JelMAC’s Car Dealer Advice Blog

Chrysler, Hyundai Top Awards, one of the latest consumer research sites dedicated to mothers’ concerns, has awarded several of our vehicles in its 2008 MotherProof Awards:

First Place for Minivans: Chrysler Town & Country


The Town & Country is more versatile than ever, and MotherProof enjoyed the adjustable seating arrangements and tech goodies.

First Place for 3-Row SUVs: Hyundai Veracruz


The Veracruz continues to wow all critics and reviewers. The impeccable safety rating, beautiful styling and luxurious touches at a great price point prompted MotherProof to grant first place to Hyundai’s latest SUV.

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What’s your trade-in worth? You tell us!
January 1, 2008, 10:58 am
Filed under: car buying, car buying advice, car dealer | Tags: , ,

One of the inevitable pains of car buying is trying to figure out how much you should get for your current vehicle as you trade it in. Obviously, you want the most for your car, whereas dealers want to pay as little as possible for it. There are plenty of factors that come into play, such as a consumer’s perception of sentimental value as actual value, or the fact that some cars just aren’t appealing to dealers as something they’d like to buy.

Let’s find something we can both agree on, yes? We’ve signed on with Black Book Online – the industry standard in wholesale and vehicle retail values – to provide our customers with an trusted third-party trade appraisal tool which provides estimates that dealers know will be accurate, as long as the customer submits accurate information.

So try our Black Book Trade Appraisal tool, and if your information is accurate, there should be no surprises when you come down to our dealership with your trade-in vehicle! The tool is also available on several areas of our Nissan Of Bergenfield web site.

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Tax Benefits for Businesses: IRS Section 179

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably aware that you can write off the depreciation of your business vehicle as an expense. But did you know that IRS Section 179 Expense Allowance can often qualify you for a deduction on the actual cost of new vehicles over 6,000 pounds (GVWR)?

The IRS amendment limits expense to $25,000 for eligible vehicles. For our dealer group, this includes vehicles such as the Dodge Ram, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Sprinter line, multiple Jeep products, Nissan Armada, Nissan Pathfinder, and Nissan Titan, among other models. Vehicles coming in at under 6,000 pounds GVWR don’t qualify for Section 179, limiting the first year deduction for depreciation to $3,060.

Consult your financial advisor if you think your business could benefit from Section 179, and then contact the JelMAC store of your choice to take advantage of these opportunities!

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Dealer Dictionary: “Sign-And-Drive”

“Sign-And-Drive” is an appealing proposition for many car buyers, but it’s come to our attention that between vague ads from auto manufacturers and overall confusion on the consumers’ part, the idea of a sign-and-drive vehicle purchase may be a hazy concept to some of our prospective buyers.

A sign-and-drive vehicle purchase is exactly what it sounds like: a purchase wherein the buyer simply signs the paperwork and drives off in his/her vehicle, without having to shell out a single dollar up-front. With the popularity of leases ever-increasing, many buyers have become fixated on achieving a low monthly payment number, and sign-and-drive is definitely not conducive to achieving this goal as it rolls in all taxes, fees, etc. into your monthly payment. So it’s not for everyone.

But, for many of us out there (myself included) who are confident that they’ve made a smart purchase which they’ll be able to afford, there is more appeal in having a higher payment and not having to write a check for thousands of dollars initially… and for those consumers, sign-and-drive makes the initial car buying process a lot more enjoyable.

Contrary to popular belief, sign-and-drive applies to both leasing and financing. It’s simply a decision made to roll all costs – the car, the taxes, the fees, everything – into your lease or finance payment, allowing you to walk into a dealership, point at the car you want, sign the paperwork, and drive away without seeing a bill until the next month when your payment stub comes. As previously mentioned, this does affect your payment: say for instance you’ve negotiated a $380 per month lease with “fees down”… fees down is a typical route taken by consumers, wherein you only pay your taxes, bank fee, and dealer/DMV fees up front. This still amounts to thousands of dollars, however, and so to roll that into your $380/mo payment as well, you could easily see a new payment of $440 per month. So that’s the toss-up… $380/mo with a couple grand paid at inception, or $440/mo to simply walk away with the car.

