Used Car Industry News 1-22-18

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Today’s news includes stories about a recommendation for which used cars will be a stretch for most people to get a loan on, and a factor that can drive up the cost of a loan on a used vehicle to be aware of…

Here is a USA Today story that backs up a point we make in our Used Car Buyers Guide For The Practical Buyer

High-tech features on new cars drive up auto insurance rates

LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, has released the findings of its study on which car makes borrowers are stretching the most to afford.

Financing a car is one of the more significant financial decisions Americans make, and even those who try to save money by buying used cars can struggle to afford the monthly car payments. A recent LendingTree survey found that 27 percent of Americans plan to purchase a car in 2018. To discover if consumers are more likely to stretch their available incomes to own certain brands, LendingTree looked at people who found auto loans on the platform in 2017 to buy used vehicles.

Contrary to popular assumptions, the results revealed that people aren’t going broke to buy used luxury cars. In fact, buyers of the most expensive cars seem to handily afford them.

On the other hand, LendingTree found Buick owners have the hardest time affording their car payments — not because they’re indulging in particularly expensive vehicles but because their income tends to be on the lower side, meaning they use a larger share of take home pay to cover their monthly payments.

While the above story talks about driving up the price of your auto insurance, the greater threat to the frugal used car buyer is below:

High-tech features on new cars drive up auto insurance rates

The gee-whiz gadgets on new cars — the backup cameras, the large touchscreen controls, the blind-spot monitoring — make us all feel a little safer about navigating the roads.

But high-tech, advanced safety features come at a fairly steep price, so they’re driving up car insurance rates, too.

“If they’re damaged, they’re much more expensive to repair,” said James Lynch, chief actuary for the Insurance Information Institute. “You can’t just go to a shop and pick up a part that you can jerry-rig on.”

Fixing a bumper isn’t the same old job anymore. Repairing a bumper on an entry-level luxury car, for example, can cost about $3,550 for a 2016 model for parts and labor, compared with about $1,845 for a 2014 model, according to data from Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Why? The 2016 model has a distance sensor; the 2014 model does not. Parts are 130% higher and labor is 18% higher.

As we recommend… go into your used car shopping experience knowing at the outset what you NEED, not what you WANT, because when you go to a used car dealership, the salesperson at those other places will try to get you to want upgrades that drive up the price.  We know this is hard for the customer.  We hear it all the time.  We suggest to be practical.  One other factor to know about this problem… if you need a car today, be aware that there is tremendous technological change in vehicles coming very soon.. we are talking about the driverless car.  Most experts say that is coming in 5 or fewer years.  Buy being frugal today, you can time it correctly to buy a significantly more technologically advanced vehicle in the future.


Used Car Industry Watch 1-11-18

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Today’s news contains interesting factoids about Used Car Financing, and a survey about Auto Loan Financing,

National Car Sales: Loan interest rates on the rise for those with poor credit

Car salesmen call it “the payment walk,” when a customer wants a new vehicle but is walked instead to the used lot because they can’t qualify for a new-car loan.

With the Federal Reserve seemingly bent on more interest-rate hikes, it’s almost certain that more people will be taking that stroll.

The Fed raised rates a quarter percent in December, the third rate hike of 2017, and it’s broadcasting three more this year.

For would-be buyers with stellar credit, the impact hasn’t been substantial. But many with subprime credit scores of around 600 or below are now settling for cars that already have some miles on them, says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive.

Subprime buyers got substantially better rates even a year ago. The average subprime rate of 5.91% last year has jumped to 16.84% today, Smoke says. For a 60-month loan of $20,000, that means a monthly payment hike of more than $100, to $495.

Our take:  It’s impractical ANYWAYS to buy a NEW vehicle.  Why?  Because as we have said for decades, a NEW car is a depreciating asset.  You can buy new, sure… but we at Auto Maxx in Dover Delaware promote sound financial practices.  Let’s look at it this way… would you buy a new house if, right after the paperwork is done the minute you walk out of the mortgage office, that property has lost half it’s value?

No, you likely wouldn’t.  That right there is exactly what happens with a new vehicle.  So to make the practical decision, do your due diligence on how to buy a well maintained vehicle with maintenance records proving the car has been well maintained.  Market forces in the used car industry have made this very possible, and cheaper.  We tell all our customers to use  We do the very same.

