Over the past month or so, El Niño has been sweeping the nation. No, it’s not a hip boyband, although it did make a famous appearance back in 1998. Reactions to this millennial incarnation of El Niño are mixed. Flourishing gardens, wicked surf, and the perfect atmosphere for days-long cuddle sessions have left many Americans singing El Niño’s praises. But drawbacks to this unique weather pattern are serious, especially when it comes to driving. Slick, puddle-filled highways and byways may be an unfamiliar and dangerous challenge to California drivers.
This is the first in a series of odes to the cars we’ve known and loved. Here, Kyle Clark – a Shift Car Enthusiast – pays tribute to the Datsun he refurbished in college and still drives today.
From the spotless leather seats to the smell of a freshly cleaned car, shopping for a new car can feel like going on a first date. The potential problem? If you have rose-colored glasses on, it can be easy to forget you’re really searching for a long-term partner. To help you keep a level head about your next better half, we put together a list of what to look for when buying a used car.
This advice comes directly from Shift’s Advisor Team and Concierges, who help people take new rides for a spin every day, and what advice they give customers most. The response was unanimous: the trick is to find your own perfect balance between performance, reliability, and practicality — and something you like. Here’s what we suggest.
Do (a little) homework
Normally, a solid checklist of what to look for when buying a used car will include things like the car’s service history, a clean Carfax report and signs of an unreported accident. In addition to that (we’ve covered that in detail here), we recommend reading online to find out more about the model and combing through the listing carefully to be sure the specific car you’re eyeing has the engine, transmission and other important options that you want.
Re-create your daily routine
Things might seem rosy when you’re walking a typical dealership lot, but one of the most important things to look for when buying a used car is how it works in your own turf. One advantage of taking a test drive at home is the opportunity to test how a car fits with the particulars of your daily life. If you have a driveway, make sure you won’t scrape the bottom as you pull in; if you park in a snug garage, double check that you can open the doors enough to easily get out of the car. Live on a narrow street? Be sure to try a U-turn, then parallel park. And if you generally sit in traffic during a morning commute, try to schedule your test drive during a similarly congested hour.
Consider your passengers
During the test drive, be sure to toss the keys to your Concierge and take a spin in the passenger seat. Or, better yet, go pick up your significant other so you can take turns riding shotgun. If you have kids or pets, make sure the car will work for them, too. Have toddlers in your present or future? Be sure you can get the car seat in without throwing out your back.
Consider your bells and whistles
When it comes to options, think about whether you prefer something simple and intuitive or all the latest features. Does a backup camera matter when you’re parking? Are you dying for a power lift gate? How about GPS navigation? Electronics are also becoming more important with every model year. Sync up your phone with the entertainment system, listen to a playlist, make a few calls. Everything should work easily and intuitively, especially if you make a lot of hands-free calls or depend on music to break the monotony of a long commute.
At some point, turn off the stereo and listen to the car. Is that gruff exhaust note going to turn grating after the novelty wears off? Can you really get comfortable in the seat? Can you see and reach all the controls? Do you have clear visibility of the road ahead (and behind) you? Notice how the car responds against the pavement on both city streets and mountain roads. Many people buy cars based on recommendations from friends or family members, but it’s important that the vehicle feels right for you. Overall, ask yourself, “Is this something I’d be happy to sit in and drive every single day?”
While it’s important to consider your next car thoughtfully, the experience shouldn’t leave you tied up in knots. Relax, get comfortable and have fun. Remember: there’s no pressure to make a quick decision and it’s worth it to wait if it means you’ll be happier in the long run.
Ready to meet your perfect match? We’re always here to help you find the car that fits your lifestyle (plus, you have 5 days or 200 miles to return it it ends up not being “the one”).
Been meaning to sell your car and want to get a better deal with no hassle? No worries — we’re here to help. And, this week, Shift and Uber are joining forces to change the way you get around Los Angeles.
Buying or selling a car, especially a used car, is usually a pretty terrible experience. It’s inconvenient, time-consuming, and plagued with uncertainty. By and large, the predominant method for most people is still selling a car on Craigslist.
Need groceries? There’s Instacart. Need to sell your vintage jeans? threadUp. Need tickets to Kanye? StubHub’s got them. The list goes on. But when it comes to selling your beloved Prius — one of the biggest financial decisions you’ve made to date — your options are not only limited: they’re antiquated. For most people the process looks something like this: three weeks of dealing with flaky, indecisive buyers; half a dozen text messages in the middle of the night; a person over the phone asking if you’ll extend them a “personal line of credit.” In the 21st century, when there’s an app for almost everything, it’s hard to believe so many people still begrudgingly resort to selling a car on Craigslist.
That’s why we introduced the Shift selling program. It’s an industry-first resource that provides consumers a customized car valuation by considering nuanced data that isn’t used in existing pricing standards like Kelley Blue Book. Our proprietary algorithm considers everything that could impact the sale price: actual transactions, real-time demand, market dynamics and geographic variations (a car that regularly drives through the snow in Salt Lake City will likely be worth a bit less than the same car driven every day in sunny San Diego), making as-needed adjustments for mileage and demand at auction.
So how does it work? All you have to do is enter some info about your car on our website. We’ll schedule a time to come evaluate your car in person, give you a final offer, and drive it back to our hub. There, we’ll give it a final once-over with our team of mechanics, and send payment straight to your back account. That’s it. Seriously.
Our app is just one more way that Shift is pushing the car industry forward, while staying true to our founding principle: to offer consumers exceptional service for less money, and create a higher standard for the entire industry. That’s why we’re one of the largest dealers in California, and growing.
We think the future of car ownership isn’t selling a car on Craigslist, but rather selling your car in an hour, from your home, in a safe environment, with the money sent directly to your bank. No more wasted Saturdays or late-night texts or sketchy interactions. Just peace of mind.
It’s a great time to be here at Shift. We just announced our Series B, have continued to hire smart and talented people, and feel confident in our product.
We’re using technology to fix a broken system, from the bottom up, and are providing an exceptional customer experience.
TIME magazine agrees. Check one reporter’s experience with Shift here. Continue reading “TIME Magazine takes Shift for a spin”
Earlier today, we announced that our company has raised a $50M Series B financing led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from our Series A leads DFJ and Highland Capital Partners, as well as DCM Ventures. Continue reading “Next steps at Shift”
Building Shift over the past 18 months has been an experience of a lifetime, both challenging and rewarding, but we’re doing this because it’s so desperately needed. I see a broken $1.2T car market that has gotten away with doing the bare minimum for its customers. We, the consumers, deserve better. Continue reading “The Road Ahead”