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CarBuyingTips.com Blog - 2016

December 2016

Why car dealers want to check your background when you pay cash


By Jeff Ostroff | Published December 29, 2016

For years we have received questions from car buyers asking us why the car dealer wants them to fill out a credit application when they are paying for their car with cash or a cashier's check. The customer wants to know why the dealer's suspicious action is requiring them to fill out a credit application because after all you are paying cash and not applying for new car financing or any type of loan. Read more>>

Automotive Year-End Rebates Soar


By Lyle Romer | Published December 23, 2016

Just in time for the end of the year, the auto manufactures have stared offering promotional rebates to spur a final sales push. At the beginning of last month we reported on the lack of rebates and incentives that were being offered. It didn't make sense to us especially since many manufactures had announced production cuts due to too much inventory on dealer lots. Read more>>

November 2016

Craigslist Used Car Scammers Up Their Game with More Convincing Secure Sites


By Jeff Ostroff | Published November 29, 2016

Scammers targeting used car sellers on Craigslist now using sites with "https" to trick victims. About a year ago we started warning the public about a rather clever new scam plaguing people who were trying to sell their used car on Craigslist. The scammers will scan Craigslist listings with robot software, and reply to your ad either via email or text message, posing as a buyer who really wants to buy your vehicle. Read more>>

CarBuyingTips.com Gets It Right!


By Lyle Romer | Published November 11, 2016

No, I'm not talking about the election results. Back on October 20th, we published an article which analyzed the trend we observed about consumers shifting their purchases towards larger vehicles. Finally, it looks like the rest of the industry media is drawing the same conclusion. Read more>>

Where Did All the Rebates Go?


By Lyle Romer | Published November 8, 2016

As I sit here on election day, I think we can all breath a sigh of relief that we don't have to be bombarded with campaign ads anymore. Now we can get back to the pleasure of being bombarded by car and truck ads again. One thing that we noticed that were missing this election season are the ads for large rebates and incentives on new vehicles. Read more>>

Consumers Shift Towards Larger Vehicles


By Lyle Romer | Published November 2, 2016

An interesting trend has developed in auto sales in 2016. Consumers have begun to shift towards larger vehicles when buying new cars this year. If we look into the numbers it is actually a pretty substantial move in the market. Read more>>

October 2016

Nissan to Repair Melted or Cracked Dashboards per Class Action Lawsuit settlement


By Jeff Ostroff | Published October 26, 2016

Repairs for Florida resident owners of 2008-2009 Nissan Altimas. Last February we reported that we had been receiving complaints from Nissan Altima owners here in Florida and the other hotter Southeastern states about cracked and melted dashboards in their cars. Under the out of court settlement of a class action lawsuit, Nissan has agreed to pay for most of the cost to replace your dashboard, without admitting any guilt. Read more>>

How Much Car Can You Afford?


By Lyle Romer | Published October 20, 2016

The most common question that people ask themselves before buying a car is "how much car can I afford?" As simple as it seems, this is the most important question to answer in the entire car buying process. The last thing that you want to do is end up with car payments that you can't afford. Read more>>

Auto Sales Slump Creates Savings Opportunity


By Lyle Romer | Published October 18, 2016

Back in January, we predicted that 2016 auto sales would end up slightly below the record 17.47 million cars and light duty trucks that were sold in 2016. Many experts were predicting another record breaking year but we were not that confident. Through the end of September, total sales were running about 0.5% ahead of 2015. Read more>>

September 2016

First Extended Warranties Emerge for Uber and Lyft Drivers


By Jeff Ostroff | Published September 30, 2016

We here at CarbuyingTips.com have been pressing extended warranty companies to see if they would offer protection coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers. The problem stems from the accelerated wear and tear of your vehicle if you drive your car for one of these services. Read more>>

August 2016

How to Protect Yourself From Liability When Selling Your Used Car


By Jeff Ostroff | Published August 28, 2016

Selling your car does not mean it's a done deal until you take proper steps to protect your liability after the sale. There is no doubt that selling your used car is one of the most aggravating and stressful situations that most people find themselves in. Read more>>

July 2016

Are Self Driving Cars Doomed?


