How Many Miles Are On That 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep1Hey Cool Car Fans,

I spend a great deal of time each week cruising through the Dealer Auctions looking for vehicles for my clients.  I will often come across a vehicle that has been driven a ton of miles in a pretty short amount of time or just a great deal of miles in general.

It becomes a good data point for me when people tell me that they want a specific vehicle and they are concerned about how good of a vehicle it is for the money. I recently spotted this 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with 302,999 miles on the odometer.

OdometerI had to take a second look since a friend of mine has 350,000 miles on his 1997 Ford Explorer.  This Wrangler traveled about 37,874 miles a year and it is still in really good shape.  I pulled the CARFAX for kicks and it was a one-owner vehicle, so this guy bought it new and drove the heck out of it.  I thought I would take a minute and post the auction photos, including a picture of the odometer to show my visitors.

I think it’s pretty cool and this vehicle is still really clean, but it’s also a manual transmission that fewer people today know how to drive.  What Jeep2is amazing is that it was still slated to go through the Dealer Auction for $9,000 in average condition, which is pretty crazy for a vehicle with 302,999 miles!   I doubt that it sold for that, but I’m tempted to see if I can go back and see what it did sell for just for kicks.  Regardless, I would say that the owner got his money’s worth out of this vehicle, wouldn’t you?

Many people I have met over the years will tell me about the ridiculous miles they have put on their Toyota, Nissan or Honda and they tend to believe that every other vehicle on the planet won’t go over 100,000 miles.  It’s just not true because I see cars and trucks in every make and model with ridiculous miles on them all the time.  Although, I do see quite a few high mileage Toyota’s, Nissan’s and Honda’s more often and I think it’s because those buyers tend to keep them longer than most.

Jeep4I have a 1996 Honda Accord EX Wagon that has 192,500 miles on it and it runs like a champ.  I use it to drop off at dealerships or other locations when I’m picking up a vehicle and I just want to leave a vehicle.  I call it my “personal assistant” because it’s just an old car for running around.  What is crazy is that vehicle still has an NADA retail book value of over $3,500!

It’s true that you can lose money on vehicles because they depreciate, but it’s also true that if you take care of and maintain your vehicle it can provide you with a great deal of mileage on the road. I’m willing to bet that the second owner of this vehicle gets another 200,000 miles out of this Jeep.

________________________________________________________________________

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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

Nice Cars Are Not Cheap

2003.5Hey Cool Car Fans,

Each week I have people contact me about helping them find a vehicle for their personal use or for a family member.  Why wouldn’t you contact me?  I’m free!  I buy, sell, trade and lease vehicles everyday and you do it once every three, four, five or ten years.  I only get paid if I deliver you a vehicle, so it’s like turning down free legal advice.

Unfortunately, I get so many people who are looking for the “deal” and they refuse to listen to me and then I get emails like this one below.

“Hi John,  We are in a confused bind. Our son bought a used 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS off of Craigslist and we have, put a new battery, new starter, new radiator, new thermostat, new tires and rims. Basically, the $3,000 car is now $5,600. It is overheating, and could be the water pump, which they have this $800 kit to also do the timing belt. No guarantee it will fix the overheating issue. So, We would like to sort of cut our losses, trade this car in for him to find one that will hopefully last a few years. Not sure what we can get for his car or what the heck to do.  Help.”

I have a saying that I picked up years ago from another guy who had sold cars for a few decades.  We were watching cars go through the dealer auction and there was a pretty big spread for the exact same vehicle.  This was because one vehicle was in excellent condition and another was in fair condition and still another was in rough condition.  The condition makes a huge difference on what you can expect to pay for a vehicle and people do not always take this into consideration when car shopping like the people above found out the hard way.

While we were watching cars go through the sale, he made a comment to me that I share this with my clients all the time.  These are words to live by when it comes to looking at automobiles because no two used vehicles are the same, regardless of what Kelly Blue Book or NADA might be telling you.  They are simply a guideline on what a vehicle should sell for.  We were laughing about how these cars had a $2,000 to $3,000 difference in price for the exact same vehicle and he turned to me and said, “Nice cars are not cheap and cheap cars are not nice.”  and then he laughed and walked away.

2003.4If you learn nothing else from visiting CoolCarGuy.com just remember what I just said when you’re out looking for a use vehicle.  You can learn from my years of experience, since I have looked at thousands of vehicles.  It’s the old saying that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.  Sure, there are some deals to be had when looking at vehicles, but what most people fail to realize is that used vehicles have already depreciated compared to the original MSRP.  This is true even when you’re looking at paying retail book for a used vehicle.  You are much better off paying retail book for a vehicle that needs nothing and that has been well maintained that getting someone else’s vehicle that is a piece of junk.

I do not inventory vehicles like most dealers.  There is a very simple reason why I do not inventory vehicles.  Cars and trucks depreciate and each month there are several third-party experts that do not purchase vehicles that come out with their books to tell the world what a used vehicle should be worth.  They are Kelly Blue Book and the NADA book and everyone has access to them for wholesale and retail prices based on the national depreciation based on what the vehicle should be worth.  However, this data comes from auction sales and other sales data in the marketplace.  I just told you how there can be a $3,000 spread between the same two vehicles running through the Dealer Auction based on the condition or if it has a clean CARFAX or a number of other factors.

