Buy Vs. Lease -Which Car Option is Best For You | Mark Alexopoulos
Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

Buy Vs. Lease: Which Car Option is Best For You

If you need a new car, you might be wondering if it is better to buy or lease. After all, this is one of the larger financial decisions you will make every couple of years. You need the right information to help you decide which option is better for you. Here is a comparison to help you make an informed choice that gives you peace of mind:

 

Upfront Costs

When it comes to buying a car or leasing on, there is a difference in upfront costs. Sometimes, buying a car will incur higher upfront costs. This might come in the form of a down payment since you are actually purchasing the vehicle and putting as much as you can towards the final price. There are also prices and options to consider which could be paid for upfront. Keep in mind that many dealerships allow you to choose how and when you pay for these.

Monthly Payments

Sometimes, you want to have lower monthly payments, even if this means higher costs in the end. In this case, leasing a car could lower your payment while allowing you to stretch your money in the short term. This could be the right option if you are willing to pay slightly more in the end.

Options

If you want to have the option to drop your payments at any time, it can be more difficult to do when you are paying to own the car. Often, the contract is long term. With leasing, however, you can still have longer contracts, but you might be able to get a shorter lease.

The Dealership

Knowing that you can trust the dealership is crucial to your car experience. Sometimes, it doesn’t so much come down to buying or leasing. Instead, it revolves around knowing the sales team so that you can have confidence you are getting the best deal.

 

When it comes to buying a car or leasing a car, it is a difficult decision at first. But don’t feel overwhelmed. Even though it is important that you make the right choice, there are different pros and cons to each method. Avoid jumping right in and making a decision before you have all the info. Evaluate the differences and choose the path that aligns with what you need out of your next vehicle.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him onTwitter!

Auto Industry, Car

Selling Tips For Car Salespeople

The industry of car sales comes with a stigma. Gallup, a leading poll analytics company, published a poll to measure perceived honesty and ethics in professions. Unsurprisingly, car salespeople were one about the bottom of the list (tied with telemarketers and Congress; only above lobbyists). The key to overcoming this fact is respecting people, making yourself a resource, and becoming a trusted and reliable partner. Try these five essential tips to make more sales.

Make it about them, not you. Forget about personal goals and issues and focus on the client. Think about what factors they are most interested in, such as price, warranty, or car features. Get to know the client and their needs, use the gathered information to help them get what they want, and they will be far more attentive and trusting.

Listen more than you talk. It is relatively common knowledge that the more one party is silent, the more likely the other party will fill the silence. While it can seem necessary to continue talking as a salesperson, it can be more beneficial to ask a few questions and then listen. By listening, you are more capable of learning what they want and are more able to lead them to the best purchase for their needs, therefore ensuring they leave the lot with a new vehicle.

Read the situation. Selling cars is one job that requires employees to read the situation before acting. There is no guaranteed routine to making sales, so it is essential for salespeople to observe each client and follow your instincts. For example, it may seem like the husband is on board for the sale, but the spouse seems less sure. Follow up with the spouse on their thoughts and priorities. This allows the salesperson to understand the hangups and offer professional and knowledgeable recommendations.

Be patient; some sales require nurturing. Commission makes it difficult to see the long term. It is easy to fall into a rut of trying to close the deal as soon as possible. However, some clients may require more time to consider all the options and make a decision. Rather than feeling frustrated by constant browsers, offer your time, respect and knowledge to these customers to earn lifelong clients, referrals and repeat business.

Delivery. Don’t let your clients leave the lot without seeing you first. Typically after making a sale, the client is moved to speak with an F & I manager about warranties, insurance, and service agreements. Rather than allowing that to be the last person they see, meet the clients in the lot, show them around the car again, and make sure they are happy with their deal. This tip can aid in referrals and repeat business, a huge component to success in this industry.

Auto Industry, Car

7 Tips on Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car is not a decision that should be made lightly. While they typically cost less than new cars of the same make, model and year, some used vehicles may have underlying problems. And purchasing one of these lemons could leave buyers stranded on the side of the road.

 

1. Define Budget

The first step in buying a used car is to define a budget. According to USA Today, the average sale price of used cars sold in 2014 was $15,900. Whether a buyer is willing to spend more or less, though, he or she should first define their budget.

2. Determine Needs

Buyers should consider what exactly they want or need in a used car. Considering that roughly 1.3 million people die each year from vehicle crashes, many buyers prefer cars with safety features like airbags, collision detection, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability control.

3. Start Searching

After defining a budget and determining their needs, buyers should start their search for a used car. There are dozens of places that list used cars for sale, some of which include local classified ads, Craigslist and Autotrader. Alternatively, buyers may have success visiting local car dealerships.