As to the rise in Sub Prime, there are still options out there.  With any application for credit we get, we

Are Auto Loans Confusing To Americans? A New Survey Says Yes

Some of the more surprising survey results include:

  • 79% were approved for the auto loan they applied for
  • 52% can’t name the 3 major credit bureaus
  • An overwhelming majority (94%) weren’t aware auto lenders often use a specialty credit score, called an Auto FICO, when evaluating auto loan borrowers
  • 61% think lenders consider age and marital status when evaluating loan applicants
  • Nearly 3 in 5 (59.9%) don’t understand the relationship between loan term and interest.
  • More than 2 in 5 (42.6%) don’t know what it means to be “upside down” or “underwater” on your loan
  • More than 3 in 5 (62.1%) don’t know what gap insurance is

Since the survey results indicate some people aren’t clear about auto financing fundamentals

We can validate this survey, our Dover and surrounding area customers and would-be customers usually do come to our used cars in Dover DE dealership with many of these same questions.  That’s why we are putting together a Practical guide for the Used Car Buyer.  It goes over a lot of these terms, as well as explaining to you how to be a smart shopper for a used car, based on our 44 years of hands on experience in the used car industry.


Why is our Warranty and Maintenance program so unique?

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We use a thorough process with our own in-house mechanics to ensure we don’t buy cars with suspect maintenance histories.
One of the biggest fears people have when they buy a car is buying someone else’s problems and get stuck with a lemon.

It’s difficult for the individual consumer to try to make that determination on their own. Our acquisition process for our inventory is rather extensive. We spend eight to 12 hours EVERY WEEK week analyzing used vehicles that are available for sale . We do a complete background check on the vehicles through CarFax so when we buy the used car, we know the car has service records behind it. We ask all our customers to do the same. We evaluate the marketplace for that specific model car. This ensures the price we pay will be a very competitive and fair price. When the vehicle gets to the dealership, put it through our 144 point certification process.
This process actually mirrors the Maryland state inspection process, the toughest process in the nation. So if you get a car from our dealership, this car has been hand picked for i’s value, as well as serviced and reconditioned. You can be certain, we’ve evaluated the entire automobile, any thing broken we have repaired. You get basically a well running car that has a service background, and one we guarantee a 100 percent, parts and labor, which is the most comprehensive warranty you can get from a car dealership anywhere in the country.

This is the service we may be most proud of: we offer our clients this free every 6 month safety and maintenance evaluation. This is the same recommended service if you bought a new car from Chevrolet, they recommend every six months to take the car back in to their dealership for a check up. They would also charge you anywhere from $100 to $250. Auto Maxx Dover does it for free. We do that service here at our shop.

Why do we do that?

So you become an informed consumer. We WANT informed, practical and frugal customers. Other dealers are preying on the uninformed car buyers, trying to increase the loan amount of their customers by waving hyped up “upgrades”, with no care at all for the customer’s financial well being. We can not do that. Our values are centered in sound financial practices. We value practicality and saving money, not spending it. You see, with our warranty program, if you get a small problem, i’s better handled then as a lower expense than ignoring it and letting it turn into a big expensive emergency! We say “Let’s repair it before it becomes a major problem tha’s financially too difficult to handle. This warranty works for both our end goals. It le’s us extend the life expectancy of your vehicle! Done this way, it makes used cars the better alternative to buying new cars, a depreciating asset, at full price. You get to keep it longer, as well as not having to buy replacement cars as frequent. That is truly the most important thing we do for our clients’ financial well being.

This process is employed on every vehicle we consider buying, but as you may have heard, the recent hurricanes have made this even more important. All over the country, used car lots are seeing vehicles from the hurricane hit areas of the country tried to be passed off as vehicles with no flooding damage. We will NOT take these vehicles unless they are completely upgraded and repaired to our high expectations.

So important is the maintenance records of the used cars or trucks that we sell, we have the most unique Used Car Warranty in the country.

Ask us about this program, and how we can finance anyone for used cars in Dover
4008 S Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901
(302) 697-7772

Happy New Year 2018 From Dover’s Used Car Dealership

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To all our customers living in and around Dover, Delaware… from Camden to Smyrna, from Hartly to Pearson’s Corner, and everyone in between, everyone here at Auto Maxx Dover, we would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! Come see us at 4008 S Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901 (302) 697-7772 after the holiday. If you are looking for a solid well maintained Chevrolet , or a Chrysler, or any other dependable model of car or used truck, come on by and see what our selection is like.

Nissan Unveils Fun Star Wars Themed Cars

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What a fun concept!

Nissan did every Star Wars fan a solid, and made some custom modifications to a Nissan Altima, Nissan Maxima, Nissan Rogue and a Nissan Rogue Sport in the motifs of central characters to the new movie out this weekend.

