Accident Checklist: A Free Printable

It can be a scary, high stress situation when you get in an accident. That’s why it’s important to have all the facts and understand what is necessary in order to file an insurance claim so you can get back on the road.

Follow along with our free printable Accident-Checklist.  Keep a copy in your car for extra safety precautions.

For a printable accident report for your state, click here.

New Cars vs. Used Cars: Which is Better?

There is an age old question in the realm of car sales: Should I buy new or used? It’s the question every car buyer faces, and there’s no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to your budget, your wants and needs in a vehicle, and eagerness to gamble with potential risk. Let’s compare the pros and cons of new and used cars, so you can make the most educated decision when you begin your car buying process.

Advantages to Buying a New Car

When you buy a new car, you are also buying the latest technology.  New cars have the most updated tech specs like  Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection capability, so you can talk on your phone hands-free and have your phone maps and music integrated with your vehicle.  

You are also buying the most up-to-date safety technology like LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children), blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. These features are becoming more advanced and more common on even the most affordable of new vehicles like Toyota Corollas.

Buying a new car also comes with the confidence that you are the first person to drive the vehicle, ensuring no prior wear and tear. You also don’t have to worry about any unattended recalls, accident history reports, or neglected maintenance issues like infrequent oil changes or keeping the fluids topped off.  

Over the last few years, the auto industry has made great strides in providing fuel efficient vehicles, to the point where a new SUV may outperform an older model sedan.  Fuel costs are a major concern when looking at costs that go into purchasing a vehicle.  

A minor point, but there is the coveted “new car smell” that some buyers can’t do without. This may convince them to only buy new cars and pass on used cars altogether.

Disadvantages of Buying a New Car

Buying a new car means you are typically paying much more for a vehicle than if you purchased used.  These higher costs don’t end with the sticker price – your insurance premium will be affected and raised and your sales tax will be higher than if you purchased a comparable used vehicle.

As soon as you drive your car off the lot, the value depreciates by an average of 20%.  This translates to owing your lender more than the car is actually worth, if you didn’t put down at least a 20% down-payment.  

Advantages to Buying Used Cars

Perhaps the biggest advantage to buying a used car is that the previous owner absorbed all the initial costs and depreciation within the first few years of owning it. Their pain, your gain.  Since you are able to get a car for less than its original value, there is a good chance you can “upgrade” to a bigger or fancier model than you would be able to otherwise.  

And, since the price is lower, that means your other costs won’t be as high.  Insurance premiums won’t be as drastic and your sales tax will be lower. If you are able to finance your used car, you will save in total interest payments even if the interest rate is higher.  The interest will never add up to the amount you would have spent if you had purchased a brand new car.

There is a level of reliability that is associated with used vehicles because of Carfax history reports, rankings, and research tied to the vehicle you are interested in.  If the car is a few years old, you’ll be able to read about potential problem areas and avoid them.  Rankings of older models will help you compare specific about each vehicle you are considering, something new models can’t offer.  

Disadvantages to Buying Used Cars

Many new-car buyers will tell you they don’t like to buy a used vehicle because they feel like they are inheriting someone else’s problems. There is a level of risk associated with buying used cars, although many people are comfortable with this.

This is why there are a few added steps necessary when buying a used car. The first thing you should get with any used vehicle is a trusted Carfax report that identifies any title issues or accident history. You will need to spend more to get the car inspected by an independent mechanic to check any issues with the operating system, transmission, and evidence of crashes and accidents. However, this money for the inspection will save you from a big insurance claim down the road.

When you buy a used car, you likely forgo the option of having a warranty on your vehicle, which means you are financially responsible for anything that may go wrong with the vehicle or major repairs.   

Buying a used car means having to compromise on vehicle options like colors, interior, and technology options compared to if you were purchasing a vehicle from the original dealership.

When you are deciding between new and used cars, you should equip yourself with the proper information to get the best bang for your buck and protection down the road. Use the U.S. News & World Reports for new and used vehicles to compare prices, specs, and rankings.  

For all your used car interests, visit Trust Auto to see our wide range of inventory or call today to get started.  

Super Bowl 2018 Car Commercials: The Good, the Bad, and the (very) Ugly

There’s not much that brings American together more than the Super Bowl and the famous commercial breaks that brought us the sing-a-long beer commercials, hilarious Alexa commercial, and of course, the highly anticipated car commercials.

For the first time in 6 years, the automotive ad spending for expensive commercials was on a decline: only a few select automakers made an appearance in the 2018 Super Bowl lineup.  And while a good amount of these commercials were successful, there were a few that missed the mark. Let’s see what you may have missed.  

Lexus LS 500F Sport

This Lexus-Marvel mashup promotes the newest movie in the Marvel world, “Black Panther.” And while it is a bit of a stretch that King T’Challa would cruise around in a fancy Toyota, the ad had the perfect attitude for during the big game.

Kia Stinger

Not really hitting the mark, Kia promoted the Stinger with former F1 champion and Indy-500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and a whole lot of help from CGI. Kia’s Stinger is “Fueled by Youth,” but what the commercial failed to mention is that the Kia Stinger won the Roadshow Shift award for Car of the Year.

Toyota – Good Odds

Toyota had their biggest ad spending for a Super Bowl this year, and they used it to focus on one word: Mobility. Both ads that aired were used to promote Toyota’s sponsorship of the Olympics and Paralympics to hit you right in the feels and drive home their new message of “Mobility for All.” Toyota’s goal is to conquer the impossible.

Jeep

Jeep’s first commercial was a throwback to young Jeff Goldblum and the Jurassic Park chase scene, all coming together at the the end with a tagline about evolution. The all new 2018 Wrangler features an all new evolved model, tying into the man-made evolution in Jurassic Park. Clever.

