Five Reasons to Finance a Car through a Bank
The majority of car buyers finance their purchase with a car loan. There are a number of ways to secure a loan, though. Car buyers can visit the dealership to get financed, they can use an online site to find financing or they can get financed through a bank. The latter option is often the best option. In fact, there are five reasons to finance through a bank: * Banks could offer better interest rates * The experience may be more personable * Car buyers can shop around * The dealership visit can be shorter * Financing in hand gives buyers an easy out at the dealership DEALERSHIPS MIGHT UPCHARGE THAT INTEREST RATE Buyers might find that applying for financing at the dealership is incredibly convenient. This could allow buyers to just pick out their car and then get financed. While allowing the dealership to help find financing for the vehicle is convenient, it also could be more expensive. In some situations, the dealership might tack on a few percentage points to the bank’s interest rate for assisting with the financing. This is a fairly common practice. Those extra percentage points might mean more money for the dealership, but it also causes buyers to pay more each month for their vehicle. Dealership also could add in extra amenities into the loan, too. Real Car Tips explains that they could include warranties or GAP insurance. Finance a Car through a Bank [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-and-Why-Financing-From-a-Bank-Can-Benefit-Buyers.jpg] HOW AND WHY FINANCING FROM A BANK CAN BENEFIT BUYERS Securing a loan from a bank to purchase a vehicle allows car buyers to visit the dealership with their financing lined up. This enables them to know exactly how much they can spend and stick to that budget. Before visiting the dealership, though, buyers might want to use a car payment calculator to enter in their loan terms and work out how different car prices would impact the payment. Just because a buyer is approved for a specific loan amount doesn’t mean they have to borrow the maximum amount extended to them. Shopping for a less expensive car also could help buyers who might not have a lot of money for a down payment. While the loan covers the purchase price, Nerdwallet explains that the buyer needs to abide by the lender’s terms. The terms of the loan could stipulate a specific down payment and/or mileage and age of the vehicle. In addition, buyers also need to prepare for any tax that they might owe for their purchase. While buyers might be able to roll sales tax into the loan, this isn’t always an option. Buyers might be stuck with the full bill and the amount could be due before they are allowed to title or register their vehicle. Finance a Car through a Bank [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Do-Banks-Offer-Better-Interest-Rates.jpg] DO BANKS OFFER BETTER INTEREST RATES? Dealerships can tack up a few percentage points for handling the loan search, and these extra points could impact that monthly payment. When applying for financing at a bank, though, interest rates that are offered to a borrower are typically cut and dry. The process to get pre-qualified also is pretty simple. The bank will run a credit check to review the individual’s credit score and credit report. Loan terms and interest rates may rely on this information. Those with high credit scores might secure the best rates and terms. Car buyers can visit the bank that they use personally or that they have financed with in the past. Perhaps the bank is their mortgage lender. Buyers can go through the pre-approval process to better understand the interest rates and terms for which they might qualify. This helps them also understand their potential car budget. A MORE PERSONABLE EXPERIENCE AT THE BANK Getting pre-approved for a car loan at a bank or credit union could be a more personable experience for buyers. Banks aren’t trying to sell anything, and buyers don’t have to worry about unusual markups or charges. While all consumers need to review the rates and terms of a loan, borrowers can ask the bank to explain any unclear details of the loan and/or the monthly payment obligations. Most loan officers, though, are pretty good about explaining all these details. In addition, if the rates at the bank aren’t great, the individual can move on. CAR BUYERS CAN SHOP AROUND Getting pre-approved for a car loan at a bank is considered a hard credit inquiry and it will slightly impact a consumer’s credit score. However, this inquiry is necessary for banks and credit unions to better understand an individual’s risk or creditworthiness. Nerdwallet recommends that buyers get pre-approved from two to three lenders. The site notes that if the credit inquiries for these lenders are made around the same time, they will hit the credit score as one inquiry. Getting multiple loan quotes allows buyers to find the lender and the loan with the best interest rate and terms. A SHORTER DEALERSHIP VISIT When buyers are pre-approved for financing, they can go into the dealership visit without worrying about the financing portion of the deal. This can allow the buyer to sit down with the sales team member and find the car that they want at the price they can afford. The dealership visit can focus on taking a test drive and finding the car with the ideal features that satisfies the needs of the buyer. Finance a Car through a Bank [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Pre-Approved-Financing.jpg] PRE-APPROVED FINANCING CAN LET BUYERS AVOID SALES PRESSURE When buyers visit the dealership and have already been pre-approved for financing by a bank, the loan serves as the maximum price they are able to spend on their vehicle. Nerdwallet explains that this can give buyers an out for any upselling that the sales team member might try to push. When an extended warranty or other options push the car’s price too high, the buyer can just decline based on what they know about their financing. Getting pre-approved at a bank can provide more power and more buying confidence for the consumer. SOMETIMES THE DEALERSHIP CAN BEAT THE BANK’S RATES Getting financed with the help of a dealership isn’t always a bad deal. In fact, dealerships might be able to help a buyer secure financing that is better than what the bank could offer. Some dealerships might have a promotion for a 0 percent interest rate for qualified buyers. While these special promotions could require the loan to be a certain length, the 0 percent interest rate can be unbeatable. If the terms are right and the buyer can afford the payments, they will have a loan that allows them to pay only the principal on the car each month. Before getting too excited about 0 percent offers, though, buyers might need to ask about the qualifications and the terms. Some buyers might qualify but the monthly payments could be too high. HOW MUCH CAR CAN I AFFORD? Getting pre-approved for financing at a bank lets buyers know how much they can spend at the dealership. However, buyers don’t have to max out their loan. Nerdwallet recommends that buyers allocate less than 10 percent of their take-home pay for the actual car payment. However, the site notes that buyers should allocate less than 20 percent of take home pay for total car expenses (insurance, fuel, etc.). Knowing these recommendations can further help buyers understand their monthly budget. While, yes, the pre-approval helps them understand the bottom line budget, they still need to think about the cost of insuring the vehicle as well as other costs of car ownership. If the car payment plus those fuel and insurance costs seems to tip the scale, buyers might opt to purchase a less expensive car. Again, buyers don’t have to spend every cent for which they are approved. SAVE FOR TAXES AND OTHER FEES The bank may provide financing for the car loan, but buyers still have other costs related to that purchase. In some cases, the sales tax from the vehicle purchase cannot be rolled into the loan. The buyer might need to pay those costs in full before they can title or register their vehicle. Sales tax can be a big expense if the buyer isn’t prepared for it. In addition, buyers also need to pay for the registration and other fees (these, however, are typically not too expensive). Not all states charge sales tax for the purchase of a vehicle, so this is an expense that won’t affect buyers across the country. A TRADE-IN CAN HELP LOWER COSTS A lender might have stipulations related to a down payment when extending a loan offer. However, buyers can further decrease their purchase price if they offer a trade-in. Before visiting a dealership, buyers should use Kelley Blue Book (KBB) to research the price of their trade-in vehicle. KBB will ask the owner for the VIN or make/model. The site also will prompt the owner for details related to the car’s trim, features and condition. Car owners should be honest about the car’s condition. Otherwise the value estimate from KBB won’t be accurate. The purpose of researching the value of the vehicle is to find out if offers from the dealership are in line with the average trade-in value. Understanding the value of a trade-in can be a point of negotiation for buyers. If a dealership offers a low price for the trade-in, buyers might visit a different dealership or enter into negotiations to attempt to raise the price of the trade-in. DO BANKS OFFER THE BEST CAR FINANCING? There are a number of reasons why car buyers might consider getting pre-approved for financing through a bank. A bank or credit union might offer better terms and interest rates, the experience could be more personable and visiting the dealership with financing could give more power to the buyer. The bank doesn’t necessarily always offer the best rates, though. In some cases, the dealership might offer a 0 percent interest rate or even better terms. When it comes to financing a vehicle, buyers should shop around to ensure they find the best terms and interest rates.
