Category Archives: Car Buying

Car Body Styles Explained | Which Car is Right for Me?

 

Buying a car is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Each person has their own set of desires and needs: color, size, price, fuel efficiency, performance, reliability, safety, comfort, luxury and style.

Whether you have a need for speed or a craving for comfort, Auto Simple wants to help you choose the type of car that’s right for you. One of the first and most important things to take into consideration is the car body style.

Most cars are divided into 2-box and 3-box body styles, with up to four “pillars.” The pillars refer to posts or supports around the vehicle’s windows. For instance, a sedan or hatchback will usually have 3 pillars, while an SUV or station wagon will have 4 pillars.

 

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Take a look at the different car body style descriptions below to find the car design that’s right for you. 

1. Sedan

Chevrolet Impala LT - Sedan Body Style Description

Image: 2013 Chevrolet Impala LT

Let’s start with the basics. A sedan, also known as a saloon in other countries, is the most popular body style. It typically features two rows of seats, 4 doors, and a 3-box configuration.

Sedans tend to provide better fuel economy, affordability, handling, and performance. New drivers in particular favor the sedan over other body types for their safety and handling. If you are looking for a practical, commuter car with space for passengers, a sedan is the classic choice.

Since they are closer to the ground and have a lower center of gravity, they tend to perform better around corners and sharp turns than larger vehicles such as SUVs. As a result, they are much less prone to tipping and rolling over than trucks and SUVs. With less weight and a lower center of gravity, it’s easier to move and better for the environment.

The biggest downside of a sedan is the space. The sedan’s lower position gives it a tighter grip on the road, but also a more awkward storage space. Instead of a large storage area with foldable seats, expect a relatively small space tucked between the wheelbase. Head and leg room can also be an issue for some car buyers. If need a little more space, check out the hatchback and crossover options.

While it may not be the flashiest or most spacious car on the road, you’ll be able to get from point A to point B safely and efficiently. Consider a Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, or another reliable family sedan.

2. Coupe

Mitsubishi Eclipse - Coupe Body Style Description

Image: 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE

A coupe, or French coupé, has two doors and a low, fixed roof, giving it a sporty feel. Up until the 1960s, convertibles were sometimes called drop-head coupes. Now, however, coupes refer exclusively to fixed head models.

Coupes are stylish cars best for singles or couples. Coupes and convertibles attract a similar kind of buyer—someone who values style and experience just as much as utility and performance.

Since space isn’t the priority, car designers can focus on muscle, stylish features, and performance.

The doors tend to be wider and the roof lower. It is shorter than a sedan and may or may not have a back seat. If there is back seating, it might be a little tighter than you may find comfortable.

Coupe customers sacrifice space for performance and aesthetics. Without kids or the need to haul stuff, a coupe or convertible could be a great option. Convertibles and coupes are fun, great for relationships, and you can sun tan on your commute.

If, however, you regularly travel with more than one passenger, a larger vehicle will probably suit your needs better.

3. Hatchback

Dodge Caliber Mainstreet - Hatchback Body Style Description

Image: 2011 Dodge Caliber Mainstreet

A hatchback is smaller than an SUV or minivan, but larger than a sedan. The main difference between a hatchback and a sedan is the extended trunk. Instead of the back sloping downwards, the back area is lifted, providing extra space for cargo.

Typically, the hatchback has a top-hinged trunk with rear seats that fold down for even more cargo space. As a result, hatchbacks are usually marketed as small family cars or executive cars.

Since the interior space can be made to prioritize passengers or cargo, they are a popular and practical choice for those who need both. From small city hatchbacks to large luxury models, there is a wide variety of hatchbacks available to you.

4. SUV

Ford Escape - SUV Car Body Style Description 

Image: 2009 Ford Escape XLT

SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. It is a larger vehicle that can be classified as a light truck. With a higher center of gravity, higher ground clearance, and four-wheel drive, you’ll have a more commanding view of the road.

SUVs prioritize size and comfort, and can provide a more adventurous ride than minivans or station wagons. They are designed for both on and off-road use. Dads tend to prefer SUVs due to their four-wheel drive capabilities, towing capacity, and masculine appeal.

5. Crossover

Pontiac Vibe - Crossover Car Body Style Description

Image: 2007 Pontiac Vibe

A cross between a sedan and an SUV, crossovers (also known as Crossover Utility Vehicles) give you the best of both worlds. If you frequently haul things and would like a little more room than a sedan, consider looking at the wide range of crossovers. They are available in four-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drives.

They are cheaper and have better fuel economy than full-sized SUVs while still giving you extra ground clearance and a more commanding view of the road. Keep in mind that they are only designed for light off-roading, unlike SUVs.

6. Minivan/Van

 Chrysler Town & Country - Minivan Body Style Description

Image: 2009 Chrysler Town & Country LX

Despite the rising preference for crossovers (CUVs) and SUVs, vans and minivans are still the classic family car choice. Sometimes called Multi-Purpose Vehicles (MPVs), they are taller than station wagons and offer spacious 3 row seating for 7 or more passengers.

While you may be tempted by a modern-looking crossover, minivans tend to have more cargo space, more ways to configure the interior, comfortable third row seats, easy access, and plenty of storage cubbies.

They may not be the sleekest or sexiest cars on the road, but what they lack in looks they make up for in functionality. The boxy shape and square doors make it easy to haul any combination of cargo and people. If you have a large family, this is a car designed for you.

7. Pickup

Ford F-150 - Pickup Truck Body Style Description

Image: 2010 Ford F-150 XL

Pickup trucks command the road. They are big, rugged cars designed to perform big, rugged tasks. Sitting high, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the road.

Pickups are a great option for people who have a lot of stuff to haul around. With an open rear cargo area known as a “bed,” you won’t be hindered by cabin height. Truck beds are also great for tailgating, camping, stargazing, and creative modifications (mini pool, anyone?)

Whether you are hauling a boat to Galveston or jump-starting a home service business, you’ll be able to do it all with the right pickup truck. Keep in mind that you’ll probably be the first one to call on moving day.

8. Wagon

Toyota Matrix - Station Wagon Body Style Description

Image: 2009 Toyota Matrix

Mention station wagon and most of us think of our parents or National Lampoon’s Vacation. As tastes changed, Americans began to prefer smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles, or minivans and SUVs for families.

Today, there aren’t many automakers who still make and market station wagons. It’s important to note, however, that modern-day station wagons have evolved quite a bit. You won’t be seeing any vinyl or wood siding here.

Before you opt for a large SUV, consider that a station wagon probably has all of the amenities you need. Wagons have nearly everything a crossover has, including four-wheel drive, spacious interiors, advanced tech, and high performance and efficiency.

Will there be a return to the glory days of the family station wagon? Sadly, no. But if you need to transport people and gear, don’t forget about the faithful wagon. They are still a great choice for city and country driving, and have the durability and handling necessary for more rugged terrain.

NOTE: Car body style definitions vary from company to company and person to person. Many times, body styles are used for marketing and PR purposes. For instance, a station wagon can easily be marketed as a crossover.

If you are thinking about buying a new car, do your homework first.

Car Buying Resources:


We carry a large selection of Hand-Picked, Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, all with a 6 month/6,000-mile Powertrain Warranty.

Stop by any of our locations for the best deals on sedans, coupes, hatchbacks, SUVs, crossovers, pickup trucks, and wagons:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

What Should I Name My Car? List of the Best Car Names

List of hundreds of potential names for your car - Auto Simple

Why do we feel the need to name our cars? Is it because they have distinct human visages?

With headlights that leer and a grill that seems ready to snap or laugh, it’s hard not to see faces and personalities in cars and automobiles. In fact, the personality expressed in a vehicle’s “face” is often a huge reason why we choose to purchase one car over another.

Car designers know this too, which is why you see meaner, more aggressive faces in trucks and sports cars, and milder, more friendly faces in SUVs and family vehicles. Anyone who has seen the Cars movies knows that not only do the faces match the cars’ personalities (think of Lighting McQueen and Mater), but their names do as well.

What should I name my car - Lighting McQueen, Mater, Cars

Source: Roderick Eime (Flickr)

Cars really do resemble people. Our brains cannot help but anthropomorphize them. It’s a psychological phenomenon called pareidolia. So why shouldn’t they be given names?

Besides, it’s your chance to go crazy with names that you might not otherwise use for your children or pets.

So, What Should I Name My Car?

“Box with Wheels” and “Mr. Car” won’t work. Sure, you can call it that, but you’re probably looking for something a bit more creative. Since naming your car is a big decision that you’ll live with for a long time, don’t rush it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when naming your car:

1. Consider the Car’s Personality (Make and Model)

What does your car look like? This is the biggest factor to take into consideration. Does it look like a boy or a girl? Old or young?

Is it a sports car, a large car, a classic car, or a new car? Think of any distinctive character traits that it has. Does it make a lot of noise or barely none at all? Is it large or small? No matter what make or model you have, you can find something that will help you in the naming process. In fact, that’s how the Volkswagen “Beetle” got its name. The car was originally just called Volkswagen, but the obvious resemblance to a beetle or bug gave it its lasting nickname.

If you are a person who likes rhymes and puns, you can use the make/model as inspiration for a fun and quirky name for your car:

  • Rhonda the Honda
  • Jack the Cadillac

But be weary of names that get old quick. Try to stick with ones that aren’t so obvious:

  • Vlad (Chevy Impala)
  • Lux (Fiat)
  • Stacy (Chevy Malibu)
  • Frank (Hyundai Sonata)

2. Consider Your Personality

You don’t want to name your car Lighting, Dash, or Speedy if you are the kind of person who likes to take it slow. If you are shy, think of a more laidback name. If you are an extrovert, a quirkier name will be more suitable.

