What is GAP Insurance and Do You Need It?

 

Gap Coverage Insurance Puzzle Policy Hole Supplemental ProtectioIf you’ve been in the market for a car or have purchased one in the past you may have heard this term but not really known what it means.  Technically GAP is an acronym for “Guaranteed Asset Protection” but we aren’t trying to be technical here, so let’s move on to the simplified version.

Simply put, GAP insurance covers the “gap” between what you owe on a car and what your insurance company will pay in the event of a total loss.

 

Still not sure what it means?  Here’s an example: Let’s say you get in an accident and your insurance company decides your car is worth $8,000 but you still owe the bank $10,000.  So, you take your $8,000 check down to the bank and are faced with an ugly truth: you are still responsible for the payments on the remaining balance of a car you can’t even drive.  The bank doesn’t care that you are stranded without a car and could really use that money to put toward a new car, they just want their payment.

This is where GAP Insurance would come in.  Gap insurance would pay that $2000 off for you, leaving you free to worry about what car you’re going to buy next instead of how you are going to make 2 loan payments.

That being said, not everyone needs the coverage.  The only time you need to worry about this is if you are going to owe the bank more than the car is worth.   So, long term loans (over 48 months) would fall into that category (because cars depreciate much faster than you pay them off), as would high interest loans in which you only made a small down payment.  Every situation is different, and only you can determine if it’s right for you.

Hopefully this helps you understand what GAP insurance can do for you.  Check back for more articles like this one and comment if there are any topics you’d like to see covered.

 

 

Employee Spotlight: Gladys Silva

  1. gladysspotlight_steve-hahn-yakimaManager- Why did you select this employee to be showcased?  Gladys always keeps a positive attitude and amazes me with how hard she works. She is always willing to take on any task and not only do it, but do it well.
  2. What is your role at Steve Hahns?  Receivable, payables, and being awesome 😉
  3. What do you like most about working at Steve Hahns? Everybody here is amazing to work with.  It’s like family  and the atmosphere is great.
  4. What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?  Being a mother is the greatest blessing, but the greatest challenge.  It changed my life for the better and I’m still learning everyday to be a better mom.
  5. What is your favorite thing to do?  Spending time with my daughter and family and of course, watching the Seahawks play.
  6. What is the weirdest job you have ever had?  Not weird but interesting was repairing cell phones in the mall when I was in high school.
  7. What does true leadership mean to you?  Helping your team achieve their goals and task.  Genuinely caring about the people you are guiding.
  8. What have you gained by working at Steve Hahns?  I have gained confidence, skills, work ethic, and much more.  I love taking on new challenges.
  9. What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?  Technology of course.  I never thought i would see everyone walking around with iPhone’s but i don’t know what i would do without mine.
  10. If you could do another job for just one day what would it be?  I would like to be a nurse, working with kids.  I feel like that would be a very rewarding opportunity.
  11. How do you define success?  Success is being happy in life.  Loving life and the people in my life.  Do good and good will come to you.  Everything falls into place when you keep a positive attitude on life.
  12. Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  I love tattoos!!

How to Choose a Professional Auto Detailer.

First of all, lets be clear about what that term means.  “Professional” does not mean they have a few bottles of something that say professional on it, nor do they qualify as a professional just because they say they are one.  Professionals have things like a business license, Insurance that is adequate to cover your vehicle,  a Facebook page,  a website,  and reviews etc.  These are all things you can check that will tell you how professional they really are.

Did you know that a car is the second biggest investment most people will make other than a house?  Hiring someone that doesn’t really know what they’re doing to scrub and apply chemicals to your vehicle can really do more harm than good.  You worked hard to get the car you wanted,  trust me, this is not where you want to go with the bargain basement option.

So, how do you choose a detailer?  Here are some ways you can ensure your car is in the hands of a professional and will come back to you looking as great as the day you bought it.

  • Check the status of their business license.  Not sure how to do it?  Don’t worry, I’ve got a nifty little link right HERE.  Just type in the business name and there you go.  If they don’t have one, move on and find someone else.  If they were a true professional they would have one.
  • Check out their website/Facebook page.  Are there before and after pictures (be careful with this one, photos are easily stolen off the internet these days, do they have a reference from the owner of the vehicle in the photo) ?  Reviews? And if so, are they good or bad?  Tip: Try and read through more than one or two of the reviews.  If there are bad reviews weigh the good against the bad,  I will choose a business that has bad reviews mixed in with the good as long as it looks like it was a few isolated bad experiences and the rest seem positive.
  • Price matters: A quality professional detailer may spend over $100 just on products  on your car alone.  If someone is offering you a full detail for $50, alarm bells should be going off in your head telling you to run.  Expect to pay a fair price for the work being done.  It can take up to 10 hours to detail your car (and sometimes more).  Take that into consideration when you see prices that seem high (and also use it a red flag if the price is ridiculous low).
  • Ask the professional for references.  A great detailer should be able to provide you with plenty.

