What to Consider When Buying a Car for Your Teen Driver

What to Consider When Buying a Car for Your Teen Driver

With graduation or senior year just around the corner, many parents consider giving a car as a gift to the young driver in their family. What makes the most sense and will give you peace of mind when your teenager is on the road? As the parent, you probably have an idea of the rules you will set, such as limiting their travels. However, you might wonder what car makes the most sense. Here are a few tips to help you decide.

Buy Used

A used vehicle, especially one that still has factory warranty coverage, is the most practical purchase for your young driver. Why? Because teenagers have less driving experience, which means the odds of them damaging the vehicle are greater. An older car makes more sense than brand new since it costs less and will be less expensive to insure.

While a certified pre-owned vehicle might be of interest because of the existing warranty, it will cost more than most used vehicles. A lease return vehicle offers the same benefits as CPO without the high price tag.

Safety First

The main question on every parent’s mind is what car is safest for their teen. Size matters when it comes to safety. You probably don’t want something too large, like an SUV or pick-up truck, which might be hard to control, or too small. A midsize sedan or similar vehicle often hits that sweet spot.

Safety features to look for include rearview cameras or parking sensors, blind spot detection, and side curtain airbags. Since these are features you tend to find in newer cars, keep in mind you can install a camera and blind spot monitor in an older car. A car with handsfree features and Bluetooth can help minimize distractions while keeping your teen connected. Some vehicles actually have the ability to stop phone usage over 5 miles an hour.

You might also want a vehicle that has parameters you can set for your teen driver, so they can’t exceed certain speeds or so the radio can’t exceed a certain volume. Electronic stability control is another safety feature to look for in a car. This helps the driver stay in control of a car on slippery and curvy roads. Visibility is another important consideration since some cars have better sight lines than others. This is why a test drive is important, to ensure your teen can see out of all the windows and find the blind spots.

Other Factors to Consider

Look at the car’s history to see how many owners it’s had, as well as the mileage and service records. Look for proof of oil changes and other upkeep. Check the engine and tires. Better yet, bring your teenager, and teach them how to do the same! Make sure the car has a CARFAX or AutoCheck, which can answer many of your questions. This is why we suggest a lease return vehicle since they generally have a detailed service record and may be covered under a limited warranty.

While your teen probably wants a car that looks good and will gravitate toward a sporty model, avoid fast cars with powerful engines. We aren’t suggesting a horse-drawn buggy (though that might be tempting for you, as a parent!), but a midsize vehicle with a strong body structure is your best bet.

This is an exciting time for both parent and teenager, and we can help you find the right car for your young driver! 

2019 St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in Dallas

2019 St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in Dallas

The leprechauns are working full time in anticipation of Dallas’ annual St. Patrick’s Day blow-out, with four back-to-back events that will take over Greenville Avenue on Saturday, March 16. Continue reading to learn what each event consists of and what time each start!

St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville

The festivities begin bright and early at 8 am with St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville, a 5K race that starts at Central Market, at 5750 Lovers Ln., and heads south down Greenville Ave.

Dallas Mavs 40th Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

The annual Dallas Mavs 40th Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival starts at 9 am, beginning at Greenville Avenue and Blackwell Street, a block or so north of Northwest Highway. It heads south and stops at Yale/SMU Boulevard.

St. Patrick’s Day Concert

The St. Patrick’s Day Concert has a killer lineup of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Britney Spears, and is a tribute to 40 years of music!

The concert is at 5701 Mockingbird Ln., on the south side of the Matilda bridge, and is an all-ages show.

Lower Greenville St. Patrick’s Day Block Party

The Lower Greenville St. Patrick’s Day Block Party begins at 9 am, between Vanderbilt Avenue and Vickery Boulevard.

Hosted by the Vanderbilt to Vickery Association, the Block Party runs from 9 am-7 pm, and includes access to three music stages. Participating bars include Stan’s Blue Note, The Grape, Terilli’s, Dodie’s Reef, Blue Goose Cantina, Halcyon, Slater’s 50/50, and last but not least, The Dubliner.

The event is $15 and is open only to those 21 and over with a valid ID. No backpacks, large purses, containers, or coolers are allowed.

Know of any other St. Patricks’s Day events going on? Let us know in the comments below!

Entertainment Options in Vehicles

Entertainment Options in Vehicles

Today’s vehicles come with more entertainment options than ever. Gone are the days of AM/FM stereo and staring at the scenery, while you or your passengers wonder, “Are we there yet?” Whether you’re looking for a car, minivan, SUV, or truck, you can find the right entertainment technology for your needs.