Are you a history buff or a big fan of a certain sports team, movie director, or author? Get creative! Just make sure the name matches your personality as well.

3. The License Plate

The letters in your license plate might give you a good idea for a name. For instance, if your license plate has the letters SDE, you might want to call it Sadie. MDN could be Madonna. You get the idea. It’s also a great mnemonic for remembering your license plate.

4. Consider the Color of the Car

The color of your car can put you in the right direction.

Black:

  • Black Beauty
  • Black Cat
  • Black Stallion
  • Black Widow
  • Blackhawk
  • Blade
  • Crow
  • Dahlia
  • Dark Knight
  • Delirium
  • Delirium
  • Dementor
  • Doom
  • Drusilla
  • Grimm
  • Jet
  • Lilith
  • Mamba
  • Midnight
  • Moan
  • Night
  • Nightrunner
  • Nitro, Zorro
  • Nyx
  • Sirius
  • Tarantula
  • Wednesday
  • Wolf

White:

  • Casper
  • Diamond
  • Falkor
  • Fang
  • Frost
  • Ghost
  • Jon Snow
  • Marshmallow
  • Moby
  • Noise
  • Powder
  • Princess
  • Snow White
  • White Rabbit

Yellow/Gold:

  • Alchemy
  • Amber
  • Bert
  • Big Bird
  • Blondie
  • Bumble Bee
  • Champagne
  • Cleo
  • Cyrus Gold
  • Dawn
  • Divine
  • Ducky
  • Finch
  • Fleur
  • Gatsby
  • Gold Bug
  • Goldfinger
  • Goldilocks
  • Grimm
  • Honey
  • Knox
  • Lemon
  • Luigi
  • Midas
  • Ponyboy
  • Rumpelstiltskin
  • Scorpion
  • Sol
  • Sunshine
  • Tweety
  • Wiz
  • Wolverine
  • Yellowjacket

Red/Orange:

  • Annie
  • Ariel
  • Blood
  • Carrot Top
  • Cheeto
  • Christine
  • Chuckie Finster
  • Chucky
  • Clifford
  • Crimson
  • Crush
  • Diablo
  • Elmo
  • Fern
  • Fireball
  • Ginger
  • Holloway
  • Kenny Mc”Car”mick
  • Ladybug
  • Lola
  • Molly
  • Mushu
  • Nemo
  • Nightcrawler
  • Orange Crush
  • Pebbles
  • Pony
  • Raggedy
  • Red Claw
  • Robin
  • Ron Burgundy
  • Rose
  • Ruby
  • Scarlet
  • Shaggy
  • Star Fox
  • Starsky
  • Tang
  • Tiger
  • Weasley
  • Willow
  • Yosemite Sam

Blue:

  • Baby
  • Baloo
  • Betty
  • Blue Beetle
  • Blue Devil
  • Blue Velvet
  • Bluebird
  • Boy
  • Celeste
  • Crush
  • Dolphin
  • Dory
  • Gonzo
  • Grover
  • Heaven
  • Ice
  • Ice Cube
  • Jasmine
  • Freeze
  • Johnson
  • Mystique
  • Poseidon
  • Sam Eagle
  • Saphira
  • Sky
  • Smoke
  • Smurf/Smurfette
  • Sonic
  • Streak
  • Thunder

Green:

  • Alien
  • Booger
  • Clover
  • Dragon
  • Dragonfly
  • Elliot
  • Flash
  • Frogger
  • Gable
  • Gawain
  • Godzilla
  • Green Arrow
  • Gumby
  • Hulk
  • Kermit
  • Mike Wazowski
  • Toad
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Ivy
  • Puff
  • Ribbet
  • Scales
  • George
  • Yoshi 

Purple:

  • Amethyst
  • Barney
  • Cheshire
  • Crimson
  • Dark Wing
  • Dino
  • Dizzy Devil
  • Gengar
  • Harold
  • Haunter
  • Hawkeye
  • Maleficent
  • Nebula
  • Pandora
  • Rain
  • Saturn
    • Stella
    • The Joker
    • Tinky Winky
    • Twilight
    • Twilight Sparkle
    • Ursula
    • Weezing
    • Willy Wonka

 

Silver/Grey:

  • Bullet
  • Dorian
  • Grayson
  • Iron Man
  • Magneto
  • Mercury
  • Onyx
  • Oracle
  • Quicksilver
  • Raiden
  • Scythe
  • Silver Dagger
    • Silver Fox
    • Silver Surfer
    • Cloud
    • Storm
    • Titanium
    • Tron

 

5. Consider Celebrity Babies’ Names

When you are a famous celebrity, it’s hard to name your kid Martha or Mike. Take inspiration from some of the most creative baby names:

  • Apple
  • Axl
  • Blue
  • Cash
  • Cosimo
  • Dream
  • Gunner
  • Jada
  • Jagger
  • Jax
  • Jett
  • Lolita
    • Miley
    • Mowgli
    • Seven
    • Taj
    • Zeppelin

 

6. Consider Fictional Character Names

These movie, book, video game, and myth-inspired names can also work for children and pets.

Game of Thrones:

  • Arya
  • Cersei
  • Drogo
  • Gilly
  • Hodor
  • Khal
  • Khaleesi
  • Osha
  • Sansa
  • Shireen
    • Sparrow
    • Stannis
    • Tyrion
    • Tywin
    • Varys

 

Harry Potter:

  • Albus
  • Amos
  • Bellatrix
  • Charity
  • Cho
  • Draco
  • Fleur
  • Ludo
  • Luna
  • Millicent
    • Minerva
    • Phineas
    • Remus
    • Severus
    • Sirius

 

Superheroes and Villains:

  • Astro
  • Bane
  • Black Widow
  • Deadshot
  • Manhattan
  • Dredd
  • Galactus
  • Gambit
  • Harlow
  • Judge
  • Kahlo
  • Katana
  • Lex Luthor
  • Loki
  • Maxx
  • Mingus
  • Mystique
  • Nightwing
  • Onyx
  • Oracle
    • Ozymandias
    • Rocket
    • Rorschach
    • Spectre
    • Steel
    • Storm
    • Thor
    • Warlock
    • Wildcat
    • Wolverine

 

The Sandman Series:

  • Alianora
  • Azazel
  • Barnabas
  • Basanos
  • Constantine
  • Corinthian
  • Death
  • Delirium
  • Desire
  • Despair
  • Destiny
  • Destruction
  • Dream (Morpheus)
  • Duma
  • Foxglove
  • Goldie
    • Lucien
    • Mazikeen
    • Nuala
    • Odin
    • Remiel
    • Thessaly
    • Titania

 

Greek and Roman Names:

  • Aphrodite (Venus)
  • Ares (Mars)
  • Artemis (Diana)
  • Athena (Minerva)
  • Dionysus (Bacchus)
  • Hades (Pluto)
  • Hera (Juno)
  • Hermes (Mercury)
    • Hestia (Vesta)
    • Poseidon (Neptune)
    • Zeus (Jupiter)

 

Shakespeare:

  • Balthasar
  • Cassius
  • Oberon
  • Patience
  • Perdita
  • Portia
    • Silvius
    • Tarquin
    • Tylbalt (Tyl”bolt”) 

 

Additional Names Inspired by Movies, TV Shows, and Video Games:

  • Akasha
  • Amidala
  • Astaroth
  • Azrael
  • Bloodrayne
  • Cloud
  • Cortana
  • Domino
  • Elektra
  • Jinx
  • Kage
  • Kain
  • Lara
  • Link
  • Lux
  • Maximus
    • Neo
    • Niobe
    • Pluto
    • Raiden
    • Rygar
    • Samus
    • Trinity
    • Xena

 

You can also look at various card games for inspiration, such as Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Magic: The Gathering.

7. Consider Names Inspired by Athletes and Sports

If you have a favorite sport or athlete, this may be the perfect time to show your allegiance:

  • Agassi
  • Ali
  • Blitz
  • Bolt
  • Brady
  • Cal
  • Colt
  • Darko
  • Dexter
  • Dodger
  • Early
  • Ewing
  • Falcon
  • Fisk
  • Hunter
  • Kareem
  • Kobe
  • Magic
    • Manu
    • MJ
    • Peyton
    • Priest
    • Spike
    • Tiger
    • Tyson
    • Venus
    • Yogi

 

Naming your car should be an enjoyable experience. You’ll look back fondly on the day when it clicked and you found the perfect name for your new baby.

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Auto Simple wants to help you find the perfect vehicle, give it a name, and bring it to its new home.

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to drive away in your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

Extend Vehicle Lifespans and Detect Odometer Fraud | National Odometer Day

National Odometer Day - How Odometers Work and How to Keep Them Going

May 12th is National Odometer Day. While you may not be familiar with National Odometer Day, you probably know that the odometer in your car measures the distance traveled by the vehicle.

But did you know that the invention of the odometer predates motor vehicles by over 2000 years? First described by Vetruvius in 27 BCE, it is widely accepted that odometers were first used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Some say that the odometer was invented by Archimedes during the first Punic War (Scientific American).

While no one can say for sure who invented the device, there has always been a great desire for such a device. Odometers were and remain a great way to measure distances between two places. They literally paved the way for modern road building and travel.

How Does an Odometer Work?

How do odometers work - Leonardo DaVinci odometer

Source: Wikimedia Commons (Leonardo Da Vinci)

An odometer (aka a roadometer) works by counting the number of wheel rotations and then multiplying it by the circumference of the tire, which is the diameter of the tire times pi (3.14…). Leonardo Da Vinci’s odometer (seen above) works by collecting small stones into a dedicated holder, which can then be counted to accurately measure the distance traversed by the wheel. Click here for more information on how odometers work.

