On the road again; I just can’t wait …
On the road again; I just can't wait... Road trip.There’s just something magical about putting those two words together. Really, who doesn’t need to take a road trip now and then just to maintain some perspective? Road trips are poetry in motion, literally, with calming and deeply restorative effects.The phrase conjures different things for different people, but usually evokes images of traveling companions – family or friends – rolling down a scenic highway to an interesting destination. I’ve taken road trips with my family for vacations and father-son bonding road trips.Among my all-time favorite road trip destinations – along with… Read More

These stylish new cars may be worth the wait
Automobile styling apparently is in again. After years of emphasis on economy (read: miles per gallon), soon-to-be-released models show a distinct turn for the better for car lovers who want a dash of style with their mpg. “Fuel efficiency is still important, but style is back for the new cars sporting 2013 and 2014 model years,” writes Michael Frank for Popular Mechanics online article and slide show “12 More New Cars Worth Waiting For,” a follow-up on a similar article posted online earlier. “Sportiness is taking center stage once more,” Frank writes, “and a fierce competition is about to happen… Read More

Kids and Kars: Child Safety Seats
Kids and Kars: Child Safety Seats This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week. Now in its 15th year, the annual event got me thinking about our annual family trip. Every year, I take the kiddos to Galveston, Texas, for Labor Day weekend. A day before the trip, and sometimes the morning of, I take the car in for a once-over to make sure everything is working correctly. Tires…check. Oil…check. We’re good to go. Yet, while my attention is focused on the external factors of traveling, I will be the first to admit I sometimes overlook the internal…namely, my children’s… Read More

Average fuel economy increases for new cars, TrueCar reports’s latest report on average fuel economy for new cars sold provides some otherwise hard-to-find good news in higher gasoline prices, which were running near their peak average nationally on Sept. 11. Fuel economy increased to 23.2 mpg in August “after four months of decline,” according to TrueCar. That “TrueMPG” represents an increase from 23.1 mpg in July and 21.7 mpg in August 2011. “Just four years ago, in August 2008, TruMPG was 20.3 mpg,” reported TrueCar describes itself as the authority on new car pricing information, trends and forecasting. "Relatively higher gas prices and attractive incentives helped improve… Read More

Kids and Kars: The ABC’s of Back-to-School Driving
Kids and Kars: The ABC’s of Back-to-School Driving I don’t know about you, but the first day of school ambushed me again. Just like Christmas, it waits around the corner and darts out, startling me every year. So imagine my surprise when I realized that not only was I not ready, but my back-to-school driving skills needed a quick refresher course. School zones, small children and carpool cones can make your morning commute a bit of an obstacle course. Hopefully, these few helpful hints will ease the back-to-school driving blues. Be alert in and near school zones Most school children… Read More

Auto sales showing real, continuing strength
New vehicle sales are putting some real muscle into the still-stumbling economy, led not by muscle cars, but by small cars and big trucks. The strong August sales figures for new vehicles suggest that the trend won’t change any time soon as some industry experts expect growth to continue into 2017. “Roughly 12.4 million new vehicles will be driven off dealer lots this year, according to the IBISWorld report,” says a story that appeared in the Los Angeles Times online Sept. 5, the day after automakers reported their August sales figures. Those results showed double-digit sales at all five major… Read More

The 10 coolest rides under $18,000
The 10 Coolest Rides Under $18,000: Kelley Blue Book Cool is in the eye of the beholder. But auto industry experts at Kelley Blue Book: The Trusted Resource took a crack at the 10 coolest cars of 2012-2013 in a list published on the KBB website. Ten different manufacturers are represented on the list, more than half of which can claim an option of 40 mpg or greater. So, besides the low sticker price, they give drivers a break at the gas pump. “Whether you’re looking to express yourself through sheet metal, maximize your in-car connectivity or (re)discover the joy… Read More

Auto sales revved up in August
August Is Second-Best Month of 2012 for New Auto Sales That sound of revving car engines you heard in August might not have been your imagination. But most of the new engines, at least, would have been Japanese. In a report by Melodie Warner posted online by The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, “new U.S. car sales are expected to climb 20 percent in August” compared to a year earlier, when there was one less automobile selling day. forecast a slightly smaller rise in sales, with total sales expected to top 1.25 million cars and trucks. The increase was… Read More

OurTube – Santander Consumer USA videos online
OurTube -- Santander Consumer USA Videos Online If you are like many car shoppers, myself included, you probably decide which shiny new or used vehicle you would like to purchase and where before you think too much about how you’re going to pay for it. Sure, you might figure out whether a new vehicle might fit into the household budget, but then it usually isn’t long before you discover you have more questions than answers about paying for it. Unless you’re going to pay cash, that means you’ll be taking out a loan – or retail installment contract – which… Read More

Santander Consumer USA has your auto finance needs covered – rushed or not
Santander Consumer USA Has Your Auto Finance Needs Covered – Rushed or Not Driving along an urban expressway at rush hour – well, maybe “crawling” typically would be a more accurate word to describe the experience – two questions often cross my mind: Who’s driving all these cars, and how did they get here? The short answer to the first question is that nearly everyone is driving. Americans own not quite one vehicle each – new and used, from beauties to beaters, muscle cars to pickup trucks, SUVs to Mini Coopers. And it often seems as though they’re all on… Read More