Blog - Russo Auto Sales

Why You Should Get a Vehicle History Report that Includes a Lien Check 2017-11-16

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at www.mvsabc.com

Find out why You Should Get a Vehicle History Report that Includes a Lien Check.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

Why You Should Get a Vehicle History Report that Includes a Lien Check - Link to Video

6 Steps You Should Take Before Buying a Vehicle From a Private Seller 2017-11-08

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at www.mvsabc.com

6 Steps You Should Take Before Buying a Vehicle From a Private Seller.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

6 Steps You Should Take Before Buying a Vehicle From a Private Seller - Link to Video

How to Spot a Curber or Fake Private Seller 2017-11-01

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at www.mvsabc.com

How to Spot a Curber or Fake Private Seller. Tips on buying a vehicle privately.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

How to Spot a Curber or Fake Private Seller - Link to Video

Buying a Vehicle Privately - Be Very Careful! 2017-10-25

Originally posted by Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia at www.mvsabc.com

Buying a Vehicle Privately - Be Very Careful! Tips on buying a vehicle privately.

Check out the link to a great clip which is part of a series of informative videos from the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia.

Buying a Vehicle Privately- Be Very Careful!  - Link to Video

How to Sell Your Car 2017-10-19

Originally posted from www.animalhearted.com

There are many reasons you may decide it's time to sell your used car. Maybe your family is growing and you need something bigger, or maybe you want to celebrate that new job with something sportier. Whatever the reason, selling your used car should be a pleasant experience for you and the buyer. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a smooth transaction.

What information do I need to sell my used vehicle?

Depending on where you live and whether you're selling your used car privately or trading it in to a dealer, there are different pieces of information you'll want to arm yourself with to negotiate your used car sale. Hang on to your vehicle's service records so you can show potential buyers how well the car's been cared for, and make sure you buy a vehicle history report (VHR) to be transparent about the vehicle's history. A VHR can alert you to accident history, registration history, unfixed safety recalls, lien status and more, showing the buyer that you have nothing to hide. And even if your vehicle does have accident history, studies show that 61% of used car buyers are open to a car that's been in an accident, and being upfront and honest with this information and proving that any repairs have been done properly will go a long way in building trust with your customer. (Source: Into the Minds of Consumers).

How do I sell a used car in my province?

Every Canadian province has different rules, regulations and requirements around buying or selling a used car privately, and there are even differences when it comes to trading a vehicle in to a dealership. Depending on where you live, you may need a used vehicle information package (UVIP), emissions test, safety standard certificate or other provincial requirements. We've compiled the information you need no matter which province or territory you live in, in this helpful guide.

What is the value of my car?

Setting a fair price is important to a smooth used car transaction. Set the price too high and you'll miss out on leads, set your price too low and you won't get as much as you'd like towards your next vehicle. It's tempting to just browse the listing sites and set your vehicle's price alongside what comparable cars are listed for, but list prices and sold prices are very different things.

There are many factors that contribute to your vehicle's accurate value, including its history, odometer reading and condition. Has anyone smoked in the car? Has it been used as a taxi or previous daily rental? Has it ever been in an accident? Does it come with winter tires? Ask yourself what extra features your car may have that can increase its value, as well as what's happened over the course of its lifetime to decrease its value.

Should I trade in my car to a dealer?

Selling your car privately or trading it in to a dealership is not an easy decision - there are pros and cons to both - weigh them out and decide which is the best move for you.

Trading in your car can be a simple way to go - the dealer will take care of all the paperwork, they'll fix any little dents or scratches and you won't have to worry about posting advertisements, taking people for test drives or answering a lot of questions about the vehicle. Depending on where you live, you could also save some money on taxes by trading it in to a dealership when you're purchasing a replacement vehicle.

Should I sell my car privately?

When you trade your car in to a dealer you might not get as much for the car as you would by selling it privately. Think of it as work - work that you pay yourself for - but only you can decide whether this work is worth the potential reward.

You will spend time and money reconditioning, detailing, preparing, listing and marketing the vehicle, not to mention communicating and meeting with potential buyers, and this work will likely earn you more money for your vehicle. If you chose to sell your car privately, a CARPROOF Vehicle History Report will be a big help in justifying your asking price to any potential customers. Show them the vehicle's condition and history and give them peace of mind that the vehicle is what you say it is, and that you're a trustworthy seller.

Where should I list my car for sale?

Online listing sites like AutoTRADER, Kijiji and Used.ca are among the most popular places for Canadian used car buyers to start their search. Make sure your listing stands out from the rest by including all the information a customer might want to know - including information about the vehicle's accident history, lien status, registration history and more. Include good quality photographs, accurate odometer readings and any extra bits of information that will help show buyers that your car is the right one for them.

Should I scrap my car?

Maybe you've had your car listed for a while and you're just not getting any bites. Maybe the offers you're getting just aren't worth the hassle. Maybe you just want to do something good for your community. Whatever your reasoning, scrapping your vehicle is a viable option for many, and one that can earn you some money or a valuable tax receipt, and help your community at the same time.

There are many charities that will accept pre-loved vehicles to be used for youth employment-training programs, and many will give you a hefty charitable tax receipt that may be worth more than you could get selling the car. This is something to consider for those who own vehicles that are well past their prime.

There are many routes to choose between when you sell a used car. Whichever way you go, make sure you have all the information a buyer may look for on-hand, and be transparent about the vehicle's history and current condition - it'll go a long way in building trust with your buyer and facilitating a fair, timely sale.

How to Sell Your Car - Link to original story

Light trucks now dominate the Canadian car market 2017-10-07

Originally posted by Larry Lantz (TADA President) on from www.thestar.com

Pickups have become a new status symbol among car buyers - and sales to female drivers are on the rise.

In the first quarter of 2017, of the top five selling vehicles in Canada, four were pickups.

One of the dominant trends in the auto industry over the past four decades has been the steady rise of pickups and SUVs as a market segment. 

In the 1960s and '70s, pickups occupied a niche market among farming communities and construction companies. They were the preferred mode of transportation because pickups were inexpensive, practical, dependable, and versatile. 

Today, pickups, SUVs and vans (light trucks) now dominate the automotive landscape; light trucks have made serious inroads among urban car buyers of all ages and backgrounds. 

