Category Archives: Car Shopping Tips

When to Trade In Your Car

When you’re considering purchasing a new vehicle, you are also probably considering whether you should trade your car in or sell it yourself. We understand that this is a hard decision to make, so we will walk you through when you should trade-in your car.

You Don’t Want the Hassle of Selling

Selling your car privately can be a hassle. You have to clean it and prep it for someone to buy. You also have to deal with the anxiety of meeting total strangers who may want to buy your car. When you trade in your car, the dealership will take care of all the cleaning and preparation for sale.

Trade-In Value as a Down Payment

When you want to use the value of your current car towards your next vehicle, trading in is a great option! Dealerships can easily value your trade-in then allocate that amount toward your next purchase. You can even value your trade right on the Peak Kia North website! This is the best way to ensure that the value of your current car helps pay for your next car.

You Still Owe On Your Current Car

As long as you are not behind on your payments, most dealerships will allow you to transfer the remaining loan amount to the new car’s loan. Before you make the trade, you should take into consideration the equity of the car. Talk to the dealership’s finance department to learn more about your options if you still owe on your trade.

Trading your car in is a great way to get into your next car. Maybe you’re starting a family and need a larger car or you have seen the all-new Kia Telluride, and you just can’t wait to buy one. Whatever the situation, trading your current vehicle for a new one can be a great option. Value your trade-in on our website and check out our current inventory online!

How Much Is My Car Worth?

If you’re looking for a new car, there is a high likelihood that you will trade in your current car. You might be wondering how much your old car is worth? Well, that depends. The Edmunds Free Car Value Calculator tool takes different variables into consideration to provide you an estimated value on your used car. You can use this value to understand what to sell your used car for, or what it’s estimated trade-in value may be. Here are the different factors the tool takes into consideration to value your vehicle.

Age of Vehicle

The first consideration that the Edmunds tool uses is the age of the vehicle. Cars depreciate over time, and the age of your used car will help determine how much it’s worth. For example, a used 2018 car will likely be worth more than a used 2008 car. The age can also determine what kinds of features are available in the vehicle that can increase its value.

Make, Model, and Trim of Vehicle

Everyone knows that a Ferrari is worth more than a Honda. The Edmunds tool requires that users enter the make (BMW, Honda, Kia, etc.) of your used vehicle as well as the model and trim to determine its value. The trim is also referred to as the style of the vehicle and differentiates the models by the type of engine in them and whether the vehicle has 2 doors (coupe) or 4 doors (sedan) or some other package that makes it unique. These packages will impact the value of your used car.

Additional Options

Some cars are very basic and don’t come with all the bells and whistles. Others have it all and are even custom made to fit the needs of a person. By asking about the additional options and features of a vehicle, the Edmunds tool can add on some extra value to your used car. It is worth including this information to determine an accurate valuation of your used vehicle. Things like sunroofs, sports seats, heated seats, and back up cameras will increase the value of your used car.


Last, but certainly not least, the Edmunds tool will take into account the mileage of the vehicle. The mileage of the vehicle is an important factor in the valuation because it is a direct measurement of the age of the engine of the vehicle. It tells you how much the vehicle has been used, and in some cases, how much life the vehicle has left. You could have a 2016 used car with 100,000 miles on it and it may be worth less than a 2012 used vehicle with just 40,000 miles on it. While the 2012 car is older, the engine inside of it has more life to live than the 2016 car.

If you’re shopping for a new vehicle and want to know how much your used car is worth as a trade-in or to sell it personally, use the Edmunds Car Value Calculator on our website. In a few simple steps, you’ll know what your car is worth and how you can use it as leverage on a new car!

5 Documents to Bring When Buying a Car

The car buying process on its own can be overwhelming, especially if you are not sure what documents you need to successfully purchase a new car. Here are the 5 documents to bring when buying a car.

Valid Driver’s License

This might go without saying, but you need to bring proof that you can legally drive the vehicle off the lot. Expired or void licenses will not work. Your driver’s license will also serve as your form of identification if you are financing the vehicle or paying via check.

Trade-In Vehicle Title

If you are trading in a vehicle, you need to prove that you are the owner of that vehicle. The title shows proof of ownership and you will also use the title to transfer ownership to the dealership so they can do what they want with it. If there is a co-signer on the title or a lien against the title, you need to make sure to get the appropriate signatures ahead of time. Call the dealership finance department or check the Colorado DMV website if you have any questions about your car title.

Trade-In Vehicle Registration

In addition to the title of your trade-in, you will also need to provide a copy of the vehicle’s registration. You must also make sure that your registration is current and that the stickers on your plate match the information on your registration.

