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Pokemon Go App
Pokemon Go has been out long enough now—and enough articles and think pieces have been written about it—that you may be wary of reading anything further on the subject. Here’s the simple reason why you should continue to care about Pokemon Go, even if you’ve never played the game yourself: 9.5 million people play the game daily, it’s a runaway success in the App Store, and countless businesses have used Pokemon Go to bring new people into their offices and shops.

Simply put, Pokemon Go presents a unique opportunity for business owners to increase foot traffic—and that includes the owners of used car dealerships. The question is, how can you really make use of Pokemon Go, not just as a mobile game but as a practical way to bring folks to your dealership?

Using Pokemon Go as a Marketing Tool

The first thing we recommend is actually downloading the game to your mobile device—it’s free, after all—and spending a few minutes playing it. You may not like it and you may not want to become a Pokemaster, but it’s good to at least have some general idea of what the game is all about.
Once you’re inside the game, you can create “lures” which bring Pokemon creatures to your place of business (and thus serve as enticement for people who are playing the game). Lures don’t cost much—you can get a lure for as little as a buck—and can provide real incentive for Poke-players to visit your dealership in person.

The lures will only be effective if you actually advertise them; let people know when you’ll be buying the lure so they know when to come to your dealership. Posters, email blasts, social media—there are plenty of tools you can use to spread the word about your upcoming Pokemon promotion.
Provide incentives to Pokemon players who come to your dealership. Offer small discounts, free merchandise, or perhaps something like a free tire rotation in your service department, all for players who “check in” from your dealership or simply who show you their Pokemon profile on their smart phone. Again, if you have a Pokemon-themed promotion, you’ll want to advertise it well.

Even having some Pokemon-themed merchandise made up to give away to your customers is a good way to get into the spirit of the game, and to make clear that your car dealership is welcoming to Pokemon players everywhere.

Promoting Your Car Dealership

Using Pokemon Go to get people to your dealership is a great strategy—but of course, it’s also just a step in the right direction. You ultimately want people to buy your vehicles, and that’s going to come down to service, pricing, and the quality of your inventory.

Nevertheless, boosting foot traffic is a good approach for any used car dealership, and these are all methods we recommend. Get more dealer tips by checking out the Get My Auto dealer blog.

The very name salvage title sounds a little bit foreboding, and to be sure, buying a salvage title represents a significant risk. It’s a risk that may occasionally pay off, however, and in some cases consumers who opt for salvage titles actually end up saving quite a bit of money. But whether you’re trying to find a salvage title or simply to avoid salvage titles, it’s certainly a concept that all used car consumers should be aware of.

What Does Salvage Title Mean?

Sometimes, when a vehicle is in an accident, it can be pretty easily repaired. InSalvage Title Sample other instances, the cost of repairs may exceed the overall value of the vehicle. In those instances, the insurance company may declare the vehicle to be a total loss. In these cases, the insurance company will likely take charge of the vehicle, where it may get sold to a repair company. The vehicle may end up being fixed or rebuilt—and if it does, it can only be sold again under a salvage title.

Buying a Car with a Salvage Title

Usually, a salvage title will be sold at a sharply discounted rate—so it can certainly be a cheap way to get a used car. Is it actually a good value, though? That depends. While total losses are fairly common, oftentimes the damages done are not so bad that they make the car worthless, and some rebuilt vehicles actually run quite well. The important consideration is how the vehicle was damaged; a damaged engine may not be able to be repaired in a reliable way, while strictly cosmetic damages—no matter how severe—can always be dealt with, and the vehicle may run again just fine.

Should You Buy a Car with a Salvage Title?

The lure of receiving a used car for a low, low price may be enticing to many consumers, but it’s important to consider some of the risks involved—including:

You’re buying a car that has a low value, which means you won’t be able to trade or resell it for much.

You have a risk of future repairs being needed, potentially significant ones.
At the end of the day, the vehicle simply may not be very reliable.

How to Avoid Cars with Salvage Titles

Ultimately, the decision is yours. If you do want to look into some salvage titles, it’s smart to take a mechanic with you, and to get the vehicle thoroughly inspected. Find out from the mechanic whether the car looks reliable or not. Also make sure you get a complete vehicle history, and ask for the original repair estimate from the insurance company. Be informed as a way to safeguard your investment. Of course, some buyers will simply want to avoid the trouble altogether, and steer clear of salvage titles—which is perfectly reasonable.

Learn more about some alternative ways to shop for used vehicles by connecting with us at the Get My Auto.

