Coronavirus Updates & FAQ: What Shift Is Doing During COVID-19

Like all of you, we’re keeping a close watch on the developments around coronavirus (COVID-19). As part of our effort to keep our customers and communities safe, we’ll be posting regularly with new information. Below is a list of coronavirus updates and FAQs to help you stay in the know.

Detailed Coronavirus Updates

A Message from Shift’s CEOs – how we’re adjusting to keep you safe

Essential Workers Program & Community Pricing Initiatives

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Essential Workers program work? 

This program is intended for customers who are considered essential and frontline workers during the coronavirus including grocery store staff, utilities operators, government employees and medical professionals. If you feel you fit the description, please let your Shift representative know at the time of or before your appointment and they will confirm your discount status. 

This is an honor system, and will operate on a discretionary and availability basis, so please be advised that we cannot promise you will receive a discount or for what amount until your appointment. 

It will apply to cars both for local test drive appointments and cars purchased directly online, and will continue for as long as strict public health directives are in place. (Subject to change.)  

How does the no-contact test drive work?

Your Shift Car Concierge will show up at your home for your scheduled appointment. They’ll ask you for your driver’s license so we can verify it in our system. Once that’s done, the concierge will wipe down any frequently touched surfaces (including the interior and exterior of the car, keys, iPad, and driver’s license), hand you the keys, and then you get to go take the car out for a spin by yourself while the concierge waits for you at a designated meeting spot. At the end of your test drive, if you decide to buy the car, we’ll facilitate the transaction right then and there. If not, we’ll simply drive it back. 

Can I test drive a car without being in physical contact with anyone?

Yes, in two ways – first, you can use our no-contact test drives (see our question on this), or you can request a virtual test drive via video conference. 

I’ve scheduled a test drive. How will it work given social distancing measures? 

In an effort to reduce the spread of germs, we’re now exclusively offering no-contact test drives. That means we’ll bring you the car, wipe it down, and let you take it for a test drive on your own without a Shift Concierge present. In addition, our Concierge will avoid being in close proximity during your appointment and will not be shaking hands.  

Can I still sell or trade in a car to Shift?

Absolutely! We’re always interested in buying cars. You can get a free, no-obligation quote here. Our Shift concierge will come to your house to evaluate the car and give you a final offer on the spot. If you’re trading in a car, our Shift concierge will bring you the car you want to test drive, and if you want to trade in your old car for the new one, we’ll apply the trade-in credit on the spot. And if you’re not ready to commit just yet, you can always sell us your car without buying a new one just yet. 

How does direct online purchasing work?

Glad you asked! We made this quick demo video to show you how it works on our website. In a nutshell, all certified cars are eligible to buy directly online without a test drive. 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. You’ll have seven days or 200 miles, whichever comes first, to return it if it ends up not working out for whatever reason. 

Can I still return a car if I buy it directly online? 

Yes – all cars, including our cars sold directly online, are eligible for our seven day/200 mile return for any reason. Depending on where it is, we may be able to pick the car up from you. Simply call or email us and we’ll help to arrange a return for you. 

Shift will waive the shipping fee for direct online sales. What does that mean?

The shipping fee is applicable for cars purchased directly online, just as you’d pay a similar fee for any other online purchase 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 will waive up to $350 off the fee. 

Can I still get financing for a car I buy 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. 

Is there a deposit for Buy It Now?

Yes – as with any of our cars that you plan to purchase, you’ll be asked to put a $250 deposit on the vehicle. Our sales team will then follow up with you to confirm the details of the purchase.  

I tried getting a quote for my car. Why am I getting a message that you can’t accept it? 

Due to current market volatility, we’ve had to make some temporary adjustments to our seller program. Unfortunately, this has meant we’re not able to buy cars of certain makes, models, years and locations until conditions evolve. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, and we’re here to answer any other questions you may have. Our seller team is always available. 

 

Last updated: 4/6/20

Best Road Trips in California

For vacations in most states, you drive to the amusement. But in the Golden State, the drive is the amusement. Blessed with incredible terrain and scenic highways, it’s a must-visit destination for any road tripper. We’ve rounded up some of the best road trips in California.

