Category Archives: Car Selling

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Benefits of Selling Your Car at Auto Simple

Where Can I Sell My Car in Cleveland?

Are you looking for a place to sell your vehicle quickly and easily without the hassle of private selling? We at Auto Simple offer top dollar for any car, getting you the most money out of your vehicle. When you sell privately it can be difficult to get the price you want, but our staff is dedicated to giving each seller the best offer. Continue reading to learn more about where you can sell your car in Cleveland, Dayton, and Chattanooga.

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Benefits of Trading in at Auto Simple

Should I Trade in My Car?

Are you in the market for a new vehicle but aren’t quite sure what to do with your current set of wheels? You could sell it to a family member or friend, sell it online, keep it, or you could get a good chunk of money by trading it in. At Auto Simple we offer top dollar for your trade-ins with our quick and easy trade-in process. This guide will show you how easy it is to get an estimated appraisal for your trade-in on our website, so you don’t have to wonder anymore if you should trade in your car.

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What Exactly Comes in a Carfax Report?

Buying used cars can be daunting with everything that can be wrong with used cars. Some shady dealerships might try to shift a bad car onto you just to get it off their lot while others might just not tell you about some problems the car has. There is a lot of preemptive research you need to do just on the brand of the car itself, then you need to hope the specific car you’re getting isn’t in too rough of shape.

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Repair or Replace Your Vehicle | Is It Time to Say Goodbye?

Repair or Replace Vehicle - Fix, Sell, or Trade-In Car

Is it time to say goodbye to “old faithful”? Like everything else in this world, cars don’t last forever. While you may be proud of your faithful 200,000-mile vehicle, it could be more trouble than it’s worth.

There are many reasons why you may want to replace your vehicle, including practical, financial, safety, drivability, and pleasure motives.

Should I Repair or Replace My Vehicle?

If you are thinking about repairing or replacing your car, this post will teach you how to save money when making your next car repair or car purchase. However, nobody knows your vehicle better than you do. Use the following tips as a guide not a gospel.

Cost of repairs

Car maintenance and repairs are unavoidable, but sometimes there is a major repair that gets you wondering if you should simply invest in a new car.

Small repairs and regular maintenance aren’t anything to worry about. It’s the costly repairs that start you thinking about whether you should replace the car or not.

Although it’s almost always cheaper to repair a car than to buy a new one, some repairs, such as replacing a failed transmission can run upwards of $3,000. At this point, you could buy a used vehicle for the same amount and probably save a lot of money in the long run.

Keep in mind that math can only take you so far. In addition to the price of repairs, you’ll want to take other things into consideration, including what you still owe on the vehicle, type of repair, repair frequency, and your vehicle’s worth.

Research market value of your car

If you want to find the estimated value of your car, visit Kelley Blue Book* or contact Auto Simple to find out the sale and trade-in values of your vehicle.

You can even find out what your vehicle is worth without leaving the comfort and convenience of your home. Fill out our online form and we’ll send you an estimated appraisal within 48 hours.

Repairs are more than 50% of the vehicle’s worth

As soon as you start considering a repair that is more than half of the vehicle’s market value, you should start comparing the pros and cons of purchasing a vehicle.

For instance, if your car is only worth $3,000 and you are faced with repairs that are over $1,500, it may be time to start looking for a trade-in deal at your local used car lot. But, if your vehicle is worth more than $4,000, you may want to research the matter further to make the best decision.

It doesn’t make much sense to pay for a repair that is over half of the value of car when there is a high likelihood that another costly repair will soon be on its way. But first, you need to know the value of your vehicle (as is, without the repair(s)) and the likelihood of future repairs.

If your repair is more than 50% of the cost to replace, start researching sale and trade-in values to see how much your old car can serve as a down payment for a new one.

Repairs are more than the vehicle is worth

The choice is simple when faced with a repair that equals or exceeds the market value of your vehicle. Find out what your vehicle is worth and if your repair is close to or exceeds that amount, you should definitely look into replacement options.

Use the money you get from your car sale or trade-in toward the purchase of your next vehicle.

Consider future repairs

Will your repair be the last one for a while? If you have a reliable mechanic who is warning you of likely upcoming repairs, you should take those recommendations into consideration. If this big repair seems like the beginning of a whole host of new problems, consider replacement.

A vehicle can be as much of a money pit as a home. Be wary of vehicle troubleshooting and diagnostics that warn of impending problems for your vehicle, such as new tires and brakes. Take the time to get a second or third opinion on the matter so you know if these forecasts are reliable or not. Factor them into your decision.

Get a second and third opinion

We’ve already shared some tips for finding a good, honest mechanic, but it’s worth going over again to get the most accurate representation of your vehicle’s state.

