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Best Used Subarus: Which Models and Years Are Most Reliable?

Best Used Subarus Models Years Most Reliable - Red Mountain Funding Mesa AZ

If you want reliability and affordability from your next automobile purchase, then Subaru is one automaker you should not ignore. Several Subaru models from various years offer tremendous value.

Consider your options carefully whenever you plan to purchase a vehicle, and refer to the following list to learn more about your possible options from Subaru.

In This Post You Will Find:

This was originally posted November 6, 2018 and was updated February 12, 2020.

Benefits of Buying Used Subarus

Subaru is popular for standard all-wheel drive in its most popular models, as well as for fantastic cost of ownership. Subarus are reliable, versatile and offer a wide range of customization with new purchases.

However, they are also tremendously valuable as preowned purchases. If you’re looking for a great brand of used car to buy, Subaru should definitely make your list of top automakers.


Subaru Legacy

The Subaru Legacy has been one of the most popular sedans in America for many years. Since its original launch in 1990, the Legacy has improved across the board with every new model year. Anyone who needs a reliable and spacious sedan will likely find the Legacy to be a great value.

Best Legacy Model Years

Models from the early 2000s should be much cheaper than more recent used models, but they will still offer fantastic value for many years.

The 2015 model in particular actually won the Canadian Car of the Year award for outstanding quality, but any model year after 2005 is ideal for a preowned car purchase. This ensures a combination of great value and savings compared to more expensive models in recent years.

2015 Subaru Legacy

2015 Subaru Legacy


Subaru Impreza

2010 Subaru Impreza, wide-body coupe

2010 Subaru Impreza, wide-body coupe

The Subaru Impreza is a quick, reliable vehicle available in several styles. The wide-body coupe model from the early 2000s offers up to 165 horsepower along with the reliability that comes with the Subaru brand.

Sedan models are spacious without sacrificing the renowned maneuverability of these light and quick cars. There are also sport models available with a variety of options and configurations, so you are sure to find a great Impreza while shopping for preowned vehicles.

Best Impreza Model Years

One of the best benefits of the Subaru Impreza is variety. If you’re looking for something practical and reliable, a sedan model from the mid- to late-2000s could be ideal.

If you’re looking for something sportier, the Impreza Sport could be perfect for you.

There are also wagon models with additional storage space, a perfect fit for families.


Subaru WRX

The Subaru WRX is actually a variation of the Impreza with more horsepower. The WRX contains a 2.5 liter Flat 4 Boxer engine, boasting a tremendous 300 horsepower.

The WRX is a fan favorite in the rally car and dirt racing circuits, and is treasured by Subaru enthusiasts.

Best WRX Model Years

One of the great attributes of the Subaru WRX is that even models from the 1990s – if well kept – offer incredible value. If you enjoy sportier vehicles and want an affordable used car that can compete with newer makes and models on the road, WRX models from the 2000s are relatively inexpensive and reliable.

2010 Subaru Impreza WRX

2010 Subaru Impreza WRX


Subaru Outback

2009 Subaru Outback

2009 Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback has been one of the most popular wagon-style vehicles in the United States for many years. The Outback is generally more expensive than other wagon-style vehicles from Subaru, but it offers tremendous versatility.

Many Outback owners enjoy that the vehicle’s off-road capability and storage space don’t detract from modern comforts and passenger seating space.

Best Subaru Outback Years

Subaru Outback models from the 2000s offer spacious interiors, solid off-road performance, and high marks across the board when it comes to overall performance and value. While the Outback may be more expensive than another Subaru model of the same year, it’s crucial to compare what’s under the hood before deciding.


Subaru Forester

The “big brother” of the Subaru Outback is the impressive Subaru Forester, a heavy-duty SUV offering more towing power and storage space than the smaller Outback.

Models from before the 2009 model year are very similar to the wagon-style Outback, while 2009 and newer models are larger SUVs.

Best Subaru Forester Years

While older Foresters still offer fantastic value and reliability, models made after the 2009 redesign year made improvements to stability control, visibility and interior comfort without sacrificing performance.

The 2014 redesign offered even more improvements, including the turbocharged XT model, navigational system, automatic emergency braking and improved safety features.

2014 Subaru Forester

2014 Subaru Forester


 

Why Buy Used?

There are distinct advantages to buying a brand-new vehicle. A new car buyer will generally get to enjoy the manufacturer’s warranty coverage and the peace of mind of owning a hot-off-the-assembly-line vehicle.

However, there are some distinct disadvantages to buying brand new. First, you may not know that your brand-new vehicle contains a defect that will appear months or even years later, leading to frustration and potentially costly repairs.

Used vehicles typically have been through one or more extensive inspection processes. And, keep in mind that most defects appear soon after launch. When you buy a preowned vehicle, you can rest assured (in most cases) that the manufacturer has already identified and addressed any defects.

Buying new is significantly more expensive than buying used. If the thought of “you get what you pay for” is giving you pause on a preowned vehicle purchase, keep in mind that Subaru has a reputation as one of the most reliable makes you can buy.

 If you have your heart set on an affordable and reliable Subaru that will last for many years to come, Red Mountain Funding can help you secure a loan for the vehicle from any Arizona dealership.

Apply For Financing Online Today

 

How the Subaru Brand Stacks Up When It Comes to Reliability

When most people go shopping for vehicles, reliability is one of their top concerns. However, “reliability” may mean different things to different people. For some, reliability means consistent performance for a long time with minimal need for repairs. For others, reliability means ease of ownership, low yearly maintenance costs, and acceptable resale value. So, are Subarus reliable? That might depend on your definition, but the brand has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years for its general reliability, low long-term cost of ownership, and high performance.

Everything You Need to Know About Subaru Reliability

If you’re looking for a great balance of value and performance with a relatively low risk of maintenance issues during the first few years of owning your next vehicle, Subaru is a great choice. In 2019, Consumer Reports ranked Subaru #1 in overall performance and value. However, Consumer Reports also tracks reliability in terms of repair issues and yearly maintenance cost, and Subaru actually slid down five spots in the rankings from the previous year, ranking #7 in overall reliability for 2019.

While this may seem to be a counterpoint against the long-standing reputation of Subaru reliability, the lower reliability score from Consumer Reports for 2019 is due to the introduction of new and redesigned vehicle models. Many people shopping for vehicles prefer new vehicles as a kneejerk reaction; “new” often correlates with “high value,” but it may be a better investment to choose a used Subaru from a previous model year with low mileage. If you want a reliable Subaru, many models from the past several years have achieved high rankings from some of the most respected automobile reviewing agencies in the world.

Which Is the Best Subaru Model?

You may be wondering, “Should I buy a Subaru Legacy or Impreza,” as these models are some of the most popular Subarus and offer well-rounded ranges of features. However, you shouldn’t approach this question in terms of trying to find the “best Subaru,” but rather which Subaru model is the best fit for you.

2017 Subaru Legacy

2017 Subaru Legacy

2018 Subaru Impreza

2018 Subaru Impreza

Subaru manufactures a wide range of vehicles that each have unique advantages. If you’re looking for something that will handle your daily commute with minimal fuss year after year, Subaru is known for making some of the most reliable sedans, such as the Impreza and the Legacy. If you need a sturdy family vehicle that can handle soccer practice drop-offs as well as long hauls to summer campgrounds, the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback are great options. Take time to compare Subaru models to find the best fit for you, and then take some time to research past year models to determine which used Subaru could provide the most long-term value.

2018 Subaru Outback

2018 Subaru Outback

2018 Subaru Forester

2018 Subaru Forester

Subaru Reliability Ratings Slide in Recent Years

Subaru’s long reputation as an incredibly reliable brand and perceived as one of the best automobile manufactures gives it high marks. Unfortunately, Subaru’s quality has declined in the past few years for several reasons, one being a well-known head gasket issue that lead to engine problems for many Subaru models produced between 2003 and 2009. A used Subaru with detailed maintenance records will be a good indication that the car has been properly taken care of and a head gasket concern won’t arise. However, a car without these records may put you at a greater risk for a blown head gasket. It is best to proceed with caution and always insist on a detailed multi-point inspection before a purchase. If you’re planning to buy a used Subaru, and limit your search to models from more recent years, typically from 2013 and newer, there’s minimal need for reliability unease. The 2020 Subaru lineup is quite impressive, with the new BRZ topping the performance charts and earning awards for great value, but you will pay more for a new car.

