Archive for the ‘Getting The Most For Your Money’ Category

Car Maintenance: Most Important Auto Maintenance Items

Posted on: May 23rd, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

important car maintenanceIf you own a vehicle, you know that you have to keep it maintained. If you look at the service manual of your car, it seems like half the manual is a list of items they deem as important car maintenance. As your collision repair experts, we take a quick look at what are the most important car maintenance items you should do. And yes, every now and then you should do the main services.

Auto Maintenance Tip #1: Change the Oil

When it comes to important car maintenance items, changing the oil is the most critical. Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine. If you run out of oil, your engine will freeze and, well, you will probably need a new engine. At which point, you may as well get a new car.

Oil keeps all the parts in your engine rotating smoothly. But, over time, your oil gets dirty due to exhaust and gas, so it is not as effective. Plus, the heat from the engine breaks down the oil and it becomes thin over time. When thin, the parts in your engine begin to wear out.

As a result, you should change your oil every three months or 3,000 miles. But, in some cases, you can go 5,000 or even 10,000 between oil changes, especially with some newer vehicles. Regardless, you should check your manual and see what they recommend for your car.

Tip #2: Replace the Air Filter

The air filter keeps the air going into your engine clean. It removes dirt and other impurities that can damage your engine. But, it can get clogged over time. When it gets clogged, your engine will not be able to pull in as much air. As a result, you will not get as much horsepower or gas mileage. And, you can run the risk of your car simply stalling and dying.

Like oil changes, how frequently you change your air filter can vary. A lot depends on the number of miles you have driven and what the air conditions were when putting on those miles. That being said, you should consider changing your air filter every 7,000 or so miles.

Tip # 3: Check Brake Pads

You like stopping, right? So, you can imagine it is important to keep an eye on your brake pads and get them replaced when they wear. Pads can last a long time, or go quickly depending on how you drive. If you are an aggressive driver that rapidly accelerates and then slams on the brakes to stop, your pads will not last long. Also, if you are one of those that drives while riding the brake pedal, again your pads will go quickly. If you live where it is hilly, you will likely wear them down faster than normal.

So how do you know when to replace your pads. Most pads come with a metal tab inside them. As they wear, the metal tab becomes exposed to the rotor and creates a squealing sound. When you hear it, it is time to replace your pads. If you own a newer BMW or other high-end cars, many have an electronic warning that you will see on the dashboard.

Maintenance Tip #4: Check Tire Wear

Tires are a very important car maintenance item, after all, they are what keeps you on the road. But, these are often low on the list of maintenance items for a lot of people.  Most tires are rated for around 40,000 miles, but that can vary. Here in Colorado, they don’t last that long as our tires lose air pressure more rapidly due to altitude. Also, the heavier your car, your tires may wear faster. Regardless, you should rotate your tires a couple of times a year and ensure you get an alignment every year or so. This will help keep the wear a little more even on the tire.

Tires come with wear indicators in the tread. When your treads become even with the wear bar, then you will need to buy new tires. Every month, just check your tire wear, especially the outer and inner sections. Run your hand over them and see if the tread is even.

How to Use this Information

We hope this list will help you prioritize service maintenance for your car. When push comes to shove, you should ensure these items are the focus for your vehicle. But, every now and then, you will need to do a full service to check transmission, fuel injectors, belts, hoses as well as all the other fluids in your car. And, if you need any auto body repair work, we can help on that front. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Auto Service Clubs: Are They Worth It

Posted on: April 8th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

auto service clubs

A lot of people only think of auto service clubs as added roadside assistance. They are who you call when you need help with a flat tire, need your battery jumped, or a tow. And, while many auto service clubs offer those services to their members, there are other aspects to them you may want to consider. As your Aurora auto body repair experts, we take a look at these service clubs so you can better decide if they are worth it.

Consider your Warranty Coverage

If you simply want an auto service club on-call for those times you might need roadside assistance or just a jump, you might want to look at your car’s warranty coverage. If you purchased a new or used car through a dealer, sometimes they offer basic roadside assistance. If that is the case and all you are looking for is plain old roadside help, you may forgo membership in an auto club such as AAA or Good Sam. However, be aware that warranties may limit roadside assistance based on the age of the vehicle and mileage. And, when you have a flat in the middle of nowhere, it is not a good time to learn that the coverage you thought you had is no longer valid because your car has too many miles on it.

