Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I was recently involved in a car accident and consequently my VW Passat was written off. I now get the joy of shopping for a new vehicle for myself at Christmas. First world problem. Like a lot of people, I do not have access to unlimited funds and I also am not unrealistic about what I get for the money I have. For $7000.00, you will not be buying a brand new car (unless Lada is still kicking about). I have a few quick tips for people selling used cars for under $10,000. I know there could be an equal rant for people buying cars, but this particular rant is for the sellers!:

1 - Don't say your car is fantastic shape, when it has dents, scratches, stains and foul odors! I'm not blind and I will figure it out. Please save me the hassle of driving an hour to spend 5 minutes looking at your POS. The more honest you are the more likely I will appreciate it. If you've driven your car into the ground, the lesson is simple. Take care of your car, it will make it easier to sell in the long run.

2 - If you are trying to sell a vehicle, try to make it easy for a buyer to see the car. Don't arrange a meeting and forget to show up. It is a pain in the ass! We are both doing each other a favor. You probably need the money and I need the car. Let's work together. 50 / 50 rule. I'll drive half way, you drive half way.

3 - Know the history of your vehicle. I recently met a person who was selling an "excellent" condition vehicle. I spent less than 5 minutes before walking away. This vehicle had rust bubbles, lots of rust under the hood, poorly painted bumpers and a headlight that was loose. Perhaps I'm confused as to what "excellent" means?? When I pointed out the obvious flaws, the seller seemed surprised? Honest mistake or sketchy car sales shenanigans? You be the judge.

4 - Service history is super valuable. This shows you have actually taken care of your vehicle. Perhaps there could be some confusion as to what "taken care of" means. In my opinion it means that you not only put oil and gas in the vehicle, it also means addressing noises and sounds before they cause a cataclysmic malfunction. If you hear a humming, it may be a wheel bearing. Replace it before you have to replace a spindle. If you haven't heard of the broken window effect here is some good reading -

5 - Don't hide things. At some point during the transition from childhood to adulthood it became acceptable to lie to people? I know that some people don't understand vehicles and I can appreciate that. But when you go up and above to hide something from a potential buyer, you really have to wonder what kind of example are you setting.

People always say dealerships are slimy and deceitful, which in some cases is true, but keep in mind. They aren't the ones driving those used cars for 10 years and then trading them in. It starts with us.

<end rant>

Saturday, October 25, 2014

On October 1, 2014 the Winter Tire law went into effect in BC. Do you know which highways are affected?

Source -

When are Winter Tires or Chains Right for Me?
Winter tires and chains can make your vehicle safer.
You must use winter tires (passenger vehicles) or carry chains (commercial trucks) between October 1 and March 31 on most BC highways.
British Columbia's climates range from freezing cold to pleasantly mild in the winter; equipping your vehicle appropriately depends on what you are driving and where you are driving.

What is a Winter Tire?

British Columbia accepts “mountain snowflake” or “mud and snow” tires with at least 3.5 mm tread as winter tires.
Check your tires for these signs:
mountain snowflake 
The mountain/snowflake symbol on the side of the tire

These winter tires offer the best traction on snow and ice, and in cold weather.
mud and snow The mud and snow symbol on the side of the tire
These winter tires offer better traction than summer tires, however, they are less effective than mountain/snowflake tires on snow and ice, and in cold weather.
3.5 mm tread
Tires must have 3.5 mm of tread remaining to be considered winter tires.
Matching Winter Tires
You must have at least 2 matching winter tires on the same axle, but we recommend using 4
Studded Tires
May be used on BC highways from October 1 to April 30, but must have mountain/snowflake or M+S symbols to be considered winter tires.
Drivers in some parts of the southern coast, where regulations are more relaxed due to warmer weather, should use discretion when equipping their vehicles.

Designated Winter Tire and Chain-up Routes

Drivers must obey Winter Tire and Chain signs throughout the province. The designated routes require passenger vehicles to be equipped with M+S or mountain/snowflake tires, and commercial vehicles to carry chains from October 1 to March 31.
Click on the links below to see the regional highways requiring winter tires and chains.
As a guide, please follow the options below:

Car and Small Truck Drivers*

* Passenger vehicles and small commercial trucks less than 5,500 kg GVW

Commercial Truck Drivers*

* Trucks 5,500 kg GVW or greater

Thursday, July 31, 2014

For the first time since 1998 the average number of problems in vehicles has increased.

General Motors Company Receives Eight Segment Awards, While Toyota Motor Corporation Garners Seven and Honda Motor Company Earns Six
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.:  Owners of 3-year-old vehicles (2011 model year) report more problems than did owners of 3-year-old vehicles last year, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS) released today.

The study, now in its 25th year, examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of 2011 model-year vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

The study finds that overall vehicle dependability averages 133 PP100, a 6 percent increase in problems from 126 PP100 in 2013. This marks the first time since the 1998 study that the average number of problems has increased.

"Until this year, we have seen a continual improvement in vehicle dependability," said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. "However, some of the changes that automakers implemented for the 2011 model year have led to a noticeable increase in problems reported."

Increases in Engine and Transmission Problems Reported
Engine and transmission problems increase by nearly 6 PP100 year over year, accounting for the majority of the overall 7 PP100 increase in reported problems. The decline in quality is particularly acute for vehicles with 4-cylinder engines, where problem levels increase by nearly 10 PP100. These smaller engines, as well as large diesel engines, tend to be more problematic than 5- and 6-cylinder engines, for which owners report fewer problems, on average.

