Maintenance Tips for Used Cars

We know you love your car. You’ve spent a lot of time in it. It has gotten you from Point A to Point B, and you probably have some good memories in the driver’s seat. Used cars need TLC. In order to keep your car running smoothly and make sure that it lasts you as long as possible, it is important to keep on top of maintenance.

Understand Your Maintenance Schedule

If you read your owner’s manual you will see that it describes the maintenance schedule for your vehicle. We understand that in your busy day-to-day life, vehicle maintenance may not be at the top of your list – especially if nothing looks or sounds amiss. However, regular maintenance is what keeps things from going amiss! That’s why we recommend using reminders in the calendar app in your phone to keep track of what needs to be done when.

Keep Your Car Clean

This one is easy! Cleaning your car regularly isn’t just a good idea for aesthetic reasons; it can also keep your car running its best. Hose out the undercarriage and wheel wells to clear those areas of mud and dirt. If you live somewhere that it snows, don’t let this practice fall by the wayside in the cold weather. Road salt is bad for cars.

Get Maintenance Done at the Dealership

We’re the experts when it comes to treating your car the way should be treated. When you bring your car to us for maintenance, you can have peace of mind that it is in capable, knowledgeable, and experienced hands. We’re here for your car for the little things you need regularly, like oil changes, and the big repairs too!

Regular maintenance is essential in order to keep used cars in solid working order for as long as possible. Use your smartphone to stay on top of the recommended maintenance schedule, keep your car clean, and bring your car to the dealership to help ensure that you and your car will have a long, happy life together.

Getting the Best Interest Rate on a Used Car

You’ve narrowed down your search for the perfect used car for your needs and budget and are ready to address your finance options. If you won’t be buying the car outright, you’ll need to finance it, which means paying interest. To avoid paying more than necessary for used cars, you’ll want to keep your interest rate as low as possible, which you can easily do with a few good tips.

Think About Financing Through the Dealer

While you might think financing your car through a dealer is automatically more expensive, the truth of the matter is that doing so could net you a pretty solid deal. This is because dealerships can offer incentives like zero-percent financing and other specialized low rates. Check to see what’s on the table before you think about financing elsewhere.

Consider a Certified Pre-Owned Car

It seems counter intuitive, but older cars usually come with higher interest rates when compared to newer models. Instead of thinking you’re better off with a new model, consider the fact that dealerships sometimes have zero-percent interest specials on their certified pre-owned cars. Be sure to ask about them as you’re walking up and down the aisles checking out cars.

Consider Your Term Length

If it’s at all possible, get a car loan with the shortest term length possible. The reason for this is that a shorter term length equals a shorter repayment length, which means a lower amount of interest paid over the life of your loan. Another great thing about getting a term length as short as possible is that you don’t have to worry as much about being upside down on your loan, which is what happens when you owe more on your car than it’s worth.

As you can see, there are several things you can do to keep the interest rate low on your used car. Be sure to put these tips to good use.

Tips to Pay Your Used Car Off Faster

When you are checking out used cars, one of the biggest advantages is the cost. These will almost always be less than the same make and model that is new. When you are paying less for a vehicle, you can pay it off faster. However, there are a few tips to make it easier to get the loan paid off so that you can eliminate your monthly payments.

Put More Money Down

Even if you put an extra $500 to $1,000 down, this is less money you have to pay back with interest. This allows you to pay your vehicle off faster and it can also save you money overall. Consider your timeline for paying off the vehicle and do the math to determine the down payment amount that fits into your plans.

Pay More With Every Payment

Add to your payment every month to make each payment larger. You can choose any amount that you can afford during that given month. For example, add an extra $50 to your payment in August and September, but when the holidays come up and money is tight, plan to pay an extra $25. Every dollar counts and works to get the loan satisfied faster.

Make an Extra Payment Every Four Months

This is relatively easy and most people are able to afford this. This cuts off three months of payment per year. If you have a two-year loan, you will pay your vehicle off in 18 months instead of the full 24. Simply divide your monthly payment by four, put this much aside and once four months is up, make the extra payment.

