Cool Mini Coopers For Under $10,000

Hey Cool Car Fans,

O2007Mini1ne request that I get quite often from people is if I can help them find a cool car for under $10,000 for their teenager or as an additional vehicle.  Actually, most of the time it’s under $5,000 and they are looking for something cool to drive that is inexpensive.

I’ve owned over 38 automobiles and when I was younger, before Craigslist back when you only had newspaper ads to sell a personal vehicle, I would often buy really inexpensive automobiles drive them for about six months and then sell them.  The joke with my relatives was that I sold a vehicle before it needed an oil change, but that wasn’t actually true.

2007Mini2On the contrary, I would get virtually free transportation which was great when you were in High School or College.  I would look for vehicles that would hold their value pretty well, such as VW Beetles or Honda Preludes, Honda CRX’s and the Toyota Celica for example. I could grab one for $1,500 to $3,000 at the time, put some money into it with a tune up and a coat of wax or a paint job, drive it for six to nine months and sell it for a profit.  CARFAX was not an issue back then because nobody thought twice about a vehicle repaired in an accident.  Nobody had a clue about the history of the vehicle, unless they knew what to look for in the paint, frame, body, etc.



2005 BMW 3 Series

The key to my cool system for close to free transportation when you’re on a fixed budget is that you have to find high demand vehicles that have a cool factor to them for the a younger generation.  You don’t want super expensive vehicles, but vehicles that people can pay cash or have a very small loan to drive them.  Granted, not everyone is going to be able to do what I did and make money on their vehicles because you have to really know what you’re doing.  I’m just being honest with you that vehicles depreciate.  However, you can certainly minimize your losses, so that you don’t lose a ton of money on a cool car you’re wanting to drive by limiting the amount of depreciation that is taking place.


2003 BMW 325i

If I needed to unload an old BMW 3 series, VW Beetle, Honda Prelude, Honda Civic SI wagon it was really easy because there was always a market for these types of vehicles at a low price.  Nobody looked at the odometer of a 1972 VW Super Beetle back in the late 1980’s.  They didn’t care at the price point I was staying in for buying and selling those vehicles.  The same with a Subaru WRX or Mazda Speed 6 for example today.  As long as I wasn’t into it too heavy.  One such vehicle I think you could minimize your losses on is the older Mini Coopers that has the cool factor to it and are finally down in the price range where people can buy one and drive it for a while and then flip it with very little loss.  I’ve been watching them for quite a few years and I’ve been seeing them now going through the Dealer Auctions for under $10,000.  Sometimes I have seen them for under $5,000 depending on the miles and if they are a manual transmission or an automatic.


2011MiniCoop.1The majority of people don’t know how to drive a stick, which is really tragic and it’s also less costly to maintain than an automatic.  When I cruise through the Dealer Auctions looking at vehicles the amount of miles on the some of the manual transmissions can be really high, but the vehicles still look really good and are holding their value pretty well.

Like this 2011 Hardtop Mini Cooper that I recently spotted.  The problem though is if the clutch goes out on the Mini Cooper it can be a costly repair if you’re not going to do it yourself.  If you do it yourself, you will find Youtube videos about it and some after-market places like Pelican give you details on how to do it, but it’s a job labor wise.  Here’s a link to a good article from a shop on the costs to replace a clutch in various automobiles at Central Automotive in Kent, WA.  It’s a ballpark.

This Mini though would sell for about $9,500, which is under $10,000, but it has almost 149,000 miles on it. That is still a bit pricey in my book, but it’s because of the year.  I could probably get the dealer to come down on the price though if I was buying it for a client because most people don’t know how to drive a stick shift and the miles will scare most people.  That’s just a quick example though.  The bigger issue with these vehicles is if you should get an S with the turbo or a standard Mini without the S.  I don’t think it matters that much depending on the price point because a turbo can go out and cost more money and if you just want a cool car to spin around in the non-turbo is still fun to drive.  You will definitely pay a premium for an S on the used market that you won’t on the standard model.


2009MiniClubman2MINI has come out with quite a few models since bringing back the Mini Cooper.  I’m starting to see the Clubman, which is the bigger station wagon mini with the doors that open in the year showing up for under $10,000 now as well.  Which is pretty cool, but the newer version is much more like a MAXI than a MINI, but the 2009 I spotted had only 55,000 miles and again was under $10,000.  This is another vehicle in the Mini world that could be a nice option.  The one I put photos of here was an automatic.  Personally, I like the classic MINI much better than the additional models they have added to their lineup, but to each his own.

2009MiniClubman3What about reliability and maintenance on older vehicles like these?  It really depends on how many miles the vehicle has and how you take care of it.  I get people who contact me about selling their Classic Cars or giving them tips about owning some of their older vehicles all the time.  It’s true that there can be some costly repairs with these vehicles, like a clutch replacement or a rear main seal, but many times you just have to use some common sense.  If you don’t want to do the work yourself then shop around.

2009MiniClubman1 For example, you don’t have to take your vehicle to the Mini Dealership for maintenance work anymore than you have to take a Mercedes Benz to the Mercedes Benz dealership.  I recently had an estimate to replace just the brake pads on a Mercedes Benz GLK at the dealership of $298 and I was able to get the same work done at my local Tires Plus facility for $106. The vehicle needed brake pads, so why would I spend almost $200 more for a soda at the Mercedes Benz dealership while I waited for the technician to put on brake pads.  Again, you have to use some common sense when it comes to vehicles.


2001 BMW Z3 3.0

The point of this article though is that there are now plenty of cool little Mini Coopers and other cool vehicles on the used market that are getting into that first car, teenager or extra car for better gas mileage price range.  At the time that I wrote this article, a quick search through the Manheim Dealer Auction revealed over 330 different Mini Coopers that were available for under $10,000 on average.  That’s quite a selection to choose from, which I thought was pretty cool and worth mentioning in this article.  I will probably put some other vehicles here that are under $10,000 that I can help my clients and followers find.



