What is the Average Down Payment on a Car?
When shopping for a new or used car, most buyers budget a certain amount for their down payment. This amount also might be added to a vehicle being used as a trade-in to further decrease the purchase price of the new vehicle. Some car dealerships might advertise that buyers can opt to put next to nothing down, and buyers might see this as a great option. What is the average down payment? Instead of focusing on an average down payment amount, Kelley Blue Book simply recommends that buyers allocate 10 percent of the purchase price for their down payment. However, Nerdwallet recommends that buyers of used cars should put 10 percent down, while those buying new cars should opt for a 20 percent down payment. Why is a down payment so important? A down payment—especially a larger down payment—could help buyers: * Secure a lower interest rate for their financing * Pay less in interest over the life of a loan * Offset the depreciation costs * Possibly opt for a shorter loan term Average Down Payment on a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Down-Payments-and-the-Budget.jpg] DOWN PAYMENTS AND THE BUDGET Some buyers might not have the budget for a 10 percent or 20 percent down payment, though. If a buyer purchased a new Mitsubishi Mirage (one of the least expensive models on the market) then allocating a 20 percent down payment on that purchase would equate to around $3,000. Even a 10 percent down payment would be about $1,500. Before buying a car, buyers should review their budget to better understand how much money they could offer for a down payment. If the buyer has a vehicle that they plan to use as a trade-in, the value of the trade-in could help with the down payment, too. Some buyers might be able to put 0 percent down. However, this isn’t always the case. In addition, buyers also could be drawn to dealerships that only require a minimal down payment—like “one dime down.” These programs or promotions could be an option for those with poor credit scores who also don’t have the financial means to make a significant down payment. Buyers should read all the details, though, to better understand loan terms, interest rates, etc. Average Down Payment on a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-a-Down-Payment-Could-Impact-Financing.jpg] HERE’S HOW A DOWN PAYMENT COULD IMPACT FINANCING Down payments could help buyers with their financing. When buyers have the capital for a larger down payment, the lender’s stake in the loan (or the vehicle) decreases. Those who can make a larger down payment might be able to secure better interest rates. However, larger down payments don’t necessarily guarantee better interest rates. DOWN PAYMENTS HELP BUYERS PAY LESS IN INTEREST A down payment of any amount helps reduce the overall cost of the vehicle. Thus, the larger the down payment, the less financing a buyer will need. Since larger down payments decrease the cost of the car, they can help reduce the overall amount of interest paid during the life of the loan. Paying less in interest is a positive for most buyers. DOWN PAYMENTS CAN LET BUYERS OPT FOR A SHORTER LOAN TERM In addition, those who can make a significant down payment also might be able to choose a shorter loan. By decreasing the financing needs for the vehicle, they might decide to make larger payments each month and choose a three-year loan instead of a longer term. Larger down payments could give buyers more flexibility and more favorable terms and rates. Conversely, buyers who make a minimal down payment would need to have a larger portion of their vehicle financed. In order to keep monthly payments lower on a larger loan, buyers might opt for longer loan terms. While longer loans might keep payments reasonable, the interest rates could be higher. Longer loans also mean that buyers will pay more in interest over the life of the loan. THE DOWN PAYMENT CAN HELP EASE THE PAIN OF DEPRECIATION A new car depreciates quickly. In fact, once the buyer drives that new car out of the dealership, the vehicle depreciates around nine to 11 percent. With this in mind, those who opt for less than 10 percent down might be affected by depreciation immediately; the vehicle could be underwater by the time they drive home. According to KBB, vehicles drop 60 percent of the original purchase cost after five years. While car owners can help ease some value loss related to depreciation by caring for their vehicle, all cars will suffer loss in value because of age and mileage. Average Down Payment on a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Preparing-for-a-Down-Payment.jpg] PREPARING FOR A DOWN PAYMENT Some buyers might not have a significant amount of extra cash sitting in their bank account to allocate for a down payment. How can they save for a car down payment? How much should they allocate for a down payment? There are many tools online that can help buyers figure out car financing and estimate what they might expect to pay for the vehicle. These car payment calculators typically allow potential buyers to input the purchase price of the car, an amount for a down payment and potential loan terms. Buyers can use a car payment calculator to better understand their possible monthly payments, but before they start calculating, there’s also one important factor they need to know: their credit score. Car loan interest rates typically are tied to credit worthiness or credit risk. Interest rates are more favorable for those with good credit, but rates rise with credit risk. Buyers shouldn’t be in the dark about their credit score. Every year, consumers are entitled to a free credit report. Request the credit report and then review the credit scores for each credit reporting bureau. Consumers also will want to make sure there are no errors in their report. The credit scores on free reports won’t necessarily mirror the scores that lenders see; however, the scores on reports will give consumers a good understanding of their credit worthiness. When consumers understand their credit, they can use the car payment calculators more effectively. For example, the car payment calculator from Nerdwallet lets consumers input their credit score to view an estimated interest rate. Potential buyers can enter in different amounts for a down payment so better understand how this amount impacts their monthly payments. Nerdwallet’s calculator also shows consumers how much they will pay in interest over the life of the loan as well as the total cost of the vehicle. These calculators can be a visual guide for buyers who want to understand the impact of the loan terms, down payment and interest rates for financing. WHAT IS THE BEST DOWN PAYMENT AMOUNT? Every buyer has a different budget for their car, and their financial circumstances are unique, too. While KBB recommends that buyers opt for a 10 percent down payment, not all buyers will be able to save up this amount for their down payment. However, any down payment amount could be beneficial. The down payment can help lower the cost of the vehicle and decrease the overall amount of interest paid during the life of the loan. In addition, in some cases, a down payment also could help buyers obtain a better interest rate. Down payments also could help offset the pain of depreciation. Vehicles lose value once they drive out of the dealership. A 10 percent down payment, for example, could help ensure that buyers aren’t underwater in their loan. When a car is ‘underwater,’ it means that the vehicle’s loan balance exceeds the value of the vehicle. Buyers also should remember that a trade-in can help them with the down payment costs, too. A trade-in also helps lower the price of the vehicle. Before using a vehicle as a trade-in, though, car owners should research the trade-in value via KBB. This can help ensure that the owner gets a fair price for their trade-in. USE RELAYCARS TO EXPLORE VEHICLES Car buyers who are researching their vehicle options can use RelayCars to preview different makes and models and find vehicles in their budget. The RelayCars app lets buyers explore models via interactive 3D imagery or virtual reality (for those with access to Google Cardboard). Buyers also can visit the RelayCars website on their mobile device to explore vehicles in augmented reality. Use the camera on a smartphone or tablet to preview a 3D image of a vehicle in the real environment. Explore a car in the garage, the backyard or just the driveway. RelayCars also provides buyers with all the necessary specs and data for thousands of makes and models. Compare prices and features for different vehicles to find the best option for the budget and driving needs. RelayCars also has partnered with CarSaver.com. The site lets buyers find cars in their budget and their preferences. Use the site to find financing and vehicle insurance, too. Buyers can take their financing information to the dealership to complete the deal. In addition, CarSaver offers a lifetime warranty on vehicles and the site even lets buyers find insurance rates through Liberty Mutual. Use RelayCars and CarSaver to research cars and drive off in the best way!
What Types of Minivans Can Buyers Choose?
