How You Can Upgrade Your Vehicle This Summer

The year 2020 was a difficult one around the world due to the pandemic, but it hasn’t stopped America from living life to the fullest when they can. It may seem like traveling is out of the question for many right now, but it doesn’t have to be. Traveling and road-tripping aren’t off the books for millions of Americans this year. You may be thinking of upgrading your vehicle this summer, to travel more, or to simply improve life in one way.

There are a number of ways that you can do so without breaking your budgets or lockdown orders. The Kawasaki dealership may be on your mind when you are thinking of feeling the summer wind this year. Or a used RV dealer may be the ticket for you. Either way, don’t sign any dotted lines or make any big decisions until you see the number of ways you can make 2021 the best summer of your life through an upgraded vehicle.

Here are the many things to consider before you plan your summer adventure.

Are Car Sales Really Down?

It’s a tenuous economy right now, but that doesn’t mean that everybody is suffering financially. And even if you are, you can still upgrade your car without changing your bottom line at all. There are currently 276 million cars on the roads in America today, and approximately 17.5 million new cars on the roads in America every year. Those may be new cars or new used purchases, but either way, America is buying upgraded vehicles every year.

This is true, pandemic or no pandemic. In fact, many Americans that usually rely on public transportation are buying vehicles this year because of the pandemic. Some reports indicate that car sales have been down overall in the summer of 2020, but in the 18-35 age gap, they were up. Younger people did not want to be on public transportation for fear of getting the virus.

To continue with this line of thinking, many young people and travelers want to be outside more this year than they have in previous summers. The world needs some fresh air. With the vaccine rollout not completely underway, and airlines not yet running at capacity, this year’s summer travelers are looking for other options to feel the wind on their faces.

For many, that is going to be a new RV, a new motorcycle, or an upgraded vehicle to help them make sure 2021 is a good summer. When you are looking for a new vehicle this summer, do all of your homework before you purchase one. It’s easier than you think.

Get the money matter out of the way first.

Get Finance Surprises Out of the Way Early

A lot of people want a new car, but think they can’t afford it. It’s easier to buy a new or new used car than you think. Car shopping and car upgrades should be fun. You don’t want that experience spoiled by a budget surprise. Get that matter checked off the list first.

First, understand that you don’t need to break the bank to upgrade your vehicle. Financing is available at dealerships and at the bank. See if you can pre-qualify for one. If you do, then you have this problem out of the way.

For new cars, you shouldn’t be seeing terms longer than 5 years. The car is going to be upgraded by then in most cases. For used cars, anything longer than a 3-year-term is a waste of time and money, and not industry standard. Do your homework with your car financing to see what you can afford. Sometimes even a personal bank loan to get a car is all you need to get the upgraded vehicle rolling. Dealership loans will have higher interest rates than anywhere else. Don’t get one there if you don’t have to.

There are sources like Credit Karma and Lending Tree that can help you determine what kind of car loan or personal loan you would qualify for. If you don’t yet, they can also help you repair your credit to get where you need to get for financing.

Research costs as well. If a new motorcycle is what you want, you may only need 2 or 3 thousand dollars for a used model. The same applies to used car sales. Research every number before you start considering the purchase.

Secure this answer before you secure an upgraded vehicle. When you are ready, do the homework on the upgrades or upgraded vehicle.

What Features Will Your Upgraded Vehicle Need?

If you are looking for an upgraded vehicle for summer traveling or road trips, you are looking for features that you don’t already have. This could include a garage door service, a driver-assist system, or even an air conditioning service. Other things to consider are sunroofs, rear alerts, and automatic braking.

Specific models that have these things and more include Toyota Safety Sense, Honda Sensing, Mazda i-ActiveSense, Subaru EyeSight, and Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield.

New cars are going to have a lot of these new features. You may only want something as simple as a sunroof. Or you may want more. It doesn’t hurt to check out these models to get an idea of what is out there if it has been a while.

There is a good chance you will even find these add-ons in used cars for sale. Many times rentals that get cycled out of the rental shop will put their cars up for sale. You get a significant depreciated value on an almost new car that has been barely used. Keep these things in mind if features are important to you.

It’s never a bad idea to check out the used cars for sale in your area before you begin the hunt for advanced features.

Tips When Buying Used Cars for Sale

When you are buying used cars for sale, there are some tricks to avoid. Long-term loans on used cars aren’t sensible. Some shady dealers or sellers may want you to sign onto a 6 or 7-year loan. All this means is lower monthly payments. It also means a lot of interest payments.

