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Where would you suggest for a Memorial Day weekend day trip or overnight?

RockportGary Jaffarian provides a few New England destinations as options for a nice day trip or holiday weekend away.

The official kick off to summer is upon us and it is time for summer drives and weekend get-aways! Most people in our area have visited popular destinations including Cape Cod, Rockport, Gloucester, Ipswich, Newburyport, Ogunquit and Kennebunkport (Maine); or the N.H. Lakes Region—which are still among my favorites. (If you haven’t been to these beautiful places already, then I suggest you put them on top of your summer “bucket” list.)

I am a boater and love the ocean, so most of my favorite summer destinations are Tivertoncentered around ocean communities. But I have one favorite place in the mountains of Massachusetts and some favorite places in Southern Rhode Island by the ocean which are often overlooked.

With gas prices averaging about $2.39 per gallon, you can get to some of these beautiful places in a half-day or less for about $20. If some of these places have available hotel rooms on the holiday weekend, I suggest you stay over. Your favorite discounted hotel rooms web sites may be the place to find an available room, such as Groupon, Trivago.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz.com; Booking New England or Expedia.

Berkshire in SUmmerThe Berkshires—This mountainous and historic area is filled with culture, music, beautiful views and charming villages. But most people in the Boston area or Merrimack Valley that I meet have never been there. In just two-and-a-half to three hours, you can be in this beautiful region. There is so much to do and see, a weekend is barely enough time to explore this region known for its many tourist attractions.

Museums: The two most famous are:
1. Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. While I will admit to not being much of a fan of his artwork, he is an iconic artist documenting the history of our country in Rockwell Museumpictures. I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the tour was, as well as learning important facts about his life and passion for civil rights. It’s a great place for children and adults.

2. Mass MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in North Adams was written up on the front page of this past Sunday’s Boston Globe. It has expanded and will be MassMoCA

opening a new building on May 28th. This amazing museum is home to a diverse group of exhibitions representing many forms of multi-media art, paintings, sculptures and so much more. The collections are only on view for a limited time, so it is ever-changing. Boston Globe write Malcolm Gay referred to Mass MoCA as “about the vast and outlandish, an unlikely arts mecca…” The new building will add another 105,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space!

Downtown Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District has a mix of museums, movies, shops and restaurants.

Tanglewood in Lenox is one of the most famous places to visit in the country for classical and orchestral music and is the summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. It is best known for hosting the Boston Pops events in the summer and James Taylor on the 3rd of July, for his annual Independence Day celebration. While Tanglewoodthere are no shows until May 31st, it is worth mentioning if you go between then and Labor Day. Keith Lockhart will be there leading the Boston Pops in John Williams music, there are special performances by the Indigo Girls, Joan Baez and many other nationally-known musicians.

The Berkshires are also home to wineries, breweries, farmers’ markets and orchards, making it a great place to visit in spring, summer or autumn; or for skiing in the winter. Instead of staying overnight in a chain hotel, there are plenty of charming and historic inns and bed and breakfasts. You may want to check out the famous Red Lion Inn.

PEM ExhibitSpeaking of art exhibits, there is a wearable art exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem (MA) that is a short drive and after checking out the exhibit there is plenty to see in this quaint and historic seaside community with many museums, shops and restaurants.

Newport, RI is one of the most sought after travel destinations for New Yorkers, but just south of Massachusetts, many people haven’t been to Newport. Known for its beaches, mansions of Bellevue Avenue and shopping and dining on Thames Street and on two downtown wharfs, Newport is home to the most bed and breakfasts of any city inNewport America! It is the home to the Viking Hotel used for the original filming of The Great Gatsby based on the 1925 American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald; and the center of town was using in the filming of Amistad— a true movie based on events of 1839, when the revolt of slaves aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island and the courts had to decide whether the passengers were slaves or legally free.