Small SUVs Ranked by Towing Capacity
Sports utility vehicles (aka SUVs) are offered in small, midsize and full-size models. Larger models could be popular choices for those who need space for lots of passengers or individuals who need a decent amount of cargo room and strength for towing, too. Yet, car buyers who need to tow a small camper or a kayak but who can’t afford to spend the price for a large SUV model or who maybe don’t feel comfortable navigating such a large model could opt for a small SUV instead. Here are all the moderately-priced small SUVs ranked by towing capacity. A ROUNDUP OF ALL THE MODELS There are almost a dozen small SUV models on the market. Price ranges vary, but most hover in the mid-$20K range. Models offer similar towing capacities, too. Here are all the models sorted by maximum towing capacity (least to greatest). * 2021 Nissan Rogue MSRP: $26,050 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Towing Capacity: 1,350 pounds * 2022 GMC Terrain MSRP: $27,900 Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Chevrolet Equinox MSRP: $25,800 Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Honda CR-V MSRP: $25,750 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan MSRP: $25,995 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick (for 2021) Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds * 2022 Ford Escape MSRP: $26,010 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 1,500 to 3,500 pounds * 2022 Subaru Forester MSRP: $25,195 Towing Capacity: 1,500 to 3,000 pounds * 2022 Kia Sportage MSRP: $24,090 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 1,653 pounds * 2021 Mazda CX-5 MSRP: $25,370 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Towing Capacity: 2,000 pounds * 2022 Hyundai Tucson MSRP: $25,350 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Towing Capacity: 2,000 pounds * 2021 Toyota RAV4 MSRP: $26,350 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Towing Capacity: 2,500 pounds THE SMALL SUV WITH THE BEST TOWING CAPACITY Car buyers looking for the best small SUV for towing have several choices. Both the Ford Escape and the Subaru Forester offer a towing capacity that varies from 1,500 pounds to 3,000 and the RAV4 offers a maximum towing capacity of 2,500 pounds. The Escape and the RAV4 also both received Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In addition, all three models are comparable in price. The Subaru Forester is the least expensive option with a base price of $25,195. Small SUVs Ranked by Towing Capacity [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Do-Other-Models-Pull-Their-Weight.jpg] DO OTHER MODELS PULL THEIR WEIGHT? The other remaining models offer around the same towing capacity—about 1,500 to 2,000 pounds. The Nissan Rogue offers the lowest towing capacity, pulling only 1,350 pounds. Since models are quite comparable in their towing capacity, buyers might look at price and safety or other features to guide their final purchase decision. The Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue and Mazda CX-5 were rated the highest in safety by the IIHS, with a Top Safety Pick+ rating. Small SUVs are not designed, however, to tow massive loads. While these models could be fine pulling kayaks, canoes or other lighter items, they aren’t the option for buyers who need to pull large campers. Buyers may need to upgrade to a midsize model SUV, if they want a bit more power for towing. Luxury models like the Audi Q5 or the Land Rover Discovery Sport could be great choices—both can tow more than 4,400 pounds. The 2022 Audi Q5 received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS; the model has a base price of $45,600. The Jeep Cherokee is the best mid-sized option for towing, though. The Cherokee can pull 4,500 pounds. The Cherokee also is moderately priced at $27,890. WEIGHING THE BEST OPTIONS Buyers might not be sure which model is right for their needs. With so many options with similar specs, it becomes a bit more difficult to find the best choice. Ultimately, the choice may come down to budget and the price that the buyer is willing to spend or can afford to spend. New models may be more expensive than used models. Used luxury models, however, could be priced higher. When setting a budget for a new car, though, experts recommend spending less than 10 percent of monthly take home pay on that monthly car payment, and the total cost of transportation should be kept to less than 20 percent of monthly take home pay. What is take-home pay? This is the amount that is left from a paycheck after taxes and other deductions (like medical insurance). Take-home pay is not the total salary an individual earns. Transportation costs related to car ownership include the monthly payment, the price of fuel (or electricity for eco models) and car insurance. In total, these expenses make up the price of the car each month. Car buyers tend to focus on simply the monthly payment when budgeting for a new car. They need to remember, though, that a new car might cost more to insure, which means monthly premiums might increase. Fuel needs also may be different. Small SUVs may be more fuel efficient than larger models. However, if a car owner is used to driving a small car, they may face increased costs at the pump by upgrading to a small SUV. For buyers that don’t know how much they may be able to secure in financing, Nerdwallet offers an easy tool to calculate how much a buyer could borrow based on their income and credit score. When using Nerdwallet’s tool, remember to follow the guidelines based on take-home pay. Small SUVs Ranked by Towing Capacity [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Shopping-During-a-Supply-Crunch.jpg] SHOPPING DURING A SUPPLY CRUNCH Some buyers prefer new vehicles, but others are looking for the best price among pre-owned options. Buying new or used cars could just be a preference. When shopping used inventory, the age, mileage, make/model and condition all could impact the price of the vehicle. However, another major factor also can play a role: supply. When supply is low, buyers might not have much selection. Prices also could be higher. Car dealerships have faced times where car lots are nearly empty. When this happens, the buyer might have to purchase what they can find. This can make finding the best vehicle much harder, and it might be more difficult to find thrifty options, too. During times of supply crunch, buyers may need to do their research ahead of time. If they’re looking for a small SUV for towing, they may need to review all the options and have a backup plan in place. For those who really want a RAV4, they may be flexible and shop for a Honda CR-V. Many small SUVs are comparable in price and towing capacity. Buyers may have a brand loyalty or preference, but when supply is tight buyers may need to make a few concessions. Buyers shopping during a supply drought should know their needs, and have multiple backup models on their list in case their top choice is nowhere to be found on the lot. They also may research brands they’ve never purchased. Maybe a buyer is unfamiliar with Kia but knows that the brand offers a small SUV. Visit the manufacturer’s sites to learn all about the models. Then visit the IIHS and research safety ratings. EXPLORING THE OPTIONS ONLINE Many buyers begin their research process online. Sites like Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and IIHS can help buyers find specs and prices as well as safety data on the models that interest them. Dealership sites are the best destinations for uncovering available inventory. In addition, buyers may want to see what types of incentives and promotions each dealership is offering. RelayCars also can help buyers explore cars from home via augmented reality and 3D imagery. RelayCars offers an immersive library of thousands of cars. Just choose the model that the buyer wants to view and begin exploring. RelayCars gives users the option to view the vehicle via a 3D image or in augmented reality. With 3D images, the user can rotate a model image of the vehicle in 360 degrees; view the car from any angle. They also can choose to view the model in different paint colors. With augmented reality, the user can choose where they want to view the vehicle. Augmented reality uses the camera of a smartphone or tablet to superimpose an image of the vehicle in the user’s own environment. View the car in a bedroom, in the garage or see how it looks in the driveway. The car is displayed in full scale, and, using the camera function of the device, an individual can actually walk around the vehicle. This gives users an immersive way to explore the vehicle. Auto brands also could offer immersive augmented reality experiences. When buyers are researching their vehicle options, they can visit the manufacturer’s websites to explore any augmented or virtual reality viewing experiences. In addition, buyers also can visit YouTube to check out any videos about their favorite models. Some dealerships offer virtual test drives via YouTube. These videos can help buyers get a better understanding of the vehicle. Buyers who are only focused on the towing capacity of a small SUV, though, may find that their options are very similar in price and perhaps design, too. Using third-party sites and resources can help buyers gain more information about their options, especially if they need to have multiple backup options on their list during times of inventory shortages.
Top 10 Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage
Nothing beats the feeling of hitting the open road behind the wheel of a sports car. This is a dream for so many people, but if you’re thinking about buying a sports car, you may have some reservations. For example, you may assume that all sports cars are gas guzzlers, but that’s not the case. You don’t have to choose between a fast, fun car and a car that gets good gas mileage. As it turns out, you can have both. Here are the top 10 sports cars with great gas mileage: Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Honda-Civic-Si.jpg] HONDA CIVIC SI A Honda Civic probably isn’t the first vehicle that comes to mind when you think of sports cars. It’s true that the standard Honda Civic is a traditional sedan, but the Honda Civic SI is an exceptional sports car. The base model comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is capable of producing up to 205 horsepower. A turbocharged engine is also available on higher trim levels. Most models are designed with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), however you can opt for a six-speed manual transmission if you prefer. Even though the Honda Civic SI is a fast sports car with crisp handling, it is surprisingly fuel efficient. You can expect to get about 32 miles per gallon in the city and 42 miles per gallon on the highway behind the wheel of a Civic SI. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Chevrolet-Camaro.jpg] CHEVROLET CAMARO The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most famous classic American sports cars. It also happens to be one of the most fuel efficient. If you’re in a Chevy Camaro, you can drive about 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway before you need to refuel. Even though the Camaro is fuel efficient, it is designed with all of the hallmarks of a sports car. You can choose from a wide range of powerful V6 and V8 engines, including one that produces up to 650 horsepower. However, this engine is not available on the base model, which comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces up to 275 horsepower. This vehicle also goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just over five seconds, so you can hit the ground, or in this case, the road, running. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Mazda-Miata.jpg] MAZDA MIATA The Mazda Miata is a sporty convertible that offers passengers a fun and smooth ride. Don’t let its sporty look fool you, though. This vehicle is far more fuel efficient than it may seem. In fact, it’s one of the most fuel efficient sports cars on the market. You can get up to 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway in a Miata. The Miata only seats up to two adults, so some people may find the interior a little cramped. However, it is built with a number of features to make your ride more enjoyable, including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a user-friendly infotainment system. If you want to make your Miata look even sportier, opt for one of the Appearance Packages, which will add a spoiler, rear diffuser, and front air dam to your vehicle. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Toyota-Supra.jpg] TOYOTA SUPRA Toyota discontinued the Supra in 2002 but then relaunched it in 2020 due to an increase in consumer demand. Like the Miata, the Toyota Supra is a two-seater, so it’s not as spacious as some of the other sports cars on this list. Its small size is one of the many reasons why this vehicle is so fuel efficient. The Supra gets an average of 24 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway. The Supra also accelerates faster than many other sports cars on the market. You can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in an astonishing 3.8 seconds. You can choose from a number of different engines for your Supra. However, the base model comes with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that is capable of producing up to 335 horsepower. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Hyundai-Veloster.jpg] HYUNDAI VELOSTER The Hyundai Veloster, which is a hatchback coupe, is not as well known as some of the other vehicles on this list. However, it’s one of the most impressive and fuel efficient sports cars available today. The Veloster has a starting price of just under $19,000, which makes it ideal for sports car lovers who are shopping for a new car with a smaller budget. This vehicle gets up to 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway, so you won’t need to spend a lot on gas, either. The base model comes with a lackluster engine, so it’s recommended that you upgrade to the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine if you’re looking for more power. This engine is capable of producing up to 201 horsepower. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Ford-Mustang.jpg] FORD MUSTANG The Ford Mustang is another classic American muscle car that gets great gas mileage. You can expect to get up to 21 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway behind the wheel of a Mustang. The Mustang seats up to four adults, so it offers a bit more room than the two-seater sports cars on this list. The interior is also designed with upscale materials and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen. Thanks to FordPass Connect, you can also use your smartphone to do things like lock and unlock your Mustang. Every Mustang, even the base model, comes with Ford’s CoPilot360 system. This system includes a number of safety features such as active drive assist, automatic high beam headlights, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and lane keep assist. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Volkswagen-GTI.jpg] VOLKSWAGEN GTI If you’re looking for a hatchback sports car with great gas mileage, look no further than the Volkswagen GTI. This vehicle comfortably seats up to five adults, so it’s somewhat bigger than the other sports cars on this list. It also offers far more cargo space than most sports cars on the market. Despite its slightly larger size, it still gets above average gas mileage. You can expect to get 24 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway in the Volkswagen GTI. The GTI comes with a turbocharged engine that produces up to 228 horsepower. You can choose whether you want a manual or automatic transmission. The gas mileage is about the same for both options, so it all comes down to which type of transmission you prefer. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Audi-TT.jpg] AUDI TT If you’re interested in purchasing a luxury sports car that gets great gas mileage, the Audi TT is the perfect choice. This vehicle gets about 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The base model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces up to 228 horsepower. Other engines, including a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 288 horsepower and turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder with 394 horsepower, are also available. Because the Audi TT is a luxury vehicle, it’s more expensive than most other vehicles on this list. The starting price of a TT coupe is just over $50,000, but if you want a convertible, you will have to pay at least $54,000 for a new model. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Subaru-BRZ.jpg] SUBARU BRZ The Subaru BRZ is a 2+2 sports car, which means it has two seats in the front for adults and two seats in the back for cargo or small children. Even though it’s not a luxury vehicle, it is still designed with many upscale features, including heated seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather seats. All models, even the base model, also come with a user-friendly infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen. The base model is built with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder boxer engine that produces up to 228 horsepower. You can also choose between a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Like the other sports cars on this list, the Subaru BRZ is incredibly fuel efficient. This vehicle gets about 24 miles per gallon in the city and up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway. Sports Cars With Great Gas Mileage [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Lexus-LC.jpg] LEXUS LC The Lexus LC is one of the most luxurious sports cars on the market, so it comes with a hefty price tag. The base model starts at $93,000, but if you want a higher trim level, you will need to spend six figures. Luckily, you won’t need to spend a lot on gas if you purchase the Lexus LC. This vehicle gets about 26 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway. The Lexus LC is powered by two electric motors and a V6 engine that produces up to 354 horsepower. Together, this hybrid system allows the Lexus LC to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under five seconds. These are some of the many sports cars that get great gas mileage. By buying one of these cars, you can truly enjoy the best of both worlds.