 

Nissan GT R

It’s been almost 10 years since Nissan released its first GT-R. Since that time, this model has all but revolutionized the way sports cars are perceived. By combining key components of Japanese car culture with a more reasonable retail price, the GT-R has become the sports car of choice for many American motorists. And lucky for those motorists, a new GT-R is on the way!

About the Nissan GT-R Nismo 2017

The GT-R Nismo has only been part of the GT-R family for a couple of years now; introduced in 2015, it brought a revised aerodynamic package that enabled it to go from zero to 60 in under three seconds’ time. The question is, what will the 2017 model do to improve on the original’s style and performance?

Well, a few changes have occurred. Start with the exterior of the vehicle, where some little tweaks have been made to the bumper and the grille, as well as some improvements to the car’s overall aerodynamics. What this allows for is more downforce, improved efficiency, and superior stability even when the vehicle is moving at high speeds.

Some changes have been made to the interior, as well—including a more premium feel to the cabin, high-quality leather accents, and a more streamlined dashboard layout, now featuring just 11 switches and knobs as opposed to the original 27. The central monitor has been enlarged, and there is now a Display control on the center console.

Additionally, Nissan has upgraded the all wheel drive performance, which will now boast better handling than ever before. All told, this stands to be an even better incarnation of one of the all-time great sports cars. The question is, when does it arrive in retail stores?

Buying a Nissan GT-R Nismo

Nissan has announced the release period for the 2017 model, though not any pricing information. The release will come sometime in the first half of next year; once a more specific date is nailed down, we’ll have that info here at Get My Auto.

As for pricing, the current model retails for $154,000. It’s expected that the 2017 edition will bump that price by somewhere around $4,000, hopefully still coming in at under $160,000.

Anyone looking for photos or additional information about this new release can find them here.

Nissan Used Cars and Trucks for Sale

It’s unlikely that you’ll see any of these in used car lots any time soon, of course. A prestigious, high-end vehicle like this is going to be held onto for a good long time. Even the 2015 model is difficult to find on used car lots, though they do pop up from time to time.

The good news is that Nissan makes a lot of other terrific cars and trucks, some of them pretty sporty in their own right; some of these you can find pre-owned, and with relative ease. It never hurts to look, anyway, so connect with a local dealership today!

Used Car ShoppingFor years there has been speculation as to when used car prices might finally soften, despite their steady increase and no real signs of slowing. As recently as the first half of 2016, used vehicle prices seemed pretty solid, and there was no drop-off in sight. Now, as the year starts winding down, there is finally some evidence that prices may indeed soften—and that there may be sharp price decreases before 2016 is over.

How much of a price drop can consumers expect to see? While it’s impossible to say for sure, some estimates put it at three to five percent before the end of the year—reason enough for consumers to consider investing in a used vehicle before Christmas comes.

A Long Time Coming for Used Vehicles

Throughout 2016, all economic indicators have defied the notion of a price softening, which makes this last-minute revelation all the more surprising. According to people in the know, such as KAR Auction Services CEO Jim Hallett, however, the price drop is real.

“We’re now starting to see them soften a little bit more and we may get to those 3 to 5 percent levels,” Hallett has stated.

But if the price softening is happening after all, why were used vehicle prices so robust for the first half of the year? Eric Loughmiller, also of KAR, says it’s because there were more one-to-three-year-old vehicles in the mix earlier this year, all due to an influx of off-lease vehicles. This created a richer array of used vehicles that kept prices high.

Now that more and more of those off-lease vehicles have sold, however, it’s bringing the average down a bit, and providing consumers with overall lower prices to choose from.

Hallet also says that he’s seen less of a desire among consumers to purchase off-lease vehicles accepted on behalf of lessors, resulting in more of these cars showing up at auctions, either online or otherwise. He’s seen a nine percent increase in the commercial vehicle segment—off-lease and repossessed vehicles—at the company’s recent physical auctions.

“I would expect to see that continue,” Hallett remarks. “As we see more volume, we have more selection, and the dealer — rather than paying what might be the residual value on the vehicle at termination — would rather take his chances on buying the vehicle online or in an open sale or a closed sale or physical sale.”

What Does this Mean for Used Vehicle Buyers?

Softening prices are obviously good news for consumers—but a couple of questions present themselves:

How long will these lower used car prices last?

Will they actually get any lower, or is this as soft as used vehicle prices are going to get?

Nobody can say for sure, so maybe it’s worth noting that you can get some truly great values on used vehicles right now, and it’s as simple as visiting your local certified pre-owned dealer. To learn more, we invite you to stay plugged in to the Get My Auto.

