Idaho Yurt Spots to Book This Winter

Yurts have been used for shelter for thousands of years due to their weather resistance and insulative capabilities.

Note: Yurt availability and amenities may be affected by COVID-19. Weekends bookings fill up quickly, so plan your trip in advance. 

Yurt Overview

The word yurt is of Turkic origin and describes a portable round tent covered in animal skins used by the nomadic peoples of central Asia like the Mongols (who actually call them gers). 

Read the rest of this entry >>

Essential Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Preparing your home for winter weather can save you thousands down the road.

Idaho winter is just around the corner. With it comes weather conditions that can damage your home and cause financial headaches that last through spring and summer. 

Preventing cold weather destruction takes little time and should be on your to-do list before the first snow. 

Check Heating System

Maintenance is the name of the game with temperature control systems. Each fall, remember that as the foliage changes colors, so should you be changing the filter on your home’s heating and air conditioning system. 

“People spend a lot more time indoors during the winter, so you want to make sure your air filter isn’t dirty,” said Western Heating and Air Conditioning Service Manager Chance Oswalt. 

Oswalt, who’s been in the heating business for 15 years, said basic maintenance on a system can save Idahoans on expensive, preventable repairs. 

“Our technicians will pull and clean various components, adjust gas pressure, and check temperature rise” he said. “But there’s a list of items we go through.”

The idea is to prevent a breakdown during the coldest months, Oswalt said. He said homeowners should also have a look at their thermostat settings to make sure they are optimized for winter. 

Seal the Outside 

Grab a caulk gun and some sealant to check for any spots on the sides and roof of your home where moisture can creep in and cause rot and mold. If your paint is old and worn in spots, apply a fresh coat to keep out moisture. Spot repairs like this can save you thousands down the road. 


If you live in a particularly cold part of Idaho, shut off the water valve to your outside spigot, then open the spigot to let any extra water drain so that water doesn’t freeze and cause damage. 


Fall leaves and debris clog gutters and can end up costing you a pretty penny if you don’t act. Remove all debris from the roof and gutters and make sure there are no clogs to ensure ideal drainage. Frozen water and debris in gutters can cause them to come crashing down, along with your savings balance. 


Nothing beats a cozy fireplace during a snowstorm, but failing to clean your chimney regularly can cause that cozy fire to become a house-consuming blaze. Modern chimney sweeps can help you identify any usage issues before you light that first fire. 

Detecting Equipment 

Testing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors each fall can save your life. House fires during winter are commonly caused by heating systems, which can also put off dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide in a well-insulated environment. 


Blow out those sprinkler systems to prevent frozen water from reeking havoc. Landscape companies offer this service if you don’t have the equipment to do it yourself, but if you’re the type who likes DIY projects, there are plenty of videos online. 

Just be sure you know what you’re doing and don’t end up doing more harm than good. 


Draining the pool during fall makes it easy to seal any cracks and conduct maintenance or repairs. It’s always easier to schedule a repair during the offseason than it is in months when temperatures are ideal for taking a dip. 


Older homes are not nearly as energy efficient as the variety being built today. For instance, windows in older houses are known to have poor insulation from the outside cold. The idea is to heat your own home, not the whole neighborhood, so consider sealing windows and any other potentially leaky areas.  


That beautiful wood deck of yours provided a much needed spot for grilling and relaxing during the summer. Continue that tradition by covering patio furniture and grills. Also consider applying deck sealer so ice and snow doesn’t damage the wood. 

Snow Removal 

Idaho is no stranger to snow, and keeping outside pathways clear can be a winterlong chore. Before the first snowfall sets in, do a sweep of the areas outside where you’ll be banging around a snow shovel and throwing down ice remover salt. 

Protect surfaces that can be damaged by ice remove and repair any cracks in hard surfaces as the constant thawing and refreezing of water during winter only makes these issues worse. 


During winter months, water can freeze and expand  in exposed or uninsulated pipes causing them to burst, costing thousands of dollars in repair and renovation bills. Make sure all pipes are insulated prior to the onset of freezing temperatures. 

Ceiling Fans

See that little up and down switch on the main body of your ceiling fan? That button determines the direction of the blades, which helps circulate warm air in the winter and cool air during summer months. 