By Lyle Romer | Published July 18, 2016

By now I'm sure you've heard about the fatal crash that occurred while a driver was riding in a Tesla that was using their Autopilot. The car crashed at very high speed into the trailer of an 18 wheeler that was making a left turn in front of the Tesla. Reports say that the driver was watching a movie at the time. The publicity surrounding this crash seemed to die down very quickly. Read more>>

Shocking and Excessive New Car Dealer Fees Redefine the Word Greed


By Jeff Ostroff | Published July 2, 2016

We have been warning consumers for years about excessive car dealer fees and how to avoid them. Just a few months ago we issued an alert on double charging new car fees, where we warned you how dealers are double charging you for some state fees. But now we have discovered other new car dealer fees at a local Toyota dealership that are so steep you might want to call it price gouging. The examples will make your jaw drop. Read more>>

June 2016

Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed Star Trek star Anton Yelchin part of active Chrysler Recall


By Jeff Ostroff | Published June 21, 2016

By now, you probably heard about the tragic death this past weekend of Anton Yelchin, the 27 year old Russian television and movie star who is best known for his role in the 2009 movie reboot of "Star Trek" where he portrayed a young 17-year old Ensign Pavel Chekov. Sadly, Yelchin's 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway with him presumably standing behind it, and his Jeep pinned him against a brick post on the edge of his security gate, crushing and killing him, also leaving noticeable damage to the gate. Read more>>

May 2016

Use Caution Shopping Memorial Day Car Sales


By Lyle Romer | Published May 27, 2016

Many car manufacturers and dealerships run sales for Memorial Day. I'm not exactly sure how buying a car serves to honor fallen veterans but marketing people look for any excuse to drive sales. To entice you to go out an buy a car, you'll see special Memorial Day rebates, cash back and other incentives. Read more>>

Should You Get the Navigation Option for Your Car?


By Lyle Romer | Published May 26, 2016

In 1995, Oldsmobile introduced the first GPS navigation system available in a United States production car. A lot has changed since then. Oldsmobile doesn't exist anymore and GPS navigation systems are available on pretty much any model car, truck or SUV as an option. Read more>>

Should You Get Trailer Tow Mirrors on Your F-150?


By Lyle Romer | Published May 25, 2016

When you look at all of the options that Ford makes available on the F-150, it can be overwhelming. The decisions you have to make on options are on top of the already complicated choice of trim level. Lost in all the options are the trailer tow mirrors. You would think that these would be included in the towing package but are not. Read more>>

Car Lease Disposition Fees Explained


By Jeff Ostroff | Published May 16, 2016

When buying a new car you will often find yourself inundated with many itemized fees whose descriptions defy common logic and leave you totally confused as to what you are paying for and whether the fee is a legitimate one or not. We often receive questions from our site visitors asking us "what is a disposition fee?" Here is the CarBuyingTips.com explanation of this fee which puzzles many car leasing customers. Read more>>

April 2016

9 Strategies You Control to Lower Your Car Loan APR


By Jeff Ostroff | Published April 21, 2016

Tips for stretching your dollar and reducing your interest paid over the life of a new car loan. Too many car buyers pay too high of an interest rate on their car loan. Either their credit history is dotted with poor financial management land mines,or car dealers lie to them, railroading them into outrageously high APR. Sometimes people are simply unaware of certain strategies that they were in control of which can lower their APR. Read more>>

Should You Buy a New Car or a Used Car?


By Lyle Romer | Published April 19, 2016

There has always been an intense debate over whether it is better to buy a new car or a used car. People tend to be firmly entrenched in one camp or another. It is a very difficult decision to make. There are pros and cons to both types of purchase. You need to weigh all of the factors and analyze your specific situation in order to decide what is best for you. Read more>>

Should You Use Your Tax Refund to Buy a Car?


By Lyle Romer | Published April 15, 2016

It's everybody's favorite time of the year again! Tax season is upon us and hopefully you will either file your taxes today or apply for an extension. We don't want anybody paying penalties. Of course, nobody except accountants likes tax season but there is a silver lining for most working people. After going through the stress and expense of filing your taxes, most people get a refund. Read more>>

The Myth of "End of Month" Car Buying


By Lyle Romer | Published April 11, 2016

Everybody has been conditioned to think that the time to get the best deal on a car is the end of the month. They are led to believe that the dealerships are so desperate to meet their sales goals that they will practically give cars away. For the most part, this frenzy is created by slick marketing. Read more>>

PDI - Is This Dealer Fee Legit?


