All posts by trustauto

What Are Good Questions To Ask When Buying a Used Car From a Dealer

When shopping for a good used car, one that looks good, and one that should serve my needs, there is a lot that I don’t know about it, but I would like to know.

  1. Is there a vehicle history report available like Carfax or Auto Check that will disclose any reported accidents or damage?
  2. Has the seller inspected the vehicle carefully? Is there any unreported damage?
  3. Does a vehicle history report show how much maintenance or normal repairs have been done?
  4. How many owners has this vehicle had?
  5. Has the required Maryland State Inspection been performed? 
  6. Did the State Inspection disclose any repair work that is needed but not done?
  7. How much life is left on the tires and brake linings?
  8. What kind of warranty comes with this vehicle?
  9. Can I purchase a vehicle service contract to protect me from any major breakdowns?
  10. If the vehicle is involved in a serious accident and is declared a total loss, will my insurance pay off my amount financed?
  11. Where did this vehicle come from?
  12. Is there any indication that a prior owner might have been a smoker?
  13. If this car is an auction purchase, was it sold with a green light or sold with any conditions?   

What is the Best Way to Buy a Used Car?

In truth, the best way to buy a used car is to purchase it from a friend, a relative, a co-worker that you know well and trust. In this way, you should have full access to the vehicle history. You can learn first  hand about any accidents, breakdowns, major repairs, and  how well was the vehicle maintained?

The great majority of Buyers will research online for the year, make and model that will best sit their needs. Do not let price be the determining factor. The vehicle with the lowest price is probably low for a good reason. Price is important, but value and condition are much more important. 

Where is the vehicle (and the dealer) located? Is it 10 miles away or 100 miles? If you need to return the vehicle for a needed adjustment or repair, will it be convenient, or will it be a hassle?

The selection of the dealer is just as important as the car itself. Does the dealer have a good reputation? Does he have lots of positive reviews posted at third party sites. Does he offer a large selection and convenient financing terms? Does the vehicle come with any warranty or extra benefits? How long has the dealer been in business?

All used cars and trucks are unique. There are no two that are exactly alike. One cannot assume anything about a used vehicle. You have to see it and drive it to make a good purchase decision. 

What Happens When You Trade in Your Car to a Dealer?

If a customer is in the market to purchase a new or used vehicle, he probably has a car or truck that he wants to trade in. While he may have surfed the net and completed his search about what vehicle to buy, what dealers to consider, prices and other concerns, there are several important steps that he should take to maximize the trade in allowance that his dealer will give him. 

While the customer may not need to purchase a Carfax report on his own vehicle, the dealer most probably will. The customer must be aware of any reported accidents or damage, as the dealer will want to use that data to justify a low appraisal value. In this regard, the customer must be realistic in his expectations. 

There are several things that the customer can and should do to maximize the appraisal price. He should google his own vehicle to see what dealers are asking for comparable vehicles. The appraisal value quoted will not be the retail asking prices he sees online; rather he will receive a wholesale price- one much closer to the auction prices that the dealer might pay at a used car auction. And, that number will be further reduced by any mechanical, body, or appearance work the vehicle needs. In this regard, the customer should have the vehicle as clean and shiny as possible. Make it easy for the appraiser to like the car or truck. Don’t give him any reason to knock the trade in value. 

The appraiser will also be looking at prices online, both retail prices asked by other dealers, and wholesale activity for similar models. Again, his final appraisal price will be reduced by any reconditioning that is needed. If the customer has repair orders proving that the vehicle has been well maintained, and that all needed repairs were done, this should support a more favorable valuation.

Fixing a value on the trade in is just as important as fixing the value on the vehicle to be purchased. Most customers spend too much time worrying about the price to be paid for the new vehicle, and not enough time justifying the highest possible trade appraisal. 

The dealer will want to know if the customer has the title to his vehicle. If not, the dealer will call the bank or finance company to ascertain the unpaid balance on the auto loan. Any amount still owing will be subtracted from the appraisal. If the lien payoff is greater than the appraisal value, the customer will need to pay the overage.

If the customer has a vehicle service contract or extended warrantyon his vehicle that has not expired, he can request a cancellation of the contract and obtain a pro rata refund. If 80% of the time or mileage has expired, he should receive a 20% refund of the price he paid years ago. This would help meet his required down payment. The fact that he had a service contract or extended warranty will give the appraiser some confidence that the vehicle should be free of any major problems. 

