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What Truck Should I Buy?

08/17/2023 02:59
Having a pickup truck is more popular now than ever before, and with good reason. While they used to be utility vehicles that were primarily used for work, these vehicles are now equipped with all of the luxuries that come with high end cars. They have more comfort and convenience than ever before, but are still able to do the heavy duty work we need. With so many options on the market, how do you know which truck is right for you?Here’s your ultimate guide to buying a truck.Are there different types of pickup trucks?All pickup trucks are not created equal. Some are economical and good on fuel, while others are workhorses designed for lugging and towing. They are generally broken down based on size, but within each category there are lots of options. From engine size to seating capacity you will find many trucks to choose from in each truck size category.Compact Pickup TrucksCompact trucks are the least expensive way to get into a pickup truck. They are, well, more compact than full size trucks and therefore get better gas mileage and are great for commuting. While they can’t handle serious hauling, they are great for when you need a bed for lugging around weekend projects. Compact Truck Examples: Hyundai Santa Cruz, Ford MaverickMid-Size TrucksMid-size trucks bridge the gap between compact and full size trucks. They can handle a similar tow load as a full-size truck but weigh significantly less, which means that they are easier to handle and get better gas mileage. Mid-size trucks are not as popular as full-size trucks, but they are actually a great option for many people. Mid-Size Truck Examples: Toyota Tacoma, Ford RangerFull-Size Pickup TrucksFull-size trucks are the most popular trucks and account for the largest share of truck sales.. They are powerful, long-lasting, and incredibly versatile. They appeal to a large group of people and with today’s latest safety features and passenger amenities, they are great family cars as well. Full-Size Truck Examples: Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevy SilveradoHeavy Duty Pickup TrucksHeavy duty trucks are true workhorses and have an incredible payload and towing capabilities. They are larger than full-size trucks and are built as work vehicles, not as commuters.  Heavy Duty Truck Examples: Ram 2500, GMC Sierra 2500What factors should I consider when choosing a pickup truck?When deciding which truck is right for you, there are a number of factors that you should consider. The Cab Size One of the most important factors to consider is the size of the truck’s interior. Do you need to fit the family, or is a smaller cab ok since it’s a work truck? Trucks can have four different cab styles that offer different seating and storage options.Regular Cab: Two doors, one row of seating.Extended Cab: Two or four doors, two rows of seats. The back two doors are typically smaller than the primary doors. Crew Cab: Four full size doors, two rows of seating.Extended Crew Cab: Four full size doors, two rows of seating, plus extra storage. The Bed SizeThe bed is the reason most people want a truck. You can lug around whatever you need without worrying about cramming it into a car or SUV. But there are a lot of options when it comes to bed length. The cab size you pick may lock you into a certain size bed however. Full-size pickup trucks typically have a 6-8 foot bed. As the cab becomes bigger, the bed tends to shrink. Compact pickups typically have 4 ½ to 6 foot beds. When deciding what truck is right for you, determine what you will use the truck for and if it’s large enough to lug what you need. Engine SizeWhen we talk about truck size we also have to consider the engine size. Truck engines range from small four cylinder engines to large diesels and run the gamut in between. The smaller the engine, the better your gas mileage will be (the Maverick Hybrid averages 37 mpg according to Consumer reports). Heavy duty trucks that are built for handling large payloads are heavier in general and may only get around 15 mpg.Payload and Towing CapacityIf you need your truck to do some serious work you need to consider the payload and towing capacity. These are two separate capacities that account for different things. Payload Capacity: The amount of weight that can be added to the truck’s cargo area.Towing Capacity: The amount of weight that the truck can tow. Both capacities have to account for the weight of the truck as well. There are many factors that affect these capacities, including the engine size, the rear axle ratio, and the size of the truck.  A small truck may only have a payload capacity of 1500 pounds, while a heavy duty truck may have a payload capacity of 8000 pounds.  Compact trucks can typically haul between 5000 and 7000 pounds, while heavy duty trucks can haul over 30,000 pounds. Manufacturers often offer add-on packages that can increase your towing capacity significantly.  Safety Safety should always be a top priority when deciding which truck is right for you, especially if you are using your truck as a family vehicle. There are a lot of features that come standard with pickup trucks and other options that you can add on to make sure that your truck is safe for you and your loved ones. Forward collision warningBlind spot detectionAutomatic emergency brakingLane departure warningWhat is the average price of a pickup truck?Trucks are getting more and more expensive every year. In fact, according to Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction price for a new truck was $59,000 at the end of 2022. So how did these no frill work vehicles become one of the most expensive options available?  Answer: they became more powerful and more luxurious.  In the 1980s all trucks were small or midsize. By 2010 there was a huge shift to full size trucks. Pickup trucks used to be called “half ton trucks” because they could typically carry 1,000 pounds of people, cargo, and trailer weight. But trucks are now designed to carry much higher payloads and tow more. They are heavier in general to accommodate for this and have more powerful engines to perform better. Consider the Ford Super-Duty F-250 which can haul 4,000 pounds and to up to 23,000 pounds. It has a 6.8L V8 engine and has 430 horsepower to achieve this.  On top of this, trucks have been designed to drive better. The rickety manual transmissions have been replaced with some of the strongest transmissions ever designed, such as the Chrysler TorqueFlite A-727 and the Allison 1000. They replaced basic leaf spring suspensions in favor of coil suspensions making them a much nicer ride. More powerful engines, state of the art transmissions, and costly suspensions would all add to the price tag on their own. But they are also more luxurious and convenient for passengers with added features that you used to dream about seeing. Some of these features include:Heated and ventilated seatsPower adjusted front and rear seatsWireless device chargingAdaptive headlightsAmbient lightingMassaging seatsParking sensorsReal wood paneling, leather seating, and giant large screen infotainment systems are common in today’s best selling trucks. How do you know if I can afford a truck? If you want to get into a brand new truck, it’s possible to do so and stay within your budget. The key is shopping around and finding a truck that has an affordable base price. You can find a Ford Maverick starting for under $23,000, making it the most affordable base option on the market. But if your budget is a bit bigger, there are several contenders for under $40,000, such as:2023 Ram 1500 Classic Tradesman/Express 2WD Regular Cab2023 Ford F-150 XL 2WD Short Bed Regular Cab2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck 2WD Short Bed Regular Cab2023 Ford Ranger XL 2WD SuperCab2023 Toyota Tacoma SR 2WD Access Cab Keeping an affordable trim level (that means no wood paneling or leather seats, unfortunately), skipping on some of the optional infotainment amenities, and keeping the engine size on the smaller side will all help to keep your truck within your budget. As always, shopping around for deals, rebates, and incentives will help make sure you get the most bang for your buck.That’s everything you need to know about buying a new truck.There are lots of options on the market when it comes to buying a new truck. But whatever your needs are there is surely a truck out there for you.  If you already have a truck but need some help with the monthly payments, Auto Approve can help! Refinancing your loan can save you hundreds if not thousands every month. So what are you waiting for? GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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The Pros and Cons of Having a Car in College