What is the Best Mileage for a Used Car?
Shopping for a used car could require a bit more online research. Buyers might know the make and model they want, but they might need a specific price to fit their budget. They may need to look at the age of the vehicles, and used cars also can vary in the number of miles on their odometer. Price could differ because of mileage, age and condition, too. Of all these factors, though, mileage might be the most perplexing. What is the best mileage for a used car? Is there a mileage that buyers should absolutely avoid? Here’s how to decipher the numbers on the odometer! Best Mileage for a Used Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Why-Mileage-Affects-Price.jpg] WHY MILEAGE AFFECTS PRICE When shopping for a used vehicle, a number of factors affect the price: make/model, age, mileage and condition. Older vehicles may be less expensive than newer models, but this isn’t always the case. For example, an older luxury car might be more expensive than a newer economical vehicle. Cars with damage or less than stellar interiors also may offer a lower price. There could be rips or other issues related to the overall appearance of the car. For obvious reasons, this doesn’t bode well for the value of the vehicle. Thus, the dealership will likely slice that price tag. Make and model also affects the price of used inventory for obvious reasons. Again, a luxury vehicle is going to be priced higher than a standard model. A minivan that is the same age as a compact car will typically be more expensive, too. Mileage is the final factor that can decrease or increase the sticker price. Why is mileage such an issue? Higher mileage means more wear and tear. As the mileage increases, the maintenance issues may also increase. When cars hit 100,000 miles, for example, there are a number of mechanical services that may be necessary. Drivers might consider the 100,000 mile marker as the car’s middle age. Car and Driver explains that today’s cars will drive up to 200,000 miles. Buying a car with six digits is a significant odometer reading, but is it a deal breaker? That really depends on the buyer. BEST MILEAGE ON A USED CAR FOR A COMMUTER Buyers will often turn to the used market to find a vehicle that’s more affordable. Some buyers don’t even consider a new model, because of the issues related to depreciation. For these buyers, used inventory is the better option. While a number of factors affect the price of a used car, buyers may zero in on the odometer when all other factors are equal. For commuters, choosing a used model that offers the lowest mileage might be ideal. What is the best mileage for a used car if the buyer needs that vehicle for a lengthy commute? The answer isn’t simple, because the buyer really needs to weigh the options of price and mileage and also understand how long they wish to keep that car. If the buyer is financing the car for three years, they will need to figure out if the car will even last that long. For example, if the car buyer commutes 100 miles round trip five days per week, they will drive about 2,000 miles per month or 24,000 miles each year. If the odometer of the used model is resting at 100,000 miles, that means the vehicle will rack up at least 60,000 miles over the life of the loan. While a vehicle could last up to 200,000 miles, there is no guarantee that it will last that long. Driving a car an extensive amount each day adds wear and tear on the vehicle. While every used vehicle should come with a report on its previous ownership and history, the buyer doesn’t know the driving habits of the previous owner. Did they commute daily? Did they service the vehicle regularly? For commuters who are buying a used vehicle, the mileage is important. Unfortunately, the mileage might not be the only consideration for the buyer. Price could impact what they choose, too. For this reason, one recommendation for a driver who needs a used car for a commute is to choose the model with the lowest mileage that fits within their budget. Buyers also can research safety ratings for different models via the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to find their safest models. BEST MILEAGE ON A USED CAR FOR CITY DRIVERS City drivers are those who drive locally. These drivers may work near their home, or they may be retired or stay-at-home parents who don’t need to travel far during their daily routines. When buying a used car for local driving, does mileage matter? The odometer reading may still be a factor to consider, but it may matter less to city drivers than to those who have long commutes. Buyers still need to consider how long they plan to keep the vehicle. They also need to look at their budget needs and how this weighs against the odometer reading. If buyers are driving 10 miles a day on average, the mileage isn’t going to become such an issue. However, if buyers also plan to use the vehicle for road trips or more extensive travel, then mileage on a used model could be more of a factor. Like commuters, though, city drivers might look at both price and mileage and weigh their options accordingly. Best Mileage for a Used Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Finding-the-Best-Used-Car.jpg] FINDING THE BEST USED CAR For many used car buyers, mileage will play into their final decision but so will price. Unlike new inventory, there are a number of factors that buyers will need to consider when purchasing a used vehicle. Some buyers can have their heart set on a specific make/model. Maybe they have a preference related to the type of car they drive. When searching for used models, though, sometimes the choices even with a single model can be really overwhelming. Prices can vary considerably. How do buyers sift through all their options? When shopping is used, buyers should understand where they are willing to compromise and where they will not budge. Some buyers might be willing to opt for an older model if it offers lower mileage. Other buyers might hunt for the newest models and not care about the mileage. Price and the budget may play into this decision, too. If buyers must have a low price, they will need to compromise in some areas. Again, buyers may find lower prices for cars that are older or that have higher mileage. However, lower prices also could be associated with economic models, too. Are buyers willing to sacrifice the model they want for a budget option? Would they rather choose an older luxury model than a budget-friendly newer economic vehicle? What about safety features? Newer models will typically offer better safety features. Do buyers want a backup camera or more modern capabilities? These are considerations buyers need to factor into their decision. IS FUEL EFFICIENCY MORE IMPORTANT THAN MILEAGE? Commuters may be curious if the fuel efficiency of a vehicle is more important than its mileage. If a car offers great fuel efficiency, does the mileage even matter? Hybrids and electric cars both get great energy efficiency. Since electric vehicles don’t use fuel, they don’t offer statistics related to miles per gallon (MPG). Instead, many include stats referring to the miles per gallon equivalent (or MPGe). Hybrids could travel 60 miles per gallon, but electric models might boast more than 100 MPGe. While this means that drivers won’t have to hit the pump or the plug as often, it doesn’t negate the odometer reading. Mileage still affects the value of the car and it still affects the life of the vehicle. Fuel efficiency can save money, but it won’t allow a vehicle to necessarily last longer. The electric plug isn’t a fountain of youth for an automobile! Instead of an engine that may fail, an electric vehicle will have a battery that needs to be replaced. As AutoTrader explains, batteries are constantly evolving and getting better. Older electric vehicles will offer less range than newer models. Is it cheaper to replace an older model’s battery or just replace the car? That could be the ultimate question for those who opt for used electric models. WHAT IS THE BEST MILEAGE FOR A USED CAR? There is no ideal odometer reading for a used car. Buyers need to weigh the mileage against other factors for the car. Age, mileage, condition and make and model all affect the price of that vehicle. Some buyers may be fine with a car with higher mileage if it fits into their budget. These buyers could be city drivers who don’t travel far for work or daily errands. Those with long commutes, though, might need a car with the lowest mileage that fits into their budget. Higher mileage on a used model could mean more money in upkeep if the driver uses the car for long commutes. In addition, that used purchase might not have a long life if it already has an odometer with six figures. Ultimately, buyers need to find the used model that fits their budget and their driving habits. Mileage is important to some buyers but isn’t a concern to others. The reading on the odometer is just one aspect to consider when buying a used model.
