Selling A Car? Here’s What You Need to Know
September 30, 2022
Are you thinking about selling your car? Maybe you even have a buyer ready to hand over the cash. Whatever the case may be, stop and think before you act. Selling a car isn’t as simple as taking the money and handing over the keys. There are taxes involved and many other things to consider as well. Fortunately, this handy guide can help you carry out the process correctly. WHO SHOULD YOU SELL TO? The first step in selling your car is deciding who you want to sell it to. You could sell to a friend or family member. Or, you could simply list it online and see who’s interested. Alternatively, you might sell the car to a dealership. All of these options have their pros and cons. If you choose a private sale, you’ll be responsible for all the work involved. You’ll have to advertise the car, choose the right buyer, and keep careful documentation for tax purposes. On the upside, private sales sometimes, but not always, bring in more of a profit. Of course, more profit can mean higher taxes. On the tax front, sales to a dealership can save you money in a couple of ways. First, dealerships tend to pay less, which means you’ll have less taxable profit. Secondly, if you trade in your old vehicle and use its value to buy a new one, you could qualify for a tax break. If you’re eligible, you can deduct the value of your old vehicle from the price of the new one for a sales tax reduction. Plus, the dealership just takes the car. There’s no advertising or work on your part. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you want to sell your car. Consider the benefits and downsides of each choice. From there, you can make the most informed decision possible. HOW TO FIND BUYERS If you do make the choice to sell your car independently, it’s up to you to find a buyer. Thankfully, in today’s high-tech world, that’s easier than ever. You can use tools, such as online classifieds sites or even social media, to get the word out about your vehicle. Include pictures and accurate descriptions to avoid wasted time. Of course, old-fashioned methods can still work too. You may want to put up fliers, pay to run an ad in a publication, park a “for sale” sign in your car, or just tell anyone and everyone that you’re looking for a buyer. KNOW YOUR VEHICLE’S WORTH No matter how you decide to sell your car, do some research first. You need a clear idea of your vehicle’s value before you make a move. Otherwise, you run the risk of requesting too much and getting laughed at or not asking enough and getting a raw deal. There are many online tools, such as Kelley Blue Book, that can give you an accurate idea of your car’s value. Of course, you may not always get the full value. If the car is in bad shape, for example, or has a few problems, your actual profit may be a bit less. Still, knowing the vehicle’s value can help you set your expectations and avoid getting cheated. CONSIDER IMPROVEMENTS Once you know the value of your car, consider whether or not you can increase that value. Sometimes simple things, like basic repairs or a fresh coat of paint, can make a big difference. However, avoid making improvements that cost more than they’re worth. If you can’t recoup your value and then some, it’s probably not worth it. In addition to more major improvements, help your car look its best. Wash it. Clean the inside. Pop in an air freshener. Little things like these can help you attract buyers and can make your vehicle more enticing. FOLLOW THE RULES Selling a car isn’t as simple as selling your used clothes or furniture. Instead, there are laws involved, and they can vary from one state to the next. In many states, for example, you’ll need to possess a valid car title to legally sell your vehicle. Even in states that allow you to sell without a title, there are certain rules to follow. Things can also get tricky if you’re selling to an out-of-state buyer. To ensure you go about the process legally, read up on the laws in your state and abide by them carefully. Selling A Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Selling-A-Car-1.jpg] KEEP DETAILED RECORDS As you can see, there’s a lot of prep work involved in selling a vehicle. If you make it through the process, your work isn’t quite done yet. You also need to maintain detailed records related to the sale of your vehicle. Record who bought the car, its condition, and the date of purchase. If you’ve performed any repairs or paid for required services, such as an inspection, keep a record of those expenses too. Most importantly of all, keep a clear, readable copy of the bill of sale. This document must contain the amount that was paid for the car. Otherwise, you won’t have any proof if the IRS asks for documentation after your taxes are filed. REMEMBER, NO PROFIT = NO TAXES While the work involved in selling a car may have you feeling down, there is a bright side to selling your car. In a great many cases, you won’t actually have to pay taxes on the sale of your vehicle. A good rule of thumb to remember is no profit means no taxes. If you sell your car for less than you paid for it, you have not made a profit. You can even deduct any qualifying expenses related to the upkeep or improvement of your vehicle. If you made repairs on it, for example, you can deduct those costs from any profit you might have made. If it turns out that you don’t profit at all or that you take a loss, you don’t even have to record the transaction on your taxes. With that said, you should still maintain records just in case. SALES TAX IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY Another nice and easy thing about selling your car is that you don’t have to worry about the sales tax. Contrary to what you may have heard, that expense falls on the buyer. If anyone tries to tell you that you are responsible for the sales tax, run for the hills. This is often a sign of some kind of scam. At the very least, it’s not factual, and you won’t want to work with buyers who insist it is. Similarly, you should not request the sales tax from the buyer or include it in the price in any way. The buyer pays this to the Department of Motor Vehicles. THE CAPITAL GAINS TAX So, you may be wondering, what happens if you do sell a vehicle at a profit? In that case, you’ll need to pay the capital gains tax. The amount of tax you have to pay is dependent on several factors, such as the amount of the profit and your overall income. The IRS has a special form, Form 1040, Schedule D, that you can use to report the profit. If you have questions about reporting or filling out the form, consult with a tax accountant. They can ensure you document and report your profit correctly to reduce the risk of problems with the IRS. SO, SHOULD YOU SELL? Sometimes, when people learn about everything that goes into selling a car, they reconsider their decision. It’s true that selling can be a lot of work, particularly for private sales. However, there are some very valid reasons to sell your car. If you can’t afford its upkeep, for example, or if you no longer use the car very often, getting rid of it is probably a wise decision. Likewise, if you really need the money the car would bring, selling can be smart. It’s also a nice option if you want to get a new vehicle at a lower price and are willing to do a trade-in. While no one can make the “to sell or not to sell” decision for you, you should consider all of these factors as you make your choice. Think, too, about how selling the vehicle will affect your taxes. Thinking in terms of long-term results and considering all the effects can help you make the right decision for your situation. TAKE ACTION If you’ve read to the end, then you’re armed with a lot of great information. Use it to decide if you want to sell your car, who you want to sell it to, and how to handle taxes and other related responsibilities. If you can do that, then you can make the right decision and, if you so choose, enjoy an easy selling process.
Which Luxury Hybrid Crossover Is the Best?
September 28, 2022
The introduction of hybrid cars brought a sigh of relief to both our wallets and our environment. They carry enough of an electric charge to make gasoline a minor expense, and even when they fall back to fuel to keep going, they get phenomenal gas mileage. They cause less air pollution than combustion engines and make less noise. Hybrids also come in a variety of popular makes and models, some of them designed for the purpose and others being upgrades on existing models. Luxury brands have been no exception, releasing hybrid models that evoke their classic prestige while also conserving fuel and reducing damage to the environment. Crossover vehicles combine all the best features of an SUV with a sedan, making them versatile for needs as varied as a weekend surfing, shuttling the kids to after-school activities, or getting to that big meeting on time. As hybrid and electric vehicles become both more popular and more environmentally necessary, luxury crossovers have been introduced to the market. WHAT ARE THE TOP LUXURY HYBRID CROSSOVERS? Even with luxury vehicles, there is a tremendous amount of competition, but that benefits consumers by giving us a wide array of options. It also means that there are a lot of luxury hybrid crossovers that could be considered “best,” depending on the needs of the driver. Yet the best will always distinguish themselves. Here are the best of the luxury hybrid crossovers currently available. LEXUS NX Lexus has established its reputation for the quality of its cars, including its hybrids. The futuristic design of the Lexus NX is only one of the updates to this model. The comfortable interior is now enhanced by an upgraded infotainment system that is easier for everyone inside. It is even voice-activated so drivers can use it safely without having to fumble with a screen. It also comes in all-wheel drive in all but its base model, and seats up to five, making it perfect for hauling around family or friends. LEXUS UX The Lexus UX is all the luxury at a bargain price. Its exterior is as posh as its sister models, and its cabin as plush. It is roomy and practical, with economic mileage and all the zip drivers need to get around town. It doesn’t have as much storage as the other Lexus models, but it still carries the Lexus name and all the engineering behind it. VOLVO XC60 RECHARGE Volvo has also made several hybrid vehicles in its commitment to reducing emissions within the next decade. The XC60 Recharge is backed by technology from Volvo’s spin-off electric vehicle division, Polestar. It is a compact hybrid with a lot of get-up-and-go in a powerful engine under a classic Volvo design. MERCEDES-BENZ GLC With high safety ratings and an updated engine, Mercedes-Benz entered the luxury hybrid market with an alliance of European automakers who’ve agreed to convert to fully-electric within the decade. The GLC comes in a few different versions, but all of them have the Mercedes-Benz signature design and now include an engine that gets more mileage than ever before. best luxury hybrid crossover [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mercedes-Benz-GLE-350.jpg] MERCEDES-BENZ GLE 350 What the GLC from Mercedes-Benz offers in efficiency, the GLE 350 offers in power and performance. It is also a little roomier and more rugged, with a lot of connectivity, giving drivers the independence they need on the go. With a comfortable interior that seats 5 to 7 people, the GLE comes in a myriad of exterior designs. AUDI Q5 Automakers in Europe take the environment so seriously that several of them have committed themselves to reducing emissions, and Audi is one of those manufacturers. The Q5 has all the taste and class that makes it a recognizable brand, at a lower starting price tag than most luxury crossover hybrids. It is luxury at a bargain price. BMW X3 Always tasteful and refined, BMW is another luxury automaker that has released hybrid editions of its distinctive designs. The X3 is their luxury hybrid crossover, with a quietly powerful engine that handles with the grace and style of a thoroughbred or racing yacht. This combination of strength and beauty is accentuated by an interior so comfortable that passengers