John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

Does It Ever Make Sense To Lease A Vehicle

Hey Cool Car Fans,

As a professional automotive consultant I cannot tell you how many times I have had people tell me that they have been told that they should never lease a vehicle.  It’s true that sometimes leasing a vehicle is a really bad idea.  In fact, I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve seen some really crazy leases that people put themselves into that come back to bite them a few years after the new car smell has long worn off.  Over the years, I have acquired some great stories and a few good friends of mine keep trying to convince me to write a book about my life as The Cool Car Guy.  Maybe someday I’ll put a few of my collection of stories down into a book that goes beyond my blog here at  For now, I enjoy writing here online and sharing information with the fans of


Like the time that I had a good friend of mine tell me about how a broker he knew pulled a guy out of his lease on his truck, who was almost 60,000 miles over the allocated miles.  Had he pulled him out of his lease and bought out the vehicle correctly that would have been a good idea, but he didn’t know what he was doing.  At least he thought he knew what he was doing and believed that he had pulled the guy out of his lease.  He didn’t do it correctly and his client got a bill from the manufacturer, which I won’t mention here, but it was for $.25 per mile for each of the 60,000 additional miles.  The guy got a bill for close to $15,000 because the expert didn’t know what he was doing and accidentally had turned the vehicle back into the manufacturer instead of buying it out.  That guy will probably never lease a vehicle again and has a nightmare story to tell. Was the lease actually a bad lease?  For starters, why would you go 60,000 miles over the miles you purchased and wait until the end of the lease to get out of that situation?  And the guy who he worked with was inexperienced and didn’t know what he was doing.  It was the classic case of when two fools met.


2015AudiQ5Recently, I had a woman referred to me and ask me to assist her in getting an Audi Q5.  She wanted to get a used Audi Q5 in a specific color and a payment of under $400 a month.  It had to be a very specific color.  She didn’t want to lease the vehicle because she had heard about how bad leasing was and instead she wanted to finance a used one.  I explained to her the benefits of leasing and how it can make sense when structured correctly and that I could even help her lease a used Audi Q5, so that she would hit her payment with minimal money down and be in an equity position at the end of the lease.  I spent a great deal of time with her looking for that perfect used vehicle and then she started to go dark as I call it.  She was going to wait on this vehicle that she couldn’t wait to get her hands on before and maybe go and test drive a new Audi Q5.  I didn’t mind by that time because I had spent so much time on trying to meet her expectations that I was ready to take a break too.

What had happened though is once she realized the benefits of leasing after talking with me, she had the brilliant idea of going and leasing a new vehicle on her own at the local Audi dealership.  I never recommended that she do this, but armed with my expertise she figured she was now much smarter than The Cool Car Guy.  I’m not being mean, but simply pointing out that what seems simple is often much more complex because leasing is a financial transaction.  Sure, you can go and meet with a lawyer and then choose to represent yourself in a court of law because you don’t want to pay a lawyer.  It doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea though.

I contacted her after she leased her new Audi Q5 and she told me that she was sorry she didn’t work with me, but that she got a “great deal” with $4,000 down and a $500 a month payment and 7,500 miles a year on her lease.  I was quoting her $1,000 down and 15,000 miles a year to get to $400 a month.  If you take $100 a month times 36 months that is $3,600 in savings and the buyout at the end of the lease that I was recommending would have put her in an equity position.  At the end of her new vehicle lease, she will be giving it back to Audi and walking away with nothing and if she goes over her miles it is $.25 a mile like the guy with his truck.  What she did is not even close to a good deal let alone a great deal.  I’m quite sure that three years from now she will be one of the many people who go around telling people how “leasing is a bad deal”.   As long as she doesn’t tell anyone that I recommended that she lease a vehicle!  I didn’t recommend that deal.


2015_RAV4_1Let me give you an example where a lease makes great sense.  Recently, a woman was referred to me who had filed bankruptcy a little over a year ago.  This was an elderly woman who had never purchased a vehicle on her own.  She had been told by numerous banks, lenders and dealerships that they could finance her at around 19.95% interest.  I got her credit application and submitted it to a lender that specializes in bankruptcy car loans and they approved her for a $400 a month payment based on her income at 19.95%.  That didn’t seem like a good deal to me after looking over her credit and seeing that I could probably get her approved on a lease through one of the leasing companies. She told me that her ideal vehicle was a Toyota RAV4 or Honda CRV.  I went ahead and took the time to see what I could put together for her with the same $1,000 down that the bank wanted if she were to finance at 19.95%.

Even though she only drives about 10,000 miles a year, I structured the lease, so that she would be allocated 15,000 miles per year.  This way she wasn’t looking at the odometer or having to worry about going over her miles and I configured the lease based on a 2015 Toyota RAV4 with a Sport package.  She was shocked that I was able to get her approved through the leasing company that I used and that her payment with sales taxes was a little more than $350 a month instead of the $400 a month that she was looking at for a $14,000 used vehicle plus sales tax. And what was the interest rate of the lease?  It had an effective interest rate of about 2.49%!  That’s right, less than $18 a month was going toward interest with this lease compared to about $151 a month of her payment going toward interest on the purchase for an older used vehicle that would certainly need repairs over three to five years.  Over five years she would have paid over $9,100 in interest on a $14,000 vehicle.  I would much rather help her get a business of her own for that additional $151 a month!

