10 Hottest Jersey Shore Destinations This Summer

10 Hottest Jersey Shore Destinations This Summer

 

Everyone looks for something different in their Jersey Shore destination, with one thing in common: just being at the shore. Whether you’re a surfer, avid swimmer, or you just like to lay on the beach, a big part of your beach getaway is what you get to do when the day is winding down. Whether you’re looking for a sleepy, quaint town or a destination with some of the best nightlife in New Jersey, here are Highline Automotive’s pick of the hottest Jersey Shore destinations, in alphabetical order, and their drive time from Philadelphia.

Asbury Park, 86 minute drive

Asbury Park is a sleepier beach town with more destinations geared towards music lovers and seafood connoisseurs. The Convention Hall is a legendary venue for concerts and other events; plan your trip around an act you want to see to combine a beach weekend and one-of-a-kind concert experience. Porta has gourmet pizza, live music, and indoor bocce for friendly competition. Fantastic food, eclectic boutiques, family fun, colorful nightlife and one of the best live music scenes in the area make the Asbury Park Boardwalk a must.

Atlantic City, 78 minute drive

AC is pretty much a straight shot from Philly, and it’s easy to see why Philadelphians want to go to this larger city for both day trips and vacations. The Steel Pier is one of the biggest and best beachside amusement parks on the shore, and the classic Ripley’s Believe It or Not oddities museum is definitely worth a stop. When you think casinos on the East Coast, your mind usually goes to AC. Caesars is the most raved about in AC for a reason, with almost too many dining options and fantastic entertainment. Don’t miss Lucy the Elephant in neighboring Margate for a great vacation photo. Hotels are actually less expensive than you may anticipate; it’s easy to find great hotel rooms for around $200 per night, and AC is a great destination for more off season visitors due to the number of things to do in addition to the beaches.

Cape May, 106 minute drive

If you’re looking to go wine tasting or even hiking during your beach vacation, heading as far south as possible is your best bet to find a little bit of everything. Cape May is one of the ritzier, more historic beach towns on the Shore. Cape May Point State Park is a beautiful state park for hiking. The Rusty Nail is a great spot in town for solid drinks and a cool environment, complete with a deck and fire pit. Cape May Arcade is definitely worth a visit and gives more of the beachfront feel in a town that feels sleepier than most other destinations on the Shore.

Long Beach Island, 90 minute drive

LBI is a great destination for beachgoers seeking more of a chill beach town but still having plenty to do. Make sure you go to Joe Pop’s for a classic shore club night with live DJs, bar snacks, and drink specials. The Thundering Surf Waterpark has awesome rides and pools, and the Tip Seaman Park has plenty of sports fields and courts if you want to take a break from beach activities.

Ocean City, 96 minute drive

Nearby dunes and a boardwalk with all the shops and snacks you would expect make Ocean City a popular destination year after year. Gillians Wonderland Pier is a neon-lit, awesome experience for both kids and adults. The Seacrets Jamaica Bar is one of the most popular nighttime destinations in the city, with live music on multiple stages and great happy hour if you want to go right after a day at the beach. There’s no shortage of places to stay, but the Quality Inn Oceanfront has some of the best deals for being so close to the beach.

Point Pleasant Beach, 92 minute drive

Point Pleasant is the perfect picture beach town with something for everyone. Jenkinson’s Aquarium and Jenkinson’s Boardwalk are the perfect entertainment destinations to break up beach time, and Manasquan Beach is one of the nicest destinations on the shore. (They allow fishing, surfing, and sports on this particular mile stretch of the beach). Martell’s Tiki Bar is known for awesome drinks, live music, and dancing right on the beach. Jenks Club is the ultimate nighttime spot with DJs, featured music performances, and several bars. Reviewers love the view, and $2 tacos every Tuesday.

 

Sea Isle City, 92 minute drive

Sea Isle City offers the best combination of family-friendly entertainment and a selection of bars to complete your beach vacation. Pirate Island Mini Golf is a popular destination for a fun time with the kids. Kix McNutley’s is a multi-level bar with an outdoor patio, dance floor, and live music every night. Hotel rooms cost around $400 per night during peak beach season.

Seaside Heights, 95 minute drive

This popular beach spot found new fame with the show “Jersey Shore” on MTV, and shore travelers who love to hit the club as much as the beach still love the town. Lucky Leo’s is one of the most iconic arcades on the Shore, complete with bumper cars and unlimited games from 6pm to 9pm every Friday for just $10. Bar Aztec has an all ages dance floor on the upper level, or head to Bamboo Bar for a club experience worthy of its own reality show, with live DJs and neon palm trees. Hotel rooms are an average of around $300 per night.

