Category Archives: Buying a Car

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How to Get a Car Loan with Bad Credit

Online Pre-Qualification at U.S. Auto Sales

Are you in the market for a reliable vehicle? Do you have struggling credit? No matter your credit score, you should be able to get access to a car you can afford and depend on for work, school, and running errands. However, getting qualified for a car loan can feel daunting if you don’t have excellent credit. Here’s how you can get a car loan with bad credit with our online pre-qualification application at U.S. Auto Sales.

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Can a Full-Time Student Get a Car Loan?

Ways Students Can More Easily Get Qualified for an Auto Loan

Students typically face a lot of challenges when shopping for a car. These young adults typically have little or no credit history. Also, many students don’t have jobs as they are studying for school full-time. Will this student pay on time? Can this student afford the car in the first place? Due to these risks from the lenders’ perspectives, students are likely going to have more difficulty qualifying for a car loan. Full-time students can get a car loan, however, if the proper effort is taken to minimize those financial risks for the lenders. Here are a few ways you can more easily get qualified for an auto loan as a student.

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How Much Should I Put Down for a Car?

Pros and Cons of Large and Small Down Payments

You may have found the perfect car for your needs and comfort. Perhaps you even got qualified for a car loan. As you close the deal, the question of how much you want to leave as a down payment is raised. How much should you put down for a car? Ideally, you’d want to put down around 20% of the purchase price. What if you have more than 20% of the cash saved? What if you have less? Here, we will explore the pros and cons of making large and small down payments.

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Top Rated GPS Apps and Standalone Devices for Your Vehicle

You have your US Auto Sales car, and the road beckons. But how do you get where you’re going? Those roadmaps from the local convenience store aren’t going to cut it anymore. Here are the best mapping apps for your phone, and a few standalone devices that don’t require internet access.

Google Maps – Google Maps is an outstanding GPS navigation system compatible with both Android and iPhone. Not only does it give you accurate information on directions, but it will also automatically reroute you based on live traffic, construction, and accidents. The app also gives many local suggestions for food, activities, events, etc. Bonus – if your vehicle supports Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you can use it right from the touch screen in your vehicle.

Waze – This app is a favorite among the younger generation. It not only navigates, but warns you about police sightings, hazards, and will reroute you based on traffic, construction, and accidents. It also has a feature that will allow you to record your voice or anyone else’s to use as your navigation, and you can even play music through it.

Sygic GPS Navigation – Heading a little farther off the beaten path? Sygic offers reliable off-line maps as well as real time traffic information. Maps are updated multiple times a year at no additional cost. It keeps track of your speed, warns you when you go over the limit, and has many other safety features as well.

MAPS ME – Another off-line navigation app, MAPS ME keeps up to date with any changes to road conditions. You can use this navigation system anytime and it will also bookmark your favorite locations. Another good option for spotty or non-existent internet.

Standalone GPS Devices

Garmin DriveSmart 55 and Traffic – An excellent entry-level device from a well-known GPS navigation company, the DriveSmart55 has a responsive touchscreen and easily mounts to the windshield. Unfortunately, it only covers 49 states. Maps for other regions must be purchased separately. Starting at $149.99.

Atoto A6 Double Din Android Car Navigation Stereo – This GPS device stands out from the crowd because it is not only a GPS navigation system but also includes popular music apps and radio features and Bluetooth. It’s a little buggy, though, with reviewers reporting occasional screen freezes and audio loss. Starting at $159.99.

Tom Tom GO 620 6-inch GPS Navigation Device – Tom Tom is known for accuracy and fast signal, but some feel that it not as easy to use as other systems. It has 3-D imaging, voice control and hands-free calling. The downside is that it must be linked to a smart phone to access live traffic data. Starting at $209.99.

Keeping it Fresh: Ways to Keep Your Car Smelling Clean

With the amount of time you spend in your car, it can be a challenge to keep it smelling fresh. If you have one car and kids and pets, it can quickly start to smell like a garbage truck. Here are some ways to keep your car smelling clean and fresh.