A true detail professional will treat your car like their own.  A bad detail can end up doing a lot of harm to your vehicle, it’s just not worth it to go cheap here.  I hope you find this article helpful

The Lemon Law:What Does it Really Mean?

You’ve probably heard of the Lemon Law, but what does it really mean?  A lot of people think it applies to used cars but it’s actually just the opposite.  I’ve put together a list to help you better understand when it applies, and what you can do.  This list is basic and meant to be easy to understand. If you’d like the detailed version of the lemon law (which I recommend reading if you think this applies to your car), Click Here.

  1. The law applies to new or nearly new passenger cars, mid-sized trucks, large motorcycles, and some motor homes that have had “continuing warranty problem”and applies only to defects which substantially impair the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle”.
  2. The Lemon law does not apply to used “As-is” car purchases, which is a common misconception.
  3. It applies only to the original manufacture’s warranty as required by law.  Warranties vary from vehicle to vehicle.
  4. The lemon law does not apply to service contracts.A service contract is NOT a warranty.  It’s an agreement between you and the dealership (or third party agency) to make repairs.
  5. A “reasonable number of attempts must have been made to repair the vehicle under the manufactures warranty” within the first year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.
  6. It does not cover problems caused by abuse or neglect.  It also does not cover problems caused by modifications added to the vehicle, even if it is in the warranty period.
  7. If you think you have a lemon you must write to the manufactures and ask for a repurchase or repayment of the vehicle, they then have 40 days to respond.
  8. If the manufacturer does not respond within the 40 day period you may make a request for arbitration with the attorney generals office.  You may download a copy of the arbitration form HERE.

*Please note-Again, the law is much more complicated than this.  This is a very basic overview to help you have a basic understanding of the law.  Please click the link at the top of the page for a thorough explanation of the law.

Employee Spotlight: Chad Harris


img_0144Manager Question:

1.)Manager, Why did you select this employee to be showcased? Chad has been an exceptional employee.  He has handled all tasks assigned to him and performed in an exceptional manner.  Chad is always the first to step up if something is needed in a pinch.  He has incredible knowledge of all 3 brands and he has become a great parts specialist.

Employee questions:

2.)What is your role at Steve Hahn’s?  Parts consultant and jack of all trades.

3.)What do you like the most about working at Steve Hahn’s?  The people and the fast pace.

4.) What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?  Financial struggles always are and have been my biggest challenge.

5.)What is your favorite thing to do?  Play with my daughter and ride my chopper.

6.)What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?  Well, I’ve had only 2 jobs since the day I turned 16.  So, with all I’ve seen in both places…I’d say it’s a tie.

7.)What does true leadership mean to you?  The ability to handle situations as they arise.  To make a decision and stand by it.  And, to be able to delegate responsibility while communicating effectively with staff members.

8.)What have you gained by working at Steve Hahn’s?  Knowledge on how a car dealership operates, and the many pieces it takes to make it all run smoothly.

9.)What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?  Probably have to say the internet.  The computer world is amazing these days.

10.)If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? To build custom choppers, baggers, and bobbers for people.

11.)How do you define success?  A loving family, and a comfortable enough income to enjoy the occasional free time.

12.) Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  I’m going on twenty years here, and I have only had 2 jobs in my entire life.

How to Avoid Warranty Scams

First of all let me tell you why I call them scams.  When someone has to be deceptive in some way to sell you something, that’s a scam in my book.  And, to be clear, I am referring to third party extended “warranty’s”.  You know the type.  It just feels like a scam from the beginning.  They auto dial and leave you waiting for what feels like forever.  Then, once they get on the phone they proceed to tell you that your warranty is about to expire.  They make it sound like they are from the dealership and are doing you a favor by offering you the chance to extend your warranty.  Don’t fall for it.  We (Steve Hahn’s Volkswagen Kia) will never call you to tell you your warranty is expiring.  We will send a letter with official Steve Hahn letterhead.  If in doubt, call us, (or the dealership you bought the car from) and we’d be happy to go over your warranty details with you.

It may be that your warranty is actually about to expire.  It also may be far from it.  These people want to sell you a warranty and they will us high pressure sales to seal the deal.  The problem with these third party “companies” is that they often fail, leaving their customer without coverage, and out the money they spent for the contract.  These contracts are also not like the contract you buy from the dealer.  The contract you purchase from the dealer usually includes service at the dealership using skilled technicians and factory parts AND in Washington state must be underwritten by an insurance company. Third party agencies are often located out of state.  That means they don’t have to follow the same laws, laws that are in place for your protection.  That’s reason enough to walk away.

