2351 Saw Mill Run Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15210 412-882-3123

Blog from Used Car World

How Important is Mileage When Buying a Used Car?

The “new normal” 200,000 miles…    

    During the 60’s and 70’s the typical automobile in America reached the end of its life right around 100,000 miles. Buying a car with 100k on the odometer was the equivalent of testing your luck. Even though it seems that 100k has stuck with consumers as a maximum mile marker to buy a used car, experts say modern cars haven’t even reached the half-way point of their lifetime at 100k miles. In today’s market, cars can expect to see a lifetime of 250,000 miles or more. New car dealers have felt the “Catch-22” of building better automobiles over the past few decades. Makers have to build better automobiles to attract buyers, but building better automobiles also means consumers keep their cars longer. New car makers have always tried to figure out how to build better cars without making consumers less likely to upgrade later, and profits have been affected by consumers who are in no hurry to get out of a car that still runs well.


    The automobiles of the past are nothing like the automobiles of today. Without delving too deep into technological advancement, mechanical design, fuel efficiency, modern electronics and improvements in quality standards, cars are simply made better today. They are safer and last longer. The average age of an automobile on the road today is 11.1 years old. Considering age and the EPA national driving average of 15,000 miles annually, the typical automobile would have about 165,000 miles on the dash. Consumers are holding on to their cars for longer than ever before, and for a variety of reasons. Technological improvements have many models driving without problem for hundreds of thousands of miles.  The automobiles of today are built to last more than 200,000 miles with simple regular care. That fact is reinforced by makers like Hyundai and Kia which now include 10 year/100,000 miles warranties on their models. Cars with over a million miles have been documented all over. Those are exceptional cases, but the new normal is well made brands like Honda, Volvo, Hyundai and Toyota being sold with 150,000 miles or more to consumers looking for affordable and reliable transportation.


New verses Used Car Buying    While the majority of the change in the type of automobile on the road today can be credited to better made automobiles, the recession also played a part. People uncertain about their financial future or dealing with financial hardship related to the recession held on to their automobiles. For years, the gap between purchases of new cars and used car has been growing steadily. For every new car sold in the US any given year, 2.5 used vehicles are sold. For 2013, consumers purchased 44 million used cars and only 17 million new cars. New age consumers, equipped with access to unlimited information and aggregated access to thousands of local dealers that post their inventory online are less likely to accept the huge depreciation losses when buying a new car. A new car loses 11% of its value in the minute after purchase. After five years, consumers lose 37% of the initial value.

 

     For many consumers, the odometer is the most important part in researching their purchase, and it’s still smart to consider miles. It’s not smart to only consider mileage. If you consider the fact that a car will last 100,000 even with owners that completely disregard maintenance, a car with less than 100,000 miles may actually carry more of a risk. When you find an automobile that has 150,000 or more miles, you know the car was well maintained and still running most likely due to regular care. For car buyers, the decision should be based on the quality of the automobile. Buyers should look at reliable makes and indications of regular care over anything else. Mileage should not decide your purchase for you. As with most other things, research and information will help you make the best decision. As cars get better, and consumers get smarter, considerations like mileage become less rigid.

If you’re in the looking for an affordable, quality automobile, check out our inventory page.

Online Car Loan Applications


The internet has changed everything. With a world of information at their fingertips, consumers have more power than ever. Consumers can do anything from finding love to buying a home online. Car shoppers have been propelled from in-person haggling at their local dealerships to thousands of online listings from hundreds of dealers with competitive up-front pricing in the click of a button from the privacy of their own living room. The internet, offering consumers access to inventory from dealers across the nation, has driven car dealers to list their most competitive price online or be lost in a sea of a thousand dealers offering a better price to anyone with internet access. Consumers have the power to find the best car at the best price before even setting foot into a dealership and most dealership activity has been pushed out of the showroom and onto the internet. You can find a car, get an appraisal of your trade, sell your car, make your car payment and apply for credit online. Online credit applications have allowed consumers to get loan approvals in minutes without having to leave the house, much less fill out mountains of paperwork hoping to get approved. Consumers can find a car and dealership, get an offer on their trade, and secure financing all from the couch. It’s a brave new connected world but people still have plenty of questions about how online credit applications work.

Is it Safe?

With stories of identity theft almost as common as Kim Kardashian selfies, consumers are smart to be concerned about protecting their personal information. In most situations, it is the website that you need to be worried about, not the submission. Scammers will send you official looking emails taking you to phony sites set up for the purpose of stealing your information. You will think that you are getting a great deal those Captain Kirk and Spock matching salt and pepper shakers that you thought you were purchasing from William Shatner’s fan site, but in reality the link in that email sent you a to a scammer’s page hosted in Liberia. For online car shoppers, the best way to avoid identity theft while shopping is to make sure you are submitting your application on a trusted site. Use Google local business listings to verify you are on the actual business’s web site. Its fine for consumers to research and shop on generic listing sites, but when it comes time to submit an application or inquiry, go directly to the dealership’s website. Submitting information to a website that has an actual brick and mortar location will significantly decrease your chances to become a victim to a scam. When you are submitting an application for credit, check the web address of the credit application. It should be HTTP secure. The web address should begin with “https://ssl” or “https://”. The https:// stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, meaning the dealership uses encryption to collect your information. HTTPS provides protection against outside hackers gaining access to your information. It also encrypts collected data to avoid tampering or eavesdropping. Again, the most fool-proof way to avoid identity theft online is to make sure you are on the correct site and to make sure that site is connected to an actual physical business location.


Will Applying For An Auto Loan Hurt My Credit?

