Cars are an extension of our personality. We add little things like bumper stickers to show our attitude or promote causes we believe in, and big things like lift kits or spoke rims to make our cars stand out. Many times, your car is the first impression, as friends, family, and businesses and workplaces see you pull into their drive. Some of these aftermarket car modifications add value to your car, while others may make your car less marketable. While painting and detailing your ride with your favorite sports team’s colors and logos will certainly tell the story about you, it may be harder to sell the vehicle later. Other aftermarket parts increase the value and help you get more moolah at trade-in or sales time. Here are a few changes that owners can make that will help not only make your car more comfortable, but also increase resale value.
It is no secret that all cars drop in value the moment you drive it off the lot. You can almost hear the money rolling out of the exhaust with every mile you drive for the first year. According to Edmunds car depreciation formula, a new car loses 11% of its value the moment you leave the lot, then another 15-25% every year thereafter. While this is horrible news for new car buyers, it can be a great way for someone looking to buy a great nearly new car for a fraction of a new car. Here are a few cars whose new car values depreciate the fastest.
Since 1932, the State of Virginia has required vehicle owners to have their cars and trucks checked for mechanical safety and reliability by a State certified facility & mechanic once every 6 months. Yes, twice a year. The state actually required a bi-annual vehicle inspection up until the early 1980's when it was finally changed to the once annual inspection we have today. Some parts of the State require* an "Emissions Inspection" in addition to the Vehicle Safety Inspection, but that is currently not a State requirement for vehicles registered in the Hampton Roads area.
An often overlooked aspect of dealerships is the business platform that they use. Car dealerships come in one of two varieties, franchise and independent. Franchises are dealerships that sell cars for a specific manufacturer. This is like going to an Apple Store to buy an iPhone. Independent dealerships can sell cars from any manufacturer through a contract with the automobile manufacturer. This is akin to buying that iPhone from Best Buy or Radio Shack. Franchises and Independent dealership business models vary in a number of ways. Backed by The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, as well as state organizations like the Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association, independent dealers are well trained, and well equipped to provide great service at a great price.
When I was given the assignment to write a blog on "how much truck do you need," I chuckled to myself. For about 12 years I only owned and drove a couple of big old Ford Broncos with overbuilt, oversized engines, full 6" suspension lifts, rolling on 35" tires. Why? Because I liked them! I had fun in them. I mudded.., hard. I drove on the beaches. I drove them in the mountains. I drove them off-road every chance I got, and I drove them on the highway. For me, the only answer I had when folks asked me why I drove such a big truck? I liked it!
For the purpose of this blog, I'm going to discuss consumer based "Light Duty" trucks. Commercial needs for selecting a pick-up are defined by different criteria because the needs are typically a lot more specific.