Finding the Perfect Used Car

Picture: © Aleksandar Mijatovic - Fotolia.com

Picture: © Aleksandar Mijatovic – Fotolia.com

Are you thinking about purchasing a used car? Finding it a bit difficult to find the perfect one to suit your needs? There are definitely a lot of options available to you, in terms of where to buy your car, what make and model to choose or whether to buy private or via a dealer. All the choice can make purchasing a car, new or used, a bit overwhelming.

One of the great things about buying a used car is that you can access some great deals with lower upfront costs and minimal fuss in terms of finance requirements. You could also find your dream car, albeit a few years older than a brand new one, at an affordable price by choosing to look at used rather than new.

Ready to get started? Follow these tips to find your perfect used car.

Tips to Find Your Next Used Car

1. Do research. There are a lot of online resources available to you to help with this, in particular sites like carsales.com.au; not only do they provide you with access to hundreds of used cars for sale, they also provide a buyer’s guide that gives you the run down on each make and model.

The only downside of using an online site like this is that you may have to go out and look at a few cars, get your mechanic to check them out and then start the process again if you find out that there are issues you’re not quite prepared to work with.

2. Review local car dealerships. You can do this one of two ways; research and read reviews online about local car dealers or visit them in person and see how you’re treated.

A good dealership should have a lot of positive reviews on both dedicated review sites, such as TrueLocal.com.au, as well as actual customer feedback and testimonials on their site or Facebook page. Make sure you take the time to check them out online before committing to anything.

3. Stay local. Look at local private sales within your area. Quite often you’ll be able to find a great deal and not have to worry about hidden costs.

There can also be downsides to dealing with private used car sales. You need to take a bit of extra care when dealing with someone privately and it would be in your own best interests to ensure that you have a mechanic check out the car prior to any funds being handed over.

4. Decide on your car. Before you start looking for the perfect used car, it’s best to have a car make and model in mind. This can cut down the process of looking for a car by half and stops you from wasting too much time trying to figure out what car to buy.

Here’s a few things you should take into consideration:

      a. How many km’s has it done. Anything over 200,000 km’s needs more servicing and could have more issues which become apparent within 6 months of purchase.
      b. What’s the fuel economy like? With fuel prices continuing to increase, finding a used car that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to fill is your best option if you’re looking to reduce your on-road costs.
      c. How big of a car do you need? Do you have a large family or is it just you and your partner? Who else will you be regularly having in the car?
      d. How many owners does the car have? What is its history? Has it had any accidents?

One of the best used car’s available in the market is a Hyundai. They have a variety of model’s available that will suit most people’s needs. They are economical and have a great track record out of the factory.

Choosing a used car doesn’t have to be difficult at all. For more information on used car sales, take a look at our range of Phil Gilbert Used Cars online or speak to one of our experts today.

5 Things to Look for in a Car Loan

Source: © Monkey Business - Fotolia.com

Source: © Monkey Business – Fotolia.com

When you’ve found a car that you love, the temptation to take any car loan for which you are approved can be immense. However, great care needs to be taken when choosing a car loan so that you do not have to pay more than you have to and to avoid conditions which are not always obvious, such as huge fees for paying off the loan ahead of time.

As a car buyer, you should understand that there is a range of options available and it’s definitely worth shopping around and seeking guidance from car finance experts such as Dreamloans before you commit to any loan arrangement. In fact, before shopping for your car, you should shop for your loan.

Keep these variables in mind when considering various car loans:

1. Term of the loan

It is quite common for the term of a car loan to be between one and five years. However, some loans can have a term of up to seven years.

2. Interest rates

As with other types of loans, there can be great variation in the interest rates imposed on car loans. These significant differences in interest rates are affected by the loan term, the financial institution through which the loan is offered, the total amount of the loan and whether you are most interested in a fixed or variable interest rate.

3. All fees and charges

Some loans carry a range of fees and charges in addition to the obvious and expected fees and charges. What this means is that you should always pay attention to the fine print published with loan terms and understand all fees, including: establishment and annual fees, as well as fees incurred for paying off a loan early or payment default.

4. Insurance

It is stipulated in the conditions of some loans that insurance cover must be arranged to protect the lender against any missed payments.

