Category Archives: Tips & Insights

Best Car Color to Buy: Your Car Color & Its Value

Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

Which color car

Is the best one for you?

Didn’t think we’d write you a poem, huh? As much hassle as buying a car can be, it can also be fun. You can bring your dog along to find a pet-friendly ride, test drive coupes and convertibles, and even pick from a rainbow of car colors, especially if you’re looking to buy a new car. Choose the color wisely and you could even help maintain your car’s long-term value.

So, what’s the best car color to buy?

If you’re shooting for resale value, the best car color to buy is the one that’s currently most popular. The more popular the color, the more attractive your car will be to potential buyers down the road. Of course, we know you don’t want to sell your car right now. But according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), it’s safe to assume that today’s most popular car color will remain in demand for at least five years.

Researchers at automotive paint powerhouse PPG report that monochromatic colors such as white, gray, silver, and black continue to dominate globally. They’re crowd pleasers across the board.

Consumers will likely stick to the established trend for the remainder of 2018 and into  2019, finds coatings supplier BASF, with shades of gray, blue, and green emerging as favorites. According to BASF, these colors appeal to people because they replicate the aesthetics of digital gadgets and technology.

Some of the most popular colors in BASF’s library of hues include “metal’s mettle,” a shade of metallic gray, “kleur,” a deep red, and “centripetal blue,” a subdued dark blue color.

Buy the most popular car color in your state

It’s safe to say that neutral car colors like white, silver, gray, and black are good bets whether you live in Florida or Oregon, Italy or Spain. Other car colors, like orange and purple, are risky bets… unless you happen to live in an area where these colors are highly coveted or hold some level of symbolism.  

If you plan on living in the same general area for a while, you might want to consider buying a car that’s one of the most popular colors in your city/state.

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For example, if you live near James Madison University in Virginia, you can’t go wrong buying a purple car. The city of Harrisonburg, VA has the highest percentage of purple cars in the country. And in Tennessee, orange is the car color of choice. Almost the entire state shows that orange cars are the most popular color cars, likely in support of the University of Tennessee Volunteers.

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Explore car sales trends by color and state using CarMax’s interactive map. What color car is most popular in your state?

Buy the most popular car color for your vehicle type

If your city/state isn’t known for any particular car color or you know you’ll be moving in the near future, consider buying a car color that’s popular for the vehicle type you want, like an SUV, sedan, or sports car.

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According to KBB, the top five colors for SUVs, minivans, and trucks are:

  1. White – 19.3%
  2. Silver – 18%
  3. Black – 12.4%
  4. Medium Dark Blue – 11.4%
  5. Medium Dark Gray – 7.5%

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Silver also tops the list for luxury vehicles, followed by white and dark blue. And while black used to be the most popular color for luxury cars, KBB says black has hit its lowest market in years.

  1. Silver – 32.1%
  2. White Metallic – 17.7%
  3. White – 11.8%
  4. Medium/Dark Blue = 8.6%
  5. Black  – 8.5%

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If you’re shopping for a sedan, wagon, or hatchback, keep an eye out for silver cars, too. Drivers just can’t get enough of silver colored cars!

  1. Silver = 28.1%
  2. White – 11.8%
  3. Light Brown – 11.6%
  4. Black – 11.2%
  5. Medium/Dark Blue = 9.5%

Buy your favorite car color

Green, yellow, red, and blue! Which car color is right for you? In the end, the best car color to buy is the one that makes you happy. You spend about 300 hours a year in your car, so you might as well like what you drive! Shop around and when you’re ready, apply for a new car loan through myAutoloan. We make it easy to compare car loans just as easily as you compare car colors!

When NOT to Cosign an Auto Loan

To cosign, or not to cosign. That is the question. While cosigning an auto loan for a friend or family member can help them get a car they might not be able to afford on their own, you could be taking on undue risk. As the cosigner, you’re agreeing to pay the amount due and perform all the agreements stated on the contract if the borrower fails to meet contractual obligations. You’re on the hook for the loan payments if the other person stops making them for any reason. Even if they die.