Auto Service Club Options

AAA – AAA is the most widely known auto service club. They do offer basic assistance for flat tires, jump starts, fuel delivery, lockout assist, towing and more. Their plans are based on the region, so rates can vary, but it is usually about $56 for basic, individual coverage.

Good Sam Roadside Assistance – Like AAA, they offer roadside assistance packages starting at around $59, but it is considered more comprehensive without some of the AAA limitations.

You may also want to check with your insurance company. AllState, for example, offers a lot of roadside assistance programs at a flat fee when you need them. There are also programs where you may not expect, such as with your mobile provider. Verizon does offer roadside assistance which is added to your monthly bill at $3 per month. Lastly, a lot of credit card companies provide similar roadside programs that you can enroll in.

Added Value Extras

AAA, without a doubt, offers you the most added value beyond just roadside assistance, especially if you travel a great deal. Many hotels have special discounted rates for AAA members. Some discounts include zoos, amusement parks, water parks and more. Also, here in Colorado, AAA members get discounts on lift tickets at Copper Mountain. Plus, you can get all sorts of trip planners, no-fee traveler’s checks, maps and more to help you with your travels.

AARP also provides roadside assistance and provides members a lot of added value that comes standard with AARP. So, if you are old enough, AARP is another valid option with discounts on lodging and even car rental.

How To Use This Information

Overall, if you feel like you would take advantage of more than just roadside assistance, joining a particular auto service club may be worth if for you. But, if you just want roadside assistance, you may simply want to look at your warranty or other services you already have, such as your mobile phone or credit card company. And, when it comes to actual auto body repair, we can help. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Extended Service Plans – Are They Worth It?

Posted on: March 22nd, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

extended service plansAuto Service Plans and Warranties

You have just purchased a new car, and before you know it, you are asked if you would like to buy an extended service plan. This plan, often, promises to pay for certain repairs or services on your car. But are extended service plans worth the extra money you will be paying? As your Aurora auto body shop, we take a look at what you should consider if you are thinking about an extended service plan.

Before agreeing to buy an extended service contract, you will want to consider several things:

  • Does it duplicate your existing warranty coverage?
  • What about added features coverage?
  • How long does it last?
  • Is there a deductible?
  • What repairs does it cover?

Duplicate Auto Warranty Coverage

Be warned that some extended service plans duplicate what is already covered by your car’s warranty. Before paying for a service contract, look at your warranty and compare it to the contract and see exactly what repairs are covered. If there is a great deal of crossover between the two, you could find that you are better off forgoing the extended service.

Added Feature Coverage

There are some extended coverage for vehicles that cover a lot of items that normal warranties do not. Most warranties cover items related to the basics of the car, such as engine and power train. But, many new cars carry a great deal of added electronics, such as memory settings for your automatic seats. If the motor drive for those seats go out, and they do, most warranties won’t cover the repair which can be thousands of dollars. But, some extended and added plans do cover such systems and can be worth the money.

Costs and Length of the Extended Service Plan

The cost of your service plan is sometimes dictated by your car’s make and model, as well as the length of the contract. Some initial contracts can range from hundreds of dollars to $1,000. In addition, there is sometimes a deductible you may have to pay every time your car is serviced or repaired.

Repairs Covered in Your Extended Coverage Plan

Very few contracts cover all repairs. Typical exclusions are:

  • Common “wear and tear“ such as brakes, struts, and shocks
  • Towing and rental car expenses
  • Alignments, tune-ups, and adjustments

If items are not listed in the extended service plan’s contract, assume it is not covered. Also, some coverages use depreciation in calculating coverage. As a result, they may only cover partial replacement costs depending on your vehicle’s mileage.