Stone Harbor, 99 minute drive

Take it easy on the island of Stone Harbor, which offers a little more in the way of nature exploration and some of the best beaches. Check out Stone Harbor Point for grassy dunes leading to marshlands. RiGi’s Amusement Center and Miniature Golf Club 18 can be your evening entertainment with the kids, or Buckets Margarita Bar & Cantina is a great spot for tequila and live music.

Wildwood, 100 minute drive

Quintessential beach boardwalk Morey’s Piers has a total of three piers with six beachfront amusement parks, so there are plenty of options to keep you entertained for hours after laying on the beach for the day. (There is also a water park). Backfin Blues Bar & Grill has gorgeous rooftop seating, great cocktails, and the premium seafood you would expect. Hotel rooms average at $272 per night.

 

Before you take off on your Jersey Shore trip, make sure your car is in good shape to handle the ride. Be sure to check things like fluid levels, belts and hoses, and tire pressure, including the spare tire. If you are planning a few trips this summer, and you think it may be time to start looking for a replacement vehicle, check our online inventory of quality, affordable cars, trucks, and SUVs. All of our cars, trucks, and SUVs come with a 30-day or 1,500-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty to give you confidence in your new vehicle. Stop in to our convenient dealership and talk to one of Highline’s professional team members.

12 Best Luxury Pre-Owned Cars


12 Best Luxury Pre-Owned Cars

 

A luxury vehicle is the ultimate splurge, aka the “I work hard and deserve to buy myself something nice” present. There are some luxury models that truly stand the test of time while giving you the most wow for your money, and there are other vehicles that aren’t the best representation of what owning a luxury vehicle should really bring for you. Since there are 12 months in a year, here are our dozen picks (in alphabetical order) for luxury vehicles.

Acura TLX

Superior safety ratings and great performance make the 2015 and up Acura TLX models a must-drive car, especially with a lower price tag than most competitors. (2015 prices start at about $17,000). The infotainment system on the late models raises the bar with a choice between Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on a seven-inch touch screen display, even wireless charging for smartphones. And the combination of sporty finishes and a smooth ride will appeal to almost any luxury car driver. Note that tall drivers may not be the most comfortable in this vehicle compared to similar vehicles, as the front seating is on the smaller side. The TLX late models get 23 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway.

Audi A6

The A6 has continuously been in the top five for midsize cars in both ratings and sales. A combination of ultra-powerful engines, great handling, decent mileage, and fun high-tech additions make this car a winner across the board. Enjoy quad zoned climate control, a touchpad with handwriting recognition, and a Bose audio system for a fun ride amplified by a 250 horsepower engine. The 2014 A6 is under $20K and gets up to 25 mpg in the city and up to 34 mpg on the highway.

Audi A7

Get all the practical use out of a hatchback without sacrificing on a truly luxurious ride. The votes are in, and reviewers say this sedan knocks the competition out of the park. This car definitely feels roomy, but without being bulky even with a coupe-like body. The 2013 A7 also goes from 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds, and the interior is equipped with premium leather seating and high quality wood finishes. The eight inch display raises the bar electronically, and Audi ups the navigation game with Google Maps including Google Street View. This Audi gets 23 mpg combined highway and city.

BMW 5 Series

There are several reasons why the 2012 5 Series is one of the best pre-owned luxury midsize cars you can purchase: excellent crash test ratings, great handling, and reliability assuring you that this is a great long-term investment. BMW’s Active Protection System automatically closes all windows and the moonroof, as well as tightening fastened seat belts when it senses a collision, and automatic braking helps the car stay in place after impact. 18.7 cubic feet of cargo room give this car a spacious advantage over similar models, and a 10-inch touch screen make easy navigation and selecting media options a breeze. This model also has solid fuel efficiency, with up to 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Those willing to upgrade to better fuel efficiency and a little more maintenance can opt for the hybrid version.

Cadillac CTS

The 2014 CTS a sporty sedan with comfort to make any Caddy fan happy. The handling is super athletic, and the performance ratings are some of the highest in its class. Excellent safety ratings outweigh the lower mileage and somewhat underwhelming features apparent when you compare this vehicle to similar models. The CTS performs very well in crash test ratings, but only gets around 20 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway.

Chevrolet Corvette

The Corvette is decades strong, from its inception in 1953 to the larger, more powerful ZR-series that was reintroduced in 2009. Also, there is still 15 cubic feet of trunk space for you to carry a little bit of everything. The 2010 Vette saw high tech performance features while still maintaining a respectable 16 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Seriously sporty handling and a 6.2-liter, 430 horsepower engine make this a gorgeous ride, undeniable a lot of car for the money. Base models start at well under $20K.