During winter, the switch should be up creating an updraft to bring warmer air near the ceiling down toward the floor. Slower blade speeds are ideal for this affect, which helps cut down on your heating bill. 

Outdoor Lighting 

The winter months are long and dark, which requires more outdoor lighting for things like navigating snow and ice removal. Lighting sections of the outside of your home helps prevent slips and injuries when collecting the mail and getting to and from your car. 

Emergency Supplies 

In the case of a severe winter storm where you can’t leave your home, keep a well-stocked emergency kit with water, non-perishable food, pet food, batteries, a radio, LED lights, blankets, medical supplies. A generator and fuel for charging electronic devices like your cellphone can be a game changer. 

All-Wheel Drive & Four-Wheel Drive: Both Systems Explained

With roughly 50,000 square miles of public lands, Idaho has a lot to explore on road and off. If you’re looking for a vehicle that handles well in off-road or hazardous road conditions, you have two options: all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.

Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each feature can help you make the right choice. 

All-Wheel Drive: The Safe Commuter

All-wheel drive sedans provide better road traction than their two-wheel drive cousins.

These days, you’ll have a tough time finding an SUV without all-wheel drive. Some manufacturers, like Subaru and Audi, integrate the feature into sedans as well. This feature is meant primarily for on road use and helps vehicles gain more traction on slippery surfaces.

“With all-wheel drive, if you have a tire that slips, more power will be transferred to the other wheels,”  said Maverick Automotive Technician Craig Wingate. 

Wingate, who’s been a professional mechanic for 15 years, said all-wheel drives are a safer option when driving in winter conditions. 

“When I have people come in looking for a vehicle and they’ve never driven in snow, I recommend an all-wheel drive,” he said. 

All-wheel drive vehicles also perform well in certain off-road conditions, especially if they have the proper tires and clearance, but they should be viewed as a superior road alternative to two-wheel, especially during hazardous driving conditions. 

Four-Wheel Drive: The Offroad Adventurer

Four-wheel drive isn’t meant for on-road, but it makes for a superior off-road experience.

Unlike all-wheel drive, four-wheel drive isn’t on all the time and must be initiated by the driver. Once initiated, the front and rear driveshafts are locked together so the front and rear axles rotate at the same speed. 

In rough, off-road terrain like mud and gravel, increased torque is transferred to the ground on both back and front wheels, helping you navigate tough obstacles. 

Wingate said he recommends 4WD for “off-road application” since the feature can cause uneven tire wear and front end damage when used on dry roads with good traction. 

“4WD is great for getting off-road when you’re doing things like hunting,” he said. 

Purchasing a four-wheel drive with a locked differential or having one installed can make a huge difference in those hairy off-road situations. A locked differential allows torque to be transferred from an unused wheel on the front or rear of the vehicle. 

For example, if you find yourself stuck with one tire off the ground, a locked differential will transfer all of the torque to the grounded tire, allowing you to escape and live to get almost stuck again. 

Fuel Economy and Maintenance 

As far as gas mileage is concerned, you’ll pay more at the pump since all-wheel drives and four-wheel drives are heavier due to their additional components. Both also use more energy to move, since power is allocated to all four wheels. 

Maintenance and parts cost more with both options. Both need more parts for repairs than do old-fashioned two-wheel setups, and subsequently both cost more for regular maintenance due to the increased number of parts.  


It can be empowering to drive either an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive in conditions like snow and ice, but increased traction and control does not mean your vehicle can stop or turn with any more efficiency. 

Increased stopping distance and slower speeds should be the standard for all drivers on slippery surfaces, regardless of their vehicle capabilities. False confidence in an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle/s performance can have disastrous consequences. 

Check out this AWD vs. 4WD video by Engineering Explained for a more thorough overview of both systems. 

Your Auto Lease Is Ending. Now What?

a woman walks through a car dealership in Boise, Idaho

Your car or truck lease is about to end. For the past few years, you’ve been essentially renting a reliable vehicle. But now, you have a choice to make. Should you get a new lease? Buy the car or truck you have been driving? Just turn it in?

You have four options.