2003.3What these books cannot tell you is that no two used vehicles are the same.  This is because they are used cars and people drive differently, they take care of their vehicles differently and they have different ideas about cars.  Some people trash their cars, they let their dogs live in them, they smoke in them, they don’t care about the vehicle, they don’t change the oil, etc.  You could look at two 2003 Porsche Boxster’s, each with about 25,000 miles and one was hanging out on the East Coast, the driver took it out a few times in the Winter for fun with his friends, with salt on the roads and mag chloride to do some donuts in a parking lot.  He didn’t wash it regularly, so rust is forming underneath it, and he also didn’t change the oil regularly.  They both have low miles and look great on the Internet, but the guy rode the clutch and was grinding the gears when he did drive it, he parked it outside on the street got a few door dings and somebody backed into the front bumper that he had fixed at a local body shop on the recommendation of his friend and paid cash.  By doing that he kept it out of CARFAX, so you think you have a vehicle that has not been in an accident, but there is no way for you to tell without an expert looking at it.  Are you getting the picture?

2003.2The other vehicle was in Colorado, garage kept, never was even out in the rain, while the guy owned it.  He kept it covered, changed the oil even when he wasn’t driving it much and he treated it like a baby.  He had rebuilt Jeeps on the side, was an Engineer and extremely meticulous about his vehicles.  The one vehicle is placed on consignment for retail book value, which I did for a client recently by the way and you can see the photos in this article and his car was in mint condition.  It was purchased by a gentlemen up in Steamboat Springs and he got a really nice vehicle.  The other one was traded with a used car dealer and he put it on Ebay for wholesale book because he ripped the vehicle apart with his paint meter when it showed up from the first guy.  You the consumer don’t know this because you are not in the car business.  However, you think you are an expert because you see these deals on Ebay and Craigslist all the time, so you know what the market should be without ever even cracking open KBB or NADA to see what the retail and wholesale price should really be for that particular vehicle.

These were the people who called me on this Porsche that I had for sale and told me about the lower priced vehicles they saw on Ebay and said that they wouldn’t pay the retail price for the vehicle.  My response was “good luck” because you’re going to get what you pay for because “Nice cars are not cheap and cheap cars are not nice.”.

2003.1Let’s hypothetically say that the difference between wholesale and retail is about $3,100 for a Porsche that sold new for $42,600.  That is about 7% of the original purchase price of a vehicle that only has been driven 3,000 miles a year.  This been my experience over and over because I get the phone calls from people when I have a consignment and they are more than willing to buy the car that is a potential nightmare with oil leaks and other issues because they are looking for the deal.  What they fail to realize is that “nice cars are not cheap and cheap cars are not nice.” and if they did then they would spend the additional $3,000 and pay closer to retail book instead of trying to pay closer to wholesale book and get the right vehicle.

Instead, most people will take the cheap car to their mechanic and have them check it out and then get the $3,000 bill over time from their mechanic who loves them.   I know that many of you don’t believe me, but that’s okay because I see it all the time.  I get the calls and emails from people telling me their nightmares that they want me to help them solve.  They end up making payments to their mechanic because they thought they were saving so much money.  Don’t get me wrong because there are some cars that are just lemons and you can’t always protect yourself from buying a bad vehicle, which everyone in the car industry has done at least once or twice in their career.  Most of the time though people are either buying someone else’s nightmare or creating their own.

Before I end this post, let me make it clear that just because a vehicle is priced at Retail Book doesn’t make it a nice vehicle either.  I’m simply pointing out the fact that nice cars are not cheap, most of the time.  I have access to the Dealer Auctions and I see some really great vehicles that I can buy closer to wholesale book than retail book and I pass the savings on to my clients.  I’m recently got a client a 2012 Infiniti G37x S that was going up for sale with only 14,500 miles on it and still under warranty.  I get that vehicle for my client back of retail book and they will get a really nice vehicle.  I’ve also seen vehicles being sold for retail book by some dealers that don’t do anything to them!  They don’t fix the brakes, change the oil, do the things necessary to sell the vehicle for retail book.  It’s always buyer beware when purchasing a vehicle, but hopefully I’ve given you some things to consider when you are looking at purchasing a used vehicle.

________________________________________________________________________

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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

The Cool Car Guy’s Current Shopping List

Hey Cool Car Fans,

2006BMWX5.1I am trying something new here at CoolCarGuy.com by putting a list of some of the vehicles that I’m looking for right now up here and asking for my visitors in Colorado to contact me, if they have one available.  It may or may not work for my client, but if you are considering selling I’ll still be happy to give you a fair offer for your vehicle.  I can also get you financed if you have already found a vehicle that you want to purchase, which is another service that I offer to my clients on a regular basis since I have access to numerous lending sources.

As most of you know, I have access to the Dealer Auctions around the country, along with other sources that are not available to the public for vehicles.  However, some vehicles are not as present currently or they are just not showing up right now on the auction lists.  If you’re looking for a specific vehicle be sure and send me an email, it’s free to use my services and I’ll let you know what is currently available that might work for your situation.

2006BMWX5.2My business is based on helping people find the right vehicles and making it a very easy transaction. If you or a friend have one of these vehicles that you need to get rid of than you can expect to get close to Wholesale Book, possibly more depending on the condition of the vehicle.  If you don’t see a vehicle on the list that you are interested in moving by putting it on consignment or just having me buy it, be sure and contact me as well because I come in contact with a number of people each month who are looking for cars, trucks and specialty vehicles.

  • 2009 – 2011 Porsche Carerra 4S Coupe or GTS, preferably white or silver, low miles, black interior
  • 2009 – 2012 BMW 328xi, low miles, preferably black and with navigation and cold weather package
  • 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee, low miles and a sunroof
  • 2011 – 2012 Subaru Outback with Premium package and under 25,000 miles
  • 2012 – 2014 Mercedes Benz E550, black or dark gray in color, black interior
  • 2010-2012 Infiniti G37x preferably silver with black interior and under 40,000 miles
  • 2006- 2011 Honda CRV EX or EXL in any color
  • 2008 – 2012 Toyota 4Runner in any color
  • 2008 – 2012 Toyota Highlander in any color
  • 2008 – 2011 Toyota Rav4 in any color
  • 2007 – 2010 Jeep Wrangler or Wrangler Unlimited in any color
  • 2009 – 2010 Mercedes C300 4Matic
  • 2006 – 2009 BMW X5 3.0

If you didn’t see your vehicle on the list and  you would like to get an offer from me on your vehicle, send me photos, the VIN and details and I’ll give you a number on it.  If you purchase a replacement vehicle from me then I can use your vehicle as a trade and I do have special financing programs available, even if you’ve filed bankruptcy.

