Remember These Factors When Choosing Between a New and Used Car

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When you decide it is time to update your old car or get your first one, you will need to decide whether you want a new or used vehicle. Either option has its benefits, but it is harder to choose today than it used to be.

Considering TechnologyUsed Car Birmingham

One important thing to consider when choosing between a new and used Toyota or another model is the technology. In today’s modern world, technology and safety features tend to advance quickly. This means that if you want to have all the latest features available, you will always need a new car. At the same time, it also means that if you just want the basic technology features, like Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary audio inputs, you can save a lot of money. Since technology advances so quickly, used models with fewer tech features tend to be significantly cheaper due to depreciation.


Probably the biggest reason Birmingham drivers choose a used model over a new one is the price. You can easily save thousands of dollars simply by choosing a used version of last year’s model as opposed to the newest one. This makes used or pre-owned vehicles the ideal choice for those on a budget. When considering price, however, don’t forget about fuel economy. Newer models tend to do better in this respect, although the difference is not always significant. In some cases, however, you may end up saving enough money on gas over the car’s lifespan to make up the difference you pay. This is only true, however, when the new and used models are in different generations or include major updates.

When you head to Limbaugh Toyota in Birmingham, Alabama, the team can work with you to figure out how a used car is the better choice for you and show you the wide selection of options.

The Most Popular Used Toyota Models

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2015 Toyota Highlander Limbaugh

Toyota’s are some of the most popular used models to buy, largely thanks to their incredible reliability. After all, 80 percent of Toyota’s sold within the past 20 years are still on the road today. With a track record like that, it is no surprise that Birmingham drivers choose to buy a used Toyota over other used models. If you are curious which models are the most popular, here are some of the top used Toyota’s people prefer to drive.

Toyota Highlander

With three rows of seats, the Toyota Highlander is a popular used model among families. Factor in the SUV’s fuel efficiency, and you can save tens of thousands of dollars by buying a used model. The Highlander is also packed with safety features, has a 5,000-pound towing capacity, and can tackle tough terrain if you find a used model with All-Wheel Drive, particularly newer used models with Dynamic Torque-Control AWD.

Toyota Corolla

No matter where you are, there is a good chance that there are several Toyota Corollas within a few miles. This model is in its 11th generation, giving you plenty of options for used models. Even the 10th-generation ones typically offer enough features for most drivers and will give you an amazing price. Don’t forget that this sedan is also incredibly fuel efficient, getting up to 28 mpg city and 37 mpg highway depending on the model year.

Toyota Camry

Probably the most popular used Toyota is the Camry. This is actually a top model whether you are looking at new or used vehicles. To take advantage of the latest technology, consider picking a used Camry from 2006 or later. Doing so will still save you a significant amount of money and get you a reliable, feature-filled vehicle that will keep running for years to come.

Whether you want to drive one of the used Toyota models on this list or another one, you can find it at Limbaugh Toyota in Birmingham, Alabama.

Protect the Engine in Your Used Car

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Protect Your Engine Limbaugh

No matter the type of car you drive, you want to make sure that you work to protect the engine. Engine repairs can be expensive, and putting them off can lead to other issues as well. It is especially important to protect the engine in a used car because it has already been in use for several years. These tips should help you maintain your engine and save money in the long run by reducing repairs.

Change Your Oil

It may seem like a hassle, but you need to change the oil in your engine regularly. Take a look at the owner’s manual or ask a mechanic you trust how often the oil needs to be changed. Most modern cars will suggest you change it around every 5,000 miles. While changing the oil, make sure that you use the right one as well. Pick an oil that was designed to work with your particular model for the best results.

Other Engine Maintenance

You will need to stay on top of engine maintenance as a whole to help protect it. This means making sure that you have the proper level of coolant in your car and that you replace the air filters regularly. Sometimes, you will be able to simply clean the air filter, but replacing it is typically necessary. It is a good idea to glance at the filter whenever you change your oil and see whether you can keep using it or if it should be replaced.