Proof of Insurance

To drive a new car off the lot, you must provide proof that you have insurance. In the state of Colorado, proof that you were insured under your trade-in vehicle is sufficient. You will have a short grace period in which to get your insurance switched over to the new vehicle. You can also change your policy before purchasing the vehicle by calling your insurance and having them send the dealership the updated policy before you drive off the lot.


Whether you are paying with a check or plan on financing, you should have the appropriate documents with you. Pro tip: we recommend getting pre-approved for financing prior to going to the dealership. Peak Kia North offers easy online pre-approvals. Submit yours today.

At Peak Kia North, we want you to have an easy car buying experience. Our staff is committed to providing the best customer service in Northern Colorado and to help you get into your next new vehicle. Check out our new and used inventory on our website!

5 Signs You Need a New Car

Let’s be honest, your car isn’t going to last forever. Often times your car will give you some pretty clear signs that it is time to move on. Here are 5 signs that you need a new car.

1. Your car is becoming a money pit

As cars age, you’ll find that they begin to cost more to maintain. It will start off with small repairs here and there, but eventually, you will be faced with a major event that will cost more to fix than your car is worth. Sure there is sentimental value attached to your car, but there is no way to monetize that and use it to pay for the vehicle repairs. This is the time to weigh the pros and cons of repairing your car or getting a new one.

2. You don’t feel safe in your car anymore

If you are white-knuckling it down the road and thanking the universe that you made it to your destination alive, then it is time for a new car. Once you start feeling unsafe or like your car is going to get you fired, it is in your best interest to bid farewell to your car and start looking for a new one.  

3. Your life situation changes

Life has a way of surprising us and making us rethink past choices. Maybe you just got married and are expanding your family. Your coupe probably isn’t the most practical type of vehicle for car seats and boosters. Or perhaps you’re moving from the West Coast to the Rocky Mountains and you need to consider trading in your convertible for something with all-wheel drive for those snow-packed winter roads. These life changes are certainly signs that it is time for a new car.

4. You just want a new car

Sometimes, you just want a new car. Technology and features can change quite a bit in just a few years, and maybe your current car lacks a feature that is now standard on all new vehicles. Alternatively, maybe you want to be more eco-friendly and want a car that is a hybrid or that is fully electric. These can be signs that it is time for a new car.

5. Your car won’t start

Obviously. If your car won’t start, and you have eliminated common causes, like a dead battery, then it is certainly time for a new car.

Take notice of the signs that it might be time for a new car. At Peak Kia North, we have a large inventory of new and used vehicles ready for you to purchase. If the signs are telling you that it is time for a new car, our sales team can help you find the right car for you and your lifestyle. We even offer 24-Hour test drives so you can take your time deciding which car you want. If you want more information, call our sales team at 970.576.3100.

Things To Consider When Buying A Car

The decision to buy a new car is often made out of necessity. For some, a growing family requires a larger vehicle with more seating. For others, a new job may require a car with more cargo space, or perhaps a longer daily commute could inspire the want for a vehicle with better fuel efficiency. However, even if the decision to buy a car is made of out necessity, it should not be a decision that is rushed. There are many things to consider when buying a car, including the decision to purchase a new or used vehicle.

How Will You Drive Your New Car?

One of the most important factors in selecting a new car is how the car will be used. If the primary focus of the car will be transporting family and friends, then the number of seats will be a central influence. Additionally, think about where you drive your car the most, as well as where the car will be parked. In Northern Colorado, is it not uncommon to spend time driving off-road nor is it uncommon to sit in traffic on I-25. Also, the weather can prove to be rather unpredictable, including hail storms and heavy snow. How often you must drive in these conditions will inform the type of car you buy.

How Much Car Can You Afford?

Another key element in purchasing a vehicle is how much you are willing to spend. Are you willing to make monthly payments, or do you want to pay for the vehicle all at once? Have you been saving for a downpayment? How strong is your credit history? These factors will determine your ability to receive a favorable interest rate on a new car. Additionally, new cars often have more manufacturer and factory incentives than used cars. These can lower the cost of buying a new car. On the other hand, if you desire to purchase a car without going into debt, then a used car or truck may be the more practical choice.

If you are in the market for a new or used car, contact Peak Kia North today.

Tips for Shopping for Used Cars

Shopping for a used car can be stressful. It is much easier when you do some research and know exactly what you want before going to a dealer or searching online. Here are some tips to help you shop for a used car.

Step 1: Determine Your Budget… and don’t budge from it

Buying a car is a large financial commitment whether you pay cash or finance the car. If you are looking to pay cash, set the maximum budget that you are willing to pay and stick with it. If you are financing a car, this will look a little different. First, you should determine the downpayment you are willing to make, then from that, calculate what monthly payment you can afford. There are loan calculators out there that can help you with the math. Once that is figured out stick with it! You might also want to do some research on different financing options.