08/08/2023 10:29
Cars can provide convenience and a level of comfort that is hard to beat. As a freshman you probably won’t be allowed to have a car on campus, but as a sophomore you may have the option. So how can you decide if having a car on campus is a good idea? Here’s how you can decide if having a car in college is right for you.What are the advantages of having a car in college? It’s convenient.Having a car available to you is just plain convenient. While most colleges have ample public transportation, a car will allow you to skip the bus stops and the transportation schedules entirely. You can not only move about campus more easily, but you can also head into town and run errands more easily. You can load up your trunk with groceries, go to a mall or shopping center, or drive to visit friends who live off campus. If the buses are running late or are overcrowded, it’s not your problem. It can provide comfort.When we get our license and first start driving it gives us a sense of independence. We finally feel like we can go where we want and do what we want. Going to college can feel a bit unsteady, and having your car available to you can be a comfort. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a drive to clear your head. Feeling homesick? Take a weekend trip home whenever you desire.  It makes the holidays easier.If you have ever needed to travel during the holidays you know what a pain it can be. Having a car gives you more flexibility to travel home when and how you choose. You can even coordinate a road trip back to your home area with others to have some fun and split the cost of gas. It gives you more employment opportunities. Having a car means you can be more flexible with where you work as well. You are not limited to the campus or to areas where you can easily access public transportation. What are the disadvantages of having a car in college?It’s expensive.Having a car is expensive in general. Insurance, gas, parking, and maintenance are all things you will need to pay for, and money can be tight in college. There’s also the ever-present risk of getting into an accident on campus, even if your car is parked.  Parking can be difficult.Parking on campus can be very limited. You may need to pay for a parking pass, and even then you may not be guaranteed easy and convenient parking.  You may become the chauffeur.We all want to help our friends out, but when you are one of few that have access to a car, you may find that you have more friends than you previously thought. You may be asked frequently to make trips to the grocery store, the airport, or the local Walmart. This can become tiresome, expensive, and may lead to tension in your friendships. You may be less inclined to explore campus.If you are able to leave whenever you want you may spend less time socializing on campus. Walking around and taking the school’s public transportation is a great way to hang out with friends and even make some new ones. You may be more inclined to leave for the weekends instead of hanging out and enjoying the college experience. Plus walking around is a great way to burn off the late night pizza.Should I bring a car to college?Deciding whether or not to bring a car to college can be difficult. It depends a lot on how much you will use it, how it fits into your budget, and how practical of an option it is. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when deciding whether or not to bring a car to college. Do I need a car?If your college campus is located in a city, it probably will not make sense to bring a car. Not only will it be a much bigger hassle and be more expensive, but it probably won’t benefit you that much. Big cities have great public transportation and it is usually faster and cheaper to use the buses and subways. If your campus is located in a rural area, a car might be necessary to get around. Can I afford to have a car on campus?First things first, do you own a car outright? If not, you may have a hard time keeping up on car payments on top of everything else. But even if you do own your car, having a car is expensive. Add up the following expenses to determine if you can afford having a car on campus:InsuranceAverage monthly gasParking permitsAverage maintenance costsCan I handle the added responsibility of having a car on campus?When you are away at college, you are on your own. That means if your car starts making a strange noise or the check engine light goes on, you have to deal with it yourself. You will also have to keep the car maintained, which means regular tire pressure checks and oil changes.Is it smart to finance a car in college?  If you do not have a car already but really want to have access to one when you are at college, you may be considering financing. And it is possible to get a student car loan, but you will most likely need to have a cosigner.  But financing a car while in college is an expensive decision to make. New car payments in 2023 are averaging around $725 per month. Add insurance, gas, parking, and maintenance to that and you are paying well over $1000 every month to drive on campus. But if you are in the financial position to do so, financing is an option. To improve your chances of qualifying for a car loan as a student, take the following steps:Prove that you have a reliable source of income. If you do not have a steady job, showing bank statements may help prove that you can make the payments.Get a cosigner. A friend or loved one with good credit can help your chances of being approved.Get good grades. Many lenders use your GPA as a measure of your creditworthiness. That’s everything you need to know about having a car on campus. There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to having a car on campus, but taking the time to weigh out the usefulness and practicality of a car with the expense and hassle can lead you to the right decision. If you are looking to refinance your car loan, contact Auto Approve today! GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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10 Questions to Ask at the Dealership

08/08/2023 00:55
Buying a car is exciting, but it’s easy to get carried away in the moment and forget to ask all of the questions that you need to ask. New cars are expensive, so you want to be sure that you get the best deal possible while still getting the car you truly want. Here are 10 questions you need to ask at the dealership.Question #1: What is the MSRP, and what is the final sale price?The MSRP, or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, is the sticker price of the car that you are looking at. This will include the trim level, the entertainment system, and the safety features. The MSRP is not the final sale price however. The final price will also include additional fees (such as transportation fees and marketing fees). Additionally you will have to pay for registration and for sales tax, so keep that in mind when deciding if a car is within your budget or not.Question #2: Does it come with a warranty, and what does that include?A major benefit of buying a new car is that it will usually come with a warranty. Factory warranties will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you want to be sure you understand exactly what is covered and what you will be responsible for paying out of pocket. Some warranties will include maintenance such as oil changes for the first few years as well. Getting a detailed description of the warranty plan will help you make an informed decision when buying your car.Question #3: Can I take it for a test drive?You should always test drive the car you want to buy. And in most cases this is encouraged. It might not be the exact car you will take home, but a test drive can give you a good feel for how a car drives and how good of a fit it is for you. Car dealers usually like test drives as it provides another chance for them to sell you the car and show you all of the features that can help them seal the deal. Ask them if you can take the car on the highway as well so that you can get a realistic feel for how a car drives.Question #4: What additional features are available? You should also ask what type of add ons are available for the model you are interested in. Do you have your heart set on a moonroof or sunroof? Is there an entertainment system feature that is particularly important to you? What about trim level upgrades, safety features, and security features? Most cars these days have a lot of upgrades to choose from, so you should have plenty of options, but it's good to be sure that anything that you really want is available before getting too far into negotiations. Question #5: What incentives do you