Top Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

Top Tips for First-Time Car Buyers


Buying a car may be the first big purchase that you make make in your life. This is particularly true for young adults, and you may not have a lot of money to go out and pay cash for a car. If you are new to the world of buying a car, there are some things that you need to know, so here are some of our top tips that we have for first-time car buyers.


What Do You Want?

You need to decide what you want from a car before you go out and buy one. There are a number of things you should consider in advance; things such as these:


  • How many passengers will you regularly have?
  • Do you have a long commute to work or school?
  • Do you need a lot of cargo space?
  • How much parking space do you have?
  • Do you have money for a down payment, and how much?
  • How much can you comfortably afford in monthly payments?


These are all things that you are going to need to take into consideration, and the list goes on. You need to be practical when you are looking for a car and not buy something that does not fit everything you need it to. For example, if you are regularly going to have four passengers, you should not be buying a small car that has a cramped back seat. This is going to be impractical and potentially a waste of money. If you have a long commute, you should consider a car that is very comfortable and gets good gas mileage, You should do some research prior to searching for a makes and models that will be suitable for you and your needs. If you do this, you will have an idea of what you are looking for and will be less likely to become distracted by other cars on the dealer’s lot.


Check Insurance Coverage and Rates

Buying a car is going to be pointless if you can’t afford to pay the insurance cost. Auto insurance can be expensive, especially if you are a teenager and have recently gotten your driver’s license. Monthly insurance rates can easily be a couple of hundred dollars and that’s on top of your monthly car payments. Before you find a car that you are considering purchasing, it’s best to check out insurance rates to find coverage that will provide you with adequate protection at a reasonable price. That will help you compute your affordable total monthly costs.


Lifetime Costs

Over time, your car is going to need regular servicing and possible repairs. Estimating these costs in advance, and adding them to loan payments and insurance, will help you determine an overall monthly auto budget that you can safely handle.


But don’t forget something that a lot of people seem to overlook, fuel. Fuel is expensive, especially if your car will require high-test, and it is something you may need a lot of if you expect to put a lot of miles on the car. It’s important to consider this in conjunction with the actual vehicle you are looking to buy, and you may have to re-evaluate the type and the cost to purchase that vehicle.  


Consider Buying Used

Buying the same brand and model car pre-owned car instead of brand new will definitely save you a lot of money. Most first-time car buyers can’t afford to go out and buy a brand new car without financing because of how expensive new-car prices have become. For this reason, you should think about buying a used car. Some people may not like the idea of having a car that has had previous owners, but this isn’t such a big problem when it can save you thousands of dollars. Buying a used vehicle will often decrease a down payment requirement, lower your monthly payments, and reduce the monthly cost of insurance. In addition to age of the driver, insurance premiums are based on the vehicle’s age and estimated repair costs, so insurance rates for an older car will be lower than the premiums for a new one.


A used car dealership is the best place that you can go to buy a pre-owned car or truck. You might look on an internet site like Craigslist, but you will probably find it will benefit you more to buy from a used car dealer This is especially true if you need assistance getting approved for an auto loan. When buying from a private seller you’re on your own to pay cash or to get a car loan, handle the transfer of ownership paperwork, and the majority of vehicle sold privately are sold on an As-Is basis. An established used car dealership, such as Highline Automotive, will help you find a quality vehicle that fits your needs, financing that’s within your budget, handle the paperwork, and will often provide a warranty based on mileage or time.


Don’t Jump on The First Car You See

You might think that that you will find the perfect car on the first look around, but this is almost never going to be the case. Even if you think you did find the perfect car on your first visit to a dealership, don’t be overly anxious. On the other hand, don’t fall in love with a car and automatically pass it up to wait for something better to come along. Take your time and evaluate all the factors involved before you make a final decision. It is also helpful to have a relative or friend with you that has car buying experience to offer advice and guidance.


Take It for A Test Drive

Ask the seller if you can take the car for a test drive. This way you will be able to get a feel for the car, how it drives, how comfortable you are in the driver’s seat and how it handles when driving it. Some people may find that there are some cars they just don’t feel comfortable with. This can be for whatever reason, and usually it will be that it just doesn’t feel right. This is why you shouldn’t purchase any vehicle before you have had a chance to test drive it and see how you like it. Most used car dealers will be happy to let you take a test drive as long as you allow one of their employees to go with you. If you can’t test drive it, do not buy it.