Best Road Trip in California #1: Highway 1

If you’re coming to Northern California from out of town and only have a couple days on the road, this is a no-brainer. Classic California scenes of windy highways with unadulterated ocean views make this a breathtaking drive that you won’t regret taking. The only dilemma: if you’re starting from the San Francisco Bay Area, do you go south towards Big Sur or north towards Bodega Bay? With vistas like these, you won’t go wrong either way, making it our top pick for the best road trip in California.

PRO TIP:

  • Driving south, you’ll be on the right side of the road practically next to the water, so have the passengers get the camera ready.
  • Heavy winter rains have caused landslides, knocking out significant portions of Highway 1, so plan ahead.
Best Road Trip in California #2: Skyline Drive

Between Woodside and Los Gatos, highway 35 hugs the crest of the Santa Cruz mountains and becomes a curvy tree-lined road fit for great weekend drives. A stone’s throw away from the city, you can head out in the morning, grab lunch at Alice’s (which becomes a de-facto car and motorcycle show on weekends), and be home in time for dinner all in the same day. Or better yet, continue down to Big Basin and drive through the old growth redwood forest that towers above.

PRO TIP: On a clear day, pull off at the Windy Hill Open Space Preserve and climb to the nearby summit of the eponymous hill for an amazing 360 panorama. From one spot, you’ll catch peeks of San Jose to the south, San Francisco to the north, Oakland to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.


Best Road Trip in California #3: Highway 395

The Eastern Sierras are seriously beautiful. Drive south from Lake Tahoe (or cut through Yosemite to see America’s most jaw dropping National Park) and watch the snow-capped Sierras on your right flatten out into the vast desert to your left. The proximity to nature’s many playgrounds here make this one of the best road trips in California.

PRO TIP: For a surprisingly great rest stop, check out the Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center and have a picnic in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48.

Sometimes you just wonder where does this road end?

A post shared by Wandering Journey (@ndo.explore) on

Best Romantic Weekend Getaways in California

Best Road Trip in California #4: Lassen to Shasta: Highway 44

It’s a long drive from San Francisco, but those traveling this far north will be rewarded with lush pine forests and occasional views of Mount Shasta in the distance. Head east from Redding and snake your way towards the Lassen National Forest area for great camping among the nearby natural wonders.

Some fog, some gloom, some lens flare..#lassenvolcanicnationalpark

A post shared by Alicia Tang (@ali_cia_tang) on


Best Road Trip in California #5: Ebbets Pass

While Lake Tahoe itself is beautiful, driving around the area is too traffic-laden to achieve the open road feeling you’re reading this for. If you’re looking for a great alpine drive, the better bet is to head south to highway 4 to Ebbet’s Pass, one of the most scenic routes in the mid-state national forests.

#fineart #stitchedpano #nikond810 #bearvalley #donnerpass

A post shared by Jarrett Farewell (@farewell_photo) on


Best Road Trip in California #6: Gold country: Highway 49

Put the old-world charm of gold country at your fingertips and take a couple of days to explore the foothill towns between Sonora and Auburn. Wineries and other attractions abound in the region, resulting in a choose-your-own-adventure that’ll leave you wishing for more vacation days.

Merced River-Bagby Bridge Hwy 49, Mariposa County, California #mercedriver #mariposa #bridge #highway49

A post shared by Mike Wright (@benhurmike) on


Honorable mention: I-280

This one very nearly made the cut as one of the best road trips in California. Whereas the 101 is a pothole-strewn stroke inducer, the Junipero Serra freeway is a gem of an interstate, with 22 miles of it designated state scenic highway. Connecting San Jose, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco, this traffic corridor is one you’d go out of your way to take to work. Six miles away, the 101 runs parallel to the 280, but in terms of drive quality, they’re worlds apart.

Drive by the Crystal Springs Reservoir, watch the fog roll over the Santa Cruz mountains, and marvel at the fact that, yes, you are in fact on an eight lane interstate. The best commute in the world? Tough to say, but certainly not the worst.

