What is the Best-Selling Car in America?
February 16, 2022
Americans rely on their cars to take them everywhere. While some major metropolitan areas like New York City have an array of public transportation, others have fewer options. In rural areas across the country, owning a car might be the only transportation option. Having access to a car, though, often requires a financial investment. Not all buyers step into a dealership or go online with the same financial security or resources. Everyone’s dream car is different, too. For some, the most affordable is the best. Others buy what they want. What is the best-selling car in America? Is there a single most popular vehicle that outsells all the others? Americans have clear preferences in what they buy to take them on their life’s journeys. Here are the 10 best-selling cars in America in 2021 according to a list compiled by Car and Driver: * Ford F-Series (726,004 sold) * Ram Pickup (569,388 sold) * Chevrolet Silverado (519,774 sold) * Toyota RAV4 (407,739 sold) * Honda CR-V (361,271 sold) * Toyota Camry (313,795 sold) * Nissan Rogue (285,602 sold) * Jeep Grand Cherokee (264,444 sold) * Toyota Highlander (264,128 sold) * Honda Civic (263,787 sold) What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Are-Pickup-Trucks-the-Most-American-Automobiles.jpg] ARE PICKUP TRUCKS THE MOST AMERICAN AUTOMOBILES? Pickup trucks represented the three most popular models during 2021. All three models were manufactured by American-based companies—Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet. The popularity of the F-Series, though, might have been a little unexpected. Ford was hit hard by a computer chip shortage that was exacerbated by the pandemic, and the truck models were greatly affected. In fact, buyers might have had a difficult time finding available Ford trucks. Car and Driver noted that Dodge edged out Chevrolet for the second spot. The company sold nearly 50,000 more units than Chevrolet. What is the Best-Selling Car of All Time? The best-selling car of all time actually didn’t make the list of the best-selling cars in America (for 2021). According to Goodwood Road & Racing, the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car ever in the United States. More than 50 million Corollas have been sold! The second best-selling vehicle in America is currently the number one selling model for 2021: the Ford F-Series. More than 41 million F-Series trucks have been sold! ABOUT THE BEST-SELLING CARS IN AMERICA For car buyers on the hunt for a new car, what is so special about the most popular cars in America? The answer could vary. The top selling vehicles were all trucks, and pickups are often the choice for towing, hauling and maybe even off-roading, too. Car buyers who want a rugged vehicle that can also be a workhorse may gravitate to the pickup. The list from Car and Driver included 25 popular models. The 25th best-selling model was the Honda Pilot, which is a full-size sports utility vehicle that offers the much coveted third row of seating. Here’s how the top 10 most popular vehicles stack up in price, safety and towing capacity (when applicable). What is the Best-Selling Car in America? [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Ford-F-Series.jpg] FORD F-SERIES The F-Series includes the F-150 (a half-ton pickup), the F-250 (3/4 ton) and the heaviest model the F-350 and F-450. Prices go up with each model. However, the F-150 has a base price of $29,485. The F-150 can tow between 5,000 and 11,300 pounds. Each model includes different engine options, which bumps both the price and the towing power. Ford’s F-450 (the largest model) has a base price of $50,410. It offers the best towing capacity and has the power to pull between 21,200 and 24,200 pounds. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Ram-Pickup.jpg] RAM PICKUP Like the F-Series, the Ram pickup line is offered in multiple options: Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500. The 1500 is the company’s half-ton model, and the 3500 is the full-ton pickup. Ram models are offered in different options and all have different price ranges. The lowest price 1500 is the Tradesman; it has a base price of $32,795 and offers a towing capacity of 6,150 and 8,290 pounds. The lowest priced 2500 is $35,425, and the lowest priced 3500 is $38,565. The Ram 3500 has a towing capacity of 13,490 and 14,970 pounds. Ram also offers a 4500 and 5500. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Chevrolet-Silverado.jpg] CHEVROLET SILVERADO The Silverado lineup also includes a 1500, 2500 and 3500 model. Again, each model may have many different options. The 1500 can tow between 7,200 and 9,700 pounds and has a base price of $29,300. The 2500 has a base price of $35,300 and can pull up to 14,500 pounds. The Silverado 3500 has a base price of $36,500 and can tow up to 14,500 pounds. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Toyota-RAV4.jpg] TOYOTA RAV4 The RAV4 is a smaller SUV that can seat up to five passengers. It has a base price of $26,050 and can tow between 1,500 and 3,500 pounds. The RAV4 is fairly fuel efficient for an SUV and can get up to 28 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. The model received a Top Safety Pick safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Honda-CR-V.jpg] HONDA CR-V The CR-V is a competitor of the RAV4. It offers the same seating capacity but is priced a little lower at $25,350. It can drive up to 28 MPG in the city and up to 34 MPG on the highway. The CR-V can tow up to 1,500 pounds and received a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Toyota-Camry.jpg] TOYOTA CAMRY The Camry is the most popular midsize sedan in the country. This model is fairly affordable, with a base price of $25,045. It also offers decent fuel efficiency, and can get 28 miles per gallon in the city and up to 39 miles per gallon on the highway. The 2021 Camry received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS; this is the highest safety rating awarded. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Nissan-Rogue.jpg] NISSAN ROGUE The Nissan Rogue is a small SUV with a base price of $26,050—exactly comparable to the RAV4 in price. It can get up to 27 MPG in the city and up to 35 MPG on the highway and can tow up to 1,350 pounds. The 2021 Nissan Rogue received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Jeep-Grand-Cherokee.jpg] JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE Jeep buyers can be incredibly loyal to their favorite brand, and a Jeep is a unique vehicle all its own. The Grand Cherokee is considered a mid-size SUV and has a base price of $33,885; it has a towing capacity of 3,500 to 7,200 pounds. Unfortunately, the Grand Cherokee isn’t very fuel efficient; it can drive up to 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L model has space for up to seven passengers. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Toyota-Highlander.jpg] TOYOTA HIGHLANDER The Toyota Highlander has a base price of $35,085 and is classified as a mid-sized SUV. The Highlander has a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds and can get 21 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. The 2021 Toyota Highlander received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. The Highlander can seat up to eight passengers! This might be a great pick for larger families. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Honda-Civic.jpg] HONDA CIVIC The 10th most popular car in America is a smaller model, but it’s also affordable and fuel efficient. The Honda Civic has a base price of $21,250 and can get up to 32 MPG in the city and 42 MPG on the highway. The 2021 Honda Civic received a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. What is the Best-Selling Car in America [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/What-about-Electric-Vehicles.jpg] WHAT ABOUT ELECTRIC VEHICLES? Electric models didn’t make the list of the 25 most popular cars in 2021. This could be because electric models aren’t popular in every area, and not every state offers quick or convenient access to charging stations. Some buyers might not have the budget or interest in these models. However, the site Green Cars compiled a list of the 10 best-selling electric cars for 2021. The top five models were: * Tesla Model Y * Tesla Model 3 * Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV * Ford Mustang Mach-E * Volkswagen ID.4 As more manufacturers start rolling out a variety of electric models and making a commitment to going fully electric, the popularity of electric vehicles might increase and become more affordable to a wider range of buyers. However, some buyers might still be more comfortable with their standard fuel-injected engine. WHAT WAS THE LEAST POPULAR CAR IN AMERICA? The least popular vehicle in the United States might shock you, as this vehicle is considered an icon and it is very reminiscent of ‘60s kitsch. Newsweek reported that in 2020 the Volkswagen Beetle was the most unpopular vehicle. The least popular crown wasn’t given based on the fewest sales but in how long the vehicle sat in the dealership’s inventory. Apparently, the Beatles sat around for more than 186 days. The Daily Drive ranked the cars that had the lowest sales in 2020. The worst selling vehicle ranked by sales through August (when the article was published) was the Fiat K900, which sold merely 125 units and only sold 390 units for all of 2019. USE RELAYCARS TO FIND THE BEST CAR RelayCars helps buyers throughout the entire process to find the best car for their needs and their budget. RelayCars lets buyers research the cars they want by viewing their favorite model in 3D imagery or using the power of augmented reality. Buyers can choose their favorite car and drop it in their real environment with augmented reality technology. Use the camera on a phone or tablet to capture the environment, and place the car anywhere. Then buyers can walk around the vehicle and explore it without leaving home. RelayCars also gives buyers the option to explore cars using virtual 3D models. Rotate the image to see the car from any angle. Look inside to explore the interior or even change the paint hue. When the perfect car is discovered, use RelayCars to find the best prices and complete the deal. RelayCars makes finding and buying a car fun, immersive and simple. Find your favorite car today!
The Chevy Suburban or the Ford Expedition? Which One is Right for You?