Which States Charge the Least, Most in Car Taxes?
You have to make a number of decisions when buying a car, including what body style best suits your lifestyle, where to buy the vehicle from, and of course, how much to spend. Many people focus solely on the purchase price when determining whether or not they can afford a vehicle. However, the purchase price is not the only cost you should consider. Most states charge sales tax on vehicles, which can increase the cost of buying a car by thousands of dollars. Each state sets its own sales tax rate, so the amount you will need to pay will vary depending on where you live. If you’re preparing to buy a vehicle, it’s important to understand which states have the least and most in car taxes so you know what to expect. WHICH STATES HAVE THE HIGHEST AND LOWEST VEHICLE SALES TAX RATES? State sales tax rates can vary from year-to-year. Currently, the states with the highest sales tax rates include: 1. Nevada: 8.25% 2. Kansas: 7.50% 3. California: 7.25% 4. Indiana: 7% 5. Rhode Island: 7% 6. Tennessee: 7% 7. Utah: 6.85% 8. New Jersey 6.63% 9. Georgia: 6.60% 10. Arkansas: 6.50% The states with the lowest sales tax rates include: 1. Alabama: 2% 2. Colorado: 2.90% 3. North Carolina: 3% 4. Oklahoma: 3.25% 5. Hawaii: 4% 6. Louisiana: 4% 7. New Mexico: 4% 8. New York: 4% 9. South Dakota: 4% 10. Virginia: 4.15% Which States Charge the Least, Most in Car Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Which-States-Dont-Charge-Sales-Tax-On-Cars.jpg] WHICH STATES DON’T CHARGE SALES TAX ON CARS? There are also a number of states that don’t charge sales tax on vehicle purchases. These states are: * Oregon * New Hampshire * Montana * Delaware * Alaska If you live in one of these states, you won’t need to worry about paying sales tax when you purchase a new vehicle. VEHICLE SALES TAX RATES BY COUNTY/CITY Looking at the sales tax rates will give you a general idea of which states charge the most and least. However, it must be noted that vehicle sales tax rates typically vary by city or county, which means the sales tax rate doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, the state sales tax rate in Florida is 6%. However, the state allows local governments to collect up to an additional 1.5% on purchases. This means some cities in Florida, including Tampa and Jacksonville, have a 7.5% sales tax rate. If you register your vehicle in one of these cities, you will be charged the 7.5% rate instead of the state-wide 6% rate. For this reason, it’s important to look at the local sales tax rate rather than the state sales tax rate when determining how much you will need to pay after purchasing a vehicle. Which States Charge the Least, Most in Car Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Can-You-Save-Money-By-Buying-Your-Vehicle-in-Another-State.jpg] CAN YOU SAVE MONEY BY BUYING YOUR VEHICLE IN ANOTHER STATE? There’s no doubt that some cities, counties, and states charge higher sales tax rates on vehicle purchases than others. If you live in an area with a high sales tax rate, you might be wondering whether you can save money by purchasing a vehicle in an area with a lower sales tax rate. For example, if you live in California, which has one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, you may be tempted to cross state lines and purchase a vehicle in Oregon, which does not charge sales tax on vehicle purchases. However, purchasing a vehicle in an area with a low sales tax rate does not necessarily mean you will save money. The reason for this is simple. The sales tax rate you are charged will depend on where you register your vehicle, not where you purchase it. If you purchase the vehicle in Oregon, you will still need to register it in your home state of California, which means you will be charged the local sales tax rate, not Oregon’s sales tax rate. The bottom line? You can’t avoid paying sales tax on your vehicle simply by traveling to a state that charges a lower sales tax rate or does not charge sales tax at all. HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON TAXES WHEN BUYING A CAR Traveling to an area with a lower sales tax rate won’t help you save money on taxes when buying a car. Fortunately, there are a number of other ways to reduce your tax bill when you purchase a vehicle. You may qualify for a tax break if: * You are disabled. If you meet your state’s definition of “disabled,” you may be exempt from paying sales tax on your vehicle regardless of what the sales tax rate is in your city or county. * You’re buying an older car. If your vehicle was manufactured prior to 1973, it is classified as a historic vehicle, which means it is exempt from sales tax. * You’re moving to another state. If you’re planning on permanently moving to a state that does not charge sales tax on vehicle purchases, you won’t have to pay sales tax on your vehicle. However, the move must take place within 90 days from the date the vehicle was purchased. * You itemize your deductions. If you itemize your tax deductions, you may be able to deduct your vehicle sales tax expenses. However, if you deduct your sales taxes, you cannot deduct your state or local income taxes, so make sure you run the numbers to determine which option is best for you. * You use your vehicle for business purposes. If you purchased a vehicle to use for business purposes, you may be able to deduct a certain percentage of the cost. The vehicle must meet certain requirements, so discuss this with your accountant to figure out if you qualify. You may also qualify for tax credits at the state and federal level if you purchase an electric vehicle. For example, if you purchase a new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit amount will vary depending on the vehicle’s battery capacity. You will still have to pay sales tax on your vehicle, but getting this tax credit will offset the cost. You must meet certain requirements to qualify for this federal tax credit. For instance, the IRS will only allow the original buyer of the electric vehicle to claim this tax credit. If you purchase a used electric vehicle, you won’t qualify for this federal tax credit since you are not the original buyer. Talk to your accountant to learn about other conditions you must meet to take advantage of this credit. Some states also offer financial benefits to people who purchase electric or hybrid vehicles. In California, for instance, you can earn a rebate of up to $1,000 if you purchase a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The rebate increases to $2,000 if you purchase an electric vehicle and $4,500 if you purchase a fuel cell electric vehicle. Just like the federal tax credit, this rebate won’t eliminate your sales tax bill, but it will help you pay for it. If you live in California, you may also qualify for the state’s Clean Fuel Reward. This financial reward is available to anyone who buys a new electric vehicle with a battery capacity greater than 5kWh. The vehicle must be purchased from a participating retailer and registered in the state of California. If you qualify, you could receive an instant reward of up to $750, which you can use to cover a portion of your sales taxes. Before you start shopping for a new car, do your research to figure out if your state offers any financial incentives for purchasing an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Which States Charge the Least, Most in Car Taxes [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Which-States-Have-the-Highest-and-Lowest-Car-Ownership-Costs.jpg] WHICH STATES HAVE THE HIGHEST AND LOWEST CAR OWNERSHIP COSTS? Sales tax isn’t the only expense you will incur if you own a vehicle. There are a number of other vehicle ownership costs, including the cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance and repairs, and registration. Just like sales tax rates, these ownership expenses can vary depending on where you live. In other words, it’s much cheaper to own a car in some states than it is in others. According to one study, Louisiana has the highest car ownership costs of all 50 states. In Louisiana, you should expect to pay these expenses if you own a vehicle: * Taxes: $3,615 * Insurance: $2,113 * Maintenance and repair: $389 * Fuel: $1,051 * Registration: Varies depending on the sales price of the vehicle * Title costs: $69 * Vehicle property tax: $38 In sum, the average annual cost of owning a vehicle in Louisiana is about $14,965. This same study found that Oregon has the lowest car ownership costs of all 50 states. On average, Oregon vehicle owners pay: * Taxes: $0 * Insurance: $1,220 * Maintenance and repair: $390 * Fuel: $1,085 * Registration: $86 * Title costs: $77 * Vehicle property tax: $0 In sum, the average annual cost of owning a vehicle in Oregon is about $10,510. Now you should have a better understanding of how much you will need to pay in sales tax and other ownership costs once you purchase a vehicle. Keep this information in mind to ensure you choose a vehicle that you can afford.
