Monthly Archives: November 2015

Selling a used car on your own

Selling a used car on your own, a few things you will want to know before you begin. We will cover what to price the car at, advertising, and what you can do to get top dollar.

First let’s talk about the vehicles current condition. Here are some bullet points you need to focus on if you want to get top dollar:

  • Fix any small items you can, if you have cosmetic issues, or the car is in need of some repair. You want the buyer to have peace-of-mind they’re buying a great car.
  • Buyers will pay more for cars with good tires. If you have bald tires or worn tires, consider replacing tires.
  • Detail and wax the car. Have carpets shampooed, clean every inch of the car. Include the engine compartment. Don’t use perfume sprays after you clean the car. People are turned off by coconut smells, or other perfume sprays. Less is more!
  • Change the oil so the car has fresh oil. Buyers will pay more if they know you have taken good care of the car. One of the first things a buyer will ask is the oil good?
  • Check engine lights. If the vehicles check engine light is on, you need to get that fixed. This is a kiss of death; buyers will not buy cars with check engine lights on, would you? You can tell someone it’s a simple thing a maintenance due but the problem is the buyer most likely won’t believe it. If you want top dollar get whatever issue is causing the light to come on fixed.

Buyers are attracted to cars that are clean and in good condition. Take some time and get your vehicle as right as you possibly can. This will pay big dividends when it’s time to negotiate. Build value and buyers will pay more.

Before we talk about advertising your used car, let’s touch on safety. Not that your car is safe but that you’re safe when you show the car. Be very mindful of whom you’re meeting. Meet-up at a grocery parking lot or the like, don’t allow people to come to or enter your home. Sadly you don’t know who is going to show up. Don’t let anyone drive your car alone. Make sure they have insurance and a valid driver’s license. NEVER meet-up with a buyer by yourself! ALWAYS have another adult with you! Don’t give up your car on the promise they will pay tomorrow. Verify funds before you take a check, even a cashier’s check. If you take cash make sure to check the bills with a counterfeit pen. You can’t be too sure in this day and age. Take all precautions!!!

When considering selling a used car for sale keep in mind that according to Dealer Solutions more than 90% of car buyers start their search on the internet. Our site gets you a significant amount of exposure to potential buyer’s right here in Tampa. You will want to take good pictures of the car. Take photos of all body panels. Open the trunk and engine compartments. Interior shots with pictures of the front and back seats, take close ups of any damage. People will respect the fact that you were honest. If you have both sets of keys and the owner’s manual, include photos of both. Take pictures of tire tread and wheels. What your goal is, tell a story about the vehicle. Leave nothing for a person to have to guess at. You want the buyer to be able short of seeing the car in person, to make a buying decision right on the internet.

Write up a good description; include any accessories such as Navigation, Rear Entertainment, etc. Disclose the fact if you have service records you can include or that you are the original owner. Do you have an extended warranty you can transfer to a new owner? Have you recently replaced any items, tires, A/C, or other services?

What to price the vehicle for sale for? Leave yourself some room to negotiate, but don’t ask a ridiculous price either. Check for like vehicles and see what the market is doing. You can also check out NADA®, Kelly Blue Book®, or True Car® for retail prices.

We hope you found this an informative resource, and good luck selling your used car.

The ins and outs of car leasing

Car leasing is one of the most misunderstood forms of financing in the automotive industry. We will dispel that in this article. For the right person leasing can truly be the best way to drive more car for less money.

Car leasing is basically a long term rental. Typical terms for a lease are 24, 36 and 48 months. So terms are shorter than conventional loans. For those that are saying “I don’t own the car” let me suggest that if you miss a couple of payments on your auto loan you will find out you don’t own that car either, the bank does! For either conventional loans or a lease you don’t own the car until you have clear title.

A lease by design is to allow a consumer to reenter the car market sooner based on the terms offered. You also have NO deprecation in a lease. Here is why:

The math for a car lease is completely different than that of a conventional car loan. You have what is called a residual value or end of term wholesale value. Typically the depreciation for 36 months for example is taken away from the amount of the price of the car and rolled to the end of the lease, so if you take $10K out of your amount to finance then it stands to reason your payment will be less accordingly.

Residuals are set by car manufacturers based on depreciation for a particular model. Often times the manufacturer kicks in a little help so consumers can get a lower payment. As a complete rule-of-thumb a lease payment will be about the same payment as a 72 month loan but for a shorter period of time. It won’t be exact but close.

Lease Example (for illustration only):

$30,000.00 (Selling Price) -$10,000.00 (Residual Value)

$20,000.00 (plus Tax Tag & License) & Bank fees = Payment Principle)

At the end of this term the $10K would be due, the consumer is NOT liable for this in a closed end lease, the car is sent to auction to clear out the final balance. Does not matter what the car brings at auction it’s on the lease company not you! Be sure you are getting a closed end lease. This lease type allows the consumer to turn in the vehicle at the end of the term. Closed end leases are the industry standard.

The advantage is you drive more car for less money, shorter term, and you have no negative equity. You can get into a lease with as-little-as the first payment and roll TT&L into your lease. It’s always a good idea to pay your taxes and not finance them.

Here are some things you do need to understand about a lease. Of course a lease is not for everyone and here is why:

You do have a millage restriction. Typically it’s 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year. If you drive more a lease may not be for you. If you go over the miles it can cost anywhere for $0.20 cents to $0.30 cents per mile depending on the lease company. If you drive less miles you can actually get a higher residual value by 2% and lower your payment.