It never hurts to try negotiating with the seller, as long as you are being realistic with any offers you make. Before you start negotiating, have in mind a price that you think is fair and that you think the seller will accept. This is where you want your negotiations to end up, but sometimes they may not be willing to budge, and their first price will be their final price. However, you might find that a used car dealer may be open to offers and negotiation. The best way to begin is to start with an offer slightly below the price you had in mind, which could pave the way for further negotiations, Ideally, you might find that you settle on an amount somewhere in between their first offer and yours. When negotiating with a dealership, keep in mind that the dealer had to pay for the vehicle too, and he needs to make a profit on the cars sold to stay in business.


Get It Inspected

Before you sign the contract to buy a car from a private seller, it is very important to have it inspected by a mechanic. You are going to want to know if the car has any faults before you commit to buying it. Even if the vehicle drove well during a test drive, this is something that is important to do. If you don’t, you might end up with a car that’s full of unseen problems and you are the one who is going to have to pay to get them fixed. Don’t forget, unless you are offered a warranty from the seller, all responsibility for the car and any problems it may have will fall on you.


This is just one more reason for purchasing from a used car dealership instead of a private seller. Reputable dealers will put their vehicles through safety and mechanical inspections and make any necessary adjustments and repairs before putting them up for sale. Some dealerships will also provide warranties and even money-back guarantees, eliminating the need to have the vehicle inspected by a third party before the purchase.


Avoid A Lease

Sometimes people think this is the best option because they can have the car they want with lower monthly payments. While this may be tempting, there are a number of drawbacks to auto leasing that you need to be aware of:

·      Higher down payment requirements

·      Higher insurance costs

·      Limited annual mileage limits, often only 10,000/year

·      Overages results in additional cost/mile at lease end

·      Damage and excessive wear lessee’s responsibility

·      Penalty charge if vehicle is not purchased at lease end


For those that do purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease, you are wind up paying much more than the original sale price.


Read the Contract

Buying a car is a big commitment, and you want to make sure that you are getting what works for you. For this reason, you need to make sure that you read the contract before you sign it be certain that it includes everything you had discussed with the seller. It is possible that if you don’t read this carefully, the seller may have included something in there that you don’t agree with or omitted something that you verbally agreed to. Once you sign the contract, it becomes a legally binding agreement, and you have to uphold any conditions that have been set out in the contract. You don’t want to be stuck in this kind of situation as there is usually no way out. This could be the case with private sellers, but it is unlikely that you will find a car dealer who will do this to you. In any case, though, make sure you have read the contract completely.


We hope that you find these tips for buying your first car helpful. It can seem like an overwhelming process and will take a lot of thought and research. But ultimately, if you follow these tips and put them into practice, you should end up with the right car at the right price.


To get you to that end result, Highline Automotive is ready to help make that happen. Here’s how:


Large Selection of Quality Pre-Owned Vehicles

At Highline Automotive, we only select and sell pre-owned cars that meet our rigorous standards. Every vehicle in our inventory goes through a 99-Point Certification 

Process, and a Safety and Mechanical Inspection. This means you can drive away feeling confident that the decision you made to buy your car at Highline was a smart purchase.


Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty and Extended Warranty Options

We provide a FREE 30-day or 1,500-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on every single pre-owned car, truck, and SUV we sell. And if you decide to purchase an extended warranty, we offer a simple, affordable pricing structure and finance experts that can

help you get the best protection for your vehicle.


Confidence with Your Purchase

Every vehicle we sell comes with a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee!


Auto Financing for Everyone

We offer flexible financing programs that can accommodate any credit, including no credit history, with 60-second pre-approvals, and fast and easy approvals. We work to your budget, listen to your needs, and tailor a payment plan to suit you. It’s all designed to make car buying at Highline Automotive fast, simple and straightforward. 


So, when you are ready for your first car, truck, or SUV make Highline Automotive your first and only choice!