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As the cosigner, you’re essentially the loan company’s Plan B.

Sometimes, the risks of cosigning for someone don’t outweigh the rewards, even if the person is your [insert relationship here!]. Here’s when you should think twice about cosigning an auto loan.

Think twice about cosigning a loan when…

You’re planning on making a major purchase soon.

Considering renovating your home, buying an investment property, or purchasing anything that might require credit? Then be careful. Being a cosigner could ding your credit in two ways.

First, if the other person fails to make their auto loan payments on time, your credit could be damaged right along with theirs.

But let’s say they never miss an auto loan payment. There’s another risk to consider, too.

Cosigning an auto loan will increase your debt-to-income ratio, which is the percentage of your debt payments in relation to your income. Any auto loan you cosign for will show on your credit report, even if the financed car isn’t yours and you never get to drive it. New lenders will review your debt-to-income ratio when you apply for financing, and they might not be too excited when they learn you could be on the hook for someone else’s auto loan.

“Because you’re liable for [the loan’s] balance in the event of a default, being a cosigner can decrease your ability to get new credit,” says Money Crashers.

It doesn’t matter if the other person makes their payments on time. “Cosigning a loan can also lower your credit score because the amounts you owe makes up 30% of your FICO score,” adds Money Crashers.

According to Smart Assets, a debt-to-income ratio of 36% is generally accepted as good. The closer you get to 36%, the more your credit score could drop and the more hesitant a potential lender might be. Keep your debt-to-income ratio low for less stress and more credit opportunities.

Your relationship with the borrower is rocky.

You may feel tempted to cosign for a loved one to show them you care, to help them out of a tough time, or because you feel guilty for things that happened in the past. These feelings are completely normal and understandable.

Keep in mind, however, that cosigning a loan could make your relationship worse, not better. When you turn a personal relationship into a financial relationship, you put a lot of undue stress on the personal relationship.

“You’re putting your relationship in real jeopardy,” Megan McArdle, business and economics editor for The Atlantic, told NPR.

McArdle explains, “If you become this person’s primary creditor, which is what’s going to happen if they default, that really damages the relationship. And even if you don’t, you know, as Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, likes to say, Thanksgiving dinner tastes different when your father-in-law is asking – is looking at you across the table and wondering why you couldn’t pay off your car loan and yet you have a TV or whatever. Keeping those kinds of decisions outside the family, outside of relationships is usually better for everyone in the long run.”

There are libraries of information about the psychology of money, and especially around money and family. Don’t put your most important relationships at risk by cosigning a loan.

Remember that cosigning a loan means:

  • You’ll be responsible for the loan.
  • Your credit could take a hit.
  • You’ll have difficulty financing your own purchases.

Are these risks you’re ready to take?

You can help in another way.

Having a friend or family member cosign is one way many drivers are able to get car loans with little to no credit, but it’s not the only way. You can help a loved one get behind the wheel of a new or used car by:

  • Helping them build better credit. Can you help them set a budget, stick to it, and improve their own credit situation? It might not take as long as you think. Teach your loved one how to build their own credit and you’ll be doing them a favor for years to come.
  • Gifting them money for a bigger down payment. Making a bigger down payment means they’ll need to borrow less, and this could make a car loan easier to get with poor or no credit.
  • Comparing auto financing options. Their first option might not be the best financing option, especially if they’re trying to get a car loan with minimal credit. Different lenders offer different loan terms and interest rates. Encourage them to shop around. Another lender may not require a cosigner!

If you have a friend or family member asking you to cosign a loan with them, there’s a chance they simply haven’t done their research. Have they compared all available loan options? Have they researched how to qualify for an auto loan? We can help. Encourage your loved one to try myAutoloan, where we present applicants with up to four auto loan offers at once. We even work with applicants who have bad credit… which could help keep you out of a bad cosigning situation.

5 Best Cars for People Who Really, Really Love Their Dogs

You only eat at dog-friendly restaurants. You have a tattoo of your pup’s paw prints somewhere on your body. Your bumper sticker proudly proclaims that you just want to drink wine and hang out with your dog.

