Recent Articles In

December 2013

You are browsing the site archives for December 2013.
What is MSRP for new-vehicle shoppers?
MSRP. The latest social media slang it’s not. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), is the window sticker price that often is the first thing at which new-vehicle shoppers look – after color, of course. It’s one of several prices shoppers need to consider when searching for a new vehicle, along with the dealer invoice price, the amount paid by a dealer to the vehicle manufacturers, and the market price, the amount buyers are paying for a new vehicle in a particular area. Often, the buyer’s question is: Should I pay the MSRP? The answer is a definite maybe not.… Read More

Gas-guzzling cars haven’t gone way of dinosaurs – yet
When was the last time you thought seriously about a gas-guzzling car, truck or SUV? Most of us have been conditioned for years now to think about fuel-efficient vehicles, an option we take seriously especially when gasoline prices spike. But that doesn’t mean gas-guzzling vehicles have gone the way of the dinosaur, though they might be considered dinosaurs by many in this age of alternative fuels and vehicles. We thought it would be interesting to take a look at’s research on the subject, which resulted in a dozen top-10 lists broken out by vehicle category. Autobytel concedes they’re having… Read More

Infographics on ‘The Open Road’ blog in 2013
This year was big for “infographics,” informational graphics, on “The Open Road” blog at Starting in February – “5 Keys to Car Shopping” (Feb. 4) and “5 More Keys to Car Shopping” (Feb. 13) – we averaged one infographic per month on the blog. Infographics weren’t completely new to the blog. We posted several at the end of 2012 – “10 Places to Find Extra Cash for This Holiday Season” and “Automotive Holiday Gifts for 2012” in November and December, respectively. But one of our New Year’s resolutions for 2013 at RoadLoans was to consistently provide quality infographics… Read More

Distracted driving a holiday season hazard?
Courtesy of: At the risk of sounding like a Scrooge, the holiday gift-giving season seemed a good time to share this distracted driving infographic – “DWI: Driving while Intexticated” – with our readers. Consider it a cautionary tale as loved ones unwrap presents in the form of latest in mobile technology, then pile into vehicles to drive to the homes of friends and families and to other holiday activities. The distracted driving graphic originally appeared at with an introduction written by Kristin Marino: “It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that texting and driving is dangerous. But… Read More

Holiday travel more crowded than ever in 2013
Nearly 30 percent of Americans, or about 94.5 million, will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday travel season, which includes both Christmas and New Year’s, reports the American Automobile Association (AAA). That would make 2013 the fifth consecutive year that holiday travel has increased, resulting in the highest volume ever, according to the travel organization. Nine in ten Americans will travel by automobile, AAA says, most of the rest by plane. “While economic growth has stagnated and consumer confidence has fallen, Americans will not be Scrooges when it comes to traveling this year,” said Marshall… Read More top 10 blog posts of 2013 – Part 2
The top 10 posts of 2013 offer a clear look at the interests of prospective new and used car buyers visiting The Open Road blog at Those 10 were the most popular this year among more than 400 posts that we will have published on the blog in the several years since it was launched to November of 2013. Two of the top 10 posts were published in 2013, six in 2012 and two in 2011. We’re happy to report that visitors continue to find these posts helpful. The top blog post of the year – “What Is… Read More top 10 blog posts of 2013 – Part 1
About 170 blog posts – nearly one every two days. That’s how many automotive- and auto-financing-related articles we will have published on The Open Road blog at during 2013. We’re happy to report that the top 10 are those readers have found most helpful. The two blog posts far and away the most popular published this year – each drawing more views than the next eight posts combined – are No. 1 “Car Loans for College Students Can Make Sense if Done Right,” posted May 28, and No. 2 “How to Get a Bad Credit Car Loan,” posted June… Read More

Drunken, distracted driving during the ‘dangerous’ holidays
Distracted driving gets a lot of attention in the mainstream media. But as we approach the holidays – full of all sorts of distractions from shopping to family visits to parties – we wondered how much of a problem distracted driving is on our crowded roadways. This seems appropriate as, not surprisingly, New Year’s Day is perhaps the most dangerous holiday of all and Christmas Day also is among the top five dangerous holidays, according to Forbes magazine, which looked at nearly 30 years of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. What we… Read More

App for alternative-fuel vehicles can help you recharge or fill up
Fill ‘er up? Or the alternative-fuel equivalent, perhaps, charge ‘er up.     But where? At least, that might be a question for many who drive – or plan to drive – alternative-fuel vehicles. It’s not like there is a fueling station on every corner, as with gasoline stations. It’s a question, though, that is becoming easier and easier to answer as green vehicles proliferate. And now, there’s a smart phone app free from the U.S. Energy Department to help. “Apparently there’s an app for everything,” writes Stephen Edelstein in Green Car Reports, “including… Read More

Is this the best time of year for car shopping?
The end of the year is fast approaching. That means it’s about time to go car shopping, say some of the country’s best-known auto experts. Sure, you have family and friends around for the holidays, and there’s lots of other shopping to do, but are you going to let a little inconvenience get in the way of a deal on a car? Of course not. “A great car deal could be on your holiday shopping list,” says Kelley Blue Book, a top auto research site. “December may very well be the best month for getting a great deal on that… Read More