In 2016, sales of passenger cars declined 7.6 per cent over 2015, while light truck sales rose 8.8 per cent. In the first quarter of 2017, of the top five selling vehicles in Canada, four were pickups. 

The popularity of light trucks can be traced to the late 1980s, when General Motors introduced independent front suspension on its Sierra and Silverado pickups, which led to improved handling and a lower ride (since then, other automakers have followed suit).

Prior to independent front suspension, full-size pickups boasted front axles that raised the bodies eight to 12 inches (203 to 304 millimetres) higher than vehicles with two-wheel drive. 

The 1990s gave rise to heavy competition in the pickup market with new designs from GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda have since entered the pickup market as important niche players.

In the 1990s, as pickups gained popularity, automakers added new features, such as sport packages, extended cabs, short cabs, greater load and towing capacity, increased interior space, more four- and all-wheel drive options, and higher ground clearance.

Some of today's luxury pickups are equipped with the same features found on luxury cars, such as auto dimming headlights, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled or ventilated leather seats, multi-view rear-view cameras and other high-tech items.

Other factors contributing to the boom in light truck sales have included lower fuel costs, lower interest rates, trucks as status symbols and an abundance of customization options available.

Low fuel costs have meant that consumers are spending less money on gas and putting that extra money into buying pricier trucks and SUVs.

Many manufacturers have offered low financing rates (including zero per cent) in recent years, making trucks and SUVs more affordable.

Auto leasing, too, has made a comeback; consumers are now leasing higher-priced light trucks due to affordable lease rates.

Another driving force behind the surge in light truck sales has been sales to women. From 2010 to 2015, sales of SUVs to women rose 34 per cent, compared to a 22 per cent increase to men. During the same period, premium small SUVs sales to women rose 177 per cent.

Some manufacturers have targeted women in promoting certain SUVs, such as the Buick Encore. Two years ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles collaborated with country singer Miranda Lambert to promote Ram Trucks - specifically targeting female customers.

More recently, smaller SUVs - which include five-seat crossovers to modified hatchbacks - have made a big impact on the industry. In my area (Hanover, Ont.), these vehicles are particularly popular with seniors, who prefer the higher seating for easy accessibility and four-wheel drive for winter driving.

Last but not least, pickups have become a new status symbol among car buyers. Even for those who don't use a pickup for work or hauling boats, the idea of owning a large, masculine pickup is hugely appealing. It conveys an image of toughness.

All indications point to the light truck sales trend continuing in the years ahead. Of course, a sudden spike in oil prices or interest rates could affect sales, but pickups and SUVs have proved remarkably resilient in the face of changing market conditions. 

Light trucks now dominate the Canadian car market - Link to original story

5 Reasons Why Dogs Love Car Rides 2017-10-04

Originally posted from www.animalhearted.com

dogs ride in the car

Is your dog crazy about going for a ride in the car, preferably with the window open? Why do dog love riding in the car so much? Dog behavior experts have lots of theories. Here are some that might explain why your own dog loves it.

dog riding in car 

1. The nose knows

Dogs have over 200 million receptacles in their noses for receiving scent messages. In comparison, humans have 50 million. A ride in the car with the window open is an intense sensory experience for your dog. As the car moves and the scents change, your dog is constantly getting updated information about the world around him. 

2. Home on wheels

Your dog views the family car as an extension of the family home. This is why some dogs left in a parked car will bark like crazy when someone comes by. When in the car with you, they feel like they are in their home with their family. They will naturally want to be with you in this mobile version of the home, and are just as eager to protect it in the same way they protect the house.

dog in car

3. It feels like hunting

Some dog behaviorists think that riding in a car feels like hunting to a dog. The forward motion of the car surrounded by other moving cars makes your dog feel like she is part of a pack on a hunting expedition. This sensation is said to give your dog a feeling of euphoria.

4. The spirit of adventure

Dogs tend to be naturally curious and outgoing, so they love it when something new and exciting happens. A car ride is a great adventure for them, full of new sights, smells, and sounds.much more fun that just hanging around at home waiting for the mailman to show up.

5. The promise of a treat

Many dogs know that part of the fun of a car ride is the opportunity to stop for a delicious people food snack. Taking your dog out for a Sunday afternoon drive? He might just be wise to the fact that the McDonald's drive-thru or a few licks of an ice cream cone are in his future.

dog in a car

Don't forget a few common-sense safety rules when you take your dog out in the car. Dogs are safest in the rear of the car in either a harness or crate. It's fun for your dog to sit unrestrained in the front seat and stick his head out the window, but that might not be the safest thing. It's also a good idea to keep small dogs out of your lap when driving. And of course, never leave your dog in a hot car.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Love Car Rides - Link to original story

Canadian Consumers & the Cars They're Looking For 2017-09-28

Originally posted by Guillaume Rivard from www.auto123.com

Fall is high season in the automotive business

After the annual summer lull, fall brings us back to earth and back to business. That includes the auto manufacturers, who double down with new model launches and new arrivals at dealerships.

And that, of course, is because consumers shop for cars in greater numbers at this time of year as well. A recent study by the Environics Research Group shows that the month of September is one of the busiest months for car purchases, behind only May (12%) and June (14%).

The survey reveals some other interesting statistics as well, for example:

  • - The car-purchase process, from beginning to end, takes on average just under three months (2.7 to be exact);
  •  
  • - 18% of buyers take between two weeks and a month to make their purchase;  
  •  
  • - Only 16% of buyers run through the entire shopping and buying process in less than two weeks;  
  •  
  • - 47% of potential buyers set out to buy a used vehicle, and conversely 53% look for a new one. In the end, 44% wind up buying pre-owned, and 56% drive home in a new vehicle.

So what models are Canadian consumers considering during their shopping process? Here's a list of the most commonly searched vehicles in this country since June 2017:
 
1.    Ford Mustang
2.    Honda Civic
3.    Ford F-150
4.    Chevrolet Corvette
5.    Chevrolet Camaro
6.    Dodge RAM
7.    Dodge Charger
8.    Honda CR-V
9.    Jeep Wrangler
10.    Toyota RAV4

Canadian Consumers and the Cars They're Looking For - Link to original story

So you've had a fender-bender in B.C.? 2017-09-21

So you've had a @$%*! fender-bender in B.C.? Here's how police respond

Originally posted by Nick Eagland from www.vancouversun.com.com

Whether it's a fender-bender or multi-car pileup, police often have plenty of investigative work to do before the road can be cleared.