These agencies will pressure you and demand personal and financial information.  Don’t give it to them.  I mean, you haven’t even seen the contract yet.  Why would you agree to a contract without reading the contract first?  Does it actually cover anything useful like the transmission or the power steering?  Check out their Better Business Bureau  rating. Google It!.  If customers have had exceedingly bad experiences with the company you’ll see it plastered all over the internet. And last but not least, contact the dealership if you have any questions or are being contacted by these agencies.

If you are on the do not call registry you really shouldn’t be getting these calls at all. To report violators please call 1-888-382-1222

10 Ways to get your car ready for winter.

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Winter (and maybe snow) is just around the corner.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to get your car ready for the cold months ahead.  The last thing you want when it’s 30 degrees outside is a dead battery or bald tires.  Here are 10 simple ways to get your car ready for the winter so you can drive worry free.

  1. Check you windshield wiper blades.  There’s nothing worse than being caught in the rain or snow and finding out your wiper blades don’t do much more than smear dirt and water all over your windshield.  Windshield wipers are usually good for about a year.  If you can’t even remember the last time you changed them it’s probably time for a new pair.  Also, this is not the time of year to fill you washer fluid reservoir with water, it will just freeze, use actual windshield washer fluid.
  2. Switch to snow tires.  Have you ever waited until it started snowing to go get your tires changed over?  I have.  Take my word on this, do it early.  Maybe it will snow this year, maybe it won’t but, even if we only get a little, we always get ice.  Your tires are the only thing between you and the pavement, don’t skimp on them.
  3. Do you have 4 wheel drive?  Make sure it’s working properly.  Make sure it engages and disengages.
  4. Check your battery and it’s connections.  If you have had the battery for longer than 3 years, take it in to your local repair shop and have them test it.  Crisis averted, you’re welcome.
  5. Check antifreeze fluid.  You should also do regular radiator flushes as advised in your owners manual.
  6. Check your defroster and heater.  If you have kiddos you definitely don’t want to drive them around in freezing temperatures.  If there are any issues better to fix them early and beat the rush of those who weren’t as prepared as you 😉
  7. Get your car detailed.  While this isn’t required, having your cars exterior detailed will give it a protective clear coating which will protect the paint from salt and sand/gravel damage.  Spending a little before winter could save you a bundle if you have to re-paint or fix rock chips later.
  8. Keep glycerine (available at your local auto parts store) in your purse or at work just in case your door handles freeze and you can’t open your car door.  I’ve had this happen when there was freezing rain and snow all day.  Better to be prepared (not to mention your co-workers will think your 10 different kinds of awesome when you save the day with your handy dandy bottle of glycerin).
  9. Keep your gas tank full.  While running out of gas is good enough reason to keep it full, that’s not the only reason.  During winter months condensation can form on the inside walls of the gas tank and drip into you gas.  Water in your gas lines can freeze, lets just say that’s bad. Keep your gas tank at least half full and avoid this issue altogether.
  10. Put together an emergency kit.  Things like water, snacks, extra coat and gloves, salt (for the road) flashlight, battery, flares etc just in case you get stuck somewhere.  If you already have one, look over it and make sure you have everything you need.

Give a Toy, Get a Ticket!

We are very excited about our upcoming “Santa’s Workshop” event.  This event is really a special thank you to everyone that donates a toy to Toys for Tots.  If you’re not familiar with Toys for Tots here’s what you need to know: Toys for Tots is a program developed by the U.S. Marines with the main objective being :

to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future-

Visit the Toys for Tots Website  for a full detailed list of goals and objectives as well as a history of the program, tax and financial information, and just all around great information about the program.

Steve Hahn’s Volkswagen Kia and Mercedes-Benz of Yakima are partnering with the U.S. Marines this Christmas season and we hope to make it the largest toy donation ever made in the Yakima Valley.  But, we need your help.  We know the holiday season can be a strain financially, so, in the spirit of giving we want to give you something in return for your generosity.  In exchange for your new, unwrapped toy you will receive a ticket to our Santa’s workshop.  One toy gets you one ticket.  Now, you may be thinking,  I have 4 kids, that’s a lot of toys to donate.  But here’s the thing, It doesn’t have to be something big or expensive.  A barbie, toy car or coloring book.  Something small can still mean the world to a child who might otherwise get nothing.

I know this from experience,  when I was young there was a Christmas where my mom just couldn’t afford to buy us presents, an program like this one (I don’t remember who) brought presents to our house on Christmas.  It wasn’t even a toy. Just a little hat and gloves set, but I was so happy to get that little gift…It really made a huge impact on me and I’ll never forget how the generosity of others made my Christmas a little brighter.