offer?Incentives are limited time offers that dealerships will include to sweeten the deal for you. An incentive may be a rebate (we talk about that later), or it could be any of the following offers:Lowered interest ratesZero percent financing for a certain period of timeUpgraded accessories or add onsMaintenance perks such as free oil changes or tune upsExtended warranty periodAnd more Incentives can tip the scale for you and help make a decision one way or the other.Question #6: Are there any manufacturer rebates available?A rebate is a specific type of incentive that is offered from the manufacturer to encourage a sale. A rebate is a money back offer that will lower the purchase price of the car. It can either lower the total sale price or it can be applied to the down payment to reduce the amount you will have to pay upfront. There may be specific requirements for a manufacturer rebate, such as having a certain credit score. You may need to finance through the dealership to qualify as well. But it’s good to have all of the numbers in front of you so that you can make an informed decision. Question #7: Are there tax credits available with this car?If you are looking to buy an electric vehicle there may be tax credits available. A qualified plug-in EV purchase can get you up to a $7500 tax credit, which might help you make a final decision when it comes to which car is right for you. Question #8: Is there room to negotiate on the price?You should always try to negotiate when buying a new car. Whether it’s trying to reduce the overall price of the car or negotiate some of the fees that are added on, see if the dealer is willing to work with you on the price. It helps to come prepared with information such as the Kelley Blue Book value of the car and some other pricing from competitors . Question #9: Can I trade my car in?If you have a car that you are looking to get rid of, a trade-in might be the best option for you. Not only can you lower the price of your new car, but you can save yourself the hassle of selling your old car. If you decide to trade your car in, be sure to negotiate the trade in amount separately before negotiating your new car purchase. They should be treated as two separate transactions.  Question #10: Can you beat my pre approval loan? We always recommend getting pre-approved for a car loan before you ever step into a car dealership. Getting preapproved will help you in a few ways:It gives you a firm idea of what car you can affordIt alerts you to any financial issues ahead of timeIt makes you look like an experienced and serious buyerIt gives you more negotiating power When you have a financing offer in hand you can simply ask the dealer if they can do better than the loan offer you already have. If they can, then great! You are getting a better deal than you would have in the first place. If they can’t beat the offer then you already have a good car loan option available to you. Getting pre-approved is a win-win when you are buying a car. Those are the ten questions you need to ask at the dealership.Don’t let the excitement of buying a new car get the best of you. Instead, do your research, bring in your questions, and stay level headed to ensure you get the best car and the best loan possible.  If you already have a car loan, there’s a good chance you are overpaying every month. Contact Auto Approve today to see how much money you can save by refinancing!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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15 Ways to Protect Yourself from Fraud

08/07/2023 19:50
Everyday there are more and more scams coming our way. While some are just mildly annoying, others are a full-scale attack on our finances and our identity. Unfortunately there are no failsafe, 100% effective ways to protect ourselves, but there are a lot of steps that we can take to get a bit more peace of mind.Here are 15 ways you can protect yourself from fraud.Review your credit card statements. When your credit card statement comes in the mail it’s easy to simply pay it and move on. But being vigilant and reviewing your statement thoroughly can help ensure you don’t have any charges that aren’t yours. While some people may get your credit card number and make a large, obvious purchase, others may use your card for smaller transactions that could easily slip through the cracks. Reviewing your statements thoroughly and reporting any suspicious activity as soon as possible will help protect you.Be careful at the ATM.We often need to stop at the ATM to get some cash, but ATMs are very popular spots for identity thieves. If anything looks off on the machine itself, such as a crooked keypad or a card slot that doesn’t look quite right, play it safe and pick a different machine. If you see anyone hanging around the machine or looking over your shoulder, take it as another sign to go elsewhere. And never leave your receipt there after your transaction is done.  Use antivirus and antispyware software.Our computers have all of our information on them, and we mean ALL of our information. A sneaky virus is all it takes to have our identity stolen. But antivirus software can offer a bit more protection in case something gets onto your computer. Norton and McAfee are just two of the options on the market that can help keep your private information private. There are websites that offer “antivirus software” that is actually just spyware, and this ruse can be pretty convincing. Be sure to check out any software you want to install ahead of time to ensure that it is the real deal. Avoid shady websites and popups.Even if you have antivirus software installed on your computer, it’s best to avoid danger zones entirely if you can. If websites have a ton of popups and ads, it’s best to avoid them entirely. And under no circumstances should you ever click on pop ups that tell you that you have won something. The only thing you will win is a nasty computer virus.  Be wary of emails.Email scams are some of the most common scams out there. Spam folders do a pretty good job these days of keeping these emails out of our inbox, but they can often wiggle through the filters. If an email comes from someone you don’t know, be sure to look out for the following:Attachments. Unless you are expecting an attachment from someone, never open anything that is sent to you. Embedded links. Again, don’t click on a link unless you are expecting it. These links can lead to websites that steal your information.Urgent, excited, or grammatically incorrect emails. These are all telltale signs of a phishing email. Also be on the lookout for suspicious emails from friends or family members. If an email seems off, there’s a chance that your friend’s email was hacked. Instead call them and alert them to the situation.Only purchase from secure websites.When a website has a security authentication (https://) it means that the site is secure and hosted on a protected server. Using a credit card on an unprotected website puts you at greater risk for having your information stolen.  Review your credit report often.Your credit report is a window into your financial life. It not only keeps track of how much debt you have and how many accounts you have, but it keeps track of your payments and credit inquiries. Reviewing your report can alert you if a new account was opened without your knowledge, if a credit inquiry was made, or if there was a new debt. Reporting suspicious activity as soon as possible can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Protect your mail.Mail theft is a very common way for fraudsters to get your information. Sensitive information is commonly put in the mail and if it ends up in the wrong hands it can create quite the hassle for you. Retrieving your mail as quickly as possible, having your mail put on hold when you are going out of town, and mailing your bills directly from the post office can help reduce this risk. Shred your paperwork.Make sure to shred any documents that contain personal information. Anything with identifying information or account information should be shredded to avoid identity theft. Getting a cheap shredder from Amazon can save you a lot of hassle.Keep your personal information tucked away somewhere safe.Your social security card, credit cards, bank information, and passwords are all things that you should keep a careful eye on. Keeping all of your information in a locked cabinet will help make sure your information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Update your passwords.We know, updating your passwords is a huge pain. It’s hard to keep different passwords for different sites, especially when every site has different requirements. And while it is much easier to use the same password for