  1. Trade in – get a new lease,
  2. Turn your lease in,
  3. Buy your leased car or truck,
  4. Sell your leased car or truck.

No. 1: Trade In – Get A New Lease

Odds are good that you leased a car in the first place because you wanted a low monthly payment.

If you purchased an $18,000 car at an interest rate of 4.9 percent, you may expect to pay something like $340 per month for five years. Leasing a similarly priced car could produce lower monthly payments.

In August 2020, Honda, for example, was offering leases ranging from about $250 per month to $270 per month for a 2020 model year Civic LX sedan.

If you are willing to continue to make monthly payments without owning the vehicle, you can simply get a new lease.

There will be some fees associated with the trade in, and you may need to pay for additional miles or repairs.

Getting a new lease can be a good option if your leased car or truck is in great condition and under the allotted mileage.

No. 2: Turn In Your Lease

Simply turning your car in is “probably the single most popular option, and it’s the one fraught with the most surprises,” said Eric Prothro, an automotive industry veterian, in a video about ending your lease well.

“Every single lease has a thing called a disposition fee,” Prothro said. “It might be as low as $395 or it might be as high as $895, but there is a disposition fee. That means just to turn the car in, you pay a fee.”

“Now, heaven forbid you’re over on miles because you signed a contract with 15, 20, 25, 30 cents a mile. So if you’re at 20 cents a mile and you went over 10,000 miles, there’s an additional $2,000 check you’re going to write,” Prothro continued.

Review Your Lease Agreement

Before you simply drive up to the dealership and turn in your leased car or truck, you should probably review your lease agreement.

Do you have a disposition fee as Prothro suggested? What was your mileage allowance? If you’re over on miles, what will you have to pay? Also, are you required to pay for scratches, dents, or any other cosmetic damage?

Frankly, there are going to be lots of times when simply turning in your leased car or truck will make the most financial sense, but you should invest a few minutes to understand if you will have to pay any fees and how much those will be.

If you have taken good care of your leased vehicle and you have not gone over the allotted miles, turning in a lease will not be terribly expensive.

No. 3: Buy Your Leased Car Or Truck

When your lease ends, you are able to simply buy your car or truck. If you have cash, you can pay the residual value and collect the title. If you don’t have cash to invest in the vehicle, you can finance your leased car or truck just like you would finance any used vehicle.

There are, perhaps, two scenarios when buying your leased car or truck can make sense.

The Residual Value is Low

The residual value could be relatively low. In Idaho, for example, three-year-old Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks are in high demand. If you happen to have a lease on a Tacoma, there is a chance that it is worth more than the residual value.

Thus, buying it, even if you have to finance it, might mean that you will pay less than if you bought an identical vehicle used from a dealership.

Turning in Will Be Expensive

A second scenario that makes buying out a lease attractive is when you would have to pay a lot to turn it in.

Let’s imagine your lease has a $895 disposition fee. Plus, you’re 10,000 miles over and have to pay $2,000 for mileage. Oh, and the car needs new tires and has come scrapes and scratches, so you have to put out $1,600 to make these right. Turning in is going to cost you something close to $4,500.

If you don’t have $4,500 handy, you may need to simply finance the residual amount and keep on driving.

No. 4: Sell Your Leased Car Or Truck

You may not realize it, but you can sell your leased car or truck and pay the residual value. This makes sense when the vehicle is worth more than its residual value or when turning in or trading in your lease would force you to spend a lot of money in fees.

Let’s return to the Toyota Tacoma mentioned in the section above. If you had a lease on a Tacoma, and that leased truck had a residual value significantly below its fair market value, it might make good sense to sell it for a profit.

In fact, this is just the sort of vehicle the private party buyer and consignment managers at Maverick Car Company love to get.

There are at least three ways you can sell your leased vehicle.

  1. Sell it yourself.List the car or truck on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Let Go, and similar marketplaces. You will be able to get private party value for the vehicle.
  2. Sell it to a dealership.Maverick Car Company, Carmax, and many other car dealers will be happy to buy a good car or truck coming off of a lease. Leased vehicles typically have low mileage and will, usually, be about three years old.
  3. Consign it.You can also have a dealership sell your vehicle for you. In some cases, you will get more for the car or truck, and you don’t have the hassle dealing directly with the buyer. If you’re interested in vehicle consignment, you may want to watch “Will Auto Consignment Work for You?” a Maverick Car Company live stream from May 2020.

