Whether to buy a new car or buy a used car is often times the first decision that needs to be arrived at before you can actively begin perusing purchasing your next vehicle.Lets take a look at some tips, pros, and cons when it comes to making this decision.First of all, having been in the automotive business for many years, I almost always lean toward finding a good "used car" that fits what I am looking for. For me, I believe that used cars offer the best value for your dollar. In most cases, youll find used car departments are much more used to and willing to negotiate the price that they have posted on the car. From a negotiating standpoint, most used cars wont have all of those superfluous dealer add-ons stuck on the window either that will just never do. In the automotive market, used cars will most certainly come with a lower initial price tag than a comparably equipped new car. And not only will the price be lower, you may also find that so is your cost to insure the used car as well as the tags, and taxes. Depreciation being what it is; means that with a car a couple of years old, the biggest depreciation hit has already occurred. And from a tangible perspective, you may have a better chance of getting those upgrades youd like to have on the used car that you couldnt otherwise afford going with the new.Yet, with all of this, buying a used car isnt for everyone. Finding a used vehicle that fits ones entire car buying criteria can be a tough exercise in balancing what you want with the value versus risk inherent when it comes to second hand cars.Not so many years ago, reliability was a major concern when purchasing a "second hand car" and rightfully so. Today however, reliability problems are a fraction of what they used to be. Todays vehicles, when properly maintained will easily go for 100,000 miles and its not uncommon for vehicles to be motoring along as they approach 200,000 miles or more. And with all of the information now available online, the risk factor is again reduced even a bit more. Even though more reliable today, buying a second hand car for people means buying a car that is probably out of its original bumper to bumper warranty. This alone, is enough to repel many potential car buyers back to the new car side of the dealership. As you know, if you are looking at buying a second hand car, you are probably looking at a car that is outside the factory warranty or at least would have very little remaining. With no warranty youll be on the hook to pay for any needed repairs out of your own pocket. However, the biggest expense for most all cars today are the things that arent covered by any manufacturers warranty anyway; items such as brakes, tires, alignment, batteries, etc. Of course nobody can guarantee that you wont encounter a lemon. No matter what the make and model, no manufacturer can produce a vehicle that can withstand years of neglect and/or abuse. Always, always, always give the second hand car a thorough inspection both by yourself and a qualified mechanic; doing this will catch most problems that may be looming on the horizon.When it comes to financing the purchase of a second hand car, you find that the going interest rates will typically be higher than new car rates. This is definitely a piece of the puzzle youll want to check out. There is no rule of thumb as to what the difference in the interest rate will be between the two because there are just too many determining variables involved such as; the economy, rebates and incentives involved on the new car side, your credit, length of financing, and even the type of second hand car youre looking at. Be sure to crunch the numbers for both sides.With second hand cars, insurance can save you some money as well because youll typically pay less for your insurance on a like model from a few years past. The reason is simple; less cost of replacement for the insurance company and second hand cars are generally not high on the stolen lists.And finally, (the latest) safety features could be a concern if youre looking at "buying a car" (particularly if youre going back a few model years).All in all, if the touch, feel, and smell of a new car, isnt a top priority for you, I think youll find that a well thought out buying a car purchase you can get more car and features and still be within your budget.