everything, it’s extremely unwise (and unsafe) to do so. Instead use a password protector app or keep your passwords stored in a safe place. And avoid the easy to guess passwords such as your spouse’s birthday or, even worse, “1234”. A combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols will help create secure passwords and protect your valuable information. Updating them periodically will keep them, and your information, more secure. Password protect your device.If you do not have a password on your phone or computer, you are one step away from having your information completely stolen. If you happen to misplace your phone or laptop for even a second, someone with sticky fingers can easily access all of your information with no trouble at all. A passcode or password will provide another layer of protection until you are able to locate your devices. Never give out information over the phone. Legitimate organizations will never ask for your personal information over the phone, period. They may ask you to confirm the last digits of your bank account or social security number, but they will not ask for this information in full. It’s incredibly easy for an identity thief to get your phone number and contact you. Don’t be fooled by whatever their game is. There is no reason to ever give this information out, so just hang up if you receive a call like this. Limit the number of credit cards you carry.If you have multiple credit cards, try not to carry all of them on you at once. If your wallet is stolen you will have a lot more calls to make and cards to monitor. Even worse, you may not realize that one is gone and it may take a while for you to catch on that it is missing. Meanwhile you may be racking up some serious debt while someone is out on a shopping spree. Subscribe to an identity theft protection service.Services such as LifeLock will monitor your information and alert you to any identity theft attempts. Whether it’s an unusual charge on your credit card or a new account that was opened in your name, these services can help you detect any issues early on.  What should I do if I notice something suspicious?If you believe your information has been compromised, take the following steps to protect yourself:Review your credit report immediately. Be sure to look through all of the information to determine if any accounts have been opened in your name. Report anything suspicious to the credit agency.File a report. If you are sure that your identity has been stolen, you want to report it to the police as well as to the Federal Trade Commision.Alert your accounts. Contact your credit card companies and alert them to the identity theft. They may recommend closing your accounts and opening new ones that have not been compromised. Place a security freeze on your information. This will alert all creditors that your information has been stolen and they should not open any accounts at the moment. This can prevent any additional accounts from being opened in your name.Be wary moving forward. When you have your new accounts set and secure, still be vigilant. Review your statements and credit report often to make sure that your identity is secure. That’s how you can protect yourself from fraud. Identity theft and scams can be a nightmare to deal with, so the best thing you can do is protect your information as much as possible. A good offense is the best defense, after all.  Looking to protect your wallet from overpaying? Consider refinancing your car with Auto Approve! You could be saving hundreds of dollars every month, so don’t wait! GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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A High Schooler's Guide to Buying a Car

08/07/2023 18:16
Getting your license and buying your first car is one of the most exciting moments in a teenager’s life. After all, a car means freedom, independence, and adulthood. And for parents, it marks the end of playing chauffeur for your kids. But buying a car can be overwhelming for kids and parents alike. From choosing the right car to managing how you will pay for it, there’s a lot that needs to be taken into consideration. Here’s your ultimate guide to buying your first car.What should I think about when choosing a car? SafetyStatistically speaking teenagers are three times more likely to crash than drivers that are over the age of 20. And with over 2500 teen fatalities and 200,000 teen injuries that result from car accidents, safety should be a top priority when selecting the right car. While many teenagers will want a fun, small, fast car as their first set of wheels, this is not the most pragmatic choice for a new driver. You want a car that can protect the driver and passengers in case there is an accident. Newer cars tend to have the best safety features and tech that can help reduce the risk of an accident. Newer cars come with higher price tags, so try to find a balance of safety and affordability. Safety rankings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) can help you determine which cars might be the best for a young driver.  BudgetThe budget you select is important for a few reasons. Not only do you need to make sure that you can afford the car you are buying, but you also need to make sure you can afford the additional financial factors. Insurance, gas, and maintenance are other things you will need to consider. If the car you are considering has terrible gas mileage, you will have to keep that in mind for your monthly budget. If you are purchasing an older car that does not have a warranty, you should budget for repairs and emergencies. Consider all of the factors that go into car ownership when determining what your car buying budget is.New or UsedIt can be hard to decide whether buying a new car is better than buying a used car. As we said before, new cars have much better safety features and will be more dependable than a used car. But they come with high price tags that might not make sense for young drivers (especially given the higher likelihood of getting into an accident). For most people it will make more sense to get a used car that is still in good shape and only a few years old. It will likely still be under warranty and will have many of the safety features that you want, but it will come with a much lower price tag. A used car will also come with a lower cost of insurance, which can help your budget a great deal.How much should a high schooler pay for a car?Of all of the factors that will affect your decision, your budget is likely the factor that has the least amount of wiggle room. So how can you determine the right amount of money you should spend on a car? A lot of this will depend on who is footing the bill for the car. If you are a high schooler that has saved their money and is looking to buy a car without any help, you will need to carefully examine your budget. Are you looking to buy a used car with cash you have saved and no financing? You will need to make sure not only that you have enough money saved to buy the car, but that you can afford the registration and tax that will be required. You will also need to make sure you can afford the gas, insurance, and maintenance that you will have to pay for every month.If a family member or loved one is helping you out, be sure to have an honest conversation about the budget. If you are buying a new car and they are cosigning, make sure you are both on the same page as to who is making the down payment and how much you can afford in monthly payments.There is no hard and fast rule on how much a high schooler should spend on their first car, but you will most likely want to find something in the middle. Finding a used car in the $10,000 to $20,000 range should give you some safe options while still being affordable for many families.How to buy your first car.Set your budget.Setting your budget is the first step in car ownership. If you plan on financing you will need to find a consignor so that you can get a good rate for your car loan. Talk to a loved one to find out if they are willing to cosign. If you are planning on making the payments, be absolutely sure you can make the payments, otherwise your loved one will be on the hook. List your wants and needs.Determine what is most important to you when it comes to getting your first car. Safety should absolutely be on the list, but additionally you should think about the following:The type of vehicle. Do you want a car, truck, or SUV? The make and model: Do you have preference on the make or are you flexible? It’s good to have a few different options in mind as you start looking around.The gas mileage. Do you drive a lot and require good gas mileage, or is that not as much of a concern?The add on features. Is an entertainment system important? Sunroof? All weather mats? The resale value. It’s always good to take the resale value of a car into consideration. Certain brands retain their value so that when it’s time to sell it you still have some cash in your pocket.The color and appearance. Is there a certain look you want your car to have?  