Blog

RELAYCARS

The Best Cars for Short Drivers in Each Price Range

The Best Cars for Short Drivers in Each Price Range

March 30, 2022

Most vehicles are designed with the average driver in mind, and the majority of models are produced on an assembly line. Typically, these vehicles are one-size-fits-all, but, for some drivers, these one-size options might not be a fit at all. Individuals who are petite or shorter than the average height might struggle to find the best car. No driver wants to barely see out of the windshield or need to add extra pillows to see behind them to back up, and a custom vehicle could be unaffordable. These are the best cars for short drivers in each price range for buyers who are on a budget or who have more to spend. LUXURY CARS FOR SHORT DRIVERS * Lincoln Corsair $36,370 * BMW 7 Series $86,800 * Lexus ES $40,800 * BMW X5 $60,600 * BMW X3 $43,700 * Lexus RX $45,920 MID-PRICED CARS FOR SHORT DRIVERS * Volkswagen Tiguan $26,490 * Honda Odyssey $33,040 * Hyundai Santa Fe $27,200 * Honda CR-V $26,400 * Chevrolet Equinox $25,800 * Subaru Forester $25,395 * Toyota Camry $25,395 BUDGET-FRIENDLY CARS FOR SHORT DRIVERS * Kia Soul $17,590 * Mazda CX-30 $22,200 Both Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Consumer Reports included a list of the best vehicles for short drivers; these lists were merged and compiled into recommendations according to pricing. However, not all models featured by KBB and Consumer Reports were included in the above lists. CARS FOR SHORT PEOPLE: THESE FEATURES CAN IMPROVE THE DRIVE Those who sit have a shorter torso or shorter legs might look for certain features in their vehicles to help to improve the driving experience. Some beneficial features/upgrades include: POWER SEATS These controls let drivers move their seat to better position the body and provide a more comfortable driving experience. Some seats also rise up higher to provide the driver with better windshield visibility. SEAT MEMORY Some vehicles are equipped to remember each driver’s seat position. This is beneficial when more than one driver operates the vehicle. ADJUSTABLE TILT AND TELESCOPING STEERING WHEEL This option lets drivers adjust the position of the steering wheel to their height or comfort. SMART REARVIEW MIRRORS These smart mirrors can be beneficial for all drivers. At night, a smart rearview mirror will show the rear camera view of the vehicle to aid navigation. POWER LIFTGATE KBB recommends this feature for shorter drivers. For some, the back lift gate can be tough to close. The power gate is hands-free and convenient. RUNNING BOARDS KBB also noted that running boards can help shorter drivers (or passengers) get in and out of vehicles more easily. Think of the boards as a small step. Best Cars for Short Drivers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Best-Car-for-Short-People.jpg] BEST CAR FOR SHORT PEOPLE: USE A TEST DRIVE TO FIND THE IDEAL CAR While some features can be added to provide a more comfortable fit in the driver’s seat and take control of navigation features easily, drivers also shouldn’t skip the test drive. Taking a test drive can help drivers determine if the car is comfortable for them. Are controls easy to use? Can the driver’s seat adjust to the proper position that maximizes visibility and simplifies navigation? Drivers might find that they simply don’t like the way the car handles on the road. The driver’s seat might not be a comfortable fit. Some drivers also might discover that they don’t have the best visibility or perhaps can’t lift the seat high enough for their comfort. A test drive lets buyers determine if that car really is the best choice. Sometimes the car’s downsides become apparent once the driver is behind the wheel and is on the road. BEST CARS FOR SHORT PEOPLE THAT RUN ON ELECTRIC All the recommended models for shorter individuals all run on standard fuel. As the price at the pump climbs, some buyers might be considering electric models. What are the best electric cars for shorter drivers? The Chevrolet Equinox (which was featured on KBB’s list) will soon be offered in an electric model. Tesla models also could be good options for short drivers as they offer great visibility, and some models include auto park and even auto lane assist features. Best Cars for Short Drivers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Good-Cars-for-Short-People.jpg] GOOD CARS FOR SHORT PEOPLE: THE BEST HYBRID OPTIONS Many of the vehicles on the lists from both KBB and Consumer Reports include hybrid models. While hybrids are more expensive, they could be great for drivers who want to maximize fuel efficiency, and, most importantly, save money each month on the price at the pump. These are the best hybrid that might be good cars for short people: * Toyota Camry Hybrid $27,480 51 MPG city / 53 MPG highway * Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid $34,300 36 MPG city * Honda CR-V Hybrid $31,610 40 MPG city / 35 MPG highway * Lexus RX Hybrid $49,345 30 MPG (combined) * Lexus ES Hybrid $41,900 43 MPG city / 44 MPG highway * BMW X5 PHEV $63,700 Estimated Range: 400 miles (fuel and battery) * Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring $51,595 Estimated Range: 430 miles (fuel and battery) The Toyota Camry is the most budget-friendly hybrid on the list. In addition, the 2022 Toyota Camry also earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, a separate safety report for the hybrid was not offered. WHAT IS THE BEST CAR FOR SHORT DRIVERS? The best car for short drivers might depend on the individual’s opinion. While car buyers can search for options in their price, opt for features that ease seat adjustment and navigation and even compare safety reports for models, the best way to find the ideal option might be to take it for a test drive. Every buyer has their own checklist of ‘must-have’ features for a vehicle, but buyers also could quietly consider some features or options to be ‘deal breakers.’ These features could be related to safety systems of other vehicle options. The most affordable option for those on a budget is the Kia Soul, which is priced at less than $20,000. However, buyers who are on a tighter budget also could shop for their best options via KBB’s site. Buyers can compare prices of new and used at local dealerships. For buyers without a budget, there are many high-end vehicles that might be customized to a driver’s specific needs. These ‘couture cars,’ though, could take some time to build and might have price tags into the six figures if not beyond. Buyers who want to save money at the pump might prefer to shop for electric or hybrid models. In fact, several of the cars recommended by KBB and Consumer Reports include hybrid options. Those who need a vehicle for commuting might focus on hybrids. Best Cars for Short Drivers [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/What-are-the-Worst-Cars-for-Short-Drivers.jpg] WHAT ARE THE WORST CARS FOR SHORT DRIVERS? Shorter or petite drivers might wonder if certain cars are a no-go for them. Consumer Reports rounded up both the best cars for short drivers and the vehicles they might avoid, too. According to Consumer Reports, the worst cars for short drivers included these models: * Chevrolet Camaro * Toyota Tacoma * Ford F-150 * Jeep Gladiator * Mitsubishi Mirage * Nissan Titan * Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon The list from Consumer Reports included several other models, too. Buyers can reference the list to better understand the models that might not be a good fit. Unfortunately, the list from Consumer Reports included the Ford F-150, which happens to be the most popular vehicle in the country (it’s held this title for decades). In addition, the Mitsubishi Mirage also was listed as a bad choice for short drivers. The Mirage is the most fuel-efficient model on the market (that isn’t a hybrid). The Jeep Wrangler and the Gladiator also were named to the list. Jeep aficionados might decide to test drive other models like the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee to see if these Jeeps are a better fit. EXPLORE DIFFERENT MODELS WITH RELAYCARS Car shoppers don’t have to visit the dealership to explore different makes/models. Instead, download the RelayCars app or use the RelayCars mobile site to research thousands of vehicles and explore them using interactive 3D imagery, augmented reality and virtual reality. The RelayCars app is available for free via Google Play (for Android) or the App Store (for Apple). With the app, users can explore different vehicles in virtual reality (with Google Cardboard) or with on-screen 3D interactive images. Images display the car’s exterior and interior features. Interact with these images using just a fingertip; turn them around and view the exterior of the vehicle from all angles. Users also can explore the interior of the car, too; interactive imagery gives the user the feeling that they are sitting in the front seat and looking around the car. Car shoppers also can visit the RelayCars mobile site to explore cars in augmented reality or with 3D imagery. The on-site 3D experience mirrors the experience found on the app. However, the RelayCars website also includes the option of using an augmented reality showroom experience to preview cars. Site visitors can access the experience using their smartphone or tablet camera. Whatever environment is captured in the camera is where a 3D augmented reality vehicle will appear. Car shoppers can preview a car in their living room, in the garage or anywhere they choose. With RelayCars, buyers can explore vehicles on their terms and at their leisure. RelayCars also includes price information and specs for each vehicle, too. Use RelayCars to research the best vehicle options and then visit a dealership to complete the buying journey.

What Happens When You Total a Financed Car?

What Happens When You Total a Financed Car?

