How to Outsmart a Used Car Salesman

deal with used car salesmen

Go here with confidence

Since used car shopping at a dealership can be an intimidating experience, especially since you are on the sales team’s turf, we should all take as much advice on used car shopping that we can get. Investing Answers has put out a reminder of one simple trick for how to outsmart a used car salesman. It all comes down to showing the salesman that y0u have some knowledge of how their business works:

You simply can’t know if you’re inheriting somebody else’s imminent big repair job. That’s why car dealers typically charge around $2,000 more for a used car than what private sellers look to charge. They are offering peace of mind. But what do you get for that $2,000? A car that has been washed and waxed. If you pay up for a certified pre-owned car from a dealer, expect to pay even more.

Those insulting dealer mark-ups for used cars are even more egregious when you find out that they got the cars for very low prices as trade-ins, sometimes thousands less than what a consumer could have gotten if they bothered to sell the car on their own. So the profit for these used cars for dealers is often well more than the $2,000 noted above.

But you can try to use that knowledge to your benefit — once you realize that a lot of new car dealers don’t really like a lot of used cars sitting on their lots. Why not lowball them?

A sample pitch that only takes 10 seconds of your time: “I realize that you only paid $6,000 for that $9,000 2005 Toyota Camry on your lot, and I’d like to give you a tidy $1,500 profit by paying $7,500.” You’d be surprised at how often this works.

Here’s how to do it: Find a good-condition used car that seems to hold up well in a leisurely road test, then take it to your trusted mechanic. They’ll charge you around $150 to go over the vehicle in very close detail, and if they do spot problems, you can simply walk away from the deal. (If the used car seller balks at a request to have the car inspected, say adios.)

Basically, the best way to go about used car shopping at a dealership is to act with confidence. The article brings up another good point for car shoppers in that brands that have been discontinued (Pontiac, Saturn, etc.) can be had for much less than similar rivals, even though they’re fine cars and often share parts with brands that are still being produced. It might be time, then, to have a cherry Pontiac for the price of a mediocre Ford.

To read the full story, click here.

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Sandy Could Effect Used Car Market

Flood damaged cars used car market Hurricane Sandy

You could very well see both of these cars at your local car lot.

The immediate effects of Hurricane Sandy are obvious. Downed power lines, flooding, and fallen trees are all over the news. Overall damage is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. There is, though, another long term effect of this devastating storm, and NBC has reported how Hurricane Sandy could effect the used car market. Understandably, they will shoot up as many East Coasters will suddenly and unexpectedly have to shop for another vehicle to replace their older, water-damaged one. That is alarming enough by itself, but the storm has other implications for second-hand car buyers:

How many cars were damaged or destroyed by this week’s massive storm remains to be seen but as many as 600,000 vehicles were claimed by Hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Wilma in 2005, according to CarFax, a service designed to help potential used car buyers track the history of a vehicle.

“Many of these cars are still showing up for sale around the country,” CarFax notes, the service’s website pointing out that of 75,000 vehicles damaged by 1999’s Hurricane Floyd, “more than half were put back on the road.”

In some cases, the damage may be minimal and easily repaired, especially if it didn’t reach the engine. Fresh water from flooded streams may have less of an impact than saltwater that can quickly result in extensive corrosion.  But flooding, in general, can cause extensive damage.

“A car’s engine, electronics, fuel system, airbags and brakes are all extremely susceptible to flood water,” said AiM’s Sullivan. “It’s extremely important to find any water damage before you invest your money in a used car, and a professional inspection will find flood damage no matter how a seller tries to hide it.”

The veteran inspector offers up a number of tips on what a used car buyer should watch for to help catch a vehicle damaged by flooding:

  • Water or condensation in the headlights or taillights could be a tip-off to flood-related problems.
  • A musty odor in the vehicle, which may be from moldy carpeting or padding. If possible, pull up the carpeting to see how far water may have risen in the vehicle, and also if any moisture remains.
  • Mud in the seat belt tracks or seat belt tensioners.
  • Water in the spare tire well in a vehicle’s trunk.
  • A sagging headliner, particularly on a late-model vehicle.
  • Corrosion in the vehicle’s undercarriage, such as on brake lines or around the fuel tank;

This could be a sign of saltwater damage. It’s different from snow-belt cars which typically get road salt on frame rails, notes AiM. But when corrosion appears near the top of the springs or shock towers are corroded, these are clears signs a vehicle has suffered flood-related damage.