Genesis

As one of the newest brands (formerly a Hyundai model), the 2015 Genesis caught up with its long established competition with its vehicles. Noted for excellent safety across the board and great performance, it has an excellent interior and abundant features to appeal to the upscale shopper. The 16-way adjustable driver’s seat is great for drivers who feel like they don’t have enough comfort options in most other cars, and sporty steering makes this a fun ride. A push button start will appeal to consumers looking for this feature that somehow hasn’t yet become standard across the board, and the car is ergonomically designed to have all controls within an easy and intuitive reach. The 17-speaker sound system is absolutely impressive, adding to the fun ride. However, for as much as the Genesis delivers in features, this vehicle does not perform quite as well in fuel efficiency, getting 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Jaguar F-Pace

Relatively new to the Jaguar line, the F-Pace SUV, introduced in 2017, is a solid choice in the current lineup of luxury SUVs. Upgrade your cargo space without sacrificing on sporty handling. The SUV also has high-tech features like a 360 degree camera, parking sensors in the front and the back, lane departure warning, adaptive headlights, and sensor-detecting emergency braking. Mood lighting, excellent smartphone integration, and keyless entry make this a modern SUV for a driver looking for all the bells and whistles. A 247 horsepower engine makes accelerating fun and exhilarating, and fuel efficiency is quite good, getting up to 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Jaguar XF

You don’t need to sacrifice cargo space to get a zippy ride. The 2012 Jaguar XF is a sleek sedan that could trick onlookers into thinking it’s a sports car, and excellent fuel economy puts this vehicle on another level for luxury buyers. However, what is luxury in many ways does not apply to all. Standards for luxury vehicles including leather seats and navigation will cost you extra. The XF gets 31 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway.

Lexus ES Hybrid

The 2013 Lexus ES 300h Hybrid saw Lexus bring style to the hybrid market. The super smooth ride and excellent cabin put this sedan in a must-have category for even the Lexus skeptics. And, who can beat getting almost 40 mpg on the highway? The engines are still powerful with 200 horsepower, and a roomy ride can seem priceless for taller drivers and passengers alike.

Lexus RX Hybrid

Another gorgeous SUV round out the top picks for our list of luxury SUV vehicles, and it being a hybrid makes this an even better buy. The 2010 Lexus RX 450h  spaciously seats five, and you won’t need to worry about outside noise interfering with your conversations in the cabin. This SUV is fully equipped with a standard 12 speaker sound system, navigation, and great smartphone integration. And even though it’s a hybrid, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice on power. The 308 horsepower engine will get you where you need to be in comfort, and you’ll get 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

It’s a 10 out of 10 for safety, and the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has high scores in every other category essential for choosing your new luxury ride. Powerful turbocharged engines paired with smooth handling and a surprisingly quiet means this vehicle is a winner for those who want to move fast on the highway but feel like they are in their own little world while taking a ride. The incredible interiors are worthy of the $12,000 – $16,000 price tag with features like heated seats and armrest while blending both a timeless and classic feel. This E-Class comes in at a respectful fuel efficiency of 22 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway.

 

At Highline Automotive, our ever-changing inventory of late model cars, trucks, and SUVs includes many of the most popular domestic and imported brands. We pride ourselves on making your car buying experience fast, simple, and straightforward. Our team has perfected a fast and hassle-free process from start to finish. Whether you already have a particular model in mind or want to explore your options, we're here to help. We go above and beyond to make sure you love your car and drive off the lot feeling confident with your purchase.

 

Good credit? Bad credit? No credit? We work with all credit histories and budgets. Our finance team is here to help you find and evaluate financial options that will work for you. We'll work with you one-on-one to find a match with a reputable financial institution, and make sure you have monthly payments that fit your budget. Stop in and check out Philly’s Best Conditioned Cars for yourself.

 

How to Check A Used Car Before Buying It

How to Check A Used Car Before Buying It

 

Let’s face it: not everyone knows what to look for when buying a used car, especially if it’s their first. Car shoppers all have different levels of experience owning or working on their own cars, but it’s good to know the basics when you go out to see and test drive a car you’re interested in purchasing. In addition, make sure you bring a friend. It’s great if they have more knowledge than you so they can spot the things you might miss but having a second pair of eyes to help check lights and indicators is important.

 

Do as much homework as you can if you know the make and model you’re looking at, but if not, here are the basics of how to check a used car before you start signing any paperwork.

Go in The Daytime When There Is Good Lighting

Although the lot of a dealership may light up like a Christmas tree at night, the light from glaring floodlights can hide critical flaws, or make cars look deceptively new and shiny. Go during the daytime to spot deeper dents, signs of serious rust, and looking for acid corrosion in areas like the headlights and tail lights. You’ll also want to look at the vehicle when it hasn’t been driven in at least an hour.

Under the Hood

This is the area where people with limited or basic car knowledge may not be the most comfortable, but there are things you can check under the hood without knowing exactly how the engine works. YouTube is a great source for doing your homework before seeing the car, as someone else will be going through what’s under the hood so you have a visual reference for when you do it yourself.