Even if you’ve found a mechanic you can trust, before you make a decision on whether you should repair, replace, sell, or trade in your used vehicle, get a second or third opinion on the recommended service and repairs. For any major decision like this, don’t rely on one opinion.

Your mechanic may also be able to provide information on whether or not the repair or upgrade will significantly increase your selling or trade-in value. You may be able to get a return on investment.

Determine your maintenance and repair costs

Create a calendar and plan for future repairs so you know what to expect and when. It can help you budget for future repairs and give you an idea of the cost and likelihood of future car costs.

Consult your owner’s manual and past maintenance/repair history reports to create a calendar of likely repairs over the next couple of years.

Are you spending more than $300/month to keep your car running? If so, do the math on getting a more reliable and fuel-efficient vehicle.

Increased safety and reliability

Personal safety and job security also rely on a dependable mode of transportation. If you are worrying about your car starting every morning, consider the added benefits of safety and reliability.

For many people, not having a reliable car means missing work and possibly losing a job. If you have been late or missed work too often, you may want to consider the extra benefit of reliable car for work and career purposes.

Practical concerns

Lifestyle changes often dictate the need for a new vehicle, such as longer/shorter commutes and the need for more space. If your family has expanded in size or you have a new job that requires a different vehicle, a more suitable vehicle type is probably needed.

Fuel efficiency

The older your car is and the older your car gets, the less fuel efficient it is likely to be.  While there are some things to increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, if it’s a gas guzzler, you may want to consider purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Add up your monthly operation costs and use this fuel cost calculator to compare it with the estimated monthly fuel costs for your new vehicle.

Updated features

If you want the newest car technologies and features, such as cameras, sound systems, and GPS, you may want to look for a new vehicle that satisfies your requirements.

Looking for a change

Sometimes, you just want a change. If you are looking for a big change in your life, a different vehicle can make you feel like a brand new person.

Reasons for Repair:

  • Purchasing a new car takes time and energy. If you want to get back on the road as soon as possible, it’s probably faster to pay for a repair.
  • You have a sentimental attachment to your old car. Whether it’s the first car you paid for on your own as an adult, a gift from a grandparent who has passed, or simply carries many pleasant memories, there are many emotional reasons why you may want to stick to the car you’ve known for many years.
  • Make sure you have enough to make a good down payment (around 20%). While the cost of repair could be thousands of dollars, which would be a really nice down payment on a car, you probably still have to worry about monthly payments.
  • Sometimes your insurance increases when you get a new car. Factor the cost of insurance into the repair-or-replace equation.

Tips for Purchasing Your Next Car

Don’t buy new! Buy used!

New car depreciation is shocking! A new car loses around 10-15% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. New cars lose around 20-25% of their value within the first year.

According to CarFax, “new cars continue to lose value for four more years, averaging a decline of 15-25 percent per year. On average, a new car will lose 60 percent of its total value over the first five years of its life.”

Keep in mind that older and foreign cars tend to have higher repair costs. When shopping for a new vehicle, factor in operational and depreciation costs.

Be wary of private buying and private selling

There are many risks involved with private car sales. We recommend either avoiding the situation entirely by working with a used car lot or being extremely careful and diligent when dealing with private sellers or buyers.

Avoid the hassle of posting on Craigslist and simply visit one of our locations in Tennessee and Georgia for a quick and easy transaction.

Buy used car in full

The best way to replace your current car is by selling or trading in your current vehicle in order to pay for a used car upfront. By choosing a car that you can afford to pay for upfront, you will own the car rather the car owning you. Then, save the money that you would have spent on your monthly car payments for future repairs and/or your next vehicle.

The worst (most expensive) way to purchase a car is to lease a new car. Not only will new cars lose around 22% of its value over the first year, your lease payments will also be covering the car’s depreciation and the dealer’s/loaners profits.

Try not to go into debt over a car. Use cash if you can for the best deal. If you must “rent” a car, lease a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle instead.

What if you have bad credit?

First, you should know your credit rating. While your credit rating will affect your loan approvals and interest rates, there are some car dealers, such as Auto Simple that provide competitive financing ratings for any approval rating.

Still, you want to make sure you can afford the car. Use a car affordability calculator or contact your local Auto Simple representative. If you are trading in your vehicle, get a quote from us so you can subtract the trade-in value from the estimated car budget.

Read our Used Car Buyer’s Guide for more tips on shopping for a used vehicle.