By the way, I also have a 2014 Ford Taurus Limited on consignment that is silver with leather interior and loads of options with only about 17,500 miles on it that someone could get a great deal on a lease right now.  It’s $25,500, but if you leased this vehicle, you will only be paying for the depreciation to drive a fantastic vehicle for the money.

I’ll be writing a separate article with a lease example about it later, but if you know someone looking for a great deal on a used vehicle lease have them call me on this one. Depending on how this works, I may be making this a more frequently feature at my site.
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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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

A Very Cool 2007 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Hey Cool Car Fans,

S65_1

As The Cool Car Guy, I get notified of some really cool cars that come around from various sources that I have access to and sometimes they include photos.  This particular vehicle, I had to showcase on CoolCarGuy.com because once in a while, a vehicle shows up on my radar that is an amazing deal.  I’m not selling this vehicle here at CoolCarGuy.com, but simply showcasing it as a cool car for my visitors.  I don’t know if it’s still available for sale, so if you are interested in it, you would have to contact me and I could check into it for you.  I might be able to track one down similar to it too, but this was one of those “deals” that if I did have a client that was in the market for one, at the time of writing this article, I would have called them immediately.

The 2007 Mercedes Benz S65 AMG

S65_2In 2007 Mercedes Benz did a redesign of their S-Class model.  If you’re not familiar with Mercedes-Benz the S-Class is their luxury sedan and in 2007 it was a top competitor with vehicles like the Audi A8 and S8, the BMW 7 Series, the Maserati Quattroporte, the Lexus LS460, the Jaguar XJ Series, The Cadillac DTS and the Bentley Continental Flying Spur.   For the revamp, Mercedes focused on better handling and performance and expanding the scope of luxury with better technology oriented features.  I have heard that the owner’s manual is over 700 pages and it may take you a month to figure out all the features and options on this vehicle.

 

S65_3

It’s an amazingly cool car and one of the coolest luxury cars on the planet.  This is because it’s the ultimate sleeper cell  It is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing as you will discover when you drive it.  It’s the car where you are sitting at a stoplight next to the kid who pulls up in his tuner car and thinks he has a really fast car, until you hit the gas pedal for fun and you quickly start to disappear.  If you’ve ever driven one of these with the AMG package than you know what I’m talking about.

The 2007 S65 AMG came equipped with a 6.0L 604 hp twin-turbo V12 engine.  In case you just missed that, this vehicle delivers 604 horsepower @ 4800 RPM and 738 pounds of foot torque @ 2000 RPM in a luxury car.  You’re not buying this vehicle for the gas mileage, but it still does pretty well for being a high performance vehicle.  In the V8 S-Class you could expect to get between 14 and 22 mpg, but the V12 is still rated at 12mpg to 20mpg, which is fantastic for a muscle, luxury car like the S65 AMG.  It’s the incredible German engineering you would expect from a Mercedes Benz. 

 

S65_4When you punch that gas pedal you’re going to get awesome power delivery. with no hesitations. and the air suspension in this vehicle is fantastic.  It even feels good on bumpy roads.  The handling is amazing, but it is rear wheel drive in case you are wondering, with all the luxury features that you can dream of that were pretty much standard on the S65 AMG.  I will list the features and options that were included on the window sticker of this particular one below, so you can see what I mean.  

The features included things like heated and ventilated seats in the rear with massage and night view assist.  It’s the little things that I like included in German cars, like this one, with things like their remote sunroof controls, which allow you to open the sunroof as you approach the vehicle with your remote.  This allows you to let the heat escape the vehicle on a hot Summer day before you get into the vehicle, which is literally a cool feature that I use all the time on my BMW 335i in the Summer to cool off the inside of my black on black car before I get into it.  

S65_5This particular vehicle sold new for $191,215.  You could probably pick it up for about $65,000 to $67,000, based on it only having 13,000 miles, which is a steal for a one of a kind vehicle that had an original list price of $191,215. A lower priced V8 model is going to sell for as low as $25,000 to $40,000 and you may even be able to get a higher mileage 2007 with the AMG package for $40,000 to $50,000.  This one though with all the options and an original sticker of over $190,000 is unbelievable for the money because it is barely driven.

This is a car that very few people are going to have and the neat thing about Mercedes-Benz is that they do not have a body style change very often, every seven years as I recall.  They have a redesign of this vehicle for 2014.  What this means for the savvy car enthusiast is that they can drive a 2007 and the public doesn’t know that it’s not a 2013.  This would be a great car for a collector to add to their portfolio or the ultimate daily driver for someone who appreciates luxury and incredible performance.  If you like the Mercedes-Benz product line and you can afford this price range of vehicle, you should definitely check out the 2007 S65 AMG as a serious option.