Decide on new or used.There are pros and cons to each, so you will need to decide what makes sense to you. Look at dealerships and private sellers.Start to look around at your different options. If you need to finance, a dealership will make the most sense for you. But if you are buying used you can look more broadly. Look on sites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to find out what a fair price is for the cars you are interested in and don’t just take the dealer’s word for it. The more prepared you are the better you will fare when it comes to negotiating.  Look at the car’s history.When you find a car that you love, be sure to do a background check on it. CARFAX and AutoCheck can alert you if the car has ever been involved in an accident. You should also check to see if there are any recalls on the car and whether or not they have been fixed. Having the car checked over by a mechanic is also a great idea if you aren’t especially car savvy yourself. Take a test drive.It’s incredibly important to take the car for a test drive. You want to make sure that you are comfortable and aware of any issues that the car may have. As a new driver, a lot will feel new and foreign to you, but if you are comfortable with how the car drives and how you are positioned it will make you a safer driver. Negotiate. Whether or not you are buying a new car or a used car you should definitely try to negotiate. Private sellers and dealerships alike are usually open to negotiating, so prepare ahead of time. Bringing a parent or loved one is best when you are a first time car buyer. Dealers may try to take advantage of a new driver’s naivete, but an older authority figure can help ensure you don’t get swept up in a bad deal. At the very least try to get them to waive any dealer fees.  Make sure your paperwork is in order.When you buy a new car you will need to make sure that it is registered and insured before you drive it. Be sure to have proof of registration and proof of insurance on you when you head out for your first drive.That’s everything you need to know about buying your first car.A little research and preparation can help ensure that you get a car that you love that doesn’t blow your budget out of the water. And if your car payments are too high, contact Auto Approve! Car loan refinancing can help you save a lot of money every month, and who couldn't use some extra cash in their pockets? So what are you waiting for?GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Last Minute Ways to Enjoy the Summer

08/07/2023 16:56
Summer is nearing its end with many parts of the country already heading back to the classroom. But while the weather is warm and the days are long there are still ways we can enjoy the summer and make every minute of sunshine count.Here’s our last minute guide to enjoying the rest of summer.Go swimming.If you have a pool, chances are you have been enjoying it all summer. But if you don’t have a pool there are still plenty of ways to get some splashing in! Lakes and swimming holes can be found in many states, and if you aren’t lucky enough to live within driving distance, your community pool (or a neighboring community pool) can give you some reprieve from the heat. Go out for ice cream.What says summer more than an ice cream cone? Hitting your local ice cream shop for a cone is one of the best ways to keep summer going. If you have a bit more time on your hands, check out a new spot you haven’t been to before. This Thrillist article ranks the best 40 in the country, but if you don’t happen to live near one of those there are most likely dozens of options within driving distance. More of a do-it-yourselfer? Try making some ice cream at home! It’s really easy and doesn’t require many tools, contrary to what many people think. Try a device-free day.This is great for kids and adults alike. After all, who couldn’t use a break from emails and social media? Block out a day where there’s no TV, no computers, and no phones, and try to enjoy a tech-free day. Have a dance party in the living room, cook a meal with your family, go for a walk, break out the crafts–whatever you want! Just be sure to hide the remotes and screens. This will only work if adults participate whole-heartedly and keep the family engaged (this means no sneaking off to check messages while the kids are playing!)Go on a field trip.Field trips in school are always a blast, but taking your family on their own field trip can be even better. Decide on a fun and educational destination, such as an aquarium, planetarium, or even a farm that allows visitors. You can learn a thing or two while enjoying some quality family time. Going out for a fun lunch or dinner (or just ice cream) can put the cherry on top of a great family day. Want to get really into it? Have your kids design matching t-shirts that you can wear and have them draw maps and itineraries for everyone in the family. Planning for your field trip can provide a full day of activities in and of itself! Have a family game day.Game days at home can provide the perfect relaxed summer activity. Have everyone pick their favorite game and be sure to play them all. Make some lemonade, sit out in the backyard (or just set your living room up picnic-style) and enjoy a laid back day free of running around and screen time.Go to a waterpark.If you haven’t had the chance to go to a waterpark yet, now is the perfect time. You may need to turn it into an overnight trip if it’s not within an easy driving range, but it’s a perfect getaway for kids of all ages (and adults!) If a waterpark isn’t in your budget, set up your own waterpark at home and recreate the fun in your backyard. A sprinkler, splash pad, and slip and slide are more than enough to bring smiles to your family’s faces. Make some fun drinks, set up an obstacle course, have some friends over to join in on the fun. The options are endless and you don’t have to break the bank to have some fun. Take a trip to the movies.In the age of streaming, going to the movies is a foreign concept for many. But catching an afternoon matinee is a fun way to spend the day and get out of the house. Matinees are also cheaper than evening shows, so it's the perfect time to see that movie you’ve been talking about all summer. Try a craft together.Crafts are fun for kids and adults alike. There are endless options and they can be as simple or as complicated as you would like! Let your kids pick their favorite ideas from Pinterest and see what you can create together. It’s a great way to introduce your kids–and yourself–to a new skill while spending time together. The summer is the best time to craft with kids because you can do it outside and avoid a messy cleanup afterwards. Activities like painting and coloring can be far more enjoyable if you aren’t worried about ruining your carpet and your furniture.Go camping in your backyard.Setting up a tent and sleeping under the stars with your family is another fun way to enjoy the beautiful weather. Act as if you are far from home–that means be sure to pack everything you will need and bring it outside so that you can avoid running inside as much as possible. Start a fire, toast some marshmallows, and tell some scary stories. Wake up to the sound of birds chirping and bask in the beauty of a summer morning. No backyard to stake out in? No problem! Set up a tent in your living room and recreate the experience indoors. Get some glow in the dark star stickers, open up the windows, and tell stories by flashlight (avoid the open flames while indoors, please). It will be a night to remember for your whole family.Take a road trip.It’s not too late to take a road trip and make some memories. Whether it’s a one-day excursion or you want to stretch it a few days, a road trip is a wonderful way to connect with your family while seeing some sights. Pick some good music or agree on a podcast or audiobook, open the windows (or crank the AC if it’s a bit too warm) and enjoy the scenery as you drive to your destination. The destination is up to you, whether it’s just a park you’ve wanted to visit or an event you’ve been scoping out. But enjoy the trip and not just the destination. That’s how you can enjoy the final days of summer.The summer is always gone before we know it, but we can still squeeze a little more fun out in our remaining few weeks. And if you’re trying to squeeze a little more out of your budget each month, get in touch with Auto Approve today! Refinancing your car loan can save you a lot of money, and who couldn’t use that? GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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5 Tips for Driving in the Summer Heat