Third Row SUVs for Every Budget and Space Need
Third-row SUVs are an ideal vehicle for car buyers looking for enough space for a large family or those who need cargo space for recreational or business equipment. These vehicles have a rugged aesthetic for buyers who don’t necessarily want a standard family car. Third-row SUVs are perfect for fitting extra passengers—most will seat at least seven—but not all of them are full-sized SUVs. Car buyers can find third-row SUVs for every budget and space need; third rows are offered in mid-size and full-size SUVs. Looking for the perfect third-row SUV? Here are the options by size and price. SMALLER THIRD-ROW SUVS Looking for a small SUV with maximum seating capacity? The smallest SUVs that feature third-rows might be more midsize than small. Many compact or small SUVs typically only feature a second row plus cargo space. CarBuzz ranked the top smallest SUVs that feature third-row seating. While smaller SUVs might not have as much space between rows as larger options, they could be easier on the budget. Here are the top five smallest SUVs featuring third-row seating from CarBuzz with additional data on price, seating capacity and safety rating (from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety): Kia Sorento [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Kia-Sorento.jpg] * Kia Sorento (Midsize SUV) Base Price: $29,490 (2022 model) Capacity: Space for 7 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Hyundai Palisade [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Hyundai-Palisade.jpg] * Hyundai Palisade (Midsize SUV) Base Price: $33,150 (2022 SE model) Capacity: Space for up to 8 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Kia Telluride [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Kia-Sorento-1.jpg] * Kia Telluride (Midsize SUV) Base Price: $32,790 Capacity: Space for up to 8 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick Genesis GV80 V6 AWD [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Genesis-GV80-V6-AWD.jpg] * Genesis GV80 V6 AWD (Midsize SUV) Base Price: $59,650 (2021 model) Capacity: Space for 7 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ Volvo XC90 [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Volvo-XC90.jpg] * Volvo XC90 (Midsize SUV) Base Price: $49,900 (2022 model) Capacity: Space for 7 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+ SUVS OFFERING THE MOST ROOM IN THE THIRD ROW Midsize SUVs might be easier on the budget than their larger counterparts, but for buyers who need as much space as possible, a full-size SUV might be the best option. U.S. News & World Report ranked the SUVs (2021 models) with the best third-row seats. Here are the top five picks from U.S. News based on leg room for the third-row with additional data on price and safety ratings (two are actually midsize models!): Ford Expedition [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Ford-Expedition.jpg] * Ford Expedition Third Row Space: 40.9 inches. Base Price: $50,595 (2021 model) Safety Rating: N/A Chevy Suburban [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Chevy-Suburban.jpg] * Chevy Suburban Third-Row Space: 36.7 inches Base Price: $52,300 (2021 model) Safety Rating: N/A GMC Yukon [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/GMC-Yukon.jpg] * GMC Yukon Third-Row Space: 34.9 inches Base Price: $50,595 Safety Rating: N/A Volkswagen Atlas [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Volkswagen-Atlas.jpg] * Volkswagen Atlas (Midsize SUV) Third-Row Space: 33.7 inches Base Price: $31,545 Safety Rating: Review Report Chevy Traverse [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Chevy-Traverse.jpg] * Chevy Traverse (Midsize SUV) Third-Row Space: 33.5 inches Base Price: $29,800 Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick FINDING THE BEST AND MOST AFFORDABLE THIRD-ROW SUV Buyers on the hunt for a new 2021 or 2022 SUV featuring the third-row of seating might opt for the Chevy Traverse or the Kia Sorento, as these two models are the least expensive of all the above choices. But these models are not the least expensive third-row SUV; the Volkswagen Tiguan is the least expensive 2021 model with an MSRP of $25,245. Those with a very tight budget, though, also can shop used or pre-owned SUVs to find a deal that fits into their budget while providing the space they need. When looking for used or pre-owned models, buyers can research different models for their safety ratings via IIHS. The site offers an easy search query system to find the ratings for almost all vehicles; however, data on larger SUVs could be limited. If buyers aren’t sure if they are getting a good deal from the dealership, they also can use Kelley Blue Book (KBB) to find out the prices of a model in their area. KBB offers an easy query system to find prices of models. Just type in the year, make, model and location, and KBB will pull up all the vehicles in the area. This lets buyers compare prices across dealerships. RESEARCHING OPTIONS ONLINE Cox Automotive’s Car Buyer Journey Study (Pandemic Edition) reported that buyers spent more than seven hours researching and shopping for a car online. This was actually about two hours less than buyers spent on the same tasks in 2019. However, for many buyers, the research begins online. Many begin their search via third-party sites (like KBB), and more than three-quarters of shoppers went to at least two sites. The study noted that dealership websites were more likely to be the final online destination for buyers; 33 percent of those participating in the study said that they visited dealership sites last. Buyers may look online for safety ratings, price and other details related to their potential purchase. Some buyers might know exactly the type of vehicle they want and may zoom through their research phase, looking perhaps only at the best prices in the area. Other buyers, though, might have no idea about the type of car they want to purchase. These shoppers could do a bit more research online. They may feel that they are beginning their search from scratch. While buyers could visit sites like Edmunds, IIHS and KBB for information about vehicles, these sites don’t necessarily help buyers visualize the vehicle beyond simple two dimensional photos. Even dealership sites may offer limited photographs of new models. Some could offer slideshows or a selection of photos, but what about buyers who want more visual data? Augmented Reality for Immersive Research [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Augmented-Reality-for-Immersive-Research.jpg] AUGMENTED REALITY FOR IMMERSIVE RESEARCH RelayCars provides buyers with the tools to research any vehicle up close via 3D and augmented reality visuals. RelayCars offers thousands of models for buyers to explore. Augmented reality can be a key tool during the car research phase. While photos show details of the vehicle, they aren’t designed to allow for exploration. Augmented reality has been used by many stores and companies for try-on experiences that give consumers a way to see products before purchasing. With augmented reality, consumers can virtually swipe paint onto their walls or try on different cosmetics. Stores also let shoppers preview furniture in their homes. Just drop a coffee table into the space to see if it fits. RelayCars is the try-on experience for cars. While the site lets shoppers preview vehicles on the screen via interactive 3D graphics, RelayCars also offers an augmented reality experience. Visitors to RelayCars can choose a model that they want to explore and view in augmented reality, and, using their smartphone or tablet camera, they can capture the space where they want to place the vehicle. The car (or SUV) can be dropped in any space. View an immersive vehicle in the driveway or see how it looks in the garage. Why is augmented reality so different from standard imagery? Augmented reality typically depicts the product as it would be in person. The table from a furniture store isn’t just a tiny model, it’s shown in normal size via the augmented reality preview. When shopping for cars, augmented reality can let shoppers better understand the design of the vehicle. In addition, some platforms even let the user look inside the vehicle. The vehicle can appear wherever the user wants to explore it. Once the augmented reality vehicle is placed into the environment, the user can actually walk around the model. RelayCars lets users preview as many vehicles as they want in augmented reality. There is no limit to how many vehicles consumers can research. The site acts as a research tool to help buyers better understand their options and explore them. After they’ve used the augmented reality tool via RelayCars, they also can view the car on-screen in 3D. The images of the vehicle can be rotated to see the car from any angle. In addition, RelayCars also offers a 3D panorama tour for each model. This lets users explore the interior of the car. Every vehicle in RelayCars’ showroom also can be viewed in different paint hues. However, the options depend on the color choices for each vehicle. USING RELAYCARS TO FIND THE BEST THIRD-ROW SUV For buyers looking for the best SUV with third-row seating, RelayCars can be used to explore the interior space. The 3D panorama viewing option gives users the feeling that they are sitting in the front seat of the SUV and looking around the vehicle. Use the mouse or just a fingertip to navigate around the SUV. Augmented reality also lets buyers see how the SUV would look in their garage or driveway. They also can immerse themselves in exploration to better understand the SUV’s design and walk around the vehicle. Buyers can explore different SUV models via RelayCars to find the best SUV for their space needs. Then they might visit dealership websites to find the best price or deals in the area. RelayCars adds an immersive visual element to the car shopping experience to allow for consumers to create a virtual (or augmented reality) showroom in their home. When buyers find the best SUV at the best price, they can save the rest of the details for the dealership visit. RelayCars helps buyers research vehicles from home and creates a unique preview experience that lets them explore all their vehicle options!
Car Buying Tips: What You Should Know About Depreciation & Inflation
Figuring out what type of vehicle you can afford to buy is difficult. Why? It involves far more than just looking at the purchase price of every vehicle. You need to factor in ownership costs, too. Ownership costs are any costs that are related to owning a vehicle. Some of the most common ownership costs are fuel, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. However, there are two other hidden costs of owning a vehicle that many people forget about when calculating their budget. These hidden costs are depreciation and inflation. If you’re planning on buying a new car, it’s important to understand how both of these hidden costs will impact your vehicle’s value and your wallet. Here’s what you should know: WHAT IS DEPRECIATION? Depreciation refers to the rate at which an asset’s value declines over time. All assets that suffer wear and tear with normal use, including vehicles, depreciate. In simpler terms, this means the value of your vehicle will drop as it ages. All vehicles depreciate, which means your vehicle will lose value as it gets older regardless of whether you purchased it new or used. Car Buying Tips [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-Quickly-Do-Cars-Depreciate.jpg] HOW QUICKLY DO CARS DEPRECIATE? Before you purchase a vehicle, it’s important to understand how quickly it will depreciate so you know how much the vehicle will be worth in the future. There are a number of factors that can impact how quickly a vehicle depreciates, which is why every car depreciates at a different rate. Some of these factors include: * Age: The value of a car will decrease as it gets older. * Type of car: The make and model can impact the vehicle’s depreciation rate. Makes and models that are in high demand tend to depreciate at a slower rate than vehicles that are not as popular. * Mileage: The lower the miles, the longer the vehicle will last and the greater its value. As a result, vehicles with high mileage depreciate at a faster rate than vehicles with low mileage. * Condition: Normal wear and tear won’t have a huge impact on a vehicle’s depreciation rate. However, if a vehicle has suffered extensive damage, it will depreciate at a much faster rate. * Color: You might be surprised to learn that the color can impact a vehicle’s depreciation rate. Vehicles with a traditional paint color typically depreciate at a slower rate than vehicles with a custom paint job or unusual color. * Fuel prices: If gas prices are low, fuel efficient vehicles may not retain as much value as they get older. On the other hand, if gas prices are high, fuel efficient vehicles will depreciate slowly and gas-powered vehicles will depreciate quickly. * Manufacturer’s reputation: