I heard a horror story from a customer of mine the other week, and she learned a lesson from it that everyone could use.
She came in to purchase a car from us and trade in her car. When I asked her for the title to her vehicle she told me that she doesn’t have it and was unsure of how she could get it. The dealership that she had bought the car from has since closed and renamed. The owner of the original dealership is nowhere to be found. This is a frequent occurrence at many small dealerships nationwide. There is one up the street from us that has had 5 names in the last 5 years.
Now here she is a couple of years later, car paid off, and no title. She has no way to contact the original dealer, and no way of obtaining the title. If the dealer put the title solely in her name with no Lien, she could go get a duplicate. However, if she was financing the vehicle, the most likely scenario is that the vehicle has a lien on the title. With that lien she cannot go get a duplicate title even if it is in her name.
So now she has a vehicle that is registered, but starting to break down, and she cannot do anything with it. She is forced to sell this vehicle for parts to someone and has to lose all of the value that this vehicle should have. Sure, there is probably a long legal process she could enter into to get the title through the courts, if they can find the original owner. But that doesn’t help her right now, with a vehicle that she has put a lot of money into, has actual value, but cannot trade it in or sell it.
This is just one example of many similar stories. Other stories include warranties that no one is around to honor. Credit history that cannot be repaired or fixed. Vehicles that can never be paid off or the loans on them satisfied. All of this happens because a car dealership closed without helping or satisfying their customers. Generally this is by small dealership that is not well established.
It is much better to deal with a well established company. City Select Auto Sales has been helping customers for over 43 years. A company that is that well established is not going anywhere anytime soon. You can be sure that there will be someone there to help you if you have a question or get stuck in a jam. Please don’t let this same horror story happen to you. Purchase a vehicle from a company that has been around for enough time that you can be sure they will be there for you.
This week we bring a rare treat. There’s a finance specialist at our dealership named Debbie Shadlow, and she makes the best, most outstanding, CHEESIEST Macaroni and Cheese. For years I have asked, begged, and bribed to try to obtain this recipe.
Finally, for reasons unknown, our prayers have been answered. She has given up the directions for cooking this incredible secret concoction. So I’m going to do the only morally responsible thing I can think of, and post it on the internet for the entire world to read.
If you’re looking for a nice light “diety” (a word I just created) recipe for Mac & Cheese, please go away. You will not find it here. This is not for the faint of heart, but more for those who are ready to take a nap after a meal.
Make this Mac & Cheese at your next party, and you will not disappoint. If she let me name it I would dub it Gooey Cheesy Deliciousness with a Crispy Top. Decadent is an adjective that doesn’t do it justice. Ingredients and directions below. Don’t forget to thank Debbie! Enjoy…
1 Jar of Ragu double cheddar
8 Oz Belgorgio sharp provolone
8 Oz Reserve sharp cheddar cheese
2 8 Oz Cabot shredded seriously sharp
1 8 Oz Sargento shredded state cheddar cheese
2 Cracker Barrel reserved extra sharp cheddar cheese
5 table spoons butter cut into small pieces
½ cup of sour cream
1 cup of Whole Milk (Any kind of milk can substitute)
Italian Bread Crumbs with Romano cheese
White pepper and salt to taste
Coat a 9 x 13 Pan with cooking spray
Boil elbow macaroni until tender, drain and put in pan.
Combine milk, cheese and other ingredients into pot on stove.
Cook on low while stirring until melted.
Pour over the macaroni and stir until combined.
Top with bread crumbs
Bake @ 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until top is nice and golden brown.
This is a post by our finance manager Drew Pellegrini. He wants you to know how important credit is, and how you can build it:
Working in a collection department, all the time I hear people say, “ I’m not worried about my credit” or “my credit is already bad, why bother paying on time?”
