Should You Buy a New Car?

hondaWe’ve had our 2011 Honda Odyssey van for 4 years.  It came straight from the factory and had 4 miles on it when we drove off the lot.

With a very little interest rate, about $12 of each payment is now going to interest and the rest is going to principle.  It will be paid off soon and that’s a great feeling.  We haven’t had any issues with the vehicle and we weren’t considering trading it in until we received an offer in the mail from the dealer.  It seems this model is popular on the used car market and they are eager to get us into a new vehicle ($$$).  I gotta say, it’s tempting.

However, no car payment is tempting too.  We feel we’re in a good spot with a relatively “new” vehicle but when should we buy a new car?

I did some research and Edmunds.com says it’s almost always less expensive to repair a car than buy a new one.  They say a new car typically loses an estimated 22 percent of it’s value in the first year and your existing car has already taken that depreciation hit.

On the flip side, if trips to the mechanic are costing you too much money and time from your work or family and you don’t want to worry constantly about future break downs, a new car may be worth the investment.  New cars are safer than ever with many safety equipment becoming standard on new vehicles.

Edmunds formula to making a decision is if the cost of repairs is greater than either the value of the vehicle or one year’s monthly payments, it’s time to buy another vehicle.

I asked Pat about the cost of insurance on an older vehicle v. a new one.  Would our insurance premium go up or down if we bought a new vehicle?  Of course all rates depend on the driver’s driving record and the type of vehicle (sports cars really do cost more to insure) but he said a newer car would cost more to insure (there are reasons and I’ll let him break it down for you).  But if you are in the market for a new care, the good news is, it’s also true that newer vehicles may have newer safety features that can lower your premium.  It’s important you research what your rates may be on a vehicle you are interested in purchasing before you buy.

IMG_4744In our case, the van isn’t that “old” and we have the most recent safety features such a side air bags, the back up camera and a lot of what I’d call bells and whistles on it: Navigation, DVD player, bluetooth, auto start = all awesome features when toting around kids (and when I want to learn my Jazzercise routines on long road trips).

Not having a car payment soon and keeping our premium low is more attractive to me right now than a new vehicle that’s going to depreciate thousands of dollars the minute I drive it off the lot.  And, according to Kelly’s Blue Book, if I wanted to sell the van to a private party, I could expect to receive just over $21,000.  Not a bad chunk of change should I change my mind in the near future!

Are you in the market for a new car?  Call us and ask what your insurance premium would be so you can factor the total cost of a new vehicle into your budget.  We’d be happy to assist you.

-S.O.
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

 

 

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There are 4 Types of Customers. Which One are You?

In a customer facing role we encounter a variety of personalities and communication styles.  People think, react and behave in various ways depending on their personality. We found that although there are many layers to ones personality, we can be grouped into four main types of customer behavior. 

Driver (or Director):  Drivers don’t have time to wait and are easily annoyed by small talk and banter. They don’t want to tell you about their day and are usually identified by their impatient looks, tapping feet, and constant checking of their watch. They want what they want when they want it – and they want it now! In extreme cases they can be intimidating know-it-all’s.  Their goals are very clear. They want the best possible product at the lowest possible price delivered when they want it – which is usually immediately.  Get down to business with these people. Take their order and let them get on with their lives.

Socializers: These customers love people, are quick to smile, and don’t mind spending a few minutes in conversation with you about the weather, sports or life.  They have a strong need to feel part of a group and take an ownership position in anything they do.  They love to be asked their opinion because they like to feel part of the decision-making process.  They like to build relationships and are an excellent referral source.  These people are usually three calls away from getting anything they want. They always know someone who knows someone who knows someone – the classic example of “three degrees of separation.”   It could be the best product at the best price but the Socializer won’t do business with you  if they don’t like you.  Use compliments liberally. Do whatever you have to do to remember the names of these people. 

Ambiables: These customers are not assertive but they are responsive and emotionally expressive.  They are dependent on others, respectful, willing and agreeable.  They are low risk takers and like security.  They like personal assurance, specific guarantees, low risk, and don’t want to hear a lot of options.  They can be over sensitive so when they speak, listen or risk alienating them.  Don’t take advantage of their good nature.  Work jointly with them to seek a common ground.

Analytical: Similar to the Action personality, these people don’t like chit-chat, but unlike all others, these customers are very specific about what they want. These types usually have professions that require accuracy and analysis.  They will explain their problem in a very detailed manner. Sometimes it may seem they’re trying to tell you how to do your job, but they’re not, they just know what they want and don’t want any misunderstandings.  Analyticals read manuals, directions and the fine print. Like the Director type they are unaffected by small talk or the niceties that can accompany a “sales” or business meeting.  They conduct research and analyze all the possibilities before making a decision and they want data.  Give them facts and data and do not make a statement unless you can back it up with pertinent information.

In which customer category do you see yourself?  Do you see yourself in more than one category.  Let us know in the comments. 

If you are an existing customer, contact us if you have not reviewed your policies in the last year.  And, if you are not a customer, we’d love the opportunity to earn your business.  Here are our business hours.

Continue to stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest.

– S.O.
POB Agency