Category Archives: Used Cars

The 10 cheapest vehicles to own and operate over 5 years

It’s no secret that cars cost money to own and operate, but the differences in running expenses between models can be shocking. MarketWatch Guides‘ new study calculated the five-year costs for gas models, finding that the Hyundai Venue is less than half as expensive to own as some luxury vehicles.

The Venue’s five-year costs amounted to $22,761 in the study, followed by the Hyundai Elantra at $22,788.

The 10 cheapest vehicles to run for 5 years:

  1. Hyundai Venue: $22,761
  2. Hyundai Elantra: $22,788
  3. Nissan Sentra: $23,407
  4. Honda Accord: $23,509
  5. Toyota Corolla: $23,854
  6. Hyundai Tucson: $24,543
  7. Kia Soul: $24,543
  8. Hyundai Sonata: $25,788
  9. Ford Escape ST-Line Select: $25,869
  10. Volkswagen Tiguan: $26,149

MarketWatch used gas, insurance, repairs, and financing costs to calculate its running expenses. Looking at the purchase prices of the vehicles on this list, it’s not surprising to see that most of them are going for affordability, and that extends to operating expenses. The Venue’s 31 mpg combined fuel economy rating likely helped it achieve its impressively low running costs.

A handful of models went the opposite way. The most expensive vehicle to run in the study, the Porsche Cayenne, required an outlay of $56,010 over five years. The Porsche Macan was second, at $48,653, and the BMW X5 xDrive40i was third, at $48,456.

The study did not use depreciation to calculate running costs, but MarketWatch ran the numbers to separately compare residual values between comparable gas and electric models. The Mini Cooper Countryman and Mini Cooper Electric had similar depreciation costs over five years, with just $283 between their numbers. The Chevy Malibu and Chevy Bolt were second closest after five years, with $635 between them. The Audi A3 and Audi E-Tron GT had the most significant difference in depreciation, with the electric E-Tron registering a $29,164 larger price drop after the five-year period.

2024 GMC Acadia First Drive Review: Big on character

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2024 GMC Acadia First Drive Review: Big on character originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 Jun 2024 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2025 GMC Terrain fully revealed in spy photos

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2025 GMC Terrain fully revealed in spy photos originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Jun 2024 11:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rating the best rental car companies in 2024 (and ‘best’ is not so good)

If taking an airline flight doesn’t generate enough anxiety, there’s the march from the arrival gate to the rental car counter. A recent report from the ConsumerAffairs watchdog organization examined consumers’ experiences to rate the best rental car companies from among eight major brands. The highest score possible was five stars, with one star the lowest.

The top rated company, National, received 2.3 stars.

That’s not an awfully convincing measure of trust. And consider that six of the eight rental firms were each rated at less that two stars. Besides National and its sister brands — Enterprise and Alamo — the companies that were ranked in the survey included Hertz, which owns Dollar and Thrifty, and Avis, aligned with Budget.

What’s wrong with this picture? The customer reactions can be attributed to one major factor: frustration. To illustrate the situations, ConsurmerAffairs asked some customers to tell them about their dealings with rental car services.

Among them was Drew, of Lakeville, Minn., who said he rented a car from Alamo at the Sarasota, Fla., airport. After driving off the lot, he said a dashboard warning advised that there was zero percent of life left in the engine oil, suggesting the vehicle had not been serviced recently.

“After speaking to roadside assistance, they told me I was unable to drive the vehicle and they were sending someone to tow the vehicle and setting up an Uber to bring me to another branch to exchange the vehicle,” Drew wrote. But Drew said the new location had no cars. He was told to drive to his lodging and that a manager would call with a new plan. Drew said no call ever came.

Another episode involved tolls. A Massachusetts woman said she’d rented a car from Dollar at San Francisco’s airport and was asked if she would cross any toll bridges. Nope, she said. Nonetheless, she was charged an extra $134.91 for pre-paid tolls, just in case. She said she was told she would be credited that amount if she encountered no tolls.

“When I returned the car I told the attendant that I did not use any toll roads and wanted that charge removed,” she told the consumer group. “He told me I would have to speak with someone in the office. I contacted them when I returned home and was told that since I signed the rental agreement with the charge, that I was responsible for the charges.”

ConsumerAffairs has compiled more examples of rental car drama, listed here.

Rating the best car rental companies in 2024:

  1. National, 2.3 stars
  2. Alamo, 2.1
  3. Enterprise, 1.6
  4. Dollar, 1.2
  5. Hertz, 1.1
  6. Thrifty, 1.1
  7. Avis, 1.1
  8. Budget, 1.1

Costco Auto Program adds the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra through July

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Costco Auto Program adds the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra through July originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 3 Jun 2024 12:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Used car lemon law: Your rights and protections explained

Car repairDoes it seem that your car is in for repairs more than it’s in your driveway, or more to the point, for the same repairs, over and over again? If that’s the case, lemon laws might apply to you. Simply put, lemon laws are meant to give you some legal leverage to seek a refund for the purchase price of your vehicle (or replacement) and…

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato and GMC Acadia driven | Autoblog Podcast #837

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Plus some sad discontinuation news and rumors

Continue reading Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato and GMC Acadia driven | Autoblog Podcast #837

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato and GMC Acadia driven | Autoblog Podcast #837 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jun 2024 13:24:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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More drivers are shopping for new car insurance due to rate increases

Insurance rates are increasing, but vehicle owners aren’t sitting still waiting for the situation to change. A new study from LexisNexis showed that more people are shopping around for car insurance, switching companies to save money and get better coverage options.

