Category Archives: Tips & Insights

Should I Buy a Convertible or a Coupe?

You’re not a fan of crossovers or SUVs. Definitely not a fan of minivans. You’re in the market for a new car and you know exactly what you want to buy: a sports car. More specifically, a performance car that makes you feel downright amazing. And hey, we don’t blame you! There’s science to back up the emotional and psychological power of performance cars.

In fact, Ford released a study in early 2018 that found driving a sports car ranks high on the list of things that make people happy. It’s even more enjoyable than kissing and “could be a valuable part of your daily wellbeing routine,” says psychologist Dr. Harry Witchel.

But you already knew how spectacular it feels to drive a sports car. You’re ready to buy one! But which type? Will you go with a convertible or a coupe? We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of convertibles and coupes to find your best ride. Then we’ll help you compare your best auto financing rates!

Convertible or Coupe?

Buying a Convertible

A convertible sports car has a retractable roof. The roof can be folded down or removed either partially or entirely.

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PROS

You feel it all. Enjoy the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. There’s no fixed roof or door frames to limit your visibility or your fun. Put the top down, your sunglasses on, and hit the road feeling free and open. (Just watch out for the bugs.)

You’re more connected to the personality of the car. Ross McCammon of GQ wasn’t a fan of convertibles, until he drove the Mercedes-Benz C 63 S Cabriolet. Putting the top down meant removing a physical barrier between him and the car’s personality. For the first time he could fully experience “the growl of the start-up and turbo-whine acceleration and the rumbly idling.”

“A convertible doesn’t just make the experience louder and windier,” writes McCammon, “it makes a great car less anesthetized, more awake.” Convertibles offer the ultimate driving experience.

Convertibles are versatile! Most convertibles easily transition back into a sedan with the push of a button.That means you can enjoy the wind in your hair one day and a roof over your head the next when nasty weather hits.

CONS

Convertible roofs can be complex. Convertibles come with complex machinery to bring the top down and back up. If any of these pieces or parts break, you could be in for a big repair bill. Just think–what if your convertible top got stuck in the down position during a rainy week? Do you stop driving?

Convertibles can fall prey to “chassis shudder.” A car’s fixed roof plays a major role in its structural support system. Without a fixed roof, a car can succumb to a condition called “chassis shudder” or “scuttle shake.” This condition makes any uneven road feel even bumpier. Your smooth ride becomes shaky.

Convertibles can be expensive. If affordability is important to you, you might want to think twice about buying a convertible. They tend to be $5,000 to $9,000 more expensive, on average, than comparable sedans or coupes, writes Nationwide.

Buying a Coupe

Coupes have sleek, sloping rooflines, two doors, and two functional seats up front, plus two tiny seats in the back. They have a full-on metal roof rather than a large hole behind the top of the windshield where a convertible soft-top goes.

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PROS

Amazing handling. The fixed roof and extra rigidity of a coupe leads to better handling than a convertible. Coupes are also lighter than convertibles since they aren’t carrying all the mechanisms that bring the top up and down.  

Coupes are the epitome of style. Let’s be honest. Some convertibles look less than sleek with the top up. “The coupe has style, not just because of how it looks,” writes CarsGuide, “but because of that devil-may-care absence of drudgery and practicality.”

Coupes are lithe, sleek, and muscular. “With the exception of very few convertibles, no other car will look as good as a coupe,” continues CarsGuide.

Coupes are fun to drive, rain or shine. No need to put an end to a great drive because of a little rain. Since a coupe has a fixed roof, there’s no need to pull over and raise the top when the weather takes a turn for the worse.

They’re cheaper than convertibles. For the most part, couples are cheaper than their convertible counterparts. Plus, there’s no need to worry about any complex roof mechanisms breaking after a few years.

CONS

Space is hard to come by. Don’t expect to enjoy a lot of space…anywhere in the car. In the front, sloping rooflines make coupes especially tough for tall drivers to enjoy. Rear-seat passengers have even less space. A coupe’s rear seats may work for younger children, but these seats are usually little more than a shelf with seatbelts. And cargo space? Don’t even think about packing the trunk for an extended vacation. You’ll be lucky to manage a few bags of groceries.

The top doesn’t come off. A fixed roof means the only way you’ll be feeling the sun on your cheeks and the wind in your hair is if you roll the windows down.  

Take the first step in buying a sports car

Which sports car will you buy? Convertible or coupe? We’re all about comparison shopping, which is why we provide you with up to four new car loan options to review at your leisure. Whichever performance vehicle you choose to drive, help make sure you get a great deal on financing by comparing your loan options first. myAutoloan can help you get in the driver’s seat of the sports car you want. Apply for a new car loan and compare your offers today!

