4 things to consider when buying a vehicle
(BPT) - The pandemic changed our travel habits considerably, and forced us to reconsider how we get around safely. For example, the latest Hankook Tire Gauge Index found that three-quarters of Americans don’t feel comfortable taking public transportation because of the coronavirus pandemic, leading more people to get behind the wheel.
This increase in drivers is having an impact on our car buying decisions: Data showed that 44% of Americans have already considered a new vehicle purchase. Many are likely to be first-time car buyers, too, as over half of Gen Z and millennials are thinking about a new vehicle purchase.
In addition to the usual considerations when buying a vehicle — cost, performance, safety and reliability — the events of 2020 have raised new questions. After a year of significant change, here are four things to consider when buying a new vehicle.
Your vehicle is just as much about comfort as it is mobility
We’re spending more time in our cars, even when we’re not going places — waiting in parking lots for grocery orders, lining up at drive-thrus, or even taking a conference call when home gets a little too noisy! So a vehicle’s interior should be a nice place to spend your time.
The good news is that there are plenty of standard features and affordable options to make that possible. The Gauge Index found that Americans consider everything from Bluetooth connectivity (62%) and in-dash navigation (57%), to remote and keyless start tech (56%) as important factors when choosing their vehicles.
Self-healing tire technology was also rated as an important feature by 56% of Americans — a useful feature at any time, and crucial when one may not want to come into close contact with others for an emergency tire change!
Is it finally time to plug in?
With increased range, lower prices and expansions in charging infrastructure, electric vehicles (EVs) are increasingly becoming a choice for drivers, with 62% of Americans likely to consider an EV.
Deciding if it’s time to go electric means considering a few important factors. The first is range: What do you anticipate to be your regular mileage between charges? The average range of today’s electric vehicles should be more than enough for daily commuting, errands and even the occasional afternoon road trip.
Then, make sure you have access to charging infrastructure at home and at your frequent destinations. And calculate the true financial benefit, taking into account rebates, credits and a newfound freedom from the petrol pump.
Take time to kick the tires.
When buying a new vehicle, check the tires it comes with to ensure they’re best suited for the weather conditions where you live. This is especially important when driving regularly in inclement weather where an all-weather tire like the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 can save you money down the road. Less than half (47%) of Americans can accurately identify the difference between all-weather and all-season tires, so here’s the cheat sheet: All-weather tires manage rain and snow while also delivering year-round performance; all-season tires prioritize comfort and fuel economy over ice and snow traction.
If you’re switching to electric, your tire choice could impact your ride comfort, mileage and road noise. These are already important for a regular vehicle but for an EV, where range is key and there’s just the quiet hum of the electric motor, you’ll want to pay extra attention to these features on your tires.
Looking ahead, post-pandemic.
With a new year on the horizon and the hope of restrictions easing in 2021, it’s important to ask if your vehicle needs now will be the same in six to 12 months’ time.
That’s because a vehicle purchase isn’t just for a few months; it’s a lengthy investment that brings insurance, registration and maintenance responsibilities. If a new vehicle purchase only serves your needs now, it may be worth managing with what you have for a few more months.
The past year has been one of change and upheaval. So if that means it’s time for a new set of wheels, these questions will help you not only choose the vehicle you need, but the driving experience you want, for the years ahead.
If you are one of the millions of Americans looking to buy a car, here are the five things you need to know before you step foot on a dealer’s lot.
(BPT) - Car buying - It's crucial to know how to navigate what can be an overwhelming and exhausting process.
“USAA helps members find, finance and insure vehicles that are right for their personal needs and financial goals,” says Heather Pollard, vice president of Auto Experience at USAA. “We want to avoid you ever having to regret your purchase decision, or worse, lead to financial hardships where you can no longer afford to keep your vehicle.”
If you are one of the millions of Americans looking to buy a car, here are the five things you need to know before you step foot on a dealer’s lot.
Know what you can afford.
The first and most important question to answer before launching into the car-buying process is “how much can I afford?” Figuring this out will help you determine whether you are in the market for a new or used vehicle. A good starting point is to use 15-18 percent of your take-home pay as a gauge for your total vehicle budget including the loan, insurance, gas and maintenance.
