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”
From the beginning, we’ve believed that car buying should be simple and fair. No matter where or how you choose to embark on this important journey, if you’re in the market and wondering where to buy a used car, there are a few reasons to check out online marketplaces and car dealers like Vroom, Carvana, and Shift.
1. Test drives delivered to you
From day one, we’ve delivered test drives to our prospective customers because seeing a car in person, on your own terms and in your own environment, is a fundamental part of Shift’s better car buying experience.
2. No pushy sales tactics
When we get there, we won’t sell you on a car. After all, great cars at great prices sell themselves.
3. On-the-spot purchasing
Why step foot in a dealership when you can finish the entire process in under an hour, from the comfort of your own driveway?
Avoiding the traditional overhead of brick-and-mortar dealerships allows us to sell cars for $2,000 less than average. See for yourself: just click “compare Shift’s price” on any vehicle description page to see how we compare to the market.
Shopping for a used car is only half the battle, which is why we’ve also made it easy to get a loan. With instant decisions from a variety of lenders competing to give you a good rate, now it’s not.
We pride ourselves on being picky. We decline to list 40% cars we’re asked to sell, and every car we do take in must first pass a 150-point inspection. Then we include a 30 day warranty and a 7-day/200-mile return guarantee. Many online car retailers including Vroom and Carvana offer similar policies that let you shop with confidence knowing you can return if it’s not the right fit.
You’re already a pro at shopping and navigating online, so why not leverage that for cars? All three online car retailers mentioned above offer the ability to shop for a car online, buy the one you want and have it delivered to your doorstep.
Shopping for a used car doesn’t have to be terrible. That’s why we’re obsessed with finding ways to make the process faster, better and easier for our customers.
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.
Okay, we admit it, we’re big fans of Turo. 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.
Here are some of the best Turo cars for rent on the website.
1) 2006 Ford Escape, Aviato Edition
Depending on your TV watching habits, this is either very exciting or very confusing. In the HBO show Silicon Valley, the character Erlich Bachman drives around the car of the company he founded called Aviato. And guess what! It’s a real car that’s totally rentable in the SF Bay Area. Incredible. Millbrae, California, $30 per day
2) 1964 Ford Mustang
There’s just something about a lovingly restored car, isn’t there? When that car is a 1964 Ford Mustang and the restoration job is this good, you may find yourself momentarily calculating how feasible it would be to drop everything, empty the bank account, rent this car, and drive around Southern California for as long as you could before some authority comes looking for you. Hubba hubba. Costa Mesa, California, $119 per day
3) McLaren MP4-12C
Once upon a time, a seller listed a McLaren MP4-12C on Shift and it was the talk of the office. And it’s easy to see why: it’s a street-legal race car. Cool, evocative name? No thanks, we’ll stick with this internal prototype number and use what we save in marketing to make this car as badass as possible. And now, you can actually rent one the next time you’re in LA. Hermosa Beach, California, $500 per day
4) 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon
In 1990, the US experienced an 8 month recession that shrunk the economy by 1.4%. History books chalk it up to the 1990 oil price shock… but we know what really happened: the wanderlust inspired by the VW Vanagon had such an impact on the American zeitgeist that it finally took its toll on the GDP. Now you know. Start your own economic contraction in this Vanagon, now available at recession-friendly prices. Seattle, Washington, $34 per day
5) 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Classic
Remind us: what’s the German word for when you welcome the zombie apocalypse because you finally feel confident you’d survive it? The listing know’s what’s up: “Drive a one of a kind lifted diesel truck with 47″ tires…The truck will explain itself.” Yes, it does. Denver, Colorado, $30 per day
6) Pokémon-themed 2012 Smart Fortwo
Don’t you hate it when you’re in Hawaii and find yourself saying, “this trip is great but it’s missing a very small Pokemon car?” Us too. That’s why we were thrilled to see Fu-Kang’s Fortwo, whose depictions of Ash and your favorite Pokemon will make your trip to Oahu complete. Finally. Honolulu, Hawaii, $33 per day
7) Vintage 1947 Ford fire truck
Sure, modern firetrucks may be better at fighting fires than this 1947 Ford, but if you’re looking to add some old-timey ephemera to your parade, it’s no contest. Complete with the wooden ladders, metal firehoses, and other firefighting accoutrements, this fire engine is ready to add some pomp to your circumstance. San Diego, California, $400 per day
8) Lime-green Lamborghini Huracan
When you’re renting a super car, you’re looking to make a statement. And a statement is exactly what this lime green Huracan makes. What it lacks in subtlety, it more than makes up for in performance and wow factor. So, the next time you’re invited to the wedding of an English Premier League footballer and need some wheels to take you there, look no further. London, United Kingdom, £700 per day
9) 1931 Ford Model A Tudor Deluxe
We’re guessing this is probably the oldest car available on Turo. Most Model As have since been turned into hot rods, so to find one in this condition is pretty rare. “This is a specialty vehicle, restored to original spec” (except somehow we don’t think the stock rims in 1931 were lime green). If what you seek is new interpretation of a very old car in Plano, here you have it. Plano, Texas, $127 per day
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 of the most common discussions we have with customers deals with matching the right car to a given budget. It can be tough! We’ve seen cars that cost less than $10k, one car that cost $138k, and thousands of cars in between. So here are our tips for how to calculate car payment.
To help you better calibrate your car budget and get a better sense for the Shift inventory that matches it, we’ve created a quick and easy car loan calculator.
We generally have two types of financing conversations with customers. The first is when they have a max price in mind and are trying to figure out what their loan terms will look like. The other is when they have a specific amount budgeted for their monthly payment and are trying to figure out what cars they should be looking at.
With our new car loan calculator, you can easily calculate for either scenario. Just use the “calculate max price” or “calculate monthly payment” tabs and input your down payment, interest rate, and loan length and let the calculator do the rest.
View available inventory based on your budget
Once you’ve calculated either your max payment or total price, we make it easy to see exactly how many cars in our inventory match your budgeting criteria. This will give you a total price, so remember to factor in tax and extras like warranties or gap insurance.
You’ll never need to spend mental energy filtering out cars that aren’t in your price range again.
At Shift, we offer a tool that lets you shop for cars based on your predicted loan terms, so you can view cars based on what your monthly payments would be. We’ve already done the math for you, so no calculations required!
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.
This is something our Shift Advisors frequently hear from prospective buyers. Not only that, the features tend to be the same ones: auxiliary inputs, leather seats, backup cameras, and other creature comforts that can really make the difference for some drivers. Continue reading “Filter Cars by Your Favorite Feature”