| May 20, 2013
Chances are, you would enthusiastically – and effectively – research nearly every aspect of a new or used car purchase prior to heading to the showroom. In fact, 6 out of 10 of us do. We learn makes, models, colors, interior fabrics, and how fast it would take you to get from zero to 60. But would you research with the same intensity how to go about financing this major purchase? Probably not.
In fact, most Americans do not even check their credit reports before heading to the dealership showroom. A new study from Americans Well-informed on Automobile Retailing Economics (AWARE – www.autofinancing101.org), reveals that 3 out of 4 consumers do not research financing options before making what is, quite possibly, the second largest purchase of their lives.
Next time you’re considering purchasing a new or used vehicle, consider the following:
- Determine what you can afford. If you haven’t already done it, now is the time to create a budget for your family. When trying to determine a comfortable monthly car payment, be sure to adjust other costs as well – insurance, gas and maintenance costs might be different than what you’re paying now, for example.
- Learn what affects your finance charge. Lenders use a number of factors to determine the finance rate they will offer you. Typically, they review your credit score, which is based on an automated analysis of your credit history. Other factors that may affect the financing offer include: the price of the vehicle you would like to purchase, the availability of manufacturer incentives, the amount of your down payment, your debt repayment options, and the length of the finance contract. The rate offered to you may be negotiable.
- Review your credit report. This way, you will know what creditors will see before they do. This will give you an opportunity to try to correct any errors on your report, and to know if you will be considered a good credit risk. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com for yours.
- Educate yourself. Learn the difference between leasing and buying. Know the meaning of terms like “APR,” “Guaranteed Auto Protection” and fixed versus variable rate financing. Visit http://www.openroadlending.com/FAQ/Car_Loan_Finance_Terms.aspx for a good glossary of financing terms.
- Research your options. Knowing what financing options are available to you will put you in the best decision-making seat. Research online lenders, call your bank or credit union; talk to dealerships; consider options such as a home equity loan. The current vehicle financing system is intensely competitive, so dealers and other financing sources have every incentive to offer you a competitive rate or risk you going elsewhere. In the end, however, whether you finance through your dealer or elsewhere, there typically are no penalties to refinance if you’re not satisfied. Most experts will tell you to get your car loan financing taken care of before visiting the dealership to give you the best options for negotiating.
- Focus on the overall package. Make a list of pro’s and con’s for every option, including how long you’ll be paying, the total amount you’ll pay over time, how much cash or trade in value can be put toward a down payment, the APR, and any manufacturer incentive programs. In the end, be sure to consider the whole package offered, and not just the monthly payment.
- Apply for credit within a focused period of time. Generally speaking, multiple credit inquiries can adversely affect your credit score – but not if you limit your applications for auto financing within a 14 day period. Shopping around for vehicle financing may cause multiple lenders to request your credit report, even though you’re only looking for one source of credit. To compensate for this, credit scoring software counts multiple auto financing inquiries in any 14-day period as just one inquiry. Additionally, vehicle financing inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring are ignored, so your score won’t be affected while you’re shopping.
These tips were brought to you by AWARE, a non-profit organization seeking to build a greater understanding about how auto financing works. AWARE is supported by leaders of the vehicle financing industry, and is perhaps the only resource that focuses exclusively on auto financing education in materials, a Web site, and other educational offerings that are entirely free of marketing, advertising, or sales efforts.
| May 16, 2013
The biggest mistake a car buyer can make, especially in the age of the Internet, is to buy a car without doing research first. Some buyers are so eager to get through the car-buying process that they don't take the time to find out everything they can about vehicle reliability, pricing and financing. ConsumerReports.com and other sites host reliability studies; Kelley Blue Book, NADA Guides, TrueCar.com, AutoTrader.com and other sites provide details about pricing for new and used vehicles; and any local bank or credit union can supply information about current financing opportunities. Even look online at Auto Buying Services like the OpenRoad Lending Auto Buying Service can provide a lot of useful information.
The most common car-buying mistake is that many people base their buying decision on emotion rather than facts. You will realize that you will reject many cars from consideration because of how you would feel behind the wheel, rather than because of how well the vehicle fit your needs or your budget. Pride of ownership is important, but it may lead to mistakes when it comes to buying a car.
Experts agree that you should get your financing approved with an online lender or at a credit union before visiting any dealerships. Failure to pre-shop for financing is one of the top mistakes new car buyers make. There's nothing wrong with investigating the financing that a dealer can offer. Dealers will always have access to factory sponsored financing like 0.9% that an online lender or credit union will not have, however, only a very small percentage of consumers qualify for that financing. Getting your car loan online before walking into the dealership allows the consumer more bargaining power when it comes to negotiating over the price of the vehicle.
Here is a list of the top car buying mistakes to avoid.
#1: NOT DOING YOUR HOMEWORK - The Internet has democratized the car-buying process. Now, anyone can get access to facts and figures about vehicles, features, pricing and financing. There's no reason to step foot in a dealership without having first researched vehicles and their competitors.