March 28, 2022

Getting into a car accident is every driver’s worst nightmare. Depending on the extent of the accident, the damage to the car could be minimal (as with a small fender bender) or it could be so bad that the car is actually totaled. What happens if you total a financed car? Financing a car is very common. Many car owners have a car loan on their vehicle, and this means that the lender has a financial stake in the vehicle; this financial stake is called a lien. When a car is totaled and there is still an outstanding loan balance on the vehicle, there are a few scenarios that could happen. All of these scenarios could lead to very different financial implications for the borrower/car owner. What Happens When You Total a Financed Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/When-a-Car-is-Totaled-without-Primary-Insurance.jpg] WHEN A CAR IS TOTALED WITHOUT PRIMARY INSURANCE Totaling a car when it isn’t insured is the absolute worst case scenario for the buyer. Before the car is driven off the dealership lot, the car owner should make sure that they have insurance to cover the vehicle. Not only does a driver have the legal responsibility to hold auto insurance, but this coverage also protects the car owner/borrower from any potential devastating financial consequences if they get into an accident. According to Bankrate, New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that does not require drivers to carry insurance. If a driver is pulled over and it is revealed that they don’t have insurance, the penalties will vary from state to state. However, if a driver is in an accident, and they don’t have insurance, the financial repercussions can reverberate far beyond just a ticket. If the driver was at fault, the financial responsibility for the other driver’s hospital bills, car damage, etc. will likely be on the driver. The financial devastation also extends to the driver’s own vehicle. If the vehicle isn’t insured, the driver will need to find a way to pay for repairs. If the vehicle is totaled, and the car owner is still paying off the loan, the car owner will likely be responsible for whatever needs to be paid to the lender. Even if the accident wasn’t the fault of the uninsured driver, there could still be consequences. Nolo explains that the lack of insurance “…could limit your ability to get compensation for your car accident injuries and related losses.” States have different ways of guiding the accident process and the damages that can be collected from accidents. Some states are “no fault” states, which mean that the injured party has to collect from their insurance provider. Other states have “no play, no play” laws, and this means that if the driver wasn’t at-fault but also wasn’t insured, they have limits on what they can collect from the other driver. WHEN A FINANCED CAR IS TOTALED WITHOUT GAP INSURANCE A car owner whose car is totaled in an accident also might discover that they are underinsured. The car owner might only have primary insurance coverage that protects their vehicle and provides liability coverage, too. However, there are limitations on insurance coverage. Most policy holders have to pay a deductible as part of their coverage; this is deducted from any payments made to the car owner for repairs or for a totaled vehicle. If the vehicle is totaled, the insurance company will pay for the vehicle’s “actual cash value”. Kelley Blue Book explains that actual cash value reflects deductions from the car’s depreciation. Since cars depreciate once they drive off the lot, the actual cash value of a totaled vehicle could be much less than what a car owner owes to a lender. Not only might the car owner receive less than what they owe, but, again, they also will be responsible for their deductible. The insurance company will pay the lender the actual cash value of the vehicle (less any applicable deductible), and the car owner will likely be responsible for the difference. When an individual purchases a new car, the dealership might offer ‘GAP insurance.’ GAP stands for ‘guaranteed asset protection’ and will typically cover the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the loan amount. GAP insurance helps car buyers who may be underwater in their loan. Some car insurance companies could offer GAP insurance as part of the policy, but car owners need to check with their insurance to see if GAP insurance is part of their coverage. Otherwise, car buyers who know they are underwater at the time of purchase might need to purchase this coverage as added protection. What Happens When You Total a Financed Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/When-a-Financed-Car-is-Totaled-and-Has-Both-Primary-and-GAP-Coverage.jpg] WHEN A FINANCED CAR IS TOTALED AND HAS BOTH PRIMARY AND GAP COVERAGE Car owners might pay for both primary auto insurance and GAP coverage for a vehicle. In this case, the car should have enough coverage to pay off the lender in case the vehicle is totaled. Deductibles, though, might still be an issue. However, KBB explains that GAP coverage also could cover the deductible. Even if the car owner was responsible for a deductible, covering $500 for a deductible is much better than paying off $10,000 for an underinsured vehicle. WHEN A FINANCED CAR IS TOTALED AND HAS EQUITY The final scenario that a car owner might face is that their car is totaled near the end of their loan term. In this case, the car might have enough equity in the vehicle that the insurance settlement is enough to pay the remainder of the car’s remaining loan balance. The car owner might even have money remaining after paying off the car’s loan to make a down payment on another vehicle. However, the lender will be paid first, as they hold a lien on the vehicle. THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A VEHICLE While car buyers don’t want to think about totaling a new vehicle, accidents happen. Sometimes accidents might be unavoidable. Drivers also can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road. When buying a new vehicle, car owners need to ensure that their car is properly protected by insurance. Car owners need to weigh the price of insurance premiums and deductibles, too. Some buyers would rather pay higher premiums for lower deductibles. Others would rather deal with a higher deductible than pay more money for those premiums. If a car owner knows that their car will be underwater at the time of purchase, GAP coverage could help them in the event that their vehicle is totaled. Even if another party is at fault for the accident (assuming the car owner doesn’t live in a no-fault state), insurance will only cover the actual cash value of the vehicle. The ‘totaled’ value could be much less than what the car owner owes to their lender. If they don’t have GAP coverage, they could end up severely impacted by a car accident that wasn’t even their fault. When buying a vehicle, car buyers can investigate coverage options through their current auto insurance provider or by purchasING GAP coverage from the dealership. Car buyers might consider GAP coverage when they are only able to make a small down payment or when they rollover a previous auto loan into a new loan. FINDING THE MOST AFFORDABLE VEHICLE Car buyers who are on the hunt for a new vehicle might focus on the options that are within their specific budget. Ideally, car buyers should have money set aside to make a down payment on their new vehicle. However, a trade-in also can help offset the value of a newer purchase. A larger down payment can help offset the costs of depreciation for the vehicle. Nerdwallet advises that car buyers should allocate 20 percent of the purchase price for the down payment. This means that if the car costs $30,000, then the buyer should make a $6,000 down payment. Not all buyers are in a position, though, to make such a substantial down payment. Some borrowers are faced with needing a car ASAP. They may have little saved up for a down payment. While down payments can help offset those depreciation costs, Nerdwallet also explains that a higher down payment can lead to lower interest rates and lower monthly payments, too. Again, a trade-in also can help with the down payment. If a car owner has a trade-in that is worth $4,000 and is buying a $30,000 car, that trade-in counts towards the down payment. EXPLORING NEW CAR OPTIONS Car buyers might be in the beginning phase of their new car search. RelayCars provides immersive tools to explore all the options. With RelayCars, car buyers can explore cars via 3D models, augmented reality or even use Google Cardboard to explore cars in virtual reality.. RelayCars offers an inventory of thousands of vehicles. Car buyers can research the car’s base price and features, too. When researching cars at home, buyers can use their smartphone or tablet camera to explore their favorite models in augmented reality. RelayCars lets cars appear in the user’s own environment to create an augmented reality car showroom. Car buyers can drop a car model into their living room, their garage or their driveway.  While users can access the augmented reality experience via the RelayCars’ website, the app offers a virtual reality experience, too. With the virtual reality experience, however, buyers need to have a Google Cardboard viewer.  Download RelayCars for free via the App Store or Google Play!

These are the Most Popular 2022 Car Models

These are the Most Popular 2022 Car Models

March 25, 2022

The 2022 models from manufacturers dropped in 2021. With the supply chip crunch, though, some models might have had limited production. Others might not stay on the lot. While every year has popular models, 2021 and 2022 have been unique in that many models are selling quickly—even used and pre-owned options With a supply crunch comes higher prices, but the sticker prices aren’t necessarily keeping buyers from the dealerships. While dealerships might be flooded with buyer interest, the most popular 2022 car models sell quickly and might be very difficult to find. Car and Driver rounded up the vehicles that have been impacted by the shortage. Some of the most popular models impacted by the chip crisis included: * Audi Q7 * Porsche Cayenne * Volkswagen Touareg * Chevrolet Camaro, Equinox, Malibu, Traverse * Cadillac XT4, XT5 and XT6 * GMC Acadia * Ford F-150 * Ford: Bronco Sport, F-150, Explorer, Mustang * Jeep Grand Cherokee * Dodge Durango * Mercedes-Benz C-Class * Mini Cooper * Nissan: Altima, Leaf, Maxima, Murano, Rogue The list from Car and Driver is much more extensive, but it also was released back in April 2021. However, buyers should know that new models are released in the fall. That means that in Fall 2021, 2022 models were expected to drop. The list, therefore, was a bit of an early warning for buyers hoping to score a new model. WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR CARS? Ford’s F-Series is America’s favorite automobile. It consistently ranks as a top-seller, and it also was featured on Car and Driver’s list of the models affected by the chip crisis. Car buyers hoping for a Ford truck might still have difficulty finding new models, although supply might depend on the area. Car and Driver also ranked the most popular (i.e. best selling) vehicles for 2021 according to sales data. The F-Series took the top spot—more than 726,000 were sold. The Ram Pickup was the second most popular (more than 569,000 sold), the Chevrolet Silverado was the third best-selling vehicle (more than 519,000 were sold). Toyota’s small SUV the RAV4 ranked fourth, with more than 407,000 sold. Rounding out the top five was the Honda CR-V (more than 361,000 sold). The U.S. drivers seem to favor trucks and small SUVs, although the Toyota Camry was the sixth most popular vehicle sold in 2021. Neither Toyota nor Mazda were on the list among those with models impacted by the shortage. 2022 Car Models [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Are-2022-Models-Hard-to-Find.jpg] ARE 2022 MODELS HARD TO FIND? Car buyers might wonder if finding a new 2022 model is still difficult. Unfortunately, demand for both new and used cars is still high. This means that prices also are higher than buyers would like. Certain models might still be difficult to find. However, even if a model wasn’t among those on the list from Car and Driver that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to find one on a dealership lot. Cars are driving off the lot quickly. Buyers also shouldn’t assume that new cars are like the toilet paper crunch from the early Covid days. While, yes, supply is tighter, buyers won’t necessarily find empty car lots or dealerships. Certain models are more difficult to find, but this might mean that buyers need to have a backup plan. If a buyer really wants to purchase a Ford F-150, would they be happy with a Silverado? Maybe a Ram would be a great option. A pre-owned model also could be considered. In times when the supply is crunchy, buyers might need to plan ahead. Research different vehicles and make a list of the five favorite options. Also, buyers probably shouldn’t be too picky on color. However, dealerships also might be able to order a vehicle for the buyer (in the color they want). WHAT ARE THE BEST 2022 CAR MODELS? There are the most popular car models, there also are the 2022 models that were among those affected by the chip shortage, but what are the best 2022 models? Are there particular vehicles that are more reliable or that offer a better design? For budget-buyers, KBB ranked the Honda Civic as the best hatchback for 2022. The Civic has a base price of $23,350. The Civic hatchback also received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Buyers who want to focus on other 2022 models with the best safety ratings could also consider a Toyota Sienna (minivan), Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Subaru Outback, Kia Stinger, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Honda Odyssey and many more models. The least expensive model for 2022 might be the Chevrolet Spark. The compact Spark is priced at $13,600 and is very fuel efficient (38 MPG on the highway, 30 MPG in the city). The most fuel efficient 2022 model is the Mitsubishi Mirage. With a base price of $14,645, it’s priced slightly higher than the Chevrolet Spark. However, the Mirage can get 39 MPG combined, making it the most fuel efficient option on the market that isn’t a hybrid or an electric vehicle. 2022 Car Models [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Shopping-for-New-2022-Car-Models.jpg] SHOPPING FOR NEW 2022 CAR MODELS When car buyers are shopping for a new 2022 car model, they might want to keep their options open. Inventory might be a bit more limited in some areas than in others, but dealerships across the country are feeling the crunch. Unfortunately for buyers, this is not the ideal time to become super fastidious about features or even paint color. Some models might be missing some features because of the low chip supply, and if a buyer is fortunate to find the car they want, the color might be a small trade-off for scoring their ideal vehicle. Although prices are higher at dealerships, buyers might still wish to negotiate. One of the best negotiating chips that buyers have right now is regarding the price of a trade-in. Car prices are rising, but this is good for buyers who have a car to offer dealerships. Using a car for a trade-in can help lower the cost of the new vehicle. Buyers also might be shocked to know that the prices of older models have bumped up, too. In fact, it was reported that a car owner actually sold a seven-year old car for more than he originally paid for it! That older car can be worth much more than buyers expect, but they need to do their research to find out the true value of that older vehicle. Before heading to the dealership, car owners should use sites like Kelley Blue Book to research their car’s value. KBB will require the owner to include many details about the car, but the site is a great way for buyers to go into the dealership knowing their car’s worth. Car buyers also should research their car options online. Visit dealership websites to find out who is offering the best prices or who might have the best deals. Some sites let buyers do a comprehensive search across multiple dealerships. Many dealership prices might be comparable. If a car buyer sees the model they want, though, they might reach out to the dealership and make contact. As car buyers are focusing on used car options, too, buyers in some markets might have some competitors. While car buyers might still want to take their time to find the car they want at the best prices, they also need to be aware of the inventory situation in their area. Some states might be tougher to navigate than others with the current shortage.   SHOULD BUYERS WAIT FOR 2023 MODELS? Not all car buyers are in a rush to buy a new vehicle. For those just looking, perhaps waiting would be a great option. In the fall, new 2023 models will be released. This will, hopefully, add some more inventory to dealerships and give buyers more selection. In addition, the chip shortage won’t last forever. The supply crunch also isn’t permanent. The market will take a turn, and those who can wait might find more buying options and better prices. Those who need a car now, though, might simply need to navigate the dealerships in their market to find the best 2022 car model that fits both their driving needs and their budget. Those who have a trade-in to offer might be in a better bargaining position, but, again, car owners should research their trade-in so they know exactly how much their car is worth. PREVIEWING 2023 MODELS Buyers who are waiting for 2023 models in the fall also can keep an eye on sites like RelayCars. The site provides buyers with an immersive way of exploring new models. RelayCars adds new models constantly; when buyers visit the site online, they can explore vehicles in 3D models or in augmented reality. Car buyers also can download the RelayCars app. The app provides 3D car model exploration experiences; users can explore cars with a fingertip! The RelayCars app also lets users explore vehicles in virtual reality using Google Cardboard. Watch the app and the website as 2023 models will be added as soon as they begin to drive into dealerships!