Don’t Let the Gas Get Too Low

Most people don’t realize it, but letting your gas tank get close to empty does more than increase your chances of getting stranded. Gas always contains sediment, and this settles to the gas tank’s bottom. In older or used cars, in particular, there may be a lot of sediment sitting at the bottom of the fuel tank. Most of the sediment will be removed by the fuel filter before it gets to the engine, but the lower your gas tank gets, the more sediment there is. This increases the risk of it getting past the fuel filter and into your engine.

Whether you want to find a used vehicle or need help maintaining the engine in your current used model, the team at Limbaugh Toyota in Birmingham, Alabama, can assist you. Between the service center and the wide selection of used models, you are sure to find exactly what you need.

Things to Notice on a Used Car Test Drive

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Choosing to buy a used Toyota as opposed to a new one can be a great way to save money as long as you know what to look for when making your purchase. While a visual inspection of the car is important, the test drive is the best way to get an idea of what components work well and whether a used car is a good option.

Test Drive Used Toyota Limbaugh Toyota

Before the Test Drive

Start any used car test drive with a quick visual inspection. Walk around to look for cracks or chips on the windshield. Open the trunk to make sure it has enough space for your needs. When you get inside the car, take a few minutes to look around before turning it on. Make sure it smells fine, without a hint of smoke or dirt. Glance at the interior to see whether there are any stains that look hard to remove. Check the blind spots and ease of access to the controls.

While Driving

During your used car test drive, try to pick a route with a range of surfaces, such as bumpy roads and smooth ones, and drive through the city and on the highway. Pay attention to the smoothness with which the transmission shifts, how the brakes work, and whether various components work, including the air-conditioning, heating, and wipers. Look out for unusual noises and whether the car pulls to one side or drives straight.

By following the above tips, it should be easy to make sure that the used vehicle you test-drive at Limbaugh Toyota in Birmingham, Alabama, is in good shape and right for you.

Simple Steps to Protect Yourself When Buying Used

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If you aren’t careful when buying a used car, you may find yourself getting a bad deal or buying a vehicle that is in poor shape. Many shoppers fall into the same traps or simply forget a few key things to do, but by being aware of these things, you will already be ahead of the game.

Check for Title WashingTitle Washing Limbaugh Toyota

In title washing, the seller will either forge a car’s title or simply use a blank or stolen title. Frequently, this is done to hide the history of a car if an insurance company declared the car as a complete loss because of damage. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you get a vehicle history report using the VIN. While checking information with the VIN, also double-check that the National Insurance Crime Bureau doesn’t have the car listed as stolen.

Examine for Damage

Although it may seem obvious, taking the time to check a used car for damage is worth mentioning. This crucial step should involve a Birmingham mechanic you can trust and is important because a vehicle report may not include all the paintwork or bodywork. This typically happens if the car was fixed without using insurance.

Avoid Deposit Schemes

You should never put down a deposit on a used car unless you are buying it from a dealership or person you know and trust. Some scam artists request a deposit with a wire transfer so the car can be released from another country or so they can “hold” it for you. This is nearly always a scam.

The best way to protect yourself when buying a used car is to buy it from a trustworthy dealership. At Limbaugh Toyota in Birmingham, Alabama, we have a reputation you can count on as well as a large selection of used models.

Why Buy a Used Toyota from a Dealership

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When you are in the market for a good used Toyota, do you check your local newspaper or classified ads, surf the Internet, or go to a used car lot? One of the best ways to shop for a used Toyota is visiting a quality dealership.

Benefits of a Dealershipused toyota

Choosing a car dealership to purchase a used car will give you the most value for your money. Most dealerships only offer vehicles, such as Toyotas, that have been inspected. Each used car that goes on a quality dealership’s lot has first gone through a thorough inspection to make sure it is in the best possible condition. If any repairs are needed, they are done by certified technicians. This allows you to shop from cars that are higher quality than those offered by private locations.