By Lyle Romer | Published April 5, 2016

PDI stands for "Pre-Delivery Inspection." You will often see it referred to as dealer prep when you are looking at new car paperwork. Of course, knowing what it stands for doesn't really tell you what it is. Essentially it is a set of tasks that the dealership must do after the car comes off the delivery truck and before they put it on the lot or deliver it to the customer. Read more>>

March 2016

Most Popular New Car Feature


By Lyle Romer | Published March 30, 2016

New cars these days seem to be loaded with as many features as the designers can dream up. Some of them are useful and some you may not even know exist unless you study the user manual. It took my friend over a month to discover that his new F-150 has a heated steering wheel. Read more>>

Beware of Urgent Looking Extended Warranty Letters After Car Purchase


By Lyle Romer | Published March 28, 2016

Once you get home with your new car, you might think that you can let your guard down. Don't fall into that trap. Although you are done with the dealership, you are not finished dealing with tricky sales tactics. Read more>>

Lexus and Toyota Issue Recall for Side Curtain Airbag Erroneous Deployment


By Jeff Ostroff | Published March 17, 2016

Toyota and Lexus have been sending out safety recall notices they refer to as an "interim notice" to us owners of certain models and years to alert us to a potentially dangerous issue with the side Curtain Shield Airbags (CSA) which could make them deploy inadvertently at engine start up. This comes after Toyota notified the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) on February 5 of this recall. Read more>>

Clearing Up Option Price Confusion


By Lyle Romer | Published March 10, 2016

After you decide on what car or truck you want to buy, the next step will be to figure out what options you want. Sometimes you will be shocked by the MSRP once you have added the options that you think you want. Option pricing is further confused by option packages and trim levels. We received emails from readers asking us why option prices seem to be inconsistent between different vehicles of the same model. Read more>>

Car Dealers Big Push: Overpriced Extras


By Lyle Romer | Published March 8, 2016

With March Madness upon us, now is a good time to emphasize that the full court press is as intense as ever. Unfortunately, I'm not talking about basketball defense, I'm talking about the Finance and Insurance (F&I) office extreme sales pitch. With a record February in auto sales, it's like the business managers have arrived at an all you can eat buffet where the customers are served up as fresh meat. Read more>>

February Puts 2016 New Car Sales on Record Pace


By Lyle Romer | Published March 4, 2016

We have been predicting a slight decline in auto sales this year due to numerous factors which you can read about in our earlier blogs. When the numbers came in for February, they showed that the industry is on pace for a record year, eclipsing 2015. Read more>>

February 2016

Always Verify Your Cars Mileage


By Lyle Romer | Published February 29, 2016

Dealers and other service centers can (and do) make mistakes! Do you ever see the service advisor walk around your car with a pad when you are checking your car in for service? He is writing down critical information like your VIN and, very importantly, your mileage. This information must get transferred into their computer system and that is when mistakes get made. Read more>>

Don't Let the IRS Scam Put the Skids on Buying Your New Car


By Jeff Ostroff | Published February 25, 2016

Each year, many of us anxiously wait for the month of May for our IRS tax refund checks and many use this windfall of several thousand dollars to buy a new car. With this large amount of cash floating around, many foreign scammers using U.S. based ringleaders inserted themselves into this cloud of cash and have invented clever ways to cause thousands of victims to part with their money. Read more>>

Scam Alert: Variable Extended Warranty Pricing


By Lyle Romer | Published February 19, 2016

We always reinforce the importance of paying attention to every part of your car deal. If the dealer is able to get one thing past you, a good deal can go south very quickly. One particularly immoral trick that has surfaced a lot recently relates to the pricing of extended warranties. Read more>>

Russian Craigslist Scammers Posing as NADAGuides Ripping Off Buyers


By Jeff Ostroff | Published February 18, 2016

We have been warning our CarBuyingTips.com visitors about fraud for over a decade, exposing car buying fraud found on Craigslist, eBay Motors, Autotrader, and just about every other online classifieds site, big or small, no site is immune. Fraudsters trick victims into thinking they are dealing with a household name as a vehicle payment service.
Read more>>

Accounting for Dealer Fees When Viewing Price Data


By Lyle Romer | Published February 15, 2016

We've talked a lot about the great tools you have as a car buyer in the 21st century. 30 years ago, people had no idea what a good price on a new car actually was. Kelley Blue Book and similar publications were available for used car values, but information on new cars was scarce. The best resource was probably word of mouth when a friend or neighbor told you what they paid. Read more>>

Does Nissan Have a Melting Dashboard Problem?


