- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2005

Auto show slated for late January

“The Washington Auto Show” will be in town Jan. 24 through Jan. 29.

The annual exhibit will be at the Washington Convention Center with a variety of new vehicles, contests and activities for individuals and families.

Show hours will be from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Jan. 25 (3 p.m.) and Jan. 29 (6 p.m.). Admission fees will be $10 for adults (seniors $8) and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under 6 get in free.

“Government days” are Jan. 24-25. Adults showing a government ID will be admitted for half price.

For more information, call 866/WASH-AUTO or 202/237-7200 or visit www.washingtonautoshow.com on the Internet.

Consumer Reports has car-buying tips

Shoppers can call Consumer Reports New Car Price Service for information about the cost of various vehicles.

Armed with the wholesale, invoice and sticker prices, buyers can then negotiate up from the wholesale price, rather than down from the sticker price: In other words, they can decide how much profit to give the dealer.Smart buyers also should be knowledgeable about the extra costs of undercoating, rust-proofing, fabric protection and an extended warranty.

Also, they should wait until after agreeing on the purchase price of a new vehicle before talking about a trade-in deal.

Consumer Reports provides estimated values of used cars at 800/509-9376.

Start dreaming of Christmas 2006

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? How about a Maserati Quattroporte sports car for $125,000?

Neiman Marcus offered the sports car in its holiday catalog as a one-of-a-kind fantasy gift last year.

But it wasn’t available this year, so don’t feel bad.

Instead buyers could get a 2007 limited-edition hybrid Lexus sedan for a mere $65,000. But only 75 were advertised, and it’s too late for them, too, because the cars sold out in less than three hours on Oct. 19.

But there’s always next year’s Christmas wish list for fantasy car fanciers.

Fax or mail items of interest to Bill O’Brien, Auto Notes, The Washington Times, 3600 New York Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. Use fax number 202/832-2167. The deadline is 5 p.m. on the Monday before publication on Friday.

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