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Automotive Resolutions for 2024: Enhancing Your Driving Experience in Iowa

As we roll into 2024, it's the perfect time for car owners and enthusiasts in Iowa to set new automotive resolutions. These goals not only improve your driving experience but also contribute to vehicle longevity, safety, and efficiency. Here are some resolutions to consider for the new year:

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Navigating the Future: Exploring Autonomous and Assisted Driving Features

In an era where technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, the automotive industry is not lagging behind. As we navigate these changes, understanding the potential of these features in used cars is important for anyone looking to embrace the future of driving. Below, we explore how these innovations are reshaping the way we think about used vehicles.

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The Evolution of Used Car Shopping: Comparing Online and In-Person Experiences

The way we buy used cars has evolved significantly, and as we step into 2024, potential buyers in Iowa are often caught in a dilemma: should they buy a used car online or stick to the traditional in-person dealership experience? Each method has its own set of advantages and considerations, so we’ve listed some tips to help you understand these options and ensure a smooth purchasing experience.

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Budgeting for Your Next Vehicle in the New Year: A Guide for Iowa's Used Car Buyers

As the new year approaches, many drivers in Iowa are considering upgrading their ride. Whether you're looking for more space for family road trips, better fuel efficiency, or just a change of pace, buying a used car can be a smart move both functionally and financially. However, navigating the financial aspects of purchasing a vehicle can be challenging, so we've compiled a step-by-step guide with tips on budgeting for your next vehicle.

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Driving in Snow: How to Stay Safe on Winter Roads

Before the first snow falls, make sure yourcar is ready for winter. This means checking your tire tread, ensuring yourbattery is in good shape, and topping off your antifreeze. Consider switchingto winter tires for better traction and have snow chains on hand if needed.Always keep an emergency kit in your car that includes blankets, a flashlight,a first-aid kit, and some non-perishable snacks.

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Year-End Car Buying Guide: Why It's the Best Time to Buy a Used Car in Iowa

As the year winds down and the holiday season kicks into full gear, you might be wondering if buying a used car is a smart choice on top of your already long to-do list. If you're in Iowa and considering a vehicle purchase, December might just be the perfect time for you! Let's dive into why shopping for a used car at the end of the year might be the right move.

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Top 10 Car-Related Gifts for the Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches in Iowa, it's time to think about the perfect gifts for the car enthusiasts in your life. Whether you're browsing at a local automotive store or shopping online, there are plenty of car-related gifts that can make any car lover's holiday special. Here are the top 10 car-related gift ideas that are sure to impress in Iowa.

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Beating the Cold: Winter Essentials for Every Iowa Used Car Owner

Ah, winter in Iowa – the season of snow-covered fields, chilly mornings, and, if you own a vehicle, a few extra driving precautions. Whether you've just driven off the lot of a used car dealership in Iowa or you've had your trusted ride for a few seasons, it's important to be prepared for the unique challenges of the winter season. Here's our ultimate list of things to keep in your car during the winter months to ensure a safe and smooth ride:

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Top Older Models for Iowan Families at Used Car Dealerships

When it comes to searching for a reliable used car, especially in a state with a diverse climate like Iowa, families need something trustworthy, safe, and efficient. The landscape of Iowa, with its snowy winters and warm summers, demands a vehicle that can stand up to the elements while offering comfort and utility. If you're exploring used car dealerships in Iowa, here are some top older models to consider for your family:

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Keeping Cozy: Cars with the Best Heated Features for Fall and Winter in Iowa

The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and there’s that undeniable scent of pumpkin spice everywhere. Yes, fall has arrived in Iowa, and winter isn't far behind. For many Iowans, the changing seasons mean it's time to search for a vehicle that can offer a bit more warmth on those chilly mornings. If you're in the market for a used car with some toasty amenities, you're in luck. There are a variety of used cars available with the best heated features to keep you cozy all season long.

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How to Sell Your Used Car in Iowa: A Comprehensive Guide for Private and Dealership Sales in Iowa

Selling your used car in the bustling Iowa market can seem like a daunting task. However, with a little preparation and knowledge, the process can be smooth and successful. Here's a step-by-step guide for selling your car in the Hawkeye State:

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Used Car Prices Fall 2023: What Does it Mean for Iowa Buyers?

If you're in the market for a used car this fall, you may be wondering what to expect for prices and availability, especially in Iowa. The used car market has been chaotic since the pandemic began, leaving many buyers frustrated across the country, including those frequenting Iowa used car dealerships. Will prices come down to earth anytime soon? Let's take a deep dive into the current state of the used market.

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Economical Urban Travel: The Best Used Cars for City Life

In the hustle and bustle of city life, finding the right used car for your daily commute can not only save you money on gas, but can also make driving on pothole-filled roads and parking in tight spaces a little more comfortable. Luckily, there are a variety of used car options that combine practicality, style, and exceptional gas mileage. In this article, we explore the world of fuel-efficient used cars tailored for the modern urbanite.

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How Tires Influence the Handling and Safety of Your Used Car

During your daily commute, It’s easy to forget how important your tires are for the comfort and safety of your drive. Whether you're navigating a sharp turn, cruising down the highway, or braking to avoid a sudden obstacle, the quality and condition of your tires play a crucial role in determining how your used car responds. In this article, we dive into the intricate relationship between tires, handling, and safety, explaining why the right tires can make all the difference in your driving experience.

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Setting Up Your Used Car for the Perfect Football Season Tailgate

Football season is upon us, and with it comes the time-honored tradition of tailgating. If you own a used car and think you're at a disadvantage compared to those with shiny new trucks and SUVs, think again! Here's a step-by-step guide to make your tailgate the talk of the parking lot.