The great news is that she is getting to drive a vehicle that is under the manufacturer’s warranty with new tires, free maintenance for two years and she gets to buy it out in two years for about $16,500, which is less than the market value of a three year old Toyota RAV4.  If I didn’t know anything about leasing and she hadn’t been referred to me then she would probably be paying over $151 in interest to a bank on a used vehicle.  She’s pretty happy about her vehicle and that’s really cool.

And those are a few stories about leasing that I thought I would share at  By the way, I finance vehicles for people all the time as well and I have clients who pay cash for vehicles too.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

How Wall Street Is Trying To Sell The Benefits Of Tesla

Tesla_RoadsterHey Cool Car Fans,

I have been following the Tesla car company since before it first became available for sale. I’ve never seen a vehicle with so much positive press from the media that has a love affair with this vehicle.   One reason why is because so many investors have paid the Piper with their stock trading from $177 to $292 with a $25.6B market cap over the last 52 weeks from a car company that is a pimple on the butt of the entire auto industry.

If that sounds harsh, let’s just be real for minute and look at how many vehicles Tesla sold last year out of the 17.15 million vehicles sold in the United States that we can verify at Trading After all, company sales is what is supposed to drive the success of a company right?  There is a reason why you cannot purchase a new Saab, Pontiac, Hummer or Suzuki anymore in the United States and that’s because of lack of sales, but that doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to Tesla.  This company has never shown a net profit according to their financial statement that you can view here at, drop down to the Net Income line where last year they lost $294M on $3.2B in sales.  Their balance sheet looks great because they are sitting on a boatload of cash, but how many vehicles did they actually sell last year out of the 17.15 million that were sold?

Trying to figure this out is much harder than it should be for a public company with so much positive press!  You have to dig a little deeper than you would think because the media’s darling doesn’t want people to really do what I’m doing now and ask this obvious question.  Instead they write articles about how Tesla doesn’t think they can do 500,000 sales by the end of the decade!  They think they can maybe do half that number or about 240,000 vehicles by the year 2020, so you can read articles like this that have such a positive spin.  In 2004, there were 28,898 Hummer H2’s sold in the United States, which was quite a few for such a specialty SUV and by 2008 when they pulled the plug they sold 12,431 deeming that it wasn’t worth continuing.  Last year, Tesla missed their mark of selling 35,000 vehicles and they sold 31,600 units according to

Now I will go back to my statement again that they are a pimple on the butt of the entire auto industry because any kid in Elementary School can divide 31,600 into 17,150,000 and arrive at a percentage of the market that Tesla has command over.  When you do this you arrived at a figure of .00184257 or 0.18% of the automobile industry and yet there is more press about this revolutionary Wall Street company than any other car company. Forget that other car companies have electric cars or hybrid cars or all kinds of cool new technology, the focus is always on Tesla.

Recently, a client and friend of mine sent me an article to get my opinion on since he is thinking of getting a Tesla.  You can read it here at and I had to chuckle when I read it.  The author makes a case about what a great value it is to drive a Tesla because you don’t have to stop at a gas station or worry about maintenance on your vehicle since Tesla is willing to buy back your Tesla after three years at 46% of the purchase price.  Oh my gosh, how nice of them since it is a lease!  Are you kidding me?  It is called a residual value and every car manufacturer and leasing company gives you a residual at the end of the lease.  In fact, I’m leasing a Toyota Tacoma TRD today to a client for $296.15 a month including sales tax with only $800 down at 15,000 miles a year and the buyout at the end of the lease is almost 75% of the MSRP after 39 months!

2014-BMW-328iYou can lease an AWD BMW 328i right now and get free maintenance for three years and the residual at the end of the lease on a 3 Series BMW is 50% from BMW and possibly better through some of the other leasing sources.  Last time I checked 50% is better than 46%?  However, billionaire Elon Musk, the guy who started PayPal is really good at math like most of the tech savvy people in Silicon Valley, and all I can figure is that they are assuming that most doctors, lawyers and CEO’s who would buy their vehicle, are not very good at math, so they come up with stupid articles like the one that I just read appealing to emotion.  The math doesn’t add up if you put a pencil to it compared to other vehicles in the same class.  This is not a vehicle you purchase to save money.  It’s not designed for that, but to have a “cool” factor.

The writer actually has a section in the article called “THE MATH” to break down how much money you would spend over five years if you sell it back to Tesla at a 46% residual value.  I kid you not, she used a five year plan and it’s a three year lease for the 46% buy back?  How many people reading that article will actually catch that flaw in the numbers?  Most will not and that’s why I got a chuckle out of the article because it’s not any different that people who call me to lease a high-end luxury vehicle for a really low price from an ad on television and they miss the fine print that the lease is only for 10,000 miles a year with $3,000 or $5,000 down.  The crazy thing to me is the same people who would never dream of leasing a vehicle because they think it is a rip-off are on a waiting list to lease a Tesla because of the marketing behind it.

I actually like the Tesla Model S and I really like the Tesla Roadster even better, but I just get tired of seeing the non-stop B.S. surrounding this car company by people who know very little about cars.  It’s a specialty vehicle for a niche’ market and it’s a very cool car.  I have clients who own them and I’ve driven them and there is a definite “Wow” factor like driving a Nissan GTR, but there are things to consider with this vehicle that seems to rarely get any bad press.  I think the Nissan GT-R is a super cool vehicle, but most people do not know that there was a class-action lawsuit against Nissan that was settled for transmission issues with that vehicle.  You can read about it at Autoblog, so my point is to not get lost in the ether with the media and know what you’re buying before you pull the trigger on a Tesla or any other vehicle for that matter.