Nowadays, taking care to monitor and actively improve your credit is more important than ever. When trying to finance an item, banks and financial institutions will check credit and use that to determine the likelihood a customer will repay the loan. Then based on their findings (credit score) the bank will adjust interest rates, down payments, and approvals all based on a customers credit record. When they review a credit history that has many late pays and/or no pays, the bank will almost always increase the interest rate. An increased interest rate will drastically increase the amount of money it takes to repay a loan. This extra cost becomes extra payments at the end of the loan or an increase in the payment amount. Basically the worse the credit, the more expensive things are. Bad credit = Spend more.
No one knows what the future holds. Approval on a new car, a new home, an apartment, or a credit card will likely be effected by credit. The late payment today may not seem like much now, but when the time comes for the next purchase, it could really matter.
Establishing credit when first starting out is easier than you might think. Many larger credit card companies will not approve someone with zero credit, but typically department stores will still offer them. Banks will offer secure credit cards to these customers. Once approved, it is critical to not spend more than you can afford. Make small purchases and pay them off at the end of the statement period, every month! By doing this a person with no credit will quickly become a person with good credit, and will now have many more inexpensive financing options available.
It’s never too late to improve your credit. Bad credit can become good credit quite quickly. Many of my customers start with poor credit and cannot purchase the new vehicle that they may really want. But once they have established a good pay history with us (we report to all three major credit bureaus), many of my customers go on to trade their car into a new car dealership. I have so many customers that come to me, in their brand new car, and thank me for giving them the opportunity to change their credit history around.
Checking your credit is essential to understanding how you can improve it. Luckily the three major credit bureaus allow you to get your credit report for free once a year. The process is simple, typically just mailing a request to the bureaus. Check on their websites for all the information you need.
It all starts now. Think about what you want out of life, whether it be a new car, a new home or just a credit card with a decent rate to go shopping with, everything is effected by your credit. Pay on time and make smart decisions and anyone can move up!
I can never tell if the weather predictions that the media puts out are because they want a prepared public, or a public that raises ratings. But just in case the rainy fury that these weathermen are promising does occur, here are a few tips for driving in the rain.
First, check your tires. A lot of people believe that until a tire is flat tire or blows on a highway, it is still a good tire. This is could not be more wrong. If the tread on your tire has been worn down, it does not allow the tire to get proper traction on the road. This means that the tire is more likely to slip while driving. This could occur while stopping or going around a turn and result in loss of control of your vehicle. Refer back to this previous blog post for how to check your tires and other vehicle maintenance.
Second, if you are not sure how deep a puddle is, DO NOT drive through it. After a recent storm a customer came in and asked us to tow his car in because it would not start. I asked him what happened and he told me that he “drove through a puddle”. I said how deep was the puddle? And he held up a hand about waist high! That’s no puddle mister! When you drive through a deep section of water, the water can get sucked up into the engine of your vehicle. This can cause the engine to seize up or bend a rod in the motor. That could result in the vehicle needing a new motor.
Just in case you do drive through a deep puddle and your car shuts off, do not try to restart the vehicle. Get the vehicle to a mechanic and allow them to flush your fluids. Get an oil change, cooling system change, and transmission fluid change. This could save you from laying out serious amounts of money if water mixed with these fluids.
If the damages become expensive enough, you can get your insurance company involved to help fix the car. However this can result in the vehicle being branded a flood car. A lot of companies, like ours, will not buy or sell flood cars. This would cause the value of your vehicle to plummet.
Lastly, drive slow and safe. A wet surface means increased stopping time. The moment that the road is the most slippery is the few minutes when it first beings to rain. This rain brings up all of the oil and fluids that have been leaked onto the road and coats the road in a mixture of water and those fluids. This makes for an extremely slippery surface to drive on. On a wet surface do not follow too close to the vehicle in front of you as it will take you longer to stop. And if they slam on their brakes, you may find that you do not have enough time or room to stop in the rain.