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Autumn Auto Advice: Prepping Your Car for the Fall Season

As the final days of summer give way to refreshing fall weather, football games, pumpkin patches, and colorful autumn leaves are just around the corner. But as any seasoned Iowan will tell you, with the beauty of fall comes a fresh set of challenges for our trusty vehicles. Here are some tips to ensure your car is as ready for the season as you are:

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The Most Reliable Used Cars to Buy for Back to School

As the leaves start to change and the scent of freshly sharpened pencils fills the air, it's clear that the back-to-school season is upon us. Whether your college-bound teenager needs a reliable ride for the commute or you're considering a carpool-friendly upgrade, finding the right used car can be a challenge. To help you on your search, we've compiled a list of the most reliable used cars to ease your worries and fit the needs of your family’s busy schedule.

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How to Safely Transport Pets in Your Car: A Comprehensive Guide

Whether it's a quick trip to the pet store or an adventurous road trip across Iowa and beyond, taking our furry friends along for the ride can be a fun experience. However, ensuring their safety and comfort during travel is important for both you and your companion.  Below, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help make sure trips with your pets are both safe and enjoyable.

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Why the End of Summer is the Perfect Time to Buy a Used Car

As summer draws to a close and the back-to-school frenzy begins, you might not realize that this time of year presents a great opportunity for purchasing a used car. While many people use the end of summer to squeeze in one more trip or reflect on summertime memories with family and friends, smart car buyers know that it's also a great season to find the perfect pre-owned vehicle. Below, we'll explore why the end-of-summer period is the ideal time to buy a used car and how you can take advantage of this unique opportunity.

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Top 5 Car Tech Features You Can Find in Used Cars

Cars today have become more than just a mode of transportation. From the moment you slide behind the wheel, you're likely greeted with an array of digital displays and a variety of safety and technical features. The best part is that these technological wonders are not exclusive to new cars - you can find them in used cars too. Here are the top five tech features that you can find in many used cars:

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What to Look for in a Used Convertible Car

From feeling the wind in your hair to enjoying the freedom of open-air during the warm months in Iowa, convertibles offer a unique driving experience. However, when buying a used convertible, it's important to do thorough research and pay attention to specific factors to ensure you find a reliable and enjoyable vehicle. In this article, we'll guide you through the essential things to consider when looking for a used convertible car.

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How to Find a Trustworthy and Skilled Car Mechanic

Finding a trustworthy and skilled mechanic is essential for ensuring the longevity and reliability of your vehicle, especially when purchasing a used car that already has some wear and tear. However, the process of choosing the right shop can be intimidating. Whether you're facing a car repair or needing routine maintenance, our tips below can help you find a reliable mechanic.

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Vehicle Depreciation: How It Affects Used Car Pricing

When it comes to buying a car, there is more to consider than just the upfront cost. One important factor that affects a vehicle's overall value is depreciation, which refers to the decline in a car's worth as it ages and accumulates mileage. Understanding how vehicle depreciation impacts used car pricing is important for both buyers and sellers. In this article, we dive into the concept of vehicle depreciation, its causes, and its effects on the pricing of used cars.

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Understanding the Certification Process for Used Cars

Buying a used car can be an overwhelming process, filled with uncertainties about the vehicle's history and condition. However, understanding the certification process for used cars can help alleviate these concerns and provide peace of mind. Below, we'll explore the ins and outs of used car certifications, helping you understand what they mean and why they matter when making your next pre-owned vehicle purchase.

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The Pros and Cons of Buying a Hybrid Car

Hybrid cars have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact. However, as with any major purchase, it's important to weigh the pros and cons to make sure you’re making the best decision for your wants and needs.

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How to Keep Your Car Cool in the Summer Heat

Summertime in Iowa is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the warm weather, but summer temperatures can also make your car uncomfortably hot. Whether you're running errands around town or embarking on a long road trip, keeping your car cool is essential for your comfort, safety and longevity of your vehicle. Here are some tips for keeping your car cool in the summer heat:

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Family-Friendly Used Cars for Summer Adventures

Ah, summer—the season of warm sunshine, longer days, and endless opportunities for family fun and adventure. Whether you're embarking on a road trip or exploring Iowa’s local attractions, having a reliable car can help make your summer experiences a breeze. In this article, we'll explore the top features to look for in a family-friendly used car.

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How to Prepare Your Car for Summer Road Trips

Summer is the perfect time to pack your bags, hit the open road, and explore new destinations. But before you start planning your summer road trip, it's important to make sure that your car is prepared for the journey ahead. In this article, we'll discuss some tips for preparing your car for summer road trips so that you can enjoy a stress-free and safe adventure.

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The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Used Cars

Buying a used car can be a smart financial choice, but it's important to keep in mind that these vehicles may require more maintenance than brand new cars. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your used car running reliably and avoiding costly repairs down the line. Here are some reasons why regular maintenance is so important for used cars:

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The Environmental Benefits of Buying a Used Car

With the growing concern about climate change and the move towards sustainability, more and more people are looking for ways to minimize their impact on the planet. If you’re in the market for a new car but concerned about the impact it may have on the environment, a used car is a good option. While purchasing a brand new electric or hybrid car may be the most eco-friendly option, buying a used car can also have significant environmental benefits.

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The Top Car Accessories You Need for Your Commute

Whether you're driving to work or running errands around town, your car is likely an important part of your daily routine. However, a long commute or frequent trips can take a toll on both you and your vehicle. While commuting can be a hassle, with the right car accessories, you can make your drive more comfortable, convenient, and safe. Here are the top car accessories you need for your drive:

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Choosing the Best Car for Camping

Camping is a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some quality time in the great outdoors. However, when it comes to choosing the right vehicle for your camping trip, not all cars are created equal. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country adventure, having the right car can make all the difference. Below are important factors to consider when picking your next car for your camping excursions.

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Buying a New or Used Car: Leasing vs. Buying

When shopping for a new or used car, you may wonder whether it’s better to buy or lease. Buying offers more freedom and allows you to keep the vehicle for as long as desired, but it also comes with the risk of ownership. Leasing, on the other hand, offers less risk and more consistency, but also gives you less flexibility. Since each has their pros and cons, check out our tips below to learn whether leasing or buying may be the best option for you.