will expect a butler to serve them caviar. best luxury hybrid crossover [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Lincoln-Aviator-Grand-Touring.jpg] LINCOLN AVIATOR GRAND TOURING Long considered the vehicle of choice for prestigious and high-powered professionals, Lincoln delivers with the Aviator, a smaller version of their SUV Navigator. Smaller is better for this zippy little crossover vehicle, as a smooth transmission makes it easy to drive. Comfort inside is guaranteed by 30-way power adjustment seats in the front and captain’s chairs in the back. Beyond style and luxury, the Aviator is like riding in a cloud. LINCOLN CORSAIR Lincoln’s 4-seater, the Corsair, is a smaller version of the Grand Touring, the same overall model as the Aviator. It’s slightly smaller, but still has all the power and handling of its sibling models, starting at a lower price tag. Options may cost extra, but the basics include all-wheel drive and an infotainment system that is varied and simple to use while driving. VOLVO V60 RECHARGE The design of the Volvo V60 Recharge strongly resembles a station wagon that can seat five, and still store a weekend’s full of outdoor gear or or athletic equipment to take the kids to practice. Don’t discount its power, either, with a turbo engine and all-wheel drive. Volvo also pays a lot of attention to safety, both inside and outside the car, with cameras to spot pedestrians. ACURA MDX SPORT A crossover vehicle that drives like a sports car? That is the technology Acura chose to use to produce this winning combination. It has a third-row seat and high safety ratings. The powerful engine under the hood is good for more than just performance, aided by standard all-wheel drive. That means it can carry or haul a lot of weight, on top of being luxurious and sharp. best luxury hybrid crossover [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/The-Cream-of-the-Crop.jpg] THE CREAM OF THE CROP Out of all the models reviewed by experts like Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book, a few have risen to the top. With high ratings in parameters like safety, resale value, and mileage, critics have agreed that these models are the very best of luxury hybrid crossovers. They are repeatedly mentioned in the top 5 of critics’ lists. PORSCHE CAYENNE Porsche has a few hybrid and electric models that are highly rated, but the Cayenne stands out as one of the best of the entire field. It is almost always in the top 5 of reviewer’s assessments of the best, and is often rated number 1. With the famous Porsche front end attached to a spacious cabin, it definitely advertises both its prestige and its utility. Add an engine that is capable of almost 700 horsepower and handling that is both smooth and quiet, and you have a high ranked luxury hybrid crossover that is well worth its high price. LEXUS RX Lexus rules the roost out of all the companies, with three top-rated hybrid crossovers, but the RX takes the crown over its siblings. It is a midsize vehicle, seating up to six in a cabin that has been described as “classy” and “refined,” just what we would expect from a Lexus. It even has an optional third row of seats, although these can be a bit tight for some. There are a lot of options available that include performance models and various powertrains, allowing this vehicle to be versatile and fit for almost any purpose. LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER The Land Rover brand is all about luxury combined with power, which is why it is often the go-to vehicle when a movie or television show needs to project those qualities in their characters’ choice of vehicle. The Range Rover is an effective combination of sporty, prestigious, and practical. This combination makes it versatile enough that its high price tag still gives you value for your money. Whether on- or off-road, passengers can ride in comfort, with infotainment that includes 13-inch screens in both front and back. With four models and a third-row seat to choose from, the Range Rover is one of the best luxury hybrids available. best luxury hybrid crossover [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Volvo-XC90.jpg] VOLVO XC90 Included in their line of luxury hybrids is Volvo’s XC90. Bigger than the other hybrid crossovers, it’s an SUV in its own right, able to seat seven comfortably. As if that isn’t enough space, it has vast cargo space of 85 cubic feet. It also has some of the highest safety ratings in the field, since Volvo is famed for such features. This all-wheel drive can carry or haul it all and still have room for the whole family to safely and comfortably enjoy the ride. BMW X5 BMW pulled out all the stops with the X5. It has an up-to-date infotainment system in a cabin that looks and feels like the cutting edge technology that designed it. This interior comfort is complemented by handling and performance that feels like a sports car. The high level of versatility the X5 offers makes it competitive, even at a high price. Its midsize luxury and reputable brand ensure its value. DOING YOUR HOMEWORK When shopping for the best luxury hybrid crossover for your needs, it is important to do research before you buy. Knowing what is available and within your budget can give you leverage when you enter into negotiations later on, even if your budget is tens of thousands. There are many similar vehicles on the market, but these are the best luxury hybrid crossovers, and a great pool to start from in your search.
Sports and Sustainability: Best Luxury Electric SUVs
September 23, 2022
Electric vehicles, or EVs, are almost always luxurious. Even if the model is considered a bargain brand, many EVs are designed to exhibit an air of prestige. And why not? Helping reduce your contribution to harmful emissions is definitely a prestigious action! Since SUVs have become so popular, they are in high demand. However, the gas-powered models are not known for their fuel efficiency. Further, many countries are trying to cut down on pollutants, including emissions from vehicles. Several car manufacturers have pledged to make the majority of their models electric within the near future, as early as 2025. Merging popular sports utility models with electric engines was inevitable. So which models represent the best in luxury electric SUVs? There are a lot to choose from, as new brands emerge and old manufacturers spin off new electric lines. Some names will be familiar, with others just entering the market with rave reviews. Best Luxury Electric SUV [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Tesla-Model-X.jpg] TESLA MODEL X The best-known electric car brand in the country, Tesla is almost synonymous with EVs because they were one of the first to emerge on the public market. So far, it has set the standard for luxury SUVs, with a wide array of electronics and connectivity as well as masterful performance and handling. It also has a long range before it needs to be recharged, as well as a cyberpunk exterior that has been noted with interest by reviews. The cabin may be a little plain, but the overall vehicle is one of the top rated because it has earned the prestige associated with it. A second model of the Model X, the Plaid, was released in 2022, to complement what is now called the Long Range. TESLA MODEL Y Is there such a thing as a sports SUV? Tesla says yes with the Model Y, another design that has all the reliability of the Tesla name. In addition to the standard Long Range model, the Model Y has a Performance model that has all the power and handling of a sports car, but in an SUV. Both vehicles have a lot of acceleration, as well as an interior that is roomy and classy. The Performance model also boasts a sports frame. Where the Model X is a family SUV, the Model Y is a power model, with a range of over 300 miles per charge. BMW IX What makes the iX unique is its distinctive BMW body design. There are now two models of this luxury SUV, the xDrive50 and M60. These models are the first in a commitment to sustainable electric cars that starts in the engine components and radiates all over the vehicle. BMW is one of many European automakers that have pledged a majority EV lineup in the very near future and is living up to that promise with an SUV that can go over 300 miles on a single full charge, and 90 miles after charging for only 10 minutes. Best Luxury Electric SUV [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Audi-e-Tron.jpg] AUDI E-TRON Everything you would expect from a gas-powered Audi SUV is here in the e-Tron, from the spacious interior to the classy exterior design. While it may not have the power or distance of some of its competitors, it makes up for this in handling and engineering. The hatchback version of the e-Tron still preserves the space of the back seat and trunk while giving the SUV a sleek sporty look. The e-Tron is the first of many future entries in electric vehicles form Audi, and the fact that it’s competitive with other luxury electric SUVs is a promising start. JAGUAR I-PACE Jaguar is a luxury brand already, so anything that bears its name is automatically classed that way. The I-Pace is an SUV that captures all the elegance and prestige that the maker’s name encapsulates. Just as at home as a speedster as it is a family vehicle, it even handles like a sports car, but has all the roominess we expect from a top-tier SUV. It does take a while to charge and has less distance than others in its class, but the Jaguar name is a classic that everyone knows, and the I-Pace is only the first form Jaguar. Best Luxury Electric SUV [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Volvo-C40-Recharge.jpg] VOLVO C40 RECHARGE When Volvo committed to building an SUV, they didn’t fall back on well-established designs, but took a gamble on a new design that has a distinctly futuristic flavor. The C40 Recharge carries Volvo’s banner into the EV market, representing the manufacturer with a clean, efficient and sustainable design that owners can feel good about driving. Even its interior is eco friendly, as well as spacious and comfortable. It is also highly rated for safety, both inside and outside the vehicle, a trait for which Volvo is well-known and reliable. VOLVO XC40 Luxury doesn’t have to cost hundreds of thousands. The Volvo XC40 is another entry from the automaker to the electric SUV market, but this one comes at a lower price than almost all the others out there. There is a little less room in the interior than its counterpart, the C40 Recharge, but it otherwise still has all the features that Volvo built its reputation upon. Most notably, it is considered one of the safest electric SUVs by critics, reviewers, and crash ratings. Volvo’s name is synonymous with peace of mind on the road, and the XC40 delivers all these qualities at a lower price. HYUNDAI IONIQ 5 With its own entry into the electric SUV market, Hyundai proves it can compete with the best. The Ioniq 5 is only one of the manufacturer’s electric SUV models and shows a promising future as Hyundai moves from combustion to electric. Spacious interior and good handling round out a reliable family SUV, as well as competitive mileage and a body design that evokes hints of past models, but with a style all its own. Even without all the features that can be opted into, the Ioniq 5 is a comfortable luxury SUV, but as features are added it becomes a haven on the road. KIA EV6 The eV6 is what happens when an automaker takes electric vehicles seriously. With a maximum range of over 300 miles, this electric SUV can compete with cutting-edge engineering and dedicated electric vehicle manufacturers. Kia delivers a vehicle that handles like a sports car and is enjoyable to drive. As a performance SUV, it may not have the space of a more family-oriented vehicle, but is perfect for people who love to drive to take it on their next adventure. Best Luxury Electric SUV [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Volkswagen-ID.4.jpg] VOLKSWAGEN ID.4 Volkswagen and its partners are among the manufacturers in Europe that are committed to manufacturing more eclectic vehicles than combustion engines, and the ID.4 is their first offering to those ends. Volkswagen is known for iconic vehicles such as the