OfF The Window Sticker

040 Black
501 Black Exclusive Leather

***** STANDARD ACCESSORIES *****
K11 Adaptive Brake Light
051 Phone Sys. with VCS (Handset/Cradle sold
218 Rearview Camera
297 Rear Side-Window Blinds
401 Heated and Active Ventilated Front Seats
423 5-Speed Automatic Transmission
432 Driving Dynamic Front Seats
461 English Inscriptions
475 Tire-Pressure Monitoring System
494 Emission Equipment
524 Paint Protection
530 DVD COMAND Navigation
536 SIRIUS Satellite Radio
581 3-Zone Automatic Climate Control
582 Climate Control/Rear Compartment
595 Infrared Glass
610 Night View Assist
615 Bi-Xenon Active Light System
619 Cornering Fog Lamps
634 First Aid Kit
636 Collective Code
668 Sea Packing & Dispatch
731 Burl Walnut Wood Trim
789 AMG 20″5 Spoke Wheels
814 DVD 6-Disc Changer
875 Heated Washer System
881 Electronic Trunk Closer
889 KEYLESS-GO

***** OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES *****
233 Distronic Plus $2,850
402 Active Ventilated Seats/Rear $1,690
406 Multi-Contour Seats Rear $800
413 Panorama Sunroof $1,000

Cool Car Guy Rating:  Blow The Doors Off Luxury

 

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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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

Why Buying The AAA Membership Makes Good Sense

Hey Cool Car Fans,

2008-Volvo-S60-10I get pretty busy as The Cool Car Guy tracking down vehicles and getting paid to solve problems for my clients.  This week I had an interesting situation take place with a client who had purchased a 2008 Volvo S60 with about 75,500 miles on it.  It was a used vehicle that is now six years old and in Colorado we are a very dry climate as a high desert region.

What this means is that hose can often crack, even on vehicles that have lower miles since this vehicle was only driven about 15,000 miles a year.  That is actually pretty low miles for Colorado where people like to live in the suburbs, work in the city and go to the mountains on the Weekends, so they tend to put on about 18,000 to 20,000 miles a year.  It wasn’t an expensive vehicle either, but as anyone who has owned a Volvo or other European car when something goes wrong it can be expensive.

The radiator hose ended up blowing on the vehicle and it damaged the radiator that needed to be repaired.  My client did some research on their own and they were going to get it installed at the Arvada Car Wash where it was shipwrecked for around $600 on site with refurbish parts.  I made a few phone calls and the cost was about $700 at a shop, but I put a call into my friends over at Tires Plus in Lone Tree where I get quite a bit of work done on vehicles.  They gave me a huge discount because of the amount of work that I do with them and they agreed to fix it for $440, including parts and labor.  I told my client that I would also pay the $40, so that they would be looking at a new radiator and hoses for $400.  Everything sounds good and my client is super happy, but then the problem arose.

“HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM.” 

join_card_members_2013The vehicle could not be driven because the radiator was toast, so it needed to be towed.  Unfortunately, my client didn’t have towing on his insurance.  I made a few calls to towing companies and I don’t know if you’ve checked into the cost of towing a vehicle, but I ship vehicles across the country all the time and getting one towed is ridiculous!  The first place a called with a discount for me as The Cool Car Guy they wanted $85 to hook it up and $4 per mile to tow it.  The distance between the two locations was 28 miles, so my client was looking at $197 to get it towed.  I called the next place and they were $80 to hook it up and $3 per mile, so $164 to get it towed.  That was enough for me, so I decided to call AAA and see how their program worked.

AAA offers a basic membership for $75 that includes four roadside assistance calls and they will tow your vehicle up to 4 miles with that membership.  They offers some other benefits as well, but that’s not what I was interested in finding out on this call.  I was trying to see if I could help my client solve their problem.  By the way, I’m doing all of this for free for my client while he’s working at his job, for those of you who wonder why people use my service.  The second package is called the Plus Membership and it’s $125 for this membership, but it includes up to 100 miles of towing included in the package.

Wow!  That’s less than a tow truck, but could he become a member today and actually use the service.  The answer is that he would have to wait until the next day when the service became active to get the membership benefits.  However, why not wait one more day and get your vehicle towed up to 100 miles for $125, plus get a year of AAA benefits?

That’s a great deal!

So for those of you driving older cars, you should make sure that you have towing on your insurance because it can be a costly experience or get a AAA membership with the Plus feature.  They also offer a car buying service like Costco, but they still can’t compete with The Cool Car Guy because this is all I do.

By the way, his wife ended up calling her Farmer’s Agent and they added towing to her policy that cost them $90 to get it towed.  The AAA was still the better deal because of the additional benefits, but they wanted it towed and fixed in one day.  Either way, problem was solved and their Volvo is getting fixed complete with a warranty from Tires Plus for the repair.

You can check out AAA’s Membership Programs by clicking here.

________________________________________________________________________

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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

Why You Should Get A Car Loan

Hey Cool Car Fans,

Now you may think that is a crazy title to an article here at CoolCarGuy.com, but allow me to explain.  It’s not that I believe it is a good idea to put yourself into debt with a car loan.  The fact is that most people don’t have enough money to pay cash for a vehicle, unless they are trying to buy something for under $6,000 it seems. Here is the reality though and this is why I suggest that people take out a car loan instead of buying a worn out vehicle for $6,000 or less.

Right now, there are two different Honda Accord’s listed online that I pulled to illustrate my point as to how crazy people are when it comes to buying vehicles.  The first one is on the website of JFR & Associate, Inc. where I have my license listed to sell vehicles as an Independent Contractor.  If you want to buy this vehicle contact me and I’ll get you financed on it, even if you have credit challenges.

20011Accord1

The first vehicle is a 2011 Honda Accord EX with only 17,691 miles that someone can buy right now for only $17,800 and here’s the listing and a couple of photos…

Year: 2011
Make: Honda
Model: Accord
Trim: EX Sedan AT
Mileage: 17,691
Stock #: GJ028616
VIN #: 1HGCP2F72BA028616
20011Accord2Trans: Automatic
Color: Gray
Interior: Cloth
Vehicle Type: Sedan
State: CO
Drive Train: FWD
Engine: 2.4L L4 DOHC 16V

Now contrast that with a 2005 Honda Accord that I pulled off of Autotrader that is being listed online by another dealership with 169,519 miles for $6,994.  If you want this vehicle, do not call me about it because I won’t sell it to you, even if I could get it from the other dealer.  I do not advise that you spend this much money for this vehicle, as I’ll show you in a minute.

