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Why It’s Better To Buy A Car From An Independent Auto Dealer

You more or less already know which car you are going to purchase. However, there are different ways to go about purchasing your dream car. The two most common ways are an independent and franchise auto dealer. Franchise dealerships sell cars for a specific manufacturer. This is similar to going to an iPhone shop to purchase an iPhone.

However, independent auto dealers sell cars from any automobile manufacturer by engaging in contracts with the automobile manufacturer. They are also more likely to sell used cars. Here are some of the benefits of purchasing a car from an independent auto dealer.

Greater Financial Flexibility

Independent auto dealers are known for being more flexible in their financing than their franchise counterparts. They can use outside sources of credit in addition to their in-house credit option. Moreover, you can also research the lowest interest rates for car financing and give them the option to match that rate through one of their lenders.

Having greater financial flexibility, most independent auto dealers will usually allow you to choose your desired financing option. Purchasing a car from them is also better for people who have a less than ideal or bad credit score.

Unlike franchise auto dealers which usually have strict criteria for financing and car loans, the greater financial flexibility of independent auto dealers means that they accept a greater pool of customers with greater financing options that are inclusive of people with less-than-ideal credit scores and ratings.

While you may have to pay a higher interest rate for your car loan if you have a bad credit score, you can generally expect your financing process to be much smoother and customized at an independent auto dealer than at a franchise auto dealer.


Independent auto dealers tend to have a wider inventory of used cars and different car models and brands compared to franchise auto dealers. They purchase from various sources such as auctions, private sellers, dealers, and motor companies. This means that if you are looking at purchasing an older model car, an independent auto dealer is your best bet as it will probably be more affordable.

Take into account the discounts, incentives, and loyalty perks that independent auto dealers provide unlike most franchise dealerships, and you are more likely to purchase a more affordable car and get more bang for your buck compared to a franchise auto dealer regardless of your financial situation.

Customer Service and Warranty

Because independent auto dealers do not have to meet any quotas or abide by any strict manufacturer requirements, they tend to provide better customer service than their franchise counterparts. They will do what it takes to ensure that each customer has the best possible experience and deal.

They also have the flexibility to treat each customer differently and tailor their services according to each customer’s preferences. This also results in better negotiation and bargaining power for the consumer. Independent auto dealers also provide better warranties than franchise auto dealers when it comes to used cars.

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What To Know About Independent Used-Car Lots

Independent used-car lots tend to sell cars from any manufacturers and obtain their cars from various sources such as private sellers, dealers, auctions, and more. Because of this, independent used car lots tend to have greater diversity in their stock compared to traditional franchise dealers.

Independent used-car lots are abundant in the United States, with about 20,000 member dealerships, ranging from national chain stores to small family-owned stores. There are also different types of independent used-car lots but all of them have some similarities. Here are some things to know about them.


Independent used-car lots are known for their affordability. They have more affordable and lower-priced cars than their franchise counterparts. While this is partly due to the selling of used cars, independent used-car lots also provide greater value as the customers get a more diverse and better selection in a greater price range.

Independent used-car lots also have greater financial flexibility and are better for customers with a poor credit score or history. However, these used-car lots mitigate the risk of customers with poor credit scores through significantly higher interest rates for them. The vast selection of models and relatively cheap starting price make them great for families who wish to own another second-hand car or for a young person who wishes to buy his first car.

Bargaining and Negotiation

When purchasing from an independent used-car lot, customers should try as much as they can to bargain and negotiate for a better deal or price. Independent used-car lots are generally open to negotiation and you may have to spend some time bargaining extensively before reaching for the best possible deal.

This is because independent used car lots may not be incentivized to offer deals and discounts as they do not have to meet any quotas. If you are not prepared or willing to bargain and negotiate, then an independent used-car lot may not be for you.

Research and Patience

You can buy a reliable car from an independent used-car lot or stretch your budget to obtain a used car with the most value. However, doing so requires research and patience. Before buying a used car, it is also best for consumers to do their research regarding the model of the car and also clarify extensively regarding the car’s history, age, and condition.

You should also obtain the car’s vehicle history report and arrange for the car to be checked by an independent mechanic. If you have already set your mind on a certain car model, try to find out the car’s dealer retail prices, and trade-in prices, and negotiate within that range.

You should also be prepared to set aside some money for the reconditioning of the used car and any additional checks that will be done to ensure the car’s functionality. If you are willing to take the time to research, verify and ascertain that the car is working well, then you will be rewarded with a reliable car at a good price point.

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Should You Buy A Car Now Or Should You Wait?