On #I280. My way of commuting everyday. Beautiful view all the way.

A post shared by Christina Chen (@christina_chen12) on

A post shared by Nader Chehade (@enncity) on


Dishonorable mention: 17-Mile Drive

Yes, it’s a nice drive, but definitely not one of the best road trips in California (in our opinion). Why pay the $10 Pebble Beach toll to drive a short 30 minutes of the California coast when you can do it for free north and south of the area? If you’re only in this area and in a rush, it’s a good idea. Otherwise, save the money and put it towards post-drive drinks in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

One tree to rule them all

A post shared by Mike Moir (@mikemoir) on

 

Interactive Condition Report Now Available on All Vehicle Detail Pages

At Shift, we want a car’s detail page to be a virtual window into its heart and soul. To do that, we need to first give you all the information that’ll help you decide whether to schedule a test drive.

That’s why we just made a few changes to Shift’s vehicle detail pages that’ll make it easier for you to preview the condition of any car.

See the new vehicle detail page > Continue reading “Interactive Condition Report Now Available on All Vehicle Detail Pages”

How Does Carfax Work?

When it comes to a car’s condition, people often mention the Carfax report. So just how does Carfax work?  A Carfax report is your window into a car’s past. Like a private eye, it gleans data from insurance companies, DMVs, and even the police to tell you about a car’s background.

In the most extreme cases, it can save you from buying a lemon. That’s why we include a full free Carfax report for every car we list on Shift so customers know exactly what they’re getting (and what they’re not).

How does Carfax actually work?

A Carfax report is essentially a data snapshot of a number of different available data records. It gathers information from police departments, insurance companies, DMVs, and auction houses to piece together a history on nearly every car out there. Their data-gathering team in Virginia adds about 3.5 million records a day, with a compiled total of about 15 billion records.

How does Carfax help in buying a used car?

Big Lebowski car impoundThe records included in a Carfax report tell you things you wouldn’t know by just going for a test drive or having a mechanic inspect the car (things you should also do, by the way). A Carfax report is a little like a crystal ball that can give you a picture of a car’s past, such as:

  • Odometer readings and repair history
  • Number of past owners
  • Any accidents reported by DMVs, insurance companies, or police departments
  • Whether the car’s a lemon or been salvaged or junked
  • Whether a car was ever used as a fleet vehicle, autos used by businesses and often subject to lots of abuse
  • Lien and repossession history
  • Emission inspection statuses
  • Manufacturer recalls and buybacks

All of this info lets you avoid getting scammed and helps you make a more informed decision about the car you’re about to buy.

Where does all that data come from?

Carfax must have an army of data crawlers trolling the internet because the company culls data from about 92,000 sources—everything from motor vehicle agencies, to many police and fire departments, collision repair facilities, and auto auctions (Shift uploads all of our diagnostic and repair data to Carfax, too!)

Here’s their list of all of the sources:

  • Fire departments
  • Manufacturers
  • Law enforcement agencies U.S. motor vehicle agencies
  • Canadian provincial motor vehicle agencies
  • Auto auctions and salvage auctions
  • Collision repair facilities
  • Service/maintenance facilities
  • Insurance companies
  • Automotive recyclers
  • Rental/fleet vehicle companies
  • State inspection stations
  • Extended warranty companies
  • Car dealerships Import/export companies

How much does Carfax cost?

Carfax's Carfox
Carfox: easily our favorite mascot in the car space

Carfax has a three-tiered pricing model. If you’re going to test drive more than one car, and you probably will, you might want to get the second option, which provides five reports.

  • MyCarfax: A free app that includes provides info on maintenance and recalls for vehicles
    , as well as estimate repair costs and help finding local repair services. Doesn’t include Vehicle History Reports.
  • 1 Carfax Report: $39.99
  • 5 Reports:  $59.99 (valid for 60 days)
  • Unlimited Reports for 60 days: $69.99 gets you unlimited by searching by license plate
  • Shift: Free. Zip. Zilch.

At the end of the day, the Carfax report is one of the most important pieces of documentation you can get on a used car, so be sure to get one when you go shopping.