#2: CHOOSING THE WRONG CAR FOR YOUR NEEDS - With all of the choices available on the dealer's lot, you have to have a very good idea of how you need to use your car so that you can find a car that suits your needs. How often will you really carry seven passengers in that big SUV? Don't settle with a car that only suits occasional needs -- you'll do better matching your general needs, and renting a vehicle for the special occasions, like family road trips.
#3: SKIMPING ON THE TEST-DRIVE - Many car buyers fail to spend enough time behind the wheel to really get familiar with a vehicle's performance and features. A thorough test drive should include a wide range of conditions, including bumpy back streets and smooth highways. The time to discover that your car is noisy and harsh at 65 miles per hour is not after you've already taken delivery.
#4: BUYING NEW WHEN USED WOULD DO - Every potential new car buyer should consider used vehicles before buying. Certified Pre-Owned programs by many of the manufacturers have raised the bar for used cars. Most include a detailed vehicle inspection and refreshing, along with an extension of the new car powertrain warranty that might run up to 7 years/100,000 miles. Used car financing is cheaper than ever before – in many cases competitive with new car financing.
#5: RUSHING TO BUY - Cars are commodities, and there will always be another one coming down the road. This much is certain. So don't rush into the purchasing decision. Take your time, even if it means that you have to rent a car for a few weeks in order to bridge the gap between your old car and your new one. Car dealers love buyers who are in a hurry -- it shifts the negotiating leverage toward the dealer because the buyer is much less likely to walk away without making a deal.
#6: BLOWING THE BUDGET - You've done your research. You've arranged for financing. You've assessed your needs. Then, you go to the dealership and get talked into a car that costs way more than you've budgeted for. Stick to your budget, make sure that you can afford the car that you're buying, and avoid buyer's remorse.
#7: FAILURE TO PRE-SHOP FOR FINANCING - Once the dealer's F&I (Finance and Insurance) guy gets his hands on you, the opportunity for mistakes escalates. If you haven't taken the time to pre-shop for financing at an online lender like OpenRoad Lending, your personal bank or credit union before you step into the dealership, you are ripe to be pushed into financing that profits the dealer more than it helps you pay off your debt. Know how much you qualify for, and what interest rate you can get on your own. Better yet, arrive at the dealership with a loan preapproval in hand. Then, you will be in a position to assess the offer that the F&I guy slides across the desk.
#8: TRADING IN YOUR OLD CAR - This is a big mistake that will always cost you money. Even if you owe money on your old car, you'll do better selling it on your own, or even selling it to a dealer, if you don't get involved in the trade-in process. Trading in your old car gives the dealer one more opportunity to profit on your convenience, and a chance to muddy the waters on the details of your new car purchase.
#9: FOCUSING ON THE PAYMENT - The most important part of the financial transaction is the purchase price. When you focus on the payment, you're leaving yourself open to getting locked in to loan terms that are not as good as you might qualify for. You may get that $300 per month payment, but you may wind up paying an inflated percentage rate for a longer term than you hoped.
#10: LEASING INSTEAD OF BUYING - Leasing makes sense for a lot of buyers, and we're experiencing another perfect storm for low lease prices: Low interest rates combined with high residual values. But that doesn't mean that it's smart to get seduced by leasing's low down payment and monthly rates. At the end of a lease, you don't own a car; you have to go out and repeat this process all over again. And who knows what lease rates will be then. Only lease after consulting your accountant to make sure that you are a candidate for tax benefits -- very few of us are.
In summary, do your homework, get your financing ahead of time and relax. Car buying can be fun if you can avoid the mistakes above. Happy shopping to you!
| May 14, 2013
A vehicle’s abilities should help you choose different tires. A high-performance vehicle, such as the Ford Mustang, requires some meat for excellent control, whether you like to hug the curves or go as fast as you can go on a straightaway. You could choose stock tires when it’s time to change them; or you could upgrade to tires that are designed specifically to handle your car's speed and agility.
But What About the Ride?
If you want a tire so you can scream around the corners in your Mustang, the Nitto NT05 is the tire for you.
If you want to better ride for longer rides, choose the Motivo, according to europeancarweb.com. The Motivo’s tread pattern gives excellent traction on wet roads and during inclement weather. It allows you to really hug the corners when you feel the need for speed. The Motivo also has alignment indicators that show you when it’s time to rotate the tires or get an alignment.
If you’re not concerned about the ride, but more about hooking up at the track on racing nights, try Mickey Thompson’s street/strip tire, such as the Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R, according to mickeythompsontires.com. The Sportsman S/R is made for the street, but can be driven on the strip and has enough traction for tight corners. It is speed rated for 130 mph.
More About Nitto
The Nitto tire is a Toyo Tire brand. The Japanese Toyo Tire and Rubber Company opened a plant in Georgia to produce its tires in the U.S., according to siteselection.com. The plant opened in 2005 and has an operating capacity of 2.5 million tires every year. Toyo has plans to expand its plant to produce more tires each year.
Toyo uses a proprietary production system called the Advanced Tire Operation Module, often referred to as ATOM. The process produces highly uniform and consistent tires, an important factor when decided which high-performance tire to choose for muscle cars, hot rods or even SUVs.