Downtown NewportNewport is a great place to visit for the day or weekend whether you’re single and looking for some music clubs; or a family looking for fun things to do with the kids. (There’s a giant arcade with video games for the kids in downtown Newport!) If you are a boater, Newport is home to the International Boat Show every September and is one of the largest boating events in the nation.

Other places to visit in Rhode Island are Jamestown, a historic oceanside town next to Newport; take a ferry to Block Island from Narragansett or Newport; or go over the scenic Newport Bridge,Newport Bridge the longest in New England and away from the crowds to visit Tiverton for beaches or Boating; or historic Bristol. There are many beautiful ocean-view towns in the smallest state in the union, which are often overlooked by most New Englanders. Bristol is home to the oldest 4th of July parade in the entire nation! Coastal Living magazine named Bristol in its top 10 best American beach towns to celebrate the 4th of July!

Before you leave, give us a call (888) 718-4749 or book on line 24/7 for an appointment with Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s Service Department for an oil change and we’ll give your vehicle a great check-up before you leave. If you bring your vehicle in for a service check, our certified technician will even text you a short video of your vehicle and their findings! Or call to book a detail cleaning before you leave or when you return. Service and detail specials are available by using the coupons on our website.

Travel safely and enjoy your long weekend and the unofficial start of the summer season!

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Gary Jaffarian

Are you doing anything to support the local community in the off-season?

Gary Jaffarian explains that the back-to-school and holiday seasons are not the only times of the year that Jaffarian sponsors programs to give back to the local community. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s commitment to the community began three generations ago when the company was founded and is an all-season effort. Consistently the Jaffarian family’s charitable focus has been supporting local youth and disadvantaged families.

YIMCheckDonation (002)Giving back to our local community is in our DNA. You can read about our many efforts starting back with my grandfather (link to the stories on the website.) For us there is not an off-season when it comes to giving back. That is why just over a year ago, we established the Jaffarian Youth in Motion Fund to create an ongoing, all season program to support our local youth in two cities where there is great need: Lawrence and Haverhill. The Jaffarian Youth in Motion Fund enables local youth in need to participate in sports and activities that provide structure, discipline, teach sportsmanship and, ultimately, promote a healthy, active lifestyle. This fund formalizes efforts that we have consistently funded over the years including sponsoring many local sports teams and the Game On program where we offset the high costs of high school fees for many local communities donating over $50,000 to participate in sports.

With so many children watching TV and playing video games, combined with a diet that includes fast food, the national obesity rate in children and adults is steadily on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 17% of children are obese and they grow into the 36.5% of obese American adults. Of the 12.7 million obese children in the U.S., 9% are ages 2-5; 17.5% are ages 6-11; and 20% are ages 12-19.

As part of the Jaffarian Youth in Motion program, we recently presented an additional $5,000 to both the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Haverhill and the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. The Clubs use the funds to help numerous boys and girls in need take part in a wide range of sports and activities, from basketball and field hockey teams, to National Youth Leadership forums and summer camps. We selected these local Boys & Girls ClubsIMG_3468 as they are in an ideal position to identify needs and allocate funds directly to their members and they serve communities where the need is significant.

We’ve seen firsthand how the fund has made a difference in the lives of local kids who don’t have the means to take part in sports and activities that can enrich their lives. Both Boys & Girls Clubs have done a terrific job of using the fund to help their deserving members get what they need to participate in sports and enroll in summer camps. The thank you letters I receive from thesLawrence January 18 v1e kids are incredibly touching and reinforce what my family has always believed – that sports foster physical and mental well-being, teach important life skills like sportsmanship, not to mention bringing joy and boosting self-confidence.

In its first year, the Jaffarian Youth in Motion Fund has helped more than 75 local children with sports equipment and special events such as college tours and weekend basketball tournaments. Our inner-city children can compete with other youth across New England at an elite level because of this fund. To date, this fund has provided members of the Boys and Girls Clubs with everything from new basketball sneakers and prescription swim goggles, to dance equipment, cheerleading uniforms and sleeping bags for camps, enabling deserving kids to participate in activities that enrich their lives.