Some manufacturers are known for producing reliable, durable vehicles. The vehicles produced by these manufacturers may depreciate at a slower rate than others. In general, new cars depreciate much faster than used cars. The value of a new car typically drops around 20% during its first year of ownership. After the first year, the value of a new car will continue to decrease by about 10% per year. This rate won’t continue forever, though. Depreciation slows down once the car is five years old and comes to a halt once it is 10 years old. Car Buying Tips [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Which-Cars-Have-the-Fastest-Depreciation-Rates.jpg] WHICH CARS HAVE THE FASTEST DEPRECIATION RATES? Depreciation rates vary widely, but some vehicles are known for depreciating at a faster rate than others. According to the U.S. News & World Report, these are the vehicles with the fastest five-year depreciation rates: Make and ModelAverage Five-Year Depreciation RateBMW X366.5%Lincoln MKZ67.1%Mercedes-Benz S Class67.1%Volvo S6067.8%Mercedes-Benz E Class69%Maserati Ghibli69%Audi A669%Nissan Leaf70.1%BMW 5 Series70.1%BMW 7 Series72.6% The starting price of a BMW 7 Series is currently $86,800. Based on the data provided by U.S. News & World Report, this means that the vehicle will lose 72.6% of its initial value by the time it is five years old. In other words, a BMW 7 Series that is purchased today for $86,800 may only be worth around $24,000 in five years. Luxury vehicles dominate this list, which is not surprising, given that luxury vehicles tend to depreciate faster than others. WHICH CARS HAVE THE SLOWEST DEPRECIATION RATES? Some vehicles are known for retaining their value better than others. According to the U.S. News & World Report, the vehicles with the slowest five-year depreciation rates are: Make and ModelAverage Five-Year Depreciation RateNissan Frontier43.5%GMC Canyon41.2%Dodge Challenger40.6%Subaru WRX39.8%Toyota 4Runner38.5%Toyota Tundra37%Porsche 91136%Jeep Wrangler32.8%Toyota Tacoma32.4%Jeep Wrangler Unlimited30.9% The starting price of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is currently $77,095. According to this data, a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that is purchased today will lose about 30.9% of its value over the next five years. This means if you purchase a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for $77,095 today, it will be worth about $53,273 in five years. Based on this list, it’s clear that pickup trucks, sporty sedans, and truck-based SUVs tend to depreciate at a slower rate than other vehicles. Car Buying Tips [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-Can-Your-Cars-Depreciation-Affect-You.jpg] HOW CAN YOUR CAR’S DEPRECIATION AFFECT YOU? By now, you should understand what depreciation is and how quickly you can expect a new vehicle to depreciate. However, you may be wondering why this information matters and more importantly, how your vehicle’s depreciation rate will impact you. Your vehicle’s depreciation rate can impact you in several ways. First, a vehicle’s depreciation rate will affect its resale and trade-in value. Even if you don’t plan on selling your vehicle any time soon, it’s important to know how quickly it will depreciate so you know what you can expect to get for it when it’s time to sell it or trade it in. The depreciation rate can also impact you if you took out an auto loan to pay for your new car. If your vehicle depreciates too quickly, you may end up having negative equity, which means you owe more on your vehicle than it is worth. This is often referred to as being “underwater” on your auto loan. If you try to sell your vehicle while you are underwater on your auto loan, you may end up owing your lender money. For example, if you owe $10,000 on your vehicle but you can only sell it for $8,000 due to depreciation, you will need to pay your lender $2,000 to make up the difference once the vehicle sells. For these reasons, it’s crucial to consider a vehicle’s depreciation rate when deciding whether it’s right for you. HOW TO SLOW DOWN YOUR VEHICLE’S DEPRECIATION There are a number of things you can do to reduce your vehicle’s depreciation rate, including: * Don’t drive a lot. The fewer miles you put on your vehicle, the slower it will depreciate. * Take good care of your vehicle. Schedule regular oil changes and other maintenance services. Doing this will help your vehicle retain more of its value over the years, especially if you keep the maintenance records as proof. * Preserve the exterior. Exposure to environmental elements such as rain, heat, cold, and ice can slowly damage the exterior of your vehicle. This damage can cause the vehicle to depreciate quickly. To prevent this problem, park your vehicle in a garage to protect it from these harsh environmental elements. WHAT IS INFLATION? Depreciation isn’t the only factor you should consider when purchasing a car. You also need to think about inflation. The term “inflation” refers to the decrease in the purchasing power of money, which is displayed as an increase in the prices of goods and services. In other words, the price of things increases, so the value of every dollar decreases. The inflation rate is the rate at which the value of the dollar is falling and the prices of goods and services are increasing. Car Buying Tips [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/How-Does-Inflation-Affect-Your-Cars-Value.jpg] HOW DOES INFLATION AFFECT YOUR CAR’S VALUE? Just like depreciation, inflation can affect your car’s value. Inflation causes the prices of goods and services, including vehicles, to increase. If the inflation rate goes up, the price of your vehicle may increase as well. This means you may be able to get more money for your vehicle if you choose to sell it when inflation rates are high. However, it’s important to note that a high inflation rate will increase the cost of new cars, too. So although you may get more for your vehicle if you sell it when inflation rates are high, you may need to spend even more to purchase another vehicle since new car prices will most likely be higher as well. Now you know the basics of depreciation, inflation, and more importantly, how these two hidden costs will impact you if you purchase a new car. Keep this information in mind when shopping for a new car so you can choose the vehicle that’s best for your lifestyle and your budget.
The Most Reliable Pickup Trucks
Buyers on the hunt for a new pickup truck might be drawn to this body type for its rugged durability and towing capacity. Pickup trucks are offered in ½ ton, ¾ ton and full-ton models. Some are diesel, but electric trucks are an option, too. Pickup trucks are a workhorse vehicle and many are capable of towing and hauling massive loads. Trucks also can hit the off-beaten paths, conquering sand, mud and rocks, too. When shopping for a new pickup truck, though, what models are the best and most reliable. Here are the most reliable pickup trucks. Reliable Pickup Trucks [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Sizing-Up-the-Pickup.jpg] SIZING UP THE PICKUP Buyers who are unfamiliar with the pickup truck market might be a bit overwhelmed by their options when they start browsing online. Buyers will typically see a range of numbers for pickup truck models; these numbers include 1500 or 150, 2500 or 250, 3500 or 350 or even 4500. What do these numbers mean? Pickup truck numbers denote their size. It’s easier if buyers associate the numbers with tonnage; the numbers 1500 or 150 denote ½ ton models, 2500 or 250 refer to ¾ ton models and the largest vehicles are full-tons and are denoted by 3500 or 350. However, buyers may see a 450, and this is the largest model. Other manufacturers may represent their largest models differently. Weight for models isn’t necessarily ½ ton or even full ton; the terms ½ ton or ¾ ton are now just industry references. Models may weigh significantly more than the ½ ton reference suggests. Buyers need to look at these classes as measurements of strength instead of weight or exact tonnage. A half-ton pickup is the lightest weight option, and it is capable of towing and hauling a significant amount of weight. However, towing and hauling capacity increases with the model size. Buyers who need brute force for work needs would need to choose a full-ton model. Reliable Pickup Trucks [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/The-Weight-of-Towing.jpg] THE WEIGHT OF TOWING The larger and heavier the pickup, the more weight it is capable of towing. Vehicle buyers may have different towing needs related to their job or just their lifestyle or interest. Avid water sport enthusiasts may need to tow a small trailer carrying a jet ski or a boat. Those who love the outdoors may need to tow a small camper. Farmers or ranchers may need a heavier pickup truck for towing large machinery or equipment, though. They may opt for a ¾ ton or one-ton model. How much weight can each model tow? What model is best for a buyer’s towing needs? Here’s how the most popular models of ½ ton pickup trucks stack up in towing capacity: * 2021 Ford F-150 (Five engine options) 8,200 to 14,000 pounds * 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (Five engine options) Up to 13,300 pounds * GMC Sierra 1500 Up to 13,000 pounds * 2022 Ram 1500 Up to 12,750 pounds * 2021 Nissan TITAN 9,310, to 11,040 pounds * 2021 Toyota Tundra 9,400 to 10,100 pounds * 2022 GMC Canyon Up to 7,700 pounds * 2021 Ford Ranger Up to 7,500 pounds * 2021 Jeep Gladiator Up to 7,650 pounds * 2022 Chevrolet Colorado Up to 7,000 pounds * 2022 Toyota Tacoma 3,500 to 6,800 pounds * 2022 Nissan Frontier Up to 6,720 pounds * 2022 Honda Ridgeline 5,000 pounds TOWING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ¾ TON AND FULL TON PICKUPS For car buyers who need towing capacity beyond the abilities of the typical ½ ton pickup, a ¾ ton or full-ton might be the better option. For the one-ton models, Ford ranks as the top choice for towing. The Ford F-350 is capable of towing up to 21,000 pounds, but with a fifth-wheel this extends its towing power to 32,000 pounds. Ford also offers the Super Duty F-450 XL, which can tow up to 36,400 pounds. This is by far the beast of all the pickup truck options. The ¾ ton models can’t tow nearly as much as a full-ton pickup, but they can tow more than the ½ ton. In this class, Ford’s F-250 model can tow up to 21,800 pounds (for the fifth wheel depending on the engine). The Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD can tow up to 18,510 pounds. WHAT IS THE SAFEST PICKUP TRUCK? Buyers may want the safest pickup truck. When researching the safety ratings of a vehicle, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is the best resource. Buyers can search by make/model to find the safety rating and read the full safety report. The top rating is denoted as the Top Safety Pick+. For small pickup trucks, there were no models that received this rating. However, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Crew cab pickup received a Top Safety Pick rating (which is the next best rating from the Institute). For 2021 large pickup trucks, there also were no models that received a Top Safety Pick+ rating. Multiple models received the Top Safety Pick rating, however. These models included: * 2021 Ford F-150 Crew Cab pickup * 2021 Ford F-150 Extended cab pickup * 2021 Ram 1500 Crew cab pickup Buyers considering other models can check out their safety ratings by visiting the IIHS website. Safety reports are provided for every make/model. However, not all 2022 models have been released so data could be unavailable. MOST RELIABLE PICKUP TRUCKS Reliability encompasses many factors for a vehicle. Every year, J.D. Power ranks one vehicle in each class as the most dependable; this vehicle is given the J.D. Power Award for Highest Dependability. Here’s how pickup truck models fared for the 2021 awards (based on 2018 model years): LARGE HEAVY DUTY PICKUP (#1) * 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD The Silverado scored an 80 from J.D. Power. For Quality and Reliability, it received an 81 (which is denoted as Great). The Silverado received a 78 related to Driving Experience; this is considered Average. For Resale, it received another average score of 79. However, it received an 83 for Dealership Experience, which also is Great. LARGE LIGHT DUTY PICKUP MODELS * Toyota Tundra 4WD The Tundra scored an 84 in Quality and Reliability, which was the highest in its class. However, for Driving Experience, it only scored an 81. THE BUDGETARY MATTERS Car buyers might review the safety and reliability ratings as well as the towing capacity for their pickup choices, but price often affects the choice of many buyers. Pickup trucks can range in price, depending on their size, their engine and additional features as well. The full-ton models will be the most expensive choices, but the engine also adds to the cost. With pickup trucks, buyers can typically choose from different engines. The power of the