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The best new cars for shoppers on a budget
New cars average around $30,000, but that’s a budget-buster for many buyers who just need basic transportation as a first or even second vehicle. So we went looking for 2014 bargain cars to meet that need and came up with 15 of the best, along with a bonus four vehicles that didn’t make the best-of lists we consulted. The top new car – the Chevrolet Sonic – was named by autoweek.com and chron.com and also was “recommended” by Consumer Reports’ New Car Preview 2014. Three other vehicles listed under $17,000 by aol.com and… Read More

Foreign-made new cars or made in the USA?
Drive around much and you’re sure to see what I see – a plethora of pickup trucks and seemingly foreign-made vehicles. I say seemingly with good reason. A lot of those “foreign-made” new cars actually are American-made, according to KBB.com (Kelley Blue Book), albeit by U.S. operations of foreign automakers. “You wouldn't be shocked to find out that 6 of the 10 best-selling vehicles in the country are from foreign automakers,” says KBB.com in an introduction to an online article on the subject. “But you might be surprised to learn that all 10 are… Read More

Used vehicles – navigating the shifting currents of in-car technology and value
New technology in the dashboard comes at a premium when cars are sold new, but it can be an entirely different story when a used vehicle is resold after four or five years. That big bright screen with the navigation system may have been top of the line in 2008, but there are newer systems today that make in-car technology in older used vehicles look positively antique. Joe Spina, senior analyst with Edmunds.com, says that the age of the technology definitely affects the value of a car. “On a newer vehicle, technology helps the value. But generally speaking, these types… Read More

This Bentley nameplate probably comes with a more affordable price tag
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name “Bentley.” Luxury automobiles unaffordable to many, a snooty chauffeur, Grey Poupon mustard, right? Well, that’s about to change. You may be able to afford a Bentley of your own, after all. Maybe. Bentley furniture, that is. The world-recognized British automaker is launching a furniture line called “Bentley Home,” which, it says, is “inspired by the renowned craftsmanship and exquisite materials that characterize the interiors of all Bentley [car] models.” (The company sold just over 1,300 cars the first six months of 2013 in the United States).… Read More

RoadLoans.com experiences get thumbs up from repeat customers
Repeat customers are the gold standard of success for most companies, and RoadLoans is no different. While we receive many positive reviews from buyers who have financed their latest car purchases or have refinanced vehicles through RoadLoans, the standouts include those from customers who have borrowed or plan to borrow from us for a second vehicle. Here is what some of those customers have to say about dealing with RoadLoans: “Using RoadLoans is not unfamiliar to us,” one repeat customer, Brian, wrote recently. “We have used them before, and just like then, it was a smooth transaction.  The transaction was… Read More

AutoTrader shines light on costly car-shopping mistakes
Believe it or not, this may be the most difficult time of year for car shoppers to make a buying decision, with end-of-the-year deals on 2013 model vehicles and showrooms full of brand-spanking-new 2014 models to consider. “Between researching, test-driving and shopping for the best deal, buying a new car is difficult. It's also expensive: A car is among the priciest items most shoppers will ever purchase,” says AutoTrader. That’s why AutoTrader wants to help make sure consumers avoid costly car-shopping mistakes. (RoadLoans is preferred direct lender of AutoTrader.) "Buying a car is something people usually only do at most… Read More

The best family vehicles of 2013 [Infographic]
The family is growing, and you need more space.  Not in the house, but in the car. Your bachelor-mobile was great for date night, but now you have to think about diaper bags, car seats, soccer balls and grocery trips. The two-seater is no longer suitable for your family lifestyle. Well, RoadLoans is here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the best family vehicles of 2013. You might think it’s just the top ten minivans, but our list has vehicles of all shapes, sizes and prices to compliment the various dimensions of today’s families. Read More

Road Trip: Going to Galveston a family tradition
It has become a tradition. Every year, I take my kids to Galveston for an end-of-summer weekend. The beach city is about a five-hour road trip from where we live, so when you’re short on vacation time and money, it’s a quick, affordable getaway. Now, while I normally dread the idea of driving my 8-, 6- and 4-year-old anywhere that takes longer than 30 minutes, this road trip doesn’t give me indigestion. Besides the bucket load of electronics I have to keep them busy, there are a few stops along the road… Read More

Ford not conceding in ‘heavy-metal’ battle of pickups
Chevrolet Silverado and Chrysler Group’s Ram pickup trucks may be the top choices of Consumer Reports (see yesterday’s blog post), but Ford, led by the F-series of trucks,  still is the sales champion, reports Automotive News. “The autumn pickup wars have been joined, with Ford aggressively defending its segment leadership against redesigned rivals from General Motors and Chrysler Group's Ram brand,” wrote the News’ Bradford Wernie. Toyota and Nissan round out the top five truck makers. Ford’s market share remained at 39.4 percent for the first eight months of the year compared to 2012, but both General Motors, with the… Read More

Consumer Reports: Chevy Silverado vs. Ram 1500 in ‘heavy-metal duel’
In the argument over which pickup truck is better – the Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 – each has its fans. But Consumer Reports picked sides. Two sides to be exact. “In a heavy-metal duel between two top pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500's ‘Excellent’ road-test score makes it Consumer Reports' top-rated truck,” the product-testing organization said of its two top-rated trucks. But CR testers said the second-place Ram 1500 “may be a better daily driver.” Consumer Reports previously tested the Ford F-150 XLT, which was outscored by Ram and Silverado. "The… Read More

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