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Editorial Results (free)

1. Wallowing in Watergate 50 years later: A political quiz -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For half a century, every major Washington scandal started with some form of this question: Is this another Watergate?

Watergate spawned an all-purpose suffix. If "gate" were appended to misdeeds it was controversy of first rank.

2. High prices, low inventory the are new norm for car shoppers -

Shopping for a new or used car over the last couple of years has become a more challenging endeavor. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its after-effects, we’ve had to deal with factory closures, supply chain issues, a worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips, vehicle shortages, price hikes on dealer lots and fewer discounts.

3. What to know before getting your car wrapped -

Wrapping a vehicle in vinyl to alter its look was once the domain of show cars, luxury and exotics but has now gone mainstream as part of a growing multibillion-dollar industry.

A car wrap is a series of vinyl decals that allows an owner to change the look of a vehicle without the long-term commitment of a traditional paint job. Think of it as a temporary tattoo for your car.

4. A longer loan for your car? That’s a bad idea -

The traditional “20/4/10 rule” of car buying states that you should make a 20% down payment, have a loan no longer than four years and a total monthly car budget that does not exceed 10% of your take-home pay. But the reality is only 6% of new car shoppers actually followed that advice in March, Edmunds sales data shows.

5. Should you repair your old car or buy new one? -

Perhaps this scenario is familiar to you. Your car broke down and now you’re faced with a costly repair bill. It may not have been the first time this has happened, and you’re getting tired of pouring money into an aging machine. A new car would be nice, but is that the smartest decision in today’s inflated market?

6. What actions can void your new car warranty? -

A new car limited warranty, sometimes called a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty, is a contract between the vehicle owner and the automaker. It promises to take care of any applicable repairs provided that the owner properly maintains the vehicle.

7. Order your next car direct from the factory -

It has been difficult to find a new car in today’s market, which is plagued by chip shortages and supply chain issues. Many dealership lots are looking bare, and the few cars they carry might not have the options you need or are more expensive than you planned on spending.

8. Shopping for a car this year will not be the same -

2021 was an unusual year for the automotive industry. While customer demand for new cars rebounded from the economic uncertainty of 2020, automakers found themselves unable to meet that demand because of semiconductor chip shortages and supply chain problems.

9. Understanding trim levels, options for new cars -

A key part of the car-buying process is familiarizing yourself with some of the key terms you’ll encounter on automaker websites and dealership lots. You want to ensure you’re getting the right features in your new vehicle. But if you’re new to buying cars or aren’t familiar with auto industry lingo, a conversation with the salesperson can go right over your head.

10. Electric pickup hauls away 2021 top vehicle honors -

Every year Edmunds’ experts put their heads together to determine the very best new vehicles on sale. Spread across nine categories, the Edmunds Top Rated Awards are given to the cars, trucks and SUVs that rank at the top of their class according to Edmunds’ vehicle testing program.

11. Low inventory means fewer seasonal deals -

This has been a tough year to buy a new or used car in America. With COVID-19 factory shutdowns, semiconductor chip shortages, rising prices and supply chain issues, it’s been nothing but bad news for car shoppers.

12. Vehicle prices remain high as traditional sale season ends -

If this were a normal year, dealers would be kicking off their end-of-model-year vehicle clearance sales. Consumers can often find good deals as dealerships are eager to sell their remaining inventory to make room for next year’s models.

13. Edmunds’ guide to vehicle history reports -

Obtaining a vehicle history report is an integral part of any used-car purchase. It’s one of the best ways to learn about a given vehicle’s past and help make your search for a used car much easier.

14. Buyer’s remorse: Can I please return the car I just bought? -

With car prices at record highs and inventory getting thinner, shoppers might be tempted to rush through a deal this summer without giving it much thought. But what happens if you later have buyer’s remorse, whether it be from too high of a car payment or realizing your new car isn’t actually what you wanted?