Beetle and the Microbus, and the ID.4 has the same hallmarks. It comes in single or dual engine models, meaning the range can vary depending on your needs. The ID.4 emphasizes the “utility” component of an SUV, being comfortable, spacious, easy to handle, and versatile, all in one luxurious package. FORD MUSTANG MACH-E The Mustang started life as a muscle car, and then became a luxury sports car. The Mach-E evolves it further into a powerful SUV that carries the Mustang name into the future. It has multiple options for both engines and trim, as well as a spacious interior and loads of connectivity options. The basic package doesn’t go quite as far on one charge as other models, but upgrading depends upon use and practicality and the Mach-E is adequate for most driving. Best Luxury Electric SUV [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Hyundai-Kona-Electric.jpg] HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC Although you may have to travel to get a Hyundai Kona Electric, it has everything that consumers love about its combustible counterpart except the combustion. It’s easy handling and competitive range make it great for city driving, and its spacious interior is perfect for families and utility. It is no coincidence that the majority of the 12 states where it is available have big urban centers with a lot of traffic, because the Kona Electric is all about reducing emissions and contributing to cleaner air. Exploring the city is a different kind of wilderness adventure, and this luxury SUV can take you around in style. MERCEDES-BENZ EQB Mercedes-Benz has committed to the initiative to release mostly electric vehicles within the next decade, and they are well on their way. The EQB is their latest all-electric offering, a roomy SUV that is already popular in Europe. It comes in all builds – front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive – so it’s versatile for a myriad of uses, from a weekend of camping to a night on the town with all your friends. Mercedes-Benz’s well-known logo adorns a body that everyone will recognize for the luxurious statement it makes. Now that it’s available in the United States, it joins the line-up of one of the most prestigious automakers in the world. CADILLAC LYRIQ Another brand whose mere name is associated with luxury, Cadillac has also joined the fraternity of automakers with electric SUVs. The Cadillac Lyriq is their first electric model and is already carrying on the maker’s legacy. Loaded with connectivity and interior features to make for a ride that is both comfortable and entertaining, the Lyriq is an SUV that can do it all. Its exterior is an electric take on the Cadillac brand that shows the company is ready to move into the future. Best Luxury Electric SUV [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Finding-Your-Luxury-Electric-SUV-1024x512.jpg] FINDING YOUR LUXURY ELECTRIC SUV Electric SUVs satisfy both the popular demand for SUVs and the need to mitigate the emissions associated with traditional SUVs. Sports utility vehicles do not have to sacrifice luxury in the interior or exterior to draw the attention a prestigious ride can attract. There are so many choices from both established luxury brands and new manufacturers dedicated to electric vehicles that drivers have a wide array available depending upon their needs, and the future is bringing more options as we find more ways to make our EV batteries last longer and emit fewer fumes.
Should You Choose a Mustang or a Camaro?
September 21, 2022
If you’re in the market for a sports car, you’ve probably noticed that there are two very common options: the Mustang and the Camaro. Both car brands have been popular for close to sixty years. In fact, some sports car enthusiasts and car collectors have both vehicles in their line-ups. If you’re only looking to buy one car, though, it’s important to find the very best one to meet your needs. Fortunately, these “insider tips” can show you how these two cars stack up. From there, you should be able to make an informed decision about which one is right for you. THE 2022 FORD MUSTANG: TRIM LEVELS The very first Mustang was unveiled in 1964. However, if you’re not into classic cars, that’s probably not the model you’re looking for. Most modern buyers want the latest and greatest models. And, for the Mustang, that would be the 2022 Ford Mustang. This vehicle is available in several different varieties. These include: * The Mustang EcoBoost Fastback * The Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback * The Mustang EcoBoost Convertible * The Mustang GT Fastback * The Mustang EcoBoost Premium Convertible * The Mustang GT Premium Fastback * The Mustang GT Premium Convertible * The Mustang Mach 1 * The Mustang Mach 1 Premium * The Mustang Shelby GT500 So, as you can see, you’ll have no shortage of choices if you go the Mustang route. Each vehicle can vary in terms of its speed, price, features, and more. Thus, for best results, you’ll want to do some careful comparison shopping. Should You Choose a Mustang or a Camaro [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/2022-Chevrolet-Camaro.jpg] THE 2022 CHEVROLET CAMARO: TRIM LEVELS The Mustang is all about choice and options, but the Camaro isn’t far behind. Plus, some people may actually enjoy having fewer choices since it can make the shopping process less overwhelming. Whatever the case may be, if you opt for the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro, you’ll be able to pick from the following trim levels: * The Camaro 1LS Coupe * The Camaro 1LT Coupe * The Camaro 2LT Coupe * The Camaro 3LT Coupe * The Camaro LT1 Coupe * The Camaro 1SS Coupe * The Camaro 2SS Coupe * The Camaro ZL1 Coupe THE 2022 FORD MUSTANG: STARTING PRICE For many car buyers, price matters above all else. That’s understandable, particularly if you’re on a tight budget. Thankfully, the Mustang can actually be quite reasonably priced. If you get the base model with no extras, you’re looking at a starting price of $27,470. Remember, too, that the actual price you pay might be higher or lower than this amount, depending on where you buy and other factors. As a pro tip, invest some time in shopping around. You can compare the rates offered by different dealers while also looking for sales and promotions that can help you save. THE 2022 CHEVROLET CAMARO: STARTING PRICE For the price conscious, the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro definitely wins out. The cheapest available starting price is $25,000, which is considerably lower than the Ford Mustang’s. Of course, with that said, you should never buy a car based on price alone. Instead, you need to choose a vehicle that works for you, your lifestyle, and your driving needs. After all, even the best deal isn’t all that great if the car you get isn’t right for you. THE 2022 FORD MUSTANG: THE CONS Sadly, no car is perfect, even when you’re dealing with amazing brands like these. Thus, it’s only fair to point out some commonly noted drawbacks of each vehicle. In terms of the 2022 Mustang, some drivers complain that it’s rather cramped and not all that comfortable for passengers. Plus, rear visibility isn’t all that it should be, which could impact safety. THE 2022 CHEVROLET CAMARO: THE CONS Wondering what’s less than perfect about the 2022 Camaro? Well, the trunk space is quite limited, which could pose a problem if you like to haul cargo or other gear from place to place. To be fair, though, most sports cars aren’t really known for having a lot of additional space. The Camaro also doesn’t come with a lot of the latest technology features, at least not in its standard varieties. As such, to really get the car to be everything you want, you may have to invest more money, which somewhat negates the lower average price. Not everyone cares all that much about high-tech features, however, so if they’re not important to you, you probably won’t even notice, especially if you really fall in love. Should You Choose a Mustang or a Camaro [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Other-Models.jpg] OTHER MODELS As you can see, the most recent Mustangs and Camaros are pretty much neck-and-neck. But, if you’re willing to buy a used vehicle and to consider older iterations of these cars, things get even more tricky. With each model year, new innovations and changes are introduced. You also have the option of upgrading an older car to meet more modern standards, though you can expect to pay a lot for it. For these reasons, it’s smart to look at generalities about the two brands. Comparing these with what you’re looking for in a sports car can really aid in making a wise purchasing decision. IF YOU WANT CLASSIC STYLE . . . If you want a car that will last for years to come, performance and durability are the most important factors. But, a lot of the time, sports car buyers are more interested in less practical matters, such as style. And, while there’s no denying that both of these brands are stylish, it’s really all about what you’re looking for. If you like classic style, the Mustang is probably the best bet for you. Yes, the brand and its vehicles have done some morphing over the years. But, overall, the Mustang has probably stayed more true to its original design. For proof, just compare an original Mustang to the latest model. You’ll see a lot of similarities. Conversely, the Camaro has changed quite a bit since its inception and continues to do so. So, while both manufacturers make attractive vehicles, the Mustang, in all its versions, is more likely to appeal to classic car enthusiasts. IF YOU WANT PROTECTION . . . As mentioned, you can actually get a pretty great deal on the newest Mustangs and Camaros, especially if you’re a careful shopper. Ironically, though, you may spend more if you go the classic car route. However, no matter how much you’re spending, you deserve a car that is built to last and that you can rely on for many years to come. Luckily, both of these vehicles have a reputation for being well-made. But, if one had to win out in terms of reliability and protection, it would probably be the Camaro. That’s because this manufacturer is well known for offering excellent warranties. Of course, the exact warranty you’re offered can vary based on which model you buy and where you buy it from. In general, though, you can expect superior protection from most Camaros, which can lead to more confidence and peace of mind with your purchase. IF YOU WANT POWER . . . If you’re buying a sports car, it’s probably because you want to go fast. You want to speed down streets and around curves, which requires a serious engine and a serious powertrain in general. Fortunately, both Mustangs and Camaros are known for having nice engines. Furthermore, the engine and the power you can expect is largely based upon the car and the trim level that you choose. But, when all is said and done, Mustangs do tend to win out in terms of their powertrain and horsepower. This is largely because many models rely on quality cylinder heads that give the engine that extra oomph. IF YOU WANT ATTENTION . . . Mustangs also tend to win out in the “attracting attention” category. Depending on your view, that can be a positive in their favor or a negative against them. Mustangs have a lot of devotees. There are people who are obsessed with the brand and who have spent years studying it and perhaps even collecting cars of their own. As such, don’t be surprised if your Mustang leads to random conversations, invitations to car shows, and plenty of questions. You’re not likely to get noticed nearly as much with a Camaro, which doesn’t come with such a devoted fanbase. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, though, is entirely up to your judgment call. MAKE A DECISION (IF YOU MUST) In a perfect world, you’d have an unlimited budget and could own as many sports cars as you want. In that case, you might pick both Camaros and Mustangs. But, if you’re not quite that fortunate, you’ll have to make a final decision about which of these vehicles is best for you. This information should aid you as you choose, but really, go with your gut. Research and learning are great, but you probably already know which car you really want anyway.