Dealership Credibility

It is generally preferable to shop for a used car at a dealership rather than from a used car lot or a private party. A dealership can secure a CARFAX® report on each car and disclose its information to the potential buyer. You will know how many previous owners the vehicle had and whether it has ever been in an accident.

A dealership is an established business in a given area, whereas used car lots can be here today and gone tomorrow. You can trust a dealership to still be there after the purchase and when the vehicle needs servicing or repairs. Dealerships are staffed with certified technicians and professional sales associates.

If you live anywhere in the Birmingham area, come in to Limbaugh Toyota and let us help you select the right used Toyota for your needs. Limbaugh Toyota is a family-owned business located conveniently just minutes from downtown Birmingham. Our professional associates are ready to help you make shopping for a used Toyota a pleasurable experience!

What to Look for in a Used Toyota

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The purchase of a used car can be stressful. You may not feel confident checking a vehicle out, but there are signs you can look for that will help ensure you get a reliable vehicle.

What to Look for

Some problems to look for when in the market for a used Toyota are drips under the engine. You can do this while the vehicle is running or after it’s been parked for some time. Excessive oil on the engine block and other components can also be indicators of problems. Rust on the body lets you know if it’s been taken care of. Check the tires for uneven wear, as this can be a sign of a front-end alignment issues.

checking tire pressure cap

Check the Interior

How is the interior kept? Chances are, if a person takes care of the interior, he or she will also take care of the engine. Look for rips in the seat, check all seat belts, and check the flooring. Take a peek for paperwork in the glove box. Are there receipts for repair work, new tires, and brake work, etc.? Make sure everything inside works as well, such as the power windows, locks, and seats. Check the radio/CD player, the heater/AC, windshield wipers and defroster, along with any other technology the car is equipped with.


Leave the Engine Running

Listen to the engine. Can you hear noisy lifters? Other funny sounds? Look at the tailpipe with the engine running. Is there water dripping? Is it smoking? With the engine running, shift the transmission from Park to Drive to Reverse. You should not hear a dull clunk when shifting from Drive to Reverse and back again. If you do, the U-joint may be going out.


Test Drive

Most importantly, take the car for a test drive, and not just around the block. Take it out on the freeway where you can kick it up and make sure there is no shimmy or pulling. Check that the engine doesn’t cut out when you step on the gas, that the transmission shifts from gear to gear properly and smoothly, and that it seems generally roadworthy. Test the brakes several times. Ask for a CARFAX® report, if one is available.


The trained professionals at Limbaugh Toyota are here to help you choose the right car for your needs at the right price for your budget. Our vehicles have been inspected, and we can offer you history on the car when available. Stop by today and take one of our vehicles for a test drive.

5 Factors That Can Affect A Used Car’s Price

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What can affect a car’s depreciation and resale value? Some of the answers might be no-brainers, while others might leave you stunned. Here are five things that can (and probably do) affect the resale value of your vehicle.

Toyota Camry 2010


The make and model of your car has some impact on resale value, but the most attractive thing about any used vehicle is the amount of miles that have (not) been put on it. A low odometer reading signifies less wear and tear- inside and out- and will make you vehicle more attractive in comparison to other models of the same year.

Optional features

Choosing features that will specifically add to the comfort and safety of your vehicle are the ones that will add to the resale value. Things like power locks and windows, cruise control, anti-lock brakes, and a navigation system are all features to consider. A CD player and auxiliary port wouldn’t be too shabby, either.

Car color

As silly as it may sound, car color is a key factor in the resale value of your vehicle. Gray, white, black, and tan are more likely to be sold on the lot five years from now than that eggplant color you have been eyeing. If you have plans to resell, you will have much better luck if you stick to neutral colors.


Even if your car just needs a good detailing when you go to sell it, people will assume that if you cannot take the time to keep it smelling nice and looking fresh, you certainly did not take the time to get it serviced regularly. Keep it clean!