Roughly 270,000 crashes are reported to ICBC each year and 55,000 of them are "casualty crashes" involving an injury or a fatality. When police are called - particularly for serious injury or death - investigations can be lengthy, involve charges and require a collision reconstructionist to do a forensic analysis of the scene. 

Investigators are trained to quickly assess whether a crash was caused by impaired driving, medical condition or mechanical failure, but it can take additional time to gather information depending on the circumstances, said Const. Melissa Wutke of RCMP E-Division traffic services.

"Police must determine the reason for the crash or contributing factors . such as if the driver isn't licensed or has outstanding warrants. In addition, the officer is taking into account the weather, condition of the road and other factors present," she said.

Sgt. Sukh Sidhu of the Delta Police Department's traffic section said the process following a minor accident typically goes as follows:

. Upon arriving at the scene, officers ensure the area is safe for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and first responders, often by rerouting traffic with cones or a parked cruiser with flashing lights.

. Confirm that anyone injured in the crash is being attended to by first responders and identify everyone involved in the crash.

. Take info and written or audio statements from everyone involved as well as any witnesses. Collect smartphone and dash-cam footage and identify potential sources of security footage nearby.

. Conduct a thorough investigation of the scene and complete an MV6020 accident report (for crashes involving injury, fatality, vehicle damage over $1,000 or property damage). Provide a copy to the drivers or registered owners of the vehicles involved.

. Have the vehicles moved or towed. Make sure everyone involved has a safe way home. The tow-truck driver typically cleans up any debris and firefighters may do a washdown of any fuel or oil.

. After the scene is cleared, complete a primary report and submit it to a police database. Forward the MV6020 report to ICBC.

ICBC asks drivers to record each others' name, licence and contact information, licence plate details, year, make and model of car as well as the names and contact information of witnesses. They can then report a claim at icbc.com or call 604-520-8222 or 1-800-910-4222.

So you've had a @$%*! fender-bender in B.C.? Here's how police respond - Link to original story

Buying a used car or truck? Steer clear of scams and fraud 2017-09-13

Originally posted by Alexandra Posadzki from www.theglobeandmail.com


Photos.com


July Ono had been buying used cars online for years without problems.

So she was stunned when she got a panicked phone call three years ago from a friend saying the Jeep Ono bought a month earlier was being towed away by a bailiff.

In hindsight, Ono says she had been suspicious of the tall, charming stranger who had posted his car for sale on Craigslist.

Story continues below advertisement

"I was sitting there going, July, there's just something wrong with this person," said the 50-year-old real estate investment adviser. "But I just couldn't figure out what it was."

Ono took the vehicle for a test drive and had it inspected at a dealership. Everything seemed to be in working order.

It was only when Ono got the late-night call while out of town on business that she discovered the seller had used it as collateral on a loan a month earlier.

Online car classifieds can offer convenience and bargain prices, but experts recommend taking to protect yourself from scammers and "curbsiders," full-time fraud artists pretending to be private sellers.

About one in five Canadians who buy or sell used cars online encounter scammers or fraud, according to a recent report by the Automobile Consumer Coalition.

Out of more than 1,000 people polled, 13 per cent said they were contacted by fraudulent buyers who offered to overpay for their car with a phoney cheque, asking the seller to refund the difference.

Another 12 per cent came across listings posted by suspected curbsiders.

Yet 76 per cent of respondents said they weren't worried about fraud.

Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population, according to the polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association.

Approximately 600,000 of the three million used cars that Canadians buy and sell each year are sold on sites like Craigslist and Kijiji, according to research compiled by the coalition.

"This problem is going to get worse and worse," said Mohamed Bouchama, director of the Toronto-based consumer advocacy group.

"More people are using the Internet because of the convenience. Lots of people don't want to go visit five, six, seven dealerships."

George Iny, director of the Automobile Protection Association, recommends looking for mid-priced cars rather than going for the cheapest one listed when you're shopping for used vehicles.

Story continues below advertisement

"Don't be a price junkie," said Iny. "The seller always knows more than you. If the car is priced below market, it's almost always for a reason."

Buying junk will often cost you more in the long run, as you foot the bill for pricey repairs.

"The cost of taking something that's in average condition and making it good condition is higher than the premium you'd pay just to buy the same vehicle in good condition," said Iny.

When buying a used car, Iny and Bouchama both recommend getting it inspected before you fork over the cash. You can either take the vehicle to a garage, or look for a mobile inspector who will come to you.

Always ask to see the vehicle ownership and the seller's driver's licence to make sure the names match, said Bouchama.

Check the car's history, which will show you how many times the car transferred ownership, if it was a write-off or if it's been in a major accident.

Bouchama suggests buying from a dealer because of the added level of accountability. But if you're going to do so, Iny recommends keeping a sharp eye out for hidden fees.

Provincial laws in Ontario, Quebec, B.C. and Alberta require all-in pricing, but violations do occur.

"The advantage of the dealers is that if there is a problem, there's somebody you can sue," said Iny.

"A private seller may not be around, or you won't find them if they're a curber."

If you're selling your car online, be very cautious any time someone offers more than the car is worth, said Bouchama.

He also recommends taking a bank draft or cash - never certified cheques because they're easily forged.

Consider setting up a temporary email and phone number to conduct the sale, and always bring someone with you when meeting a potential buyer.

"You never know who you're dealing with," said Bouchama. "There are some scary people out there, especially if you have a very nice car to sell."

An extreme example is the recent death of a 32-year-old Ontario man who was killed after he took two men for a test drive in the Dodge Ram truck he was selling.

Despite the fact that the Internet is an accessible platform for scammers and fraud artists, it also provides consumers with a wealth of information.

"If you want to know how much to pay, the Internet has really empowered buyers," said Iny. "It's made experts out of amateurs."