Scion-Toyota-LogoTimes are changing—and with that change comes another shift in the story of Toyota and Scion. You might remember that, back in 2003, Toyota established Scion as its own separate brand, a place where Toyota could explore new products to potentially bring in more young drivers. Now, more than a decade later, Toyota has announced a plan to fold Scion back into the main brand.

Scion was a Success

Let it be said from the outset that this does not mean Scion was a failed experiment. If the goal was to bring in more clients from the younger demographics, the Toyota off-shoot was a smashing success. Over a million Scions have been sold, more than 70 percent of them to people new to the Toyota family and more than half of them to folks under the age of 35.

Jim Lentz, the founding VP of Scion and now the CEO of Toyota North America, frames it this way: “This isn’t a step backward for Scion; it’s a leap forward for Toyota. Scion has allowed us to fast track ideas that would have been challenging to test through the Toyota network. I was there when we established Scion and our goal was to make Toyota and our dealers stronger by learning how to better attract and engage young customers. I’m very proud because that’s exactly what we have accomplished.”

Consumer Needs Are Changing

So why is Toyota effectively reabsorbing the Scion brand? Simply put, because consumer needs are changing. Today’s younger car buyers still crave those fun-to-drive, aesthetically pleasing vehicles that were always Scion’s stock in trade. However, they have also grown in their appreciation of everything that Toyota stands for—reliability, strong craftsmanship, and practicality. Toyota’s newer vehicles uphold all these vehicles, but are also a bit sportier and more fun to drive. In a way, Toyota has absorbed the lessons learned from Scion.

The brand transition has already begun. MY17 Scion vehicles are already being sold under the Toyota banner, while other Scions will soon follow suit. Service and repair processes for Scion customers, meanwhile, will remain unaffected by all these changes.

“Scion has had some amazing products over the years and our current vehicles are packed with premium features at value prices,” notes Andrew Gilleland, who serves as Scion vice president. “It’s been a great run and I’m proud that the spirit of Scion will live on through the knowledge and products soon to be available through the Toyota network.”

One additional note worth making is that all of Scion’s current dedicated team members will be given opportunities to transition into new roles within Toyota.

This is obviously a big change for the auto industry, but potentially a jolt of electricity for Toyota and its loyal customers. You can get a full rundown of Scion’s achievements in the link above, and you can stay tuned in for further updates, on this and other leading brands, at the Get My Auto.

Toyota Tundra Used Truck

A good truck should be strong. It should be tough. It should be rugged. It should remain resilient and dependable even after it’s been down the road a few times, racked up a few miles, accumulated a bit of wear and tear. Thankfully, many of today’s leading truck models more than fit this description, and can continue to provide amazing value even if you buy them used, with a lot of miles on them.

This isn’t to say that every used truck you buy is a winner. For one thing, not all models are created equal, and it’s smart to do some homework on specific vehicles before you commit to one of them. Additionally, it’s always in your best interests as a consumer to do your due diligence—thoroughly inspecting and test driving a truck before you buy it.

Which Used Truck Should You Buy?

With that said, some used trucks are generally quite dependable, and quite easy for us to recommend. Here are the top ten used trucks:

2009 through 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche
2009 through 2012 Chevrolet Colorado
2009 through 2012 GMC Canyon
2008 through 2013 GMC Sierra
2005 through 2014 Ford F-150
2011 through 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty
2009 through 2014 Nissan Frontier
2006 through 2014 Honda Ridgeline
2005 through 2014 Toyota Tacoma
2007 through 2014 Toyota Tundra

Looking over this list, you might recognize a few trends. One is that, generally, and with noteworthy exceptions, we think American-made pickup trucks are the best. Chevys, in particular, are just really good buys that we think most truck enthusiasts will be pleased with. We’ll also note that the Ford F-150 remains the bestselling vehicle in America, so you really can’t go wrong with that.

Something else to note is the range of dates we’ve listed here, some of which extend as far back as 11 years or more. What this says is really pretty simple: These trucks are made to last, and to run well for a good long while. If you can get a 2005 truck that’s been taken care of and has reasonable mileage on it, you may very well be getting a truck with a lot of years left in it. That’s a testament to the craftsmanship and design of today’s leading pickups.

Tips for Buying a Used Pickup

Even so, we reiterate our caution: Do your homework. Using the VIN for a specific truck, get a full vehicle history. Inspect under the hood, as well as the interior and exterior of the vehicle, to ensure it’s been taken care of. Take it for a drive, and be mindful of anything that either sounds or feels off. Also make sure you buy from a reputable dealer—preferably a certified pre-owned vehicle seller. You can learn more about the used truck buying process by plugging in to our Get My Auto blog.