What is the Average Horsepower of a Car?

What is the Average Horsepower of a Car?

March 23, 2022

In the days before automobiles were invented, horses were the main mode of transportation. These beasts of burden pulled wagons and carriages. The term horsepower became associated with engine power because of engineer James Watt; LiveScience explains that he needed to translate his engine’s power dominance in a way that people could understand.   Today, the engine of a modern car is still denoted by horsepower. What is the average horsepower of a car and should this spec be a major consideration for car buyers? Car and Driver released the most popular cars for 2022; here is the horsepower of the top five models: * Ford F-Series (150) 290 to 450 horsepower * Ram Pickup (1500) 260 to 702 horsepower * Chevrolet Silverado (1500) 277 to 420 horsepower * Toyota RAV4 203 horsepower * Jeep Grand Cherokee 293 to 357 horsepower THE HORSEPOWER OF TRUCKS AND SUVS Consumers will notice that all the most popular vehicles seem to have significant horsepower. However, the most popular vehicles of the year also are SUVs and trucks. Heavier vehicles include more powerful engines. In addition, the F-Series, Ram pickup and the Silverado also are designed for towing. Pulling extra weight requires a more powerful engine, and, thus, more horsepower. While trucks and SUVs need powerful engines, what about the standard sedan or compact car? How much horsepower do these cars offer? THE MOST POPULAR SEDANS OF 2022 Car and Driver’s list of 2022’s best-selling vehicles (so far, as the year isn’t even halfway over) also included numerous sedans and small cars. Here are the most popular cars, according to current sales figures and the horsepower for each model: * Toyota Camry (ranked 7th) 202 to 301 horsepower * Tesla Model Y (ranked 11th) About 480 horsepower * Toyota Corolla (ranked 14th) 139 to 169 horsepower * Honda Accord (ranked 19th) 192 to 252 horsepower * Tesla Model 3 (ranked 20th) 480 horsepower * Ford Escape (ranked 21st) 181 to 250 horsepower * Honda Civic (ranked 23rd) 158 to 180 horsepower * Nissan Altima (ranked 24th) 182 to 236 horsepower While the Tesla models offer massive power for a smaller vehicle, many of the other models hover around a horsepower of around 200. What influences horsepower of these vehicles, and how is this spec even defined? Car and Driver explains that horsepower is calculated by the torque multiplied by the RPM, and the site explains that, per Watts (the engineer who coined horsepower), “…one horsepower is the power required to lift 33,000 pounds exactly one foot in one minute.” The amount of airflow in the engine influences the torque, and bigger engines allow more air and, thus, produce more torque. Average Horsepower of a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/What-is-the-Average-Horsepower-of-a-Car.jpg] WHAT IS THE AVERAGE HORSEPOWER OF A CAR? The most popular cars offer about 200 horsepower. Is this average? The site Motor Hills states that 120 might be the average horsepower of cars. However, according to MotorTrend, the average horsepower for “light vehicles” in 2021 was about 250; this figure was cited to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For 2022 models, the horsepower specs are similar. Today’s buyers might expect many new models to offer a horsepower around 200 to 250. Average Horsepower of a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Least-Powerful-Car-for-2022.jpg] THE LEAST POWERFUL CAR FOR 2022 While the average horsepower for many vehicles might hover around 250, there are many cars that fall well below the average. What are the cars with the least amount of horsepower? Autobytel rounded up the least powerful options. A few of the least powerful were discontinued; here are the five current models with the least amount of horsepower: * Mitsubishi Mirage 78 horsepower * Chevrolet Spark 98 horsepower * Nissan Versa 122 horsepower * Nissan Sentra 149 horsepower * Hyundai Elantra 147 to 201 horsepower Both the Mirage and the Spark offer a horsepower of less than 100. Don’t expect these vehicles to offer much get-up-and-go in the form of acceleration and power. However, all the models on the list are some of the most affordable options available. In fact, the Spark and the Mirage are the two most affordable models for new vehicles. The Spark has a starting MSRP of $13,600, and the Mirage starts at $14,645. The Nissan Versa is slightly more expensive than the Mirage, with a starting MSRP of $15,380. Average Horsepower of a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Is-Horsepower-an-Important-Spec.jpg] IS HORSEPOWER AN IMPORTANT SPEC? Buyers might wonder if they should focus their new car search on horsepower figures. Horsepower can be an important consideration for those that need extra power for towing. Yet, towing capacity might influence buying decisions, too. Smaller vehicles like the Mirage and the Spark also offer less power. For some buyers, these cars are great options because they are so affordable. Buyers that want better acceleration, though, might look at other more powerful models. Is horsepower an important spec? For some buyers it could be something worth considering. Those on a budget, though, might not care about the horsepower of their engine. They might just want a new car that is affordable, fuel efficient and is safe. While the vehicles with the lowest horsepower might not be the most powerful cars available, they are quite budget friendly. In addition, the 2022 Nissan Sentra and the 2022 Hyundai Elantra received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (when equipped with specific headlights) from the insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The least powerful vehicles also make up for their lack of horsepower with amazing fuel efficiency. The Mitsubishi Mirage offers the best fuel efficiency (for a non-hybrid model) on the market. Here’s how each model ranks by MPG: * Mitsubishi Mirage 36 MPG city / 43 MPG highway * Hyundai Elantra 33 MPG city / 43 MPG highway * Nissan Versa 32 MPG city / 40 MPG highway * Chevrolet Spark 30 MPG city / 36 MPG highway * Nissan Sentra 29 MPG city / 39 MPG highway Average Horsepower of a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Horsepower-of-Sports-Cars.jpg] THE HORSEPOWER OF SPORTS CARS Car buyers might each have a different checklist for the most important qualities of a new vehicle. Again, some might focus more on the price, the fuel efficiency or even the safety ratings. In fact, millennials tend to look at these three figures when shopping for a car. Some buyers, though, want raw power. Sports cars are designed to be fast, and buyers of these automobiles might not care about the price or the fuel needs of these cars. Sports cars also have lots of horsepower. LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN Lamborghini is luxury and speed. These cars are for buyers without a budget. The Lamborghini Huracán has a starting price of $327,838 and has a 630 horsepower engine. Motor1 noted that the Huracán can reach 200 MPH. FERRARI 812 GTS The Ferrari 812 GTS is new for 2022. The model boasts an engine with 789 horsepower. Car and Driver posits that this one will be “the end of an era,” as newer models will be hybrids. Carbuzz estimates that those interested in buying the new GTS might budget around $370,000. KOENIGSEGG REGERA The hybrid Regera was last produced in 2020. However, this model is worth noting because it boasted an engine with 1500 horsepower. The price tag? The Regera cost about $1.9 million. TESLA MODEL S PLAID Those who think that electric can’t be a superpower might want to rethink their view on electric engines. The Tesla Model S Plaid’s engine boasts 1,020 horsepower. The Model S Plaid can hit speeds of 200 MPH, and it can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just under two seconds. It also offers an estimated range of 396 miles. The Model S Plaid is priced at $104,490. USE RELAYCARS TO EXPLORE VEHICLES AND COMPARE HORSEPOWER While horsepower might not be the main consideration of some buyers, it could be a stat worth researching when comparing two different models. When car buyers want to research their options, they can download the RelayCars app or visit the mobile website to explore thousands of makes and models. The RelayCars app is free to download via the App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android). The app lets car shoppers explore a vast inventory with interactive 3D models or virtual reality (for those with access to Google Cardboard). With the app, car shoppers can use their fingertips to interact with digital imagery of cars on the screen. Turn the car around and view the exterior from all angles. In addition, RelayCars provides buyers with the MSRP and specs for all models in its extensive inventory. Understand the horsepower of the engine and compare it to other options. Those who decide to visit the RelayCars website from their mobile device also can explore 3D car models. In addition, the mobile site also lets buyers use augmented reality to preview different vehicles in their own environment. Use the camera of a smartphone or tablet to capture any real backdrop. The augmented reality experience will then drop the selected vehicle into this space. Preview cars, trucks, minivans and SUVs anywhere. In addition, the RelayCars website also offers data for every model. Use RelayCars to explore and research new cars before buying. When shoppers have decided on a few favorite models, they can start searching for the best prices. With RelayCars, shopping for a new car is immersive, interactive, and, most importantly, enjoyable!