Minivans were once the preferred vehicle for families. These larger vehicles offered ample passenger space plus room for sports gear and other cargo. While minivans have been eclipsed in sales by SUVs, some families still prefer the quintessential van for the comfort, space and ease of access that they offer. What types of minivans can buyers choose? The options have slimmed down as many manufacturers have discontinued the minivan from their lineup, but there are still four popular minivan models available: * Honda Odyssey * Kia Carnival * Chrysler Pacifica * Toyota Sienna THE MINIVAN WASN’T ALWAYS ‘MINI’ The minivan began its rise to popularity in the early ‘80s. Back then, they were just known as vans. Some families even opted for a larger full-size cargo van that provided a spacious interior for long trips. The way, way back seats could be dropped down to create a makeshift bed. By the ‘90s, these vans took on their standard ‘mini’ designation and had become the vehicle of choice for many families. The nostalgic site Click Americana has a page dedicated to the minivan movement and highlights all the popular models of these ‘mom-mobiles’ as the minivan was often called. The introduction of the sports utility vehicle (SUV) eventually led to the minivan falling out of favor. An Autotrader executive interviewed for a USA Today article cited the ‘soccer mom’ stereotype of the minivan. Everything old is eventually new again, though. While sales of minivans have fallen as sales of SUVs have surged, the minivan is starting to become en vogue. In fact, a press release from Autotrader noted that minivan sales increased more than 80 percent during the second quarter of 2021. Types of Minivans [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/The-Four-Different-Minivan-Models.jpg] THE FOUR DIFFERENT MINIVAN MODELS For the 2022 model year, Chrysler shed its minivan offerings for consumers to only the Pacifica. The manufacturer previously offered both the Pacifica and the Voyager, but the latter minivan is now only for ‘fleet.’ This lineup change meant that buyers now only have four minivan models from which to choose. What is the best minivan on the market? That’s up to the consumer to decide, as these models tend to be fairly similar for reliability, safety and price. Here’s what buyers need to know about each available model. Types of Minivans [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Honda-Odyssey-1.jpg] HONDA ODYSSEY The Odyssey was introduced in 1994, and it’s been going strong since then. The 2022 model is priced at $33,040. It can tow up to 3,500 pounds and has space for up to eight (but that depends on the buyer’s choices). The Odyssey also is fairly fuel efficient for its size. The minivan can get up to 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. It received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the highest safety rating that a vehicle can earn. Types of Minivans [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Kia-Carnival-1.jpg] KIA CARNIVAL The 2022 Kia Carnival is slightly less expensive than the Odyssey. The Carnival has a base price of $32,300. Like the Odyssey, the Carnival also can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The Carnival’s fuel efficiency also is similar to that of the Odyssey; the Carnival can get 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. The Carnival received a Top Safety Pick rating (when equipped with specific headlights and built after March 2021) from the IIHS. Types of Minivans [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Chrysler-Pacifica.jpg] CHRYSLER PACIFICA While Chrysler dropped its Voyager minivan, it offers the Pacifica in both a standard model and a hybrid model. While the standard Pacifica has decent fuel efficiency (19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway), the hybrid model has a range of 520 miles. However, the standard Pacifica is priced at $37,095 while the hybrid has a base price of $48,478. The Chrysler Pacifica received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from IIHS. Of all the minivans on the market, the Pacifica offers the highest towing capacity; it can tow up to 3,600 pounds. Types of Minivans [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Toyota-Sienna-1.jpg] TOYOTA SIENNA The Toyota Sienna debuted in 1998. The 2022 model is priced at $34,710 and can tow up to 3,500 pounds. It offers better fuel efficiency than its competitors because it’s also a hybrid. The Sienna can get 36 MPG combined city and highway. In addition, the Sienna also received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from IIHS. Types of Minivans [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/What-is-the-Most-Dependable-Minivan-on-the-Market.jpg] WHAT IS THE MOST DEPENDABLE MINIVAN ON THE MARKET? The minivan models that remain on the market tend to be comparable in fuel efficiency, safety in price. Which model is the most dependable, though? Each year, J.D. Power names the top winner for dependability for each different vehicle category. The winner is determined by the scores from vehicle owners; the owners have to score their vehicle in different areas based (over a 12 month period). The winners for the year are models that are three years old. The 2021 dependability award for minivans was given to the 2018 Toyota Sienna. Since the awards reviewed models from three years prior, multiple minivans that have since been discontinued were on the list. The 2018 Dodge Caravan ranked second, the Chrysler Pacifica took third place, the 2018 Honda Odyssey was fourth and the 2018 Kia Sedona ranked as the fifth and final place. The Carnival is a newer minivan model. For Quality/Reliability, here’s how each minivan scored (out of 100): * Toyota Sienna: 77 * Dodge Caravan: 75 * Chrysler Pacifica: 68 * Honda Odyssey: 64 * Kia Sedona: N/A Models were also scored for Driving Experience and Resale Value. The Honda Odyssey received nearly a perfect score for Resale Value—it scored a 97! The Toyota Sienna scored an 85 for Resale Value. The others scored in the 70s. The Chrysler Pacifica secured the best score for Driving Experience, though. It received an 80. The Dodge Caravan received the lowest score in this area—a 65. The others scored in the ‘70s. Every year, J.D. Power releases its latest winners and posts all scores. Buyers can review the winners and scores to see how each minivan stacks up for different model years. Buyers can even review scores and winners from all the way back to 2003 (for the 2000 model year). THE MINIVAN VS. THE SUV Buyers have limited choices when buying a new minivan. Is an SUV or a minivan best? Minivans might offer more cargo space, while SUVs offer a more rugged design and build. SUVs are built on a truck chassis, and some drivers feel that the SUV offers a greater sense of safety and security. The heavier construction also gives an SUV a towing advantage. While minivans are limited in their towing capacity, some SUVs could tow more than 8,000 pounds. In fact, the Ford Expedition can tow up to 9,300 pounds. Typically, minivans offer convenient features like power sliding doors and power lift gates. This means that parents who have their hands full don’t have to fumble to open the doors or the back gate. Again, minivans also offer more cargo space. Drivers can drop down the seats to maximize the space for gear or other necessities. SUVs also can be much more expensive than minivans. The most expensive minivan (the hybrid Pacifica) is less than $50,000, but the least expensive full-size SUV (the Nissan Armada) is $50,745. While smaller or even compact SUVs can be budget-friendly, they won’t offer the spacious interior of a standard minivan. Since SUVS are heavier, they might lag behind the minivan in fuel efficiency. Buyers who are concerned about gas mileage should research their SUV options to find the best option. While buyers could opt for a hybrid or electric SUV, these models will come with a higher price tag. EXPLORE MINIVAN MODELS WITH RELAYCARS Buyers researching their minivan options can explore all the models in 3D, augmented reality and even virtual reality using RelayCars. Buyers can access RelayCars by downloading the app or just by visiting the website. The RelayCars app lets buyers preview and explore thousands of models using immersive 3D models. Turn the car around and explore it from all angles. The app also lets those with Google Cardboard use virtual reality to preview vehicles. The RelayCars website offers an augmented reality showroom, or buyers can use 3D imagery to preview minivan models. With augmented reality, car buyers use their smartphone or tablet camera to drop a minivan model into their environment. RelayCars offers more than just vehicle imagery, however. While buyers can explore thousands of vehicles in augmented reality, virtual reality and in 3D, RelayCars also provides specs and data for all models in its inventory. Compare prices, features and capabilities. Then explore multiple minivans visually to better understand the unique design and style of every option. With RelayCars, buyers can immerse into the buying experience. Once buyers find the minivan they like best, they can take the next step in their buying process. RelayCars partners with CarSaver.com to provide an easy buying experience that lets car shoppers find the best prices for their perfect car. While the minivan might have fallen out of favor over the years, it’s beginning to make a comeback. Although only four models remain on the market, buyers can use RelayCars to better understand their options and even explore earlier models for those interested in buying a used or pre-owned minivan.
Here’s How to Negotiate Car Payoff Settlement
The average car loan is about six years or 70 months. However, not all car owners take the full loan term to pay off their vehicle. Some find that they have the financial means to pay off their loan early. An early payoff, though, might lead to penalties from the lender. Each loan has its own terms, and before a car owner decides to pay off the vehicle early, they need to understand what it will cost them. Here’s how to negotiate car payoff settlements to pay the loan in full and own the car outright. WHAT IS THE PAYOFF AMOUNT? The payoff amount of a car loan isn’t always the same as the loan balance. The payoff amount is the amount that is necessary to completely pay the loan and it likely includes interest and any fees (like early termination fees). When a borrower pays a loan in full before the end of the contracted term, the lender might not make as much money in interest. For this reason, paying the loan early might include termination fees. To find out the payoff amount, the borrower should contact their lender. At this time, they also can inquire if any penalties or additional fees were applied. However, the terms of the loan should include all this information. CAN BORROWERS NEGOTIATE A PAYOFF SETTLEMENT? Car owners that want to pay off their loan early might wonder if they can enter into negotiations with their lender. Lending Tree explains that borrowers can try to negotiate the payoff amount. To talk about negotiating the balance, the car owner will need to contact the lender. However, Lending Tree explains that the borrower should continue to make payments. While some lenders can be open to negotiations, others might be firm in the payoff amount. While it never hurts to try to negotiate, lenders might not budge. Even if they don’t wish to negotiate, the lender will be able to provide a payoff amount. This amount is typically a “10-day payoff quote.” Per Lending Tree, this means that the amount quoted will satisfy the loan if it is paid in the 10-day grace period. After the 10 days, Lending Tree notes that the price could bounce up or down. WHEN THE CAR IS PAID OFF Once the full payoff amount is received and credited to the account, the buyer will own the car outright. When the loan terms are satisfied, the lender will send the borrower documentation of the payoff and include a lien release for the vehicle. Buyers should keep all paperwork in a safe place. In addition, the lien release is necessary to re-title the vehicle so that the lien holder (the bank or lender) is removed from the title. Once the loan is paid off, the buyer owns the car completely. This means that any value that is left in the car represents pure equity. Car owners might wonder how paying off the car might impact their car insurance. Progressive explains that paying off a loan won’t lower the premium, but the car owner could elect to change coverage options. Before dropping comprehensive coverage to save money, car owners should understand how that can affect them if the vehicle is damaged in an accident that is their fault. If the car is still worth a decent amount of money, it might be wise to continue to pay for comprehensive coverage. OTHER WAYS TO PAY OFF A VEHICLE EARLY Not all car owners will have the financial means to pay their car loan in full before the terms of their loan are satisfied. However, car owners could elect to make a larger payment each month so that they can pay off the vehicle earlier than anticipated. Before sending a larger payment, though, borrowers should contact their lender so they know how that extra sum will be allocated. Some lenders automatically apply the overpayment towards the principal, but some lenders might require borrowers to make a separate payment when they wish to allocate the extra towards principal. Nerdwallet explains that allocating extra towards the principal is most beneficial during the beginning of the loan. This is due to the fact that higher portions of payments in the beginning of a car loan usually are allocated towards the interest of