Isuzu brand was robust and they released both the rugged Trooper SUV and Impulse sports car. These vehicles were quite successful but by the time the 1990s rolled around many of the western economies were having a rough time economically. In an effort to boost sales, General Motors started to sell Isuzus under the Geo badge in addition to the Isuzu brand. Isuzu’s final two models, the Vehicross and Axiom, were boldly innovative but they did little to reverse the fortunes of the brand. General Motors shut the doors on its Isuzu-based vehicles in 1998.

Media post: Top 3 Reasons to Buy a Used Luxury Car Over a New One

Why would you consider buying a pre-owned high-end vehicle instead of choosing a new car? The lower cost is the most obvious answer, but there are many things to consider before choosing whether to buy a premium car that is brand new or choosing a used one.

  1. Avoid waiting lists

Most new car dealerships might not have the stock in store and increasing your wait for your new car. This will be even longer if you are buying a premium car, as their production volumes are smaller. If you wanted to buy, for example, a new Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, you’ll have to patiently wait around 2 years to get your car ready. However, you could drive it away on the same day if you find a pre-owned one.

Buying a used prestige car from a dealer could help you avoiding a long waiting list. Stratstone, for example, offers a range of more than 1800 used premium cars, helping you find the one that better suits. They can even move it to your nearest dealer, so you can browse their whole range online and get your car delivered near your house.

  1. Save money

Used cars are the cheapest. An average car depreciates around a 20% of its value per year for the first 3 years, so if you pay £100.000 for a car, it will be worth £40.000 just three years after buying it. Even as soon as you get it on the road your car loses 12% of its value. In other words, if you don’t mind getting a car that is three years old, you can pay about a 40% of its original price. What’s even better, after the first three years, cars depreciation rate reduces notably, so your car will keep a significant value over the years. Big used car dealerships offer more competitive prices that private sellers. Stratstone commit to beating any other offer in the market, helping you find the best deal.

  1. Cheaper maintenance

Cheaper cars are easier and less costly to maintain, we all know that. But if you are thinking of saving money maintaining a premium car you should think about buying a used car. Parts and repairs are more expensive for a new car than for a car that is slightly older. Long-life components of a car are usually costlier to fix or replace, and they will be more difficult to get if you don’t bring your car to an official dealership. However, there is a greater offer of aftermarket parts for cars that have already been in the market for a few years, plus technicians will already have experience fixing this kind of cars in particular, reducing the number of hours needed to make your car look spotless.

Media post: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story infographic


Discover the full infographic here

“British car dealership Motorparks has celebrated the highly anticipated release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with an infographic which ponders how iconic vehicles from the Star Wars universe would fare when put up against similar vehicles that we have here on Earth. Take a look at the full visual below and discover battles such as Anakin Skywalker’s Podracer against the WM-P88 Peugeot Le Mans car and a three-way contest between Luke Skywalker’s X-34 Landspeeder, the Mazda MX-5 and the Jeep Wrangler. You’ll also find some fascinating facts and stats about each vehicle covered throughout the graphic…”

Discover the full infographic here