Steven Lang

    Steven Lang

  • Confessions of a used-car dealer: The six myths about my job

    Selling used cars isn't a game for the faint of heart or wallet. Here's the real story from someone who does it for a living.

  • The five big steps to cut the costs of owning a car

    By AAA's estimates, it cost about $8,880 to drive the typical car 15,000 miles a year. Here's the best ways to cut that number by as much as 50 percent.

  • The case against Tesla, and why success may be harder than ever

    The six reasons I bet against Tesla in the stock market — and was proven right.

  • How much would it cost for you to give up your car?

    The tipping point to becoming a car user instead of a car owner is different for each one of us. So what would be that tipping point for you when it comes to money and convenience?

  • The five big steps you should take after a car accident

    There are a few things that can literally save your financial hide — that most folks simply fail to do — in the heat of the moment after a wreck.

  • Why cheap gasoline is the best thing for America

    Do you remember when gas was cheap? Every single year I pass by a landmark that reminds me of those wonderful days of not too long ago. There is this old abandoned station I see on my family's annual trip to Myrtle Beach. It's an abandoned gas station from the Y2K era, and the prices for unleaded gas back then read out like a financial hallucination compared to today.

  • A car dealer's scientific guide to the most durable used cars

    Everybody wants to own a keeper. A car that provides so much personal satisfaction that the years and miles can just fly by while the enduring qualities of that daily driver remain picture perfect. The hard part for most folks comes down to hype.

  • The last new car you can buy in America for $10,000? Depends on "you"

    ow many of you would love to buy a brand new car for only $10,000? Officially, no U.S. automaker has a vehicle that stickers for less than $10,000 today; the cheapest is the Nissan Versa sedan that starts at $11,990. You may see a few dealers advertise a brand-new car at $9,995 or so, but that's a loss-leader that hides a bundle of hidden fees. Not this model. This car does come with all the things you would expect from a basic commuter. Four working doors. Wheels that spin. A motor. Brakes too! It even has functional seats, a radio, a steering wheel, and a horn. And, oh yes, it is legal in all 50 states —even Canada.

  • The secrets of how an auctioneer gets your hand in the air

    magine changing someone's mind in a matter of seconds — not with English, or a Jedi mind trick, but with pure gibberish. That's the work of a great auctioneer. The best in this business typically do this type of unique work anywhere from five to eight times a week. Automobiles, antiques, livestock — everything under the sun from real estate to real chickens gets auctioned off by a group of experienced professionals who have learned through thousands of auctions (and tons of practice) how to create the urgency to buy.

  • The 10 biggest mistakes used-car shoppers make

    Most used-car shoppers buy with their eyes. The right color. The right options. The right brand. ​The overwhelming majority of buyers have been immersed in an ocean of new-car advertising that make a car's looks seem like the most important ingredient in the recipe. So what do most do in the end? They try to find the best looking car at the lowest price, and it doesn't matter if the car comes from a dealership or a driveway. And they mess up.

  • Why car title loans are the financial drug many Americans can't quit

    It sounds like a financial version of Ebola: Loans with 300 percent annual interest, hidden fees, little regulation and the potential to not just ruin a borrower’s credit but their job and livelihood as well. The business of loaning money to a stranger, in exchange for a lien on their vehicle’s title, has become the fastest-growing financial instrument in America over the last five years — but it also can mean a fiscal death sentence for thousands of folks who already have one foot in the grave.

  • The five types of cars that offer the best bargains right now

    The time after Labor Day, and before Thanksgiving, is usually a fantastic time to bargain hunt for a new or used car if you are a cash buyer. This time of year represents a slower time in the car business because there are no shopping holidays. No tax returns that can be used towards the purchase of a used vehicle. No Christmas surprises for loved ones or end of year bonuses. In addition, the weather gets colder which keeps more folks inside their homes instead of out shopping for cars.