the loan. Even paying a little extra each month can help borrowers decrease the length of their loan and pay off the loan faster. Car owners can review their budget to see how much more they might be able to allocate to pay down the principal. How to Negotiate Car Payoff Settlement [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/What-About-Higher-Interest-Debt.jpg] WHAT ABOUT HIGHER-INTEREST DEBT? Every individual might have a different preference when tackling debt. Some might feel like they’ve made a greater impact when they completely pay off a debt. Others want to chip away at debts. Some want to pay down their highest interest debt first, but others want to prioritize their largest debt. Experian explains that consumers might consider prioritizing their highest-interest debts. Paying off this debt will save more money. While it might be tempting to pay off more each month on a car loan, if a credit card has double the interest rate and a high balance, it might make more sense to tackle this debt first. When the high-interest debts are paid, then perhaps consumers could begin to chip away at other debts. However, Experian also notes that paying off the highest debt could be preferred if an individual needs to decrease their credit utilization ratio. TIPS FOR FINDING THE BEST CAR LOAN Before buying a car, consumers need to research and understand their loan options. Some buyers want a longer loan term that offers lower monthly payments. Other buyers, though, want to pay off their car quickly and opt for a three-year loan. Interest rates of a loan may depend on the buyer’s credit score. Those with high scores might qualify for the most favorable interest rates, while those with less than desirable scores might see higher rates. Sometimes credit scores improve over time. Refinancing a car loan can be an option for those with higher-interest car loans to find lower rates or perhaps better loan terms. Before signing on the dotted line of a loan, buyers need to understand all the terms outlined in the loan. What is the monthly payment? What is the interest rate? Buyers also can ask about any early termination fees. Shopping around for a car loan can help buyers find the best interest rates available to them. There are many sites that consumers can use to find different loan options; they can compare monthly payments, interest rates, etc. Some sites let buyers get pre-qualified to better understand the loans for which they might qualify. However, getting pre-qualified doesn’t mean that a buyer is approved for the loan. Pre-qualification is a soft credit inquiry. In order to get approved for financing, car buyers will have to submit more extensive information (like their social security number). HOW DOWN PAYMENTS CAN AFFECT A CAR LOAN Car buyers who plan on financing their vehicle might have a trade-in to help offset the cost of their new vehicle. However, while a trade-in can apply as a down payment, Investopedia recommends researching the price of the vehicle so that buyers understand the value of their trade-in. Combining a trade-in with a down payment can be beneficial. To help offset the cost of vehicle depreciation, buyers should try to allocate 20 percent of the purchase price of a new car as their down payment. If the purchase price is $30,000, then try to make a $6,000 down payment. However, Experian explains that with a used car, a 10 percent down payment is sufficient. How to Negotiate Car Payoff Settlement [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Weighing-the-Price-of-an-Early-Payoff.jpg] WEIGHING THE PRICE OF AN EARLY PAYOFF If a car owner has the financial means to pay off their vehicle before the end of their loan, they might be tempted to pay it in full so they own the car outright. Some lenders are open to payoff negotiations, but some might not budge on the price of the payoff. Before paying the car in full, call the lender to understand the terms of the payoff and get a quote for the payoff amount. Some loans might include early termination fees. Paying the car in full before the end of the loan might free up money each month to pay other debts, though. In addition, when the car doesn’t have a loan balance or a lien associated with the lender, the car owner could opt to restructure their insurance coverage. However, the biggest payoff of an early payoff is that the car is owned outright. The value of the vehicle represents equity to the owner. They can use the vehicle as a trade-in for a new vehicle, sell it privately or just drive it until the vehicle is at the end of its life. While car owners might be surprised to learn that the payoff amount might be more than the balance on the monthly statement, saying goodbye to the loan could give the car owner a huge financial sigh of relief.
What is the Best Way to Sell a Car?
When demand is high for used cars, prices for those cars might rise, too. Car owners might see the rising prices of used cars and contemplate selling an older vehicle that they don’t need. Many car owners elect to sell their car when they’re ready to purchase a new model. What is the best way to sell a car? There are three options for car owners when they want to get rid of their old vehicle: * Sell the car to a dealership * Trade-in the vehicle to a dealership * Sell the car privately * Sell the car to an online company * Sell the car to a scrap yard HOW TO SELL MY CAR FAST Some car owners want to sell their car as quickly as possible. They might need the cash to pay off medical expenses or other personal expenses. Some car owners just don’t want that old car lingering in their garage or driveway. The quickest way to sell a car also might be the option that offers the least amount of hassle. Selling the car to a dealership might be the fastest way to sell a vehicle. Before offering up an older car to a dealership, though, car owners should: * Research the car’s value * Pay off any outstanding loan amounts on the vehicle * Locate the title * Clean their car (inside and out!) Car owners can research their vehicle’s value using Kelley Blue Book. The site offers two options for valuing a vehicle; the resale value and the trade-in value. When selling the vehicle to a dealership, car owners will want to research the trade-in value. Dealerships want to make a profit, and, while selling a car to a dealership might be the quickest option, it also might result in less money for the owner. Since car dealerships want to make money on their purchase, they need to consider their own profit margin when negotiating a price. KBB will show car owners the price they might expect to receive from a dealership for their vehicle. Car owners will then need to figure out how much money they owe on their vehicle to a lender. Before a dealership will finalize the deal, they may stipulate that the car owner pays all or a portion of the outstanding loan balance. Car owners also will need to find their car’s title. A car sale needs to include the title to the vehicle. If the owner cannot find the title, they might need to research the process of replacing the new title. This is usually done through the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). When car owners are interested in selling their car to a dealership, they should thoroughly clean the vehicle inside and out. They may even consider having the car detailed. The vehicle’s condition affects the value; make the vehicle presentable. Best Way to Sell a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/What-is-the-Best-Way-to-Sell-My-Car.jpg] WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SELL MY CAR? Selling a vehicle to the dealership is one of the quickest ways to sell a car, especially when the owner has all their paperwork in order and has paid off the vehicle. The best way to sell a vehicle to maximize profit, though, is by selling privately. A private sale, however, may take more time and effort. If there is an outstanding loan balance for the vehicle, the car owner should contact their lender to determine how they can sell the vehicle. Car owners will need to clean up their vehicle and make any necessary repairs before listing the vehicle. In addition, car owners should research the resale value of their vehicle on KBB. This is different from the trade-in value, and it’s typically higher. Car owners will need to answer questions about their vehicle’s condition. They also need to select any upgraded features for their vehicle and include data on the vehicle’s mileage. Order a vehicle report to present to buyers, too. Car owners also need to consider how they wish to advertise their vehicle. When selling privately, car owners need to be aware of potential scammers. Be safe when meeting with buyers. Only meet buyers in public places and be sure to arrange a secure payment option; meet at a bank to complete a transaction or insist on using reputable payment options like Zelle, PayPal and Venmo. Best Way to Sell a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-to-Sell-an-Old-Car.jpg] HOW TO SELL AN OLD CAR Some cars are classic and collectible. Selling an old car might mean that the car owner needs to target a niche buyer. Other cars might simply be older with a large number on the odometer. The best way to sell an old car depends on the owner’s preferences and perhaps how fast they need to make the sale. Again, selling a vehicle to a car dealership might be the easiest option. However a private sale typically nets a higher profit for the seller. Car owners need to weigh the options. Some owners don’t want to manage a private sale, but others prefer to sell privately if it means they yield a higher profit. BEST WAY TO SELL A CAR WHEN BUYING A NEW CAR Some car owners need to sell their old car to have money for a down payment on a new option. What is the best way to sell a car when buying a new car? Many car buyers opt to use their old car for a trade-in at the dealership. This is another way to sell the vehicle to the dealership except the money for the old car is simply deducted from the sale price of the new vehicle. Before offering up an older vehicle as a trade-in, car owners should research the trade-in value of the vehicle via KBB. When buyers have an idea about the value of their vehicle, they can negotiate with the dealership if they think they are offered a low figure for their trade-in. Buyers who don’t know the trade-in value of their vehicle might be at a serious disadvantage at the dealership. SELLING A CAR TO AN ONLINE CAR COMPANY Companies like Carvana also buy cars. These companies might be another easy option for car owners who want to sell their car quickly. Selling a car to an online car company might allow car buyers to receive a sale quote quickly. The sale process also could be more simplistic. Car owners who are interested in pursuing a quick sale can get a quote from Carvana by entering their license plate or VIN information and the state in which they live. If the offer seems low, car owners could try selling through a dealership or just handling the sale privately. Best Way to Sell a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Selling-Extremely-Old-Cars-to-a-Scrap-Yard.jpg] SELLING EXTREMELY OLD CARS TO A SCRAP YARD Some cars are simply not worth much. Maybe they have been sitting idle for years. Perhaps they are broken beyond repair. In this case, a dealership might not want the vehicle and a private seller definitely would have no use for it. What are the options for a car owner when their car isn’t running? Donating the car to a charity could be an option. The donation could be tax deductible. However, before offering up a car to charity, a car owner should check to see if the car has to be in working condition. Some scrap yards could buy the car for scrap metal and/or parts. While they won’t offer much for a vehicle, this is a way for the car owner to get the vehicle off their hands. Selling a car to a junkyard will still require that the car owner sign over the title. In addition, a junk yard won’t be an option if the vehicle isn’t paid off. If car owners don’t agree with the price offered at one scrap yard, they might visit others to see if they can get a better price for their vehicle. Car owners, though, might simply just want to get rid of the vehicle for any price. How much can a car owner expect to receive when selling their old vehicle to a scrap yard or junkyard? The offer could vary, but some offer a few hundred dollars for a vehicle. Car owners might even be able to get a quote for their old car. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO SELL A CAR? The best way to sell a car isn’t the same for all car owners. Selling a car to a dealership, though, might be the quickest way to sell the vehicle. A private sale might ensure that the owner gets the most from that sale. Car owners who are still paying off their vehicle might have a more complicated sale. They will need to contact their lender before selling privately, and some dealerships might require them to pay off the loan in full or partially. Using the car for a trade-in also can be a low-stress way of handling a vehicle sale. When using the vehicle as a trade-in, the car owner won’t receive a payment from the dealership. Instead, the trade-in offer will be used to offset the price of the new vehicle. Car owners who have a very old car that isn’t running or that simply costs too much to fix might consider selling it to a scrap yard. This could be the best option when the car won’t be an acceptable trade-in because of its poor condition. Scrap yards might offer a few hundred dollars for a vehicle, but the price varies. The best way to sell a car might depend on the condition of the car, the needs of the car owner and how fast the car owner needs the cash.