Is It Hard To Sell A Car Privately?

If the purchaser of a new or used vehicle has a trade in, he must decide whether to sell it privately or trade it into the new or used car dealer. While the majority of customers will decide, for several good reasons, to trade their vehicle in, there are a number of people who will opt to sell privately. The subject of trade ins is a large and complicated one. This blog will address some of the difficulties to be expected in a private sale. The benefits of trading in the old vehicle are detailed in a blog entitled “Advantages of Trading In Your car” at Trust Auto in Sykesville, MD.

In order to conduct a successful sale of his old vehicle, there are several things that should be handled. The first challenge to the private seller is to try to determine the market value of his current vehicle – what is a reasonable asking price? For this he must perform some diligent research, looking at similar vehicles listed at dealer websites and third-party searchers like Google or CarGurus.  From the average asking prices he must subtract what it will cost to fully recondition the vehicle, both mechanically and cosmetically. A professional detailing job will take about four hours and cost $150 or more. 

Next he will need to prepare a VDP, or vehicle detail page, a full description of every aspect of his vehicle. The more information that is provided the better. Help the prospective buyer to better visualize the car or truck. Several good photos of the inside and the outside will be needed. If the seller is going to find a buyer, he will need to place a classified ad with one or more of the classified automotive listing services such as Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, TrueCar and many others. These services cost money, and a prime location that offers better visibility can be expensive. The objective is to help a buyer looking for a particular vehicle be able to find the sellers car or truck, click on that vehicle, read about it, see the photos, and be interested enough to call or email the seller for more information. If and when they do communicate, the buyer will ask all the usual questions that he would ask a dealer. And, he will need to be satisfied with the answers, to the point that he is willing to visit, inspect and drive the vehicle. 

If the vehicle passes the buyers inspection and he wants to buy it, the parties must agree on the price and how it will be paid. In almost all cases, the seller should require payment in cash or certified check. The seller should limit his future liability by selling the vehicle “As Is”, with no written representation about the condition of the vehicle. Private buyers are notorious for failing to show up for an appointment. If they want to buy it, their first offer will usually be much lower than the asking price, so the seller must be prepared to negotiate. 

If and when agreement is reached, the seller will need to produce the ownership title. If there is a bank lien on the title, he must call the bank, request a payoff amount and instructions for processing the payoff and getting the title. This will take several days, and maybe longer. When the seller receives the title from the bank, he should complete the assignment, including the buyer’s information, and take the title to the DMV to complete the transfer. Until the DMV processes the name change, the seller remains liable for any loss caused by the vehicle. Therefore, all insurance coverage must be kept until the transfer is complete. Any delays will extend the sellers legal liability. 

If the seller has an extended warranty or vehicle service contract on his car or truck, this could greatly facilitate the sale. Most warranties and service contracts are transferable for a small fee, and this will give the buyer much more confidence in completing the purchase. This is one of the many benefits of buying a service contract from a dealer when the seller makes his new purchase. There are many reputable service contract providers today, and Trust Auto in Sykesville, MD, works with several of the leading companies.

Advantages of Trading in Your Car

Should I Trade in My Car?

The majority of drivers who purchase a car or truck usually own another vehicle that they would like to dispose of. They’re faced with an important decision: should I trade in my current vehicle to a dealership or should I try to sell it myself? Despite the attractive benefits of private selling, in most cases the obvious and most convenient decision is to simply trade your vehicle in and accept the dealers’ trade in allowance.

We’ll be discussing, the pros & cons of selling your car privately in our next article “Is It Hard To Sell A Car Privately?”

Sales Tax Savings with Trade-ins

One of the greatest benefits of the trade in format, comes with how sales tax on your new purchase is calculated. Across most of the country, when you trade in a car to purchase a new one, you will get some sort of sales tax credit based on the value of your trade. What exactly does this mean? States which allow a sales tax credit for a trade-in, calculate the tax you will have to pay on the final purchase based on the cost after the value of the trade is subtracted from the cost of the new vehicle. For example, if you are buying a new car for $20,000 and the dealership offers you $8,000 for your trade-in, you will pay sales tax only on the $12,000 difference! The existence of a bank lien payoff has no effect on the sales tax calculation. Whether the trade-in is owned free and clear with no bank lien, or the lien payoff is thousands more than the actual value of the vehicle, the sales tax savings will be the same. Any lien, or no lien, has no effect on the sales tax savings.

