Save Gas With These Tips

Car Engine

If you are like most of us here in Houston, we are constantly keeping an eye on the price of gas. When it goes up we start to worry and we start to drive less, we are more aware of our route only trying to use the gas necessary to get you from point A to point B.

What we have learned and what we will be sharing with you are techniques to put into play that will allow you to drive your car like the gas prices do not matter. These are some great gas saving life hacks.

We can all agree that even thought there is a lot of oil in Texas, most of us cannot affect its ascent of descent in price. Having said that what option does the average person have to enjoy this liberty as much as the next guy?

You might be surprised to know how inefficient your car becomes when it is not regularly maintained. How about that if your tires are under inflated or over inflated it can affect the drag, suspension and the efficiency of the engine. Thus making the car perform worse and worse and that great engine that you were so proud of is now just working to get by.

If your car is maintained perfectly it can increase your gas mileage by a minimum of 4%, change the filters to everything! And save every more MPG’s, If your timing belt looks like it is on the fritz, then change it. Since you probably live near or around Houston you know that a major component to any vehicle in this heat is A/C. Ensure that your AC is working properly and not straining and draining energy from the car.

Something so trivial, but if your gas cap is not tight fitting because of the mere nature of gasoline that it fumes up and is very volatile it can begin to dissipate and evaporate right out of your loose fitting gas tank.

Drive the speed limit, it is just good form. When you do not need to weigh your rig down, then do not.

The Inexpensive Car Lease?

the right lease for you

So, you have probably seen the commercials! Heard it on the radio, that you can lease the car of your dreams for less than $200 a month! WHAT? That is right, that is what the claims seem to be. Let us take this opportunity to share some insight into this type of car leasing opportunity. If you live within the 50 continental U.S. states, you might have some version of this deal available in your area, let’s take a second to analyze what this means for you.

Leases contracts are not standardized, they come in all different shapes and sizes like the cars they represent. Some leases will ask for money up front, some are based solely on your FICO score and your credit rating to even be accepted into such an agreement. Some leases offer you a small amount down and then your monthly payments are a tad bit higher than lets say a lease that has a larger money down at signing but for the most part depending on the percentage interest.

Let us further discuss what leases are and what they can mean for you:

You might be surprised to know that over half of the luxury cars in the U.S. are leased? What might be the advantage you may ask, well if you plan on changing vehicles often, then you will not take a hit on the depreciation as much because as long as you stay within the allotted mileage agreement stipulated in your lease you should be just fine.

The reason people lease varies, it could be that your stay in a city or office has a shelf life until you move somewhere else. Also leasing allows you to afford a much better car than you might otherwise be able to afford if you were to purchase it outright.

Leasing has two main benefits – Leased vehicles can allow you to have a newer/nicer vehicle and they are always under warranty. If your budget for buying a car outright is $20,000 cash, but you are able to lease a $50,000 car for about the same amount, you get your cake and are able to eat it to.

There is a clear divide between people who lease vs buy as there are of people who rent vs own. Each has its pros and cons, it really just depends on what you hope to attain and get out of your vehicle and wallet at the end of the day.

Leasing is not for everyone, it can be risky as well. You need to be good with math to ensure that you are not paying what the car is worth in the monthly payments and money down.

If you have a business or work for a business and you can write your vehicle off as a business expense, then leasing might be a good option. Almost all the expenses involved with leasing a car can be written off as a business expense if your business involves a lot of travel and driving.

The downside to leasing is the same as renting, once the lease is done you have paid money for the use of something and do not own it, you do not have any equity in the car, only the status it helped you attain. Since you do not own the car, when the lease is up unless you are very good at pinching your pennies you may find yourself in another lease and for some this perpetual cycle is a Godsend. Nothing to worry about really, every check up, is accounted for and it makes “having a car” a really pleasant.

The restrictions with leases come in the form of mileage caps. Usually between 12,000 – 15,000 miles a year. If you go over this amount you can be penalized which could turn out to be quite a lot depending on the terms of your lease.

In order to lease a car you must have some vague idea of what your financial future looks like. It is similar to paying a cell phone, you would not take out a cell phone, sign a two year contract without even having a job, would you?

Here are some basic comparisons to set your mind at ease when it comes to leasing that car you want.

The price between leasing and owning a car is usually the same. The biggest difference is how much money you have to put down for one or the other. In order to lease it is usually a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. When it comes to buying unless your credit is a 900 – you would have to consider getting at least 20% of the value of the car as a down payment.

