Category Archives: Credit Solutions

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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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File Taxes and Buy A Car on the Same Day

Benjamin Franklin is often attributed with coining the phrase “… two things are for certain, death & taxes.”

Many Americans will spend the early months of 2020 preparing for the April 15th tax filing deadline. However, there are plenty of positive benefits to filing your tax returns. Not only are you obeying the lawful requirement of submitting taxes, but you stand a good chance of receiving a hefty tax refund.

It is common during tax season for buyers to purchase a used vehicle with their refund. Did you know you can visit the nearest US Auto Sales location to file taxes using Tax Max services? Tax Max is a third-party company that can help you file your federal and state taxes.  A sales associate can help explain how your tax refund can be used as a down payment on your purchase from U.S. Auto, allowing you to drive away today.*

There are over 25 US Auto Sales dealerships nationwide that have access to over 2000 cars in our inventory. You may be able to knock out your taxes and purchase a car on the same day.

Customers looking to buy a used car should be sure to bring the following documents with them to the dealership:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Date of Birth
  • Driver’s License (proof of identification)
  • Income Documents (W-2, 1099-C, etc.)
  • Bring documents for all family members, if filing with spouse and/or claiming children
  • Additional documents may be required.

If you need more information, be sure to check out the 2020 Tax Max special. The knowledgeable associates at US Auto Sales are ready to help you buy a car at tax time!

*Up to $6,000 same day tax refund anticipation loan on debit card less Tax Max and loan fees.  Refund paperwork prepared by Tax Max; not U.S. Auto Sales.  U.S. Auto is not an agent, principal, owner, or affiliate of Tax Max.

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.

6 Factors to Keep in Mind When Buying For Your New Driver

Your young driver’s dream car probably isn’t the most practical or safest choice. Using the car buying experience to research the best options is a great way to help your child make informed adult decisions. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when purchasing a vehicle for the young person in your life.

Sticker Price

The bottom line is most likely the deciding factor when purchasing that perfect vehicle for your child. Keep in mind when looking at the sticker price that makes and models that hold their value better than others are usually more reliable and last longer. Make it easy on yourself by shopping a no-haggle dealership like US Auto Sales.

Reliability

The last thing a parent needs to worry about is whether their child is going to end up stranded on the side of the road. Some cars are more reliable than others. Doing your homework first will make it easier to steer clear of some of those vehicles your child may gravitate towards. Also, a vehicle history report from Carfax is a must. US Auto Sales provides a Carfax report with every used vehicle and a limited warranty to add to your peace of mind.

Safety

Most cars now come with safety features like anti-lock brakes and airbags standard, but take the time to look at which vehicles ranked highest in safety. Again, look at the car’s history and whether or not it might have suffered any structural damage due to an accident.

Fuel Efficiency

It is easy to get wrapped up in the other factors of used car buying and forget some of the long-term factors of car ownership. Fuel efficiency is critical as this is an everyday expense. Helping your new driver calculate the cost of fuel for different vehicles they might be considering might help them make a more practical decision.

Features and Add-ons

Although most features and add-ons increase the sticker value, some might help sway you’re a young driver to go with something more practical. For example, a used car that has an upgraded stereo system might be enough to convince your new driver to go with the more fuel efficient, safer vehicle. Also, it might be worth the additional cost for some added safety features such as a back-up camera or GPS.

Insurance Costs

The cost of insuring a young driver can be prohibitive. Take the time to call your insurance company. It could save you a huge chunk of change. Sometimes choosing the same model in a different model year can make a big difference in the insurance cost. Use this as a learning experience to instill good car purchase decision-making in the future.

Taking the time to do your homework before heading over to US Auto Sales will make the car buying experience with your new driver much more enjoyable and increase the likelihood that both of you will be happy with the outcome.

Eco-friendly Car Cleaning Products of 2019

There are three main reasons to avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your vehicle. Over time, harsh chemicals can damage the interior and can cause paint to lose its luster. Harsh chemicals are also bad for the environment. Using harsh cleaning agents, especially inside your vehicle, can be detrimental to your health. Fortunately, there are several companies that make natural products that work as well or better than the chemical-heavy products. Eco Touch, Chemical Guys, President’s Choice and Simple Green are the most popular companies with the largest variety of products. Here are some of their top-rated cleaning products of 2019 as well as a couple other great ideas to keep your car clean while also being health- and environmentally-conscious.

Eco Touch Car Wash Shampoo – This car wash shampoo is plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic and phosphate-free. It gently removes dirt and grime without removing wax or polish.

Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash – a spray and wipe product that requires no water. Use this between washes to maintain the shine. Both environmentally friendly and labor saving!

Chemical Guys Ecosmart Ready to Use Car Wash and Wax – Another product that requires no water. It not only cleans the vehicle but provides a layer of protection and added shine.