If you owe more on your old bank loan than the vehicle is worth, this is considered to be “upside down” or have negative equity in your old car. If your credit status is strong enough, the lender who is financing the second purchase might agree to refinance the negative equity, in addition to the new car loan. This refinancing arrangement is only available if you trade in your old vehicle.

Less Hassle

When the customer trades his old vehicle, all of the DMV tasks are handled by the dealer. The transfer of ownership, the assignment of title, the lien payoff, obtaining new plates and surrendering the old plates, are all handled by the dealer. If the trade in is sold privately, most of the DMV tasks must be handled by the customer.

Bottom Line

Trading in the old vehicle gives the owner the convenience, the sales tax savings and the freedom from any hassles after the sale. The only real issue remaining is whether the trade in allowance is fair. If the dealer really wants the trade, then the customer might ask for a larger trade allowance. As the trade in allowance goes up, the sales tax savings also goes up, and the amount financed on the new vehicle goes down.

The bottom line really depends on the reasonableness and fairness of the trade in allowance. If the trade allowance is way below the lien payoff to the bank, or simply far below the advertised prices, the customer must make a tough decision.

Whether you’re trading in your car to buy a new on or just looking to get rid of your current vehicle, Trust Auto makes it quick and easy. We utilize a multitude of reputable third-party data to establish the true market value of your car and get you a fast, free appraisal. Afterwards, we review your vehicle on-site and give you an offer through our transparent assessment process. When drivers trade in their old vehicle for a new one at Trust Auto, you can do so with the confidence of knowing that you will always get the fairest offer for your trade.

Tips for Buying Used Fleet or Commercial Vehicles

How to Buy a Used Fleet Vehicle

Many business owners and commercial enterprises have the need forpurchasing service vans, pickups, or larger delivery trucks. Whether your specific line of business is HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Telecommunication, Contracting, Delivery, Refrigeration, Food Services, or transportation.

In order to build a fleet of appropriate vehicles businesses need the services of a knowledgeable fleet manager, or someone charged with the responsibility of purchasing those vehicles, be they automobiles, trucks, buses or vans.

Acquisition of a vehicle fleet can be as simple as going to an established dealer and placing an order with the fleet manager for the vehicles needed. Conversely, and depending on the financial resources of the operation, the fleet may be assembled the hard way, trying to locate and purchase appropriate used vehicles one at a time. The latter is a very time-consuming process, and will require the expertise of someone very knowledgeable about used vehicle acquisition

Since the industry is so large, there are many sources of vehicles available, and many ways to access and utilize them. The challenge to businesses in need of fleet services, is to pick a fleet advisory or buying service that is fully capable of fulfilling the fleet needs of the enterprise.

Trust Auto has many years of experience in vehicle acquisition for retail, wholesale and fleet operations. We understand that finding the right fleet vehicles with the best value is a critical component to your business’ success helping you focus on what matters most – your business. We have a huge selection of high-quality, low-mileage vehicles.

What’s a “GOOD DEAL” for buying a car?

Elements of a Good Car Deal

Everyone wants a good deal on their next car. But what is a good deal? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and a good deal depends on what you are looking for. Could the lowest price be a good deal? Maybe not. Could the highest price be a good deal? Maybe yes. It is not a simple answer. There are many variables; many moving parts.

If the price is the same, does that mean the cars are the same? Of course not. Every used car and truck is unique. There are no two that are exactly alike. The mileage, the optional equipment, the wear and tear history (Who drove it?), and most important- the overall condition of the vehicle all have something to say about what really makes a “good deal”.

CarGurus Deal Rating

CarGurus defines a good deal as a price that is a little below the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) average retail price for a vehicle. This is great to consider as a starting point when searching for a car, but you’ll also want to consider the overall condition, or how the vehicle was driven. Is the vehicle on its’ third set of tires and fourth set of brake linings? Was it driven by a sweet old lady or a frustrated 20-year old bruiser?

The more you know about your next vehicle, the more confidence you can have about a buying decision. That is why Trust Auto gives you a 360 degree overview of each vehicle. You will see the Maryland State Inspection Report, one of the most comprehensive in the US, and far better than Virginia or Pennsylvania. You will see the Carfax report of any accidents, damage and all reported repair orders. You will see pricing of comparable vehicles from the most respected sources in the US – Kelley Blue Book, NADA, Edmunds and others.

At Trust Auto, we want to make your purchase decision painless, with no regrets and no second-guessing. You can purchase with the confidence of knowing that you did everything necessary to make a good buying decision.