Audio Entertainment

While AM/FM/CD/MP3 Decoder is mostly standard, most vehicles today also come with a Bluetooth to integrate streaming from your phone, books, or more via auxiliary input or USB port. Satellite radio is a widely available option with various tiered subscription plans. Interested in streaming music? Many vehicles now offer that option with such services as Apple CarPlay, Pandora, Spotify, and more!

Visual Entertainment

When every mile of road starts to look the same, you might be glad to have a DVD player to entertain backseat passengers on long trips! There are various options, ranging from a central screen everyone can see to seat-back screens that offer individualized entertainment and some work on DVD or even let you play movies or music from a thumb drive. Looking for something more interactive? In-car gaming is another way to keep passengers from being bored! Handheld consoles are easy to carry along and charge on the road, so keep an eye out for vehicle that offers plenty of accessible 12-volt power ports.

WiFi & Internet

The option to use WiFi in-vehicle can be especially useful. Many manufacturers have various ways to enable internet in your car with 3G or even LTE in newer vehicles. One of the simplest is using a smartphone hotspot, which may require adding an app or specific hardware to your phone. Doing this allows other devices you might want to bring along, such as tablets, to access the WiFi while you are out and about. It is important to know if your cell phone data plan allows for unlimited usage or if you will incur extra charges doing this. Many benefits for this exceed the driver’s needs and allow other passengers to benefit from WiFi, gaming, electronic books, movies, or music. On a road trip, it might be the best cure to “Are We There Yet?”

You might choose to install a router or modem in your car, which involves the cost of additional equipment. However, the most convenient way to add WiFi to your vehicle is to purchase one with it already available as an option. Many makes today offer internet access with a monthly or yearly subscription, and the hardware already onboard. From compact car to full-sized SUV, there is a wide range of vehicles that feature WiFi. So get ready to take make your drive a little more fun with today’s innovative entertainment options!

How to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Leather Interior

How to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Leather Interior

Many people don’t realize that you need to take good care of your vehicle’s leather interior to make sure it does not harden or even crack over time.  Here are some pointers on caring for your leather interior!

How to Clean Your Leather Interior

Leather is a resilient material but should still be cleaned about 4 times per year.  Start by vacuuming all leather surfaces to pick up any debris in the stitches or contours.  Then use a slightly damp microfiber towel to wipe off any noticeable residue before moving to the next step.

Next you will need a brush and leather cleaner.  Spray the cleaner on the brush to avoid liquid leaking into your seats through perforations or stitches.  Find a small, inconspicuous place to test the cleaner before applying to the major surfaces.  Make sure the cleaner you have selected is safe before proceeding with larger areas.  Once the cleaning product is verified as safe, gently scrub the major surfaces until everything looks clean.  Wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

You should also condition your leather once a year, due to the Texas heat.  Its best to do this right after cleaning has finished drying.  There are many leather conditioners on the market so look for one that is water based and pH neutral.  Apply to a small test area like with the cleaner.  If it doesn’t discolor or stain, you can continue with the rest of the material.  Rub the conditioner in with a soft brush or microfiber cloth.  Massage the product into the leather and wipe any excess away.

Lastly allow the conditioner time to sit and soak into the leather.  Its best to allow this to happen overnight, but a few hours will do as well, just be sure to keep the vehicle out of direct sunlight during this time.  Once set, buff with a clean microfiber cloth and enjoy!

Do you have any other tips to maintain your vehicle’s leather interior? Let us know in the comments today!

Hybrid & Electric Vehicles

Hybrid & Electric Vehicles

Hybrid cars combine a gas engine with an electric motor to help them consume less fuel than a conventional vehicle. Electric vehicles rely 100% on being plugged in to charge and have a range depending on the driving style to offer a near zero carbon footprint. You are probably aware of the advantages of owning a hybrid or electric vehicle, and might enjoy seeing the different types available.

Parallel Hybrid

The most popular type of hybrid, these vehicles can be powered by the engine, electric motor, or both at the same time depending upon the speed you are driving. The electric motor propels you at lower speeds, while the gas engine jumps in as your speed increases. These vehicles also have a regenerative braking system that produces electricity, which means that when you brake, the vehicle uses this momentum to recharge your batteries to use later.

Range Extender Hybrid

These cars are driven only by their electric motor or electric motors. The gas engine acts as an additional power source to produce electricity for a generator that recharges the electric batteries, allowing the vehicle to go further than it would on a normal charge.

Plug-In Hybrids

Most people recognize these hybrids, which can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge their batteries. There are also more and more charging stations available along the road today. These hybrids have a conventional engine, but they also have a larger battery so they can drive longer distances using electric power.