How to Use this Information

We hope this information helps if you are considering adding on an extended service plan when buying a car. The most important thing is to carefully examine your car’s warranty and compare it to the contract and what services are covered. You may find there is no need for the extended service plan given your warranty. One thing most contracts won’t cover is actual body damage. If you have need of collision repair, please call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Car Buying Tips for Dealing with Car Dealers

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

dealing with dealersWhen it comes to the car buying experience, few people enjoy the process. Those that do enjoy the process, probably enjoy a good root canal. So, how can you be assured you are getting the best price for your new car? Well, unless you come in with a suitcase full of cash and simply say, “I’ll take that one”, you are more than likely going to be in for a couple of hours of negotiation and dealing with the dealer. So, as your auto body repair team, we have put together some useful tips for dealing with car dealers which we hope will save you some money and make the process a little more bearable.

Car Buying Tip #1 – Beware of Advertised MSRP

Sometimes we go to a dealership thinking the advertised MSRP is the price on the car you want. However, the actual invoice price on the car may things like window tinting, sealant, dealer fees, etc. that are beyond the advertised MSRP or what was listed on their website. Or they have advertised the price with special rebates that you may not qualify for, such as a military discount. And, sometimes they may only have one car on the lot at the actual advertised price which may, or may not, be there when you get there.

Dealing with Car Dealers Tip #2 – Keep your Eye on the Actual Car Price

When it comes to negotiation, go in with what you are willing to pay for the car. Try to avoid negotiating based on what you are willing to pay per month, as that can open the door for a lot of back and forth shell games, especially if you are also attempting to trade-in your old vehicle. That is when dealers may adjust your trade-in offer and increase add-ons and extra fees. Or, they may give you what you want for your trade-in, but then mark up the selling price or extras and play with interest rates to ensure they are still getting the same dealer profit. At the end of the day, the dealer is looking to make a profit, as they do run a business. That is fine, but you need to keep an eye on the actual price of the car and make sure that is not being adjusted out of your favor.

Negotiating with Car Dealers Tip #3 – Negotiate Based on Dealer Cost, not MSRP

The invoice cost on the car is not the actual dealer cost. You will want to negotiate up from the dealer cost, versus down from the MSRP. Calculate the dealer cost and present an offer at three percent more than dealer cost. But, you may have to be willing to go up to five percent. This dealer cost is invoice price, minus factory to dealer incentive, minus factory holdbacks. Holdbacks are what dealers get from the factory after they sell the car. Some calculate holdback based on invoice price and others on MSRP. The holdback amount can vary from zero to three percent of invoice or MSRP.

Working with Car Dealers Tip #4 – Don’t Buy on Impulse

If you visit the dealership with the intention of buying that day, it can cost you more money, especially the longer you end up staying. You have to be willing to leave and comeback later. In fact, set a time limit for negotiation, perhaps at a half hour. If it goes longer you leave.

Buying a Car – Dealers Tip #5 – Eat Before You Go to the Dealer

Make sure you eat something and have a full stomach. If you are feeling hungry, sometimes it makes you distracted and willing to settle for an offer that costs you more money. Also, if you have a  headache or just not feeling well, it is probably best to just get up, leave and perhaps come back another day.

How to Use this Information

There are lots of little things you can do to ensure you get the best deal for a new car and ensure you are getting the most for your money. Also, realize that the dealer must make money, too, in the transaction. And, yes, the salesperson does depend on that commission. So, you need to be fair in what you are asking and do a little homework. We hope this information helps, and should your car get into an accident, we can help restore it to new. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

5 Ways to Improve Gas Mileage

Posted on: January 14th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

improve gas mileageIf you are like a lot of people, you are always looking for ways to save a little money here and there. And, when it comes to vehicles, the number one cost is gasoline. In fact, just putting gas in your car can be among the top monthly expenses in your personal budget, especially if you drive an SUV. Regardless of make or type of car, we put together some quick tips to help you improve gas mileage.

Better Gas Mileage Tip #1 – Obey the Speed Limit

While, this may not make you a lot of friends on the highway, keeping to the posted speed limit can help you save on gas.  Compared to going 15 mph over the speed limit, just driving at the speed limit can increase fuel efficiency by 14 percent. The fact is, fuel economy drops rapidly when driving over 60 mph. Consumer Reports found for an SUV, dropping its speed from 75 to 55 mph increased efficiency by 33 percent.