Since we primarily work with sub-prime borrowers, our customers can be even more concerned about damaging their credit further than a consumer with excellent credit. Our internal credit application is just that…. internal. Your information is not automatically submitted to any credit bureau, and we won’t run your credit through any bureau without talking to you first. Even though during the application process we will run your credit, it is very unlikely to damage your credit anyway. Check out our blog post “Will Shopping Around For A Car Loan Damage My Credit?”


How Long Will It Take?

With companies fighting to make their product or service faster and faster, you can end up feeling like you’re stuck in Something About Mary’s “7 Minute Abs” argument. Just when you think someone has the fastest whatever, someone else comes out with something quicker. One only needs to study the “time to apply for car insurance” wars between Geico and Esurance. “It takes you 15 whole minutes to get car insurance?! We can do that in 7 ½ minutes!” While some things, like getting a car loan, shouldn’t be completed at a lighting pace, that doesn’t mean you should have to fill out one hundred required fields to apply for a car loan. Unless you have your employers HR department’s direct line number handy, you’re going to want to find a dealer that has a minimum required fields. At our dealership, we have slimmed down our online credit application to 8 required fields. You can enter as much information as you want but you won’t be forced to. Our only required information is First Name, Last Name, Home Phone, Address, Social, Birth date, Employment and Income. If you have these few pieces of information, we can get you a preliminary answer.


How Long Until I Get An Answer?

Some dealerships can take up to 48 hours to process your application…. and that is with excellent turn-around time. At our dealership, we use an advanced secure processing system that will use your information to give you a preliminary answer by email within 10 minutes, guaranteed. With that preliminary approval, one of our salesmen will call you. Our salesman will obtain any additional information needed to get you your car loan and will be able to provide you with options for down payment and terms.

 

How Will I Know I’m Approved

In order to qualify for our guaranteed answer within 10 minutes, you will need to enter your email address in your credit application. Shortly after you receive your preliminary answer, you will receive a phone call from one of our salesman. Once we have obtained your information, we can determine your loan specifics like down payment, monthly payment and total loan amount. If you don’t get a phone call within one business hour of submitting your application, call us!

 

I Have Terrible Credit. Can I Get Approved?

Bad credit car loans are pretty much all we do. We have great rates for prime credit customers too but most people who come to us looking for a loan have already exhausted their first and second (maybe even third!) chances. We are different because we partner with multiple sub-prime lending companies, which gives our dealership plenty of options when dealing with consumers who have bad credit, or no credit or have been through a bankruptcy, divorce or even a repossession. Above and beyond our partnerships with our lenders, we also offer in-house Buy Here Pay Here financing for those especially difficult situations.


Sounds Great! Where Do I Go To Fill Out An Application?

Here! On our website you can fill out a credit application, get an instant appraisal of your trade-in, view our inventory, and learn all about our car loan programs.

10 Biggest Mistakes Made By Auto Loan Customers


Consumers either desperate for transportation or excited about a new purchase often forget that a vehicle is a major purchase. For most consumers, a vehicle is the most expensive purchase they will make aside from their home. Most people wouldn’t rush out and buy a house without careful consideration and it should be the same way when purchasing a vehicle… especially when you’re financing.  Here are 10 of the most common mistakes borrowers make and how to avoid them.

  

1. Letting the dog eat your homework…

In the age of the internet, there’s is no excuse for not doing your research. Hundreds of sites offer unlimited information about vehicles in your area, interest rates, pricing, and loan offers. Aside from vehicle and loan sites, you need to know exactly where you stand and how much you can afford to purchase.  An educated consumer is a good business’s best friend, and a bad business’s mortal enemy. Find what cars are available in your area along with prices and values. Educate yourself on what interest rates are typical, and what dealers offer the best financing options for your credit situation.


2. My credit score is WHAT?!?!

Again, in the age of the internet, there is no excuse for not having a clear picture of your financial situation. Don’t let the dealer or finance company tell you what your credit rating is. You can get that information yourself easy and free. If you haven’t already, pull your yearly free credit report. If there are small or old accounts that can be corrected, do so before going to the dealership. Even a small jump in your score can make a huge difference in your interest rate and loan amount. Know your total financial situation and budget. How much do you bring in a month? How much of a payment can you make? You don’t want to be searching for the answers to these questions after you’ve fallen in love with a car and are sitting in front of a salesman.


3. Nearly catching your pants on fire…

Lying to yourself about the amount you can spend while still being comfortable enough to handle unexpected issues that arise doesn’t help anyone… especially not you. Experts suggest that your total monthly car expense should be no more than 20% of your net income. There are a plethora of budget calculators on the web like the ones here and here. Figure out exactly how much you can afford and avoid disaster later. No matter how much you love your car, you’re going to hate it when you have to make a payment you can barely afford each month. Don’t forget to budget your car insurance with your payment... which brings us to number 4…


4. Forgetting about insurance...

You will have to get full coverage insurance on your vehicle for the length of the loan. If you don’t already have insurance, call around and get quotes. At least have an idea of the cost each month. Many consumers see a car payment of $250.00 and think “I can afford that EASY!” without considering the fact that an extra $150.00 in insurance brings that monthly expense to $400.00. You will need to consider this when you are trying to figure out how much of a monthly car payment you can afford. Speaking of monthly payments…


5. Considering the monthly payment instead of the total price…

Been on Craigslist lately? If you’re looking for a car you probably have. A notorious trick some dealerships have been using online is putting the monthly payment (and sometimes weekly.. ALWAYS read the fine print) in the price field instead of the actual price of the car. That “low payment” amount is usually the longest term loan, and you can end up paying a bundle in interest. Go to dealers that list the prices of their cars clearly online or in the store. If you find a car that you love at one of these dealerships that advertise monthly prices instead of cost, make sure you get the actual price of the car from the dealer up front.


