1803 Brighton Pl Pittsburgh, PA 15212 412-315-7986

Seven Questions Do I Need A Used Car Warranty

     Do I need to get an extended warranty on a used car? There are two schools of thought on this. If you’re asking around family and friends about used car warranties you’re likely to get one of two different answers argued just as passionately as politics.  One will tell you that warranties are a scam. Another will tell you that anyone who doesn’t protect the large investment they just made would have to be crazy. Who’s right? When looking at the overall picture, it may be that they’re both right.

     Extended warranties are basically a type of insurance. The word insurance can confuse some people since most generally associate insurance with liability and collision. Your regular insurance that you’re required to purchase in order to drive legally covers damages that happen in the course of an accident or theft only. What about everything else? That’s on you, unless you’ve purchased an extended warranty. Warranty companies are businesses just like insurance companies. They are in the business to profit and if warranty contracts weren’t profitable for the company, the company would soon stop selling contracts. Warranty companies profit the same way other insurance companies profit. They are basically betting that you will pay for your contract but not use it. If you can figure out the way they “hedge” their bets, you can ensure that you are purchasing a contract for a vehicle that actually needs it.

     If you go into a dealership today, they will be able to price a warranty for you by only knowing the vehicle you want to purchase. Unlike insurance, who is driving the vehicle is irrelevant. That’s because they base their risk on the vehicle and its reliability. Purchasing an extended warranty for your newly purchased used vehicle is a smart choice in some situations and unnecessary in others. How do you know which situation you are in? Answer the following questions to find out if a warranty is a good idea.


Question 1 Did you spend the majority of your disposable income purchasing the used car?

If you spent most of your money just purchasing the vehicle, a warranty might be a good idea until you get your cash back up. When you just purchased the vehicle and are low on funds, a breakdown could be catastrophic financially. People left without disposable cash after purchase would have a more difficult time digging themselves out of a breakdown.

Question 2

Did you pay a significant amount for your vehicle?

If you purchased a more expensive vehicle, then spending a little more to protect a large investment is probably a good idea. Losing your investment on a $3,000 used car with a blown engine isn’t nearly as financially damaging as losing your investment on used car that you just spent $18,000 to purchase.


Question 3

Are you in a jam if your vehicle breaks down?

If you do experience a breakdown and need to get a car repaired yourself, do you have a way back and forth to work or for other important personal travel? If not, a warranty may be a good idea.


Question 4

Does your used car have a lower reliability rating than other models?

Warranty companies sell service contract to make profits. That’s what they’re supposed to do. By knowing how they calculate their own risk, you can get a better idea of whether or not you need the warranty.  Warranty companies separate vehicle makes and models into classes. Those classes are based on the reliability of the model. Less reliable brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Dodge and Chrysler will be in one class and that service plan will be more expensive. Brands known for reliability like Honda, Subaru or Toyota will be in the lowest or highest class respectively and be less expensive. A great way to figure out if you need a warranty is to look at what class your vehicle is to the warranty company you are about to purchase from. If the warranty is more expensive, and it’s in the warranty companies highest or lowest class, there’s probably a better chance of breakdown. Edmunds offers a great reliability rating tool on their site here.


Question 5

Is the vehicle you are purchasing an older car with higher miles?

Warranty companies also consider mileage and age. A newer vehicle with lower miles will be less to protect. This is obviously because lower mileage and newer vehicles are less likely to break down. If the vehicle you are purchasing has more miles than most or is older than most, it’s probably a good idea to get a warranty.


Question 6

Is your used car a luxury brand?

Luxury brands have more complicated problems and part and service cost exponentially more than other makes. It can be difficult for owners of some luxury brands to even find a shop that repairs them. They’re also more expensive warranties to purchase. If you don’t have a few thousand dollars laying around and are purchasing a luxury vehicle, it’s probably a good idea to get a warranty.


Question 7

Is peace of mind more important to you than saving money up front?

This is a question only you can answer. By forgoing an extended warranty, you are basically betting (just like the warranty companies) that your vehicle won’t break down or that it would be less expensive to simply fix it yourself. If you value piece of mind most, it’s probably a good idea to get a warranty.