February 7, 2022
These days, there are all kinds of SUVs to choose from. However, two of the most popular are the Ford Expedition and the Chevy Suburban. Both make excellent family and all-around vehicles, but which one is right for you? That all depends on what you’re looking for in an SUV. Check out the detailed comparisons below to help jumpstart the decision-making process. PRICING For many shoppers, price is one of the most important factors. It can sometimes seal the deal on the decision between one vehicle or the next. And, when it comes to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), the 2022 Chevrolet Suburban wins out. It has a suggested retail value starting at $53,200, while the Expedition is more expensive at a starting value of $69,150. It’s also worth noting that the MSRP and the actual invoice cost can vary significantly based on where you buy. For best results regardless of which vehicle you choose, compare pricing from one seller to the next. Chevy Suburban or the Ford Expedition [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Fuel-Economy.jpg] FUEL ECONOMY When you compare pricing, don’t just consider the amount you pay for the vehicle upfront. Also think about its long-term costs. For example, the Chevrolet Suburban tends to get better fuel economy, which can make it less expensive to own and operate. Its average city MPG, for the 2022 model, is up to 21 MPG for city driving and 27 MPG for highway driving, versus the Expedition’s average of up to 17 MPG city and 23 MPG highway. There’s no denying that’s a big difference. SEATING Have a large family to transport? Either of these SUVs could work for you. Up to 9 passengers can sit comfortably in the Suburban. The Expedition has just a little less room for riders with a max seating capacity of 8. Consider family size, as well as how frequently you transport others, to help you decide if the extra seat is important. Keep in mind, too, that the Expedition offers less seating room at a higher price tag. If you want to talk dimensions, the Suburban’s front seat offers 42.3 inches of headroom, 66 inches of shoulder room, 44.5 inches of legroom, and 61.5 inches of hip room. Moving to the rear, you’ll find 38.9 inches of headroom, 64.8 inches of shoulder room, 42 inches of legroom, and 61.3 inches of hip room. The front seat of the Expedition includes 42 inches of headroom, 64.9 inches of shoulder room, 43.9 inches of legroom, and 62.2 inches of hip room. The rear is made up of 40 inches of headroom, 64.8 inches of shoulder room, 41.5 inches of legroom, and 62.6 inches of hip room. RIDE QUALITY Whether you choose the Suburban or the Expedition, you’re in for a smooth riding experience. The Suburban makes this possible with its rear dampers. The Expedition is known for offering smoothness and stability as well. However, some reviewers have mentioned that it’s a bit more cumbersome than the Suburban. Chevy Suburban or the Ford Expedition [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Cargo-Space.jpg] CARGO SPACE If you need lots of room for storing your gear, the 2022 Suburban offers an impressive 41.5 cubic feet of cargo space or 144.7 cubic feet if you include the seating area. The 2022 Expedition, on the other hand, boasts only 20.9 cubic feet or 104.6 cubic feet counting the seating area. That’s a fairly big difference and may be enough to tip the scales in the Suburban’s favor, particularly if you’re prone to carting around a lot of items. ENGINE POWER A larger engine can mean a more powerful SUV. If fast acceleration matters to you, the Suburban is the better choice. It comes with a 5.3 liter V8 engine. The Ford Expedition pales in comparison with only a 3.5 liter V6 engine. TOWING CAPACITY While the Ford Expedition may have a smaller engine, it still manages to surpass the Chevy Suburban in terms of towing capacity. While surprising, there is no denying that the Suburban boasts a maximum towing capacity of 8,300 pounds while the Expedition exceeds that figure by a neat 1000 pounds. If you are someone who plans to tow a heavy trailer or other cargo on a regular basis, you may find that the Ford Expedition is better suited to meet your needs. SAFETY FEATURES Few factors are more important in a vehicle’s design than its commitment to safety. Fortunately, both of these SUVs come loaded with excellent safety features. On both choices, you’ll find: * LED headlamps * Child seat anchors * Front side-mounted airbags * Dusk-sensing headlights * Engine immobilizer * Rear seat airbags * Third row airbags * Lane departure warning systems * Pre and post-collision systems * Stability control systems * Traction control systems * Emergency braking assistance * Child safety locks * Anti-lock braking systems All things considered, these two SUVS are almost completely comparable in terms of safety. As a result, you can feel good about driving your family around in either one. ENTERTAINMENT While safety is important, you still deserve to kick back and enjoy the ride. Fortunately, most modern SUVs make this possible with great entertainment systems. These two are no exception, though the Chevy Suburban does offer a bit more on the fun front. Unlike the Expedition, It comes equipped with a subwoofer. Plus, it has nine speakers, instead of the Expedition’s 6. However, both vehicles do feature USB connections, satellite radio, and stereo systems. COMMON COMPLAINTS Every vehicle isn’t right for every person. Some common buyer and reviewer complaints for the Suburban, for example, include: * Hard-to-control interior temperatures * Difficulty with parking The Ford Expedition isn’t off the hook either. Some reviews mention a noisy engine and less than stellar acoustics. What it all boils down to is what you value and need in an SUV. You don’t have to find a perfect SUV. There’s no such thing. You just have to find the one that’s the most perfect for you. COLOR AND STYLE If you like having a lot of options, you’ll appreciate that both of these vehicles offer an abundance of color choices. The Expedition is available in nine exterior colors and four interior colors. The Chevrolet Suburban only features two interior color options, but also offers nine exterior color choices. Of course, if you can find your preferred color, that’s really all that matters. The Suburban comes in these exterior color choices: * Stain Steel Metallic * Black * Summit white * Cherry Red Tintcoat * Auburn metallic * Empire Beige Metallic * Evergreen Gray Metallic * Midnight Blue Metallic * Iridescent Pearl Tricoat Interior color selections include: * Jet Black leather * Dark Atmosphere leather With the Expedition, your exterior color choices expand to: * Iconic Silver Metallic * Infinite Blue Metallic Tinted Clearcoat * Star White Metallic Tri-Coat * Dark Matter Metallic * Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat * Stone Blue Metallic * Oxford White * Forged Green Metallic * Agate Black Metallic And, on the inside of the Expedition, you can pick from: * Black Onyx in leatherette or cloth * Sandstone in leatherette or cloth Color shouldn’t be the main determining factor in picking a vehicle. But, if you’re stuck between these two SUVs, you can always choose the one that looks the best to you. Or, you can think about the quality of the interior material. If real leather is important to you, the Chevy Suburban is the obvious choice. Or, if you’re adverse to it, you could opt for the Expedition instead. Just make sure you take all the factors into consideration before you buy. Never make a decision on style alone. RELIABILITY A new SUV is a big expense. Thus, you want to choose the most reliable vehicle available. Fortunately, J.D. Power offers reliability scores that can tell you a lot about a vehicle’s quality and its ability to last. The company gave the Chevy Suburban a score of 70 on a 100 point scale, which is considered “average.” It scored the Ford Expedition slightly higher at 75, which is still considered average. So, while the Expedition may have the upper hand according to J.D. Power, it’s only by a little bit. Plus, while these SUVs may have differing reliability scores, their overall scores are the same. Both sit at 78, another average score. MAKING YOUR CHOICE Choosing between vehicles is never easy, especially when they’re so similar. Ultimately, you’ll find that both of these options perform quite well. With that said, the Suburban does seem to have many points in its favor. For best results, though, explore each choice thoroughly. Read online reviews and take a close look at the specs that matter most to you. You may even want to take each one for a real or virtual test drive. The good news is that, whichever one you go with, you’ll end up with a quality SUV from a trusted brand.
What’s the Best Type of Oil for a Car?