08/01/2023 19:57
For most of the United States this summer has been brutally hot. Dealing with the heat can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for many, including our cars. The heat can bring a lot of unwelcome issues, so it’s important to try to head off any problems before there is a larger issue. Here are our top five tips for driving in the summer heat.Tip #1: Check your fluids. There are a number of fluids that are vitally important to keeping your car running smoothly. While replacing and topping off these fluids is always important, it’s even more important to do so in the heat when your car is under even more stress than usual. These fluids will also evaporate in the heat, making them disappear even faster. Be sure to keep an eye on the following fluids and top them off as needed:Motor oilCoolant (antifreeze)Power steering fluidBrake fluidTransmission fluidWindshield washer fluid If you tend to be forgetful with this type of stuff, set a reminder in your phone to check every few weeks or stop by your trusted mechanic to have them monitor everything. It may be a good idea to keep coolant in your trunk if your car’s engine has overheated in the past. Tip #2: Maintain the cooling system.Your engine’s cooling system keeps your engine running smoothly. Coolant is circulated through the engine block where it absorbs heat and then moves the heat out of the engine, cooling everything down. While keeping the coolant topped off is an important part of maintaining the cooling system, there are other steps that you should take to ensure the cooling system is running optimally. Be sure you are using the right type of coolant. Coolant is specific to your make and model, and using the wrong one can cause serious problems for your engine. You should also be sure to never mix different types of coolant as this can cause complications as well.Inspect the hoses and connections regularly to check for leaks. If the coolant is leaking out and unable to circulate properly, your engine can overheat. Change old coolant as recommended in your owner’s manual. As coolant ages it can turn acidic and corrosive, which means it can eat away the aluminum in your radiator.Read your owner’s manual to see when you should have your system serviced professionally.Tip #3: Maintain your car’s air conditioning system. Your car’s air conditioning system not only keeps you comfortable, but it keeps you and your passengers safe and healthy. High temps in the cabin can cause a dangerous health episode for anyone inside, especially the elderly. Heat stroke and dehydration can happen even when you aren’t doing physical activity. But your air conditioning can help avoid danger even in the sweltering heat. Here's how you can keep your car’s air conditioning in top shape:Change your cabin’s air filter regularly. The air filter keeps dust and debris out of your cabin, and which can help keep your air conditioning running more smoothly. Additionally clean air can increase your fuel efficiency and keep your cabin smelling fresh.Have it serviced when you notice an issue. Air conditioning units are complex, so it's recommended that you get it serviced professionally. In general you can expect to recharge your air conditioner every two years or so.Listen for any noises coming from the air conditioner. Noises can signify an issue with your car’s air compressor. Recognizing the warning signs could help you fix the compressor or replace it before you are left with no AC in the extreme heat.Take care of your air conditioner throughout the year. Running it for at least ten minutes every week, even in the winter, can help ensure that it will start up when you need it.Tip #4: Check your tire pressure.  Temperature has a huge impact on your tire pressure. Air is affected greatly by temperature, and as air heats up it expands and changes your tire pressure. A change of 10º Fahrenheit can cause your tires to gain or lose one PSI (pound per square inch). While your tires can withstand changes throughout the day, a drastic increase of 20º or 30º could mean that your tires are overinflated by the end of the day.It’s recommended to keep a tire pressure gauge in your car (you can pick a cheap one up and leave it in your glove compartment) and check it when there’s a big temperature swing. You can check the recommended PSI for your car in the user manual or in your car’s door jam. When tires are underinflated, more of the tire’s surface comes into contact with the road. Underinflated tires can cause the following problems:Causes your car to feel sluggish.Lowers gas mileage (about 0.2% for every PSI drop).Decreases the lifespan of tires.When tires are overinflated, less of the tire’s surface comes into contact with the road. Overinflated tires can cause the following problems:Makes them more vulnerable to damage.Distorts the tire and causes them to bulge and wear more in the center.Can lead to a tire blowout, which is a major safety concern.You should monitor your tires year round, paying attention not only to the inflation, but also to how the treads are wearing. Replacing your tires or getting your alignment fixed can help you stay safe on the road in any temperature. Tip #5: Be prepared.Unfortunately, bad things happen even if we try to avoid them. But being prepared for an emergency can save your sanity. In the summer be sure to have the following essentials in your car in case you break down or find yourself stranded somewhere:Bottled WaterNon-perishable snacksJumper cablesFirst aid kitRoad flaresFlashlight (and batteries)Cell phone charger If an emergency arises, you want to be sure you have what you need either to fix the problem yourself or get safely somewhere to have the problem solved. Having a charged cell phone and a list of emergency contacts is also important, especially if you are driving with children in the car.What should I do if my car overheats? In the severe heat, engine overheating is a very real concern. There are a few telltale signs that your engine is overheating: You notice a strange, almost sweet smell (the smell of antifreeze)The engine temperature gauge starts spikingThe check engine light or temperature light comes on Steam and/or smoke starts coming from underneath the hoodIf you notice any of these signs, it is important to follow the steps below to stay safe and avoid further damaging your car.Turn off the air conditioning and turn on the heat. Turning off the air conditioning will reduce the strain that the engine is experiencing. And while it may sound weird, turning the heat on will help divert heat away from the engine and help it cool down. Pull over and wait.You need to give your car a break as quickly as possible. Pull over at the first safe spot you see and turn your engine off for at least 15 minutes. This will give the engine a break and allow it to cool down naturally. Do not ignore the signs that your engine is overheating. Even though your car still may be running, continuing to drive can cause major damage to your engine.  Add coolant if possible, but only after waiting.If you have coolant on hand, topping it off may help cool the engine down and prepare further damage. But do not pull over and add the coolant immediately. The engine is extremely hot and opening the hood can result in a severe burn. Instead, wait 15 minutes and cautiously open the hood when things have cooled down.  Assess the situation.If you are able to start the engine and feel that it is no longer actively overheating, you can drive your car slowly and cautiously to a mechanic. Keep an eye on the gauges and engine temperature and pull over again if the heat starts creeping up. If the car is not starting easily or it seems to be smoking more, call a tow truck and have a mechanic look at it immediately. Your mechanic can help assess the damage and determine what next steps you should take. That’s everything you need to know about driving in the extreme heat. The summer can–and should–be full of fun. But car trouble can turn a fun day at the beach into a nightmare in a matter of seconds. Being prepared and keeping your car well maintained can help reduce the chance of a problem. If your car troubles involve your car payments, Auto Approve can help! Refinancing your car loan can help you save money every month, and who couldn’t use that? Our experts can get you a free quote in a matter of minutes and help you decide if refinancing is right for you. So don’t wait!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Do I Have to Pay Tax on a Used Car?