Does Diesel Go Bad?
September 19, 2022
Vehicles that run on diesel instead of gasoline may not be as common in the United States as they are in Europe, but vehicles that require power over speed need it. Some personal vehicles and many pieces of mechanical equipment, such as lawn mowers and generators, use diesel to operate. This might tempt users of diesel engines to stock the fuel for future use. It is well-known that gasoline expires, but does diesel go bad in storage? Diesel does stay fresh longer than gas, and with the right practices, can last in storage for years. Taking good care of diesel fuel can extend its life and keep it pure. This takes a little knowledge and watchfulness, but can preserve the life of your engines as well as your fuel. WHAT CAN MAKE DIESEL GO BAD? Diesel fuel is a chemical, so it is subject to chemical reactions that we often take for granted in everyday life. How and where you store your diesel can influence the amount of time it takes for the fuel to go bad. Everything depends on what elements the diesel is exposed to. All four material states have adverse effects on unprotected diesel, making it react in ways unfavorable to its reuse. * Heating anything causes chemical reactions that we are all familiar with, such as cooking or boiling of water. Being subjected to heat also causes diesel to break down and burn. Diesel used in an engine is subjected to high pressure that makes it combust, fueling the mechanical activity. Diesel subjected to very high temperatures can also combust, but simply leaving diesel out in the summer heat can have adverse effects. Diesel evaporates and also forms condensation. Keeping diesel in a cool area of 70 degrees or less can extend the life of stored diesel. * Water and condensation are not only bad for diesel on their own, but bring many other hazards that can shorten the life of diesel that has been stored. Diesel left out in heat over 70 degrees can form condensation, which dilutes the fuel. Watered-down fuel can damage your engine as well as bring rust and fungus into delicate parts such as fuel injectors. * Bacterial and fungal growth can take place in your fuel if it is not properly stored or very old. This is the unfortunate effect of both water invasion and condensation, and can result in sludge and goo building up in your diesel fuel. Fungus and algae grow in diesel affected by condensation because it is warm and damp, where such plants thrive. Bacteria and microbial growth can also become very active when diesel is improperly stored and not looked after. * Oxidation is a chemical reaction with the element oxygen, which is a gas that most life forms need to breathe in order to survive. Since it is found everywhere in our atmosphere, it is important to ensure that there isn’t any in diesel fuel. When diesel is affected by oxidation, it breaks down and becomes less pure. Gooey sediment forms, which can damage your engine. * Other acid-base reactions can also degrade diesel. Contact with certain metals such as copper or zinc can mix with your diesel and speed up its degradation. Any fuel storage should be kept away from other chemicals and compounds, such as cleaning fluids, swimming pool chemicals, or lawn fertilizer because any of these can start reactions that degrade your fuel. Does Diesel Go Bad [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/How-Can-You-Tell-if-Diesel-Has-Gone-Bad.jpg] HOW CAN YOU TELL IF DIESEL HAS GONE BAD? Fuel that has gone bad is detrimental for your engine. A vehicle’s engine is a collection of very fine moving parts that will not operate properly if they are clogged or sticky. Having bad fuel run through the engine can cause it excessive wear and tear, and diesel fuel is n o exception. Sludge from bad fuel can even ruin the engine. If your engine is idling roughly or slow to accelerate, this can be a sign that the diesel fuel in your tank has been compromised by some impurity. Before you start the engine, consider how long the diesel has been in your tank or container. There are a few preventative signs that indicate your diesel has degraded. If you haven’t started the engine in a while or are storing diesel, a cautious approach would be to check for these signs. * Microbes and oxidation can cause a foul smell in your diesel fuel. * Algae, fungus and condensation can cause gel and sludge to appear in your container. * Your fuel is cloudy or dark in color. * There is film on the surface of the fuel. * There is debris or sediment in the container. * Your engine is emitting black smoke. * You are getting less fuel efficiency from your tank. Does Diesel Go Bad [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Safely-Storing-Diesel.jpg] SAFELY STORING DIESEL How do you store diesel safely and prevent degradation? There are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your stored fuel. Diesel that is well stored can last almost two years, while diesel that is degrading only lasts about six months. Keeping diesel stored safely and keeping outside elements from turning it sour are both byproducts of each other, meaning you get twice the return for a small amount of effort. CONTAINMENT The container you store diesel in can make a lot of difference in how long your diesel lasts. It is very important that diesel is stored in a container meant for the purpose. Some people try to recycle items such as milk jugs or large soda bottles to store extra fuel in, but these containers are not made of material that is safe for storing fuel. Even if clean and sanitized, everyday bottles are subject to chemical reactions that could cause them to leak or melt. Be certain that all of your fuel storage was made for storing fuel. PLASTIC VS METAL CONTAINERS When choosing between plastic and metal fuel storage, there are a few considerations that will help you decide which you prefer. Both have benefits and drawbacks. Plastic containers might expand when full, especially in heat. They may also leak or become porous if diesel is stored long term. When plastic containers expand, it weakens the integrity of it and allows leakage. Plastic is also vulnerable to warping when exposed to sunlight for too long, as well as when the diesel expands under pressure. However, many fuel-rated plastic containers are inexpensive and perfect for short-term storage of a few gallons each. Metal containers might seem like the way to go, and for long term storage they are preferable. However, metal canisters and barrels also have drawbacks that should be taken into account. Metal rusts, and this compromises its structural integrity. Water pooling on the floor or on the lid of a metal container can accelerate the process and open your fuel to seepage, water, and contamination. In extreme circumstances such as exposure to fire, metal might explode, creating shrapnel. LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS Some municipalities have guidelines and restrictions on how much fuel you can store or where you can store it. Check with your town, county, and state for any such guidelines before you try to store any diesel on your own. In some places there is a limit to the amount you can store in one container or how large a single container can be. Some cities and counties will only allow storage of a certain total amount, no matter how many containers it is in. Depending on how the property is zoned, or permitting considerations such as local water tables, it may be illegal to have an in-ground tank, especially on residential property. Residents may also be prohibited from storing fuel in a building people dwell in. HOW MUCH DIESEL SHOULD YOU STORE? With fuel prices so high, it may be tempting to keep a lot of fuel stored for future use. If you are careful with your fuel, this could be a good strategy. However, it is important to remember to keep an eye on your diesel fuel’s integrity and make sure it has not become contaminated. A lapse in watchfulness could become a loss of your hard-earned money. With that in mind, you should only store enough diesel to last at most two years. Suggested methods of protecting your diesel would include examining your use and considering a few factors. * Store your diesel in containers according to your needs. If you use a lot of diesel, such as if you run a small business, drive a semi, or have an agricultural interest, you may need a drum or even a tank for your diesel. If you are a homeowner, boater, or other private user, a tank might be an unsustainable expense and a drum might spoil before you can use it all. Separate, smaller containers may be a better option for home and personal use. * If you have multiple containers, it is best to use the oldest fuel first and stagger your purchases so that you always have diesel that is fresh. * If you plan on storing diesel long term, there are treatments you can add to prevent common issues such as water contamination, oxidation and biome growth, including algae, bacteria, and film. Does Diesel Go Bad [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/What-if-Diesel-Has-Gone-Bad.jpg] WHAT IF DIESEL HAS GONE BAD? If your diesel is showing signs of spoiling, don’t give up hope. If you are willing to invest in your diesel, you can salvage some or all of it. The more diesel you have, the more effort and expense is involved, so it is important to consider whether it is worth the expense. Additives such as diesel fuel stabilizers, biocides, and water absorbers can help diesel last even after it’s been contaminated. None of these can replace monitoring and taking care of your diesel beforehand, but it can help mitigate loss if your diesel goes bad. Water absorbers attract water molecules into clumps. Stabilizers can neutralize most other chemical reactions, such as acid-base reactions. Biocides will kill most bacteria, algae, fungus and film. If you are able to successfully treat your contaminated diesel, the next step is to filter it. Diesel fuel filters can help remove any sediment or sludge, as well as any water or condensation. This is not a perfect fix, though, and should only be used in emergencies or when the fuel has limited contamination. In the event your fuel has gone bad and cannot be salvaged or filtered, it is important to remember that diesel is a chemical and can contribute to pollution. Dispose of your spoiled diesel as you would any hazardous waste. Otherwise, it could seep into the ground and be ingested by plants, animals, and other humans. THE LIFE OF YOUR DIESEL FUEL Diesel may go bad in up to six months, but that’s only if it is not monitored and treated. When diesel is properly taken care of, it can last up to two years. Whether you use diesel for transportation, business, maintenance, or recreation, taking care of stored diesel can not only save you money but can also preserve the integrity of the engines you use.