February 4, 2022
The sticker on the driver’s side of the windshield is often a glaring reminder of when the vehicle will need the next oil change. This decal shows the date of the last oil change and the mileage when the oil change was completed. An oil change is recommended every 3,000 miles, but some car models may drive up to 5,000 miles before an oil change is necessary. Newer vehicles may even include an alert light denoting that it’s time for an oil change. When it’s time for an oil change, what is the best type of oil for a car? Should car owners choose conventional oil or synthetic? WHAT IS SYNTHETIC OIL? The term synthetic oil refers to oil that is man-made from chemical compounds, and Car and Driver explains that distilled crude oil is often still the base of this man-made oil. While synthetic oil was usually recommended for high-end vehicles, today’s modern vehicles often require it, too. What’s so great about synthetic oil? This type of oil can help improve fuel efficiency. In addition, this oil is noted to be better for the engine. Synthetic oil also has another edge: it doesn’t degrade like conventional oil. All oil is going to get dirty or yucky over time from driving, but synthetic oil isn’t going to change consistency like conventional oil. For drivers, synthetic oil may come with a greater perk: fewer oil changes. Cars may drive longer with synthetic oil than conventional oil. There are many different brands and types of synthetic oils, and prices may vary per brand. CONVENTIONAL OIL Conventional oil is the standard oil that has been used in vehicles for generations. Traditionally, most cars used conventional oils. Only high-end models required synthetic oil. Those who drive an older vehicle may still use conventional oil. The biggest edge that conventional oil has over synthetic is the price. Conventional oil is usually much cheaper than the premium synthetics. There are different types (or grades) of conventional oil. OIL HYBRIDS Car owners also could choose a conventional synthetic blend. This oil is a bit of a hybrid and is what the name suggests: a mix of conventional and synthetic oils. WHAT OIL IS BEST FOR MY CAR? Before heading to the dealership or to a franchise that specializes in quick oil changes, car owners may need to figure out what oil they need. Dealerships and oil change services like Jiffy Lube will know what type of oil to suggest to car owners based on the make, model and year of their vehicle. However, car owners may want to consult their car’s ownership manual for oil specifications. The owner’s manual should have information related to the type of oil that is recommended for the vehicle. Manufacturers may recommend a certain motor oil based on viscosity—this relates to the oil’s performance (or flows) in cold or warm weather. Oils will be marked in letters in numbers; for example, 5W-30 or SAE 15W-40. The ‘w’ denotes winter. What do the numbers mean? Rymax Lubricants explains all the codes; the number that proceeds the W refers to the viscosity—or how it flows or performs in cold. Lower numbers are better in winter. The number after the W denotes thickness in normal temperatures. SAE is an acronym for The Society of Automotive Engineers. WHAT IF I USE THE WRONG OIL? Manufacturers include information related to the type of oil in the owner’s manual for a reason. This is the best oil for optimum vehicle performance. What happens if a car owner opts for the wrong oil? Interesting Engineering explains that using the wrong oil could lead to a number of car issues, including an oil leak, poor fuel efficiency, and a noisy engine. Some issues could be a bit more serious, though. For example, the wrong oil could lead to the engine not starting during cold winter. The oil also could burn and destroy the engine. Don’t just go to the store and buy any quart of motor oil that catches the eye. If the car needs a top-off, pull out the owner’s manual and make sure to select the right motor oil for the vehicle. Best Type of Oil for a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Does-Low-Oil-Pressure-Mean-Its-time-to-Change-the-Oil.jpg] DOES LOW OIL PRESSURE MEAN IT’S TIME TO CHANGE THE OIL Many newer cars provide a warning light that shows that it’s time for an oil change. Some vehicles may show drivers the percentage of oil life left. Drivers also could notice that another light appears that looks like an oil canister with a drip coming out of the spout. This is the oil pressure light. This light is a warning that a car could be dangerously low in oil or that the car is leaking oil. When this light appears, drivers should pull over (somewhere safe) and check their oil level. Using the dipstick in the oil reservoir, owners can see how much oil is left. If the stick comes out nearly clean, this isn’t a good sign. Driving without enough oil could lead to engine damage or even engine failure. This means that the car may stop without warning. To ensure that there is enough oil in the reservoir to safely continue to drive, car owners may stop at an auto parts store or an oil change location to add oil to the vehicle. Some cars use oil quickly and may need an oil top off periodically before the next oil change. It’s important that car owners check their oil levels to ensure that they aren’t running low. As the car nears the time for an oil change appointment, car owners may be more diligent about checking the level. Best Type of Oil for a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/How-Much-Oil-Does-My-Car-Need.jpg] HOW MUCH OIL DOES MY CAR NEED? During an oil change, your old oil will be drained and new oil will be poured into the reservoir. Most cars hold about five quarts of oil, but some may require more. At many oil change franchises, an oil change service will usually include five quarts of oil. However, if the vehicle requires more than this amount, the cost will be higher for each additional quart. Car owners who are unsure how much oil their car requires can consult the owner’s manual. The handy manual will have all the information related to oil type and the number of quarts. HOW MUCH DOES AN OIL CHANGE COST? The price of an oil change can vary. Dealerships may charge more than oil change franchises. Additional quarts of oil also will increase the price of the service. Synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional. Of course, there are different grades of both synthetic and conventional oil. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) explains that a synthetic oil change may cost on average between $65 and $125, but a conventional oil change may only run from $35 to $75. On a budget? Many oil change franchises regularly issue coupons for both synthetic and conventional oil change services. In addition, sites like Groupon also could offer deals for oil changes. Before heading to any franchise or the dealership, car owners may shop around for the best deals and for coupons, too. During an oil change, mechanics also will check other fluid levels and the car’s air filter, too. This could be a good time to top off other fluids or replace a dirty filter. Car owners also could schedule a tire rotation at the same time that they have their oil changed. Typically, tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This adds up to about every other oil change. DO HIGH-MILEAGE VEHICLES NEED DIFFERENT OIL? When a vehicle’s odometer starts to soar into the six figures, this could signal a change of oil. There is oil that is designed specifically for high-mileage vehicles. Older vehicles may leak oil, and high-mileage oil can help reinvigorate worn seals that lead to leaks. Firestone Complete Auto Care compares the oil to a multivitamin, as it helps strengthen older components. If the odometer has amassed 75,000 miles or more, it might be time to use high-mileage motor oil. Car owners might mention this option at their next oil change service. ARE THERE ANY CARS THAT DON’T REQUIRE OIL? Car buyers may look to ditch the motor oil completely. Is there any type of car that doesn’t require an oil change? Electric cars don’t depend on gasoline, and they also don’t need motor oil. These cars use a battery to power the engine instead of fuel. The design of a traditional fuel injected engine requires oil to keep all the parts of the engine running—and moving—smoothly. Oil lubricates the engine. Electric vehicle engines are designed differently. They don’t require oil for lubrication. They also don’t require gas to fuel their power. These cars are a greener choice to help reduce air pollution, and they may be less of a hassle for owners to maintain. For car buyers who want to find an electric vehicle that fits their budget and driving needs, RelayCars can help! Visit RelayCars to preview vehicles in 3D or in augmented reality. Use the site to research all the options, and then use RelayCars to initiate the purchase, too! RelayCars is a one-stop shop for the buyer who prefers to buy online instead of visiting the dealership!
How Long Does it Take to Charge a Tesla?
February 2, 2022
Tesla has become one of the most popular manufacturers for luxury electric vehicles. Tesla currently offers four energy-efficient models in its lineup: Model S, Model Y, Model X, and the Model 3. For the 2021 sales year, the Model Y was the 17th most popular vehicle in the U.S. While electric cars don’t rely on the pump at the gas station, their engine does require a charged battery for operation. This means that drivers need to plug into an electrical outlet and charge up. How long does it take to charge a Tesla? Charging times for Tesla models can vary depending on the type of charger a car owner uses. There are three types of charging stations: * Level 1 * Level 2 * Level 3 THE RANGE OF TESLA MODELS The range of an electric vehicle denotes how far the vehicle can travel on a full charge. However, like a car that runs on fuel (or gasoline), drivers will not want to wait until the battery is almost drained to find a charging station. For this reason, the range achieved between charges can vary. Tesla’s models are known for their longer range. In fact, the Model S Long Range has an estimated range of 405 miles, while the Model S Plaid has an estimated range of 396 miles. The Model Y Long Range and the Model 3 Long Range both can drive more than 300 miles on a full charge. ABOUT THE DIFFERENT CHARGING STATIONS When buying a Tesla, consider the different charging station options. For home, buyers can use a level 1 or level 2 charging station. Here’s what to know about these charging methods. How Long Does it Take to Charge a Tesla [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Level-1.jpg] LEVEL 1 Tesla buyers can choose to purchase a level 1 charger. This is a cord that can plug into a standard 120-volt outlet. A level 1 charger from Tesla also is called a ‘mobile connector.’ While this is an inexpensive option, it’s also the most time-consuming method for charging a Tesla model. According to Tesla, the mobile connector provides three miles of range per hour. When car owners do the math related to the estimated range of each model, they might realize that the level 1 charger will need to be used nightly to ensure that the car stays charged. If the battery runs extremely low, the car could take a few days to fully charge via a standard level 1 or mobile charger. However, Tesla explains that drivers who keep their driving distance to around 30 miles per day (or less) could opt for a mobile charger and simply charge the battery every night. How Long Does it Take to Charge a Tesla [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Level-2-Charger.jpg] LEVEL 2 CHARGER Tesla offers a wall connector charger that also could be known as a level 2 charger. This is a more efficient way to charge a Tesla model. The wall charger is capable of charging the vehicle up to 44 miles of range per hour. This means that even Tesla’s longest range model could charge overnight via a wall connector charger. However, the faster option also is more expensive. A level 2 charger requires a 240 volt outlet. If a home is not equipped for this voltage, car owners would need to hire an electrician to upgrade their outlet. The cost of a professional could vary. If the home is equipped with a 240-volt outlet, the car owner would still need to pay for the charging station plus any installation costs. Tesla’s wall connector is priced at $400, but, again, additional installation costs might apply. LEVEL 3 SUPERCHARGER Tesla owners on the road can locate a Tesla Supercharger in their area when they need a quick charge. While the Level 2 wall charger offers up to 44 miles of range every hour, the Supercharger is capable of offering up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes. A nearly drained Tesla battery could take less than half an hour to fully charge. Tesla owners can access Superchargers across the globe. Tesla offers more than 30,000 Superchargers around the world. While a Supercharger is incredibly efficient and fast, these chargers are not yet available to install at home. In fact, level 3 chargers are estimated to cost between $15,000 and $50,000. To put this into perspective, one of Tesla’s most affordable models is less than the cost to own and run a level 3 charger! Level 3 chargers or charging stations also require a higher voltage than most homes could provide. These chargers require a power range of 100 amps; in contrast, a level 2 requires between 12 to 80 amps. WHAT DOES IT COST TO CHARGE A TESLA AT HOME? While car buyers might want to know how long it takes to charge a Tesla, they’re probably more curious about the cost of that charge. To compute the price of charging, car owners need to find the price of electricity in their area. To find the current price of electricity, simply grab last month’s electric bill. Divide the price of electricity used by the number of hours. This number will be the price of electricity per kWh. Car owners also will need to know how much they drive each month. Kelley Blue Book interviewed John Voelcker, an auto journalist and expert, who explained that an electric car typically can drive about three or four miles per kWh. Car owners should divide the number of miles they drive by three (or four). This answer will be the total kWh per month. Then multiply that figure by the cost of electricity. Car owners also could keep track of their weekly driving and compute costs this way, too. Even if a car owner drove 1,000 per month and used about 250 kWh, they would pay about $32.50 per month for electricity (assuming the kWh of electricity is around $0.13). Many drivers would spend much more than this to keep their tank filled with gasoline, especially if their car is a ‘gas guzzler.’ How Long Does it Take to Charge a Tesla [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-Much-Does-it-Cost-to-Charge-an-Electric-Car.jpg] HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR AT PUBLIC CHARGING STATIONS? Most experts will recommend that electric car owners charge their vehicles at home. The electricity rates for the home will be less expensive than public charging stations. While public stations might be incredibly fast, they also can be incredibly expensive. Electrify America offers memberships that allow electric car owners to have discounted rates at participating stations. The cost of membership is only $4. Electricity rates vary by state, but members pay around $0.31 per kWh. Guests will pay around $0.43 per kWh. These stations may be incredibly fast, and could charge a vehicle in about half an hour. How much will charging cost at a public station? On average, an electric car needs about 30kWh to drive 100 miles. If the car has driven 100 miles, the price as a member for a public charger might be less than $10. Non-members, though, would pay around $13. This is still cheaper than gasoline, especially during times when the price at the pump is incredibly high. Compared to the price of electricity at home, the price of public charging stations is much higher. In addition, some stations could charge a session fee for access. KBB explains that while free stations could be an alluring option, the area where they are offered might charge for parking. HOW TO CHARGE A TESLA QUICKLY Car buyers who are interested in purchasing a Tesla model should consider their charging options at home. For those who drive short distances each day, a level 1 or mobile connector might suffice. This option is less expensive, but it is only capable of charging about four miles of range per hour. A level 2 charger or wall charger is more expensive (priced at about $400, plus installation). However, this charger is capable of providing up to 44 miles of range each hour. This could mean that a fully zapped battery would be completely regenerated after a full night of charging. The price of a level 2 charger can increase if the home isn’t equipped with a 240-volt outlet, though. Hiring an electrician to handle these upgrades could add hundreds of dollars (if not more) to the investment cost of a level charger. Those whose homes are equipped with a 240-volt outlet might find that this fast charger is the best option for their needs, and it might help them avoid public charging stations. Level 3 superchargers are available for public charging needs. Tesla offers its own network of charging stations. These stations can provide 200 miles of range in about 15 minutes. A fully drained Tesla battery could fully recharge in less than half an hour via a public Tesla Supercharger. Other public stations also are available. However, costs of these chargers might vary. Some could charge a session fee, which bumps the price. Most experts recommend charging the vehicle overnight at home for the least expensive charge. Again, though, whether the car owner opts for a level 1 charger or a level 2 charger for their home might simply depend on their preferences, their driving habits and their budget bottom line.