Over the years, we have sponsored numerous sports teams, helped Haverhill High buildLawrence January 18 v4 a weight room, raised $50,000+ to offset the costs of participating in high school sports in several towns, and brought busloads of local kids to Celtics and Red Sox games.

Our entire team is proud of the impact the Jaffarian Youth in Motion fund and the impact it is having locally. When in for service, take a moment to read the Thank you notes on display in each of our service waiting areas. As it reminds all of us, there is not off-season for giving back and helping our local youth. I think my grandfather and father would be proud to see the legacy continue.

We are fortunate to have the Lawrence and Greater Haverhill Boys and Girls Clubs in our communities. Thank you to all the leadership and staff at both these organizations for all that they do on a daily basis!

Enjoy the sunshine!

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Gary Jaffarian

I know I should know, but how do I change a tire?

Gary Jaffarian explains the steps for changing a flat tire. You can also watch a Jaffarian Video on our YouTube channel.toyota trunk with spare

A great question as it is not hard, but it is a good thing to know how to do to avoid being stranded on the side of the road!  Below are the instructions but if you are a visual learner, no problem!  Please watch Jaffarian’s YouTube video on How to Change a Tire” for a simple demonstration.

How to change a tire:

  1. Pull over into a safe place. If you’re on a major highway, for safety reasons, try to make it off the exit ramp. Turn off your vehicle and secure it with the emergency brake if needed. Never change a tire on an incline or hill and try for a flat surface. Remove the spare and all related tools prior to jacking up your vehicle. If you have one, place a block, brick or other item behind the opposite tire to prevent any rolling.
  1. Pry off the hub cap with a screw driver or tool that comes with your vehicle to
    Toyota Lug nut tool

    Toyota lug nut tool

    release the lug nuts. The newer models have a special tool to do that; or one that came with the spare tire and lift in your trunk.

  2. Once you’ve loosened the lug nuts, do not remove them completely. After you jack up your vehicle, completely remove the lug nuts with your fingers.
  3. Jack up the vehicle about 1” off the ground. Place the jack securely under the edge of the car. The exact location may vary among vehicle models, so consult your
    hydraulic jack

    Hydraulic jack

    owner’s manual for the right place to put the jack.

  4. If you have a scissor jack, insert the rod or wrench over the knob, and then crank. If you have a hydraulic jack, place the handle into the appropriate location and pump up and down. Use nice, even strokes, taking the jack handle from its lowest point to its highest point on each stroke to make it a bit easier on yourself.

    scissor jack

    Scissor jack

  5. Remove all bolts and lug nuts and then remove the flat tire.
  6. Set the spare tire on the lug bolts, then put the lug nuts back in place using your fingers to screw them on. Wait until the tire is on the ground before using the tool to securely fasten the lug nuts as tight as you can secure them with a wrench.
  7. Try to replace the spare tire as soon as possible with a permanent one. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota stocks or can get same day delivery on the tire you need for your vehicle. It’s best to get the exact match for the replacement to the other three.

I encourage you to check your trunk to confirm you have a spare tire, jack and the associated equipment that should be in your vehicle in case of needing to change your tire. Also, to avoid being stranded. I encourage you to consider securing AAA road service or roadside assistance through your vehicle’s manufacturer. Additionally, if you have new drivers in your household, share the YouTube video!

Remember that when driving with a spare tire (aka “donut”) you should maintain a lower speed and monitor how many miles you drive before replacing with a permanent tire.

Last month in my Ask Gary blog I discussed how to evaluate worn tires and Jaffarian has another You Tube video on “How do I know when I need new tires?” It is important for your safety to avoid driving on tires that are too worn or under or overinflated. That is a dangerous situation, especially if you drive on the highway. With regular oil changes or service, the professional automotive technicians at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s Service Department will evaluate your tires and provide you with a report on how they are wearing.

Be safe on the roads.

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Gary Jaffarian

What’s new for family-oriented vehicles? (It seems like the industry focus is on sporty and “green.”)