Next decision, how will you pay for it? There are numerous ways to manage the financial burden for purchasing a new car, including taking out a loan. If you have decided to go the loan route, determine how much you can afford in monthly payments. Banks or another financial institution might offer lower interest rates than a car dealer. Aim to pay off the loan within three to five years.
“Get pre-approved for an auto loan amount and interest rate so you know where you stand before you begin shopping,” says Renée Horne, vice president of Consumer Lending at USAA Bank. “Look for low loan rates and flexible terms to fit your budget needs versus being steered by dealers into a decision solely based on monthly payment, which often results in paying more in interest for the overall loan term.”
Another idea is to sell or trade in your new graduate’s current vehicle. If you plan to do this, factor in the cash value of that car and then add your planned down payment, typically 15-20 percent. You can use online tools such as USAA’s Auto Loan Calculator to get an estimate of what the end price tag will be.
Determine the total cost of ownership.
It is important to understand the total cost of ownership before surprising your graduate with the car of their dreams. Everything from gas to auto insurance will be an extra expense added on to the monthly cost for a new or used car and something everyone in the family needs to consider.
When receiving an auto insurance quote, note that collision and comprehensive coverage generally cost less for used cars. If purchasing an older car, consider getting pricing for Extended Vehicle Protection coverage before you go to the dealer.
Keep an open mind.
Once you have established what you can afford and the total cost of ownership, it is time to discover what features and styles you or your teen want in a car. Prioritize a list of the features you would like to see. For the teen in your life, safety is usually at the top. Next, assess how much they will be using this car and what for. Are they commuting to school or a job? Remember to keep an open mind and be flexible — stay open to two or three models that would meet your teen driver’s needs and your or their budget.
Do your research.
Everyone can agree that dealerships can be overwhelming and intimidating. Research your market first. Try the USAA Car Buying Service to see what’s out there and find vehicles that come with exclusive member discounts.
If you are looking into the used car market, always run a background check. You can get a vehicle history report from Carfax, which can help verify ownership history, mileage and accident history. Also, make sure the used vehicle has never been salvaged by entering the vehicle identification number into the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s system.
Go for a test drive.
After picking out a few of your top favorites, it is time to see how the car operates on the real road. Hit the highway to properly gauge a car’s performance, and inspect the car for mileage, tread, etc. If possible, run the car by a trusted mechanic for an under-the-hood inspection to forecast longevity and maintenance needs. Remember, factory warranties usually transfer depending on the mileage.
(BPT) - The auto salvage industry is more popular than ever. While automotive prices rise, so does the difficulty in finding a good deal on a vehicle, and yet, many are still misinformed about what a salvage car truly is. Automotive consumers have been misled to believe that a salvage car, scrap car, junk car and total loss vehicle are one in the same. As a result, many consumers are not aware of the value that the auto salvage industry has to offer.
What is auto salvage
Cars that are categorized as salvage come in all makes, models, conditions and mileage, but what does auto salvage really mean? The term auto salvage is quite simply the state of the car’s title, and it refers to vehicles that have been characterized by insurance companies, adjusters and the states as damaged in some way. The term “salvage” is generically used negatively; however, a salvaged vehicle does not necessarily imply that it cannot be rebuilt, repaired or safely driven again. In fact, many salvaged vehicles are cars that have undergone minimal aesthetic damage, and rebuilt or repaired vehicles are specifically required to pass a special inspection before they can legally be released for the open road.
Alternatively, a total loss vehicle is not a type of title, but it is a type of salvage vehicle. A total loss vehicle occurs when the insured property is totally destroyed or damaged in a way that cannot be repaired or recovered for future use. It is important to understand the difference in order to truly appreciate how the auto salvage industry operates — this also enables buyers and sellers to make smart choices.
The auto salvage industry
From the early days of automobiles, automotive recycling has developed into a refined and technology-driven industry. It is valuable as a consumer to understand that the auto salvage industry is really the automotive recycling industry. The primary focus of all entities within the industry is to repurpose, reuse and retain the value of all things automotive, and find a new life for the vehicle or components of the vehicle.
The auto salvage industry is a thriving part of the automotive supply chain. Automotive recycling as a whole represents over $32 billion in sales annually, and the industry employs over 140,000 employees in the U.S. alone. In addition to the critical role that the auto salvage industry plays in the automotive supply chain, automotive recyclers play a valuable role in the environmentally-friendly process of dismantling, recycling or repurposing of motor vehicles. Buying and selling a salvaged vehicle is not only more cost efficient, it also preserves natural resources and significantly reduces pollution and the demand for landfill space.