5. Repayment schedule

When considering different loans, find out whether you can make your repayments on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Although the repayment frequency may outwardly seem insignificant, by making the right choice, it is possible to save money over the course of the loan.

Ultimately, those seeking a car loan should only ever commit to a loan that they know they are able to repay. While there are some alternative finance options open to those who struggle to get a car loan (such as: borrowing against the equity in a home, using a credit card or personal overdraft to fund the purchase of a vehicle or other short-term finance), these can be expensive and carry high levels of risk.

If the purchase of a car is to be successful, the right car needs to be chosen, a good price must be agreed and the purchase must be affordable. When needing to borrow to fund the purchase of a car, it is absolutely imperative that you appraise and evaluate the features of different loan products and sign up to the one that works best with your circumstances.

When you research your loan options before you even commence the search for a car, the likelihood of finding a loan and car that matches your lifestyle and offers flexibility will be all the greater. In addition, when the time is right to make a deal, you will be prepared and ready to call a beloved car your own much more quickly.

The Things you Thought You Knew About Buying Cars But Didn’t Really

vehicle dealer showing young woman new carBuying a car is essentially a simple process. You see one you like, you get a price for it and you decide whether or not you can afford it. What could possibly go wrong?

Having said that, there are some common car buying myths that can end up confusing buyers and making the whole process a lot more complicated than it has to be. The following are a few things about buying cars that you probably thought you know but didn’t really.

Myth: You Should Never Finance Through the Dealer
People tend to mis-trust the finance deals offered to them by the dealer. However, there is no reason to think that this is automatically going to end up more expensive for you than arranging the loan elsewhere. It might but then again, it might not. The only way you can make sure that you get the best possible finance deals is to shop around and compare a few different ones. While this could take you a little bit of time, it is worth it if you save yourself some money each month that you pay the loan back. It really comes down to the bottom line of how much you need to pay back over how long. If you are a buying a car then you are the only person who is going to benefit from finding and choosing the best deal, however you do it.

Myth: You’ll Get a Better Deal Just Before Closing Time
The idea of walking into a car dealership just as they are about to hang up the closing sign is a tempting one, isn’t it? Maybe they’ll be so desperate to get the sale done quickly that they’ll just accept any sort of offer you make on the car you want. Sadly, this is another popular car buying myth. To be honest, the salesman is likely to stay there just as long as it takes for him to close the deal. This means that you will be in exactly the same bargaining position you would have been in if you had arrived there earlier in the day.

Myth: The Salesman Pretends to Speak to the Manager Just to Mess with My Mind
It can seem as though the salesman is constantly popping out to see his manager just to mess you about. Does he really just stand round the corner and count to 100 or does he have a laugh and a joke with his manager without even talking about your potential purchase? The truth is that it is sometimes necessary for a sales person to speak to their manager in order to work out a deal correctly. You shouldn’t get uptight or too suspicious when this happens.

Myth: You Need to Get Your Car’s Servicing Done Where You Buy It
There are a number of car buying myths to do with maintenance and servicing as well. Top car insurance comparison resource Captain Compare has covered a few of these very well. When it comes to the servicing of the vehicle, many buyers think that their warranty might be made invalid if they get it done anywhere other than the dealership where they bought it. This isn’t true, as the servicing can be done at any authorised centre. It won’t necessarily be cheaper at the place of purchase either. Many dealerships are made up of different departments which are independent from each other. This means that the servicing department don’t really take into account where you bought the car when it comes to charging you.

Myth: Extended Warranties Are a Waste of Money
Many of us are rightly wary when we are offered optional extras and any purchase we make. We see these are being easy ways for the sales team to make a little bit more commission off us. Having said that, when it comes to buying a car then an extended warranty can work out to be a good deal. It all comes down to the coverage on offer and the cost of it. This means that you should work out beforehand what a good price would be for the type of cover you need. As with all types of warranty or insurance, the idea is to buy you some peace of mind in the future, which is very rarely a bad idea.

Top 9 Cars Women Buy More Often than Men

Auto makers have been quick to figure out that cars aren’t something that only men are interested in buying. Recent figures show that close to two-thirds of all new vehicles sold are purchased directly by women and not just influenced by them. So what do women want in a car? For most, it would be a car that is reliable, has a style they like and is affordable to purchase and operate. Basically, a car that shows good value for money.

