Shift Adds New Directors to its Board

Today we are excited to announce three new members of Shift’s Board of Directors as we prepare to complete our de-SPAC process and become a public company: Adam Nash, Kellyn Kenny, Victoria McInnis. Adam has been formally on our board since May, when we started the SPAC conversations, and Victoria and Kellyn will be joining concurrently with our public listing. 

Over the years, we’ve been thinking about how we wanted the board configured as the company grows. As a soon-to-be-public company, there were several factors we deemed critical in choosing these members, including:  

  • Technology and product experience: Shift is, at its core, a technology innovator, and we believe it is critical to maintain that DNA on the board as we scale. Adam has paved the way for groundbreaking consumer technology products, serving as CEO of Wealthfront, early Vice President of Product at LinkedIn, and Vice President of Product at Dropbox. Adam has been an angel investor in Shift from the earliest days, and he has been a valuable voice on the board throughout the period that we’ve been working on the SPAC transaction. We are excited to have a strong product and technology voice among our directors as we continue to create amazing products for our customers. 
  • Brand marketing experience: A key part of Shift’s go-forward strategy is to use a variety of tactics to build our brand, both in our existing markets and new markets as we enter them. Because of this, having a board member  with a strong marketing background is valuable. This is why we are so excited about Kellyn, who as the most recent CMO of Hilton has extensive marketing leadership chops, and has over her career worked on building iconic consumer brands such as Capital One (one of the largest automotive lenders and stand out brand in a considered purchase category), Uber, and Microsoft.
  • Audit and financial controls experience: As a public company, we will face a new level of requirements as related to our internal controls and audit. To this end, having an audit chair who has intimate experience with managing the audit process and can help us implement the right procedures for Sarbanes-Oxley is critical. Victoria has incredible experience in these areas, as Vice President for Internal Audit and Chief Tax Officer at General Motors. In addition to her audit experience in the automotive industry, she has been part of a SPAC transaction, so has experience with the type of transaction we are doing for Shift.  She will be a fantastic addition to our board on a strategic level and as Chair of our Audit Committee. 

We still have two board seat searches ongoing that we will aim to fill in the coming quarters. These are build around these key criteria: 

  • Public company CEO and founder experience: We believe that Shift and our senior management would benefit greatly from a board member who has extensive experience as a CEO and company builder of a public company, who can help us think strategically about our long-term objectives and how to build a lasting company, and be a strong mentor and coach to us as we grow the business. 
  • Public capital market experience: As a public company, Shift will be an active participant in public capital markets. We see great benefit in bringing on a director who has deep relationships in the financial markets and can help us navigate the many nuances and complexities that come with being a publicly traded company. This could be either an experienced and well respected CFO, an investment banking leader, or a former CEO who navigated capital markets extensively. 

In the coming quarters, we expect that certain of our existing pre-public board members will transition out, after many years of dedicated service to Shift, and we will look to replace them with directors who can further round-out the board by bringing a new set of backgrounds and experiences to the table. As we have previously, our goal is ensure that we have a diverse board and we are able to draw on candidates with varying backgrounds. 

We also want to express deep gratitude to Emily Melton and Manish Patel, who have served on Shift’s board for nearly six years, to Jason Krikorian, who has been an investor for six years and a board member for two, as well as to our previous board members who have served Shift over time, for all the hard work that they have put in over the years to help Shift succeed. We appreciate Emily, Manish, and Jason’s willingness to stay on the board for the next few quarters helping ensure continuity as we onboard new directors.

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kellyn, Victoria, and Adam to our team as we continue to build the platform for making car purchase and ownership simple and accessible to everyone. The added strength, diversity and leadership they bring will be invaluable as we become a public company.

Best, 

George and Toby 

Shift is going public this year

Shift to go public later this year by agreeing to combine with INSU today

We are very excited to announce that Shift has entered into an agreement to combine with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Insurance Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: INSU).

As part of the business combination, INSU has raised $185MM in commitments from investors to purchase INSU equity capital, which cash would be available to the combined company following the completion of the business combination, in addition to potential proceeds from the SPAC trust, which currently stands at >$150MM.

We last wrote on our blog in late March when we had to announce some very painful decisions that affected our team and business stemming from the COVID pandemic and economic uncertainty. Facing some of the most challenging headwinds we could have ever imagined, our team nonetheless persevered, continuing to service our customers as they searched for alternative means of transportation. To be here now, announcing this milestone, is a testament to our incredible team that has worked so tirelessly to bring Shift to this stage.