 

  1. Make sure you check the color of the coolant in the radiator reservoir. The liquid should green or pale orange color, not milky or have signs of rust.
  2. Do a quick check of fluids. Look for the main indicator that the oil was recently changed: the oil itself is a nice honey color. If it’s dark brown or black, it will probably need to be changed soon. If the oil is gritty, grey, foamy, or you can see either metal particles or water, these are signs of engine problems or the head gasket is blown.
  3. Squeeze a few of the rubber hoses to make sure they are firm, but not rock hard or squishy. Lastly, look at the condition of the drive belts to make sure they aren’t fraying.

Exterior Checklist

Know the difference between signs of regular wear and tear and potential long-term damage.

 

  1. Check for misalignment or gaps between fenders and doors. Make sure the paint is the same color throughout. Inconsistencies like this can indicate bad manufacturing, or even worse, sloppy repairs after a collision.
  2. Go over the body of the car and look for scratches, dents, and rust. Although vehicles will have some flaws on the outside from regular wear and tear, a significant amount can indicate the car has been through more damage than you might think.
  3. Look for signs of filler on deep dents. Hold a magnet up to a dent that may have been patched with body filler, a sign of shoddy repair work, as body filler shouldn’t be used on dents deeper than ¼ inch. The magnet won’t stick to an area that has been patched with body filler.
  4. Examine the glass: Check the windshield and all windows for any cracks or pocked areas. Repairing a windshield can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for a full replacement, and these repairs are not always covered by insurance.
  5. Suspension: Do a full 360 walk around the car to make sure it’s level. To test the shock absorbers, bounce on each corner. One method is to quickly step on the car with one foot and immediately jump off. If the car bounces back once and remains steady, the shocks are in good shape. If it keeps moving, the car definitely needs a repair. To test the suspension joints, grab and shake one front tire at a time. If you hear a clink or tick, this is also a sign that the suspension has been worn down.
  6. Just as you would before you start driving, check all the mirrors. You should be able to move the side mirrors, whether that’s manually or with a button or switch. Be wary of mirrors that are cracked, strangely foggy, or missing. Have your friend stand in front of and at the rear of the car to make sure all lights are working and are evenly bright. Test turn signal indicators and hazard lights.
  7. Tires: Tires are tricky to check but can be the simplest way to evaluate the vehicle’s condition. Be wary of cars outfitted with brand new tires, but with less than 20,000 miles on the odometer. This shouldn’t automatically disqualify the car, but definitely ask why that particular car needed new tires relatively soon into its lifespan. Check the tire tread, 1/16 inch is required for those tires to be on the road. Use a tread-depth tool or insert a quarter into the groove with George Washington’s head facing down. If the top of his head is visible, you’ll need new tires.
  8. Make sure there aren’t any puddles or signs of leaking oil in the space the car is parked. Quickly check the tailpipe for any residue that isn’t gray and dry- this is normal.

Interior Checklist

It’s important to have a good feeling when you sit in the driver’s seat for the first time.

 

  1. When you first sit down in the car, observe what it smells like. A musty or acrid odor can indicate mold or that the car was previously owned by a smoker. These smells can be very difficult to get rid of and indicate that the previous owners did not take great care of the vehicle.
  2. Look up at the roof to check for signs of water damage, especially if the car has a sunroof. Test the sunroof to make sure it opens and closes smoothly, and seals tightly.
  3. Look for wear on the rubber of the pedals. If the car has low mileage, be sure to check the pedals to confirm. If they look worn down, the car has been driven a lot and the odometer reading may be incorrect.

 

  1. Test the ignition: after turning the key without turning the car on, all warning lights, including the check engine light, should turn on immediately. Turn the car on fully and listen to the engine. Does it take a few tries and sound like it’s struggling, or does it start immediately and steadily? Once the engine is on, test the heating and air conditioning to see how quickly the interior temperature control kicks in.
  2. Test the radio, and CD player/AUX/Bluetooth if the car has extra entertainment features.

 

All of our vehicles are inspected and checked to be in good working condition, and to further provide our customers with confidence in their new vehicle, every car, truck, and SUV Highline Automotive sells comes with a 90-day or 3,000-mile powertrain warranty. Affordable extended warranties are also available to get the best protection for your new vehicle. Check our on-line inventory to see our current late-model vehicles.

 

 

 

10 Best SUVs Under $20K

10 Best SUVs Under $20K

 

You don’t need to go for the most expensive automakers in order to find a quality used SUV. The market has plenty of options for price-conscious, newer SUVs that deliver a luxurious experience complete with all the modern features you’re looking for. Here’s our guide to finding the best SUV for under $20k.