Gary Jaffarian shares the commitment by both Volvo and Toyota for models designed for families ; and that family-oriented models can also be “green” and sporty!

XC 90 interiorI really like this question because within the automotive industry, and especially for Volvo and Toyota, vehicles designed for families remain a priority. Both manufacturers that Jaffarian Volvo Toyota represent are committed to offering multiple models to meet the needs of families. Sporty, green and family-oriented aren’t mutually exclusive! In some models, you can opt for a hybrid model that is spacious with impressive design attributes for the best of all worlds! As noted below, many of these vehicles perform at the top of the IIHS Top Safety picks too!

 

SiennaToyota Sienna— This mini-van comes in five stylish models and nine fun colors! Child-protector rear door locks are standard on all models. It comfortably holds 7 passengers and for the driver to communicate with family members in the back row, there is “Driver Easy Speak”— which utilizes a microphone in the overhead console to amplify the driver’s voice and broadcast it through rear speakers. It comes with all of Toyota’s new safety package including a back-up camera and on-screen GPS.

Highlander-frontToyota Highlander—This SUV Crossover is an IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Top Safety Pick with eight models, seating seven and in similar nine fun colors. Of the eight models, there are hybrid models for increased mileage efficiency. All models come with Toyota Safety Sense features including lane departure alert with steering assist— a nice feature for tired and distracted drivers; pre-collision prevention with pedestrian detection; and automatic high beams.

Since 1927, Volvo has been making the safest luxury vehicles to keep families safe. Starting as boxy yet safe, they are now among the most stylish vehicles for families.

V90 Cross CountryVolvo V90 XC— This new Volvo model, hailed by The Boston Globe as a “stunning” vehicle, functions like an SUV and replaces the Volvo Cross Country wagon. This large wagon has long glass windows and a panoramic moon roof. Its ergonomic feature includes loads of leg room, even in the rear. For added winter driving safety, it is an all-wheel drive vehicle. This is truly a luxury vehicle with family-friendly features. This new model is an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2017. The beautiful soft leather seats hold 5-7 passengers with plenty of cargo space. Volvo’s vehicles, long lauded for safety, also has other options including the XC 60 that are great vehicles for a family.

XC90x.jpgVolvo XC90 won Car of the Year and North American SUV of the Year in 2016—and is even better this year with its redesigned 2017 model. Everything about it is perfection and safety for you and your family. It seats up to 7 passengers in three rows. It’s powered by a choice of four-cylinder engines, one of which is supercharged and turbocharged. A plug-in hybrid version is also offered for the environmentally-conscious family. A four-wheel drive version provides additional safety. Volvo has also been researching a built-in infant seat for greater safety and continues to be a leader in safety research.volvo0715-xc90-excellence-child-seat-concept

As I often write about, the right vehicle for your family may vary significantly from other families need. Commonly families need seating, cargo space and safety is a top priority. Wherever your family is in terms of age and vehicle needs, know that we at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota are here to help you find the best vehicle for your needs and budget. As a local, family-owned dealership, we are all about family and welcome the opportunity to help you and your family for all of your automotive needs!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

How do I check my tires for premature or irregular wear?

Gary Jaffarian often says your tires and brakes are the most important parts of your vehicle’s safety system. In this blog, Gary explains the importance of properly inflated tires and rotating your tires for even wear.

tire treadsImproper tire alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely. This happens when one side of the tread blocks is wearing faster than the other side potentially affecting your ride and your safety. This is why it is so important to have your tires inflated properly. Underinflated or overinflated tires cause premature wearing.

Most vehicles have an indicator light when your tires are not properly inflated and may first appear in the fall during cool weather or in the summer during the hot weather. There are two different settings for your tires, generally listed on the label inside the driver’s door. (This dashboard symbol usually looks like a set of parentheses with an tire pressure monitoring symbolexclamation mark in the middle.) If your tire pressure light appears, you may need to simply check the pressure. if unsure how to check your tire pressure, watch the video from the Jaffarian You Tube channel on “Jaffarian Service Tips: How to Check Your Tire Pressure” or make an appointment or stop by and we will check your tires for you.