2004_jaguar_x-typeLosing 54% of a vehicle’s value in three years is not a great deal compared to other vehicles on the market is my main point in writing this article since you can do that with most luxury cars that cost much less to drive and are easier to unload at the end of the lease term.  Before Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India based Tata Motors in 2008 for $2 billion, they had put a lease program together back around 2004 where you could lease a Jaguar X-Type for around $300 a month with a ridiculous residual value.  Anyone who could afford to lease a Jaguar X-Type and didn’t jump on it because of concerns of reliability was crazy because Ford was basically subsidizing people to drive their vehicle.  I don’t see Tesla doing that sort of thing yet with a 46% residual and a high payment.  They may be forced to at some point to grab more marketshare and get more people driving their vehicles, so my advice is to wait and see what happens.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

Look At The Big Enchilada When Financing A Vehicle

Hey Cool Car Fans,

Each year I focus on helping about 250 people buy, sell, trade, consign or lease a vehicle for their home or their business.  I offer my services for free, unless I deliver a vehicle and then I get paid out of the transaction like a realtor for cars.  Often times, I just give free advice to people, but it always comes back to pay dividends because people remember me down the road or tell their friends to call me.

My business model has never been designed to compete with the “big box” stores, the franchise dealerships or other independent car dealerships because my services are much more intimate like a “boutique” for vehicle purchases.  My clients use my services because of the relationship I have with them because I save them time, money and hassle.  All of my business is based on repeat and referrals because of this and it has served me well for a decade.

Photo 1Recently, I had a client who purchased a vehicle from me almost seven years ago call me and ask me to help her and her husband track down a good deal on a Toyota Sienna.  There wasn’t much available at the Dealer Auctions in their budget, so they ended up finding it on their own from a private party.  Unlike most people who would just go and do the transaction on their own, they asked me to assist them, which I was more than happy to do because they are friends of mine.

We had the vehicle inspected and it was in great condition from a couple up in Northern Colorado.  The couple selling the vehicle drove it down and I had it inspected for my clients and arranged their financing for them as well.  The title turned out to be a bit more complicated than expected because it was owned by a woman in a nursing home and her son had the vehicle and the title, along with Power of Attorney and he trusted that because I put transactions like this together daily he was going to get paid.  We were able to work through the issues and my clients drove off in a nice vehicle with low miles and financed at a better rate than they would have found on their own.  Most “auto brokers” would not have gone forward with helping people who found their own vehicle, but I didn’t mind at all and it all worked out.

2007EscapeHailI’m going to talk about financing in a minute, but before I do the story gets better because they had an old Ford Escape with hail damage and some mechanical issues that was sitting in their driveway.  They were not sure what to do with the vehicle and many times people getting a new vehicle and having one broken down in their driveway will donate it just to get it off their hands.

I recommended they contact their insurance company and file a claim for the hail damage, which they did.  They received a check in the mail for over $4,000 from their insurance company and I also shopped the vehicle and I was able to get them another $1,500 for their vehicle from one of the dealerships that I have a relationship.  That was $5,500 in additional funds that they didn’t expect because of their relationship with me as The Cool Car Guy.  Which is why I have had so many people use my services over the years.

Now let me explain a few things about financing.  If someone finances just $10,900 at a rate of 3.09% they will pay about $893 in interest over 60 months, which is about $14.88 a month in interest.  However, if they end up going to a bank on their own, which happened with another client of mine, where they were quoted 5.99% from their lender they will pay $1,771 in interest over 60 months, which is $29.52 a month in interest for the same vehicle and the same loan amount of only $10,900.  Think about that for a minute.  That’s almost $1,000 more in interest on the same vehicle for what “seems” like a low interest rate.  And I will have people contact me throughout the year about refinancing their vehicles for this reason as well.

So before you purchase from some of the large dealerships, you should go to Yahoo Finance and type in the stock symbols on some of the large “big box” dealerships.  You will see that many of these companies have a Market Cap that is in the billions of dollars, like any other Wall Street company.  They are not popular with Wall Street investors because they are losing money on selling cars.  In many cases, the “deal” you think you’re getting is not a deal at all because they have you focused on the price of the vehicle instead of the overall cost of owning the vehicle.  It can make a big difference on the year, make, model and type of vehicle you are financing or leasing.  I’ll write another article about a lease deal I recently structured that in the words of my client who was referred to me by another client “You blew the other broker I was looking at using out of the water.”.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

Beware Of That Online For Sale By Owner On Craigslist

Hey Cool Car Fans,

2004HondaPilotRecently, I had a client ask me to look at a vehicle for them on Craigslist for their son.  It was a 2004 Honda Pilot EXL with about 175,000 miles and the seller was asking $6,500 for this vehicle.  It is amazing that these old SUV’s will still go for that much money on sites like,,, etc. and this was being offered by a private party.  I picked up the vehicle and as I always do I went and had it inspected at one of the shops that I use the to inspect vehicles for my clients.  Keep in mind, that most people believe they are going to get a much better deal from a private party purchase than buying from a dealership, but I rarely find that to be true.  This case was not any different.

Upon inspecting the vehicle I discovered that it had some issues, which did not surprise me with 175,000 miles on a 9 year old vehicle, but I certainly wasn’t about to pay retail and then get it repaired.  I already knew that it needed four new tires, but the brakes where shot, both tie rods were gone, the radiator needed to be flushed out, the timing belt and water pump had never been done so they were driving it on borrowed time and much more.  When it was all said and done to get this vehicle right, so that I could feel comfortable delivering it the price tag was $2,300 in repairs.  I went back to the seller and explained it to them and their response was that I should bring it back and they would sell it to someone else interested on Craigslist.

Welcome to the whacky world of high mileage used vehicles.  Some sucker is going to get a vehicle that they will think they just have to put new tires on and odds are pretty good they won’t have the timing belt and water pump done.  Which brings me to the next story because a recently had a client who had purchased a high mileage Subaru that they paid cash for online.