Keep in mind that heavily worn tires and under-inflated tires can cause errors in odometer readings.

Why Are Odometers Useful?

Odometer readings are important because they give you a general sense of the value of the car. This simple number indicates:

  • When it’s time for an oil change (about every 3,000 miles, but double-check your owner’s manual)
  • When expected repairs and maintenance are due (check owner’s manual for maintenance schedule)
  • How well the vehicle was taken care of
  • If any vehicles warranties are still in effect
  • The life expectancy of the vehicle
  • The value of the car (when it’s time to sell or trade up)

How to Keep Your Odometer Going

If you want to rack up 300,000 miles or more and extend the lifespan of your vehicle, here are a few tips:

  1. Buy the right vehicle

Some common 300,000+ cars include Toyotas, Fords, and Hondas. According to Consumer Reports, these sedans, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks are most likely to get to 300,000 miles and beyond:

  1. Never ignore strange sounds, smells, or vibrations 

If you notice anything strange or wrong with the vehicle, take it in for a professional inspection. Similarly, never ignore your dashboard warning lights.

  1. Change the oil every 3,000-3,500 miles 

Regular oil changes are probably the best way to extend the lifespan of your vehicle. While 3,000 miles (around 3 months) is a safe bet, check your owner’s manual for the proper oil change schedule.

  1. Avoid lots of starts and stops

If you mostly drive on the highway, you have a better chance of passing the 200,000-mile mark. If you can’t avoid a lot of local start-and-stop trips, try to coast as much as possible. Sudden starts and stops will diminish your vehicle’s lifespan. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Try to drive on the highway at least once a month.

  1. Don’t turn your heating or cooling on right away

Allow the vehicle to warm up for a minute or two before turning on the heating or air conditioning. This helps everything get lubricated first, reducing the load on your engine.

  1. Don’t make these manual transmission mistakes 

Use your brakes rather than the gears to slow the vehicle down. Shoot for 2,000-3,000 revolutions per minute (RPM) to avoid stressing the engine.

Don’t depress the clutch pedal more than necessary. While it may seem cool and comfortable, don’t rest your hand on the gear shifter.

  1. Fill your tank up with the correct gas

 Check your owner’s manual to know the proper octane level for your vehicle. Filling up with the wrong octane level can diminish your vehicle’s lifespan.

For additional ways to extend the lifespan of your vehicle, avoid these common bad driving habits.

How to Detect Odometer Fraud

Unfortunately, odometer fraud is a common problem in the car buying and selling process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false odometer readings! That’s is one reason why it’s so important to purchase a vehicle from a trusted source (learn about the risks involved when buying from a private seller).

Before changes in how odometers were made, they could be easily tampered with. Sometimes, the cable could be reversed so that the numbers ran backwards instead of forwards. While odometers in newer vehicles have many safeguards in place to prevent this kind of tampering, older vehicles are still susceptible to odometer fraud.

 Luckily, consumers have a few options to detect odometer fraud: 

  1. Check CarFax Vehicle History Report 

The CarFax reports will give you mileage records, inconsistencies, and other odometer problems. Compare the mileage on the odometer with the reported mileage on the vehicle maintenance and inspection reports. Since inspections normally record the mileage number any inconsistencies are a clear red flag. Make sure the odometer reading is higher than the latest record.

If the seller does not provide a Vehicle History Report, order your own using the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

  1. The numbers are not lined up straight, contain gaps, or jiggle

Sometimes, if the odometer has been rolled back, the numbers will not line up straight. Unaltered odometer numbers are perfectly aligned. Look carefully at the 10,000 place number. This digit is the one most commonly tampered with. If the numbers jiggle when you hit the dash, contain gaps, or are misaligned, there’s a high chance they have been tampered with. Walk away from the purchase.

  1. Estimate the odometer reading by calculating the age of the car

The average car puts on about 12,000 miles per year. If the car is 7 years old, it should have around 84,000 miles on it. If not, there is cause for concern. Investigate the causes for lower than average mileage, such as if the car is a backup or the owner has a reason to rarely use it.

  1. Look for inconsistent wear and tear

Look for inconsistent wear and tear in the interior of the vehicle. Pay special attention to the gas, brake, and clutch pedals. Make sure they are consistent with the odometer reading. Examine other high-touch areas, such as the steering wheel, seats, and arm rests. If you are unsure, take the car to a mechanic for an inspection (you should conduct your own vehicle inspection regardless).

  1. Check the tires

If there is less than 20,000 miles on the car, it should still have the original tires. Inspect the wear of the tires by asking a mechanic to check the depth of the tread. If there is 20,000-25,000 miles on the car, the tread should be deeper than 2/32 of an inch. If the vehicle has new tires or the tire tread is significantly deeper than 2/32 inch, then there is cause for concern. You can also measure tire tread depth yourself with the penny test.

Finally, take the vehicle to a mechanic and ask them to specifically look for signs of odometer fraud. This includes inspecting the vehicle for replacement parts. If the odometer has a low reading, there shouldn’t be many replacement parts. They will be familiar with other fraud detections as well.

Learn more about odometer fraud by visiting nhtsa.gov.

Happy National Odometer Day!


Auto Simple wants to make sure you drive away in a vehicle you love and can pay for.

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it quick and convenient to drive away in your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

Best Tips for First-Time Car Buyers and New Drivers

best tips for first-time car buyers and new drivers (best cars) Buy Here Pay Here

Learning how to drive and buying a new car are major life milestones. Perhaps you’ve landed a new job? Maybe you’ve just received your admissions letter and need a car for school?

Whether you are young or old, your first time on the road can be scary and dangerous. If you aren’t inheriting the family clunker and need to buy a car yourself, this adds another level of intimidation.

That’s why we’re sharing some of the best tips for first-time car buyers. While everyone dreams of driving a Ferrari or Lamborghini, we all know it’s not the best first car purchase. Regardless, a first car is your ticket to freedom.

But before we share our favorite cars for new drivers, here are some tips for finding the perfect vehicle:

1. Do your research before and during the car-buying process

Car-buying research includes searching for the make and model of your desired car and making sure there aren’t any major consumer complaints, recalls, or safety-related defects. Just because you like the look doesn’t mean it’s a good first-time car. It’s important to keep your emotions at bay when researching your ideal first vehicle.

Just because there is a new pickup truck on the market doesn’t mean it’s the best car for your day-to-day needs. If you don’t have a family, an SUV or minivan may not be the best choice either. Research the costs of fuel, maintenance, and repairs.

2. Establish a budget

Be realistic with your car budget. If you have to pay for the car yourself, this is an important time to demonstrate responsibility and potentially save hundreds (if not thousands) at the dealership. While the best option is to pay for the entire vehicle in cash, sometimes that’s just not possible. Most car buyers need some sort of financing.

Follow the 20% rule and make sure your car payments and all automotive expenses don’t exceed 20% of your monthly income. For instance, if your take-home pay is $2800, then your total auto expenses should not exceed $560. Take into account gas, insurance, maintenance, registration, and repairs. It may take you some time to figure out what car you can afford, but it’s definitely worth it.

One of the biggest mistakes that first-time car buyers make is getting a car they cannot afford. Don’t make this mistake. If you are considering purchasing a car for $18,000, set your budget around $3,000-$5,000 less than that to account for taxes, registration fees, insurance, options and add-ons.

Don’t forget to take into account your down payment and the length of your loan when determining which car you can afford.

3. Don’t buy a used car from a private seller

Unless you have a family member or close friend of the family who is willing to give you a great deal, stay away from private sellers. There’s a lot of risk involved and it can add a lot of extra time, money, and energy to your car-buying journey. Buying and selling a car at a dealership is a lot easier and more secure.

4. Look for Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

Certified pre-owned vehicles are the best kind of used car you can buy. Instead of buying a new car, which can lose about 60% of its value within the first five years, look for CPO vehicles, which are often in “like-new” condition.

5. Get a CarFax report (includes vehicle history and inspection reports) 

Never purchase a vehicle without first viewing a CarFax report. If you know the vehicle’s VIN number, you can look up its vehicle history report on CarFax. However, if you buy a vehicle from a dealership, they will most likely have a CarFax report available for free.

This report provides essential information on the vehicle’s past life, including accident reports, emissions results, service records, title information, and history of previous owners.

All Auto Simple pre-owned vehicles go through a rigorous 180-point inspection and come with a free CarFax report.

6. Locate a respectable dealer

When looking for a responsible and reliable first car, such as a Toyota CorollMazda3, or Honda Civic, make sure you do your research into the dealership first.

Learn what separates Auto Simple from the rest:

7. Inspect the car, inside and out

It’s never been easier to know what to look for when inspecting your potential new vehicle. In addition to a visual inspection of the inside and outside of the vehicle, you’ll want to take it for a test drive. Read our Used Car Buyer’s Guide to find out exactly what you should be paying attention to.

8. Secure financing (if necessary)

When financing your new vehicle, try to put at least 20% percent down. This makes it a lot less likely that you will default on your loan. The more money you put down, the more secure your purchase will be. For instance, if the car gets totaled, you could end up owing more money than the car is worth.

Before you approach a bank or credit union for a loan, check with the dealership. They often have better financing options if you are purchasing the car from them. And since all the payments and purchases come from one place, it makes things a lot simpler.

If you have bad credit, don’t worry. You may be able to get a co-signer so you can piggyback off their good credit. Learn How to Buy a Used Car on Bad Credit.

9. Look for deals and special promotions

Often, dealerships will offer specials and promotions, so be on the look-out!

Right now, Auto Simple is offering one of the best promotions you’ll find anywhere!