You can use all of these tips together so that your loan is paid off before you know it. Just talk to the dealership and see if they have any rules about paying off a loan before it is set to be complete.

Reasons You Should Buy a Used Car

The idea of a brand new car is exhilarating, but for most people, used cars are more budget friendly and just make more sense. If you aren’t convinced that a used vehicle is the right choice for you, then you need to keep reading. We’re going to show you why buying used can be the best decision you make.

More Options

Buying used gives you a range of great options. Because prices are more affordable, you are able to look at vehicles you may never thought you could afford. This includes luxury designs and larger vehicles, like SUVs and trucks. In addition, you can get a lot of features for your dollar. You have the opportunity to buy the vehicle you really want instead of having to settle for only a couple options you can afford. This really opens things up and allows you to look at a range of vehicles you might not have even considered an option.

Reliability

One of the best things about buying a used car is that they generally come with all the “kinks” worked out. This just means that any manufacturer issues have often already been caught and fixed by the time you get the car. So, you get a nice peace of mind.

More for Your Money

In the past, buying used was often a gamble because cars really had a set life time. You knew if the mileage was at a certain point that there was a certain amount of life left in the vehicle. That is not really true anymore. Cars last longer. So, buying a used one really isn’t sacrificing too much. You will likely get more than enough acceptable life out of any vehicle you buy.

Before you completely write off buying used cars, take a minute to think about the reasons you should buy one. Used vehicles aren’t at all the stereotypical broken down, worn out vehicles that may come to mind. They really are great cars that have a lot to offer.

Top Benefits of Used Cars

There are numerous reasons to be excited about buying and owning a used car – the cause that is most compelling can vary from one individual to the next. The motivations for purchasing a pre-owned vehicle can be lumped into two main categories: style preference and budget. As for people who are looking to save some money on getting an automobile, the majority of them can meet this goal by preferring to drive cars, SUVs, vans, or trucks that have had at least one prior owner. The benefit of style might not be something that requires explaining, as entire communities have been built around classic and antique enthusiasts.

The Affordability Is Superb

Many people would be quick to take advantage of any opportunity to save thousands of dollars – especially if there needs can be met just the same as if they had paid the higher price. Buying used cars is a strategy that can be deployed in order to protect the balance of your bank account by allowing you to satisfy your need for personal or family transportation without paying much. In many instances, the high level of affordability inherent to pre-owned autos enables buyers to get a better car than they originally thought they would be able to buy.

You Get to Own Your Favorite Model

While a lot of people pick the vehicles they purchase purely for budget and functionality, there are still many who get a particular car because it is the one that best matches up with their tastes. For car enthusiasts, lots full of used cars is where they have the most pleasure shopping for their next automobile – the Chevy Camaro and the Ford Mustang are prime examples of cars often purchased used because of the performance and visual appeal of earlier models.

The list of benefits of buying a pre-owned can be quite long, but a great percentage of the people who purchase used find that either their taste in style or the friendliness towards their budget the most compelling reasons.

Who You Should Bring Along When Shopping for Used Cars

Shopping for used cars can be a daunting experience. With so many makes and models to choose from and with so many ways to finance your vehicle, going it alone can make you feel less confident than you normally might. To make your experience more pleasant, we have some tips about who you might bring along as you shop and take test drives, as this may help you make a more confident purchasing decision.

Your Spouse

Having your spouse along with you as you shop for a used car might make you feel comfortable in terms of helping you decide what kind of car best suits your needs as a couple or a family. You can also bring them to help you keep track of your paperwork and for moral support as well, especially if this is your first time buying a used car on your own.

Your Mechanic

If you have a good friend who is a mechanic, they can be an invaluable individual to have along when you’re browsing used cars. You can ask them questions about which models have the best track record when it comes to safety and reliability. Taking them on test drives might also help you understand and identify any unfamiliar noises you might hear.