High Clearance Vehicle for Buyers that Need Taller and Tougher Rides

High Clearance Vehicle for Buyers that Need Taller and Tougher Rides

March 21, 2022

Car buyers have their own checklist of features they need in their dream car. Some buyers just want a budget-friendly option, but others have their eyes set on luxury autos. Other buyers, though, are a bit more discerning. Some zero in on the cars that will best fit their driving needs, but these driving needs might have little to do with a commute. Buyers might look for the cars, trucks and SUVs that are dubbed high clearance vehicles. What does this mean? Why are high clearance vehicles desirable? High Clearance Vehicle [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/What-is-a-High-Clearance-Vehicle.jpg] WHAT IS A HIGH CLEARANCE VEHICLE? A high clearance vehicle sits higher off the ground than a standard vehicle. While the definition of a high clearance vehicle may include varying measurements, the National Parks Service (NPS) defines this type of vehicle that dares to venture into Death Valley National Park as one that has tire rims measuring 15 inches (or more).  In comparison, NPS defines the standard vehicle as having “…less than 8 inches of clearance from the lowest point of the frame, body, suspension, or differential, to the ground.” A high-clearance vehicle can have two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive capabilities. The NPS designates that certain roads can only be navigated by vehicles designed to handle their terrain. This is why the NPS offers definitions for these types of vehicles on its site. Other auto sites could have different definitions for what is considered a high-clearance vehicle, but anything less than 15 inch wheels can’t take on the toughest terrain designated for high-clearance 4WD vehicles on the most rugged roads/trails in national parks. HIGHEST GROUND CLEARANCE SUV Motor Biscuit highlighted five SUVs with the highest ground clearance. These SUVs include: * Volvo XC90 * Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk * Jeep Wrangler Rubicon * Land Rover Discovery * Land Rover Range Rover The Range Rover is noted by Motor Biscuit as being the highest clearance vehicle, towering 11.7 inches. The Rubicon stands 10.8 inches. For buyers wondering how any of these vehicles can possibly tackle the 15-inch wheel criteria of NPS, it should be noted that larger rims can be equipped to certain vehicles to expand ground clearance. Jeep owners or those who drive other massive SUVs might swap out standard tires for larger options to adequately equip the vehicle for rougher terrain. SMALLEST CARS WITH HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE Cars that are only equipped with front-wheel drive likely won’t be able to take on any serious terrain—buyers won’t want to hit the paths not traveled. However, some buyers might wonder what small cars offer the highest ground clearance. For standard cars, high ground clearance likely won’t be high as defined by off-roading vehicles. Autobytel compiled a list of the highest ground clearance sedans and hatchback vehicles. Here are the top five models with the highest clearance: * 2021 Nissan Versa (stands 6.8 inches) * 2021 Mazda 6 (6.5 inches) * 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage (6.3 inches) * 2022 Subaru Legacy (5.9 inches) * 2021 Nissan Leaf (5.9 inches) High Clearance Vehicle [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Why-Would-Buyers-Prefer-Cars-with-High-Ground-Clearance.jpg] WHY WOULD BUYERS PREFER CARS WITH HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE? High ground clearance isn’t just beneficial for off-roading or taking on tough terrain, high ground clearance also is beneficial for those who have difficulty getting in and out of vehicles. When a car is higher, it’s easier for an individual to slide in and out of the car. In contrast, vehicles that sit low require drivers and passengers to squat down or pull themselves out of the vehicle. For those with injuries or who might have medical conditions that impact movement, lower vehicles can be very difficult for entering and exiting. Pregnant women or individuals with families also might find vehicles with higher ground clearance easier. When putting toddlers or small children into car seats, taller vehicles can just be easier. Caregivers don’t have to duck down or bend over as much. DOES HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE AFFECT THE PRICE OF A VEHICLE? Are taller vehicles an option for buyers on a budget? Of course! While new SUVs might be more expensive than standard smaller vehicles, shopping used or pre-owned  SUV or truck models can make these vehicles affordable to budget-conscious buyers. Some buyers need a higher vehicle because they are easier for those who might have difficulty getting into or out of the vehicle. Used models can be found at all different price levels, however, when shopping on a budget, buyers might have trade-offs when it comes to that low price. Used models could have lower prices because of: * Condition * Age * Mileage * Make/Model The value of a vehicle is impacted by these factors, and a car’s value will decrease as it ages and racks up more miles. The condition of the vehicle impacts its price, too. If a car is rusty or if the interior is a bit shabby, this less-than-stellar condition will lower its price. Buyers looking at luxury used or pre-owned models will still pay more for these makes/models than the standard models of the same age and mileage. However, no matter the buyer’s budget, there might be something that fits their needs. LEAST EXPENSIVE HIGH CLEARANCE VEHICLE For buyers who want the most affordable high clearance model, what is the least expensive high clearance vehicle? MotorTrend ranked the off-roading vehicles that are less than $5,000. The options included: * Jeep Cherokee XJ * Nissan Xterra * Suzuki Samurai * Subaru Forrester * Subaru Outback * Jeep Wrangler YJ For the least expensive standard vehicle that sits at the highest clearance, buyers might opt for the Mitsubishi Mirage. The Mirage also offers the best gas mileage, too. However, buyers also shouldn’t disregard minivans. These body types also offer high clearance. Here’s the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and the * Honda Odyssey (4.5 inches) * Toyota Sienna (6.4 inches) * Kia Carnival (6.8 inches) The Kia Carnival offers the highest ground clearance for minivans, but the Toyota Sienna is only slightly lower. For families, minivans could provide maximum passenger space and higher ground clearance. However, the Kia Carnival is the most affordable option of the three minivan choices; the Carnival has a base price of $32,300. HOW HIGH IS HIGH CLEARANCE? USE RELAYCARS TO VISUALIZE THE OPTIONS Today’s buyers might start their new car research from home. Trying to understand the height of a vehicle using two-dimensional or flat photos might be difficult. How high is the vehicle? Buyers might have to do their best to understand the height until they can make a visit to the dealership. However, many car manufacturers now include augmented reality tools that help buyers better understand the design of models. Sites like RelayCars also offer augmented reality and virtual reality experiences that can transform the user’s environment into an augmented reality showroom. How does augmented reality work? Car buyers who have never experienced augmented reality shouldn’t be hesitant or wary of using this technology. Augmented reality platforms are often incredibly easy to use; they only require a smartphone or a tablet. With RelayCars, buyers also can explore thousands of different makes/models in virtual reality using Google Cardboard. Download the RelayCars app for free via the App Store or Google Play. Then choose the model from the inventory list offered by RelayCars. To explore the model in virtual reality, the user will need Google Cardboard. Users can then explore different makes and models in a virtual reality experience. . For buyers who are accessing RelayCars online with a phone or tablet, they also can explore an augmented reality experience. On the RelayCars website, explore cars using a smartphone or tablet camera to view the model. RelayCars also offers other information about each vehicle. Buyers can explore the MSRP and the specs of the model. This helps buyers to find the car that might best fit their budget. AFTER THE RESEARCH Augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D models can help buyers better visualize and understand the design of a model, but, often, the in-person experience is a necessary part of the buying process. At the dealership, buyers should take a test drive of their favorite models. For those who have difficulty entering and exiting a lower vehicle, explore the different options to find the model that is easiest to navigate. Buyers who want a higher vehicle for passenger ease should check out the back seat to ensure that it’s easy to access. Finding the best vehicle for off-roading may require a bit more research for buyers, though. Those who want to go off-roading or who are interested in venturing through national parks might need to upgrade their vehicle with special tires or just larger tires/rims. While there are many vehicles that are equipped to handle rough terrain, base models might not have all the options needed for the specific needs of adventure seeking enthusiasts. Talk to dealerships about what modifications or upgrades might be needed for off-roading, rock crawling or tougher terrain. For online research, buyers can use sites and apps like RelayCars to find more information and to better visualize their top vehicle choices. For buyers who need high clearance for off-roading adventures or to make the vehicle more accommodating, exploring the vehicle in person might be a necessary part of the buying process.