There are many considerations before buying a car and one of the most important ones is when you are more likely to get a big discount or a money-saving deal. Sometimes, the timing of purchasing a car can be very critical and save you thousands of dollars on the financing and price of the new vehicle. By knowing when to buy a car, you can also streamline your buying process and make the entire buying process smoother and easier as you will be better prepared.

During the past two years of Covid, supply chains worldwide have been disrupted and the microchip shortage has resulted in auto manufacturers scaling back on their production of new vehicle models. There is also reduced vehicle inventory. However, if you shop at the right time, you may stand to benefit by gaining leverage in negotiations during important times when auto dealerships are very likely to move their inventories or resupply. Here is a guide on the best time of the year to buy a car.

End of the Month

The end of the month is a good time to buy a car as most retailers and car dealerships have monthly sales targets that they need to meet. If they haven’t yet met their monthly sales goals, they are likely to offer discounts and better deals to attract purchases.

These deals and discounts will not only help them meet their quota but also allow them to receive financial incentives from auto manufacturers for reaching sales goals. These financial incentives can also include auto manufacturers allotting more popular vehicle models or the latest vehicle models to these dealerships and retailers.

Before You Need One

While it may sound weird, the best time to buy a car is actually before you need one. Most people only buy a car when they need a replacement for their current car or if it has malfunctioned. Car owners may thus make poor decisions and rush for a quick car purchase without ample research and planning.

This results in poor financial decision-making and not being able to capitalize on the best deals and discounts. They may also not have the time necessary to make a smart car loan or lease. This also places the advantage on the salesperson, who may charge a higher asking price for the car knowing full well that you need it as soon as possible.

By starting the buying process early, you will make better decisions in car financing, confidently select the most optimum car model, and decide how much you should pay. You will also have greater peace of mind and more time to research every aspect of the purchase.


Holidays can also offer steep discounts and most car dealerships may be packed with sales events to entice customers. Some holidays which are especially great for purchasing cars are Black Friday, President’s Day, Fourth of July, and New Year’s Eve. As with any purchase, you should spend some time researching and planning well when these holidays are approaching so that you are best prepared for the purchase.

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Checklist For Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car can be a complicated and tedious process. While it is less costly than purchasing a new car and you get to enjoy greater value, there are certain things you have to look out for to ascertain the quality and performance of the used car. To protect yourself from making a bad purchase while minimizing the chances of purchasing an unreliable, overpriced, or unsafe vehicle, here are the steps you can take.

Certified Pre-Owned

When buying a used car, you should consider certified pre-owned cars as they come with factory warranty coverage and have a good track record of no accidents. They also undergo a comprehensive and rigorous inspection and refurbishment process at the car dealership that has to meet strict guidelines from the original manufacturer.

Certified pre-owned cars also come with service records and provide consumers with extras such as roadside assistance and trip interruption coverage. While certified pre-owned cars are more expensive than equivalent non-certified used vehicles, you stand to benefit in the long run due to the potentially lower cost of repairs and maintenance. Buying a certified pre-owned car ensures better reliability and quality.


Checking the mileage of the car on the odometer is very important for potential buyers as many car dealers and owners tamper with the mileage, resulting in a false mileage reading. This can give potential buyers the false impression that the vehicle has had lesser driving distance and experienced lesser wear and tear when in reality the opposite is true.

Buyers should check for signs that the mileage has been tampered with by cross-checking if the mileage aligns with the figures found on inspection and maintenance records. They should also check for any visual discrepancies, loose or missing dashboard screws, alignment of odometer numbers, and if the mileage is way below the average yearly use. If you are not sure whether the mileage has been tampered with, you can always bring it to an independent and trusted mechanic or workshop.

Interior, Exterior, and Engine Condition

Do a thorough check of the exterior, interior, and engine of the car for any potential faults or discrepancies. While it may be easy to spot scratches or dents, you should also try to spot other major problems such as rust or leaks. Check for any unusual smells when test driving the car, any leaking fluids, as well as all the different buttons and car functions.

You should also check the air conditioning and make sure that it is functioning well. Check the level and color of the engine and transmission oil, as well as the coolant. It is best to bring a mechanic or an experienced technician to perform these checks alongside you.

Tires and Brakes

The condition of the tires and brakes is also an indication of the quality of the car. Look out for any excessive wear on the outer shoulder of the front tires and any worn brake, clutch, or gas pedals. Perform a thorough visual check of the tires for any dents or cracks.