Audi A3 2017 Are you a luxury car enthusiast? And are you a lover of Audis, in particular? If
so, then Christmas may be coming a couple months early this year. It’s just been announced that the 2017 Audi A3 will hit retail in October. You can get all the details from a report over at Audi USA.

How Much Will the New Audi Cost?

While not everything is yet known about the new lineup of Audi vehicles, the company has made a partial pricing structure available. Here’s what we can tell you thus far:

The 2017 Audi A3 sedan with quattro all-wheel-drive will be available for $35,150 if you get the “Premium” model. An all-wheel drive model, with all the bells and whistles, will be available for $44,100.
Are convertibles your thing? Note that the 2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet will sell for $41,250 (starting price) and tops out at $50,200 for the “Prestige” version.
Finally, the 2017 Audi A3 performance sedan will start at $43,850 for the “Premium Plus” version. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line “Prestige” model is priced at $49,350.

For each of these 2017 Audi A3 vehicles, a one-time $950 destination charge will also be required.

More Information About the 2017 Audi A3

2017 audi a3 cabriolet interior

There’s more to the A3 lineup then what we’ve mentioned here, though for the additional models, information is a little bit spottier. For example, the A3 with front-wheel drive, as well as the Sportback E-3 model, will also be available in updated forms, though Audi has not yet announced the pricing information for these vehicles.

As for the updates made to the new Audis, they seem tasteful and restrained. Audi isn’t remaking these cars from scratch, but rather is taking everything drivers love about them, refining them a bit, and adding a few new features. All of these new vehicles will include “Audi Pre Sense Front, a radar-based system that provides forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking,” the Edmunds article reports. Smartphone integration, rear cross-traffic assist, Audi virtual cockpit, and MMI touch are among the optional features that consumers can spring for.

Some other features that will be available for all of these models include LED taillights, power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and beyond. Some minor adjustments to the exterior design of the sedan, convertible, and S3 have also been promised.

A Good Time to Buy a Luxury Vehicle

Audi has long been known for providing a superior luxury experience for an affordable price- and it looks like the revamped A3 lineup fits into this tradition. For those who have always loved Audi, this is a no-brainer. We would add that these new vehicles will also be good options for those buying their very first luxury vehicle. If nothing else, it will be prudent to head to the Audi showroom this fall to check out these promising new offerings.

Keep up with Audi and other major auto makers by following along with the Get My Auto blog.

Old Ford Mustang Blue
How old does your vehicle have to be before it is considered, well, old? The answer is ever-changing, and in fact, the average age of in-operation cars and trucks is getting higher all the time.

There are a few different implications of this—a few different ways you could interpret it. One is that people are more reluctant to buy new automobiles, perhaps because the cost of a new car continues to rise. Maybe that’s part of it. But another, more positive way to look at it is that cars and trucks simply last longer than they used to. Vehicles are made to be durable, and to provide a lot of bang for buck—which means that even after they accumulate a bunch of miles, they still perform optimally.

Looking at the Numbers

But what do the numbers really tell us? How old is the average car out on the highway? According to the most recent statistics—dated for 2015—the average age of automobiles on the road is 11.5 years. That’s an all-time record.

To put things into context, the average age of a vehicle in 1995 was just 8.4 years. By 2000 that number had risen to just 8.9 years. As recently as 2004, it was still hovering at 10.0 even. But the trend has been for the average age to increase every year, which means just one thing: People are holding onto their cars. They like what they have, and they have no particular reason to ditch perfectly well-functioning cars and trucks.

Implications for Used Car Buyers

The fact that today’s vehicles are so well-made is good news for those who are considering purchasing a used vehicle. Because durability and longevity are now standard-issue, you can buy a vehicle from the last several years—even one with 100,000 miles or more—and have some reasonable assurance that it still has plenty of life left in it.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your due diligence when buying. Even a vehicle manufactured last year could be a lemon, which is why visual inspection, test drives, vehicle history reports, and rigorous evaluation are all critical tools in the consumer’s toolbox. Being aware of lemon laws is also a good idea.

While being cautious and prudent, though, you can also move forward in the knowledge that a car with a lot of miles on it may still run like it’s brand new—yet at the same time, it might come with a significant price reduction. In fact, a car that’s just a year old may be marked down to just half its original manufacturer sticker price.

Buying Used Cars Near You

The bottom line: Today’s cars and trucks are made to age well—and that’s good news for consumers. Don’t be afraid to buy a vehicle with some real road experience. So long as you are reasonably cautious, you can still get an incredible value on used cars from a local used dealership.