Electric

Electric cars are growing in popularity with consumer demand and some even have dual motors making for All Wheel Drive platforms that secure 0-60mph times under 3 seconds, making them some of the fastest cars on the planet. These fully-electric vehicles do not include a fuel counterpart like a hybrid or any exhaust tips. The lithium-ion battery is charged using a wall connector or charging station.

Many of these vehicles come with integrated trip planners and you can also use online trip planners to locate charging stations that are in a national network that grows every month in North America. The downside, when you are out of charge, you are done until you are charged. Owners love the thought of never adding fuel for the daily commute and they plug in at home for the next day.

Benefits of Driving Hybrid or Electric

Hybrid and electric cars today are similar to conventional vehicles. Many offer a choice of power modes so you can decide if you want your car to deliver more efficiency or performance depending on your preferences. Most hybrids charge their own batteries, which means you can drive further than ever, while the technology in electric vehicles is becoming more advanced year after year.

City drivers will especially benefit from a hybrid or electric car since they use less or no gas. These vehicles also result in fewer emissions. Our inventory has some of the most popular fuel-efficient vehicles on the market today!

How to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Spring

How to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Spring

Winter can do a number on your car. Slush, salt and cold temperatures take a toll on everything from the tires to the wiper blades. So, as spring approaches, it’s a good idea to give your car a thorough once-over to undo winter’s damage. Continue reading to learn how you can get your car in shape for spring!

Wash Underneath

Wintertime driving will coat the bottom of your car with salt, sand and other grime that can cause corrosion. Corrosion can lead to rust problems, which can make your car much harder to resell or even dangerous to drive.

Spend a few extra dollars for the undercarriage power wash at the local car wash or spray the car’s bottom with your own hose.

Detail

Salt and sand can damage the car’s paint. Give your car a thorough cleaning and wax it with a paste or liquid wax. Scrub the bottoms of doors, which can get coated with grime, and clean the window channels with a silicone spray. Use a steam cleaner or apply a rug-cleaning spray to remove all the salt from the car’s inside.

Replace Wipers

Wiper blades get a workout during the winter months. To get ready for the rainy months ahead, we advise you change them out every Spring and Fall!

Check Tire Pressure

Check your tire pressure. Cold weather can cause tires to be under inflated and the onset of warm weather can over inflate them. Also, visually inspect your tires to make sure they’re wearing evenly and have plenty of tread.

Top Off All Fluids

Winter weather can deplete some fluids, especially windshield wiper fluid, so top them off yourself if they’re too low. A service station will also do the job for $25 or so. You should change your oil, brake fluid and transmission fluid every 5,000 miles regardless of the season.

Have any other maintenance tips for Spring? Tell us in the comments below! Or if you’re tired of your vehicle and looking for a change/upgrade this Spring, browse our vast inventory online!

3 Best Used Cars for Your Teen Driver

3 Best Used Cars for Your Teen Driver

Looking for a used car for your teen driver? We have your back! Here at Dallas Lease Returns we want your child to be safe on the roads, which is why we’ve put together a list of the 3 best used cars for your new driver! Continue reading to learn what they are!

2018 Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage currently ranks in the top five in the compact SUV class! Worried parents will appreciate Kia’s UVO technology, which send alerts to your phone if your teen keeps the Sportage out past a certain time of night or exceeds the speed or geographic boundaries you set.

The Kia Sportage also earned a five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA, as well as the 2018 Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS. It also has an excellent predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 from J.D. Power! h

2017 Toyota Camry

The 2017 Toyota Camry is definitely one of the best used cars for teen drivers! Unlike many midsize car competitors, a base Camry comes with safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keep assist.

If an accident does occur, you should be confident that the Camry will keep your teen safe. It earned a 2017 Top Safety Pick Plus designation from the IIHS as well as a five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA. The car is also very reliable, boasting a terrific predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power!

2016 GMC Terrain

If you’re looking for your teen’s ride to double as a family vehicle, the 2016 GMC Terrain is one of the best choices out there. It offers more space in the back row than most other compact SUVs, while it also ranks near the top of the class in terms of safety and reliability.

The Terrain’s perfect five-out-of-five dependability rating from J.D. Power means you won’t have to dip into the college fund to pay for frequent repairs, and its Top Safety Pick+ designation from the IIHS means your teen will be well-protected if an accident occurs.https://www.dallasleasereturns.com/pre-owned-cars/detail/2016-GMC-Terrain/321321

Interested in any of these vehicles for your teen driver or want to browse the rest of our inventory? Contact us today!