     How did you do? If you answered two or more of these questions “yes”, it’s probably a good idea for you to purchase a warranty. Warranty companies are not out to scam people. They are out to make money. It’s similar to a health insurance company, or any insurance company for that matter. Insurance companies offset the cost of paying claims on sicker people by charging a higher premium and selling plans to healthier people. With vehicle extended service plans, they offset the cost of paying claims by charging higher premiums for vehicles more likely to break down and offering plans for those vehicles less likely to break down.

     Calculating your risk can help you determine if you need a warranty and how much you should pay for it. While there are people that pay for their warranty and never use it, there are also those who have been saved from financial catastrophe because they purchase a warranty at the time of sale. A bumper to bumper warranty may cost more but it will bring peace of mind that the money you just spent on a vehicle won’t go down the drain when a break down happens.



Content By: The Used Car Store

1803 Brighton Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15212



Top 10 Fuel Efficient Used SUVs

     Buyers in the 90’s drawn to roomier cabins, additional 3rd row seating and towing capacity exploded the Sport Utility Vehicle into the main stream to replace less attractive station wagon or family van. Buyers were looking for a more modern way to transport families and belongings. Auto makers welcomed the change in taste since they could reap much larger profits from an SUV as opposed to sedan. As SUV’s became more popular, auto makers focused manufacturing and engineering on the sport utility vehicles. As a result, SUV’s were made with the masses in mind and began to offer luxury features, higher safety standards and fuel efficiency. In the 90s fuel costs were much lower than they are today and over the years, automakers have been able to engineer SUVs that are more and more fuel efficient. Today’s SUVs can be produced with fuel efficiency similar to sedans. Consumers looking for a fuel efficient SUV have their pick of makes and models. Here is a list of the most fuel efficient used SUVs. All of the vehicles on our list were manufactured in 2011 or prior and fuel efficiency ratings are an average of the years highlighted.


#1 2001-2005 Toyota Rav4

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 25MPG CITY/ 31MPG HIGHWAY

Toyota debuted the Rav4 with excellent fuel economy for its segment. Even first and second generation Rav4s had impressive fuel economy that is equivalent to models being produced today. An unexpected category of buyers loved the Rav4… women. It was the top registered make or model for female drivers according to 2003-2004 registration data.  It was a perfect combination of car-like comfort with room for the family and all their stuff. Toyota’s reliability propelled the model to mass popularity.


#2 2001-2007 Ford Escape

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 25MPG CITY/ 28MPG HIGHWAY

Ford’s first generation Escape was released for the 2001 model year with another SUV owned by Ford, the Mazda Tribute. At the time, automakers mainly produced sport utility vehicles based on truck-like frames. Similar to other makers at the time, Ford and Mazda decided move away from truck based engineering for sport utilities in favor of smaller unibody car-like designs. By building their sport utility on a car like base, Ford was able to improve ride comfort and fuel efficiency. Buyers loved the design and Ford’s Escape became a staple in the blossoming sport utility market.


#3 2007-2011 Jeep Compass

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 24MPG CITY/ 29MPG HIGHWAY

The Compass was Jeep’s offering in the expanding crossover market. Jeep, normally known for its rugged luxury and off-road ability was looking to enter into the everyday driver market and targeted first-time SUV drivers that spent more time on the pavement. Its entry level crossover was built on the Chrysler MK’s platform and shared many attributes with the Dodge Caliber. The Compass was affordable, easy to drive and fuel efficient.


#4 2002-2007 Saturn Vue

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 23MPG CITY/ 29MPG HIGHWAY

Saturn first introduced its car-based compact SUV for the 2002 model year. The Vue was attractive to buyers for Saturn’s “no hassle” buying experience and low price. Throughout the first generation of production, Saturn continuously made improvements to the model. Buyers loved the dent-resistant body, cabin space, and the refined and powerful engine. With its redesign in 2008 the Vue actual lost fuel efficiency in favor of additional features and an engine change. The model was discontinued with the end of the maker in the US in 2009.