Your Adult Children

Having your adult children accompany you on your used car shopping trips can be extremely helpful, especially if you have not purchased a vehicle in some time and are now a senior. They can help you make decisions about which finance option is best for your budget and assist with filling out paperwork if you find yourself running low on energy. If you are not familiar with today’s technology, your kids can help a dealer explain features such as GPS, Bluetooth capability and more.

Shopping for used cars can sometimes feel overwhelming if you go it alone. Bringing along a spouse or a loved one can help you feel more confident that you are getting the most for your money. 

Why Go With Used Trucks

As many of us know, a car is an important but highly expensive purchase. When you add up the cost of the car, its insurance and its fuel, the final sum is quite impressive. This is why many people decide to buy used cars. The benefits in this situation often outweighs the potential disadvantages. Owning a truck can make a lot of things in life easier. It enables you to handle larger loads. Much like other used cars, used trucks can be highly reliable.

The most obvious benefit is the lower cost, but even this feature goes further than you might expect. Used trucks depreciate less, allowing you to get more money if you ever decide to sell it in the future. It has thoroughly been tested by the previous owner, so you know that it has some reliability to offer. You don’t have to go through the break in period, and used trucks are less likely to develop new mechanical or electrical problems. In the long run, this saves even more money on repairs.

You can even go through a certification program to be sure that the truck you are buying has been tested for quality, and all those with problems have been weeded out. Many used vehicles also come with a manufacturer’s warranty. This is something else that is available through a certification program, and it protects you in case something goes wrong with the truck further down the line.

Trucks are known for being some of the most sturdy, reliable types of vehicles out there. This is no less true for used trucks. Buying used is an excellent way to save money and still be sure that you are getting a quality car. There are many advantages that any customer is sure to appreciate. Now you can get out on the road feeling good about your choices with the transportation and hauling power you need.

How to Save With Dealer-approved Car Loans

People want to save money on products they buy, and this is most true of products that cost more. Cars are one key example. People certainly are inclined to make any effort to save money on car loans when the overall price can represent such a large sum. Car dealers have access and industry insight that can save people money in the long run. Working with one can potentially save anyone looking for a car a reasonable amount of money.

Preferred Lenders

Dealerships often negotiate car loans through a bank. Because these companies have so much business, they often qualify for special rates at a number of financial institutions. This can be advantageous for many customers looking for a good deal. The connections a dealer has can lead to a better price for consumers. It is important to check with a dealership to find out what sort of options it can provide.

Less Down

People looking for car loans through a dealership could also qualify for less down on competitive rates. It could benefit a person looking for such loan to pay less in the beginning and enjoy good rates such as those that a dealership can provide. Even if the dealership cannot guarantee better rates for less down, it still can offer competitive rates for a potentially smaller amount of money. Working with a dealership can be important for anyone who wants more personalization with his or her car loan.

More Options

Another opportunity a dealership can provide is more options. Dealerships have been selling cars for years, and they can leverage their industry knowledge to create a better end result. A person in such a situation should consider reaching out to the professional service with particular requests.

Anyone looking for car loans should explore his or her options and see how a dealership might be an essential part of owning a new car.

It’s not impossible to purchase a shiny brand new car with a poor credit history. In fact, it’s relatively easy if you turn to your local dealership. Dealerships like us are often willing to bend over backwards to help people get the wheels they desperately need. Why is that, you may ask? Well, it has to do with an important and treasured concept in business called customer relationships. When we help people get bad credit car loans on good terms, we forge very strong relationships with our customers, and these customers often come back to us again and again for their future automotive needs.

We enjoy making people happy and watching the cars they purchase from us enact a positive change in their lives. If you’ve been without your own vehicle for a significant period of time, you may have no idea how much simpler it will make your life. The pace of public transportation in most cities just can’t compare with being behind the wheel of your very own car. Bad credit car loans will help you get to the point where it’s no longer a struggle for you to pay the bills. Just imagine how nice it will be if you can cut your commute time down by half!