"Automakers are continually looking for ways to improve fuel economy, which is the primary purchase motivator for many consumers, particularly those buying smaller vehicles," said Sargent. "However, while striving to reduce fuel consumption, automakers must be careful not to compromise quality. Increases in such problems as engine hesitation, rough transmission shifts and lack of power indicate that this is a continuing challenge."

Dependability Leads to Loyalty; Poor Dependability Creates Avoidance
J.D. Power also finds that the fewer problems owners experience with their vehicle, the greater their loyalty to the brand. Combined data from previous years' VDS results and vehicle trade-in data from the Power Information Network├ć (PIN) from J.D. Power show that 56 percent of owners who reported no problems stayed with the same brand when they purchased their next new vehicle. Brand loyalty slipped to just 42 percent among owners who reported three or more problems.

Also, a comparison of data from the 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study with data from the subsequent J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Avoider StudySM shows that consumers are much more likely to avoid vehicles from brands that rank lower in dependability. On average, 23 percent of consumers avoided brands that ranked in the lowest quartile of the 2013 VDS because of concerns about reliability. In contrast, only 9 percent of consumers cited that same reason for avoiding brands that ranked in the top quartile.

"By combining our customer research with trade-in data, we see a very strong correlation between dependability and real-world brand loyalty," said Sargent. "Also, we see that brands with lower dependability are likely to be shut out of a significant piece of the market as many consumers will not even consider purchasing one of their vehicles because of concerns about its likely reliability."

Highest-Ranked Nameplates and Models
Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a third consecutive year. The gap between Lexus and all other brands is substantial, with Lexus averaging 68 PP100 compared with second-ranked Mercedes-Benz at 104 PP100. Following Mercedes-Benz in the rankings are Cadillac (107), Acura (109) and Buick (112), respectively.

General Motors Company receives eight segment awards on more than any other automaker in 2014 for the Buick Lucerne; Cadillac DTS (tie); Cadillac Escalade; Chevrolet Camaro; Chevrolet Volt; GMC Sierra HD; GMC Sierra LD; and GMC Yukon. Toyota Motor Corporation garners seven awards for the Lexus ES; Lexus GS; Lexus LS (tie); Lexus RX; Scion xB; Toyota Camry; and Toyota Sienna. Honda Motor Company receives six model-level awards for the Acura RDX; Honda CR-V; Honda Crosstour; Honda Element; Honda Fit; and Honda Ridgeline. MINI receives one model-level award for the MINI Cooper.

The Vehicle Dependability Study is used extensively by manufacturers and suppliers worldwide to help them design and build better vehicles, which typically translates into higher resale values and customer loyalty. It also helps consumers make more-informed choices for both new- and used-vehicle purchases.

The 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study is based on responses from more than 41,000 original owners of 2011 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership. The study was fielded between October and December 2013.

Find more detailed information on vehicle dependability, as well as model photos and specs, at

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218;
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; 805-418-8103;

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules
About McGraw-Hill Financial

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In my travels I recently stumbled upon this awesome website.  Automotive brochures going back a few years.  I often need to research the packages and options offered on older vehicles and I found this to be great when researching vehicles.  

A car brochure or catalog is part of a heritage of art, craftsmanship, design, layout and technology. Some car companies spend more resources on a series of photographs; scouting a location, setting up equipment and maximizing the natural and/or artificial light as another manufacturer spends on their whole range of brochures made on their preset template. This span in resources and commitment creates a very wide and interesting spectrum of car brochures.In today's world most car brochures are only available for one year. The automobile enthusiast often has a daunting task searching for older literature regarding most car models. are trying to save this vanishing information for present and future car enthusiasts.The brochures listed on this site are created for the US market, except for small scale productions; i.e. Aston Martin, Bentley etc. where the brochures mainly are made for the international

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week of March 17, 2014 Success Stories

This week we have two success stories!   

These client’s vehicles were written off in motor vehicle accidents.  They were unhappy with how much money insurance was offering them for their vehicles.  We were retained as third party appraisers and these are the outcomes!

Our client's 2013 Volkswagen Touareg was written off.  Due to our research and appraisal insurance increased their initial offer by approximately $13000.

The second client's vehicle was a 2005 Subaru WRX Sti with 100,000km.  Due to our research and appraisal our client received almost $4000 more than originally offered by insurance.

Our goal is to help you keep your money where you need it most, in your pocket.

If we can help please give us a call.

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Our 100th Facebook like!

Thanks to Robert Zalaudek for being our 100th like on Facebook! For being our 100th like we have a prize for you! Please call us to redeem your free oil change up to a $100 value.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Is accelerated depreciation insurance on the horizon for Canada?

It is March 2014 and still no accelerated depreciation / diminished value insurance in Canada.  In previous posts I had mentioned a launch of insurance by the end of 2013.  As you can see it did not happen.

Having said that, I am still working with an insurance company and insurance underwriter to offer this coverage.

I have asked realistic timelines and have been told the end of 2014.  I'll keep plugging away and updating you as news comes available.

Feel free to subscribe to our blog to keep updated!

If you have questions about accelerated depreciation please ask!