What’s the Difference Between Audi and Lexus?
January 31, 2022
Luxury car buyers might not be focused on their budget constraints when shopping. Instead, they may be looking for the car with the most impressive features. Statista reported that in 2020 the top five luxury auto brands were BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Cadillac. The top three brands were nearly neck and neck in sales, with a few thousand units separating each. Buyers may wonder, though, how Audi and Lexus compare? What’s the difference between Audi and Lexus? Are their prices comparable? Each luxury manufacturer may have its own unique features. Some may be a bit more similar than others. Price points also may vary depending on the model. For example, an SUV will likely be priced higher than a compact model. When comparing brands, it may be more beneficial to highlight their most popular models. Club Lexus reports that the top three selling models ever are the Lexus IS, Lexus ES, and the most popular model is the Lexus RX (which has sold more than two million units). Hot Cars ranked the Audi models, and the top three picks were the Audi Q8, Audi E-Tron, and the Audi RS6 (which was ranked in the number one spot). ALL ABOUT LEXUS Lexus is Toyota’s luxury brand and, therefore, is technically an import (from Japan). Lexus is one of the most popular luxury brands in the U.S. Of all the 2021 models, the Lexus UX SUV is the least expensive model in the lineup, with a base price of $32,900. The most expensive Lexus model is the 2021 Lexus LC (500 h), with a base price of $98,635. LEXUS IS Lexus’ third most popular model, the IS, is known as a sport sedan and offers a base price of $38,625. The IS features an advanced safety system that includes pre-collision system that detects pedestrians, lane-tracing assist, lane monitoring that offers steering assist, high beams that adjust when it detects other vehicles and more. The Lexus IS received a Top Safety Pick+ safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the highest safety rating awarded by the IIHS. LEXUS ES The Lexus ES is a midsize sedan that is offered in both a standard and hybrid option; the hybrid has a base price of $41,900, but the standard ES is priced slightly lower at $40,800. The ES offers numerous safety features including blind spot alerts, parking assistance, rear pedestrian detection and more. The ES received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS LEXUS RX Lexus’ most popular model is an SUV and is priced at $45,320. Like other Lexus models, it includes numerous safety features and systems. The RX also connects to Alexa and is compatible with Apple CarPlay. The 2022 Lexus RX received a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. Buyers also can upgrade to the Lexus RXL which offers extra seating space for passengers (space for up to 7!). ALL ABOUT AUDI Audi is owned by Volkswagen Group out of Germany. Motor Trend reported that Audi’s A3 was the least expensive model in its lineup with a base price of $33,900. The most expensive model is the Audi R8 Spyder at $160,900. AUDI Q8 The Audi Q8 is one of Audi’s SUV models. With a starting price of $70,300, the Q8 is priced much higher than Lexus’ RX. The Q8 is decked with features, including a 360 degree camera system that allows the driver to see all around the car to aid in navigating tight areas. Like many of the Lexus models, the Q8 also offers lane navigation assistance. The Q8 also automatically keeps the vehicle safely and properly distanced from other vehicles during busy traffic situations. AUDI E-TRON Audi denotes its electric models as e-tron, and the brand has numerous electric models in its lineup. The Audi Q4 e-tron starts at $43,900. This smaller SUV can fully charge in a little over half an hour. Audi also just has an SUV called the e-tron, and this model has a base price of $65,900, With a towing capacity of 4,000 pounds, the e-tron also is capable of towing small loads. The e-tron has a driving range of 222 miles, which denotes how far it can travel on a fully-charged battery. Both the Q4 e-tron and the e-tron have enough space for up to five passengers. AUDI RS6 AVANT The RS6 was introduced in 1993, and the Audi RS6 Avant is a bit of an upgrade on the namesake. With a base price of $116,500, the RS6 Avant is a luxury investment. This model, though, isn’t a sedan and it also isn’t an SUV—it’s a wagon. It boasts a range of safety systems, including 360 degree cameras to view from every angle. LEXUS VS. AUDI The Lexus buyer might not be the Audi buyer. Both brands are luxury offerings, but buyers may opt for one over the other for different reasons. Some are brand loyal; those who have driven Toyotas in the past and trust the brand might opt for Lexus when making their luxury purchase. Features are different for both brands. Buyers may want to explore the standard offerings to find what brand offers what they need for standard safety systems. Buyers should know, though, that as the price increases with different models, these features usually expand as well. Deciding which brand comes out on top might be a matter of buyer opinion. However, Lexus is the better selling brand in the United States. In 2021, Lexus led sales over Audi by nearly 100,000 units. Audi does have a major edge over Lexus, though. Audi offers electric models, but Lexus only offers hybrids. However, Lexus will be electrifying the competition very soon. Newsweek reported that Lexus’ new electric model—denoted as the RZ450e—is expected to debut later this year. Tesla’s Luxury Offerings [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Teslas-Luxury-Offerings.jpg] TESLA’S LUXURY OFFERINGS In the quest for the perfect luxury vehicle, Lexus and Audi are among many brands on the must-have list. BMW is the top-selling luxury brand in the United States. However, while it might be the top selling brand, it doesn’t produce the best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S. According to Motor Trend, Tesla Model 3 was the number one selling luxury vehicle in 2020. While Statista didn’t show Tesla on its leader board of luxury car brands, Tesla might be edging out the competition. According to Insider, Tesla was the third most popular luxury brand behind BMW and Lexus. Tesla’s electric lineup includes varying price points for different buyer budgets. The least expensive is the Tesla Model 3, which has a base price of $44,990. The Model 3 also has the shortest range at 272 miles. However, the longest range Tesla is the Model S, which can drive up to 405 miles on a full charge. The Model Y and Model X are the roomiest Tesla models, seating up to seven passengers. The Model X Plaid also is the most expensive model, with a base price of $119,990. What’s the Difference Between Audi and Lexus [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/What-is-the-Most-Expensive-Luxury-Car.jpg] WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE LUXURY CAR…IN THE WORLD? While the top three brands in the U.S. are BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, these three brands don’t produce the most expensive car on the market. What’s the most expensive luxury car in the world? The Bugatti La Voiture Noire wears the diamond crown as the most expensive car in the world. With a price tag of $18.7 million, this luxury car is beyond an investment. It’s also probably not a car that any buyer is going to take on the street daily. Imagine the insurance premiums! While La Voiture Noire is the most expensive car in the world that can be purchased, it isn’t the highest priced car ever purchased. Autoweek reported that the most expensive car sold at auction in 2018. The vehicle purchased was the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti, and it sold for $48.4 million. The site noted that another GTO sold for more than $70 million through a private sale. FIND THE BEST LUXURY VEHICLE WITH RELAYCARS Car buyers looking for the best luxury vehicle can begin their search via RelayCars. Use the site to explore all the different luxury makes and models via 3D imagery and even augmented reality. Use the camera on a mobile device to drop the vehicle anywhere in the real world environment. Preview vehicles in the garage, or see how the Tesla Model X looks in the driveway. Using RelayCars, buyers can explore vehicles from all angles. Not only can buyers use augmented reality to preview vehicles, but they also can explore 3D models right on the screen. Swap out the paint colors to see all the available color options. RelayCars also lets buyers find the right car for their budget, too. Search inventory to find the best car at the right price. RelayCars gives buyers explorative options for previewing and lets buyers find the car that fits their lifestyle and finances. RelayCars features all the tools buyers need to research and buy the luxury car of their dreams.
