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

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

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!

Car Maintenance Basics | Mark Alexopoulos
Auto Industry, Car, Car Care

Car Maintenance Basics

Routine car maintenance can extend the durability and life of your vehicle. Preventative car care is essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly and can also help prevent more substantial expenses down the road. Follow these necessary maintenance steps to help keep your car running in peak condition.

 

Change Oil Regularly

Checking and changing your oil is one of the easiest ways to take care of your car. Whether your vehicle has a dipstick or an electronic gauge to check the oil’s color and oil level, you should know how to test it. Understanding the difference between muddy, murky oil and clean oil will also help you determine if something is wrong with your engine. While there is no universal recommendation for how often you should change your oil, your car’s owners manual will have the answer. For years, many mechanics recommended oil changes every 3,000 miles, but due to modern engine technology, some vehicles can go 7,5000+ miles until a change.

 

Maintain Tires

Keeping your tires in the best shape possible is another easy way to save money and prevent accidents. It’s recommended that you check your tire pressure at least once a month and before any long trip. The correct tire pressure is generally printed on a placard found on the driver’s door, or it’s written on the inside of the glove-box. It is also important to routinely check tire tread, rotation, balance, and alignment. Rotating your vehicle’s tires maintains fuel efficiency and prevent irregular wear and tear.

 

Routine Brake Checks

Your braking system is one of the most critical safety features of your vehicle. Brakes will have normal wear and eventually need to be replaced, but be sure to check the braking system at least once a year. A thorough inspection includes brake fluid level, brake fluid level, brake and dash warning lights,  rotor thickness, and condition of hoses and brake lines. Additionally, keep an eye out for specific signs such as high-pitched squealing, slower stopping, and steering wheel vibration while braking because these are indicators that your brakes need to be checked.

 

Additional Care

Other car maintenance basics include checking your air filter, hoses, and belts, and replacing your wiper blades regularly.

 

Routine preventive care is the single best thing you can do as a car owner to keep your vehicle maintained. Following these simple and easy maintenance basics can extend the lifetime of your car and save you money in the long run.

 

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