Buying a used car or truck? Steer clear of scams and fraud - Link to original story





Five things you need to know before shopping for a car 2017-08-31

Originally posted by Scott Hannah from www.theprovince.com

Q: We've been seeing quite a few ads for new cars and specials on used vehicles, and it has us thinking. We've got one teen learning to drive and the other borrowing our car at every opportunity while she saves up for her own car. There's nothing wrong with our vehicles, but our truck is definitely too big for what we normally use it for, and awkward for a new driver to drive. With our kids' post secondary costs coming upon us sooner than we'd like, we don't want to blow our budget on a new vehicle. There's so much to consider; what should we keep in mind when we look at cars? ~Mark

A: Replacing your vehicle or buying a new car is always a big decision that shouldn't be made lightly. Next to buying a house, buying a car is typically the largest purchase many people make. However, unlike real estate, the value of our every day vehicles rarely goes up over time. By the end of a car loan a new vehicle is often worth much less than what we paid for it.

You've probably heard the saying, "the best time to buy a new car is when you can afford it," but kidding aside, now is the time of year dealers want to clear out their lots to make room for next years' models. Now is definitely a good time to check out what's new, as well as get some great deals on the good used cars other people have traded in.

The best time to buy a car

Car shopping is best done once you've got a clear picture of what you can afford to spend on a vehicle on a monthly basis. Calculate what you can afford each month for loan payments, insurance, fuel, parking and maintenance. If you plan to buy a new vehicle, maintenance costs can still be high because of the work you're required to have done in order to maintain your warranty. A good rule of thumb is to set $50 - $100 aside for maintenance in a saving account for every tank of fuel you buy. By considering your budget carefully before setting foot on a car lot you're in a better position to make a sound financial, not impulsive or emotional, purchase.

Here are five more things to keep in mind before you start car shopping:

1.Start your vehicle search from the comfort of your couch

The choices are absolutely endless when buying a car - new versus used; buying with cash, financing, or leasing; whom to buy from, import or domestic; big or small; truck, car, SUV, crossover or van; base model, sufficient options or all the bells and whistles. With all these choices, it is imperative that you narrow down what YOU want before you set foot on a car lot.

Along with your budget, you need to know what kind of features you want, including if there are any non-negotiable ones, and how you plan to use the vehicle before you speak to any salesperson. The best way to prepare is to think about how you currently use your vehicle, if you anticipate your needs changing, and why you are car shopping at this time. Then search online for vehicles to go look at and test drive.

2.Stick to your budget

When looking at cars either in person or online, stick close to your budget. If you can afford $20,000 for a good used vehicle, window shopping for cars that cost $30,000 only leads to temptation spending.

If you are financing your purchase, changing the term of the car loan and/or the interest rate can make a significant difference to your overall cost at the end, even if it hardly changes your monthly payment amount. For instance, a $20,000 car purchase plus 12 per cent tax comes to $22,400. At five per cent interest (APR) for 60 months, the monthly payment would be $423. At the end of the five years someone would have repaid the loan, along with about $3,000 in interest.

However, if $425 is the monthly payment someone needs to stick to, the same $22,400 loan from above could be repaid over 72 months at an annual interest rate of 11 per cent. The payment would be $426 for six years, but at the end, this person would have paid $8,300 in interest.

By either changing the time-frame and/or the interest rate, the monthly payments can be raised or lowered making for very attractive and tempting offers. Use an online Canadian auto loan calculator to see how this works for yourself before you sign on any dotted line.

3.Some of the best deals happen at the end of the month

The closer it gets to the end of the month, the more eager car salespeople are to add one more sale to their list of successful deals. And if they work for a dealership rather than an independent car lot, the bonuses, both for the dealership and individual salespeople, can be significant.

Earlier in the month is the time to shop around, narrow down what you want to buy, and find a person you want to do business with. Later in the month, and especially getting into the last few days, that's when you want to firm up a deal on a new or used car you're comfortable with.

4.To trade or not to trade, that is always a good question

Deciding whether or not to trade your current vehicle in when you make a new or used vehicle purchase can be a bit of a dilemma. Selling your car privately will often net you a little more cash, but it can take longer and it comes with certain risks (e.g. someone test driving on your insurance).

When trading a car in, the car lot or dealership will give you less than the book value because they still need to sell it at a profit. However, if you have a desirable trade in, there is still room to negotiate. It can also be to a buyer's advantage to negotiate a deal without a trade, then see how that deal changes once a trade is figured in.

What some people may not realize is that you can also trade in a vehicle worth the same or more than the one you want to buy. If you have a desirable trade and are buying a good used vehicle, it is entirely possible to get a new-to-you car without a penny changing hands, or leaving the car lot with a new car as well as a cheque in hand. To decide if this is something worth aiming for, check the book value of both your vehicle and the one you want to buy ahead of time; then negotiate strategically.

5.New or used, there are always extras - and some are negotiable

On top of the purchase price, there are a number of extra costs to keep in mind. Taxes are non-negotiable and are definitely worth factoring in as you calculate how much you can afford to spend. Trading a vehicle in can actually lower how much tax you pay because you are only required to pay tax on the difference in B.C., e.g. new car is $25,000, trade in value is $10,000; you pay tax on the difference ($15,000).

There is often a documentation fee that car lots and dealerships charge. From $200 - $500 is very typical and it is entirely negotiable.

Extended warranty packages are offered on new and used cars. They typically come at a fairly steep price, which only increases if rolled into a loan. For some people, the peace of mind is worth it; for others, and certainly depending on the make and model of the vehicle you buy, saving up the equivalent funds in your own savings account is worth more in the long run.

The bottom line on buying a new or used vehicle

Numbers do tell a story - they tell you if your budget will balance and if you can afford your new car without becoming stressed and worried about money and debt. Even after spending hours looking for just the right car, doing your research, and negotiating with your salesperson, if the numbers aren't telling you a good story, walk away. There are thousands of vehicles available for sale in every city and the last thing you want to do is turn a dream into a financial nightmare.

Five things you need to know before shopping for a car - Link to original story





Cars safer, smarter than ever 2017-08-24

Originally posted on www.castanet.net

 Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to reduce crashes significantly, according to two studies released Wednesday.

At the same time, research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety raises concern that drivers may be less vigilant when relying on automated safety systems or become distracted by dashboard displays that monitor how the systems are performing.

The two institute studies found that lane-keeping systems, some of which even nudge the vehicle back into its lane for the driver, and blind-spot monitoring systems had lower crash rates than the same vehicles without the systems.

The lane-keeping study looked at police crash data from 25 states between 2009 and 2015 for vehicle models where the systems were sold as optional. Lane-keeping systems lowered rates of single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes of all severities by 11 per cent, and crashes of those types in which there were injuries, by 21 per cent, the study found.