Upgrading tires could be intimidating to some because there are so many brands to choose from. Choose a tire for your application. You might have a high-performance car, but do you often push the car to its limits on the road? If you do, you need a higher speed rating.
If you use the vehicle for commuting but take it out on the drag strip once in a while — or even weekly — you need a tire with softer sidewalls so it will hook. Soft sidewalls generally don't handle very well, especially in corners. Soft-sidewall tires are not tires you want to take a long trip with, either.
If you drive long distances, but like to drag race, you can always get two sets of tires — the Nitto Motivo for comfort and driving long distances and a soft-sidewall tire for drag racing. Change the tires before you leave the house for the track.
If you don’t want to swap out tires every time you want to have fun with your muscle car, stick with the Nitto for a good compromise. If you prefer road racing or do a lot of highway driving, check the speed rating on the tire in addition to the size.
When you settle on the right wheels you want to add to that new sports car you are purchasing, do not forget about the car loan you will need to finance it. Look online to companies like OpenRoad Lending where you can get a low rate car loan in a matter of minutes and be down the road in that new or used vehicle you are looking at. There is no cost or obligation to apply.
| May 13, 2013
It has not been that long ago when many of us thought we only had to watch our credit cards to avoid our identity being stolen. If the criminals didn't get the numbers on our credit card, we thought, they couldn't live it up and go on a wild shopping spree like the one in the movie Identity Thief.
But ID theft scams are all over the map, both in terms of geography and kinds of fraud, according to Federal Trade Commission data.
In many states — including Michigan, Kentucky, California, Texas and elsewhere — the largest area for ID theft complaints involves fraud relating to government documents or benefits.
Maybe, someone steals your identity so they can use your health care insurance or an ID thief can steal information to falsely apply for jobless claims, he said. Or fake IDs are used to create fake tax returns that are packed with lucrative tax breaks, such as education credits or the Earned Income Tax Credit, to create generous tax refunds for criminals.
No, you don't want to leave your credit cards easily in view. But pay attention to your other paperwork, too. You'd be shocked where you'd spot a Social Security number just casually tossed around in your own home.
Digging through a stack of old papers in the attic, I found my Social Security number just casually written on an old economics test from back in college. I guess that was OK back in the day. But if I'm cleaning, I sure don't want to carelessly toss that paper in the trash. Time to shred it.
Snowbirds with winter homes in Florida may want to be even more cautious about their Medicare cards, bank statements and other ID when heading south. Florida ranks No. 1 for ID theft among 50 states, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission.
Florida's seniors are vulnerable as fraud targets; it doesn't hurt that there are many people who travel to Florida on vacation, either. Georgia is No. 2 on the FTC Consumer Sentinel report's list of states with the highest per capita rates of identity theft. California came in at No. 3, and Michigan ranks No. 4.
Equifax — which launched IdentityProtection.com to give an in-depth look at ID theft — noted that areas that have had surges in unemployment or foreclosures may be at more risk for ID theft.
In some cases, some people may feel desperate for cash and be more willing to hand over the Social Security number of a child to someone who is going to create a fake tax return. Or they might be more willing to participate in other ID theft scams if they think they can get quick cash and won't get caught.
Seventy-two percent of the complaints out of Florida involved government documents or benefits fraud. Credit card fraud ranked No. 2, and bank fraud ranked No. 3 in Florida.
Here are some scams that ID crooks use:
• The fake landlord. Spot a great deal on a vacation condo? Maybe a super price on a dream house? Consumers have lost deposit money — and sensitive information that can be used for ID theft — when agreeing to a rental property scam, and they don't realize they've been scammed until they go on vacation.
Realtors warn that consumers need to watch out for phony listings for homes and apartments on Craigslist and elsewhere online. Craigslist warns consumers that they should not agree to credit checks or background checks for a job or housing until actually meeting an interviewer in person or landlord in person.
• The free prize that pops up on your cellphone. The Federal Trade Commission took action earlier this year against marketers that sent unwanted text messages offering "free" gift cards. Once spammers have your personal information, it can be sold to marketers or even end up in the hands of ID thieves.
• Watch your child's ID. The most stolen piece of identification from a child is a Social Security number, and sometimes it's a family member or friend who commits this crime. Keep birth certificates and paperwork that contains a child's Social Security number, such as your tax return, carefully locked away.
Three ways to avoid ID theft:
• Shred papers, especially those with your Social Security number on them.
• Take extra care with your information during times of life-changing events, the birth of a child, a divorce, a death in the family. Experts say fraud is more likely to take place when people are vulnerable. Pay attention on vacation or during a big move to a new house, too.
• If something sounds odd, it probably is odd. Take time to look up some potential scams. See www.onguardonline.gov.
Source: Detroit Free Press research
| May 10, 2013
With Memorial Day sales promotions at the end of the month leading to the beginning of summer travel season, May is a great month to be shopping for a new car, regardless of whether you are seeking to lease or buy. As one of the best new-car sales weekends of the year, Memorial Day weekend promises lots plenty full of inventory, and salespeople ready to make plenty of deals -- but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until Memorial Day weekend to get your car! If you shop ahead of time, you’ll catch the sales team before they get busy, and before the lots get crowded – but you can still get these deals.