Improved Gas Mileage Tip #2 – Avoid Rapid Braking and Acceleration

Stomping rarely helps anyone, especially if you are looking to improve gas mileage. When it comes to accelerating and braking, avoid stomping on them. In fact, if you frequently accelerate or brake rapidly, your fuel efficiency can drop as much as 37 percent. Drive proactively and keep your eyes looking ahead so you can gradually slow down and speed up.

How to Improve MPG Tip #3 – Cut Down on Idling

When you are idling, you are not going anywhere. So, Consumer Reports found you can increase your fuel efficiency simply by turning off your engine when you are just sitting there and going nowhere. They suggest only doing this if you are going to be idling for 30 or more seconds.

Better Gas Mileage Tip #4 – Cruise Control

This tip only applies to flat surfaces, but Edmunds found that by using cruise control you can improve fuel efficiency by 14 percent. However, on hilly terrain, you will want to turn off cruise control as it can diminish your fuel economy.

Better MPG Tip #5 – Change your Air Filter

If your air filter gets clogged with dirt and debris, it makes it harder to deliver air into your engine. So, your engine must work harder and guzzle more fuel. Changing out your air filter with a new and clean one can help you increase fuel economy by 13 percent. But, it will gradually decrease as the air filter gets dirty. But, you should change it out every once or twice a year to help keep your fuel economy strong.

How to Use this Information

We hope these tips to improve gas mileage will put a little extra money in your pocket so you can save on gas. Like we said, it is one of the biggest items on your budget, right next to daily doses of coffee drinks at your favorite java joint. As always, if you have need of auto body repair, paintless dent repair, or more, call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Windshield Repair Options

Posted on: December 20th, 2016 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

windshield repair optionsTips and Options for Windshield Repairs

Well, it was bound to happen sometime. That semi on I-70 kicked up a piece of gravel which was then propelled into your windshield leaving that dreaded chip, right in your line of site. So, what are your windshield repair options? At Accurate Auto Body, we see a lot of broken windshields when it comes to auto collision repair. But, when it comes to your run-of-the-mill chips and windshield cracks, you do have repair options. The good news is, it only takes a little time to fix, or even replace a windshield. Even a full replacement can take place at your home or even at your workplace in the parking lot. So, let’s discuss your windshield repair options.

Windshield Chip Repair

A lot of chips from a rock can be repaired without replacing your entire windshield. But, you need to get the repair done quickly. Most auto glass repair shops can repair quarter-sized rock chips, but if it is larger you may need to replace the entire windshield. Once a chip occurs, it doesn’t take long for those little spider-like cracks to spread and obstruct your vision. Plus, those spreading cracks negatively impact the structural integrity of your windshield which can be extremely dangerous in the case of a collision.

If you are getting a chip repaired, be aware that sometimes facilities will not be able to repair it even if its quarter-sized. Usually, this is because the chip is directly in the field of view of the driver and the repair technique does cause some minor windshield distortion.

Windshield Replacement

If the chip is larger than a quarter and the crack is spreading, you will need to get your windshield replaced. Granted, there are some places that can fix cracks up to 12-inches if they are not in your field of view or touching the edge of the windshield. In fact, if the crack is crossing your field of view or if it connects once side of the windshield to the other, it is the law to have it replaced.

When considering a windshield replacement, be aware that all windshields and installers are not the same. Windshields are an integral part of your vehicle’s safety as they are part of the car’s structural integrity. When looking for an installer, make sure they are certified with an organization such as the Auto Glass Safety Council. Also, ensure they are using original manufacturer window glass for your car. Windshield replacement is not an area to cut corners just for the sake of savings. Your windshield is critical when maintaining safety as well as preventing rust and corrosion to the auto body frame. In most cases, insurance will cover your windshield replacement or at least a portion of it. And, depending on the installer, they can do it at your convenience and may even be able to come to you.