6. Long and lean is good for super-models, not car loans…

Smaller monthly payments on a longer loan can be appealing to buyers, but financial experts suggest you take the shortest loan that you can comfortably pay each month. The longer the loan, the more costly interest you will pay. If you don’t have a choice and have to take the term, at least make a few extra payments now and then and pay the loan off early…


7. Putting their pants on backwards…

Always shop for the loan before you shop for the vehicle. Shopping for the car before you find out what you’re approved for is like shopping in a store without knowing the balance on your debit card. You could be ridiculously under or over your price range. Find out how much a bank or dealership will loan you first. That way, you can shop within your range and avoid being heart broken when you find that perfect car… that you can’t afford.


8. Gap isn’t just for great chinos…

What’s Gap? Gap is Guaranteed Auto Protection or Guaranteed Asset Protection, depending on who you purchase it from. When you suffer a total loss on your vehicle by theft or accident, auto insurers are going to pay you the current cash value of your vehicle. That can be thousands of dollars less than your actual loan amount. If you total your car a month after you buy it, you could be stuck owing the loan company the difference, and be out a vehicle. Gap insurance covers the difference between what your auto insurer pays and what you owe the bank. Not all borrowers need Gap. If you purchase your vehicle with a large down payment, or have a short term loan, Gap could be a waste of money. You will need to figure out if you are “under-water” (you owe more than your insurer’s replacement cost) and for how long you will be that way. Some lenders require that you purchase Gap as a condition to the loan. Ask the dealership about what Gap options are required. If it’s not required, make an educated decision on whether or not to purchase it.


9. Buying new…

An automobile is one of the worst investments you can make. The old adage “You lose thousands just driving off of the lot” isn’t far from the truth. One minute after purchase, your car has decreased in value by 11%. By four years, your vehicle is worth half of what you paid for it. Sure, you won’t have that “new car smell”, but with the thousands of dollars you save by buying used you can purchase three lifetimes worth of “new car smell “ spray instead.


10. Being the hare, not the tortoise… 

Slow and steady wins the race. It’s difficult to avoid feeling desperate if you have lost your transportation, but more car buying disasters have happened to rushed buyers than The Beatles have hits. If your just looking to upgrade or get out of an un-affordable payment, take your time and do things right. If you’re without a vehicle and in need of transportation, taking the extra time to avoid mistakes can be difficult but it’s always worth it. Get help from friends while you’re shopping around and figuring out your budget. With the money you save, you can buy them a pizza for their trouble.

7 Tips For Buying A Car With Credit Problems


For consumers with good credit, car buying can be pleasant experience. They can shop around to find what they like and have finance companies falling all over them to offer a competitive rate. For most consumers, this is not the reality. A majority of car buyers looking to finance vehicles have fair to poor credit and when you’re a buyer struggling with credit challenges, car shopping can be an exercise in futility. If you have bad credit, fair credit or no credit, car buying doesn't have to make you want to pull your hair out. By following a few simple steps, you can make the process less stressful and be on your way to repairing your credit and get back on the road.

 

Be honest with yourself...

Car buyers that struggle with credit are normally buying a car out of need, not want. Getting back and forth to work is crucial when money is tight. Be honest with yourself about your situation and realistic about your expectations. One important aspect that bad credit borrowers have to understand is that they may not be able to get the fully loaded newer model vehicle of their dreams.  There are limits to the amount that a finance company will loan to a consumer with poor credit history. Remember… you need transportation this time around and you need to be able to afford your payments with a little wiggle room for the unexpected problems that happen from time to time. Make all of your payments on time, and you will be able to get your dream car on the next go around.

 

Know your credit situation...

Many consumers believe their credit is much worse than it really is. Items on your credit history may have dropped off or changed since the last time you got your score. Credit agencies do their best to reflect your current credit situation on your report and that information is constantly changing. Federal law requires all three reporting companies to provide consumers one free credit report each year if you request it. You can pull all three of your credit reports on their website for free at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. Contrary to popular belief, pulling your own credit has no negative effect on your score. Pull yours and get an accurate picture of your credit situation.

 

Take some action!

Your score is the main indicator that finance companies and dealerships use to get your interest rate. If after you've pulled your credit report you find there are items on it that can be corrected, do it! Small accounts can have a large affect on your score. Paying off or negotiating with creditors to remove negative accounts will have an immediate effect on your credit and open possibilities for a better loan and interest rate.

 

Determine your financial situation...

How much can you afford to pay each month? Experts say your car payment should be no more than 20% of your net income. Use a loan calculator to determine how much a vehicle you can afford. Its likely that a consumer with bad credit has real life experience with unexpected expenses. It is likely how the consumer’s credit was damaged in the first place. Being smart about making sure you can afford your monthly payment will avoid further costly credit damage and leave you some breathing room for when bad things happen.

 

Get together a down payment...

Down payments can make all the difference for buyers with credit challenges. Your approval and loan amount is going to hinge on how much you can come up with as a down payment. Having a trade-in with equity will suffice for a down payment but having cash to put with it is always better. Put as much as you can down without straining your budget to the limit.

 

Find a car...

Once you have determined how much you can afford, find a car that fits within your budget. Again, be realistic with your expectations. Shop around and find the best deal you can. 99% of dealers now list their inventory on the internet. Comparing cars and prices has never been easier.

 

Have your paper work...

Borrowers with bad or no credit can expect to be required to prove everything. You will need proof of income and residence. Bring pay stubs, a bank statement and utility bills. It’s likely that you will be asked to provide references. If you have a trade, bring the title. If you owe money on the trade, bring the information on your finance company and current loan. Having your documents ready will speed up the process and make it easier for lenders and dealerships to get you an approval.