The person told them that they had the timing belt and water pump done and after spending $3,800 on this 1998 Subaru including repairs with 180,000 miles it broke down on the highway.  She was a single woman and stranded on the freeway until 2AM waiting for her insurance company to find a tow truck.  A police officer came by once to ask if she was okay, along with some strange old man with a cane offering to give her a ride somewhere.  Her beloved mechanic told her that it wasn’t the timing belt and water pump that blew, but everything around it fell apart and she still owed $1,750 on this piece of junk.  I was able to trade it for her and get a newer Nissan Altima that was under warranty with a low monthly payment, but that’s the challenge of buying used vehicle from people online.  Believe it or not, they do not always tell the truth about why they are looking to sell their vehicle.

If you’re going to buy a cheap ride online make sure that you get it checked out and do not just take people’s word for it that the vehicle is in great shape.  There is usually a reason why they are selling it to begin with and typically it’s because they are tired of making payments to a mechanic or their shop has told them the vehicle needs a costly repair.  I have purchased vehicles from private parties and dealerships that they have told me need nothing and I discover that the vehicle needs any number of things to make it road worthy and ready for delivery.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

Happy New Year – Check Out The Cool Car Guy Network

Hey Cool Car Fans,

New-Year-CarI wanted to take a moment and wish all of my visitors to a very Happy New Year for 2015!  If you need assistance in buying, trading, leasing, refinancing, selling or figuring out a better solution for your vehicle situation give me a call or send me an email.  I can usually find a solution that other dealers and auto brokers or automotive consultants do not know how to do because of my years of expertise.  I’ve seen and handled just about every type of transaction imaginable and I thought I would take a minute and share a few things to watch out for online.

THE COOL CAR GUY NETWORK: By the way, I also just launched a new Internet property called The Cool Car Guy Network that you can read about why you should join at the following link: You can join the Network for as little as $9.99 for 30 days to list your vehicle or $99 for the entire year and take full advantage of this unique website.  It’s a cool way to take advantage of what I’ve been doing for years as The Cool Car Guy and a great way to showcase your vehicle online, sell your vehicle, write articles as part of The Cool Car Guy Network and even promote your business.  Check it out and feel free to send me feedback since it’s a brand new property.

A Few Online Automobile Scams To Watch Out For

The first one is when you see a late model Mini-Cooper or other popular vehicles being offered for $5,000 or way below market value on Craigslist or Ebay because the people just got transferred overseas or they have some other whacky story.  The reality is that they could go to any local dealer and get the amount of money that they are offering it to you for, if it was a real offer.  It’s not and they will figure out a way to take you for a ride because that is what they do.

I have had people contact me after the fact for advice and you wouldn’t believe some of the stories I have heard.  One included a guy who contacted me and explained how he had showed up in a local parking lot to get his Ebay vehicle at night and when the truck turned out to be “trashed” he declined.   Two guys in another pickup truck pulled out tire irons and were ready to beat him up and take his money and told him that he was going to take the truck or it was going to end badly for him.  He was carrying a gun and that was the only thing that saved him from being left for dead.

There are plenty of con-artists online, who often times do not even own the vehicle they are offering for sale.  Many times they will pull photos off the Internet and use them in their ad or even be so bold as to take photos of a vehicle parked in someone’s driveway and claim it is theirs.  It’s buyer beware!  If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, so just remember that the next time you see the crazy online offers.

Another one to watch out for is the “Take Over My Lease Payments” or “We Will Take Over Your Lease Payments”.  Both of these are a very bad idea.  In order to really take over someone’s lease payments legally, you have to qualify with the manufacturer or leasing company and what you will usually find is the person may be in a really bad lease.  You could end up qualifying for a lease that isn’t all that you thought it was cracked up to be and assuming someone else’s nightmare.

Which leads me to the second option of having someone take over your lease payments.  This is a terrible idea and people do it all the time.  If the person doesn’t qualify with your leasing company and assume the lease with you being off it completely and you just “sub-lease” it to them, first of all you are in violation of your lease agreement and the vehicle can be repossessed.  Secondly, if they trash the vehicle, you are still responsible for the damage or the excess miles, regardless of what the sub-lease company outfit tells you.  And third, if they stop making payments and move out of the State with your vehicle, you could be completely screwed.  The bottom line is DON’T DO IT!

Contact me and I can give you a much better way to get out of your lease than having someone with bad credit that you don’t know try to solve your problem.  Even if you’re thinking of having a relative or friend take over your lease payments it isn’t a good idea. I have seen many people get burned on what seems like a great idea at the time to solve a cash flow problem.  It’s not the same as assuming the payments on a house, like the slick salespeople will tell you at the company charging you their fee because a house is not going to drive across State lines.

Finally, the “Straw Purchase”, is often done by shady dealers and salespeople.  A Straw purchase in the automotive industry is a purchase where a purchaser is knowingly acquiring a loan on a vehicle for someone else. The person purchasing on behalf of the other when the other person is unable to purchase the vehicle themselves.  If a loan is involved it can be considered fraudulent based on signing a credit application and applying for a loan by providing false information.  If you do not disclose to the lender that the vehicle is for someone else, it’s a straw purchase.  The vehicle can be repossessed and your credit can tank.

These are just a few things to be aware of when vehicle shopping in 2015.  Have a great year!


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

The Cool Car Guy’s Auto Repair Advice

Woman Leaning Over the Engine Bay of a Car --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisHey Cool Car Fans,

Here at I try to put cool links for visitors to use when they are cruising through my site, which you can find on the right side of the page under cool links.  One such link is Repair Pal and once you are there you can search on some different content to find out if the vehicle you’re looking to purchase or maybe you are driving is a good value or not based on potential repairs.