engine can increase the towing capacity. More powerful engines—including diesel—will often be more expensive. Buyers also could choose to add more features to their truck, and this also adds to the price of the automobile. Before shopping for a pickup truck, buyers should figure out how much they can spend. However, the price of a vehicle doesn’t just include the monthly payment, it also includes the price of insurance and fuel needs. In general, experts recommend allocating no more than 15 to 20 percent of take-home pay (this is the amount after taxes are deducted) to transportation costs. Nerdwallet advises that the car payment should only be less than 10 percent of take-home earnings. USE RELAYCARS TO EXPLORE THE OPTIONS Once buyers have figured out how much they can spend on a new pickup truck and have researched the trucks that fit their towing needs, they can explore their options on RelayCars. Using the site, buyers can preview cars in 3D or in augmented reality. RelayCars includes a virtual tour of the exterior and interior of each different model. Each vehicle can be explored in 360 degrees to see the interior and exterior of the vehicle. The interior panorama tour allows buyers to see the features in the front and back seats. Using these virtual tours, buyers can better understand the vehicle’s space constraints to determine if the model is a fit for their needs. RelayCars also lets buyers view the vehicles in different paint hues. RelayCars provides an immersive augmented reality experience for buyers, too. Each model in RelayCars’ virtual showroom can be explored in augmented reality in the user’s environment. Drop a Dodge Ram into the garage and walk around the vehicle, or preview different trucks in the driveway. With augmented reality, car buyers can get up close with a virtual model of any truck. They will see a graphic depiction of the vehicle appear before them, and they can view that car as if it’s actually in their space. Augmented reality gives users a personalized showroom experience, except the user’s own environment transforms into the showroom. There is no limit on the number of pickup trucks that car shoppers can preview via RelayCars. Check out different makes and models to find the most appealing option. Explore the exterior and interior of each model, and then decide what pickup truck would work best for the needs and budget of the buyer. RelayCars is open day or night. When buyers are shopping for the most reliable pickup truck, they can view their options from home at any time of day. Use RelayCars as a personal vehicle showroom and immerse in the virtual and augmented reality experiences.
Here’s How Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality HoloLens Offers Industries Unique Solutions
Consumers might be waiting patiently for consumer-based augmented reality glasses to be announced from one of the many tech giants. However, businesses have access to augmented reality and mixed reality solutions thanks to headsets and glasses designed specifically for enterprise use. Microsoft’s mixed reality and augmented reality HoloLens is one of the leading headsets that offer businesses an immersive solution to training, collaboration and more. Here’s how different businesses and industries use HoloLens to elevate the employee experience. WHAT IS HOLOLENS? HoloLens isn’t a small pair of glasses, but it also isn’t a huge bulky headset. This technology is a bit of a hybrid between a headset and glasses; it’s sleek, but not too cumbersome for the wearer. Microsoft’s HoloLens is designed for enterprise use and features mixed reality technology. Holo refers to holograms; in many ways, mixed reality is a mix of reality and holographic images. HoloLens is only for enterprise use; in fact, Microsoft highlights three major industries for its use: * Healthcare * Manufacturing * Education The price of the headset varies by model. The headset is offered in three models: HoloLens 2, HoloLens Industrial Edition and Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2. The three different options are unique in their usage design. HoloLens Industrial Edition is designed for clean or hazardous areas (think healthcare/medical), while Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2 is designed for dirty or noisy areas like construction zones or manufacturing. While HoloLens supports the three targeted industries, the headset can be used for other industries, too. Here’s how different businesses and industries use HoloLens. Augmented Reality HoloLens [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Healthcare.jpg] HEALTHCARE The healthcare industry uses HoloLens in many different ways. Some use the technology for simulations, others use it for aiding in anatomy lessons, ultrasound simulations and even helping neurosurgeons more remove brain tumors. CAE Health For CAE Health, HoloLens helps create realistic simulations. The headset can let clinicians walk through procedures via mixed reality. CAE uses it for ultrasound simulations, and organs can appear in front of the clinician. This lets the user rotate it or even view it larger. Case Western University The university uses HoloLens to help students immerse in anatomy lessons. The HoloLens technology would replace the standard cadavers that students typically used to explore, understand and learn anatomy. Developers from Case Western spoke at Microsoft’s Build conference and discussed how the tech could be used to simplify the learning process and to even teach remotely. MedTrix Healthcare MedTrix emphasized how HoloLens was aiding neurosurgeons in removing brain tumors during surgery: “HoloLens 2 can create 3D holographic images of the patient’s anatomy from the scans taken earlier. These holographic 3D images can be moved around to see from different angles, thus providing the surgeon with a better idea of the tumour’s spatial position. HoloLens 2 allows surgeons to view a holographic picture of the patient’s brain over the patient’s head in a surgical environment. In fact, multiple surgeons wearing the HoloLens 2 headset can look at the same image from different angles.” Augmented Reality HoloLens [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Manufacturing.jpg] MANUFACTURING In the manufacturing environment, loud machines can deter learning. In addition, ineffective communication could lead to more downtime and decreased productivity. Augmented reality and mixed reality can help aid techs in repairing machines or even simplify training and other jobs, too. Here’s how the manufacturing industry is using HoloLens 2: Manufacturing.Net The online hub that reports on the manufacturing industry detailed how HoloLens is aiding Delta ModTech thanks to mixed reality. The site explains that while augmented reality overlays graphics on top of the real world environment, mixed reality actually begins in reality. Then the technology—in this case HoloLens—allows for lots of data to be viewed. Delta ModTech uses the headset to include documents, videos and more. HoloLens is used in training, in Factory Acceptance (FAT) Testing to allow some to participate remotely and to aid in fixing machinery (i.e. troubleshooting). Lockheed Martin ComputerWorld explained how Lockheed Martin benefited from the HoloLens technology during the final assembly of the spacecraft. According to ComputerWorld, HoloLens could measure, plan and prioritize work. This meant that workers could focus on the ‘build’ aspect. Intel The computer chip shortage after the pandemic affected numerous industries, but it hit the automotive industry especially hard. However, Intel is using HoloLens to boost computer chip production by helping workers see specific instructions and directions. Video of the HoloLens use was taken from the company’s Ireland factory. Augmented Reality HoloLens [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Education.jpg] EDUCATION Lessons may come to life with HoloLens. Here’s how HoloLens is transforming education with mixed reality. Case Western Not only is Case Western’s use of HoloLens impacting healthcare, but it’s also transforming education. Students are using the headset to view anatomy; not only does this provide more immersive instruction, but it also means that students no longer use a standard cadaver. Crescent Girls School CNET reported that the all-girls school in Singapore is using the HoloLens to safely learn about how nuclear radiation can affect the environment, specifically plants and animals. Students use the headsets as they role play as ecologists and geneticists; they are tasked with studying the effects of radiation from around a nuclear power plant. Of course, nothing is real; the lesson is completely mixed reality. However, the immersive lesson allows students to learn by doing. The nuclear lesson is part of the school’s biology studies. Lifelique This company is designing an educational app via HoloLens that will allow students to see a volcano or even a tsunami. Graphics allow for interactive and immersive learning for different science subjects and curricula. HOW MIXED REALITY AND VIRTUAL REALITY TRANSFORM BUSINESS HoloLens is used across numerous industries in a variety of different ways. HoloLens can aid med students in exploring and learning about parts of the anatomy, help students explore science lessons in an immersive element, and help simplify repairs and aid in the manufacturing process. While many businesses use HoloLens, virtual reality headsets also are aiding and simplifying tasks and training, too. With virtual reality headsets, employees can experience training simulations safely; for example, stores can help employees learn how to deal with a robbery without putting them in an unsafe situation. Virtual reality also could provide employees with the opportunity to master difficult tasks, without affecting productivity. If an employee is having a difficult time learning a concept or technique for the job, virtual reality could allow them to go through the simulation to perfect their skills. Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality could be a tech-savvy solution for businesses to streamline processes and, in the case of manufacturing, even minimize downtime. For example, before the launch of these headsets, techs would have to flip through manuals or have another employee guide their repairs. With HoloLens or other glasses, repairs can be simplified because the data and instructions can appear before an employee’s eyes. Graphics also can be superimposed onto machinery; of course, this data is only visible to those wearing a headset or glasses. WILL LEARNING BECOME AUGMENTED? Companies like Lifelique are creating apps for HoloLens that allow students to immerse into lessons. HoloLens also is being utilized to allow students to role play as geneticists or biologists as they study the effects of radiation from a power plant. Could schools embrace this immersive approach to learning? For private schools, headsets and augmented reality technology could be a means to elevate learning and to help students learn by doing. For public schools, though, the cost of these headsets could be a barrier to more mainstream usage. However, if augmented reality and mixed reality headsets become embraced across many different educational institutions, the technology could weave into public schools. Computers were once an expensive investment. Many public schools likely only had a few per classroom. As computers became mainstream and the cost decreased, schools began to implement one-to-one computing. How many public schools provide laptops or Chromebooks to each child? Lessons are done online; homework is turned in online, too. Augmented reality headsets could—in the future—become the new computer. Perhaps lessons will feature an augmented reality component. Students may explore their world using headsets and watch as volcanoes appear in front of them. However, more companies also would need to develop immersive learning apps to work with HoloLens and complement the curriculum. Imagine, though, having history lessons come alive. Maybe past presidents narrate their lives or students see a model of the White House appear before them. HoloLens and augmented and mixed reality are transforming education, healthcare and manufacturing. However, in the future, the use of these headsets could become more widespread. As more industries and more companies begin to understand how this technology can simplify processes, perhaps many employees will be donning headsets or glasses. Technology evolves, and HoloLens and its competition will evolve, too. The future of augmented headsets may mean a portal into the metaverse. Perhaps in the future educational experiences or enriching activities will be hosted in the metaverse. Headsets already can aid in remote collaboration, but perhaps this remote access will be heightened. For now, though, augmented reality technology has the power to provide immersive solutions, simply processes and transform learning to provide experiences that are beyond reality.
