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!
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!
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)
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)
“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)
“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)
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)
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.
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!
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.
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%.
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.
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
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”
On a sun-soaked mid-Bay evening last Thursday, we concluded our Shift Hit The Road summer giveaway by giving away a BMW. The winner? Wander S. of Foster City. His car of choice? A 2015 BMW X1. Continue reading “Hit The Road BMW Giveaway Wrap-up”
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?
4. Better prices
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.
5. Easy financing
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.
7. Shop & Buy From Your Phone or Laptop
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.
Yesterday evening we drew the winners of the first prizes for our Shift summer giveaway. Congratulations to the folks below! Continue reading “Here Are the 1st Prize Winners for the Shift Hit The Road Giveaway”
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!”