For example, I currently drive a 2011 BMW 335xi with a manual transmission that has been a very good vehicle for me for a while now.  Previous to this vehicle I put 92,000 miles on a 2010 Mercedes Benz C300 that I leased new and then bought out the lease.  I never had one issue with that vehicle for 92,000 miles.  All I had to do was change the oil, the tires, the brakes and do the regular transmission service at about 30,000 to 40,000 miles, so that was a great vehicle for the money.

I sold it and went with this 2011 BMW that has also been pretty “bullet proof” so far with a twin-turbo 6 cylinder motor.  I plan on keeping this vehicle for a while as I really enjoy driving it and I have recommended it to quite a few people.  Repair Pal has a great article – BMW 335i Repair and Maintenance – A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your BMW 335i on this vehicle that discusses potential repairs that I could encounter as an owner and what they should cost.  This can work well for someone who is considering purchasing a vehicle like what I’m driving to see if they want to roll the dice on the cost of potential repairs.  You have to do a little more research though to see if they are talking about the year of vehicle that you’re driving for the potential repairs because they could be referring to an older year than what you’re driving.

The other thing that you need to consider is where you’re are getting the repair work done and in what part of the country you are living in for the work that is being quoted.  Most people never think about this as an issue, but this site comes in as a great tool for keeping your mechanic or repair shop honest.  For example, when I went to their Repair Cost Estimator tool and I put in the year, make and model of my vehicle and then put in valve cover gasket replacement based on a zip code in Littleton, CO of 80124 the estimate came back at $740 to $1066 and it was primarily labor.  I then changed the zip code to Fort Walton Beach, FL using 32548 and the price changed for this repair to $576 to $857 for the exact same repair.  That’s a substantial difference in price for one repair!

I then punched in a 2010 Subaru Legacy with the 2.5l motor that is notorious for having the head gaskets go at about 80,000 miles.  I’ve seen dealers charge $2,500 to $3,000 for this repair!  Again, I put in the different zip codes and the repair shops in Littleton, CO should be $1117 to $1544 for this repair.  On the Gulf Coast of Florida it was $935 to $1312, but if you didn’t know any better and went to the dealer you could be getting ripped off big time.  If you have this data though you should be able to negotiate with your mechanic and they can still earn a fair profit based on knowing ahead of time what you should be paying for the repair.  If you’re savvy at working with a repair shop, you can budget $1,066 and get two repairs done or replace a component that you know will be needed in the future for the same price as what someone else is paying for one repair.

This is a very useful tool to ballpark a repair that I use myself for getting work done on vehicles, along with some other resources that I have available.  I have certain repair shops and body shops that I use for specific things, but this information is useful to make sure that I am not overpaying for a particular repair.  Don’t be afraid to ask if your shop can match the price on a repair, after you have done your homework and go for the lower amount.

I don’ t list all of the benefits of working with The Cool Car Guy to get your vehicle because I don’t like to let other “auto brokers” know my secrets.  Needless to say, I have saved my clients thousands of dollars in the total ownership of their vehicles because they know me.


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

A Fast And Furious 2012 Audi S4 Prestige

2012S4.2Hey Cool Car Fans,

The Audi S4 is one of the more popular performance sedans.  It is often compared with the Lexus IS350, the BMW 335xi or even the BMW M3, along with the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG.  The latter two vehicles usually have more horses than a standard Audi S4, which is why some S4 enthusiasts will modify their vehicles to get more power out of the 3.0 liter, 6 cylinder engine.

This is one of those modified 2012 Audi S4’s that I decided to feature here to showcase as a cool car.  Here’s what has been done to this Audi S4 to make it a super fast and really unique ride.

Stasis Challenge Edition Supercharged 2012 Audi S4 Prestige Package
2012S4.5Monsoon Gray w Black Leather
3.0 Liter Supercharged V6
7 Speed paddle Shift Transmission
Approximately 30,000 Miles
19” Alloy Wheels/New Bridgestone Potenza All Season Tires
Extended Manufacturer Warrantee (Fully Transferable)

Car is a showroom condition, meticulously (professionally) maintained, Garaged, Summer-Only Driver.  One owner


  • Stasis Engineering ECU Tune- (Horsepower increase 100+, Torque 90 lb ft +) $2500
  • Stasis Engineering 2” Stainless Steel Full Exhaust (Headers Back) $2500
  • Huper Optik Carbon Ceramic Window Tint (Windshield Included) $2000
  • Clear Mask (fully wrapped , including mirrors, A-Pillars $1500
  • Clifford Alarm with Integrated Smart Start GPS Locator/Engine Kill $1500
  • Passport 9500 Ci Integrated Radar/Laser Warning/Diffuser System $2000
  • JL Audio 12” Subwoofer (Integrated into Audi MMI System) $500
  • JL Audio 500 Watt Amplifier (Integrated into the Audi MMI System) $1000
    • Note: These last three components are being removed if the offer is not high enough for the vehicle.