Smart Technology in Today's Cars

Smart Technology

Today’s cars and trucks offer more technology than ever before, including integration with smartphones, tablets, watches, and more to make your drive more convenient and safer. Whether you’re an Android or Apple user, you can find the right options for you. Availability depends upon the vehicle’s technology and we encourage to check out the various makes and models available.

Go Hands-Free with Bluetooth

Most devices are compatible with Bluetooth, a wireless technology that allows you to operate your phone hands-free. Some automobile makes and models even read texts aloud and allow you to do speech-to-text without removing your hands from the wheel. When available, voice-activated technology helps you keep your focus where it belongs: on the road. If being able to make phone calls, send and receive texts easily is important to you, this is an option you will find in many vehicles.

Many vehicles integrate the microphone into your rearview mirror and/or call buttons on the steering wheel, which means you can keep your head up, eyes on the road, and hands on the wheel. Bluetooth has become standard on most cars and trucks, but compatibility varies. We suggest you bring your phone and test it with a vehicle’s system as part of your test drive.

WiFi

Some cars and trucks now offer WiFi connectivity plans. The price for this service varies, as does the technology that allows it. Vehicles might include either a wireless router to create a mobile WiFi hotspot, 3H, 4G LTE WiFi (requires a subscription to a cellular network), or WiFi using in-car telematics.

Each automaker offers different services, and if you let us know what you need, we can make sure you get it! This connectivity might be especially important if you travel often and always need internet access or travel with kids that depend on connectivity.

Entertainment

You can enjoy music integration with your smartphone and Bluetooth through streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify while you’re on the road. If you like to customize your music and playlists, this is a great option to look for in your next vehicle. It works with Amazon Music and more.

Safety

Emergency communications send automatic calls to emergency services in the event of an accident. This technology offers another layer of safety so you can focus on what matters while you’re on the road.

With the vast array of options, it can be difficult to know which automobiles offer which conveniences and safety features. We can help you find a car or truck with the technology you want.

How to Find the Best Vehicle for Your Lifestyle

How to Find the Best Vehicle for Your Lifestyle

As a car shopper, you literally have hundreds of choices when it comes to picking a new ride. While there’s something for every buyer, finding that perfect match isn’t always easy.

Here at Dallas Lease Returns, we want to ensure you find the best vehicle for your lifestyle! To do so, we put together a list of three crucial questions you need to ask yourself before making the decision. Continue reading to learn what they are!

What Kind of Car Do You Want?

Cars tend to be extensions of our personalities, so you’ll probably gravitate toward cars that fit yours. Most car buyers know what they don’t like and what they do.

Is comfort and convenience more important to you than other factors? Do you have a preferred color you want for your car?  These are the things you need to ask yourself before making a decision.

What Kind of Car Do You Need?

Think about your lifestyle and how your car fits into it. If you have two kids and another on the way, you obviously will need something to transport everyone safely.  

On the other hand, if you’re a business professional who has to drive clients around, you’ll probably need something a little more upscale.

This is why being honest with yourself and thinking ahead is the key to finding the perfect vehicle.

What Can You Afford?

This is a crucial question to ask yourself. Before making the decision to purchase a vehicle, you need to consider the total cost of the car, including the monthly payment, registration, insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs.

If you solely focus on the monthly payment of the vehicle, you could be convinced to stretch your payments out to buy more car. By doing so, you could pay thousands more in interest and put yourself at increased financial risk.

Go over you finances with a fine toothed comb and, once again, be honest about what you can afford and what you can’t. Going into a dealership with a set monthly budget in mind will make all the difference.

Once you answer all three questions, you will know what you want, what you need and what you can afford! To further ease your car search, browse our vast inventory online!

Three Best Date Spots in Dallas

Three Best Date Spots in Dallas

Although Valentines Day may be over, it’s still the month of love! Treat your loved one with a date in one of these amazing Dallas locations! We promise it will be a night neither one of you will ever forget!

Times Ten Cellars

If you’re interested in a classical, romantic evening- then you can’t go wrong with wine and chocolate. Times Ten Cellars has a nice variety of wines and also offers locally crafted chocolates and other small plates.

Gondola Cruise in Las Colinas

Gondola Adventures brings all of the romance and ambiance of Venice to Dallas with their gondola cruises on the Mandalay Canal. You can choose a basic cruise and just drift along- talking and watching the sun go down, or choose a dinner cruise and eat a gourmet meal with accompanying wine.

The Meadows Museum

If you are into art, the Meadows Museum is the perfect spot for a Sunday afternoon date. While touring the art galleries, you can learn something new while also getting to know someone new!

Do you have any other date spots in the Dallas area? Leave them in comments below!