How to Use This Information

When you are considering windshield repair options, you do have several things to consider, but you do need to take care of it quickly. And, if you need a replacement, make sure you look at their certifications and ensure they are using the correct replacement glass for your vehicle. If you have a need for auto body repair, do keep us in mind. We have been proudly serving Denver for more than 25 years. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Get More for Your Car Trade-in: 4 Steps

Posted on: November 18th, 2016 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

get more for your trade-inYou may think that getting a good deal for your trade-in is impossible. But, remember the words of Luke Skywalker when confronted with destroying the Death Star. He said, “It is not impossible!” As your auto collision repair experts, we know how to help you get more for your trade-in. You can do well in transactions with your dealership, but you will need to do a little research. But a half-hour of good research will pay off in the long run.

Know Your Car’s Value

The biggest mistake people make is simply not knowing what their car is worth. You should be knowledgeable when it comes to making a transaction with the dealer. Pretend that you are a buyer and look up your vehicle and see what others in your area are asking for it. This will help give you an idea of what your local market will bear.

This information is easy to get. There are many resources like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com that you can use to determine your trade-in value. The information is free and only takes a few minutes to look up online.

Once you know your car’s value, be honest on its assessment and overall condition and mileage. Also, cleaning your car will help, so get it nice and shiny before driving it over to the dealer. A good cleaning may help you get the book value for the car, but don’t expect to get more than it is worth.

Understand the Dealer

It is up to the dealer to accept your trade-in, so it is important to understand their perspective in order to get more for your trade-in. One of the key dealer concerns is how quickly they believe they can sell your car to someone else. They will often do a walk around and examine the paint, see if any damage exists, and then do a test drive to see what repairs need to be made to get it up to retail value. If they determine it will cost too much to repair, they may opt for no trade.

Typically, for resale, a dealer looks to make between two and four percent on a transaction. So, you need to account for your car’s value and add in whatever it will cost to refurbish it. Then add in two to four percent and if you are within that window, you are likely getting a good deal.

Also, newer cars on trade-in can be problematic. If your trade-in is about the same as a new car, but they have incentives on the new one, it could be more expensive for the dealer to sell the used car. So, if you are trying to trade-in a used car that is only a year or two old, it is a good idea to compare your car’s value to the dealer’s inventory and their current incentives.

Separate New Car Transaction from Trade-in

As much as possible, do not let the value you get for trade-in effect the transaction for your new car. If you feel you want more for your trade-in than what they quote, the dealer may give you what you are looking for, but they may do so by boosting other variables to make up the difference.

One way to keep your trade negotiations separate from your financing negotiations is to get a loan from another bank or credit union. That way you are not dependent on the dealer for financing. But, you should know what the current auto loan rates are so you can make an informed decision.

Shop More Than One Dealer

Do not tie yourself to one dealer. You are not obligated to buy from the first dealership who offers you a trade-in. If you cannot agree on price and financing, walk away. And, if you have done your homework, you will know if walking away is, indeed, warranted.

Taking your car to a couple of places, while it seems like a hassle, will give you a great feel for the market. Also, depending on what cars are on the dealers’ lots, can impact the value they will give you for your trade-in. If one dealer has a car like yours, but they have been unable to sell it, they may not give you as much for it as another dealer who may have a lot full of other types of vehicles.

How to Use This Information

If you are in the market for a new car, we hope that these steps will help you get more for your trade-in. You can always sell privately, but that can be a hassle. And, if you are looking to trade-in, but need some new paint or would like to get some dents repaired, we can help and get your car looking like new. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

Denver Snow Tires: Do You Need Them?

Posted on: October 27th, 2016 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Snow Tires for Denver, ColoradoIt is that time of the year when we begin the great Denver snow tire debate. Many of you will be looking into whether or not to buy snow tires for your car. So, for those that are considering snow tires, your auto body repair team at Accurate Auto Body Shop in Aurora, Colorado wanted to help you understand what to consider when it comes to snow tires.

To Buy or Not to Buy Snow Tires in Denver

Living in Denver does present some challenges when considering snow tires. If you drive an all-wheel or 4-wheel drive vehicle that has good all-terrain tires, you may not need tires designed specifically for snow. But, if you have a smaller, two-wheel drive vehicle, you may want to consider buying some snow tires. But, it will largely depend on how and where you typically drive. For example, if you only drive about a half hour between home and work, you may not need them. But, if you find that you typically go up and down hills, even to and from work, you may want to consider some snow tires.