Steering Wheel Odometer

When you buy a used vehicle, one of the things you care most about is the mileage on it. Even more than the year it was manufactured, the mileage reveals much about the condition of the vehicle and about any possible issues that might soon arise. The level of mileage you’re willing to accept may vary—one driver may want a car with fewer than 60,000 miles, while the next may be willing to go as high as 100,000—but no matter what kind of mileage you’re looking for, you at the very least want the the car dealer to disclose that mileage honestly.

And auto dealers are happy to do this—most of the time. You should know, however, that there have been reported cases of dealers misleading buyers about the mileage on a vehicle; this happens at auctions, too. In these cases, the buyer eventually finds out the true mileage of the vehicle, only to be told that the sale was final, there’s nothing the dealer can do to make things right, etc.

Penalties for Odometer Fraud

But is this actually true? It all depends on how the dealer presents the vehicle. If your bill of sale notes “actual miles unknown” or “not actual mileage,” then, sadly, the dealer is protected against any claims you might bring against them. Without these caveats, however, any dealer who sells a vehicle with misleading mileage information is subject to possible penalties—including:

  • According to the Department of Justice, consumers can obtain triple damages in court, or $1,500—whichever is greater.
  • The Department of Transportation, meanwhile, can seek a criminal warrant and fines of up to $100,000 on your behalf.
  • Finally, the Attorney General can also help you pursue civil or criminal penalties.

The best part is, you don’t even need a lot of money to deal with legal fees. So long as you keep all your paperwork, these state agencies will work with you to get to the bottom of things, and see that justice is done.

How to Avoid Odometer Fraud

Ideally, of course, you’ll avoid odometer fraud in the first place—and here are a few ways to do that:

  • Verify mileage against the title and disclosure statements.
  • Compare the odometer’s reading against inspection and maintenance records.
  • Be mindful of general wear and tear on the vehicle; is it consistent with the stated mileage?
  • Examine the tires, and note that if 20,000 miles or less are on the vehicle, it should still have its original tires.
  • Always buy from a reputable dealer; a certified pre-owned program is especially dependable.

Report Odometer Fraud

Rest assured that, if you do fall prey to odometer fraud, there are state agents who will join you as allies. Your first step is to report the problem to one of the agencies mentioned above, or to reach out to the local police. Odometer fraud is serious business, and not something you need to settle for.

Souther California Hollywood CarsYou may have decided on purchasing your next vehicle pre-owned, but you’ve still got some big choices left to make. Will you buy from a dealership, or a private party? And if you buy from a dealership, which one should you buy from? A certified used car lot, or a place like CarMax? Options abound, and smart consumers will want to weigh all the pros and cons before making their final decision.

We’ll say from the outset that we generally advise against buying from private sellers, including those you can connect with on Craigslist. Sometimes Craigslist works great, and there are many honest people there, but it is simply hard to verify that a seller is honest and reputable, and there are no real consumer protections in place. Buying from an actual dealership is a much safer move.

Buying a Used Car in California from a Dealer

That still doesn’t clear up the matter of which dealership is preferable. Allow us Used Cars, Trucks and SUVs Dealershipto run through some of the big options that Southern California shoppers have available to them.

CarMax. You probably know CarMax, as there are more than 100 individual CarMax locations found all across the country. It has arisen, basically, as an alternative to more traditional pre-owned dealerships. CarMax puts its cars through rigorous testing to ensure total quality. Buying from CarMax definitely has its advantages: You have a decent assurance that you’re getting a solid and reliable car, and the prices are all fixed, so there is no hassle and no negotiation. The downside, of course, is that buyers looking for a great deal won’t find as much flexibility here as with a more traditional lot.

Certified Pre-Owned Dealerships. Another option is to buy from a certified pre-owned (CPO) dealership. Here you will typically find used vehicles sold by dealerships of the same brand—e.g., certified pre-owned Toyotas for sale at the local Toyota lot. These cars, too, are tested and vetted pretty thoroughly (though not always as much so as at CarMax), and can sometimes come with great manufacturer warranties and guaranties.

Independent Dealerships. Still another option is to buy from an independent dealership—that is, one not affiliated with any particular auto manufacturer. Here you’re taking more of a gamble, simply in terms of the size, variety, and quality of the selection. Consulting online review sites is a good way to make an informed decision about independent dealerships.

Dealer Non-Certified at a Dealership. Finally, you can head to that Toyota lot (or the dealership of your choice) and find cars that are not certified, but may still be good and affordable cars. Some may be made by different manufacturers, and some may simply be too old to qualify for CPO status.

Best Used Car Website in California

There are pros and cons to each of these, which is why we also recommend doing plenty of homework in advance of your purchase. One place to do that is at the Get My Auto website. Check out the blogs and resources available there!