The Counter-Intuitive Appreciation of Used Cars

New cars are expected to lose a significant amount of value the second they are driven off the lot. Used cars are not supposed to be investments. Even vintage or classic cars aren’t really appreciating in value so much as regaining value. Meaning they went through a time of massive value loss, then because there are fewer of them left and after lots of money and work spent in restoring them to immaculate condition, well, they still aren’t a good investment. But they technically have ‘gained value.’

But there is a curious bubble building right now that should at least grab your attention, if not make you consider some major decisions. The value of many used cars–not classic, nor vintage, nor extremely rare–regular used cars that were a dime a dozen just two years ago when they were new, has increased at nearly the same rate as the popular bitcoin NFTs and exceeding many increases in the stock market.

To be clear, this is not expected to continue for much longer. With that, there are decisions that warrant some consideration as the vehicle sitting in your driveway or garage right now might offer one of the best returns on investment you will have.

The Why…

There are two main reasons this jump or surge might be happening. Both are certainly “negatives” in the realm of commerce, but neither is showing many indications of recovery anytime soon.


The past few years have placed an immense strain on everyone and everything. While we might be (hopefully) nearing the end, some effects have yet to reach their peak, and recovery may still take a few long years away. Perhaps one of the largest of those is the supply chain issues that you almost assuredly have already experienced.

Couple the shortage of inventory of imported automobiles over the last few years, as well as the chip shortage that has dramatically slowed the production of new vehicles, there simply is less supply for the same demand.

The best way to think about it is that a car doesn’t run unless it has all its parts. So a shortage in a couple types of parts can sideline a lot of cars.

While both issues are showing signs of a turnaround, it may take a bit of time yet for a full recovery from these.


Inflation is a fickle economic indicator. In general, things cost more during times of inflation, but the cost of particular goods is not necessarily an indicator of inflation. In looking specifically at car values, the average price of both new and used cars has gone up drastically. This would seem like decent evidence for inflation.

However, the average value of used cars around two years old has jumped by 50%, with new car values seeing half that. Time will tell whether this trend continues or if the cost of vehicles begins to drop.

The Market

Not unlike many housing markets, the used car market is a seller’s paradise. If you have been considering selling your car, either to upgrade to a newer model or to downsize your family’s fleet, now might be your best time. As always, take some time to research to see how much your used car is worth. It won’t take long to see how the value has grown over the past two years.

Buying a Car

If you are looking to upgrade to a newer model, now might not be the best time, especially if you are committed to a used vehicle. Depending on your circumstances or why you are needing a different vehicle (growing family, perhaps), you might not have a choice. In this case, there are a few things to consider. First, if you can wait and “ride out” this wave, it might prove less of a financial blow if prices come down. Second, if you can’t wait, consider buying a new car. Yes, the average cost of new cars has also increased, but nothing compared to used vehicles.

What would cause the Bubble to Stay Longer?

Well, Governors like Jay Insley of Washington state keep announcing that new vehicles will be all electric (EVs) or Hybrids. In Washington’s case, the goal is to make this shift by 2035. They infrastructure can’t handle that now, and is unlikely to in 2035.

The effect of banning sales of new, non-EV cars in a state will drive the price up on used ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars.

How Big Will the Bubble Get?

Or, how long will it take for prices to go down? No one knows. This is unlike any other time where the market is “simply” based on the ebbs and flows of the economy itself. With the external influences at play, we may see recovery within a few months, or it may take a few years. In both cases, there can be a very steep slope in both directions. We may not have seen the peak of the value of used cars. On the other hand, if the bubble bursts, we may see such a drastic drop in prices that they will fall beyond where they started.

Insurance for Young Motorcycle Riders

OP-ED by P. Wimsett

(Note: the following contains information about insurance pricing from the customer point of view. It has not been evaluated by insurance professionals nor is it meant as insurance advice.)

For those who wish lower fuel prices and road tax a motorbike is preferable to a car, but if you are under 25 you can lose what you save in increased insurance premiums. Most people know that insurance for young motorcycle riders is expensive because they don’t have years of experience on the roads, or in life.

Age is not the only thing that means you will have to pay more for your insurance. Other factors include the make of the bike, the engine power (also known as the CC, the measurement between the bore and the stroke). The stroke refers to the rotating motion, or cycle of cylinders, which draw in fuel air mix and exhale exhaust. Engines tend to be either two stroke or four-stroke. The bore is the length of the cylinder. You will also have to pay more if you break the no claims bonus.  

A biker may ride any size of bike after passing his test. Moped users do not need any test at all, but it helps in terms in insurance.

So, ways to keep costs down include having a bike with a small engine, driving as safely as possible, keeping the bike safe and secure, and gaining advanced qualifications (check out the state laws).

