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Which automaker manufactures the highest quality vehicles – VW, Toyota, Chrysler or Ford?
Volkswagen or Toyota. Toyota or Volkswagen. Both manufacturers have their fans and proponents, and there’s evidence to support them. Both automakers can stake a claim to leading important industry measures of quality. VW has the “best total quality” and Toyota the “fewest problems,” according to the 2012 Total Quality Awards compiled by Strategic Vision research group of San Diego, CA. Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group follow VW in total quality, the research group reports, and Honda with three vehicles atop the ratings in their respective categories. “With near universal acceptance that manufacturers are running the tightest ‘quality race’ ever,… Read More

What is GAP Insurance?
Just about everyone who buys a car from a dealership has experienced it. It’s the hard sell of car amenities at the end of the car-buying process. You are ushered to a room where a dealership employee, probably the finance manager, provides the contract for you to sign, financing your new vehicle. Then there is the checklist of auto add-ons. You can include extended warranty, additional servicing packages and GAP insurance or Guaranteed Asset Protection. What is GAP insurance? It’s one of the ways you protect your pocketbook, should something happen to your car before you finish paying it off.… Read More

Saving money on your next car purchase
Going car shopping? You’ll probably think about new vehicles – it’s a fun idea – but if you are like most prospective purchasers, you will get a used one. “The average used car costs less than half the average new car,” says bankrate.com. “So, it's no surprise that used cars outsell new cars 3-to-1.” New vehicle sales were about 11.6 million in 2011, according to the trade publication Automotive News. Meanwhile used car sales were about 39 million, reported CNW Marketing Research of Bandon, Ore, which specializes in automotive market research. “Cars are depreciating assets, which means each year they… Read More

Getting ahead of the curve on loan repayments
It’s not easy, but it can be done. Getting ahead on auto loan, mortgage or credit card payments takes discipline and a plan – and it’s well worth the effort, according to financial experts. “While working toward becoming debt free, I wanted to use every trick in the book to save money, increase my income, and pay down my debt faster,” blogger Carrie Smith of “Careful Cents” wrote recently at Huffington Post Money. In the blog post, she offers her “Top 6 ways to Pay Off Any Loan Faster”: Make bi-weekly payments to your lender, submitting half the monthly payment… Read More

Scion, Honda most fuel-efficient cars for 2013
If driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle is among your New Year’s resolutions – and money is no object – plenty of options are available for 2013. Zachary Shahan at CleanTechnica.com offers the “10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars” for the new year, “all electric, of course,” ranked by a combination of truly impressive city MPG and highway MPG that represent a tech-tonic shift in automobile mileage for the new millennium. Based on the EPA’s just-released fuel economy guide, the Scion iQ EV is the most fuel-efficient vehicle with a combined, ultra-stingy 121 Miles Per Gallon of gasoline, 138 MPG city and… Read More

Car Loans After Bankruptcy
Nobody wants to file for bankruptcy. But life happens. A recession here, an economic downturn there and before you know it, you’re filing chapter 13. Yet, there is life after bankruptcy. Car loans after bankruptcy may present a few challenges, but they are not impossible. The first stipulation is being aware of the status of your case. Your bankruptcy case doesn’t necessarily need to be over to get financing, but the courts must have issued an order of discharge. Why? The discharge allows your dischargeable debts to be zeroed out on a credit report. Now that debt has been discharged, you… Read More

New-car drivers fueling drop in gas consumption, pollution
  American drivers finally have had enough of gas-guzzling vehicles, it seems, based on evidence collected over the last five years. That also has fueled a significant decline in greenhouse gases – pollution. New vehicle models purchased last month – including all new cars, SUVs and light trucks – got 24.1 miles per gallon on average, The Washington Post’s “WonkBlog” reported Dec. 5. That compares with an average of just over 20 miles a gallon for new vehicles in fall of 2007. “New cars bought in the fall of 2012 are using about 15 percent less fuel per mile than cars… Read More

Auto finance companies – top five factors to evaluate
  Shopping for a vehicle – new or used car, pickup or SUV – should begin with a careful search for financing (unless you’re paying with cash). Then, when you find and select a vehicle you can live with, you’re better prepared to make the purchase on your terms. It’s easier said than done, of course. But help is available, especially online, if you know where to look. Take, for example, TopTenReviews website, which provides details of the major categories comprising more than two-dozen specific considerations that could affect your decision. “When you’re considering an automobile loan, it’s important to… Read More

Best 2013 cars for Christmas under $25,000
Automobile makers have some Christmas fun each year posing their new vehicles with bows and ribbons, surrounded by snow, skiers, sleighs, happy families or other holiday trappings, in advertisements and TV commercials. Often the featured vehicles are among the priciest – luxury model or manufacturer. Of course, the goal is to entice Santa to make a big impression by putting one under the Christmas tree –or at least in the driveway – for the family to discover in the morning to their obvious delight. As exciting and impractical as that might seem, autobytel, automotive website, has offered its “10 Best… Read More

Sovereign-Santander presents $150,000 check to American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts
PHILADELPHIA (PR Newswire) - Sovereign Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, presented a $150,000 check to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  As the official bank of the Philadelphia Eagles, Sovereign-Santander presented the check at the Eagles' home game Dec. 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals of which Sovereign-Santander was the presenting sponsor. Jorge Moran, President and CEO of Sovereign Bank and Santander US Country head, presented the $150,000 check to the American Red Cross during the game. Accepting the donation was Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, CEO of the Southeastern Pennsylvania American Red Cross. This donation adds to… Read More