Here's an odd fact that you may not be entirely aware of: Anything bought with the proceeds of illegal activity may be seized by the federal government. And nowhere is this more common than when the government deals with drug pushers. One small problem, though; once they take all the stuff drug dealers have bought with their illicit profits, the government has to pay to store it. And once it's no longer needed as evidence, it needs to go.
So it's sold to the public at cut-rate prices since, really, the government couldn't care less about how much the cars are valued for at market: They just don't want to pay the garage fees.
One recent auction in Opa-Locka, FL, emphasized two things: One, that there are potentially lots of finds at police auctions and two, there are a few... well, let’s say ... drawbacks to buying a car with a criminal previous owner.
For example, what if we told you that there was a sweet 2008 Ford Mustang GT available at this auction? And that it was available for a quarter of the price? Getting excited? Well, one small problem. It looks like this http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/10/10_awesome_cars_that_used_to_b.php
Problem #1: Criminals have pretty much zero taste. It’s true. In fact, hideous vehicles like this tend to be the rule rather than the exception, as criminals tend to want to flaunt their wealth in about the tackiest way possible. Many police auction vehicles will have bad paint jobs, badly installed body modifications, and other problems that you'll have to fix out of your own pocket. Unless you like having the ghosts of the undead on the side of your car. (Plus, try answering a question from the car insurance company on the color of this vehicle.)
Problem #2: Bullet holes, etc.. Sometimes cars that are no longer needed as evidence are sold off, so they might have a few... interesting challenges for your local body shop when you get them home. Granted that not all vehicles are like this: For example, at the Opa-Locka auction, amid the 1930s hot road and hideous paintjobs was a... uh... white Kia Rio from 2008. Many auctions will feature decent, anonymous cars pretty much designed to not attract police attention.
Problem #3: The interior condition can be less than ideal. The nature of the outside may also extend to the inside of the vehicle. The government takes no responsibility whatsoever for the condition or quality of the vehicle itself: All cars are sold strictly “as-is”, and most auctions will not allow you to take the vehicle for a test drive. You probably can check the VIN numbers on the car, however, so do that, and make sure that all the VIN numbers match. Criminals also aren't necessarily noted for taking the best care of their cars, either, so understand that you will be taking a risk on buying a total lemon that looks cool.
Problem #4: No financing. Be prepared to pay up front: The government doesn't really offer much in the way of installment plans.
All that said, there are definitely deals to be had at police auctions; just remember to do what any smart buyer does: Do your research beforehand, ask questions, kick the tires, and examine it as carefully as possible.
Also, avoid any car somebody died in. Haunted cars are a real pain on the resale market.
Tags: Cool Cars, Safe Auto, Cheap Insurance, SafeAuto Insurance
It’s funny to see the difference between the hype before a new product is released, and its actual popularity when people start using it in the real world.
Take the Segway.
The high-tech superscooter was being heavily promoted by its inventor Dean Kamen even before he revealed the design to the public. He predicted it would revolutionize the way people move around, and forecast unbelievable production levels of 10,000 units per week.
But when it was unveiled in 2002, the response was tepid at best. And while the Segway has caught on in certain niche markets, it certainly can’t be classified as a monumental, revolutionary game-changer.
Fast forward to today, when similar buzz is being created over the first new U.S. mass-produced electric vehicle – the Chevy Volt by General Motors.
This is the first model year of the vehicle, and about 1,200 Volts were sold in the first quarter of 2011. The public has heard lots of wild statements about the car – including a declaration by an executive back in 2009 that the car could get a mind-boggling 230 miles per gallon! (Chevrolet has since retracted that particular claim.) But earlier this month, one of Chevy’s vehicle line directors asserted that the Volt can travel 1,000 miles without the owner having to fill up the tank.
A thousand miles with no fillups? With the Volt’s 9.38-gallon gas tank, that works out to 106.6 MPG. Is this really true?
The answer is … yes. Well, not really. But sorta.
