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February 12, 2016

You chose your new vehicle!  Now it’s time to get it financed!

Family_buying_a_car-477865839-s It’s done. You've test-driven and selected your vehicle, and are now back in the dealership with your salesperson where you will finally agree to the price and monthly payment (if you are financing). You then complete the application, and receive approval to purchase your new vehicle. You are now waiting for your turn in the finance department to complete the DMV and other contractual agreements.

In most automotive transactions, when price and interest rate negotiations and deal approval is secured, the hardest part of the purchasing procedure is mostly done.  From this point on it is a matter of waiting for the finance department manager to call you in to do the final signing.

Continue reading "You chose your new vehicle!  Now it’s time to get it financed!" »

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 4: Get the Snow Off


From the driveway to the highway, get all the snow off your car.

Getting your car out of the snow and on the road can be a pain, but it's an important aspect of driving safety.

Keep your windows clear: Don’t start driving until the windows are defrosted and clean -- even if you’re only going a short distance. Brush all the snow off your car and don't forget the roof! In fact, failing to clean off your car can be illegal. More than that, it can be dangerous to cars behind you: You don't want a block of ice the size of a mattress flying off your car into traffic.

Also, before you hit the road, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice, or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 11, 2016

2016 Audi A3 e-tron: A Plug-in Hybrid Wagon for the Eco-Minded

1__2016_audi_a3_e-tron___actionA six-year-old boy greets his dad coming home from work, "Daddy, can I plug in the car?"

Ajay Chawan, manager of Audi's electric mobility program, is excited that his small son is fully charged about the future of automotive driving. Chawan has been commuting to work in the newest addition to the Audi lineup -- the 2016 plug-in hybrid A3 Sportback e-tron wagon.

I test-drove the A3 Sportback e-tron with him in Manhattan recently, and was impressed by this hybrid electric car's power and performance. It has the same kick-butt acceleration and precision braking and handling as the "regular" A3, and gets even better miles per gallon than the A3 diesel. I averaged in the high 70s in city driving, where I hardly ever got out of battery mode.

Continue reading "2016 Audi A3 e-tron: A Plug-in Hybrid Wagon for the Eco-Minded" »

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 3: Slow and Steady


Slowing down is the most important thing to do when driving on ice and snow.

High speeds make it both easy to lose control and difficult to stop. You should never be driving faster than 45 mph in any vehicle when roads are icy -- not even on highways! In many cases, much slower speeds are necessary. You can slide off of the road on certain types of more treacherous icing - like black ice - at 10 mph or less! If you're fishtailing or sliding at all, it means you are going too fast for the conditions.

In normal conditions, you should maintain a following distance of three seconds between you and another car. On winter roads, increase that to a full 8 to 10 seconds. Yes, that may mean slow going, but a little patience will keep you a lot safer on the road.

Be extremely cautious until you are able to determine how much traction you can expect from your tires.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


February 10, 2016

Mitsubishi Marketing: Looking to Bottle Passion

Francine_harsini__mitsubishiWhat is Mitsubishi's new take on automotive marketing? We talked to Francine Harsini to find out.

The launch of the all-new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander is big news for the company. They have been maintaining a low profile for more than awhile, so I wanted to get the word on what the company was thinking.

Francine Harsini, director, marketing Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., was open to talking with me. Following, the interview:

Continue reading "Mitsubishi Marketing: Looking to Bottle Passion" »

Hyundai's "First Date" Wins Super Bowl 50 at USA TODAY Ad Meter

Hyundai_Genesis-First_date-Kevin_hart_superbowl_adHyundai became the first automotive company to win USA TODAY's coveted Ad Meter when its spot "First Date" beat out 63 other Super Bowl 50 commercials. Hyundai's impressive performance also included a fifth and sixth place finish for "Ryanville" and "The Chase" respectively, meaning Hyundai finished with three of the top six highest-rated ads.

Continue reading "Hyundai's "First Date" Wins Super Bowl 50 at USA TODAY Ad Meter" »

February 09, 2016

You Need A Different Vehicle. Should You Buy, Lease, or Consider Moving Into A Quality Used Car?

Woman_getting_car_keysFor one reason or another, your vehicle’s deterioration and/or failure to meet your daily needs may be forcing you to consider its replacement.

To complicate this further, the consistent evolution of the auto industry to meet the ever-changing needs of the sometimes fickle American auto consumer in today’s precarious economy can make it difficult to clearly understand the ins and outs of buying versus leasing new vehicles.

Making sense of the many factors involved in making a wise choice between buying or leasing a new car can be difficult. And in some cases, it may even be smarter to consider purchasing a quality used car.

In an effort to make this decision easier for you, we are providing a comparison of these three considerations. However, before we do this, you must analyze your specific auto needs and financial abilities. Take some time to try to answer these two questions to the best of your knowledge:

  1. After examining what it will take to meet your average monthly bills obligations, come up with an amount you may have as discretionary income. That is, an amount that if spent will not jeopardize your ability to live comfortably within your budget without fearing occurrences that may shipwreck you. Is the anticipated cost of insurance coverage a limiting factor? Keep in mind that insurance costs escalate proportionately with the total value of the considered vehicle.
  2. Analyze what your specific needs are in using your vehicle: Is it primarily for commuting, thus requiring substantially better gas mileage? Do you prefer your new car to be luxurious, or primarily recreational, with limited mileage requirements? Do you anticipate off-road or adventurous uses that may require four-wheel drive? Do you have children that may be using this vehicle? Is there a size preference?