What is the Biggest Minivan on the Market?
Through the years, vehicles have evolved as the needs of families have changed. While station wagons were a family favorite in the ‘70s, minivans quickly took preference for family travel and held their popularity into the millennium. Although the SUV is now the family car of choice, the minivan still has a solid fan base of loyal buyers. When the minivan reigned supreme, there were many different models available. While the options have dwindled over the years, the remaining models all rank well for safety and dependability. Most are comparable in design, but what is the biggest minivan on the market? Currently, there are only four minivan models available: * Chrysler Pacifica * Honda Odyssey * Kia Carnival * Toyota Sienna Each of these models is comparable when it comes to fuel efficiency, safety and price, too. How do they size up, though? Here’s a look at each minivan in detail. Biggest Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-Chrysler-Pacifica.jpg] 2022 CHRYSLER PACIFICA The Pacifica has a base price of $37,095, which makes it the highest-priced minivan. It was rated as a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which is the highest safety rating a vehicle can earn. The Pacifica has space for up to seven passengers. While the standard Pacifica Touring can get 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, the minivan also is offered in a fuel-efficient hybrid option. The hybrid has room for seven passengers but can get more than MPGe (combined for both city and highway). The Pacifica also includes more than 100 safety features (standard and options) to keep the driver and passengers safe during the drive. How big is the Pacifica? It offers a maximum interior cargo space of 140.5 cubic feet. For passenger space, the second row features 39 inches of legroom, and the third row offers 36.5 inches. The driver and front passenger have 41.1 inches of legroom. Biggest Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Honda-Odyssey.jpg] HONDA ODYSSEY The Odyssey has a base price of $33,040. It also was rated as a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. The Odyssey offers the same fuel efficiency as the standard Pacifica—19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. The Odyssey also boasts numerous standard safety features and upgrades. However, the Odyssey offers more legroom than the Pacifica. The front seats and middle row include 40.9 inches of legroom. The third row offers 38.1 inches. Behind the first row, the Odyssey offers a maximum cargo space of 144.9 cubic feet. Behind the third row, it offers about 38 cubic feet of space. Biggest Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Kia-Carnival.jpg] KIA CARNIVAL The Kia Carnival is one of the most budget-friendly minivans available. With a base price of $32,300, the Carnival has space for up to eight passengers. The Carnival can get 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway, which makes it slightly less fuel efficient than its competitors. It received a Top Safety Pick rating from IIHS (for models with specific headlights). However, the Carnival is noted to be best in class for cargo space. It offers a maximum cargo space of 145.1 cubic feet. While legroom space is decent, the Carnival offers the least amount of space for third row passengers. The front seat offers 41.1 inches of legroom, and the second row offers 40.5 inches. The third row is a bit tighter and only offers 35.6 inches of leg space. Biggest Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Toyota-Sienna.jpg] TOYOTA SIENNA The Toyota Sienna is the second most expensive minivan with a base price of $34,710, but it’s a hybrid. However, it offers room for eight passengers (unless buyers elect for captain’s chairs in the second row), and it boasts the best gas mileage among all the minivan models (except the hybrid Pacifica). The Sienna can get 36 MPG combined and received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from IIHS. The Sienna offers the tightest legroom space for the driver and front passenger, but it offers the most space for third row passengers. The front row has 40.3 inches, the second row has 39.9 inches, and the third row passengers have 38.7 inches of legroom. As for cargo space, the Sienna might be a bit more cramped. The Sienna has a maximum cargo space of 101 cubic feet—far below its competitors. WHAT MINIVAN HAS THE MOST SPACE? When the seats are dropped down in the second and third rows, minivans can hold quite a lot of cargo. This is handy for families who need to pack boxes for moving or haul other items. The minivan with the most cargo space is currently the Kia Carnival—but only by a very slight margin. For legroom, though, each minivan has its strengths. The Kia Carnival and Chrysler Pacifica offer the most legroom for the driver and front seat passenger. The Odyssey has the most space for second-row passengers, while the Toyota Sienna offers the most legroom in the third row. BEFORE MINIVANS WENT MINI, THEY WERE JUST VANS Minivans weren’t always the standard family car. Again, station wagons once dominated the family market. However, vans also were an option. Vans of the past weren’t always known as mini, and older vans tended to be less refined in style. Many ‘80s children slept in the back of the van during long car trips. Like newer sleeker minivans, the older vans were sized to hold plenty of passengers. For example, the Chevy Astro could seat up to eight (the same as many of today’s minivans). The older vans of the ‘80s also typically included a velvet-like interior. Now minivans commonly feature cloth seats or leather. What was the largest minivan or van ever? Older now discontinued vans like the Dodge Grand Caravan could boast more space than modern predecessors. However, there are no solid stats on what minivan offered the most cargo space. Biggest Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Are-New-Minivans-On-the-Horizon.jpg] ARE NEW MINIVANS ON THE HORIZON? One of the most iconic early relatives of the minivan was the kitschy and groovy Volkswagen Microbus. These vehicles are highly collectible and remain emblematic of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The vintage bus was extremely roomy, and these buses are still used by some modern nomads as on-the-go mobile living space. Volkswagen is set to release a new electric minibus/minivan called the ID Buzz. According to Tom’s Guide, the bus/van is expected to drive into the U.S. market in 2023 and will have an estimated range of 250 miles. The downside of the new bus/van, though, might be related to its power—it takes 8.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60. Many modern electric vehicles now boast quick acceleration stats. However, minivans have never really been known for their quick speed. Stats for the Honda Odyssey, for example, note that its 0 to 60 time is around 6.5 seconds. The Sienna has similar stats. The VW ID Buzz could be a possible new electric option for those who want a more modern iteration of the old microbus or for buyers looking for a cool alternative to the standard minivan. Biggest Minivan [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Minivans-vs.-SUVs.jpg] MINIVANS VS. SUVS Many families choose third-row SUVs for a sporty family car; some buyers might like the weight of the SUV and choose these cars because they feel safer. Others might just like the look of the SUV. The minivan, though, offers a few key features that the SUV doesn’t. For example, minivans typically include sliding doors. This makes loading the vehicle easier. Sliding doors also provide hands free convenience. Many minivans let drivers use the key fob to automatically open the sliding doors. When carrying kids, sports gear or groceries to the car, this makes accessing the vehicle a less cumbersome experience. Minivans also provide the most cargo space. The largest SUV is the Chevrolet Suburban, which offers 144.7 cubic feet of space. With a base price of $53,200, the Suburban costs about $16,000 more than the most expensive minivan. Both the Kia Carnival and the Honda Odyssey offer a little more cargo space for much less money. CHOOSING THE BEST MINIVAN Car buyers who want to find the best minivan for their needs can explore all the available models using RelayCars. The RelayCars website lets buyers explore all the most modern minivan models using 3D interactive imagery or augmented reality. Car buyers also can download the RelayCars app to explore vehicles in virtual reality (with Google Cardboard); those without Google Cardboard can explore cars on the app by exploring 3D models of vehicles on their screens. Using RelayCars interactive and immersive platforms, car buyers can use a fingertip to interact with 3D car models and explore the car from all angles. In addition, those who use a mobile device to visit the RelayCars website can explore vehicles by dropping models of their favorite models into their environment using augmented reality. Explore minivan models in the driveway, the backyard or place them into the garage. RelayCars also includes data for all newer models; compare vehicle specs and features or just research different vehicle options. Shopping for a new minivan can begin at home using the immersive tools and vehicle data offered by RelayCars. Explore all the minivans—even earlier models—and find the minivan that fits the lifestyle, the budget and, of course, the family!
Why are People Stealing Catalytic Converters?