07/29/2023 21:01
When buying a car there are a number of additional expenses that we will be required to pay on top of the vehicle price, and one of those expenses is sales tax. Whether it is new or used, sales tax is required by most states and should be factored into your car buying decision. Here’s how sales tax works when buying a used car.What is sales tax?Sales tax is a percentage-based tax that is imposed on goods and services. In the United States sales tax is charged and collected by the states. What goods and services are taxed depends on the state where the purchase is made. There are some exceptions to sales tax that broadly include:GroceriesPrescription medicines and certain medical devicesSales of items paid for with food stampsSales to the US government In general most retail items that you purchase, including buying a new or used car, requires that you pay sales tax.How much is used car sales tax?Sales tax varies widely from state to state. If you are lucky enough to live in one of the five states where there is no sales tax–Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, or Oregon–then you will not be required to pay sales tax when buying a used car. For the remaining 45 states the sales tax ranges from 2.9% (in Colorado) to 7.25% (in California).  Some jurisdictions have local sales tax requirements as well. For example, while Alaska has no state sales tax, certain areas have a local sales tax. It is important to note that sales tax is paid in the state where the car is registered, not necessarily the state where the car is purchased. There are eight states that allow nonresidents to register cars: Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. But this can create issues down the line when you insure your car, as you need to register and insure in the same state. It’s much simpler to register where you live and avoid the hassle.How can I calculate used car sales tax? Sales tax on a used car is based on the price of the car. A dealership will calculate this for you, but if you are buying from a private seller you may need to do the math yourself. To calculate the sales tax you can take the following steps.Convert your state’s sales tax to a decimal by dividing it by 100. For example, if your state’s sales tax is 6%, 6 divided by 100 is .06.Multiply the sale price by the decimal. If you are trading in a car at the dealership, you may be allowed to deduct the amount of the trade-in from the sale price in certain states. This means that you would only have to pay sales tax on the difference between the price of the new car you are getting and the car you are trading in. This is not the case if you sell your old car privately or do a trade-in at a different dealership. Do I have to pay interest on sales tax?Sales tax is a separate fee from the sales price. When lenders decide how much credit they will extend to you they evaluate the LTV (loan to value ratio). The value is based on the sales price of the car excluding taxes and fees. LTVs typically hover around 90%, meaning that if the sales price of the car was $30,000 they would loan you around $27,000. You would need to pay at least $3,000 out of pocket as a down payment, plus any taxes and fees. It is possible to get a higher LTV if you have great credit, and you could then roll your interest and fees into your car loan. If you roll over your sales tax into your loan then you will be responsible for paying interest on it. It is more common however to make a down payment that comprises 10% of the car’s value, the sales tax, and the fees. This will also help your loan from becoming underwater, meaning you owe more on your car than the car is worth.  Who pays sales tax when buying a used car from a private party?Buying from a private party can be beneficial for many reasons:You can usually find a better price.You don’t have to worry about upsells. It’s usually less of a time commitment.You may have more bargaining power.But buying a used car from a private party does not mean that you can avoid paying sales tax. It is still the responsibility of the buyer to pay sales tax in the state where the car is registered.Can I avoid paying sales tax on a used car?Unfortunately you cannot avoid paying sales tax unless you live in a state where there is no sales tax. Registering your car in a nearby state where there is no sales tax may seem like a way to avoid this, but your insurance and license need to match your registration. So in short, it’s not a good idea to attempt registering in another state. Sales tax is merely an unavoidable cost that you will need to account for when buying a car.How can I get the best car loan? Whether you are financing a new or used car, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you get the best car loan deal possible. Research the car you want.Be sure to look around at a few different dealerships and compare prices. Looking at Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds can also give you an idea of a fair sale price. Prepare your finances.You will get the best car loan possible by ensuring that your finances are in order. Request a copy of your credit report to review for any errors before applying. Research lenders. You should apply with a few different lenders (we recommend 3-5) to give yourself the best chance to compare and get a good loan. You should get preapproved before ever setting foot in a dealership, as this will give you a leg up on negotiating and help ensure you don’t get talked into an unfair loan. Negotiate at the dealership.A good sale price will help you get the best car loan rate and deal possible. Try to negotiate on the sale price as well as on the extra fees that are tacked on. That’s everything you need to know about paying taxes on used cars.Sales tax is unavoidable when it comes to purchasing a car, so be sure you factor it into your car buying decision and include it in your budget.If you are overpaying on your car loan, contact Auto Approve today to see how much money you could save!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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How Interest Rates Work on Car Loans

07/26/2023 02:00
If you are planning on buying a new car, there’s a good chance that you will need to finance at least part of the purchase. Financing allows you to borrow some (or all) of the money for a large purchase and pay it back to the lender over a set period of time. Lenders will charge you interest, which is essentially the fee for borrowing money. So how do interest rates work on car loans? Let’s talk about how interest rates work on car loans.How do car loans work?Car loans are very simple in principle. If you want a car that you cannot afford, a bank will loan you the money to purchase the car. You will get to take the car home and drive it as if it’s your own, but it is technically an asset of the bank. When you pay back the money that you owe your lender, plus the interest that accrues over the life of the loan, the bank will sign the title over to you and you will officially own the car.What is an interest rate?Interest is the cost of borrowing money from a lender. There are three different types of interest rates which are all calculated in different ways. Simple interest (also known as regular interest) is based on the outstanding principal. Example: You borrow $1,000 with a 5% annual interest rate, you would pay $50 per year in interest.Accrued interest accumulates and is unpaid until the end of the payment period.Example: Every month you are required to pay $60 in interest. Every day you accrue an additional $2 in interest and when you hit the $60 interest total the payment is due.  Compound interest is paid on the total of the principal and the already accrued interest. Example: You borrow $10,000 with 5% interest and have $200 in accrued interest. Your annual interest would be $510: ($10,000 + $200) *.05How do car loan interest rates work?Car loan interest rates are almost always simple interest rates. A borrower is offered one fixed rate for the duration of their car loan. As the borrower pays down the principal, the amount of interest that they pay decreases until they have paid the loan back entirely. In some cases lenders may use precomputed interest. This means that at the start of your loan they determine how much you will pay in interest and your payments will be divided evenly. If you pay off your loan early, you will still be required to pay the predetermined interest, so you will be unable to save money as you would with a simple interest rate.Is APR the same as interest rate?When it comes to car financing, the terms “APR” and “interest rate” are often used interchangeably. But this is not correct and they are not actually the same. The interest rate is the cost of borrowing the money, while the APR (or Annual Rate Percentage) is the interest rate plus any additional loan fees for which you are responsible. These fees, also referred to as “prepaid finance charges” can vary widely from lender to lender. They typically cover costs associated with underwriting their loans and doing the necessary paperwork. What factors affect the interest rate you will be offered?The car loan interest rate that is offered will be based on a number of different factors, including the market rates and the credit worthiness of the applicant. Here are some of the factors that affect the interest rate offered:Your credit scoreYour credit score is the biggest factor that is within your control when it comes to what interest rate you will be offered. Your credit score is an indicator of how likely you are to make on-time, full payments every month. The better your score is, the better candidate you are for a car loan. The best interest rates will be offered to applicants with strong credit scores.Your debt-to-income ratioYour debt-to-income ratio is another huge indicator of how likely you are to repay your loan. If you have a lot of debt compared to how much money you make, you are considered less likely to repay your loan. The market conditionsThe credit score you are offered will also be based in part on the prevailing rates at the time. If interest rates are high in general you can expect to be offered a higher rate than at other times.The vehicle you are buyingThe vehicle you are buying will also impact the interest rate you are offered. The most important factor is the age of the car. The older the car is, the higher the interest rate will be.Your down paymentThe size of your down payment will also have a large impact on your interest