Lease payments also tend to be less than outright car payments when purchasing. The reason for this is because most leases are 36 months and most car loans are about 60 months or more. Over time you pay more, but then again, over time you get to keep your rig.

When the lease agreement is up you would have invested about half of the money it takes to buy the same car depending on several factors such as base price and depreciation.

Now in 2015 you will see that there are great deals for leases in Houston. Take your time, take your calculator and get the deal that is best for you.

What Can You Afford In A Car?

hand on steering wheel

What kind of vehicles are you eligible for?  Most likely a used vehicle below a certain price, for example under 20,000 and you can expect to pay interest rates between 15 to 18%.   Obviously this is much higher that a person with excellent credit would pay.

The FICO credit score is the way the lenders decide if one is a good credit risk or not.  The numbers run from 300 to 850, this is as true here in Houston as it is in Honolulu

Your interest rate for a car is directly tied to their arbitrary score.  Someone with a score of 720 or higher might be charges 3.80 for a 36 month car loan.  A similar car loan for a lower scoring person, between 500-589, might be 17.02 %.

While it does take years to get your credit back on track, it is much easier to accomplish this after several years have passed and your finances are looking better.

Time will heal your poor credit rating and once you do qualify for a new car loan, things will look up. Due to the fact that the car loan has collateral, it is easy to see how making good on the new loan will better your  credit rating post-bankruptcy.

The bank will go back and check your mortgage payments and check to see if their are any missing payments, especially as so many homes are now below water in regard to the value of the home and the mortgage owed.

There is a formula they use to see if your take- home  or net income is large enough to support this new expense.  If they feel it is fine, mostly likely they will allow the loan to be processed.  If not, they may offer you a smaller sum of money in order to minimize the delinquency possibility, or they may require a larger down-payment.

If you have a history with the Credit Union, they are more likely to be willing to work with you.  They are most likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Beware the auto companies who offer you better than usual auto financing. Most of these places are very aggressive in their marketing approach, and at the end of the head spinning ordeal you are even further into debt.

There are car companies that say that no credit check is needed, but why? Well, people who have not taken as many courses in finances as others still deserve another chance. Burn me once, shame on me? Burn me twice, shame on you. People deserve a second chance and these smaller dealerships might be the solution you are looking for.

No one likes to feel “judged” and to avoid that, some people may jump at the first company to appear the least bit sympathetic to their situation.

Sometimes the most obvious issue is not really apparent at first. If a dealer only has cars with very high mileage and you are to buy one of these cars. Cars with several hundred thousand miles, then you might end up with a car that you cannot afford to maintain and to keep running smoothly. So what is worse, paying too much down for a car or paying just as much over time? You decide.

Roadside Assistance –

Tow Truck
What a wonderful experience in car sales that in the United States, almost all of the vehicles come with not only one, but two warranties to make our lives less stressful. Oftentimes this includes roadside assistance, which minimizes our dependence on AAA. Along with that, many of the new hybrids and electric cars also offer warranties on batteries.

Your basic warrant will cover all except wear and tear, which includes wiper blades and oil changes. Most of our tires and batteries have their own individual warranties. You will find all of this information in your owner’s manual. According to the Federal government, emission equipment must be covered for 24,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first. There are certain components which has an extended warranty of 80,000 or eight years.

One of the most critical components of any car is the drive train, which covers most of the moving parts except hoses and and belts. Most of the tome this includes the transmission, the engine, the drive shaft and the drive axles. Many of the internal parts of the engine, such as the pistons and bearings are also covered, in spite of wear and tear. You need to check your specific owner’s manual to see what your car covers.

In some parts of the country it is important to consider rust and corrosion coverage. This can happen due to excessive salting during the winter. Once the rust becomes an actual hole, it is covered.. It is important to maintain your car by consistent washing and waxing . This will minimize rusting problems.

It is very common for manufacturers to offer roadside assistance to their clients. usually it will cover you even if it is your fault., Whenever you are locked out or run out of gas and perhaps even have a flat tire, there is help available. Always check your owner’s manual.

As far as hybrids go, they are pretty standard. Since the hybrid’s purpose is to minimize air pollution, the batteries are considered an essential part of the emission control. Usually these are covered for 100,000 miles or eight years. California and several other states have extended the zero-emission to a minimum opt 10 years/150,000 miles for the batteries.

Because the batteries are high voltage, the cooling systems are also covered, and the battery modules and the variable transmission or high energy converters. Once again, check your owner’s manual for individual coverage.