Being a smart, educated consumer is always important, but this news shows us something else to look out for. A tempting deal on a car in the Northeast just might be too good to be true, especially after this big storm. You wouldn’t buy a house with flood damage, so don’t make that mistake when buying a car.

To read the full story, click here.

 

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Microcars in America

United States Microcars Chevy Spark Fiat 500 Toyota Scion iQ

Small is stylish

The microcar is a pretty familiar concept in much of the world. In congested European cities, high gas prices and an intimidating parking situation mean that tiny, fuel-sipping cars make a lot of sense for most people. In this sprawling country, the story has been different. For the most part, we had no experience of microcars in America.

The thing is, our cities are only getting more congested and our gasoline is only getting pricier. New models of tiny cars that were only available in Europe or Asia a couple of years ago are now on American show rooms. Smart Cars, Fiat 500s, and Toyota iQ are starting to be taken seriously, and according to the Wall Street Journal they are one of the fastest growing segments of new car sales in this country that seems to be here to stay:

The retro-styled Fiat 500, the recently launched Chevrolet Spark and the Scion iQ, among others, aim to expand Mini’s approach—with cars priced well below the Mini Cooper’s $20,400 base cost. But while the new entries are more affordable, auto makers don’t want to position them as stripped-down transportation.

The Spark, which starts at $12,245, offers a 7-inch color in-dash screen that allows drivers to stream Internet radio through a smartphone or watch movies while in park. Chevrolet soon plans to offer a phone app that will display navigation maps in the dash screen—effectively delivering the function of a $1,000 to $2,000 built-in nav system for about $50. And the Spark’s front seats are set higher off the floor than in many cars, giving the driver a feeling of sitting in a taller, larger vehicle.

More important, the 2,237-pound Spark has 10 air bags, electronic stability control and antilock brakes to prevent skids. Safety is a key concern, because lightweight microcars have an inherent disadvantage in confrontations with heavier vehicles. The Spark hasn’t received crash ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Scion iQ scored four out of a possible five stars overall on NHTSA’s tests and gets good ratings from IIHS for front- and side-crash performance. The 2012 Fiat 500 got just three stars overall from NHTSA. The IIHS rates 2012 Fiat 500′s built after July 2011 a “Top Safety Pick.” The 2013 model isn’t rated.

The Korean-made Spark does skimp on some features. It offers only a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic instead of the six-speed gearboxes common on mainstream compact cars such as the Ford Focus or Hyundai Elantra. And noise muffling isn’t a priority, especially at highway speeds.

Industry executives say they expect sales of microcars and subcompacts to continue to grow, driven by two groups. First are younger city dwellers who may be ambivalent about whether a car is cooler than a smartphone, but who want something affordable, stylish and easy to park. Then there are older drivers who have left their family-hauling years behind and want a more efficient car for tooling around town.

The part about microcars’ two main demographics is interesting, and I’ve seen it already. Whenever a Fiat 500 pulls up anywhere in Boston, it is inevitably either a very young professional or a grandparent who opens that driver’s side door.

I can only hope, but perhaps the newfound popularity of these smaller automobiles will help this country get over its silly obsession with unnecessarily large SUVs. Regardless, it seems that microcars have landed and will prove to be an ever more common sight on our roads.

To read the full story, click here.

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Americans Buy Fewer New Cars

Americans to Buy Fewer New Automobiles Over Lifetime

You will be making a lot fewer visits to this place.

Other than a house, a car is the biggest purchase that most people will make in their life. This is especially true for new cars, which most often require financing. New research suggests that a new automobile is a purchase that we will all be making fewer times than in the previous generation. Whereas people used to keep a car for three to five years, now they are keeping them for seven or eight. If you add that up over the fifty or sixty years that most people are driving, it makes for several fewer new car purchases.