If you’re shopping for a new car in May, consider the following ten manufacturer lease, finance, and cash incentives: perhaps these opportunities for savings will help you decide between a lower monthly lease payment and lower upfront and financing costs to get you into your next new car for the summer travel season. May incentives are built into our car buying program at the OpenRoad Lending Auto Buying Service.
If you aren’t sure whether you want to lease or buy your next new car, consider this: Car-leasing deals usually offer the new-car shopper a choice between a low down payment or low monthly payment for a nice short term to help keep out-of-pocket automotive expenses minimal. On the other hand, promotional finance deals can take the form of thousands of dollars in cash back (that can help increase your down payment) or APR financing rates as low as 0%.
Because some of these incentives may also be contingent upon purchasing through a Certified Dealer, and other special incentives and leasing programs may be subject to change by region, please be sure to confirm these offers with your dealer at the time of purchase.
Interested in financing instead of leasing? Look no further the OpenRoad Lending’s online application that lets you apply from the comfort of your own home. Once approved, download all of your paperwork, including your OpenRoad eCheck that can be used at any franchised dealership within your state. Getting a low rate car loan is just that easy.
Top Lease Deals on New Cars – May 2013
2013 Chevrolet Cruze
$149/month for 36 months with $2,469 down
The Chevy Cruze is not fancy or expensive, but it’s a likeable little compact sedan that provides everything a buyer wants in its affordable segment. The Chevrolet Cruze offers peppy driving quality, comfortable interior with room for five, safety, and connectivity, all while sharing the attractive design cues found in its larger sibling, the Malibu. Standard is a 138-horsepower Ecotec 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine promising 25 mpg city / 36 mpg highway / 29 combined (with manual transmission) or 22 mpg city / 35 mpg highway / 27 combined (automatic).
2013 Buick Enclave
$349/month for 24 months with $3,309 down
The eight passenger Buick Enclave SUV provides ample interior and cargo space for family-friendly functionality, with premium interior cabin and well-equipped standard features making it a solid consideration for those who want to drive comfortably with a family aboard, yet don’t necessarily want to drive a minivan. Enclave is offered in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, can tow up to 4,500 pounds and is powered by a fuel-efficient 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine that produces 288 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Enclave features a standard rear vision camera system and available Side Blind Zone Alert with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Enclave also boasts 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and a maximum of 115.2 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the front row of seats, providing ample room for passengers and their gear.
2014 Subaru Forester
$239/month for 36 months with $1,939 down
The completely redesigned five-passenger 2014 Subaru Forester carries nearly the same footprint as the outgoing model, but boasts expanded room, comfort, and utility and is powered by a choice of the new high-performance 250-horsepower/2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged boxer engine also found in the BRZ or a 170-horsepower/2.5-liter naturally aspirated boxer engine that, when mated to the continuously variable transmission (CVT), is expected to achieve all-wheel-drive fuel economy ratings of 24 mpg city / 32 mpg highway / 27 mpg combined. Inside, maximum rear cargo area room with the 60/40 split rear seatbacks lowered is 74.7 cubic feet, which Subaru says is among the best in class.
2013 BMW 3-Series
$299/month for 36 months with $3,774 down
BMW's 3 series sedan delivers plenty of rear-wheel-drive performance thanks to a 240-horsepower/2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that promises to deliver you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Meanwhile BMW's spirited sixth-generation 3 Series sedan also boasts fuel efficiency of up to 24 city, 36 highway miles per gallon.
2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
$309/month for 36 months, $2,499 down
The Jeep Grand Cherokee hits the sweet spot of premium on-road performance and legendary Jeep off-road capability while also offering such luxurious options as a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and premium wood and leather interior trim. The Laredo is powered by a 290-horsepower/3.6-liter V-6 engine mated to a five-speed transmission. Passenger entertainment is provided by uConnect; passenger safety is thanks to standard full-length side-curtain as well as driver and passenger seat-mounted pelvic and thorax airbags.
Top Cash and Finance Deals on New Cars – May 2013
2013 Hyundai Elantra
0% financing for 60 months
The Hyundai Elantra turns heads wherever it goes, thanks to its elegant styling and sporty profile. Under the hood, the Elantra is powered by a 145-horsepower/1.8-liter four-cylinder PZEV engine mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission that provides smooth performance along with fuel economy ratings of 28 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. Inside, the affordable Elantra offers 95.6 cubic feet of passenger space so your passengers can travel in comfort
2013 Honda Accord
0.9% financing for 36 months
With nearly 40 years of heritage behind it, the new-for-2013 Honda Accord midsize sedan has been completely redesigned to offer stylish looks, roomy comfort for five, fun-to-drive performance, and a spacious trunk that can hold up to 15.8 cubic feet of cargo. Powered by a 185-horsepower/2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission, the Honda Accord promises fuel economy rated at 27 city, 36 highway, and 30 combined miles per gallon. An APR of 0.9% for 36 months makes it even easier to put the new Accord in your garage this summer.