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Buying A New Vs. Used Car: How To Decide

One of the many dilemmas and questions car buyers face is whether to purchase a new or a used car. Both come with their advantages and disadvantages and while used cars are cheaper, other factors make a new car considerably more attractive. Here are some of the main differences between new vs used cars and how to decide which is best for you.


Everyone loves a reliable and durable car. New cars have good reliability records and are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. You also do not need to worry about the treatment of the vehicle before purchase. Used cars are less reliable due to the simple fact that they have been driven and used before.

They have experienced wear and tear and may not be serviced or treated well by the previous owner. If you are prioritizing reliability and durability, a new car will generally last longer than a used car and is the better option. While used cars can still last for a long time, you should also check the odometer and bear in mind that the longer the mileage of the car, the more likely you will have to replace it soon.


Purchasing a used car can be a tedious and long process. While you may be rewarded with a good deal and a reliable car for your patience and effort, it is still an inconvenient purchasing process. Unlike a new car, you will have to spend time researching the used car’s history, obtain a service report, and get pre-purchase inspections to ensure the car’s performance.

Some of these, such as the inspections may add up to the cost of the overall purchase. You do not have to worry about any of this for a new car and the buying process is smoother. If you choose to prioritize convenience, then a new car would be the better option.


You should also consider your finances before purchasing a car and decide how much money you are willing to set aside for the purchase. Buying a new car would allow you to enjoy the latest features and technologies, however, it is much more expensive than purchasing a used car. New cars also have more expensive insurance costs and more expensive repair costs once their warranties expire.

Used cars, on the other hand, are much cheaper as they have already absorbed the initial depreciation of the value of the car and have cheaper insurance costs. If your finances are tight and you have to adhere to a strict budget, a used car may be the more prudent option as it provides greater value for your money and you take a lesser depreciation hit compared to the previous owner.

Car Model

There are a greater variety of used car models and the thriving used car market in the United States means that there are more used cars for you to choose from compared to new car models. If you wish to purchase older or vintage car models, then a used car would be the option. The greater diversity of used cars also means you have more choices when it comes to selecting which car is right for you.

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Top Benefits Of Putting A Down Payment On A Car

Buying a car can be a costly process and there are various financing options you should consider. One of these considerations would be the car down payment. A car down payment is the money or cash that is paid upfront for the vehicle.

Most lenders require a down payment and it can also bring various benefits in helping you to pay for the car. The down payment is the first payment you make when you purchase the vehicle and is usually a percentage of the car’s overall price.

For example, if you choose to purchase a $50,000 car and there is a 10% down payment, you would be paying $5000 for the down payment at the time of sale. Most lenders require a down payment to receive immediate compensation for the car at the time of purchase and to prove your commitment to repaying the loan. There are various advantages to putting a down payment on a car and here are some of them.

Less Interest

This is one of the most important reasons for a down payment on a car. Making a down payment will reduce the amount of interest you pay throughout the car loan. This is because the higher your down payment amount is for the car, the lesser you need to borrow for the car.

For example, if you intend to purchase a $50,000 car with a 5% interest rate over five years, that will amount to a total interest of $6,613.70 throughout the loan. However, by simply paying a down payment of $10,000, assuming all other conditions are kept constant, the amount of interest paid throughout the five years will be $5290.96.

This is a difference of $1322.74 in interest payable, simply due to a $10,000 down payment. Not only will you be able to save more money by paying less interest, but you may also obtain lower interest rates due to having a lower loan-to-value ratio. The loan-to-value ratio is one of the factors which affects the interest rate payable for a car loan.

Lower Monthly Payments

Similar to the interest example showcased above, putting a down payment on a car will result in lower monthly payments. This is because you have a lower loan amount. The higher your down payment, the lower your monthly payments.

Referencing the same example above, having a down payment of $10,000 would result in a monthly installment of $754.85. However, by paying a down payment of $20,000, the monthly installment would be reduced to $566.14. This is a difference of $188.71 due to a $10,000 difference in the down payment amount. Having lower monthly installments would allow you to allocate your finances to other pressing matters.

Offset Depreciation

Vehicles lose roughly 15% of their value each year after usage. However, new cars have a faster rate of depreciation and can lose up to 25% of their value in the first year alone. Depreciation could leave buyers paying car loans in a painful situation, which is that they owe more money on the vehicle loan than it is worth.

This would make it difficult to sell or trade your car. Paying a substantial down payment reduces the gap between your vehicle’s current value and the remaining loan amount, thereby greatly reducing the chances of your vehicle having negative equity.