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Car Or Truck?

Alysa sits in a car from Maverick Car Company in Boise, Idaho.

The best time to buy a car or a truck is when you need it and can afford it. But that is probably not the answer you wanted.

When someone searches for “when is the best time to buy a car” he or she is probably looking for a deal —a way to save money on a very large and important purchase. And, frankly, if you’re buying a brand new car from an old-school, high-pressure dealership, seasonality can play a role in price. So, in this article you’re going to find two answers to the question of when to buy a vehicle.

First, we will provide the sensible answer. This one will focus on your finances, needs, and having a good dealership relationship.

Second, we have included some of the old-school, deal-hunting time periods for your consideration.

Sensible Car Shopping

The 2013 film, Wolf of Wall Street, is not something we recommend at Maverick Car Company. We are more of a family-friendly business, and this movie from director Martin Scorsese is filled with bad language, drug use, inappropriate situations, and worse.

Nonetheless, we mention it here because of one scene that helps to illustrate our point about the best time to purchase a car or truck.

The film’s protagonist, Jordan Belfort, who is played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is putting together a team of salesmen to help him sell worthless stock to unsuspecting customers. Most of the candidates have no real sales experience and have, in fact, previously worked as drug dealers. The group is sitting around a table together discussing the stock opportunity.

To make a point the Belfort character hands a pen to the best natural salesman in the group, a drug dealer named Brad, who is played by Jon Bernthal, and tells him to sell the pen.

Actor Jon Bernthal handles a pen in this screen capture from the film.
A screen capture from the film shows actors around a table while Brad sells the pen.

Brad handles the pen for a moment and says, “would you do me a favor? Write your name down on that napkin for me.”

“I don’t have a pen,” DiDaprio’s Belfort replies, having just give a the writing implement to Brad.

“Exactly, supply and demand my friend,” Brad says.

The point is that you don’t need to buy a pen, or a car for that matter, until you actually need one. And while it might make sense to stock up on pens that cost a dollar or two, there is no good reason to impulse buy an SUV or sedan just because it is on sale.

Again, the best time to buy a car or truck is when you need it and can afford it.


Many financial experts suggest that you spend no more than 10-to-15 percent of your pre tax monthly income on transportation. That includes auto payments, insurance, maintenance, and fuel.

Thus, if you earn $5,000 per month ($60,000 per year), your total monthly transportation expenses should not exceed $750. At $50,000 per year or $4,166 per month, total monthly transportation expenses should be $625 or less.

In addition to the monthly expenses, you should also be prepared to make a down payment. In December 2019, Autotrader’s website recommended making a 20-percent down payment on auto purchases to avoid ever being “up-side down” in your loan.

“Making a healthy down payment has several advantages that benefit you throughout the whole term of your loan,” according to Autotrader. “With a loan, the bigger the down payment as a percentage of the value of the car, the closer you are to owning the car outright, which is the most financially secure position to be in with your car —in short, you’ll be gaining equity in the car. For example, if you make a 20 percent down payment rather than a 5 percent down payment, you’ve offset more of the depreciation hit, you’ve lowered your monthly payment, and you can probably afford to have a shorter term on your loan meaning you’ll own your car sooner and you’ll pay less in interest no matter what rate you negotiated.”

While 20-percent might be the goal, at a minimum, you are going to want $1,000 or so before you think about purchasing a car or a truck.


You don’t want to purchase a car or truck, unless you need it. If you just bought a car last month and it is providing you with good, safe, and reliable transportation, you probably shouldn’t buy a new vehicle this month just because the local new car lot is having yet another big sale.

Auto purchases are a big deal, and they are something you should try to plan and schedule.

So, for the third time in this article, let us say that the best time to buy a car or a truck is when you need it and can afford it.


If you expect buying a car to be a high-pressure confrontation, you are doing it wrong. Yes, it is true, that high-pressure salesmanship used to be common in the industry. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The dealership you work with can become a resource for you. It should be able to provide you with services, information, and help at any time, not just every few years when you make a purchase. To make this point, here are five customer reviews from Google about Maverick Car Company.