Things to Know about Snow Tires

All snow tires will provide a better grip on the snow and ice than your all season or all terrain tires. But, technology around snow tires, or winter performance tires, has changed over the years. For example, in the past, snow tires have been associated with clunky and noisy rides. While studded snow tires are still noisy, the best stud-less tires actually roll very quietly and comfortably.

Durability of snow tires has always been a bit of issue. Snow tires do tend to use softer rubber to create better gripping. As a result, they do wear out more rapidly than your traditional all-season or all-terrain tire. But, the best snow tires will last about 20,000 miles, which should be more than adequate for three winter seasons.

Lastly, many snow tire models do not carry a tread-ware warranty. But, some of the higher end models will have up to a five-year warranty against defects.

What Kind of Tires Should I Buy for Denver’s Snow?

As you know, if you are driving up to the mountains and you do not have an all-wheel or 4-wheel drive car, you are required to have snow tires or chains. But, if you are just driving around town and you want the extra grip for snow and ice, a good winter performance tire will likely suffice as we tend to have more dry wintery days. Winter performance tires are great snow tires for areas where you have the occasional need of driving through snow or over ice, but where heavy snow accumulations are not typical. Usually, these tires so also provide you a quiet and comfortable ride, even when driving in dry pavement.

Buy All Four Tires

If you are going to buy tires, buy all four. Some people think that if they only buy two for their drive axel that it will suffice. However, this can be very dangerous. When two wheels grip the road and the other two do not, you can easily pinwheel and lose control of the vehicle.

How to Use This Information

Again, here in Denver snow tires may not be an absolute necessity depending on your needs and how and where you plan on driving. But, they can be helpful and make you safer when driving on ice or snow packed roads in the winter. All snow tires are not the same, so do consider your options when weighing your needs. And, should you ever need our assistance when it comes to collision repairs, dents or paint, call us at 303-344-2212 or schedule an estimate appointment online.

Changing Your Own Oil: Is it Worth It?

Posted on: September 28th, 2016 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Is Changing Your Own Oil Worth it?

changing your own oilCommon wisdom suggests that the more do-it-yourself you can do, the more money you will save. That is true for a lot of things, including maintenance on your vehicle. For example, changing an air filter in your car is very easy – socket wrench and a $10 filter from your average big box store. Usually mechanics will charge about $30, so you save $20. Other things, like changing your own oil may not be as cut and dry as replacing your air filter. As your auto body repair experts at Accurate Auto Body, we take a look at the question: is it worth it to change your own oil?

If you watch videos on how to change your car’s oil, it can seem pretty easy. In fact, most experienced pros can change oil in about 20 minutes. But, there are many different factors that can steer you off course when it comes to changing your own oil, such as:

  • More upfront investment is required including an oil pan ($10+), vehicle jack stand ($30+), gloves, towel, and funnel.
  • Safety concerns as you can get burned or the car could fall on you if you don’t have it jacked correctly.
  • You could really mess things up which can lead to more costly repairs. For example, if you do not re-plug the engine correctly or if you do not get the oil filter properly attached. Another common error is not using the right level of oil. Any of these errors can be catastrophic to your vehicle’s engine.
  • It is messy, even for the pros. So clean up can take a bit of time, as well as ensuring you correctly dispose of the oil.

Are There Cost Savings When Changing Your Own Oil?

Let’s assume that you decide to go ahead and change your own oil. Our analysis found there is not a great deal of cost saving doing oil changes on your own (other than your own self-validation of a completing a DIY project).

Let’s assume your car uses 5 quarts of a full-synthetic oil. The cost for the oil and the filter is going to be about $34 (post-tax) from a place like Walmart. It could be more if you got to a regular auto parts store. Also, there are the up-front investments we noted such as an oil pan, car jack, and more.

Most good service shops and dealerships charge about $35 for an average 5-quart oil change. So, you may (if you are lucky), save $1. That means you will have to do many years of oil changes to just pay off the $10 oil pan you have to buy.

So, there you have it. One whole dollar! Is it worth your time, the mess and the potential for error? Since we live here in Denver, it is likely that a good oil-change outfit is conveniently located near your home, so it is probably worth it to have someone else handle your oil changes.

