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The Real Total Cost of Owning a Car

People tend to forget just how expensive it can be to own and operate an automotive vehicle. 

Gas prices aside, many other things can add up in a hurry.

Recently, Edmunds published an interesting report about which vehicles are the least expensive to own. 

The Results

A woman adding change to her piggy bankThey separated vehicles into several classes, from sedans to trucks, and applied a proprietary program to estimate a five-year cost of owning each new vehicle.

The Yaris
Unsurprisingly the Toyota Yaris topped two categories – sedans under $15,000, and coupes under $15,000. Read more

What is Depreciation and Why Do I Care?

Recently the National Automobile Dealers Association issued a media release stating that premium luxury vehicles hold the highest annual depreciation rate among automobiles.

Not a surprise, really, considering luxury cars start with high prices, and recent consumer preference for spending less on smaller vehicles due to gas prices.

Lasting Luxury

The NADA Official Used Car Guide data shows premium luxury coupes and sedans held four of the top 10 spots for vehicle depreciation for the year, with an average replacement rate of 43%. Read more

Honda Stays Small to Grow Big

Honda LogoIn May 2008, an amazing thing occurred in the automotive industry: the Honda Civic was declared the best-selling vehicle in America.

For eons, it seemed, Ford’s F-Series trucks claimed the throne.

No longer. Consumers have reacted strongly to rising gas prices and are going smaller. No surprise there.

Honda’s Small Car Strategy

Hundred Dollar bills stuffed in a car's gas tankWhat also is interesting is how seemingly stubborn stance to stick with its smaller, fuel-efficient cars – and void dabbling into the big truck or sport utility markets – is now paying dividends. Read more

Time of the Season – Out and About in a Convertible

Summertime is a great time to head out on a road trip, see some sights and blow off steam in a weekend getaway.

What’s better than doing it in a convertible?

Kelley Blue Book’s Top 25 Convertibles

Woman in a convertible
Kelley Blue Book recently listed its top 25 convertible models, starting with the pack leader, the Ford Mustang.

Some entrants are surprising, others not so much. They all bring to the table a feature or two attractive to all sorts of drivers, from more engine oomph to powerful sound systems to enjoy tunes while rolling down the highway in the open air. Read more

The Minivan: Taking Over for the SUV?

While the sport utility vehicle has taken a beating with high gas prices and concern for environmental impact, it kinda makes you wonder how the minivan has been spared a similar fate.

In fact, it seems to be moving in the other direction: minivans are just as popular today as ever.

People Love Their Minivans

A pretty girl in sunglasses kissing at the cameraWhy? Well, families are still very much attracted to all the things a minivan can do. Carry multiple passengers, haul large loads, skip over to school or go shop, moms and dads alike have become attached to their minivans. Read more

Volvo and the Car Safety Revolution

Ford might now own Volvo, but one thing hasn’t changed for the Swedish brand: a reputation for automobile safety.

Interest in improving driver and passenger safety in cars increases every year. Things like side-impact safety curtains were unheard of only a decade ago.

Beautiful lifeguard in a bikini

Sweden – Cutting Edge Safety

In fact recently, according to Reuters, the head of traffic safety for the Swedish road administration said we now are in the “biggest revolution in the auto industry since the seatbelt.”

And Volvo is at the forefront. The same news article stated Volvo’s plan to create an “injury-proof” car by 2020. Some industry analysts view the announcement as the company’s attempt to maintain its high level of consumer perceptions regarding safety Read more

Great New Vehicles for Less Than $20,000

It’s no secret that high gas prices and environmental sensitivity has changed the way Americans think about cars.

Gone are the days of Hummer or Avalanche beasts on roadways. In their place are smaller vehicles cheaper on the pocketbook and easier on the atmosphere.

You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune

Certain models have surfaced to the top of the list of new car sales. Many good, solid cars can be purchased for less than $20,000.

The following is a look at just a few. Some are pure fun, others add great fuel efficiency, and sometimes even some nice extra gizmos thrown in for good measure. Read more

Best Time to Buy a Used Car

A current saying in the real estate industry now also applies to the automotive industry: it’s a great time to buy a car.

Particularly a used vehicle.

April 2008 was the first time in more than 20 years that cars outsold trucks and sport utility vehicles. It was the worst month in a decade in terms of new-car sales, down a full 7 percent from the previous year.

A beautiful woman in a bikini on the beach

Changes in the Used Car Market

Meanwhile, since January 2008 used car prices have risen consistently, to today’s $13,000 average. 

On the other hand, wholesale used truck prices have dropped from about $16,500 a couple of years ago to today’s $14,000 average. Read more

Dealers Luring Buyers in Weak Economy

The sluggish economy has impacted auto dealers enough to nudge (actually push) them toward very special deals.

During times of economic uncertainty, people often hold on to their money and big ticket purchases (like cars and homes) take a plunge in the market as a result.

The lack of buying customers has the American auto industry a little concerned and left with a stockpile of vehicles that no one is buying.

A carrot dangling on a string in front of a man's hand

Car Dealers are Pulling Out All the Stops

A used car dealer in Bakersfield, California is circulating mailers offering a used car from their lot for just $26 down. Read more

How to Get the Low-Down on Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is one of the hottest topics these days.

Consumers are feeling the financial pinch at the pump, and for a totally different reason, environmentalists want less gas burned.

Regardless of the reason, people need to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles.

A pretty blond woman shrugging her shouldersOdds are good that you are in the same boat. Where can you learn more about your vehicle, or a car you want to buy?

Who Can You Trust?

The Internet can be a blessing – or a curse. 

Which information should you trust? 

Is what you’re reading coming from some huge company and the imagination of their spin doctors? Read more