Used-car shopping, ‘exciting’ electric cars, GAP coverage, millennials

A used car won’t fit in a stocking or under a tree.

But that won’t stop several million Americans from purchasing them during the holidays.

Because many now have learned that, although dealerships will be super-crowded between now and the new year, it’s still a good time to shop for your next vehicle.

We’ll tell you why – and when – to shop, as well as whether you should consider GAP “insurance” coverage, which electric cars actually may be exciting to drive, and why millennials still want that in-person, car-shopping experience everyone thought they didn’t.

 

 

While RoadLoans, the direct-lending arm of Santander Consumer, offers a lot of great information on cars, car financing and related topics, here are some links to the best recent content on the SC blog:

 

The best time of year to shop for a used car?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – especially if you’re shopping for a used vehicle.

Now through New Year’s Day, car dealerships are geared up for seven of their top 10 shopping times of the year, according to iSeeCars.com.

The car research and shopping website analyzed more than 40 million used-car sales over several years in search of those times – and holidays – when dealers were selling under market value, and what they found may warm the hearts of used-car shoppers.

“The holidays are a great reason for [dealers] to pump up their promotions,” said Phong Ly of iSeeCars.com.

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Car buying experience still appeals to millennials

There’s something about getting your hands on the steering wheel of a new car that can’t be replaced. And it apparently doesn’t matter whether you’re a millennial – or an older shopper.

As millennials – people born between 1980 and 1994 – abandon most retail stores in droves, there remains a need to buy a car in person. In a recent survey, 62 percent of American millennials said they plan to buy their next car at a dealership rather than online.

As a millennial, Josh Myatt remembers buying his car at a dealership as vividly as his college graduation. Whether you are buying your first or tenth vehicle, visiting the dealership is a rare occurrence for most and still makes each car purchase a milestone event.

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What GAP coverage is and why you may want it

It’s a nightmare scenario.

A fictitious consumer we’ll call John purchased a new car about a year ago, say, for $22,757.

But, in this example, he didn’t purchase GAP coverage – guaranteed asset protection or “gap insurance” – although it was offered at the dealership and by his insurer. And, then, it happens: The car is declared a total loss after an accident, a natural disaster, vandalism or theft.

John’s auto insurance company says the value of the year-old vehicle is about $13,000 because of depreciation, roughly $4,000 less than he still owes.

That’s where GAP, or gap, coverage comes into play.

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Going ‘green’ doesn’t need to be boring

Five exciting, “fun to drive,” yet sensible cars.

All are finalists for the Green Car Journal 2018 Green Car of the Year Award.

The magazine and website calls the five vehicles – the Honda Accord and Clarity, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan LEAF and Toyota Camry – “models offering consumers varying ways to drive ‘green’ that fit their unique needs and sensibilities, and are readily available to the mass market.”

“This year’s Green Car of the Year finalists reflect the continuing evolution of the automobile and the drive toward ever-greater environmental compatibility,” said Ron Cogan of Green Car Journal.

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