The Great Wide Open!

Vehicles for camping and beachWhen I say camping, we all get a different visual. Some folks see rocky trails that their 4×4 must carefully navigate to reach a lone peak at the top of a mountain where no human in their right mind would attempt to set up a tent… and they love it! My version is backing up to our camper, plugging in the life support, filling up the truck with diesel, and hitting the open road in search of an exciting man made forest with all the amenities that my family and I could possibly imagine! Any way you see it, camping or just leaving to go anywhere on an adventure is fun! Something about leaving the convenience of our homes and day-to-day routines that makes us all feel alive.

 

Whether you’re experiencing your first trip to “The Great Wide Open” or you’re an old pro with a sticker from every park, beach, and campground in the country, we all can agree on one thing; our vehicle plays a significant role in the quality of our journey. I still remember packing three days of supplies into our two door Toyota and feeling like a legit explorer! The fact is, no matter where you are on the “Stuff” scale, you’re going places come Hell or high water and you’re going to fit it all in. It’s also pretty likely that the longer you take trips the more your choice of vehicles will adapt to how you prefer to travel.

 

 

For example:

Pre-kids = 2 door compact car or pickup / AC optional / Comfort optional.

With-kids = 4 door 4×4 SUV / DVD Players / AC / Power Everything / Comfort Package.

Post-Kids = 40 ft mega RV fully loaded with 3 bedrooms and no room for kids!  

You get the picture 🙂

Bottom line is that wherever and whenever you travel you need a people mover that has enough room for your current collection of toys, supplies, and “stuff” that is reliable, comfortable, equipped for your level of adventure, economical, affordable, and available! 

So what makes the difference when it comes to your ride? It can be as simple as letting in the sun…. A convertible like this 2007 Ford Mustang can turn a day trip to the beach into a favorite summer memory. Even camping, on a small scale of course, is cool when you can see the trees and moon at night! Not to mention it’s really fun to drive.

For transporting an army, consider the cargo space and power of this 2003 Ford Excursion. It’s the final solution for getting the family comfortably to any camping or beach destination.

If something in the middle works better for you then checkout one of my Grand Cherokees like this 2012 Overland 4×4 with sunroof, cooled seats, backup camera, cruise, the works!

Finding the right car for you and your adventures is important! Yes, it matters what you drive…

 

Have a car in mind that you don’t see in the TM Auto Inventory? Call or text (757) 560-4252 and ask for Mike Love, I can find it for you! Pick a destination, load up, and make summer fun!

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.

Easy Financing

How to Get It

Buying a used car can be daunting. First, you have to find a car that suits all your needs and is safe, and reliable. Now comes the fun part, paying for your new car. If you’re like most people, you’ll be applying for a car loan. When you get a loan, you borrow money from a lender and pay them back over time, with interest. The amount you actually borrow is the loan principal or financed balance, plus interest. The interest rate, presented as an annual rate, is the percentage you pay back in addition to the loan principal.

How do car loans work?

Most people think that when you get a loan to buy a car the finance company lends you the money and the car is yours. In reality, however, the lender actually owns the car, and they’re just letting you drive it while you’re paying off the loan. You don’t get the title to the car until you make your final loan payment. This is why if you don’t make your payments, the lender can repossess the car and if the car is destroyed or stolen during the term of the loan, you’ll still have to pay back the loan. This is also why lenders require you to carry insurance on the car where they’re named as the lien holder. If you fail to provide proof of insurance to the lender, they will purchase insurance on your vehicle to protect their investment. Letting that happen isn’t ideal, however, as the insurance is pricey and only protects the lender, not you.

Different loans have different loan terms, or how long you have to pay the lender back. For example, if you sign up for a five-year term, you’ll pay the money back, and then own the car free and clear, after 60 months. Loans are paid back in monthly installments, and most financial institutions can set up automatic payments to ensure that an installment is not late or forgotten. Lately longer and longer loan terms have been offered to customers; some lenders even offer eight-year car loans. While such long terms can mean lower monthly payments, they can also create situations in which you owe a lot more than the car is worth. The typical auto loan for a used car is much less, than for a new car — an average of $19,329 for used cars and $30,621 for new ones.