  • Driving the 2015 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, the new utility players

    Pickup trucks aren't cheap any more. Ten years ago, a well equipped full-sized pickup would cost you anywhere between $35,000 for a loaded four-wheel drive gas model to $45,000 for a heavy-duty diesel. These days that loaded $35,000 full-sized truck will cost well over $55,000; while the top-of-the-line $45,000 truck now lands in the upper deck of high prices, with a sticker that can break $70,000 in deluxe models.

  • Private license-plate scanners invade our privacy — but recovered my car

    Imagine a world where your daily travels can be bought and sold to anyone who is interested in tracking you. Sound far-fetched? It's not when it comes to your daily driver. There are now nearly a billion stored, digitized images of license plates throughout the United States. This, along with the temporary storage of hundreds of millions of other plates, represents a new market of public information that can be accessed by nearly anyone who has an interest in your whereabouts. The bank that finances your car. Your employer. An attorney seeking damages. Or even a private investigator seeking a skeleton or two in your closet. They all can find out where you have been, and even where you are likely to go in the near future. The opportunity to capitalize on this public information is also far quicker than you would imagine.

  • Five ways to keep your beater car on the road forever

    I am driving around town in a 15-year-old beater these days. The ride is...pleasant. The premium sound system still offers that healthy escape from the rigors of the road, and the leather seats are in better shape than the den sofa I bought brand new five years ago. I could take this car across the country tomorrow without a care or a concern. It does everything I ask of it. This blue Buick Century has never left me on the side of the road. The paint still looks great, and whatever I need maintenance-wise can be had for a reasonable price via the Internet.

  • Georgia dealers want Tesla store shuttered for selling too many Teslas

    Imagine owning the most popular automaker in the United States. Now imagine a special ​interest group eliminating your ability to serve over 10 million Americans unless you did business with their unique cartel. That's in essence what happened right before Labor Day weekend, when the Georgia Auto Dealer Association filed a petition with state officials seeking to cancel Tesla's right to sell its cars in the state of Georgia.

  • An insider's guide to buying used police cars

    Compared to the average model, police cars drink a lot of gas, idle for hours on end and generally take more abuse than any other vehicle on the road. But they also often last far longer, and offer an exceptionally nice firm ride. On a dollar-for-dollar basis they are perhaps the cheapest used vehicles on the road — and if you don't drive that much, they can be well worth it. However, you have to do a lot of homework to find the good ones among the many badly abused ones.

  • The 10 automotive species on the verge of extinction

    In a first, Americans will likely buy more crossovers than midsize sedans this year — unseating the 4-door car as the default vehicle of choice. The crossover has become the family wagon equivalent of today, with hybrids and compacts SUVs expanding as the cars of choice for young singles, couples and families. A long list of other model types now find themselves in the less-visited areas of new car dealerships. These vehicles that once drew enough buyers to justify new engineering now represent the endangered species of the auto industry. Some are in decline, others nearly defunct, and a few, sadly, may never return. Here are ten automotive species struggling to survive in the 2010s:

  • Should you change your oil every 15,000 miles? Here's how to decide

    There is good news and bad news when it comes to the 15,000 mile oil change — a standard five times longer than those often recommended by the quick-lube merchants. The good news: Yes, it is possible with certain vehicles and motor oils, to do so with no harm to your car. The bad? Unless you plan on keeping that car until half-past forever, you likely won't see any long-term benefit from doing it.

  • The 7 reasons you can't work on your own car

    Everyone wants to be independent. The opportunity to live a self-reliant life is embedded in the American ethos of rugged individualism. We want freedom, and that burning desire causes us to try to achieve all that we can and master our own domain. In the old days it was the farm and the livestock. Today, the do-it-yourself lifestyle encompasses much of daily living — from renovating our homes to sous-vide cooking to fixing our cellphones (despite the five-lobe screws from a certain fruity maker meant to discourage such tinkering.) Cars, however, have gone in the opposite direction; they have grown more difficult, expensive, and mysterious for those who have no compunction about tackling any other repair on their own.