Step 2: Build a List of Target Cars

Everybody has their dream car, but if you take a minute to think about it, your dream car might not be practical. Match your target list of cars to your needs. Do you need a car that fits a family? Do you need something with a lot of cargo space? Do you need a truck that can pull a trailer? Do you want all-wheel drive for those snowy winter months? Or is safety your priority? Once you answer all those questions you can narrow the search down to a few makes and models.

Step 3: Check the Reliability of these Cars

Once you have narrowed your search, you should check the reliability of the cars to narrow it further. This would include looking at the total cost of ownership of the car. Is the car expensive to maintain? Do others have major problems with their cars? Are there constantly parts being recalled? These are important when considering this sort of investment. Last, check if the car holds its value over time.

Step 4: Locate Cars in Your Area

In today’s world, there are so many ways you can do this. You can drive by dealerships, check online, and even search personal selling networks like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. If you are looking for a car that is Certified Pre Owned (CPO) then looking at dealer websites is going to be your best bet.

Step 5: Check the Vehicle History

Vehicle history reports are relatively easy to get these days. You can access them online, although you often have to pay for a detailed report. As long as you know the VIN of the car, you can at least get a quick overview of the history. You want to watch out for Salvage Titles which likely indicate that the vehicle was totaled by an insurance company or the odometer was rolled back, not representing how many miles are actually on the car. You can also see how many previous owners there were and where the car originated from.

Step 6: Call the Seller

Whether you’re looking at a car from a private seller or a dealership, it is always wise to give the seller a call. This gives you the opportunity to establish a relationship with the seller and ask questions that you likely can’t find answers to online. You can ask private sellers why they are parting with the car. You can ask dealers if the car is still in stock. If you like what you hear on the phone, you can schedule an appointment to see the car. Be sure to schedule your appointment during daylight hours so you can get a good look at the car.

Step 7: Time for a Test Drive

When you get to the test drive, before you get in the car and drive off, give the car a good once over. You obviously want to look for cosmetic damage, but check that all the doors open and that the trunk and hood open properly. Once you have done that, it is time to get in the driver’s seat.

Pick a route that has everything, from highway speeds, hills, curves, and rough pavement if you can. Be sure to drive with the radio off. You’ll want to be able to hear for any weird sounds coming from the car, and you can always test the radio when you get back. Pay attention to the ergonomics of the vehicle. Can you reach and see everything you need to? It is important to check for blind spots too. Does the car have enough power and does the steering feel comfortable? Is the braking responsive? And last, does the car have any mechanical issues? You don’t have to be a mechanic to tell if there is a serious issue with the car.

When you get back from the test drive, this is your opportunity to check things like the radio, legroom in the back seat, cargo space, and other important things like Bluetooth connection.

Step 8: Negotiate the Best Price

You have done your research, you know what you can afford, and you now have a better feel for what the car is worth. A good starting point to negotiation is to point out areas the vehicle might need some improvement. A good example of this would be if the tires will need to be replaced soon. Then mention the book value of the car and ask for a price below that that would allow you to get new tires. Be sure to be reasonable and in the ballpark. The worst they can say is “no” to which you might respond by meeting in the middle.

Negotiating can make people nervous, so here are some additional tips for a successful negotiation:

  • Don’t negotiate by monthly payment if you have a pre-approved loan. As far as they know, its a cash payment to them, and you’re paying the lender back, not the seller.
  • Don’t get trapped in an office. The best thing you can do is walk around the lot and talk. This levels the playing field a bit because the salesperson is used to being behind a desk with all the authority. Now you are both out of your element and hopefully, this helps you get the price you want.
  • Remember to ask about fees before settling on a number. Usually, the final number includes fees, but make sure you and the salesperson are on the same page.
  • Always be ready to walk. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and it is perfectly okay to say “thanks, but no thanks.”

Step 9: Buy

You’re almost done. Here is when you sign the papers and buy your used car. A dealership will offer extended warranties on CPO vehicles, and if it is important to you, you might want to consider it. Be sure to read the contract thoroughly before signing. If you are buying from a private seller, make sure the seller has the proper paperwork to transfer ownership over to you. It is always wise to ask for the seller to sign the title over to you before there is an exchange of money. Last, you will want to make sure that you have insurance before you drive away.

Step 10: Enjoy!

You did it! You purchased a used car. Now the only thing you have left to do is enjoy it. You did all the research, you hopefully got the car you wanted, and you got the deal you deserve. Be happy and enjoy your car!

If you are looking to buy a used car, Peak Kia has a wide selection of pre-owned vehicles for you to consider. Take a look at our inventory today.