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Here’s A List Of The Best Selling SUVs In Atlanta, GA

After an unpredictable year of selling SUVs in 2020 due to Covid, most car dealerships are eager for sales to get back on track and have welcomed various new models of SUVs. If you are looking to purchase an SUV, then you should look out for some of the cars on our list. Our list of best-selling SUVs in Atlanta, GA, has been compiled based on total sales.

Subaru Crosstrek

The latest generation Subaru Crosstrek features new styling with familiar headlights, hexagonal grille, and 8.7” of ground clearance. It is also bigger than the previous model and has a lower center of gravity coupled with more responsive steering for better and smoother driving.

The Subaru Crosstrek has 145lb-ft of torque and is powered by a two-liter, four-cylinder box engine which produces 152 horsepower. If you are looking for a stylish and smooth drive, the Subaru Crosstrek will surely satisfy you.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Hyundai Santa Fe has been Hyundai’s most successful SUV model in the United States car market. The latest model has been refreshed last year and brings out a new and cool look. It comes equipped with lightning signatures, more interior space, newer safety, convenience, and comfort features and technologies.

It also features a rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assistance and a safe existing assist feature to detect cars coming up from the rear of the vehicle. If you are looking for a comfortable and safe car, then the Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the top picks.

Lexus RX

The Lexus RX is one of the best-selling Lexus car models and is popular amongst drivers due to the combination of the comfort and ride of a luxury sedan, along with the utility of an SUV. It also has safety features such as rear cross-traffic alert technology and blind-spot monitoring for safer driving. You can also charge the Lexus RX using the wireless charger on the RC 350 model.

Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse has a spacious interior volume that can seat up to eight and features a 9-speed automatic transmission. It has 266lb-ft of torque, combined with a 3.6-liter V6 producing 310 horsepower. It also features several safety features such as lane change alert, rear camera mirror, rear cross-traffic alert, HD surround vision, and many more. The Chevrolet Traverse is a durable car with good performance and will not disappoint.

Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is the most popular vehicle for Mazda and features a revised chassis, an updated gasoline engine, and various features. The CX-5 is also the first Mazda to feature G-Vectoring control, which improves the stability and responsiveness of the vehicle and reduces the sideways sliding of passengers. The Mazda CX-5 is a powerful SUV and is powered by the turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine.

Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot has an available all-wheel drive, a higher driving position, and a comfortable and spacious cabin. It also has various popular features and safety technologies. It displays a new display audio touchscreen with Android Auto or Apple Carplay and features a 6-speed automatic transmission.

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Four Types Of Car Loans: Which Should You Get?

You have just chosen to purchase a car but you’re still thinking about which car loan to get. There are many different types of car loans and some will be better suited for your lifestyle and finances. Many other factors can influence the car loan you get. The car loan that you choose will also affect how much money you can borrow for the loan and the final interest rate. Here are the main types of car loans and what you should consider when getting one.

Unsecured Car Loans

Unsecured car loans are not tied to a car or an asset. There is thus no collateral for security and the lender is dependent upon the borrower’s promise to pay the debt. To compensate for the lack of collateral, unsecured car loans usually have a higher interest rate than secured car loans.

An unsecured car loan is usually better if you do not qualify for a secured car loan, have a lower principal amount than the minimum origination amount, or are looking to purchase a unique vehicle type that cannot be classified as collateral. If you are borrowing small amounts of money, then unsecured car loans are usually better.

Secured Car Loans

Secured car loans involve tying the value of the loan to the car, which acts as security. Thus, if the borrower fails to make payments, the lender can repossess the vehicle and resell it to reclaim its losses.

This reduces the risk of the lender when they approve the car loan and also results in a lower interest rate for the borrower compared to personal or unsecured loans. Secured car loans are better if you are borrowing large amounts, and have a good credit history, score, and a stable income.

Direct Financing

In direct financing, there is no intermediary and all communication is done directly between the borrower and the lender. You can thus get a faster preapproval process for your car loan before purchasing a car and also compare the different loans to obtain the best loan deal.

Direct financing is best if you value flexibility and customization. There are no limits to the number of loans you can apply for before or after shopping and you can fully control the loan process when negotiating with your lender.

Simple Interest Loan

Simple interest loans calculate interest on a preset periodic basis. During each period, the interest is calculated based on the number of outstanding principal on the loan. Borrowers have to make monthly payments but can make larger or additional payments to limit the interest and pay off expenses.

The simple interest loan is great for borrowers who wish to have the flexibility and predict an increase in their cash flow and wish to pay off their loan earlier, thus reducing their borrowing costs. It is also suited for borrowers who have substantial personal savings and can make early payments. This will benefit individuals as they can pay off their loans and clear their debt faster and pay less interest throughout the loan.