So what is our Santa’s Workshop all about?  Well, we just want to thank everyone for their donation by having a day filled with fun, Santa, and cookies (is there a better Christmas combination? I think not).  You’ll get pictures with Santa, build something really cool (we aren’t telling what it is yet, but it’s going to be good) and it’s all free.  Just our way of giving back to all the generous people here in the Yakima valley.

steve-hahn-santas-workshop

Steve Hahn’s Trunk or Treat 2016: Thank you Yakima!

Our first ever Trunk or Treat was epic.  We knew it was going to be big but we had no idea it was going to be that big.  We only have one thing to say, Thank you.  Thank you to the vendors and to the people of the Yakima valley for making this event such a huge success.  Thank you to all the staff members who played a part.  It took a lot of planning and a lot of teamwork to make this happen.  From our office manager Terisha Ray; (that’s her in the middle in case you weren’t sure)trunk-or-treat_terisha-ray who basically planned the entire thing, to all of the service guys. Jared Lingle, (below right) big thanks for organizing the haunted house, it was awesome. trunk-or-treat_2016_jared-lingle

 

 

So many people donated their time and effort to make this a success because we truly care about the people of the valley.  Kelly West (below) from 94.5 KATS was there to entertain the crowd with her dance moves and great music.

trunk-or-treat_kelly-west Even the television stations came to check it out.  We saw so many great costumes, parents and kids dressed up, it was truly awesome to see so many families together and having a great time.  The costume contest winner might have been the cutest little thing we’ve ever seen. As a matter of fact, she is so cute she gets a bigger picture on the page than anyone else.  Congratulations  Maci, nobody stood a chance against you.maci_trunk-or-treat_2016

We hope to keep this going every year, and every year we will make it a little more awesome than the last.   We hope to see you next year, bring your best costumes and get ready to have the best Halloween ever!  Again, Thank you Yakima.

Don’t forget to like us on  Facebook and follow us on Instagram @stevehahnauto, and while you’re at it, check us out on snapchat username stevehahnyakima

 

10 Reason to ditch the car and buy and SUV

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So I should start this by saying I might be a little biased.  I have an SUV.  I also have a family of 8 and really an SUV is my only option (no offense to mini van owners, they just aren’t my thing) and it is so great not to have to worry about not having enough space.  I can fit pretty much anything in the back of my SUV plus 6 kids 2 adults and 2 dogs. Phew, that’s a lot.  Maybe you don’t need quite as much space as I do, a full size SUV is a lot of car.  A mid size SUV would work very well for a family of 5 or 6 with less car to deal with.  Read on for my list of 10 reasons to buy an SUV.

1.) Increased cargo capacity- All the space you need for all the stuff your family uses.  Sports gear, groceries, camping supplies, you name it.

2.) You can tow stuff-How great would it be to buy a Jet Ski or Snowmobile and be able to tow it and all your stuff. It’s really a great opportunity to add family trips and fun to your life.  My kids love going Jet Skiing in the summer.  I can fit the cooler and blankets, towels etc with no problem. It’s great

3.) Better traction-  Most SUV’s come with 4 wheel drive option.  And, while I only use it a few times a year (because it doesn’t always snow here in Yakima) it sure makes all the difference when it’s slick outside.  I feel so much safer knowing I can turn and stop without issue.

4.) Safer than cars- A car is just at a disadvantage here because it’s small in comparison.  This is one of the instances where having a lot of car to protect you is a huge advantage.

5.) Carry more people-  Even if you don’t have enough kiddos to fill every seat in the car, you have room for the kids and their friends.  Let me tell you how great it is to be able to take a bunch of people instead of having to make multiple trips or arrange another driver.

6.) Great for road trips-I know this is almost repetitive but,  we love to go places during the summer and flying anywhere with 6 kids costs a small fortune so we drive.  Having all of the space in the back to keep everything we need saves us tons of time and money.  We can keep a cooler with sandwiches and juice. No more stopping and eating out.

7.) Improved fuel efficiency (no, not as good as a smart car but certainly there are more options for than there used to be for a fuel efficient SUV)- I’m not trying to say that it’s going to compare to a smart car.  You’re going to pay more at the pump and that’s just a reality you’ll have to accept.  For me it’s totally worth it.  There are SUV’s available with the flex fuel option and are less of a gas hog than say a 1996 Suburban.

8.) Higher ride height-  You have a great vantage point.  It’s easy to see everything around you.

9.) Higher resale value-  Top 10 vehicles with the best resale value, ALL trucks or SUV’s.  Top resale value

10.) More cabin space- It’s just roomier in an SUV.  You’ve got leg and head room and it’s just all around more comfortable.