2006Accord1Somebody is going to go and buy it though, after they take a class at some Church from some financial guru, about how they should never have a car payment!  I see it all the time and it’s stupidity in action.  Instead of making payments on a vehicle that will last them at least five years, they will be making unknown car payments to a mechanic for unknown and often costly repairs.  Instead of driving a vehicle with a low car payment that has 151,828 fewer miles, they will opt to pay cash for a vehicle like this and think they are being smart financially.

First of all, we know that there is a huge market for vehicles under $6,000 because people are always looking for vehicles for their teenage children.  In addition, there are millions of people who have filed bankruptcy or have other financial issues that will not allow them to get financed on a vehicle (so they think).  As  a side note, if you filed bankruptcy and have $3,000 or $5,000 to put down on a vehicle, I’m pretty sure that I can get you financed on a newer vehicle, instead of having to settle for somebody’s problem car.

What this means is that you could buy the 2011 Honda Accord, drive it for 150,000 miles and probably sell it for $6,000 based on what this 2005 is selling for right now.  The 2005 is nine years old, which means that you could drive the 2011 Accord, make payments on it for five years, drive it another year and a half, after it is paid off and recover $6,000 of the $17,800 that you spent on the vehicle.  And you can use someone else’s money to finance it and be in a much better position financially, while driving a much nicer and safer vehicle.

Let’s say that you drive 20,000 miles a year, which is more than the average of 15,000 miles a year.  In six years, you will have put on an additional 120,000 miles, plus the 17,691 miles for a total of 137,691 miles, which is still less than the 169,519 that the second vehicle has currently for $6,994.  You can drive it for another year and a half to equal the same number of miles!  This means that the 2011 Accord, if you keep it in good shape and maintain it, like you have to do with either vehicle, would only cost you $11,800 to drive for 7.5 years, plus interest or about $1,573 a year, plus interest!  That is dirt cheap because of the way the Honda Accord obviously holds its retail value.

Yet, the experts will tell you to never have a car payment and to instead drive around a car that is virtually worn out and that you’re paying a massive premium for to begin with.  In my opinion, you should be financing the one that has already been hit with major depreciation and that you can get an incredible deal on and then sell it to the guy who doesn’t want to have any debt.  I never keep vehicles with these kind of miles to sell to my clients because I don’t want them to have problems down the road.

Let me illustrate this one other way for you in case you’re still skeptical.  Let’s contrast these two vehicles using a leasing scenario to really drive home the point. If you were to lease a vehicle, like this 2011 Honda Accord or even the 2005 back when it was new, and you were given 15,000 miles on your lease then you would have 45,000 miles on the vehicle after three years.  

What would happen if you went over 45,000 miles?  A leasing company is going to charge you $.15 to $.25 per mile depending on the vehicle and the structure of the lease, when you turn the vehicle back into the leasing company.  Now let’s look at those 151,828 additional miles on the 2005 compared to the 2011 and do some simple math that the financial guru’s, obviously do not understand about vehicles.  It’s clear they don’t get it because they keep telling people to buy worn out cars and trucks.  

If we now take the 151,828 miles , which is the difference in miles between the two vehicles above and multiply it by $.15 a mile, it is $22,774.20 and at $.20 a mile it is $30,365.60.  I won’t bother with the $.25 a mile calculation for this illustration.  I think the point has been clearly made as to which vehicle is the better option and why you should consider financing the more expensive vehicle, instead of trying to pay too much for the worn out one. 

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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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

The Importance Of Your Credit Score

credit cardsHey Cool Car Fans,

I thought I would take a few minutes and write an article about how credit cards can affect your credit report and how your credit score can affect your interest rate on your car loan.  Many people will come to me to get an auto loan and they are amazed when they discover that their credit score is not as high as they thought it should be.  This is often because they will have a credit card maxed out to the top of the credit amount limit that they have been offered, instead of using no more than 30% of what is available to them.  This affects their credit score dramatically.  They would be better off having two credit cards and splitting the balance between the two of them to keep it at 30% or less and dropping the total credit limit available.

For example, if you have a $10,000 credit line of your VISA card, you do not want to have more than $3,000 on that card at any given time, so that it doesn’t drop your credit score.  You would also be better off to have a $5,000 limit instead of $10,000, if you don’t have $3,000 on the card that you need to use.  The same is true for your other cards that you might have.  In particular, the consumer cards that you might get at an electronic or furniture store.  What often happens is someone will go to the store to buy some furniture for their new home and they will be given a $15,000 line of credit and then they buy as much as they can to max out the credit card.  They then come to see The Cool Car Guy to get a vehicle and they are shocked that their FICO score has dropped from 750 to below 700, which can greatly affect their purchasing power, based on the interest rate that they will now qualify for to get an auto loan.

I recently heard that home buying is going to go the way of auto buying where the interest rates will be tiered like auto loans.  Let me explain how this works with a Credit Union and a real life example.  I had a client recently that came to me and he thought he had a 750 FICO score when he had pulled his credit bureau online.  His report was through TransUnion, but when I pulled his credit report through Experian it was only a 685, so instead of getting a loan for 2.99% the credit union was at 7.94%!  That’s a huge difference in purchasing power.  Fortunately for him, I could pull a TransUnion credit report and his FICO score had not been updated yet with TransUnion to get closer to what Experian was reporting, so I was able to get him a rate of 3.49% instead of 7.84%.