2016 Jeep Patriot

This Jeep Patriot model has the classic Jeep silhouette. It’s a little boxy but made for off roading and staying consistent in less than ideal weather. It has a four out of five crash test rating and gets 28 MPG on the highway. If you’re looking for a Jeep with plenty of cargo space and can take you on adventures outside of the city, the Patriot has the rugged elements and craftsmanship the Jeep brand is known for.

2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i

The Subaru Outback gives you a roomy interior, decent mileage, and off-road durability for an affordable price. This SUV feels like a combination of a station wagon and more traditional SUV and leaves no road untraveled with 30 MPG highway and an 18-gallon fuel tank. Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system appeals to consumers in areas like the Northeastern United States, where winters can lead to heavy snowfall and ice. This particular all-wheel drive sends power to all four wheels to achieve the most controlled traction. Overall, the 2014 Outback is a fantastic and durable option for those who don’t mind a car that isn’t as sleek as other models but makes up for it in many other categories.

2014 Honda CR-V

If there’s an SUV that can be described as being no nonsense while checking all the boxes, it’s the 2014 Honda CR-V. Meet the classic model ideal for city drivers and outdoor adventurers alike. Or, if you’re both, even better! There’s a reason why it was one of the top selling SUVs in 2014. Its driving is smooth and steady; better than stiffer SUV models, but not quite as zippy as sportier SUVs. It gets 30 MPG on the highway, has excellent all-wheel drive, and feels light.

2016 Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue is a sleek crossover SUV that combines a stylish ride with durability. As is standard for Nissan vehicles, the infotainment is at the top of its tech class and the ride is as comfortable as they come. Extra leg and head room are convenient for taller drivers, a portion of the market often left out by the more compact models. In addition, a third row of seating allows for three additional passengers, as long as they don’t mind squeezing a little to fit.

2015 Mazda CX-5

Whereas other models cover the bases with durability and economy, Mazda incorporates those features and takes them to the next level with being more fun to drive. This year Mazda CX-5 is speedy, and an automatic braking system gives this SUV a step up for driving in the city. For speeds between 3 and 19 mph, the system automatically brakes if sensors detect that a collision is likely. Those who drive in the city know this happens while people are stuck in stop and go traffic and think they can distract themselves while driving since they are going so slow. The CX-5 lowers your chance of getting into a collision under these circumstances and gets 32 MPG on the highway.

2016 Chevrolet Trax

Budget-conscious drivers will love the 2016 Trax for its sporty feel and comfy driving experience. This SUV looks smaller than it actually is, thanks to the character lines. The front grille assists with keeping everything under the hood cool, and the interior is cool in a different way with 7-inch color screens equipped with apps and snappy smart phone syncing. Overall, a pre-owned Trax is a fantastic option for younger buyers who want a well-rounded SUV that doesn’t skimp on high-tech fun.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a stylish SUV that has advanced safety features comparable to luxury brands. Lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision mitigation helps drivers ensure safe drives, both in the city and the country. The Outlander seats seven, although the third row isn’t exactly roomy. However, folding the rear seats to make extra cargo room is hassle-free. Mileage is solid, with 25 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. Overall, the outlander is one of most price-conscious three row vehicles available and is a great vehicle for families who require their vehicle to meet all their cargo and passenger needs.

2016 Hyundai Tucson

Earlier generations of the Hyundai Tucson didn’t quite stand out in such a strong market, but the third generation is where Hyundai found its stride with this compact SUV. The Tucson delivers with a sportier exterior in addition to bells and whistles that make it feel like a truly modern ride. In addition, the vehicle is fairly fuel efficient, getting 31 highway miles per gallon. This SUV may not have the most cargo space or be the speediest option compared to similar models, but the Tucson focuses on convenience and safety. Instead of a push-button powered tailgate, you just need to stand behind the car with your key in your pocket or purse, and the trunk will automatically open.

2015 Ford Escape

The Escape line from Ford has led the market for several years with their impressive and constantly improving compact SUVs. The one drawback is that it doesn’t feel as roomy as the Subaru Outback or the Nissan Rogue. Otherwise, the Ford Escape wins in categories like high tech infotainment, handling, fuel efficiency (31 MPG highway), and a sporty feel. Previous Escape models also won in these categories, but the large and boxy frame sometimes made it seem like you may as well be driving around in a Hummer. The 2015 Escape is the perfect option for those who like the high-tech accessories and a ride that simultaneously feels roomy and sleek.

2015 Kia Sportage

The 2015 Kia Sportage is true to its name. This crossover SUV has a robust suspension and a zippy turbocharged engine. Compared to other used models available for under $20k, the Sportage loses points on fuel economy (28 MPG highway) and cargo space. However, the 260-horsepower engine is among the most powerful available in its class. If you’re looking for a fun ride complete with a panoramic sunroof and an accommodating height for tall drivers and passengers, this matches the criteria.  