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Preparing Your Car for a Trade-In

Whether shopping for a new car or selling avehicle you no longer need, preparing your used car for a trade-in can helpensure you receive the best price. Check out our tips to make sure you come tothe dealership prepared.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Replacing Your Windshield

Owning a car can be great, but no one appreciates those surprise expenses. Although windshields can last for the life of the car, it only takes one rock or other flying object to cause a crack that necessitates replacement. If you’ve never had to replace your windshield before, check out some frequently asked questions so you know what to expect.

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Spring Cleaning: Detailing Your Car

As the warm days of spring arrive, it’s the perfect time to get your car ready for road trips and summertime adventures. Between rain, sleet, snow and salt from winter roads, our cars could use some cleaning up both inside and out. One option is to head to a local car wash, but if you’re looking to save money and don’t mind putting in some work, cleaning your car yourself is a great choice. Check out our suggested items for detailing your car as well as steps for a thorough cleaning.

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Making the Most of a Test Drive

When you’re shopping for a new car, always remember to do a test drive before purchasing. Not only does this let you get a feel for how the car drives, but it also gives you an idea of things like features, seat comfort, and vehicle size from the driver’s seat. Even if you feel already committed to a certain purchase, a test drive can save you from having to buy a new car in a year or two just because you overlooked important details.

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The Pros and Cons of Diesel Cars

When shopping for a new or used car, you may wonder whether you should purchase a diesel car or truck. Although diesel typically costs more than regular gasoline, diesel engines can offer a variety of benefits for certain drivers. Check out the pros and cons of diesel vehicles to make the best decision for your lifestyle.

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Spring Car Care Tips

As we leave the cold days of winter behind and approach the warm days of spring, it’s the perfect time to ensure your used car is in good shape while fixing any issues caused by slushy conditions and salty roads. Below are five suggestions for caring for your car this spring:

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Tips for Shopping for a Used Vehicle

Buying a used car can be a great way to get a reliable, long-lasting vehicle without spending full-price. Whether looking for a car just one or two years old or a car that has had some time on the road, it’s important to do your research before choosing your new-to-you car to make sure it’s a safe and financially smart investment.

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6 Money Saving Driving Tips

Life is expensive and most of us can benefit from saving money wherever we can. While cars can be costly with regular maintenance and keeping the tank full, there are a variety of ways you can improve fuel efficiency and save money in the long run.

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Electric Cars: Things to Consider Before Buying

The popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) has grown quickly over the past few years, with a 60% jump in EV registration within the first three months of 2022. As of April 2022, an estimated 9,400 electric and hybrid vehicles are registered in Iowa, according to the IDOT. While EVs have a variety of benefits such as reduced fuel and maintenance costs, they have some distinct differences from traditional vehicles and it’s important to do your homework before buying.

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Car Insurance on the Rise

Having a car gives us freedom to travel, but ownership comes with a variety of expenses. Car insurance can be particularly pricey, especially if you live in a heavily populated area of the country. The average cost of car insurance in Iowa is $1,260 for a full coverage policy, while the local average for minimum coverage is $252, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums. That breaks down to $105 and $21 per month, respectively.

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New Year, New Car: Simple Upgrades for Inside and Out

Whether you have a relatively new or an older model vehicle, we often wish our cars looked better or had more functional features. Since buying a new car isn’t always an option, there are many things you can do to improve the style and functionality of your current vehicle while staying within your budget.

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for Car Owners

A new year brings an opportunity to create new habits. Goals like going to the gym, eating healthier, and spending more time with friends and family are usually at the top of our lists, but our cars are too often left in the dust. We rely on our vehicles for safe transportation on a daily basis, so making our cars part of our new year’s resolutions can help ensure we drive easily through 2023.

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Car Market: What to Expect in 2023

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, the car market has gone through many ups and downs. According to Forbes, 2023 may be a year of improved stability, but not without some of its own challenges.

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Changes You May Notice in Your Car in the Winter

As the weather changes, so will your car. Take note of the following winter changes in your car.

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How to Get Tobacco Smell Out of Your Car

If you bought a used vehicle from a private party or a not so reputable dealer that has lingering tobacco odor, or if you are a smoker and plan to trade in your vehicle, removing the smoke smell can be a challenge. Here are some DIY methods you can use to remove that tobacco smell from your vehicle.

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Important Car Features for Snow Conditions

iSeeCars.com points out that not all cars are created equal when it comes to taking on all-weather driving conditions. Here is the car search engine's list of some important features that help improve a car’s performance in snow conditions:

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Tools to Help Plan Ahead for Your Holiday Road Trip

Families and friends will be traveling to celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday. The key to a successful and safe holiday road trip is planning. You need to know before you go that with the month of December comes winter weather and possible delays on many major routes.

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Beware of Flood-Damaged Cars from Recent Hurricane-Hit Areas

In the wake of devastating Hurricane Ian that hit Florida and South Carolina, car experts are warning used car buyers that cars damaged by strong flooding in these states could show up in auto auctions, used car dealerships and online ads. Many flood-damaged cars are often sold in Iowa and other states not impacted by flooding.

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The Good News: Used Cars Inching Down; the Bad News: Borrowers Could End Up Underwater

Used car prices have fallen for three straight months. Although they are still a long way from pre-pandemic prices, this could be good news for car buyers, but also bad news for car loan borrowers.

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Iowa Ranks 42nd in Number of Sports Cars on the Road

Sports cars with their flashy, sleek designs stand out in a crowd of vehicles along our roads and highways. Their high performance and strong horsepower make their owners' driving experience thrilling. They accelerate faster, offer a higher level of driving control on open and twisty roads, hold their value more than other vehicles over time, and they can be fun to drive. While many drivers dream of owning a sports car, it isn't a choice for everybody because they are expensive compared to normal vehicles and not practical for every driver, particularly those living in Iowa.