Get $200 for Referring a Friend and a Chance to win The Free Ride!

Refer a friend to Auto Simple you get $200! And now, you could Get Your Car Paid Off too!

For example, in the last three months there were 90 referrals. So, you could have a 90 to 1 chance to win The Free Ride. That’s pretty good odds!

Offer ends 7/1/17

Finally, enjoy this car-buying experience. Buying and owning your first car is a great experience, one that you hopefully remember fondly for the rest of your life. As promised, below are our favorite cars for new drivers.

The Best Cars for New Drivers

  1. Chevrolet Malibu
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Toyota Camry
  4. Toyota Corolla
  5. Mazda3 and Mazda6
  6. Ford Focus
  7. Kia Soul
  8. Pontiac Vibe
  9. Scion xB and Scion xD

If you are buying from a dealership, the payment and purchase should be very easy. After all questions are answered and the paperwork is signed, you will receive the keys and copies of all the documents. It’s that easy.

In fact, you can leave the Auto Simple lot with a new pre-owned vehicle for as low as $500 Down!

To ease your worries about purchasing a preowned vehicle, all Auto Simple cars go through a 180-point inspection and come with a free CarFax report. We do our best to bring the vehicle back to the level like-new conditions, including touching up paint and removing dents.

Plus, we offer a 6 Month/6,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty on all of our Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your purchase, you can return the vehicle within 48 hours—no questions asked.

Here are some more tips for buying a used car:

Once you find the perfect vehicle, avoid common driver mistakes by establishing good habits at the beginning of your driving career: 


Auto Simple wants to find you a car you love at a price you can afford. We carry a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, all of which come with a free CarFax report and a 6 month/6,000-mile powertrain warranty. We also own a private track for test driving!

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to walk away with your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+.

Top 5 Road Trips in America | Plan a USA Road Trip!

best road trips in america - auto simple

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

– John Muir, The Yosemite (1912)

Get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway. Adventure awaits on these uniquely American road trips.

From purple mountain majesties to alabaster cities, America has some of the best landscapes and roadways in the world. The vast, sprawling scenery has inspired many great works of art, philosophy, science, and of course, epic road trips.

If you’re yearning for a new, beautiful, and intrinsically patriotic experience, channel your inner Jack London/Kerouac and start planning your next great American Road Trip. To help, here’s our list of the best road trips and destinations in America. Get lost!

A couple tips before we begin:

  • Leave yourself plenty of time for spontaneous trips and longer-than-expected stays
  • Stock your vehicle with the essentials (and non-essentials)
  • Check/change your fluids and tires, and get your vehicle ready for the trip.
  • Obtain paper maps (maps and guides can be found at your local AAA)
  • Speaking of AAA, consider purchasing roadside assistance
  • Play fun car games
  • Make sure you have a suitable vehicle
  • Drive on America’s National Scenic Byways if you can
  • Plan your route (log in to Google and click “Create Map” in “Maps”)
  • Bring binoculars

The best time for a road trip is between spring and fall. You may want to wait until October for annual fall foliage displays. Double check peak fall color times to make sure. And always check road and weather conditions.

  1. Great Smoky Mountain Road Trip

Great Smoky Mountain National Park Map - Tennesee, Georgia, North Carolina
Source: National Park Service

  • Start: Chattanooga, TN
  • Visit:
    • Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, TN
    • Raccoon Mountain Caverns in Chattanooga, TN
    • Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN
    • Chattahoocee National Forest
    • Nantahala National Forest
    • Mountain Farm Museum and Qualla Arts and Crafts in Cherokee, NC
    • Cataloochee Valley (Hannah Cabin) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    • Boogerman Trail loop
    • Big Witch Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway
    • Devil’s Courthouse overlook trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway
    • North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC
    • Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
    • Jack of the Wood, a Celtic-style bar in Asheville, NC

End: Asheville, NC

As Tennessee natives ourselves, it’s hard not to be inspired by the wild beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. One of the most popular national parks in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains attracts millions of visitors every year. And rightly so. Don’t be afraid to wander.

If you live near Chattanooga, Cleveland, or Dayton, as we do, you’ll want to pass through the Chattahoochee and Nantahala National Forests and enter the Great Smoky Mountains from the Cherokee, NC entrance. If you’re on the eastern side of the park, start in Asheville, NC.

It’s not a very long road trip, more of a weekend trip, but if you are taking a road trip anywhere in Tennessee, be sure to include the Smokies on your list. Most visitors enter through the Gatlinburg–Pigeon Forge into the park, but a better entrance might be the quieter North Carolina entrance through Maggie Valley and into Cherokee.

elk at Cataloochee Valley, Great Smoky Mountains

“Shot at Cataloochee Valley, which is located on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The valley is home to more than 100 elk who often graze within yards of the main road – and sometimes like to snarl traffic by jaywalking.”– Jordan Whitt, Unsplash

The views and wildlife are stunning. You may even be lucky enough to witness the famous blue haze associated with the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Make the trip in May or June and the skyline often has a deep pink and/or red glow.

As you wind your way through the scenery, it will seem to change by the minute—rolling valleys, spring wildflowers, soft fog, dense forests, steep mountains, and occasional log cabins and grist mills. Don’t be afraid to pull over along lookout points, such as Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, and the popular Chimney Tops picnic area. Just watch out for the black bears!

After a few days in nature, we recommend taking the gorgeous Blue Ride Parkway (an amazing road trip on its own) from Cherokee to Asheville (or vice versa if you are entering from that side).

Watch this video to learn more about Clingmans Dome and the Great Smoky Mountains:

  1. The Blues Highway Road Trip 

The Devil's Crossroads at U.S. 61 and U.S. 49
Source: Wikimedia Commons

  • Start: Memphis, TN
  • Visit:
    • Graceland and B.B. King’s Blues Club in Memphis, TN
    • Blues and Legends Hall of Fame in Tunica, MS
    • The Hollywood Café and/or Blue & White Restaurant in Tunica, MS
    • Devil’s Crossroads in Clarksdale, MS
    • Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS
    • Hopson Plantation, Cat Head, and Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, MS
    • White Front Café in Rosedale, MS
  • End: New Orleans, LA

Take a ride on the Blues Highway (US 61), Bob Dylan’s famous Highway 61 that runs from Wyoming, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana, to experience a unique musical journey. We begin our trip in Memphis. From there, you’ll travel to the same towns and juke joints as Bessie Smith, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Elvis, and other legends once did.

Following the course of the Mississippi River all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, there’s plenty to hear, see, and taste on this road trip. Start in Memphis and hit up one of the hundreds of amazing Memphis-style barbecue joints. Some local favorites are Tops Bar-B-Q, Corky’s Ribs & BBQ, and Leonard’s Pit Barbecue. Stay the night at the historic Peabody Hotel (or just visit for a drink). And don’t forget about Graceland!

After a day or two in Memphis, head to the Blues and Legends Hall of Fame in Tunica, Just 40 minutes away, our next stop is Clarksdale, the birthplace of Muddy Waters and deathplace of Bessie Smith. Visit the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 49, which is said the be “The Crossroads” where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil for his musical talent. For a great live music experience, make sure to check out who’s playing at Cat Head and Ground Zero Blues Club. Nearby is the Delta Blues Museum.

After Clarksdale, you can choose a variety of different options. We recommend getting on the quieter Highway 1 (part of The Great River Road National Scenic Byway—a great road trip by itself), which runs along the Mississippi River’s “Great Wall.” There are lots of beautiful stops along the way, including the Trotter Landing ghost town. Stop for hot tamales at White Front Café in Rosedale.

As your trip approaches the end, don’t miss all the sites and entertainment in Vicksburg. The Vicksburg National Military Park and the Old Courthouse Museum are top attractions, but you’ll definitely want to stop to visit Margaret’s Grocery. It’s no longer a country market, but rather a sort of “voodoo” Christian cathedral, one of the most unique places of worship in the country.

End the trip in New Orleans and enjoy great live blues and everything the city has to offer. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

  1. The Ozarks Road Trip

A View from the Ozarks - Best American Road Trips
Source: Unsplash

  • Start: Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Visit:
    • Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork, AR
    • Roaring River State Park in Cassville, MO
    • Mark Twain National Forest in Rolla, MO
    • Silver Dollar City in Branson, AR
    • Mystic Caverns in Harrison, AR
    • Buffalo National River near Harrison, AR
    • Cosmic Cavern in Barryville, AR
    • Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Onyx Cave Park in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Great Passion Play (May through October) in Eureka Springs, AR
    • Ozark Cafe in Jaspers, AR
    • The Inn at Mountain View Bed and Breakfast
  • End: Rogers, AR

Start your trip in northwest Arkansas at the Fort Smith National Historic Site and visit the museum. Then follow a loop, up toward Eureka Springs, into Missouri, and then back down into Arkansas to Mountain View, Jasper, and on to Rogers, AR.

Take the Scenic Byway 7, a 300-mile-long north/south state highway for beautiful views of lakes, rivers, and mountains. Check out the other National Scenic Byways in Arkansas.

Whatever you’re looking for in a road trip—roadside attractions, outdoor adventure, a happy family—you’ll find in the Ozarks, which means “toward Arkansas.” The most mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains, it’s known for scenic drives bathed in moonlight and is surrounded by deciduous trees and some of the nation’s most beautiful waterways.

Sometimes referred to as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Mountain Country, it basically covers the entire northwestern and north central region of Arkansas and much of the southern half of Missouri.

Wind down the roadway during the fall foliage season and you’ll be witness to the spectacular display of shifting saffron and various shades of red, purple, black, pink, magenta, yellow, orange, and brown. Driving through the beauty of the Ozarks, replete with songbirds and deer, is a distinctly American experience not to be missed.