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Four Of The Best Used Road Trip Cars To Explore Atlanta, GA

Going on a road trip with your loved ones to explore Atlanta, GA is one of the most exciting and fun things to do. You can create special memories and make the journey more fun by choosing a vehicle with a built-in entertainment system.

Of course, a car with good fuel efficiency should also be one of your top considerations when choosing which car to take on the road trip. There are also other factors to consider such as the number of passengers and what kind of road trip you are planning to have. Below we have compiled a list of the best-used road trips cars to help you plan your next trip and see which car works best for you.

Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is one of the best vehicles for a road trip especially if you have a large family. It has flexible seating options to seat up to 8 passengers, along with plenty of tech entertainment to keep everyone engaged during the trip.

It comes with a standard 16.2” LCD screen located on the rear rows of seating which allows you to play video games and DVDs. There are also numerous safety and driver-assist features which helps you drive safely. The Honda Odyssey has a 3.5-liter, V6 engine with a fuel efficiency of up to 28mpg on the highway and 19mpg in the city.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is the right vehicle for long road trips especially when you have to drive on unpaved roads and beaten paths. The Jeep also offers a 375-horsepower plug-in hybrid and a 260-horsepower turbo diesel for the best fuel economy.

It is a multi-terrain vehicle made for road trips with numerous storage, safety features, and an immersive audio system. The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited also features a four-wheel drive that can take you anywhere.

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is the perfect combination of a wagon and an SUV. The Outback also comes with a standard all-wheel drive to help you drive better and safely during inclement weather. It has 8.7” of ground clearance and an optional 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder to provide additional power if needed.

The Subaru Outback is one of the best camping cars and is known for its fuel efficiency and ample storage for gear and passengers. There is plenty of legroom and headroom for passengers. This makes it one of the more comfortable cars for road trips.


The BMW X3 is known for its powerful engine lineup, spacious interior, and instinctive infotainment system. The 248-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine is strong enough to satisfy long road trips and any driver. For a more powerful alternative, you can also use the 473-horsepower turbo inline-six.

The X3 has one of the largest carrying capacities which makes it good for large families. It has various convenience and comfort features to keep your loved ones entertained such as a WiFi hot spot, a user-friendly 10.2” touch-screen, USB ports for charging, and a driver navigation system.

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Four Hidden Signs A Used Car Has Been In An Accident

There are many benefits to buying a used car and they often prove to be an economic decision. Not only do used cars cost less, but they also have lower insurance rates and have a lower depreciation due to the first owner bearing the brunt of the depreciation. However, most buyers will be concerned about the reliability of the car and will be fearful if they find out the car has been involved in an accident previously.

While cars that have been in an accident and were previously damaged can often end back on the road, their safety and roadworthiness are highly dependent on the severity of the damage and the quality of the repair. It is thus best to avoid buying a used car that has been involved in an accident to avoid any potential issues.

But how will you know if a used car has been in an accident? Some sellers are not the most forthcoming and may not disclose certain details for fear of losing out on their sales. Here are some signs you should look out for.

Paint Issues

You should scrutinize the car thoroughly in a well-lit environment or under the sun to check for any paint issues or inconsistencies in the paint. Some signs of the bodywork being done on the car include a slightly different shade of paint on different parts of the car, difference in the shine, or completely mismatching colors.

These differences can occur anywhere on the car and in such cases, you should clarify with the seller. However, if you spot bad paintwork or glaring paint issues, it may be time to walk away as it may indicate that cheap painting was done without professional equipment. Over time, paints that are not done professionally will peel away and may reveal scratches on the car.

Uneven Tire Wear

Do observe the condition of the tires and take the vehicle for a test drive to observe if it can drive straight. If there is uneven tire wear, it could be a sign of a botched suspension alignment setting. It could also indicate a more serious problem, such as a problematic chassis that was aligned to hide the issue.

Welding Marks

You should also open the car bonnet to observe the car engine and also observe the carpeting of the boot for any welding marks. Look out, especially for any irregular welding marks, separate or disjointed sections that were stitched together, and any welding marks in curious locations.

If there are any signs of the above, you should clarify with the seller, and if still unsure do not purchase the used car as there is no sure way to know if the car has been professionally repaired.

Missing Screws or Fasteners

If you open the bonnet of the car, you should see a row of screws that hold the fenders in place. These screws should be in similar condition and of the same type. If there are any missing or mismatching screws or fasteners, it could be an indication that the fenders were removed for repair works to be done on the car.