#5 2001-2007 Mazda Tribute

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 23MPG CITY/ 28MPG HIGHWAY

Mazda’s Tribute story is the same as its sister vehicle the Escape. Similar to the Escape, the Tribute was built for a more general audience of buyers. The main difference between the Tribute and Escape is the Tribute’s firmer suspension meant for a sportier ride.

#6 2001-2007 Toyota Highlander

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 22MPG CITY/ 27MPG HIGHWAY

Unlike its competitors like Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Toyota’s own 4Runner, the Highlander focused on on-road comfort. The Highlander’s design allowed for a sedan-like ride, roomy interior of a family van and ability of an SUV. Toyota soon offered the model in a highly popular 3rd row configuration that allowed seating capacity for seven. It performed well off-road and offered a smooth ride on pavement.


#7 2008-2011 Nissan Rogue

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 22MPG CITY/ 27MPG HIGHWAY

Like many on this list, Nissan’s Rogue attempts to combine four-wheel capability and driving position of an SUV with the handling and fuel efficiency of a sedan. It succeeded. The Rogue added bold styling, higher class materials and comfortable interiors that attracted luxury-type buyers. For Nissan, form and function were equally important.


#8 2008-2009 Hyundai Tucson

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 21MPG CITY/ 27MPG HIGHWAY

The first generation Hyundai Tucson first offered in 2006 came out of the gate ready to compete in the highly competitive SUV market. It was offered in the base GLS, the mid-line SE and the top-tier Limited which gave buyers plenty of options to choose from. The base model was well-equipped with air-conditioning, cruise, airbags, alloy wheels, multi-function CD player, and keyless remote entry to name a few. It presented an excellent value looking for an SUV experience in an everyday comfortable driver.


#9 2004-2010 Kia Sportage 2

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 21MPG CITY/ 26MPG HIGHWAY

While purists criticized Kia for moving the Sportage away from its first generation’s off road ability and moved toward a more comfortable and palatable ride, buyers loved noticeable quality improvements from the first generation models. It received a full facelift and more modern exterior design. Consumer Reports name the model one of the most reliable vehicles in their 2009 reliability survey and ranked second in least expensive vehicles to insure in the same year.


#10 2001-2006 Honda CR-V

EPA Fuel Economy Rating: 20MPG CITY/ 26MPG HIGHWAY

The third generation CR-V hit the market in 2006. It was more compact than previous versions. It’s powered by Honda’s K-Series 2.4L engine which versions of can also be found in Accord and Element. It’s size, ability, safety features and fuel efficiency launched the model into the ten best-selling vehicles of 2007. It has remained a staple of Honda’s lineup since its introduction.


     Sport Utility buyers want value the same characteristics that any other buyer values. Reliability, capability, value, ease and yes… fuel efficiency. Buyers don’t have to sacrifice fuel costs to get what they want. There are plenty of used SUVs on the market that were produced with main stream fuel efficiency in mind.



Content By: The Used Car Store

1803 Brighton Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15212



Online Car Loan Applications - How To Stay Safe

Online Car Loan Applications

     Technology has changed us. In an online world there's fewer and fewer reasons to leave your house. Almost anything can be handled online. People have access to goods and services that would have been unthinkable 15 years ago. You can order a pizza online and watch them make it, you can order obscure items handmade from villages in Indonesia. You can even have a doctor visit online via video conference and be prescribed medication that will be mailed to you (overnight we might add).

    There are limitless benefits to a connected society. There are also pitfalls. Scammers and thieves have advanced their techniques to be on par with the latest technology. Identity theft is a serious concern. While legitimate businesses using perfectly safe technology are trying to reach their customers, identity thieves are trying to intercept. While there's no 100% guaranteed way to avoid accidentally giving over your information to a scammer there are a few steps you can take to minimize your risk.

·   DO apply with “Brick and Mortar” Dealers… The easiest way for thieves to get your information is to direct you to a site that looks like a real business. It’s called Phishing and it’s a way to trick you into giving out your information. A real business has a real physical address that can be verified on Google or other business listing sites. Verify that the website you are about to submit your information to is the correct website on the dealer’s business listing.