Repair Pal can be a great resource if you’re looking for more detailed information about the long-term cost of ownership of a vehicle. This site aggregates a Reliability Rating based on the frequency of repair issues, the average cost of repairs, and the severity of the issues repaired. Subaru currently ranks 3.5 out of 5 in terms of overall Reliability Rating, and upon closer inspection of the details behind this report, you’ll discover that despite some recent issues, Subaru still maintains exceptionally high reliability scores in comparison to national averages.

According to Repair Pal, the Subaru Crosstrek has a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5, which ranks it 1st out of 26 for compact SUVs. 

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

What to Expect From Your Used Subaru

After taking some time to research your options and the known issues for recent model years of Subaru vehicles, you can probably choose one or two models that interest you. If you want to get maximum value out of your used vehicle purchase, you should work with a trusted dealer and ask the right questions to make sure any known issues with the vehicle you’ve chosen have been addressed.

Related Reading: What Do You Need To Consider Before Buying A Used Car?

A well-maintained Subaru can last well over 300,000 miles, provide a fantastic return on your initial investment, and offer years of reliability. As long as you avoid some common bad habits that are true for any vehicle and use your vehicle with care, a used Subaru can last much longer than you might expect.Apply For Financing Online Today

Best Used Honda Cars: What Models and Years Are Most Reliable?

Best Used Honda Cars: What Models and Years are Most Reliable?

Honda Reliability Guide: Our Insights Into the Brand’s Best Models and Years

Honda vehicles have long been known as some of the most reliable and durable vehicles available. They are also fuel efficient, roomy and versatile, stylish, and outfitted with extensive safety and technology features. To make it an even more appealing vehicle, Hondas are more affordable than many other cars on the market.

Even though Hondas are superior in affordability compared to other vehicles, they can still be too expensive for many people. New Hondas, like all new cars, are expensive. Luckily, there are many used Honda models that are great options for people looking for a more affordable choice. Consult this used Honda buying guide to determine which model and year is best for you.

Honda: Supreme Reliability

When we say Hondas are among the most reliable vehicles on the market, what does that mean? On a practical level, a reliable vehicle is one that will start each time you turn the key, providing you with transportation to school, work, and other obligations. Perhaps just as importantly, a reliable vehicle will remain running smoothly with regular, scheduled maintenance – there should be no return trips to the shop to fix incessant problems with the same issue. Most of all, a reliable vehicle will last for years to come with very little reason for concern regarding excessive funds spent on repairs.

For these reasons, a reliable Honda vehicle can save you a great deal of money in the long run, firmly cementing Honda’s place as one of the most affordable makes on the market as well. For years, this combination has made Honda the first choice in new and used vehicles across the United States. In fact, wildly positive consumer reviews have caused publications such as Consumer Reports to award top reliability, trust, and affordability ratings to the brand since its introduction into the US market in the 1970s.

However, Honda’s commitment to reliability goes much deeper than simply avoiding time in the shop and keeping drivers happy. Instead, the company has taken a deep dive into what it takes to master the production process to ensure a long-lasting vehicle that truly runs well. As a result, other industry giants like JD Power have consistently named Honda as one of the most reliable brands on the market today.

Red Honda Civic

What Makes Honda So Reliable?

Auto Assembly Line

Vehicle reliability begins before the first parts ever roll off the factory line. In the early 20th century, American automaker Henry Ford instituted large-scale changes to his production process and vehicle assembly techniques, culminating in the first use of the moving assembly line in 1913. By the end of the decade, Japanese automakers were traveling to the United States to get a glimpse of the process.

Since then, however, automakers like Toyota and Honda have not only perfected the once-American model of production process control – they’ve improved upon it. In particular, Honda’s systems of monitoring the entire production process allows it to exert a superior level of quality control. When coupled with excruciating attention to detail at the design level, it’s clear that Honda places great value upon its status as one of the most reliable auto makes in the industry.

How Does Honda Stay Reliable?

However strict the design and manufacturing processes are, it’s equally important to ensure lasting quality. Primarily, Honda does this by instituting only the highest standards for its original manufactured parts, meaning that you’re much less likely to suffer a loss in performance due to wear and tear or faulty parts. Honda also holds high quality standards for parts manufactured by other corporations, as well.

In the event that an issue emerges with one of its models, whether within the manufacturing process or with a part supplied from another corporation, Honda uses a process called root cause analysis to determine the source of the issue as well as the best way to address it. This careful attention to solving the genuine cause of a problem is much more effective than attempting to address the issue after the fact. Then, the lessons learned from the issue can be applied to prevent further issues of the same type in subsequent models.

How Does Honda Reliability Compare to Other Manufacturers?

For years now, Honda and Toyota have appeared to run neck-and-neck when it comes to multiple areas of concern, including affordability, quality, and reliability. To be certain, the brands have much in common. First, both are traditionally Japanese brands with a similar attention to quality control, production process, and root cause analysis; secondly, both developed these processes as a result of studying other, American automakers and improving upon their tactics.

Honda vs Toyota

In the years since Toyota’s inception, however, the company has chosen to remain focused strictly on reliability. Typically, Toyota does not participate in research and design to the same extent as other manufacturers – like Honda, in particular. Instead, it implements improvements as it sees fit years after they’re instituted in other brands, resulting in a significant performance, comfort, and technology gap.

As the result of the Toyota corporation’s choices regarding research and development, as well as innovations within its line of vehicles, the brand has remained among the top of all automobile manufacturers with regards to customers’ perception of reliability. However, this spot comes at a significant price when it comes to providing the vehicle features auto buyers want. By contrast, Honda has stepped up its research and technological advances over the past five years, dedicating a steadily increasing amount of time to discovering what buyers need in a vehicle and researching ways to make it happen.

Has Honda Become Less Reliable Over the Years?

This renewed attention to performance and technology has resulted in multiple improvements to many Honda models over the same time period. In this period, Honda has spent time developing smoother and more high-tech transmissions, turbo-charged engines, improved air quality and the associated controls, and instituted a series of changes to the in-car stereo and navigation. These “infotainment” features, while not essential to the continued operation of the vehicle, can perform tasks many drivers find necessary in the digital age.

Reliability Level

While Honda increased its performance and comfort standards across the board – far surpassing Toyota and other manufacturers – consumers noticed the fact that increased performance sometimes results in a seemingly less reliable car. These new technologies provide significant benefits to the driver, but they may remain consistent for a shorter period of time than previous models. However, both new and used Honda models remain among the most reliable in the industry, all while setting significant performance and comfort standards other manufacturers will mimic in the years to come.

In short, Toyota chooses to focus on reliability, at the expense of performance and the comfort of its drivers. Meanwhile, Honda divides its focus among all three crucial areas of customer satisfaction. The practice has not lowered Honda’s overall reliability but, as newer technologies provide a learning curve and present new troubleshooting situations, popular rating systems have temporarily lowered Honda’s reliability ratings until other manufacturers catch up.

Reliability Takeaways

Although some consumers perceive growing pains with infotainment systems and superior advances in performance as a gap in reliability, those concerns are reflected primarily in survey-based rating systems like Consumer Reports. Similar, temporary dips with brand-new models also occur within the JD Power Awards systems. Still, used models continue to maintain excellent reliability scores.

If you’re in the market for a used Honda vehicle, you can rest assured that across all Honda models, the reliability rating from trusted mechanics remains strong. In fact, Repair Pal lists Honda as its number one reliable make, rating it a solid 4 out of 5 and heading up a list of 32 different manufacturers. Red Mountain Funding’s list of Honda model and year reviews will provide even more insight into the best Hondas for your used car dollar.


Used Honda Civic Reviews

One of the best used Honda models is the Honda Civic. From 1992 to 1995, Honda sold the fifth-generation Civic. Initially, it only came in sedan and hatchback bodies. It was also the first generation to include Honda’s VTEC technology. There were various types of engines, depending on the exact Civic model that you purchased.