Sara and Alex James

a screen capture of Sara and Alex's review on Google.

“Hands down, buying a truck from Maverick was the best experience we’ve ever had at a dealership! We’ve been looking for the right truck for a couple of months and Maverick had exactly what we were looking for. We didn’t have much time and we had our 11-month-old son with us, but Brady promised to get us in and out as quickly as possible. Even with getting financing we were out the door within an hour and twenty minutes —fastest car buying experience ever! We loved the no pressure, straight to the point attitude Brady had to make sure we could make the deal quickly. Thanks again for helping us find the perfect truck!”

Kyle Phillips

a screen capture of Kyle's review on Google.

“This is the only car company I will ever buy from again. We bought a truck two days ago. We had been “just looking” for quite some time. I found a truck on their website that I wanted. Went in and test drove it. Heath helped us and was amazing. Not pushy and was completely transparent with us from start to finish. Unfortunately, we were not able to get that truck, but went back the next day and got another truck. Again, Heath was amazing. In fact, everyone that we came in contact with there was extremely friendly and made sure we were being taken care of. I was impressed that I received an email from the owner to see if there were any problems with our experience with them. I have already told friends and family to check them out when they need a new vehicle.”

Matt Capell

a screen capture of Matt's review on Google

“What can I say…great people, great owner, great service. I have them do work on my cars several times, and have a great experience each time. I’m very happy with Maverick, and you should consider using them or buying a car from them. Like I said wonderful local business, doing the right things in the community!”

Vanessa Redmond

a screen capture of Vanessa's review on Google

“This is seriously the best dealership experience I’ve had. Nobody here was pushy at all. They even let you test drive alone. After a couple weeks of back and forth texts with JP to get more info on a car I really liked, and what could make it happen, I bought today. Austin, the Finance Manager, took the time to honestly, and sincerely, explain how I could come up with the little extra in my monthly payment by writing out things I spend money on to see where I could save more. Austin also spent more time calling banks to find me the best APR and talked to the owner to get me more on my trade in. JP even let us take the car out, once more by ourselves, to get lunch so I could discuss further if it was do-able. When we came back, still no pressure, the signing was quick and painless. I was able to buy my dream car with a payment I could afford —they also gave me a very fair deal on my trade in.”

Jeanmarie McAvoy

a screen capture of Jeanmarie's review on Google

“I found this hidden gem of a company after being sourly mistreated by another dealership. I feel it was meant to be. I had seen a few cars online. I wanted to go look around town. I was able to look around for a bit to see what I was interested in, I was not “attacked” the second I got out of my car. NO high sales pressure! Very laid back and comforting. It was an awesome experience!! Crystal and Jeremy are great! Even after the sale they did a follow up with me to make sure I was content. Customer service at it’s finest.”

Deal Hunting

If you’re still convinced that you need to try to find a “deal” on your next car purchase, and you are willing to put up with a high-pressure dealership, there are some times of the year or even days of the week when new car dealers typically offer discounts.

Sundays & Mondays

Several sources, including U.S. News and World Report, cite a 2016 TruCar study which found that “shopping on a weekday will offer a better chance of getting a deal, with average savings hovering around 8 percent. Shoppers that buy a car on Monday have saved as much as 8.1 percent, which is the best average savings among all days of the week.”

More recently, TruCar claimed that Sunday was the best day of the week to buy a car.

“In the states where dealerships are open all week, Sundays see much higher savings compared to the rest of the week. However, many states don’t allow vehicle sales on Sundays. In fact, only about five percent of vehicle sales occur on Sunday. In those states that don’t sell on Sunday, there isn’t much variance in the best day to purchase.”

The Beginning Of The Month

Contrary to popular belief, car dealers are not typically panicked to “make their sales figures” at the end of the month, or so at least that is what investment website, The Street, reported in a 2014 article on the topic.

Citing TruCar, The Street said “that consumers paid the highest average amount for vehicles on the 31st day of the month —$31,545. That’s $843 above the $30,702 average that people paid during the study period for car purchases regardless of date.”

In contract, according to the article, “people who buy cars at the beginning of the month make out the best.”