Vehicles powered by a fuel-injected engine are equipped with a catalytic converter, which helps reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions from the engine. The catalytic converter, though, wasn’t always a necessary component. In 1970 Congress passed the Clean Air Act and catalytic converters became an integral part of the car’s mechanics. The Environmental Protection Agency mandated that all cars starting with the model year 1975 must be equipped with a catalytic converter. In the past few years, catalytic converters have become a prime target for theft. Why are people stealing catalytic converters, especially since all standard vehicles are equipped with these parts? Not all vehicles are prime targets for catalytic converter theft. Certain body types and models, though, are easy and valuable targets. The vehicles most at-risk for catalytic converter theft include: * Toyota Prius models (especially from the model years 2004 to 2009) * SUVs * Trucks * Vans HOW MUCH IS A CATALYTIC CONVERTER? A catalytic converter costs between $800 and $1,200. These are not inexpensive parts to replace. What makes these parts so expensive, though? Their price tag is due to their intricate mechanical function; a catalytic converter is designed to convert harmful emissions into more benign emissions. To do this, the converter engages in a bit of automotive chemistry. A catalyst is required to convert the harmful gasses into less harmful gasses. This is why the part is called a ‘catalytic converter.’ While the part typically ranges from several hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars, J.D. Power notes that the most expensive catalytic converter—found on the Ferrari F430–is priced at more than $3,000! Why are People Stealing Catalytic Converters [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/What-are-the-Most-Stolen-Catalytic-Converters.jpg] WHAT ARE THE MOST STOLEN CATALYTIC CONVERTERS? Since the catalytic converter is such an expensive part to replace, it’s becoming a target for thieves who want to make a profit. The metals used for a catalytic converter have risen in value, and thieves are selling the parts to recycling facilities to make a quick profit. There are certain vehicles, though, that are targeted for catalytic converter theft more often. What are the most stolen catalytic converters? Prius models include high amounts of the valuable metals. In addition, vehicles that sit high off the ground also are prime targets for catalytic converter theft. High vehicles like SUVs, trucks and vans are easy for thieves to maneuver beneath the vehicle to remove the converter. TOP CARS FOR CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT Every car with a catalytic converter could be a target for thieves. However, SUVs, trucks and other vehicles that sit off the ground are simply more accessible for this type of theft. In addition, those who drive a 2004 to 2009 model Prius also may be targeted. Again, these vehicles have catalytic converters with higher amounts of precious metals that are valuable to thieves. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, “Claim frequency grew from 1.4 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years in 2016 to 58.1 claims in 2020, with the largest increase occurring between calendar years 2019 and 2020.” From 2019 to 2020, the HLDI reported that claims in the range of $2,501 to $3,000 also greatly increased. This was related to the high price of replacing the exhaust system of the Prius. WHICH CARS ARE TARGETED FOR CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT? Car owners with any vehicle equipped with a catalytic converter need to be aware that thefts are on the rise. Yet, those who drive an SUV, van or truck that sits high off the ground might be more susceptible to this type of theft. Prius owners—especially those who drive older models—also need to be on the lookout. Not only does this type of theft result in costly repairs, but if the theft also could result in the vehicle being declared as a total loss from an insurance company. How to Prevent Stealing Catalytic Converter [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/How-to-Prevent-Stealing-Catalytic-Converter.jpg] HOW TO PREVENT STEALING CATALYTIC CONVERTER While some cars are prime targets for catalytic converter theft, owners can take measures to protect their vehicle and make it more difficult for thieves to access this highly coveted auto part. One of the simplest ways to deter thieves is by parking over dirt or gravel. The converter is underneath the vehicle, and this means thieves have to slide under the car to remove the part. Parking somewhere messy could be a deterrent. Nerdwallet recommends painting the catalytic converter and including the VIN on the converter. This shows that the part is associated with a specific vehicle. A brightly painted converter that has been marked with the VIN might keep thieves away. There are also devices that can be installed to help protect the converter. These devices might look like a cage and make it more difficult for thieves to remove the part. Vehicle owners need to understand that if their vehicle only has liability coverage, their insurance company will not cover the cost of the theft. For vehicles that are prime targets for catalytic converter theft, car owners might double-check to ensure they are protected with comprehensive coverage. PRIUS CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT Prius owners might be extra diligent in protecting their car’s catalytic converters. Unfortunately, the higher amount of precious metals used in the catalytic converters for these hybrids make them susceptible to thieves. Anti-theft devices can protect the Prius’ converter. In addition, owners might also choose to paint the converter and add the VIN or license plate number on the converter. Taking multiple precautions can help further deter thieves from targeting the vehicle. WHICH CARS ARE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE CATALYTIC CONVERTERS STOLEN? While the Prius is the hottest car for catalytic converter theft, certain models of the Prius are prime targets. Specifically, Prius models from 2004 to 2009 have become the most targeted for catalytic converter theft. Owners of older Prius models might want to take precautions to protect this highly-coveted and very expensive auto part. Anti-theft devices can be an inexpensive and effective option. In addition, painting and marking the converter also could help deter thieves. HOW DO THIEVES STEAL A CATALYTIC CONVERTER? While theft of catalytic converters is on the rise, car owners might be wondering how thieves even access these parts. After all, catalytic converters are found underneath the vehicle. Removing a catalytic converter might not be the most convenient crime, but it’s also not difficult for an individual who is motivated. Thieves access the converter by sliding underneath the vehicle; they use a mechanical saw to remove the part. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) notes that the theft takes mere minutes. HOW MUCH IS A CATALYTIC CONVERTER WORTH? Catalytic converters vary in price; however, they are an expensive part for car owners to replace. Theft of a catalytic converter can cost thousands for the insurance company or the car owner. For the thieves, these parts can command about $50 to several hundred dollars at a recycling facility. As for the metals in the converter, the prices are skyrocketing. KBB reports that an ounce of Rhodium is now worth more than $17,000! WHY DO PEOPLE STEAL CATALYTIC CONVERTERS? Catalytic converters are a prime target for thieves because the metals used in the converter are highly valuable. In the older models of the Prius, a catalytic converter has higher levels of these sought-after metals. This is why older Prius’ are targeted by thieves. In addition, vehicles that sit high off the ground also provide easy access for thieves. To access the converter, a thief has to go underneath the vehicle. Higher vehicles offer convenient access. WHAT CARS ARE SAFE FROM CATALYTIC CONVERTER THIEVES? There are some vehicles that are simply not a target for catalytic converter thieves. The safest vehicles are electric models. This is due to the fact that electric vehicles don’t need a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter was required to reduce emissions that were produced from the fuel-injected engine. Electric vehicles, though, don’t use fuel to operate. Instead they require electricity to charge the batteries that power the engine. Electric vehicles don’t emit any harmful chemicals into the air, and they don’t require a catalytic converter. Electric vehicles also don’t have a tail pipe. BUYING AN AT-RISK VEHICLE? PROTECT IT! Unfortunately, car owners who purchase a truck, van or SUV that sits high off the ground might be targeted by thieves who want to make a quick buck on the catalytic converter. While some vehicles are more at-risk for catalytic converter theft, car owners can take steps to reduce their risk of theft for their new car. * Paint the catalytic converter * Mark the catalytic converter with the VIN or license plate * Install anti-theft devices * Park over gravel or in well-lit areas Catalytic converter theft results in a significant replacement cost for the car owner or an expensive claim for an insurance company. Protecting the car can help reduce the risk of theft and save owners the time, expense of dealing with the loss of this important auto part. WILL THE CATALYTIC CONVERTER BECOME ANCIENT AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY? As the price of precious metals soars, catalytic converters may continue to be a prize for thieves looking to make a quick buck. Some buyers who want a new truck or SUV might simply gravitate towards electric options. Electric vehicles don’t require catalytic converters as they don’t use fuel to power the engine. Electric trucks and SUVs can still offer the same benefits—including towing capacity—that drivers need without the concern of a thief slicing away the converter. As electric vehicles start to become the mainstream automobile on the market, catalytic converters will likely convert into an obsolete part of vehicle mechanics.
Can You Sell Your Car to a Dealership?