2013 Chevrolet Equinox
0% financing for 48 months or $1,000 consumer cash
For 2013, the Chevrolet Equinox crossover offers a more powerful 301-horsepower/3.6-liter V-6 engine. A new touch-screen-enhanced MyLink radio system adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in most Chevy vehicles and also integrates Internet radio stations such as Pandora and Stitcher SmartRadio. Ideal for families and friends on the go, the popular Equinox seats five and thanks to its sliding second row, offers the most rear–seat legroom in its class. As for cargo, with the 60/40 split-back rear seat moved all the way forward, the cargo area offers 31.4 cubic feet of storage. Boasting 32 mpg highway, Chevrolet says its standard 182-horsepower/2.4-liter Equinox offers highway fuel economy that the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4 can't beat.
2013 Ford Explorer
0% financing for up to 60 months or $2,000 customer cash
Completely reinvented for 2012, the 2013 Explorer is a full-size, three-row SUV boasting class leading fuel efficiency of 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway from Ford's 240-horsepower/2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. (The standard 290-horsepower/3.5-liter V6 engine offers 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway in front-wheel drive, or 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway with all-wheel drive.) Fuel economy is impressive, but its safety is even more so: In back, the world’s first second-row inflatable rear belts are available to protect second-row passengers by spreading impact forces across more than five times the area of conventional seat belts, reducing pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion. Customer cash of $2000 or 0% financing make the Explorer's $29,100 base MSRP (not including delivery) even more affordable.
2013 Volkswagen Jetta 0.9% financing for 66 months
The Volkswagen Jetta is powered by a 115-horsepower/2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. With the five-speed, the EPA fuel economy is estimated at 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
Features include standard air conditioning, one-touch auto up/down power windows, power locks with keyless entry, and power heated exterior mirrors. Safety features include six airbags, and Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System which reacts instantly in the event of an accident by deploying airbags, unlocking the doors, turning off the fuel pump, and activating the car’s hazard lights. Already affordable with an entry MSRP starting at $16,720 (not including destination and delivery), a 0.9% APR makes the sporty Jetta that much more attractive.
Shopping for a New Car or Truck?
If you’re planning to go car shopping during May, why not put these 2013 models on your list while you do your research. Hopefully, these lease, finance, and cash incentives will help you narrow down your choices.
Be sure to do your research ahead of time at the OpenRoad Lending Auto Buying Service
| May 08, 2013
If there is one thing that people all over the world have in common at the moment, it’s that they are all interested in saving money. The facts are that people all over the world are currently having trouble making ends meet. People all over the world are struggling to keep their jobs and to keep up with expenses. If you count yourself among these millions, which you probably do, you are probably looking for a safe and easy way to cut back on some of your expenses. When you look at the numbers, however, you may find that the answers are simply not there. You may be worried because you see the bills you get every month and realize that everything you are paying for, such as mortgage, rent, and utilities, are essential. This is the time that you need a refinance auto loan.
When we talk about a refinance auto loan, we are talking about restructuring the way you pay back the loan for your automobile. If you don’t keep up with these payments, a number of bad things can happen. In one scenario, you may end up going further and further into debt. This will increase interest. It will also destroy your credit score. A worst case scenario is that you end up having to file for bankruptcy. When this happens, you may end up having to actually forfeit your automobile. The truth of the matter is that none of these are good options. What you need to do is refinance, this way you can set up monthly payments that make sense for your current lifestyle.
Many people who are reading this now are probably thinking that they have tried a refinance auto loan already and have found that it is simply not possible. You have tried every option available to you and have tried to get lower monthly payments again and again but have been unsuccessful at every turn. If this sounds like you, then you should know that you have probably not tried every option available to you. As a matter of fact, if you have not looked on the internet yet for a chance to refinance, then you are doing yourself a major disservice.
You can go online now and find the best refinance auto loan that you can imagine. We are talking about the low monthly payments that you need in order to keep on top of your bills and other living expenses. You will also be able to discover reasonable interest rates that will make paying back the auto loan that much easier. Remember that even when times are tough, there are still ways to get back on top of your finances.
| May 07, 2013
Summertime is just about upon us, and if you're one of those who loves to drive topless in the warm sun, we know you might be shopping for a convertible to help you enjoy those summer rays.
As a resource for researching new car pricing, we've got the data you need to help you find a great buy. To help with your summertime convertible search, we're sharing info on some of the very best prices we can find to help new-car shoppers find the best deal on their next new convertible.
It doesn’t matter where you live, these “Steals on Wheels” deals are available on OpenRoad Lending Auto Buying Service and demonstrate potential savings on new cars based on the possible discount from the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). These steals may feature manufacturer’s rebates and cash incentives, or may also include special leasing offers, depending on what our data shows to be the greatest opportunities for savings for new car shoppers in the upcoming weeks. These “Steals on Wheels” deals are especially attractive because the average price paid on these convertibles demonstrates discounts off MSRP as great as 9.9%.
Regardless of whether your preference for a convertible has you shopping for something muscular (like the Chevrolet Corvette) or something luxurious (like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet) these deals offer something for every new-car shopper’s needs. The average price paid for these sun lovers' delights demonstrates a range of discounts off Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Pricing (MSRP) equaling as much as $5,484 off these open-top cruisers.