Cool Car Colors and How to Choose the Right One for You
September 16, 2022
The most popular car colors are not exactly the most exciting. White, black and grey are the top three color choices of car buyers. Yet not all buyers choose the standard and conservative hues that dominate the roads. Some buyers opt for bright hues or even paint their cars with unique designs. When new models are released each year, manufacturers also might include a few new color options, too. For those who are looking for paint trims that are less than conventional, Clariant unveiled its trendbook for car colors for 2025. Some of the standout shades include relaxing tones like: * Golden Sunset (a muted yellow) * Early Dawn (a dusty taupe with a glint of rosy undertones) * Night Shift (a soft gray) * Morning Breeze (a blue/green hue) DO UNIQUE COLORS INCREASE A CAR’S VALUE While these shades might not be popping up as color options for cars just yet, buyers might choose similar hues in the future. Do unique paint colors increase a car’s value? According to iSeeCars research, some colors can have a positive impact on value. For example, bright hues like yellow, orange and purple. In fact, the report noted that yellow cars depreciated only 4.5 percent over a three-year period, which is far less than the average depreciation rate (15 percent). However, other hues negatively impact the value of the vehicle and increase depreciation. Brown and gold cars both had higher levels of depreciation over a three-year period. Brown cars depreciated 17.8 percent, while gold cars depreciated 16.7 percent in the first three years. Why do bright hues tend to hold their value? Karl Brauer, an executive analyst at iSeeCars explained the color to value relationship in an article detailing the site’s study. “Yellow is among the least popular car colors with the lowest vehicle share and is commonly a color for sports cars and other low-volume vehicles that hold their value relatively well,” Brauer explained in the article. “Because yellow vehicles are so novel in the secondhand marketplace, people are willing to pay a premium for them.” Brauer went on to note that orange also is chosen for models that are limited in production numbers. Not only is the color unique but the car also is rarer. Cool Car Colors [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Brown-Might-Tinge-the-Value.jpg] BROWN MIGHT TINGE THE VALUE Brown isn’t known as a very appealing color. Apparently car buyers agree. The iSeeCars study revealed that brown and gold experience more depreciation over a three year period. Since these colors aren’t popular with many buyers, Brauer explains that it leads to heavier depreciation. For buyers, brown and gold might look a bit dated. These were both popular hues in the ‘70s. Baby Boomers might remember the dark brown wood paneling and harvest gold colored appliances that were popular during this era. Brown cars also were a familiar sight on the roads during this decade. SOME CAR BUYERS GET CREATIVE WITH COLOR While there are upcoming color trends that could point to popular hues in the coming years, some buyers might choose a hue that makes them happy. Manufacturers offer different hues with different models, and some cars have unique color options. For example, Dodge Chargers can be found in a deep purple hue aptly named Hell Raisin. The Charger also offers a few other cool and unique colors including Frostbite, Go Mango, and Cinnamon Stick. Even couture car brands like Lamborghini invite buyers to play with color. While Ferrari might have a few limitations about color (no pink!), Lamborghini is open to different hues. In fact, there are bubblegum pink Lamborghinis and purple Lamborghinis, too (it was even a song title). Those who don’t find the color that they want among the options offered by manufacturers might opt to have their car repainted to their desired palette. When choosing a new paint hue, car owners could go wild but they also might choose a pattern for their ride. One famous and very expensive pattern design was created by Bugatti. A buyer commissioned a Bugatti Divo but wanted a unique and very intricate black and red pattern. It took almost two years to make the buyer’s idea into a reality, but, eventually the Lady Bug (as it was called) came to life. Cool Car Colors [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Vehicle-Wraps-Allow-Additional-Creativity.jpg] VEHICLE WRAPS ALLOW ADDITIONAL CREATIVITY Not all buyers want to repaint their car. For those that might not have the patience or money to wait for a custom paint job for their car, a wrap could allow car owners to add unique patterns, colors or even favorite characters to their car. However, the cost of a wrap can vary. J.D. Power reported that it costs about $3,000 to wrap a family sedan, while compact cars might run about $2,000 for a wrap. The site noted that luxury cars could soar to $10K. Wraps allow car owners to play with patterns, styles and different looks. This option could let owners completely change the look of the car, too. Cool Car Colors [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/When-Car-Owners-Need-a-New-Hue.jpg] WHEN CAR OWNERS NEED A NEW HUE Over time, paint might not look so great. Car owners also could tire of their car’s color—especially if the hue wasn’t their ideal choice. Car shoppers might have experienced low inventory at dealerships. When buying their new car, they might have purchased what was available. If they wanted red, they might have felt compelled to settle for white. Thankfully, a car’s paint can be changed. Wraps aren’t the only option, and car owners can have their car painted another color. They might even choose a color that wasn’t available in the model’s paint trim options. Repainting a car can cost very little or more than $20K. Bankrate explains that a number of factors impact the price to paint a car, including the paint quality, the skill of the team, the color of the paint and the size of the vehicle. While some car owners might pay less than $1,000 for their new color, others might be quoted a much larger number. Car owners can get prices from different body shops to better understand the cost and their paint options. DO ELECTRIC CARS OFFER ELECTRIFYING COLOR OPTIONS? A few decades ago, the idea of a car powered by electric might have seemed a bit futuristic. Electric cars are becoming more popular and there are many models from which buyers can choose. Since these cars are a bit futuristic in their power source, do they come in unique paint hues? The most futuristic looking electric vehicle might be the Tesla Cybertruck. This electric pickup truck still hasn’t hit the roads, and those who ordered a new model are still awaiting delivery. For a pickup truck that looks like a vehicle out of a sci-fi movie, are the Cybertruck’s paint options just as style-forward? Actually, Elon Musk addressed the color question. The Cybertruck’s body is made from stainless steel, and, according to Electrotek, it isn’t easy to paint. The site noted that Musk recommended wraps for those who want a unique hue. One car manufacturer even showcased a vehicle that didn’t commit to one single paint hue. Digital Trends reported that BMW debuted an electric car that had color-changing paint at CES 2022. The concept car—an SUV—could change from black, white and gray. The effect was controlled via a button. CHOOSING THE PERFECT COLOR The choice for car colors is a personal preference, and every car owner might have a favorite color. Yet, car owners have options if they grow tired of the same old hue on their car. From wraps to repainting, there are ways to create a new look for any car. For buyers who are looking for a new car, what color should they choose? Again, every buyer has their own preference. However, those who want to stand out from the crowd or on the street could choose orange or yellow hues. Plus, the owner might face less depreciation on their car. Purple, which is regal and a bit of an unexpected choice for a car color, also fares well in three-year depreciation. Dodge offers a purple color for its Charger. In addition, other brands could offer varying shades of the royal hue. Some car brands don’t allow car owners to choose certain paint hues. For luxury buyers who are ready to invest in a Ferrari, a pink hue is out of the question. However, Lamborghini seems to be open to the rosy hue; Nicki Minaj has a pink-wrapped Lamborghini. While bright, bold hues might get drivers noticed, some hues fall flat and hurt the value of the vehicle. Shades of brown and gold should stay in the ‘70s; these car hues depreciate worse over three years when compared to other shades. Not only are they not the most attractive colors for cars, but they also could look dated. Some buyers don’t want bright bold colors and they don’t want to get creative with wraps. They just want to choose a nice conservative color for their vehicle. The most popular car colors are white, black and grey. These hues don’t help the value, but they also don’t hurt the value. The only downside to these common choices? Finding a white sedan among a sea of other white sedans in a crowded parking lot might be a challenge.