The study showed that more than 40 percent of insured drivers had shopped for a new policy in 2023, up almost 5 percent from the year before. Insurers spent less on advertising, which could have played a role, but the main driving force is that people want to save money, and they are not hesitant to make a move when they find something better.

This situation presents some challenges for insurance companies, even the ones that are taking on more customers than they lose. There are more multi-generational households as families move in together to save money. That has driven up the number of drivers on each policy while reducing the number of new policies. Beyond the potential lost revenue, insurers could miss risk factors for people in multi-driver households.

Because of that shopping around, insurers have seen a drop in their customer renewal rates, with the average renewals dropping from 83 percent to 80 percent. Many of the customers making moves between coverage options are those with clean driving records and low-risk drivers, leaving insurers with “the rest” of the driving population that costs more to insure. LexisNexis pointed out that insurers need to focus on pricing and satisfaction for the lower-risk vehicle owners to avoid ending up with a pool of expensive-to-insure drivers.

If you’re considering changing insurance companies, doing plenty of research up front would be wise. Consider your current deductible, coverage limits, and benefits before making a move. If you save a few dollars on insurance premiums but end up with a larger deductible or fewer coverage options, you won’t have saved anything if you get in a wreck.

Study: Insurance claims have become significantly more severe since 2020

We’ve been hearing about rising car insurance rates for a while now, but while it’s easy to blame corporate greed for the increases, some of the blame lies in the fact that insurance claims have become significantly more severe over the past four years. LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ recent study found that the costs for bodily injury and property damage claims have climbed steadily in recent times, contributing to the rise in premiums.

Since 2020, claims for bodily injury have risen in severity by 20 percent, while material damages coverage increased 47 percent. Parts and labor shortages contributed, as did increases in the costs of medical care. As LexisNexis pointed out, the more severe accidents have raised questions about minimum coverage limits and whether they are adequate to cover the increased costs.

There are 43 states plus Washington, D.C., that require $25,000 or less in coverage, while four states have $30,000 minimum coverage limits. Three others have minimums of $50,000, barely covering the average new vehicle price in the United States.

Total loss claims have increased 29 percent since 2020, and over a quarter of collisions in 2023 resulted in totaled vehicles. These claims are more expensive for the insurer and can be customer service headaches for drivers. Almost half of the people surveyed said they were dissatisfied with their experience following a total-loss accident, and 40 percent said it took a month or longer to receive payment for their claim.

Another factor contributing to the severity of claims is the fact that a greater number of people are getting legal help from an attorney. A majority of study respondents – 85 percent – said an attorney had approached them after an accident. Around 60 percent had been contacted by two or more lawyers, and more than half of the people who obtained legal help received more money from their settlements.

Why the Fourth of July is summer’s deadliest holiday on the roads

Independence Day is about fireworks, parades and picnics, sure, but there’s another reality — and it’s a sad counterpoint to what’s supposed to be a celebration of freedom. The Fourth of July is the deadliest summer holiday on the roads.

This is partly because the holiday is pegged to a specific date. Though it can come on a weekend or be weekend adjacent, some years it falls midweek, on Thursday in 2024 for example. You don’t always get a long weekend like Labor Day or Memorial Day, so driving travel can be more concentrated, sometimes even down to the one day. A lot of drinking and other bad decisions can be concentrated on that day too. And more than those other holidays, Fourth of July events coast-to-coast bring out huge crowds. 

The folks at the Jerry insurance app took a hard look at NHTSA crash data along with Census Bureau info and came up with some numbers and charts that you might find sobering (literally) this Fourth, when a record 60.6 million Americans are expected to be traveling: 

  • There has been an average total of 429 fatal crashes nationwide on the Fourth of July each year between 2016-2022. That’s up 17% from the average in 2008-2015.
  • There were nearly 500 deaths by impaired drivers over a Fourth holiday weekend in 2022.
  • Nearly half the crashes, 47%, involved some combination of speeding, drinking and drugs. A third, 31%, involved speeding; a third, 32%, involved at least one driver under the influence of alcohol; and another 12% involved drugs. 
  • Three-quarters (73%) of car-crash fatalities on the Fourth are male. The majority had been drinking.
  • Over half (52%) of those killed in crashes are under 40 years old. Two-thirds (66%) of the deaths in that age group were in drinking-related crashes.
  • There’s a huge time-of-day uptick for deadly crashes, happening between 9 p.m. and midnight as people drive home from parties and fireworks shows. There’s another uptick after 1 a.m. when you add bar closings to that.
  • In some cities and states, the carnage is worse than others. Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit have the most fatal crashes, likewise California, Texas and Florida, which is not surprising given their size. (California alone registered three times as many fatal crashes as New York).
  • But when measured per capita, Detroit, Memphis and Kansas City are the worst. Also Montana and the Dakotas, perhaps because of greater distances driven. 
  • And the problem is not just cars — Mothers Against Drunk Driving points out that boating fatalities involving alcohol are also a big problem over the Fourth. The U.S. Coast Guard concurs that the effects of alcohol on judgment and reaction times are greatly amplified on the water.

To address the problem of young people drinking on the Fourth, MADD recommends using strategies from the Power of Parents Handbook, saying a five-year study concluded that the book helps teens become more likely to decline rides from impaired drivers and less likely to drive when impaired themselves. 

The Jerry app’s report features a dozen revealing charts. We’ve included two of them here, but for a deeper dive, you should check out the full report.

On the Fourth, fireworks aren’t the only risk. Have a safe and sane one.