Buying_vs_leasingBasic Differences Between Buying vs. Leasing:

With your personal projections in mind, let’s now describe the differences and comparisons between buying or leasing a new vehicle.

  1. When you “buy” a new vehicle you will eventually secure title and own it, and will realize equity, or “bankable” value, either to sell it later or use its trade-in value to offset a down payment. When leasing a new vehicle, you are essentially using the vehicle for a prescribed time period, at which time you must decide whether to purchase (or re-finance) it, or turn it in on a new lease contract.
  2. Costs to implement: Cash price, down payments, taxes, and registration costs are comparable for both, but leasing may also include a refundable security deposit.
  3. Monthly payments: Payments will be considerably higher for purchasing, as you will be financing and paying off the entire amount of the purchase price, including taxes and interest. Payments are lower when leasing, as you will be paying only for the depreciation of the vehicle during the lease period and lease charges.
  4. Mileage restrictions: With a purchase, you have no mileage limits, as opposed to leasing in which you will be required to stay within the limits set at time of purchase. These are generally set by the lessor, and are most often averaged out to annual limits ranging from 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year. If you know you will exceed these limits, it’s wise to purchase additional miles at the outset, as penalties for going over the mileage can be substantial.
  5. End of contract term: With a purchase you will own the vehicle outright, and may sell it for its market value at any time, even if it the loan has not been totally paid off. With leasing, at end of term you may opt to purchase the vehicle for its value at that time, turn it in on a new lease with any lease end costs, or just walk away. Another advantage of leasing is that you can move into a brand new vehicle at the end of every lease period, thus realizing all new technological developments that may be found with the entry of the new model. And paying for those improvements is substantially less than in purchasing.
  6. Customizing your vehicle, “excessive wear and tear,” and incurred vehicle damage: When you purchase a vehicle you may do anything you wish to your vehicle, including muffler and body modifications and engine changes. With leasing you will be required to return the vehicle in the condition it was at time of leasing. This will entail the costs of removal of any modifications you have placed on the vehicle. If damaged you will either be forced to repair the damage, or have its estimated cost of repair added to your termination costs. The basic rule: Do not customize a lease vehicle unless you plan on purchasing it at the end of your lease period.


Used_cars-iStock_000003718284-Rasmus_RasmussenLet’s talk about purchase of a quality used car:

Buying a used car has the advantage of a more accurate purchase value, as the vehicle has already absorbed the initial costs of purchase, and its price reflects true value without the cost considerations of setting up a new contract, as well as any depreciation by usage. Additionally, purchasing a used car can take advantage of private party sales, which in some cases can achieve substantial values over those found at dealerships.

The big consideration here is that purchasing from private parties means that in most cases you will be buying a vehicle “as is,” with no recourse in the event of faulty equipment. Purchasing from a dealer does generally provide you with some protection from unforeseen costs. If you do consider purchasing from a private party, then it would be wise to incorporate some type of insurance-covered maintenance and repair program. As many SUVs and multipurpose vehicles depreciate in value enormously from their new status, some absolutely great values can sometimes be found when purchasing a used vehicle of this type. Also, excellent quality older vehicles can be found much more readily in today’s drastically improved vehicles, especially in tried and proven brands such as Honda, Toyota, and others. If you have student driver or even consumer usage considerations, used vehicles are excellent considerations because of their low initial purchase costs and low maintenance costs, as well as insurance cost considerations.

There you have it. We suggest you take your time on analyzing these pros and cons. More than ever American auto consumers are taking advantage of both leasing and purchasing programs, and can take in advancements in dependability and reliability, and technological advances. And you may even decide after all to keep your older vehicle.

And always: Do your vehicle research! Everything you need is online.

Are you shopping for a new vehicle?

Check out the AskPatty Auto Buying Service, where you can research specs and pricing on new and used vehicles. Once you’ve determined the model you want to buy or lease, visit the AskPatty Car Buying Service to experience the simplest and most convenient way to buy a new car.

Sweetheart Safety Tips from @AskPatty and @NexenTireUSA 2: Keep it Full When it’s Cold


Keep your gas tank sufficiently full – at least half a tank is recommended.

The first reason is obvious: Keep your tank half full to prevent the possibility of running out of gas in an area where no service stations are available. Running out of gas under normal circumstances is inconvenient, but in freezing weather running out of gas can be downright dangerous.

Another reason, according to the Car Care Council, is that the condensation of moisture in the air in the gas tank can cause an accumulation of water. Because water is heavier than gasoline, it settles to the bottom of the tank, entering the gas line and eventually working its way to the lowest point in the fuel system. Once the moisture freezes, the fuel flow is blocked and the engine may not start on a cold morning.

Be A Sweetheart and Save a Life: Get all 13 Tips for Driving Safely with the Family on Snow and Ice, here at AskPatty


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