How much will insurance pay for your totaled car? Ask and you shall receive!

Ok, let’s say you’ve had a car accident, thankfully no one was hurt! Oh, actually, your car is hurtin’ pretty bad and you think it might be totaled; sadly, this is often the case. Is it really totaled? Well let’s see, did the airbag deploy? Is there damage to more than one side of your car? Is it driveable? If one or more of these answers is ‘yes’, it is safe to say it’s totaled. Depending on your situation, this could be good or bad but either way you need to get educated. So how do insurance companies determine whether your car is a total loss?

 

  • 1. Damage is so severe that the car can’t be repaired safely.
  • 2. The cost of the repairs is more than the vehicle is worth.
  • 3. Vehicle damage is so severe that state regulations dictate that it must be considered a total loss car.

 

How Much?

If in fact, your car is totaled by insurance standards, how much cash can you expect to receive for it? First off, you need insurance to file a claim so if your insurance coverage has lapsed or your policy limits your claim amount, you may be stuck, but if that’s all good, file away! There is no gold standard for determining your car’s cash value once totaled (This may work in your favor). Though all insurance companies have a basic formula for reaching this number, there are simply too many variables involved for a simple online form approach. Here’s where the insurance company will focus their search but it’s almost always up for discussion in the end.

  • 1. Actual Cash Value is determined. That’s the resale price for your vehicle if it hadn’t been totaled. The insurance company will look at recent listings and sales for similar vehicles in your area.
  • 2. Pre-accident condition is considered. Your car’s mileage, options, trim level, and any pre-accident damage.
  • 3. Your deductible. The insurance deductible you choose for your insurance policy is held back from the payout amount for your claim.

 

Now that your detectable is satisfied, insurance is supposed to pay the estimated difference between your vehicle’s pre-accident appraised value and the deductible amount. The key word here is “Estimated” and whose estimation we’re talking about. Getting the highest insurance payout for your totaled car may take some haggling. Ask for the best price! Truth is most people just accept the first offer the insurance company throws at them without question. Remember this is a negotiable figure so here’s how to get your own rough estimate.

  1. 1. Find the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Value for your car in fair condition.
  2. 2. Work out 20 to 40 percent of the fair condition value, depending on how bad your total loss car’s condition is. It’s probably closer to the 20 percent mark.
  3. 3. Keep depreciation in mind, your car is losing value daily.

 

Diminished Values

What if your car just needs repairs? Be prepared; your car’s value may drop due to repairs after the accident, this is called diminished value. It’s perceived trade or sale value is less than same model vehicles that have never been involved in an accident. Repairing the car won’t recover this lost value. However, like your totaled value, this is a negotiable number. Prepare to pass on the first offer and knuckle up to get the best settlement possible. In some cases it may be necessary file a claim against the other driver. This can sometimes force the insurance company to up their offer to avoid expensive attorney’s fees. You may also offer the court an expert witness. A car dealer may be able to present “actual” diminished values that are higher and more acceptable than the insurance company’s.

You might be surprised at how much you can increase your car’s totaled or diminished value with a little insurance savvy. Need help? Ask Mike, text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ve helped my customers successfully negotiate as much as $2500.00 over their insurance company’s offer. I strongly advise you to stay in the fight when it comes to the final settlement. It’s totally worth it!

 

Source

carbrain.com. “How much insurance pays for totaled car” BLOG, etrailer.com, Web. 10, 25, 2018 Sourced from: https://carbrain.com/Blog/how-much-insurance-pays-for-totaled-car Accessed 4 Sept 2018

 

COUNTING CARS

Can one have too many cars? Well, as a used car dealer my knee jerk reaction is…, never! I mean I have around 20-30 at all times and seldom drive the same one two days in a row, it’s great! Ok, I get that I might possibly be a little tiny bit bias but still, is that something that people are concerned with? Should we be considering the risks of owning too many cars or is there even such a thing?