The used car market and the price of used cars fluctuate with supply and demand. During a time of high demand for used cars, prices will typically increase. When car owners see that their car is of higher value, they may be curious about selling it—especially if they are in the market for a new vehicle. While car owners can sell their car privately and list their vehicle on sites like Cars.com or even Craigslist, some owners simply don’t feel comfortable initiating a private sale. Can you sell your car to a dealership? Is selling to a dealership difficult? There are two few ways to sell a car to a dealership: * Use the car as a trade-in * Sell the car for cash Selling a car to a dealership is actually a fairly simple transaction, but car owners will need to be prepared to negotiate. Before offering a car to a dealership for sale or as a trade-in for a new vehicle, car owners should: * Clean their vehicle (detail it, too, if possible) * Research the trade-in or resale value via Kelley Blue Book * Check the payoff amount of the vehicle if there is still an outstanding loan * Locate the title for the vehicle Can You Sell Your Car to a Dealership [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Do-Dealerships-Buy-Cars.jpg] DO DEALERSHIPS BUY CARS? PREPARING A VEHICLE TO SELL TO A DEALERSHIP The car’s make/model, mileage and age all affect the value of the vehicle; these factors are largely out of the car owner’s control. However, the condition of the vehicle also affects the resale or trade-in value of a vehicle and car owners can control the physical appearance of their car. Do dealerships buy cars? While selling to a dealership isn’t difficult, it does require that the seller prepares the vehicle. Before presenting a vehicle as a trade-in or for sale, car owners should make sure that the vehicle is in the best shape possible. Clean the car inside and out; detail the vehicle, too, if finances allow. In addition, repair any mechanical issues. While some dealerships might accept any car for a trade-in, they won’t want to buy a vehicle that is in poor working order. In addition, presenting a clean and well maintained car won’t ding the price of the vehicle, and it might help it. CAN I SELL MY CAR TO A DEALERSHIP? BE SURE TO RESEARCH THE TRADE-IN OR RESALE VALUE Can I sell my car to a dealership? Car owners should know the value of their vehicle before offering it up for a trade-in or when selling it to a dealership. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is one of the most trusted sources for researching car values. KBB lets owners research both the resale value of the vehicle or the trade-in value. Owners will have to include all the details about their vehicle; check all applicable features and be honest about the condition. Car owners will notice that the trade-in value is typically lower than the resale value. This is due to the fact that the dealership will want to make a profit on the vehicle. They are buying the car as a trade-in to hopefully resell on their lot. Selling a car to a dealership is like trading in the vehicle. Remember, the dealership needs to make a profit, too. This is why a private sale commands a higher price. The buyer in a private sale is typically looking for a car to drive, not a car to resell. A dealership is looking at that car’s resale potential. CHECK THE LOAN PAYOFF AMOUNT FOR THE VEHICLE If the vehicle that a buyer wishes to sell to a dealership still has an outstanding loan, the buyer will want to check the payoff amount of the loan before selling. Compare this amount to the potential trade-in value. If the trade-in value is not higher than the payoff amount, the seller will sell the car at a loss. However, when the payoff amount is less than the potential trade-in value, the seller will profit. Selling a car to a dealership with an outstanding loan also could be easier than a private sale. The loan needs to be paid off before the car owner can sell the vehicle; any lien holders on the vehicle must be paid, as they, too, need to sign the car title when the car is sold. KBB explains that selling with an outstanding loan might mean that the dealership requires the seller to pay the dealership the outstanding loan balance or a partial amount of that balance. LOCATE THE TITLE Before selling a vehicle, the car owner should locate the title. Ideally, the title should be stored in a safe place that the car owner can easily access. However, in some cases, the lender who financed the car holds the title. Again, if a loan balance is owed, this could complicate the deal. Car owners might opt to pay off the loan before selling to a dealership so they can have a clean title or the paperwork to title the vehicle in their name only. When a loan is paid in full, the lender will send legal documents to the car owner that state that the lender no longer has a lien on the vehicle. What if the title has been stolen or lost? Car owners will need to report a stolen title to their local police. In addition, they will need to work with their local department of motor vehicles to re-title the vehicle. Every state might have different procedures for obtaining a new title. HOW TO SELL A CAR TO A DEALERSHIP AS A TRADE-IN While selling a car to a dealership will put cash in the car owner’s pocket, using the vehicle as a trade-in works a bit differently. When trading-in the vehicle, the car owner is still selling the vehicle to the dealership. However, instead of keeping the money from the sale, it is applied to offset the cost of a new vehicle purchase. A trade-in helps lower the price of a new vehicle. The value of the trade-in is deducted from the purchase price of the vehicle. A trade-in can help buyers lower their monthly payments and possibly shorten their loan term, too. Buyers also can lower the price of a new car further by applying a larger down payment. A down payment combined with a trade-in could be significant enough to allow a buyer to opt for a shorter loan term and pay off the new car quicker. Some buyers, though, just want lower monthly payments. The trade-in value is available via KBB, and even when a car owner is only using their car as a trade-in, they should still research the value to ensure that they get the best deal. Since the trade-in will help offset the cost of a new car, it is beneficial for them to negotiate for the best price possible for a trade-in. When presenting a car for a trade-in, car owners should make sure it’s in the best condition possible. Clean the car, detail it, and make any necessary repairs. Any issues could mean a lower offer from the dealership. Can You Sell Your Car to a Dealership [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Selling-a-Car-to-Online-Car-Companies.jpg] SELLING A CAR TO ONLINE CAR COMPANIES Some car owners might not want to go through the hassle of selling their car to a local dealership. Another option is to sell the vehicle to companies like Carvana. The deal can be done virtually, although Carvana will inspect the car. However, selling to companies like Carvana can be an easy experience and most of the details can be handled online. Other companies also offer to buy cars and use a virtual process, too. For car owners who just want to handle this process at home while sitting at a computer, these sites might be worth researching. If car owners don’t agree with an offer, they might just move on and explore other selling options. THE BIGGEST TIP WHEN SELLING TO A DEALERSHIP There is one major difference between selling a car privately and selling a car to a dealership: profit margins. While a private buyer might want the car for their personal use, a dealership will be reselling the vehicle. This means that dealerships will need to build in a profit and this is why selling to a dealership might result in a lower sale price. However, not all car owners want to handle a private sale and may be willing to take less for an easier sale process. Some car owners might be concerned about potential scams when selling privately, while others just don’t want to deal with the hassle. Selling to a dealership is fairly pain free. However, car owners need to empower themselves by researching the trade-in value of their vehicle. To make the selling process easier, car owners also can ensure that the loan on their car is paid in full. Selling a car with an outstanding loan could make the sale a bit more complicated, and the seller might need to pay the dealership all or a portion of the loan balance. In addition, if a car dealership makes a low offer, car owners can begin to negotiate based on the known value of their vehicle. If the dealership and the car owner cannot come to a fair price, though, car owners can always walk away. Another dealership could offer a better price, or the owner might wish to wait to sell the vehicle. Ideally, both the dealership and the car owner should come away from the sale feeling that they scored a fair deal.
Toyota Van Models: All About the Van, the Previa and the Sienna
The number of minivan models has decreased in the automotive market. While this body style was incredibly popular for families, SUVs have eclipsed the minivan as the vehicle of choice. Unfortunately, minivans haven’t enjoyed the coolest of reputations; unlike the SUV, minivans can’t venture off road and they’re not the best option for towing. However, the family-friendly minivan isn’t dead. While there may be fewer options on the market, those that are left still have a following. Toyota is one of the remaining manufacturers that still offer a minivan, and Toyota van models have remained a top choice for families. The Toyota Sienna ranks high for safety and dependability. However, the Sienna hasn’t always been the go-to minivan model for Toyota. Here’s a look back on Toyota van models from the past and into today. THE ‘80S: JUST A VAN In the 1980s, minivans weren’t really a thing yet. That is, vans existed but they were full-size. There was nothing incredibly chic about the family van; they were large with a lot of space. Some kids who grew up in the ‘80s probably remember sleeping in a makeshift bed in the back. Vans were a must-have for long car trips. They offered more room than a classic station wagon, and, again, they offered the option for a sleeping area on the way back. According to AutoTrader, Toyota produced two different types of vans in the ‘80s. One was the classic passenger van, but the other was for cargo. The classic Toyota full-size van was unique in its shape. The windshield sloped at a pronounced angle. The model didn’t have a fancy name, though. The van was simply called the Toyota Van. Apparently, the vans were fairly popular. AutoTrader notes that from the van’s inception in 1984 to its final run in 1989, about 170,000 vans were sold. The Toyota Van in Europe even included a very cool option: an ice-maker! Can consumers find these vans today? While it might be possible to hunt one down, the Toyota Van isn’t incredibly plentiful on the used market. Interested buyers might find one or two in their area. They’re also not exactly budget-friendly. A van from 1986 with nearly 200K miles might cost more than $8,900. Toyota Van Models [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Toyota-Previa.jpg] THE 1990S: SAY HELLO TO THE TOYOTA PREVIA When the Toyota Van was discontinued, it was replaced by the Toyota Previa—a minivan model! There are many Toyota dealerships that pay homage to the Previa, as it was an incredibly interesting minivan. From 1991 to 1997, MotorTrend noted that the Previa included a very non-traditional engine placement—it was located in the middle of the chassis. The site explains that this minivan was even supercharged! While the minivans of today might have an uncool reputation, the old Previa was quite the hidden gem. The Previa also included some out-of-the-ordinary interior features like an ice-maker and a fridge. The design of the minivan also included huge windows that provided for picturesque views for passengers. In 1999, the Previa was bumped for another model: The Sienna. This is the minivan model that Toyota still produces today. Toyota Van Models [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Toyota-Sienna.jpg] 1999 TO TODAY: THE TOYOTA SIENNA Since 1999, Toyota has produced the Sienna, which remains as one of the top-selling minivans on the market. Multiple minivan models have been discontinued by manufacturers. Today, only four minivan models remain: Kia Carnival, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica and Toyota Sienna. With the chip shortage, minivans might be in short supply. This means that the Sienna is likely in high demand. What sets this minivan apart from the other three competing models? In many ways, the competitors are fairly comparable. The Pacifica, Odyssey and the Sienna received Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2018 Sienna also was named as the top pick for dependability from J.D. Power. The 2022 Sienna is offered at a base price of $34,710. It can seat up to seven passengers but a bench seat can provide space for eight passengers. The fuel efficiency of the Sienna also is fairly decent; it can get 36 MPG both in the city and on the highway. The new Sienna is even offered in a hybrid model. While minivans aren’t necessarily equipped to tow heavy loads, the Sienna can pull up to 3,500 pounds. FINDING THE BEST TOYOTA VAN MODELS For car buyers looking for a new minivan, the Toyota Sienna is only one of four minivan models available in the current market. However, those who want to purchase a used or pre-owned van could hunt for older Toyota models like the Toyota Van or the Previa. The price for older models depends on several factors, including supply and demand. The Toyota Van also might be hard to locate, and its rarity also could mean paying more. The price of used minivans also will depend on a few other factors, including: * Mileage * Age * Condition When shopping for much older models like the vans from