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Most Fuel-Efficient Used Cars for Under $10,000 and More

There's no question that high prices and rising interest rates have put used cars out of reach for many car shoppers. It's to the point that used car dealers have observed demand has slowed as many consumers are feeling the inflationary pinch of higher prices for fuel, food and other products so much that they have begun to prioritize needs over wants.

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Iowa Warming Up to EVs

Iowa is warming up to electric vehicles (EVs). The state is known for placing barriers to owning electric vehicles, including more fees, but that has not stopped growing EV interest from Iowa drivers.

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Proposed Rules by FTC Seek to Protect for New and Used Car Buyers

With the cost of new and used cars becoming unreachable for most consumers, navigating the sales process can be tricky and frustrating. The Federal Trade Commission has received more than 100,000 complaints in each of the past three years about shady dealership practices. New rules proposed by the FTC aimed may be coming.

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Are Used Cars Really Cheaper to Insure than New Cars?

Insurance is one of the major costs of owning a vehicle which car buyers should consider when buying a used car or a new car. So are used cars really cheaper to insure than new cars?

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Traffic Fatalities Continue Rising, Mostly Blamed on Cell Phone Use

Traffic fatalities are spiraling across the country. In the first quarter of this year, U.S. traffic deaths reached a high not seen since 2002. According to earlier estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during that period traffic fatalities increased 7% compared to the year prior. An estimated 9,560 motorists died in accidents in the first quarter. This rise in traffic deaths is continuing a trend from 2021, which saw traffic fatalities reach a 16-year high.

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How to Save for a New Car

Car shoppers are repeatedly checking the prices of new and used vehicles, and each time they get hit by sticker shock. In late August, Reuters reported auto industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive expect the average transaction prices of new cars for the month to reach a record $46,259, an 11.5 percent increase from the previous year. Automotive research firm Edmunds reported while the average price of a used vehicle has fallen for four months in a row to below $29,300 in July, prices are still extremely high.

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High Gas Prices Prompt More Car Shoppers to Consider Green Vehicles

Gas prices rising to record high levels have stirred car shoppers’ interest in green vehicles. These include hybrid, plug-in hybrid and more so electric vehicles (EVs). Last year Edmund reported an increase in traffic of online car shoppers searching for green vehicles. Results of a recent iSeeCars study shows demand for hybrid and electric vehicle is growing faster in central and rural areas than it is in densely populated coastal cities.

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The Number of Pickup Trucks Per State and Best Used Models to Buy

The popularity of pickup trucks has soared across the U.S. due to their versatility, capability and functionality. According to iSeeCars, last year pickup trucks accounted for 16.6 percent of all vehicles on the road. In fact, the top three most popular cars last year were pickup trucks, namely the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the Ram Pickup 1500.

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Inflation Impacting Car Insurance Rates

Inflation is affecting all aspects of life, from higher prices of food and other consumer products to basic necessities, like car ownership expenses. Yes, even with the availability of public transit, most Americans consider owning a car a necessity, particularly for Americans who have to commute to work and those living in rural areas. Since the pandemic, even those who used to use public transit have now turned to driving their own vehicle due to recurring Covid surges. Inflation is impacting all aspects of car ownership, from the cost of purchasing a new or used car, car loan payments, and paying for gas, car maintenance and insurance.

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What to Do When Car Loan Payments Top Rents in Some U.S. Cities

Reports from Bloomberg and other sources indicate prices of new cars are so high that car loan payments of some borrowers are equal or more than rent payments in some cities in the U.S. June data from  Edmunds reveals that a record share of new car shoppers have monthly payments topping $1,000 which, according to the Zumper National Rent Report is higher than the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 24 U.S. metro areas.

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Survey Finds Young Adults Prefer Used Cars for Affordability and Sustainability

Research finds millennials and Generation Z are more sustainability-orientated, even when it comes to money. From vintage clothing to retro furniture finds, thrifting is the shopping mode of choice for many in these age groups. It appears many Gen Z and millennial consumers feel the same about car buying, as they look for ways to lessen their impact on the environment.

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Surprisingly, Yellow and Orange Cars Retain Value

A car’s color can help or hurt its resale value, according to a new analysis by iSeeCars.com. After comparing prices of more than 650,000 recently sold three-year-old used cars, iSeeCars determined the average three-year vehicle depreciation rate by car color. Surprisingly, the study found bold colors like yellow and orange tend to hold their color best, while common colors like black and white depreciate at a rate close to average, which is 15%, or about a $6,096 difference from their manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).

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How to Save Money on Auto Loans With Interest Rates Rising

Used car shoppers looking to purchase vehicles today have to contend with rising prices, limited inventory and higher loan payments. According to Experian, the average monthly payment in the first quarter of 2022 for a used vehicle was $503.

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Car Scammers Are Getting More Creative

As car prices continue surging, con artists are getting creative with scamming unknowing buyers and car owners. Here are the latest scams reported by news broadcasts around the country:

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DIY Car Maintenance That Can Save You Money

With the cost of products and services rising due to inflation, used car owners are pressured on whether they should replace their car with a newer used model. If they choose to keep their vehicle, the older it gets the more problems they may encounter, and they would ultimately have to pay more for maintaining their car. Not all tasks need to be performed by a mechanic; in fact, there are many tasks that car owners can do on their own which can save them money.

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Keep These Fuel Saving Tips in Mind

Motorists are feeling the pain at the pump with all-time high gas prices. On June 24, 2022, Iowa’s average price for a gallon of gas was at $4.66. The state average was five cents higher than the same day in May and nearly $2 more than the average of $2.90 a gallon a year ago.

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Used Car Monthly Payments Expected to Climb to Record Highs in Q1

Car shoppers are digging deeper into their pocketbooks to finance their car purchases. According to Edmunds, the average monthly payment for used vehicles is expected to break a record, climbing to $538, compared to $524 in Q4 2021 and $432 in Q1 2021. In April, Edmunds said its data found the average amount financed for used vehicles would the first quarter of 2022 would climb to a record $30,830 compared to $23,958 in Q4 2021.