Rotating your tires is an important part of your vehicle’s maintenance. Rotation of tires promotes even wear and when done consistently, will promote longer use of your tires saving you money and hassle. If you are unsure if your tires need to be rotated, make an appointment and let us check your tires for wear, check the alignment and rotate the tires if necessary. You will receive a written summary of the health of your vehicle including your tires so you have the key information you need to make an informed decision regarding regular maintenance.

Tire-Rotation2We realize that replacing tires can be an unexpected expense. However, keep in mind that driving on worn tires poses a real safety issue including risks of a blowout, loss of control due to hydroplaning and adversely affects the reliability of the brakes. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

Tires are essential to your vehicle and essential to your safety. Maintaining the proper tire pressure and rotating your tires regularly are two easy and important ways to promote longer tire life and to protect you and those who travel in your vehicle. If you do need tires, do your homework! Not all tires are the same so be sure to compare apples to apples. A common myth is that dealerships are not competitive when it comes to tires. That is a blog topic for another day, but rest assured we offer very competitive pricing – guaranteed.

Please let me know if there is anything else you’d like to learn how to do; or stop by the dealership for “How Do I…” sessions with a sales or service professional to get the most out of your vehicle.

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Gary Jaffarian

What does the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration think are the most important ways to reduce the number of accidents on the roads?

Gary Jaffarian reviews the national organization’s campaigns to reduce traffic accidents and improve highway safety. This week’s blog summarizes the top 10 list..

The NHTSA’s vision is to be the “Global leader in motor vehicle and highway safety.” They base their campaigns on research and statistics and are the experts in collecting national data on accidents and fatalities and looking at the causes to come up with their driver safety campaigns. Below is a list of their 10 campaigns to make the roads safer and to reduce accidents and fatalities:

teencell-lipstick1. “Distracted Driving Kills: You’ve got one job: driving safely.” Start thinking of driving as being a machine operator and your machine weighs 4,000 pounds. If you weren’t paying attention while operating the machine, what would happen? You’d have an accident, possibly get killed—or at the very least, you’d be fired. “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” The NHTSA featured this campaign starting this weekend.

“If you’re driving down the highway, do you think there is ever a circumstance when it’s safe or smart to close your eyes for five seconds?” the NHTSA asks. “Of course you don’t. Keeping your eyes on the road is one of the first things we all learn about safe driving. So why would anyone ever think it is okay to text when behind the wheel, or do anything else that takes your attention from driving?

It takes about five seconds, on average, to read or send a text. Not a lot of time. But, in that span of time, with your eyes on your phone and not on the road, a vehicle travelling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field. In that instant, over that distance, a life can be taken—maybe even yours. Distracted driving killed 3,477 people on America’s roads in 2015.
During April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, NHTSA is partnering with our friends in state and local law enforcement and with advocates across the country to remind everyone about the dangers of distracted driving.”

Buzzed driving2. “Last call 360” and “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaigns focus on drunk and buzzed driving. Have you ever heard a friend say, “I’m only a little buzzed!” Then as a friend or relative, it your responsibility to make sure that person does not drive home. Take them home, drive their car or call a cab or Uber. Don’t let that person drive home. I cover that topic on a regular basis. Especially at the holidays and on weekends, people tend to drink too much. Summertime is worse than winter—people want to go out and party and then go home. Remember your options: stay overnight, have someone else drive you, call a friend, cab or Uber—just don’t drink and drive. You risk losing your license and high fines. Drunk driving is still the NHTSA’s #1 priority. Don’t use Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Sunday and other holidays and celebrations as a reason to drink and drive.

Speed Limit Sign3. Decrease in speeding, means a decrease in fatalities and “Slow Down and Save Lives.” Drive the speed limit. There’s a reason the speed limits are set as they are reflecting type of road and traffic patterns.