Where buyers sometimes get confused is by misunderstanding a “zero down” lease/finance with a “sign-and-drive”. Many customers become flustered when they realize their zero-down purchase actually requires several thousand dollars up front in taxes, fees, etc. Zero down refers to no money as a down payment, but the down payment on a vehicle is meant to reduce the expense of the selling price of the vehicle, not cover the taxes and fees. What makes things worse is that manufacturers often advertise “sign-and-drive” leases, which by definition, can not possibly be so… this is because manufacturers are advertising nationally, and don’t know your county’s tax rate, or your specific DMV/dealer fees, and so all their ads for sign-and-drive actually exclude the taxes & fees, just like a zero down option. So when you see “sign-and-drive” advertised by a manufacturer, it really means zero money as a down payment, and your taxes and fees up-front. Only your dealer can give you a true sign-and-drive option, and that’s only after you’ve decided on the exact vehicle, the county of registration, etc. In short, someone has to know your personal situation before being able to offer a true sign-and-drive deal.

So, is there anything else to think about when considering a sign-and-drive option? Well, if you’re financing a car and getting a special rate from the manufacturer (for instance, 1.9%, or something significantly below the national rate), it makes sense to put all your expense into the payment and utilize sign-and-drive. Why? Because in a nutshell, by rolling all your money into that payment, your dollars are being charged about 1.9% interest… if you had put some money down or spent it on the taxes & fees, then you would have saved that money from being charged 1.9% interest, but now you’ve lost those thousands of dollars you could have invested elsewhere. If you keep that money instead, and invest it in stocks, or even a CD or high-yield savings account, your money will earn much more than the 1.9% you’re losing by letting your monthly payment carry all of your purchase’s expense. It’s a lot to think about, but trust us, you’ll come out in the end a wealthier person.

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The Next Nissan Murano: Official Pics
November 9, 2007, 6:01 pm
Filed under: car buying, car buying advice, nissan | Tags: ,

There’s been a lot of speculation about what’s next for the Nissan Murano… one of the best-selling Nissan models in recent history. The 2009 Murano is slated to enter showrooms early in 2008 (there will be no 2008 Murano, rather leftover 07’s at substantial savings), and Nissan has done a fine job of keeping the sexy new redesign under wraps before it debuts at this year’s LA Auto Show.

But what do we have here? A few leaked photos from an official source! Here’s just a hint of what will certainly be a lot more press coverage in the coming weeks:

2009 Nissan Murano Official Pic

2009 Nissan Murano Official Pic#2

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Altima Hybrid Bests Toyota and Saturn In MotorTrend Hybrid Test
October 12, 2007, 12:45 pm
Filed under: car buying, car buying advice, nissan, north jersey

MotorTrend Magazine recently staged a three-car brawl in the arena of midsize hybrid sedans: the Nissan Altima Hybrid, Toyota Camry Hybrid, and Saturn Aura Green Line. So, what how did Nissan’s entry fare in the competition?

No surprise, the Altima came out on top. The combination of hybrid capability and Nissan’s legendary performance and slick styling prompted MotorTrend writers to remark, “Like Sonny and Cher and Desi and Lucy, the Altima Hybrid is happy collaboration of chilly partners.” Strange analogy, but hey, we’re not complaining.

Check out MotorTend’s full article on the Nissan Altima Hybrid. Then be sure to contact Nissan Of Bergenfield to take an eco-friendly spin in a real driver’s car.

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Live Chat Now Available For Our Chrysler And Nissan Stores
October 5, 2007, 12:44 pm
Filed under: car buying advice, car dealer, chrysler, nissan, north jersey

Got a minute to chat? Well, now we are available to answer your automotive questions instantly! Our Nissan Of Bergenfield and Chrysler Of Paramus web sites provide a venue for you to chat live over an embedded Instant Messenger window, which allows you to speak with the Internet Sales Manager of each store!

Link to Nissan Of Bergenfield Chat Page:

Link to Chrysler Of Paramus Chat Page:

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