Check Out These Rare Car Colors!

Check Out These Rare Car Colors!

March 18, 2022

Today’s car owners tend to see their options in black and white. These contrasting hues are the most popular paint colors that car buyers choose for their vehicle. In fact, white is the most popular color car in America, followed by black. The third most popular choice is the mix of white and black—gray! American drivers seemed to gravitate towards black and white and shades of grey. Yet not all buyers fit the mold; some choose colors that are unique and perhaps even shocking. Check out these rare car colors that are guaranteed to catch the eye of other drivers and make it much easier to find the vehicle in a crowded parking lot! Car and Driver highlighted the newest and craziest colors offered by manufacturers for 2022; these hues were included on the list: * Dragon Orange Metallic (Audi Q8) * Sao Paulo Yellow (BMW M3 and M4) * NSX Thermal Orange Pearl (Acura RDX) * Cyber Orange (Ford Bronco) * Phoenix Yellow (Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition) * Ocra GT Top Coat (Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio) * Papaya Spark (McLaren 765LT) * Hellraisin (Dodge Challenger) While this isn’t the complete list, potential buyers might zero in on a few of the names. Citrus fruit hues seemed to dominate, and Dodge was even raising a little hell with its raisin-hued Challenger. Every year, manufacturers might include some unique paint hues for the buyer who wants something extraordinary. Through the years, though, some hues have become iconic and very much aligned with their time or even reminiscent of a certain company or tradition. THE PINK CADILLAC The Cadillac is a classic car; it exudes luxury in an all-American design. One color Cadillac, though, is renowned and has even been the title of hit songs: the Pink Cadillac. This sweet hue is associated with the ‘50s, but it’s also tied to cosmetics multi-level marketing giant Mary Kay.  A pink Cadillac on the highway will definitely turn heads and is quite uncommon. TROPICAL TURQUOISE ’57 CHEVY Another car straight from the ‘50s is the ’57 Chevy. The classic Tropical Turquoise hue is often associated with these cars. Not only is the ’57 Chevy an uncommon site, but the blue hue isn’t a tone that many modern car owners choose today. PURPLE LAMBORGHINI The song nodded to the Joker’s car in the movie The Suicide Squad. While this unique hue might not be common on many vehicles, it might have become more common among Lamborghini buyers who wanted their own strikingly purple vehicle. MotorBiscuit notes that buyers can score one of these cool cars for only about $369,000. THE LADYBUG Yes, some Volkswagen drivers like to have a bit of fun with their rides. Those who choose a VW Beetle sometimes customize the paint to look like a cute little ladybug. A buggy Bug! Occasionally, drivers will see these small cars buzzing by with their red and black paint, but the ladybug Beetle isn’t such a common sight beyond the garden. Rare Car Colors [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Opal-and-Chameleon-Paint.jpg] OPAL AND CHAMELEON PAINT Some paint colors actually change colors when viewed at different angles. One unique color is actually a pearl or opal hue. It’s pale cream with shimmers of pink and other hues—it looks like the gemstone opal. Chameleon paint offers a similar effect; the paint color might be purple but it also can look green when viewed from a different angle. A McLaren was painted with a chameleon-like shade called MSO Amazon Colour Stream; the paint hue reportedly bumped the car’s price by more than $38,000! TIE DYE When a car owner can’t decide on the best color, opt for a rainbow of hues! One woman’s husband had her car wrapped up in tie-dye. While this wasn’t an actual paint design, it was still extremely unique. WHEN ANY COLOR GOES While most manufacturers include a list of car hues for each model, some offer buyers the option to create their own custom color options. This is when the sky really is the limit. Luxury manufacturers like Lamborghini are more likely to offer carte blanche to buyers when it comes to the hues for their vehicles. A quick search reveals that Lamborghinis and other high-end vehicles are designed in some amazing hues. One Ferrari was actually painted pink with the Barbie logo on it. However, when Mattel launched a Ferrari for Barbie in the 1980s, a red hue and a white hue were offered. Some car buyers want what they want and they don’t care how much it costs. A Bugatti Divo was painted with an intricate red and black pattern that took two years to create. As Business Insider noted, the Divo has a price of $6 million. DOES COLOR IMPACT THE PRICE OF A VEHICLE? The color of a car might be a bit like the color of the walls in a home; some hues appeal to many buyers, but others only appeal to a select few. Real estate agents often advise homeowners to opt for neutral paint hues to increase the marketability of a home. Does the color of the vehicle impact its value? Unfortunately, some vehicles will lose value if they are painted in colors that just don’t have wide appeal. The most depreciating color hues include gold, brown, and purple.   The most popular colors are black and white for a reason: they appeal to many buyers. While a yellow car might still find a buyer, it might sit on the lot longer as it is less of an appealing choice. Interesting to note, the color that depreciates the least is yellow. Perhaps more buyers should opt for a bright yellow model! Rare Car Colors [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Choosing-the-Best-Car-Color.jpg] CHOOSING THE BEST CAR COLOR If car buyers are focused on the resale value of their vehicle, they could stick with the more popular choices: black and white. Yet, not all buyers want their vehicle to look like every other on the road. Some consumers are nonconformists and their car is a reflection of their personality. Those who have nearly bottomless budgets for a new car also might simply choose what they want. If this means that they are zooming down the road in a magenta Mustang, then so be it! They may worry little about the resale value of their purchase; they might simply love their car. HOW VEHICLE AVAILABILITY AFFECTS SELECTION When dealerships have crunched inventory, buyers might not be able to be picky about the color of car they want to purchase. Some dealerships might have a limited supply to offer buyers, and if a color or vehicle is backordered or can’t be ordered at all, buyers might have to opt for their second favorite color (or maybe whatever is on the lot). However, if custom orders are available through the dealership or manufacturer, this might be an opportunity for buyers to create the car they want in the hue they love. When supply is limited at dealerships or if car buyers simply aren’t finding what they want, they can inquire about custom orders. CAN CAR BUYERS PREVIEW CAR HUES? Buyers might not know what color they want for their car. Many manufacturers offer a list of choices, and while buyers might not want black or white, they also may be unsure how the hue will change the appearance of the car. Car buyers who want to preview different paint hues can use RelayCars to explore all their colorful options. The RelayCars app can be downloaded for free and lets buyers explore cars in augmented reality, virtual reality (if they have Google Cardboard) and with 3D car models, too. Car buyers also can explore RelayCars via the website, however only the augmented reality experience and 3D models are available. Both the app and the website let car buyers preview car models in every available paint hue offered by the manufacturer. There is no limit as to how many vehicles buyers can explore via the RelayCars app or the website. Buyers can explore as many models as they want and use the app or the website as long as they wish. With 3D models, car shoppers can choose the color they wish to view and then interact with the 3D illustration of the model. Using a fingertip or the mouse, users can turn the 3D car images to view them from any angle. Augmented reality experiences allow car shoppers to drop a model into their space. They might be able to view a car in their backyard or just the garage. If car shoppers have Google Cardboard, they can explore all their options in virtual reality! Car buyers who are focused on the potential resale value of their vehicle might opt for classic hues like black or white. However, they also might remember that yellow cars retain their value, too. Every car buyer might have their own favorite hue for their vehicle, and car buyers with bottomless budgets for a new car might even create a one-of-a-kind paint design that takes years to create. While there are many new colors offered from manufacturers in 2022, every year might include another different colorful selection. Color trends for cars might come and go, and they also might nod to the fashion trends of the moment. Car buyers who don’t find the hue they love and who might consider a custom paint job also can take inspiration by visiting Pantone’s website. Who knows? Maybe a few Pantone-inspired Veri Peri painted cars might be driving down the highway!

What is the Fastest Way to Sell a Car?

What is the Fastest Way to Sell a Car?