The amount of times that I have seen different weather conditions affect a customer are countless. From accidents to flood cars I have seen all that a rainy weekend can offer. Overall, it is a good idea to drive as carefully as possible. Take car of your car and take care of your life. Happy driving.
Are you feeling tired and frustrated with your car search? That is the phrase I hear the most often from customers that walk into our lot. Every time I ask why the answer is always the same. “I’ve been to 5 different dealerships and they all tell me that they can’t help me get approved or that I need a cosigner.”
Buy Here Pay Here dealers are out there to help the customers that are having trouble getting financing elsewhere. These customers cannot get financing for one or all of many reasons:
- Poor credit history
- Previous Repossessions
- Low income or time at job
- No credit
These are the customers that Buy Here Pay Here is out there to help. If a bank turns you down, requires too much payment, the payments are too high, or the interest rate is too high, a customer can turn to a Buy Here Pay Here.
These In-House financing programs can offer these turned down customers the opportunity to finance a car. And most importantly, build their credit in the process. A Buy Here Pay Here dealership has a banking license, which means they are able to finance a vehicle to any customer they like without going it through a bank. Since the Buy Here Pay Here is the bank, they can set their own terms on what it takes to get a customer approved. This allows me to tell that tired and frustrated customer, that we are here to help.
It is very important to note, that not all Buy Here Pay Here dealerships are created equal. It is very important when shopping them to make sure of a few key ingredients to a good deal. First, do they report to the credit bureaus to help build credit? If not, then the record of good car payments will not reflect on your credit, one of the main reasons for purchasing from a Buy Here Pay Here. City Select Auto Sales reports to all three credit bureaus.
What kind of warranty is offered? Refer back to our previous blog post for more info on warranties. City Select Auto Sales offers a 1 year limited warranty with most vehicles.
What interest rate is offered? Refer to this blog post for more info about different types of interest. Some dealers sell vehicles with over 25% interest rates. This type of loan will result in massive interest charges, and take way too long to pay off.
So if you’re feeling tired and frustrated with your car search, I suggest you take a look at a Buy Here Pay Here. You won’t need a cosigner, and they’ll be able to get you approved and driving.
Meet Anthony Salkauski:
Anthony has worked for City Select Auto Sales since August of 1993. He started out as a security guard at our Camden store, and over the next 22 years has flourished into the Sales Manager at our main location in Burlington NJ. The path took him through sales at a Camden store and a Ewing store, winning Salesman of the month honors multiple times in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999.
Anthony is one of the kindest most outgoing people you will meet. Everyone who meets Anthony, remembers Anthony. A lot of personality is putting it lightly. He helps customers day in and day out, and customers love dealing with him. Speaking both english and spanish gives him the ability to communicate with nearly every customer. But no matter what language you speak, you can tell through his interactions with others, that Anthony is one of those special people in the world who really care.
Born and raised in Camden, Anthony graduated from Camden Vocational and Technical School in 1993. He came to work for City Select Auto Sales that same year when he was just 19 years old. He met his lovely wife in Camden, and now they have 3 beautiful children. In his off time Anthony’s likes to let loose a bit while riding his Ducati motorcycle. He used to race cars, and even took home a couple of trophies in his Acura Type-R.
City Select Auto Sales would like to thank Anthony for his years of faithful service. Many customers have been helped and will continue to be helped by Anthony’s dedication and enthusiasm. If you’ve never met Anthony be sure to stop by our Burlington office, trust me, you can’t miss him.
It seems like every dealership you walk into has a different warranty that covers different parts of the vehicle for different periods of time. In this blog post I’m going to describe the types of warranty that you can receive when purchasing a vehicle and what you should look for.
For starters, if you are purchasing a vehicle from a dealership, do not, and I repeat DO NOT purchase a vehicle with no warranty. This means that the dealer is making no guarantees to you that this vehicle will last. If it breaks down a mile down the road they can tell you too bad. If you are spending your hard earned dollars on transportation, make sure that it comes with some sort of warranty.