Buyers and sellers of salvaged vehicles can sleep soundly knowing that all title discrepancies must always be announced during the transfer of a vehicle. This is including, but not limited to, mileage, salvage, theft, recovery, stolen vehicle, buybacks and more. Insurance transfers also require full disclosure, and by law, titles will always be changed to reflect the vehicle's true status. Remember to be a smart buyer and check your state for the different title types and what they mean.
All buyers and sellers should take it upon themselves to fully understand vehicle history and title status before offering to buy and sell cars. If you are looking to buy and sell a salvage title vehicle, Copart.com exceeds all expectations and demands. Copart, Inc., a leader in live online salvage and insurance auto auctions, is a publicly traded and reputable company with a dependable global footprint. Copart has grown into the premier online destination for quality vehicles that links buyers and sellers all around the world.
The salvage auto industry is more popular than ever before, and Copart.com makes it more convenient than ever before to access thousands of vehicles.
(BPT) - Selling a car for cash should be simple, safe and able to navigate without roadblocks; however, there is no shortage of sneaky techniques that are employed to scam car sellers. Through hiding supplementary fees in the fine print, car buying businesses can leave car sellers spending anywhere from $10 to $300 in unexpected fees - a disappointing loss in an anticipated profit. With the numerous car buying companies competing for business in a niche industry, it is difficult for a car seller to discern which company is the correct choice; however, there are many things that a seller can be aware of to ensure that they are making the best decision.
Fortunately for car sellers, the costliest hidden fee when selling a vehicle is also the easiest to avoid. While it is no longer common for car buying companies to expect a seller to facilitate towing arrangements, it does occur. Towing can add up to $100 or more in additional deductions depending on where the buying company is located. Additionally, many buying companies cannot accommodate vehicles outside of cars, SUVs, vans and trucks.
Many scrap and junk car buyers require a seller to empty a car's gas tank before they will send a towing service for collection, and if a seller fails to do so, it can result in a charge upwards of $50. A $50 deduction can make a significant dent in your overall profit, and draining a gas tank can be timely and incredibly dangerous if a seller does not have previous experience or has not been given proper direction.
Car buying companies take into account the condition of a car's interior when generating a buying price for a seller, but do not typically communicate that the state of the interior, down to cleanliness, could have an effect on the final offer to a seller. While a seller should ideally take care of a car's exterior and interior on a routine basis, they should also be aware of hidden deductions that could arise from a lack in communication from a buyer.
While many car buying companies claim to manage paperwork for a car seller, it is not unlikely for a small "document transfer" fee to be removed from a seller's original offer upon transaction for the car. Before accepting a quote from a car buyer, a seller must guarantee that they will do the heavy lifting regarding paperwork and ensure that no additional fees will be taken out of the original quote. Additionally, car buying companies have been known to buy cars without a title present, and while this is convenient for the seller, it can also lead to reputation management problems farther down the road.
Protecting yourself as a car seller
While selling a vehicle for cash can result in a headache, it doesn't have to be a painful experience with the right information and research. If you are a car seller looking for a car buying company that is fast, easy and transparent, CashForCars.com exceeds all demands. CashForCars.com is a car acquisition division of Copart, Inc., a publicly traded and reputable company with a dependable local footprint. CashForCars.com purchases vehicles directly from the public, offering free towing, clean paperwork transfer and exemplary customer service with no hidden fees, hidden charges on towing, or out-of-pocket expenses. The CashForCars.com team answers the calls of vehicle sellers looking to sell their cars, truck, SUVs, boats or RVs, and guides them through the quick and painless process while diligently working to guarantee that an honest reputation is preserved as the main priority.
The CashForCars.com business model is built around saving customers the hassle of selling a car in a traditional way, and has over 160 locations across the U.S. to ensure that a driver will be able to pick up your vehicle in as little as 24 hours - sometimes the same day! Backed by over 30 years in the car buying business, CashForCars.com diligently works to stay up-to-date on vehicle pricing by incorporating market trends, damage levels and comparable model prices to ensure that each customer is presented with the best available offer.
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