  1. The Borderlands, TX

Big Bend National Park Night Sky by Jesse Sewell
Source: Unsplash

  • Start: Fort Stockton
  • Visit:
    • Carlsbad Caverns
    • Davis Mountain
    • Museum of Big Bend in Alpine
    • Hotel Paisano in Marfa
    • Chinati Foundation in Marfa
    • The Food Shark in Marfa
    • Ghost town of Shafter
    • River Road
  • End: Big Bend National Park

You may recognize this area when you come to it. The landscape has been used as the backdrop for some big Hollywood movies like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood.

With spectacular canyons, mountain, and rivers, the Big Bend region seems to come from a different planet. The borderland is characterized by huge space-bending skies, rugged mountains, grassland, and large swaths of desert. It is often compared to African landscapes due to its terrain and wildlife.

The borderland trip starts in Fort Stockton, an old oil town, and progresses to Alpine, a gateway to Big Bend National Park, and through to the artsy and spiritual town of Marfa. From there ride through Paisano Pass and to the ghost town of Shafter. After that, cruise down the beautiful River Road (FM-170) to Study Butte. The overlooking views are some of the best this country has to offer.

The Big Bend region contains over one million acres of public land, including Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. End the trip in Big Bend National Park. If you are just driving through, be sure to take Basin Road into the Chisos mountain range. Replenish yourself at Gage Hotel in the tiny town of Marathon, one of the filming locations for Wim Wenders’ movie Paris, Texas.

  1. Highway 89 National Park Road Trip

Mountains in yellowstone National ParkHighway 89 Road Trip
Source: Unsplash

  • Start: Tumacacori National Historical Park, AZ
  • Visit:
    • Saguaro National Park, AZ
    • Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
    • Zion National Park, UT
    • Kolob Canyon Road, UT
    • Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
    • Capital Reef National Park, UT
    • Arches National Park, UT
    • Canyonlands National Park, UT
    • Yellowstone National Park, WY, MO, ID
  • End: Yellowstone National Park, MO

U.S. Highway 89 passes through 5 states and 7 national parks, clearly making it the longest of all the road trips on the list. If you’re not in a rush, the entire trip is definitely worth. Don’t worry though, you can choose to do one state or a small portion.

If you do choose one state, however, make it Utah. The surreal, Martian landscape of canyons, hoodoos, alcoves, and arches make it unlike anywhere else on Earth. If you make it one park, go with Yellowstone National Park.

U.S. 89 starts in Flagstaff, Arizona and proceeds north, passing near the Grand Canyon National Park, the second of the seven national parks along the way. Once you hit Utah, be sure to spend some time in the Zion National Park and the Bryce Canyon National Park.

The highway proceeds into Idaho around Bear Lake. In Wyoming and Montana, you have Yellowstone National Park, which should be on everybody’s bucket list.

Click here for a collection of posts to help you plan your Highway 89 road trip.

The Best Road Trip (According to Science)

map of the best road trip according to science
Source: Google Maps

If you are looking for the most efficient route for visiting all of the nation’s best landmarks, some scientists (Randy Olson and Tracy Staedter) have generated the “perfect” map that does just that. It hits all 48 states in the contiguous U.S. and all the major U.S. landmarks, ideal for traveling by car.

How to Survive a Road Trip

America is a force of nature. You have to be prepared for nearly anything when you go on any of these road trips, especially if you have children. Precipitation, cold temperatures, and thick clouds are common at the top of mountains while dry weather and hot temperatures will meet you at some of the country’s lowest points. Dress in layers and make sure you have plenty of water and essential safety items in your car.

Most of all, have fun!


Don’t hesitate to ask our team members for their road trip tips! We love driving our cars as much as we do selling them.

If you want the perfect road trip vehicle, stop by one of our locations for a reliable Certified Pre-Owned car, truck, or SUV. We’ll set you up with the car of your dreams at a price you can afford.

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

Risks of Buying a Used Car from a Private Seller

risks of buying from a private seller

We’ve shared our tips for buying a used car, but we never discussed all of the risks involved with buying a used car from a private seller.

While it’s possible to get a great deal from a private seller, unfortunately it’s a rare event. As with many high-reward circumstances, it also involves a lot of risk.

Private Seller vs. Dealership

The first major decision you need to make when selecting and purchasing a new used vehicle is whether you will be buying from a private seller or a dealership. A private seller is an individual looking to sell their vehicle to another individual for the maximum value they could get. A dealership buys and sells hundreds or thousands of cars every year and must follow all state and federal rules and regulations.

While doing business with a dealer such as Auto Simple is the safest and easiest way to purchase a used car, buying from a private seller can save you money (if you’re lucky). But be aware of the potential risks before you invest the time and energy into buying from a private seller.

Private Seller Risks

Although there are some good advantages, such as potentially better deals, there are many reasons why you might want to avoid private sellers entirely.

  • Lack of Consumer Protection  The state and federal laws and regulations that apply to dealerships aren’t applicable when buying from a private seller. When you buy a car from a private seller, you are buying it “as is,” which means that any problems with the car are now your problems. Private sellers aren’t covered by the FTC’s Used Car Rule, which means they don’t have to post a Buyers Guide the way dealers do. You also won’t get any warranties on the vehicle, unless the manufacturer’s warranty is still in effect and you successfully transfer ownership. This is something to consider, since you will have to contact the appropriate division of the manufacturing company to update their records.
  • More Footwork  As the old proverb goes, “Time is money.” Consider all of the time you will spend on Craigslist and other websites, researching the cars, contacting the owners, ordering vehicle reports, discussing meeting times, finding transportation, scheduling inspections, and transferring all of the paperwork. Unless you get really lucky, you will find this process extremely frustrating and time-consuming.
  • More Paperwork  Both you and the seller are responsible for all the paperwork. This means transferring the title and/or bill of sale, registration, and any related fees and taxes. Often, you will need to make the trip to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). And we all know how fun that can be.
  • Vehicle History Reports and Inspections  Many times, a private seller will not have a vehicle history report to show you and might refuse to pay for one. This means you will have to spend the money to get a vehicle history report on CARFAX or a similar website by looking up the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Even if they have a CARFAX or similar report, it’s highly recommended that you conduct your own vehicle inspection, which will set you back around $100.
  • Worse Negotiations  Sometimes negotiations are easier, sometimes they’re harder. It really depends on who you are working with. Be aware of dealers who pose as private sellers and use suspect tactics to close the deal. This happens a lot on Craigslist. Never trust a dealer disguising themselves as a private seller. They are obviously trying to deceive you, regardless of if they have good or bad intentions. If you have any strange suspicions, it’s best to walk away before you get in too deep.

Finally, beware of cars that are being sold for an extremely low price. As the saying goes, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.” Sometimes the car being offered is a lemon or a fraud. There may be things that are wrong with the car and the owner just wants to get rid of it.

How to Buy a Used Car from a Private Seller

If you do decide to buy from a private seller, keep in mind all of the extra work involved. Since private sellers are not subject to the same strict laws and regulations that dealerships are, the risk of fraudulent practices significantly rises.

Here are some things you should do to ensure you’re dealing with a trustworthy seller:

  • Right off the bat, ask them if they are the owner. You want to get this out of the way and the best way to do so is by asking. Ask a little bit about their time with the car, how long they’ve owned the vehicle, where they purchased it from, etc. This is where you should be able to catch any tell-tale signs, such as “selling for a friend” or “just bought it recently.”
  • Ask the owner about vehicle history. Don’t be afraid to call and ask about the car. If they are car flipping, they probably won’t have maintenance records. If they say they have no records, ask them where they get their maintenance and repairs done and then call the business and ask for them. Here, you will also be able to tell if the name of the person you are speaking with matches the name on the records. If they don’t know details about the car off the top of their head, you may be dealing with a disguised trader.
  • Look up the phone number of the person you are speaking with. If the number comes back as a pay-as-you-go phone or in relation to other vehicle sales, walk away.
  • Double-check the address. Be wary of anyone wishing to meet in a place other than their home. You want to make sure that the seller’s address matches the address on the car title and registration. If they have a reason for not meeting at home, consider driving by to make sure it is a real address.
  • Test-drive the car on the street and highway. You will want to heighten you senses while test-driving the car. Pay close attention to any sounds, sights, smells, or feelings you have while driving, turning, and braking on both street and highway. Test all of the electrical controls: windows, radio, locking system, etc. Make sure all of the lights work and that the vehicle drives and brakes straight. This should only take about ten or fifteen minutes.
  • Get a car inspection. It is always a good idea to have the car inspected when buying from a private seller. It will cost around $100 for an inspection from an ASE-certified mechanic, but will save you from buying a potential lemon.
  • If you have suspicions, walk away. You are under no obligation to buy the car. Ask a lot of questions. Use your gut instincts and listen when they are telling you that something is fishy. If you’ve been lied to once, you’ll probably get lied to again. If you don’t build trust, both with dealers and personal sellers, you may be in for a rude surprise.

If you are buying from a private seller, make sure the title and registration has been successfully transferred before handing over the money. It’s also a good idea to check if there are any past-due registration fees.

Phew, that’s a lot isn’t it? If you don’t have the time, energy, or personality for the private car buying process, we don’t blame you. Buying and selling at a dealership is A LOT easier and more secure.

Shop our online inventory and schedule a test drive on our private track. After all questions are answered and the paperwork is signed, you will receive the keys and copies of all the documents. It’s that easy.

In fact, you can leave the Auto Simple lot with a new pre-owned vehicle for as low as $500 down!


Auto Simple wants you to find a car you love at a price you can afford. We carry a large selection of hand-picked, Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, all of which come with a 6 month/6,000-mile powertrain warranty. We also own a private track for test driving!