If you’re planning to go car shopping within the next couple weeks, keep these new convertibles in mind as you do your research. If you're able to contribute a 20 percent down payment, our data also shows what your monthly payment might be when financed for 60 months at a 3 percent APR. The included chart also shares fuel economy figures to help you compare not just savings at the dealership but savings at the pump, as well.
1) The best potential deal on this week’s list of convertibles is the Chevrolet Corvette. Boasting 430 horsepower from its 6.2-liter V-8 engine, the Corvette starts with a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $55,595, but its average price is a whopping $5,484 lower at $50,111; that’s a potential savings of 9.9% off the suggested MSRP of this American favorite. Put down a 20% deposit, and with a 3 percent APR, your monthly payments could equal about $720 (not including sales tax, fees, or any other fees).
2) The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet features wacky convertible styling that is loved by some and hated by others, but it's certainly more likeable with a potential discount of up to 7.1 percent. That translates into a possible savings of as much as $3,052, bringing the MSRP of Nissan's unusual convertible crossover utility vehicle from $42,840 down to an average price of $39,788, or about $572 per month after a 20% deposit.
3) Certainly the most luxurious vehicle on this list of great convertible deals is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. A potential 7.0 percent discount off the $59,975 MSRP equals a potential savings of $4,203 and an average price paid of $55,772 (or a whopping $802 per month) for this two-door luxury convertible.
4) Bringing both sporty performance and stylish luxury to this edition of "Steals on Wheels" is the Infiniti G37 convertible: With an MSRP of $48,805, the G37's potential savings of 6.8 percent translates to $3,334 — bringing the average price paid for Infiniti's lovely convertible down to $45,571 or about $654 per month after a 20% down payment.
5) Chrysler is the most affordable vehicle on this list with its convertible 200. A potential discount of 6.1 percent off its $28,320 MSRP equals a potential savings of $1,729 or an average price of about $26,591 -- or just about $382 monthly. Add in great fuel economy of 19 miles per gallon city, 29 highway, and 23.4 combined, and this deal is hard to beat.
6) Mazda's MX-5 Miata finishes off our list of great convertible deals. There is much to love about this two-seat favorite, including a hard top that automatically folds into the trunk, and a 5.4 percent discount off its $31,145 MSRP, equaling a potential savings of $1,670 or an average price of $29,475. That all adds up to an affordable $424 monthly payment for 60 months.
Steals on Wheels: May 1 to 14, 2013
Year Make Model Trim
MSRP / Average Paid*
Est. Monthly Payment**
$ Savings / % Savings
City / Hwy / Comb MPG
2013 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible w/1LT
$55,595 / $50,111
$5,484 / 9.9%
16 / 26 / 20.3
2014 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet AWD 2dr Convertible
$42,840 / $39,788
$3,052 / 7.1%
17 / 22 / 18.9
2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet E350 RWD
$59,975 / $55,772
$4,203 / 7.0%
19 / 28 / 23.1
2013 Infiniti G37 Convertible Base
$48,805 / $45,471
$3,334 / 6.8%
17 / 25 / 20.6
2013 Chrysler 200 2dr Convertible Touring
$28,320 / $26,591
$1,729 / 6.1%
19 / 29 / 23.4
2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Hard Top Auto Grand Touring
$31,145 / $29,475
$1,670 / 5.4%
21 / 28 / 24.3
*Average paid is estimated based on the national average of recent vehicle transactions, including destination and delivery charges after incentives that are subject to change, but does not include tax, title, licensing, documentation or processing fees, other state and governmental charges and/or fees, or any other charges or fees allowed by law. **Estimated monthly payments are based on a 3% APR for 60 months with 20% down on the current market average price, and excludes sales tax and other fees and charges that may vary by region or state. Actual APR may be subject to credit approval and other factors. These examples are for information purposes only, and are not an offer to lend. See your dealer/lender for details, including actual available offers.
Ready to Go Shopping for a New Car?
Each edition of “Steals on Wheels” demonstrates potential savings on new cars based on the possible discount from the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Keep in mind, each edition of “Steals on Wheels” may include potential savings from such special offers as manufacturer’s rebates, cash incentives, or special leasing offers, which helps place them among the greatest opportunities for savings for new car shoppers over the upcoming weeks. As always, here are some really important things to keep in mind, such as:
• Incentives and leasing programs are subject to change and should be confirmed with your dealer.
• Deals are limited to inventory on hand. Your OpenRoad Lending Certified Dealer must confirm that actual inventory, including your preferred options and colors, is in stock.
• Average Paid is based on the national average of recent vehicle transactions, including destination and delivery charges after incentives that are subject to change, but does not include tax, title, licensing, documentation or processing fees, other state and governmental charges and/or fees, or any other charges or fees allowed by law. This is a national average, so you might find better pricing based on sales in your local area at OpenRoad Lending. Be sure to visit the OpenRoad Lending Auto Buying Service to view local pricing on any car and to be connected with your local Certified Dealer who will provide you pricing information for the vehicle you are researching.