These are the Best Cars that are Easy to Get In and Out Of
September 14, 2022
Some car buyers might be more petite or have physical conditions that make it difficult to get in and out of a vehicle. Cars that sit higher off the ground can be easier to enter and exit. In addition, features like running boards can serve as a step to help those who have difficulty getting into and out of the vehicle. The cars that are easy to get in and out of might include SUVs, minivans and trucks. Here are a few vehicle recommendations for buyers who need a model that’s easier to enter and exit: * Toyota Sienna * Chrysler Pacifica * Honda Odyssey * Kia Carnival * Ford Bronco Badlands Sasquatch * Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk * Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro * Ford Expedition Timberline * Jeep Wrangler Rubicon LOOK FOR VEHICLES WITH A HIGHER GROUND CLEARANCE Buyers who have difficulty getting into (or out of) the vehicle could look for a model that sits higher off the ground. The vehicle’s ground clearance could allow buyers to easily slide into the front seat. Vehicles that sit lower to the ground might be harder to exit. Those with trouble bending could find lower vehicles difficult or cumbersome to get into or out of on a daily basis. In addition, crouching down to enter the car also could be painful for some individuals. The ideal height of a vehicle might vary per individual, though. While minivans and SUVs could sit higher off the ground, some buyers could find that they are too high. This also could be an issue. Cars that are Easy to Get In and Out Of [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Opt-for-Running-Boards.jpg] OPT FOR RUNNING BOARDS Running boards might be an upgraded option for SUVs and minivans. However, this feature could be useful for those with difficulty getting into (or out of) a vehicle. Running boards could be used as a step to aid entry and exit. These boards also could be installed as an aftermarket customization. Car and Driver rounded up a list of running board recommendations for car owners who are interested in installing this upgrade to their vehicle. Car owners can choose boards with a nonslip tread that can help provide extra grip during bad weather. Cars that are Easy to Get In and Out Of [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Minivans-Could-Be-a-Good-Option.jpg] MINIVANS COULD BE A GOOD OPTION Minivans tend to have a higher ground clearance than standard cars. For this reason, they could be a good choice for those who need a vehicle that’s easier to enter and exit. There are four minivan models available: * Chrysler Pacifica * Honda Odyssey * Kia Carnival * Toyota Sienna CHRYSLER PACIFICA The Pacifica is offered as a standard minivan and as a plug-in hybrid. The starting price for the standard Pacifica is $37,095. The 2022 Pacifica Hybrid starts at $46,978. The Pacifica does not come standard with running boards or a side step. The 2022 model can get up to 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway (22 MPG combined). It received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).The Pacifica has a ground clearance of a little more than five inches. HONDA ODYSSEY The 2023 Honda Odyssey starts at $37,340; it offers space for up to eight. The Odyssey also can get 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. The ground clearance for the 2022 Odyssey is 4.5 inches, slightly lower than the Pacifica. The 2022 Honda Odyssey received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. TOYOTA SIENNA The 2022 Toyota Sienna has a starting MSRP of $35,285; it offers a standard hybrid drivetrain and can get up to 36 MPG. According to Get Jerry, the standard ground clearance for the Sienna is 6.3 inches; this could make it a great model for those who need a higher minivan. In addition, the 2022 Sienna received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. KIA CARNIVAL The 2023 Kia Carnival has a starting MSRP of $32,900. It can get up to 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. The 2022 Carnival offers the best ground clearance of all the minivan models; the Carnival provides 6.8 inches of ground clearance. The 2022 Carnival received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (for models with specific headlights and built after March 2021) from IIHS. Buyers who need additional features to aid in getting in and getting out of their minivan, installing running boards could be an option. Some manufacturers might offer running boards as an upgraded feature or buyers could install them on their own. WHAT SUVS OFFER HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE Those who are interested in buying an SUV might be focused on ground clearance for off-road adventures. However, higher clearance SUVs also can be easier to enter and exit. Carfax rounded up the SUVs with the highest ground clearance. The five models that offered the most ground clearance included: * Land Rover Range Rover * Ford Bronco Badlands Sasquatch * Land Rover Defender * Land Rover Discovery * Land Rover Range Rover Sport With the exception of the Ford Bronco, all the models were produced by Land Rover. These models are considered luxury vehicles, and not all buyers might be able to splurge on a higher-priced vehicle. Other models on the list included the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Ford Expedition Timberline and Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro. AFFORDABLE HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE SUVS While four out of five of the SUVs on the Carfax list included Range Rover models, others on the list were more affordable. Buyers who need a car that sits higher off the ground could choose these SUVs. FORD BRONCO BADLANDS SASQUATCH The 2022 Bronco Badlands has a starting price of $44,495. However, this model is no longer available to order as it was so popular. The base model offers 8.4 inches of ground clearance. JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE TRAILHAWK The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has a starting MSRP of $37,545. The Trailhawk offers 11.3 inches of ground clearance. For some, this SUV might sit too high. They might opt for running boards to add a step up into the Trailhawk. JEEP WRANGLER RUBICON The 2022 Wrangler Rubicon has a starting MSRP of $46,195. The Rubicon also comes in a hybrid drivetrain; the hybrid offers 10.8 inches of ground clearance. FORD EXPEDITION TIMBERLINE The 2022 Ford Expedition Timberline starts at $70,450. However, the base Timberline starts at $53,375. The Timberline offers 10.6 inches of ground clearance, while the base model has slightly less than 10 inches of clearance. Both the base and the upgraded Timberline could be good options for those who need a higher vehicle. TOYOTA SEQUOIA TRD PRO The 2022 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro has a starting MSRP of $76,900. It offers a V6 hybrid engine and can get an estimated 19 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway; it offers three-rows of seats and space for seven. The TRD Pro provides 10 inches of ground clearance. VISIT THE DEALERSHIP TO TEST FAVORITE MODELS While ground clearance specs and even details like running boards could make some models easier to get into (and out of), car buyers might want to visit the dealership to sit in these vehicles to better understand the design. Some SUVs or minivans might not be comfortable. Others might not be high enough or the seat design could make getting into or out of the vehicle more difficult. Take a test drive of the model to better understand if it’s a good fit. OTHER OPTIONS FOR BUYERS WHO NEED HIGHER-CLEARANCE VEHICLES Vehicles with a higher clearance can be easier to enter and exit. However, vehicles that are too high also could pose a challenge to passengers that have difficulty climbing into a vehicle. Again, running boards could make entering a bit easier. Beyond minivans and SUVs, pickup trucks could be a higher vehicle that’s easier to get into. The most popular pickup trucks include the Ford F-Series, Dodge Ram and the Chevrolet Silverado. Some pickups could be difficult to find, especially since these vehicles are often in high demand. For example, Ford offered an electric F-150 called the Lightning. The model was so popular that Ford is no longer accepting orders. Chevrolet is introducing an electric Silverado, though. Buyers that are interested in a pickup truck that’s electric might make a reservation to ensure they receive one of the models. WHAT ABOUT SEDANS OR COMPACT VEHICLES? Those who need a car that’s easy to get into don’t necessarily need to choose a minivan, SUV or pickup truck. Some sedans or smaller cars could be easy to enter and exit. To find the best cars for their needs, buyers might research the ground clearance of models they like. However, the easiest way to find out if a model is a good fit is to visit the dealership and sit in the vehicle. Get in and get out of the model. Is it comfortable? Does the buyer find that it’s cumbersome to enter or exit? Every buyer might have their own personal preference as to what vehicle is easiest for them to drive and navigate. Getting into and getting out of a vehicle could be an issue for some drivers, too. Choosing vehicles that are higher off the ground or models that offer running boards could make exiting and getting into the vehicle easier and more comfortable.
When is the Best Time to Trade in a Car?