How does your credit score affect interest rates?

No loan is the same; some people pay more interest, and some pay less. The interest rate is based on a number of factors, one of which is your credit score. Sometimes called a FICO score, though FICO is only one credit scoring method used by lenders, your credit score can be anywhere from 300 to 850. Credit scores are determined by credit bureaus based on how much debt you have, how many open accounts you have, how much credit you have been offered, whether or not your bills have been paid on time, and the length of time you’ve been using credit.

Your lender will use information from your application and credit report to determine your debt-to-income ratio, and your credit score predicts how able and likely you are to pay back the loan. If you have a lower score, lenders will assume that you’re at high risk for not paying the loan back will charge you a higher interest rate and may only extend a loan offer with a shorter term. A more substantial down payment might also be required from customers with lower scores. It’s important to know your credit score before you apply for a car loan and do your best to make sure it’s as high as it can be.

You’re entitled to free credit reports from the major credit bureaus, but you may have to pay a little extra to get your actual score. There are a few ways to improve your score if it isn’t as high as you’d prefer, like paying off old bills and paying all bills on time for 6-9 months. If you don’t have any credit card debt, closing unused cards can help raise the score. If you do have card balances, closing cards can actually hurt your credit by raising your percentage of credit utilized. You’ll also want to double check your full credit report to ensure its accuracy. For example, say someone stole your identity and opened a credit card in your name. This could affect your ability to get a car loan, or the terms of any loan offered. You need to report the fraudulent activity right away so any errors can be corrected before you apply for auto financing. Dealing with the credit bureaus takes time, so checking your score before applying for a loan is vital.

If you have a high credit score, 760 or above, you’re considered a prime loan applicant. This means you can be approved for interest rates as low as 2 or 3%. Those with lower scores are considered a riskier investment for lenders, meaning higher interest rates. Individuals in this ‘subprime’ category (a score of 580 or below) can end up paying auto loan rates that are 5 or 10 times higher than what prime consumers receive. Most people who get auto loans have a credit score around 706 and should expect to pay rates close to the 4.21% mean.

What other factors affect your loans and interest rates?

Auto loan interest rates also depend on the type of institution lending money, so choosing the right lender means lower rates. Large banks are the leading lenders for auto loans, but credit unions tend to provide customers with the lowest APRs.

The national average for auto loan interest rates in America last year was 4.21% on 60 month loans. For individual consumers, however, rates vary based on credit score, term length of the loan, age of the car being financed, which institution provided the loan, and other factors relevant to a lender’s risk in offering a loan. On the whole, the annual percentage rate (APR) for auto loans ranges from 3% to 10%.

However, the highest allowed APR varies widely among banks, with top rates ranging from as low as 6% to as high as 25%. Banks who provide higher rate loans will generally accept applicants with worse credit, while others won’t offer loans to applicants with scores below the mid-600s. Most large banks have eligibility requirements for loans, including a mileage and age maximum for cars and a dollar minimum for loans. TM Auto can provide buyers with good credit a financing interest rate as low as 2.3% (conditions/restrictions apply) on cars up to 5 years old, even if they’re out of warranty.

As mentioned previously, credit unions tend to extend loans at lower interest rates than banks. They also have more flexible payment schedules, and require lower loan minimums — or none at all, in some cases. However, credit unions tend to offer loans exclusively to their membership, which is often restricted to certain locations, professions, or social associations.

How credit unions help!

Credit unions are member-owned and operated, controlled via a volunteer board of directors, elected by the membership. The board establishes and assesses policy, sets dividend and loan rates, and may hire a management team to run the credit union. This kind of structure means that members have a safe, convenient place to save and borrow at reasonable rates from an institution whose goal is to help them, not to make a profit of of them.

Anyone who uses credit union services is also a partial owner has the right to vote on important issues, like  the election of member representatives to the board of directors. Most other financial institutions, on the other hand, are owned by stockholders after a profit. Credit unions can charge lower rates for loans — including your car loan — and pay higher dividends on savings because they’re not-for-profit. Profits aren’t paid to stockholders, but rather are returned to members as dividends or improved services.

