By Peter M. DeLorenzo Detroit. I won’t deny that this is a very melancholy week here at AE, what with the passing of our friend John Thawley (please see this week’s Fumes -WG), so, it’s all I can do to muster up the energy to write my column. But it’s 3:00 a.m., so often my normal writing time, and it’s time to get it into gear. This business is so dominated by betting on the come of the autonomous vehicle explosion, artificial intelligence and a far-off distant point of transportation nirvana, that I’m afraid this industry – and its new Valley of Silicon players and associated hangers-on – have completely lost the plot. Yes, I know, this is nothing exactly new from me, but it bears repeating. I am going to set that aside, however, since this is a drum that will need beating for years to come. Today I'd rather write about what got us here in the first place. I’m talking about our collective experiences with cars … [Read more...] about THINKIN’ BOUT THE TIMES I DROVE IN MY CAR, PART I.
Riding in my car
Robert has a 14-year-old Volkswagen Passat with a lot of miles and not a lot of life left in it. His family refuses to ride in his car that probably should have been sent to the junkyard years ago, so it’s time for a replacement that’s safe but not lame. What car should he buy? (Welcome back to What Car Should You Buy? Where we give real people real advice about buying cars. Do you want us to help you find a car? Submit your story on our form.) Here is the scenario: My wife and my whole family have been begging me for years to get rid of my old VW. I drive a 14-year-old Passat GL with 135K on the clock. It has failing CVs as well other issues that are expected from a car of this age. The wife is completely mortified to drive in it and the kids stop smiling when we say we are taking “Dad’s Car”...yuk. I live in New England, so naturally, I want something with 4WD or AWD because we get crappy weather at least five times a year. I would like some kind of … [Read more...] about My Family Refuses To Ride In My Old Beater! What Car Should I Buy?
When it’s time to upgrade your current ride, you’re faced with the choice of trading it in to the dealership or selling it elsewhere. While a private sale can be a hassle, it often means getting more money for your car. However, it really depends on what you have and your local tax rates that determine the most lucrative path. Do The Sales Tax Math A lot of car buyers don’t realize that in most states they get a break on their sales tax when they trade in a car. For example, if your tax rate is 8 percent and you are buying a $30,000 car, you will pay about $2,400 in taxes. However, if you have a trade worth $15,000, in many states you would only pay the sales tax on the difference between the two. In this case it would be about $1,200. Therefore, if you plan on selling that $15k car in the private market, you would want to get more than $16,200 for it to make up for the tax difference. Also realize that if you sell your used car to another dealer like CarMax you … [Read more...] about Should I Trade In My Car Or Sell It Privately?
It’s a well-known fact that if you trade in your car, you’ll probably get less money for it than you would by selling it privately yourself. However, the “for sale by owner” route can take a lot of time and effort, oftentimes more than people are willing to invest in the process. That’s part of why nearly half of all car purchases include a trade-in. But what can you do to get the most money for your trade-in? Here are 8 tips you can use now to do exactly that. 1. When You Trade in Your Car, Keep the Trade and Purchase Negotiations Separate It’s a common question people ask when they decide to trade in a car: How can I get the best value for my trade? One of the most important things you should do is keep the negotiations about your trade-in as separate as possible from negotiating the price of your next ride. The next question is to figure out which one happens first. Some argue for negotiating the price of your next vehicle first, then figure out … [Read more...] about How to Get the Most Money When You Trade in Your Car
Twenty-four years after the World’s first ever blog broke cover—reportedly Links.net, penned by a Swarthmore College student in 1994—you’re perusing my first ever blog for Automobile. Welcome. Ahoy. That’s first ever, by the way, only if you exclude the iPad “extra” edition Automobile offered for a bit as a special bonus for our tablet-owning readers. All these years later, new ownership is on board and I feel it’s finally safe to come out… into the cosmic artificial glow of the eternal digital display. Hence, a mere 24 years on, here’s Gears This Week, a sporadic on-line only offering, featuring cars, people, and ideas, big and small, which won’t make it into the print edition. Timelier and more picayune, because that is the luxury a lack of printed paper affords, sometimes with pictures of cars on my mind, or those in my garage. Expect cars new, old and in between, matters of historical interest, and links to … [Read more...] about Riding in a New Volvo to Pick Up an Old Rover 2000TC