Where can I find cheap car insurance?

Shop around for the cheapest auto insurance

car insurance ratesCar insurance rates vary widely from company to company, as much as $1000 difference or more a year — for the same coverage, same car, and same person.

The single best way to get the lowest car insurance rates is to request online rate quotes from multiple providers who are competing for your business. Using a broker site such as Esurance.com lets you fill out one form and automatically get multiple quotes.

Even if your current company had competitive rates a year ago, their rates may have changed. So it pays to shop around and get free quotes from a number of insurance companies. Even if you are happy with your insurance company, you should check for better rates at least once a year.

It costs you nothing to switch to a different car insurance company that better meets your needs. If you switch, be sure to ask for a refund of any prepayment from your current company. There is no penalty for switching companies.

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Best Car for Teenagers? Explained

What car is ideal for teen drivers?

cars for teen driversAsk a teenager what car they want and then ask their parents what car they prefer for their child. You can get some pretty different answers. However, you just might get some surprising agreements too.

We hear teens asking the same questions over and over again. “Which is the best car for me?”, “What car should I get?”, “What is the best car for a first-time buyer?”, and “Which car has the best reliability-safety-style-performance-gas mileage-cost?”

We will try to help answer those questions here in this article.

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Where to Find Cheap Used Cars?

Cheap Cars – Where to Find and How to Buy

cheap carsTo some people, a good cheap car is one that costs less than $10,000.

To others, an inexpensive used car may be one that costs $2000 or less.

We’ll tell you how and where to find the car you need, at the price you want, regardless of your price objective or budget.

Cheap car tips

Usually, but not always, buying a cheap car means finding an older used car– a second hand car – possibly with high mileage. Unfortunately, the older a car, the greater the possibility for serious problems and expenses that were not anticipated. Exceptions can be found of course and, with a little effort, good “oldies” can be found at bargain prices.

Most used cars are sold “as is” and come with no warranties or guarantees. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly inspect any car you intend to buy, and not take the word of the seller about the car’s condition. Also get a Carfax® or AutoCheck® vehicle history report. If problems are found after the sale, you will not be able to return the car and get your money back, even if the seller deceived you.

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Used Car Prices – Pricing and Negotiating

How to Find Used Car Prices and Negotiate Best Deals

how to negotiate car dealsBuyers and sellers of used cars often wonder how prices and values are determined. How are values of used cars set? Who sets values? Are the values reliable?

If you are a buyer, is the seller’s asking price being fair? Are you paying too much? Can you talk the seller down on his price? What price should you offer without being unreasonable? What if the seller doesn’t accept your price?

If you are a seller, how much should you ask for your car? How do you determine used car values? What is a fair price to ask? Should you set a higher asking price to allow room for negotiation?

These are all common questions. Let’s try to answer them here.

Used car prices are not an exact science

We all know that a brand new car’s value begins to depreciate as soon as it’s driven off the dealer’s lot, often as much as 20% of MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price – sticker price).

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Best Used Car Web Sites – Recommendations

Best Places to Find Used Cars Online

used cars onlineOne of the best — and easiest — places to find cars for sale is online — on web sites that specialize in listing pre-owned vehicles.

Online used car web sites fall into three categories: 1) Non-dealer sites that sell cars listed by private sellers, 2) sites that only sell dealer cars, or 3) those that sell cars listed by both.

Actually, many of the so-called non-dealer sites actually have dealer cars, thinly disguised as private-seller cars.

Web sites with Cars from Private-Party Individual Sellers

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of classified-ad web sites that advertise used cars for sale by individuals. Here are reviews of some of the most popular sites:

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High Mileage Car – Good or Bad?

Is It Smart to Buy a Car with High Mileage? Good or Bad?

high mileage used carWhen shopping for a used car, you might find a car you like that appears to be in great condition but has what seems to be high mileage.

Since about 15,000 miles a years is average for most cars, anything significantly more than that is considered high mileage. So, for a car that is, say, 6 years old, it should have about 90,000 miles to be considered as “average.”

However, just because a car has an average number of miles — or less —  doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. It could easily have serious problems if it has been driven roughly and not properly maintained, or has been wrecked and poorly repaired.

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Can I get a car loan?

Will I be able to get approved for a car loan?

approval for car loanThis question typically comes up if the potential car buyer 1) has never had an auto loan before and doesn’t know how the process works, or 2) has credit or income issues that might prevent them from being approved.

For those who are new to the car loan process, let’s briefly review how it works.

First, in order to get a car loan, you must be at least 18 years old (to legally sign contracts), have good credit, and have a good steady income.

Many young people, such as college students, who have never had a loan before may have no credit history and have little or no income. For them, if they can’t pay cash, getting someone to be a co-signer on the loan is the only remaining option.

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Can I afford this car? What car can I afford?

How much car can I afford to buy?

afford carBased on my monthly income, can I afford the car I want?

This is a common question but doesn’t have a set answer.

The answer depends on the following factors, assuming you will use an auto loan to pay for your vehicle:

  • price of the vehicle, including tax and other costs
  • cost of full-coverage insurance, as required by your lender
  • your monthly income, after taxes
  • your monthly expenses
  • your credit score (affects the amount you can borrow)
  • the amount of down payment you can afford

Some experts say that your car payments shouldn’t be more than 20% of your take-home pay. Others are more conservative and say 10%.

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Trading Car With Bad Credit – Explained

Can I trade my car if I have bad credit?

trade car bad creditIt’s like the answer to a lot of other questions, it depends.

It depends on how bad your credit is, what dealer you want to use, where you’ll look for financing, and the status of the existing loan on your trade vehicle.

Let’s take a look at how it might work.

Scenario

I need a new car,  and have a car to trade, but my credit is not good. How does it work?

In this case, it’s good that you have a  vehicle to trade because it can be used as a down payment on a new vehicle loan — assuming you are not “upside down” and have some equity to use as trade credit.

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How to Buy Car With No Down Payment

 Understanding Down Payment on Car Loan

no down paymentWe often hear the questions, “How can I buy a car with zero down payment?”, ” Is it possible to get a car with no money down?”, or “How much down payment will I have to make for this car?”

There are a number of ways to acquire a new or used car without making a down payment, or making a minimal down payment. Let’s take a look.

New car without down payment

Most new-car purchases require a down payment but here are four cases where it is possible to escape that requirement:

1. You get a highly discounted purchase price such that the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is 100% or less — that is, the loan you need is equal to, or less than, the value of the vehicle. Most loan companies set a new car’s value at sticker price. So, when you negotiate a lower price, you reduce the requirement for a down payment — assuming your credit score, income, and income-to-debt ratio are acceptable.

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Used Car Guide – Expert Tips and Advice for Smart Buyers