 

Getting an auto loan with bad credit can be difficult. Consumers that are prepared and realistic will have a much easier time and a better chance at securing an approval. At our dealership, we have been helping customers with credit problems secure auto loans for quality vehicles for over twenty years. If you’re looking to get an auto loan, apply on our website. We offer no credit and bad credit auto loans and Buy Here Pay Here guaranteed financing with no credit check.

New Versus Used Cars

New Verses Used Cars

New or used? It's the first decision a buyer makes when deciding to purchase a vehicle. Which one works best for you will depend on your financial situation and personal preference. Of course, if it were up to us, you would buy a reliable fantastically wonderful used car like one of these great used vehicles... BUT if people didn't buy new cars, and subsequently sell them we wouldn't have anything to sell! So, we decided to try to provide you with the most unbiased opinion on the pros and cons of buying new or used.. or as unbiased as possible for a used car dealership’s blog..

 

THE VERY FEW (and hopefully not convincing) ADVANTAGES OF BUYING A NEW CAR

M-T-O... They’re made-to-order. With a new car, you are only limited by your budget. You can customize just about everything down to the sunrise chartreuse color that reminds you of the blanket your grandmother knitted for you as a child. 

Manufacturer’s Warranty... Sure, you can buy a great warranty with a used car, but you’ll have to pay for it. The best warranties in the business come from the manufacturers when you buy a new car.

Modern Features, Safety, Etc.... New car makers are controlled and heavily legislated. Every year there are new safety standards, fuel efficiency and emission standards. What isn't regulated by the government comes with natural progress. Makers are constantly searching for technology to stay on the cutting edge and above other makers. This creates a “cool stuff” war and the beneficiary is you.

Clean History? There is no history!

Interest Rates... If you’re one of those consumers with a good credit history, the best rates are usually on new cars. If you don’t have a good credit history, we'll consider you a win! (People with credit challenges have a much more difficult time trying to purchase a new car)

Less Work... The only research required when buying a new car is deciding what you want. Sure there’s work in that. You have to compare models and makes. You’ll spend some time searching for discounts and deals. But not nearly as much as is required when buying a used car. Buying a used car usually entails pouring over classified ads, test driving multiple cars, driving to dealerships and securing financing.

Reliability... This one is both an advantage and disadvantage. (see below “Road Tested”) A new car has never been road tested, but it is protected by a manufacturer’s warranty and Lemon Laws. If there's a defect in manufacturing, you at least have an avenue to pursue.

The New Car Smell… This one’s tough to overcome. There’s really nothing like a new car smell. But remember! It only lasts for a few weeks and it costs you. Hopefully for our sake, you like the smell of money better.

 

ADVANTAGES TO PURCHASING A PRE-OWNED CAR

Value... The best reason to buy used is value. A vehicle is not a place to invest money, and any vehicle you buy depreciates each year whether you buy new or used but the largest loss to depreciation occurs when the vehicle is purchased new. In the first one minute of owning a new car, the value drops nearly 11%. By three years, the vehicle has depreciated upwards of 50 percent. At five years, your new $29,000.00 vehicle is only worth 37% of what you paid for it, and that’s no small number. Edmunds has a great infographic that details new car depreciation. You can check it out here.

Price... With a used car, your dollar stretches a whole lot further. Even though you won’t be able to customize every option, you will be able to afford a lot more of them. Not spending the money on the “new” sticker means you will have more cash to buy a car with features like a CD changer, or navigation, or heated leather.. even if it’s in black instead of “gray midnight mist”.

Stress... Having a new car means you worry about every scratch, ding and mark. You avoid hard roads and tight spaces. Used buyers have already had someone else go through the “break in” period. You’re not going to be up all night worried about how close the neighbor parked to your car.. unless you are one of those buyers that buff out dirt marks on their baby blue 1992 Lincoln Continental each night..

Insurance... The cost of insuring a used car is usually less expensive than insuring a new one. While the newest safety features may drive down insurance rates on some new cars, most are more expensive due to higher repair and replacement cost.

High Pressure Sales and $500.00 for “protective silicon fabric spraying”... New car dealers are notorious for “add-ons’ like “dealer prep” (removing plastic from the seats) or “cabin air purification” (deodorant spray) that add hundreds or even thousands to your invoice. New car buyers are also more susceptible to high pressure sales tactics to get them to purchase extras that they don’t want or need. The higher the invoice, the more commission. With used car sales, the car “is what it is”. Aside from a warranty, there really aren't any add-ons for buyers to be pressured into. While used car dealerships can certainly pressure you into a sale, you won't be pressured into paying $400 bucks for "enhanced road preparation fluid".. or an oil top off..

“Adjustable” Prices... With used cars, everyone pays pretty much the same. A certain model with a certain number of miles in a certain condition is pretty much the same price from one seller to the next. With new cars, cash incentives, add-ons, dealer invoices, and cash rebates mean that one buyer purchasing a brand new Toyota Camry could pay a very different price that another buyer purchasing the same year, make and model.

Road tested... This may seem like a sales pitch, but a used car can actually be more reliable than a new car. You are the test subject when you purchase a new car. You do have the manufacturer’s warranty and protection from all out lemons, but a used car has already been road tested. Any major manufacturer defects are found and corrected if it’s still driving. 

 

Choosing a new or used car comes down to personal preference, just like anything else you buy. Do you want to spend more and get the latest in manufacturing and a great warranty? Or  do you want your hard earned cash to go a little further and let the previous owner take the depreciation hit? The more information you have to make your decision, the better. If you do decide on a pre-owned vehicle, check out our inventory. We have a huge inventory or cars, trucks, SUVs and vans and specialize in getting anyone an auto loan.. even those with bad credit or no credit.