Of course, wearing a helmet use to factor in insurance price, but now it’s the law pretty much everywhere. It is best to not to modify your bike (which might be described as “keeping a sensible bike” – rare is the motorcyclist who doesn’t wish to change things).

Also, be certain you added yourself as a named driver; because if you don’t state yourself as a main driver the insurer can refuse to pay up if you have an accident as they have no idea if it is your bike or not.

It is debatable whether it is worth increasing your deductible. Although payments are reduced, it does mean that if you do need to claim you will pay a higher share of it.

If you carry a passenger, you will need pinion coverage, so they are covered in the event of injury. As with any insurance peace of mind is all.

When obtaining a quote make sure you have all the details to hand, including your license number and in addition the number of your motorbike.

It is vital that you only pay for the cover you need: should you only drive on holiday for example or alternately for test drives, you should attempt to get temporary cover–there are specialist insurers who can do this for you. It’s advisable to look at comparison websites too.

Before you attempt driving another person’s motorbike make certain that you’re covered to do so, many people do not check these things. You don’t want to fork out for a new motorcycle hoping to save money and that may be the least of your problems.

#3 Car DIY: Get Better Insurance Rates

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In this Series of How-To posts, we’ll be covering knowing when to do something, how to do something and our own hack to try at your own risk. A big thanks to Tire Kickers, our sponsor and consultants on all things mechanical. They can be found on Facebook, or check out their auto health & safety advice.

(Note: this is the best information we could gather from our research and consulting our automotive advisors, but at the end of the day, our purpose is to entertain and inform. Don’t let us shame you into taking on something if you don’t feel qualified to do it. Trust your gut.)

Know When

Its always a good time to save money on car insurance but opportunities can sneak up on you. So if it’s been two years since your last accident and you’re paying more than $50 a month it’s a good time to look around for a better deal. If you are happy with the service you’re receiving now you can still call and ask for a review. None of our researchers have encountered an actual reward for loyalty at an insurer but hope springs eternal and there’s no harm in trying.

Know How:

We aren’t insurance agents so technically we can’t legally tell you anything about insurance…but here’s a link to common sense ways to get the best price on insurance any time.

If you are searching for a better rate because a blemish has fallen off your record we recommend finding a broker that can represent several companies. Each company tries harder to compete for customers in their target audience so you need to find a good match for you.


For drivers of personal vehicles, you might want to try AAA.

If you drive commercially, either CDL truck, rideshare, parcel delivery or medical transport follow this link to NTC where you can get a host of benefits on everything from cell coverage to health insurance. For taxi and rideshare in OR/WA you can check out OTTIS. Or search around.

We don’t have much experience on Metromile which piloted the pay per mile insurance, but if you do we’d love to have a review of it. Please comment on this post below.

Cutting Down on Your Vehicle’s Gas Consumption


By Staff

Over the course of the past few years, the price of gas has risen dramatically, causing some drivers to look for more fuel-efficient alternatives. Some owners have made the switch to hybrid models, while others have turned to dubious gadgets that claim to save you gas money when all they really do is leave you feeling burned.

Gimmicks don’t work when it comes to fuel efficiency, and you shouldn’t have to feel as though you need to abandon your truck to get behind the wheel of a tiny all-electric model. There are some simple things you can do today to improve the fuel efficiency of your ride, so let’s look at a few of them.

Allow the air to flow

When was the last time you had the air filter in your vehicle replaced? Replacing an old, clogged filter is one of the easiest, most effective ways to improve performance.

The type of filter that you use is also important. Get rid of the old-school paper model and replace it with a performance air filter. Those old paper filters tend to restrict airflow, which essentially means that your engine is being forced to choke. The performance filters are usually made of cotton or foam materials, both of which allows air to flow more freely. When oxygen gets into your engine, less fuel is used than would normally be consumed when you have a clogged filter.Metha_Mustang Chrome 5

Not only does a performance filter deliver better fuel efficiency, it also adds a little extra horsepower to boot. The fact that cleaner air is flowing through your engine means that the overall condition of your vehicle is improved. One word of warning here is that misusing the extra horsepower can quickly negate any improvements the filter makes to your mileage. Don’t go heavy on the gas pedal.

Improve the Aerodynamics on Your Vehicle

If you drive a truck, there are sure to be times when you feel it is being dragged along the road. Your tailgate is often responsible for this feeling, as the air that flows over the truck and into the open bed ends up being derailed by the tailgate.

One simple fix here is to add a tonneau cover to the exposed truck bed, as this will allow the airflow to bypass the tailgate. Generally speaking, you can expect to see a 5-10% increase in gas mileage as soon as you add that cover.