What Female Car Buyers Look For?
Studies have shown that women who buy cars are more likely to place an emphasis on fuel-efficiency. This explains why gas guzzlers like the Hummer are mostly purchased by men, while fuel-efficient cars are increasingly purchased by women. Even though women pay a lot of attention to the style of a vehicle to see whether they would like it, they now pay even more attention to features on the car’s interior as opposed to just what it looks like from the outside. Younger women are likely to be interested in specific features, like the car’s sound system, a built in navigation system, or the ability to pair their phone or iPod via Bluetooth.

Which car models sell better among women? Here are 9 cars that women buy more than men:

Volkswagen Beetle
The VW Beetle has been in the top spot as the most popular car among women, which has sometimes led to it being referred to as a “chick car.” The presence of a flower vase on the dashboard actually helps confirm this impression.

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Tiguan
The Tiguan is actually a strong contender for the most popular car among female buyers, with many speculating that it could soon take the place of the Beetle. Women have said they found the car’s design to be “cute.” It is also quite practical and very fuel efficient, which makes it more attractive to women.

tiguan

Hyundai Tucson
The Tucson has 55.7% of female buyers. Many women choose this car because of its advanced electronic stability control, traction control, plus built-in iPod and USB connectivity. It has a fuel efficiency of 10.0 L/100 km in the city and 7.2 on the highway.

Kia Sportage
Smaller SUVs and crossovers tend to be quite popular among women who buy cars and the Kia Sportage is no exception. Available in both 2WD and AWD versions, it has 53.5% of female buyers. The 2WD models have a combined cycle fuel economy of 8.8 L/100 km and the AWD models stand at 9.2 L/100 km.

sportage

Nissan Rogue
Combining a spacious interior with the agility of a smaller car, the Nissan Rogue is among the most popular crossovers with female buyers. 53.1% of Rogue buyers were female. The car’s fuel efficiency is also very good, with 7.9 L/100 km city and 6.0 L/100 km on the highway.

rogue

Volvo V50
Capturing the female market is always a challenge for auto makers, but with the V50, Volvo has gotten something right, as 52.6% of its buyers are women. The car is available in 5 speed automatic and 5 speed automatic with auto-manual. Combined fuel consumption of this model is at 8.5 L/100 km.

Volkswagen Eos
Some auto reviewers have referred to the Volkswagen Eos as a more “mature” version of the Beetle. The Eos has succeeded in attracting the attention of women who want a convertible that is refined without being too flashy. 51.3% of all Eos buyers are women.

eos

Honda CR-V
The CR-V has been very well received by women who are looking for a vehicle for small families. Featuring a roomy passenger compartment and lot of cargo space, the CR-V has seen 50.9% female purchases. It is also one of the most affordable crossovers, which helps its popularity among women.

hondacrv

Nissan Sentra
Many younger women choose small sedans like the Nissan Sentra, which has 50.1% of female buyers. It is very affordable and has great fuel economy, with up to 5.8 L/100 km in the city and 4.9 L/100 km, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars on the list.

Tim Marsh, author of New Cars Plus Car Reviews and Blog, has been covering the car beat for the last 8 years. Tim specialises in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.

Top 5 Mistakes when Buying a Car with bad credit history

DealBad credit. It can be a real hassle when trying to buy a car. Banks and lenders will say “no” more often than they say “yes.” Many people rush into buying a car with a bad credit car loan that ends up costing them more in the long run. So here are the top 5 mistakes people make when buying a car with bad credit history, so you can avoid them.

5. Didn’t save enough money for the entire purchase
Many people purchase a car with bad credit thinking they need to save the bare minimum for the larger than normal deposit you’ll need to put on the car. This is a common mistake. You should have enough money saved not only for the deposit, but stamp duty, registration and insurance. Only then should you consider buying.

4. Applied for too many loans, too often
Applying for loans and getting rejected over and over reflects poorly on your credit rating. If you already have bad credit and know it, you should be shopping around for favourable deals without actually applying. Once you find a good bad credit car loan lender that suits your budget and needs, only then should you apply for an approval.