15. Five likely reasons your check engine light just lit up -

Americans are holding onto their vehicles longer than ever, with the average age of a car in 2020 rising to a record 12.1 years, data from IHS Markit reveals. But if you own a car for long enough and something goes wrong mechanically, you’re likely to see an amber check engine light somewhere in the gauge cluster.

16. Consider leasing with new car prices soaring -

New and used car prices remain high as a global semiconductor chip shortage and increased consumer demand have caused a shortage of vehicles on dealer lots. The situation is expected to last many months, making it hard on people who are in need of a car today.

17. Chip shortage: Fewer choices, higher car prices -

The pandemic appears to be receding in the U.S. and the economy recovering, yet car shoppers heading back to car dealerships are in for a surprise: There are fewer vehicles to choose from and those that are available are more expensive.

18. 5 smart ways to use your tax return on a car -

Tax season will be coming to a close later than usual this year due to the May 17 extended deadline. Until that time, you might hear advertisements from car dealerships urging you to bring in your refund or pandemic stimulus check to buy a new car. Given that the average tax refund issued in 2020 was $2,741, the IRS reports, it is a solid amount that people often use to make major purchases.

19. Testing casts doubts on Teslas’ EPA range estimates -

Edmunds’ test team recently published the results of its real-world range testing for electric vehicles. Notably, every Tesla the team tested in 2020 came up short of matching the EPA’s range estimate. Almost all other EVs Edmunds tested met or exceeded those estimates.

20. How to sell a car safely during a pandemic -

Selling a car privately has long been a way for people to potentially get more money for their vehicle compared to trading it in to a dealership. But it’s always been a laborious process.

You need to photograph your car from all angles, create ads, take calls and texts from strangers and then meet them so they can test-drive your car and complete the deal.

21. Edmunds names its top new cars for 2021 -

Every year Edmunds’ experts put their heads together to determine the very best new vehicles on sale. Spread across eight categories, the Edmunds Top Rated Awards are given to the cars, trucks and SUVs that rank at the top of their class according to Edmunds’ vehicle testing program.

22. Early winter car deals might not be as bountiful -

Once a novel concept in dealership marketing, Black Friday car deals have become as common as the TV deals at your local big-box store. While the savings on new cars aren’t that dramatic – no 70% off fire sales here – they do generally make mid to late November a good time to buy a car.

23. Busting, confirming a few myths of car ownership -

You’ve probably heard over the years a number of tips or myths regarding the value of your car. They might involve how quickly a new vehicle depreciates, for instance, or the biggest factor that influences the value of your used vehicle.

24. Now is a great time to sell or trade in your car -

Historically, Labor Day week is an opportune moment to get a great deal on a new vehicle. But this time around, the great deal could very well come about by selling or trading in your car.

Factory shutdowns or slowdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic have limited the number of new 2021 vehicles arriving at dealerships, blunting dealerships’ need to offer big inventory-clearing sales. At the same time, there’s an increasing trend of consumers looking to save money by purchasing a used vehicle.

25. When it’s a good idea to buy new instead of used -

A rule of thumb for car buying is that a used vehicle will provide greater savings and better value than a new vehicle. But “better value” isn’t applicable to every car, especially right now.

26. Now is time to shop for certified preowned vehicle -

Used cars have historically been a smart alternative for those in need of transportation during an economic downturn. They don’t depreciate as much as new cars and are less likely to overburden a buyer with a large loan at a time of uncertainty.

27. 0% loans are a smart way to get out of a bad loan -

Nearly every automaker has introduced 0% financing to spur car sales amid the coronavirus pandemic, creating a smart way for buyers to finance their new car.

Edmunds data shows 26% of vehicle loans in April took advantage of 0% financing. Additionally, an interesting trend emerged from the data: The amount of negative equity with trade-ins, which is when you owe more on your current loan than the vehicle is worth, hit a record high of $5,571.

28. Reached the end of your lease? You have options during pandemic -

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed the way we live and conduct business in this country. Take, for instance, the act of terminating a vehicle lease.