Those vehicles which are pure battery are not covered by any federal or state emission regulations. As their batteries are essential for the running of these vehicles, they are pretty standard: eight years or 100,000 for batteries and any components which are associated with the batteries.

Of course you must check your individual manufacturer to see what is covered or not. Each model may have differences.

Ford has some obvious differences from Tesla but all the information is available to you on their websites.

Tire Warranties


Think for a second about what might be the most important safety item to keep a constant eye out for, you guessed it, your car’s tires. There are companies that state that their tires have a shelf life of this or that, but the cold hard truth is that cars are susceptible to all kinds of perils on the road in regards to their tires. There could be road debris, nails, or they could just wear out and break apart.

What solutions can you think of in order to achieve this? Having a spare – this is a great solution in the short run. But let’s dig a little deeper, let’s dig into the actual functional life of a tire. First of all most tires are made of rubber and some have fiber, some are smooth for racing or city driving while some are knobby for gripping wet mud and climbing you up the side of a hill.

The rule of thumb is that the tire will last for six years from when it was purchased and installed. However if you have a good eye you can check to see when most of the tread is gone, then it is time to upgrade tires. Luckily for us most car tires sold in the U.S. have thread indicators on them and once these start to peek through the rubber, then it is time to change your tires.

Regardless of what type of tire you buy, the manufacturers offer what is known as tread life warranties. There are a stipulated amount of miles that a specific tire should run smoothly, under normal driving conditions. Two exemptions to this rule must be made, off road vehicles or extreme performance tires like race tires. The normal rules of wear and tear do not apply in these cases.

If the tire has worn out evenly way before the tires life is up, then you may be able to get the tires replaced under the tread – life warranty. This requires proof of purchase so keep onto your receipts.

Some tire companies add a road hazard warranty, in the case that you get a flat, you can take your tire to the company and they will fix it free of charge, if you can prove that you bought the tire there.

When it comes to warranty, tire warranties are like car warranties, there are certain things that you can do that can void this additional perk. If you think of the most important part of your vehicle to check periodically, your tires are it! Maintain them properly, ensure that they are wearing evenly and if not get them rotated. Each tire comes with specific volume limits when it comes to filling the tire with H20 or Nitrogen.

Rotate your tires periodically, do not drag race or spin out with them or go drifting unless you are Kenny Block.

Worst Aftermarket Car Investments

Sports car

When it comes to making your car unique there are options, my goodness are there options.  There are solutions for everything depending on how deep your pockets go. Now, when it comes to maintaining your car’s value and performance there are aftermarket add on’s that might actually do more damage in the long run.


It is undeniable that maintaining your car’s service appointments is the best way to maintain your car running smoothly into the future. The reliability and longevity of your vehicle depend on how well it is cared for.  Tires, oil changes, ensuring that the fuel you use is the correct type for your car and not abusing of it, like any piece of machinery, it needs to be oiled and well maintained for it to work.


If you think that buying aftermarket parts for your car are going to increase its value it may or may not, here we discuss some purchases that end up costing you more in the long run than they are worth.


Wheels –

If your car comes with some standard “mickey mouse” tires and you decide that you want something edgier, something to enhance grip or performance or can allow for bigger and cooler rims.  What it can do, is reduce your car’s overall performance, comfort and gas efficiency.  Lets say if you have a coupe and want some really slick pirelli wheels that have some really nice 20” rims… this means that the amount of rubber between your rims and wheel base is minimal, looking very cool perhaps but making the ride incredibly uncomfortable because there is not enough to cushion the obstacles on the road.  The same goes for knobby and extreme tires for an SUV or 4X4 rig, they will eat up your gas mileage and adding a lift to your vehicle to accommodate larger wheels can make the vehicle more susceptible to tipping over if the center of gravity is thrown off.


Tinting Windows –

There are advantages and disadvantages to placing dark tints on your windows and or windshield.  Yes, you get privacy and protection from the bright sun rays, but it can also reduce visibility when it is dark out.  There is no real rule nationwide when it comes to rules and regulations regarding windshield tinting specifications.  This means that when you decide to sell your car, you may be limited to where it will be easily sold based off of location because being constantly harassed by police officers is not high on their list of daily chores. These window tints are not inexpensive, they can be several hundred dollars and then you may have to get it removed in order to sell your car, so you may want to opt for a middle of the road tint, something that will offer some anonymity but also allow you to see and remain within the bounds of the state tinting law.