3. Didn’t set realistic expectations
Bad credit holders often have their hearts set on flashy cars that are out of their budget. You have to accept the fact that you will be paying a higher interest rate with higher than normal monthly repayments. Your budget must also factor in insurance, servicing, repairs, fuel and other additional costs.

2. Didn’t negotiate the best price
Sometimes people with bad credit don’t negotiate the best possible price on the car they intend to buy. They end up paying thousands of dollars more than they really needed to. If you’re unsure about haggling, take a friend or family member who is more impartial. If you can, find someone that has some experience in dealing to get the best price you can.

1. Didn’t check credit history for mistakes
One of the biggest mistakes people with bad credit make is not checking their credit history. By checking it, you can see if it could be improved. The mistakes in your credit history need to be fixed by you and you alone. Sometimes correcting inaccurate entries on the report is good enough to bump your bad credit up into a more favourable light.

About the Author:
Bill Tsouvals is the founder of Savvy Finance, which offers personal and business car finance and insurance in Australia. For more information visit the website www.savvy.com.au

How to find a car loan to buy the car of your dreams

image001Whether your dream car is a vintage classic or a top-of-the-line model just off the production line, finding the right car loan can turn that dream car into a reality. So, how do you find the right car loan? One that offers you the money you need to buy the car of your dreams, while still offering affordable monthly repayments? Lucky for you, we’re going to tell you how to do just that.

Work out how much you can afford
The key to finding the right car loan is working out how much you can afford. There’s no point having your dream car if you’re too stressed by the monthly loan repayments to enjoy it. There is also the collateral factor – if you take out a loan you can’t afford, you run the risk of having the car repossessed if you can’t make your loan payments.

To find out how much you can afford on your car loan, create a budget to work out how much you have spare each month to cover your loan repayments. This will help you work out how long it will take to repay your loan, and what to look for when you start comparing loans. Try a car loan repayment calculator to test out different repayment options.

Check your credit rating
The first thing most lenders will do when you apply for a car loan is look at your credit score. Before you apply for a loan, apply online for a copy of your credit file so you know exactly what it says about you. Check for any errors and have them corrected.

If your credit rating is really bad, you may want to put off applying for a loan until you can improve it a little. If you have bad credit, your loan application may be denied, or you may end up paying more in interest. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that if you do still apply for a loan, you can use that loan to improve your credit by always making repayments in full and on time.

Compare car loans
Now it’s time to compare car loan options. Check out a few car loan comparison sites, and find loan options that match your needs and your budget. You can use a car loan calculator for this process too – to allow you to compare loans from a number of different lenders, and find the most affordable option.

Take into account the amount you will pay in interest overall, and any fees you will pay, such as administration fees, monthly fees, early repayment fees, and extra repayment fees. If you want more flexibility and more loan features, make sure the car loan you choose offers you everything you need.

Negotiate
Just as you would negotiate when you buy a car, you can also negotiate with your lender. If you have excellent credit history, this negotiation process is more likely to swing your way. If you are applying for a loan from your bank or your current lender, you may also be more likely to negotiate a better deal. While you may not be comfortable negotiating, there is no harm in asking, and it could help you save money on your car loan (and your dream car).

Be a Road Trip Hero With These Simple DIY Car Repairs

Frau schaut sich Automotor anWaiting in the hot sun for a tow truck, getting towed miles out of your way to get your car repaired, and a delayed arrival at your destination all make for a pretty miserable trip. According to Captain Compare, roadside assistance coverage with your auto insurance is a must. However, not every car repair requires a tow truck. If you always carry a small car repair kit with you on road trips, small issues won’t turn into big delays. A well-stocked repair kit and a little DIY ingenuity can make you the hero of your family vacation.

Fix a Broken Car Window

Say a rock from a dump truck in the lane beside you cracks or even breaks one of your side windows. Does this have to ruin your trip? Absolutely not! All you need is duct tape and a trash bag. Keep thick, industrial strength trash bags and duct tape in your car and you’ll be back on the road before you know it. Just cut the bag to fit the window, pull it tight, and duct tape it into place. You’ll be on the road again quickly and can get the window replaced when you arrive at your destination.