I remember my first car a 1971 Dodge Challenger. She was metallic green with a white vinyl roof. A 340 four barrel pushing 275 horsepower mated to a slapstick 3 speed automatic and a positraction rear end. Which meant to my eager 18-year-old ears I could burn out both rear wheels at once. I remember the guy who sold it to me bragging about how he would race it up the highway and do spin outs on icy roads. At the time this was a selling point. A more mature self would have translated that to "I beat the crap out of this car I hope you have a lot more money to spend". But I was all emotion and the gleaming metallic paint job and rumbling engine destroyed all semblance of logic. In fact I was so green I bought the car 3 weeks before I passed my driver test. Need less to say I ended up spending a lot more then the $1000.00 to purchase the car.It wasn't entirely the fault of the seller that I had to spend so much on repairing and maintaining the challenger. I did my fair share of burnouts, racing, and general beating of my poor car. I remember my girlfriend's stepfather warning me he knew it I was squealing the tires at the end of the street every time I left. Then telling me I'd better stop this behavior or I wouldn't be taking her anywhere. Good thing he never heard about how I almost killed my girlfriend and I the first night I drove the car. We were driving back from Alice Lake to the highway. The road to the highway gets really twisty just before the turn off. It was dark and raining and I was going a bit faster then I should have. I lost control just before entrance to the left turn lane. The car spun a full 180 and the rear wheel smashed against the island and threw the back end of the car up on top. Just as the car was spinning a Greyhound bus came flying past. If I hadn't spun out we would have T-boned the bus driving past at around 70 MPH. For some reason my girlfriend never trusted me fully in the drivers seat afterwards.That wasn't the last time my teenage bulletproof delusions took me close to the edge in my metallic green challenger. Somehow I managed not to injure others or myself. The car however didn't fair too well. On the outside it was immaculate. The inside was another story. I ended up selling it a couple of years later for $1300.00. I met the buyer a while later and he told me that he hated me for selling him that car. Later I saw it for the last time. Someone had painted it a bright fire engine red. I wonder if it's still driving around somewhere or if its someone's washing machine. I hope it's the former.This sudden rush of nostalgia came to me when I saw a picture of the new Challenger coming out in 2008. Since then I've been telling my wife that it's my mid life crisis car. I'm a lot safer driver now so she wouldn't have to worry about greyhound buses on rainy nights. So all I'll need is the money (lottery ticket, inheritance, bag falling out of an armored truck) and then next year I'll sit in my Hemi Challenger, start up the engine and say to myself I remember my "first car" .
Tonneau covers are one of the most popular accessories for trucks today. They provide lasting protection for the bed of your truck. For anyone that has ever had a truck, they know the hassle and worry that can come from transporting items on trips. For example, you want to take the family for a vacation and the luggage is in the bed of the truck, what do you do if it rains? The answer to this and other questions lies in tonneau covers.These covers are very versatile and can serve many functions. These covers open from all sides so that you can get your cargo from the front, the back, and each side of the bed without having to crawl into it. Tonneau Covers are easily removable. All you must do is simply unlock the cover, pull the cover up and away, then off the truck. This then enables you to use your truck bed to put larger items in that would not fit under the cover. You also have the ability to haul long items, as the Tonneau cover opens at the rear to allow easy access to the rear of the bed, and to have long items over the tailgate that stretch past the bed.Tonneau covers will never interfere with your tailgate and you can load and unload packages in and out the back of your truck without having to open the tonneau gate. The cover comes with pre-installed straps that you can tie the cover down with in the event that it must be left open for larger items.Another added bonus with getting a "tonneau cover" is that there is never any drilling required for their installation. These covers will always be able to be clamped down on the bed and unclamped just as easy for removal. If there are enough people working on this project at the same time, there is no reason that it should take more than 30 minutes for installation at any time. Tonneau covers are very lightweight, yet they are made of durable material that will allow for them to not weigh your truck down and they will maintain their shine and color at all times.
There was a time when the hottest car accessories consisted of eight-track players and stick-on compasses. Those days are long gone.The typical automobile has evolved from a simple means of transportation. Today, they serve as mass transit systems for carpooling entire departments, recreational centers for road-weary children, and portable offices for mobile executives. With these changing times has come the demand for more gadgets and gizmos to ensure comfortable and productive travel: from coffee cup warmers and shiatsu seat covers, to DVD players and video game portals. One of the best examples of modern accessorizing is the GPS or Global Positioning System, which allows users to view local maps and receive accurate directions. These gadgets are of particular value to fast-moving professionals trying to navigate urban city streets.Since automobiles have taken the leap from luxury to necessity, manufacturers have worked hard to meet the growing demands by offering a selection of accessories suited to car owners of all budgets. The market has been flooded with accessories and it's hard to know what's best, or even what's necessary. * ResearchThey key to making any successful purchase is in the research. Find out what you need, and then shop around for the best price. The Internet is a great resource, with countless online articles, user forums and product comparisons available. You can also purchase everything you need online. Internet auctions are great spots to find quality products at low prices. Internet marketers are able to sell their products at a lower price because they have lower overhead. There are no retail rental fees or expenses so they can, in turn, offer lower prices.