4. Reach Out to Seller

The next step in buying a used car is to contact the seller. Time is of the essence; the longer a buyer waits to contact the seller, the greater the chance that someone else will buy it. So, buyers should contact the seller, preferably by phone, immediately after finding a used car that meets their criteria. During this call, the buyer should arrange a meeting to inspect and test drive the car.

5. Look Under the Hood

It’s always a good idea to look under the hood before buying a used car. If the engine bay is dirty with spilled fluids — oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, etc. — the buyer should consider a different vehicle.

6. Test Drive

Assuming everything looks fine under the hood, the buyer should test drive the car. This will give him or her the opportunity to see how the car drives and whether it contains functional problems. If the vehicle slips when changing gears, for example, it may have a failing transmission, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair.

7. Negotiate Price

Even if a seller lists the used car for a specific price, he or she may accept a lower offer. Therefore, buyers should always offer a lower price first. The seller may still reject this offer, but he or she may also make a counteroffer that’s lower than the car’s original listing price.

 

Buying a used car doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Following these seven tips can help buyers navigate this otherwise complicated process, putting them behind the wheel of a great car.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!

Auto Industry, Car

The Impact of E-Commerce on the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is currently undergoing a critical change. No longer are consumers forced to purchase auto parts from local stores. They can now buy these items over the internet. As online retail sales continue to rise, e-commerce will reshape the future of the automotive industry in the following ways.

 

Easier Access to Aftermarket Parts

E-commerce provides consumers and auto parts businesses alike with easier access to aftermarket parts. According to a study conducted by IHS Automotive, the average car is now 11.5 years old. As drivers continue to squeeze more life of their vehicles, they’ll find themselves needing parts. Aftermarket parts offer a cost-effective alternative to conventional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Aftermarket manufacturers use websites and online portals to sell these parts at low prices to consumers and auto parts businesses.

 

Local Pickup

Local pickup has become a standard tactic used by auto parts suppliers with a brick-and-mortar presence to boost online sales. With local pickup, the customer buys the part online but visits the business’s local store to pick it up. Lock pickup is beneficial for both consumers and auto parts businesses as it eliminates the need for shipping. Furthermore, many consumers need auto parts immediately to keep their vehicles running, so they aren’t willing to wait for delivery.

 

Online Car Sales

E-commerce sites sell more than just auto parts. Some forward-thinking companies sell used vehicles online. Carvana, for instance, has become a leading online vendor of used cars. Initially founded in 2012, the company sells, finances and purchases used vehicles through its official website. When a consumer buys a car, he or she have it delivered or pick it up from one of Carvana’s signature car vending machines.

 

Omni-Channel Online Marketing

Auto companies are now using an omni-channel online marketing strategy to promote their sites. Rather than relying strictly on search or referral traffic, for example, they are using pay-per-click (PPC), social media and even video marketing. This multi-faceted approach helps companies reach their target audience with their marketing message, and it’s also useful for offsetting the cost of digital marketing.

 

Statistics show that 79 percent of consumers regularly buy products online. As e-commerce continues to evolve, it will have a lasting, positive impact on the automotive industry.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him onTwitter!

Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

April is National Car Care Month: Check out these Spring Car Care Tips!

April is the National Car Care Month so what better time to give your vehicle the TLC you’ve been putting off during the cold winter months. Taking proper care of your car is vital to the longevity of your vehicle. Follow these simple and easy spring car care basics to extend the lifetime of your vehicle and save you money in the long run.

 

Wash and Wax

A simple but essential spring car care tip is to wash and wax. During the winter, sale, debris, and road grime will build upon your vehicle. Debris and dirt build up will affect your car’s paint and finish, but salt can do much worse damage, leading to rust and other serious problems. Spend a beautiful spring day outside washing your car or take it to your local car wash for a much-needed bath!

 

Change Oil and Filter

Changing your car’s oil and filter will help the engine continue to work at its best and prevent costly repairs to drivers down the road. As the weather begins to warm up, your air conditioning will be on more which means your engine will be working harder. According to Meineke, the average cost of a year’s’ worth of oil changes is approximately $120, which is much lower than the cost of not proactively maintaining a vehicle’s engine, $4,000. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Energy found that with routine oil changes and the right kind of oil, gas mileage can be improved over time by one to two percent! Be sure to take the time to check when you need an oil change and do not push it off if the time is now!

 

Check the Battery

Your vehicle’s battery will drain quicker with colder temperatures, so it is essential to check if the battery is fully charged. Using a voltmeter, you will be able to determine if your battery is good or bad. If you want to test the charge yourself, remember always to wear a pair of rubber gloves and goggles because this will protect your hands and eyes from acid. You can also stop in at your local mechanic or car shop for a test!  Most car shops offer it for free!