Shift started selling cars in 2014 with a mission to simplify buying and selling of used cars. Offering consumers a complete car buying and selling relationship, it has combined a powerful technology platform with an omnichannel sales approach to redesign the car buying experience, especially through our patented test-drive-delivered-to-customer service. By combining its ability to quickly and accurately evaluate, price, recondition and sell cars across the entire value spectrum with its unique white glove service, Shift has seen meaningful market penetration in its core markets as customers appreciate the breadth of selections and convenience.

This transaction represents a tremendous opportunity for our company. Once completed, we expect it to significantly enhance our ability to scale our technology and operations, accelerate our growth, and continue on our mission to make car buying simple, fair and accessible to all. We are targeting to finalize the combination toward the end of Q3’2020, following the SEC review process and the completion of various conditions to closing, including among other things certain regulatory and stockholder approvals.

We want to close out with a huge shout-out to the many people who’ve helped us along the way. We’ve known each other for nearly 25 years, and each of our journeys in life and business reflect the incredible promise and opportunity of our wonderful country, in which entrepreneurship is able to flourish unlike anywhere else. None of this would be possible without the support of so many who have been with us along the way, both at Shift and in life. From our teachers and mentors, to our investors, to the hundreds of team members who have worked at Shift over the years, to our families and friends who have put up with us working non-stop hours, we owe a huge thank you.

Of course, today’s announcement is a big deal for Shift, but the hard work does not stop now. We are excited about what lies ahead. Onward!

George & Toby

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Finance First Credit

Finance First Credit – Terms & Eligibility

Shift customers may be eligible for a $400 finance credit if they meet all of the following requirements in this order:

      1. Apply and be approved for a loan through Shift before your scheduled appointment.
      2. Buy the car during their first test drive appointment.
      3. Obtain Shift financing during the first test drive appointment.

Promotion begins 6/18/20. Cannot be combined with another promotion. Cars purchased online are not eligible. Prequalification does not apply. Customers who do not get approved for financing, do not obtain financing through Shift or who do not apply for financing prior to a test drive are not eligible. Customers must purchase the vehicle at the time of their first appointment to be eligible for this promotion. Promotion credit subject to change without notice.

Buy a Car Online: How Shift’s Online Purchasing Works

Looking to buy a car online? With Shift’s online purchase process, you can purchase any car through our website and have it shipped to your door. So if you’re ready to take the leap and streamline your car buying process, we’ll work with you to make the process super easy. 

What is online purchasing?

Glad you asked! All Shift cars are eligible to be purchased without a test drive, sight-unseen, just like you’d order anything else online. Each car comes with our risk-free 7-day/200 mile return policy, plus we’re currently offering up to $350 off on shipping. We made this quick demo video to show you how it works on our website.

How do I actually buy a car online?

First, pick out the car you’d like to buy and click through the steps to buy the car. Once you place a deposit on it, we’ll give you a call to confirm the purchase and arrange delivery to have the car dropped off at your house. Then all you’ll have to do is wait for your new wheels to arrive! 

After the car has been delivered, you’ll have seven days or 200 miles, whichever comes first, to return it.

What Shift is doing during Coronavirus

Can I still do a return if a buy a car online? 

Yes – all cars, including our cars sold directly online, are eligible for our seven day/200 mile return for any reason. Simply call us at 855.744.3801 or email us at sales@shift.com and we’ll help to arrange a return for you.

buy a car online

What is the shipping fee? 

The shipping fee is applicable for cars purchased directly online, just as you’d pay a similar fee for other online purchases sent to your home. Please note that the shipping fee is different from other costs associated with Shift’s standard service fee, and only applies to the actual shipping cost of the vehicle itself. 

Shift Help Center

Can I still get financing if I buy a car online?

You sure can! You’ll have the option to get prequalified for a loan during your shopping process to be able to view cars based on your likely monthly payments. Or, you can apply for and choose an auto loan during the checkout process. You can also add vehicle protection plans and gap insurance at that time.

Please keep in mind that if you live outside of California, Oregon or Washington, there may be additional steps or complications – but our Purchase Advisors will help you through the process.

Do I have to pay anything upfront?

Yes – as with any of our cars that you plan to purchase, you’ll be asked to put a $100 deposit on the vehicle. Our sales team will then follow up with you to confirm the details of the purchase.  

Buying a used car safely: We’re giving all our cars antimicrobial treatment

In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people might be thinking about buying a used car safely. That’s why Shift is providing all our cars with an antimicrobial treatment that kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses without harsh chemicals. And for a limited time, we’re offering it for free. 