Do Car Owners Pay Taxes on the Proceeds of a Car Sale?
January 28, 2022
When an older car isn’t in use, the owner might not be interested in holding onto it and paying for upkeep. Selling a car privately or to a dealership could help an individual have money for the down payment for a newer model, but, sometimes, the car is simply taking up unnecessary space in the garage or the driveway. Selling a car privately can be a process. Once the owner has made the sale, though, are there any tax implications? Do car owners pay taxes on the proceeds of a car sale? There are multiple tax responsibilities that might be applicable in buying, selling or owning a car, including: * Sales tax * Personal property tax * Capital gains Tax Do Car Owners Pay Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Who-is-Responsible-for-Paying-Sales-Tax.jpg] WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING SALES TAX? When buying a car, sales tax might add to the cost of the purchase. Some states don’t apply sales tax to car sales but others do. Who pays the sales tax? In states where car sales are taxed, the individual responsible for paying the tax is the buyer. The amount of tax may be dependent on a number of factors, though. In some states where sales tax is applied, the tax might be rolled into the loan. However, this isn’t always the case. Buyers might realize that they are on the hook for the full amount of sales tax when trying to title and register their car. When purchasing a car in a state where vehicle sales are taxed, buyers can prepare for their tax obligation by researching the tax rates and calculating how much they might owe on a particular purchase. Preparing for the sales tax hit might be necessary so that car buyers can review their finances to determine how they will pay the tax. For some car purchases, car buyers might owe a large tax bill. Don’t be surprised by a tax bill—do the research! PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX While not all states tax vehicles as part of personal property, states that tax car owners for their vehicles might require the property taxes to be paid yearly. In addition, some states stipulate that these tax receipts must be shown at the DMV to register the vehicle for new tags. Property owners—or car owners—are required to pay this tax in applicable states. Those living in states that tax car ownership yearly are typically accustomed to paying this tax. However, depending on the make/model owned, the tax could be pretty expensive. Unfortunately, personal property taxes are due at the end of the year. This means that while car owners are holiday shopping and trying to pay for holiday purchases, they also face a tax bill. CAPITAL GAINS TAX A capital gains tax could apply to the sale of the vehicle when the purchase price exceeds the car’s value. Investopedia explains that capital gains taxes might apply to classic or collectible cars. For capital gains taxes, the seller has to pay. While most standard vehicles won’t sell for more than they are worth, a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax professional can help car owners understand any capital gains responsibilities. Do Car Owners Pay Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Research-the-Value.jpg] BEFORE SELLING A VEHICLE, ALWAYS RESEARCH THE VALUE Car owners who want to sell their vehicle need to research their car’s value to better understand what price they might receive or to determine a fair sale price. Not all car owners want to handle a private sale, and they might prefer selling to a dealership or even use their car for a trade-in to purchase a newer model. Even when a car owner is using their car as a trade-in, they still need to research the value of the vehicle. Going into a sale without knowledge could lead to a car owner accepting a low offer and not receiving the best price for their vehicle. Car owners can use Kelley Blue Book (KBB) to research the resale value of their car or find the trade-in value. The resale value will be higher than the trade-in value, as the trade-in value must account for a dealership’s profit margin. While a private buyer will use the car for their own purposes, the dealer’s interest in the car is in its resale price. Car owners who want to sell their car to the dealership—not trade it in—also can refer to the trade-in price. Again, dealerships don’t buy cars to use personally, they buy cars to resell. This will impact how much they can offer for the vehicle and why the trade-in value is applicable when selling a vehicle outright to a dealership. While a dealership might offer less than a private buyer, the process could be much easier and less stressful for the car owner. However, car owners need to be educated about the value of their vehicle, and this is where KBB becomes an extremely valuable tool. When using KBB to find the trade-in value, the site will prompt the car owner to enter their vehicle’s VIN number, license plate info or just the make/model. Car owners need to include details about their vehicle’s trim and check off any applicable features if the vehicle isn’t a base grade. KBB also will ask the buyer about the condition of the vehicle. While it may be tempting for car owners to be optimistic about the condition of their car, it’s best to use a more critical eye when determining condition. The condition will impact the overall value of the vehicle; not being honest when determining the condition could lead to an inflated price estimate. Remember, the purpose of using KBB is to obtain the most accurate value for the vehicle. If the condition is fair and the owner is trying to argue for a price on a good or excellent condition automobile, they’re probably not going to win the negotiation with a dealership. If the dealership offers a low-ball price for a vehicle that has been valued much higher by KBB, car owners also might walk away. Knowing how much the car is worth can help car owners not feel underpriced when trying to sell the vehicle. In times of great demand, though, car owners might be surprised to learn that their car is more valuable to dealerships. Certain areas might have a need for popular models. Demand also could impact how much the vehicle is worth to a dealership. KBB typically provides a price range, though, to accommodate for varying valuations. DON’T SELL A DIRTY CAR TO GET THE BEST PRICE Those who want to get the best price for their vehicle also need to maintain the vehicle. Wash and wax the car before selling it. In addition, car owners might decide to have the vehicle professionally detailed. A car that looks amazing inside and outside will be more appealing to any buyer. In addition, sellers need to disclose any mechanical issues or they need to repair those issues. Keep the receipts and any info from the mechanic, too. Do Car Owners Pay Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Electric-Cars-and-Taxes.jpg] ELECTRIC CARS AND TAXES While personal property tax, sales tax and capital gains tax are the three major taxes that can affect car buyers, sellers and owners, there might be a tax benefit for certain car owners. Electric cars that plug-in may be eligible for a tax credit. A tax credit is different from a tax deduction. A credit can help reduce the taxes owed, while a deduction helps lower taxable income. The credit for electric cars varies because the credit phases out after so many qualifying vehicles are sold by a manufacturer. However, many models are still eligible for the full credit of $7,500. Car buyers who are interested in exploring different electric models can download the RelayCars mobile app to preview electric vehicles in virtual reality (Google Cardboard is required) or using 3D on-screen interactive models. Users can turn the car around to view it from any angle and they can swap out the paint color, too. In addition, the RelayCars app also partners with CarSaver.com, which can help buyers find the car they want at the price they need. TAXES CAN BE TAXING FOR CAR SELLERS AND BUYERS While car owners who are selling their vehicles typically don’t need to worry about taxes related to the sale of the vehicle, they could be on the hook for capital gains taxes for a vehicle that sells for more than its value. Buyers of a new or used vehicle, however, might have more tax liabilities. Sales tax in states that tax the sales of vehicles could leave a buyer with a large bill—especially if the tax can’t be rolled into a loan. In addition, yearly personal property taxes could be an additional cost of car ownership in certain states. Car owners who plan to sell their car and have questions related to their tax responsibilities should reach out to a tax pro. Tax responsibilities also vary by state; to better understand any tax liabilities associated with buying or selling a car, car owners also should investigate the tax guidelines in their state.