10 Tips for Car Loans After Repossession

   

Having your car repossessed is not a pleasant experience... for anyone. Often, consumers purchase a vehicle with an auto loan while their financial situation is good and one major financial incident can send a good paying loan customer into a tailspin of non-payment. What makes vehicle repossession even more difficult is the fact that the consumer needs the vehicle as a means to get to work, and getting to work is likely the only way out of the financial situation that put them into repossession in the first place. One unexpected medical issue, layoff or difficult circumstance can negate your ability to make your car payment, and send you on the road to repossession. A repossession can be catastrophic for a family that depends on a vehicle to get to work, and make it impossible for consumers to turn the situation around. If your car has been repossessed it will be more difficult for you to get a loan, much less a good interest rate. Most prime lenders and banks will not loan a vehicle to a consumer that has a recent repossession, but there is hope. There are lenders and dealerships that will lend money to sub-prime borrowers including those with a history of repossession. Getting a car will get you back on the road and one step closer to fixing your financial mess..

 

1. Pay Off Your Loan

Now hold on.. You're probably thinking "If I could have paid off the loan, I wouldn't be in this situation to begin with." and you're right. We're not trying to aggravate you any further by suggesting you do something that is quite obviously impossible. What you may not know is that when a car is repossessed it is resold, usually at an auction, to pay off the remainder of the loan. The difference in that amount (minus fees and other charges) is what you owe after the repossession. It may not be an exorbitant amount... It may only be a few hundred dollars that you could pay off completely. That could stop any further collection and damage to your credit score, making it easier (and cheaper) to get another loan.

 

2. Contact Your Lender

The old adage "you never know until you try" rings true... even in the case of repossession. Your prior lender may be willing to work out an agreement with you to avoid further credit damage. You'll need to find out how much you really owe after fees and credit from the sale of your previous vehicle. There's no negative in attempting to negotiate with your lender.

 

3. Call The Credit Bureaus

One simple credit fix that is less well know is this: the credit bureaus will attach a short note to your delinquent credit items at your request. It won't change your score or remove the item, but it will give potential lenders reviewing your credit a short explanation of your side.

 

4. Get Your Credit Report

Your repossession will have an affect on your score and history but until you pull your report, you have no idea where you stand. The effect of the repossession may not be as bad as you think, especially if you have other accounts that you have been able to pay on time. By law, you are permitted to view your credit report from all three credit bureaus one time per year for free.


5. Do What You Can To Fix Your Credit

It's possible that there are other, easily fixable negative items on your report that are damaging your score. Even with a repossession, repairing other items on your report could mean the difference between driving or walking, and a percentage rate of 2 or 20 percent. If you can, wait as long as possible before purchasing another car. While this is not feasible for everyone, letting some time pass since your repossession and even opening a few secured credit cards can do wonders to your score.

 

6. Start Saving A Down Payment

Unfortunately if you have a recent repossession, the only way you will be able to get an auto loan is with at least a minimal down payment. Start saving what you can. By the time you find a lender and vehicle, you will hopefully have enough for your down payment.

 

7. Be Reasonable

"The sky is the limit" is no longer an option for consumers with recent repossessions. It's likely that you will not be able to get a newer model expensive vehicle. You may have to bring your expectations down a few notches. There is a limit to how much a sub-prime lender will allow you to borrow and you should be searching for an automobile within that range.

 

8. Find A Lender Before You Find A Car

Many consumers that are new to sub-prime lending make the mistake of searching for the car and then searching for the credit. For those with recent repossessions, you're going to need to find out how much a lender will approve you for before you find a car that you love.. and can't afford.

 

9. Visit A Dealer That Offers "Special Financing"

To find a dealership that works with sub-prime borrowers, search for dealers that advertise car loans for bad credit or special financing. These dealerships will have sub-prime lending options that mostly consider your income as opposed to your credit. You will pay more in interest, but they will be able to get you back on the road.

 

10. Buy Here Pay Here

If all else fails, you can look for a dealership that offers Buy Here Pay Here. If you have no income, Buy Here Pay Here will be pretty much your only option. You'll need more for a down payment and will also have a higher interest rate, but they will be able to get you a car loan.

How To Sell Your Vehicle and Get the Best Price

Selling your car can be stressful. Many consumers have no idea where to begin. It doesn't have to be difficult. Successful sellers know how to get the most money for a vehicle. Following a checklist can help make the process a whole lot easier and get you more money.


Check Values

Many consumers have no idea what their car is worth. Unless you're in the auto industry or a car aficionado, just figuring out the value of your vehicle can cause frustration. Relax! Use one of the million tools online to estimate the value of your vehicle. Kelly Blue Book’s “Sell My Car” tool is a great place to start. Enter your make model and mileage.

Car Buying Tip

Be honest about your vehicle’s condition. Your 1999 Focus Wagon with pink plush seats may be extremely valuable to you but as far as re-sale goes, not so much. One of the most difficult parts for “do it yourself” selling is that consumers place a much higher value on their personal belongings. The faster you can face reality and price your car appropriately, the faster your car can sell and you can move on to the next one. Over priced cars don’t sell. How competitively you price your vehicle will determine how fast it will sell and over-pricing could leave you stuck in the vehicle you no longer want.


Check Online Classifieds

After you determine a general value for your vehicle, go to online classified sites like Craigslist or Backpage and see what similar models are selling for. This may be the most accurate way to price your vehicle. You will have actual prices for similar models and what they are selling for in your local area.


Details, Details, Details....