Now, warranty implies free. If a dealer tells you it comes with a warranty and then explains how much it costs, this is not a warranty. That is called a service contract and you should look closely at how much it costs and how much it covers. There are service contracts available all over the internet through multiple companies that could possibly cost less or cover more. But this post isn’t about service contracts, it is about warranties, stay on topic! Do not accept an Implied warranty, make sure that anything the dealer is telling you is covered, is clearly written and you have a copy.
There are three components to the warranty. Length of warranty, Parts covered, and amount of cost covered.
Warranty length varies greatly depending on the dealer. A majority of used car dealers only offer a 30 or 60 day warranty. New car dealers on the other hand may offer multiple years, all the way up to a dealer like Hyundai who offers 10 years.
A very important item to look at on the buyer’s guide is what items are covered by this warranty. Some warranties will cover the entire vehicle, some will cover the powertrain, and some will only cover certain components. Powertrain warranties mean that they will cover you for the major components that run the vehicle: the motor, rear, and transmission. A powertrain warranty will not cover you for sensors, brakes, tires, or other components that are not specifically the motor, rear, or transmission. Other warranties will only cover a single item, for example the motor.
The final component to a warranty is how much of the repair the dealer will cover. If it is listed as a full warranty it will cover all of the cost. Limited warranties must specify the percentage or how much of the bill they will cover. Some warranties will have a deductible amount that the purchaser must pay for each item they get fixed.
An important note here is that some of these warranties will require proof that you have maintained the vehicle properly. For example if a company says they’ll warranty your motor, they may make you provide proof that you’ve maintained your proper oil changes. Without this proof they can claim that you caused the problem and not cover the repairs.
In summary, make sure that your vehicle comes with a warranty and that you know what it covers. Unexpected repair bills when you thought they would be covered in your warranty can really hurt your pocket. Good luck!
Whether you are going on vacation or just driving out of town, it pays to check the items listed below to confirm your vehicle is travel worthy. The old proverb stating “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very true before you leave on your trip. Any one of the items below can derail your trip or cost you many times the amount you will spend in advance following these tips.
Check all of your tires.
- Find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle by reading the label on the inside of your driver’s door. A $3 gauge bought at your local auto parts supplier is all you need. Using the correct tire pressure in all of your tires will increase your gas mileage and reduce tire wear.
- Look for cracks or bulges in the sidewalls. Replacing that tire with cracks or bulges now before a blow out saves a time consuming and dangerous change of tire on the road. It also might cause an accident if it blows at the wrong time.
- Look at your tread wear. Does your tire need replacing? Insert a quarter in the groves of the tire. If you can see the top of the head of George Washington on the coin, your tire tread is too low. Again, consider replacing that tire now before a blow out
- Check that spare at the same time. Is the spare in there? Is it inflated at the correct tire pressure? Check that pressure. You don’t want to think it’s hard enough to the touch and find out its flat when you put the vehicles weight down on it. Not being prepared can cost you a lot of money for roadside assistance and a loss of a lot of time. Look for sidewall cracks just like the four tires on the ground.
- While you are in there checking your spare, lets confirm that your lug wrench and tire jack are in there too. Do you know how to use them? Is the jack rusty and unusable? Oil it now so it’s functional. Does the lug wrench fit the lugs that hold your tire on? I have seen each of these problems occur to my customers for different reasons.
Check all the fluid levels.
- If you are a little low on oil, now is the time to add it. Remember to wait at least one minute after you turn the vehicle off for the oil used at the top of the motor to flow down into the reservoir.
- Feel that oil on the dipstick. It won’t hurt you. If it feels gritty, it is time to change it. When is the last time you changed your oil? Oil is the lifeblood of your motor. Your manual will tell you the frequency it should be changed.
- Are there any fluid leaks under the vehicle when you park it? If you are not sure, put a fresh piece of newspaper under the motor section when you park it. The next time you use the car, examine the newspaper for spots. All leaks should be examined before you leave on your trip.