This is the Most Energy-Efficient Tesla Model
January 26, 2022
Electric vehicles are the most energy-efficient options on the market, but consumers who are conditioned to look at miles per gallon (MPG) data of vehicles to determine fuel efficiency may wonder how to calculate the cost to operate an electric vehicle. Instead of miles per gallon, consumers may look for a figure called miles per gallon equivalent (or MPGe). The vehicle’s range also denotes how far the car can drive when fully charged. Tesla is known for long-range electric vehicles and offers some of the most energy efficient models on the market. Looking for the most energy-efficient Tesla model? Here’s what to know about Tesla’s models and other electric options, too! IS A TESLA MODEL THE LONGEST RANGE OPTION ON THE MARKET? Tesla’s models all offer incredibly long driving range per charge, but a Tesla model does not hold the top spot for the longest-range electric vehicle. The Lucid Air Dream Edition Range (with 19 inch wheels) drives past all its competitors; the Dream boasts a driving range of 520 miles. Lucid’s models actually hold the top three spots for vehicles with the longest ranges. The Lucid Air Grand Touring has a range of 516 models, and the Lucid Air Dream Edition Performance (again with 19 inch wheels) can drive up to 471 miles. To put the range in perspective, a car owner could drive from Boston to Washington, D.C. on one full charge and have a little electricity to spare. The distance between these two cities is 440.3 miles. Could a regular car make the same trip without stopping for fuel? That depends. Many modern vehicles do offer great fuel efficiency, and some hybrid models could offer up to 60 miles per gallon on the highway. If a vehicle offers 30 miles per gallon on the highway and has a 15 gallon tank, it would be able to drive about 450 miles before needing to refuel. While driving ranges from a fully charged battery and a full tank of gas could be comparable, the prices to energize those drives are not. Electricity may cost a fraction of the price of the pump. In addition, electric vehicles also are better for the environment. Most Energy-Efficient Tesla [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/What-is-the-Most-Energy-Efficient-Tesla-Model.jpg] WHAT IS THE MOST ENERGY-EFFICIENT TESLA MODEL? Tesla’s top range model actually comes in fourth place among all electric vehicles when ranked by driving range. The Tesla Model S Long Range can drive up to 405 miles fully charged. The Model S Long Range has a base price of $89,990. This is nearly half the price of the Air Dream Edition Performance; the model is priced at $169,000. The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus offers the shortest driving range of all Tesla models. The Standard Range can drive up to 262 miles per charge. However, it also comes with a more affordable price tag than Tesla’s other models; the Model 3 Standard Range has a base price of $43,490. WHAT ELECTRIC CAR HAS THE SHORTEST RANGE? While many electric options offer decent ranges on a complete battery charge, as Car and Driver explains, ranges for many electric cars are often much less than the full distance that can be driven on a complete tank of gas. The model that offers the shortest driving range on a charge is the Mini Cooper Electric. This vehicle has a range of only 110 miles. For those with long daily commutes (50 miles roundtrip, for example), the vehicle would need to be charged about every other day. WHY IS RANGE SUCH A BIG DEAL? Drivers need to understand the driving capacity of their electric vehicle, because batteries don’t stay charged indefinitely. If the car starts to run low on energy, drivers will need to find a station to recharge. This is where driving an electric model can get a bit more complicated. Gas pumps are plentiful; car owners who drive a fuel inefficient vehicle may have to worry about the cost at the pump but they don’t have to worry about finding a gas station. Every city and even small towns offer one or more gas stations. In states like California where electric vehicles are common, it might be easy to find a charging station for electric vehicles. However, in states where electric vehicles are less popular, electric stations may be few and far between. Driving an electric car on a road trip may require the car owner to map out recharging stops along the trip so that there isn’t an issue of the car suddenly being without power. This could make a fun vacation on the road a bit more stressful, especially as drivers roll through towns and states that haven’t yet caught on to the electric phenomenon. Those who own an electric car may be limited to charging their car at home, especially if they live in areas that don’t offer many charging stations or in areas where these stations may be cost prohibitive. Most Energy-Efficient Tesla [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/The-Cost-at-the-Pump-vs.-the-Price-of-Electric.jpg] THE COST AT THE PUMP VS. THE PRICE OF ELECTRIC Most drivers don’t have to guesstimate how much they will spend at the pump. Prices are easily visible at the top of gas station signage. Some drivers know instinctively what areas offer the lowest gas prices, too. Commuters who pass through multiple towns may have a specific location to refuel. Recharging is more complicated. While gas prices may vary from town to town, the variance is typically a matter of cents. However, those cents add up for drivers who are watching their budget or who have long commutes and need to refuel often. What about the price of electric, though? To recharge an electric car, understanding how much it will cost to charge the car at home isn’t so difficult but it does require a bit of math. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) explains that car owners just need to consult their electric bill to find the price they are charged per kilowatt hour. To find this price, take the number of hours used for electricity and divide it by the amount of the total dollars charged for electricity. On average, Americans spend about 14 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity used. KBB explains that most electric vehicles drive about four miles per kilowatt hour. To better understand the cost of the electric vehicle to compare to the price at the pump, car owners should estimate how many miles they drive per month. Let’s assume an individual drives the full range of the longest-range Tesla each month: 405 miles. Let’s also assume the Tesla gets the full four miles per kilowatt hour. So divide the distance per month (405) by four miles (for kilowatt hours). The result is about 101; then multiply that by the cost per kilowatt hour (0.14). The price would be $14.14 to operate the vehicle each month. KBB uses an example of an individual driving 540 miles per month. Even with this assumption, the cost for energy would be a little more than $25. Most households own at least two cars; it isn’t unheard of for families to spend more than $200 on gas per month for commuting costs. Two electric vehicles might cost a quarter the price to operate. The price of public charging stations, though, may be more expensive. Some offer monthly membership fees, and, for some drivers, this could be a less expensive option. MotorBiscuit notes that some charge 43 cents per kilowatt hour for those without a membership. This price is still cheaper than the price of gas, though. WHAT’S THE BEST ELECTRIC VEHICLE? When considering options for an electric vehicle, buyers might look at both price and range. While Lucid offers the most energy-efficient models, the price of Lucid may be out of the budget for many buyers. The Lucid Air has a starting price of $77,400. The Air Dream Edition is the highest priced model at $169,000; however, Lucid’s website states that reservations are closed for the Dream Edition. Tesla models vary in price, but the lowest range option could be affordable for some buyers. At nearly $50,000, though, even the most affordable option might not be accessible to those who want a more economical option. What’s the least expensive new electric vehicle on the market? According to MotorTrend, the most affordable electric vehicle for 2022 is the Nissan Leaf S 40 kw; it’s offered at a base price of $28,365. For many buyers this could still fit into the budget! SHOP USED MODELS FOR THE BEST PRICES AND THE BEST RANGE Another option for car buyers on a budget to find the best electric vehicle is to shop for used models. Buyers might be able to find long-range models—including those by Tesla—at more reasonable prices. The only issue, however, may be the available selection. In many areas, car inventory can be a bit crunched. This can make it difficult to find an exact model that the buyer wants. However, buyers who have multiple options on their wish list could find a wider selection. In addition, some parts of the country have embraced electric vehicles. This could mean a more extensive used inventory of electric models. Unfortunately, the reverse also could be true. For cities that haven’t fully jolted for the electric surge, selection for used models might be really limited. Yet, the payoff for driving an electric vehicle could be worth it for the right buyer. Those who have extensive commutes might find that the price to charge the car is far less expensive than refueling at the pump. Owners of electric cars also might like the convenience of recharging at home. Drivers just have to remember to plug in for the night. Tesla offers many long-range models, and the manufacturer also offers a variety of price ranges to appeal to different buyers. While Lucid might outdrive Tesla models in range, the price for Lucid models could be far more than many buyers are willing to spend. Those on a tight budget also could look to used models to find economically priced electric vehicles. While selection might be limited in some areas, buyers may find that the search is worthwhile in order to find a car that doesn’t eat away at the monthly budget because of fuel needs. Although many electric models are pricier, the savings to operate these models could be worth the investment.
What is the Vehicle Sales Tax Deduction?
January 24, 2022
Tax day might be dreaded by some individuals. This could be the day when taxpayers have to write out a large check to the U.S. Treasury or their state. For individuals and families who have overpaid their taxes, though, tax day might mean a refund and a little extra money. Those who are looking to reduce their income might be researching applicable deductions. For individuals who purchased a car in 2021, deducting sales tax from that purchase could help out on tax day. What is the vehicle sales tax deduction? Here’s what filers need to know about this deduction. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TAX CREDIT AND A DEDUCTION Tax filers might be familiar with two key terms that affect their returns: deductions and tax credits. These terms cannot be used synonymously, though, as they impact the tax return differently. Deductions help to reduce the taxable income on a tax return. An example of this is deducting a charitable donation. A tax credit, however, reduces the amount of tax owed. A credit can lower a filer’s tax responsibility. Some credits can only reduce a tax to zero, but others can result in a refund. Credits and deductions all have specific guidelines, and it’s extremely important that tax filers follow the rules. Some expenses only can be partially deducted (denoted as a percentage); some credits have this stipulation, too. In addition, not all credits can be taken by all filers. Credits might have income stipulations or they might come with other qualifying factors. WHAT IS THE VEHICLE SALES TAX DEDUCTION? A vehicle sales tax deduction allows car buyers to deduct sales tax from the purchase of a vehicle. Not everyone can take this deduction, though. Tax filers who opt to take the standard deduction cannot deduct sales tax related to a vehicle purchase. This is due to the fact that filers must choose between either itemizing personal expenses or simply using the standard deduction. In addition, if a tax filer itemizes their deductions on Schedule A and opts to deduct state income taxes, they cannot also deduct the sales tax from their vehicle. There is also a limit to this deduction; tax filers cannot deduct more than the general sales tax rate. This means that if the tax rate was higher than the general rate, the filer can’t deduct that higher amount. Filers who deduct the vehicle tax on their business expenses cannot also deduct the expense for their personal expenses. In addition, H&R Block explains that: “There is a limit of $10,000 ($5,000 if MFS) on the amount of sales tax you can claim in 2018 to 2025. The $10,000 limit applies to the total amount a taxpayer can claim for real property taxes, personal property taxes, and state and local income taxes (or general sales tax if elected).” Confused about these deductions? The Internal Revenue Service offers a page devoted to deductible taxes. Vehicle Sales Tax Deduction [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Are-There-Tax-Credits-for-Vehicles.jpg] ARE THERE TAX CREDITS FOR VEHICLES? While some tax filers might be able to deduct sales tax on their return, others could qualify for a tax credit. Those who bought an electric vehicle might be in luck for a tax credit related to this vehicle’s energy efficiency. The Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit has a few stipulations. The IRS explains that filers can claim this credit “…if you purchased a car or truck with at least four wheels and a gross vehicle weight of less than 14,000 pounds that draws energy from a battery with at least 4 kilowatt hours and that may be recharged from an external source.” The credit must be claimed the year that the individual started driving the vehicle, and the car must have been purchased in 2010 or after that date. The amount of the credit ranges from $2,500 to $7,500 (the amount is tied to the battery). The credit phases out when a manufacturer has sold 200,000 qualified vehicles. As with every credit, there are details guiding who can or can’t claim it. Work with a CPA to determine if the electric vehicle purchased qualifies. Again, there are limitations as outlined by the IRS. OTHER VEHICLE DEDUCTIONS For many tax filers, there aren’t many options for deducting vehicle expenses. However, for