A large detail that many individual sellers overlook is the fact that a clean car can fetch hundreds more dollars than a dirty one. Would you buy a purse with spaghetti sauce or gum stuck to it? How about one with old newspapers shoved in the pockets? Probably not. You can get a professional detail for around $100. If you would rather keep that cash in your pocket, there are plenty of resources online to detail your vehicle like a professional. DMV.org offers plenty of helpful tips on how to do it yourself. Just as important as a clean vehicle is a well-maintained vehicle. Check the fluids. Change filters. Check mechanical items. All of these things are the first thing a buyer will do when they come to look at your car, just like it would be the first thing you do before you buy your next car. They will go over all the mechanical parts to ensure that everything's working. If you do that first, and fix any items you can it will save you time and energy. Nothing blows a deal like a dry dipstick. No matter how competitively priced or clean, a car that has the appearance that it was not properly maintained will have buyers running from you and your vehicle.


Photos Sell Cars

Now that you have determined a price and prepped the vehicle for sale, its time to get your vehicle out there to buyers. The first step will be to take photos. Take lots! Take pictures of the exterior from all angles. Take pictures of the interior and all the features. Tank pictures of the VIN sticker and mileage.



Car Buying TipTaking a picture of the VIN and miles will save time for you and potential buyers. Many classified sites will require the VIN, and buyers will need it to get insurance quotes or provide information to their credit union or loan company. Have you ever tried to read a VIN over the phone, in the dark, while bent over at your car door with a flash light? It’s not easy. Its much easier to take the picture and include the VIN in your ad so that you can reference buyers to it later. While you're taking the photos, take notes on the details and specs of your car. This will give you a list of items to include in your ad later.


Be Ready to Sell!

You will need your title and registration. You cannot sell a car in Pennsylvania without a title. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to obtain a copy from Penndot. You can go to your local messenger service to have the transaction expedited or use the online application.


Get Your Vehicle out to Buyers..

Post your car to multiple classified sites. Almost every popular site has a section for owners to sell for free. Here are just a few that offer FREE ads to individuals:

Craigslist

Backpage

AOL Autos

Ebay

Geebo

Oodle

Classifieds.com

Carsforsale.com

Pennysaver

Car Buying TipIf you’re selling your car on Craigslist, be sure to check out our blog post "Top Ten Craigslist Car Buying Scams" on how to avoid scams.


Dealers pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to post their cars on free and paid sites like these, but many quality sites that charge dealers for ads also offer free postings for individuals. You will have to field phone calls from buyers. Many buyers use email to for the initial communication just to make sure that you as a seller are a real person with a real car and then follow up with a phone call after. Keep the photos handy in case someone needs them emailed. No matter how much information you put in your ad, there will still be those buyers that will call with questions. If your car is priced right, in good working order and clean, it shouldn't take long to sell.


Sell, Sell, Sell...

The easiest and most fool-proof way to complete the sale is to go to a messenger service and have them complete the transfer for you. They will make sure all the proper paperwork is completed and sent in to your state.

Car Buying TipMake a bill of sale that you and the buyer sign at the notary. A bill of sale protects both the seller and buyer. You may need to prove that the vehicle was sold at some point down the road. Its always smart to draw one up with the basics like VIN, date, miles, price and description. Here's a free one from DMV.org..


Oh no! This is a LOT of work...

Selling a car can be a lot of work. Some sellers are wary of dealing with the general public, especially online and with such a large transaction. The easiest way to sell your car without any headaches is to sell to a dealership. You won’t get as much as you would selling it yourself, but you can avoid possible disasters during the sale. If you are buying another car, the best way to sell your current car is to trade it in. The value of the vehicle will be applied to the balance of your new car.

We will buy your car even if you're not buying from us. Use your vehicle as a trade-in on one of our vehicles and we will give you the highest amount possible for your trade. We have a huge inventory of vehicles for you to choose from. No headaches, no hassles. We have FREE appraisals online. Use our trade-in appraisal tool and get cash today for your vehicle.

Top 10 Best Used Cars Under $5000

Used car shopping on a budget? As a dollar stretches less and less, finding a good car on a small budget can be frustrating. You don't have to sacrifice reliability or quality for budget. We have compiled a combined list of the top ten vehicles that experts say are the best used cars under $5,000. They are reliable and reasonably priced, and won't break the bank.

 

2004 and Under Ford Focus

Shoppers looking in the $5,000 are almost always looking for practicality and fuel efficiency. There’s a version for everyone, which is one of the reasons it’s been Ford’s top selling model. There’s no need to worry about mileage either. Even ones that have been marginally maintained are barely broken in at 100k miles.

 

 

 

2002 and Under Volkswagen Jetta

The Jetta is Volkswagen’s top selling model in the US. Buyers love the sophisticated materials, expert engineering and strong engines. Jetta buyers are more satisfied with their purchase than other models. They're built to last and fuel efficient. Some configurations can get up to 35 city/45 highway, which is excellent fuel efficiency for a car designed over a decade ago. It’s a solid model that is reliable and even offers a little something extra in the style department.


 


1999 and Under Honda Civic 

  People who know good cars won’t need the internet to tell them that a Honda Civic should be a top choice if you’re looking for value and longevity. The Civic is one of the best made cars in history, and many have lived long past the 200,000 mile marker. In the “worry-free everyday driver” segment, the Civic can’t be beat. $5,000 is a small chunk of change for a vehicle that could potentially last through the zombie apocalypse. 

 



2002 and Under Honda CR-V 

When it comes to long lasting engines, Honda frequently tops the list. The smaller crossover CR-V is no exception. It has everything that SUV drivers look for… go anywhere capability, space, and safety. Honda’s CR-V also boasts a 4-cylinder gas sipping engine and iconic longevity. The wheels will fall off before the motor goes. You may have to drive it into a tree to get it to stop running.

