Monthly Archives: May 2012

Used Car Prices (Finally) Decline

Finally some good news for car buyers who still might not be able to afford a new car: Used car prices are declining.

When the Great Recession began four years ago banks started tightening their rules about lending money. They increased the requirements for people seeking new loans, especially those who wanted to borrow money to buy a new car. This meant, essentially, that only people who could afford a new car, didn’t need to borrow money to buy it, could actually borrow money to buy a new car.

Because they couldn’t get a loan for a new car those in the market for a replacement vehicle began turning to the used car market for their “new” car. this sudden increase in demand caused the prices of used cars to increase tremendously. Prices for used cars shot up and have stayed there for the past few years, but that curve seems to be heading in a different direction as used car prices finally decline.

Buyers are turning up new car lots again, armed with new automobile loans issued by banks which are finally willing to loan money to people who actually need it to buy a new car. This is good news for the Big Three automobile manufacturers because it means the U.S auto market is seeing a surge in sales. However, used car dealers are no doubt decrying the loss of all the new customers they have been seeing quite regularly for at least the past 36 months or so. It also means they need to lower their prices to attract “new” buyers.

For you, the person who may or may not need a “new” car, the news is good on both sides. It is good for you if you want a used car because prices are finally coming down. It is also good news if you are buying a new car because it means you can finally walk into your local bank with confidence they might actually be able to help you.

Think of it as a win-win situation and go out and get yourself a “new” car.

Memorial Day Warnings Abound: ‘Click It or Ticket’

In case you haven’t heard, there is a nationwide ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign going on right now. In most cases these campaigns will continue right through the first week of June. So, if you plan on driving anywhere, be certain you buckle up.

Wearing a seat belt every time you get behind the wheel, or climb into the back seat or get into any vehicle at all, is just common sense for most of us. Seat belts save lives. Hundreds of studies have been conducted over the past 50 years which have shown repeatedly that vehicle passengers who wear seat belts are safer, less likely to suffer injury or death, in the result of a crash. But despite all this evidence some people still refuse to wear a seat belt for a variety of reasons.

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that obese individuals were much less likely to buckle up than people with an average size frame. This is mostly due to comfort. Seat belts can be uncomfortable, especially if your body is pressed tightly against them, but it doesn’t reduce their ability to keep you safe. Some people actually believe their large frame will help protect them in the event of a crash, but unless they can bench press abut 12,000 pounds (the force of a front end crash at 35 mph) they just aren’t up to the job.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, although seat belt use around the state is up, people who drive pick-up trucks are still reluctant to buckle up. In fact, seat belt use by people who DO NOT drive pick-up trucks outpaces pick-up truck drivers by 4 to 1.

This nationwide ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign is designed to focus on those people who refuse to use their seat belt for whatever reason. Citations will be handed out by the thousands and maybe, just maybe, people will think twice before riding without a seat belt.

Street Racing Results In Flip

A 1968 Camaro is the perfect car to take down to your local race track and try out around the curves, or even on a supervised drag race. But if you race in the street the results might not be what you hoped for.

Such was the case for this unlucky racer. First, he smoked the tires coming off the line, then finished the race well ahead of his competition. Unfortunately, just seconds after crossing the finish line, the ’68 Camaro suddenly rolled over. You can tell from the cries of “oh no!” that nobody at the race expected him to roll, especially AFTER the race was finished. But the difference between what we expect and what we get is usually defined as an “accident.”

In this case the races were being supervised and the driver had installed special safety equipment, including a steel reinforced roll-cage meant to protect the occupants in the event of a crash. That might have something to do with the fact that he was able to storm off in a huff after the race instead of catching a ride in an ambulance.

Unfortunately he is still going to pay a hefty fee to get the body work, windshield and other repairs made to his car before he can take it out on the track again. I just hope he was insured.

Epic Super Car Drag Race!

Ever wonder what it would be like to watch $1.1 million worth of super car hardware duke it on a head to head to head to head to head race? Now is your chance!

MotorTrend.com brought five of the world’s most powerful (and recognizable) super cars to an abandoned air field in southern California and lined them up, side by side, to compete in a timed race.

The racers include an Audi R8, a Ferrari F430, a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560, a Maserati Granturismo and a Mercedes McLaren SLR Coupe. Each of these vehicles descends from a long line of super cars. They all boast power and prestige unparalleled in the automobile world and each is deserving of the title as “One of the world’s greatest super cars.” But which one is fastest across the line? Which of these super super cars would out power, out race and out match the others?

It was all over in just 11.8 seconds. But listening to the engines rev and watching the pure power and speed of these mean machines was worth every second. It stands to reason who the winner is, especially when they run down the numbers in terms of horsepower and weight, but it is still worth it to see this much power (this much value) tear down the track.

If you’re wondering who won…watch the video:

 

Test Drive This: Ferrari F430

When it comes to test drives, probably nothing compares to the raw power available to anyone who climbs behind the wheel of one of the world’s finest super cars. Like this Ferrari F430 in Malaysia.

Ferrari has been making cars for decades, and every one of them (as any Ferrari fan will tell you) is “super” but there is something extra special about this F430 produced by the Italian automaker Ferrari from 2004 to 2009, as a successor to the 360. It had it is debut at the 2004 Paris Motor Show where amazed fans and confounded competitors.

In the below video you get a chance to experience the thrill of a test drive, without the hefty insurance coverage or down payment which might normally be required.