 

Check Alignment and Suspension

Driving in wintry conditions and over potholes can damage your vehicle’s alignment and suspension. If you notice uneven tire wear, your car seems to fight against the steering, or if you are using more gas than you used to it may mean your suspension is not correct. Alignment is critical because it increases safety as well as determines how long your tires and gas will last. If you think your alignment or suspension needs correcting, contact your local car shop or mechanic.

 

April is National Car Care Month, which makes it a perfect time to give your car the TLC it needs. Winter weather can take a toll on your vehicle, so follow these spring car care tips for keeping your car in the best shape!

 
Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him onTwitter!

What We Know About Self-Driving Cars | Mark Alexopoulos
Auto Industry, Car

What We Know About Self-Driving Cars

While we still don’t have flying cars, self-driving cars are headed our way in the very near future. Already, automotive manufacturers are testing their first versions of these innovations, but are they ready to hit the mass market? That may be a matter of opinion, as the facts about self-driving cars continue to raise more questions than they answer.

Self-Driving Cars Won’t Be Commonplace For Awhile Yet

Even if manufacturers offer a wide variety of self-driving cars, it will be a long while before you see them out in full force. This may not be because auto manufacturers are failing, but because society and our governments are failing to keep up. Firstly, just because self-driving cars are available, that doesn’t mean consumers are going to run right out and buy one. The high cost of vehicles compels people to hang onto their cars for as long as they can and most people hope to keep their cars long after the loan on the vehicle has been paid.

Additionally, roads will have to be adapted and laws will have to be drafted to permit the use of self-driving cars on a wider scale. Most cities have difficulty in repairing existing roads, so they’re unlikely to approve funding to adapt roads and implement technology that will make it possible for these cars to function. The safety of self-driving cars will rely largely on their ability to communicate with the roads and with other vehicles, so these improvements will be necessary.

Finally, the traffic laws will have to be changed to accommodate self-driving cars. On city streets, that may come sooner, since local governments often act faster and with less red tape. This means we’ll see self-driving cars on surface streets long before they are permitted to hit the highways.

Federal and state laws take much longer to change, so don’t expect to see driverless cars speeding down the interstate anytime soon. That means self-driving cars will have to differentiate between which roads they are prohibited from accessing and those they can drive freely on. This logistical dilemma may mean stalling the addition of self-driving cars to our roadways, until after local, state, and federal laws can catch up. So, while automotive manufacturers may be eager to share this new technology, it may still take months or even years to see these innovations populating the streets.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him onTwitter!

Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

5 Car Maintenance Mistakes

In my previous blog, I discussed the importance of regular car maintenance and basic steps to follow. Routine car maintenance is essential for extending the durability and life of your vehicle; however, there are easy mistakes to make. Here is a list of car maintenance mistakes that are typically made and how to avoid them.   

 

1. Procrastinating Maintenance

Putting off scheduled car maintenance is a common trend because it saves money in the short term. However, your car and wallet will pay in the future. Car manufacturers recommend scheduled service for a reason, so it is best to keep your vehicle on that schedule. Additionally, there are small things you can fix yourself, avoid making costly errors by attempting to service your own car.

 

2. Neglecting Oil Changes

Car manufacturers used to recommend changing a vehicle’s every 3,000 miles. However, many manufacturers have lengthened this mileage frame. While you may be able to go longer before an oil change is needed, it does not mean that oil changes can be skipped. Old oil will break down and may damage parts of your engine. Maintaining routine oil changes will maximize the life of your engine.

 

3. Not Checking Tire Pressure

It’s difficult to gauge your vehicle’s tire pressure just from looking because even when your tires appear to be fine – air pressure may be high or low. Many factors change tire pressure, including weather, debris, potholes and more. Proper tire pressure not only boosts your fuel economy but also improves the car’s safety. It’s important to check your car’s air pressure regularly. If your tires are routinely losing pressure, be sure to check in with your mechanic for a diagnosis.

 

4. Skipping Other Tire Care

Since tire care is not something that has to be frequently done, it is often neglected. Regular rotation allows the tires to serve in both front and rear positions, which help to even out the wear. Additionally, tire alignment plays a factor in tire wear as well as fuel efficiency, tire performance, and vehicle maneuverability.

 

5. Not Changing Wipers

Windshield wipers are a necessity because they help us drive in adverse weather conditions. Even though wipers are easy and cheap to replace, many drivers neglect to purchase new ones. The fall is an excellent time to replace your wipers because it’s right before the harshest weather starts.

 

Taking care of your car is the easiest and best thing to do if you want to extend the life of your vehicle. Many owners will make these mistakes, but avoiding them will help keep your car in peak condition.
Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!