In 1996 Honda introduced the sixth-generation Civic and produced different variations of it through the year 2000. Along with sedan and hatchback, it came in a coupe body. The sedans came in three different trims and the engines were either 106 hp or 127 hp, depending on the trim level. Honda also offered the 155-hp HX Civic, a coupe with better fuel economy. In 1999, Honda released the Si trim, which had a 1.6-liter engine good for 160 hp. The next generation had many similar traits with 1.7-liter engines and more options for trim levels. The cars were more fuel efficient and safe, with more room. The main complaint was the lack of anti-lock brakes.

2006 Honda Civic

2006 Honda Civic

Many experts prefer the eighth-generation Civics, from 2006 to 2011, over the ninth-generation Civics. The eighth-generation standard Civics in coupe and sedan form had four trim options and a 1.8-liter engine with 140 hp. Honda also released variants such as the Si with a 2.0-liter engine and six-speed manual transmission, GX that ran on natural gas and had a 1.8-liter engine, and Hybrid with a 1.3-liter engine and electric motor.

In 2012, the first year of the ninth generation, people were not as excited about the Honda Civics. Some claim that they were worse in some areas than previous model years. Honda made significant changes to the Civic in 2013 in response to the criticism, improving the handling, suspension, and crashworthiness. It also had a more appealing interior and exterior style.

If you are looking for a great Honda Civic coupe or sedan, look at the eighth generation (2006-2011)  or the 2013 model. These years have better handling, higher fuel economy, and many more improved safety features. Avoid the 2012 Honda Civic.

Honda Civic Model Year Comparison

Similar to the Accord, the most common complaints about the Honda Civic were issues with the transmission. The 2001 model was the worst year for Honda Civics. People spent an average of $2,300 fixing transmission failure after 104,000 miles.

The second worst year for Civics was 2002. The complaints were the same as 2001. After an average of 108,000 miles, owners needed to spend an average of $2,300 on a failed transmission.

Though Honda improved the transmission on the Civics after 2002, a new issue appeared in the 2006 model. 2006 Honda Civics had a large number of cracked engine blocks. People with this issue spent an average of $2,700 in repairs after driving 94,000 miles. In the last seven years, Civic owners overall had fewer complaints than with earlier models. The 2006-2011 and 2013 model years received the most positive reactions from experts and owners.

2013 Honda Civic

2013 Honda Civic


Used Honda Accord Reviews

Honda introduced the fifth-generation Honda Accord in 1994. It is a good option for people looking for a reliable, less-expensive vehicle. It was the first time Honda used the VTEC variable valve timing system and came with a 4-cylinder engine with an EX-trim level.

2001 Honda Accord

2001 Honda Accord

The sixth-generation Accords from 1998 to 2002 are also great options for used cars. They came in either coupe or sedan body styles. For the power, they had either a four-cylinder engine or V6 power. Experts compared nine cars and this generation of Accord came in second place. Though it is not especially thrilling to drive, it is very easy to operate. Accords made after 2000 have improved safety features but otherwise, the model years in this generation are extremely similar.

Seventh-generation Honda Accords were accompanied by severe complaints, especially the 2003 model year. Many owners complained about issues with the transmissions, including failures that required expensive repairs. People also complained about issues with the interior accessories, body and paint, engine, and climate control.

Honda Accords released between 2008 and 2012, the eighth-generation Accords, received the most complaints of any generation, most of which revolved around the quality of the brakes. A large number of users claimed that the brakes wore down at around 26,000 miles, which is significantly premature. Other complaints included squeaky brakes, warped rotors, scraping sounds, brake vibration, and brakes sticking.

Honda made significant improvements with the current generation. The new generation began in 2013 and there have been far fewer complaints so far than previous model years. Additionally, the largest portion of complaints focuses on interior accessory issues, as opposed to dangerous mechanical issues. If you are in the market for a used Honda, a ninth generation Honda Accord is a great option.

Honda Accord Model Year Comparison

For a more specific analysis of used Honda Accords, it is important to look at the specific model years. Though the 2008 model year has the highest number of complaints, many experts are quick to discourage people from buying 2003 Honda Accords.

In 2003, many of the issues required expensive repairs and caused poor mileage. Transmission failure was a large issue. The average cost to fix issues on Honda Accords in 2003 was $2,700 and the average distance before the transmission failed was 97,000 miles. The 2004 model year saw similar issues. The average cost for the transmission failure was slightly higher at $2,900 after an average of 110,000 miles. 2002 Honda Accord complaints centered around the transmission slipping. The average cost for repairs was $2,400 after an average of 94,000 miles.


Honda CR-Z Model Year Comparison

There are not nearly as many complaints about the Honda CR-Zs, no matter which year you analyze. This could be partially due to the fact that the CR-Z model is a less popular Honda model and, thus, fewer people are reporting issues.

The model year 2011 had the most complaints but experts even more adamantly discourage the 2015 model. The 2015 CR-Z had complaints about uncomfortable seats. The most common complaints for the 2011 model were that fog lights would get condensation in them after an average of 18,000 miles and that paint would peel off after 21,000 miles.

Owners have the most positive reactions about the 2012 Honda CR-Z model year. It is a small hybrid vehicle with impressive handling and a smooth ride for passengers. It only has two seats, but they are designed to be extremely supportive. This model year has enough power to operate as effectively as larger vehicles on the highway.

2012 Honda CR-Z

2012 Honda CR-Z


Honda Prelude Model Year Comparison

2000 Honda Prelude

2000 Honda Prelude

The 1992 Honda Prelude has the most complaints, but experts consider the 2001 model to be worse. In 2001, owners reported losing oil through the exhaust. They spent an average of $3,000 to repair the issue after 79,000 miles.

Owners of the 1992 Honda Prelude complained that the engine destroys all the valves when the timing belt breaks and that the timing belt breaks prematurely. After an average of 110,000 miles, owners would be required to spend an average of $2,400 to repair the issue.


Honda Odyssey Model Year Comparison

Similar to the Civics and Accords, the Honda Odyssey models had the most issues with the transmission. Experts consider the 2002 model to be the worst because of the complaints about transmission failure. Owners spent an average of $3,400 after 96,000 miles to repair the problem. The 2003 model had the same issue.

Owners of the recent 2014 version of the Honda Odyssey report issues with the vehicle jerking and making a loud clunking noise. They spent an average of $1,100 to fix it and the issue started occurring after an average of 17,900 miles.

The best Honda Odysseys were made between the years 2005 and 2011. Honda did a major re-design and improved many of the previous issues.

2011 Honda Odyssey

2011 Honda Odyssey


Mesa, Arizona Used Honda Car Financing

At Red Mountain Funding, we want every family and individual to have a car and can help you with loans to make it an option for you. We are honest and affordable and will do everything possible to provide financing for the ideal Honda for you. Simply contact us at (480) 497-8488 for more information. 

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*This post was originally published June 27, 2018 and was updated February 12, 2020.

What Do You Need To Consider Before Buying A Used Car?

What Do You Need To Consider Before Buying A Used Car?

If you’re shopping for a pre-owned vehicle, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. You want to choose a car that is in good condition, with a solid amount of mileage, little to no mechanical damage, and safe operation.

You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a car that looks nice from the outside, but breaks down a few days later. Many consumers, unfortunately, run into this issue – and more often than not, it occurs because of a lack of prior research and feeling pressured to make a purchase on the spot.

Making an informed decision is key to finding the best used vehicle for your dollar. Coming into the sale equipped with proper research will make a world of difference during the purchasing process. Don’t rush into buying your next car – here are seven things you need to do before you finalize a pre-owned purchase.

#1: Know Your Budget

Before you begin your pre-owned car search, you need to know how much money you are willing to spend on the vehicle. By setting a clear budget beforehand, you can avoid a pushy salesperson swindling you into a purchase that you don’t want to make that sets you thousands of dollars over your budget.

By setting your budget, you can also narrow down your used car search significantly. There are lots of cars out on the market right now, and the number of choices can be seriously overwhelming. Knowing your price range can help you identify the types of cars you can purchase without stretching your wallet.

When you budget for your pre-owned vehicle, remember that you will likely need to pay for more than the car itself. You should also budget for a vehicle inspection, any small repairs, licensing and insurance costs, and emissions inspections.