How to Use This Information

We hope this helps you think a little about your car’s maintenance. And, if you have need of any body repair – be it dent repair, hail repair, new paint, or collision repair – please give us a call. We will go out of our way to please you with our exclusive Focus on Your Service System™. Call us at 303-344-2212 or schedule your estimate appointment online.

Tips for Selling Car on Craigslist

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

selling car on craigslistThe following happens to a lot of us. You need to sell your car, but the dealer gives you a low bid. So, you decide to try and sell it yourself. And, today, one of the best ways to do that is via Craigslist. As your auto collision repair experts, we know a thing or two about selling cars and how to get most for your car on Craigslist. But, Craigslist can also be scary. We have had several reports of crime, including some here in the Denver area, where many Craigslist transactions have led to violent crime. So, here are the top tips for selling your car on Craigslist and keeping you safe while doing so.

Top Tips for Selling Your Car on Craigslist.com

Clean your Car – Give your car a good cleaning. Buyers are predisposed to pay more when your car is clean. Vacuum down in the cracks and be sure to get between the seats. Clean out the clutter and the trunk. Use an undiluted ammonia on the dash and cup holders and go ahead and spring for some new-car scent.

Post Pictures From a Sunny Day – Take your pictures on a sunny day with a nice green background, like trees with leaves on them. This will help your car standout from the clutter of regular photos taken on a vacant lot. Take a lot of pictures so the buyer can see all sides of the car as well as the interior. That way, the buyer can see everything and not have to wonder about the true condition of your car, especially if you are trying to get book value. And, in your ad, be sure to mention all features about the car such as engine size, rear A/C, last full service date, mileage, and fact you are original owner.

Use a Safe Spot to Meet the Buyer – Do not meet at your home as you do not want to disclose where you live. Find a location, during the day, that has other people around. And, pinpoint that location so that with Google Maps, the buyer can easily find where to meet as well as have easy driving directions. Taking these precautions keeps you safe, as well as makes the buyer feel at ease that you are meeting at a safe and neutral location – like a the parking lot of a coffee shop. Get some java and test drive!

Price Your Car Low – To attract buyers, say in your Craigslist ad that it is at a 20 percent discount to the Kelley Blue Book price. After all, Kelley Blue Book prices are high, and you do want to attract interest. Screen people by phone to eliminate car flippers and others who will waste your time. Only set up test drives with those that are interested in paying full price. But, again, don’t skimp on the details of any added features your car has and its overall condition. And, when you do schedule a test drive, have copies of your paperwork (title, etc.) and printout for Kelley Blue Book so they can see the bargain they are getting. Plus, you can share with them all the service records to make them feel more at ease.

Test Drive – This can be the scariest part of the selling process. After all, it is tough to just hand your keys over to someone. But, if you meet at safe location, you should be fine. Just act natural and be at ease. Go ahead and let them take the car for a quick spin without you. Again, that is a safety thing. But, before you do, ask to see their driver’s license and take a photo of it with your smartphone. And, for added safety, you can email that photo to a trusted friend. Also, ensure you remove anything from the car that may have your personal information and address on it. They can go around the block safely enough without that. And, if after the test drive, they are interested in buying your car go ahead and ask for deposit (perhaps $100) and arrange a date and time for the closing at the DMV.

Closing – You drive to the DMV, but make sure a friend can take you home. Bring with you the actual title, keys, and a screwdriver. Ensure the buyer brings their driver’s license, a cashier’s check made out to you (with stub so you can verify their account), proof of insurance, and personal check to cover sales tax and registration fees. And, if their insurance company needs the vehicle identification number, it was on the copy of the title you gave them after the test drive (if they paid the deposit). When all is done, immediately remove the license plates with the screwdriver, which you can do while the buyer is getting the temporary license from the DMV clerk.

How to Use This Information

We do hope, that if you are selling your car on Craigslist, these tips will help you get the most value for your vehicle and help keep you safe. The truth is, very few transactions have gone bad but taking precautions is always a good idea. And, if you do have need of auto body repair, whether it is new paint or just getting some dents out before you try and sell, we can get your car looking just like new. Call us at 303-344-2212 or reach out to us online.