All posts by Melissa Reisor

How to Buy or Lease a Car If You Have a Low Credit Score

By | Car Tips | No Comments

The reasons for a low credit score are aplenty. It could be a bit of immature spending when you first received a credit card accompanied by unpaid bills. It could be more solemn, like job loss or family issues that meant money was too tight to make your payments. It might be the simple fact you’ve never needed to take out a loan before. Yet, here you are, with a low credit score and are looking to buy or lease a car.

What can you do about it? With a little guidance, you can buy a car or sign a lease for a car even with a low credit score. Here are a few tips.

Choose a Car Within Your Means

If your credit score is less than stellar, you’ll need to temper your wants with your needs. Decide which options are absolutely essential and which ones you can do without. Your best choice for buying a car when you have poor credit is a newer vehicle with a low price tag. Auto loan companies perceive these types of loans as the lowest risk.

Scrounge Up a Down Payment

To show you’re serious about buying a car, have a down payment collected and ready when car shopping. The cash you have to put down on the loan or lease seems to make lenders work a little harder.

A down payment makes your loan more attractive because the percentage of the vehicle you’re borrowing is lowered. It also means you can finance or lease a more expensive car.

Know Your Options

Sometimes, leasing is an easier way to get the deal done on a car purchase. Other times, a purchase is more likely to be successful. It can vary from vehicle to vehicle and from dealership to dealership.

When you have selected the vehicle you want, determine the best option for your situation with the salesperson. You might need to switch your vehicle selection to make the deal work.

Shop for the Best Rates

You already know your credit rating isn’t at the top of the scale. However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept whatever high-interest loan you’re offered first. Determine three to five lenders or dealerships that work with low-credit situations near you. Seek out lenders that are reputable and are rated well online, and then request pre-approval.

Compare the interest rates and repayment terms, selecting the best one for your situation. You’ll also want a quote from credit unions and the financial institution you normally use. Sometimes, the personal touch makes all the difference.

Buy Here Pay Here Car Loans

Another option that’s gaining popularity is Buy Here Pay Here (BHPH) car loans. These are typically lenders who use their own funds to get you driving. That means your car loan or lease isn’t financed by a typical bank or lending institution. The lender has the flexibility to offer car loans and leases to anyone they’d like, including those with low credit scores.

If you choose to check out Buy Here Pay Here car dealers, be vigilant about your purchase. Know what the vehicle is worth – some seedy used car dealers jack up the price when low-credit buyers are on the hook, and sometimes the vehicles are in rough mechanical shape. And don’t get roped into astronomical interest rates right off the hop. In some cases, used car dealers charge up to 30% interest on BHPH loans.

Know What You’re Signing

It’s great to be thankful for getting a loan or lease for your car. Just make sure you read through all of your paperwork thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line. It’s a contract, so you’re responsible for knowing what you’re getting into.

Make Your Payments

Most importantly, never be late or miss a payment. It makes a lasting mark on your credit rating and can make future purchases difficult.


About Luxe

Luxe is the easiest way to park. Within our app, tell us where to meet you, and a Luxe Valet will be there when you arrive. When you’re ready to get your car back, schedule the return, and your car will meet you at the time and place of your choosing. We serve San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin. Our service is safe, convenient, and affordable so you can do more with your day.

Don’t have the app? Download it here and get your first two parks free!

Traveling with Pets: How to Plan a Road Trip with Your Cat or Dog

By | Car Tips | No Comments

Whether tagging along during a business trip or joining the family on vacation, Fido is a cherished companion. Traveling with pets is part of the adventure and should be considered wherever possible; plus, you don’t want to leave them home alone or put them up in a kennel, do you?

There are a handle of things to keep in mind if you’re taking a road trip with your pet. Comfort, safety, security, and enjoyment — your pet deserves them too!

ID Your Cat or Dog

They can’t speak for themselves. If your pets get lost on a road trip with no ID, you should know there’s little to no chance of getting them back. Ideally, your pet should be microchipped for easy identification. You should also equip your cat or dog with a collar and imprinted tags with your name, phone number, and other relevant contact information.

Reserve Pet-Friendly Hotels

Many hotel chains have pet-friendly rooms you can book if you’re traveling for more than one day. Call ahead to double-check, and book a room where your pet can join you in the accommodations. Note that you might be required to kennel your pets while they are inside the hotel room; inquire about the rules before you leave home.

Get Ready for a Long Drive

Yes, that means a good, long walk to get their business done before you hit the road. Also, make sure you pack items your pets would need for the length of your road trip. Bring pet food in a sealed container (it gets ripe in the car otherwise), water for the trip, and enough toys to keep them content during the drive.