• We highlight the top discounts (this week on convertibles) off the MSRP by the particular trim level, since potential discounts can vary greatly between the trim levels. So for this week, the Chevrolet Corvette with 1LT trim (for example), was the most highly discounted trim of the entire Corvette lineup in relation to its MSRP, and was a high enough discount to make our list.
Once you’ve chosen your desired vehicle, why not connect with one a Program Certified Dealers to ensure a fast and convenient car-buying experience? Go to http://www.openroadlending.com/Resources/AutoBuyingService.aspx
to see how much you could save. Be sure to look for the best financing options as well. Online lenders typically offer the best car loan rates and terms to fit your needs. The process is quick and you can usually get approved with a check in hand in a couple
| Apr 23, 2013
Being stuck in your car in the middle of summer traffic is bad enough. When your air conditioning fails is even worse. Instead of feeling your rage heat up hotter than the Arizona or Texas sun, take control and improve the atmosphere in your car with these AC essentials.
A greater number of cars are coming off the factory line already equipped with better AC systems such as a solar-powered ventilation system. Toyota's Prius is one such car. The new Prius is equipped with a moon roof and is powered exclusively with solar panels. When you press the solar-powered ventilation system button and then turn your car off, the system immediately turns on, keeping the interior of the car cool. The solar panels provide the system with power instead of the vehicle's battery.
In Hong Kong, the "i-Cool Solar" system units have been tested in larger trucks and are expected to become more prevalent in new cars in America1. The system, according to GizMag.com, stores electricity by way of photovoltaic panels in special on-board batteries and uses the stored energy to power the cabin AC when the vehicle is in idle. Though engineers aim to install them in higher-end cars, the "i-Cool Solar" inventors boast the units can save around 1,500 liters of light oil per year.
One of the trendy and not so expensive must-haves for an Arizona desert road trip is an AC additive called IceCOLD, which can boost your car's air conditioning immediately.2 If you're driving around the Phoenix metro area without IceCOLD or functional AC, you can speak to a car salesperson when stopping at a Tuscon, Glendale or Peoria car dealership to find how you can improve your vehicle's air conditioning.
For those of us whose budgets don't allow for a new, souped-up car, there are inexpensive must-haves to beat the heat in your ride. For a do-it-yourself project, take a cooler, some tubes, a milk jug of frozen water and a simple pump that can be converted to plug in to the car's cigarette lighter. Using these supplies, you can rig your car with liquid-cooled seats that allow the driver to sit back against cold water tubes wrapped around the seat.
If you want to avoid the hassle of a do-it-yourself kit, purchase a KoolerAire 12-volt AC unit instead.3 For only $39.95, the KoolerAire device is like a cooler with a vented lid and fan and has an adapter to plug into any car, RV or boat, making it portable enough to even be used in a tent. All you have to do is fill it up with ice, place it in your car and plug it in.
Looking for financing for a new or used car or truck? Look online to OpenRoadLending.com where you can apply and get auto financing in a matter of minutes. For other creative and inexpensive ideas to chill yourself out in your car through the desert, check out online forums like City-Data.com or Instructables.com. Public chat and "how-to" sites are laden with unique ideas from the practical to the zany. Many ideas are simple: using mist spray bottles in a pinch, keeping up maintenance on AC filters, or adding tint to your windows.
| Apr 16, 2013
When you sit down to pay your bills at the end of this month, consider the items that are costing you the most, your home and your car. Most of us don’t realize that you can refinance your car in the same way you refinance your home loan. Car loan refinancing is becoming more popular because it is an easy way for you to not only reduce the interest rate you are currently paying but in most cases, you are able to significantly reduce your car loan payment as well.
Here are the top 3 advantages of car loan refinancing:
Lower Car Payments.
When you make the decision to refinance your car loan, you should be able to lower your monthly payments. Most don’t realize that when you purchase your vehicle from a dealer, in many cases you get charged a higher interest rate than you deserve, costing you hundreds of dollars more than you should pay over the life of the loan and putting a lot of profit in the dealers pocket. When you opt for lower car payments, there will be money left over each month to help with those other expenses. If your credit has improved since you purchased your car, you get see a significant reduction in your interest rate as well.
Lower Interest Rate.
The other advantage of seeking auto loan refinancing is that you will be given a lower interest rate than when you purchased the car originally. We are seeing historic low interest rates today and it won’t be long before they start to increase again. It doesn’t take much in reducing your interest to make a big impact on your savings. At OpenRoad Lending, an online lender specializing in assisting consumers in lowering their car payments, consumers save on average of $104 per month on the existing car payment.
Longer Time to Pay.
Paying for your car can be extremely stressful, but if to apply for loan refinancing, you may qualify to stretch out the payments and receive a maximum deduction in payment. Not everyone refinancing chooses this approach as some decide to actually reduce the number of payments they have left because they are able to do so with their major reduction in interest rate but others choose to take the lower rate AND extend the term maximizing how much you can actually save each month. The choice is yours.
More about Car Loan Refinancing
Auto refinancing is a relatively new finance product designed to assist the consumer in saving money. Refinancing a vehicle can be a good option for you if you are looking for ways to relieve your financial burdens. Most online lenders allow you to refinance your vehicle with no hidden fees except for the cost to transfer the title from your existing lender to your new one which in most states is less than $30.