#2: Understand Your Financing Options

Once you know how much money you want to spend on your vehicle, think about how you will obtain that money. Will you pay the car in full with cash, or do you need a little extra support to invest in your next vehicle? Consider the financing options available to you, such as auto loans.

Red Mountain Funding offers flexible financing options for pre-owned vehicles for people who struggle getting a loan from another source, even if you have bad credit. With our financing program, you can purchase your used vehicle with a small down payment of $500 or $1,000.

If you meet any of the following criteria, we encourage you to apply for one of our loans:

  • A dealership or lender has turned down your financing request.
  • You have had a banking or checking account for several years.
  • You have a small down payment available to make toward your used vehicle.
  • You have a history of making your monthly mortgage or rent payments on time.
  • You are employed and have a steady source of income.

#3: Know What Kind Of Vehicle You Want

Before you begin your vehicle search, think about what kind of car you want to purchase. This will help you avoid purchasing a vehicle that does not fit your wants and needs. In addition, you do not want to purchase a car for a road trip only to find out that it has very poor fuel efficiency.

Consider the following questions before you start looking at vehicles on the market:

  • How many seats do you need for the vehicle?
  • What is your optimal fuel efficiency range for the vehicle?
  • Do you have any specific makes or models in mind for your vehicle?
  • Do you want a small car or a large car?
  • Do you need any special features, such as a great sound system or additional safety mechanisms?

#4: Research The Vehicle’s History

Before you make a final purchase, make sure to run a Carfax report or a similar vehicle history report to get a clear picture of the state of the vehicle. You will be able to gain information about the car’s accident history or any other potentially concerning events. If you are buying your vehicle from a private seller, you can run this report yourself.

#5: Take The Vehicle Out For A Test Drive

Do not make a final purchase on a pre-owned vehicle without taking it for a test drive first. Not only does this give you a good idea of how the car operates, but it allows you to understand how comfortable you feel driving the vehicle. Drive the car in a variety of environments, such as on the highway, on residential roads, and up and down hills. If you notice any issues with the vehicle or you do not feel comfortable driving it, find another car.

#6: Get A Vehicle Inspection

Purchasing a pre-owned car can be a very economical way to find your next vehicle, but it also comes with a set of risks. You want to make sure that everything in the vehicle is in working order and completely safe before you buy. Invest in an inspection from a trustworthy mechanic to make sure that the car is in working order.

The mechanic will run some basic tests on your vehicle, such as checking the engine and transmission, as well as a basic visual check. You should always have an inspection before making a purchase, even if the seller insists that you do not need one. It is much better to be sure that there are no mechanical defects than to find one later!

#7: Prepare To Say No

Not all sales situations will end with you loving the vehicle. More often than not, you will look at multiple vehicles before you find the one right for you. You should not jump into a purchase if you’re not completely comfortable with the vehicle – be ready to shop around and remember that you have the right to say no to a sale.

Are you looking for a reliable pre-owned car in the Mesa, Arizona area? Red Mountain Funding can help. We provide flexible financing for pre-owned vehicles so that you don’t have to deal with a dealership. Contact us today to learn more about our vehicles and your financing options.

Learning How Credit Works: Managing Your Spending

Learning How Credit Works: Managing Your Spending

Many Americans have a working knowledge of how credit works and yet still continue making costly mistakes that impact creditworthiness, interest rates on financing, and overall economic stability. Take time to learn how credit influences your life and the decisions you could make to improve your credit score. It can be surprising how a few simple changes can dramatically change your credit score for the better.

What Is A Credit Score?

Various credit bureaus track credit-related information for all U.S. adults. These bureaus use various formulas to calculate a person’s credit rating, a numerical value of his or her creditworthiness.

  • A bad credit score is any credit score under 640.
  • Fair credit scores hover in the 640 to 700 range.
  • Any credit score between 700 and 750 qualifies as a good score.
  • Excellent credit includes credit ratings of 750 to 850.

This scale may seem straightforward at first, but countless factors go into an individual’s credit scores. It is very important for anyone who seeks any type of financing or credit line to know the terms and conditions and how interest will apply to avoid significant credit-related problems in the future. Defaulting on loans or failure to pay your bills on time can negatively impact your credit score for years to come.

Things That Impact Your Credit Score

If you intend to apply for a credit card, a small business loan, or financing for a home or vehicle purchase, one of the first things a creditor will look at is your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio basically defines your financial flexibility. If you have a low debt-to-income ratio, this means you make more than enough money to pay your debts based on your average income. A high debt-to-income ratio means that you likely have very little income leftover after paying your bills each month. If you have a high debt-to-income ratio, a creditor will likely feel less inclined to extend you credit since there is a lower chance you will pay your bills on time and in full.

Credit bureaus also take your bill paying habits into account when assigning your credit score. Some of the various factors that can influence your credit score include:

  • Failure to pay a bill on time, or multiple late payments on a credit line. Consistent timely payments can comprise as much as 35% of your overall credit score.
  • Defaulting on a loan or failing to pay back a loan as required by the loan contract.
  • Attempting to defraud a creditor.
  • Changing jobs frequently.
  • Frequent or too many credit requests in a short timespan. This could indicate to the credit bureau that you are attempting to open several lines of credit at once.
  • Periods of unemployment.
  • Private and government liens. Some liens may remain on your credit report for up to ten years.
  • Unpaid utility bills.
  • Ignoring potential inaccuracies or identity theft. It is essential to carefully monitor your credit lines and address fraudulent or suspicious activity as quickly as possible.

Ultimately, whenever you take on any type of loan or debt it is essential to pay it off as soon as possible while abiding by the terms of the contract. A lender will stipulate when and how payments are due, how your payments apply to your principal and your interest, and your interest rates.

Working Your Way Out Of Bad Credit

If you want to increase your credit score, your first step is to prioritize your spending in a way that reduces your debt. Paying down the balances on your open lines of credit and active loans is the best way to increase your credit score, but this takes time. If you are trying to recover your credit score or are just starting to build credit, a few tips can help you avoid astronomical interest rates and set you up for a better credit score in the long run. Some of the things you can try to boost your credit score more quickly include:

  • Paying off liens as soon as possible. Liens are one of the most detrimental factors in your credit score, so work toward paying them off as quickly as you can.
  • Paying off higher-interest debts first. The higher the interest rate on a line of credit, the more you will pay overall to settle the debt. Target your highest interest rate loans and lines of credit and work on paying those off before your lower-interest rate debts. Of course, you want to keep making payments on all your debts, but prioritizing extra money toward your higher-interest loans will benefit you more in the long run.
  • Limit frivolous spending. Eating takeout every day for lunch at work is more expensive than many people realize. You could very likely buy groceries and cook your own meals for a fraction of what you spend on takeout. The money saved could make a major difference in your outstanding balances.
  • Limit the number of credit inquiries you request in a short time. If you are shopping for credit cards, research available offers on your own and wait to request an inquiry until you are sure the credit line meets your needs and budget.
  • Keep outstanding balances as low as possible. If you need credit for a sudden and unexpected expense this could be difficult, but ultimately you should strive to keep all outstanding balances as low as possible.
  • Pay more than the minimum payment. If your credit card requires a $50 minimum payment, remember that this amount will not entirely go toward paying down the principal on the account, but also the interest. However, whatever you pay over the minimum payment amount usually goes toward the principal. For example, on the credit card with the $50 minimum payment, paying $60 would ensure the extra ten dollars goes toward the principal, which in turn lowers the overall interest you will pay on the account.
  • Set up payment reminders. Most Americans pay their bills online now thanks to the ease and convenience of online bill paying software and most creditors having proprietary apps. Find out if your creditor offers any type of app or payment reminder program you can use to build a solid payment schedule for yourself.

Bad credit can happen to anyone for various reasons, so use these tips as a starting point and develop a repayment plan that helps you tackle your debts in the most beneficial way possible to escape debt and increase your credit score.

When Is It Wise To Buy An Extended Vehicle Warranty?

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When Is It Wise To Buy An Extended Vehicle Warranty?