It’s easy to imagine that most people own 2, maybe 3 cars each, considering the variety of styles available, and the level of importance most Americans place on their automobiles. However, the peak amount of cars per household in 2006 was only about 2.05. That number correlates roughly with the economy’s highs and lows as you might expect and the recession of the late 2000’s created a bottomless pit decaying into 2010 bringing that number down to a little over 1.8. The lasting effects of this were pedestrians choosing public transportation and carpooling over driving, some ultimately relocating to cities where no personal transportation was even necessary. Some of you here in Hampton Roads may remember the “big move” to northern Virginia beginning around 2012. Also, generation Y (millennials) who as consumers showed much less interest in car ownership due to conservation concerns and affordability also helped drive the percentage of car owners down.

This all makes perfect sense and predictably, these numbers have rebounded with the economy’s upward climb. However, there are some noticeable behavioral changes in the average car buyer. Americans today have fewer light-duty vehicles, drive less, and are consuming less fuel. Hmmm, more car but less motoring over all tells me we’re onto something. We want our cars to last, we want comfort and convenience and saving money is higher than ever on our priority list. Once bitten twice shy? You could say that car enthusiasts today are justifiably more discriminating. The economy, fuel prices, and the negatives of consumption are great teachers. In addition to a greater economy, many of those Gen Y millennials are in their 30’s now. They’re getting older and at a stage in life where salaries are higher and guess what… kids are on the way! The percentage of car owning millennials has gone from 14 to over 29. The fact is we need transportation and though specific demographics are bound to hoof it and others will take trains and busses, the majority of Americans love their cars.  

So what do the studies say? The total number of cars per household falls naturally around 2, going up slightly as kids reach adulthood and prepare to leave the nest. What we also know is that heavier duty vehicles are more popular and that car owners are spending more responsibly using less fuel, and driving shorter distances. So how many cars are cool you ask? Well, look in your driveway… that’s about right 🙂

 

Sources:

Schmitz, Matt. “How many cars does the average American own?” CARS.COM CARS.com. 15 March 2017. Web. 8, 20,2018 https://www.cars.com/articles/how-many-cars-does-the-average-american-own-1420694459157/

 

Oh the places you will go!

Finally! The sun is out, and the road to Summer vacation is calling your name. It’s time for a brand new adventure. A weekend in the woods, a day at the beach, a cross-country road trip or just a trip to the store can be exciting with the right set of wheels. 

 

The Road is Calling Your Name

 

A weekend drive along the coast with the top down could be an epic experience in a sporty BMW Z-4 convertible or 427 Ford Mustang Convertible or the more adventurous 4dr Jeep Grand Cherokee with climbing power, just depends on your cargo! Your kids and your family dog may squeeze into your current mode of transportation, but if you’re serious about beaching it, you need more.

 

It’s no news that these cars are ideal for summer travel, highlights to seal the deal for die-hard DRIVERS.

 

*Four-wheel-drive jeeps provide total beach access to FUN!

*Going topless, there’s nothing quite like it in a Jeep OR Sports Car

*Only enough room for two in your sports car, this is a good thing!

*Jeep Cherokee offers the advantages of an ultimate adventure mobile with added luxury for long trips 

*Most jeeps have a reasonably low base price so a used Jeep Wrangler or even a Rubicon are feasible options!

*If you’ve never driven a convertible classic like the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro then call me, it’s an experience everyone should have 

*5-6 speed manual transmission puts you in control of every peak and valley

*Sunroof and T-tops are standard options, awesome for sunny days and starry nights

*Bose, Infinity, & Blauplunkt sound systems are the norm, a necessity for cruising

*Most handle athletically for speedy turns, yet have comfortable interiors for long trips

*All the luxury options that you want, AC and power everything are usually standard

 

A weekend jaunt to the woods with all your gear begs for a roomy Ford Explorer or if you need more cargo room AND four doors then this loaded 2012 Ford F-150 will do the job perfectly! A few hours in most cars are doable, but for a family excursion along the coast or to the mountains, your time at the wheel is much more of a consideration. Make it count from driveway to journey’s end.

Road hugging, sporty, and fast or off-road adventurous driving, these vehicles welcome the challenge. Two door coupes and convertibles or four door, four wheel drive SUVs and trucks, fun awaits!