rate. The larger your down payment is, the less likely your loan is to become underwater (meaning you owe more money to your lender than the car is worth).The loan termA longer loan term will generally mean a higher interest rate. It will also mean that you will pay more interest over the life of the loan because you will be paying interest for a longer time. Your monthly payments will be lower because they will be stretched out over a longer period of time, but you will (quite literally) pay for this in the long run.How can I get the best car loan interest rate?Securing a low car loan interest rate will mean big savings in the long run, so it’s important to do your research and prepare as much as possible when buying a car. To get the best car loan interest rate possible, prepare by doing the following:Work on improving your credit score.Request a copy of your credit report and review for any errors. Pay down debts where you can, focusing especially on loans with high credit utilization ratios.Save additional money so that you can make a more sizable down payment.Get preapproved before heading to the dealership.Apply with several lenders (3-5) so that you can compare the offers.Avoid selecting a long repayment period if you can. Be sure that the car you are purchasing will fit into your budget.That’s everything you need to know about car loan interest rates.If you are planning to buy a new car it is important to understand how car loan interest rates work and how you can get the best rate possible. If you already have a car loan and are unhappy with your current interest rate, contact Auto Approve today to find out how much car loan refinancing can save you!GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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Driving Accessibility Guide: Finding the Right Car For You

07/25/2023 02:29
If you have a disability, driving may feel like a daunting task. But it’s important to keep in mind that you are not alone. After all there are more than 25 million people living in the United States with a travel limiting disability. But manufacturers today are taking great steps to become more accessible and more inclusive so that drivers of all types can use and enjoy their vehicles. Here’s how you can find the perfect car for you that is equipped with any equipment you may need.Here’s how to find the perfect car if you have a health condition or disability.Can I drive with a disability? You can absolutely drive with a disability, and this right is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. A Department of Motor Vehicles cannot deny a driver's license based solely on a person’s disability. Drivers may need to make modifications to their vehicles to make their car safe and they must alert the state of their disability, but if you have a health condition or impairment you are still legally able to drive. You should always get the ok from your doctor beforehand though to ensure your health and safety.  If you are driving with a disability for the first time, it’s important to safely determine what you will need help with and what facets of driving may pose an issue. Taking a driving class will help ensure you have the tools that you need to drive safely. You will need to take practice and take your test with a modified vehicle and your DMV may need time to secure the correct car. Getting some experience behind the wheel of a converted vehicle will help you feel more confident in your driving and also help you determine what type of vehicle and modifications you will require. What adaptive equipment does my new car need? Buying a new car that is specifically designed for you may cost you a significant amount of money. But it is hard to beat the technology that today’s new cars offer. Many car manufacturers have teams that can meet with you, assess your needs, and help get you into a car that is safe for you to drive. These experts will assess the following: VisionHearingJudgment and decision making skillsProcessing skillsMuscle StrengthCoordination and reactionMedical historyAbility to get in and out of the vehicleAbility to operate the vehicle with adaptive equipmentSafety habitsStress management By assessing all of these factors they can help you determine which adaptive equipment makes sense for you. They will then help you determine what type of vehicle will work best for you: a car, SUV, van, or truck. Vans usually allow for the most amount of modifications and will be a great option for many people. New cars may feature the following adaptive features:Seat belt adjustmentsRampsSafety barsSafety strapsSwivel seatsHand controlsWheelchair liftsWheelchair securementsAnd more When dealerships determine what modifications to make to the car, they will install them so that your car is complete and ready to go when you pick it up.  Another advantage of buying a new car is that it is equipped with the latest technology. Not only will this technology keep you safe while you are driving, but it can even help monitor your health. Mazda is working on their Co-Pilot technology which monitors your health and will take over driving if your health declines rapidly. It will pull you over safely to the side of the road if you suddenly suffer an incapacitating crisis such as a seizure, heart attack, or stroke.  The price tag on a new van with advanced accessibility features can be quite high. For example, a new, full size wheelchair accessible van will run you north of $120,000. There are grants, loans, and funding that can help you pay for these vehicles, but it will still cost you a pretty penny. For many people, modifying a car that they already have will make more sense financially and be a more practical option.How do you modify a car for a disabled person?If you are looking to modify a car to drive with your disability, it can be a more affordable option. Your vehicle will need to qualify as an adaptable vehicle, so do some research beforehand to determine if your car can be modified to accommodate your needs.  The same modifications listed above for new cars can be made to existing vehicles, so long as the vehicle is capable of medications. If you are not buying a new car you should still consult with an occupational therapist to determine what modifications you should make to your vehicle. They can do an assessment of your health and skills and determine the best features you should add to your car. They can also recommend a reputable installer for these modifications. Having your car modified is still not cheap. Modifications can easily cost over $80,000 depending on what you need to have installed.How can I pay for modifications?If you need to have modifications made to your vehicle to make it accessible and safe to drive, there are grants that can help you pay for the added expenses. In most cases your medical insurance will not cover the expenses associated with modifying your vehicle. Your car insurance will also not help cover the cost of modifications. It will be up to you to apply for grants that can help you make the modifications necessary.  US State GrantsYour state will most likely offer some grants to help pay for vehicle modifications. They are usually funded by state veterans associations and accessibility advocate groups.  US Federal GrantsYou may be eligible for a federal grant for your vehicle modification as well. If you are a veteran, the Veterans Administration offers tax free funds of $22,355 for former service members in need. If you are on Medicare Part B you may have up to 80% of necessary medical equipment covered.  Private GrantsYou may also be able to apply to private organizations for a grant that will help cover your expenses. There are many organizations out there that can help you with funding, but it is recommended that you reach out to them directly to ensure that you qualify and that you apply correctly. Some grants may require that you reside in certain states or have certain qualifying health issues. If you do qualify for a grant, be sure to get the amount they will fund in writing before you buy your new vehicle or make modifications. Certain grants will stipulate that the money may only be used for modifications and not for the purchase of a new car. Here are some of the grants that are available nationwide.  The Alynn Family FoundationBrighter Tomorrow GrantBryon Riesch Paralysis FoundationCenter On Technology And DisabilityHelpHOPELiveJoni And FriendsJoseph S. Bruno Charitable FoundationKya’s KrusadeThe Malone Family FoundationMuscular Dystrophy AssociationNational Organization For Vehicle AccessibilityRESNA Catalyst ProjectSpecial Kids FundSpinal Cord Opportunities For Rehabilitation EndowmentThe Reeve FoundationVocational RehabilitationLoansThere are also loans available to help you buy a new car or modify your existing car. These mobility vehicle loans can help you borrow additional money that will allow for not only a new car, but a new car with the proper accessibility modifications. Bank of America and IMS are just two of several banks that provide loans for modifications. That’s what you need to know about buying a car with a disability. Driving with a disability can feel daunting at first, but there are many pieces of accessibility equipment that can make driving safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. But it’s incredibly important to make sure that you have an assessment from an occupational therapist to determine the safest way for you to drive. They will have the resources to guide you through getting the proper equipment and can even help point you in the direction of grants and loans to help you pay for it all. Carmakers are working hard to get autonomous driving cars on the road. They have long hailed this technology as an equalizer that will allow people of all abilities to get around safely. While this will hopefully happen in the future, people with disabilities will have to depend on the equipment available to them now to get around safely. If you are drowning in car payments, call Auto Approve today to see how refinancing can help you! Our experts can determine if you qualify within minutes and help you through the application process. The result? A lot more money in your pocket every month. But don’t just take our word for it. Our 4.6 out of 5 rating on TrustPilot and A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau tells you that we get results.So don’t wait–contact Auto Approve today and start saving!  GET A QUOTE IN 60 SECONDS
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