those who are business owners or who are sole proprietors, some vehicle expenses could be deductible. Before writing off vehicle expenses, though, filers should consult with a certified public accountant (CPA) or other tax professional. Again, filers must adhere to any rules associated with deductions. Business vehicle expenses often include certain stipulations for what can and cannot be deducted. Vehicle Sales Tax Deduction [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Tax-Tips.jpg] TAX TIPS Before filling out any tax form or taking forms to a pro, keep in mind a few tax tips to help simplify the process: * Try not to wait until the last minute. Many filers procrastinate until tax day. If a pro is needed, there might be a line. Filing a little earlier also ensures that filers have time to find everything they need and get extra copies in case they are missing any forms. * Keep all receipts. When taking any deductions, be sure to keep all the receipts documenting those write-offs. If the filer is audited, receipts serve as the proof that the deduction was taken correctly. * File taxes electronically or send the returns via certified mail. If filers must mail their returns, sending them via certified mail can ensure that the filer has proof of their receipt. Vehicle Sales Tax Deduction [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Beware-of-Tax-Scams.jpg] BEWARE OF TAX SCAMS, TOO Every year, the Internal Revenue Service alerts tax filers about any tax scams. Unfortunately, many fall prey to these scams. Here’s what to know about the most common tax scams: THE ‘YOU’RE GOING TO JAIL” TAX SCAM The popular scam plays out the same: the scammer calls an individual and pretends to be from the IRS. The robocall usually threatens that the individual will go to jail if they don’t pay. The IRS explains that it would not make jail threats via phone. Ignore this call. If an individual owes taxes, the IRS will make contact via a letter or other official communication, but they won’t leave a message that they are sending the local police. In addition, individuals can aid the IRS by reporting these calls! THE “CANCELED SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER” SCAM Another popular scam involves calling individuals and threatening to cancel their social security number. Typically, scammers will ask for a payment of back taxes. Don’t fall victim to this scam! Report any strange calls. THE GHOST PREPARER SCAM What is a ghost preparer? This is a term to denote a dishonest and unethical tax preparer that will not sign off on a return. The lack of the signature is why they are called ‘ghost preparers.’ Be wary of any preparer who promises a certain refund or who schedules their fees based on the amount of a filer’s refund. The IRS also explains on its website that scams can happen all year not just during tax time! OTHER WAYS FOR CAR OWNERS TO SAVE While a car buyer might not be able to deduct the vehicle’s sales tax, there are other ways to save with a vehicle that have nothing to do with a tax return. While tax day might signal the time for a refund, others find that they owe taxes and this could dent their budget. For those who might have a budget crunch, here’s how to save on car expenses: * Download apps that help locate the cheapest gas in town. The savings might only be a few cents, but it could add up. * Be on the lookout for coupons for oil change businesses. Jiffy Lube and others could mail out coupons or offer coupons online that save car owners money on basic services. Some businesses might have loyalty programs, too. * Consider memberships to stores that offer lower gas prices. Sam’s Club and Costco both offer their own fuel pumps to members, and the prices can be much lower. Car owners who live near stores that offer this service could consider a membership. * Consider refinancing a car loan with a high interest rate. Credit scores could improve over time. If the original interest rate was high, car owners might shop around for better rates if they have seen a bump in their credit score. Tax time might be daunting for filers, but a vehicle might help offset the taxes owed or decrease the individual’s taxable income. However, individuals claiming a tax deduction related to a vehicle’s sales tax cannot also opt to take the standard deduction. In addition, the sales tax deduction for a vehicle also cannot be used if the individual deducts income taxes. When taking any deduction or claiming a credit, there are stipulations and guidelines outlined by the IRS that filers must follow. Work with a CPA or tax professional to better understand these credits and deductions and know when it is applicable to claim or use them. In addition, all tax filers should be on the lookout for tax scams and ghost preparers. Beware of any preparer who promises a refund, and report any scam caller claiming to be the IRS.
How to Declare Your Vehicle A Business Vehicle for Taxes
January 21, 2022
It’s tax season, which means it’s the time of year when everyone is looking for ways to save. If you want to save as much money as possible, it’s important to take advantage of the tax deductions that are available to you. For example, if you use your vehicle for business purposes, you may be eligible for a tax benefit. The rules regarding how to declare your vehicle as a business vehicle for taxes are complex. However, learning the rules and how they apply to your situation can pay off in a major way when you file your taxes. Here’s everything you should know: HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR VEHICLE’S DEDUCTION There are two different methods you can use to calculate your vehicle’s deduction when preparing your taxes. Your options are: * Standard Mileage Rate * Actual Expenses STANDARD MILEAGE RATE The standard mileage rate is the simplest and most straightforward method of calculating your business vehicle’s deduction. To use this method, you must keep track of how many miles you travel in your vehicle for business purposes throughout the course of the year. Some examples of miles traveled for business purposes include miles driven: * To visit a current or prospective client. * To meet with an accountant, lawyer, or another professional regarding business matters. * To the bank or office supply store. Some examples of travel that should not be included when calculating your deduction are miles driven: * To and from work. * To and from a restaurant on your lunch break. Once you figure out how many miles you traveled for business purposes, you can calculate your deduction. The standard mileage rate is currently $0.56 per mile. So if you traveled 10,000 miles for business purposes, for example, your deduction would be $5,600 (10,000 miles x $0.56=$5,600). If you choose this method, you can also deduct other vehicle-related expenses, including interest on your auto loan, registration, parking, and tolls. However, you must be able to prove that the parking and toll expenses were incurred while using your vehicle for business purposes. Business Vehicle for Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Actual-Expenses.jpg] ACTUAL EXPENSES This method allows you to deduct any expenses that are related to your vehicle. Some examples of expenses you can deduct when using this method include: * Gas * Maintenance and repairs * Registration * Taxes * Interest on your auto loan * Lease payments * Tolls and parking fees * Rental car fees * Insurance * Tires * Depreciation You cannot deduct 100% of these expenses, though. You can only deduct a certain percentage. To calculate the percentage you can deduct, you need to figure out the percentage of use that your vehicle was used for business purposes. For example, say your gas, maintenance, repairs, interest, and other auto-related expenses totaled $5,000 for the year. You put 20,000 miles on your vehicle over the course of the year. However, only 10,000 miles were traveled for business purposes. This means you used your vehicle for business purposes 50% of the time. Because your vehicle was only used for business purposes 50% of the time, you can only deduct 50% of your auto-related expenses. So if your total expenses were $5,000, you can deduct $2,500. It’s much harder to calculate your business vehicle’s tax deduction using the actual expenses method. However, some people are able to save money by choosing this method over the standard mileage rate method, which is why you should consider it when preparing your taxes. You may want to calculate your deduction using both methods to determine which one gives you a larger deduction. HOW WILL YOUR BUSINESS VEHICLE’S DEPRECIATION AFFECT YOUR TAXES? The term “depreciation” refers to the rate at which your vehicle loses its value as it gets older. If you plan on declaring your vehicle as a business vehicle for tax purposes, it’s important to understand how depreciation may affect your deduction. Depreciation is built into the standard mileage rate formula, so you do not need to figure out how much your vehicle has depreciated if you choose this method. However, if you choose the actual expenses method, you can claim depreciation as an auto-related expense, so you need to know how to calculate it. Just like other auto-related expenses, you can only claim a certain percentage of your vehicle’s depreciation on your taxes. The percentage you can claim will depend on what percentage of the time your vehicle was used for business purposes. The IRS has established depreciation limits that you must follow when preparing your taxes. For example, if you purchased a new vehicle in 2021, the maximum amount you are allowed to claim for depreciation on your taxes is $18,200. Make sure you are familiar with these depreciation limits so you don’t accidentally violate these rules. Business Vehicle for Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Which-Business-Vehicle-Tax-Deduction-Method-Should-You-Choose.jpg] WHICH BUSINESS VEHICLE TAX DEDUCTION METHOD SHOULD YOU CHOOSE? Now you should have a better understanding of the two different methods that can be used to calculate your business vehicle’s tax deduction. There are pros and cons to each of these methods. But ultimately, the method you should choose will come down to who owns the vehicle and your role in the business as follows: * Self-Employed * Personal Vehicle Used by Employee * Company Vehicle Used by Employee SELF-EMPLOYED If you are self-employed and using your vehicle for business purposes, you can decide which method you want to use to calculate your business vehicle’s tax deduction. Some people may be able to deduct more by choosing the standard mileage rate, whereas others may benefit from choosing the actual expenses method. It’s best to work with an accountant to figure out which one will provide a greater tax benefit for you. It’s important to note that you are considered self-employed if you are the sole member of an LLC and you file a Schedule C along with your personal tax return. If you’re not sure whether you are considered self-employed or not, speak with your accountant. PERSONAL VEHICLE USED BY EMPLOYEE The rules are a bit different for people who are not self-employed. For example, say you are an employee of a company and you use your personal vehicle for business purposes. In this case, you are typically required to report the miles you travel for business purposes to your employer. Then, your employer will reimburse you for these miles using the standard mileage rate. So if you traveled 100 miles in a week for business purposes, your employer would add $56 (100 miles x $0.56= $56) to your next paycheck. In this situation, you cannot declare your vehicle as a business vehicle for tax purposes since you are already being reimbursed by your employer. However, if you were not reimbursed for the miles you traveled for business purposes, you can claim these expenses on your personal taxes. You can choose whether you want to use the standard mileage rate or the actual expenses method when calculating this deduction. But remember, this only applies if you were not reimbursed for your mileage by your employer already. Business Vehicle for Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Company-Vehicle-Used-by-Employee.jpg] COMPANY VEHICLE USED BY EMPLOYEE The rules are also different for employees who are given a company vehicle to use when traveling for business purposes. In some cases, a company car that is given to an employee is treated as additional income to the employee. This is because the use of a company vehicle is often classified as a taxable employee benefit. If you are in this situation, you will not be able to declare your vehicle as a business vehicle for tax purposes. Because the vehicle is classed as a taxable employee benefit, you will need to declare a percentage of the vehicle’s value as income when preparing your taxes. Your accountant can help you with these calculations. If the vehicle is treated as income to the employee, the company that supplied the vehicle can deduct all auto-related expenses when preparing their taxes. The company does not need to figure out the business-use percentage when calculating this deduction. Instead, the company has the right to deduct 100% of the expenses. The tax laws regarding the use of a company vehicle are complex. For this reason, many companies prefer reimbursing their employees for using their personal vehicles for business purposes instead. HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR BUSINESS VEHICLE DEDUCTION FOR A LEASED VEHICLE The rules regarding how you can declare your vehicle as a business vehicle for tax purposes apply regardless of whether you lease or own your vehicle. If you use a leased vehicle for business purposes, you can choose either the standard mileage rate or actual expenses method when calculating your deduction. However, it’s important to note that once you choose the standard mileage rate method, you must continue to use this method in the future. You cannot switch to the actual expenses method in a later year. Furthermore, if you choose the standard mileage rate, you cannot deduct your lease payment. If you choose the actual expenses method, you cannot claim depreciation as an auto-related expense. However, you can deduct the business-use percentage of your monthly lease payment. Keep this information handy when you prepare your taxes so you can maximize your deductions and save money this tax season.