Tips for Extending Vehicle Lifespans

If you aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to the car that has served you so well over the years, then here are some tips for extending its lifespan and stalling some of those common repairs:

  • Use your owner’s manual to stay up on all the proper maintenance for your vehicle, including fluid changes and other regular service intervals. It’s a good idea to schedule calendar reminders for all your important car maintenance so you never forget.
  • You can also conduct some regular maintenance for your vehicle on your own. Reference your owner’s manual for information on replacing fluids, such as motor oil and coolant. Read our blog post for more information on regular vehicle maintenance.
  • Learn what your vehicle dashboard signs and symbols mean. Some can be ignored while others are much more important to pay attention to.
  • If you don’t know what’s wrong with your car, use the internet and online forums, such as CarTalk to try and figure out the problem.
  • Avoid getting scammed by mechanics by learning what to bring with you and what to look out for when shopping around for a mechanic.

The decision whether to repair or replace your vehicle can be difficult. It involves math, your current situation, and many other factors.

Before you sink more money into your vehicle, contact Auto Simple for a free vehicle appraisal.

Not only do we pay top dollar for your used vehicle, we also can get you a better deal on trading in your old car for one of our Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles.

We Buy ANY Car

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Visit one of our locations
  2. Receive a top dollar offer
  3. Sell of trade in your car and get paid on the spot

Related Posts:

Contact Auto Simple or visit one of our convenient locations:

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+.

* We provide the Kelley Blue Book link for research and reference purposes only. Kelley Blue Book is not affiliated with this site in any way. Representations made regarding products and services provided by third parties are governed by the policies and representations made by these third parties.

Teenager Driving Tips for National Teen Driver Safety Week

 Teenager Driving Tips - National Teen Driver Safety Week

Teenagers can’t wait to get their driver’s license. For teens, driving is new, fun, and liberating—a near-obligatory rite of passage. And parents will enjoy the extra time away from personal chauffeur duties, even if they dislike the higher insurance premiums.

Unfortunately, teens and cars are a dangerous combination. Car crashes are still the leading cause of teen deaths.

In honor of National Teen Driver Safety Week, established by Congress in 2007, we are sharing some important information on the teen driving problem and what you can do about it.

The Teen Driver Problem

  1. Car crashes are the #1 cause of death among teens. In 2015, 2,715 teenagers died in the U.S. from crash injuries. An additional 221,313 teenagers were treated in emergency departments in 2014.
  2. The crash rate for teen drivers is 3-4x the crash rate for adults. This discrepancy increases at night and when other teens are in the vehicle.
  3. The crash rate is worst during the first few months of licensure. The risk is highest at age 16.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Furthermore, research shows that the presence of passengers increases the crash risk among teenage drivers but decreases the risk among drivers 30 years and older. One study showed that the presence of peers increased risk taking among adolescents (but not adults) in a simulated driving game. Adolescent decision making is directly influenced by the mere presence of peers as shown in numerous studies of reckless driving, substance abuse, crime, and more.

In addition to being more susceptible to peer pressure than adults, young drivers also have the tendency to overestimate their own driving abilities. Peer pressure combined with poor risk assessment and inexperience makes it difficult for teenagers to drive safely.

Unfortunately, telling teenagers about the risks of the road (“scaring them straight”) may not have an impact. Research has shown that feedback about bad news makes little to no impact on teenagers’ estimates of risk assessment. While adults will alter their estimates of some event occurring based on new information, adolescents have been shown to update their estimates if there is good news, but bad news doesn’t make much of an impact.

As summarized by Robert Sapolsky in his new book, Behave (p. 161):

Researcher: “How likely are you to have a car accident if you’re driving while drunk?” Adolescent: “One chance in a gazillion.”

Researcher: “Actually, the risk is about 50 percent; what do you think your own chances are now?”

Adolescent: “Hey, we’re talking about me; one chance in a gazillion.”

Compared to adults, teenagers are at higher risk of violence, substance abuse, crime, unsafe sex, poor health habits, and automobile crashes and fatalities. These risky behaviors are the greatest threat to teenagers in industrialized societies.

For reasons that have a lot to do with neurobiology and environment, teenagers take a lot more risks and are bad at risk assessment.

What is being done about risky teenage driving?

Teenagers—the odds are against them. Luckily, some changes have been made to help reduce the risk of automobile accidents, such as graduated licensing programs.

These programs have greatly reduced the number of teenage driver crash involvements. While graduated licensing programs vary in strength from state to state, most jurisdictions have some combination of the following restrictions on young drivers:

  • Supervised learner’s period
  • Learner’s permits and intermediate licenses
  • Limitations on high-risk driving (nighttime driving or with teen passengers)
  • Higher age limits

In most states, the minimum age for getting a driver’s age is 16, although it can be as low as 14 years or as high as 17 years. In Tennessee and Georgia, the minimum age is 16, with restrictions on nighttime driving and passengers. View the graduated licensing requirements and restrictions for every state.