March 16, 2022

When the demand for used cars is on the uptick, buyers might look at their vehicle and see the potential for a financial windfall. Some vehicles that are popular with buyers might be more valuable than car owners realize. If a car isn’t being used or if the owner wants to upgrade to a new model, what is the fastest way to sell a car to get that money quickly? The options for selling a car include: * Selling the car privately * Selling the car to a dealership * Using the car as a trade-in ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF A PRIVATE SALE There is one major advantage to selling a car privately. A private sale allows for the owner to make the most money for their vehicle. A private sale doesn’t have a middleman; the buyer is purchasing the car to use for their own needs. When selling to a dealership, the dealership is actually the middleman in the deal. Since the dealership will resell the car, it needs to build in a profit on a purchase. For this reason, the dealership will typically pay less for the vehicle. When a buyer wants to sell a car privately, they can use Kelley Blue Book (KBB) to research the resale value of their vehicle. KBB will prompt the owner to either enter the make/model or the VIN or license plate number of their vehicle. The owner also will need to select the trim of their vehicle as well as any upgraded features (they also could just select the base trim). KBB will ask the owner about the condition of the vehicle, too. Car owners should be honest about the vehicle’s condition. Selecting that the car is in excellent condition when it isn’t will result in an inflated value. Once buyers understand the value of their car, they also need to clean the car and opt for a detailing, too (if they can afford it). Make sure the car is clean inside and out; remove any stains from the upholstery (if possible). The seller also should make any necessary repairs. In addition, they should disclose any issues when listing their car. Buyers will want to review a Carfax report, and car owners should have the report available. Car owners also should have maintenance records for the vehicle. If something still needs to be repaired, the seller needs to disclose this. Pocket Sense reports that severe damages need to be disclosed for legal and ethical reasons. The site further explains that “…the buyer must be told about any car that has been flooded; such an event can leave the engine useless, the frame rusted and the interior moldy. Any car that has had a salvage title (has been totaled by an insurance company) in the past must be reported in writing as such.” When selling a vehicle privately, the car owner also has to decide how to sell it and where to list the vehicle for sale. Some sellers might use Craigslist, but others prefer other selling platforms. When using any online site, sellers should be cautious when dealing with buyers: * Never meet a buyer alone, always take someone (for test drives, too) * Meet in a public place * Complete the sales transaction at your bank or use a secure payment system * Keep a paper trail, too (follow all state laws related to title transfers) KBB dedicated an article to how to stay safe when selling a vehicle. Those who are considering a private sale might review it. Fastest Way to Sell a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Selling-to-a-Dealership-Can-be-a-Simpler-Solution.jpg] SELLING TO A DEALERSHIP CAN BE A SIMPLER SOLUTION Car owners who are reading about how to sell a vehicle privately might feel completely overwhelmed. Handling a private sale isn’t for every car owner. Selling to a dealership could be a much easier process. There is only one downside: the sale will be less profitable. Dealerships won’t offer as much for a vehicle as the owner might receive in a private sale. Dealerships need to build in their profit margin, and this means less cash for the seller. Car owners have two options in selling their car to a dealership. They can use the car as a trade-in or just sell it directly. Both options, though, might offer a similar purchase price. Before selling a car to a dealership or using it as a trade-in, car owners should research the trade-in value of their vehicle via KBB. The steps required to obtain the trade-in value are the same as those outlined for uncovering the resale value. Again, be honest about the condition. A car owner isn’t going to put one past a car dealership. However, understanding the trade-in value could help car owners receive the best price for their vehicle. The process for trading in or selling the car to a dealership is fairly simple. The car owner will need to sign over their title to the dealership; this process could vary by state. However, typically, the owner signs and dates the back of the title (and prints their name, too). The dealership also can typically walk a buyer through the steps of the sale. This is another reason why and how the selling process with a dealership can be much simpler. Since the dealership handles the sales process constantly, they are well-versed. In addition, car owners won’t have to worry about how they will be paid for their car. They may receive less than they want, though. When using the car as a trade-in, the value of the trade-in will help offset the purchase price of the new car. Fastest Way to Sell a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Selling-to-Carvana.jpg] SELLING TO CARVANA AND OTHER SITES Think of sites like Carvana as online dealerships. If a car owner wants to sell their car, selling a car to an online dealership also is fairly simple. Each company, though, could have their own process. Carvana lets car owners get a quote for the price of selling their car; car owners will need their VIN or license plate number, though. The price that a car owner receives for their car might be in line with the trade-in value. Carvana and their competitors also need to build in their profit margin. Fastest Way to Sell a Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/When-is-the-Best-Time-to-Sell-a-Car.jpg] WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SELL A CAR? There are certain days, months and even holidays that could offer better prices or deals for buyers. Is there an ideal time to sell a vehicle? Right now might be the best time to sell. This is due to the fact that the used inventory is crunched. KBB explains that dealerships are looking for used cars, and the site reports that “Used cars priced under $10,000 remain in the shortest supply. Vehicles in the $10,000 to $15,000 range are almost as hard to find….” For individuals who own older cars might get a better price than they might expect. As the market begins to correct, though, prices might not be so high for sellers and buyers. When demand is normal and the supply of used cars isn’t low, when is the best time to sell a car? Carbuzz reports that March and September are the worst months to sell, but February through around April and May are times when tax filers receive refunds. These months might be a good time to sell a car. EXPLORE NEW CAR OPTIONS WITH RELAYCARS Those who are interested in selling their vehicle might also want to purchase a new model. If a buyer has no idea what model is the best for their needs or budget, it’s time to start researching and exploring all the options. However, even buyers who are just thinking about buying a new car can have fun exploring new models. The RelayCars app and mobile site provide immersive tools that transform the car shopping experience. Explore vehicles using interactive 3D models or preview vehicles within augmented reality or virtual reality car showrooms. Download the RelayCars app for free via Google Play (for Android devices) or the App Store (for Apple devices). In the app, car shoppers can use their fingertips to interact with 3D models of their favorite vehicles; turn the car around and see it from different angles. The app also gives shoppers the opportunity to explore vehicles via a virtual reality showroom; however, users must have access to Google Cardboard. Car shoppers also can visit the RelayCars website on their mobile devices. The mobile site gives car shoppers the opportunity to explore cars via 3D interactive imagery. In addition, the mobile site offers an augmented reality experience. To access the augmented reality experience, car shoppers use the camera of their phone to capture their real-world environment. Whatever environment is shown via the camera is where a 3D image of the selected vehicle will appear. Preview a car anywhere or just check it out in the driveway. Both the RelayCars mobile site and the mobile app let car shoppers preview models in different paint hues. In addition, RelayCars also lets buyers research the MSRP and other pertinent data of thousands of popular models. While the easiest way to sell a car might simply be to sell it to a dealership (or offer it up as a trade-in), the RelayCars website and app provide the easiest tools for researching a new car. After selling that older car, use RelayCars to preview a virtual inventory of makes and models and have fun exploring the possibilities.

What Cars are ‘Gas Guzzler?’

What Cars are ‘Gas Guzzler?’

March 14, 2022

The price of fuel depends on supply and demand. Prices can surge when there is an oil shortage or if there is a natural disaster that affects the supply chain. For car owners who drive electric automobiles, the price of fuel is inconsequential. However, those who still rely on the pump to power their drive tend to be at the mercy of the oil industry. Some automobiles are more fuel efficient than others, leading to fewer trips to the gas station. There are many models, though, that might have earned the reputation as ‘gas guzzlers.’ In the past, some models known as gas guzzlers included: * Chevrolet Corvette * Ferrari F12 * Bentley Flying Spur * Lamborghini Huracan * Dodge Challenger * Aston Martin Vanquish * BMW M5 WHAT DOES GAS GUZZLER MEAN? A vehicle is dubbed a ‘gas guzzler’ because it offers poor fuel efficiency. This means that the vehicle will drive fewer miles on a gallon of gas. For a standard vehicle, though, what is considered ‘good gas mileage?’   According to Car and Driver, gas mileage—and what is considered ‘good’—depends on the type of vehicle being assessed. For example, the site explains that 25 MPG might be a decent gas mileage for a sports car, while larger vehicles like an SUV might only get 20 MPG combined (city and highway). The size of the engine also affects gas mileage and, thus, fuel efficiency. Smaller engines are more efficient than larger engines. In addition, driving habits also impact the MPG data. Driving fast will use up more gas and result in lower MPG. Idling also wastes gas. Driving on the highway is usually more fuel efficient than city driving, which is why drivers will notice that the MPG data for vehicles tends to be higher for the highway. Gas Guzzler [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/What-is-Gas-Guzzler-Tax.jpg] WHAT IS GAS GUZZLER TAX? In the late 1970s, vehicles that were considered gas guzzlers were given an additional tax that was known as the ‘gas guzzler tax.’ This tax wasn’t and still isn’t imposed on buyers. Instead, manufacturers (or importers) are taxed for cars that are fuel inefficient. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that buyers will see the tax on the sticker of a car and that “…the lower the fuel economy, the higher the tax.” The EPA also notes that sports utility vehicles (SUVs), trucks and minivans aren’t assessed this tax. Why? These particular vehicles weren’t common for consumers in the ‘70s when the tax became a part of the Energy Tax Act of 1978. What cars are assessed this tax and what does the EPA define as the cutoff for acceptable fuel efficiency? According to The Daily Drive, cars “…must earn a non-adjusted EPA combined rating of 21.5 miles per gallon.” However, the site explained that adjusted and non-adjusted numbers are different; consumers often see the adjusted numbers on a car’s sticker. A car with an adjusted MPG of 16 would actually have a non-adjusted MPG of 21.5. Car buyers can review the list of vehicles that are assessed the tax. The EPA posted a list of models through 2016. Popular vehicles that are known as ‘gas guzzlers’ and taxed accordingly include the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette, 2016 Ferrari F12, 2016 Bentley Flying Spur, 2016 Lamborghini Huracan, 2016 Dodge Challenger, 2016 Aston Martin Vanquish, 2016 BMW M5, and more. GAS GUZZLER TAX REFUND Buyers aren’t assessed a gas guzzler tax and aren’t responsible for paying this tax. Again, the manufacturer or importer will be taxed. However, the tax is noted on the vehicle’s sticker and might mean a higher price for consumers. Car owners might wonder if there is a gas guzzler tax refund. The only refund mentioned that is related to the gas guzzler tax is discussed in Ford forums for a 2020 model perhaps of the Mustang. It appears that the gas guzzler tax was computed incorrectly and a refund was issued. Gas Guzzler [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Why-Avoid-Gas-Guzzlers.jpg] WHY AVOID GAS GUZZLERS? While a car buyer won’t pay the gas guzzler tax, that extra bump to the manufacturer might increase the sticker price to the consumer. However, even if consumers don’t pay more when buying that vehicle, a gas guzzling car will cost more to own thanks to the vehicle’s gas consumption. Consumers might notice that many of the cars taxed because of fuel inefficiency are muscle cars, sports cars and high-end luxury cars. Those who have the budget to purchase a Ferrari or a Bentley likely aren’t worried about paying more at the pump; they want the car that they want regardless of the cost. These buyers might not be too concerned about the extra cost of gasoline. Car owners of ‘gas guzzlers’ also might not use these cars as their primary vehicle. A Corvette or a Lamborghini might only be taken for a drive occasionally. For car buyers who are on the hunt for the most fuel efficient vehicle, though, the EPA’s list of known gas guzzlers might be worth perusing. WHAT VEHICLES ARE THE MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT? Back in the late ‘70s, buyers only had the option to purchase vehicles with fuel injected engines. Cars were powered by fuel, and electric vehicles or hybrid models weren’t introduced for decades. Today, though, buyers don’t have to be tied to the pump. Now car buyers can opt for hybrid vehicles and electric models. These vehicles are the most energy-efficient on the market. Hybrid vehicles typically boast about 50 MPGe, while electric vehicles are measured by their range (this is how far it can drive on a fully charged battery). The longest-range electric model is produced by Lucid and has a range of 520 miles. One of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market—that is neither hybrid nor electric—is the Mitsubishi Mirage. The Mirage offers an estimated 43 MPG on the highway and up to 36 MPG in the city. The vehicle also is one of the most economically priced models on the market with a base price less than $15,000. While the Mirage is fuel efficient and budget-friendly, it doesn’t score well with sites like Car and Driver, which rated the Mirage 2.5 out of 10. The model was noted as having “poky acceleration” and less than impressive interior features. Some buyers might not have the budget to purchase an electric or hybrid model. Other fuel-efficient standard vehicles include: * Honda Accord * Volkswagen Golf * Kia Forte * Chevrolet Spark * Kia Rio Car buyers might focus on models that boast more than an estimated 30 MPG combined. While the Mitsubishi Mirage offers the best MPG of the standard models, there are many other fuel-efficient models on the market. For example, the Chevrolet Spark offers an estimated 33 MPG (combined). FINDING THE MOST FUEL EFFICIENT VEHICLE Car buyers can explore all their vehicle options with RelayCars. The site lets buyers explore different models via 3D models and augmented reality. RelayCars includes thousands of models, including luxury brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini. RelayCars lets users research their vehicle choices from the comfort of home. With a tablet or a smartphone or even just a PC, car shoppers can explore their favorite models in 3D. Using a fingertip or the mouse, buyers can turn the vehicle image around to view the car from all angles. RelayCars also lets buyers explore the interior of the car, too. Each model includes numerous images and interactive features. The user’s environment also can be transformed into an augmented reality car showroom. RelayCars provides an augmented reality experience for car models in its inventory. This feature is initiated using the camera feature of a tablet or smartphone. The user captures their environment—this could be a driveway, backyard or even the living room—to be used as the showroom space for the vehicle. Once the user captures their space, they can drop in an augmented reality image of the vehicle. RelayCars’ augmented reality experience is guided by the camera; car shoppers can walk around the digital image of the vehicle just as they would at the dealership. Augmented reality can better aid buyers in understanding the design of the vehicle. With RelayCars, car shoppers can explore as many vehicle models as they wish. There is no limit on exploration! In addition, RelayCars also provides all the vehicle’s specs and the model’s MSRP, too. RelayCars can be used to explore the vehicle, and it also can be used to research the price and features of different models, too. For buyers looking for the most fuel efficient vehicles, RelayCars also includes data on each model’s estimated MPG. While RelayCars won’t include details related to a gas guzzler tax, buyers can look for this on the sticker of the vehicle when shopping at the dealership. Again, this tax is related to cars that are deemed fuel inefficient, but the tax isn’t applicable to SUVs, trucks or minivans. The most energy-efficient vehicles include hybrid models and electric options. Some buyers, though, might feel that the price for these more efficient models is out of their budget. However, those who have long commutes could save money by choosing a more efficient hybrid. When gas prices go up, those who drive less efficient models may see their budget crunched by the price of fuel. Sometimes buyers need to consider both the sticker price and the price at the pump, too.