the ‘80s, conditions might vary. Some vans might be completely torn apart inside while others could be very well preserved. Buyers could face a DIY project or a serious renovation. Older vans, though, also could be ideal for buyers to transform into the perfect automobile to live the van life. If the van needs serious work, this could lead to a very low purchase price and an opportunity to create a very unique hub for on-the-road adventures. Minivans or full-sized vans from the ‘80s and ‘90s also will not be equipped with the modern safety equipment found in today’s models. In these ‘80s and ‘90s, backup cameras didn’t exist. Older vans also won’t include savvy infotainment systems that allow for smartphone compatibility, although buyers might have access to vintage features like a cassette player or a CD player. WHAT TO PAY FOR PRE-OWNED TOYOTA VAN MODELS How much can buyers expect to pay for a used van or minivan from Toyota’s lineup? To better understand the resale value of an older van or how much a buyer might expect to pay, consult a site like Kelley Blue Book (KBB). KBB lets car shoppers research the value of vehicles and search for available models at nearby dealerships, too. For consumers who own an older Toyota Van or Previa, there might be money in their older vehicle. KBB can help car owners understand both the trade-in value and resale value of their van. With used car prices soaring, this could be the ideal time for car owners to unload an older van or minivan for extra cash or to use as a trade-in. Those looking on the used market for a deal, though, might be shocked when they research the prices of used minivans. For example, a 1993 Toyota Previa with 70,000 miles is selling for nearly $12,000. Toyota Van Models [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Electric-Minivans.jpg] ARE ELECTRIC MINIVANS THE FUTURE? The Sienna is offered in a hybrid model, and the Chrysler Pacifica also offers a hybrid option. However, electric vehicles seem to be the future. Will minivans become electric? Volkswagen has teased its electric minibus of the future; the energy-efficient bus will be available in the U.S. next year. In addition, the Pacifica also likely has plans to go electric; KBB noted that Chrysler is moving towards all-electric. Both an electric Pacifica and the electric bus from VW could make family trips very economical. Yet, while Chrysler and Volkswagen were among KBB’s roundup of electric vans of the future, the Sienna wasn’t on the list. The Kia Carnival and the Honda Odyssey also weren’t noted to be electrified. As more manufacturers make the move towards energy efficiency and start ditching the standard fuel-injected engine design, Toyota and Honda might begin integrating electric into their minivans. Families that want to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their fuel efficiency, though, can opt for hybrid minivans. While these models aren’t electric, they are the next best thing. BUYING A MINIVAN WHEN SUPPLY IS CRUNCHED Buyers who want to purchase a new Sienna might find that their options at the dealership are limited. Supply and demand can ebb and flow; unfortunately, the chip shortage has crunched the supply of many favorite vehicle models. While options might be less plentiful, car buyers can search for their options using online resources like KBB. Buyers also might need to be less focused on the little details of their minivan—like color. Dealerships might have a few models on their lot, and this might be the buyer’s options. Some areas, though, might have more options on their lot. In addition, buyers who can’t find what they want might opt for a used or certified pre-owned model. Choosing a pre-owned Sienna also might be more affordable to buyers who can’t afford the price of a 2022 model. However, in the fall, the new 2023 Sienna will move into the dealerships. Buyers who can wait might be able to find what they want and opt for a better model by holding off their new minivan purchase until the new models are offered in the fall.
The Best Cars for First-Time Buyers
Buying a car for the first time might be a rite of passage, but the process also might be anxiety-inducing. A car—like a home—is a big purchase. First-time car buyers might not know what to expect at the car dealership or even how they should begin their search for their ideal car. The best cars for first-time buyers can be focused on price, safety or other features, too. Each buyer might have their own idea of what is the best car for their needs. When buying a car for the first time, though, here’s what to know about the dealership experience, how to find the best car for the budget and what to understand about financing, too. Best Cars for First-Time Buyers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-Much-Should-I-Spend-on-My-First-Car.jpg] HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND ON MY FIRST CAR? Every buyer should have a budget or an idea of how much they can comfortably spend on their first vehicle. Nerdwallet advises that buyers should spend less than 10 percent of their take home pay on a car payment. To better understand their car budget, buyers need to review their monthly income and expenses. While some expenses like rent or mortgage payments are fixed (this means they are the same each month), the cost of food and other expenses can vary. Consumers can review data from a banking account to better understand spending habits related to food and other expenses. Total all these expenses for the month and include fixed expenses like rent, mortgage and any insurance premiums, too. To understand income, add up monthly take-home pay. This is the amount received after health insurance deductions and taxes. Remember, a car payment should be—ideally—less than 10 percent of total take-home pay. Some individuals, though, might have less than 10 percent of income to allocate towards a car payment. Only allocate an amount that is affordable. A car payment that is too high could lead to financial issues down the road. Car buyers also should expect to make a down payment on whatever car they are purchasing. Buyers need to review their finances to better understand how much they can allocate for a down payment. WHEN BUYING YOUR FIRST CAR, DO THE RESEARCH! Once buyers understand how much they can allocate for a monthly car payment, they can better understand how much car they can afford. Now buyers need to research cars that are in their price ranges. Buyers might be wondering how they can understand the total price of the vehicle when they only know how much they can allocate for a monthly payment. There are numerous calculators online that help buyers figure out how the price of a vehicle breaks down for a monthly payment. Buyers might have to research different cars they like and enter the price into the calculators to find out if it’s an affordable option. However, interest rates affect the monthly payment. Depending on an individual’s credit worthiness, these rates can be lower or higher. Consumers are entitled to a free credit report each year; individuals who haven’t accessed their credit report for the year can request their free report. Reviewing a credit report can help buyers learn their credit score and, therefore, better understand their interest rate options. For example, those with a good credit score might be able to secure more favorable interest rates. Individuals who notice that their score is fair or low, though, might face higher rates. Those with poor scores also could have difficulty in securing financing. Some dealerships or automotive sites let buyers get pre-qualified for financing. Getting pre-qualified can better help buyers understand how much financing they might qualify for and their interest rate options, too. Getting pre-qualified for financing is considered a ‘soft inquiry’ on an individual’s credit. This means that getting pre-qualified won’t impact the credit score. However, buyers need to understand that getting pre-qualified for financing does not mean they are approved for financing. In order to be approved for a loan or financing, an individual will have to complete a credit application and submit more extensive information (including a social security number). Best Cars for First-Time Buyers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/First-Time-Car-Buyer.jpg] FIRST TIME CAR BUYER: DEALERSHIP NEGOTIATING AND OTHER TIPS Buyers can research their favorite car models to find the best options in their price range, and they also might go through the process of getting pre-qualified to better understand their financing options. If they plan to purchase their vehicle at a dealership, visiting the dealership will likely be the next step in the process. The trip to the dealership and negotiating the price of the dealership might be a first-time buyer’s biggest worry. Negotiating can be an artform, and buyers should expect that while they want to get the lowest price possible, the dealership likely wants to make as much profit as possible. A first-time buyer probably won’t have a trade-in to offer. A trade-in can be an easy negotiating chip for the buyer, especially when/if the price of used cars is at a premium. Those without a trade-in might ask about any applicable deals or special promotions. These promotions could help lower the cost of the vehicle. When shopping for a used vehicle, the buyer also can ask for an inspection. If any issues are noted, these can be points of negotiation, too. When buying a new car, buyers should research the prices of the same vehicle at other dealerships. Kelley Blue Book also lets buyers research the price of vehicles. Understanding the fair market value of a vehicle can help buyers better understand if the price is right. The internet is the best tool for first-time buyers, as it’s an easy way to research different car prices in the area without leaving home. Buyers can do all their background research on their own turf and visit the dealership when they are ready to make a deal. When a buyer is at the dealership, and they can’t come to an agreement on price, it’s ok to leave. Sometimes the best option is to walk away. THE LEAST EXPENSIVE MODELS FOR FIRST-TIME CAR BUYERS For first-time car buyers who are on a tight budget but want to purchase a new car, there are many budget-friendly options available. The least expensive models might only offer the basic features on base trims, and some might lack the get-up-and-go of more expensive models. However, purchasing a new car can be an amazing feeling, especially for a first-time buyer who has never driven a new model. Here are the least expensive new models on the market that might be a great choice for the budget-conscious first-time car buyer: Best Cars for First-Time Buyers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Chevrolet-Spark.jpg] CHEVROLET SPARK Priced at $13,600, the Spark is the least expensive model on the market. The model also is incredibly fuel efficient; it offers 30 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. Best Cars for First-Time Buyers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Mitsubishi-Mirage.jpg] MITSUBISHI MIRAGE The Mirage is the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market, and one of the most budget-friendly, too. With a base price of $14,645, the Mirage offers 39 miles per gallon combined. Best Cars for First-Time Buyers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Nissan-Versa.jpg] NISSAN VERSA With a base price of $14,980, the Versa is comparable in price to the Mirage. However, while the Mirage has a three-cylinder engine, the Versa offers a four-cylinder. The Versa offers 32 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway. Best Cars for First-Time Buyers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Kia-Rio.jpg] KIA RIO Priced at $16,250, the Kia Rio is a little more expensive than the Mirage and Spark but still affordable for first-time buyers. The Rio also is very fuel efficient; it can get 33 MPG in the city and 41 MPG on the highway. Best Cars for First-Time Buyers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Hyundai-Accent.jpg] HYUNDAI ACCENT With a base price of $16,645, the Accent is a close competitor to the Rio. The model also boasts 41 MPG on the highway. OTHER FIRST-TIME CAR BUYER RESEARCH TOOLS Sites like Kelley Blue Book can help buyers understand the value of a vehicle, but there are sites that are designed to help buyers explore all their options from home. In the past, buying a new car required buyers to actually visit the dealership to see a car. Now sites like RelayCars use augmented reality and virtual reality to bring the car shopping experience into the home. Consumers can download the RelayCars app for free. Using the app, shoppers can explore thousands of models via virtual reality using Google Cardboard. Those who don’t have access to Google Cardboard, though, also can explore different makes/models via 3D models. These digital models let consumers use their fingertips to rotate the car and view it from any angle. In addition, they also can explore the inside of new models, too, using the same type of immersive experience. Car shoppers also can visit the RelayCars website via their smartphone or tablet. The site provides 3D model experiences and an augmented reality experience, too. Using the camera on their phone or tablet, the user can capture their environment and drop a 3D model of the vehicle into space. RelayCars also provides a research hub for buyers, too. RelayCars includes price and other data for each model in its inventory. Buyers can use the site to compare different models and understand the base features for the model, too. For first-time car buyers, RelayCars and other sites can provide all the tools needed to pare down their options. Once they find the best vehicle for their budget and driving style, they can stop by a local dealership to take a test drive and start the negotiation process.