Other things to consider when buying used cars are mileage, wear and tear, and any work that needs to be done after you buy it. Ask the seller and dealer the repair history on the car, and give it a test drive that is longer than 10 minutes before you purchase.

These are the same things to consider when you are buying a motorcycle.

How to Buy a Motorcycle

You may want to purchase a motorcycle, but are too afraid to ask how much that might cost. You would be surprised. You don’t need to turn your life over to the Kawasaki dealership for a motorcycle. You can get a good sport motorcycle for just a couple of thousand dollars if you do your homework.

Before you buy, you want to research salvage titles, any difficulties in starting or stopping the bike, mileage, and look for any excessive wear. Anything more than 20,000 miles on a motorcycle is too much. Car accident lawyers and accident attorneys see hundreds of motorcycle accidents every year. You want to be sure that your new one hasn’t been in one, and that you won’t be either.

With that in mind, review your state’s DMV requirements for motorcycle licensing and helmet requirements, and what you need to drive one.

There are some other options if a new or used motorcycle isn’t your thing.

How to Deal With Used RV Dealers

Maybe a new car or a new motorcycle isn’t what you are after. RV sales are common this time of year. Here’s how to purchase one.

Not very many people are buying brand new RVs. A used RV dealer knows this and knows how to sell you one. Don’t buy the first one you see unless it has checked out in every way.

Don’t buy an RV online or over the phone unless you have checked it out. There are things inside and out that you need to see with the naked eye before cash exchanges hands.

Water damage is common with RVs. The first thing to look for is any sign of mold. You may not see visible water damage, but mold might be seen in the corners, on the walls, and around bathroom fixtures. Check every cabinet and closet with a flashlight for mold as well.

Look for leaks along the ceiling corners and seams. If any sections are bowed, you may have some rot or water damage.

Sometimes these things can be repaired. Sometimes they can’t be, or repairs cause more problems than resolve. Investigate every inch of a used RV carefully before you make the commitment to this problem.

Is a Diesel Engine Right for You?

Summer road trips and traveling often go hand-in-hand with off-roading, camping, or outdoor lifestyles. With this kind of lifestyle, you may be thinking of diesel engines for your upgraded vehicle. A big advantage to diesel engines is in performance, but you do need to undergo regular maintenance or diesel engine repairs get very expensive very quickly. Diesel engine repair can be avoided with regular diesel engine maintenance.

This is not a huge lifestyle change if you really want a diesel engine. You simply need more oil and filter changes, regular checks on the fuel systems, and maintenance on water separators.

You can find a quality used vehicle with a diesel engine today that isn’t very old. But even if it is, you will still see that performance is smoother on used vehicles with a diesel engine.

The most common diesel engines that America is driving today are:

  • Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
  • Ford F-series
  • Jaguar-Land Rover group

You should be getting closer to your purchase. Make a checklist of who and what you will need to have on hand when running your new vehicle. If summer travel is on your agenda, you now have to keep in mind things like towing services, accident preparation, and more.

Summer Driving Checklists

There are a number of things that you need to have on hand once you decide on your vehicle. This is even more true if you are traveling or road tripping with a new car. The goal is to never need these things, but it never hurts to have them on hand.

  • Towing services
  • Local car accident attorney or motorcycle accident attorney
  • Repair shops in destinations and at home
  • Car rentals

You never want to be in the position of looking for a towing service during an emergency. You will be in panic mode and will settle for the one that is available, and not necessarily the best one. You may never have car or motorcycle problems. But you also never want to be stranded with the family somewhere and not know who to call.

AAA is a great nation-wide service company with good towing services and low monthly costs. If you don’t want to do that, research the costs of towing services in the places you are traveling to and keep those numbers on hand. It’s a good idea to read reviews on your top picks as well.

For car accident attorneys and motorcycle accident attorneys, you also never want to need those numbers. It might never happen to you. But car accident fatalities have happened to 38,800 Americans in 2019. Approximately 4.4 million experienced personal injury in car accidents as well.

Do some simple searches on local attorneys before you travel with your new car so that you know you have someone to call in the event of an emergency.

For that matter, you also want to research the costs of rentals in your local area and also where you are traveling.

The ideal is to have a safe trip with your new upgraded vehicle. But it may never happen.

Do Your Homework Before You Upgrade

You have to do your homework before you buy a new car, you already know this. But there are a lot of details you need to figure out before you get there. Make your lists and check them twice. Get your finances in order, look at used car sales or used motorcycle sales before you buy new, look at RVs in person before you buy, and then write your emergency numbers lists. Then hit the road!