The explanation for this shift isn’t all that surprising. Cars in general are of higher build quality now, and a tough economy means we are less likely to trade up to a new model just for the hell of it. NBC reports on what the changes mean, both for the consumer and for the carmakers:

Because Americans are now forecast to buy fewer new vehicles in their lifetimes, it means automakers will have fewer chances to steal customers.

The “conquest buy,” when one brand persuades a customer to switch from one brand to another brand, has long been a crucial part of building sales and market share. This is how the Japanese automakers, and more recently, the Korean automakers gained market share in the U.S.

That’s tougher with people holding onto their new cars longer. In the past, you would start looking for a new car every three or four years, and when you did you might start looking at several brands, not just the one you were driving.

Conversely, since we are going longer between new car purchases, what we want or need in a new model may change more as the years pass. As a result, Pratt said, the brand we are driving may not have the type of vehicle, or styling, we want for the next stage of our life.

It’s hard to say what this pretty drastic shift will mean for carmakers, but undoubtedly their market research teams are already hard at work. It will also be interesting to see what kind of effect this all has on the used car market. On one hand, the higher quality of modern cars could keep second-hand prices high, making new cars seem like not as much of a financial stretch as they have been. On the other hand, fewer new car purchases may mean that new car prices will get jacked up, bringing back the appeal of used cars. I will still always advocate for used, but let’s see how the market plays out.

To read the full story, click here.

 

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Top Ten Future Classics

 

10 Future Classics Fisker Karma

Will you still be drooling over one of these in twenty years?

Motor Trend has come out with a pretty ambitious list. Predicting the future is, quite simply, a ballsy move. This week they have presented us with a rundown of the top ten future classics out there.

Back in the 1960s, no one really knew how big the classic car game would blow up. You could find old Ferrari racers and Shelby Cobras in the late ’60s for the price of an ordinary family sedan. At the time, they were just used and obsolete race cars. Now, of course, such cars command six and seven figure prices. In 2012, we know better. We know that there are some cars being built right now that will be icons representative of this time after a few decades have past. Motor Trend thinks they have them sorted out. Here are a few:

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X: Like the BMW M3, the current-generation Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X will likely be remembered as the end of an era. While its Subaru rival will continue on into its next generation, the Evo X marks the end of the Evo as we know it. Mitsubishi reportedly wants to go in another direction with the Evo XI – a direction that ditches the all-wheel-drive rally rocket’s turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 in favor of a plug-in hybrid setup. Will it be able to live up to the Evo name? Only time will tell, but if Mitsubishi does go that route, the current Evo X may very well become a prized collectible.

Nissan GT-R: What can we say about Godzilla that hasn’t already been said? Not only is the Nissan GT-R highly desirable, but it’s an incredibly important car for Nissan. The R35 GT-R is significant because it’s the first GT-R to ever be legally sold in the U.S., and it’s taken the segment by storm, frequently finishing on the podium in our Best Driver’s Car competitions. Despite its relatively low price, Godzilla remains a rarity on the streets, and though it has love-it-or-hate-it styling, the GT-R will without a doubt remain desirable in the future.

Saab 9-5: As mentioned above, the Saab 9-5 is the sole exception to the on-sale now rule, because while you can’t buy one new now, you could still buy a brand new 9-5 up until the Swedish automaker declared bankruptcy in January of this year. The 9-5 earns its spot on the future collectible list because it was the last new Saab car introduced. It may have had quite a few components from the GM parts bin, but the 9-5 was still the last true Saab. It was great to look at, full of quirky Swedish charm, and actually fun to drive. The 9-5 was the last Saab, and perhaps one of the best, which makes it a future collectible in our book.

SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition: The 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition marks the return of the other American sports car icon. To celebrate the Viper’s rebirth, SRT created the limited-edition Viper GTS Launch Edition (Rarity? Check). Powered by a reworked 8.4-liter V-10 cranking out 640 hp, the Launch Edition comes wearing the stunning blue and white stripe paint job that helped make the original Viper GTS famous (Styling? Check). Finally, checking off the significance box is the fact that the new Viper is the first SRT-branded vehicle ever, giving it that special something that collectors will most certainly love decades from now.