The treatment we use is a professional-grade treatment normally costs around $350. But while the crisis is ongoing, we’re temporarily providing it as a complimentary offering on every one of our cars in inventory.

Working through a car’s air vents, the solution is EPA-approved, nontoxic, pet- and child-safe solution. It’s also highly effective, killing over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, mold, mildew and allergens. Plus, it keeps working continuously for years. 

We’ll apply this treatment as part of our standard cleaning and conditioning services before a car leaves our hub. So whether you buy a car online or book a test drive, any Shift car we bring you will have already been given this antimicrobial treatment. 

How Shift is doing its part during the COVID-19 crisis

What It Is

The treatment we use is a safe and effective antimicrobial solution for cars that kills bacteria, viruses, mold, mildew and allergens. It acts as a sealant, creating a coating on all surfaces of the car that can last for years. 

  • EPA approved
  • Non-toxic, kid- and pet-safe
  • Used in hospitals and medical facilities
  • Kills up to 99.9% of harmful microorganisms
  • Works continuously to last for years

How It Works

It works just like a car air freshener – the solution is applied through the car’s air vents. During the treatment, the nontoxic disinfectant is blown through the vents, coating all the surfaces of the car’s interior. The process takes about 20 minutes. 

This one-time treatment creates a protective barrier on the interior surfaces of your car that stays intact for years. So you don’t need to worry about cold and flu season, and you don’t have to waste your precious disinfecting wipes on your steering wheel anymore.  And you can rest assured you’re buying a used car safely. 

Shop cars at Shift

7 Handy Car Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

We all love our cars, but oftentimes we come across unavoidable problems and issues on the road that need a quick fix.  Below, we collected a slew of handy car hacks to make driving a breeze and tide you over until your next maintenance appointment. Read on, and share these tried-and-tested tips from Shift with your friends!

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Romantic Getaways in California

From national parks to wineries to beaches, the Golden State is home to endless options for outdoor adventures that are easily accessible by car. We collected some of our favorite picks for the most swoon-worthy romantic getaways in California to add to your West Coast long weekend agenda. Cue the wanderlust!

BIG SUR

While this one is perfect for a romantic getaway with your significant other, we also love this spot for a fun solo expedition and camping with the crew. “Get back to nature and escape to the wild and rugged coastline of Big Sur, which offers stunning views of the Pacific along miles and miles of dramatic cliffs. Visit a few ‘jewels’ of California’s state park system and walk among the redwoods to discover secret beaches and waterfalls. Soak in natural hot springs, pamper yourselves with a massage or spa treatment and enjoy a romantic dinner for two perched above the endless blue ocean.” (CBS Los Angeles)

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NAPA VALLEY

Perhaps the quintessential romantic getaway in California, Napa is a no-brainer. “It’s an interesting experience; peaceful and quiet floating through the sky intermittently interrupted by the roar and flames, only to have the propane turned off abruptly and be wrapped by the cool air and silent drifting once again. […]Hot air balloon rides are on many travelers’ bucket lists of vacation activities. I can’t think of a better way to check that item off your list than to enjoy the sun rising over Napa Valley. ” (The Vacation Gals)

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Check out our favorite road trip-friendly cars

JOSHUA TREE

“There’s no sunset quite as spectacular as a desert sunset. From the red-hued rocks to the yucca trees and tumbleweeds, Joshua Tree is a serene escape with sparse beauty all around. Rent a design-forward home in the middle of it all, and soak in the sights and sounds of the high desert. Explore the wilderness during the day and cozy up and star gaze with your S.O. at night.” (Refinery29)

LA JOLLA

“The village area of downtown La Jolla oozes luxury and has many romantic restaurants, bars, and cafes ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway, but La Jolla’s main romance factor can be found at the La Jolla Cove. Curving around the Pacific Ocean, the La Jolla Cove is one of the most spectacularly stunning stretches of coastline in California. With a wide grassy area ideal for a picnic and a meandering walking trail along the perimeter of the cove, its an ideal place to spend a leisurely romantic afternoon.” (One Day In A City)

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SANTA BARBARA

If you’re making the trek between Northern and Southern California, this is a can’t-miss spot. “The air feels fresher and the ocean more serene in Santa Barbara, which offers great hiking and mountain views amid historic 1930s architecture and terra-cotta paved streets.” (LA Weekly)

Shop cars in your area

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

One of our all-time favorites, “Yosemite National Park is sort of like a theme park plunked into the great outdoors: visitors can choose any number of activities during their trip, including hiking, climbing, trail rides, photography tours, live theater, and fine food.” (CN Traveler)

BONUS: Last but not least, one of the easiest romantic getaways in California requires almost no planning: a simple cruise along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, spanning San Diego to San Francisco. The sweeping views are unforgettable.