- Check the radiator level of coolant. You can add just water, but beware not adding antifreeze. When winter comes, water can freeze and damage your motor. Antifreeze will not. Be careful removing the radiator cap when the motor is hot. You can burn yourself easily and even professionals get burnt occasionally. The radiator overflow reservoir will show the correct coolant level with markings on the side. Add fluid to the reservoir and don’t touch the radiator cap if a reservoir is available.
- Check the transmission fluid level when the vehicle is warm and the vehicle is running and in the PARK position. The fluid should be red. Pink is okay but brown and black mean it should be changed.
- Check the windshield washer fluid level. If you don’t have windshield washer fluid, which is best, water will do. Again, water freezes in winter cold, but the damages from using water here are minimal.
- Check the power steering pump for low fluid. The dipstick will have markings on it to show the correct level. A very low level indicates leaks, which could cause you to lose your power steering. This could lead to an accident.
- Check your brake fluid level. There will be a cap on the master brake cylinder that must be removed. The side of the reservoir will usually indicate the required level. Again, a very low level indicates leaks, which could cause you to lose your brakes. This could lead to an accident. Any pulling or grinding while applying the brakes should be corrected quickly.
- Check the water level in your battery. If you allow the level to become low, the battery will not hold a proper charge. While you are at it, check the terminals for cleanliness. A little baking soda and water will easily clean them.
Look at your wiper blades. These are easy to replace and not expensive. You don’t want to be caught in a hard rain or a snowstorm and not have wipers that work properly.
Walk around the vehicle looking for broken taillights or turn signal lenses. Don’t get stopped by the Police for something trivial. Look under the vehicle for anything hanging that may be out of place. The time to repair that hanging muffler or wire is before you leave on that long trip.
While the vehicle is running, turn the headlights on. Are all the lights working? Check the turn signals. If possible, have some one check the brake lights for you. If someone else is not available, back the vehicle close to a wall and look in your mirror to see if they are working.
If you have some extra space in the vehicle, consider putting these items in the trunk:
- Battery jumpers. These are inexpensive time and money savers when you need them.
- A battery box is an awesome tool. You have it plugged in at home so it’s all charged when you need it. Put it in your vehicle before you leave. Some battery boxes not only jump start your car, but they also have air compressors for your tires and built in lights to help you see to change that tire.
- Fix-a-flat has some disadvantages when you need to repair a tire that has had fix-a-flat used on it, but you will love to have a can or two when you get a flat. It is much easier than changing a tire.
- Windshield scraper. Don’t leave home without one. Put it in the trunk for when the winter months are here.
- Small shovel for removing snow or putting dirt in a hole that your tire has fallen into off road. Once upon returning to airport parking, my car was totally blocked in by plows clearing the parking lot. Wish I had a shovel then.
Finally, consider these businesses when looking for reliable providers:
- AAA: For $53 a year, you can get free towing when you break down and other free emergency assistance. (855) 772-5551. www.aaa.com .
- Penn Muffler & Brake: Inexpensive brake & muffler repairs. Tell them you are a City Select Auto Sales’ customer for discounts. (856) 488-0371. www.pennmuffler.com
- Contes’ Auto Repairs: Good quality auto services. Tell them you are a City Select Auto Sales’ customer for discounts. (856) 933-1211.
- Mr Tire: Quality tires at low cost. Tell them you are a City Select Auto Sales’ customer for discounts.(856) 933-0715. www.mrtire.com
- As a City Select Auto Sales’ customer you are able to speak to a manager to help you find the least expensive method or provider to maintain or repair your vehicle. This service is free as long as you own your vehicle. (609) 877-0005. www.cityselectauto.com.
Travel safe and be cautious driving. If you drive slowly, you can avoid some of the idiots that are on our roads.