Tesla Model S Signature Performance: The Tesla Model S is not only significant to Tesla as its first mass-market vehicle, but it’s significant to the industry as a whole as the first all-electric car that actually works for most Americans’ needs. The Model S Signature Performance is being built in a limited run of just 1000 examples. Making the Model S Signature Performance even more enticing is its world-beating performance, which allows the EV to smoke its gas-powered European rivals on the drag strip. The stunningly handsome Model S is a technological marvel that’s sure to be just as impressive sitting pretty on the auction block in the coming decades.

Most of this list of ten makes sense. The M3 is adored and lusted after as a perfectly balanced and poised “ultimate driving machine”. The Corvette ZR1 offers insane performance for way less than its European rivals. It’s the same story, too, with the Nissan GT-R.

The inclusion of two electric cars was a bit too much. I think the future of the electric car is a bit too uncertain at this point, and the financial woes of both Fisker and Tesla don’t exactly help, either. I ‘m willing to let it slide, though, given the Karma and Model S’s impact on the car world this year, but the Saab was just too much. Just because it is the last Saab will not make it a classic. Do we celebrate the last Plymouth, the last Oldsmobile, or the last Triumph? Last time I checked, we celebrate the models from extinct carmakers’ best times, not their worst. As for the rest of these top ten future classics, we will just have to wait and see.

To read the full story, click here.

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Ten Best Winter Cars

Best cars for snow winter 4WD AWD FWD

Winter is coming. Do you have the right car?

That time of year is fast approaching when much of the country needs to start worrying about snow. Despite snow’s romantic presentation in literature and film, it can be a major pain. We have to shovel it, plow it, salt it, walk in it, protect our plants from it, and drive in it.

Anyone from the Northeast or Midwest probably has basic knowledge of what kind of cars will fare well in the snow and which ones will not. For those who need some more in-depth advice, Press and Guide has issued a list of the ten best winter cars, so before hoofing it in Winter Wonderland, take a look. Some of the top five choices are obvious, but they are so up to the task that they bear repeating:

Subaru’s made their reputation on offering only AWD cars here in the U.S. since 1997. They now sell the sporty rear-wheel drive BRZ, but everything else would be a good choice. The base Impreza offers the highest highway mileage for a car sold here with AWD. Those who favor performance could take a WRX or WRX STI and add snowtires. The XV Crosstrek is new for 2013, and might be your best bet.

Audi’s Quattro brand of AWD has also made them famous. The new 2013 Allroad replaces the A4 Avant and features their wonderful 211-hp. turbo four-cylinder engine.

While Jeep doesn’t make cars, their AWD and 4WD systems are among the most legendary. Having made a truly epic journey through a snow storm in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, it would be my first choice. A less costly selection would be the Compass.

Toyota’s gotten away from offering AWD sedans and wagons, but does offer a full lineup of SUVs. A Sequoia is too big for my tastes, so I’d have to say it’s a tossup between the RAV4 and the larger Highlander.

Likewise, Volkswagen has fewer cars available with AWD than before, but the Tiguan climbs to the top of available Volkswagens. I’d like to know when we’ll be able to get their fine TDI diesel engine with AWD.

There’s a reason why Subaru tops this list. They really are the best all-rounders for the snowy months. Go any place like Maine or Vermont, and you’ll be hard pressed these days to spot a car that isn’t a Subaru. They get great gas mileage compared to the competition, and while they are lower than the SUVs on the list, any Subaru with a hatchback will have just as much and occasionally more interior room in it. There are plenty of good options on this list, but the Subaru is the only one I would recommend to a friend.

To read the full story, click here.

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Beware of Used Car Advice

Beware of Used Car Experts

Dealer experiences can be intimidating, but your friends probably don’t know any more about them than you do.