4 Things You Must Do After You Buy a Used Car

Congrats on your new-ish car! You got a used car loan and a great deal on an amazing ride, but are you ready to hit the road? Keep those shiny rims where they are for just one second. There are a handful of must-do tasks you need to take care of before you can drive with ultimate peace of mind.

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After You Buy a Used Car…

1. Update Your Important Accounts and Paperwork

First things first — you need to stay legal! No matter what state you’re in, you can’t drive on public roads unless your vehicle is registered. If you buy a used car at a dealership, they’ll usually help you with the paperwork so you can drive with temporary registration before leaving the lot. They may charge a small fee, but it’s worth it if you just can’t wait to get in the driver’s seat.

In some states, like Maryland, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Michigan, to name few, you can complete the whole vehicle registration process at the dealership.  

This is also the right time to contact your car insurance company and update your policy. You may need to adjust your level of coverage. For instance, if you’ve been driving an old beater around for the last few years, there’s a good chance you didn’t have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your policy. Sometimes it doesn’t make financial sense to pay for these two coverages on an older model vehicle. However, if you’re now driving a used car that’s only a few years old, you might want to include Comprehensive and Collision, as they could help pay for repairs to your sweet new ride in the event of accident or collision.

If you bought the car used from a private owner, you may also want to call the vehicle manufacturer and let them know you’re the current owner. That way you’ll be quickly notified if any safety recalls are issued. The manufacturer’s customer service phone number can be found in your owner’s manual or online. The manufacturer will record your name and address, along with your car’s VIN, in their database for further communication.

You’ll also want to update any parking permit information tied to your car (like for campus parking or a work garage) and vehicle specific roadside assistance memberships.

2. Invest in a Thorough Tune-Up

This step may not be essential if you bought a certified pre-owned car (CPO) since these cars have to meet age and mileage requirements, as well as go through an inspection at the dealership.

For example, Edmunds.com reports that Toyota requires dealers to put used vehicles through a 160-point inspection process. If a car passes inspection, it’s awarded an extended warranty and deemed “certified pre-owned.”

Buying a used car from a private party is different. You may not have all the service records, you don’t know how truthful the seller is being about the condition/history of the car, and there may be a hidden problem lurking under the hood. Avoid unexpected car troubles by bringing the car to a mechanic you trust and investing in a basic mechanical inspection and tune-up. Ask the mechanic for a rundown of services you need to drive safely right now, and a list of services you should prepare for in the future.

At a minimum, top off essential fluids, change the oil, change all filters, and rotate the tires.

3. Check for Open Safety Recalls

A vehicle safety recall is issued when a vehicle, type of vehicle equipment, or part of a vehicle, does not meet Federal safety standards. According to CarFax, more than 47 million vehicles have at least one open safety recall. That’s about one in five vehicles out on the road today!

Check to see if your car has an open safety recall, especially if you bought it used. SaferCar.gov offers a convenient tool for looking up this information. All you need is the car’s VIN number and an internet connection.

Regardless of whether or not you’re the original owner, you still qualify to have your recalls repaired free of charge (even recalls that were announced before you bought the car). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the statute of limitations for no-charge recall repairs is 10 years from the original sale date of the vehicle.

4. Clean and Accessorize the Car

Now for the fun part! Wash, vacuum, and wipe down the interior of the car if it wasn’t detailed before you bought it. Pick out new floor mats, seat covers, and a sun shade to express your personality.

After you buy a used car, you may also want to personalize it by:

  • Adding a phone mount
  • Organizing the trunk with bins or baskets
  • Upgrading your rims
  • Designing a custom license plate cover
  • Keeping it smelling fresh with your favorite scents

Now that everything is in order, it’s time to make the most of your used car! Take a road trip, hit the highway, and enjoy the ride. You deserve it. And if you’re still trying to sell your old car to make room for a new one? Check out our four simple steps to increase the resale value and appeal of your car.

Bad Credit Won’t Stop You From Getting an Auto Loan

It is possible for anyone to have a low credit score.  In many cases, an unexpected job loss or medical expense makes it difficult to keep up with mortgage, student loan or other debt payments. However, this shouldn’t automatically disqualify you from getting reliable and affordable transportation.

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We Work With Everyone Who Needs Financing

Whether you have great, average, bad or subprime credit, we can help you get the financing that you need in a timely manner. When you apply for an auto loan with us, we will return up to four different offers from national lenders that you can compare at your own pace.  Once you decide on a loan offer that fits your needs, you can finish the application process by choosing a lender that is direct to you and get the vehicle that you want or need.  Having choice is a huge benefit that can’t be overlooked.