Due diligence is important for every car buyer – not just to choose which vehicle to purchase, but to decide on the right warranty plan. When your basic manufacturer warranty expires, is it in your best interest to take out an extended warranty? The answer depends on your vehicle, finances, and priorities.

What Is A Vehicle Warranty?

A new or certified pre-owned vehicle warranty is a legal agreement that helps maximize your investment. When you pay for a new vehicle, manufacturers or dealerships often offer basic or extended warranties. These are contracts between you (the purchaser) the warrantor. The contract states that if you follow the rules of the warranty, the warrantor will cover the costs of certain maintenance and repairs on your vehicle for a specified amount of time.

A vehicle warranty means you can qualify for free repairs or part replacements from the warranty provider, over the time frame listed in the contract. Warranties can protect you from paying out-of-pocket for expenses such as unexpected part breakdowns, malfunctions, or defects. If the vehicle you purchased has a faulty part, the warrantor will pay for repair or replacement so you don’t have to. Warranties are wise ways to protect the substantial investment of a new car.

Basic Vehicle Warranties

Basic warranties automatically come with most new car purchases. Other names for the basic warranty are standard warranty, factory warranty, and “bumper-to-bumper” warranty. A basic warranty typically comes from the vehicle manufacturer. Most cover a new car for three years, or 36,000 miles. Most basic warranties cover all items on and in the vehicle, other than wear-and-tear items and general maintenance. These can include:

  • Body panels
  • Interior repairs
  • Tires
  • Brake pads and linings
  • Windshield wipers
  • Oil changes
  • Tire rotations

Basic warranties only cover certain things. If a covered item has a defect or breaks down through no fault of the owner’s, the manufacturer will cover the costs of part repairs or replacements. Once the warranty expires, however, it is up to the owner to pay for repairs. An extended warranty is a plan an owner can purchase after the expiration of the basic warranty. It is an optional form of protection that can continue coverage for part repairs and replacements.

What Comes With An Extended Warranty?

An extended vehicle warranty typically provides similar coverage to the basic warranty. It will provide coverage after the basic warranty expires, at three years or 36,000 miles. Most extended warranties protect against electrical or mechanical malfunctions for an additional 20,000 miles or more. As in a basic warranty, the warrantor will pay the costs of fixing certain parts, saving the vehicle owner money if something breaks down. An extended warranty’s reach will depend on the company providing coverage.

A typical vehicle contains over 5,000 parts. Most basic and extended warranties do not cover every single part. Instead, they cover specific items, listed in the terms of the warranty. It’s important as a purchaser to read the fine print of an extended warranty before buying. It may not be worth the investment if it offers very limited coverage, or if it has many loopholes that could enable the company to get out of paying you. Most car dealers can give you the details on an extended warranty when you purchase the vehicle.

Is An Extended Warranty A Good Investment?

For some drivers, the basic warranty is enough to offer peace of mind at a lower price. Yet if you are truly nervous repairs may be necessary, you may wish to extend your basic warranty for an additional 20,000 miles or so. Extended warranties are an additional cost at the time of purchase that could be worth the investment. However, you are gambling that the money intended to go toward repairs will pay for a plan you’ll never use.

Depending on your financial situation, it may be more beneficial to take the dollar amount of the extended warranty and put it in a savings account in case of vehicle emergencies. That way, if nothing goes wrong with your car, you can use the money toward something else. If you invest it into a warranty, you spend the money whether your vehicle experiences breakdowns or not. If you’d prefer to have longer-lasting peace of mind about vehicle repairs, however, an extended warranty program could be an ideal solution. Compare quotes and options from different providers to find the best deal for you.

Other Vehicle Warranty Options

The basic and extended warranties are not your only options as a driver. Depending on what vehicle you purchase, the manufacturer may offer more robust protection plans. Luxury brands often have warranty options that last longer and for more miles than typical contracts. Other car companies have extended their warranties to attract more buyers. Hyundai’s basic warranty, for example, covers the vehicle for five years or 60,000 miles.

Regardless of which manufacturer you go with, you may have additional warranty options available to you. Most manufacturers permit buyers to take out more than just the basic warranty, if they wish. An adjustment warranty from the dealer can cover small issues within the first 90 days of purchase, such as leaks, alignments, or rattling noises. A powertrain or drivetrain warranty can cover the engine and mechanical parts of the vehicle (this comes with most basic warranties). A corrosion or rust warranty can cover the cost of repairs due to metal deterioration.

If you’re afraid of your new car encountering costly problems, lay your fears to rest with the right warranty plan. Consider your priorities and budget to determine if an extended warranty is worth your while.

Find High-Quality Vehicles That Fit Into Your Budget

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Find High-Quality Vehicles That Fit Into Your Budget

Are you in the market for a pre-owned vehicle? Finding the right car can be a challenge in today’s economy. Pre-owned cars can retail well over $15,000, with many newer models in the $20,000-plus range. If you’re on a tight budget, you might think that your only option is an old clunker that can only get a few miles to the gallon.

However, many affordable pre-owned vehicles are available under the $10,000 mark. You don’t have to sacrifice quality and style just to stay under budget. Here are some of our top picks for the best pre-owned cars that you can find under $10,000.

#1: The 2005 Acura TL

2005 Acura TL

The 2005 Acura TL is a luxurious sedan that comes with all the amenities you could want in your vehicle. It features a beautiful, stylish interior and a compact design that makes it ideal for your next car. The Acura TL has a powerful V6 engine and a slick-shifting six-speed manual for optimal driving experience.

The Acura TL gets 21 miles per gallon combined, with 18 MPG on city roads and 26 MPG on highways. It comes with a powerful sound system to listen to your favorite music on the road. This vehicle blends comfort and fun into one, making it a perfect fit for all types of drivers. The 2005 Acura TL can retail between $4,100 and $6,700 at many dealerships.

 

#2: The 2006 To 2008 Hyundai Sonata

2008 Hyundai Sontata

These Hyundai Sonata models offer a powerful and refined look and a roomy interior for optimal comfort and style. The 2007 and 2008 Hyundai include a V6 engine, stability control, and a smooth ride.

  • The 2006 Hyundai Sonata can retail between $2,500 to $5,000. It has a combined gas mileage of 24 MPG, 21 MPG on city roads, and 30 MPG on highways.
  • The 2007 Hyundai Sonata can retail between $3,000 to $6,800. The 2007 Sonata has the same gas mileage specs as the 2006 model.
  • The 2008 Hyundai Sonata can retail between $4,000 and $7,000. The 2008 Sonata has the same gas mileage statistics as the 2006 and 2007 models.

#3: The 2005 To 2008 Pontiac Vibe

2008 Pontiac Vibe

The Pontiac Vibe is an SUV that offers good mileage, stability control, a lot of room, and a larger cargo area than other vehicles. The 2007 and 2008 models include reliable Toyota powertrains. The Pontiac Vibe is perfect for families looking for an affordable vehicle.

  • The 2005 Pontiac Vibe can retail between $4,500 to $6,000. It has a 27 MPG combined, 25 MPG on city roads, and 31 MPG on highways.
  • The 2006 Pontiac Vibe can retail between $5,500 and $7,000. The 2006 Vibe has the same mileage statistics as the 2005 Vibe.
  • The 2007 Pontiac Vibe can retail between $5,700 to $9,000. The 2007 Vibe has the same mileage specs as previous models.
  • The 2008 Pontiac Vibe can retail between $5,200 and $6,000. The 2008 Vibe has the same mileage statistics as its predecessors.

#4: The 2007 To 2008 Kia Optima

2008 Kia Optima

The Kia Optima is another classic sedan that provides an affordable pre-owned car option for budget-oriented drivers. It contains lots of space in the backseat and a sleek, gorgeous exterior. The 2008 Optima has great crash scores as well for the highest level of safety. This makes the Kia Optima a great family vehicle and starter vehicle for young drivers.

  • The 2007 Kia Optima can retail between $3,000 and $6,500 depending on the dealer. It has a 25 MPG combined, 21 MPG on city roads, and 31 MPG on highways.
  • The 2008 Kia Optima can retail between $4,200 and $7,500. This vehicle has the same mileage statistics as its previous 2007 model.