 

Think About Which Car is Right for YOU

You may not always have the need for speed and adventure but when you do… nothing satisfies better than putting some distance between you and home. See TM Auto’s inventory

Wherever the journey takes you, make every mile a memory. Your journey begins and ends with transportation and your ride can make or break the experience. Buy your vehicle with your journey in mind and you’ll never regret it. Sure, we all have a need for our daily driver, a trusty shuttle is essential. However, traveling in these can be great or not so great, depending on where you’re going and who’s tagging along. When selecting your car, it’s smart to look at the bigger picture. Whether you’re planning a perfect family beach day or a weekend camping trip, how you get to the promised land is important. Having the right vehicle for the occasion is vital so the journey is as memorable as the destination itself.

Every family, big and small, has different needs. There are plenty of makes and models to go around and one to fit every lifestyle and budget. Whatever your adventure and whichever vehicle you prefer, let me help you get there!  Please browse my website and See TM Auto’s Inventory. Choose from a wide variety of used vehicles.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, I can find it for you! I’m always available to answer your questions, feel free to text or call (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love.

Spend Time, Not Money

Give the Gift of Memories

Who doesn’t love coming home to a tree full of presents? There’s a special kind of mystery inside carefully wrapped boxes with bows on top. The labels may say ‘from Santa’ but we’re pretty sure all those mythical elves living in the North Pole are actually mom, dad, your brother and your sister, your neighbors and your friends. Presents are great but what we love most at Christmas is the loving warmth and security of our family and friends.

This Christmas, instead of spending money, think about spending time. Without the pressure of searching for the extra special, perfect gift and stressing over how much money is too much or too little, the holidays can again become something to treasure and look forward to rather than just a strain on your brain and bank account.

There’s just as many options for how to spend your time as there are to spend cash on. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, consider a winter hike or ice skating or visiting a light display or a Christmas Town. Hampton Roads has plenty of trails throughout First Landing State Park for the hikers in the family. Glittering light displays that dazzle all ages can be found at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Christmas Towns are perfect for families with children! Nauticus in Norfolk puts on Charles Dickens’ Christmas Towne for the month of December, and Busch Gardens Christmas Town even has rides for the bigger kids (and adventurous adults).

If you’re a little bit more of a homebody or just prefer staying warm and cozy instead of braving the cold, there’s more than a few activities for you and your loved ones, too. Consider hosting some friendly competitions — best cookie, most elaborate gingerbread house, tackiest homemade sweater. Treat it like the Olympics with cookie medals! Adults will enjoy the competition, and kids will love the abundance of baked goods (and will have a blast decorating those homemade sweaters). Enjoy a memorable Christmas.

Years and years down the road, you’ll cherish that ridiculously tacky homemade sweater, the family hike and winning the golden gingerbread award at your own personal Winter Olympics? Memories are forever, enjoy this holiday season with the ones you love 🙂 Merry Christmas!

TM Auto Wholesalers

Happy Holidays ~ Mike Love and the entire Love Family!

 

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Travel In Comfort This Holiday Season

The autumn chill has settled and the leaves are changing, bright pops of reds and oranges along the highways. Holidays are just around the corner, and we can all look forward to spending time in our cars, whether it be a short trip to the grocery store for extra stuffing or a long drive to Grandma’s house. The journey is the destination, as they say, and it’s important to keep comfort in mind during these long hours in the car.

 

Of course, comfort means different things to different people. When you’re looking for a new vehicle, it’s important to keep your specific needs in mind. For example, if you’re headed across state lines with four kids and a dog in tow, your first concern is space and durability. Are you looking for an SUV or a minivan? Would you prefer easy to clean leather seats? Then again, if your family goes all out on decorations, you might consider something with room to store your lights, trees, and figurines, like a pickup truck. But what if you’re looking forward to a romantic holiday of two? Something smaller and sportier might suit your needs. You can keep costs down on your get-away by going for a fuel-efficient option, too.