  • Audi Drive Select Package – $3,950Driver selectable responsive suspension features: electronic-control; Vehicle speed-proportional power steering; Sport suspension; Rear active differential; Dynamic engine/transmission settings; Driver modes includes engine mapping, steering and suspension; Requires: [WPT] Prestige; Excludes: [PDU] Sports Rear Differential Package
  • Sports Rear Differential Package – $1,100Rear active differential; Audi drive select controls; Excludes: [PDR] Audi Drive Select Package
  • 2012S4.1Audi MMI Navigation Plus – $2,000Internal HD navigation system with 3D and voice; Compass; Voice and display traffic Information; Multi-function display screen; Color driver information system; Rear cam&radar parking distance sensors; Parking assistance: guidance display for rear parking; Voice activating system for phone and navigation system; Audio system , digital radio
  • Prestige – $6,700Headlight control and active headlights; Audi Adaptive Light; Audi Side Assist overtaking sensor; Nappa leather door armrests & pulls; Includes: [PND] Audi MMI Navigation Plus And [7X7] Rear Acoustic Parking Sensors And [4I3] Audi Advanced Key And [9VK] Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System And [PQ6] 19″ 5 Segment Spoke Wheels
  • 2012S4.6 Audi Advanced Key – $550Audi Advanced Key smart card/smart key; includes central locking ; includes ignition starter and memory seat; Card key power locks; Vehicle start button; Requires: [WPT] Prestige
  • Carbon Atlas Decorative Inlays – $500Luxury trim: carbon fiber-look and carbon fiber on dashboard; Excludes: [5MZ] Stainless Steel Texture Decorative Inlays And [5TZ] Gray Birch Wood Decorative Inlays
  • Rear Acoustic Parking Sensors – $550Rear radar parking distance sensors; Requires: [PND] Audi MMI Navigation Plus
  • 2012S4.7Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System – $850Bang & Olufsen audio system; Fourteen Bang & Olufsen speakers; Amplifier; Requires: [WPT] Prestige
  • 19″ 5 Segment Spoke Wheels – $800.  Front and rear alloy wheels: 19″x 8.5″; 5-spoke alloy wheels; Front and rear summer tires

If you’re a fan of the Audi S4 and you have some money to spend on one that has already been modified to over 400 plus horsepower than you should take a look at this vehicle.  Give me a call or send me an email, if you are interested in finding out more about this 2012 Audi S4 Prestige with all of these fantastic upgrades and to find out what it’s priced at – provided that it’s still available for sale.

Cool Car Guy Rating: Very Cool


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy


A Very Cool 1964 F-100 Pickup Truck

Hey Cool Car Fans,

F-100.1As The Cool Car Guy, I get to see some really cool rides on a regular basis and this truck that is owned by a guy who contacted me to let me know he was selling it I thought was too cool to not feature here at

Especially, when he told me what he had done to the vehicle and how much he was looking to get for it.  I told him that I would showcase it on my site and write an article about it to see if any of my visitors had an interest in it, since he’s trying to get into a home and needs to find a new home for this classic ride.

Here’s what he shared with me about his truck…

“Hi John,

F-100.4Here are some photos of my really nice 1964 Ford F-100.  It is the former show truck for Rockford Fosgate and has over 25k invested in it. It’s the perfect turn-key Sunday driver with less than 6k mi on everything. In fact, I drove it only 20 miles or less every weekend to cruise nights or go to dinner on nice evenings.

The motor is a fresh rebuilt 302, with a brand new automatic transmission in 2012 that cost over $3,000 and now it chirps 2nd at 6,200ft elevation where I live. It includes, new headers, custom 2 chamber side exhaust, (SOUNDS AMAZING! but not too loud), a new suspension, a custom radiator, custom gages, custom flip face Pioneer CD stereo with 8″ subs and direct iPod attachment with in dash controls, with low profile tires and custom wheels.  

It has a new battery, really cool looking blue LED volt meter, and professionally rolled and shaved F-100.2body work with an awesome Charcoal Metallic paint highlighted with a very faint ghost flame on the lower front fenders.  The truck really does run and drive great and is absolutely perfect for a night out cruising just as it is.  

Like any older truck that has been rebuilt, there are a few small items that can be done to it down the road for the new owner.  The gauges light up and are powered, but they are not hooked up and the shaved outer door handles are not hooked up yet either.  It used to have powered auto opening doors but they removed all that gear when I bought the truck 8years ago and I never bothered to reconnect it, so that is an option.

The body is perfectly straight with some small road chips, a couple small door dings and light scratches since the paint is nine years old and it still looks amazing as you can see from the photos.  F-100.5The drip rail above the front window has small bubbles, (this is very common unless you shave off the drip rail), there is some pitting and water marks on the rims, but nothing major and the tires still have plenty of tread left.

The only reason why I’m selling this vehicle is to buy a new house so my loss is your gain.  I’m going to miss this truck because it is awesome and I have never found another one like it!  It runs and drives excellent and always has people checking it out or giving me a thumbs up.  You really have to see it to appreciate it and thanks for putting it on to help me find a buyer.  

I think that with the small items addressed it could be worth $25,000, but I don’t have time to work on it before we close on the house.  Let me know if you have a buyer for it and thanks again.”

F-100.6If you’re looking for a cool vehicle to cruise around in or add to your collection just let me know and I’ll get you more information about it.  He may sell it on his own fairly quickly, but he asked me if I could assist him by featuring it here on  I wanted to showcase his ride and have him share some of the information about it, since it’s a classic and very hard to find truck that is currently available for under $16,500.

Drop me an email if you want more information about it.  If you’re looking for a sweet classic truck from the 1960’s era this is worth investigating further.

Cool Car Guy Rating: Very Cool














John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy



Finally Some Honest Press On The Tesla Model S

BMWi8Hey Cool Car Fans,

Like many automobile enthusiasts, I have been watching Telsa Motors for years and the enormous fascination and love of the electric automobile maker by the public and the media.  This past Friday the stock was trading at $259.32 a share with a Market Cap of $32.32B, which is the most ridiculous and overpriced stock I can remember based on their annual car sales and product line.  Seriously, look at the number of car sales for Tesla Motors compared to Autonation, which is not an Automobile Manufacturer.