With locations in Cleveland, Chattanooga, Dayton, and a new store in Dalton, GA, we make it easy to walk away with your dream car.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+.

Vehicle Tax Deductions | How to Write Off Car and Truck Expenses

Vehicle Tax Deductions | Write Off Car and Truck Expenses

Disclaimer: We are not tax return preparers, accountants, or lawyers. Please speak with a professional before you attempt any tax changes.

Tax season—makes you feel like an adult, doesn’t it? Whether you’re doing your taxes for the first time or the fiftieth, a common question that always pops up is “Can I write off my vehicle or its operating costs as an expense? 

The short answer is that you cannot deduct the full cost of the vehicle unless it is exclusively used for business; however, you can and should deduct where you can.

While the IRS does allow writing off vehicle expenses, they are pretty strict about it. If you drive your vehicle for work purposes and intend on writing off those business miles, keep a detailed log of all expenses, including parking, tolls, gas, car washes, repairs, and maintenance.

We recommend purchasing a vehicle expense log at your office supply store or online and keeping it in your car. Unfortunately, you cannot deduct commuting costs. Taking public transportation or driving a vehicle to and from your workplace is never deductible. If, however, you have a business-related trip to another location, you can deduct the cost of travel (IRS).

You might qualify for one or more of these options for personal, business or self-employed deductions:

1. Vehicle Donation

If you donate your used car, truck, boat, or anything else for that matter, you may be eligible for a deduction. Make sure you donate to a “qualified organization.” Click here for a listed of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Learn the rules for vehicle donations here.

If you’d prefer quick cash, consider selling your car to Auto Simple.

2. Medical Purposes

If you use your vehicle for medical purposes, such as transporting yourself or one of your dependents to and from a medical facility, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. The IRS allows deductions for medical care, including gas, public transportation fare, and parking fees.

Keep in mind that you cannot deduct medical expenses if you are already being reimbursed by your insurance provider or employer.

3. Moving or Relocating

You will want to check the details, but if you are relocating or moving to a new city seeking work, you may be eligible for tax deductions, including parking and shipping, travel, and lodging costs. This would all fall under your “moving expense deduction.” Keep in mind that you have to relocate at least 50 miles to your new work location to qualify.

4. Business Use

If you are self-employed, you can deduct nearly any cost for business use, even if your car doubles as your personal vehicle. Just make sure you are separating business trips from personal ones.

In order to claim a deduction, the costs must be related to one or more of the following:

  • Traveling from one work location to another within the taxpayer’s tax home area. (Generally, the tax home is the entire city or general area where the taxpayer’s main place of business is located, regardless of where he or she resides.)
  • Visiting customers.
  • Attending a business meeting away from the regular workplace.
  • Getting from home to a temporary workplace when the taxpayer has one or more regular places of work. (These temporary workplaces can be either within or outside taxpayer’s tax home area.)

Source: irs.gov

Keep in mind that travel from your home to your regular place of work “are commuting expenses and are not deductible” (IRS).

When deducting vehicle-related expenses, you can either choose standard mileage rate or actual expenses.

If you run a small business and have one or more vehicles that are used exclusively for business use, you can deduct them as part of your operating expenses. Make sure you keep careful track of all your repair and maintenance records.

Should I use standard mileage rate or the actual expenses incurred for a vehicle?

You have the choice to use the standard mileage rate or the actual incurred costs for a vehicle that is owned or leased. Usually, if you have a more energy-efficient and reliable car, the standard mileage rate will yield better results. If you expect the operating costs to be pretty high (maintenance, tires, repairs, etc.), you’ll be better off using the actual cost method. More expensive cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans may want to choose the actual expense method. Keep in mind, however, that the standard mileage rate method is the simpler process.

Standard mileage rate takes the place of actual expenses. You cannot choose the standard mileage rate (around 44.5 cents per mile) and then also deduct expenses such as depreciation, maintenance, gas, and repairs. Business-related parking and toll fees, however, can be deducted in addition to standard mileage rate.

You cannot use the standard mileage rate if:

  • You use the car for hire (such as a taxi)
  • You use five or more cars at the same time (such as a fleet operation)
  • You claim depreciation or a section 179 deduction
  • You are a rural mail carrier who receives a qualified reimbursement

Source: irs.gov

If you choose the actual expense method, you will need to keep detailed records or any business-related expenses, such as:

  • Depreciation
  • Lease payments
  • Registration fees
  • Licenses
  • Gas
  • Insurance
  • Repairs
  • Oil
  • Garage rent
  • Tires
  • Tolls
  • Parking fees

Source: irs.gov

Whichever method you choose, you will need to allocate your expenses based on personal and business use (if business use is less than 100%). 

What records are required?

The types of records required by the IRS depend on if you choose the standard mileage rate or actual expenses. For both, you should have a daily log of miles traveled, destination, and purpose (business or personal).

If you choose actual expenses, you should also retain all records, receipts, invoices, and any other documentation showing which expenses were incurred. For the depreciation section, you will need to know the original cost, plus any improvements, and documentation showing the date of service.

Is driving to and from my workplace considered a business expense? 

Commuting back and forth from your home to your workplace is not considered business-related. It is commuting and cannot be deducted on either your business or individual tax returns.

Additionally, any toll or parking expenses related to commuting are personal expenses that cannot be deducted.

Can I deduct travel expenses on business trips?

Although you may not deduct any commuting costs, you can deduct business travel costs when traveling for your job, including meals, lodging, and travel.

According to irs.gov:

“You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking fees. If you rent a car, you can deduct only the business-use portion for the expenses.”

What is a vehicle expense? 

If you use your car for business, you can deduct interest on auto loans, registration fees, repairs, parking fares, and tolls.

Here are some common vehicle expenses:

  • Gas
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Tires
  • Registration fees and taxes
  • Vehicle loan interest
  • Insurance
  • Lease payments
  • Depreciation
  • Parking and space rental fees
  • Tolls

If you drive a vehicle for your job, your employer normally reimburses any vehicle-related expenses. The employer writes off the vehicle expenses. That means you cannot deduct any vehicular expenses.

However, if you pay out of pocket for vehicle and travel expenses on behalf of your employer, you can claim an unreimbursed employee business expense deduction as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.

Can I deduct interest on car loans?

According to the IRS:

“If you are an employee, you can’t deduct any interest paid on a car loan. This applies even if you use the car 100% for business as an employee. However, if you are self-employed and use your car in your business, you can deduct that part of the interest expense that represents your business use of the car. For example, if you use your car 60% for business, you can deduct 60% of the interest on Schedule C (Form 1040). You can’t deduct the part of the interest expense that represents your personal use of the car.”

TL;DR

  • Vehicle use for business purposes is a legitimate deductible expense that should be claimed.
  • Always maintain detailed records (keep a vehicle expense log).
  • Use the standard mileage rate if you don’t anticipate many vehicle expenses.
  • Speak with professional tax preparer.

If you’re selling, purchasing, or trading in your next vehicle for business purposes, speak with a professional at Auto Simple to help you deduct all the related car expenses.

Tax Refund

Sometimes, you find out that you are paying the IRS more than you owe. If that’s the case, the IRS now owes you. This is called a tax refund and you determine the amount when you fill out your tax return.

Are you getting a big refund this year? Simply bring your estimated tax refund in to Auto Simple and we may defer your down payment. Our tax refund special makes it easy for you to Sign and Drive!


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 472-2000

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-2277

Follow us for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+.

Pros and Cons of “Buy Here Pay Here” Dealerships

If you are in the market for a certified pre-owned vehicle, check out our Used Car Buyer’s Guide first. After setting your budget and deciding whether to buy from a private seller or a dealership, the next step is deciding what kind of dealership to buy from.

What Are “Buy Here Pay Here” Car Lots?

Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) car lots distinguish themselves from other used car lots because BHPH dealerships offer on-site financing.

If you have bad credit, no credit, or in bankruptcy, you may find BHPH dealerships to be your best option. Even if you have good credit or don’t need financing, BHPH dealerships offer great deals on certified pre-owned vehicles.

While “buy here pay here” financing may be your only way to obtain a vehicle of your own, make sure you do your due diligence and make an educated decision beforehand (See: How to Buy a Used Car on Bad Credit).

Buy Here Pay Here lots have to abide by stricter laws since they are also effectively a finance company. Any BHPH lot that does not follow state and federal rules and regulations will not be in business for very long.

For example, all BHPH dealerships will have to follow the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), which requires the dealer/financier to disclose the final cash price, the amount financed, in addition to other necessary information for the consumer to shop and compare.

Other laws and regulations include the Fair & Accurate Credit Transaction Act, State Usury laws, and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

Buy Here Pay Here Pros

In-House Financing

The first obvious advantage of BHPH dealerships is the ability to purchase and set up loan payments at the same place. Instead of getting an auto loan from a bank or another third party, you’ll be able to get everything done at the dealership.

Your payment plan will either be weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. Get an idea of what your monthly payment will be using our Auto Loan Calculator.

Often, your BHPH dealer will be able to match up your pay dates with your job to make it as easy as possible to make payments on time and build up your credit score.

If you have no credit, bad credit, or are in post-bankruptcy, getting loan approval can be difficult. While annual percentage rates may depend on your credit score, Auto Simple accepts all credit situations including bad credit and no credit. This can be a great way to build up your credit at the same time.

Don’t believe people who say you’ll be paying 30% interest or the maximum allowed by law. Many BHPH lots offer interest rates in the range of 15% to 20%. Auto Simple offers interest rates as low as 14.9% to qualified buyers.*

Get pre-approved for financing by completing our secure online credit application.