With your specific needs in consideration, it’s time to narrow down what exactly you’re looking for in a car — and how much you can afford. Start by creating a checklist of features you prioritize in a vehicle and narrow down your options from there.

Some things to consider while creating this list might be:

  • Safety Features 
  • 4WD, All-Wheel Drive, 2WD
  • Wheel Base / Leg Room
  • Luxury / Comfort
  • Towing Capacity
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Price

 

Once you have your ‘Must Haves’ and a solid budget, it’s time to start looking at cars! Check out TM Auto’s inventory online, and feel free to call 757-560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and guide you through your next car purchase.  

Winter Maintenance Alert

Is Your Car Ready for Winter?

It’s easy to forget about the cold ahead when it’s still warm enough for a t-shirt, but winter is on its way. Your car navigates dry roads and warm weather just fine! However, can it handle a cold snap and black ice? Now is the time to prepare your vehicle for winter as engine performance and driveability can dramatically decline in cold weather.

As you go over your winter prep checklist, don’t forget to replace old, dirty filters, such as air, fuel, and PCV. A poorly running engine is less efficient and burns more gasoline. You should also go ahead and replace old windshield blades. If you’re particularly worried about the frost, rubber-clad or winter blades can fight ice buildup.

A few other things to check

 

Fluids

One of the best and easiest ways to winterize your car is to check your fluid levels. One of the most important things to double-check is your coolant. Ensure that there is the correct antifreeze/water mixture; fill it to the maximum line. You can pick up a tester at any auto parts store. Another important yet often overlooked fluid to check is your wiper fluid. You should get freeze-resistant wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean and ice-free. Remember to double-check your oil as well and replace it as needed.

Tires

On wet or frozen roads, low air pressure and worn down tires are particularly dangerous. Pick up a tire gauge at any auto parts store and try and keep your tire pressure between the recommended levels for your vehicle according to your manual (usually between 30 and 35 PSI). Check the tread depth quickly and easily using a penny! Place a penny between the treads on your tire, head side down. If the top of his head disappears, your tires are probably okay. However, if the entire head is visible then you may have to replace your tire, the tread is too shallow. You may also want to ask about getting your tires rotated to prevent uneven wear.

Batteries

Winter can be cruel to your battery. Not only does cold weather make your battery less likely to start your car, but it also reduces the battery capacity. As temperatures fall, it’s a good idea to inspect the battery as well as the cables, terminals, and fluid.

When checking over the battery, make sure that there are no cracks and that the terminals fit snugly. Check battery fluid by uncovering the refill hole. Refill with distilled water if the level is below the bottom of the cap. Some automotive stores like Advanced Auto will check your battery for free!

Emergency Kit

Important, but often overlooked, you should always have a safety kit in your car. Having a few safety items such as road flares, a jack, a lug wrench, and a first aid kit can save the day. If you don’t have one now, you should put one together soon! Once you have your basic kit, add these seasonal items to prepare for the cold:

 

  • Flashlight

  • Blanket, leather gloves, and hat

  • Bag of kitty litter/sand

  • Ice scraper/brush and small shovel

  • Leak-proof container of coolant

  • Snacks

 

By updating a few parts and keeping a strict maintenance schedule, you’ll be ready for winter and avoid costly breakdowns right before Christmas! However, if another winter is too much for your car to handle, let’s talk. TM Auto’s inventory is loaded! Take advantage of TM Auto’s Absolute Credit Approval on a used car, truck, van, or SUV.

 

Call (757)560-4552 and ask for Mike Love!

 

Turning Over A New Leaf

Start the New Year off right with confidence and a plan! Isn’t that what we say every year? Well this year I have a couple suggestions that may help you achieve these resolutions plus, peace of mind. Financial woes and poor credit scores are two of the most common causes of stress this time of year. Whether it’s challenging credit, no credit, or the need for more credit, finances affect our lives year after year. Tm Auto can help you establish or rebuild your credit this January and avoid “Tax Season” price gouging at the same time. By making stable, monthly payments on a large purchase such as a used car, truck, or SUV, you prove to creditors that you are a trustworthy spender. Every payment you make on time and in full raises your credit score; great news for just about anyone wishing to improve these crucial three numbers. Restoring your credit by purchasing a reliable automobile that would otherwise be out of reach just might be the plan you’re looking for! We offer “Absolute Credit Approval” regardless of your credit score so you can get started on that resolution right away!