#IHeartShift: 5 Things People Love About Shift

When it comes to finding your perfect car, we at Shift love playing Cupid! During Valentine’s Day, we featured some of our very own happy customers who met their dream cars on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In case you missed it, we rounded them all up for you here in one post.

Curious about what it’s like to buy or sell a car with us? Just read on and get the scoop straight from the folks who went through the easy-peasy experience!

Continue reading “#IHeartShift: 5 Things People Love About Shift”

We Expanded our Coverage Area

We know that selling a car is a big decision, which is why we emphasize a great seller experience. At Shift, there are no shady deals and no negotiation hassle. We take care of the legwork and get you a better price, which frees you up to live your best life. We’re excited to announce that we are bringing our delightful seller experience to even more areas in Northern and Southern California.

Continue reading “We Expanded our Coverage Area”

How to Pay for a Car — Everything You Need to Know

A car is the second most expensive real asset that most people have, and one of the biggest purchases most people ever make. It’s a big decision and can have a meaningful impact on your monthly budget and financial position. So, how do you pay for a car? We’ve compiled out best tips and tricks.

To finance, or not to finance?

Many of our customers choose to pay for their car with financing even if they have cash on hand — there are a few benefits to doing so.

  • Build your credit: Financing an auto loan can build credit in a few ways. Expanding your available credit and maintaining a history of on-time payments can improve your FICO score. Auto loans are a type of “installment credit,” which means they are paid in fixed installments over a fixed time period. Many lenders view installment credit more favorably than “revolving credit,” like credit cards. You can learn more about credit score basics at Transunion.
  • Build an emergency fund: Personal financial managers generally recommend keeping enough money to cover 3-6 months of living expenses in the bank or a liquid investment account to help deal with unexpected major life disruptions, such as illness or job loss. If you don’t have an emergency fund, it may make sense to prioritize your money to start one and avoid going into debt when unplanned expenses occur.
  • Get a better return on your money: Many Shift customers get low interest rates on their auto loans, starting at 2-4% for well qualified buyers. Instead of paying for the car in cash, some choose to invest that cash to try to earn a higher return. The average term of an auto loan is 5 years. Morningstar Index Performance Return shows that the annualized returns of major stock indices over the past 5 years range from almost 9% to over 18%.Morningstar Index Performance Return
    For example, Jane Smith is deciding between paying cash or financing her $20,000 car purchase at a 3% interest rate. If she chooses to invest, such as in a low-cost index fund, she could grow that $20,000 to more than $32,000 after five years (assume 10% rate of return, where 10% is the average long term return in the stock market). She would pay less than $1,600 in total interest for the loan. That leaves her with more than $10,000 because she decided to invest instead of paying in cash. Consult your investment advisor to see what makes sense for you.
  • Protect your investment without paying everything upfront: Almost half of our financing customers choose to include a vehicle protection plan or gap coverage in their loan. These plans can be a good way to protect against the unexpected costs of owning a car, from breakdowns to accidents. They can typically be included in your financing package, so you don’t have to pay the full cost up front.

Although there are many benefits to financing your vehicle, there are also things to keep in mind.

Cars and taxes: your guide to maximize your money. 

What to consider in deciding how to pay for a car

  • Budget for interest cost: Unlike the 0% APR loans you may have seen advertised for new cars, interest rates for used cars won’t be lower than 2-4%. This means you will pay some amount of money every year in interest. Check out our car loan calculator to understand the cost of interest for your loan.
  • Be aware of hidden fees: Prepayment fees, balloon payments, or other hidden fees can catch borrowers off guard. Prepayment fees, for example, are charged by some lenders if you decide to fully pay off your loan prior to a certain date. If you finance with Shift, you don’t have to worry – Shift financing does not include hidden fees.
  • Shop around: Different lenders may offer different interest rates and terms to the same borrower, so there is a benefit to shopping around. When you apply for financing with Shift, we instantly provide you with the best offer from multiple lenders, so you get the benefit of shopping around without the hassle.

If you’re still deciding how much you can afford, we’ve built a handy car loan calculator to help you find a car that works for your budget. Even if you can afford to pay in cash, financing may make sense if you have better uses for your money, as long as you pay your monthly installments in full and on time. If you decide to finance, you can easily apply today from your Buyer Dashboard or from shift.com.

Please be sure to read your loan contract for the full terms of your specific loan.

Image via Alexa Mazzarello