Click the below picture for 12 more terrific pics of these vehicles to see some stellar creative body work.

They introduced these cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Needless to say, you won’t be seeing one of these on our used car lot in Dover, but we do from time to time get Nissan vehicles.  Doing your own custom work like this would be quite  a project.   Really impressive!


The Automaxx Dover Used Car Buyer’s Guide Part 1

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Can a 44 year veteran of the Used Car Industry save you from the most common mistakes used car buyers make?

Can his hard earned experience save you from buying a lemon, save your credit, save your financial future?  If you are looking for a PRACTICAL means to get a good quality used car without the pain of being ripped off by the used car dealer… read these important car buying tips below.
Ralph and Crista DeBlasi have been in the used car business for almost half a century.  They have seen the industry change in that time, but as their conversation below illustrates, human nature has been very consistent.  His advice below can save you from making common impractical mistakes on how you choose a car.  It is WELL WORTH your time to read, watch or listen to his advice below.

What are the most common mistakes made when buying a used car and what repercussions are those bad mistakes?

One of the first mistakes people make when they go to buy a car is they wait till they have to have a car in the car. They don’t plan ahead. I think anybody is going to be in the market to replace a car either driving asked us first when do I want to replace it when do I want to get a new car. They should give themselves anywhere from three to six months to do the necessary research to analyze the marketplace and to preview the different makes and models are available for them. Most people wake up one morning and that’s when they make a big mistake.

Because they go in without a plan and that makes them more susceptible to suggestions by people that don’t really have their best interests at heart. They don’t discern the priorities of what they want out of the car and what they are willing to pay for the things they want and need. So one of the questions they should ask themselves about considering a used car is what I enjoyed most about the car I’m driving and if this is something specific I really enjoy.

You want to improve upon it or at least get as much as you had before. And that’s one of the practical questions they should ask when they’re shopping for a used car. Most people just aks”what’s the price?” What they SHOULD be asking is will the car do this for me based upon what they value.

The next question they should ask themselves is if they are replacing the car for a specific reason. They should ask themselves also what would they alter or change about the car they drive now that would give them more satisfaction and more usefulness or more enjoyment. Have they had service problems, have the repairs been extensive and expensive. Does the car break down frequently? Was the car big enough? Do they need a six passenger car instead of a five passenger car, for example. They should consider this before they go shopping for a used car. if they don’t know these things, they’re going to focus on the price and the payments and then may wake up buying the wrong car at too much money, for too long a period of time. And once they analyze all this, the one question they ask themselves of all the things my next car could does for me, what is the number one priority I want the car to do for me ? What do I really need it for and how much am I willing to pay for that.

What is the BIGGEST FINANCIAL mistake people make when buying a used vehicle?

That’s the biggest mistake people make is they overpay because they buy cars based upon things they would like to have, but not need.  Remember we just mentioned, you want to avoid being susceptible to suggestion.  They see something shiny and new gadgets and the budget goes out the window.   This puts the buyer in a very tough spot later, financially.  That’s why I say stay focused on the primary thing, what do you really want the car to do, and how much are you willing to pay for it.

I’ve been in this business for 44 years.  I’ve seen it all.  I’ve seen this cycle happen for years and it is constant.  I’ts very dispiriting for a practical frugal person myself, to see my fellow Dover Delaware citizens get in the cycle of buying more car than they can afford.

It really is the worst part of the business, I see it happen all the time.  The vulnerable used car buyer will come to a used car dealership without having any idea about the car, what they really want the car to do for them. It’s amazing. And that’s a big mistake from the get go. They find themselves with an overpriced wrong car. We unfortunately see it all the time.

What are some of the most painful ways that these car buying mistakes manifest?

The biggest thing is they destroyed their budget, they destroy their credit rating. They buy a car that they really can’t afford and drive it for three years and end up wanting to get out of it, but they have a six year loan and so they can’t get out. Or they buy a used car that is expensive to service and maintain, and they can’t do the repairs and make the payments the same time. A lot of people don’t understand long term maintenance factors about the car.

They don’t think about that when they buy a car. I drive a Crown Victoria. The reason I drive a Crown Victoria? Nothing goes wrong with them. If something goes wrong on the car, it’s inexpensive to replace. They are used by taxi cabs in New York to get 300,00 to 400,000 miles. That’s what I drive. I don’t like to spend money at a car shop on repairs.