This one is obvious to you, huh? Fuel economy is an integral part of your search for a new vehicle, and it is no less integral to those looking to buy used. Just remember: there is a definite positive correlation between MPGs and resale value; the higher one, the higher the other!

This list is by no means comprehensive; there are several other factors that come into play. Rest assured, though. Toyota has one of the highest resale values of any car manufacturer in the market today. Roll on in to Limbaugh Toyota now and check it out for yourself.

Toyotas Have The Best Retained Value

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This year, voted Toyota this winner of the Best Retained Value Awards in the non-luxury division with a projected residual value of 52.4 percent after five years.’s Best Retained Value Competition is part of the website’s efforts to highlight vehicle value. These particular awards recognize brands and models that have the highest projected residual wear after five years (assuming approximately fifteen thousand miles are driven each year). Here is a little bit more information on how they determined the used cars

Each brand with both (i) more than 100,000 unit sales in 2014, and (ii) models offered within at least four vehicle-type categories was eligible for this year’s brand-level Best Retained Value® Awards. Each model year 2015 vehicle that both (i) was launched by the end of 2014, and (ii) had unit sales in February 2015 that were at least 25 percent of the average unit sales for the models in its segment was eligible for this year’s model-level Best Retained Value® Awards. Edmunds determined each model’s category for the 2015 awards based on (i) its body type segment; (ii) for certain categories, the size of the model within its body type segment; and (iii) for certain categories, the model’s price and/or its competitive segment.

A reliable assessment of a vehicle’s resale value is a critical piece of information for buyers. For consumers who lease, selecting cars with strong resale value is just as important: Resale value is a key factor in determining the monthly lease payment. Limbaugh Toyota and these award-winning vehicles are waiting for you to come snag one for yourself!

GPS Systems: Built-in vs. Smartphone vs. Personal Navigation Devices

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Maps aren’t made of paper anymore. Interactive, ever-moving, touchscreen GPS systems are the preferred method of navigation these days, and there are several different types of GPS systems available. The three main options are In-Dash Navigation Systems, available on many pre-owned vehicles at Limbaugh Toyota in Birmingham, Smartphones with Navigation Apps, and Personal Navigation Devices. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each navigation system in turn.


In-Dash Navigation Systems

Conveniently placed and ever-ready to work, more and more vehicles offer GPS navigation systems built right into the dashboard.


  • Large, colorful touchscreens
  • Dedicated to navigation, so other programs don’t drain speed or battery
  • Speakers designed to be heard over road noise
  • No expensive data plans
  • Come with windshield mounts


  • Raises price of vehicle
  • Fees to update map system
  • Can only be used in its vehicle

Smartphone Navigation Apps

Many drivers have a smartphone on hand, and mobile navigation apps are relatively reliable.

Pros:Mobile phones with GPS navigator on screen.

  • Sharp imaging
  • Intuitive controls
  • Free or inexpensive navigation apps
  • Up-to-date maps and traffic alerts
  • Can be used to navigate in any car and on foot or bike


  • Small screen is difficult to see, especially when mounted to dash or windshield
  • Phone volume competes with road noise
  • Dangerous to use in hand while driving
  • Expense of data plans and phones themselves
  • Routing disturbed by incoming calls and texts
  • Limited battery life


Personal Navigation Devices

Personal navigation Devices (PNDs), like Tom-Tom and Garmin-brand devices, aren’t as popular as they once were, but they could still prove useful to keep on hand.


PNG Garmin GPS
  • Large, colorful touchscreens
  • Dedicated to navigation, so other programs don’t drain speed or battery
  • Speakers designed to be heard over road noise
  • No expensive data plans
  • Come with windshield mounts


  • Map updates require computer connection
  • Not useful for navigating on foot or bike
  • Limited battery life



Each of these systems have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your budget and how often you need directions. Whether you choose one of these systems or just an old-fashioned paper map, find the right navigator for you at Limbaugh Toyota in Birmingham, Alabama.