City Select Auto Sales
A return policy is something that everyone should look into before purchasing a vehicle. By that I mean a set amount of time that you, as a customer, have to return a vehicle to the dealer for any reason at all. Some dealers offer a 24-hour return policy, some offer a couple of days, and some offer no return policy at all. When it comes to purchasing a used or pre-owned vehicle a return policy is extremely important.
By having this return policy it allows you to drive the vehicle for an extended period of time to make sure that you like the way it looks and handles. You also will be able to notice any small flaws that a vehicle may have and to see if the dealership will handle these issues for you. Most importantly, it allows you to take the vehicle to a mechanic and have them check the vehicle out. Let the mechanic put the vehicle on a lift and check under it. They should look for any signs of extensive rust or damage under the vehicle. This is a step that many used car buyers forget or bypass. A mechanic will be able to tell you if you are purchasing a nice vehicle that shouldn’t give you too many repair issues down the road (Pun intended).
Make sure that any vehicle you purchase comes with a return period. Many people will jump to the conclusion that the dealer has already checked all of their vehicles out to make sure there are no problems. While this is true of a lot of dealers, there are some car dealers that do not. Couple this with a no return policy and a limited warranty and you could be purchasing a problem. At City Select Auto Sales we offer a 24-hour return period and encourage customers to seek out a mechanic to check out the vehicle. Alternatively if you have a local personal mechanic that you trust we will take it over to them to check out before you hand over a penny.
In the end, make sure that before you purchase your next vehicle you make sure that you ask the dealer what kind of a return policy they offer. Beware of any dealer that tells you there is no return policy, and that once you’ve bought this vehicle it’s yours.
All City Select Auto Sales’ loans use the Simple Interest rate method of calculating the interest due on a loan.
Simple interest is not the only method available. Two other methods are “Compound Interest” and the “Rule of 78”. Using the Compound Interest rate method, you can pay interest on the interest accumulating on your loan. Using the “Rule of 78” rate method, if you pay your loan off before the contracted date, you will pay more interest than you would have if you had a simple interest loan rate. There are cases where these two other type loans can be advantageous to you.
City Select Auto Sales’ loans never have a Prepayment Penalty. Other lenders may charge a fee for paying off the loan early like when you trade-in your vehicle and pay off your vehicle early. This compensates that lender for not earning all the interest they anticipated. It could also happen if your vehicle is involved in an accident and an insurance company pays off your loan after the accident.
Simple Interest does not compound and increase the loan balance. The amount of interest to be paid for each scheduled monthly payment cannot increase. If you’re late or miss a car loan payment, the missed interest payment will not be added to the loan balance.
With a simple interest loan, the interest paid is calculated on the outstanding loan balance. As monthly payments are made and the balance decreases, the amount of interest paid will decrease. For example, consider a loan with a $250 monthly payment, 6% interest rate and a $10,000 balance. The interest for the next month will be $50, 6% divided by 12 months times $10,000, leaving $200 of the payment to pay down the loan. For the next month, the interest charge will be $49 on the $9,800.00 balance, and $201 will towards the principal balance. Making the regularly scheduled future payments continues reducing the interest amount each month and increasing the amount of the payment paying down the loan.
Money Savings Hints:
· Make extra principal payments any time during the loan but especially at the beginning of the loan. Since the simple interest is calculated on the remaining principal balance only, you will reduce the interest you pay totally by putting extra money toward the principal. The earlier you make the extra principal payment, the more interest on that payment you save!
· Make your payments on time. It will hurt your credit in the Credit Bureau and at your dealer. It can also lead to repossession and other needless charges. Making your payments on time are also recorded in the Credit Bureau and will help toward other financed purchases in your future like a new car or a home loan.
· Increase your down payment if you can afford it. Increased down payments reduce the principal balance there-by lowering the interest you will pay over the time of the loan. If your weekly or monthly payment stays the same as with the lower down payment you will also reduce the term of your loan and pay off your vehicle sooner.