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Study Finds Iowa the State with the Best Driving Experience

What factors contribute to a positive driving experience? For most motorists, these would be safety, good road conditions, and accessibility to car repair and maintenance. WalletHub  compared all 50 states in the U.S. to see which states were the most driver-friendly, and Iowa took top honors overall for being the best state to drive in the country.

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Accident and Damage Info is Critical to Pricing of a Vehicle

As the price of used cars increase, so has their value. This is why it is important for used car shoppers to obtain a vehicle history report. This report will give car shoppers information about the vehicle they plan to purchase, particularly the accident history. The report also helps dealers price a vehicle accurately.

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Catalytic Converter Theft Rampant Across the Nation

The dramatic rise of catalytic converter thefts across the nation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Iowa and 34 other states to either consider or pass legislation to address the problem. According to National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), in 2018, there were 1,298 catalytic converter thefts reported. The number jumped to 14,433 in 2020. In December 2020 alone there were 2,347 thefts, roughly 16 percent of the yearly total.

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Flaws to Ignore and Avoid at All Costs When Buying a Used Car

Car shoppers realize the used vehicle they purchase will not be perfect. Knowing what issues to ignore and what issues to steer away from will enable you to balance cost and quality and help you decide on a vehicle that suits you and fits your budget.

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Iowa Road Trips to Take with One Tank of Gas

Many parents are concerned the high price of gas on the pump will prevent them from taking family road trips during upcoming holiday weekends and in the summer. Don’t let the cost of gas hamper your activities. There are many trips your family can take within the state of Iowa on just one tank of gas, depending on which part of the state you live.

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Iowa Used Car Prices Among Highest in the Country

Used car prices have risen an average of 30.4 percent across states over last year, according to iSeeCars.com’s latest used car price analysis of 1.8 million car sales in March. This is down from a 35 percent increase in February. Interestingly, iSeeCars’ pricing analysis found that used car price increases are not consistent across the country. Used cars in Iowa, for instance, ranked sixth highest in the country, averaging an increase of 32.6 percent from last year or a year-over-year price change of $8,891.

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Iowa Fares Better on the Pump Than Other States, But Summer Travel is Coming

AAA’s national average for a gallon of regular gasoline ended the month of April at $4.17, trending higher than the previous week’s price of $4.12. AAA officials say pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices hover above $100 per barrel. While supply remains tight and the market highly volatile, crude prices will likely continue to fluctuate, pushing gas prices higher.

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How to Calculate Gas Mileage

With gas prices rising, it is good to learn how to calculate your vehicle’s gas mileage. Knowing your car’s gas mileage can help you plan your route when you take a road trip and factor in time for rest stops, meals, and visits to attractions along the way.

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Check Out These Most Fuel-Efficient 5-Year-Old Vehicles

Used car shoppers have been hit not just by record high prices, but now, due to inflation and the Russia-Ukraine crisis, they have to factor in rising gas prices in their search for a used vehicle. This is a big reason for the popularity and high cost of fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles.

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No More Switching Clocks Could Impact Safety of Drivers

Last month, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving time permanent beginning 2023. If passed by the House and signed by President Biden, it means Americans will no longer need to switch clocks in the spring and the fall. While we would have more daylight hours to spend outside after work and school, there are downfalls which could impact the safety of drivers and the overall health of Americans.

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April is National Car Care Month

April is National Car Care Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of preparing your car for spring driving and summer road trips. The Car Care Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating motorists about the importance of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair, recognizes National Car Care Month twice a year, every April and October, to call attention to the importance of car care and preventive maintenance in the spring and in the fall.

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Used Car Prices Increase an Average of 36.9% Across the Country

iSeeCars.com has been monitoring used car prices as they have continued to rise. Already in November 2021, the car search engine reported used car prices increased an average 27.9 percent, or $6,939 year-over-year.According to the latest iSeeCars.com study of over 1.8 million used car sales in January 2022, just two months later, used car prices increased a whopping 36.9 percent, or $9,409, compared to the same month in the previous year.

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Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Electric Car

With elevated gas prices, more buyers are showing a growing interest in hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure battery electric vehicles. Tesla continues to dominate the EV market, but models by Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen and Volvo are gaining popularity. Experts forecast even stronger growth in the EV market in 2022, especially once EV pickups like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T enter the marketplace.

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Procedures to Follow When Selling a Used Car in Iowa

With the price of used cars still on the rise, you have decided to sell your used vehicle and believe you have negotiated a good price. What are the next steps you should follow? Not all states have the same procedures, so always check with your state Department of Transportation.

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What is the MSRP Sticker?

When shopping for a car, you will see the MSRP sticker on the car window. MSRP is short for manufacturer’s suggested retail price. MSRP is also referred to as the Monroney, the name of the U.S. senator who sponsored the law that requires auto manufacturers to disclose a vehicle's features and associated pricing, from model information, the vehicle’s standard equipment, warranty information, to optional equipment, parts content, and vehicle safety rating.

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Mixed Outlook for Used Car Prices

There has been much concern about the astronomic rise in used car prices due to high demand and the short supply of new cars. Consumers are wondering by how much will these prices continue to rise in 2022 and will their escalation ever end. Reliable sources forecast differing outlooks, some of which could bring a sigh of relief to consumers.

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Kid-friendly Car Features Provide Comfort and Entertainment on Long Trips

Cars today have many features providing comfort and entertainment for children. From tech entertainment gadgets and passenger seats that can be raised to a child’s height level so they can see out the window, to heated seats and separate climate controls, kid-friendly features whether standard or optional in vehicles are worth considering especially if your family often takes long rides.