Transaction specifics will be unique to you so make sure you review all the paperwork and finance information before you sign anything.

48-Hour Return Policy

When you buy from a private seller, you give up the chance to return the vehicle if you aren’t satisfied (along with a host of other buyer securities). When you buy a car from a BHPH car lot on the other hand, you are given a short return period to drive and test your purchase.

At Auto Simple, and at many other BHPH lots, a full 48-hour return period comes with every vehicle purchase. Make sure you go over this information with your dealer before signing any papers. No-Return policies raise red flags.

48 hours should give you enough time to drive your new vehicle through a variety of road conditions and even compare it with other cars and deals. There is absolutely no obligation to accept the offer if you are within the 48-hour timeframe.

Trade-In Deals (Buy Here Sell Here)

Trading in a used car is an easy way to kill two birds with one stone. If you are looking to trade in an older vehicle for a newer one, Auto Simple offers top dollar for pre-owned cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. Our appraisals are good for 7 days.*

By selling (or trading in) your old car at a BHPH dealership, you can save a lot of time and money. We don’t know about other BHPH lots, but at Auto Simple, we make it extremely easy (See: How to Sell a Used Car to a Dealership).

Just fill out this form and we’ll send you an estimated appraisal within 48 hours.*

Curious to know how much money you can save by trading in your gas guzzler for a more fuel efficient vehicle? Calculate your fuel savings with our Gas Savings Calculator.

Free CarFax Report

Another advantage of going with a BHPH dealership is access to free CarFax reports on all vehicles.

Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles and Thorough Inspections

certified pre-owned car is one that has undergone a full inspection and any necessary repairs as specified by the automaker. CPO vehicles are often in “like-new” condition. They may cost more, but often come with additional warranties and roadside assistance (like our 6 Month/6000 Mile Powertrain Warranty), one of the main reasons why it’s a smart idea to buy from a BHPH dealership.

While we can’t speak for other dealerships, the in-house mechanics at Auto Simple put every single vehicle through a 180-point quality inspection. This is the largest inspection any of our mechanics have ever been exposed to. We make sure to fix everything from gaskets to transmissions and everything in between.

We are able to inspect, fix, and test all of the cars on our lot because we have all of our services on-site. We control the quality levels and meticulously recondition the vehicles to ensure we meet, and hopefully exceed, all of your expectations.

Warranties

Most used car dealerships offer warranties on used cars, such as Auto Simple‘s 6 Month/6,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty on All Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. This comes in addition to any original manufacturer warranties.

Call and ask about warranty information beforehand and make sure you get everything in writing.

Quick and Easy Process

All BHPH vehicles are normally in a database that is connected to the DMV for fast and smooth transactions. BHPH dealers may also be able to work with you to clear any existing loans you may have taken out (this depends on location, lender, and other factors).

Auto Simple makes the car buying process easy. You can get started without even leaving your couch:

  1. Get Pre-Approved Online
  2. Search Online Inventory
  3. We Help You Find the Right Vehicle
  4. Drive It Using Our Private Track for Test Driving
  5. Buy with Confidence (See: Customer Confidence Program)

Although you may have to sign on a dotted line or two, all the paperwork is typically handled by the dealership. Most of our customers are able to drive away in their dream car the very same day.

Buy Here Pay Here Cons

Limited Inventory

Although BHPH lots carry a lot different makes and models, you are restricted to what they have available in their inventory. Shop online inventories and call the location before making the trip.

Higher Interest Rates

If you have good or excellent credit, a different lender will probably provide a lower interest rate than a BHPH financier.

But despite the unreasonably high interest rates you may have heard about BHPH lots, Auto Simple offers interest rates as low as 14.9% to qualified buyers.* Get pre-approved online and contact our financing department for more information.

Wherever you get your loan, make sure you take the information home and carefully look it over before you sign anything. Remember, this contract will potentially stay in effect for years. This isn’t an iTunes update—you want to make sure you know the exact terms and agreements.

We also recommend looking up the dealership online with the Better Business Bureau and any local consumer affairs offices. Check how long they have been in business and online testimonials. Basically, just do your research and you’ll have no problem finding a great car at an affordable price.

Hidden Fees

Not all dealerships are as upfront with you about the total costs involved in your transaction. Don’t assume they will tell you. Look over all of the paperwork carefully and check for:

  • administration and handling fees
  • the price matches the price you agreed to
  • inspection or detailing fees
  • delivery fees

Make sure you know what your payments will be be, how much the interest is, and when the payments end.

Additionally, your BHPH dealership may not report your payment history to the Credit Bureaus.

While most dealers will automatically submit your payment information to credit agencies (like Auto Simple), don’t assume this is being done. Ask the dealership what their policy is on credit reporting so you can start rebuilding your credit.

Conclusion:

Buy Here Pay Here dealerships offer a wide selection of certified pre-owned vehicles and specialize in providing auto loans to people with negative credit. If you need a quality vehicle and need to build up your credit, you can kill two birds with one stone at a BHPH dealership.

Individual perks, however, vary from dealership to dealership. Make sure you do your homework first. Below you will find some of our competitive offerings.

Auto Simple PERKS

Most of the “buy here pay here” advantages listed above can be found at any BHPH dealership. There are, however, many benefits we offer on top of the aforementioned “pros.” If you do end up choosing to buy or sell a used vehicle at a Buy Here Pay Here dealership, we hope you choose one of our locations in Tennessee or our brand-new lot in Dalton, VA.

Here are some of the specific perks we offer to all of our customers:

  • Free CarFax for All Vehicles
  • 6 Month / 6000 Mile Powertrain Warranty
  • Low Down Payments
  • Large Inventory of Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles
  • Thorough 180-Point Quality Inspection
  • Preferred Customer Program
  • Meticulously Reconditioned Vehicles
  • Hassle-Free Financing
  • FREE Conventional Oil Changes Every 90 Days*
  • Short-Term Financing
  • Low-Mileage Vehicles
  • Fast Credit Approval
  • Weekly, Bi-weekly, and Monthly Payments

We take great pride in taking control over the entire buying, selling, inspection, and testing process. All of our vehicles go through a rigorous 180-point quality inspection.

We offer affordable prices and low down payments. Many of our customers drive away in their dream car for as low as $499 down.

Free Oil Changes

Simply sign up for recurring payments from your checking account and get FREE oil changes every 90 days for as long as you are paying off your loan.*

$200 Referral Program

When you refer a friend who purchases a vehicle from Auto Simple, you will earn a $200 credit on your account.

Tax Refund Special

If you bring in your estimated tax refund, you can sign and drive away with your new car and we may defer your down payment.

Our tax refund special makes it easy for you to Sign & Drive. Stop on by one of our locations and say “Hi.” Read our testimonials to get an idea of how we treat our customers.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our Online Specialists or give us a call:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (423) 775-4600

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining used cars: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+.

How to Sell a Used Car to a Dealership

how to sell used car vehicle to dealership - auto simple

Moving to a new city? Need some extra cash? Looking to upgrade your vehicle? Whatever your circumstance, selling a used car is not as simple as it looks. It takes time, energy, and usually, money. Decisions need to be made and steps taken.

Luckily, you can make the process a lot simpler if you decide to sell to a dealership. You won’t have to research the market, set prices, advertise, or spend time showing the car and dealing with all the back and forth involved with a private buyer.

Time is money. If you value your time, then you’ll agree that selling to a dealership is a lot simpler and overall, cheaper than selling to a private buyer. And, if you are looking to buy a new car, you cannot beat the convenience and affordability of trade-in values at dealerships. Whether you are selling your car for cold hard cash or are looking for a trade-in deal, speak with us first.*

While some factors may be out of your control (location, market, etc.), these steps and techniques for selling your car will increase your odds of success.

Steps for selling your vehicle to a private buyer:

  1. Determine the vehicle’s worth

Use multiple resources such as Kelley Blue Book, NADA Guides, and Autotrader. If you have a junk car, you may be better off donating it.

  1. Gather the paperwork

This includes the title, maintenance records, bill of sale, release of liability, warranty documents, and as-is documentation.

  1. Get the car ready

Clean the car inside and out. Shine the exterior, vacuum the interior, replace any damaged floor mats, and clean rims and tires. Or, go with a professional car detailer.

  1. Take pictures

You should have high-quality images from multiple angles for your advertisement. This includes, all sides of the exterior, front and back seat, trunk, dashboard, carpets, wheels, and engine.

  1. Find a place to advertise

There are many options available to you, some better than others. You’ll want to compare among the following advertising methods: social media, “for sale” window signs, newspapers and other print media, craigslist, eBay, cars.com, autotrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, and Beepi.

  1. Create an ad

Creating a good ad that will get a response takes some time and effort. You want to come across as a trustworthy person who has taken care of their car. At the absolute minimum, you’ll want to make sure that you include the price, mileage, modifications, VIN number, and the number of owners.

  1. Screen potential buyers

This is probably the most time-consuming part of the process. You can help eliminate the number of false leads by choosing carefully where and how you are advertising your vehicle. Regardless of where the potential buyer comes from, you’ll want to verify their full name, clarify acceptable forms of payment, only accept full payment, and determine if the buyer is in the area.

  1. Give your sales pitch

You’ll have to bring out your inner salesperson to pitch your car to prospective buyers.

  1. Negotiate the sale price

If you are set on the price, stand firm. Most private car buyers, however, are expecting to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to counter-offer to get a price you both agree on. Write down your lowest acceptable price and never go lower than that.

  1. Finalize the sale

You’ll need to do a couple of things before you can successfully transfer ownership to another person. The sale isn’t complete until you complete a title transfer. You may also need a bill of sale, depending on what state you are in. After payment is accepted and the bill of sale completed, you need to sign over the title, fill out a Release of Liability (if required), provide warranty documents (if applicable), maintenance records, and any additional paperwork your state may require.