But third time’s the charm for Jeep’s ad set. Their final commercial is simple, straightforward and lets the car do all the talking, showcasing a Jeep in its natural habitat, no frills.

RAM 1500

Ram exaggerated, in every sense of the word in their ads during Super Bowl LII. Their first ad features Vikings, the rugged and rough type who would enjoy a heavy duty pickup truck – provided they can wrap their minds around a vehicle.

But it’s their second ad that truly missed the mark and came off as tasteless.  Ram used clips of the Martin Luther King Jr. speech to align the Ram 1500 with greatness. However, this tone-deaf comparison hit the audience like a ton of bricks, considering the speech doesn’t paint consumerism in a positive light. Ouch.

 

What was your favorite car commercial? Let us know in the comment section below?

Winter Tires Vs. All-Season Tires

There are a lot of questions that circulate about what kind of tires are recommended going into the winter months. The most common being, “Do I need winter or snow tires?” It’s not uncommon to be confused and frustrated when researching tires online.  There are a lot of different options and a lot of opinions regarding the best brands and tire manufacturers.

Living in the Mid-Atlantic region, snow-covered roads and icy road conditions are common during the winter months. And while it can seem like a hassle and a really large expense to have two sets of tires for your vehicle, but it can be an expense that saves you and your car a lot of damage when the roads get slick.   

Not sure what kind of tires you need? Let’s compare winter tires with all-season tires and see what a huge difference a set of tires can make.

Winter Tires: Made for Ice and Snow

Between heavy snowfalls and black ice, winter roads can be very unpredictable, and scary if you aren’t equipped with the proper tires. Winter tires are made with snow, ice, and wintery conditions in mind. These tires use a specific rubber compound that stay pliable in the cold temperatures. This gives the tire better grip and improved braking when the roads are slick.

The tread pattern on winter tires is larger with deep grooves that pushes the snow away from getting stuck in the tires, preventing the snow from getting stuck in the tread. This allows for greater grip and traction.  

Regardless of whether you have a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle, winter tires should only be installed as a set of four. Using two different kinds of tires can cause poor handling, safety, and vehicle control, not to mention the tires will wear down unevenly.  

All-Season Tires: Made for Moderate Temperatures

All-season tires are built to handle a variety of road conditions: dry, wet, and even light snow. But as temperatures drop, these tires will harden. This creates less traction between your tires and the road, leading to sliding and skidding on harsh winter roads.

The tread on all-season tires is designed for traction in all types of moderate weather – rain, dry, and slight snow. Unlike winter tires, they are not designed with the deep-grooved tread. However, because they have smaller tread, all-season tires generally provide a smoother ride and have become the standard on vehicles.  

If you don’t live in an area that typically sees a lot of snow, tires that handle better in wet conditions and provide maximum traction on wet roads are your safest choice.  

 

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Car

One month into 2018 and there’s a good chance that you haven’t stuck with your New Year’s Resolutions. If you had a hard time coming up with a resolution that was easy to keep all year long, no worries!

Here’s a simple and effective goal to keep up all year: Keep Your Car Maintained

Compared to larger, more life-changing resolutions, this may seem trivial, but think about it: When your child is sick, you take them to the doctor. When your dog eats your TV remote, you take him to the vet. Your car is responsible for getting your kids safely to and from their activities, getting you to work on time everyday, and getting you to the beach in the summer. Why not take care of your vehicle and give it the love it deserves?

Keep the Inside Clean

On a nice day, spend some time getting the interior of your car looking nice again. Clean out any trash and put a small trash receptacle in the front so you can empty it easily while you are getting gas or as you walk into work.  Keeping trash off the floor can make your car look clean without much effort.

Vacuum the floor mats and seats to clean up any crumbs, dirt, or grime that builds up over time. If you are feeling really ambitious, remove the floor mats and deep clean with a carpet cleaner and shampoo.  

 

Using a dusting cloth to wipe down your dash and surfaces in the car help give your car a fresh start.  It’s amazing what a little TLC can do!

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Even if there are no glaring issues with your vehicle, scheduling bi-annual service appointments helps keep your car in prime condition.  Your mechanic or dealership will check your car’s exterior and interior and run diagnostics to ensure your car is running smoothly.  Keeping it regularly maintained leads into our next point…

Be Proactive

While you’re driving, if you start to hear an odd noise (everyone is familiar with the dreaded buzzzzzz or whirllll of a mysterious car malfunction!), call your mechanic or dealership immediately to make an appointment.  The sooner you can get it checked out, the sooner a problem may be caught, saving you potentially thousands of dollars down the road.

Being attentive to your car and its needs is important to keep it on the road for as long as possible.

Keep Your Fluids Topped Off

Your car’s fluids are like it’s bloodstream. Maintaining the fluid levels and their quality is crucial to your car’s performance.  Regular oil changes prevent the oil from being old and thick in consistency, which can wreak havoc on your motor. Wiper fluid should be monitored and topped off in order to ensure your visibility as you drive down the road, as well as keeping an eye on your coolant, to make sure your car does not overheat.

Check Your Tires and Their Condition

As you are maintaining your vehicle, don’t neglect your tires.  Important to your car’s performance and your safety, keep an eye on your tire’s tread and air pressure.  If your tire pressure is too low, you run the risk of getting a flat tire.  The tread on your tire is important for traction, especially during the winter months and rainy seasons to prevent hydroplaning.  When you get your car serviced, ask for a tire rotation so your tires wear down evenly, saving you money and keeping you as safe as possible.

When you get your vehicle serviced at Trust Auto, you can be sure that your vehicle is in the best possible hands and that your car will be serviced by trusted professionals.