We all know someone who loves to give out car advice, especially to friends who are prospective car buyers or sellers. I’ve been guilty of giving such advice from time to time. Most car people have. But Motor Trend‘s blog put out a recent post urging us to beware of used car advice, arguing that most people who give buying or selling advice to friends are almost always self interested, and usually don’t know what they’re talking about:

The world is full of people who think they’re experts in car sales.

Most of them, in my opinion, know nothing. Absolutely nothing. Or, they know just enough to be dangerous. Many of them have a desire to be perceived as experts by their friends, and some of them live for the opportunity to prove they know more than a real car salesman.

But no one, no matter how smart they think they are, can tell you what the value of your trade-in is unless they’ve seen it, inspected it, driven it, talked to the owner about its history, and looked up the value in at least two reputable sources, like Black Book, NADA, or Mannheim Auction. Anyone who tells you they know the value of your trade-in is without going through this process is a fool — and they’re setting you up for major disappointment.

Whenever people have a serious decision to make , it’s only human nature to seek out the advice of a trusted friend. However, there are dangers to this. The first danger is, unless that person is truly an expert in whatever the subject is, chances are the advice they give you won’t be very good.

Just because a person has written insurance on cars doesn’t make them an expert on car values. Just because they work in a bank dealing with car loans everyday doesn’t make them an expert on car values, either. And just because they fix cars for a living doesn’t make them an expert on car values — any more than the fact I work at a car dealership makes me an expert on car insurance, what kind of interest rate you’ll get, or how to replace an EGR valve.

Second, if you call up a friend and ask them what they think of a deal you’re considering, their answer is going to be “No” every single time. Every time, with no exceptions. The friend you call — whether it’s your dad, your wife, a neighbor, a psychic you know, or your priest or rabbi — will always, always, ALWAYS say “No.” They never, never, EVER say “Yeah, go ahead, I think you should do it. Sounds like a great deal!”

Why?

The answer is obvious. Say a friend calls you and asks for your advice. “Hey, I’m sitting here at the dealership thinking about buying one of those new SR-75 Blackbirds. They’re giving me yadda yadda for my trade and they’re asking me yadda yadda bing for their’s. The total is $30,000. Whaddya think?”

Are you going to be responsible for a friend’s $30,000 mistake?

No way. It’s much easier — and much safer — to say “No.” That way, if your friend buys, and it later turns out he got screwed, you can say “I told you so.” But if you say “Yes” and it later turns out to be a bad decision, guess who gets blamed? Yeah, that’s right. You.

Finally, unless the individual you’re relying on for advice has been there with you every step of the way, and gone through the same process you’ve gone through — the internet research, the walkarounds, the test drives, the appraisal, the presentation of numbers — they have no basis for offering an opinion. Why? Because they know none of the facts. The last time they went shopping for a car may have been six years ago.

There are a lot of good points brought up here. Friends can often be an unreliable source of information in all sorts of cases because they are often more inclined to tell you what what you want to hear than the truth. Even someone who may very well be an expert in some areas of the vast world that is the automobile may not know the first thing about the buying and selling end of the car arena.

This piece touches on the stereotype of “the lying car salesman” but doesn’t really give it due consideration. The standard car salesman is, in most people’s minds, dishonest. There are many who are great, genuine folks, but there are still plenty who are the slimy-types willing to lie through their teeth. Really, then, you need to take what everyone tells you with a grain of salt. If you are buying or selling a car, listen to all parties, but listen carefully and duly weigh your options.

The guy at the dealership knows the intricacies of that industry better than you or anyone you know, but he may be out to screw you. Your buddy the “expert” may seem to have your best interest in mind, but at the same time he may not know what he’s talking about. Ultimately, it’s your money, so make your own decision.

To read the full story, click here.

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The Most Fuel Efficient Fast Cars

Ten Most Fuel Efficient Cars with 400+ horsepower hp Corvette

Believe it or not, V-8s aren’t as thirsty as they used to be.