 

At Highline Automotive, you can always do an online scan of our inventory, but since it can change from day-to-day, it’s best if you can visit our dealership in person and see what we have first-hand. We are conveniently located at 4343 Torresdale Avenue, just a few blocks from I-95. And our experienced staff is always available to help you find the perfect vehicle that fits your needs and budget.

 

 

7 Tips to Get the Best Car Loan

Let’s face it: most people do not enjoy the prospect of finding and obtaining a loan for their next vehicle. You can shop around for a loan before looking at cars, or start looking for financing after you find the perfect vehicle. Either way, you want to make sure your car loan serves your best interest before anyone else’s. The team at Highline wants everyone to understand the impacts of a car loan, and how to make the best possible choice. Here are some tips on making sure you know everything you need to get the best car loan.

Research how your credit score will affect your interest rate

It’s time to do a little bit of homework and evaluate your own credit score. Higher credit scores mean lower interest rates, as lenders see your credit history as how likely you are to pay your debts in a timely manner. If you have a positive credit history and an above average score, they are more confident in granting you this loan and knowing it will be paid. Lower credit scores will yield higher interest rates. Although there are some concrete facts when dealing with loans and lenders, the market also fluctuates with the rest of the financial industry. As of 2018 (1), the average auto loan term is 60 months and has an interest rate of 4.21%

Aim for a short loan term to finance a used car

Used cars usually have higher interest rates than new cars. Rather than going for a longer loan term in hopes of saving money on your payment each month, find a loan that has a shorter loan term. Overall, this will help you save more money on interest. But why do loans on used cars automatically get higher interest rates? For the lender, it is seen as more risky to have a used car as collateral instead of a new car. There is a lack of upfront knowledge that is usually assumed with new cars, such as their depreciation and knowing that the vehicle will likely be in good condition for a longer amount of time. Although you can’t avoid the higher interest rate, you can ask to see loan options that allow you to pay off the car over the course of two or three years versus five or more.

Focus on the total loan amount– not the monthly payment

Although it’s tempting to immediately calculate how your loan payment will affect your monthly budget, it is best to wait to do this until you find a loan that seems fair. You want to look at the bigger picture. Calculate the total cost of the loan including interest, and compare that to a shorter loan amount and lower interest rate. Do the math (2) on all your possible options in order to figure out how much you would be spending overall, instead of focusing on your monthly payment. Although longer loan terms will often reduce your monthly payment, they usually have much higher interest rates, and that means you will end up spending much more than you might save.

Be smart about how and when you apply

At Highline, we recommend getting pre-approved with us before you begin looking at cars. That way, you’ll walk on to the lot or start looking through the online inventory knowing that you are a qualified buyer. In addition, getting pre-approval tells the dealership you might be paying in cash, so they are more likely to focus on persuading you with the price of the car instead of the monthly payment. If you want to shop around with dealerships or lenders, make sure you apply for all financing options within two weeks, so you will only get one hit to your credit score and not multiple. When considering larger purchases that require financing such as a car, credit bureaus expect to see many applications in a short period of time, and won’t penalize you for every single inquiry. This is just one of the ways (3) you can avoid a potential negative impact before you even get started with one particular lender.

Read all the fine print

Make sure you are aware of all fees (4), and know how to avoid them. Understand the late fees for if you do end up missing your payment by a couple of days, and look for fees that can sometimes be much more sneaky. These include prepayment fees (paying the loan off in full before the end of its term), high document fees (a dealership’s charge for processing paperwork), a charge for making multiple payments in a month, and more. Although a lot of fees such as taxes and registration will be straightforward, checking for hidden fees before signing could save you from having plenty of headaches later on.

Know your rights before signing any auto loan paperwork

As the buyer, you are the one with the power. Before you sign anything, make sure you have had the chance to read over absolutely everything, and ask questions of your salesperson. Make sure the dealership is giving you the same or better deal as the information you received after pre-approval, or that the terms on the paperwork match the terms that they told you about while walking around on the lot. If the dealership squirms while you’re asking questions about fees etc., you can walk away. As a customer, the service is part of what you’re paying for with the car. If they can’t explain every fee or outline every process, you should take your business to a dealership with a finance team who will work with you throughout the entire process.

Remember that refinancing is an option

You may end up in a situation where interest rates are a little high across the market, or your current financial situation makes a higher interest rate or longer term mandatory for you. You might be between jobs, buying your first car right out of college, or just need to make room in your budget for other things. Even if you end up with a loan that isn’t ideal in the long run, you can refinance in the future (5). Just make sure you wait a little while in to your loan, and that your credit score has improved by making timely payments in the beginning of your initial loan.