Little Trees Air Fresheners – If you like the classic hanging tree air freshener, these come in over 36 different aromas. The downside of these fresheners is the overpowering immediate scent that only freshens for a couple of weeks. The plus side is that they are inexpensive, and you can enjoy a different scent every few weeks! Starting at $1.99

Febreze Air Freshener – These small, vent style fresheners come in several different aromas and can be adjusted to control the scent level. Left on the low setting, these can last for up to 45 days. Starting at $2.99

Ozium Vanilla Spray Air Freshener – Originally designed for use in hospitals, Ozium not only smells faintly of vanilla, but can also reduce airborne bacteria. It also works well to eliminate lingering smoke smells. Once sprayed, it almost immediately eliminates any odor and can linger for up to two weeks. Starting at $8.99

Chemical Guys AIR _102 Odor Eliminator – This odor eliminator is specifically for vehicles with leather interiors, restoring the original scent of leather. Use it sparingly, as it can leave a strong, overpowering fragrance if used too frequently. Starting at $9.99

California Home Goods Odor Eliminator – This is a small bag that can hung from the coat hook over the rear door. It contains carbon-activated bamboo charcoal that eliminates odors without a strong perfume scent. It can also help reduce mildew formation. To reactivate this freshener, simply place it in the sun for 2 hours every month. Starting at $13.49

PURGGO Car Air Freshener – This air freshener attaches to back of the front seat and contains no spray, gel, ionizers, plastic or fragrance. It contains 100% bamboo charcoal that acts like a sponge, absorbing odors and trapping them. It works around the clock and can last up to a year! Starting at $19.99

Sununitec Sun-C200 – This round, wooden model mounts to the air conditioner vent. It releases a lemon scent with the accent of wood. Once the scent is gone, this freshener can still be used by adding your favorite essential oil. Starting at $29.95

Top Trunk Organizers of 2019

With holiday shopping season fast approaching, finding ways to organize your trunk or giving the gift of organization to a loved one may be on your list of things to do. Here are some of the top-rated trunk organizers of 2019 to help you maximize your trunk space.

Honey-Can-Do Folding Trunk Organizer – a great, inexpensive option that has two roomy compartments with several pockets around the outside.

Dimensions: 13 x 25.5 x 13.25 inches
Starting at $10.00

Homeve Car Trunk Organizer – Suitable for any size trunk, the Homeve organizer is collapsible and has three inside storage compartment with several different size pockets around the outside. It also comes in several different colors.

Dimensions: 22.5 x 15 x 13.4 inches
Starting at $22.99

Higher Gear Car Trunk Organizer – This organizer was rated easiest to carry making it a great option for transporting items to and from your vehicle.

Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 12 inches
Starting at $24.99

Starling’s Car Trunk Organizer – This option is durable, collapsible and has a nonslip waterproof bottom. It comes in several colors. There are removable dividers inside and 10 pockets outside.

Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.5 x 12 inches
Starting at $29.99

Maid Max Cargo Trunk Organizer with Lid – Like to have your clutter hidden? Need a place to hide that special gift? This organizer is perfect – it has a lid! It comes with adjustable dividers for the inside and has several outside pockets with flaps.

Dimensions: 14 x 23 x 13 inches
Starting at $35.99

Rola M.O.V.E. Rigid-Base Trunk Organizer– This is a solid organizer that is ideal for small, compact cars. The dividers can be adjusted to make the inside compartment any size. This is one of the pricier options, but reviewers state that it is well made and built to last.

Dimensions: 38 x 15 x 7 inches
Starting at $59.99

Ways to Improve Your Gas Mileage

With gas prices constantly fluctuating, it never hurts to know some ways to improve your gas mileage. While you may not be able to practice all of these all the time, here’s a few simple ways to increase your gas mileage whenever possible.

Refuel in the morning – Did you know that a gallon of gas in the morning is not the same as a gallon of gas later in the day? Why? Most large fuel tanks are buried underground. In the morning the ground is colder. As the ground temperature rises, the gasoline expands, making it less dense. If you fill your fuel tank a couple times a week, you could save between $5-$10 each month by refueling first thing in the morning!

Replace your air filter – If the engine air filter is clogged with dust and debris, your engine has to work harder than it should to get enough air to mix with the fuel, causing an increase in fuel consumption. Replacing the air filter can instantly improve your gas mileage up to 15%!

Don’t put the pedal to the metal – Revving the engine or accelerating quickly burns more gas. Accelerating more slowly will not only improve your gas mileage but could also extend the life of your engine.

Watch the weight – Keeping the weight in your vehicle to a minimum when possible can make a big difference in the gas mileage. If you’ve literally got junk in your trunk, time for a clean-out!

Inflate your tires – Keeping your tires inflated to the proper level reduces their rolling resistance, so your vehicle doesn’t have to work so hard. Many newer cars come with tire pressure monitoring systems – if that dash light goes on, don’t ignore it.

Avoid prolonged idling – At idle, you are literally getting zero miles per gallon. If you’re going to be sitting longer than 10 seconds, turn off the engine. Contrary to popular belief, starting doesn’t use more fuel than idling in modern cars.

Use cruise control – If your car is equipped with cruise control, it helps to maintain a consistent speed and can reduce the need to accelerate or brake helping to improve efficiency. If your car has it, adaptive cruise control is even better for this.