Fuel economy is on everyone’s mind lately, even the wealthy. It’s not a topic just for eco-box drivers, but also, at times, for drivers of fire-breathing V-8 sports cars. For those who feel the need for speed but don’t want to fill up every trip to the office, the folks at Automobile Magazine have compiled a list of the most fuel efficient fast cars. Specifically, they have given us the ten most fuel efficient new cars with at least 400 horsepower.

This might seem like a silly and irrelevant list to come out with, but this article actually does serve as a reminder that more cylinders and more power does not always mean more fuel consumption. Some of the eight-cylinder cars on this list are surprisingly frugal on fuel, using no more than quite a few six-cylinder cars out there.

Here are the top five:

First Place: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG: 415 hp / 398 lb-ft, 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway

There are a few Mercedes-Benzes on this list, and for good reason: Mercedes-Benz is on a roll with downsizing its V-8 engines and adding turbochargers, which usually adds a small amount of power and a large amount of fuel economy. Surprisingly, the SLK55 AMG is not one of those cars: it’s powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 engine without turbos. Still, it benefits from one thing: it’s a small car with a big engine, so it doesn’t take much power to keep the SLK55 at speed. Additional help comes from technologies like engine stop-start and cylinder deactivation.

Second Place: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S: 400 hp / 325 lb-ft, 19-20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway

Logic would suggest that a car with six cylinders will use less gas than one with eight. While that’s not always true, that logic does apply to our second-place entry, the Porsche 911 Carrera S. The 911 Carrera S has 400 horsepower on tap, the lowest of any of the list entries, but it’s no slouch, either. The speed and economy are both aided by Porsche’s seven-speed transmissions–one manual, one dual-clutch auto–and the 911 Carrera’s signature, aerodynamic shape.

Third Place: 2013 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe: 402 hp / 443 lb-ft, 17 mpg city, 27 mpg highway

The E550 coupe is one of many Mercedes-Benzes to follow the brand’s recent engine downsizing trend. While past E550s featured 5.5-liter normally-aspirated V-8 engines, this one has a 4.6-liter twin-turbo V-8 under the hood, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Thanks in part to the smaller engine and in part to the taller top gear, the E550 returns a respectable 21 mpg combined.

Fourth Place: 2013 Ford Mustang GT Coupe: 420 hp / 390 lb-ft, 15-18 mpg city, 25-26 mpg highway

Yes, the Ford Mustang is aging, but it’s powered by a relatively new 5.0-liter V-8 engine (aptly named Coyote) that far surpasses its predecessor in both power and economy. It ties or beats the usual champion of American muscle car fuel economy, the Chevrolet Corvette, thanks in part to an available six-speed automatic that boosts city fuel economy. True gearheads will stick for the manual, however, losing just one mpg combined in the process.

Fifth Place: BMW 650i Coupe: 400 hp / 450 lb-ft, 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway

Like Mercedes-Benz, BMW has been hard at work downsizing and turbocharging its engines for greater power and economy. The 650i coupe is not powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 as its name would suggest, but rather a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 (the same engine that does duty in many other BMWs, including the M5 and M6, albeit in a different state of tune). What it lacks in raucous engine noise it makes up for in fuel economy.

I think the biggest surprises on the list are the American cars. One normally associates “American Muscle” with big engines that chug fuel. On the contrary, the new Corvette gets 25 mpg on the highway. Sure, the cars featured here are not going to fit everyone’s definition of “green”, but they are no doubt still encouraging because they offer seemingly uncompromising performance without burning an obscene amount of four dollar gas.

To see the full list, click here.

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Are Green Cars Worse for the Environment?

Do Green Cars Do More Damage to the Environment?

Cars like this might not contribute to smog, but you should check the factories where they are built.

I’ve been suspecting this for years, and a few studies have confirmed this for cars like the Prius, but a recent study in the Journal of Industrial Ecology has given us a satisfactory answer to a question that probably too few people have been asking: are green cars worse for the environment than regular cars?

Sure, fuel economy for cars like the Toyota Prius or Chevrolet Volt is superior to other cars, meaning they pump out less carbon into the atmosphere when they’re driving about. It would then be easy to think that such cars are “greener”.

