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In This Depressed Market a Good Used Car Might Be a Better Option
It amazes me that so many first-time car owners buy new cars. Statistics prove that over 50% of new car owners will crash their new cars within the first year of ownership. Also considering that you lose approximately 20% in depreciation as soon as you leave the dealership, and that over 80% of all car buyers finance their purchases by the time you leave the dealership, you have negative equity. When you add in the finance costs, chances are your car is worth less than what your bank and or Hire Purchase Company has on file. Unless you got an amazing deal, can pay at least 40% or got an exceptional trade-in value for a car the dealer really wants, go for the option in the next paragraph.
At the end of any year, car dealers have scores – perhaps even hundreds of unsold new cars from the previous year. They need room for the new inventory. Whatever they ask for the earlier models, offer them 30% less to start. Go from dealer to dealer to search for your preferred brand. Once you find the car, and the dealer you intend to buy the vehicle from, go as soon as the dealer opens. Many marketers hate losing the first sale.
I don’t recommend buying used cars from people you don’t know, unless you really know about cars, or a trusted mechanic says the car, truck, bus or camper van is a very good buy.
True: in this depressed economy, many people are liquidating assets. However, the average person takes anywhere from 3 to 5 years to pay off their vehicle. Unless the seller had more than one, or the vehicle had very low mileage, or is a classic car, you may be looking at a 5-year-old car with a lot of worn parts. However, if you know the owner, his driving and or car maintenance habits, that is a completely different matter.
SAFETY BEFORE APPEARANCES: Many first-time car owners choose cars the way they look for their mates. They look first at the external aspects. There just might be a statistical relationship between the percentages and causes of divorces and the percentages and causes of vehicle accidents. Since one of my best friends owns a car yard, and since I’m a premarital counselor, let me give you some serious car tips. Yes, you guessed it: your body is also a vehicle. Ask your dealer: Does your car have a chassis? Look in the brochure for the steel frame the car sits on. Most modern cars are simply welded with some support mechanisms. Most of these are coffins on wheels. I will explain later.
VERY IMPORTANT: Visit a Junkyard in your neighborhood, if possible, before you buy your vehicle. That visit can save your life. I honestly believe that if visiting a car junkyard was a mandatory requirement before a person gets a driver’s license, car accidents would be reduced by 75%.
Check to see how many of the type of car you intend to buy are in that graveyard, and what caused their demise. If the roof is wrinkled on more than a few, it could mean they have a tendency to roll. Check the tires: if all of them show explosions after they slipped from the rims, then if the vehicle is very fast, it is easy to deduce that the drivers were speeding. You will know what not to do.
NOTE: Please be mindful of the amounts of fragile materials — rubber and soft metals — that you will be relying on to carry you through your physical journeys. While you’re there, take your hand, and with the bottom of your fist, hit any side of the car that isn’t ripped. If your fist can damage the soft metal, think what a vehicle traveling at 50 miles per hour can do. Lastly: while you’re there, look at the underside of the vehicle. You should get a wake-up call. When you see the soft tin cages sitting on some support beams, then you’ll see why I recommend you ask if your car has a chassis. Make sure you observe that the car wheels are not fixed on as securely as the ones you see on the racing circuit. In fact, quite the opposite: most of the time, especially those without a chassis, you will notice how easily the tires slide off the rims.
WHY IS IT SO?
When you slide around a corner in a car with a chassis – doing 40 MPH or more – as you slide around a corner, the supporting chassis stabilizes the vehicle as it turns. When you corner in a car without a chassis, you have minimal tensile support. Since you don’t know what the support level is, when you exceed the stress support level, there is nothing to support your slide except the welded strips under your car. Because there are not one or two firm and uninterrupted steel strips, but an aluminum-welded support–if you’re used to driving older model cars, you’ll feel the car rocking as it tries to adjust the turn. Green drivers try to counteract that adjustment by manually reversing their brakes. At that point, you interrupt the natural sway. Depending on your speed, chances are your tires could slide off the rims. If there is gravel or loose material, you could have a problem. After you buy your car, always take your newly owned vehicles for a spin to see how they handle. You need to get to know how your car handles in not so normal circumstances as soon as possible.
It seems that the dump site visit will be a wake-up call and trigger the following:
1. The need to maintain your car regularly.
2. Dispel any false safety beliefs you might have about vehicles.
3. Reduce your urge to drive carelessly, and unnecessarily fast.
4. Hopefully make you a responsible driver.
Buy wisely, and drive carefully — always.
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