Check Out These Future Electric Cars that are Expected to Drive into Dealerships

Check Out These Future Electric Cars that are Expected to Drive into Dealerships

March 11, 2022

Electric cars are becoming the focus for many auto manufacturers. These vehicles give drivers better energy efficiency and don’t leave them tethered to the pump. Electric vehicles also are more eco-friendly, as they don’t pollute the environment with harmful emissions. Each year manufacturers release updated models of popular vehicles and many also announce new vehicles that will be added to their lineup. For the model year 2023, many manufacturers are expected to launch new electric vehicles; check out these future electric cars that could be driving into dealerships: * BMW i7 * Chevrolet Blazer EV * Chevrolet Equinox EV * Chevrolet Silverado EV * Faraday Future FF91 * Ford Explorer EV * GMC Sierra EV * Kia EV9 * Lagonda All-Terrain * Mercedes-Benz EQG * Polestar 4 * Porsche Macan EV * Tesla Roadster * VinFast VF9 Future Electric Cars [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Future-Electric-Cars-for-2023-1024x464.jpg] FUTURE ELECTRIC CARS FOR 2023 Car and Driver’s list included many more models of the future, and the list is extensive. In the next few years, consumers will have many choices for electric vehicles. Trucks, SUVs, sedans, and smaller cars will offer a plug. Here’s what to know about all the vehicles that are expected to be available in 2023. BMW I7 Not much is known about the BMW i7, but BMW Blog reported on a post from BMW i Instagram account that teased the upcoming model. The Instagram post dubs the vehicle “…as the first all-electric luxury sedan.” The post only includes a mocked up photo of the vehicle. No price points or other information was provided. CHEVROLET: BLAZER, SILVERADO & EQUINOX Chevrolet is updating its lineup with several new electric models of some of its most popular vehicles. The Blazer EV was announced at a presentation, and The Drive reported that details weren’t provided beyond that it would be priced reasonably. At the same presentation, the company also announced the Equinox EV. The Equinox is a popular, budget-friendly small SUV, and, according to The Drive, the EV model would be priced at $30,000. The Silverado EV is already included on Chevrolet’s website, and interested buyers can make their reservation for one of the new models. The Silverado EV has a base price of $39,900 (plus destination freight charge or DFC) and can tow up to 20,000 pounds. The truck will be available in Summer 2024. FARADAY FUTURE FF91 Many consumers might be unfamiliar with Faraday. The Future FF91 is its flagship model—yes, the first one produced by the company–and it offers an estimated range of 300 miles. Camera mirrors are a standard feature, and the model also includes rear seats that are ventilated for comfort. Faraday’s first model exudes luxury, and the vehicle is reported to cost about $180,000. FORD EXPLORER EV The Ford Explorer EV will join the other electric models in Ford’s EV and hybrid lineup. Ford Authority reported on the new EV Explorer’s launch, but little was known about the model beyond the fact that it would be built in the Cuautitlan Assembly Plant in Mexico. GMC SIERRA EV The GMC Sierra EV will be available in the Denali trim, according to the manufacturer. GMC also noted that the truck will be built in the Factory ZERO Assembly Plant located in Detroit and will feature a really interesting light sequencing on its front end. Consumers can check out the video from GMC showing the Sierra and new Hummer EV’s unique light designs. KIA EV9 Featuring a futuristic pop-up steering wheel and a solar panel on the hood, the EV9 looks straight out of a sci-fi movie. The interior is sleek and modern and includes a third row of seating. Interested buyers might want to keep checking back at Kia’s site for more updates. LAGONDA ALL-TERRAIN Aston-Martin’s Lagonda was announced several years ago. According to a press release, “Lagonda aims to be the world’s first zero emission luxury brand.” The Lagonda All-Terrain takes some design inspiration from a super yacht and includes many unique features like a hidden rear shelf. MERCEDES-BENZ EQG Mercedes-Benz doesn’t reveal much about the EQG on its website, although it is clear that this vehicle may be able to tackle the terrain. According to Car and Driver, the vehicle will be released in 2023 for model year 2024 and will include four motors. The site estimates that the base price could be around $150,000. POLESTAR 4 Inside EVS reports that the Polestar 4 SUV will compete with the Porsche Macan and will be less expensive than the Polestar 3. The Polestar 4 would cost around $62,500 or 55,000 euros. PORSCHE MACAN EV Multiple auto sites reported on the Macan EV, including details on spy shots. Tom’s Guide reported that no prices have been released yet, and the site explained that, at minimum, buyers could probably see a range of 227 miles (as this is the range for the Taycan 4S). While prices aren’t known, since this is a Porsche, the new EV will be a luxury automobile, and buyers should anticipate a price tag that is in line with the brand. TESLA ROADSTER According to Tesla, its Roadster is “The quickest car in the world….” The electric Roadster isn’t just zippy, though. The new model also offers an estimated range of 620 miles—this is 100 miles beyond Lucid. Tesla posts that the Roadster can accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in 1.9 seconds and can reach 250 MPH. Buyers can reserve the Roadster for $50,000, but that’s just the base for reserving a model. According to Car and Driver, the actual base price is estimated at $200,000. VINFAST VF9 The VinFast VF9 has a base price of $56,000 and an estimated target range of 422.5 miles. The SUV can fit up to seven people and includes features like traffic jam assist, highway assist, remote parking and more. VinFast was founded in Vietnam in 2017. Future Electric Cars [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/More-Electric-Cars-of-the-Future.jpg] MORE ELECTRIC CARS OF THE FUTURE Buyers who are looking for an electric vehicle will have many models from which to choose in 2023 and beyond. There are a few newer companies that consumers might want to explore—including VinFast. In addition, major U.S. manufacturers like Ford and General Motors also are integrating more electric models into their lineup. Is electric the future? While some buyers might hold tight to their standard vehicle, as automotive brands become more focused on producing eco-friendly vehicles, electric models might soon dominate the highways. Shopping for an electric model might be a bit overwhelming to those new to the technology. Buyers might be used to looking at MPG data to determine fuel efficiency. With electric vehicles, buyers might focus on the range. In some areas, electric vehicles are extremely popular. In states like California, drivers may easily access charging stations to give their batteries a boost. However, in states or cities where electric vehicles have not become widely embraced, charging stations might be difficult to locate. Range is important, because buyers need to know how far their vehicle can drive on a full charge. If drivers commute 35 miles to work, and their electric vehicle can drive less than 200 miles on a full charge, they may need to plug in their vehicle more often at home. The budget for many buyers also is the main deciding factor on what vehicle they can purchase. Since electric vehicles still aren’t fully mainstream, their price points tend to be a bit higher. Currently, the least expensive electric vehicle available is the Nissan Leaf S (40 kW), which has a base price of $28,365. Buyers on a tighter budget, though, could explore used electric vehicles. When buying a used model, buyers need to understand the life of the battery. Replacing a battery is an expensive repair. Buyers should research the life expectancy of the battery for the car they are considering. In addition, older electric vehicles might have a shorter range. EXPLORE ELECTRIC VEHICLES WITH RELAYCARS While upcoming 2023 models are still a mystery, buyers interested in exploring all their electric options available in 2022 can use RelayCars for their buying research. RelayCars provides interactive 3D models of vehicles that users can explore via their smartphone, PC or tablet. In addition, car buyers can use RelayCars’ augmented reality experience to transform their environment into a virtual car showroom. RelayCars includes thousands of models by the top automotive manufacturers. Once buyers choose the model they wish to explore, they can use their mouse or fingertip to rotate the 3D model of the vehicle and view it from every angle. Buyers who want a more exploratory experience, can preview their favorite vehicle in augmented reality. By using the camera on their smartphone or tablet to capture any space in their environment, car shoppers can drop in a to-scale digital image of any car in RelayCars’ online inventory. The augmented reality experience transforms the at-home space into an augmented reality car showroom. Users can walk around the digital image of the vehicle and explore its design. When new 2023 electric models become available, car buyers can visit RelayCars to see all the new vehicles as well as pricing details and the specs of each different model. RelayCars can be downloaded for free via both Google Play and the App Store.