Because there were only 40 fatal crashes in the data, researchers used a simpler analysis that didn't control for differences in drivers' ages, genders, insurance risk and other factors for those crashes. They found the technology cut the fatal crash rate by 86 per cent.

That's probably high, said Jessica Cicchino, the institute's vice-president for research, but even if lane-keeping systems cut such crashes by half it would be significant, she said. Cicchino said about a quarter of traffic fatalities involve a vehicle drifting into another lane.

"Now we have evidence that this technology really can save lives and has the potential to prevent thousands of deaths once it's on every vehicle," Cicchino said.

If all passenger vehicles had been equipped with lane departure warning systems in 2015, an estimated 85,000 police-reported crashes would have been prevented, the study found.

A second institute study of blind-spot detection systems - usually warning lights in side mirrors - found the systems lower the rate of all lane-change crashes by 14 per cent and the rate of such crashes with injuries by 23 per cent. If all passenger vehicles were equipped with the systems about 50,000 police-reported crashes a year could be prevented, the study found.

Lane-keeping, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic braking systems, which can prevent rear-end crashes, are some of the building blocks of self-driving car technology.

Greg Brannon, the Automobile Association of America's director of automotive engineering, called the institute's studies "encouraging." But he cautioned that is "critical that drivers understand the capabilities and, more importantly, the limitations of the safety technology in their vehicle before getting behind the wheel."

Cars safer, smarter than ever - Link to original story

How Much Can You Afford to Spend on a Car? 2017-08-16

Originally posted by Consumer Reports from www.consumerreports.org

Know your financial health before setting sights on a new car you can't afford

If you don't have a clear picture of how much you can actually afford, it's all too easy to bite off more than you can chew getting behind the wheel of a new car. Many people fall in love with a dream car and enter a state of denial when it comes to the math. Or they let themselves be lulled by a friendly salesperson into buying more options than they need or extra-cost items they can do without, like an extended warranty service contract.

Affordability, of course, means different things to different people, and usually hinges on both household income and existing obligations.

At the same time, this is a good opportunity to shop around for money. Interest rates are still lower than they were 10 years ago, and lenders have loosened up their credit requirements in the past two or three years.

Below, we provide insights and strategies for getting the most car for your money. We'll tell you how to estimate what you can afford, and how and where to shop for the most favorable loan rates.

What's Your Budget?

Take an honest look at your current finances. The fancy word for this is doing a "cash flow analysis," but it's really just a monthly budget. See how much you currently spend on essentials like mortgage or rent, utilities, food, and clothing. Add other monthly payments, such as student loans, homeowners insurance, cell phone, internet, and cable TV. Don't forget to include local taxes, if any, not deducted from your paycheck. It's important to leave yourself a decent cushion for entertainment, vacations, emergencies, and retirement savings.

Now look over your bank and credit card statements for the last two years. This should give you a solid idea of where all the money goes. You may find places where you can cut back, or you may already be running pretty lean.

Years ago there was a common rule of thumb called the 20/4/10 rule that was used to estimate auto-ownership affordability. That means making a 20 percent down payment, taking out a four-year loan, and devoting no more than 10 percent of your gross income each year to the loan, including car insurance.

In current times that guidance just doesn't work for people. New-car prices are too high for a three- or four-year loan, and incomes are stretched too thin. As a result, car buyers are taking out longer and longer loans to keep the monthly payment bearable. The average term is now 68 months (5 1?2 years), according to Experian Automotive, the market-analysis arm of the Experian credit-reporting agency. Scary fact: 28 percent of all new loans run from about six to seven years.

Super-long loans are not a great idea, even if it seems a lot of people are doing it. Unless you can come up with a really large down payment, you will owe more than the car is worth for many years to come. Lenders call the period where you owe more than the car's value "being upside down."

If you have to sell the car or if it gets totaled before you reach the break-even point, you'll wind up making continuing payments on a car you no longer own. The extra years of payments also mean extra years of interest, and that can really add up.

Many people trade in a car they still owe money on. A dealer who arranges financing then rolls whatever is due on the old loan into the new loan. This may look like an attractive proposition if you can't pay off your old car before selling it.

But beware. In essence you'll be paying off the balance due on the old car for the entire term of the new loan. And that balance due will be affected by whatever the dealer offers as a trade-in allowance. If the dealer gives you a lowball trade-in allowance, you could be upside down for a long time.

Price Your New Car Insurance

Your cash-flow analysis will tell you how much you have left over to devote to car ownership each month. Your monthly loan payment has to be considerably less than that so that you can also cover costs such as fuel, maintenance, and insurance.

Once you have a candidate car in mind and know its approximate price, call your insurance agent to ask what it would cost to add it to your policy.

If you've been driving an old car up to now, you might be surprised at how much your rates may rise. Obviously it costs more to insure a car valued at $30,000 than one valued at $10,000. Though you might have dropped collision coverage on your old car to save money, you'll want that coverage on the new one. Plus, it's also required by the financing company if you have a loan or a lease on the vehicle.

Your Monthly Payment

As far as car selection is concerned, the point of the budgeting exercise is to determine the highest monthly payment you are comfortable with. That is information you keep to yourself when negotiating with a car salesman, however.

Why keep that information close to the vest? Because the moment a car salesman discovers the highest monthly payment you can bear is the moment he can structure a deal that will use every bit of it, and possibly put you into the most expensive car he can. The easiest way for him to do that is to stretch out the loan. That also gives a dealer who arranges financing the ability to build in a higher than necessary interest rate without you realizing it.

Making a sober assessment of what you can comfortably afford might tell you that you shouldn't buy the car you had your heart set on right now. Then you might either consider a cheaper car (perhaps even a comparable used car) or postpone the purchase until you can save up a larger down payment. Another option is leasing.

Test-Driving Monthly Payments

How much car will a given monthly payment buy? Numerous online loan calculators can help you do the math. One that's especially easy to use is the affordability calculator at Cars.com, but there are many others. Among other things, they let you plug in a monthly payment of your choice, along with other assumptions, and see the total price of the car that payment will finance. 

How Much Car for a Monthly Payment?

