Saturday, March 24, 2018

New Car vs Used Car

"The value of a new car drops like a rock the minute you drive it off the lot!"

"Buying a used car is one scary thing to do!"

The age-old debate carries on.  But the times they are a changing.

Cars are no longer loosely screwed together buckets of bolts, and car dealers no longer wear plaid suits. Fact is, cars last longer than they used to; there's better materials, safer designs. And the "information age" has led to a more transparent car buying experience too.

If you spend enough time looking, you can find great deals on both new and used cars. But what really differentiates the two?
  • Is it the price?
  • That 'new car smell' perhaps?
In truth, there are many differences. The most obvious place to start is the mileage and condition of a used car vs. the never-used-plus-warranty condition of a new ride. Granted, you can save some coin by getting a slightly used version of the new car that you want. But you're not going to be able to pick the options, and you might not qualify for the complimentary maintenance programs that many car companies are now offering.

We could go back and forth on this all day, so let's just examine a few of the key arguments, and see if we can find a winner.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Buying a car Vs. Leasing a car

Buying a car Vs. Leasing a car

We've all seen those super-low lease rates on TV. "Get a 2019 Wiz Bang SE for only $299 per month!!!", then the disclaimer voice cuts in, telling you that you that this deal is only for "well-qualified customers with $69,000 dollars down". So is this actually a good deal in disguise?

What is a car lease?

Leasing a car is like leasing an apartment. You pay rent for the time that you live there / drive the car, but you never actually own the apartment / car. Granted, you never have to pay for maintenance or repairs. However, over the lease term, you windup spending a lot of money, without ever getting ownership. So how does this make sense?

To understand the financial difference, let's look at something called Depreciation.

When the Whiz Car Company sends a brand new Bang SE to the dealer, there's a certain value attached to it. This comprises a retail markup for the dealer, which goes away once you buy the vehicle. So if you get a $30,000 ride, that's only estimated (by the bank/finance company) to be worth $19,500 at the end of your 24 month lease, then you're financing the $10,500 in depreciation, plus finance charges & interest. If you actually purchased the same car, you'd be financing the entire $30,000, plus interest and finance charges.

This is why the monthly payment on a lease is so much cheaper.

During your lease, you're limited to driving the car a certain amount of miles per year because the mileage will ultimately help determine its value at the end of the lease. You're also for forbidden from making any changes to the vehicle (such as different wheels, or stereo equipment), as this too will effect the vehicle's resale value.

The up-side is, you can return the vehicle at the end of the lease, and get a new model. Or, you can buy the vehicle outright, by paying the remainder of the vehicle's value. Plus, you don't have to pay for repairs (and maintenance in most cases) during the lease term. Just gas it up and drive.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Financing a car: What are my options?

Financing a car: What are my options?

When buying a car, you have three options: pay cash, get a loan, or lease. So let's look at each option in detail, that way you can decide which option is best for you.


Obviously, buying a car outright is the way to go. You have no payments, so you'll save a ton of money on interest. And you can usually negotiate a pretty good deal when you're paying cash. But this isn't practical for most people because cars are expensive, and money is getting increasingly hard to come by these days.

However, you still have two options. Option A: You could take the money that you do have, and try to find a good condition, low mileage, older car. It might take some searching, but there are older vehicles out there with extremely low miles. And you can usually get them for $4-10k (depending on what it is of course).

Option B consists of using your available cash as a down payment on your next car. This will reduce the amount that you have to finance, which in turn, reduces your monthly payments.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to buy a car

How to buy a car

Many people view buying a car with a certain amount of dread. They assume that every car dealer is "out to get them", and they approach the negotiation process as if they were going to war. But in reality, all you have to do is educate yourself, then getting a good deal becomes quite simple.

Lesson 1: How a car dealer works

An ugly plaid suite, a bad haircut, and a pushy sales pitch. That's the image that many people have of car dealers. But that's usually just a cliche. If you do happen upon a car lot like that, you should

Most car dealers have a lot of money invested in their business, and it takes a lot of money to keep their business running. On average, used cars have a 20-30% markup, and new cars have just a 9-15% profit margin. Things like overhead, commissions, and reconditioning costs have to be subtracted from their profit margin. And don't forget, your car salesman doesn't get paid unless he sells a car. So there's a lot riding on your purchase decision.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Hungry Salesman and President Aardvark's Declaration of War

President American Aardvark's Declaration of War 

Today, President Aardvark officially declared War against Meth-Amphetamine.  Here is a text of his declaration.

"Mr. Kabanuga Gabanuga, Mr. Hungry Salesman, Mr. Ape Gone Postal, members of the Critter Posse and my fellow critters:: Since September 30th, 2006 - years which will live in infamy - the District of Critters has deliberately been attacked by Mexican Drug Cartels and their production and importation of high-potency meth-amphetamine. Additionally, the inventions of "shake and bake, one-pot" meth production and one-stop meth shop Walmart retail outlets have resulted in an increase of dangerous meth-related incidents. The facts of the past five years speak for themselves. The citizens of the District of Critters have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our world. As Commander-in-Chief of the Critter Posse I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense, that always will our whole district remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the District of Critters populace, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Critter Posse and of the critters when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our critters, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our Critter Posse, with the unbounding determination of our critters, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God. I ask that the Critter Posse declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Meth, a state of war has existed between the District of Critters and the Mexican Drug Cartels as well as Walmart."

President American Aardvark - January 1, 2012

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Hungry Salesman's Revolutionary Auto Buying Service

The "Hungry Salesman" will orchestrate the launch of a revolutionary buying service for vehicles in association with  We will not be a dealer, but instead a car dealers worst nightmare.!  This business will operate out of the Eco Hut.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Department of Transportation and the Hungry Salesman

The District of Critter's Department of Transportation (DCDOT or just DOT) is a Cabinet department of the American Aardvark's administration concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of the American Aardvark on June 4, 2009 and began operation on June 5, 2009. It is administered by the freshly appointed Otter from Mobile, Alabama.

The Otter from Mobile has a mission to "Serve the Nation by ensuring an eco-friendly, fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the Nation's Citizens now and into the future."

The Aardvark has made it perfectly clear that the Otter must work hand-in-paw with the Hungry Salesman of the Friendly Frontier in all endeavors.