Exhaust systems –

So, the muffler right? Who would want to change that out or adapt it in some way?  There are manufacturers that promise deeper sounds emit from their exhaust than the manufacturer muffler.  Some advertise more power by controlling the escape of said exhaust emitted from the engine. There are strict guidelines set by the EPA regarding emissions test that are mandated every year for your vehicle.  If you install an aftermarket exhaust system you may not pass this test because it may not be coherent with the manufacturers specifications. If said system is not installed properly or if it not congruent with your particular vehicle, premature damage may be done to the underside of your car and it may overheat rust and disintegrate at an accelerated rate.


Personalized Paint Jobs –

They are expensive and if you choose a color that is representative of your personality, like a matte baby blue finish on your rig, then you limit your potential buyers for said vehicle.  Customizing the paint job, may alter or void the warranty for a lot of car manufacturers if the car a newer.  It is almost impossible to get the same quality with an aftermarket paint job as you would get with the factory paint job, before the car is assembled.


Customizing Threads, Messages or Seats –

At times depending on your reasoning you may choose to have your seats or interior modified.  The reason behind this varies of course, some to reduce weight and drag on their vehicles, some just want their name “Charlene” written in stitching in the car. Disadvantages of removing your original seats are that some vehicles are equipped with sensors for safety precautions.  Like the weight sensors that turns passenger airbags off or on depending on weight.  Therefore not deploying if no one or a young adolescent is in the front seat. You may be making your car more dangerous if you remove the original seats which were made specifically to fit within the safety precautions already installed in your car.

So You Want To Buy A Car?


There are certain things to keep in mind when it comes to buying a car.  Some of which have been laid out before you in previous articles, some perhaps not.  What you need to remember first and foremost is that you have choices.  You can choose to purchase a car online, at a dealership or by a private party is up to you.


  • Think of the type of car that you are interested in.

Type of car: SUV, sedan, coupe, truck, hybrid, station wagon, sports car.

Once you have that down, then you need to figure out what you can afford, that will give you an idea of whether you will be looking for a new or used vehicle.  If you wish to own a Chevy Silverado truck and you only have $15,000 to buy a car, or can finance that much comfortably, then you will need to look used vs. new.  Not to worry, you can get some great deals on used cars in almost every market.


  • There are other questions to consider as well.

Is this the best time for you to buying a car? Is this something that is necesary for you at the moment?  If it is, then after deciding how much you can afford and what type of vehicle you want, is what will you be using it for?  I know people who have bought SUV’s with the dream of going out and off-roading, going hiking and camping every weekend and never do.  They have paid for their dream with every additional mile and gallon of fuel that they purchased for their city driving needs.  If you are a city dwelling person there are some cars that are more affordable to gas up and that are more efficient than a v8 monster of a truck that weighs ¾ of a ton.  So, being realistic with your needs can save you money and a headache in the future.


  • Are you going new or used?

There are advantages to both options, it just depends on what your budget is and what you really want from a vehicle.  Perhaps you can get a much better car, truck or SUV if you get something a few years older?  You may be able to afford a much more elegant car with more features if it is used than new off the lot.  Also, there are so many dealers that have pre-certified and pre-owned deals on used inventory, ensuring you additional peace of mind.


  • Test Drive your car

If you never have or have been intimidated to do so, then cut it out and get going.  What better way to know what your future car is like then getting behind the wheel. Perhaps there is a disconnect between the car you think you want and the car that you actually love. Before you put your money where your mouth is, take the car you think you want out for a drive and confirm it.


Now that you have thought of all of these possible issues or possible scenarios then go out and enjoy the process.  It should be fun and not a hassle, because every time you get into your new or used car you should be so excited to do so and not merely have a constant reminder that you got what you thought you wanted and not what you REALLY did.

What’s Better? New or Used?

potential car buyer

Ever ask yourself whether it is best to get a new car or an older one?  I suppose that if you own a car you may have, it is a question that many of us pose, here are some of the pros and cons of going new vs. old.