Graduated driving programs have been proven to quite effective, especially strong nighttime driving and teenage passenger restrictions. In addition to better graduated licensing programs, what can be done to reduce the number of teenage automobile accidents and fatalities?

Ways to Increase Teen Driver Safety

Regardless of state law, it’s a good idea to follow these best practices:

  • Wait until your teen is 17 years old to get a license (risk is highest at age 16).
  • Enforce all graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws and set stricter standards, such as at least 70 hours of supervised practice driving with an experienced adult driver.
  • During first 12 months of driving, enforce nighttime driving restrictions starting at 8 p.m. and a ban on all non-adult passengers.
  • Consider in-vehicle monitoring devices which can give feedback parents on speeding, seatbelt use, and more.
  • Be a good role model (no phone use, no speeding, etc.) and ride with them frequently.
  • Teach your teen driver to stay at least 2 seconds (3-4 seconds in unsafe conditions) behind the vehicle in front. Mark a fixed point on the road, and after the car ahead passes it, it should take you at least 2 seconds to reach that same point.
  • Obey traffic signs, wear your seatbelt, eyes on the road, and hands on the wheel. All the time.
  • Use safer cars (electronic stability control, key safety features, and bigger, heavier, and newer vehicles).
  • Even though every state has a minimum alcohol purchasing age of 21, teach your teenage drivers the importance of never getting into a car with a driver who has had even one drink. It is illegal to drink under the age of 21, so the BAC level should always be .00.
  • Texting, calling, and other phone-related distractions present the greatest increase in crash risk for teen drivers.
  • Ensure your teen driver(s) get the proper sleep they need to drive safely.
  • Set written guidelines for your teenage driver and make them sign it. No alcohol, no passengers, no nighttime driving, no speeding, no phone use, and always buckle up. There should be clear penalties for each violation of the terms. There should also be clear rewards, such as a 6-month incident-free period. For every 6-months of safe driving, you may want to increase some driving privileges. Make sure you discuss and enforce the consequences of noncompliance.

Be a good example!

Teens learn how to drive from their parents. They will quickly learn to ignore the rules if you ignore them yourself. In today’s world, the most important rule you should always follow, especially in front of your kids is to never use your phone while in transit.

Never use your phone while driving! Pull over if you need to text, call, use social media, or interact with your phone in any way, such as typing in new directions, make sure you pull over or come to a complete stop first.

Ironically, studies have shown that driver education programs may not be effective, at least in the short term. Studies have shown that advanced driver training may actually increase the risk of automobile accidents, especially among young males. Driver education programs may lead to overconfidence and the taking of unnecessary risks.

What are the safest vehicles for teenagers?

Understandably, teenagers tend to drive older-model vehicles that are already in the family. A study by the Institute of Highway Safety found that 43% of teenagers surveyed were driving vehicles that were purchased when they began driving and that 83% of the vehicles that were purchased were used.

While it makes sense not to spend a small fortune on your first car, it also makes sense to choose the safest vehicle in your budget. A separate Institute study showed that the risk of collisions and fatalities increases when teenagers are driving sports cars or small vehicles.

In order to choose the safest vehicle for your teenager(s), keep in mind the following purchasing guidelines:

  • Stay away from sports cars and high-horsepower vehicles, which encourages teens to speed and show off in the presence of peers.
  • Choose bigger, heavier vehicles with more safety features. No small cars or minicars are recommended for teenage drivers.
  • Look for seatbelt reminder systems for every seat in the car.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC), also known as electronic stability program (ESP) or dynamic stability control (DSC) is an absolute must for detecting and reducing skidding and the loss of traction.
  • Look up crash test, rollover assistance, and other car safety ratings on Consumer Reports and other resources to choose the best safety ratings that you can.
  • Make sure the vehicle has working airbags. Look for head-protecting side airbags.
  • Search NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings to make sure your vehicle has a minimum 4-star rating.
  • If you can afford a newer model car, look for forward-collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot warning (BSW), and rearview cameras.

Visit CDC.gov for more information on teen driving statistics, risk factors, and prevention.

Take the time during National Teen Driver Safety Week to decrease the chances of your teen turning into a statistic. In addition to being a good example behind the wheel, write up a contract with rewards and punishments. You have a lot more influence than you think.

Related Driving Safety Posts:


Looking for a safe car for your teen? We carry a large inventory of Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, each of which go through a comprehensive 180-Point Quality Inspection before they are listed.

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+.

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

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