#5: The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander

2007 Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander is an affordable, roomy SUV perfect for families looking for an affordable vehicle for reliable transportation. The Outlander has a roomy rear hatch to pack up your family for a road trip or transport equipment from place to place.

It has very agile handling for a smooth, comfortable, and safe ride. The Outlander also has a V6 engine and a wide range of features to benefit your driving experience. In addition, the vehicle comes with a lengthy warranty.

The 2007 Outlander is a very affordable vehicle, and it can retail between $4,000 and $9,000 based on quality and the seller. It receives a combined mileage of 20 MPG, with 17 MPG on city roads and 25 MPG on highways.

#6: The 2005 Toyota Avalon

2005 Toyota Avalon

The 2005 Toyota Avalon has a very roomy cabin and stylish exterior, with many owners comparing the car’s interior to a Lexus. It offers a smooth ride with a V6 engine and a large rear seat for optimal transportation.

The 2005 Toyota Avalon also offers great value for its affordable price. This vehicle can range between $7,000 and $9,000 depending on the condition of the vehicle. The 2005 Avalon has a combined mileage of 22 MPG, with 19 MPG on city roads and 28 MPG for highways.

#7: The 2008 Mazda 3i

2008 Mazda 3i

The 2008 Mazda 3i has a very refined and sleek look at an affordable price. It has very high-quality materials plus luxury features – a great value for the low-price averages. It comes in both a sedan and hatchback style.

The 2008 Mazda 3i is very affordable for the budget-conscious buyer. This vehicle can range from $4,200 to $6,000. In addition, the Mazda 3i receives very good mileage for a vehicle its age. Combined, it has a mileage of 26 MPG, with 23 MPG on city roads and 31 MPG on highways.

#8: The 2005 Honda Pilot

2005 Honda Pilot

For larger families and people who want to transport groups from place to place, the 2005 Honda Pilot is the vehicle for you. The vehicle provides eight-passenger seating and roomy cargo holds. In addition, the Pilot offers a very comfortable ride and engine reliability and safety.

The 2005 Honda Pilot is another affordable option, and it can retail between $4,200 and $6,000 based on the specs and condition of the vehicle. It receives a mileage of 17 MPG combined, 15 MPG on city roads, and 20 MPG on the highway.

#9: The 2007 To 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit

2009 Volkswagen Rabbit

The Volkswagen Rabbit has an upscale, sleek style and a strong engine for a high-quality hatchback ride. It includes a rich interior, plentiful safety features, and a strong build. It offers a roomy cabin for optimal comfort.

  • The 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit can retail between $4,600 to $6,000. It has a 22 MPG combined, 19 MPG on city roads, and 28 MPG on highways.
  • The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit can retail between $6,000 and $7,000. It has a 24 MPG combined, 22 MPG on city roads, and 29 MPG on highways.
  • The 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit can retail between $4,200 and $6,000. It has a 24 MPG combined, 21 MPG on city roads, and 30 MPG on highways.

#10: The 2005 Acura TSX

The 2005 Acura TSX offers a sporty, sleek, and stylish look on the road. It has a slick six-speed manual transmission for smooth handling and a comfortable ride. This vehicle has a comfortable and upscale interior and some models include a built-in navigation system.

The Acura TSX can retail between $5,500 to $8,000 depending on the mileage and condition of the vehicle. This car has a mileage of 23 MPG combined, 20 MPG in the city, and 28 MPH on the highway.

Are you looking for a reliable pre-owned car in Arizona? Partner with the most trusted pre-owned car financing company to fund your next vehicle purchase.

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How Does the Lemon Law Work for Cars and Trucks in Arizona?

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How Does the Lemon Law Work for Cars and Trucks in Arizona?

Just the thought of having to shop for a used car might bring on a slew of emotions, evident in how the body reacts. The heart beats faster. The throat might get dry. There may be butterflies in the stomach or is that nausea or indigestion? The nape of the neck or the brow on your face may start to bead with sweat. Although buying a used car may feel a lot like a first date that you’re excited about, there are also some risks that could sour the venture. Perhaps that’s why the consumer protection was aptly named the Arizona lemon law. Though there isn’t much there that can be turned into lemonade. Here’s why.

When It’s Used, You Are Buying Someone Else’s Problem That Never Got Fixed

More consumers than not purchase a used vehicle. There are benefits: price and value. Used cars have already taken the heavy hit on depreciation that the new vehicle buyer paid for. And if you’re lucky, the used car or truck has been well-maintained. Unfortunately, luck won’t pay for an overlooked maintenance issue or faulty production. But there are ways to help minimize your risk, before you ever set foot on a used car lot. But in case you did and you believe you’re stuck with a lemon, here’s where you’re sitting (from a legal perspective).

What Is a Lemon in the World of Cars and Trucks?

If you’ve had the unfortunate circumstance of having a vehicle that breaks down often, and bought under the guise of it being reliable, often times a new car, this would fall under the notion of lemon. According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975 and the common law Uniform Commercial Code, there is recourse for acquiring a lemon.

In Arizona, new vehicle buyers have the lemon law to fall back on, as long as the claim is filed within 2 years or 24,000 miles of the new car/truck life, whichever comes first. And if Murphy’s law has anything to do with it, you wouldn’t know you had a lemon until mile 24,001. In addition, the manufacturer would be obligated to repair or replace the vehicle or give the buyer their money back. But the burden of proof would fall on the purchaser because there is an implied warranty on the vehicle. Just like it sounds, the implied warranty is chockfull of ambiguity which creates potential workarounds for the dealer and manufacturer to not hurry up and take care of it. In addition, there is an implied intention on the buyer-side in how to care for the vehicle, how to drive the vehicle and how to know when something’s wrong with the vehicle.

For used cars, the lemon law applies in a much more stringent manner. Just like in the purchase of real estate, “BUYER BEWARE” can’t be stately strongly enough. The Arizona lemon law provides a scant amount of buyer protection, only covering the period just after purchase, for major breaks or defects that become evident within the first 15 days of purchase or 500 miles – whichever comes first.

The Lemon That Got Away

Many used car lots in Arizona promote an “AS-IS” sale. Much as it saddens us to have to spell it out, AS-IS means just that: AS-IS. The buyer purchases the vehicle in the condition it is with no expressed or implied warranty other than the short-term of whatever the dealer is providing. Period.

Even if you drive the car off the lot, turn the corner, stop at a convenience store, then over to your friends to show off your new ride and then when you want to head out to celebrate at your favorite local hotspot, but the car decides it would rather stay parked than move an inch. Does it need gas in the tank? A new head gasket? A new engine? It doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is, you – the buyer –own the problem.

Then again, there is social media. No service-oriented company in their right mind would let you go and be left to your own devices to blow off steam about a shady financial transaction. The dealer is much better off doing what they can to minimize the damage to the vehicle and their reputation.

While this is an extreme example, though not entirely out of the question, it does bring to the surface what you can do to simplify the used car buying process and help avoid getting a taste of the lemon law for yourself.

Research the Vehicle before Buying

With the internet and all the ways to access it at the tap of your fingertips, there’s no excuse for little or misinformation from a buyer perspective.

Avoid the lemon by following these steps:

  1. Do your research: Check out the vehicle from consumer reports and search for product defects and recalls.
  2. Know the seller: Unless you purchase from a private party, do your due diligence on the dealership. Discover reviews through yelp, google, and their social media channels. If they don’t have any, find another place to buy.
  3. Find available warranties: No matter the type of warranty, if any, being offered by the dealer, search for warranty options from other sources.
  4. All but ignore verbal promises: If the seller swears on his mother that the car is in perfect condition and has been given all the necessary repairs, but won’t put it in writing… the repairs never happened and the car probably has issues. GET IT IN WRITING OR IT DOESN’T EXIST.
  5. Hire a third-party auto mechanic: Spend the money for a thorough inspection of the vehicle before you drive it off the lot. Pennywise always trumps pound foolish.
  6. Know the value: Do price comparison shopping for the vehicle, year, make, model and similar mileage. Also adjust the price based on an AS-IS sale as pricing is what will make the risk worth it. If there are more repair/condition issues after you’ve don’t #5, adjust the price again.
  7. Ask for accurate and verified vehicle history: Make sure the dealer puts it in writing that it is accurate and verified.