If you don’t like the idea of a cover, you might instead consider switching to an air-flow tailgate. These gates employ a mesh or louvered design that allows air to flow more freely than it does with a traditional tailgate, thus eliminating a good percentage of drag. The results with this type of gate are not as positive as you get with a cover, but it’s a much better, not to mention safer, option that running with the tailgate down.

Check the Tire Pressure

CJ_Auto Safety 2If aerodynamics are not an issue, and you have a new performance filter but are still having gas mileage issues, it might be time to check your tire pressure. If those tires are under-inflated, your engine is going to need to work that much harder to move the wheels. It’s not uncommon to lose around 2 mpg by simply riding on tires that are borderline flat. You are also looking at wearing out the tread faster, which means laying out money on new tires.

A digital tire gauge is accurate and easy to use, and finding the ideal pressure for your vehicle is usually as simple as finding that information on a label in your door well. Try to stay as close to the recommended tire pressure as possible, as over-inflating the tires can be just as

Maintain a Regular Maintenance Schedule

Automakers tell you about regular maintenance for a reason. Having your oil changed and your engine inspected on a regular schedule will not only help with gas mileage, it will also help extend the life of your vehicle. A little preventative care today can save you a lot of money in the future.

How to Save on Car Insurance

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By Jessica Mehta

Many drivers, regardless of age, don’t comprehensively shop around for car insurance. Even fewer establish a relationship with their agent. Sometimes simply asking if there are avenues to lower insurance premiums is all it takes! However, drivers will usually want to avoid “liability only” insurance. It can look like a great way to save on premiums, but when you have “liability only,” your insurance will only pay for costs and repairs due to the other driver in an accident. You’ll be stuck with all the bills related to your medical care and repairs. That’s a big but legal gamble few should take.

The good news is there are many ways to legally lower your insurance premiums without taking such a big risk. For starters, shop around—and keep doing so even when you already have coverage. There are various third-party comparison sites that give you un-biased answers. However, many of these sites might actually have a bias that isn’t advertised, might not ask all the questions that will determine a better rate, or might not include all of the premiums you’re eligible to enjoy. Try a few comparison sites, but also check out various insurance companies directly.

Mehta_Insurance2Young drivers might be especially averse to talking to an agent on the phone or in person, but this can often be the best way to secure lower rates. Talking to a qualified and reputable agent instead of depending on forms or email will let you explain your situation. Agents are often aware of special discounts that might not be advertised, and they’ll ask the right questions to make sure you’re getting the best rate. Remember, agents don’t get commissions or bonuses for inflating your insurance premiums. It’s in their best interest to make you happy with an affordable rate that still serves your needs. Comparison sites and algorithms, on the other hand, aren’t particularly interested in building a relationship with you or saving you money.

What Kind of Discounts Can I Get?

Every insurance agency might offer different discounts, but popular ones include discounts for having multiple policies or multiple cars. Young drivers who can be added onto a family member’s policy (while still paying their own premium) can often get a great deal. If you have an anti-theft device like an alarm, that might also score you a discount. There are also discounts for having passive restraints like airbags, daytime running lights, or even for having a newer vehicle because they’re inherently safer.

If you drive a green vehicle like an electric car or a hybrid, you might qualify for a discount. Being accident-free for a certain amount of time or otherwise, low-risk might be beneficial. Military members, drivers who keep low mileages, and even being a good student often comes with discounts. “Distant students” who are attending school far from home can sometimes get a discount, and homeowners might also qualify for lower rates.

Enroll in paperless billing and/or pay your premium in full instead of in monthly payments, and you’ll likely qualify for discounted coverage. Kind of like changing smartphone carriers, if you switch agencies before your policy is up, the new agency will likely pay off your remaining policy and give you a discount for switching.


Always ask about loyalty discounts if you’ve been with an agency for awhile, and check to see if belonging to a certain organization or being an employee of a specific company qualifies you for a discount.

You can also lower your premiums by improving your credit score. Many times, agencies look at credit scores as an indicator of how “safe” a customer you’ll be. Younger drivers usually have lower credit scores because they haven’t had time to establish a solid credit history. However, if you focus on improving your credit score, your insurance premiums may slowly go down and you’ll also qualify for better rates on everything else from a mortgage to a credit card.

Ensure that your agent knows your current and correct address. Oftentimes, drivers stick with their original policy for years, automatically re-enrolling annually. This can be completely fine as long as there are no better rates out there, but if you have an old address listed you might be overpaying. Part of what determines insurance rates is where you live. After all, living in a high-crime area where car theft or break-ins are relatively more common means you’ll be paying a higher premium. Having the correct address can make a big difference in your premiums.

Most importantly, establish a relationship with your agent and talk to them about ways to lower insurance costs. The worst they can say if you already have the best possible rate—but keep accident-free and improve your credit score, and next year you might get a lower quote.