#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

Knowledge-Sharing with Design Docs

Shift’s engineering team has always had an informal process around design docs for new systems, but the process has varied from team to team and engineer to engineer. We’ve had the assumption that if a project or feature is expected to take more than a week or involve more than one engineer, it probably makes sense to document your design in advance so you can get feedback.

A few engineers from our infrastructure team recently formalized the process to add some consistency with the main goal of streamlining the process–we want the term “design doc” to mean the same thing to everyone and to prevent engineers from feeling like they have to reinvent the wheel every time. We also think design docs can be used for mentorship because they allow junior engineers to get feedback faster than through code reviews.

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Announcing Our Latest Fundraise

It was just a little over three years ago that we sold our first Shift car in San Francisco. Since that time, we’ve become the number one used car seller in the Bay Area, grown our team by 100x, and expanded to several new markets. It’s been a wild ride.

And thanks to some recent financing by leading investors, we’re in it for the long haul. Last month, BMW iVentures, DCM, G2 Ventures, Goldman Sachs, and Highland Capital invested more than $38 million in Shift’s Series C. To date, we have raised more than $110 million. Continue reading “Announcing Our Latest Fundraise”

8 Reasons Shift is the Simplest, Fairest Way to Buy a Used Car

From the beginning, we’ve believed that car buying should be simple and fair. In April, we wrote about our recent updates to Shift and how we’ve taken steps towards that goal.

Progress has continued in the months since, and while we aren’t anywhere close to done, I just wanted to take a step back and make 8 arguments for why we think that’s true: Continue reading “8 Reasons Shift is the Simplest, Fairest Way to Buy a Used Car”

Congratulations Minnie!

It was just three years ago this month that our team sold our first car using a new platform we were creating, and boom: Shift was born. But things were a lot different back in 2014. We were working out of my apartment living room and parking cars on the street (or in the Costco parking lot), and doing the sales ourselves, all because we had this crazy idea about transforming the used car industry. Needless to say, it was a wild first couple of months.

Since that time, we have become the largest used-car seller in the Bay Area, built an incredible team, expanded to new markets, brought on board great investors, and have thousands of happy customers. It’s an awesome time for Shift and we are all incredibly bullish about where we are headed. Continue reading “Congratulations Minnie!”

The 9 Most Extraordinary Cars Available for Rent on Turo

Okay, we admit it, we’re big fans of Turo. They make owning a car just a little bit more feasible and several of us at Shift use their service—a platform that allows car owners to rent out their cars—to make a little side income.

We’ve written about how they make flexible ownership possible and their really interesting BMWs, so before we draw the lucky winner of a dream weekend Turo rental, we thought we’d take a peek at the most notable and bizarre cars in their inventory. Continue reading “The 9 Most Extraordinary Cars Available for Rent on Turo”