His rate was still not as good as someone with a higher score who would qualify for 2.99%, but he was still able to get the vehicle he wanted at the price that he wanted, so it worked out in the end.  If he had gone to that credit union by himself and got qualified like most of the “experts” suggest that people do, he would not have gotten the 2.99% rate because banks and credit unions are in business to maximize a profit on their interest rates.  The chart below from ComplexSearch.com illustrates how people have credit scores that vary drastically.Credit-Score-Range

Some banks and credit unions though will only use a specific bureau and not all dealerships have access to lenders like I do through the dealerships where I have my license placed, as an Independent Contractor.  This is one of the things that people often overlook about the services that I can offer.  They are only shopping the price of the vehicle and not the entire package.

The people who really get creamed on interest rates because of their credit challenges are people who have had a bankruptcy or have student loans that are not paid off.  I’ve see interest rates of 21% that people pay on auto loans through a number of dealerships.  They like the salesperson and think that they are getting a great deal, but it is costing them more money than they realize.  Had they worked through me and I could have obtained a rate of say 19% based on their credit score, I would have saved them about $1,500 that they are giving to the bank for doing the same loan on the same vehicle.

Sometimes people with credit challenges fail to realize that they could have gotten an even lower rate on a different vehicle than the one they are wanting to purchase.  They get too emotional about a specific vehicle when they could be saving money on a vehicle that makes more sense for their situation.  Again, this can be significant as well.  At 18% the difference is almost $2,000 over the term of the loan compared to 21% and usually these are people who really need an additional $2,000.  In fact, if you’ve been in a high interest rate loan for six month or a year and you’ve been paying your loan on time, you should be calling me to trade it in on a different vehicle.  This way you will not be paying such a large amount in interest based on your credit score.

Managing your credit report is very important today.  The key is to get as low of interest rate as possible, so that you’re giving the banks less money, pay off your consumer debt and keep your FICO score healthy.  If you have questions or comments let me know and I’ve included a loan repayment calculator, called Pre-Payment Calculator here at CoolCarGuy.com under the links section on the right.  You can put in your loan and calculate how much of an extra payment will help accelerate your auto loan, which I plan to write a different article about here later this month.

If you want to save time, money and hassle for your next vehicle give me a call and I can put you in a better position financially with your automobile situation.  Be sure and sign-up for my notifications when I post new articles here.  Have a safe and healthy 2014!

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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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

The Million Dollar Mistake Manufacturers Make

Hey Cool Car Fans,

AutoRepair

One of the most amazing things that I’ve witnessed over the years is how automobile manufacturers lose their customer base over service issues.  I thought I would end the year by writing an article on this topic because I find it fascinating.  I could write a book as The Cool Car Guy on sales and marketing and how dealers and manufacturers do such a wonderful job ticking off their clients.  Any other industry would probably take the time to figure this out because they care about their customers, but I’ve watched this happen year after year in the automotive industry.

I’m talking about how fast an automobile manufacturer is willing to give up their clients to a competitor, after the sale.  The automobile industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising to try to get a customer.  If you watch any football game, you’re going to see beer commercials, prescription drug commercials, credit card commercials and automobile commercials.  These ads are not cheap.  Automobile manufacturers will spend millions of dollars to try to get people to drive a VW, Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Subaru, Chevy, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Kia, Honda or Toyota. When I start naming off these brands, it’s very easy to think about the commercials that we’ve seen for each brand mentioned above and any that I may have left out.  The Lexus “December to Remember” or “Jan” sitting at the front desk talking to someone coming into the dealership to buy a Toyota, how someone has fallen in love with their Subaru, how Ford trucks are built “Ford Tough” or how you can “sign then drive” off in a new VW, each brand trying to earn our new business.

bentleyYou know what I’m talking about because everyone knows these brands and their advertisements.  When you buy one of these vehicles, the manufacturers even hire a third-party company to take surveys from their customers to rate the salesperson and the dealership on the experience they had.  If the salesperson doesn’t get a “10″ out of “10″ it will show negative on the dealership and the salesperson.  What the manufacturers are failing to realize though is that this is not the real problem with their brand.  It’s not the initial sale that is the issue, but it is what happens once someone owns their vehicle.  The real problem is the service side of their product.

Let me illustrate what I’m talking about with my own experience with Apple computer.  I’ve used Apple products since the Apple IIe, which was way back in the 1980′s.  I sold over $12 million in PC computers in the early 90′s when I worked for a company called ZEO’s International and I still used Mac’s for my personal computers at that time.  I’ve owned iPods, iPads, iPhones, Macbooks, iBooks, just about everything that Apple sells, but recently they really ticked me off.

computer laptopNow you would think that if someone has spent tens of thousands of dollars with your computer company over the years that you would want to take care of the client?  Apple doesn’t care though because they are Apple and that’s how most car companies act as well.  What changed my opinion of Apple Computer?  My daughter spilled water on my computer by accident and fried it, so I went into the Apple Store and they basically said, “Sucks for you Mr. Customer.  We are Apple and you need us, but we don’t need you.  Spend another $2,000 on a computer and we’ll help you out.”  Now, anyone who has ever sold anything in their life knows that if you treat your customers like they are not important that they will find another place to spend their money.  You risk that your customer will do what I’m doing, which is telling potentially hundreds or even thousands of people who read about my bad experience with Apple.