* Shop AroundOnce you know exactly what you want or need, it does pay to shop around. Because of the huge demand for quality automotive accessories, there is also an ever-growing market. Check prices at several outlets, and don't be afraid to haggle for the best deal. * Ask Around Some retailers simply want the biggest possible profit, and may try to overwhelm you with their vast knowledge and brand name repertoire, only to sell you something you really don't need. Arm yourself with information before you visit the store, and don't fall for pushy sales tactics. Ask other car owners about the car accessories they've purchased, or read about them online and in industry magazines. Shop around to compare prices. A little comparative information today can save you a lot of money down the road.* Beware the Add-OnsTrying to force buyers to take additional accessories is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book. It's like being forced to buy a belt when you pick up a new pair of pants. The same holds true in the car accessories market. Just because a retailer tells you that you really need a neon GPS cover, it's not necessarily true. Ask a friend or trusted mechanic who is familiar with car accessories and get a reliable opinion on what you should -- and shouldn't -- buy. * WarrantyAs with any product, you need to know the warranty details before making the purchase. Understand the retailer's return or replacement policy in the event that the item doesn't work in your car, fails to meet your expectations, or malfunctions.* InspectionYou should have the opportunity to inspect the product before agreeing to purchase it. Of course, this is not an option with Internet purchases, so make sure you're dealing with a reputable online dealer. Many retail stores ask that you sign a receipt stating that the product is in good condition upon receipt, and doing so may mean waving your rights to return the product if it is indeed damaged. * Auto RecyclersWhenever possible, opt for Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) car accessories. You can usually be certain that the quality is first-rate and the warranty will protect your purchase.Car accessories not only make driving more convenient, they can also impact your safety while on the road. Being prudent in your choice of what to buy and where to shop can ultimately save your life, so don't make price your first priority. Safety should always come first, so don't compromise quality just to get a good deal.
Hands up who thought 7 Up was a drink? We did too until it took on a completely new meaning, thanks to a compact VW people carrier and a willing bunch of volunteers...VW's latest version of the Touran arrived in the car park with the obligatory press pack detailing the fact this was the 1.4 litre SE TSI model (18,250 on the road). 1.4? Surely not. After all, there are seven seats in there. A run down to Stansted (with six empty seats) for an early morning flight served to show what a relaxing car the Touran can be on a motorway trip. No undue road or engine noise, the little 1.4 TSI slipping along effortlessly, belying its sheer lack of cubic centimetres.Cross country on the way back it didn't let itself down either, having enough zip to get past the lorries stuck steadfastly at 40mph while others were forced to follow in line astern, fingers drumming on the steering wheel in frustration. But that was in single user mode. What, we wondered, would it be like with the full complement of seven seats filled? We picked carefully from the office. Two more petite members of staff for the rear two seats, a couple of lads eager to leave the computer screen for a five minute break and a couple of lardy boys for good measure. And a six foot five inch driver for good measure. Did it falter? Not a bit, to be fair. It had that fully loaded feel to it, but it pulled capably in all the gears and gave the impression there was more there if needed.It's the engine lettering that gives the game away. TSI means it has an engine driven supercharger as well as an exhaust gas turbocharger. The supercharger works at lower engine speeds with the turbo kicking in as engine speed increases. The end result is excellent driveability and good performance throughout the range. Torque (pulling power) is always good and there's no discernible turbo lag to impede progress. It means you can have a relatively small engine like this that will give good fuel efficiency through its high gearing, especially when you're cruising at motorway speeds and its not having to work too hard at all. Its combined fuel consumption figure is quoted as 38.2mpg. My best was an indicated 34.6. Its power output is given at 140PS at 5600rpm, and the torque figure of 162lb/ft is there from 1500 to 4000rpm, so it is well able to keep up with the flow of traffic.The styling is surprisingly neat given its shape. Square at the back but in a stylish way, everything inside is pure Volkswagen, from that classic blue backlighting of the instrumentation to the overall fit and finish. I usually prefer to sit low in a car but in something like this it's no hardship to be a bit higher as the view of the instruments can be compromised. And as it's a taller vehicle it helps to give a more commanding view of the road. On which its composure is exemplary.What a deceptively good car. I like the neat way the rear seat belts for the sixth and seventh seats, and the centre one in the middle row, stow up in the roof well out of the way, as well as the fact it's a really user friendly vehicle. The seats are easy to tip when you need access to the rear, and the back pair can be quickly folded flat when you need a bit more carrying capacity.This version of the Touran has been on sale since January and like its predecessor, offers pretty good value for money through a good level of standard equipment, decent engines and a flexible outlook on life.Take your pick from three variants S, SE and Sport all of which have alloy wheels, air con, a CD player, and remote centre locking. Touran has always been acknowledged for its safety features and the new model has front, side and head airbags as well as ABS and ESP. There's also a new counter steering feature which improves stability under braking and can actually reduce stopping distances by up to 10 per cent.