Tutorial: Building A Car Emergency Kit For Winter Time

Here at Trust Auto, we believe that having an emergency kit in your car at all times is very helpful. You never know what can happen and when so rather be safe than sorry, right?

Below is a step by step guide to building an emergency kit for your car, winter edition. 

  1. Grab a bucket or duffle bag to place all of your items in. You don’t want something huge… maybe a medium size.
  2. You can go to your local grocery store to purchase an already built emergency kit that has bandages, medicine, and other small items for medical issues. This small medical kit can go in your big, overall car kit.
  3. Place a blanket or two inside.
  4. Add water bottles and perishable snacks.
  5. Put flashlights and batteries inside.
  6. Having a neon windbreaker is nice incase your car breaks down at night, your body is visible to those driving on the road.
  7. Grab hand warmers.
  8. Get some jumper cables to have in the kit too.
  9. After adding all necessary items, zip up your bag or close up your bucket and place it in the trunk of your car.

Now your off to being prepared at all times. Safe driving!

car-emergency-kit.png

Top 5 Car Tricks For Winter Months

 

Winter time can be scary when it comes to driving, depending on where you live. Some areas experience more snow than others. Our focus is to make sure everyone is driving on the roads as safely as possible.

5 Car Tricks

  1. Of course we recommend keeping an ice scraper in your car at all times, but if you happen to forget it… no worries! You can always use a credit card!
  2. Just like we think it’s best to keep an ice scraper on deck, we believe having an emergency kit on hand at all times is of importance too. Need help putting one together? Check out our blog post here on creating an emergency kit for you car.
  3. If you know it’s going to be snowing, raise your windshield wipers the night before to make your life a whole lot easier for the next day.
  4. You can put tube socks over the wiper blades as well to keep them from freezing.
  5. Last, but not least placing Ziploc bags over the side mirrors can be very helpful in helping keep snow off your actual windows so when you go to scrape the snow off you can simply just remove the bag.

What did we miss? Comment below any other tips or tricks you have! 

For more blog post on driving during Winter time, keep reading.

Did you find this article helpful? Pin The Image Below On Pinterest 

driving-during-winter-time

Local to Syskeville, Maryland or live in a surrounding area? 

Come check us out! We offer financing and to help you come ready to go, click here, to pre-apply.  To view our inventory ahead of time, click here.

We look forward to seeing you!

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 11.43.09 AM

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 11.44.04 AM.png

The Essential Guide To Trading In Your Car

Going into a dealership to trade in your car can be an anxious process. You can’t wait to find out the value of your car so you can move onto finding the perfect car! Well, no worries as Trust Auto is here to ease your mind and give you all the information you need.

The Essential Trade In Guide 

  1. Research. You can Google and look on different websites to get an idea of what your car may be worth. While you’re researching keep in mind that the website isn’t actually looking at your car. It is giving you an estimate. Don’t get too excited. This is just for you to get an overall idea before heading in to get it looked at in person.
  2. Clean. Go in with your car cleaned. A nice, cleaned out car is a lot more appealing than one that is filled with junk. Many people ask about getting dings and other small things fixed on their car before having it looked at. While this may help enhance your value, if your car is over 50,000 miles we recommend not trying to fix everything beforehand. The dealership can easily fix whatever may be wrong with your vehicle and cars over 50,000 miles tend to go to auction.
  3. Be Honest. When you do get your car looked at, be honest about accidents and any other issues your vehicle has. This is important especially for the next person who will be driving the car.
  4. Promotion. Many dealerships run trade in specials so be on the lookout for any promotions going on near you.

We hope this was helpful in easing your mind. After you do your research and go into a dealership…

  • The appropriate person will take your car for a test drive and look over it in detail to see everything your car has to offer.
  • The mechanic on hand will have a look at your engine and do a more in depth look at what’s going on inside.
  • Lastly, the car will be appraised and you will officially have an accurate answer on what you can get for your car. Not all dealers will give you the same amount, but it will more than likely be around the same.

If you have any further questions on how trading your car in goes, comment below! 

Did you find this article helpful? Pin The Image Below On Pinterest 

trading-in-your-car

Local to Syskeville, Maryland or live in a surrounding area? 

Come check us out! We offer financing and to help you come ready to go, click here, to pre-apply.  To view our inventory ahead of time, click here.

We look forward to seeing you!

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 11.43.09 AM

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 11.44.04 AM.png