Advantages of Buying Used:

  • Depreciation: When you buy a new car your car depreciates every mile and every month you own it.  The most dramatic depreciation happens almost immediately and in a few cases some cars depreciated more than 40 percent of their value within the first year of ownership. You will be able to buy a car that is great at a huge discount.  As stated above, some cars lose up to 40% of their value in the first year, most cars are driven between 15,000-20,000 miles a year. You can get a higher priced and a better vehicle if you purchase one that is a year old. More bang for your buck. So, it allows you to enjoy your used car more, you will not be obsessing over the first rock chip or accidental scratch to the rims.
  • Insurance Rates:  Insurance rates are less for used vehicles, similar to insurance rates are also affected.  Since used cars are usually less expensive than new ones the cost to insure them is also less.  Saving you additional money and allowing you the flexibility to make your dollar stretch even further.
  • Better Vehicle:  When you purchase a used vehicle vs. a new one you can get more for your hard earned money.  You will be able to get more features, more options and more gadgets for your dollar than if you bought a new car.  Since you are limited to what is available you may have to look around and do the work to find exactly what you are looking for, but like all things worthwhile, its worth the work and the wait.
  • Price:  If you were to do a side by side comparison between the price of a new vehicle and the same vehicle that is a year older, you will see that in some cases the differences externally are very few.  But the price you would pay for one vs the other is substantial.

Advantages of Buying New:

  • What you want:  Have you over looked at a car catalog?  Maybe you have, maybe you have not.  Imagine therefore that you at a restaurant and are hungry, you look the menu over and decide exactly what it is that you want.  It is the same when you buy a new car, you get these sales packages that show you every feature and additional options, like rims, exterior and interior colors, upgrades to your brakes, upgrades in wood, leather, carbon fiber you name it.
  • Maintenance:  When you buy a new car there might be anywhere between 0-1100 miles on it. That is it!  It has gone from the assembly line to the transport to the lot, that is all it has ever been driven.  A lot of new cars come with the need for little to no maintenance that is in addition to their regular scheduled ones that are usually free. When you buy a new car all types of warranties and services are thrown in to make the offer more attractive.
  • It is New:  When you buy a new car, it is similar to getting a puppy vs a dog.  With a dog you do not exactly know what to expect, you did not raise it, you were not there every step of the way.  With a used car, you do not know how the car was treated, maintained and care for not to mention driven.  You do not know if your car might suddenly stop working or why.  When you buy new you are the only one who has driven it, you are in charge of all of it and can insure that the car runs well into the future.
  • Safety:  Every few months there are safety features that are available and perhaps even standard that were not available or commercialized in later model cars.  For example, curtain airbags, stability control, blind spot monitoring systems, brake assist and more.  Some of these are available as add on’s when you purchase a new car, but for some added safety is always worth it.
  • Better for the Environment:  With each passing year, there are more and more advance in the field of lessening the carbon footprint that we may inadvertently leave behind. Newer cars are more fuel efficient and have hybrid options and with each new generation are becoming more and more powerful while remaining good for the environment.
  • Warranty:  A lot of new cars come with 100,000 mile warranty – that means that if something were to become a problem you would have no out of pocket costs, thus ultimately simultaneously giving you peace of mind, which onto itself if priceless.
  • Cool Features:  With new cars there are new gadgets and gizmos, most of these are also available as aftermarket parts, but for those of you who would rather not have to worry about it and have someone do it for you, new is a great way to go.
  • Financing:  You may get a better deal on financing if you get a new car as the value of the car is higher.  Ensure that the APR and your payments are what you need them to be as to fully enjoy your possible new car.

Can you imagine cars being tracked constantly?

Data NetworkThat is what the trends seem to be forecasting. Actually if you have purchased a car in the last few years chances are that you are already being tracked.  There is a device called a little black box in your car, it records information like GPS location, speed, Traffic violations, etc.

The difference with the new tracking system and those little black boxes such as planes have are different because the other drivers would be receiving warnings.  This would be a revolutionary system as far as some critics are concerned.  Why?  This would allow you to know if there is a car driving in your direction which is swerving, speeding and running red lights.  Chances are you can receive this information and then take defensive measures like turning down a side street and possibly saving your life.

Of course, if other drivers who purchase this V2V  (vehicle to vehicle)

type of communication for approximately $350 USD by 2020 will have access to your information.  This would include all light autos (as opposed to semis, etc.) However, police cruisers would also be privy to this type of information and insurance agencies.

Then we are begged with the question, what is best? To create and enforce a system that can possibly save lives and make driving less dangerous.  In the U.s. in 2012 according to the Driving deaths per year 33,561 people died from automotive accidents.  That is a large number of accidents, it begs the question, how many of those could be avoided.  What is the cost for this additional safety precaution like airbags, seat belts and seat belt warnings, not to mention tickets if caught not wearing one correctly or at all.