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Used Car Prices and Increases Vary Among States

Used car prices are not moderating; in fact, they continue to climb every month. A recent iSeeCars analysis of over 1.9 million used car sales in November found used car prices increased an average of 27.9 percent, or $6,939, compared to the same period last year. This follows a 24.9 percent year-over-year increase in October.

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How to Navigate the Competitive Used Car Market in 2022

It is now 2022 and while the auto industry hoped to recover from the effects of the pandemic by now, it  hasn’t happened. Supplies of auto parts, including micro-chips, are not arriving fast enough; hence, the supply of new cars are about 64 percent less than the same time last year. Buyers should expect to pay full sticker price or higher for a new car. Used car prices have skyrocketed, too, with some used cars costing more than their original price tag.

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Car Loan Payments are Rising, Don’t Get Caught in the Frenzy

Used car loan amounts and consequently, the monthly payments of used car buyers have risen across all consumer credit levels, with near-prime borrowers seeing the biggest increase year-over-year, according to CarsDirect. Even more disturbing is a report by Consumer Reports that found there are prime credit borrowers getting subprime loans that are costing more than they should.

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Protect Your Car from Road Salt Damage

Winter can be messy business on Iowa roads because your vehicle has to deal with snow, ice, slush, mud, sand and road salt. Of all these elements that can damage your car, sand and road salt are the nastiest. While road salt helps melt the ice on the road in freezing temperatures and sand keeps the salt in place so you can drive your car safely, salt is naturally abrasive, so rust can quickly occur on any metal part of your car. This will cause damage to the body and engine of your vehicle.

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Taking a Holiday Road Trip with Your Dog

Many families will be traveling by car to visit relatives this holiday season and, in addition to parents and children, passengers will include their ever-loyal companion, Fido. If you plan to take your family dog on your holiday road trip, you will need to prepare and have the proper items to ensure it will be a fun adventure and enjoyable road trip for all.

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Decorating Your Car for the Holiday Season

Many families are getting excited for Christmas this year. So in addition to decorating your house and yard, why not step it up and add some holiday cheer to your car?

Before purchasing car decorations, here are some pointers to heed:

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Fewer Daylight Hours Can Be Risky for Drivers

The end of Daylight Saving Time means fewer hours of daylight, so drivers are going to have to spend more time on the road in the dark. Studies show the risk of accidents increases when driving in lower light conditions.

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Fun Facts You May Not Know About Cars

Greg Macke, a professional car buyer and consumer advocate shared a number of interesting car facts on the www.yourcarangel.comwebsite. Here are some of them and other fun car facts that might pique the interest of some car afficionados.

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Packing Your Car for a Thanksgiving Holiday Road Trip

Packing your vehicle for a Thanksgiving holiday trip can be an art and a science in itself, because often it not only means loading your vehicle with suitcases of clothes, snacks, and entertainment for the kids. After all, an Iowa Thanksgiving isn’t complete without bringing a favorite homemade casserole and a salad or side dish, or maybe a pie or other kind of dessert.

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Iowa Missing Out on Electric Vehicles

Iowa may be missing out as more drivers turn to electric vehicles. A Des Moines Register article states the Consumer Choice Center regards Iowa as one of the worst states in which to own or buy an electric vehicle because direct sale of electric motor vehicles by manufacturers is prohibited  by state law.

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It’s November! Time to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

The month of November is when you usually start getting your winter weather outfits ready. It’s also a good time to get your car prepped for the winter. Extreme winter temperatures and heavy snow are just around the corner, so it’s best to get your car in good working order now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.  

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Signs Your Tire Rim is Bent and Needs to Be Repaired

A bent wheel rim can cause a vehicle to function improperly. Many car owners do not realize a bent rim is a problem that can lead to greater problems if they go unattended. In fact, along with a flat tire and wheel alignment problems, a bent wheel rim is a common problem of many vehicles.

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Beware, Flood Damaged Cars Could Hit the Used Car Market

There are several thousand cars that were damaged by floods during recent torrential downpours and storms in the Northeast and Southeast, followed by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana. Reports are many that these cars may end up being re-sold without their damage disclosed to either a private seller or car dealer. Car experts are warning consumers that scammers see the situation as an opportunity to trick unknowing car buyers by selling them flood-damaged cars. This scam will be especially heightened since there is currently a short supply of used cars and their prices are already at an all-time high.

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Don't Take Your Spare Tire For Granted

There is a lot to learn about tires, and often ignored is learningabout your vehicle’s spare tire. Have you checked your spare tire lately? Somecar owners have not checked their spare tire at all. It is only when they get aflat tire that many drivers panic and wonder if they have a spare and if it isusable!

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Steps to Filing an Insurance Claim

No one ever wants to be in a position where they have to file a car insurance claim, but it can happen due to a major or even minor accident, theft, vandalism, or a natural disaster. A car insurance claim is a request you make to your car insurance company for coverage of repairs or loss. If your claim is approved, you will receive payment based on your car insurance policy’s terms.

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Used Car Price Increases Vary by State

The global microchip shortage has caused used car prices to skyrocket to over 30 percent between March and June of this year. This is the largest jump in used car prices since 1974, when in a period of three months used car prices jumped by 12 percent. According to  iSeeCars.com’s June used car pricing analysis of over 1.9 million used car sales in June, the overall average increase of used car prices was 32.7 percent or $7,583 compared to the previous year. This comes after a 26.4 percent year-over-year increase in May and a 16.8 percent year-over-year increase in April. The analysis also found the price can change depending on the state in which you purchase a used vehicle, so those willing to travel may get a better deal on a used vehicle in another state.

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Motorists Complain about Blinding Headlights

Pickup trucks and larger sports utility vehicles are flooding the streets in the U.S., and while drivers are enjoying these vehicles, other motorists are finding them annoying because bright nighttime glare from the headlights of these oncoming vehicles blinds them. Others complain the glare of their lights from their rearview mirror are disturbing. It appears lighting technology advances to improve nighttime driving has become too intense for drivers with cars that sit lower.