 



 2002 and Under Honda Accord 

Obviously, Honda’s superior engineering and engine design makes pretty much any Honda model appropriate for this list, which is why you will have to look for older models to get under the $5,000 mark. The Accord isn't for flash, unless you’re into flashing your smarts, of course. It’s room, comfort, reliability and re-sale value that has made the model so popular.



 

2002 and Under Ford Ranger 

The Ford Ranger has been a favorite with truck buyers looking for a smaller pick up that is capable to do the work of a huge gas hogging full size. Ford’s innovative engineering puts even the older models on the same level engineering as much later model pick-ups. It’s a standard for reliability and longevity. If you've ever owned one, you'd know what all the fuss is about.

  



2002 and Under Hyundai Elantra

  Hyundai’s Elantra is one of the most highly recommended cars on the market, and the Elantra earned that title with exceptional build quality, low maintenance costs and outstanding reliability. Its enduring style puts even the older models on par with models of today, and Hyundai’s unmatched 10-year warranty means that most of these models were exceptionally maintained.

 


Any 1990's Wrangler 

  Jeep’s Wrangler is the ultimate in off-road affordability. Specifically in the older models before the Jeep came out of the “niche” and into the main stream. It’s rough and tumble image is particularly valuable to used buyers since the model design hasn't changed much over the years, making a 1992 Wrangler not much different in the looks department as the newer models.

 

 


2005 and Under Chevrolet Aveo

  Later resigned as the Sonic, the Aveo is a sub-compact sedan or hatchback with a peppy 4 cylinder engine and excellent fuel economy. By 2005, Chevrolet had brought the model up to speed with Honda and other sub-compact leaders. It’s a top notch model for reliability. If you can get one for less than 5,000, it’s a good buy.

 

 

Volvo 740/940 

Volvo offered the 740 in a sedan and wagon. It was Volvo’s attempt to attract luxury buyers who already knew that Volvo was well-built and number one in safety. It was later replaced by the 850, but many remain on the road today because of Volvo’s extraordinary gift for building reliable quality engines.

 


We have a huge selection of cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. Check out our inventory used vehicles under $5,000 and try out our handy price tool to search in your price range.

How to Sell a Vehicle With a Loan Balance

We get questions from customers all the time about selling or trading in their car. One of the most frequently asked questions about our Cash for Cars or trade-in programs is regarding customers that still owe money to another lender for their current vehicle. We will buy your car, even if you still owe on the loan and even if you’re not buying from us. Some of our customers are in tough financial spots and trying to sell their car for cash or purchase a vehicle at our dealership to get a more affordable payment and avoid defaulting on the loan. Here are some tips on how to sell or trade in your vehicle and help make the process fast and easy.

 

Get Your Payoff

The first step to selling any vehicle with a loan balance is to contact the lender and get the pay-off amount. Call your lender and request a 10-day payoff. This is the total amount that they will accept to close the loan. That amount is generally good for 10 days. See if your lender will negotiate with you on the pay off. It never hurts to ask, and you may be surprised to find out that your lender will accept a lower amount than what you actually owe. The lower the amount you have to pay toward the bank is either money in your pocket or more value to your trade. Coming in to the dealership with a pre-negotiated 10-day payoff is tremendously beneficial for you and the dealership.

 

Determine The Value Of Your Vehicle

Once you have your payoff from the lender, use an online value estimator like Kelly Blue Book to get an idea of the amount of equity or negative equity you have in the vehicle.

 

If You’re "Under-Water" or "Upside Down"

There is a possibility that you are “under-water” or "upside down" on your loan. After speaking to your lender and determining the value of your car, you may find that you owe more than your car is worth. If you are in a financial situation where it is absolutely necessary to get out of your loan, you may be forced to take a loss on the vehicle during sale. If you are using your vehicle as a trade on a cash deal, you may have to put additional money toward the negative value. If you are trading in your vehicle to get another vehicle with a lower payment, the dealership will likely roll the balance into your new loan.

 

Ask Your Lender About The Payoff Process

Every lender has different processes for closing a loan. They may need specific documents, or information. They may have a separate payment processing center for payoffs. Asking your lender the specifics about the process will save time and prevent possible problems.

 

Trading Your Vehicle

Trading your vehicle is the easiest way to sell a car that has a loan balance. Dealers, like ours are familiar with the process and will handle all of the paperwork for you. All you’ll need is the information for your current auto loan account. The dealership will help handle all of the paperwork and payoff with your lender.

 

Voluntary Repossession

If you’re really stuck and considering walking away, you can allow the lender to repossess the vehicle. If you are left with only this option, be sure to call the lender and offer voluntary repossession. By volunteering to return the car, you will avoid costly repossession fees, and may be able to work out a deal with the lender to avoid them filing a judgment for the remaining balance. If you can avoid repossession, it’s best to do so. Voluntary repossession is always an option, but it should be your last resort.

If you’re trying to sell your car through our Cash for Cars program, or using your current vehicle as a down payment on your next vehicle with us. You can use our online trade calculator to get a free appraisal of your vehicle. Then check out our inventory and fill out a financing application.

Top Ten Craigslist Car Buying Scams

   

    Craigslist is one of the most popular websites for buying cars… and why shouldn't it be? Instead of finding and pouring over a hundred local dealer sites, you can see what all of the dealers in your area are selling in one simple search. Unfortunately, with popularity comes abuse. Scammers have latched on to the site at record numbers. Craigslist has made huge changes to how dealers post to combat the scammers, but with any website that commands millions of visitors each month it attracts bad people trying to separate you from your hard earned money. Here are the most common scams and some tips on how to avoid them.

  

1) THE RUBBER CHECK/MONEY ORDER

“I’ll send you a verified check or money order. You can even wait for it to clear!”