When you're buying a car, the dealer will often try to get you to fixate on how much you can afford in monthly payments. He'll then structure the deal to give you the most car for the lowest monthly payment. Sounds great, right? It isn't. Sure, the longer the loan, the less you'll pay each month. But you'll actually end up paying more for the car in the long run, because you'll be paying more in interest payments. This table calculates how much you will have to pay each month for a vehicle, assuming an annual interest rate of 3.5 percent. Buyers paying off their vehicle in four years pay 6.8 percent of payments in interest. Those taking five years have 8.4 percent of their payments going to interest. 

And those taking six years have a whopping 10 percent of payments going to interest.

Auto Loan Amount
     48 Months
     60 Months
     72 Months
$15,000
     $335
     $273
     $231
$25,000
     $558
     $455
     $385
$35,000
     $782
     $637
     $540
$45,000
     $1,006
     $819
     $694


How Much Can You Afford to Spend on a Car? - Link to original story





Tire Safety and Maintenance 2017-08-10

Originally posted on www.exchange.aaa.com

Tire Safety and Maintenance

Understanding Your Vehicle's Tires

Your tires are the only part of the car that has direct contact with the road. Tires affect your vehicle handling, ride, braking, and safety. For optimum performance, tires must have the correct air pressure, tread depth, balance and the wheels of the vehicle must be properly aligned.

Checking your tires on a regular basis is an important step in protecting your safety and your automotive investment. Ideally, tire inspections should be performed monthly. If you drive over potholes and debris in the road, live in a cold climate, or drive long distances regularly, then you should inspect your tires more often.

Always inspect your tires before a long trip. The more often these inspections are performed, the easier it will be to find a small problem, such as a nail in your tire, and fix it before it becomes a more expensive and time-consuming issue.

Signs of Tire Wear

Poor tire maintenance can lead to premature tire wear, a flat tire or even a blowout. Factors other than tires themselves also can affect tire wear. Worn suspension parts and wheel alignment both play a direct role in tire wear and performance.

Tire Problems to Look For During a Visual Inspection

  • Over inflation: Too much air pressure causes mostly the tire's middle section to contact the road. This creates wear primarily in the center of the tread, with less wear at the tire's edges.
  • Under inflation: Too little air pressure causes mostly the tire's outer edges to contact the road. This creates wear primarily on both edges of the tire tread, with less wear in the center.
  • Tread wear on one edge of the tire: This typically occurs when the wheels are out of alignment.
  • Erratic tread wear: This is often called cupping, and may mean the wheel is out of balance, or that the shock absorbers or other suspension components need to be replaced.
  • Raised portion of the tread or sidewall: May indicate that one of the belts in the tire carcass has separated from those next to it.

Tire Problems to Look for While Driving

  • Unusual vibration or thumping noise: Vibration or thumping noises can indicate an out-of-balance tire, one with tread that has a flat spot due to locking the wheels in a panic stop, or a tire with a separated belt.
  • A pull to one side: While driving at a steady speed, pulling to one side may indicate an underinflated or damaged tire on the side of the car to which the vehicle pulls. If this is not the case, a brake problem or poor wheel alignment may be causing the pull.

Tire Tread Inspection

Tires depend on good tread condition depth to maintain traction and to shed water on wet roads. The tread should be checked at least once a month for excessive and uneven wear. The most accurate tread depth measurements are made with a simple tread depth gauge available at any parts store. Or you can use the traditional quarter and penny tests.

Insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of Washington's head facing down. If the top of his head is not visible, your tires have at least 4/32" of tread and are fine for continued use. If you can see above the top of Washington's head, it is time to start shopping for new tires. Take measurements in three locations across the tire's tread: (1)outer edge, (2) center, and (3) inside edge.

The penny test is done in the same way, except that if you can see above the top of Lincoln's head your tires have less than 2/32" of tread, which is below the legal minimum and cause for immediate replacement. Tires worn to this level will also have visible wear indicators (thin bald strips) running from side to side across two or more tread segments.

The difference between 4/32" and 2/32" of tread depth might not seem like much, but based on research by the Tire Rack, America's largest independent tire tester the difference is significant. For example, a pickup truck traveling at 70 miles per hour that passes the penny test can take up to 499.5 feet to stop on wet pavement . However, the same truck has a stopping distance 122 feet shorter if it passes the quarter test instead. This is a 24 percent difference in stopping distance, and the equivalent of six or more car lengths.

The Tire Rack also reported that tires passing the quarter test exhibited better grip on the road under other driving conditions as well. Given these facts, AAA suggests you put that penny back in your piggy bank and instead use a quarter to check tire wear and determine when it is time for replacement. 

Tire Inflation Inspection

Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of the easiest ways to help maintain good gas mileage and extend the life of your tires. Check your car's tire pressure at least once a month with a quality gauge, that measures pressure in pounds-per square inch (psi). Three types of tire pressure gauges are available at most auto parts stores: digital, dial and pen/stick types. The digital and dial designs tend to be more accurate and easier to read, although a good pen/stick gauge will do the job as well. Pressure gauges built into air hoses at gas stations are often abused and frequently inaccurate.

Recommended tire pressures are for cold tires. Therefore, tire pressure should be checked at ambient temperature before the vehicle has been driven. Checking tire pressure on a car that has warm tires can result in a pressure reading of up to 5 psi higher than the recommended pressure. The recommended inflation pressures for your car's tires can be found in the vehicle's owner's manual or on the tire information decal attached to the driver's door jamb. On older cars the decal may be in the glove box or inside the fuel filler door.

Checking Air Pressure

1. Remove the tire's valve cap.

2. Place the gauge over the tire's valve stem and press firmly so that no escaping air is heard. The tire gauge will indicate how much pressure is in the tire.

3. Adjust the tire's air pressure as needed. When adding air, push the air hose into the valve firmly, until the air stops escaping. Check the pressure every few seconds to help judge the amount of air going into the tire, until you reach the recommended air pressure. If the tire's pressure is greater than it should be, use the nipple on the tire gauge to press the center of the tire valve stem and release air.

4. Replace the valve cap.

5. Repeat the process for the other tires. Don't forget the spare tire.

Tire Maintenance

There are several tire maintenance procedures that automotive repair professionals should do because they require special tools and knowledge. However, understanding these procedures will help you feel more confident in dealing with a repair provider.