For example, the NAE Federal Credit Union in Hampton Roads is a cooperative, not-for-profit institution built to promote frugality and provide credit to members. It also provides special low rates for those financing with TM Auto and those also willing to move their account to an NAE bank. NAE Federal Credit Union is community chartered and accepts people living and conducting business within an area covering Hampton Roads, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, and York Counties in Virginia and Currituck and Gates Counties in North Carolina.

Members can also look forward to low rate credit cards with no annual fees, membership discounts, low rate loans, federal insurance by the NCUE, and convenient hours in addition to low rates for those financing with TM Auto Wholesalers. Even more benefits of being an NAE Federal Credit Union Member include:

  •         Free Voice Response
  •         Free Online Banking
  •         Free Draft Accounts
  •         Free Debit Transactions and Card
  •         Free Bill Pay
  •         Free Payroll Deduction
  •         Free ATM transactions at our locations

 

Getting financed can be easy if you know where to go! Have questions about getting financed through TM Auto Wholesalers? Call (757) 560-4552 and ask for Mike Love. Feel free to browse TM Auto’s inventory; your car, truck or SUV may be just a phone call away!   

 

Sources:

Heaps, Russ. “5 car loan mistakes that cost you money”. Bankrate. Bankrate, LLC. 8 July 2015. Web. 24 Jan 2018. https://www.bankrate.com/loans/auto-loans/5-car-loan-mistakes-that-cost-you-money/

N.a. “Average Auto Loan Interest Rates: 2017 Facts & Figures”. ValuePenguin. ValuePenguin. N.d. Web. 23 Jan 2018.  https://www.valuepenguin.com/auto-loans/average-auto-loan-interest-rates

N.a. “FAQ”. NAE. NAE. n.d. http://www.naefcu.org/hampton-roads-credit-union/faq/

U.S. News Staff. “How to Finance a Car and Get a Car Loan”. US News & World Report. US News & World Report. 6 Oct 2016. Web. 23 Jan 2018. https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/how-to-finance-a-car

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!

 

The Best Vehicles for Traveling

The Journey Is the Destination

It’s Summer! The kids are home, the sun is out, and the open road is calling your name. Every day is an opportunity 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, any trip can be exciting with the right set of wheels. 

 

How will YOU get there?

TM Auto best vehicles for taveling

 

A weekend drive along the coast with the windows down could be an epic experience in a sporty Mazda RX-8 or maybe a 4dr Jeep Wrangler with no windows at all, 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 the Jeep Wrangler is ideal for summer travel, highlights to seal the deal for die-hard beach lovers.

 

  • 1. Four-wheel-drive provides total beach access
  • 2. Going topless, there’s nothing quite like it
  • 3. Easy to clean floorboards, just pull the floor plugs and hose it out!
  • 4. Removable doors will turn your Jeep into the ultimate adventure mobile
  • 5. 4dr versions have as much cargo space as any full size sedan
  • 6. Did I mention the windshield folds down? Yes, it does
  • 7. The deal clincher is that most jeeps have a reasonably low base price so a used Jeep Wrangler or even a Rubicon are feasible options!

 

A weekend jaunt to the woods with all your gear begs for a roomy Ford Explorer or if you’d rather bring just the essentials, a stylish CR-V! 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 the destination. Make it count from driveway to journey’s end.

If low down, sporty, and road hugging are more your speed, then 2dr coupes and convertibles are perfect. Traveling light can be liberating, just you, your favorite travel partner, and loads of curves to navigate!

 

Think about it while you check out these sporty highlights.

 

  • 1. 5-6 speed manual transmission puts you in control of every peak and valley
  • 2. Sunroof and T-tops are standard options, awesome for sunny days and starry nights
  • 3. Bose, Infinity, & Blauplunkt sound systems are the norm, a necessity for cruising
  • 4. Most handle athletically for speedy turns, yet have comfortable interiors for long trips
  • 5. All the luxury options that you want, AC and power everything are usually standard

You may not always have the need for speed but when you do… nothing satisfies better than putting some distance between you and home in your own sports car. 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.