Why SUVs and Crossovers Have Become America's Best

Why SUVs and Crossovers Have Become America's Best Selling Vehicles


When people think of the history of the Ford Motor Company, first founded in 1903, they often think the once-ubiquitous Model T, which was once the entire focus of Ford’s production. Recently, Ford made a decision that went back to its roots; deciding to sell only two non-truck models in the United States. These models? The iconic Mustang, and the crossover Focus Active.


Ford’s somewhat surprising change in direction mirrors a clear trend in United States vehicle buying. SUVs and Crossovers are now America’s best-selling vehicles. In 2016, which was the best year ever for vehicle sales in the United States, pickup trucks and SUVs topped the list of best-selling models. According to Ford’s corporate research, SUVs could make up as much as half of the vehicles sold in the US in just a few years.


Ford wasn’t alone in changing direction. The rest of the “Big Three” car manufacturers, Fiat-Chrysler and General Motors, have also been making the shift away from sedans and towards SUVs and Crossovers. Customers have declared their love for these larger, family-friendly vehicles, and motor companies are rushing to accommodate this demand.

The Shift in Numbers

Although the sudden demand for Crossovers and SUVs may seem to come out of nowhere, it’s a trend that has been gradually building since around 2010. When gas prices plummeted a few years ago, larger vehicles with lower gas mileage became even more affordable, spurring more demand.


While the trend is obvious in the United States, it’s also something that’s caught on abroad. According to the Canadian Globe and Mail, the popularity of the Crossovers even extends north of the US border. It’s also catching on in places such as Europe and China.


The raw numbers make this trend clear. According to the Motley Fool’s roundup of the top selling vehicles of 2017, topping the list was the Toyota Rav4, which boasted eleven straight record-breaking months of sales during the year. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, more than 1.4 million Crossovers were sold in the United States, which was about a third of the total vehicles sold. And according to Car and Driver, from 2016 to 2017, the lineup of top-selling cars saw several crossovers outselling sedans, bumping them down in the rankings.

What’s the Appeal of SUVs and Crossovers?

There are lots of reasons why SUVs and Crossovers have gained so much popularity in recent years. Their larger size is ideal for families, who appreciate the space to carry more passengers as well as haul modern-day cargo from groceries to IKEA furniture. Their larger size also provides a higher level of safety. Drivers also appreciate sitting higher in the vehicle, which can give a better vantage point for maneuvering the vehicle. And for drivers who live in harsh climates, SUVs and Crossovers offer a rugged build and all-wheel drive that handles better in the snow than smaller cars do.


The appeal of the Crossover, specifically, lies in its perfect blend of car and SUV. While SUVs are built upon truck platforms, Crossovers maintain the look of the Crossover but are built on car platforms instead. This results in a vehicle that maintains the appearance of a larger vehicle, while being smaller and more maneuverable, not to mention easier to park.


Over the last decade, SUVs and Crossovers have really come into their own. They’ve evolved over the last decade to become less clunky and unwieldy, and the frames they’re built on have become lighter. And key for budget-conscious consumers their fuel efficiency has dramatically improved, at the same time that prices at the gas pump have dropped.

The Top-Selling SUVs and Crossovers in the United States

The trend towards SUVs and Crossovers shows no signs of stopping. So, if you’re considering shopping for one of these vehicles, which ones should you consider? Here are a few of the models that perennially top the list of best-selling vehicles in the US.


?      Nissan Rogue: After maintaining a steady spot high in the rankings of bestselling cars over the past few years, the Rogue topped the list of Crossovers in the first quarter of 2018. Since 2017, Nissan has offered a hybrid version of this crossover. Starting this year, the Rogue is also available with Pro-PILOT assist, which is a step Nissan is making towards fully autonomous cars.

?      Toyota RAV4: One of the first Crossover models on the market, the RAV4 remains popular, topping the list of Crossovers sold in 2017. The current hybrid model is the most efficient ever, with an EPA-estimated rating of 34 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 32 mpg combined.

?      Toyota Highlander: The popularity of the Highlander has climbed continually over the past few years. More spacious than some other crossovers, it offers three rows of seating and an eight-passenger capacity. The latest models offer both increased power and safety. There is also a hybrid version, on the market since 2006.