A while back the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA for short, published a “notice to rule-making” in the Federal Register.  The intention is to have the V2V software mandatory for all vehicles.  The officials believe that it will save thousands of lives and improve highway safety. The thought is that if you help drivers avoid car crashes then, we ensure that highway safety is ensured and the U.S. remains a leader in the car safety industry worldwide.  The global automotive industry looks to the U.S. for some of the latest safety innovations, to some law makers this is important.

Some it might save more lives which is good, but it could potentially take away some of our basic freedoms, let us discuss this other possibility. If you are a privacy advocate and after reading George Orwell’s 1984 who can blame you, then this might be cause for some concern.   96% of cars mass produced in the last few years have the little black box according to sources.  So these machines with their V2V information will be collecting pertinent information.

Information as detailed as speed, red light ran, directionality, and an accurate description of your vehicle, just the information that insurance agencies and police agencies drool for.  Who is in control of this information and what is being done to safeguard our basic rights?  Does this override the believe assumption that this information could be life saving and help avoid crashes and car related deaths all together.

Would this deter drivers to drive smarter, take less chances on the road if the chance is greatly improved of them getting caught by patrol cars if they venture behind the wheel?  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx believes that this technology could move us from helping people survive crashes by helping them avoid them altogether”.

Will we have to purchase these V2V systems for the proposed price of $350?  What if we choose not to use them, will we be punished, will our tracked information in a new car be used in the same way?  How much of a say do we have in any of this?  What should our say be, isn’t preserving life what is most important while on a dark road at night?


Faulty Car Reports and State Sponsored Confusion

Broken car

Used cars can be as much as a blessing as they can prove to be an headache when things go wrong.  At Car Store Houston we pride ourselves in offering pertinent information so that you can make an informed decision.  We have ensured that all of our vehicles are free if this type of issue. Issues that are important to be aware of, knowledge is power, so here we provide you with that important information.

Just because a car is advertised as cheap, you may want to take a second look before you buy.  There is a very serious trend sweeping the nation of people, more specifically criminals that try to conceal the real amount of structural damage that a car has. Thus allowing cars to be sold even though they may have been rebuilt after an accident or flood damage due to mother natures wrath.

When insurance companies state that a car is a total loss, this means that the cars title should reflect this “brand”. A brand is a permanent mark, found on the cars title to all future buyers. This can be altered on the title itself with an array of techniques or it can be redone with photo editing software. This can occur or the car can simply be re-registered in another state and the brand falls away.  Therefore making it appear as though the car title is “clean” when it is not.

Each state has its own titling laws, but as of yet there is no national law that prohibits scammers from washing titles. Thus making the cars appear to have clean titles.  The danger of this is that if you do not know what you are driving, how can you know how reliable your car is?  Placing not only you at danger but everyone that is on the road with you.

The statistics are staggering.  According to Carfax there are over 500 taxis in the U.S. and over 800,000 cars overall that have dodgy histories. You may ask yourself, what is the actual risk of buying one of these “washed cars”?  The issue is when you purchase your vehicle, pay the correct price for it and think you are driving off with a steal of a deal. Your car can act in unsuspecting and dangerous ways. Such as your power steering going out or your timing belt failing at an inopportune time.  This is why it’s important to have a mechanic check your vehicle to ensure that the engine isn’t held together by glue.

Car titles and car history are important because they are supposed to inform you about the previous issues you might have had with your car. Words to be wary of are “salvage” which means that the insurance companies deem it a total loss. In most states vehicles that are a total loss can sometimes be repaired and restored but the information must be disclosed.

It is a crime to sell a car that is problematic knowingly. There are report companies such as Experian AutoCheck and CarFax that will sell you a cars history. The truth is there is a large number of cars that are given clean titles in other states. This could be a scare tactic used by these report companies to ensure sales.

There are agencies like the National Insurance Crime Board that works to prevent insurance crime. These issues are most notable when there are natural disasters, like hurricane Sandy that had flooded vehicles that were being sold almost nationwide. Federal legislation was proposed to prevent this from happening but never passed. The issue really lies in the different states definition of “salvaged vehicles”.

There are several states in which these offenses take place more than others, New Jersey, North Carolina and Mississippi. Salvaged card with inconsistent titles are a danger to everyone, for most of these cars are suitable for parts only.

What we recommend is that you do your research and trust the seller of your next vehicle purchase, working with a reputable company is a surefire way to get the best deal for your dollar.