Raise a Dragging Exhaust Pipe

A dragging exhaust pipe not only makes an obnoxious scraping noise as you drive, it can also get caught in a pot hole and take most of your engine with it. A wire coat hanger is a quick fix for this potential hazard. Just let the pipe cool off before touching it. Then, straighten out the hanger and wrap it around the pipe and its supporting frame. Make sure the wire isn’t touching the drive shaft, electrical wiring, or brake lines, and you are good to get moving again.

Un-Stick Lug Nuts

Car repairsA flat tire is common on the road and most people can change one. However, you’ll find changing that tire to be quite impossible if the lug nuts are stuck. Leverage is the key in un-sticking them. Try putting your lug wrench into position, parallel with the ground, and then stand on it. Your weight is often enough to get the lug nuts moving again. You can also create more leverage if you’re not heavy enough to move the nuts with your weight. Just affix a small section of water pipe around the end of the wrench and push on it. The additional leverage provided by the pipe will likely be enough to get those lug nuts off and the tire changed.

Fix Your Own Radiator Hose

Don’t wait for the tow truck if your radiator hose goes. Just unclamp the hose, cut off the damaged portion, re-clamp it, and move on. Silicone Rescue Tape works, too. Just make sure you let the hose cool off before touching it and wipe it down as clean as you can get it so your clamp or tape will get a firmer grasp on the hose. Fill the radiator up with water and get it to a shop for a proper repair as soon as you can manage. This DIY repair will keep your car moving smoothly until then.

5 Things You Need To Know When Organising Car Finance

car financeIt is very important for you to be well informed prior to looking for the right car loan, as every car loan provider will work in slightly different ways, and this can impact on what kind of car loan interest rates you could achieve, and where you may obtain car loan approval with one motor financier, you may not with another on the exact same proposal.

1. Ensure You Know What Is On Your Credit File

You are able to obtain a free copy of your credit report by going to www.mycreditfile.com.au. You can know exactly what is on your credit file prior to applying and this can give you the best chances of obtaining the right car loan for you.

2. Understand What Cars Are Able To Be Used As Security For Car Loans

Most lenders will restrict to financing cars that were built in Australia only, and each and every lender has some differences in regards to how old the vehicle can be, and also of where it can be purchased from. It is a good idea to research through an introducer that uses multiple lenders, as they can usually advise you upfront on what cars can be financed and which ones can’t and there are always some exceptions to the rule on a case by case basis.

3. Enquire About Everything Involved In Setting Up The Car Loan

A lot of people feel that the interest rate is the most important factor of a car loan and only shop around for the best car loan interest rate. Whilst the interest rate is important, it is only one part of your car loan that can determine whether it is the best overall deal for your proposal. Make sure you find out about all the fees and charges, as this can often outweigh a cheap interest rate depending on what your intentions are with your car loan. Most car loans will also have monthly account keeping fees, establishment fees, early termination fees and introducers may also charge an origination fee.

4. Shop The Finance And The Vehicle As Two Separate Transactions

With many of the manufacturers offering these ridiculously low car loan interest rates, it would be a smart idea to shop these two transactions separately. Quite often you can pay too much for your new car purchase in order to obtain a low interest rate and overall you end up paying more. These offers can also restrict you on certain conditions you may want with your car loan.

5. Be Prepared

If you are well prepared when organizing your car loan, the motor finance provider will have a much easier job in determining what they can obtain for you as an overall car loan proposal. Prior to engaging a credit assistance provider, you should collate all relevant pay information and any proof of debts, so you can have your information on hand when ready to apply.

About the Contributor
Shaun McGowan is the co-founder of CarLoans.com.au. They provide free car loan comparisons of industry leading Australian financiers to consumers wishing to buy a car on finance.

Australia's first female Porsche Driver to hit the racing track in 2013

At an age when most teenagers are still learning to drive, 17 year old Brisbane teenager Renee Gracie has become the first female driver to contest the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship. Renee, who turns 18 in January, will take to the track in 2013 driving her Fujitsu Racing Porsche 997 Cup Car.

Renee, a former Rotax Pro and CIK karter, has been part of the Fujitsu ‘Cool’ Driver Program since its inception in 2010 and for the last two years has received structured career development by Chris Jewell’s specialist motorsport management agency, Velocity Management Group.