Chemical Guys CWS 301 Citrus Wash and Gloss Concentrate – This highly concentrated product uses only a capful of concentrate for every 5 gallons of water. It foams up well to pull dirt and grime away from the surface for scratch free rinsing. Added bonus: because the cleaning agent is citrus-based, it smells really good!

Simple Green All-Wheel Cleaner – can be used to remove dirt and brake dust as well shine tires. The non-corrosive formula will not harm your tires even if overused.

Steam Cleaner – a steam cleaner works beautifully on cloth seats and carpet without chemicals. You might even be able to rent one!

Pro-tip: A detailing company secret – use a small paintbrush to clean vents and crevices. Cotton swabs work pretty well, too, particularly for dusting vents!

Keep your US Auto Sales car clean while protecting both your health and the environment!

Top Bike Racks of 2019

Fall is a great time for biking with the cooler weather and less traffic. Having the right bike rack can make exploring new areas easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of the best rated options ranging in price and styles.

Roof Racks

Yamika ForkLift Rooftop Bike Rack fits almost any vehicle with flat, round or square crossbars. It requires no tools for installation. It installs in minutes and locks using a skewer with an adjustment knob for quick single-handed release.

Cost: Starting at $180.00

Cycling Deal Bike Car Roof Rack is a great budget-friendly option. It’s a frame mount model that clips on to the bike frame so you do not need to take the wheel off. It fits various crossbars in square and aero shapes. It uses a locking knob to secure the bike safely to the rack.

Cost: Starting at $95.00

Swagman Standard Roof Rack carries a single bike regardless of its size, type, or purpose. It is a fraction of the cost of similar models, but the quality gives it good bang for the buck. It is a fork mount model so you need to remove the wheel. You also need to assemble the wheel tray.

Cost: Starting at $45

Hitch Bike Racks

Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Bike Rack was highly rated due to its high quality and easy installation, but it is on the high end when it comes to cost. It is a platform style and can carry 2 bikes up 60 pounds in weight. It also includes a hitch and bike locks.

Cost: Starting at $430.00

Yamika FullTilt 4 Bike Rack is a hanging support style hitch mount that holds up to 4 bikes with a 40lb weight max per bike. There a lot of pieces to this mount, but once you have installed it a couple times it isn’t as daunting as it might appear initially. This ranked highest when it came to security due to its anti-theft measures. The hitch and bikes are locked using the same key.

Cost: Starting at $385.00

Kuat Transfer Universal 2 Bike Hitch Mount is a platform style hitch mount that is extremely easy to install with just a single bolt attaching it to your receiver. This also tilts outward to be able to access the trunk. This mount can hold 2 bikes up to 40 pounds each.

Cost: Starting at $300.00

Trunk Racks

Thule Raceway 2 Trunk Mount Bike Rack offers an excellent range of features and the quality that comes with the Thule name. It has a simple easy to use design, but the downfall is that it doesn’t fit all cars so make sure it is compatible with your vehicle. This mount holds 2 bikes with a 35 pound max for each bike. It also includes hitch and bike locks.

Cost: Starting at $350.00

Hollywood Racks Baja Trunk Mounted Bike Rack is a high-quality, versatile rack that fits an impressive number of vehicles and is quite reasonable with a price tag of just over $100. This rack will hold up to 2 bikes but doesn’t state the weight limit.

Cost: Starting around $100.00

Saris Bones 2-Bike Trunk Rack is strong yet lightweight and can hold 2 bikes up to 35lbs each. Saris offers expert installation, but the directions are easy to follow and leaves a comfortable amount of space between the trunk and bikes. This mount attaches to most vehicles including hatchbacks, sedans, minivans and more.

Cost: Starting around $160.00

Now you should find it easy to carry a couple bikes on your US Auto Sales car!

5 Important Defensive Driving Reminders

Do you remember sitting in Driver’s Ed, overwhelmed by the number of rules and the amount of safety information you were expected to learn? How about during your driving instruction, being scared of driving off the road or not braking fast enough and hitting the car in front of you. Don’t you wish someone would have told you a few key points to remember so you could relax? Well, here they are. Share them with that new driver in your life.