Tire Rotation

Tires on the front and the rear of vehicles operate at different loads and perform different steering and braking functions, resulting in unequal wear patterns. To gain maximum life and performance from your tires, it is essential to rotate your vehicle's tires. Refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for mileage recommendations. Usually tire rotation is performed between 5,000 and 7,000 miles. Common on performance cars are tires designed to rotate in a specific direction; these can only be rotated front-to-rear, and if different tire sizes are used on the front and rear axles rotation is not possible.

Tire Balancing

Properly balanced tires help minimize uneven wear and extend their life. When tires are balanced, small weights are attached to the wheels to limit vibration of the tire and wheels as they turn. Newly installed tires should be balanced, and thereafter whenever a vibration is noticed. Balancing is also called for whenever a tire is removed from the wheel, for example to repair a puncture.

Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment is the measurement of the position of the wheels compared to specifications that the vehicle manufacturers recommend. Each vehicle has specific wheel alignment settings. If any alignment measurement falls outside the specified range, uneven tire wear can result, vehicle handling may be affected and fuel economy can be diminished.

You should have the wheel alignment checked and adjusted when new tires are installed, and thereafter any time when unusual steering characteristics are observed. A vehicle's wheels are properly aligned when the car will drive down the road in a straight line without drifting or pulling to either side. A drift or pull can be caused by problems other than just alignment, so a thorough inspection should be performed by a qualified shop to determine the exact nature of the problem before an alignment is performed.

Spending a few minutes with your tires every month can help protect your family, improve your vehicle's performance, and lengthen the life of your tires.

Tire Safety and Maintenance - Link to original story

High number of motorcycle and vehicle collisions in Southern Interior leads to safety talks 2017-08-03

Originally posted by Liz Brown from www.kelownanow.com

With the recent motorcycle accidents and fatalities in the B.C. Interior, ICBC is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to be cognizant of your distance between other vehicles on the road.

In British Columbia, 60% of motorcycle crashes involve other vehicles, often when a vehicle is turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

In 2016 in B.C., there were 2,600 motorcycle crashes, leaving 1,600 injured and many more killed.

Last year in the Southern Interior, 330 motorcyclists were injured in 440 crashes. On average, 11 motorcyclists are killed in crashes each year in the region.

ICBC says the main factor for motorists who hit motorcycles is distraction and inattention, as well as failing to yield right-of-way and improper turning.

In order to reduce the number of crashes and collisions, practice safe driving by applying the following four tips:

  • Give more than enough space between your vehicle and a motorcycle when passing: It's harder to gauge the distance between your vehicle and a motorcycle. Give at least three seconds following distance when you're behind a motorcycle.

  • Scan intersections: Be a defensive driver and preemptively watch for other vulnerable road users. The majority of car and motorcycle crashes occur at intersections. Drivers need to watch for motorcycles when turning left, as it can be harder to gauge how fast a motorcycle is traveling. If in doubt, wait for the motorcycle to pass.

  • Leave your phone alone: Distracted driving is one of the main factors in collisions. Avoid anything takes your eyes off the road. Instead, give your passenger a task or pull over to complete a task.

  • Share the road with motorcycles: If in doubt about who has the right-of-way, yield to the motorcycle and avoid a crash that could result in a fatality.

 In the same way, motorcyclists have a responsibility to practice defensive riding and control their speed.

Tips for motorcycle riders:

  • Wear all the right gear, all the time: This includes helmets that meet the DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards and safety gear for riding. It might be hot, but that's no excuse to make poor decisions regarding safety gear. 

  • Scan intersections: Motorcycle riding is all about planning ahead and anticipating road scenarios. 

  • Be bright and visible: Protect yourself and your passengers from serious injury by choosing gear with bright and reflective colours

  • Maneuver intersections safely: Especially where oncoming traffic is waiting to turn left, adjust your lane position and reduce your speed well in advance, giving yourself time to stop or an escape path if needed.

  • Share the road with vehicles: Never assume a driver has seen you. They may not accurately judge your distance or speed of approach. Stay out of drivers' blind spots. Practice appropriate signaling and lane changing.

High number of motorcycle and vehicle collisions in Southern Interior leads to safety talks - Link to original story

ICBC Practice knowledge test for new drivers 2017-07-19

Parents: help your teen pass their driver's licence written test with ICBC's online practice app and then find their new vehicle at Russo Auto Sales

ICBC Practice Test - Link to original story

Top Summer Car Care Tips 2017-07-14

While cheap loans can make buying a new car seem attractive, opting instead for a used vehicle is sometimes be a better choice.

Let's be honest, the new car smell is great but it's not always worth the thousands of dollars a hunk of metal depreciates the minute it's driven off the lot.

There are a few things to consider when shopping for a used car so that the savings don't shift gears into pricey repairs and headaches down the road.

Here are four tips to help you when shopping for a used car so that you can find the right vehicle as smoothly as possible. 

Take it for a spin 

This is your first chance to see if the car drives the way you like and whether there are signs of trouble with how it hums along. 

When starting up the car for the first time, it should fire up easily. Look at the dashboard and keep an eye out for warning symbols like a check engine light. If the instrument panel lights up like a Christmas tree, it's not worth shifting it out of park. 

Automotive Retailers Association president and CEO Ken McCormack says shoppers should look for other problem signs in the car as they're driving along.

"It shouldn't pull in any direction or vibrate and shouldn't give any excessive road noise," he says. "When applying the brakes, the pedal should be firm without any pulsation or noticeable feedback." 

Shifts should also be smooth and the engine shouldn't hesitate or stutter, he says. And don't forget to look at what's going on behind you as you drive away. 

"Any blue or black smoke from the exhaust as well as any burning smells or unpleasant odours from the car should be a red flag." 

Get the history 

While a seller might claim that a vehicle is "accident free" and only ever had one owner, a bit of research can easily tell you whether that's true. 

McCormack suggests buyers get a vehicle history report for the specific car they're interested in."Vehicle history reports have come a long way in the last ten years," he says. "Currently the best option for Canadian car shoppers is Carproof."

Such a report can be provided by the seller, or it's something the buyer can get on their own online.

Carproof's vice president of marketing Joe Varkey says they can also tell buyers if a body shop provided an estimate to repair damage - even if an insurance claim wasn't actually made.

"The difference is that if you saw a $1,000 estimate but no insurance claims, you know something happened. It may not be anything significant, but you know something."

This additional information can help buyers negotiate a better deal on the car if they don't mind that there's been minor damage, as long as it was repaired properly.