This is exactly how automobile manufactures treat their clients and it is pretty psychotic.  I mentioned last month that I had a client recently that needed a $5,000 repair on their Mercedes Benz.  They loved their Mercedes, until they found out that the differential on their vehicle went out with under 100,000 miles on it.  Since it was out of “warranty” it was going to cost them big time.  Do you think Mercedes Benz is smart enough to make sure that they save this client by figuring out how to reduce a $5,000 repair through their Dealer network?  Nope.  They instead allowed a third-party, an automobile mechanic at a local shop, to offer them a better deal than their own dealer network.  Does this make any sense?  Wouldn’t it be worth it to save a client by doing the repair at your cost and keep that client in your vehicle, so that they can get another Mercedes-Benz in the future?  Instead Mercedes-Benz will give millions of dollars to an advertising agency to try to get a new client, while ticking off their existing client. The client went and leased a Toyota Highlander and I doubt that they will ever own a Mercedes Benz again.  The customer is gone. So much for the survey when selling that new vehicle because it doesn’t matter.  Who cares, if you are going to lose them down the road when the vehicle needs a costly repair?

It’s not just Mercedes-Benz that does this, but they all do it.  I had a woman tell me recently her nightmare about owning her Chevy and how she will never buy a Chevy again.  It was almost identical to the people with the Mercedes-Benz, but a different problem with her vehicle.  She had a repair that was required on her vehicle and it was thousands of dollars, but the dealership cost was more than the third-party vendor.  She had nothing good to say about her Chevrolet and she hates the company because of the repair her vehicle needed.  What about the Subaru that needs the head gaskets replaced at 80,000 miles and is a $2,500 repair at the dealership?  How about the transmission that went out on the Nissan Pathfinder that I delivered to a client new and several years later when it was out of warranty based on the miles, the dealer gouged them to get it repaired?

How about the client who purchased a Ford Escape from me and two years later they called me angry because the transmission went out on it and the dealer quoted them $3,000 for the repair?  I knew of a third-party repair shop in Colorado Springs and they fixed their transmission without having to rebuild it completely for about $700.  Ford may want to send me an advertising fee for saving their client for them.  If we couldn’t have done that though, I would have traded them out of it and they probably would have never purchased a Ford again.Why couldn’t the Ford Dealership have done that for them? Why would you allow a third-party service provider to offer a better deal on repairs to your vehicle brand than your own dealer network?  Think Apple Computer is all I have to say about that one.

Automobile manufacturers are arrogant, but where would GM and Chrysler be without the American taxpayer loaning them money to stay in business?  Where is Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Hummer, Saturn, and Suzuki?  If you don’t take care of your customers they will find another place to go with their business.  My entire business model is based on service.  People pay for me to bring them their vehicles and they utilize me to save them time, money and hassle.  If the automobile manufacturers asked me for my opinion, I would suggest that they take some of those advertising dollars and spend money on keeping their existing customers happy.  It’ s much easier and more cost effective to save an existing client than to find a new one.

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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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

Why Dealers Use Rebates To Sell Cars

2013-Hyundai-ElantraHey Cool Car Fans,

Many of my clients contact me toward the end of the year wanting to take advantage of the end of the year rebates that manufacturers place on their vehicles.  Rebates serve a great purpose for the automobile industry and they typically come when the new line of vehicles are coming out for the following year.  A rebate really has to do with the fact that a vehicle has depreciated over the course of the year, so the manufacturer is trying to sell their remaining vehicles to get ready for the next model year.  You are really just getting a discount on the vehicle because of the depreciation that has taken place throughout the year.

However, rebates can be a great way to roll negative equity in a trade.  For example, if there is a $2,000 rebate on a vehicle and someone has $2,000 in negative equity, it could mean the difference between qualifying for a loan and not qualifying.  Many times rebates are also placed on vehicles that are available for lease and they will call it “lease cash” or some other type of incentive.  This additional money from the manufacturer can again be a fantastic way for someone to solve a nightmare that someone may find themselves in with their current vehicle.

I had a client who had this problem recently with their Mercedes Benz that needed a $5,000 repair.  Rather than paying for the repair on the vehicle, they traded out of it and took the hit on the trade value of their vehicle, so they had about $5,000 in negative equity.  They were able to lease a new Toyota Highlander because of the incentives that were on the vehicle and their payment on the new car only went up slightly from what they were paying for their older, broken Mercedes Benz.  In three years they will be able to start over, while driving a new Toyota that included two years of free maintenance, with a lease that was structured to fit the number of miles that they drove each year.

cpo_index_carThis is a great example that many people often overlook when they are in a difficult situation with their vehicle related to repairs. Why fix an old vehicle that you still owe money on when you could start over with a lease and drive a new vehicle under warranty that can even include free maintenance?  Too many people are “anti-lease” when they really don’t realize the benefits that leasing can often offer.  It all depends on the structure of the lease, the situation of the person and the incentives that are included in the overall package.  I recently did a lease like this for someone who was only paying about $450 in interest over three years on a $45,000 vehicle, where if they were to finance it they would have been paying more more than that in interest each year for five years.  Many manufacturers will also offer 0%, 1.9% or 2.9% financing options as well, so it’s important to look at all the offers available.

Rebates and incentives can be a fantastic tool that many people can take advantage of as we head toward the end of the year.  Many manufacturers like Honda and Subaru clear out of their 2013′s fast, but other manufacturers still have inventory that they have incentives on that you can leverage before year end.

________________________________________________________________________

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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

The Amazing Chevy Volt

Hey Cool Car Fans,

ObamavoltThe Chevrolet Volt is sold as an amazing “electric car”, but it’s really just a hybrid vehicle like a Toyota Prius that has been around for years. Now before the die hard Volt fans start screaming that the Volt is totally different, let’s just look at the reality of how these two vehicles work.  The Volt and the Prius both allow you to plug them in before going for a drive and then you travel a certain distance on electricity before the batteries are exhausted.  Once you’ve run out of juice, the gasoline engine will kick in and you carry on like a familiar hybrid vehicle.