 

 

 

Elder woman4. “Click It or Ticket”–Wear your seatbelts. The states with the highest seatbelt use have the lowest fatality rates. In 95% of all accidents, those who wear seatbelts are better off than those who didn’t.

 

5. Make certain your vehicle is safe—that means good brakes and tires. For a good check-up on your vehicle, visit the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Department. We service all makes and models. We invest in the latest in technology and our service technicians review your vehicle and email or text you a video as he/she reviews your vehicle highlighting the status of your brakes, tires and identifying any items to make you aware of while your vehicle is in for service. Seeing is believing!.

6. Check for recalls. That also means if you get a recall notice, you take care of the issue. The NHTSA at www.nhtsa.gov has a place on their website to enter your VIN (vehicle ID number) to see if there have been any recalls. That is especially important if you purchased a used vehicle from another person or small dealership

Driving drowsy7. Drowsy driving kills. It claimed 846 lives in 2014. NHTSA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes for Health to expand their understanding of drowsy driving so they can reduce related deaths and injuries and help people avoid being a drowsy-driving statistic. Driving drowsy presents the same risks as driving drunk.

 

 

Car seats8. Protecting children—The NHTSA has established at least four ways in which to protect children (and in some cases adults as bicyclists and pedestrians). First, young children, toddlers and infants must be in the rear seat in an appropriate car seat for their age. (Also, check on car seat recalls.) If you are not sure if your child is in the correct car seat, please check with your local hospital, pediatric office or police station to be certain you meet the child cars seat laws. Also, when driving on main streets or back roads, watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists. That’s why it is so important, even if you’re driving 25 m.p.h. on a back road not to text.

Every 10 days, vehicular heatstroke kills a child in the United States. Every 10 days, a parent loses a child to a preventable death. Since 1998, there have been 684 deaths, 23 of which happened this past year. Never, ever leave a small child alone in the car, not even for a minute. This is especially important in hot weather and applies to pets as well. A closed-up car is often more than 100 degrees. Police will issue fines and charges for leaving a child in a car under child endangerment laws and animal cruelty laws.

9. “Safe cars save lives”—The NHTSA and IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) are responsible for the most objective crash test results. They both rate vehicles from 1-5 stars. See how your vehicle rates for safety on their website.

 

side of road repair10. Move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks. “All 50 States have ‘Move Over’ laws to protect law enforcement officers and other first responders stopped on our nation’s roads. Yet only 71% of the public are aware of these laws, and traffic-related incidents continue to be the number one cause of death among on-duty law enforcement officers. Together with our law enforcement partners and State Highway Safety Offices, NHTSA is working to increase awareness of these life-saving ‘Move Over’ laws and highlight the need to protect public safety professionals who place themselves at risk to protect motorists.” When you see a tow truck or emergency vehicle in the break-down lane, move over to the middle lane.

If it were a perfect world and everyone abided by these campaigns—there would be almost no more traffic fatalities. Please take your driving responsibility seriously. Unfortunately, it is too easy to take driving for granted—it becomes second nature to us—like washing our hands or brushing your teeth. But it comes with a high degree of responsibility. It is a life or death responsibility.

Drive safely while enjoying the nice spring weather—and watch for those runners, walkers and bicyclists.

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Gary Jaffarian

What are the top 10 mistakes people make when buying a vehicle?

Gary Jaffarian shares 10 tips to help you avoid common mistakes consumers make when buying a vehicle. We understand and encourage consumers to do research before visiting a dealership. There are many resources online to help educate a consumer and this blog is one way we at Jaffarian share information to assist the consumer in making the best decision for their car driving needs and their budget. We fully support education and transparency for the consumer.

Gary Jaffarian’s Top 10 Common Mistakes When Buying A Vehicle:

1. Beware of skipping key research: It’s not just what you buy, but where you buy. While many people conduct extensive research on what type of vehicle to buy and how much they should pay, they often skip a critical step: researching on laptopresearching the dealership. Resources such as Dealer Rater, Cars.com, Women Drive and the Better Business Bureau help consumers evaluate where they should buy their vehicle to make sure it’s from a reputable dealership with a strong service culture.