?      Jeep Cherokee: The brand-new 2019 model features a new look, redesigned for the first time since the Cherokee returned to the market in 2014. The Cherokee comes with a multitude of options, including two engines and three different all-wheel-drive possibilities.

?      Ford Explorer: First introduced as an SUV, in 2011 the Explorer was reintroduced as a crossover. Still, it offers one of the most spacious interiors on the market. Ford makes a special version of the explorer for law enforcement, which makes up a significant portion of the Explorers on the road.

?      Honda CR-V: First introduced in 1997, this crossover is currently Honda’s most popular model in the United States. It was named Motor Trend’s 2018 SUV of the Year, due particularly to the design of its interior and superior engineering.

?      If you’re hoping to purchase a fully electric crossover, so far you only have one option: Tesla’s Model X. On the market since 2015, it’s currently one of the best-selling electric cars on the global market.


Car companies are rushing to compete in the booming SUV and crossover market, so it’s likely that in the next few years we’ll see both improvements and innovations within these product lines. More hybrid and even more fully electric models are likely to be on the market soon, even before the end of 2018.


If you foresee an SUV in your immediate future, be sure to check Highline Automotive’s extensive inventory of quality pre-owned SUV’s and Crossovers. From Ford’s and Chevy’s to BM’s and Mercedes’, we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for at competitive prices. We work with all credit ratings and budgets, and every vehicle we sell comes with a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee and a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty.

10 Ways to Get A Car Loan with Bad Credit

10 Ways to Get A Car Loan with Bad Credit


A lot of people face the issue of having bad credit, and it often seems almost impossible to get resolved. Recovering from something like declaring bankruptcy or losing your job and falling behind on your bills can create an extremely difficult financial situation. Getting into debt is a lot easier than getting out of it. But having bad credit doesn’t eliminate your need to own a car, and a vehicle can be the key to getting a better job or just making your life a little bit easier. Here are 10 ways and key steps to getting a car loan with bad credit.

Check your credit report

If you’ve ever heard that even checking your credit score can lower it, that is false. Checking your own credit report is known as a soft credit inquiry. A hard inquiry, such as lenders checking your score to see if you are a good prospective borrower, does impact your credit score. So, make sure you check it, whether you’re using a free service such as Credit Karma, or signing up for a paid service that may give you a more comprehensive report. Many credit cards give you regular reports on your FICO score, such as Discover’s FICO Scorecard service that doesn’t affect your credit. Make sure you check it and know what your score means. If your credit score is less than 630, that is considered a poor credit rating.

Establish a Budget Range

Your car shopping will be chaotic and potentially very disappointing if you don’t have a set budget range to stay within. We say budget range instead of just a number because of how much vehicle price tags can vary. Set an easily attainable payment amount, and then calculate what is 10 percent higher and 10 percent lower. Then, use a loan calculator to add up the total price tag of the car before taxes and insurance.

What to Expect: Interest Rate

If you have bad credit, your loan interest rate will probably be on the higher end. Expect between 14 and 18 percent, but the exact amount depends on which lender you end up choosing and the other terms of the loan.

Finance with The Dealership

It’s much easier to convince a dealership to see you as a person seeking a loan instead of just a walking credit score. If you’re finding that you won’t qualify for financing with a traditional bank, it’s time to look for dealerships that can do much more to help you. We at Highline Automotive are passionate about getting you financing that fits with your income, debts, and other expenses. Once we determine what you can afford, our experienced finance team will help you find the perfect used vehicle from our large  selection of models, and we make sure you get an affordable financing plan that’s well within your budget.

Save For A Larger Down Payment

In order to avoid taking out a higher loan, save for a larger down payment after establishing your budget. The more you can put down on a car, the less you need to borrow in order to fully finance the car. For example, a borrower with bad credit is more likely to get a loan with better terms on a $2,500 loan instead of a $5,000 loan. This method of borrowing is especially effective for those who are bouncing back from bankruptcy or a messy divorce.