 

Links

 

  1. https://www.valuepenguin.com/auto-loans/average-auto-loan-interest-rates
  2. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/car-loan-calculator/
  3. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/best-car-loans-for-good-fair-and-bad-credit/
  4. https://www.consumerreports.org/car-pricing-negotiation/watch-out-for-these-dealership-fees-when-buying-a-car/
  5. https://www.thebalance.com/when-can-i-refinance-my-car-315100

 

 

Five Myths About Used Car Dealerships

Five Myths About Used Car Dealerships You Probably Still Believe

 

Are you in the market for a used car? If so, your excitement at owning a new vehicle may be overshadowed by a rising dread at the thought of the process of buying a car. But is your fear based on reality, or are you buying into some of the myths about used car salesmen and dealerships that are so pervasive these days? Actually, as long as you stick with a reputable used car dealership, you can expect to be treated well and to drive away in a great-looking, reliable car at an affordable price. After all, not all used car dealers operate unprofessionally, like you may have seen them portrayed in movies. Here, we’ll separate the fiction from the facts and present five of the main myths that consumers believe about used car dealerships.

 

Myth #1: Cars Sold at Used Car Dealerships Are of Poor Quality

The biggest nightmare of anyone shopping for a used car is to end up with a lemon, or a car that seems great at first but ends up giving its owner tons of trouble. While all fifty states now have lemon laws in place to protect buyers from this unfortunate situation, it’s obviously more desirable to avoid this situation altogether. But it’s a myth that all used car dealerships are turning out lemons faster than an orchard. There are plenty of reputable dealerships that sell high quality, affordable used cars.

 

Here are some of the things to look for: a used car dealership that either has its own shop with ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified technicians, or that contracts repairs to a reputable local repair shop. In addition, look for a dealership that offers at least a 30-day drivability warranty, and one that’s upfront about offering a Carfax or AutoChceck Vehicle History Report, along with the vehicle’s title. Those who hesitate or refuse to provide these documents may be ones to stay away from. 

 

Myth #2: Used Car Salespeople Are Out to Make as Much Money as Possible

While it’s true that some specific used cars may bring a higher profit margin to the dealership than a new car does, that doesn’t mean used auto dealers automatically inflate the selling prices to make higher profits. According to many industry experts, both new and late-model used cars typically average about the same profit level per sale. Older used cars, because of lower their lower fair market value, generally provide the dealer with lower profits per sale.

 

Myth #3: Used Car Salespeople Are Master Manipulators

Here’s a myth that abounds about new and used car dealerships alike; most people, when faced with purchasing a car (whether new or simply new to them), are filled with dread. They’re sure they’re going to be taken for a ride (no pun intended). It’s certainly true that auto salesmen, like many other product salespersons, are skilled at closing deals. But remember, it’s up to you, the buyer, to understand every aspect of the deal you’re making. If there’s a charge you don’t understand, simply ask about it. Any reputable salesperson will be happy to explain and may even be open to negotiation. This holds true for used car dealers as well. After all, no reputable place of business wants to be known as one that cheats its customers.

 

Myth #4: Used Car Dealerships Hate It When Customers Shop Online

Many believe that dealerships are put off by customers who “do their homework” by browsing online before ever setting foot in the dealership. But in fact, quite the opposite is true. Edmunds says, “we don't recommend that you ever walk onto a dealership’s lot cold.” Instead, use the Internet to evaluate features, prices and reviews of the vehicles that match your needs and budget. Always be well prepared!

 

Myth #5: Buying Used Means Buying Someone Else’s Problems

Many people in the market for a car are fervently against purchasing a used car. We’ve all heard it before: “I don’t want to inherit someone else’s problems.” But as negotiations on that shiny, brand new car begin, customers quickly realize that new car prices are often a bit steeper than they were expecting. The good news is that, according to Jalopnik, “typically, lightly used luxury cars that are only one or two years old will save you thousands of dollars due to the fact that their depreciation curve is much steeper. Pre-owned cars over three years old will yield more savings when compared to the brand-new model.” It definitely pays to shop around for a pre-owned version of the model you’re most interested in if you’re a price-conscious consumer.

 

At Highline Automotive, we have a vast inventory of pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs, offering both foreign and domestic brands, including Audi, BMW, Chevy, GMC, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, and Nissan. Each vehicle goes through an extensive Certification Process, including a 99-Point Safety and Mechanical Inspection. And every vehicle we sell comes with a free AutoCheck History Report, and a 90-day or 3,000-mile powertrain warranty. We only sell pre-owned cars that meet our rigorous standards. 

 

Our professional team is dedicated to making sure every customer, regardless of your credit situation, gets a financing program that works within your budget. Experience the Highline Difference: The Right Car, at the Right Price, with the Right Financing!