How Consumers Can Access a Virtual Reality Experience without Buying a Headset
Virtual reality is one access point to the realm known as the metaverse. If the term sounds familiar, it’s because Facebook has rebranded as Meta, Inc. The name nods to the ‘metaverse,’ and the company has expressed its commitment to developing this new alternate universe. While augmented reality dips a toe into a meta world, virtual reality exists firmly in the metaverse. Unfortunately, accessing a virtual reality experience typically requires a headset, which can be costly and cumbersome. However, consumers don’t necessarily need to own a headset to enjoy a virtual reality experience. In fact, virtual reality is more accessible than most consumers realize. Here are five virtual reality experiences for consumers that want to explore the metaverse but that, perhaps, don’t want to spend hundreds on a new headset or goggles. GOOGLE CARDBOARD With Google Cardboard, the smartphone can transform into a virtual reality headset. While this experience isn’t free, it is very inexpensive. Google Cardboard headsets can be purchased in a range of prices, and several cost less than $10. How do consumers know which Cardboard option is best? Choose the option that fits the smartphone screen. Feeling DIY inspired? Google also offers instructions online on how to build a viewer from basic items found around the home. Or make a list from the tutorial and visit a hardware store. After building or receiving the viewer, consumers can download the Google Cardboard app via the App Store or Google Play and start enjoying virtual reality experiences! Virtual Reality Experience [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Virtual-Reality-Spa-Experiences.jpg] VIRTUAL REALITY SPA EXPERIENCES Virtual reality experiences are now used to enhance spa treatments. While virtual reality isn’t being used as a treatment, it is being utilized to help guests relax and enjoy a more immersive state of relaxation. Virtual reality headsets allow guests to enjoy a getaway of their choice. Guests can transport to a lush paradise or another scenic environment as they sit in a massage chair. The experience is called Esquapes Immersive Relaxation and also uses fans combined with heat lamps to create a more realistic virtual—and warm!—getaway. VIRTUAL REALITY GAMES Local adventure parks often include virtual reality games or other experiences. Many charge a fee for participating, but for those who want to experience virtual reality without committing to a headset, these games and experiences are great options. To find virtual reality offerings, just search for “virtual reality experiences near me” on Google. Or ask a virtual assistant via a smartphone. Yes, it’s really that easy. And many major cities will offer something virtual! Virtual Reality Experience [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Virtual-Reality-Museum-Experiences.jpg] VIRTUAL REALITY MUSEUM EXPERIENCES Some museums offer virtual reality experiences to allow guests to immerse in an art or other exhibit. These experiences vary but are a unique way to explore an exhibit or work of art. Some exhibits are even virtual by design! Museum Next included a round-up of different museums offering virtual reality and how each has utilized this technology to enhance their exhibits. For example, the V&A used virtual reality for its Curious Alice exhibit, which focused on the “…origins, adaptations and reinventions…” of the classic adventures by Lewis Carroll. The virtual experience transports the visitor into Wonderland. Go on quests, solve riddles (from the Caterpillar, of course) and interact with the characters. There’s even a game of croquet with the Queen of Hearts, because a visit into the mad world of Wonderland wouldn’t be complete without a game of croquet. Grab a flamingo! The Louvre’s dip into virtual reality also was highlighted by Museum Next. The Louvre created a virtual reality experience focused on Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Users can download the app ‘Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass’ via Google Play or the App Store. However, users must have access to Google Cardboard or a virtual reality headset to explore the app. VIRTUAL TOURS Stuck at home with nothing to do? Let virtual reality be the exit to another experience…or to another part of the world. While many museums offer virtual reality experiences as part of an exhibit, many offer virtual tours, too. There is no need for a headset to take a virtual tour. However, users will need access to their computer…or a smartphone or tablet. Virtual tours aren’t true virtual reality. That is, without a headset or goggles, the user doesn’t feel completely transported. Yet, tours are virtual in that they allow the user to explore the museum from home. Virtual tours can let users explore different exhibits in detail or just feel as though they are walking down the corridors of the museum, looking up at paintings or other artwork. The Sistine Chapel allows those at home to view Michelangelo’s artwork on the Chapel’s ceiling. Use the mouse (or the finger) to navigate through this historic and wondrous site. Directional arrows via the virtual tour allow users to get closer to different areas of the Chapel (and artwork by different artists). Or rotate the tour upwards to view the ceiling. Other museums include virtual tours of exhibits or may even allow guests to schedule more immersive and lengthy private virtual tours led by a personal tour guide from the museum. Different museums may provide unique experiences and offerings. However, those who are interested in exploring virtual reality experiences at local museums might want to visit their websites first. Many virtual tours are accessible via the museum’s website or there may be additional information related to virtual tours posted online as well. Virtual Reality Experience [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Virtual-Reality-Experience-for-Shopping.jpg] VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE FOR SHOPPING? Consumers might find themselves stuck at home during a rainy or snowy day but still want to go shopping or at least window shop. Most consumers know that online shopping is a convenient way to order what they need and find what they want; many stores even allow consumers to buy online and ship to the store (often for free!). Plus, online shopping is open and accessible rain or shine. But is online shopping virtual reality? Not quite. Many people use the term ‘virtual’ to describe an experience that doesn’t take place in person or at a physical location. However, the metaverse still can be used to aid shoppers in their online experiences. Virtual reality hasn’t yet hit mainstream popularity. Many individuals at home don’t have access to virtual reality headsets or goggles. And while stores could offer virtual experiences at their physical locations, what about online shopping? Can virtual reality be used to help shoppers online? These completely virtual experiences aren’t yet common. Although they could be in the future. Perhaps if Meta releases a very affordable virtual reality headset, it’s possible that the metaverse could be used for shopping. Perhaps malls go virtual. However, the metaverse is accessible via another technology that’s very similar to virtual reality. Augmented reality combines the real world environment and the metaverse. Using the camera on a smartphone or tablet, the user visualizes the real world, and augmented reality apps then overlay graphics into this environment. Since augmented reality combines the real world with graphics, the technology is popular for ‘try on’ experiences that allow consumers to preview products. The camera can be used as a window or a mirror. For example, the user can capture their own face via the camera and an augmented reality try on experience can let them virtually swipe on makeup hues or even hair colors! These experiences also let the consumer explore and enjoy products in new ways. And they also could decrease the likelihood of a return. After all, if an individual can preview a lipstick color, they can decide if the color flatters their complexion. Or if it’s a big no. Before augmented reality experiences became more mainstream, the consumer had to guess about products. Now, though, augmented reality lets consumers drop furniture into a room to see if it fits. Or try on a pair of eyeglasses. Paint colors can even be previewed on walls. While augmented reality doesn’t transport the user to another realm, it does mix reality with the metaverse. The furniture that is virtually placed into a room doesn’t really exist. It’s just a depiction. A computer graphic. But could virtual reality be used to create even more immersive experiences in the future? That might depend on the future of virtual reality. For many consumers, virtual reality headsets aren’t practical or affordable. Some consumers might not even enjoy virtual reality, as the experience could make them feel sick or induce a headache. However, if the headsets become more mainstream, perhaps more affordable, then maybe the metaverse could expand to include virtual shopping experiences. The future of the metaverse, though, also may be a long way off. While Meta (the company) is interested in furthering these experiences, consumers could see different iterations of the metaverse. Or different metaverse destinations that are branded by different tech companies. Apple could deploy its own metaverse with virtual reality experiences. There could be a Google metaverse. And a Facebook metaverse…or, rather, a Meta metaverse. For now, though, augmented reality could be the easiest way for consumers to enjoy a semi-virtual experience without the headset or maybe even the headache. However, for those who really want to fully immerse into a virtual world and leave reality behind, stepping into virtual reality might be as easy as visiting a local museum or even a spa. And for those who wish to deploy virtual reality without an expensive headset, Google Cardboard could be the cheapest ticket to the fully virtual metaverse!