By Lyle Romer | Published February 11, 2016

We recently received a picture that indicates Nissan may have a similar material defect problem. The photos show a 2009 Nissan Altima. The dashboard looks like somebody hit it with a blowtorch! Does Nissan Have a Melting Dashboard Problem? Read more>>

Warning Uber Drivers: You Just Voided Your Extended Warranty & Car Insurance


By Jeff Ostroff | Published February 10, 2016

With the upsurge in popularity of alternate taxi services like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Curb in recent years, many people are realizing that there's gold in the hills by being a driver partner for these companies. The industry is attracting both riders and drivers in large numbers, many just wanting some part time flexible income, or college students looking to earn their way through college. But most car insurance policies and extended warranties don't cover taxis. Read more>>

How to Avoid fake VIN History Reports and Choose The Right Report


By Jeff Ostroff | Published February 5, 2016

How to tell the difference between a quality VIN report and a scam. We here at CarBuyingTips.com have always done our best to steer you away from danger and scams. This has been our mantra since our inception in 1998. Today we are going to show you how to avoid phony VIN reports from web sites that claim to be "better than Carfax" and they take your money, but give you 1 or 2 pages of useless non-information. Read more>>

January 2016

CarBuyingTips.com Warns Car Dealers are Double Charging New Car Fees


By Jeff Ostroff | Published January 29, 2016

Consumers are charged fees up to $1,000 or more on a new car. We have been reporting on car dealer strategies for consumers buying new cars for many years and mention some of the car dealer fees you are likely to see. But how much should these fees really cost, and how much profit is there for the car dealer? Read more>>

Buying Cars Online


By Lyle Romer | Published January 28, 2016

25 years after America Online launched AOL for Windows dial up internet service, we decided to take a look at how things have changed to benefit car buyers. Back then, the only thing you could really do is discuss the car you wanted to buy in a chat room. Everything started to change in 1997 when Jeff Ostroff founded this site. Read more>>

Revisiting Our 2016 Auto Sales Forecast


By Lyle Romer | Published January 27, 2016

A few weeks ago, we released our forecast for 2016 U.S. auto sales. We predicted that sales would end up slightly below the 17.47 million that was achieved in 2015. In an effort to give our readers the most accurate information possible we wanted to re-evaluate our industry intelligence to see if any adjustment to our forecast is required. Read more>>

Top 5 Full Size Pickup Trucks Based on Style


By Lyle Romer | Published January 25, 2016

When you are shopping for a new pickup truck there are many things to consider. One of them is how the truck looks from the outside. We will rank the Top 5 2016 full size pickup trucks by the external appearance. Keep in mind that it is very difficult to compare apples to apples. Read more>>

Unbelievable Toyota Corrosion Warranty Weasel Clauses


By Lyle Romer | Published January 22, 2016

Recently we received feedback from a visitor about his experience buying a 2016 Toyota Corolla in Utah. He told us the story about how he was pressure sold a protection package after the salesman told him that the road salt used in winter would void the Toyota corrosion protection. To answer the visitor's question, we did extensive research and were shocked by what we found. Read more>>

ABC Miami Channel 10 Airs CarBuyingTips.com story on Craigslist Fraud


By Jeff Ostroff | Published January 21, 2016

Useful tips on our blog and Channel 10's video save you from fraud. We helped our Miami ABC affiliate, and the Local 10 News station team get the word out to consumers about this fresh new scam. Read more>>

Shockingly Misleading Car Lease Advertising


By Lyle Romer | Published January 20, 2016

You see advertising all the time for car leases at very low monthly payments. They entice you with the dream of driving a great new car for a very affordable monthly payment. Who wouldn't want to take advantage of this kind of deal? Read more>>

Beware of the Fine Print in Car Ads


By Lyle Romer | Published January 19, 2016

Car advertising is always filled with fine print that you need to pay attention to. For decades we have talked about how car dealers engage in borderline false advertising. They will do things like make one particular VIN a special price and advertising it. When you go to see it, you find out that the advertised car was "just sold." Read more>>

How to Decipher the TrueCar Curve


By Lyle Romer | Published January 18, 2016

We have gotten several emails and comments from visitors that are having trouble understanding how to take advantage of the data on the TrueCar curve. The data that you can get off of this chart can be very valuable in planning your new car purchase and negotiating the price. Read more>>

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CarBuyingTips.com has affiliate referral relationships with multiple web sites. This means that for many of the links you see on this site, we are paid referral fees for leads generated from visitors that click on links or fill out forms on this site. In some cases we are paid a commission for a purchase made on a site that is linked to from CarBuyingTips.com. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.