Several groups are putting these astounding claims to the test in real-world driving situations. Here’s a snapshot of what they have found so far.
So what can we make of these disparate numbers?
Here’s the crux of the issue: The Chevy Volt’s rechargeable battery can allow drivers to travel 40 miles on a full charge without using any gasoline at all. The car only taps the gas tank for fuel after the charge has been exhausted.
So in theory, you could charge up your Volt every night, drive it the 20 miles to work and back every day, and your gas mileage would approach infinity! Of course, you would eventually have to fill up with gas at some point – but you could easily exceed 1,000 miles before visiting a gas station.
However, many skeptics believe these outlandish MPG figures don’t represent “real-world” driving. Indeed, the abovementioned tests demonstrated that the further the Volt was driven, the lower the gas mileage became. In fact, if someone drives just 45 or 50 miles on a full charge, the average gas mileage drops considerably.
And if you take your Volt out on the highways for any length of time, you probably won’t get much better gas mileage than you would with other comparable vehicles. Popular Mechanics drove an average of 300 miles per day and recorded decent (but not great) gas mileage numbers. So it’s pretty clear that the Volt is more efficient on short trips than on long journeys.
OK, back to our 1,000 miles-per-tank claim. Is it accurate?
Well, only if you drive it no more than about 50 or so miles per day AND charge it fully after every trip. But any day that you drive it for longer than that sharply reduces your average gas mileage. And the chances of you obtaining these huge numbers on road trips? Fuggetaboutit.
Only time will tell if the Chevy Volt (and any similar cars in the future) will revolutionize the consumer transportation industry – or, like the Segway, become a novelty item enjoyed by only a relative few.
Image credits: qt.nokia.com, ecoautoninja.com, mindbodysmile.com, nycmobtour.wordpress.com.
Tags: safe auto, safeauto, futuristic cars, volt
Who doesn’t like blazing fast cars? When you are behind the wheel of one of these beasts, you’re going to be noticed. And if you don’t like being noticed, you can get away from people in a snap. Here we’ve listed out the fastest automobiles on the planet built by some manufacturers that you perhaps have never even heard of. While you would pay a fortune for auto insurance on one, if you like peeling out for a hot getaway, you’re gonna like these!
5. McLaren F1
0-60: 3.2 seconds
Top Speed: 240 mph,
As of 2011, the McLaren F1 is the fastest naturally aspirated road car in the world. This is a very rare vehicle, with only 106 of them produced. And this was during a period of time from 1992 to 1998. They are so hard to obtain that one of them was sold at auction in 1998 for over $4 million!
4. Koenigsegg CCX:
Top Speed: 245 mph
The CCX is a mid-engine roadster that may or may not resemble a fighter plane depending on your point of view. It has a 4.7 liter twin supercharged V8 that produces 806 horsepower. The car also has a removable top, but you probably shouldn’t have it off at 245 mph. Just saying.
3. Saleen S7 Twin-Turbo
0-60: 2.8 seconds
Top Speed: 248 mph
Saleen has long been known for creating race versions of cars like the Ford Mustang; the S7 is the only car they have with an original chassis and uses a space frame-type design with aluminum and steel. The car produces 750 hp through its twin turbocharged 7.0 liter engine.
2. SSC Ultimate Aero
0-60: 2.7 seconds
Top Speed: 257 mph
The Aero is built by Shelby SuperCars, which got its start reproducing Lamborghinis and Ferraris. The car has a 6.34 liter V8 that is twin turbocharged, producing a ridiculous 1,287 hp. The car has no electronic aids such as ABS or traction control. It is priced around $650,000.
1. Bugatti Veyron
0-60: 2.5 seconds
Top Speed: 267 mph
Not only is the Veyron the fastest car in the world as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, it is also the most expensive at $1,700,000. The car has a quad turbocharged W16 (yup, that’s sixteen cylinders) producing 1001 hp. In order to cool what are essentially two V8 motors, it has ten radiators.
Tags: safe auto, safeauto, futuristic cars, fast
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