Make the Trip Comfy for Everyone

When you get in the car for a cross-country trek, keep in mind that your cat or dog needs to be cozy for long distances. Bring pet beds or a crate they can use, and place them in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can make your pet overheated; trust me – you don’t want to contend with a car-sick animal.

Keep Your Pet Secure

A well-ventilated crate or pet carrier isn’t considered imprisonment by your cat or dog. They are den animals and typically like those spaces. Put a pet bed inside for comfort, and make sure you secure the crate with a strap or seatbelt in the event of an accident.

Stop Frequently

Avoid a mess inside your car, and prevent discomfort for your cat or dog. Make regular stops along your route to let Milo and Otis relieve themselves and stretch their legs, and let them rehydrate (but not too much). Break time is also a good chance for you to work out your own kinks.

Bring a Pet-Friendly Travel Kit

It’s not just about being in the car. You should always bring items that make a hotel room feel like home. Pack a pet grooming brush, a few yummy treats, and a couple of their favorite toys to prevent the stress of a new place, and include a basic first aid kit, and potential pet medications, as well.

Never Leave Your Pet in Your Hot or Cold Car

Depending on the season and the time of day, your car’s interior can cool off very quickly or heat up intensely in just a few minutes. Whether you’re headed to a restaurant for a bite to eat or stopping for the night, don’t leave your cat or dog in the car with the engine off. If you have a remote starter, you can start the engine for your pet to keep the interior temperature regulated comfortably. Otherwise, your pet should come with you.

Traveling with pets can be a great experience for both you and your pet. A little planning ahead will help make your road trip a smashing success!


About Luxe

Luxe is the easiest way to park. Within our app, tell us where to meet you, and a Luxe Valet will be there when you arrive. When you’re ready to get your car back, schedule the return, and your car will meet you at the time and place of your choosing. We serve San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin. Our service is safe, convenient, and affordable, so you can do more with your day.

Don’t have the app? Download it here and get your first two parks free!

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Things to Do in Chicago

By | Luxe Chicago, Travel | No Comments

Although the summer’s over, there’s still plenty of fun things to do in Chicago to make those great summer feelings last into fall. Whether you plan to take a long weekend exploring what Chicago has to offer or take a day trip from a nearby town, plan to visit a few attractions and eat some delicious food. Here are six of our favorite places to visit in Chicago.

Millennium Park

One of the most iconic locations in Chicago, Millennium Park is a beautiful green space surrounded by modern art and impressive skyscrapers. You can attend free concerts throughout most of the year, including the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago in September. On their website, you can check out workout classes, nature programs, and other free events scheduled throughout the year.

Piccolo Sogno

Located at 464 North Halsted Street garden seating, Piccolo Sogno offers rustic Italian cuisine made from fresh seasonal ingredients. Known for their comprehensive wine list and homemade gelato, the restaurant serves a wide range of fairly priced and delicious menu items locals love. During the summer, you can relax and dine in garden seating.

Navy Pier

If you think waterfront views and a beachy atmosphere only exist near oceans, make sure to check out Navy Pier. Here you can catch a speed boat tour of Lake Michigan, play with toy cars at Zoom Room or simply stroll along the pier. Plus, there are many special events scheduled to take place throughout the year.

Museum of Contemporary Art

You can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art throughout the year to check out new art exhibits or attend a free guided tour. During the summer, go to the museum to take a break from the sun. Locals love that Illinois residents get free admission on Tuesdays all year long.

Bridge House Tavern

Located at 321 N. Clark Street, you can watch people from the pub’s terrace and enjoy the view from the Bridge House Tavern. The restaurant serves up delicious lunches and dinners as well as weekend brunches. You can even rent out cabanas and the deck area for private events.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is a world-renowned, AZA-accredited aquarium located within Chicago’s city limits. It’s part of Chicago’s CityPASS that offers tremendous savings to visitors looking to go to the aquarium and other attractions such as the Adler Planetarium or the Museum of Science and Industry during their visit. You can see more than just the normal saltwater fish at the Shedd Aquarium with less common exhibits such as belugas and sea otters.

Priceless Views

Chicago’s architecture and skyline are beautiful from both the ground and the sky. At least once, plan on seeing the city from the top of a skyscraper to truly appreciate the magnificence. Look down off a glass ledge at the Chicago Skydeck from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower or drink cocktails from the roof at the London House Chicago. If you’re really fearless, experience Tilt at the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, where you’ll see the Magnificent Mile by looking down.

Parking in Chicago

Parking in the city can be difficult and expensive. New mobile apps, such as Luxe, make it easy to park your car in Chicago!