·  DO make sure the application is SSL secure… SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and it protects information like social security numbers and identity information. Where a normal website page collects and sends information to the server in plain text, SSL security encrypts that data so even if there is a breach of the site, the data is unusable. How to you know you’re on an SSL secure site? Look at the address bar. SSL secure pages begin with “https” instead of “http.”

·   DON’T follow links from emails… Real dealers may send you emails. Especially if it’s a dealer you have purchased vehicles from before. You can follow a link from an email if you have ensured that the email belongs to the dealer you are intending to apply with but it’s always safer to simply Google the dealer and go to their page through search.

·   DO call the numbers listed on the site you want to apply… A simple phone call can clear up a lot. Does someone answer? Do you feel comfortable that the person you are talking to is really where they say they are?

     Car shopping today is much different than it was in the past and it’s smart to shop around for the best prices and rates. In today’s technological era you can do all of that from the comfort of your home. The majority of identity theft happens when consumers are redirected away from the page they are intending to visit. In the majority of cases, simply making sure you are shopping at a dealer with a physical location and are submitting your application through their actual site minimizes your risk. Real dealers want to protect your information as much as you do and they are required by law to do so.

      There’s no reason to miss out on shopping around online to find the best price for a used vehicle and the best rate for car loans. Online car loan applications are perfectly safe when you’re submitting them to actual dealers that are governed by state and federal law. Taking a few extra steps to protect yourself is simple and can prevent your information from getting into the wrong hands.


Content By:The Used Car Store

1803 Brighton Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15212




Considering “Value” Buying a New or Used Car

Pros and Cons of Buying a New Or Used Car

      New or Used? It’s the age old question. Deciding on whether to buy a new car or a used car is the very first decision a consumer makes when embarking on the car buying journey. Which one works for you will depend on your personal preference and financial situation. Its deciding what’s a value to you. Do you value status and the newest features or do you value a good deal more? In our humble opinion (and not biased whatsoever) buying a used car like one of these great used cars is by far the best idea, but in this blog we’ll discuss the benefits and pitfalls of both. Can you get an objective opinion from a used car dealer’s blog on buying new or used cars? We’re not sure but we’re going to try and find out!

Advantages of Buying a New Car

Hello!? It’s NEW! There’s nothing like a new car. It’s hot off the presses. It even smells new. It’s got all the newest gizmos and gadgets. It’s a status symbol. It screams success and stability.

Again, it’s NEW! The reliability of a new car can be an advantage. It is a new car with all new components. It doesn’t have the benefit of being road tested but it is likely covered by a fantastic manufacturer’s warranty. A new car is also protected by legislation like Lemon Laws.

It’s yours… New cars pretty much come made to order. Want a bare bones model with just the necessities to save a couple bucks? You can get it. Want every option? Something in between? No problem.

It’s easier… It’s easier to buy a new car. To buy a used car, you have to scour through classifieds to find what you want at the right price. You have to spend time going dealership to dealership and have the vehicle checked out prior to purchase. With a new car, you’re paying pretty much the same as everyone else and getting the same thing. Sure there’s discounts and dealer programs but there’s a retail price to gauge from. One brand new Altima has the same value as another with the same options. Two used Altimas can be the difference of 100,000 miles and who knows what else.

Advantages of Buying a Used Car

Choices? The choice to buy new or used may not even be a choice at all. If you don’t have good credit, a new car may not even be an option for you. And without excellent credit, you can cross off the no down payment and low interest rate in the “Pros” column…

And every well intentioned Uncle’s favorite advice… Depreciation… Depreciation is the most significant factor to weigh when deciding new or used. What’s depreciation? Depreciation is defined as “a reduction in the value of an asset with the passage of time.” To a new car buyer, depreciation means the vehicle you paid all that extra money for will lose value quickly and in the case of new cars that value loss is immediate. Trusted Choice has created an excellent infographic that clearly explains how new cars lose value. You can check it out here. You lose 11% of your new car’s value just driving off the lot. That’s 11%. Like eleven percent! The $20,000 you just spent to purchase that vehicle has just turned into $17,800 just by signing the papers and leaving the dealership. After one year, your car has depreciated 25% and is worth $15,000. After five years, your vehicle will have decreased in value by a whopping 63%. Your $20,000 investment is worth $8,000. There is no other investment that has worse returns. Any financial expert will tell you a new vehicle is the worst investment you can make. When you buy a used car, someone else took that depreciation hit and left your money in your pocket.