  • Stay focused. We live in a fast-paced world. People pride themselves in being able to multitask. Unfortunately, too many people attempt to do that while driving. It is not uncommon to see people eating, listening to music with headphones, texting, applying makeup or even reading. This makes it that much more important for new drivers to focus on driving and only driving. Many states have rules around new drivers not having passengers in their car. The main reason for this is to avoid distraction.
  • Check your six. Ever jump into a rental car, take off, and realize you haven’t adjusted the mirrors? This is an easy thing to forget, but mirrors are like another set of eyes in the back of our head. The more we can see the better. However, no matter how well we adjust the mirrors, there will always be a blind spot, so make sure to still look over your shoulder to make sure you didn’t miss that approaching car on the highway.
  • Keep your distance. Don’t tailgate. We have all been guilty of this at one point or another. The day we are running late is the day we get behind the person driving 5 miles under the speed limit. The reality is whether we are riding their bumper or 10 yards back, they will still be going 5 miles under the speed limit. It will be even more frustrating for them to stop quick and you slam into the back of their car? Give yourself the space to be able to stop safely. Allow more distance at increased speeds and in inclement weather.
  • Slow down at all intersections. A yellow light does not mean speed up! Slowing down when approaching will allow you to stop safely if the light changes or the person in front of you stops quickly. 4-way stops can be tricky because cars often approach at the same time. When in doubt, let the other person go first.
  • Pay attention to road signs. This may seem obvious, but how many times have you been driving along thinking about something else and suddenly realize your lane is closed ahead for construction? Signs are not only there to keep you safe, but paying attention to them can save you a lot of money. In many states speeding fines are doubled in construction and school zones.

Stay safe out there!

What to look for in a Crossover

The SUV of the 90s and early 2000s has largely been superseded by the crossover, that blend of car and SUV providing the utility of an SUV with a more car-like driving experience. They’re great grocery-getters, carpool carriers, and general stuff haulers. As the fastest-growing new car segment in the US, they’re also easily found on the used market. But before you fall in love with that crossover, here’s a few considerations.

Small, medium, or large?

Crossovers come in lots of different sizes now, from subcompacts like the MINI Countryman to large crossovers like the Chevy Traverse. Figure out how much you need. If you regularly carry a lot of people or stuff, spring for the bigger one, but understand that you’re probably going to have to pay a bit more, both in the initial purchase price and in fuel over the long term, since larger crossovers tend to be powered by V6s, with some luxury models offering V8s.

How big is your crowd?

Your initial thoughts on size may be influenced by how many people you need to carry – and how big are those people. Subcompact crossovers generally are limited to four people, and the rear seats may not be comfortable for larger adults. Some midsized crossovers have a third-row seat option, giving you capacity for as many as eight people… or the ability to put the kids as far from the driver as possible! And if you go for the third-row seat, remember to try them out yourself and see if they’ll be comfortable, and don’t forget that your kids are going to grow!

And now for the feature.

Crossovers can be feature-rich, particularly as you get into high-line models. Consider things like cupholders, which can be numerous, power ports and outlets, and maybe rear-seat entertainment if you’re going on long trips. Other niceties can be power liftgates, which make access easier, and large moonroofs to make the interior seem bigger.

Drive it!

If this will be your first crossover, make sure to take a test drive. While crossovers are essentially cars under the skin, they tend to be heavier and taller, changing the center of gravity and their handling. Some handle really nicely for a large vehicle, but you have to expect a different driving experience, and it’s important to know if you’re going to like it!

When you take that test drive, make sure to get a little highway time to make sure you have enough power for passing maneuvers. If that unloaded crossover runs out of steam with just you and the salesperson, imagine that it’s probably not going to do as well with a full load.

Once you’ve figured out your needs, it’s time to head to your local US Auto Sales and pick out your crossover!

Mindshift – Back to School Driving

While we’ve all enjoyed the shorter commute times that come with summer, school is starting! With that, of course, comes longer commute times, which can be frustrating. Don’t let the frustration get in the way of making sure that the kids get to school safely, and you get to work safely and on time! With that, here are a few tips on driving as school starts back in.

  1. It’s big. It’s yellow. You kinda can’t miss it. The obvious sign of school starting back up is the school bus! When you see them, put yourself in the bus driver’s shoes. You’re driving a huge, slow vehicle filled with 40 children. The noise is crazy, and the responsibility for getting them home is yours. Probably pretty stressful. So give them a break. And of course, be aware that it’s illegal to pass a stopped school bus from either direction on undivided roads.
  2. Trade your smartphone for smart walking. According to Safe Routes to Schools, a third of young pedestrian vehicle strikes can be attributed to kids darting out in the road. While there’s no available data about how many are looking at their phones, it’s safe to say that fewer distractions while walking are better.
  3. You’re in the zone. Be aware of school zones with reduced speed limits on your commute. If you need motivation, speeding fines in school zones are higher than tickets outside of school zones.
  4. Pool rules. If you’re driving your kids to school, nearly every school has carpool drop zones and rules designed to keep kids safe and traffic flowing. Try to find out what they are before you show up. If nothing else, you’ll avoid the wrath of angry parents.
  5. Stay alert! Kids are kind of unpredictable, and they’re comfortable in the areas around their school, and getting on their bus, so they’re not likely to be paying as close attention. Avoiding distractions is a good idea in general, but in school zones and around buses it’s especially important.

Keep these tips in mind, and give yourself a little more time to get where you’re going as school starts in your district, and everyone should get where they’re going safe and happy.