What Happens if Someone Hits My Salvage Car?

What Happens if Someone Hits My Salvage Car?

March 9, 2022

Salvage cars have been declared a total loss by an insurance company. There are a number of reasons why a car could be totaled or given a ‘salvage’ title: theft, fire, water damage, hail damage, and/or a car accident. Cars that were repaired and that passed an inspection could receive a ‘rebuilt’ title and be safe for the roads again. In addition, hail vehicles might be totaled but could receive a title that lets them be driven, too. However, the value of a totaled car becomes murky. Car owners might wonder: “what happens if someone hits my salvage car?” The answer to this question isn’t so simple. Here are two possibilities that could happen when someone hits a salvage car: * The owner is driving a car that cannot be legally driven, resulting in issues * The responsible party’s insurance offers some compensation WHAT HAPPENS IF THE OWNER WAS DRIVING A SALVAGE VEHICLE? If someone damages a car with a salvage title, the owner has already been compensated for the loss. If the car’s title is still ‘salvage,’ then it isn’t safe to drive and can’t be operated on public roads. If the owner was driving it with a salvage title—not rebuilt—there could be issues for the owner. In this situation, compensation might be the least of the owner’s worries. Would the party who hit the salvage vehicle still be responsible? Legally, hitting a vehicle might still render them responsible. However, their insurance company might balk at repairs or compensation if, again, the owner was not supposed to be driving the vehicle. Plus, salvage title vehicles cannot be insured. In the situation of a car owner driving a car that has a salvage title (and doesn’t have insurance), a lawyer might be the best person to offer advice. WHEN THE CAR OWNER RECEIVES SOME COMPENSATION The value of a rebuilt vehicle isn’t always easy to ascertain. Remember, the vehicle has already been totaled and declared a full loss. A rebuilt vehicle could offer some value, and this means the owner could be entitled to repair costs or some compensation (if the car is now unable to be repaired). How much compensation, though, might depend on the insurance company of the responsible party. The site CarInsurance.com offers some insight about the value of rebuilt salvage vehicles. The site explains: “Auto and insurance industry sources report that the decrease in value of a vehicle that has a rebuilt or salvage title is typically between 20% to 40%, depending on the type of vehicle, its age, the amount of damage it had and the local automotive market.” CAN CAR OWNERS BUY COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE FOR A REBUILT VEHICLE? Car owners might wonder if they could purchase comprehensive auto insurance for a vehicle with a rebuilt title. Typically, auto insurers won’t take on a vehicle with a rebuilt title for comprehensive coverage. Again, the vehicle was already totaled. However, car owners might get liability coverage for these cars. They may need to research their best rates, though. Value Penguin explains that rebuilt vehicles also are deemed riskier because they could have hidden issues; thus, the site explains that insurance companies perceive them as more likely to result in claims. What Happens if Someone Hits My Salvage Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Is-Buying-a-Rebuilt-Car-a-Good-Deal.jpg] IS BUYING A REBUILT CAR A GOOD DEAL? While cars with salvage titles can’t be driven, car buyers might come across great deals at dealerships related to cars with rebuilt titles. Some car dealerships get hit by hailstorms, which results in a significant amount of their inventory being declared a total loss or being damaged. USA Today explains that hail damaged cars have their damage designated on their title. Buyers might feel better when they know that the reason for the ‘total loss’ was simply significant cosmetic damage. Hail-damaged cars could come with a much lower price tag. This could be a great opportunity for a buyer that wants a high-priced car that isn’t in their budget.  USA Today reports, though, that buyers still need to be cautious when buying these cars. Specifically, the paper reports that buyers should find out if the car can be protected with comprehensive insurance and if a lender will finance a hail-damaged vehicle. If a car cannot be covered with a comprehensive policy because of the hail damage, it’s possible that a lender won’t provide financing. Comprehensive coverage helps protect a lender’s interest. This coverage protects the car owner, too. If the owner is responsible for an accident and doesn’t have comprehensive coverage, they will need to cover the costs of repairs to their vehicle. In addition, if the car is completely destroyed, they will still be responsible for the loan. What Happens if Someone Hits My Salvage Car [https://blog.relaycars.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Should-Car-Owners-Even-Repair-a-Totaled-Car.jpg] SHOULD CAR OWNERS EVEN REPAIR A TOTALED CAR? If a car is in a major accident or severely damaged in a flood or a fire, fixing it could be impossible. In this case, once the car is totaled by the insurance company, the owner will simply need to let the insurance company take possession of it. The car might then be auctioned or completely scrapped. When a car is damaged by hail, the insurance company might let the owner buy back the car at the salvage value. The price will then be deducted from the settlement. In some states, a buy-back isn’t allowed except in certain circumstances. To better understand options when a car is totaled, car owners can research their state’s laws. Cars that were declared a loss because of hail might be able to be driven. However, the owner will need to re-title the vehicle and go through all the necessary steps required by their state to ensure the car is legal for road travel. HOW TO FIND A BUDGET-FRIENDLY CAR IF A CAR WAS TOTALED If someone hits a salvaged car that was rebuilt and street legal, the owner might receive some compensation. However, since these cars are worth much less than a car with a clean title, the compensation could be minimal.  In an accident that renders the rebuilt car useless, the car owner might be on the hunt for a new vehicle and have very little money to allocate towards that new purchase. How can car buyers find a vehicle that fits their budget? The first step is to figure out how much the buyer can feasibly spend on a new vehicle. This requires reviewing the budget; add up all the monthly expenses (including food, insurance and fuel). Then add up the monthly income (use the take-home pay, which is after tax and other deductions). Is there a budget surplus, or does the budget show that expenses are higher than income? If the latter is the reality, cutting expenses to afford a car might be required. However, if there is a surplus, this could figure into how much an individual could feasibly spend on a car payment. The general recommendation is that individuals should spend less than 10 percent of their monthly take-home pay on a car payment. Some people could afford to spend a little more, but others might need to spend much less. If someone hits a car with a rebuilt title and it is now completely destroyed, car owners could use any compensation they received to buy a car outright. This might mean that the car purchase might not be the owner’s dream vehicle. The goal might simply be to find a vehicle that is safe and gets the individual where they need to go. When buying a car in cash and without financing, search for vehicles under the budget. Why? Buyers will still need to pay sales tax (in applicable states) and fees related to registration/titling. The price of a car isn’t just about the sales price. When opting for used cars, ask to review the Carfax report. This can help a buyer understand the number of previous owners and any details related to accidents/repairs. Buyers also might insist on an inspection. In fact, Consumer Reports recommends that potential buyers take the vehicle for a professional inspection. Buyers also can research the value of cars via Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The site can help buyers compare prices at dealerships, but buyers also can enter in a car’s make/model to uncover a resale price. This could help them understand the price they might expect to pay. During a time of high demand for new and used cars, buyers might contend with high price tags. This doesn’t mean that buyers can’t find a car in their price range, but they might need to make a few concessions. Used cars vary in price based on several factors: * Make/model * Mileage * Age * Condition Rock-bottom prices could be attached to older cars, vehicles with very high mileage or maybe even cars that are in not-so-stellar condition. Not every buyer wants a car that’s 20-years-old, but some buyers could be fine with any model that allows them to buy a car for the cash in their pocket. Safety, though, is important. Buyers should consider the safety features in the car that they wish to purchase. Older cars might lack the advanced safety features found in newer cars. WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE HITS MY SALVAGE CAR? When someone hits a salvage car or even a car with a clean title, the owner might be faced with only a claims check and a worthless car that is now the property of the insurance company. The check from the accident could be the car owner’s budget for a new car. They also could use the claim check to serve as their down payment for a new car. However, if the car owner happened to be driving a car with a salvage title that wasn’t able to be operated on the road, they may have other issues with which to contend after an accident (even if they weren’t at fault). Don’t drive a car with just a salvage title and understand that driving a car with a rebuilt title means it’s worth much less than a vehicle with a clean title.