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We get it. You’re a dog person. We’re dog people, too. That’s why we compiled this list of awesome, dog-approved vehicles. These dog-friendly cars will make it easier for you and Fido to travel together in comfort and style.

You’ll notice that while these vehicles are all different makes and models, dog-friendly cars tend to have a handful of things in common.

The best dog-friendly cars all have:

  • Great, versatile cargo space: Seats can fold flat or easily be removed for maximum storage and space for a dog crate.
  • Low floors: Low floors make it easy for your dog to hop into the car, no matter their age or size.
  • Built-in window shades: Tinted windows or built-in shades can help your dog avoid direct sunlight and stay cooler on long car trips.
  • Easy to clean interiors: $%*# happens. Literally. Parents and pet lovers know this to be true firsthand. An interior that’s easy to hose down and vacuum out is a godsend when a long car ride turns into a long day at the car wash.
  • Little space between seats: The less nooks and crannies there are, the less places you have to worry about cleaning up dog hair and losing rouge treats!

5 Best Cars for Dogs & Dog Parents

#1: Kia Soul

The Kia Soul is top choice among dog lovers and even musicians. Its massive, easy-to-clean cargo area makes it easy for you to transport almost anythingGreat Dane or full drum kit. The Soul’s body sits low to the ground, so even if you do have to help an ol’ dog climb in, you won’t have to lift for long. It can easily accommodate a medium-sized crate. One drawback, though? The rear seats fold down, but not completely flat.

Used Kia Souls cost well under $15k. Think $6k to $13k.

#2: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

As a general rule of thumb, minivans make great dog cars! Thanks to their wide sliding doors, large rear hatches, and low floors, minivans make it easy to travel with dogs and still leave room for passengers and luggage.  

The Pacifica Hybrid rises to the top of the dog pile with its completely flat floors and convenient seat anchors that make it easy to tie down a dog crate. Safety and comfort? Two paws up for that!

A new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid will run you close to $40k, but you can find reliable used Pacificas for closer to $30k and with fewer than 50,000 miles.

#3: Subaru Outback

No list of dog-friendly cars would be complete without a Subaru! Subaru loves featuring dogs in their commercials and regularly invests time and money in pet causes around the country. They work with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®), The Center for Pet Safety, and Southeastern Guide Dogs. As a company, Subaru is paws-itively passionate for pups and lives out their passion every day!

Drive a Subaru Outback and you can take your dog pretty much anywhere. The Outback’s low height makes it easy for Fido to jump in and out, and the spacious cabin means plenty of room for him and all of his toys and treats. Plus, every Outback comes with all-wheel drive. In an Outback, you can both answer the call of the wild.   

Subaru has an almost cult-like following, so good luck finding a used Subaru Outback. A new Outback costs about $26k.

#4: Honda CR-V

On first glance, the Honda CR-V sits a little higher than the Kia Soul and Subaru Outback. Don’t start sniffing elsewhere just yet. Dogs and people alike adore the CR-V’s spacious cargo area and composed, stable ride. Upgrade to a CR-V EX-L for leather seating, a power liftgate, and additional safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Honda CR-V prices vary quite a bit depending on mileage and year. For the most part, you can find newer-model used CR-Vs with fewer than 50,000 miles for $15k to $20k.

#5: Volkswagen Atlas

The Atlas doesn’t yet have a reputation among pet parents, but we think it soon will. The perks? A cavernous cargo area plus three rows of versatile seating. The CR-V, Outback, and Soul can’t match that versatility.

The third row of seats even features a 50/50 split so you can secure a dog crate and still keep one of the rear seats for passengers. Atlases are also available with tri-zone automatic temperature control, so passengers and pups alike can stay warm or cool no matter where they’re sitting.  

Volkswagen Atlases are still new to the market. A quick Internet search shows that you can find used models for as low as $25k in some areas.

Buy the car your dog deserves!

Your dog deserves the best. So do you. The pawfect dog-friendly car is waiting for you and your fur baby! Compare up to four used car loan or new car loan offers today and choose the best offer for you, then use your extra cash for some sweet dog treats!