Use the Air Conditioning Wisely – Here in the southeast, you need your AC, but whenever possible roll the windows down or reduce the setting on the air conditioning. It makes a big difference on fuel costs over time.

It might be interesting to fill your gas tank and make no immediate changes and calculate the mpg. Then make as many of the above changes as possible and calculate the mpg again and hopefully you will notice a difference!

Top-Rated All-Season Tires of 2019

We all know tires are important to how our vehicle handles. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming trying to select the right one. They are often an unplanned expense, making it easy to fall into the trap of going with the cheapest option. What many don’t realize is not only are tires an important factor in vehicle handling, but they also play a part in fuel economy and noise levels. Here are a few of the top-rated all-season tires of 2019 to help you make a more informed decision the next time you find yourself in the market.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3

These tires are great for sports cars and most sedans. They handle extremely well at high speeds and provide ultimate traction on asphalt and concrete. These tires are great for both highway and city driving. The biggest con to this tire is that it comes with a complicated warranty.

Weight: 29lbs

Starting around $150 per tire

Goodyear Assurance Tripletred

These tires are ideal for minivans, sedans and small pickups due to their 6,000lb maximum load capacity. They handle extremely well and are a smooth ride on asphalt and concrete, but do not handle well in dirt. They come with a great warranty.

Weight: 23lbs

Starting around $150 per tire

Michelin Defender LTX

These tires are ideal for vans, full-size pickups and SUVs. They handle great on highways and city roads and come with a 70,000-mile warranty. They are great in wet conditions, but do not handle well off road. These tires can also increase your fuel economy if properly cared for.

Weight: 39lbs

Starting around $210 per tire

Pirelli Zero Nero

These tires are a high quality, inexpensive option for most cars. These tires are known for their noise reduction qualities. They handle great off road, too.

Weight: 29lbs

Starting around $180 per tire

Yokohama Avid Descend Radial Tire

These are an outstanding tire for most cars with a low sticker price and can improve your fuel economy. The downside of these tires is that you will need to monitor the tire pressure more frequently.

Weight: 19.5lbs

Starting around $100

Michelin Primacy

These tires handle well in rain and light snow with great road traction. They handle well at high speed and can improve your fuel economy. These tires are suitable for most sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles.

Weight: 20lbs

Starting around $115

No matter what tire you choose, maintaining proper tire pressure, rotating the tires at the recommended mileage, and making sure the wheels are properly aligned are critical to getting the best handling and mileage out of your tires

Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Car Enthusiast

Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about that perfect gift for the car enthusiast or person who travels often for work on your list. Don’t be caught off guard with this list of the top car gadgets of 2019!

HaloVa Car Glasses Holder – While many vehicles come with a compartment to hold sunglasses, this visor sunglass holder can not only hold glasses but is perfect for clipping pens, business cards or important papers. Starting at $10.

Zone Tech Car Swivel Tray and Storage Bin – Perfect for that person on your list who travels frequently for work, this round swivel tray connects to the cup holder. It’s perfect for lunch while working from the car or just holding those necessary items. Starting at $14.

Alexa-Enabled Roav Viva Car Charger – This phone charger not only charges your phone, it is also enabled with Alexa allowing you access to voice controlled navigation, hands free calling and music streaming. It will even allow you to control smart devices in your home. Starting at $20.

Armor All Car Vacuum Cleaner – This 12V Car Vac is compact, light, and easy to use. It can pick up wet and dry debris. It also has a built-in crevice tool and LED light for nighttime use. Starting at $25.

iOttie Easy One Touch Fast Charging Dash and Windshield Mount – A phone mount and charger all in one, it adjusts to fit any size phone. The telescopic arm allows for adjustable positioning. Make sure your gift recipients device is Qi-enabled, first, or it won’t charge. Starting at $25.

Palmoo Car Back Seat Organizer – Another great item for the person who works on the road, this leather organizer has 9 pockets perfectly sized for a tablet, phone, chargers, beverages, etc. Starting at $27.

WheelMate Extreme Vehicle Desk – Turn your vehicle into a mobile workspace. The desk is designed to attach to the steering wheel while parked and is large enough to hold a laptop comfortably. Starting at $37 for basic model and $90 with tablet or computer mount.

Nonda ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor – This device lets you track your vehicle’s tire pressure on your mobile phone, allowing you to track a slow leak before it is too late. It is also equipped with a USB port to charge other devices and comes with an anti-theft locking system. Starting at $100.

Handpresso Auto Hybrid Coffee Maker – Yes, this is exactly what you think it is – an automatic coffee maker that plugs into your car cigarette lighter and fits into most cup holders! In two minutes you have a freshly brewed cup of coffee! It works with pods and ground coffee. Starting at $160.