Category Archives: myAutoloan

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!

5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller

For many drivers, buying a used car from a private party is the only way to go. You don’t have to deal with a high pressure car salesmen; there’s less paperwork to complete; and there are no mind games to play. There’s just two people hoping for a great deal on a used car. One is buying, the other selling. Simple.

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As simple as it sounds, used car buyers can often feel left out in the cold. The Internet is filled with articles on how to play hardball with a professional car salesman, but what about when you’re trying to buy a car from your neighbor, a friend, or an everyday person you’ve never met? myAutoloan is here for you throughout the car-buying process, from research to financing.

Before handing over the cash to a private seller, ask these five questions to help make sure you end up with a good deal on a great used car.

Ask These 5 Questions Before Buying a Private Party Used Car

1. How many miles are on the odometer?

Used car sellers will typically include mileage in their ad, but if not, go ahead and ask this question before seeing the vehicle. Enter the mileage, make, model, year, and presumed condition of the used car into a site like TrueCar to gauge the value of the vehicle against the seller’s asking price. Depending on the situation, you could have instant negotiating ammunition! You can also research common problems with the vehicle make and model at different mileages, then ask the seller if they’ve already addressed them or seens signs of them surfacing.

2. Why are you selling the car?

This question helps you out in a few ways. One, it helps you gauge the seller’s urgency, and thus, how much wiggle room you might have with the asking price. Are they tight on cash? Selling for sentimental reasons? Already have a new car in the driveway?

If you’re dealing with a private seller who’s honest to a fault, you could be lucky enough to learn details about the car’s condition you wouldn’t otherwise notice. The seller might divulge that the car is a gas guzzler, isn’t reliable on long road trips, or the clutch sticks when releasing.

3. Have you had the car since it was brand new?

If you’re talking to the third, fourth, or fifth owner of the car, the information you get will only go so far. The more owners the car has had, the more incomplete the current seller’s info might be.

Play detective (and protect yourself) by ordering a CarFax Vehicle History Report or more thorough VinAudit Vehicle Report. You’ll get an instant vehicle history report with 60+ problem checks from VinAudit.com, an official provider for the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.

If you’re not talking to the first or second owner of the vehicle, follow this question with, “Who did you purchase the vehicle from?” or “Where was the car bought?”

4. Do you have service records?

Unless you’re looking for a used car to tinker with and test out your own auto repair skills on, you want a car that’s been well maintained!

A CarFax report will include some service and maintenance records, but it likely won’t include everything, especially if the owner relied on “mom and pop” auto shops around town. Ask for receipts and evidence that maintenance was performed at regular, manufacturer-specified intervals. These receipts will usually note the odometer reading at the time of service, helping you verify the car’s history.

If the seller can’t produce any service records or even remember the last time they had the oil changed, it might be time for you to find a different used car to buy. You don’t want to wind up with a used car that’s unreliable and unsafe–no matter how cheap it is!

5. Can I have the vehicle inspected by my mechanic?

You had your home professionally inspected before you bought it. Why not do the same  with a used car? Sellers with nothing to hide won’t balk at a request like this. Sellers with something to hide, however, will resist.

Finance your used car purchase today!

Buying a used car from a private seller is a great move when it comes to saving money, and using myAutoloan for auto financing is a great move when it comes to saving time! If you’ve asked these five questions and found a reliable ride you can’t wait to drive, then apply for a private party auto loan. We’re here to help you buy your used car 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.

How Much Should My Car Down Payment Be

You know it’s time to buy a new car. Ol’ Bessie is sputtering at every turn and you’ve been saving up for what feels like a decade. But how do you know if you have enough cash saved up to buy a car? Most folks will say you should make a down payment that’s at least 20% of the vehicle purchase price, but you might be able to get away with a different amount. Learn more about car loan down payments and how to choose the amount that’s best for you.

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The Lowdown on Car Loan Down Payments

Unless you have enough cash on hand to pay for a car outright, you’ll need auto financing. Most people do! Financing helps you buy a vehicle and then pay for it over a period of time. Your down payment is the amount of cash you pay, upfront, to buy the vehicle.

Your down payment is an important part of the auto financing process, since it:

  • Reduces the amount of the loan you need to buy a car
  • Reduces the amount owed in case the lender has to repossess the car
  • Could increase your chances of being approved for a car loan
  • Could help you secure a lower interest rate and better terms for your loan
  • Can help lower your monthly payment and total amount paid
  • Provides you with equity in your vehicle
  • Could help you qualify for a more expensive, higher end car

What is a Good Down Payment?

Many experts advise putting down 20%, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. The amount of money you put down will vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your credit profile: This is the most important factor in determining how much money you should put down for a car. If you have an exceptional credit history, you may be able to get away with a small down payment or find yourself eligible for one of the coveted “zero down payment” offers. If you have bad credit or no credit, you may be required to make a higher down payment.
  • The price of the vehicle: The pricier the car, the more you will usually need to put down. Then again, if you have an exceptional credit score, you may be able to go with a lower down payment. Your credit profile still reigns as one of the most important factors in determining your down payment amount.
  • Your desired monthly payment: The more money you put down, the less you will need to borrow. The less you borrow, the lower your monthly payments will be! Play around with myAutoloan’s Advanced Auto Loan Payment Calculator to see how your down payment plays into your monthly payment.

Run the numbers early on to give yourself a clear savings goal to work toward. To get an idea of what these numbers look like in real life, check out the table below. It offers a quick look at various vehicle prices, down payment amounts, and the resulting auto financing you’d need in order to purchase the vehicle.

Down Payment Quick Look Table
Vehicle Price Percent of Vehicle Price Down Payment Amount Amount Financed
$10,000 10% $1,000 $9,000
$15,000 10% $1,500 $13,500
$20,000 10% $2,000 $18,000
$25,000 10% $2,500 $22,500
$30,000 10% $3,000 $27,000
$10,000 20% $2,000 $8,000
$15,000 20% $3,000 $12,000
$20,000 20% $4,000 $$16,000
$25,000 20% $5,000 $20,000
$30,000 20% $6,000 $24,000

In the end, how much money you put down to buy a car is up to you. Down payment amounts will vary from driver to driver. Use myAutoloan loan calculators and interest rate estimators to get a better idea of where you stand. Then apply for an auto loan the fast and easy way! Submit one application and view up to four loan offers in minutes!