International Business Times reported that Tesla will sell 35,000 vehicles in 2014.  Autonation, which is a franchise automobile dealer and also a public company reported in a Press Release that retail new vehicle unit sales in the second quarter of 2014 alone were 81,394.  That’s not even close!  The stock price of Autonation though was only $51.44 a share and it has a Market Cap of only $6.1B compared to Tesla’s $32.32B Market Cap.  What about other competing specialty car companies like Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW or others?  BMW stock price closed at $88.99 Euro a share and Mercedes Benz closed at just $63.70 Euro and they both have an electric vehicle that did a review about, but they are not getting the unprecedented and completely ridiculous media coverage that Tesla Motors has received.  Audi is releasing their A3 e-tron hybrid vehicle in 2015 as well, but it’s not a fully electric vehicle. They claim they will have one in about three years according to Audi and  And BMW reported the following on their website about their revenues and sales compared to Tesla Motors…

“The BMW Group continued to perform well throughout the period under report, recording its best-ever sales volume figures – both for a quarter and for a six-month period. The previous year’s second-quarter sales figure was topped once again, with 533,187 units delivered to customers (+5.3%). Six-month sales were also up solidly (1,020,211 units;6.9%), surpassing the one-million threshold for the first time in the first half of a year.”

My point in all of this is not to give stock advice, but simply to point out a fact that one company has an incredible amount of “hype” around their company based on their annual revenues and projected sales compared to other automobile manufacturers and even automobile retailers.  It’s a joke that Wall Street and the media power elite are helping Tesla Motors to be valued with a $32B Market Cap compared to Ford Motor Company for example that has a $64B Market Cap and sold 222,064 vehicles in the month of June 2014 alone.  Anyone with half a brain should see that the Telsa Motors is more hype than substance and the same holds true with their vehicles.  And even Fiat that owns Chrysler generates about $116 billion in U.S. annual revenues based on EUR $85 billion in sales.  Yet, I never hear a media outlet give Tesla any negative press compared to much larger and more successful car companies.  It’s crazy.

Sure, the Tesla Model S is a cool car, but they have limitations.  Such as only being able to drive about 300 miles before needing to be hooked up for almost five hours to fully recharge again.  Why is this not a big deal?  That would drive me crazy with the amount of miles that I drive each year.  I can get in a Model T and still put gasoline in that vehicle and drive it down the road.  Will you be able to do the same with the Tesla Model S and have it drive you anywhere you want to go even 20 years from now?  Probably not because it will be like your iPad and outdated technology.

There are finally a few articles that are showing up that are actually talking about some of the challenges of owning a Tesla Model S.   Like this article at Motor Authority written by a guy who talked about the claim that you can get a Tesla for only $500 a month, which is not reality.  The way the media and car enthusiasts promote this car you would think that it is the greatest invention since the wheel.   Personally, I think most of this media coverage is being purchased, but that’s my own personal opinion.  When I worked for a company selling Windsurfers back in the 1980’s, the company I was with frequently wrote the positive reviews for the magazine on some of their products because they spent so much with them on advertising.  If a bad review came out they called the Editor and told him they were pulling their ads and surprisingly the reviews became much better.  The exact same thing happened with a mail order computer company that I was with in the early 90’s.  Which is why I’m a bit skeptical of some of the things I read in many car magazines, on websites and through other media outlets about vehicles.

Uncle_SamThe other reason I’m skeptical is because as reported in the article “In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car” the Government is giving Tesla Motors a great deal of help compared to other companies…

The Government Subsidy Insanity – The Model S is pretty clearly not a ‘green’ car. Despite this, Tesla enjoys massive financial support from the Federal government, as well as various state and local governments: The Department of Energy (DOE) provided Tesla with $465 mln of low-interest loans under its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, buyers of the Tesla Model S luxury sedan gain $7,500 of Federal tax credits (at an annual cost to taxpayers of $150 mln at ‘full output’ of 20,000 Model S sedans per year) and state and local government incentives include a $2,500 rebate for Model S buyers in California, sales tax waivers, free parking, free charging and authorized travel in car pool lanes. Electric vehicle charging stations have also been subsidized, with Federal tax credits ranging from 30% of the cost of a home charger, up to a $1,000 tax credit, to $30,000 for the installation of commercial chargers. In addition, government environmental credit schemes forced other automakers to pay Tesla roughly $108 mln in over the past six months to “offset” the CO2 produced by their gasoline engine-equipped vehicles with credits generated by Model S sales. All of these incentives are designed to help promote Electric Vehicles (EVs) and reduce CO2 emissions, saving the planet from the devastating effects of Global Climate Change.” –

All of this hype with this vehicle and what appears to be a total scam on the American taxpayer, even though the internal combustion engine is still one of the greatest inventions of all time has me scratching my head.  Gasoline actually sits in your vehicle in hot or cold weather and doesn’t drain the power efficiency out of your vehicle like a lithium / ion battery that changes based on the weather.  The reality is the price of gasoline, government subsidies, media hype and the iPhone type “cool factor” is really what makes Tesla a viable company.  If gasoline was selling for $.47 a gallon in America like it is in Iran or $.88 a gallon like in Kuwait the electric car company would hardly be relevant.

Now I will wait for the negative comments from Tesla Model S fans.  Before you do though, let’s race from Denver to Los Angeles and I’ll drive my BMW 3 Series and you can drive your amazing Tesla Model S  and we will see who gets there first?  It’s about 1,017 miles from Denver to Los Angeles and about a 15 hour to 17 hour drive in a gasoline vehicle according to Google Maps with places for me to fill up all along the way.  So while you’re sitting around after 300 miles waiting four or five hours for your vehicle to recharge, so you can drive another 300 miles, so you can wait another five more hours and then drive another 300 miles and wait another five hours to go a whopping 900 miles total and then wait another five hours, so you can drive another five hours and finish your trip – I will already be there lying on the beach.  At which point I will ask you what your time is worth?  And after a few days of that nonsense to simply drive from Denver to Los Angeles, you will be ready to get out your high-tech iPhone, hop on Expedia and take an airplane home!


John Boyd

Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy

John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! or Twitter @coolcarguy

Return top


You've Arrived At The Official Website of
John Boyd, The Cool Car Guy.