What’s the big difference between the Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius then?  For one thing, the Chevy Volt uses a different battery pack than the Toyota Prius.  A standard non-plugin Prius has a 1.6 kW-hr, nickel-metal-hydride battery. The Volt’s battery is a whopping 10 times larger.  It’s a liquid-cooled, 16.0-kW-hr lithium-ion (chemistry by Argonne National Lab and fabrication by LG Chem).  This allows it to go up to 40 miles before the engine kicks in, which is pretty fantastic on a single charge before burning gasoline.  This allows many people to drive to work and back on virtually zero gasoline, which is the big rage about the Chevy Volt.

priusThe plugin Prius version uses a different battery that is manufactured by Panasonic for Toyota.  It is 73 percent smaller than the battery used in the Chevy Volt and it’s only a 4.4-kW-hr, actively air-cooled lithium-ion battery.  What’s the big deal between the two?  How about the price tag? I would say that is something pretty important to look at, wouldn’t you?  If you need to replace a battery pack in a Chevy Volt down the road, you’re maybe looking at about $6,000 and they spent another $4,000 on the battery pack structure and those are the costs that GM paid.  This is according to Bob Lutz, when he wrote about the vehicle in Forbes in September of 2012, after GM was accused of losing more than $40,000 per vehicle.   He stated that the raw battery is about $350 per kW-hr, which is more like $600 in reality when you start adding all the other costs associated with making the battery work, but who’s counting.  His article was funny though because he tried to claim that the cost of the vehicle was about the same as a Chevy Cruze, which it looks like a Chevy Cruze, but there isn’t a $10,000 battery pack in a Chevy Cruze.  It’s kind of like the difference between a duck and a goose.  “They both have wings, funny looking feet and seem to handle the cold water pretty good.”

chevyvolt12It was reported that GM had spent an estimated $89,000 per vehicle to produce the Volt and I’m not sure if anyone really knows what the real costs were in the Land of Oz.  The bottom line is that a ton of research and development, along with other manufacturing costs went into producing this vehicle.  What I do know is that if you ever need to replace the battery in the Prius, it’s about $2,500.  When I called a GM Dealer and asked what it costs to replace a battery in a Chevy Volt, I was told by the Service Department, “We have no idea, we haven’t had to replace one of those yet.”  I should have asked if he knew the difference between a duck and a goose.  I guess you could take that as good news and bad news.  It is good news that the battery is working, but bad news that you are driving blind.  If you ever do have to replace one that isn’t covered under their warranty – it could be very expensive.  I know that some of you are saying that it’s covered under the warranty, but you obviously have never gone into a dealership and had them tell you that “Oh yeah, that’s excluded for this reason.”, which I encounter several times a year. Forgive me if I have a slight distrust of automobile manufacturers and their warranty claims.

Which brings me to the question of whether or not the Chevy Volt is a vehicle that you should be looking to own?  I do mean own and not lease.

If the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz were to sing us a song about General Motors (The Wizard) and their Chevy Volt, it might sound something like this – “If ever there was a lease there was, a lease there was, because, because, because, because…because of the unknown things it does…” Yes, the Great and Powerful Oz has spoken that this is a vehicle you should be leasing and not looking to purchase anytime soon.

In my opinion, you do not want to own a Chevy Volt. Even if the State of Colorado is going to give you a tax credit to own one, unless you have money to burn, don’t do it.  If you do have money to burn and you really want to own one, please call me and I’ll be happy to sell you one for over retail, so that you can feel really good about owning one.  And I will feel really good about taking your money.  Seriously, you should never dream of buying this vehicle or it could turn into a nightmare down the road.  However, you should seriously consider leasing a Chevy Volt.  Right now you can lease a Chevy Volt for under $300 a month, which is totally crazy to drive a vehicle that costs an unknown large sum of money to produce.  There are people right now driving this vehicle for around $5,050 for two years that cost GM an unknown sum of money to manufacturer.

The problem though is that GM is an unpredictable company, a bit like The Wizard of Oz.  Which is why Bob Lutz can some out and say that they didn’t really lose $40,000 per vehicle because he doesn’t really know anymore than I do.  This is a company that needed $60 billion in Government assistance to keep going, so who knows if they will keep this vehicle and continue to service it long term.  After all, the Feds ordered them to kill Pontiac in order to get the money they needed and guess who got screwed on that deal?  The customers who purchased a Pontiac and watched their brand die, along with the equity they had in their vehicles.

pontiacI recently had a friend who owns a Saturn and needed a part for her vehicle and she has had it in the shop going on two weeks waiting for GM to find the part for her car that they discontinued. GM has disposed of Pontiac, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Saturn and these were complete lines of vehicles, that actually had profitable products with a large following of customers.  Why in the world would they continue to produce a vehicle that they are losing money on, each time they make a sale?  I could be wrong, but I don’t think they will keep this product long term unless sales really take off, so if you are thinking about the Chevy Volt, make sure you lease one.

Toyota on the other hand has been committed to and producing the Prius for years with a great track record for customer service and knowing that people are loyal to their brand.  They understand their hybrid customers much better than General Motors.  I wouldn’t think twice about recommending that my clients purchase a Toyota Prius and I have many clients who own the Toyota Prius and they have had great success with them.  I don’t dislike GM, but I don’t trust them when it comes to this particular vehicle.  If I were writing about the GMC Yukon, the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette or Camaro that’s a completely different story, but the Chevy Volt is an oddball car for this car company.  It’s buyer beware, but it’s a fantastic vehicle to lease.

There are other hybrid vehicles on the market and they are becoming more popular, with quite a few more options that will be available in 2014. This technology will continue to get better, but be sure and look before you leap, know the company that you keep, as with any vehicle purchase.

________________________________________________________________________

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! jboyd@coolcarguy.com or Twitter @coolcarguy

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