Don’t forget to hand over the keys and remove your vehicle from your insurance policy.

– steps via DMV.org

How to Sell Your Vehicle to a Dealership

In contrast, here are the steps for selling your car to a dealership:

  1. Bring your car, truck, or SUV into one of our locations (Chattanooga, Dalton, Cleveland, or Dayton)

  2. We’ll give you a free appraisal

  3. Sell us your car

We don’t know about other dealerships, but at Auto Simple, we make it as easy as 1-2-3. Yes, it’s that easy. You’ll avoid all the hassle of paperwork, dealing with multiple buyers, and waiting for payment.

What Is My Vehicle Worth?

If you want an estimated appraisal before you bring in your vehicle, we do that too! Simply fill out this form and we’ll send you an estimated appraisal within 48 hours.

Even though selling your car at Auto Simple saves you a lot of inconvenience and annoyance, you still want to get a good deal. Here are some insider secrets to get top-dollar for your vehicle:

  1. Bring in your vehicle

While it may seem obvious not to bring in a filthy vehicle that still has last week’s fast food in the back, other things are not so self-evident. Before you get your used car, truck or SUV appraised, take the time to go through these steps:

Clean the car inside and out.

Read this WikiHow article for tips on detailing your car before bringing it in for sale. Sometimes, however, the job is too big for one car owner. In this case, it may be best to take your car into a professional detailer. It may cost you around $100, but you’ll almost definitely make this money back. Besides the beautiful result of professional detailing, you’ll also send a message that you’ve been taking good care of your vehicle.

Here are some quick tips for cleaning your vehicle before sale:

  • Take everything out of the vehicle.
  • Clean the inside and outside.
  • Top off fluids (oil, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc.)
  • Get rid of the smell (use this WikiHow article)

Take vehicle into a mechanic.

You will want to find out what’s wrong with your car before the dealership does. Make sure your inspection is thorough. Typically, a thorough inspection will cost around $100. If it’s less than $75, it’s probably not good enough.

By inspecting the car first, you’ll have some extra documentation and be able to disclose the findings. This builds trust and confidence. Additionally, you’ll have a second opinion to compare against the mechanic who does the inspection for the buyer.

Bring in all the documentation you can.

Gather copies of all of your vehicle’s maintenance records. If you don’t have them, you may be able to call your local mechanic for copies (usually for a fee).

Determine a price.

There are several ways to get a suggested sales price for your car. We recommend checking out Kelly Blue Book and some private-party sales of cars that are the same make and model as yours. Set a reasonable sale price, but be prepared to lower it a bit and you’ll be happy with the end result.

  1. We’ll give you a free appraisal

After you have prepped your vehicle for sale, bring it into one of our dealerships. We have mechanics and appraisers on the spot so you can get your quote the very same day.* The offer will be valid for 7 days.

Bring documentation and paperwork.

Don’t forget to bring the following:

  • Your vehicle’s title (or payoff information)
  • Valid and current vehicle registration (verifies you are the owner)
  • Government issued photo ID
  • All keys and remotes (if damaged or missing, your offer may be adjusted)
  • Maintenance records (recommended but not required)

how to sell your car to a dealership - buy here pay here usa

Feel free to download our checklist before you arrive.

If for any reason you don’t have your title or the titleholder is unable to make it, give us a call before you arrive: 1-877-794-ACAR

  1. Sell us your car

If you like our offer, you can sell us your car and get paid on the spot.* It’s that easy! There’s no pressure or obligation. If you want to sell your car easy and fast, Auto Simple is your simplest and best choice.

Buy Here Sell Here—We Buy Cars! 

*Contact us for further details.


Auto Simple wants to make your car sale as easy and painless as possible. Fill out our online vehicle appraisal form and give us a call for more information on selling your car

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)

Follow us on social media for more useful information on buying, selling, and maintaining cars: FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Google+.

9 Best Pre-Owned Cars for 2017

Best Used Cars for 2017

It’s 2017 and you’re ready to make a new start! Whether that means you’ve added a new member to the family or it’s your first set of wheels, driving away in a new certified pre-owned vehicle is an exciting experience.

The research process, however, can get dull and frustrating. We’ve made it easy by picking out the best bang-for-buck cars to kick off the New Year. Simply choose from this list, set a budget, contact Auto Simple and take any of these cars out for a test drive on our closed track.

9 Best Used Cars for 2017

If you want to skip the time-consuming process of hunting through bad car deals, here are 9 solid vehicles that will meet your budget and reliability requirements for the New Year and beyond.

  1. Chevrolet Malibu

Dark blue Chevrolet Malibu LTZ - best pre-owned car

If you’re looking for a stylish, economical, and reliable family sedan, the Chevrolet Malibu should be high on your list. You can spend a little bit more for the higher-end LTZ model or spend a little less for the base LS and LT models. Whichever model you choose, you’ll get a great, balanced driving experience with an attractive interior.

If you are looking for a versatile and affordable truck, consider the Chevrolet Colorado Work Truck.

  1. Honda Civic

2010 Honda Civic Sdn EX - best pre-owned car

First introduced in 1972, the Honda Civic has gone through many generational changes over the years, but is still known for being one of the most fuel-efficient, reliable, and economical cars on the road. You can’t really go wrong when you purchase a used Civic.

The Honda Civic makes it to the #1 spot on so many car lists because of its reliability, fuel economy, and high-quality interior. While some modern features may be missing, a used Civic is a great choice for anyone in the market.

  1. Toyota Camry

Silver 2011 Toyota Camry SE - best pre-owned car

The Camry is one of those no-brainer choices when it comes to buying a reliable used car. With lots of space, crisp handling, and good fuel economy, the Camry makes the car buying experience easy.

The LE at the end stands for Luxury Edition and the SE stands for Sports Edition. These two models are similar, but there are some differences. In general, the added LE or SE label adds luxury add-ons such as sportier designs, nicer interiors, improved handling, and more electronics.

  1. Toyota Corolla

white Toyota Corolla CE - best pre-owned car

While some may complain of its boring interior uninspiring driving experience, the Toyota Corolla gets great safety, comfort, and performance scores. “Boring” means you’ll have plenty of visibility and room, including easy to use climate and audio controls.

If you like the Corolla but want a different driving experience, try out the Ford Focus or Mazda6.

  1. Mazda3 and Mazda6

Silver 2012 Mazda 6 i Touring - best pre-owned vehicles

The Mazda3 is a small car with a quality interior and sporty handing. You’ll love the controls as you wind down hills and feel spoiled in an interior that seems too luxurious for its class. With an engine that is both powerful and economical, this car is the complete package for anyone wanting a smooth ride. For those worried about a lot of leg room in the back, you may want to look elsewhere.

The Mazda6 is a midsize car with some added vroom. With quick and powerful handling, the Mazda6 is a fun car to drive, no question. While it may not be the most fuel efficient car on the list, its attractive interior and exterior make you forget all about it. Both the Mazda3 and Mazda6 are fun, attractive, and comfortable cars that make them feel ritzy for the price.

  1. Ford Focus

White 2014 Ford Focus SE - best pre-owned car

This compact 4-door family car with front-engine, front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is the world’s best-selling automobile. In fact, as of 2012, the Focus has outsold the ubiquitous Toyota Corolla globally. While reliability and safety scores are comparable to the Camry and Corolla, some drivers prefer the handling and interior of the Focus.

Highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report, the Focus comes in many body styles and luxury options. Impressive fuel economy, handling, and workmanship distinguish itself from other cars in its class.

  1. Kia Soul

Green 2010 Kia Soul - best pre-owned car

The Kia Soul definitely has attitude, and space. This small crossover car, something between a car and an SUV, is perfect for someone needing a lot of space. If you can’t afford the fancier SUVs and can do without 4-wheel drive, the Kia Soul is a safe and comfortable option with plenty of cargo space.

  1. Pontiac Vibe

Red 2009 Pontiac Vibe - best pre-owned car

A small hatchback with a sporty look and high safety ratings? It’s hard to beat. This is a low-mileage, sturdy vehicle with plenty of cargo space. The vibe was redesigned in 2009 and any models during this year are considered second generation. They boast computerized traction-control and anti-lock brakes, features The Vibe’s previous model did not have.

We have several other Pontiac vehicles, including the Solstice and G5.

  1. Scion xB and Scion xD

white 2008 Scion xB - best pre-owned vehicle

A five-door hatchback subcompact has a fun and unique appearance. Remarked upon for its safety features, distinctiveness, and reasonable price tag, the Scion xB and xD both deliver a lot of bang for the buck.

They consistently get 5-star safety ratings. No surprise as they have anti-lock brakes, brake assist, traction control, and up to six airbags. And as of 2010, they come with vehicle stability control and an updated exterior that is utilitarian yet modern.

For more tips on car buying, read our Used Car Buyer’s Guide and How to Buy a Used Car On Bad Credit.

Wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Read our Car Winterization, New Year’s Resolutions for the Car, and Winter Driving Tips to prevent winter accidents and inconveniences.

Is there a car you’d like to see on the list? Let us know on FacebookTwitter, and Google+. 


We control the quality of our cars and have our own test track to put the car through all driving conditions. See why our Customer Confidence Program is one of the best in the nation.

We carry a large selection of Hand-Picked, Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, all with a 6 month/6,000-mile Powertrain Warranty. Stop by any of our locations today:

Chattanooga, TN – (423) 551-3600

Cleveland, TN – (423) 476-4600

Dayton, TN – (423) 775-4600

Dalton, GA – (706) 217-CARS (2277)