September 12, 2022
Have you been driving your current car for a while? Is it no longer the best fit for you? Whether it’s starting to show its age or just doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore, you do have options. For one thing, you could sell your car directly to another buyer. Or, even better yet, you could trade it in to a dealership and get a newer, better option at a reduced cost. Trade-ins are an excellent choice for many car owners. But, with that said, you should research this option thoroughly to determine if it’s right for you. If it is, then you’ll also need to choose your timing with care to land the best possible deal. UNDERSTANDING THE TRADE-IN PROCESS Before you can decide whether to trade or not, you have to fully understand how the trade-in process works. Essentially, a “trade” means that you sell your car to a dealer in exchange for a reduced price on a different vehicle. Often, you will be offered more trade-in value than cash. Furthermore, it’s typically much easier to find a dealer who accepts trade-ins than it is to find one who buys used cars outright. When you attempt a trade-in, the dealer will assess your vehicle and its value, which is based on many different factors. They will then determine how much of a trade-in value they are willing to offer you. If you like the offer, you can find a vehicle on the lot and then apply that value toward your vehicle purchase, making it more affordable. However, there are some tips that, if followed, can make a trade-in situation more favorable for you. DO YOUR RESEARCH Before you attempt a trade-in, do some research. Start by determining how much your vehicle is worth. Remember to consider its condition and whether or not it has been in any accidents. Also, keep in mind that values can vary based on where you live. Thus, you’ll want to compare the actual value of your vehicle to the average “going rate” for similar vehicles in your area. This can give you a good idea of what kind of trade-in offer you can reasonably expect. While it may be tempting to skip the research and just see what a dealer will offer you, don’t do it. Dealers want to offer the lowest possible trade-in amount they can get away with. They’re all about their bottom line. So, if you approach a trade-in meeting unprepared, you could end up accepting much less value than you actually deserve. Show up knowledgeable and informed, however, and you’re much more likely to walk away with a real bargain. When is the Best Time to Trade in a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Be-Prepared-to-Negotiate.jpg] BE PREPARED TO NEGOTIATE Once you’ve done your research, you should feel more confident stepping into the dealership. However, make sure you extend that confidence to your interactions with the dealer. Even when you arrive informed, your dealer may still offer you less of a value than you actually want. Thus, speaking up and standing your ground can work in your favor. Remember, if you have a desirable vehicle, there are other dealers who are willing to buy it. You don’t have to accept low offers or even any offer if you don’t want to. You should absolutely be reasonable in your dealings, but, if you are, don’t be afraid to hold out for what you really want. DO SOME COMPARISON SHOPPING Speaking of “holding out,” try not to accept the very first offer you receive unless it’s truly amazing. Even then, you’d probably be better served by looking into all the possibilities. Different dealers have different “wish lists” when it comes to vehicles. One dealer might be merely willing to accept your car as a trade-in while another would jump at the chance and make you an offer that shows it. Furthermore, dealers often run special trade-in offers or incentives that can be beneficial to you. So, take your time, speak with different dealers in your area and beyond, and don’t settle until you find something awesome. GET YOUR VEHICLE IN TIP-TOP SHAPE As another pre-trade-in tip, do everything you can to make your vehicle as appealing as possible to the dealership. After all, the better and more valuable your vehicle appears, the more likely it is you will get a better offer. Start with the surface stuff first. Clean your car inside and outside. Make it look its very best. Once you’ve done that, you can progress to more serious matters. Consider investing in fixing cosmetic or mechanical issues that can lower value. Just keep in mind that the value you’ll receive for fixing these should exceed what you pay to do so. In short, try to make your car as desirable as possible without taking a loss in the process. When is the Best Time to Trade in a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Know-the-Tax-Laws-in-Your-State.jpg] KNOW THE TAX LAWS IN YOUR STATE Sales tax can easily raise the price of any purchase. Fortunately, in the vast majority of states, you’ll be required only to pay taxes on the actual net cost of the vehicle. In other words, you should only be taxed on the actual amount you pay, after the trade-in amount has been applied. This can help you save even more money and is a great advantage of opting for a trade-in rather than an outright sale. Most dealers are well aware of the laws in the state in which they conduct business. Unfortunately, though, there are some unscrupulous sellers that may try to charge you more sales tax than you actually owe, which is why it’s best if you’re informed as well. And, word to the wise, if a dealer does try to charge you more sales tax than they should, you may want to take this as a sign to handle your trade-in elsewhere. GET ORGANIZED As you prepare for your impending trade-in, take some time to gather all the documentation you’re likely to need. This can vary based on where you live and the dealer you’re dealing with. Usually, though, it will include your title and registration and proof that you have paid off the vehicle. There are some dealers who can take a car that’s not paid off in full, so if you’re going that route, be prepared to provide documentation related to your auto loan. Finally, gather any maintenance or repair bills you have related to your vehicle. This can serve as proof that the car has been well-cared for, which could help you obtain a higher trade-in value. REMEMBER THAT TIMING IS EVERYTHING Following the above advice should help you greatly. But, with that in mind, know that timing is everything. To start, you must trade in your vehicle at a time that’s right for you. Can you afford a new car payment, particularly if it’s more than your old one? Are you ready for a new type or style of car? These are things you have to think about when timing your trade-in. Outside of the personal, though, there are some more practical matters to consider. When is the Best Time to Trade in a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Warranties.jpg] WARRANTIES So, when is the best time to trade in a car? The answer will vary based on who you ask, but most would agree that it’s before (ideally well before) its factory warranties have expired. Warranties differ greatly from car to car, but you should know all the details of yours. And, if you can, you should trade-in your car before they go defunct. Dealers tend to value warrantied cars more, which usually spells higher trade-in values. SEASONS Many car owners are surprised to find that vehicle value can fluctuate with the seasons. If you have a sturdy SUV with snow tires or all-wheel drive, for example, it might just go for more near the end of fall or the beginning of the winter season when people are more concerned about treacherous weather conditions. Sportier, lighter cars, on the other hand, tend to fare better at the end of spring or the start of summer. It might seem silly, but assessing your car’s “best season” may just help you time your trade-in dealings appropriately. AGE Finally, if you really want to score a sweet trade-in deal, don’t let your car get too old. It is true that vehicles lose value the second you drive them off the lot. However, they tend to lose a lot of value after about four years of ownership. Thus, try to sell your vehicle off when you’ve paid all or most of your loan but before it gets too old to be highly desirable. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Ultimately, trading in your car can be a wise move. But, if you want things to go in your favor, you need to prepare ahead of time. You also have to time your trade-in correctly. By following these tips, though, you should be well on your way to a successful trade-in experience.
What is the Best Subaru for Camping?
September 9, 2022
Subaru offers affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles and many models also score high for safety. While affordability, fuel efficiency and safety are the three key factors that might influence a millennial buyer, the choice for a vehicle also can focus on driving habits. Some buyers need a vehicle for road trip adventures; they might want a car that offers enough cargo space to accommodate a makeshift bed in the back for car camping. Others might need a vehicle that is capable of towing their camper. What is the best Subaru for camping? The brand’s SUV lineup is the best choice for campers. Subaru offers four SUVs/crossovers: * Crosstrek * Forester * Outback * Ascent SUBARU’S LINEUP ISN’T EXTENSIVE Buyers who are loyal to Subaru might know that the brand doesn’t offer an extensive lineup of vehicles. Those who are new to shopping Subaru will discover that beyond the four SUV models, Subaru only offers four other vehicles, which include two sedans (the Impreza and the Legacy) and two sports cars (the BRZ and the WRX). Subaru doesn’t offer a pickup truck and it also doesn’t produce a minivan. While the brand doesn’t offer any models with a hybrid drivetrain, the 2023 lineup features a new electric SUV model called the Solterra. The Solterra will have a starting MSRP of $44,995. The two-row SUV offers space for five and will have an estimated range of 228 miles. Could the new electric model be conducive for car camping? Car and Driver reports that the Solterra provides 30 cubic feet of cargo space (when the rear seats are dropped down). While it could be spacious enough for two people to sleep in the back, the sleeping space might be snug. There are no available specs related to towing (as of yet). [https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/O72S3qfuz0fLuw6h4l5llsxa0dbFz7jVPWzv0D4s-Yk9JxP1MWOA4B733KprFS_uCc2-eBB3KhP_P5rHxPyoS5jtqW6DO_97lUn00QJG0e-qdOCDNWsBmF7Cu8o5gxSW115nAV6NHgOfA-m1zD5rDroNHUZaXDErPcYqDHBUSjQqjjUNpeMzDW6m4w] ABOUT THE BEST SUBARU MODELS FOR CAMPING Those who are interested in an electric SUV could opt to purchase a new Solterra, but those who are fine with trips to the pump have several SUV options from Subaru’s lineup. 2023 CROSSTREK The Subaru Crosstrek is a crossover. It has two rows of seats and space for five. The compact Crosstrek also is affordable, with a starting MSRP of $23,645. For those who want to use the Crosstrek for camping, the model offers 20.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row (for gear and luggage). With the second row folded, the Crosstrek can include up to 55.3 cubic feet of cargo space. For taller individuals, sleeping in the back might mean that stretching out isn’t really an option. The Crosstrek also has a limited towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. However, those who need to pack a tent and their gear will have plenty of space in the Crosstrek. In addition, the model offers decent fuel efficiency for longer road trips—it can get 33 MPG on the highway and 28 MPG in the city. The 2022 Crosstrek received a Top Safety Pick award/rating (with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 2022 FORESTER The Forester is a compact SUV that features two rows of seating and space for five. It starts at $25,895. The Forester offers more cargo space than the Crosstrek, which means it could be a better option for those interested in using their SUV for car camping. The model offers 28.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, but this expands to 74.2 cubic feet when the second row is folded. However, like the Crosstrek, the Forester has a limited towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. The Forester also is slightly less fuel efficient than the Crosstrek; the Forester can get up to 26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The 2022 Forester received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. 2023 SUBARU OUTBACK The 2023 Outback starts at $28,395; it offers two rows of seating and space for five. It’s larger than the Crosstrek and the Forester and would be a good option for those who want to camp in their car. The Outback offers 32.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row (plenty of space for gear and a tent). When the second row is folded, the space expands to 75.6 cubic feet. The Outback also offers more towing power. It can pull up to 2,700 pounds and can get up to 26 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. The 2022 Subaru Outback received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. 2022 SUBARU ASCENT The Ascent is Subaru’s largest SUV model and offers three rows of seating and space for up to eight. The Ascent has a starting MSRP of $32,795. With three rows of space, the back cargo area offers 43.5 cubic feet of space for gear and other necessities. With both rows dropped down, the cargo area expands to 75.6 cubic feet. However, this is the same amount of space offered by the Crosstrek (when the second row is folded. The Ascent might offer the same cargo space as the Crosstrek, but it does provide more towing power. For those that need to tow a camper or a boat, the Ascent offers a towing capacity of 2,000 to 5,000 pounds (depending on the trim). The Ascent can get 21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. The 2022 Subaru Ascent received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. ARE SUBARU’S SEDANS GOOD FOR CAMPING? Subaru offers four other models in its lineup. Two of those are sports or performance cars, and the Impreza and Legacy are sedans. The 2022 Impreza starts at $19,295, which makes it an affordable option for those who might have a smaller car budget. The Impreza offers decent fuel efficiency, too—28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. While the standard Impreza doesn’t offer towing power or much space for sleeping, for those who want to camp in their car, the Impreza also is offered in a five-door model. This particular trim provides 55.3 cubic feet of space if the back seats are folded. Since the Impreza offers good fuel efficiency, it could still be a great choice for road trips and should offer enough space for packing a tent and additional gear. Even with the larger trim, the back seat could be a bit cramped for car camping (although car owners could try it out). The Subaru Legacy is the brand’s other sedan, and it’s larger than the Impreza. The Legacy has a starting MSRP of $23,495.Like the Impreza, the Legacy also gets decent fuel efficiency—27 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. However, the Legacy only offers 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space. The Legacy received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS. Buyers might find that both the Impreza and the Legacy offer good fuel efficiency for road trips, but car camping in these models might be snug; the Legacy doesn’t really offer back seat space for those who want to sleep in their car. The Best Subaru for Camping [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/The-Best-Subaru-for-Camping.jpg] THE BEST SUBARU FOR CAMPING Buyers have four choices of Subaru SUVs/crossovers that could be used for camping. Several of the models provide limited towing capacity, though. The back seat space of the Forester, Outback and Ascent could offer enough room for sleeping. These might be the best models for car camping. However, all the models from Subaru are great options for stowing tents and other gear. Subaru’s models offer decent fuel efficiency and all the models might be affordable for longer road trips. While the brand’s sedans don’t offer extensive back seat space, they, again, provide enough cargo space for camping equipment. OLDER SUBARU MODELS FOR CAMPING Buyers on a budget also could look for older Subaru models. Subaru’s past lineup once included pickup trucks. Buyers might be able to find a 2006 Subaru Baja pickup truck (or an older Baja) when shopping used/pre-owned models; pickups offer an open bed that provides plenty of cargo space for all types of gear. Since the Baja was produced more than 15 years old, buyers might only find vehicles with higher mileage. Subaru also made a van that looked similar to Volkswagen’s microbus. The Subaru van was called the 360, and it’s not the easiest model to procure. The 360 also doesn’t offer much speed, although it would be an interesting option for campers. Car buyers might have their own checklist as to what makes the ideal camping vehicle. Some buyers might need towing power to pull a camper (or maybe a boat). Others prefer to camp in their car and need cargo room for creating a back seat bed. Some campers just want a car that offers enough trunk or cargo space for packing up their tent and gear. They might focus on fuel efficiency to ensure that their road trips don’t break the bank in trips to the pump. Subaru offers several SUVs that are fuel-efficient, budget friendly and safe; buyers can research these models to find the best one for their camping adventures.