When we are able to help people like you make their lives so much easier, we know that we’ve formed a strong business relationship that will last for years into the future. Perhaps you will buy your next car from us ten or twenty years down the road. We often don’t make any money off the loans themselves, but the value of the relationships we have with our customers more than makes up for that. We hope you will turn to us for bad credit car loans and let your new wheels turn your life around in a more positive direction.

‘Don’t shop for the cheapest car’: tips on the smart way to buy used

Taking the vehicle for an independent inspection is recommended, says Car Help Canada consultant.

Sales of new vehicles may have hit a record high, surpassing the two-million mark for the first time last year, but the majority of consumers are still projected to buy used primarily for one key reason: cost savings.

DesRosiers Automotive Consultants forecasts that about 59 per cent of prospective buyers in Canada will purchase used vehicles this year.

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It’s been well established that new vehicles incur rapid depreciation as soon as they’re driven off the lot. Most new cars can lose up to 50 per cent of their value during the first four years of ownership.

That’s exactly why Esther Paulsen and her husband Tim bought second-hand when they were shopping around for a replacement vehicle last December for their growing family.

“Our decision to go new or used was dictated by budget,” said Paulsen, a teacher in Toronto. “We didn’t even look at new as I was coming off a maternity leave and we are basically single salary with two kids.”

But looking to save money buying second-hand shouldn’t preclude buyers from wanting to ensure their car is in top condition, cautions George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association.

‘More value for your dollar’

“Generally speaking, a three- or four-year-old used car coming off lease would offer more value for your dollar,” he said. “But I wouldn’t be a price junkie. Don’t shop for the cheapest car. That’s what most consumer advice tells you to do. It’s a mistake.”

Iny points to previous research conducted by the APA in the Greater Toronto market at a time when the popular Honda Fit was relatively new and in short supply. His organization found 25 used Fits for sale on auto classifieds site AutoTrader.ca.

“We then looked at the cheapest seven of them and there was a story with every single ad: curb-sider, accident reconstruction, sketchy maintenance, collisions. So you’d be better off looking for used vehicles that are higher priced and bringing an ad for one of the low-priced models that’s similar to negotiate with the seller.”

Finding a car in excellent condition will mean having it checked out, Iny added. “You have to see service records.”

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But if a seller can’t show you a car’s full history, copying down its vehicle identification number (VIN) to get a CarProof report can help identify previous accident claims and any outstanding liens, said Mohamed Bouchama, a consultant for Car Help Canada.

“You have to be very careful. You don’t want to buy somebody else’s problem,” he said, adding to make sure that if the vehicle has been subject to recall or repairs to check that the repairs have in fact been done.

Iny noted that CarProof reports aren’t infallible, though. “Information is often missing on collisions but the big stuff should show up in Ontario, and in B.C. it’s very reliable — 90-plus per cent reliable. In Quebec it’s unreliable,” he said.

Taking the vehicle for an independent inspection, especially if the vehicle is outside the warranty coverage, is also recommended, Bouchama said, “despite the fact that 50 per cent of buyers don’t do that.”

Buyers should also be extra cautious about any hidden issues if they’re purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller versus a dealership.

“If you buy from a dealer, you’re fully protected. If you had a problem and the dealer didn’t disclose it, then you have every right to go back to the dealership and there are laws that protect you from a dealer. When you buy privately you’re not protected at all,” Bouchama said.

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Other common burns prospective buyers should watch out for include sellers who mess with the mileage. “Believe it or not, these day it’s a lot easier to roll back the odometer,” said Bouchama.

Its something that can be determined by taking the VIN to a dealership and having them input it into their database to determine the last time the vehicle was serviced and what the mileage was, he added.

Even asking to see if a used car has snow tires can tell you a lot about its history, Iny added.

“That gives you an idea that the person wasn’t pinching pennies on their vehicle.”