When Gap Car Insurance Isn’t Necessary

Gap auto insurance, in case you didn’t know, picks up the tab if your car is totaled and you owe more than it’s worth. Although gap insurance coverage can be purchased for as little as $30 a year it isn’t always necessary.

One instance is if you pay cash for your new car; if you don’t have an unpaid loan balance, there is no financing gap to worry about.

However, paid for or not, a new car will still depreciate at the same rate. In this case you might want to look at New Car Replacement Insurance.

New car replacement insurance is offered by a number of carriers for different lengths of time. Some insurers offer replacement insurance for only a month while others, such as Allstate, offer a plan where “you may be able to get a totally new car” if totaled in the first three model years.

A second instance when you would not need gap insurance is if you put at least 20% down. In most cases if you put 20% down the rate at which the car loan is paid down should track pretty close to the depreciated value of your car.

Another situation where you might not need gap protection is if you lease a new or used car. In many states, such as New York, gap insurance is mandated by law to be included in the quoted lease payment amount.

Yet despite this there are unscrupulous sales people who will try to sell you gap insurance anyway – and it won’t come cheap. The gap insurance sold by car dealerships today is a high profit add on much like upholstery protection or under carriage coating was years ago.

The average one time payment for gap insurance purchased from a car dealer averages around $548. This is almost 5 times more than it would cost if purchased from a major insurance carrier for as long as you needed it.

The last example illustrates why you would need gap insurance, but for only a short period of time.

The recent loosening of bank purse strings has also meant lower car financing rates for both new and used cars. As a matter of fact the rates are very similar. At these new low rates the outstanding loan balance and depreciated car value quickly reach parity – usually within two years.

However, that first year of car ownership is still a killer for car values. For instance, if you borrowed $40,000 for 60 months at 6% with zero down, 20% of the loan would be paid in the first year but your car would have depreciated 25%. This would leave you owing roughly $2,500 more than the insurance company would pay out if your car was totaled during the first year of ownership.

But, as previously mentioned, during the second year of ownership the value or your car and the loan balance would even out. So although you won’t be able to eliminate the purchase of gap insurance entirely, you would only need it for the first year of ownership.

Car Dealer Leasing Tricks

Too often when it comes to auto-leasing, people get so dazzled by the myriad terms and the jargon thrown their way that they end-up paying through the nose, relying on a dealer’s “help” than their own informed decision.

Here is a look at some of the tricks dealers use to pad their profits and leave the customers shelling hundreds of dollars more than the deal should be worth.

Trick 1: Leasing always a better deal than buying

Dealers use the lure of lower-monthly payments to entice customers to sign for long-term loans, with terms stretching for five years or more, making the payments even lower. There are two catches with such lengthy contracts: higher mileage, exceeding the prescribed limit, and hefty repair costs.

With leases charging on average 10 to 20 cents a mile for any extra mile over the agreed amount in the contract, and warranties only covering three years, you leave yourself wide open for hefty charges for excessive mileage and wear and tear.

Trick 2: Cheap 2-3% APR rate on your lease

The dealer is not quoting the interest rate you would be paying on your lease; he’s rather giving you the lease money factor. Whilst similar to an interest rate and important in determining your monthly payment, a more accurate rate is calculated by multiplying the money factor by 24. For example a “cheap” 3% money factor is 24 X 0.003 = 7.2%. This gives you a better sense of what your annual interest rate on your lease contract is.

Trick 3: Stress-free early lease termination

Dealers know consumer driving needs change and they would like to have the option of getting out of a lease commitment sometime down the road, before their lease ends. Truth of the matter is, when you sign for a lease, you are effectively saddled with monthly payments for the remainder of the lease term and there is little-choice of getting out early. Lease contracts carry hefty financial penalties for either defaulting on monthly payments or terminating the lease earlier than the scheduled term.

To avoid being on the receiving end of such tried-and-true tricks, educate yourself about leasing. Get down to the nitty-gritty and understand what the leasing terms used by dealers mean. Crunch the numbers along with him and understand how they arrived at the monthly payment figure. Don’t sign anything until you’ve understood all the terms and your numbers much those of the dealer. Do not let the dealer pressure you into signing; you are the one to determine whether the agreement is right for you.

Car Loans And Bankruptcy Go Together Like Peanut Butter And Jelly

I know, “What the heck, right?” Let me explain how putting car loans and bankruptcy together is as easy as combining peanut butter and jelly to create a tasty little sandwich.

Getting car loans after bankruptcy doesn’t have to be an unpleasant and painful situation. Eliminate the struggle by discovering that there are decent car dealerships or auto consultants available that will extend a car loan to someone who has a recent bankruptcy.

Getting rid of the struggle can leave you calm and assured that you will be able to get a quality car that fits into your budget.

Tips for getting your loan.

Locate a local car dealership or auto consultant that has a special financing department that works with people who have a bankruptcy. Speak with them and learn how they can help you with a car loan after bankruptcy. Tell them your specific situation and ask to meet with them for further discussion.

Prior to your visit there are a few things you can gather that will help the special finance salesperson get your pre-approved for a car loan with your circumstances.

A proof of income is going to be the most important information so bring with you a couple of your latest pay stubs.

In addition, the salesperson will want to see a valid state issued driver’s license along with proof of insurance. If you bring your insurance card and the name and number of your insurance agent or company the consultant can easily verify that you have insurance coverage.

And finally, the salesperson will want proof of residency. Bring along 2 of your monthly bills such as your electric bill and your cell phone bill and this will provide the necessary proof of your residence. Sometimes they will ask you for a list of references also, so have this handy and ready for the salesperson to review.

After handing over the necessary information, discuss the payments that you feel you can comfortable handle each month. After all, this is the bottom line you are most likely interested in since you are recovering from a financial downfall.

A salesperson that has your best interest at hand will understand your needs and what you can handle in a monthly payment and not try to sell you more car than you can afford. Car loans and bankruptcy can work together to help you toward a brighter tomorrow.