“This fantastic opportunity is the realisation of what I set out to do when I first started in karts,” said Renee. “I’ve been training hard and working towards making this exciting step into championship motor racing and I couldn’t be happier knowing what 2013 holds for me.”

Renee will soon commence a rigorous testing and development program with leading Carrera Cup exponents Andy McElrea Racing, before making her Carrera Cup debut on the streets of Adelaide at the Clipsal 500 event opening round.

“Yes, it’s a big step, but I feel confident the team can bring me up to speed and assist me with increasing my competitiveness in a structured and measured way. It’s also great to be able to continue with Fujitsu who’ve supported me so enthusiastically for the last two years. I’m pinching myself to be honest.”

Deputy Managing Director Philip Perham of Fujitsu General Australia says everyone involved is excited about what lies ahead for Renee Gracie. “While the next step is a big one, we have great faith that Renee will represent Fujitsu in a positive and competitive way.”

Porsche Cars Australia’s Motorsport Manager, Jamey Blaikie is equally enthusiastic about Renee Gracie’s progression to Porsche Carrera Cup. “Carrera Cup Australia is a great platform for Renee to hone her skills at the wheel of a race car. We are thrilled to play a part in the development of Renee as a driver and look forward to welcoming her into the Porsche championship full-time in 2013. ”

Simple Car Maintenance Tips

A car is an essential for any busy woman. It helps us get to the shops, ferry the kids to school and driving on a country road is a great way to relax and unwind. The problem is that cars can be a huge drain on the bank balance, especially if they aren’t looked after properly.

Here are a few tips to keep your car running smoothly.

Check your oil and water levels
This is especially important if you have an older car. A lack of oil can cause damage to your engine and a lack of water can cause your car to over heat. It’s best to check both once every two weeks.

To check your oil levels locate the dipstick, which will have a coloured handle, and take it out. Wipe it with a rag then replace. Take it out again and you’ll be able to see the oil level. If it’s a little on the low side top it up. Refer to your handbook for the type of oil you need.

The radiator water will also have a coloured top so it’s easily identifiable. The reservoir itself will have a min and max line on it. Make sure it’s always kept topped up as it cools your engine but also contributes to your car’s heating and cooling systems.

Learn to change a tyre
This is something that is fairly easy to do but a lot of people have never been taught. If you get a flat tyre while driving along then you’ll need to pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so – unless you have run-flat tyres, in which case you can drive to the nearest car service centre.

In most situations a garage would have to be called to either rescue you or put your spare wheel on for you. Learn to do this yourself and you can save yourself time as well as the call out and service charge.

Changing a tyre is something best practised at home in dry weather. You don’t want to have to learn on the spot when you get a flat in the middle of the night. Take a look at How to Change a Tyre on Cars Guide for step-by-step instructions.

Keep your tyre pressure up
The reason we get flat tyres is because of sharp objects hitting the sidewall when a tyre is at too low a pressure. Check your handbook and know what the optimum psi (pounds per square inch) for your car’s tyres is. Every so often check these at a garage and give them a little air if needed.

Tyres at the correct pressure can also make your car handle better and give better fuel efficiency.

Regular car servicing
Sometimes there’s the temptation to miss a service when it feels like the car is running smoothly. Doing this might save you money in the short term but could cost you in the future. Even a basic service will look at the different components in your car and will give you an idea of when they might need to be replaced.

A service will identify any parts that are beginning to wear and may need costly repair, or become a safety hazard, in the future. Finding them early on means they can be fixed before they break completely. They’ll also check tyre pressures, oil levels, windscreen wiper effectiveness and hose condition.

Keep your car clean
Taking your vehicle to an automated car wash can be damaging to your bodywork and also uses a lot of water. If you don’t want to wash your car yourself you can take it to one of the many hand car washes. This is better for the environment and your car will come out a lot cleaner.

Keeping your car clean means you are less likely to see rust forming; you won’t get the pale spots on your paintwork from bird droppings and bugs; and you can protect your car from these with a wax and polish too.

About the Author
Taylor Ritchie is a travel writer and car lover currently working for MyNRMA who make car care products.