Still Need to Put the Squeeze on a Used Car Dealer?

If you’re reading this article and doing the woulda-shoulda-coulda under your breath, it might be time to take your lemon to the next level and see where you stand. Find information on lemon laws specific to individual states within the US here.

We hope you’ve caught this story in time before your next used car or truck purchase. That way, you won’t need to waste your time listening to someone blowing smoke up your asked questions.

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Used Cars in Mesa Under $5000: Can You Find a Dependable Car at That Price?

Best Used Cars Under $5000 Mesa AZ - Red Mountain Funding

If you’re in Mesa, Arizona, or the East Valley, you might be wondering if you can find a used car under $5,000 that will get you to work and back every day and that can handle all of your errands with breaking down. You’re going to have to be patient and sift through a lot of ancient and/or troublesome vehicles in this price range, but you can find a dependable vehicle if you look hard enough.

In this article, we’re going to tell you what kind of car to look for if you have $5,000 or less to spend, including how to refine your search. Additionally, we’re also going to offer some food for thought on looking at newer, higher-end vehicles that lie a little outside of your current price range.

What Kind of Vehicle You Can Expect for $5,000

If you have $5,000 to spend on a vehicle, you’re likely looking at something with 100,000 to 150,000 miles on it. With $5,000, you shouldn’t have to settle for a car with 200,000 miles or more.

How old? Expect vehicles in this price range to be about 10 years old or older.

The type of vehicle? You’re probably looking at a sedan, coupe or possibly a compact SUV or truck. You can pretty much forget about a full-size SUV or pickup unless it has a ton of miles on it and was made in the ‘90s (or earlier).

Vehicles such as Toyota and Honda (and Lexus and Acura, for that matter) are going to be harder to find in this price range unless they are much older and have a lot of miles on them. Therefore, your best bet might be a domestic vehicle, such as one by Ford, Chrysler or Chevrolet. For foreign makes, Mazda, Nissan, Kia and Hyundai are typically more affordable than their competitors.

Where Can I Find a $5,000 or Less Vehicle?

In your price range, you can look to private sellers, major new-car dealerships that also sell used cars, and independent car lots that feature used vehicles exclusively. Keep in mind that while looking for cars at this low of a price, you’re not going to be able to haggle the price down by $1,000 or more.

Your wiggle room here, if the price of the car is already near true market value, is about $500, at most. The only exception would be if you’re talking to a private seller who’s not a very good negotiator.

Get the Vehicle Inspected and Do Your Own Research

With any vehicle you’re seriously considering, you should look up what kind of history it has, and you should have a professional inspect its current state.

Start by running a free vehicle history report by entering the VIN of the vehicle into either CARFAX or AutoCheck. The report will tell you if the car has been in a serious accident or if it’s had major problems in the past; some reports even show the car’s service records.

Now, don’t necessarily cross off every vehicle you see that has been in an accident. An accident may not be that bad if:

  • It was minor.
  • It happened years ago.
  • The vehicle has been driven many thousands of miles since then.

Yes, ideally you’re going to want something with a squeaky clean record. But, with this price range and the miles that these cars will have, you’re going to come across several that have had at least a minor accident. We’re just saying, if you really like a certain vehicle but it was in an accident years ago, don’t write it off until you dig deeper.

Also, yes, most cars in this price range are going to have little dings, chips and scrapes. It comes with their experience. But, so long as it doesn’t have major, unfixed body damage, what you should really be worrying about is how the vehicle runs. That brings us to our next point.

Get a Prepurchase Inspection

Before buying any used car, you should submit it for a prepurchase inspection. If you’re buying from a dealer, they should be able to do this on site or through a trusted partner nearby. Many mechanics around town offer this service, as well, which is especially helpful if you’re looking to buy from a private seller. If you already have a trusted mechanic for your current vehicle, you can try to see if they will inspect the vehicle you’re considering buying.

Keep in mind this service will likely run between $100 and $200, whether you have the dealer or an independent mechanic do it. The prepurchase inspection should be a 100-point (or more) check of the vehicle, with a detailed report to follow.

This service should not only unearth any problems under the hood, but also any damage to the body or interior of the vehicle. This includes problems that go undetected by the average consumer, such as flood damage, hidden rust and poor previous repair work.

Best Used Cars Under $5000

Just for reference in your search, we would like to point out some of the top vehicles of 2018 according to two authoritative sources.

Kelley Blue Book released a list earlier this year of the top 10 used vehicles that run about $5,000. In order, here are the 10 vehicles that made the list (along with their average price in Mesa, AZ in parentheses):

  1. 2003 Toyota Avalon ($4,266)
  2. 2003 Toyota Camry ($4,276)
  3. 2004 Honda Accord ($4,477)
  4. 2004 Toyota Corolla ($4,339)
  5. 2005 Honda Civic ($3,854)
  6. 2004 Subaru Forester ($4,084)
  7. 2004 Toyota Matrix ($5,015)
  8. 2003 Acura TL ($4,060)
  9. 2004 Subaru Outback ($4,023)
  10. 2006 Mazda M3 ($4,629)

15 Additional Used Vehicles Worth Mentioning

Also, U.S. News and World Report published a list in June of the 15 best used vehicles under $5,000, in no particular order. For reasons unexplained, all vehicles listed were from 2009. Here are the 15 vehicles that made the list (along with their average nationwide price in parentheses):

  • 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser ($4,358)
  • 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit ($3,123)
  • 2009 Mitsubishi Galant ($4,373)
  • 2009 Scion xD ($4,459)
  • 2009 Pontiac Vibe ($4,548)
  • 2009 Toyota Yaris ($3,913)
  • 2009 Chevrolet Malibu ($4,786)
  • 2009 Mercury Milan ($4,698)
  • 2009 Hyundai Elantra ($3,325)
  • 2009 Saturn VUE ($4,641)
  • 2009 Scion tC ($4,405)
  • 2009 Scion xB ($4,874)
  • 2009 Saturn Aura ($3,455)
  • 2009 Ford Fusion ($4,637)
  • 2009 Honda Fit ($4,834)

We realize it may be hard to find one of these exact vehicles from either list. But, these lists should help steer your search, as far as make and models go. You may not be able to find a vehicle with the exact same year of production, but if you find the same make and model around the same year that is listed above, then you’re on the right track.

A Loan Can Help You Get a Better Vehicle

Consider applying for a loan for a used vehicle, even if your credit score is less than appealing at the moment. Red Mountain Funding helps East Valley residents secure financing for a used vehicle, even when they’ve been turned down at another dealership. At Red Mountain Funding, we are our own financing institution, and we report to all three major credit agencies.

If you’re approved for a loan, you may be able to get a newer or higher-end vehicle, such as in the $8,000 to $10,000 range. Even if you stick around $5,000 and get a loan for a vehicle in this range, you now have the chance to make payments and build up your credit. This helps you get an even better vehicle when you go to look for your next car a few years down the road.

At Red Mountain Funding, we encourage you to apply for a loan to see if you can get financing for a vehicle around (or perhaps higher than) $5,000.

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Best Used Honda SUVs: What Models and Years Are Most Reliable?

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Best Used Honda SUVs: What Models and Years Are Most Reliable?

Used Honda CRV

The first year that Honda made its iconic SUV model – the “Honda CR-V” – was 1997, and it debuted a rounded style based more off the emerging styles of sedans, rather than the box-y look that many SUVs still had at the time. This new and unique look helped the Honda CRV to become an instant hit with car buyers. 22 generations later, the 2018 Honda CR-V shows that this model of vehicle is still just as popular.

With Honda CRV models still in high demand, you may want to consider used Honda CRVs, if you are on the search for a reliable, affordable and stylish used SUV in the greater Phoenix, AZ area.

Best Used Honda CRV Years

If you are set on getting a used Honda CR-V for yourself, the first thing you will want to consider is the year the vehicles were made. Different year models have different adjustments made to the base design, and some year models will have certain features and other year models may not.

Additionally, Honda – with its focus on quality and dependability – has made adjustments to safety and fixed known past problems, in certain years. So, if you want to avoid a known problem in older used vehicles, you may want to opt for a certain year-model.

