Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Watch Your Mileage – It Could Cost You Big

It is true that driving gives you a lot of freedom. You can take a road trip with the family, visit the cottage on the weekends and get around faster.

Some consumers avoid leasing vehicles because of kilometre restrictions and choose to finance their vehicles instead. This way they are free to use their vehicle however they choose to. This raises the question, “why do leasing companies” care about the mileage you use?” There is an easy answer to this question.

High vehicle mileage significantly reduces the value of the vehicle and here is how:

· The vehicle will require more repairs
· The vehicle will require more maintenance
· The life of the vehicle is reduced for each additional kilometre driven

So how does one enjoy life without running up the mileage on their vehicle? Here are some ideas that you can use to save your mileage.

1. If you are going away, try renting a vehicle. Many car rental agencies offer unlimited mileage. Also if you check with your insurance, some policies cover insurance on car rentals, so you won’t have to pay the car rental company additional insurance. Some car rental companies will rent a compact sedan for as little as $40 per/day.

2. Try using transit to get to work. You can save not only your mileage, but also gas and parking by doing this.

3. If you can’t get your head around using transit. Talk to your co-workers and see if there are any opportunities to car pool. Then you can fly to work, taking advantage of HOV (aka carpooling) lanes.

Finally, don’t buy a vehicle that already has high mileage. Prudent Value Cars only sells low mileage vehicles and offers flexible financing and will even negotiate your car loan terms so that the term is consistent with the mileage you drive. This ensures that you finish your car loan with a vehicle that still has value. For more information visit www.prudentvaluecars.com.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Repair by the dealer or by an independent shop?

Conventional wisdom has it that an independent repair shop is a better bet than a dealership for having your car repaired, but that's not as true today as it used to be.
Dealerships are making a vigorous effort to draw customers to their service departments for repairs.  They now offer longer warranties and certified repair people. This is occurring because profits on new car sales are so low that the service departments have to be profit centres in order for dealerships to survive.
Repairs made under warranty once amounted to 70% of the service done at dealerships. Today, they are only 20% as vehicles are built better and last longer.

Here are the pros and cons for each option.

The dealership

● To retain their franchise licenses, dealerships must pay for training their technicians and providing special tools and equipment. So you can expect their service to be expert.
● Dealers have access to proprietary information on their new Vehicle -information that is often needed for proper diagnosis and repair. Also, dealerships service mostly the makes and models that they sell. Since they are very knowledgeable about those cars, they can usually identify a problem faster.
● The dealership is tied to the auto manufacturer, so if the customer is unhappy with the service or a specific repair, they can always take their complaint to the manufacturer.
● Dealership technicians are usually paid a flat rate. If a specific repair calls for a flat rate of $100 for two hours of work and the repair person can do the job in one hour, they will still receive $100 in compensation. If the job takes longer than two hours, the customer isn’t charged extra. That’s the upside. The downside is that, because of the incentive pay, the repair person may cut corners to finish the repair in less than two hours and pocket more money.
● Many dealers provide a free loaner car or a courtesy shuttle if the customer has to leave the car to be fixed, whereas it's likely the repair shop will expect them to find their own ride home after they’ve dropped the car off.

The independent

● Independent shops tend to be small, employing only three to five technicians. So over time, the customer will come to know the owner and the techs, and is able to pose questions directly to the mechanic working on their car.
● In addition to a personal relationship, the independent offers versatile service for different makes and models. Seasoned mechanics who have worked in independent shops have been exposed to a variety of vehicles. They make excellent resources for difficult repairs.
● Independent shops usually use aftermarket parts unless the customer requests OEM parts (ones supplied by the Original Equipment Manufacturer). Dealerships generally use OEM parts even though they are more expensive than aftermarket parts.
● Traditionally, independents have had lower hourly labor rates than dealerships. That differential is closing, as independents face rising costs. Rapid technological change in the auto industry has resulted in the need for ongoing training and the purchase of new tools and equipment.
● Still, the independent’s repair person is usually paid an hourly rate or a salary. Therefore, the mechanic has no incentive to rush through a repair or to compete with the other techs for the “easier” job.
● Today, top-notch independent repair shops offer nationwide warranties through the auto parts suppliers.

For information about PRUDENT VALUE CARS, visit our web site: www.prudentvaluecars.com