For example, what would you think it costs to replace a water pump on a Chevy Trailblazer, a good solid maintenance friendly car?  Somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 – $250.

Now, how much would it cost to replace that on a volkswagon or an audi? I just priced one out. It would cost me $1800.00.   Why? The mechanic has to take the entire front end off to replace that part.  You see the long term problems with that, for those on any kind of practical budget?

For example, I just had a customer, a long time customer of 20 years. And she’s always financed cars in house with me. I always sold her good domestic cars like Chevrolet’s and Ford Escorts. You never have big problems with them. She came in she got a Volkswagen Beetle. I said let’s look at something else. “I want that yellow beetle!”

That’s all she wants.

She has very very minimal income. She works at a diner somewhere making 10 bucks an hour if she makes that much, maybe more with tips. Well, her car broke down.  She came to me. I finally got a garage to do it for a thousand dollars. But I had to call the finance company, find someone to make her a loan for the repair.

She had to let the car go back and her credit was ruined again. This ioes on in the industry all the time, people don’t research what they’re buying. They see the color and they say “I’ve got to have it”. Forget the fact that it’s a 2010 used vehicle with a 140,000 miles on it.

Stay Tuned for part 2 coming soon.

Can’t wait for part 2, and need to get a vehicle soon to get to work, transport family as soon as possible? Let Ralph and his team use the above tips and more to help you make the right practical choice for you. Don’t let the other dealers in town take advantage of you. Don’t let your self be vulnerable to the shiny object tactic that used car dealers so often abuse their customers with. Be practical. Think in the long term. Call Auto Maxx Dover now at 302-697-7772 to do right by yourself and your financial health. A car is the 2nd most expensive item most Americans will ever purchase. Make a practical and long term decision. Ask us how that is done, we are happy to help you make a good long term decision. We are located at 4008 S DuPont Hwy Dover, DE 19901

You may be asking yourself…

This is very useful information!  If this is only part 1, where is part 2?

We are having the rest of the interview with Ralph DeBlasi transcribed and should be posted on this page very soon.

But you don’t have to wait for part 2!


There is more you can do to ensure you make a good sound financial decision in regard to your choice and options on a used car. Pick up your phone and call Automaxx Dover and ask for Ralph. Tell him you just read part 1, and would like to know the rest of the solid advice that took him 44 years to perfect in shopping for a used car. He will be happy to explain this further, including how your choice of financing institutions can help you use your monthly car payments to IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT, so that on your next vehicle, your choices and options are even MORE plentiful.
4008 S Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901

Used Car News Updates For November 28

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We want to pass on some good advice from the Better Business Bureau for you car shoppers…

Vehicles From Flooded Areas Finding Their Way Into Used Car Lots

Remember the recent hurricanes? Houston and Florida flooding has created an interesting by product, and that is vehicles that suffered from those floods popping up in local used car lots. It’s the same advice we use to discern whether a car or truck gets into our own inventory:

“If the car smells like mildew or moldy and if it looks like carpet was replaced that could be a red flag,” said Sue McConnell, Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland.

The BBB encourages you to make sure the windows and windshield wipers work. Also look for fog around the mirrors and rust in the spare tire well and along the seat tracks.

“We ourselves are very diligent about checking the shape any potential used automobile we purchase for resale, be it from an auction or individual seller. We use a few separate processes, to make redundancy work for us to weed out a flood damaged vehicle from ever finding it’s way into our inventory. Full disclosure is important, any used car buyer should expect that standard to be met with a reputable used car dealer.” – Christa Deblasi

3 solid car models that are ideal for the used car shopper?

Kiplinger has an interesting assessment about 3 vehicles they recommend are good value for the used car shopper.

They suggest the Ford Escape, the Cadillac CTS, and the KIA Sedona. Read the whole story here

We might add the Toyota Camry, and the Chevrolet Trailblazer. Stay tuned, we are putting out a Used Car Buyer’s guide, based on our 44+ years of experience, where we will lay out for you a game plan on how to buy the best used car for YOUR priorities, and avoid getting taken advantage of by ANY used car lot. Knowledge is power, and this know-how will save you money and heartache.

And lastly,

Did you know the Pope had a Lamborghini?

He does, but not for long.

Company executives gifted Pope Francis the flashy ride, a papal-themed Lamborghini Huracán, on Nov 15th. He has started the process to have it auctioned by Southeby’s. Funds raised by the car’s auction will go in part toward initiatives led by papal charity Aid to the Church in Need to rebuild properties that were destroyed by ISIS in Iraq.