Edmunds analysts had anticipated more than a million leased vehicles coming back to car dealerships this quarter. But due to countless shelter-in-place orders, many people will face the question of how to safely handle their vehicle’s lease return or whether they can return their vehicle at all.

29. How to seek car payment relief during the pandemic -

Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic has taken hold in the U.S. and shut down business on a large scale. When people are struggling to keep up with their bills, they often prioritize their basic needs and move their car payment to the bottom of the list.

30. Wear isn’t the only reason to replace your car’s tires -

Tires are of vital importance since they are the only part of the vehicle that makes contact with the road. Yet motorists often neglect their condition and age, and the results can be catastrophic.

31. How to shop for a low-tech car -

New vehicles are more technologically advanced than ever. A car today can mirror your smartphone on its center display screen, warn you of objects in your blind spot, brake on its own in an emergency, adjust the climate control via voice and much more.

32. Buying a high-demand car on an MSRP budget -

Nearly every time a hotly anticipated new or redesigned vehicle first hits dealer lots, a number of enterprising dealerships will take the opportunity to make some additional profit. The good news for consumers is that there are ways around these markups.

33. Sometimes leasing a car is the more frugal option -

If you need a car, the most frugal option is to buy one that’s 2 to 3 years old, pay cash and drive it until the wheels fall off.

The least frugal option traditionally has been leasing, where you make monthly payments to drive a car but don’t own it. You’re paying for the vehicle during its most expensive period – cars lose more than half their value on average in the first three years – and you have nothing to show for your payments after the lease ends.

34. What are your options at the end of a car lease? -

This was a record year for lease returns, with an estimated 4 million people taking back their vehicles back to dealerships, Edmunds data show. The trend is expected to continue in 2020 as leasing has grown in popularity.

35. Pros, cons of buying outgoing car model vs. redesign -

The end of the calendar year can be an exciting time for new-car buyers. Many vehicles have been redesigned and are packed with the latest technology. However, the outgoing models are still on dealer lots and likely to be discounted steeply by makers and dealers looking to meet year-end goals.

36. How to take advantage of deals beyond Black Friday -

One of the most stressful aspects of Black Friday is fending off crowds or waiting in long lines to get a killer deal. It’s been that way for car buying, too.

But the truth is – with the exception of a few doorbuster sales – Black Friday in the car business is really more of a holiday sales kickoff rather than a one-day bonanza. And there are a few unique factors that make this November a better month for car shopping than December.

37. What to expect with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay updates -

The fall season coincides with the reveal of the latest smartphones and operating systems from Apple and Google. This year in particular marks the first time the two brands have significantly overhauled their automotive software – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – to make them easier to use.

38. Better used-car trim packages can provide more value -

Americans tend to want all the “bells and whistles” on their new cars. Today’s shoppers are opting for higher trim levels and costlier option packages, an Edmunds’ analysis shows.

39. Should you buy a used car from a rental company? -

The life of a rental vehicle is a tough one: It’s driven by many people and for more miles than average. After about a year of service, the rental company will typically pull the vehicle out of the fleet and sell it as a used car.

40. Should you buy used luxury or fully loaded new car? -

The luxury vehicle of your dreams might now be something you can afford, thanks to a record number of lease returns hitting the used-car market.

This trend has widened the price difference between a new vehicle and a 3-year-old used one, Edmunds transaction data show.

41. 6 fun-to-drive new cars to calm your quarter-life crisis -

You’re likely familiar with the stereotype of a middle-aged person who impulsively splurges on an expensive new car. But there’s also a similar experience at a different life stage: Buying a flashy and fun vehicle right after you get your first well-paying job. You might call it a quarter-life crisis car.

42. Can you own an electric car without a home charger? -

A popular selling point for electric vehicles is the notion that you never have to stop for gas. Your “gas station” is in your garage – simply plug in your vehicle to charge it overnight.

43. Perk drives away as carmakers reel in free maintenance -

A number of automakers have offered free maintenance programs for more than a decade as a way to sweeten the deal on a car lease or purchase. But in recent years, automakers have begun to reel in their plans by shortening the term, reducing the scope of coverage or eliminating them altogether.