 

 

 

Ten Tips to Follow When Buying A Used Car

Ten Tips to Follow When Buying A Used Car

Today's technology has produced automobiles that last longer and run better than their predecessors. Due to these advancements, used cars are an attractive option when looking at cars for sale. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, these ten tips are great to keep in mind while looking for the right one.

In addition to securing financing and understanding your budgetary constraints, other aspects such as vehicle history and the reputation of the car dealer should be considered. Buying a "new to you" car can be very exciting and if you follow these tips you will likely end up with a reliable pre-owned vehicle for many years to come.

1. Dollars and Sense
Prior to setting out to look for a used car, sit down and figure out your budget first. There are many good cars available across many price points. Knowing the amount that you can comfortably spend will help you target your search and eliminate any wasted time looking at cars that don't work within your budget. If you are going to need financing to acquire your new vehicle, take the time to check with your bank or credit union to see if you can get pre-approved for your auto loan.


2. Narrow Your Search
Many people have a certain make or model of car that they prefer, which can make the search for a new vehicle a more targeted experience. Are you interested in an SUV, sedan, or compact car? Decide which type of car best suits your needs and limit your search to just that group. Take a look at fuel efficiency comparisons between different vehicle classes, especially if you expect to put a lot of miles on your car or truck. And don’t overlook installed options that you may or may not require in your new vehicle. You don’t want to pay extra for expensive features that you don’t need or want.


3. Find a Reliable Dealer
Ask friends, family, and co-workers if they have had any recent experiences with buying a used car. Word of mouth and personal referrals often yield the best results when looking for a reputable car dealer. Online reviews can also be a good source information on dealership you may be considering. Once you know what you want and where to get it, you are on your way to getting the right car at the right price! Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions until you feel comfortable with the idea of doing business with the dealership. The right dealer can make all the difference in finding an affordable and reliable used car to meet your transportation needs.

4. Take a Test Drive
Once you have your shortlist figured out, it's time to get behind the wheel. 
Test drives can help you determine whether the car is right for you. If you have a lengthy commute be sure to check that the car is comfortable, and the seats provide the lumbar support that you might need. Does the car feel responsive? Are there any blind spots that may impede your safe travel? Don't be afraid to go back and take another test drive just to be sure that this is the right vehicle for you.

5. Compare Prices
Price does not always have to be the deciding factor when making a large purchase, but it should be given thoughtful consideration in the overall decision-making process. When buying a used car, there can be a larger variance in pricing for comparable models. Ask the dealer for advice on car reliability and projected expenses as this can make a car with a higher upfront cost the better option in the long-run.

6. Request a Vehicle History Report
Once you have made your decision or narrowed the search down to two or three possibilities, it is time to look at a vehicle history report. You can do this easily enough yourself once you have the vehicle ID number (VIN). Companies such as 
AutoCheck provide comprehensive information on most autos that can help you finalize your decision. These reports will confirm the amount of mileage on the car, the accidents, if any, that it has been involved in, and other pertinent data. And many dealers will provide these history reports to you free.

7. Confirm the Car Is Still Available
Conducting the necessary amount of research can take a couple of days and it is always best to confirm that the vehicle is still available before you head back to the dealership. At this point, you will likely have a shortlist of two or three vehicles, and if one has been sold during your search it is time to get moving so you don't miss another one.

8. Pre-Purchase Inspection
Once you've made your decision, ask the dealer for a pre-purchase inspection of the used car that you're planning to buy. Many dealers provide extended warranties and sell 
Certified Pre-Owned cars that do not require further inspection by an outside mechanic. If the car you are planning to buy is not CPO, or does not come with a warranty, then spending the $100 or so for a third-party inspection is worth it.

9. Name Your Price
Now that you've got your financing in place, and done your research, and know as much as possible about the car, it's time to name your price. Dealerships these days are geared more toward up-front pricing, but there is still likely room for some negotiations. Prior to any negotiation, you should determine your target price and how much you are willing to adjust it, so that you don't miss out on the car that you want.

 

For those that were not able to get pre-approved due to credit issues, many dealers can help their customers with low credit scores still get auto loans through other financing institutions. If you are in this situation, it’s a good idea to let the dealer know right up front and find out if they can help you with financing before you even start looking at the cars.


10. Insurance
Once you've purchased the car that you want for an affordable price, it's time to get insurance. Many insurers offer discounts for clients who bundle their car coverage with their homeowner's or renter’s policies. Additionally, many auto financing companies and dealerships can help you secure a comprehensive policy for a good price. 

Following the above 10 tips can help you find the right used car for your transportation needs. Today's used cars typically last longer and require fewer repairs when properly maintained. If you are in the market to buy a used car, spending a little extra time doing some research can help you save some money while getting the best car for your needs.