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How Long Can Tires Typically Last?

Car owners often ask how long their vehicle’s tires will last before they would have to replace them. A general consensus is tires should be inspected regularly. They for sure need to be replaced after 10 years even if they are not worn.

You can determine the age of your tires by looking at the code on the sidewall. The 4-digit number is the date code that identifies the age of the tire. The first two numbers indicate the week of the year it was made (out of 52 weeks per year), and the second two numbers represent the year.

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Be Smart About Used Car Loans

As COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted this year, demand for cars has soared, so have car prices and car loans. According to Experian, auto loan debt climbed to an all-time high of $1.35 trillion in 2020 and more car buyers are taking longer term loans for 73 and 84 months or six to seven years.

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How Long Should Major Car Components Last?

When purchasing a used car, it is important to know what issues to watch out for, especially if it is a high-mileage vehicle. While vehicles made in the last decade are built to last over the 100,000 milestone, owners of cars 10 years or older need to be diligent about maintaining their vehicle and cognizant about what problems to expect.

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Don’t Be a Victim of a Carjacking

Carjackings are on the rise across the country. Carjacking is more serious than car theft because it is a federal offense punishable with 15-25 years, depending on the gravity of the crime. If death occurs, a carjacker could be sentenced to life in prison or even receive the death penalty. In contrast to car theft, carjacking is frequently committed in the presence of the victim and usually involves physical violence or the threat of violence toward the victim.

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How to Test Drive a Car the Right Way

You have done your research and narrowed your selection to a particular car make and model. You are ready to test drive the car.

Test driving the car is the best way for you to see if it is the right vehicle for you.You will need your sense of sight, smell, touch and hearing to evaluate the vehicle’s performance, comfort and convenience. Bring a friend with you because it is good to have someone with an objective opinion and another set of eyes and ears to help identify issues. Have your friend sit in the backseat of the vehicle, so they can also give their opinion on how it feels to be a passenger.

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Strategies for Used Car Buyers and Sellers Amid Microchip Saga

In this period of rising used car prices, there are strategies both used car buyers and sellers can employ to get ahead of the competition. One way is to know the vehicles most affected by the chip shortage, which is the main reason for skyrocketing prices of both new and used vehicles.

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The Microchip: How It Has Caused Chaos for Consumers and the Auto Industry

Used car shoppers are suffering from sticker shock and dealers themselves are using words like “bizarre,” “crazy” and “wacky” to describe today’s used car market. They are astounded that used cars are selling more than they are normally worth.

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Places in Iowa Experiencing Surge in Auto Warranty Scams

There are so many scams these days that people must be vigilant when they receive a phone call from telemarketers or anyone seeking their personal information. These scams have become more prevalent during the pandemic, when most people were home and able to answer their phones. The Federal Communications Commission says auto warranty robocalls were the top call complaint filed by consumers in 2020, and the trend is continuing this year. In fact, according to Iowa Information, recently there has been a surge of auto warranty scams, particularly in northwest Iowa, the news site’s area of coverage.

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Thinking of selling your pickup?

The prices of used vehicles are just not letting up due to their low inventory and a lag in the production of new vehicles. If you own a pickup and have been thinking of selling it, now is your chance to sell it quickly. It may be the only time ever, according to some auto analysts.

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Longest-Lasting Cars Still on the Road with Over 200,000 Miles

While regular maintenance and good driving habits help increase the lifespan of a vehicle, there are cars, trucks and SUVs that have been proven to be reliable and reach 200,000 miles and over. From an analysis of over 11.8 million pre-owned cars sold in 2020, iSeeCars found a mix of vehicle types with 10 SUVs (including a hybrid), three pickup trucks, one sedan, one minivan, and one hybrid hatchback made the top 16 models, with each having at least over 2.5 percent of their vehicles reach 200,000 miles. The average for all vehicles reaching over 200,000 miles is just one percent. 

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Should I Keep My Car Longer or Trade It In for a Newer Model?

At one time the average person would keep their car or truck for 8.5 years. These days, the trend is to keep cars longer, extending ownership to 11.5 years, especially if the vehicle was manufactured after 2012, when better technology and safety features were mandated for all vehicles, with anti-braking systems and electronic stability controls to help drivers maintain control of the car when turning to avoid sliding and skidding.

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Millennials Expected to Lead Car Ownership Boom

Millennials (people born between 1981-1996) have been slower than other generations to embrace what are typically important stages of American life, from driving a car, marriage, purchasing a home and car, and starting a family. Compared to other generations, millennials were not as excited about cars. Only 44 percent of millennials obtained a driver license within 12 months of the minimum age, and 28 percent had not received a driver license by age 18. Instead, millennials embraced the sharing economy, preferring ride sharing, Lyft and Uber, bike sharing. This seems to have changed.

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Lemon Laws Vary and May Not Cover Your Used Car

A car that incessantly gives its owner problems is usually dubbed a “lemon.” There are many theories about how the term was coined, but regardless of its origin, buying a “lemon” certainly gives you a sour feeling.

Lemon laws protect buyers of cars that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality and performance. There are an estimated 150,000 cars each year that are lemons. Each state has its own version of the lemon law and vary on what is covered. Iowa’s lemon law is one that is often misunderstood because it does not apply to all used vehicles.

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Expect High Prices for Used Cars to Continue

News of a drop in COVID-19 cases, increased vaccinations, additional stimulus money in the hands of consumers are expected to boost the economy. According to Edmunds.com, automakers sold more than 3.9 million vehicles during January to March, causing U.S. auto sales to rise more than 11 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Several major companies reported March sales nearly doubled from the same month a year earlier. While this is good news for the industry, it may not be for consumers due to a wrinkle in the industry which analysts foresee will affect the price of used cars.