     Scammers are experts at creating top quality forged checks and money orders.  They will even add validity to their claims by telling victims “go ahead and deposit the check, I’ll wait for it to clear your account”. The problem is most banks clear every check (good or bad) that goes into your account after a one or two day waiting period. It isn't until a few days later that the bank realizes the is bad and debits your account for the loss. The money may be available to you and you will even be able to withdraw the cash after 24 hours, but the bank will eventually realize the deception and take the money back out of your account, leaving you owing the bank whatever amount you used as well as any charges and fees.

 

2) 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

“The company will verify that you’re satisfied 100% before releasing funds!”

     They can be a soldier, sick child, Nigerian prince, oil tanker worker or a researcher from Antarctica. They sound pretty ridiculous when you put them all together, but these are all popular and effective Craigslist targeting methods. You will get an email explaining their inability to meet or talk to you on the phone. Whatever the back story, they will convince you they are forced to sell quickly. They will send you an email explaining a great service from Worldpay or Ebay that will hold your funds until you notify the company that you are 100% satisfied. Unfortunately, these emails are fakes and by the time you/ realize the car never even existed, the thieves long gone. 

 

3) THE “ACCIDENTAL” OVER-PAYER

“Whoops! I paid too much”

     This one will pay you with a check and suddenly realize that they “accidentally” sent you too much. They’ll ask you to wire them the overage and by the time you realize the check is bad, it's too late. In another common version, the seller includes extra money in the check to cover shipping, which he wants you to wire to his “shipping company “, of course.

 

4) PAYPAL

“I only trust Paypal! They will send you a confirmation once I've transferred the money.”

     They will offer you the “added security” of using Paypal.  You will receive an email shortly after verifying that the funds have been received. Unfortunately the email is a fake, and once you hand over the goods it’s too late.

 

5) PHISHING FOR DEALS

“I’ll send you a link to set up your account”

     “Phishing” is a common scam where thieves attempt to get financial information so they can steal your identity and get as much cash as they can out of using your name. The common Craigslist version of this is a seller sending you a link to set up your Paypal account. The link they send is to a Paypal mirror site. It may look exactly like the real thing, but it’s not. You enter your credit card and personal information and just like that, your identity is stolen. It can take years to recover financially from identity theft.

 

6) 21ST CENTURY MUGGING

“I’ll meet you and show you the car, but I work late!”

     This one is one of the most dangerous since it involves the possibility of physical danger. You will be asked to meet. They will explain in one way or another that they can’t meet you during the day, or in a safe place. You show up with the wad of cash in your pocket thinking that if you don’t want to buy the item, you can just walk away. The seller knows you will show up with the cash in case you want to purchase the car and takes off with the cash and whatever else you have on you.

 

7) THE ONLINE ESCROW SERVICE

“I use an escrow service to protect myself!”

The seller will lull you into a sense of security by insisting you use an escrow service to protect themselves from you. Even though there are legitimate escrow services out there, the seller will direct you to a fake. Not only will you be out the cash, the thief will have all of your personal and financial information to steal your identity.

 

8) THE CELL PHONE SERVICE

“I’m very busy. Just enter your cell number in the link I send you and I’ll call you back when I’m free”

In this one, a buyer will respond in email to your ad indicating that they are interested in your car. They will tell you that they are unable to talk at the moment, but if you just enter your information into their phone service on a site that stores phone numbers for them, they can call you back later. In reality, that “service” is actually signing you up for a monthly fee. The fee amount varies greatly, but phone storing sites that charge a nominal fee can be getting money from your account for months before you even notice. There’s also no way to cancel. Another version is to give you a number to call that appears to be their answering service. It’s actually a pay-per-call number, and you could be charged twenty dollars or more for the phone call.

 

8) THE CRAIGSLIST "GUARANTEE"

“Don't Worry. I'm a guaranteed seller on Craigslist”

In this scheme, you’ll receive an “official” email supposedly from Craigslist ensuring you that they have completely verified the seller and they approve the transaction as safe. It will indicate that you are protected under Craigslist “refund policy” and will be reimbursed in the case that you are not completely satisfied. Again, the email is a fake, and the seller is off with your cash.

 

8) THIS CRAIGSLIST ISN'T CRAIGSLIST

As with any online shopping, always make sure you’re on the correct page. Spoof sites can be very convincing and the websites address may be an unnoticeable one or two letters off of the correct address. Craigslist’s official address is www.craigslist.org.

 

 

PROTECTING YOURSELF

Even considering all of the horrible people that use Craigslist as weapon to separate you from money, it’s still a great place to find deals on cars. Following a few simple rules can make Craigslist a safe place to find good deals. If it seems too good to be true IT IS. No one sells a 2010 Ford Mustang for $2,800 dollars. No matter how desperate they are. Craigslist publishes a page that has useful information about transactions on their site here. If a dealer doesn't list the phone number and address, they’re not real dealers. Dealers don’t want email to be the main point of contact. Dealers want you to call. They want you to visit their website and come to the lot. The most common types of ads that are fakes have a picture of a car (at an extreme discount) and an email address.   Here are some Dos and Don’ts for using Craigslist…

DO NOT WIRE MONEY TO ANYONE!

DO NOT meet people alone!

DO NOT believe that Craigslist will help you when a transaction goes bad. Craigslist is very clear that it does not involve itself in any transaction.

DO NOT purchase anything without seeing it. In person.

DO NOT accept checks or money orders. ONLY accept verifiable funds.

DO NOT use any kind of escrow service, “payment service” or Paypal.

DO NOT deal with people “in a rush “or “oversees”.

DO deal locally with people you can meet in person.

DO deal with dealers that list their name and address in the ad, along with their website.