Small SUVs Ranked by Towing Capacity
January 17, 2022
Sports utility vehicles (aka SUVs) are offered in small, midsize and full-size models. Larger models could be popular choices for those who need space for lots of passengers or individuals who need a decent amount of cargo room and strength for towing, too. Yet, car buyers who need to tow a small camper or a kayak but who can’t afford to spend the price for a large SUV model or who maybe don’t feel comfortable navigating such a large model could opt for a small SUV instead. Here are all the moderately-priced small SUVs ranked by towing capacity. A ROUNDUP OF ALL THE MODELS There are almost a dozen small SUV models on the market. Price ranges vary, but most hover in the mid-$20K range. Models offer similar towing capacities, too. Here are all the models sorted by maximum towing capacity (least to greatest). * 2021 Nissan Rogue MSRP: $26,050 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Towing Capacity: 1,350 pounds * 2022 GMC Terrain MSRP: $27,900 Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Chevrolet Equinox MSRP: $25,800 Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Honda CR-V MSRP: $25,750 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan MSRP: $25,995 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick (for 2021) Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Ford Escape MSRP: $26,010 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 1,500 to 3,500 pounds * 2022 Subaru Forester MSRP: $25,195 Towing Capacity: 1,500 to 3,000 pounds * 2022 Kia Sportage MSRP: $24,090 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 1,653 pounds * 2021 Mazda CX-5 MSRP: $25,370 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Towing Capacity: 2,000 pounds * 2022 Hyundai Tucson MSRP: $25,350 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Towing Capacity: 2,000 pounds * 2021 Toyota RAV4 MSRP: $26,350 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 2,500 pounds THE SMALL SUV WITH THE BEST TOWING CAPACITY Car buyers looking for the best small SUV for towing have several choices. Both the Ford Escape and the Subaru Forester offer a towing capacity that varies from 1,500 pounds to 3,000 and the RAV4 offers a maximum towing capacity of 2,500 pounds. The Escape and the RAV4 also both received Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In addition, all three models are comparable in price. The Subaru Forester is the least expensive option with a base price of $25,195. Small SUVs Ranked by Towing Capacity [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Do-Other-Models-Pull-Their-Weight.jpg] DO OTHER MODELS PULL THEIR WEIGHT? The other remaining models offer around the same towing capacity—about 1,500 to 2,000 pounds. The Nissan Rogue offers the lowest towing capacity, pulling only 1,350 pounds. Since models are quite comparable in their towing capacity, buyers might look at price and safety or other features to guide their final purchase decision. The Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5 were rated the highest in safety by the IIHS, with a Top Safety Pick+ rating. Small SUVs are not designed, however, to tow massive loads. While these models could be fine pulling kayaks, canoes or other lighter items, they aren’t the option for buyers who need to pull large campers. Buyers may need to upgrade to a midsize model SUV, if they want a bit more power for towing. Luxury models like the Audi Q5 or the Land Rover Discovery Sport could be great choices—both can tow more than 4,400 pounds. The 2022 Audi Q5 received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS; the model has a base price of $45,600. The Jeep Cherokee is the best mid-sized option for towing, though. The Cherokee can pull 4,500 pounds. The Cherokee also is moderately priced at $27,890. WEIGHING THE BEST OPTIONS Buyers might not be sure which model is right for their needs. With so many options with similar specs, it becomes a bit more difficult to find the best choice. Ultimately, the choice may come down to budget and the price that the buyer is willing to spend or can afford to spend. New models may be more expensive than used models. Used luxury models, however, could be priced higher. When setting a budget for a new car, though, experts recommend spending less than 10 percent of monthly take home pay on that monthly car payment, and the total cost of transportation should be kept to less than 20 percent of monthly take home pay. What is take-home pay? This is the amount that is left from a paycheck after taxes and other deductions (like medical insurance). Take-home pay is not the total salary an individual earns. Transportation costs related to car ownership include the monthly payment, the price of fuel (or electricity for eco models) and car insurance. In total, these expenses make up the price of the car each month. Car buyers tend to focus on simply the monthly payment when budgeting for a new car. They need to remember, though, that a new car might cost more to insure, which means monthly premiums might increase. Fuel needs also may be different. Small SUVs may be more fuel efficient than larger models. However, if a car owner is used to driving a small car, they may face increased costs at the pump by upgrading to a small SUV. For buyers that don’t know how much they may be able to secure in financing, Nerdwallet offers an easy tool to calculate how much a buyer could borrow based on their income and credit score. When using Nerdwallet’s tool, remember to follow the guidelines based on take-home pay. Small SUVs Ranked by Towing Capacity [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Shopping-During-a-Supply-Crunch.jpg] SHOPPING DURING A SUPPLY CRUNCH Some buyers prefer new vehicles, but others are looking for the best price among pre-owned options. Buying new or used cars could just be a preference. When shopping used inventory, the age, mileage, make/model and condition all could impact the price of the vehicle. However, another major factor also can play a role: supply. When supply is low, buyers might not have much selection. Prices also could be higher. Car dealerships have faced times where car lots are nearly empty. When this happens, the buyer might have to purchase what they can find. This can make finding the best vehicle much harder, and it might be more difficult to find thrifty options, too. During times of supply crunch, buyers may need to do their research ahead of time. If they’re looking for a small SUV for towing, they may need to review all the options and have a backup plan in place. For those who really want a RAV4, they may be flexible and shop for a Honda CR-V. Many small SUVs are comparable in price and towing capacity. Buyers may have a brand loyalty or preference, but when supply is tight buyers may need to make a few concessions. Buyers shopping during a supply drought should know their needs, and have multiple backup models on their list in case their top choice is nowhere to be found on the lot. They also may research brands they’ve never purchased. Maybe a buyer is unfamiliar with Kia but knows that the brand offers a small SUV. Visit the manufacturer’s sites to learn all about the models. Then visit the IIHS and research safety ratings. EXPLORING THE OPTIONS ONLINE Many buyers begin their research process online. Sites like Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and IIHS can help buyers find specs and prices as well as safety data on the models that interest them. Dealership sites are the best destinations for uncovering available inventory. In addition, buyers may want to see what types of incentives and promotions each dealership is offering. RelayCars also can help buyers explore cars from home via augmented reality and 3D imagery. RelayCars offers an immersive library of thousands of cars. Just choose the model that the buyer wants to view and begin exploring. RelayCars gives users the option to view the vehicle via a 3D image or in augmented reality. With 3D images, the user can rotate a model image of the vehicle in 360 degrees; view the car from any angle. They also can choose to view the model in different paint colors. With augmented reality, the user can choose where they want to view the vehicle. Augmented reality uses the camera of a smartphone or tablet to superimpose an image of the vehicle in the user’s own environment. View the car in a bedroom, in the garage or see how it looks in the driveway. The car is displayed in full scale, and, using the camera function of the device, an individual can actually walk around the vehicle. This gives users an immersive way to explore the vehicle. Auto brands also could offer immersive augmented reality experiences. When buyers are researching their vehicle options, they can visit the manufacturer’s websites to explore any augmented or virtual reality viewing experiences. In addition, buyers also can visit YouTube to check out any videos about their favorite models. Some dealerships offer virtual test drives via YouTube. These videos can help buyers get a better understanding of the vehicle. Buyers who are only focused on the towing capacity of a small SUV, though, may find that their options are very similar in price and perhaps design, too. Using third-party sites and resources can help buyers gain more information about their options, especially if they need to have multiple backup options on their list during times of inventory shortages.