These are the Best Car Technology Features
September 7, 2022
Technology has changed daily life. The Internet of Things now allows consumers to have a ‘smart home,’ and cars have grown smarter, too. New technological features now dwarf the features of the past. Older drivers probably remember the days when a tape deck in a car was a high-end upgrade. The tech features of today’s cars help make the drive easier, safer and more comfortable. What are the best car technology features that new car drivers can enjoy? Check out these options and standard features: * Backup/front-end cameras * Augmented reality displays * Massaging seats * Personal assistants * Memory seats * Rain-sensing wipers * Advanced safety systems and warnings CAMERAS TO WATCH ALL ANGLES Backing up out of a tight parking spot used to be stressful. Drivers looked over their shoulder glancing behind them in both directions to make sure another car wasn’t coming. Drivers also had to be mindful of their turning radius and their proximity to the cars on either side of them. Modern cars now take the pain out of parking and backing out of those spaces. Some cars actually offer self-parking technology that helps drivers navigate into a parallel parking space. However, all cars now come standard with backup cameras; these cameras became standard in 2018. These show the environment behind the car and can make backing out of a parking space much more simplistic. In addition, many models also include optional (or maybe even standard) front or all over cameras to give the driver even more data about their car and its surroundings. Some cars even alert the driver if they are getting too close to another car or stop the car. All these cameras can help decrease the odds of an accident and can improve the safety of both the driver and other vehicles and pedestrians, too. AUGMENTED REALITY DISPLAYS PROVIDE MORE DATA TO THE DRIVER Today’s models offer an infotainment screen that shows the view of the backup camera or details other information for the driver. However, some makes/models now offer a high-tech augmented reality heads-up display. Driving data is displayed in augmented reality via the windshield. The driver can note their speed, see directional arrows and understand road hazards, too. Audi offers an augmented reality display in its Q4 e-tron. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz EQS offers similar augmented reality tech. MASSAGING SEATS ADD COMFORT TO THE RIDE The front seats of vehicles have improved through the years. Now, though, some manufacturers are offering luxury features in the front seat like massaging technology. While a massage during the commute could distract some drivers, this feature could just be used in the parking lot before heading on the highway. Massage technology could add some relaxation to a stressful commute. The feature also could be respite after a long day sitting at a desk. For car buyers that consider this feature a ‘must have,’ Kelley Blue Book (KBB) rounded up a list of all the models that feature massage seats. Brands that offer this feature include: * Audi * BMW * Cadillac * Ford * Lincoln * Porsche * Land Rover * Mercedes-Benz * Volvo Best Car Technology [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Personal-Assistants-Might-Answer-Any-Command-in-the-Car.jpg] PERSONAL ASSISTANTS MIGHT ANSWER ANY COMMAND IN THE CAR Personal assistants have become part of tech devices; Apple has Siri, Amazon offers Alexa, Google has its own assistant, too. Now even car brands are offering their own personal assistants. These AI resources might be able to perform various commands automatically with a simple audible prompt. These assistants might offer different features depending on the manufacturer, but car buyers will notice that the virtual car assistant is becoming more of a trend. MEMORY SEATS REMEMBER EVERY DRIVER’S PERFECT SETTINGS Sharing a car between multiple drivers means that each driver might have to readjust the seat when they get behind the wheel. While some models have easy to maneuver power seats, others rely on multiple manual levers to adjust the driver’s seat. Many models now offer memory seats. This feature actually stores the perfect seat setting for each driver. When a new driver gets into the seat, they don’t have to worry about dealing with all those seat adjustments. The car will do it for them. RAIN-SENSING WIPERS TURN ON AUTOMATICALLY Sometimes rain showers come on quickly. Some showers might just be a bit of drizzle, while others could be a full downpour. With rain-sensing wipers, the driver no longer has to turn on their windshield wipers. Once the wipers sense moisture, they automatically turn on. No more reaching for the controls or fumbling for the speed. Best Car Technology [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Advanced-Safety-Features-Help-Improve-Safety.jpg] ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES HELP IMPROVE SAFETY Drivers know to check their blind spot before moving into another lane. Sometimes a car can enter the driver’s blind spot quickly, and this could pose an accident risk. Many models now offer advanced safety systems that warn a driver when another vehicle has entered their blind spot. The car might make a noise to ensure the driver is aware. Front-collision warnings/alerts and pedestrian alerts work in a similar fashion. However, front-collision warnings might even automatically brake the car when to avoid an accident. Pedestrian warning systems alert the driver, too. Some models also offer cross-traffic warnings. This is useful when a driver is backing out of a parking spot; the alert will sound if another car is coming up behind the vehicle. SOME MODELS OFFER HIGH-END COOL TECHNOLOGY Luxury manufacturers might offer some very unique high-tech features. For example, Rolls Royce lets buyers create a star pattern on the ceiling of their vehicle. These stars are little lights, and they can be arranged in any constellation or pattern. This feature is called the Starlight Roof Headliner. Nissan is currently working on advanced technology for their vehicles. The technology is called Invisible to Visible (I2V). The technology will allow for avatars to sit in the car to guide the drive, provide companionship or to give recommendations. I2V also will alert drivers about upcoming obstacles and help them find parking spots, too. Not only can the technology let friends or family appear in the car as avatars, but I2V also can superimpose imagery over windows in the car to transform a dreary day into a sky that’s blue. The technology that could transform driving in the future is the possibility of self-driving vehicles. While electric vehicles might allow for some features that aid the drive, no consumer vehicle offers a fully autonomous option. Tesla notes to its owners that its Autopilot option still requires drivers to be engaged in the drive and aware at all times; the manufacturer explains that Autopilot doesn’t mean the car is self-driving (or autonomous). Self-driving ride hailing services are currently being tested in some areas; in fact, those living in San Francisco can now hail a self-driving taxi. However, self-driving cars aren’t an option for consumers to purchase. Could self-driving or autonomous cars be the future? It’s possible, but manufacturers could have a long way to go before all cars become self-driving. THE RISE OF ELECTRIC One of the high-tech features that drivers might now take for granted is the electric vehicle. These models are now becoming a popular choice for drivers who are ready to part ways with the gas pump. Each year, manufacturers are introducing different electric options. Electric pickup trucks and SUVs are hitting the roads. Tesla even introduced the new futuristic and sleek Cybertruck, although the model is still in production. Ford’s new F-150 electric Lightning was so popular that buyers can no longer place an order. Chevrolet has announced its new electric Silverado, and those who want to purchase one can now make a reservation. The electric Silverado is expected to have an estimated range of 400 miles. TECH DRIVERS MIGHT TAKE FOR GRANTED There are many high-tech functions in many cars that buyers might have taken for granted over the years. For example, most modern cars are now compatible with devices and can stream music and even make calls, too. Not all models come standard with cruise control, and this is a feature that many drivers might have come to take for granted. Set a speed and then take the foot off the gas. The tech simplifies the drive especially during long-distance journeys. Drivers might use this feature when their feet become fatigued. Drivers also now receive more information about their car than ever. Yes, there are still the standard warning lights about low oil or engine issues. However, now cars might alert drivers as to which door is ajar or even that they need to change their oil. Drivers can even check their oil life. As new 2023 models drive into the inventory at dealerships, buyers might have even more high-tech offerings. AS tech improves, car buyers might see these advancements weave into the drive. As backup cameras went from an upgraded feature to a vehicle standard, other features could become standard, too. Buyers also might find that luxury models offer high-tech features that they didn’t know existed. From a starlit roof to virtual assistants, technology in cars is elevating the driving experience.