Monday, October 10, 2005

Trade-In Pros and Cons

Trading in your vehicle to a dealer has one primary advantage over selling it yourself: it's much simpler. Instead of listing a for-sale ad, taking time to meet potential buyers and worrying if someone's check is going to clear, consumers who decide to trade in their car simply come to a pricing agreement with a dealer. That's really about it.

But trading in a vehicle involves some issues to consider. The biggest trade-off is the likely possibility of receiving less money in a trade with a dealer than in a private sale. A dealer may be more willing to take a less-than-perfect car off your hands, but he's not going to do it at a premium. When you sell it yourself, you invest more time in the process, but you usually get rewarded with a bit of extra money.

Otherwise, the same general rules apply to trading in your old vehicle as to selling it on your own. First, know what the vehicle is worth. Check out the wholesale value that dealers are paying for that model, along with the retail price.

Dealers obtain the used vehicles they sell from two main sources — trade-ins from customers like you, and at auction. While it's difficult to know what dealers are paying for trade-ins, you can find out what wholesale price they are paying at auction. The most common reference guides are Kelley Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealers Association's Gold Book. The Kelley Blue Book and the NADA Gold Book are available in bookstores and in the reference section of most libraries. They include domestic and foreign vehicles that are 10 years old or newer. Take copies of the prices you find while researching to the dealer to show that you know what the car is worth.

Kelley Blue Book features prices on used vehicles from 1984 through the present model year.'s Kelley Blue Book tool is updated constantly and takes into account mileage, vehicle condition and factory extras of vehicles that have sold as recently as last week.

Just as you would prepare your car to sell to a private buyer, make sure your old car is clean inside and out before you shop it around to dealers. Know its condition — its strong points and its weak ones. Once you're at the dealership, push the virtues of your product, such as the optional equipment and accessories, its desirability in the marketplace, and any brand recommendations and awards by used-car guides or magazines. Don't mention its defects — let the dealer point those out, but don't deny or lie about them either. Know the cost of required repairs, and remind the dealer that it will cost him less to make repairs than it would you.

Beware of two extremes on trade-ins at dealerships — a really high trade-in value and a really low one. When you are offered an extremely high trade-in value for your vehicle, which will be used against the purchase of your new car, it means the dealer plans to cover the loss on the used car by putting a higher price on the new one. On the flip side, a rock-bottom price on your trade-in suggests that you're getting a low price on the new vehicle.

n the end, you may be able to negotiate a fair trade-in price that's less than the amount you'd get selling it on your own but is higher than the dealer's original offer. By eliminating all the hassle involved with selling the vehicle on your own, trading it in may be worthwhile. That's for you to decide.

By Michelle Krebs,

How to Sell a Used Car

You've decided that your old car has to go. So what are you going to do with it? You could donate it to charity, trade it in toward the purchase of a new vehicle or sell it yourself for more money than the dealer will give you.

Evaluating your personal circumstances and the kind of person you are is critical as you decide between selling a vehicle yourself or trading it in.
Ask yourself these questions before you decide to sell the car yourself. How quickly do you need to get rid of your old wheels? Do you need the cash from your old vehicle to buy a new one? Are you patient? Do you have the time and inclination to take phone calls from an advertisement, talk to strangers about the car and meet with them to take a look at it? Are you a good negotiator? Do you mind paperwork? Are you handy at doing minor automotive repairs?

If you need cash for the new purchase quickly, your time is far too valuable to deal with phone calls and test drives, or you lack confidence in your ability to negotiate with a buyer, then trading in your vehicle might be the best plan for you.

On the other hand, if you're not in a rush to sell your old car, you have the patience for phone inquiries and test drives, you can do some minor repairs and you think you're a pretty shrewd negotiator, then selling it on your own might be worth the financial gains. If you sell the vehicle yourself, you also could avoid an upside-down buying situation, where you owe more on your car than it's worth as a trade-in.

By Michelle Krebs,

The Value of Buying a Used Car

As the price of new cars has climbed, used vehicles have become more popular than ever. They're also more expensive than ever, inflation aside. But thanks to engineering strides, vehicles have never been more durable and maintenance-free, and previously owned vehicles are no less a value.

Because new vehicles lose such a high percentage of their value as soon as they're driven off a dealer's lot, used cars have always appealed to practical buyers. But there's always a concern about buying someone else's problems. With the introduction of certified pre-owned vehicle programs, the advantages of buying a new car seem to be dwindling. If it's important to you to drive a brand-new car, dive into our Buying Guides, sharpen your negotiating skills in Negotiating With Car Dealers and get ready to inhale that inimitable new-car smell.

However, if value is your goal, explore this used-car resource, learn how not to get burned and then turn the key on our Used Cars for Sale listings.
As a first step, you might consider test-driving some sellers. Are we serious? You bet. Car shopping taxes your energy and time. If you hire a mechanic to inspect a prospective purchase — as strongly recommends — it can also tax your savings. With the number of used cars on the market, you'd best narrow your search and concentrate only on the ones with the most promise. Two great methods are questioning the seller and inspecting the car before the test drive — ruling out sellers that aren't worth a visit as well as cars that aren't worth a professional inspection.

By Joe Wiesenfelder,

2005 Lamborghini Concept S

At the Geneva Motor Show, the House of the Raging Bull will present a new design study that renews a great Lamborghini tradition.
Like the 350 GTS and the Miura Roadster before it, the Lamborghini Concept S is a unique car, an extreme and spectacular expression of the Lamborghini brand.
Created at the Centro Stile Lamborghini in SantAgata Bolognese by Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Lamborghini Design, the Concept S is his extreme interpretation of an open car. Using the Gallardo as a basis, Donckerwolke drew inspiration from the classic single-seater racing cars of the past to create this latest design study.

The classic single-seaters did not have a traditional windscreen, but utilised the so-called saute-vent (in French: a sudden change in the wind) in order to direct air over the head of the driver - and so does the Concept S. These devices divide the cabin into two distinct compartments, giving the car an aggressive and futuristic look and also creating a space between them that acts as an additional air inlet for the powerful engine, which is positioned behind the seats.

An electronically controlled, retractable central rear view mirror allows the driver - when required - to see what is happening behind the car.
The aerodynamics of the Concept S have been optimised thanks to front and rear spoilers and a large rear diffuser.

(from Lamborghini Press Release)