As you begin your search for the right auto refinance loan for you, keep in mind lenders have certain minimum requirements you and your vehicle must meet. Typically lenders will not refinance any vehicle older than eight years (currently a 2005 or newer) and the vehicle needs to have less than 100,000 miles. You also need to have a balance owed on the vehicle you are refinancing of $7,500 or more.
| Apr 15, 2013
April kicked off with one last auto show of the season in New York, offering one last chance for manufacturers to show off what's coming for the next model year. Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, and Land Rover revealed all-new models coming in 2014 – but we're sharing deals on the 2013 models you can buy right now. This week's list shares deals on a variety of models to fit all lifestyle needs -- regardless of whether you’re looking for a deal on a sporty convertible or a family friendly minivan -- promising potential discounts as high as 5.7%, nationwide.
At the 2013 New York International Auto Show, visitors were able to view more than a thousand vehicles already on the market, as well as a few new offerings coming up next year, including the highly anticipated Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Honda Odyssey Elite with the convenient new HondaVAC, and the all-new Land Rover Range Rover Sport. Audi revealed its next-gen SQ5 wagon, and BMW showcased its upcoming diesel-powered 3 Series.
This edition of “Steals on Wheels” demonstrates potential savings on models these manufacturers are selling right now, based on the possible discount from the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Pricing for these steals may include manufacturer’s rebates cash incentives, or may also include special leasing offers, depending on what our data shows to be the greatest opportunities for savings for new car shoppers in the upcoming weeks.
Even though we're demonstrating a variety of vehicle types in this edition, the sporty Audi A3 is the clear fuel economy leader thanks to its powerful and fuel efficient turbodiesel powerplant, which promises 30 miles per gallon city and 42 miles per gallon on the highway. It's nice to see that you can have a sporty hatchback that also offers terrific style and performance without spending a fortune on gas.
1) The best potential deal on this week’s list of New York Auto Show deals is the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible. Super sporty in SS trim with a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $39,585, the 426-horsepower V-8 Camaro is reduced to a national market average of $37,953 thanks to a potential savings of 4.1%, or $1,632, off the suggested MSRP of this performance convertible. Throw in a 20 percent down payment and your monthly payments would be about $546 for 60 months at a 3% APR.
2) The Honda Odyssey EX comes in second place on this week’s list of great values, offering a great potential discount of up to 5.7 percent. That translates into savings of as much as $1,850, bringing the MSRP of Honda's popular minivan from $32,655 down to a market average price of $30,805. With fuel economy of 19 city and 28 highway and an estimated monthly payment of $443, and this minivan becomes one attractive people mover.
3) As traditional as a blue button down, the familiar BMW 3-Series boasts a 4.7 percent potential discount. That translates to a possible discount of as much as $1,855 — bringing the national market average price of this popular sport sedan from an MSRP of $39,745 down to $37,890. Offer a 20 percent down payment, and your payments could be around $545 each month for BMW's AWD sedan with xDrive.
4) In fourth place is the Audi A3, sporting a national market average price of $30,157 after a potential discount of 3.2 percent, or $988 off the $31,145 MSRP of this sporty hatchback from Audi. Put down 20 percent and your monthly payment would be about $434 for this luxurious four-door. A turbocharged engine promising fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon city and 42 miles per gallon means it is also affordable to fill up, as well.
5) The priciest model on this list, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport boasts a national market average of $59,314 after a potential discount of 2.7 percent, or $1,626, off its MSRP of $60,940. Combine a 20 percent down payment with a 3 percent annual percentage rate, and your monthly payments could be right around $853.
Ready to go shopping?
If you’re planning to go car shopping during the next two weeks, why not put these 2013 models on your list while you do your research. As always, here are some really important things to keep in mind, such as:
• Remember to look online for your best car finance terms available. Apply in the comfort of your home and get a car loan decision in minutes.
• Each edition of “Steals on Wheels” highlights vehicles with the top discounts off the MSRP down to a particular trim level, since potential discounts can vary greatly between the trim levels. So, for this edition, the Convertible SS was the most highly discounted trim of the entire Chevrolet Camaro lineup in relation to its MSRP, and had the highest discount by percentage and dollar savings on this list.
• It doesn't matter where you live, as “Steals on Wheels” deals are available nationwide; however, deals are limited to inventory on hand. Your Program Certified Dealer must confirm that actual inventory, including your preferred options and colors, is in stock.
• You might find different pricing based on sales in your local area using the OpenRoad Lending Auto Buying Service Be sure to visit http://www.openroadlending.com/Resources/AutoBuyingService.aspx to view local pricing on any car and to be connected with your local Program Certified Dealer who will provide you additional pricing information for the vehicle you are researching. Incentives and leasing programs are subject to change and should be confirmed with your dealer.
• Average price paid is the estimated average transaction price of a vehicle after incentives within the last 30 days.
Once you’ve made your choice, why not connect with a Program Certified Dealer for a streamlined new-car buying experience? Be sure to do your research ahead of time at the OpenRoad Lending Auto Buying Service to find the information you need to know you’re getting a good deal.