"And if the seller is telling you a car is perfect, you run a Carproof, and you see a $15,000 claim on it, then you know something about the seller," Varkey says.

In addition to the ownership, odometer and claims history of a vehicle, a Carproof report can also tell buyers where a vehicle has been registered over the course of its lifetime.

"Let's say you're in B.C..is the car you're looking at from B.C., Alberta or Quebec?

You may want a car that has never seen salt," he says.

A vehicle with a lien against it, or if it's branded (a classification attached to severely damaged vehicles), should be avoided.

Inspect, inspect, inspect

After going on a test drive and looking over a history report, there could still be problems lurking under the hood.

But wait, shouldn't it be OK if a vehicle passed its provincial Private Vehicle Inspection (PVI)?

The PVI "really only skims the surface and covers mostly safety related issues," McCormack says.

While a PVI might tell you that there's enough tread on the tires and the brake lights work, it could miss other mechanical issues like a serious oil leak.

Some shops may offer a report based on their own mechanical inspection, in addition to the PVI. If a dealership does offer you its own in-depth mechanical inspection report, has a good online reputation, offers a warranty and includes a return policy, McCormack says their inspection may be enough.

But you should also consider taking the car to your own mechanic, to get it inspected, especially if you're buying in a private sale.

"A secondary inspection is like insurance, so if it makes you feel better and you determine that it's good value, then I would recommend it for peace of mind," McCormack says.

Get a deal that's true

If you're happy with the vehicle and its mechanics check out, it's time to close the deal. But before you commit, make sure the price is right. And yes, there's such a problem as a car being too cheap.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing should scare a purchaser more than if a vehicle is dramatically lower priced than comparable (models)," McCormack says.

Just as you do research to find the right car, it's also important to research the seller.

McCormack says buyers should run a check on the Vehicle Safety Authority's website to make sure a shop or sales representative is in good standing.

If you're purchasing privately you have to be more careful. McCormack suggests shoppers avoid curbers, because the buyer would have nearly no recourse if something were to go wrong as opposed to dealing with a licensed dealer.

Buying a used car? Tips to find the right ride - Link to original story

Buying a used car? Tips to find the right ride 2017-07-04

While cheap loans can make buying a new car seem attractive, opting instead for a used vehicle is sometimes be a better choice.

Let's be honest, the new car smell is great but it's not always worth the thousands of dollars a hunk of metal depreciates the minute it's driven off the lot.

There are a few things to consider when shopping for a used car so that the savings don't shift gears into pricey repairs and headaches down the road.

Here are four tips to help you when shopping for a used car so that you can find the right vehicle as smoothly as possible.

Take it for a spin

This is your first chance to see if the car drives the way you like and whether there are signs of trouble with how it hums along.

When starting up the car for the first time, it should fire up easily. Look at the dashboard and keep an eye out for warning symbols like a check engine light. If the instrument panel lights up like a Christmas tree, it's not worth shifting it out of park.

Automotive Retailers Association president and CEO Ken McCormack says shoppers should look for other problem signs in the car as they're driving along.

"It shouldn't pull in any direction or vibrate and shouldn't give any excessive road noise," he says. "When applying the brakes, the pedal should be firm without any pulsation or noticeable feedback."

Shifts should also be smooth and the engine shouldn't hesitate or stutter, he says. And don't forget to look at what's going on behind you as you drive away.

"Any blue or black smoke from the exhaust as well as any burning smells or unpleasant odours from the car should be a red flag."

Get the history

While a seller might claim that a vehicle is "accident free" and only ever had one owner, a bit of research can easily tell you whether that's true.

McCormack suggests buyers get a vehicle history report for the specific car they're interested in.

"Vehicle history reports have come a long way in the last ten years," he says. "Currently the best option for Canadian car shoppers is Carproof."

Such a report can be provided by the seller, or it's something the buyer can get on their own online.

Carproof's vice president of marketing Joe Varkey says they can also tell buyers if a body shop provided an estimate to repair damage - even if an insurance claim wasn't actually made.

"The difference is that if you saw a $1,000 estimate but no insurance claims, you know something happened. It may not be anything significant, but you know something."

This additional information can help buyers negotiate a better deal on the car if they don't mind that there's been minor damage, as long as it was repaired properly.

"And if the seller is telling you a car is perfect, you run a Carproof, and you see a $15,000 claim on it, then you know something about the seller," Varkey says.

In addition to the ownership, odometer and claims history of a vehicle, a Carproof report can also tell buyers where a vehicle has been registered over the course of its lifetime.

"Let's say you're in B.C..is the car you're looking at from B.C., Alberta or Quebec?

You may want a car that has never seen salt," he says.

A vehicle with a lien against it, or if it's branded (a classification attached to severely damaged vehicles), should be avoided.

Inspect, inspect, inspect

After going on a test drive and looking over a history report, there could still be problems lurking under the hood.

But wait, shouldn't it be OK if a vehicle passed its provincial Private Vehicle Inspection (PVI)?

The PVI "really only skims the surface and covers mostly safety related issues," McCormack says.

While a PVI might tell you that there's enough tread on the tires and the brake lights work, it could miss other mechanical issues like a serious oil leak.

Some shops may offer a report based on their own mechanical inspection, in addition to the PVI. If a dealership does offer you its own in-depth mechanical inspection report, has a good online reputation, offers a warranty and includes a return policy, McCormack says their inspection may be enough.

But you should also consider taking the car to your own mechanic, to get it inspected, especially if you're buying in a private sale.

"A secondary inspection is like insurance, so if it makes you feel better and you determine that it's good value, then I would recommend it for peace of mind," McCormack says.

Get a deal that's true

If you're happy with the vehicle and its mechanics check out, it's time to close the deal. But before you commit, make sure the price is right. And yes, there's such a problem as a car being too cheap.

"Nothing, absolutely nothing should scare a purchaser more than if a vehicle is dramatically lower priced than comparable (models)," McCormack says.

Just as you do research to find the right car, it's also important to research the seller.

McCormack says buyers should run a check on the Vehicle Safety Authority's website to make sure a shop or sales representative is in good standing.

If you're purchasing privately you have to be more careful. McCormack suggests shoppers avoid curbers, because the buyer would have nearly no recourse if something were to go wrong as opposed to dealing with a licensed dealer.

Buying a used car? Tips to find the right ride - Link to original story