Luxe is an on-demand valet parking and car services mobile app that sends valets to park for you and more. Simply enter your destination in the app and we’ll send a valet to pick up your car. When you’re ready to leave, tell us where you want your car returned and we’ll deliver it back to you — even in a different location than you started!

Check out our Monthly Subscriptions for even more value!

 

5 Tips for Stress-Free Car Purchase Negotiations

By | Car Tips | No Comments

Aside from purchasing a home, car buying is the largest investment most people make. You’re paying thousands of dollars and are usually locked into financing over several years, so it’s no wonder it’s such a stressful transaction.

Much of that stress comes when it’s time to discuss the dollars and cents. Negotiation can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know how to buy a car or are inexperienced at haggling. After all, bartering with a professional salesperson might make you feel like you’re a little out of your depth.

Here are a few car buying tips when you’re negotiating your car purchase.

1. Know the Vehicle You Want

Before you set foot in the dealership, narrow down your vehicle selection. Have three vehicles at most that you’re seriously looking to buy. Car salespeople will take full advantage of customers who aren’t sure what they want or haven’t done their research. These are the customers who end up having buyer’s remorse soon after.

Spend time researching reputable online sites, comparing models you think you might want. Drive through car dealership lots after hours to look at these vehicles without any pressure from salespeople. Only once you think you’d seriously consider the car should you walk into the dealership.

2. Only Pay for the Features You Want

On the car lot, there’s a good chance you won’t always find vehicles equipped exactly how you want. That means a salesperson will probably show you cars that have more features than you need. While the extras may be nice to have, you should base your negotiation on the features you originally want. The salesperson knows they are “upselling” you on features, which is a soft spot in their armor. Act like the extras aren’t important, offering only to buy car features you want.

3. Know Actual Selling Prices

You can use an online tool such as Kelley Blue Book to determine the Fair Market Pricing for virtually any vehicle, used or new. When you know the Fair Market Price, you know what range you should expect to pay for the vehicle you want.

Start your negotiations at the low end of the Fair Market Price, and be comfortable settling for a selling price anywhere in the fair range. If the salesperson won’t agree to a price in the fair market range, be prepared to walk away.

4. Get Competitive Quotes

Leverage your position for buying a car by obtaining quotes from more than one dealership. If there is one dealership that clearly has a better price than the others, start your car buying process there. You may just want to deal with a local dealership, so you can use the competitor’s quotes to negotiate a better price. Just make sure the vehicles you are comparing are apples to apples — the same car make and model with the same features.

5. Negotiate on Selling Price, Not Payment

When you are discussing price with the salesperson, they will probably try to negotiate a payment price with you, not a selling price. It’s a favorite tactic used by salespeople to increasing the selling price. By talking about small amounts instead of the overall price, small increases can seem harmless yet make a big difference in the total amount you’ll pay. Keep the topic on total selling price so you maintain control of negotiations.

If the sales process gets uncomfortable, simply walk away. You should never feel like you’re being pressured. After all, it’s your money and you’re in control.

Labor Day Hours

By | Luxe News | No Comments

Kick back, relax, and have a hassle-free Labor Day Weekend! Our hours of operations will be different this weekend than normal, so please take note of the hours below and remember to pick up your car ahead of closing hours. We will resume our normal hours on Tuesday, 9/8.

Happy Labor Day!

San Francisco
Friday: 6am–2am
Saturday: 10am–2am
Sunday–Monday: 10am–9pm

Los Angeles
Santa Monica
Friday: 7am–12am
Saturday: 10am–12am
Sunday–Monday: 10am–8pm

Hollywood
Friday: 6pm–2am
Saturday: 8am–2am
Sunday–Monday: 10am–9pm

Downtown
Friday: 7am–1am
Saturday: 10am–1am
Sunday–Monday: 10am–9pm

West LA
Friday: 7am–11pm
Saturday–Sunday: 11am–4pm
Monday: CLOSED

New York
Upper Manhattan
Friday: 7am–10pm
Saturday–Monday: 8am–10pm

Downtown Manhattan
Friday: 7am–10pm
Saturday–Monday: 8am–10pm

Williamsburg
Friday–Monday: Closed

Seattle
Friday: 6am–12am
Saturday–Sunday: 9am–12am
Monday: 9am–10pm

Chicago
Friday: 7am–11pm
Saturday: 10am–11pm
Sunday–Monday: 10am–8pm

Boston
Friday: 7am–12am
Saturday: 10am–12am
Sunday–Monday: CLOSED

Philadelphia
Friday: 7am–11pm
Saturday: 10am–11pm
Sunday–Monday: CLOSED

Austin
Friday: 7am–10pm
Saturday: 10am–10pm
Sunday: 10am–6pm
Monday: CLOSED