44. Are prepaid car maintenance plans worth it? -

Prepaid car maintenance plans are one of the most common items a dealership finance and insurance manager will offer you when you buy a new car.

The sales pitch promises the advantage of "locking in" maintenance prices at today's rates for a little extra amount added to your monthly payment. Then, whenever you need scheduled maintenance, just roll in, get the service done and roll out without ever opening your wallet.

45. Mistakes you’ll want to avoid when buying a new car -

Car shoppers often see themselves as targets of opportunity for dealerships and their salespeople. And while a few dealerships do engage in shenanigans, some damage can be self-inflicted.

Here are some of the most common car-shopping mistakes people make when buying or leasing a car. Avoid them and you’ll have a better car-buying experience.

46. Edmunds: How to hack the traditional test drive -

Test-driving a vehicle is a critical part of the buying process. And while you may be familiar with the basics, there are a number of things you can do to save time and streamline the process.

Here’s how to hack your way to a better test-drive experience:

47. Top car tech trends from Consumer Electronics Show -

Every year at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we get a glimpse of what vehicles might be – and what they could do. The event has also become an annual progress report on the latest electric vehicles and how close we are to “full driving automation,” as the Society of Automotive Engineers calls it. Here are a few vehicle trends from CES that you’ll see in the immediate future and some others that are much further away.

48. Out with the new, in with the old: 6 used cars picks -

Buying a used car instead of a new one has long been a surefire way to save money. Someone else takes the initial depreciation hit – between 25 to 30 percent on average for the first year – so you pay a lot less for the car and finance a smaller amount.

49. How to shop for a car when interest rates are high -

If you’re new to car buying or it’s been a few years since your last purchase, get ready for a shock when it comes to financing. Interest rates on loans for new vehicles hit an average of 6.2 percent in October 2018, the highest since January 2009, Edmunds research shows.

50. What’s new – and what’s missing – in your next new car -

Automakers are continually making changes in vehicles. These can be technological breakthroughs, such as the automatic emergency braking systems that are increasingly becoming standard on new cars. Some are mandated changes, such as a federal requirement that all vehicles have backup cameras, which went into effect in May.

51. Some late-spring deals before summer sales season -

Summer is the busiest selling season at car dealerships. The weather is nice, people have more time to shop and the discounts are attractive enough to get buyers’ attention. Dealers also make full use of the summer’s holiday weekends, beginning with Memorial Day, as you might have noticed with balloon-decked lots, inflatable eagles and scads of car ads.

52. Four-door sedans in the spotlight for bargain hunters -

Over the past few years, car shoppers have flocked to crossovers and SUVs because of their higher seating position, added cargo space and ease of entry. As a result, sedan sales have slowed to a crawl.

53. 7 things you might not know about new car warranties -

Most of us know the new-car basic warranty, often referred to as the “bumper-to-bumper warranty,” is designed to protect the owner against any factory defects during the first few years of ownership. But did you know this coverage doesn’t actually apply to the bumpers? The vehicle’s bumpers are considered body panels and so aren’t covered.

54. What’s next: Top car tech trends from CES 2018 -

Artificial intelligence that controls your infotainment screen. A vehicle that can read your brain. Cars that can see around blind corners. These are some of the automotive tech highlights of Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

55. Which new car-safety features are worth the cost? -

We are in a new era of car safety: The focus has shifted from reducing death and injury in a vehicle collision to preventing a crash from happening in the first place. Safety features designed to avoid accidents are becoming increasingly common in new cars.

56. Edmunds: Best year-end car deals for 2017 -

Every December, carmakers and dealerships scramble to hit end-of-year goals and sell off vehicles from the outgoing model year. But this December might be one for the record books. Inventory is at unusually high levels, and the push to clear it will be far more aggressive than in years past. Rebates will be generous – particularly on sedans, which are not nearly as popular as SUVs. So, bargain hunters can find significant savings.