2. Don’t fool yourself into a false trade-in value: Check Kelley Blue Book before you visit dealerships. Buyers should know the true value of their used vehicle. There are Kelley Blue Bookmisconceptions that can cause a lot of frustration. Of course, you want the most for your trade-in, but it is important to be informed and realistic accounting for key factors including mileage and condition of the vehicle.

3. Don’t hide your cards…and don’t let the dealer do it either: Once you’ve done your homework and determine the price you want to pay for your new vehicle and the trade-in value you want for your old one, don’t feel like you should hide that information from the dealer. Put it all on the table and askcards on the tabel your dealer do the same. A transparent approach from both sides will make the process faster, minimize frustrations and maximize the excitement of buying your new vehicle.

4. Only buy the features you really want/need: Don’t get fooled into buying features you simply don’t want or need. Be clear on your “must haves” vs. “nice to have,” particularly if you have a limited budget.

5. Compare leasing vs, buying before you decide. If you are a “road warrior” and drive well beyond 15,000 miles per year, leasing may not be for you, but generally leasing is more cost-effective to get you into the vehicle you want. There are many misconceptions about the benefits of leasing and for many it is a great alternative to financing. The dealer should help you understand whether it fits your budget, car driving preferences and driving habits. Make sure your dealer walks you through the differences between buying vs. leasing to help you make an informed decision.

6. Know the truth about warranties—be sure to understand what is covered Warrantyand for how long and what your options are for additional plans and warranties available. Figure into your budget the benefits of an extended warranty, particularly if you are buying the vehicle outright.

7. Skimping on service will cost you in the long run. Determine where to get your vehicle serviced – it can make a difference in the long-term value and performance. By going to local service stations and drive-in oil change franchises means you may get parts that will not be from your vehicle’s manufacturer. I refer to this as “Keep your Volvo a Volvo—or your Toyota a Toyota.” The more generic parts you put into your vehicle, the less it will be what you originally paid for—affecting the value and performance of your vehicle. Vehicle service history factors into the trade in value. Be sure not to skip an oil change. It’s a small cost toward the overall maintenance and longevity of your vehicle.

8. Size matters…or does it? Are there advantages to buying from a large or small dealership? Know the difference. Again, I encourage you to do extensive dealership research for service, reputation, length of time in business, etc. If someone wants to reach me personally, you can pick up one of the red phones at the dealership and it rings directly to my cell phone. We are family-owned and we are accessible to everyone who visits the dealership.

9. Is the dealership giving back and supporting their local community? Does that matter to you? Learn more about the dealership from their website, local newspapers and other on-line sources. Not only does Jaffarian Volvo Toyota rank high withJaffarian school drive DealerRater, have 75+ years in business, but we also give back to communities in the Merrimack Valley. For many years, we have contributed to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lawrence and Haverhill, high school sports, supported Emmaus House for homeless families and many other local community efforts. We are a dealership with a social conscience and a deep sense of giving back to our local community. For some people that matters and for others it is less important. We support locally and that matters to us and who we are.

10. Don’t forget to include the extras in your budget, like state tax for Mass. residents, Registry of Motor Vehicles charges and additional insurance costs for new models. It is recommended you speak with your insurance agent to factor in insurance costs as you conduct your vehicle research to help you have a complete picture of your finances. Keep in mind that there is not sales tax in New Hampshire and a New Hampshire resident buying a vehicle from Jaffarian does not need to pay Massachusetts sales tax.

Feel free to email me at askgaryj@gmail.com if you have any questions for the Ask Gary blog or more information you would like about Jaffarian Volvo Toyota.

We made it through our April Fool’s Day storm and hopefully it will be smooth sailing on the roads for the rest of the spring!

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Gary Jaffarian

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