These are the Best Electric Vehicles by Price, Range and Features
Electric vehicles are beginning to take over the market, and, as the price of gasoline surges, more buyers might be gravitating towards a vehicle that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. Since electric vehicles don’t rely on gasoline, they don’t release harmful emissions into the environment; for some buyers, an electric vehicle is the best for living a greener life. For buyers considering a new electric vehicle, what are the best options on the market? There are many electric models, and the best electric vehicles might: * Be budget-friendly * Offer a longer range * Include unique features like autonomous driving modes * Offer a luxury experience Every buyer has different specifications in mind when shopping for a new vehicle. Here are the best electric vehicles by price, range and the most luxurious models, too. There’s an electric model that can fit almost any buyer’s needs; in some areas, the pre-owned market for models also might offer lower-budget options. THE BEST ELECTRIC VEHICLES BY PRICE Many buyers are shopping for a new vehicle on a budget. While electric vehicles come in all different price ranges, these models are more expensive than many standard vehicles. When a few smaller standard models can be purchased new for around $15,000, the lowest priced electric automobile is still nearly $30,000. Here are five electric models available for less than $40,000: NISSAN LEAF ($27,400) The Nissan Leaf is the least expensive electric model on the market and offers an estimated range of 226 miles. Drivers also can take control of their Leaf via their smartphone; an app via the phone can unlock the vehicle and start it, too. The Leaf also comes with many driver assist features for added safety. MINI COOPER SE ($29,900) The Mini Cooper SE is the second least expensive option available. However, it offers an estimated range of 114 miles. While it could be fine for commuters, the vehicle might need to be charged more frequently. The Mini comes equipped with many standard safety features to aid drivers. CHEVROLET BOLT ($31,500) The Chevrolet Bolt is priced economically for an electric automobile. The Bolt offers an estimated range of 259 miles. The range is about average for the electric market, and, for those who have a round-trip commute of less than 50 miles per week, the Bolt should offer enough battery life for the five-day commute. For those opting for a new 2022 Bolt, Chevrolet also advertises that it covers the cost of a Level 2 home charging station, too. MAZDA MX-30 ($33,470) The Mazda MX-30 is the manufacturer’s first electric vehicle. While the price is reasonable and one of the least expensive options for the electric market, the MX-30 only offers an estimated range of 100 miles. This could be an issue for those who are choosing an electric vehicle for a commute, as they might need to charge the battery more often. However, for buyers who only will use the vehicle for city driving or for short trips, the shorter range might not be an issue. Like many other modern vehicles, drivers can use an app to unlock the vehicle, etc. in addition, the MX-30 also offers a range of driving assist features. KIA NIRO ($39,990) The Niro is priced just under $40K and offers an estimated range of 239 miles. It also offers heated seats as a standard feature and offers an app to let drivers control the vehicle remotely, too. The Niro also provides many driver assist features for enhanced safety. Best Electric Vehicles [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/The-Best-Electric-Vehicles-by-Range.jpg] THE BEST ELECTRIC VEHICLES BY RANGE Some electric car buyers aren’t concerned about the price, but they want the model that will offer the longest range. The range of an electric vehicle is how far the vehicle can drive on one full charge. For drivers who face long commutes, a longer range assures them that they can drive longer distances on a charged battery. Vehicles with shorter ranges may require commuters to plug in their vehicle more frequently, or they might have to locate a public charging station for a quick charge. Here are the longest range electric vehicles on the market: LUCID AIR DREAM ($169,000) The Lucid Air Dream offers the longest range on the market, and can drive an estimated 520 miles on one charge. Lucid Motors manufactures luxury electric vehicles, and the Air Dream provides many high-end standard features like wood interior accents (harvested sustainably) and luxury upholstery like leather, Alcantara, and more. TESLA MODEL S ($94,990) Tesla Model S offers an estimated range of 405 miles. It seats up to five, and, like the Lucid Air, the model is considered a luxury option. Tesla offers many driver assist features, and models include the option of an autonomous mode. TESLA MODEL 3 LONG RANGE ($50,990) Tesla doesn’t just offer expensive luxury models, it also offers a few midrange models, too. The Model 3 Long Ranges offers an estimated range of 358 miles. It also seats up to five and is priced fairly moderately. MERCEDES-BENZ EQS ($102,310) The EQS debuted at the end of 2021 and offers an estimated range of 350 miles. It features the MBUX Multimedia System and integrates augmented reality technology into the navigation, automatic doors, heated seats, and more. TESLA MODEL X ($104,990) Another Tesla makes the list of the longest-range models. The Model X Plaid can drive an estimated 333 miles on a full charge, but the standard Model X can drive an estimated 348 miles.. BMW IX ($83,200) The BMW iX offers an estimated range of 324 miles. The vehicle includes a built-in personal assistant, high-end upholstery options, a moonroof that offers a shading effect and all-around cameras plus many other advanced safety features. Best Electric Vehicles [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Electric-Goes-Luxe.jpg] ELECTRIC GOES LUXE Buyers also could opt for the most elegant and high-end models on the market. These luxury models also are among those with the longest ranges. Buyers who have the budget for the electric model of their dreams can enjoy autonomous driving modes, luxury interior and many other advanced features to elevate their ride. Currently, one of the most expensive electric vehicles on the market is the Porsche Taycan Turbo which has a base price of $185,000.The Taycan offers an estimated range of 201 miles. The most luxurious electric model, though, might still be in development. Lamborghini has announced its Terzo Millennio electric sports car, but the model is still noted as a ‘concept car.’ Best Electric Vehicles [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Pre-Owned-Electric-Models.jpg] PRE-OWNED ELECTRIC MODELS Buyers on tight budgets also can shop for used or pre-owned electric options. However, the selection for these models might be more limited in areas of the country where electric models are not as popular. In states like California, though, where electric is embraced, the used market could offer many affordable options. When shopping for used or pre-owned electric models, buyers should be cognizant of the model’s battery life. Replacing a battery pack for an electric vehicle is an expensive repair. Many manufacturers provide warranties for their batteries, but the warranty varies per manufacturer. Buyers who are interested in purchasing a pre-owned electric vehicle should research the longevity of the battery of that vehicle. If the vehicle is five years old and the battery is only expected to last for seven years, buyers will need to consider the possibility of a future repair. They also could look at other models. The range for older vehicles also might not be as impressive as modern options. For buyers who don’t drive long commutes, though, a shorter range might not be an issue. WHAT ARE THE BEST ELECTRIC VEHICLES? Buyers searching for the best electric vehicles might have their own criteria for what defines the best option. Some buyers want the least expensive electric model, but other buyers prefer the models that offer the longest range. Many luxury manufacturers offer electric models. For buyers with a seemingly bottomless budget, these models could combine a decent range with many high-end features. For luxury electric vehicles, the base price could hover close to six figures. Some buyers might not know what vehicle is their best choice. Buyers can use RelayCars to research different electric models. Download the RelayCars app to explore vehicles in virtual reality using Google Cardboard or to explore vehicles via 3D models. The RelayCars website also provides users with an augmented reality experience. Users can drop vehicles in their environment using their smartphone or a tablet. See any vehicle in the driveway or in the garage. RelayCars also provides specs and other data for all vehicles in its online inventory. Buyers can use the RelayCars app or website to research prices of their favorite models or to learn more about the vehicle’s features. RelayCars also lets buyers preview vehicles in different paint colors. Looking for a new vehicle can be a process. When shopping for electric vehicles, buyers might zero in on the models that fit their price range or they also might research the estimated range for each model. While standard cars offer data related to fuel efficiency (as measured in miles per gallon), buyers focus on how far they can drive on one full charge to determine the best electric vehicle for their driving needs. No matter what electric vehicle that a buyer chooses, opting for electric is a cleaner choice for the environment and can help car owners save money each month on energy costs related to their daily driving habits.