You can also save on your used car between December and mid January! Due to suppliers capitalizing on profits as tax season approaches, car prices will go up at many dealerships after the first of the year. I’m able to offer some of my best deals up to January 15th. No gouging; just the most car for your money and a stress free car-buying experience.

            Establishing good credit starts by making regular, on-time payments but there is more to “turning over a new leaf” than this. Below are some suggestions that you may find helpful in the New Year.

  1.     Budget for a Credit Card – You’re checking account is in good standing and you regularly use your debit card, but have stayed away from credit out of a fear of going over your limit. There is no need to fear credit. If you budget correctly, a credit card becomes an easy way to boost your credit rating. It’s not much at first, but if the maximum payment is made every month, your credit rating will go up accordingly.
  2.     Always Pay on Time – Paying off the maximum balance on a credit card is great, but it means nothing if payments aren’t made on time. Payment history is the most important tool in establishing your credit score, and helps you establish yourself as a trustworthy buyer!
  3.     Keep a Low balance – Credit limits vary from card to card, and it can be tempting to use close to your monthly limit. As a rule of thumb however, you should only utilize 10-30% of your credit at any one time. It’s okay to go over this occasionally, but consistently going over this self-imposed limit can indicate financial irresponsibility.

TM Auto Wholesalers specializes in “The stress free car buying experience”. A purchase from our inventory can help you establish or repair your credit while saving you cash for holiday expenses! Feel free to contact me online at mike@tmautova.com, or by phone or text at 757-560-4252. Ask for Mike and start the New Year off right!

The Big Gift

THE BIG GIFT!

Is this the year? You know… for your teen’s BIG GIFT! That long awaited iconic symbol of freedom, sovereignty, and coolness. The singular most important possession that let’s everyone, everywhere know with absolute certainty, “I’m officially grown up.” This gift of all gifts represents the next chapter in your child’s life as well as your trust in them. It is the time-honored ticket to ride, their first car!

Like all astute parents and shoppers, you have questions… lots of questions. At the top of the list may be whether to buy new, used, or to pass down the family car. Well, rest assured that new, used, big or small, it’s going to be a hit. Your decision ultimately comes down to what makes the most sense.

The obvious choice is simply to pass down the family car. It’s often paid for and thoroughly road tested. When it comes to repairs and safety, nothing provides more peace of mind than knowing your car’s service record. It’s also likely to generate lower insurance premiums. There are plenty of good reasons to pass down the family car however; there are some “Not so good reasons” too. It’s a good idea to consider modern safety features such as side-curtain airbags, blind-spot indicators, backup cameras, and forward- and rear- collision alerts which are all good for new drivers. Passing down the family car makes sense as long as it’s safe and reliable.

New cars are also a strong consideration. The most up-to-date safety features and technology often come standard. Those with a good reliability record will need few or no repairs for at least the first three years of ownership. This means peace of mind, less headaches, and little or no maintenance costs. A new car is an easy sell as long as cost is not high on your list of concerns.  

Used cars are also a great choice. Affordable (not cheap) used automobiles are often the best way to go for teens and parents shopping for a starter vehicle. Buying the newest used car possible will likely get you the most up-to-date safety features available for your money. This is very important for novice drivers. By adding a few dollars for a good reliability record, you’ll have less repair costs and greater peace of mind. Check the CARFAX before buying to see it’s history. Small sedans and hatchbacks from mainstream brands, or even better, midsized sedans are great choices for fuel economy and lower insurance premiums.

This opportunity comes but once in a lifetime folks. Buy smart, enjoy the moment, and have a wonderful holiday! Find more articles on ASK MIKE’S blog here at www.tmautova.com and please share! Feel free to call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and assist you with purchasing your next car, truck, or SUV.