The car has to be turned in with reasonable wear and tear. For instance the car can’t be turned in with bald tires, cracked windshields, interior or exterior damage that can be fixed either by you or insurance claim. The lease company understands that the seats will have normal wear, carpets will have normal wear and light stains. What they look at is damage that is in excess of normal wear and tear. Check with the leasing dealer for information about lease turn in requirements.

If you’ve found a great vehicle on, it’s worth a look to see what lease options may be available. It’s could save you big money! Keep an open mind when shopping to all the finance opportunities that may be available to you. You can always say no.

Buying a Used Car with Bad Credit

Credit difficulties can stifle consumer’s ability to purchase just about anything. Unfortunately bad things can happen to good people. Job layoffs, illness and other unforeseen problems can take its toll on the most fastidious consumer. The good news is that lenders are available for automotive loans for folks with less than perfect credit. You will find that dealers on will have special finance departments to help consumers who are looking at buying a used car with bad credit.

If you know your credit is in need of help, go to and get a copy of all three credit reports. It’s a free service supported by the major credit bureau agencies. This will give you some idea of where you stand and what you need to work on.

Let’s highlight what a lender looks for in helping you reestablish your car credit. Typically a lender will loan somewhere 12% to 15% of your gross income as a payment cap, they will deduct for mortgage or rent to get a payment. You will also need to provide a copy of your most recent paycheck stub less than thirty days old to prove income. Self-employed expect to be asked for 2 consecutive years tax returns and 3 months of bank statements.

Some givens you will have to resign yourself to. You will have some limitation as to what terms and conditions a bank will loan money. Expect to pay a higher interest rate. For instance don’t go in expecting to pay nothing down. Here is why you will need a down payment:

If the bank is going to take on risk to help you reestablish your credit that comes with some risk. The bank is going to want you to participate in that risk in the form of a down payment “have some skin in the game” as-it-were. Some consumers say if they don’t pay the bank will get the car back so why a down payment? If you notice on a banks advertising you don’t see used car ads. Banks are in the lending business not the car business. They don’t want your car back that costs even deeper losses. Storage fees, auction fees, transportation just to name a few costs.

So come to the table with something! You will have a far better chance of getting financed if you have a down payment.

Documents to take to the dealership, if you go prepared the process will go much faster:

  • Proof of Income, paystub less than 30 days old.
  • Proof of Residence, a utility bill in your name at the address you state you live.
  • Minimum 4 personal references name, address, phone. People that don’t live with you.
  • Valid Drivers License.
  • Valid Insurance.

Have a reasonable expectation about the used car you choose. Don’t expect to buy a fancy sports car, be reasonable. You can’t go into this saying “it’s my money I will buy what I want”, reality it’s not your money it’s the banks. Certainly not suggesting you have to buy something you don’t want, what we are suggesting is find a reasonable vehicle (a Corvette™ is not a reasonable vehicle).

As you search for cars from and you narrow down to a couple of choices. Don’t let dealers you shop at pull your credit before you’re ready to say yes. Lenders are the same from dealer-to-dealer. One dealer does not have better lenders than the other. Subprime banks are few and work with most dealers all across the United States. If you get turned down at one dealer, the bank by law cannot approve you at another dealership under the same conditions. So choose wisely and you will be fine.

The loan in this circumstance is one that you simply want to establish a positive pay history. You need to make twelve plus months of payments for it to even rate on your credit. Anyone can make two or three payments; it’s the long haul that matters. Get out over a year and then see what your credit score is. This is why buying something reasonable is so important. You don’t want to risk any chance of not being able to pay the note on time!

Thanks for using, your hometown source for great used cars in Tampa

How to check a Used Car History

When considering purchasing a pre-owned vehicle. It is important to get as much information about a used car history as you possibly can. This will help you make an informed buying decision.

Contrary to what most people think is CARFAX™ is not the only car history reporting company in the marketplace. If you Google® used car history you will find other companies that supply reports. CARFAX™ is simply the most recognizable name. You do have choices if you prefer options.

The wonderful thing is most dealer web sites have a free report you can view while shopping online. You can also request this information at the dealership. Most if not all will give you a history report free of charge.

If you’re buying from a private party seller, you can simply Google® used car history reports and choose the provider you feel most comfortable with. Autocheck™ and CARFAX™ will be the two most reliable reports. It’s never a bad thing to get both, especially if you’re buying from a private seller or independent used car lot.

What information you want to pay particular attention to would be the following:

  • Salvage Title
  • Reconditioned Title
  • Odometer Issue or Rollback warning
  • Hail Damage
  • Flood Damage
  • Accident (minor or severe damage)

These warnings will be clearly visible on the report. Use caution if choosing a vehicle with these warning signs. Remember you may be saving a lot of money now, but at some point in time you have to trade or sell this vehicle. So the report will haunt you at trade-in time as well.

If the history report shows a “minor accident” keep in mind that could have been just that minor. Fender bender for example, maybe the car was backed into in a parking lot or similar occurrence. Just because a vehicle has been scratched or dented does not automatically make it a bad car. If the repairs are done right and properly you will be fine.

Having reliable information will help you make an informed decision about purchasing a used car. The information is easy to get with a VIN number from the car, that’s all you need.