Ask Someone You Trust to Be Your Co-Signer

We get it; it can be tricky to ask someone you know to borrow money in order to buy a vehicle. Asking a family member or friend to co-sign your loan can also be a big favor to ask but will show that you’re serious about getting a vehicle and making better decisions about your financing. Having a co-signer with good credit is one of the most effective ways of lowering your interest rate so you pay less in the long run.

Get Pre-Approved Before Looking at Cars

Before you start checking out the online inventory of dealerships in your area, save yourself the hassle by getting a pre-approval for financing. Reputable dealerships will offer this and a well maintained online inventory so you can see what vehicles they currently have and getting pre-approved means you can shop with confidence.

Look for Buy Here, Pay Here Options

Buy Here, Pay Here dealerships handle financing in-house. This means that a finance expert will assist customers with financing without having to go through a traditional financial institution. At Highline Automotive, even with a low credit score, we have financing options to fit most financial situations.

Know When You Should Negotiate

So you are getting ready to sign the paperwork and get the keys. You have just about everything set up. Now it’s time to review everything one last time. Perhaps you see a policy changed from what you discussed, or something else that’s off. Just because you have low credit, that doesn’t mean you need to accept terms that contradict what you were informed of or are not in your best interest. Remember that you are the dealership’s customer, and you need to advocate for yourself. If the salesperson is pushing you to sign too quickly, you have the power to walk away or ask for more time. If the vehicle and paperwork are on the up and up, a salesperson won’t balk at you asking for more time to review everything.

Planning Your Next Car and Loan

Let’s be realistic: you might not end up getting your dream vehicle when you’re financing with bad credit. There’s only so much you may be able to borrow. If that’s the case, think of this vehicle and loan as your stepping stones to an upgrade a few years down the line.


So, by following these ten suggestions you should be on your way to getting an affordable vehicle that will match your basic needs. And remember, the entire Highline team is dedicated to making sure every single customer gets the Right Car at the Right Price, with the Right Financing in Place!










10 Hottest Jersey Shore Destinations This Summer

10 Hottest Jersey Shore Destinations This Summer


Everyone looks for something different in their Jersey Shore destination, with one thing in common: just being at the shore. Whether you’re a surfer, avid swimmer, or you just like to lay on the beach, a big part of your beach getaway is what you get to do when the day is winding down. Whether you’re looking for a sleepy, quaint town or a destination with some of the best nightlife in New Jersey, here are Highline Automotive’s pick of the hottest Jersey Shore destinations, in alphabetical order, and their drive time from Philadelphia.

Asbury Park, 86 minute drive

Asbury Park is a sleepier beach town with more destinations geared towards music lovers and seafood connoisseurs. The Convention Hall is a legendary venue for concerts and other events; plan your trip around an act you want to see to combine a beach weekend and one-of-a-kind concert experience. Porta has gourmet pizza, live music, and indoor bocce for friendly competition. Fantastic food, eclectic boutiques, family fun, colorful nightlife and one of the best live music scenes in the area make the Asbury Park Boardwalk a must.

Atlantic City, 78 minute drive

AC is pretty much a straight shot from Philly, and it’s easy to see why Philadelphians want to go to this larger city for both day trips and vacations. The Steel Pier is one of the biggest and best beachside amusement parks on the shore, and the classic Ripley’s Believe It or Not oddities museum is definitely worth a stop. When you think casinos on the East Coast, your mind usually goes to AC. Caesars is the most raved about in AC for a reason, with almost too many dining options and fantastic entertainment. Don’t miss Lucy the Elephant in neighboring Margate for a great vacation photo. Hotels are actually less expensive than you may anticipate; it’s easy to find great hotel rooms for around $200 per night, and AC is a great destination for more off season visitors due to the number of things to do in addition to the beaches.

Cape May, 106 minute drive

If you’re looking to go wine tasting or even hiking during your beach vacation, heading as far south as possible is your best bet to find a little bit of everything. Cape May is one of the ritzier, more historic beach towns on the Shore. Cape May Point State Park is a beautiful state park for hiking. The Rusty Nail is a great spot in town for solid drinks and a cool environment, complete with a deck and fire pit. Cape May Arcade is definitely worth a visit and gives more of the beachfront feel in a town that feels sleepier than most other destinations on the Shore.

Long Beach Island, 90 minute drive