New or Used Car Quote

It's Used… How can being used be an advantage? Used cars are road tested. All of their parts and functions have been used and found to be in working condition, or else it wouldn’t still be on the road. While new cars are protected by manufacturers warranties and legislation like “Lemon Laws,” purchasing used will all but guarantee that you aren’t purchasing a vehicle with significant manufacturing complications.

Automotive Textile Fortification and Decontamination… or Air Freshener… With used cars, there’s no ridiculous add-ons. With new cars, you've agreed on a price and when you go to seal the deal and finally look at the invoice you see things like “Enamel Corrosion and Oxidation Impediment” for $800.00. What’s that? Rustproofing. Wouldn’t a new car already have been protected from rust? Of course it was.

Insurance Costs… Used cars cost less and so they cost less to insure. They are also less likely to be stolen helping to lower the cost to insure.

Better Options… When you buy used, the money saved can be used to upgrade your model. While the options aren’t custom like in a new car, you can afford to get more of them.

      The choice of buying a new or used car is decided entirely upon what a “value” is to you. Is it all about the cost? Or are you willing to pay more for the presumed life status a new car implies? Whichever you choose, considering all of your options and taking a little more time to weigh the costs and benefits will leave you more satisfied with your decision in the end.

Content By:The Used Car Store

1803 Brighton Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15212



How Important Is Mileage When Buying a Used Car

How Important Is Mileage Used Car Title

       Unbeknownst to the general public an unseen battle rages in the deep dark pits of the automotive expert industry about the weight mileage should have on the decision to purchase a vehicle. Even when experts are debating the mileage on a vehicle and the impact it should have on purchase they are not debating the way a regular consumer may think. “Good” miles on a vehicle is not a clear cut number like under 100,000. And the importance of mileage may not be what you think. Many consumers believe that a car is ending its life at 100,000 since burned in their memory is a time when cars were more likely to go after hitting the 100k mark. Vehicles made today a very different from 15 or even 10 years ago. Most agree that mileage is a factor in car buying but not the most important.

       First and foremost, when experts discuss mileage on a vehicle they are talking about mileage per year based on average use, not a simple under or over. The average vehicle owner drives between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year. Anything above the higher number is considered high-mileage. Anything under is considered a low mileage used car. For example, a used car with 50,000 miles sounds pretty good.. unless that car is 2 years old. A used car with a 150,000 might seem way over comfortable limits but if that vehicle is 15 years old, it has been driven at a much lower rate than other cars it’s age. Too high and the car is over-used, but too low can also indicate a potential problem. Has it been sitting? Why wasn’t it driven? The point is that mileage is a consideration when buying a used car.. Not the end all be all.

      More important than mileage is condition. A car well under normal usage could turn out to be a clunker if it wasn’t cared for properly. A well-maintained vehicle is the best shot at long life for the next owner. It’s impossible to know from the odometer if a vehicle with higher miles was mostly driven on the highway and well taken care of or a vehicle with lower miles was driven primarily in the city and left to its own devices for care. General condition is a much better predictor of vehicle life.

      You also have to consider that a vehicle with higher miles has been road tested. Something, whether it be manufacturing or maintenance got it to that point. And the higher mileage may indicate that it could have a lot of life still left.

      Cars today are expected to go to 200,000 or higher with good maintenance. The average aged vehicle on the road today is 11.5 years. And with the average use of 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, that puts the average odometer at 138,000 to 172,500. Technological advancements in vehicle manufacturing results in cars lasting longer. As cars last longer, 200,000 is the new 100,000.

       What does that mean for you? It means that mileage is an indicator that you’ve found the right vehicle but since you’re so smart you know that there’s a lot more that goes into choosing the right vehicle.

Content By:

The Used Car Store

1803 Brighton Place

Pittsburgh, PA 15212