We Look at You As a Person Instead of a Number

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers that a lender looks at when determining who to lend to.  However, our lenders all realize that you are more than just your credit score.  No one chooses to get sick or chooses to get laid off by their employer. Bad things happen to good people, and that is just a fact of life.  Furthermore, no one can predict when they will need to see a dentist or when the roof of their home will start to leak.  When you work with a direct to consumer loan provider, like myAutoloan.com, you are treated like a person who needs help to get past any prior unfortunate circumstances.

Pay Less With a Direct to Consumer Loan

When you work with a dealer or other middleman to get an auto loan, you can be sure that there is going to be markup.   You could be charged origination fees, document fees and any other fee that the dealer or other third-party can pass along to you.  This could add hundreds or thousands of dollars to your loan, which could make it harder to pay off in a reasonable amount of time.  Going direct to a work with a lender is the least expensive way to get a car loan.  Check out our calculator to see what you could afford.

Start to Rebuild Your Credit With a Bad Credit Auto Loan

A bad credit auto loan can help you get back on the path to having a good credit score.  When you make a payment, it is reported to credit agencies.  If you can string together multiple on-time payments, your score could go up to by 100 to 200 points in a matter of months.  The exact increase to your score depends on what your credit profile was when you first took out the loan.  However, as a general rule, most lenders pay the most attention to credit activity that has taken place in the last 12-24 months.  So get going and make things happen for yourself – good things buy being on time with your payments and see what happens!

There are many reasons why your credit score is lower than you would like it to be that have nothing to do with irresponsible spending habits.  By working with a direct to consumer loan provider that has multiple platform based lenders, you can get the car that you want at a price that you can afford regardless of your credit score.

Does Shopping for Car Loans Hurt My Credit?

If you’re fearful that a car loan application will hurt your credit score, then this is the blog for you. Follow along as we explain how the top three credit reporting agencies typically roll multiple auto inquiries into one inquiry on a continuous, 14-30 day cycle, and why applying for a car loan typically won’t hurt your credit.

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Car Loan Shopping Doesn’t Hurt Credit

While shopping for credit can sometimes signal bad news bears to creditors (i.e higher risk), most credit scores aren’t drastically impacted by multiple inquiries from auto lenders within a short period of time.

The top three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) understand that people are typically going to shop around when searching for the right auto, home, or student loan. After all, not all financing companies and loan offers are created equal! Shoppers may find varying interest rates and payment plans depending on where they go and when they apply. It’s all about finding the right loan offer for you and sometimes, it takes more than one loan offer to get there.

Lenders also know that you’re probably not trying to buy multiple homes or cars–you’re just trying to find the best rates and terms. Credit scoring systems have evolved over time to reflect this reality.

But You May See Multiple Inquiries on Your Credit Report

While your credit score isn’t likely to take a hit when applying for car loans, you may notice multiple inquiries on your credit report. Each time your credit report is reviewed by a different lender, an inquiry will appear showing who accessed the report and why. This is technically called an “inquiry,” though you may also hear “check” or “pull.”

Inquiries include information about who’s making the inquiry, what it’s for, the date it’s made, and the type of inquiry.

Experian, for one, will list each inquiry that is made in your file for two years, but these inquiries will only be counted as one inquiry when calculating your credit score.

That said, you want to apply for credit wisely. Don’t spread out your loan applications over a long period of time, as this will spread out the credit inquiries, too. As long as inquiries are made within about 14 days, they are counted as just one when your credit score is calculated. Space them out too much and you run the risk of having them be counted as separate inquiries.

And Certain Inquiries CAN Impact Your Credit Rating

A single hard credit inquiry typically won’t play a major role in whether or not you’re approved for financing. Lenders understand that most people compare loan options when buying something as big a house or car.

Still, it’s not a good idea to apply for a bunch of different credit cards and loans at one time. Multiple hard inquiries for different types of credit in a short period of time can signal to lenders that you’re in a financial pickle. They may assume you’re having trouble paying bills, getting ready to rack up debt, or that you’re short on cash—all signs that you could be a risky loan recipient.

Examples of hard inquiries include applications for a mortgage, auto loan, credit card, student loan, personal loan, or apartment rental credit checks.

The lesson? Only shop for one type of loan at a time and don’t drag out your financing applications over a long period of time. If your credit has been hurt in the past, work to build a healthier credit score by paying your bills on time, having a low balance on your credit card, maintaining a long credit history, and applying for new credit sparingly.

Go the Easy Route, with myAutoloan

myAutoloan is one of the fastest routes to smart auto financing. There’s no need to submit multiple applications in order to view multiple offers, and no need to navigate to different websites. Just submit one application and view up to four offers in a matter of minutes. Our applications are free, fast, and easy, and we’ll never pressure you to use one of our lenders’ offers or loans. Apply worry-free to buy the car you want. When you have nothing to lose, why wait?