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Consumers Say They Enjoy Car Shopping, but Dislike the Buying Process

What do you enjoy most about buying a car? If you say you enjoy the shopping experience more, you’re among the majority of car buyers who feel the same way. CarEdge.com, an automotive research and vehicle listings marketplace, conducted a consumer sentiment study focusing on the vehicle shopping and buying process and found consumers looking to purchase a vehicle enjoy the shopping experience, but are not as happy with the traditional dealer purchasing process. In fact, they say it is one of their least favorite activities.

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What to Do When Your Used Car No Longer Works

You’ve had the beauty for many years, and it has served you well. You are now in a tough spot since it is an old model and worn. The car’s parts are failing, and it is to the point where you are spending more on repairs than the vehicle’s market value. There are several options you can consider.

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Luxury SUVs dominate used car market

Used cars were always popular, but what’s surprising is amid the pandemic, consumer preferences are turning toward used luxury cars. In fact, the fastest-selling used cars in February were luxury cars.

According to an iSeeCars analysis of more than 1.2 million new and used cars sold in February from model years 2016 to 2020, the average used car took 42 days to sell. The top 20 fastest-selling vehicles, including luxury SUVs, averaged just 31.2 days.

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How Do I Determine the Value of My Used Car?

The values of used cars have increased 15 percent compared to last year. If you are in the market to replace your used car or sell it outright, you will want to find out the value of the vehicle first.

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Time to Wake Up Your Car and Get It Ready for Spring

Spring is here! As more people are vaccinated and states and cities slowly relax pandemic restrictions, many a car owner will get the itch to go on a road trip. You may be ready for a trip, but you have to make sure that your car is ready, as well. The last thing you need is car trouble to spoil your trip.

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Most Satisfying Cars May Not Always Be the Most Reliable

According to a Consumer Reports survey of most satisfying brands of cars, Tesla topped the list, with 88 percent of its owners saying they would buy a car from the same brand again. Lincoln came in second with 79 percent of owners saying they would buy the same car again. Ram placed third with 76 percent owners happy with their pick.

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Is a Certified Pre-Owned Car Better than a Used Car?

At one time or another, a car shopper will ask, “Which is better, a certified pre-owned car or a regular used car? What’s the difference?”

A certified pre-owned (CPO) car is a gently used vehicle sold by a franchised car dealer of the same brand. They are vehicles that are typically well-maintained, collision free, low-mileage, that are only a few years old and pass a rigorous inspection process.

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How to Tell It’s Time for a New Car Battery

Have you ever had your car stall on the road, only to find out later that it stopped because your car’s battery died? It can be a frustrating experience that was totally preventable.

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How Long Can My Used Car Go Without an Oil Change

If you want your used car to last a long time, getting the car’s oil changed regularly is a must. You should abide by your auto manufacturer’s guidelines regarding intervals for an oil change, but intervals may change as your vehicle gets older.

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Getting Your Car Serviced During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent around the country. The CDC guidelines say the best way to stay safe from the virus is to stay home. However, there are times when we need to leave our house to go to the grocery, the bank, and yes, to get our car serviced.

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Confirm the Odometer Reading is Accurate When You Buy A Used Car

Since used cars have surged in popularity and price, the incidence of odometer tampering has also increased. Odometer fraud has become so rampant that the Iowa Department of Transportation has updated the rules for odometer disclosure statements in the sale of vehicles to align with federal changes starting with the new year.

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Best Pickup Trucks in Iowa for 2021

Pickup trucks continue to reign supreme in Iowa. According to Edmunds data collected on new vehicle registrations over the course of 2020, the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-Series and Ram 1500/2500/3500 were the three top-selling vehicles in Iowa. The GMC Sierra 1500 ranked fifth, coming next to Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover SUV. Edmunds ranked all four pickup trucks as the top four best large trucks for 2021. These trucks are also among the top-rated pickup trucks in quality in a survey of thousands of verified new truck owners conducted by J.D. Power Initial Quality Studyand many otherauto consumer sites.

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Winter Isn’t Over - Don’t Disregard Car Winter Maintenance

It may be February, but anyone who lives in Iowa knows the weather can change dramatically. One day temperatures can be a balmy 65 degrees and overnight they could dip to 35 degrees or lower and bring snow or ice. This dramatic shift in temperature alone can be hard on your car.

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Things to Know About Auto Insurance

Whether you are buying a used or new vehicle, you will certainly need some type of auto insurance coverage. Regulations regarding auto insurance, rates, and premiums, can vary for each state.

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Best Safe Used Cars for Teens

It is a new year, and you have a teenager who is excited about getting a driver’s license and their own car to drive, but you are understandably nervous since the crash rates for teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly four times those of drivers ages 20 and older per mile driven. To allay fears of parents, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports (CR) have teamed up to compile a joint list of recommended safe, reliable and affordable used vehicles for teen drivers. Prices are rounded to the nearest $100 and based on Kelley Blue Book average U.S. prices from July 1, 2020 for the lowest trim level and earliest applicable model year and range from a little over $5,000 and under $20,000.

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Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Vehicle

Every 40.9 seconds, a motor vehicle is stolen in the U.S. In areas like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids there are more cars, trucks and other vehicles stolen than in smaller towns. In fact, Iowa ranks 37th, with 4,687 motor vehicles stolen in 2018, according to a ValuePenguin analysis on “2021 Motor Vehicle Statistics”.
The most stolen cars in Iowa include the Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge Pickups, Honda Accord and Ford Taurus. Don’t let your car be one of them!
Unless you have comprehensive car insurance, which covers a stolen vehicle, having your car stolen can cause lots of grief in money and time. You’ll have to contact police immediately to file a stolen vehicle report and you must contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of your vehicle being stolen.

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Picks for Best Used Cars for 2021

It’s a new year and iSeeCars.com has come out with the best picks for used cars for 2021. The car search engine studied over 24 million cars and combined the results with crash test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Their scores on reliability and value retention were aggregated with their NHTSA average safety ratings for an overall final score of which 10 points was highest score and a highest safety rating average of 5.

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