2017 Used Honda CRV

2017 was the year than Honda made big changes to its popular CRV series of SUVs. Changes to the exterior were subtle, preserving the exterior style that made the SUV so popular, but the majority of the changes are to the cabin area. The newly redesigned cabin offers even more luxury with a new dash, even more leg room, and an increase in overall space and cargo room.

Used Honda CRV for Sale in Mesa Arizona

Source: edmunds.com

4th Generation Honda CRVs (2012 – 2016) The Most Sought After Used SUV Models

The 4th generation run of Honda CRVs began in 2012. While the size, interior, and engine of the 2012 – 2016 Honda SUVs were similar to past models, this generation boasted a quitter and smoother ride than previous generations. 2015 models also boast increased torque (184 lb-ft), and included all-wheel drive and front wheel drive. Look for the following:

  • Used 2012 Honda CRV LX
  • Used 2013 Honda CRV EX
  • Used 2016 Honda CRV EX-L

Top Years for Used Honda SUVs:

  • 2008 Used Honda CRVs – High MPGs
  • Used 2005 Honda CR-V – High Safety Scores, but limited off-road availability.
  • Used 1999 Honda CR-V – Higher Horsepower, Automatic Transmission, Spacious Interior.
  • Used 2000 Honda CR-V (SE) – Special Edition features leather interior and rides well at high speeds and highway travel.

You can find used Honda SUVs from as little as $3,000 to $11,000, and while you may pay a bit higher of a price tag with Honda CRVs – compared to other SUVs from other manufacturers – that extra cost is for the Honda reliability, durability, safety, and overall value.

Used Honda SUVs are in high demand recently, especially models in the years 2003 – 2008, as Honda was ahead of the curve with making proactive changes in those years; changes that many other manufacturers were hoping to stall for or put off for future years. This means that the used Honda SUvs, from 2003 to 2008 models, offer some features that wouldn’t be seen in other manufacturer’s SUVs until the 2006 – 2012 models.

If you can find great deals on used Honda SUVs, especially Honda CRVs (1997 – 2017), they are highly recommended.

Used Honda Element

Used Honda Element for Sale in Mesa, ArizonaAnother great used Honda SUV for families is the Honda Element. With a distinctive “boxy” look, the Element has an incredibly spacious interior, yet is considered compact in length –being 7 inches than a Honda Civic. This layout makes the Honda Element extremely easy to park and fit into tight spaces – a feature many urban Phoenix residents may appreciate.

If you are looking for an SUV for versatility, the Honda Element is the used car choice for you. The unique design of the Honda Element was created with sports and outdoor enthusiasts in mind. This used SUV can handle day-to-day urban trips, and retire to the hills on the weekends for camping trips and outdoor activities. Models 2005+ even feature waterproof interiors for surfing and watersports enthusiasts.

Best Used Honda Element Years

2003 – 2010 Honda Elements are all make great used SUVs for Arizona car buyers. We recommend looking out for several year-models when searching for Used Honda Elements in Arizona:

Used 2005 Honda Elements

With a price tag averaging $4,350 to $6,399, 2005 Honda Elements feature the first year with standard side airbags – making the 2005 model the choice for overall safety. This is also the model year that Honda made MP3, WMA playback, and XM Radio available.

2007 Honda Elements

2007 models of Honda Elements saw the most updates to the SUVs. New safety changes made it a top choice for safe used vehicles in Arizona, a newly redesigned instrument panel made it more sleek and stylish, the handling is more balanced than ever in the 2007 used Honda Elements models.

Used 2011 Honda Element for Sale in Mesa Arizona

Source: edmunds.com

2011 Honda Elements

The final year that the Honda Element was manufactured, 2011 used Honda Elements not only give you a chance to own the last models of this iconic SUV series, but the reliability of used 2011 Honda Elements ensured that the memory of the Honda Element would not fade quickly. This model can easily last you 10+ additional years under the proper care.

Used Honda SUVs for Sale in Phoenix, Arizona

As a financing company, Red Mountain Funding offers zero down and low down payment financing for affordable used cars in Arizona. Our office in Mesa, Arizona can finance your purchase from another Mesa, AZ car dealership.

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Take Over Car Payments: Assumable Car Loans for Bad Credit and No Credit

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Take Over Car Payments: Assumable Car Loans for Bad Credit and No Credit

Are you looking for a way to purchase a vehicle with either no credit or bad credit? There a few options available to purchase a car without perfect credit. Red Mountain Funding specializes in a variety of lending options for those who may not qualify for a traditional auto loan. One of those options that may not be well known is assuming the car loan of another individual.

This process may seem difficult without the proper guidance. Many traditional lenders will not allow you to take over car payments. That is where Red Mountain Funding can help you. We work to connect people with assumable auto loans and help with the necessary paperwork to protect both you and the current owner of the vehicle.

What Does Taking Over a Car Loan Mean?

You may have heard about this type of transaction and wondered exactly what it is. When a person finances a car and is unable to continue making payments or driving the vehicle for several reasons including loss of income or even military service that takes them overseas, they may not be able to sell the vehicle for what they owe on the loan. In these cases, they will look for someone who is willing to assume the payments until the loan is paid off. Once the loan is paid off, the person who assumed the loan will then be given the title to the vehicle by the original owner.

Where to Find Assumable Auto Loans

You may find several local listings to take over car payments on Craigslist. Before you make an agreement with an individual, you should contact Red Mountain Funding to help you with the paperwork involved. They will meet with you and the current loan holder to work out the details and ensure that both parties are protected in the deal. It is important to use a third party in these arrangements for your protection.

Written Agreements

It is important to get all the details of the arrangement in writing including the loan term, payment amount, how payments will be made, and how insurance will be handled. Remember, a financed car needs insurance coverage that meets the requirements of the original lender until it is fully paid off. Most lenders require a vehicle to have full coverage until the final payment is made.

Insurance Coverage

One of the most important things to agree on when assuming the auto loan is who will hold the insurance coverage on the car. When making this agreement, you should make sure to read the terms of the original loan. Some loans require the primary borrower to hold insurance on the vehicle while most state laws require the driver to be insured. This can cause an issue if you don’t have a written agreement regarding insurance. In some cases, the owner of the vehicle can add you as a driver on their policy or you may have to have insurance on the vehicle with them on your policy. Red Mountain Funding can help you understand the insurance regulations and make the right agreement for you.

No Down Payment

One of the biggest benefits of assuming a car loan is that you do not need a down payment. Most traditional and bad credit car dealerships will require a percentage of the purchase price as a down payment. If you are unable to make a down payment on a vehicle, you may want to look into assuming an existing loan. This type of vehicle purchase allows you to take over car payments with no money down.

Affordable Payments

One of the most difficult parts of financing a vehicle is getting a payment you can afford. If you c

hoose to take over car payments, you will be getting the interest rate of the current owner of the vehicle. This may make the payments more affordable with your current budget. Affordable car payments are one of the biggest benefits of this type of transaction. When searching for assumable auto loans, Red Mountain Funding can connect you with individuals who are looking for someone to take over their car loan in your price range.

Can’t Afford Car Payments, What Are My Options?

How To Complete Auto Title Transfers In Arizona - Red Mountain Funding

If you have found yourself in a situation where you can no longer afford your car payment, you may have wondered what you can do. You have three choices when faced with this problem.

The first choice is to have your vehicle voluntarily repossessed. This option can have a negative impact on your credit, making it more difficult to finance another car later down the road.

The second option is to try to sell your vehicle for what you owe on it. With the fact that cars lose value the moment you drive it off the dealership’s lot, this may be impossible in most cases. Most car owners are upside down on their loans and would need to sell the vehicle for thousands more than it is worth.

The third and easiest option is to have someone take over your existing loan. Often, there are people who are unable to get financing for a traditional loan or don’t have a down payment to purchase a vehicle. If you are looking to have someone take over your existing loan, contacting Red Mountain Funding should be your first step. We will help you find an individual willing to assume your car loan and take over the payments.

Red Mountain Funding is a family owned lending company that specializes in helping people get into the vehicle they need. We specialize in financing people with no credit or bad credit as well as helping individuals assume existing car loans with no down payment. We strive to help every person without the stress of traditional dealerships. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get the vehicle you need.