The full story on a car’s environmental impact, however, is more complicated than just fuel economy. All cars do environmental damage throughout their life cycle, just to varying degrees. In fact, Norway has decided to refuse the label of “green” to any cars, because every last one of them is a detriment to the environment to some degree. And in the case of hybrids like the Prius, sometimes the process of producing fuel-saving technology makes more pollution than the production of a regular old gasoline-powered car.

This study, undertaken at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, focuses specifically on full electric vehicles and their impact. Since there is so much current buzz about a shift to electric vehicles, which are often marketed as environmentally friendly personal transport, the implications of this study are serious:

We provide a new level of transparency and detail to the ongoing public discussion on the life cycle merits of EVs relative ICEVs. The production, use, and end of life of these two technologies were inventoried in a manner ensuring an appropriate comparison. The production phase of EVs proved substantially more environmentally intensive. Nonetheless, substantial overall improvements in regard to GWP, TAP, and other impacts may be achieved by EVs powered with appropriate energy sources relative to comparable ICEVs. However, it is counterproductive to promote EVs in regions where electricity is produced from oil, coal, and lignite combustion. The electrification of transportation should be accompanied by a sharpened policy focus with regard to life cycle management, and thus counter potential setbacks in terms of water pollution and toxicity. EVs are poised to link the personal transportation sector together with the electricity, the electronic, and the metal industry sectors in an unprecedented way. Therefore the developments of these sectors must be jointly and consistently addressed in order for EVs to contribute positively to pollution mitigation efforts.

As always, the energy dilemma we are faced with has no simple solution. Every alternative to petroleum, and we do need one, needs to be scrutinized intensively. This study shows that electric cars (EVs), despite their current problems, have potential for vast improvement. One day in the not-too-distant future we may very well see large-scale use of electric cars,but until then the process of producing and powering such cars needs to be cleaned up. It’s almost like avoiding the purchase of conflict diamonds. If you know your electric car and the charge that powers it comes from someplace clean, you can rest a bit easier at night.

The full article that presents the study’s findings, being in a scientific journal, is a bit dense. It is well worth a look, though, so click here to read the full story.

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Tips For Selling Your Car

How to sell your used car

You could make this happen very soon, if you follow some simple advice.

AAA seems like they’re always here to help out, and recently they have put out a list of tips for selling your car. This is a task that can be intimidating. It is also one in which you can get taken advantage of, or find yourself disappointed. Since used cars are commanding a relatively high price now, it might be tempting to let your used car go and cash in on the increased demand that is currently out there. Don’t be afraid to go for it, but remember some of these tips before putting your car out on Craigslist or in your local paper:

Determine the proper price.

Do your homework and find out what the going rate is for your year and make of vehicle, and be realistic. “Very few vehicles are in ‘excellent’ condition,” says AAA, “…keep a list of comparable prices from various vehicle pricing sources for any potential buyers to take with them.”

Tell the world, “I’m selling my car!”

Once you get behind selling your car, sell, baby. Don’t let it sit for months – it’s not good for the car and it’s not good for your morale. Triple A says, “Use today’s social media technology and online websites to let others know you are selling your vehicle. Facebook, Twitter, AutoTrader.com, Cars.com and eBay Motors are all great examples of electronic resources. Colorful photos and diverse images can help support the description and features of the vehicle. Be sure to include contact information and any other important details pertaining to the sale.”

Use common sense when meeting strangers.

Meet potential buyers in public whenever possible, say experts, and insist on going with them for any test drives. Have answers ready for any questions they may ask and have detailed information available to them in writing, including a CARFAX vehicle history report. Have the car’s repair and maintenance records handy and organized.

Another thing to remember is to just get all the paperwork right, and double check everything. Speaking of doing a once-over, you would be surprised at how much of a difference a nice detailing can make. Going over the interior carefully (or paying a professional detailer) and a good polish/wax job can, in some cases, take years of age off of your car in the cosmetics department.

The current trends indicate that people are going to want your car, so if you’re thinking about selling your older ride, go for it. Just be sure to use your head when you do.

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