Saturday, October 30, 2010

Topic Six - The Golden Moment - Delivery and Post Delivery Assessment

Well you bought it.

Expect some fear and trepidation as it's your second largest purchase and these are used cars.  There are things worn out on it. 

My recommendation is you take it to a trusted mechanic (I use First Choice Automotive in Magnolia) and ask what needs to be done for...SAFETY, not fix everything worn out on a used car.  If they find other annoyances, then great, get a list and knock them off when you have a little cash available.  You bought this vehicle anyway to get from A to B. 

Places like Firestone on 242 warranty their work if that makes you feel better and they are a one stop shop.  I also use Jiffy Lube alot for fast oil changes/fluid fills and NTB for tires.  In the Woodlands, Magnolia area I also like All Star Muffler and Brake for those kinds of things and Gersitz/NAPA Auto Care for inexpensive repairs. 

Pick your service provider of choice and start a dialogue with them so they can know what you want to do.

Before I sell cars I buy stuff at places like Wal*Mart and Autozone or Advance to do what I can do like wash the exterior, dress the tires, clean the engine, wipe down the interior, clean the leather, treat the windows, etc.  You can do the  same and it's simple.

Things like:
1. Blue Coral Wash and Wax - cheap and good
2. Gumout or Slick 50 Fuel System Cleaner - pour in tank and get better performance and gas mileage.  Go to Shell or Exxon station and put in tank of premium - also filled with fuel injector, intake valve, combustion chamber type additives/cleansers.
3. Black Magic Tire Wet - looks nice
4. Comet or Ajax cleanser and a two sided sponge - clean your metal wheels
5. A large car wash towel - Target and Wal*mart and those autoparts places have them - get a big one to save you time
6. An old shower towel - nice fluffy cotton dries the car quickly
7. Rain-X 2 In 1 - cleans the glass and leave water beading technology on all the windows.  Go 55 in the rain and you'll do this every couple of weeks!
8. Windex or any interior glass cleaner - you be amazed at your better vision  - use an old washcloth for a quick job
9. Black Magic Dashboard Protectant - gives your interior a glossy shine after you've rinsed your car wash towel and wiped down the interior.
10. Black Magic Engine Degreaser and Shine - spray on, wipe with your sponge on areas you can see big grease spots and spray off with hose.  You don't have to wrap any parts using this product.
11. Any carpet cleaner - spray it on, scrub it in with kitchen scrub brush, soak it up with another cotten towl and let it sit.
12. Any deodorizer - some folks use Carpet Fresh, let it sit (its fragrance and baking soda) and then vacuum it up

If you do some or all of these, your car will look its best and run as best as it can.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Topic Five - The Paperwork!

No one likes paperwork but buying a car is the second largest purchase you will make and you want it to be right.  Buying a car can be inherently simple - find what you want and give them money for it.  Because it is a large transaction at some point before or after purchase you want to know what you signed and the implications therof.  If you are decisive, found a car, the price is OK, you can get out of a good dealership like 9995 Motors in under two hours from start to finish.  Find the car on the web, see what a decent price is on places like or, go to the lot and drive it and then in the absence of wierd sounds coming from the car or poor handling, have your money ready and go for it.  Cash is king for dealers so bring your wad of bills.  The documents you will see for a cash deal:

1. The Bill of Sale - outlines all the charges and costs - the real contract.  Make sure your name is the same on every document or you'll have title hassles
2. Odometer Disclosure Form - notes miles at time of sale (big deal over the years)
3. Buyers Guide - Outlines all the things that can break and will - these are used cars
4. County of registration from - most dealers register you at nearest DMV - if you wanted your sales tax to go to your specific county, now if your chance.
5. Application for title - what the dealer takes to the DMV to get you your plates and registration sticker
6. Temporary plate and receipt - keep the receipt in your glovebox. Temporary plate goes on the back and is good for a couple of months until you get your permanent plates.
7. Agreement to arbitrate - should all go poorly you and the dealer agree to go to arbitration - saves on court costs and reasonable people will listen to both sides.
8. Agreement to provide insurance
9. Privacy Notice

Your title will come in the mail about 6 weeks after the dealer goes to the DMV.

Additional paperwork for Finance Deals:
1. Finance contract - notes interest rates, amount financed, etc.  Also notes your obligations i.e. they can repo you if you do not pay on time, do not keep the vehicle in good repair, do not provide him/her proof of insurance (at 9995 Motors, I have folks call or go on the web to someone line SafeAuto, Geico, etc.), etc.
2. Credit App - should the dealer share your info with someone like Wells Fargo or Bank of America to help you get a regular loan versus the dealer being your banker.

At 9995 Motors, I give folks a manila folder to keep all their car records.

The bottom line is you can get all this done in under a couple of hours and drive home at 9995 Motors.  New car dealers may take longer as their processes involve separation of the deal from the financing, they sell you other things in the finance office, someone else may prep the car, etc.  We have the same person handle all aspects of your car and your deal so you know who to talk to and they ensure all is ready to go.

Read the paperwork at that time or read it later but know what you signed!

Next Week: Vehicle Maintenance - Keep that Car looking great and on the road!