The End Of The Model Year

Many sources also suggest that you purchase new vehicles at the end of the model year. The thinking is that dealers and manufacturers are likely to discount vehicles more deeply when they “roll over” and become a model year old.

While there are certainly no shortage of year end sales, new cars always take a hit in value the moment you drive home with them, and waiting a model year only makes that hit a bit larger.

Walk, Hike, Bike At Camel’s Back And Hulls Gulch Reserves

The Red Fox Trail

Take a short drive past Hyde Park on Boise’s North End, right up 13th Street and on the right hand side at the corner of Heron Street you’ll find Camel’s Back Park.

The park itself has what you would expect. There is a wonderful lawn, tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, a playground, and even an outdoor adult “gym” donated by

The park is also the gateway —or perhaps stairway— to the Camel’s Back and Hulls Gulch Reserves, which, ultimately, provide access to hundreds of miles of trails for walking, hiking, or biking.

Taken together the Camel’s Back and Hulls Gulch Reserves comprise more than 350 acres of land in Boise.

Camel’s Back became a park and reserve in the 1930s. The adjacent Hulls Gulch Reserve was established as part of a citizen-driven effort in the 1990s.

A blue sky and brush are part of the view of Boise, Idaho from the trail.
The view from a ridge in Hulls Gulch looking back toward Boise, Idaho

A Short Hike Or Ride

The reserves contain plenty of trails for day hikes and mountain biking. For example, there is the 1.6-mile Camel’s Back Trails Loop. It has a few climbs and offers a great view of Boise, but it is easy enough for most families, even one’s with relatively small children.

For a longer hike or ride consider taking the Camel’s Back Trail north to the Red Fox Trail #36. From there make your way northeast along a ridge. You will, again, be able to enjoy great views of both Boise and the interior of Hulls Gulch. Before long, you’ll cross the 8th Street Extension and catch #39A the Kestrel Trail following it southeast to a “Y” intersection. Here you will choose the right fork and start heading back toward Camel’s Back Park on the Owl’s Roost Trail #37. You’ll cross the 8th Street Extension a second time, transferring to the GoldFinch Trail #35 as you finish a basic loop. The journey will be a few miles, depending on how much you meander.

Miles Of Trails

The Camel’s Back and Hull Gulch Reserves also connect to some of the 180 miles of Ridge to Rivers trail system in the foothills, making it possible to travel as far as Shafer Butte to the northeast. Thus, there is plenty of adventure within reach.

Q&A: Will Automobile Consignment Work For You?

Image of a Toyota truck and a tent. If you needed to sell your truck would auto consignment work for you?

Video Transcription

In a YouTube Live Stream video recorded on May 21, 2020, Shawn Gower from Boise, Idaho-based Maverick Car Company answered several questions about what vehicle consignment is, how it works, and why it is a good option for many folks who want to sell a vehicle. A full transcript of the presentation is below.

Hello & Welcome

Armando Roggio

Welcome. I just want to thank you for joining us for today’s presentation, Will Consignment Work for You? This is a Maverick Car Company’s second how to presentation. Second live presentation that we’ve done in the month of May. And frankly, this is the beginning of what we hope will be a series of useful and informative presentations related to vehicle owning, buying, and selling. And actually, one of our most important guests I see is actually coming on right now.

Diana DeJesus



Hi, we did start the livestream. So we are rolling.


All right.


As I was just telling the audience that’s watching us that today’s presentation will be in question and answer format. The guy doing the answering is going to be Shawn. Shawn, tell us about yourself a little bit.

Shawn Gower

Thanks Armando. My name is Shawn. I run the consignment program here at Maverick. I’m a car enthusiast who has owned, bought, sold, traded, bartered my fair share of vehicles. I’d say probably too many at this point in my life. But I’ve been at Maverick Car Company for a few years, wore a few different hats prior to jumping into the consignment department. And I’d say I truly found my home here in this department. I’m enjoying what I’m doing here.


And he does a great job of it, folks. There will be three of us, if you will, asking questions. Starting with Diana. Diana, will you take a moment and introduce yourself?


Yeah, so don’t mind me. I’m going live on my Instagram too. Hi everyone, I’m Diana. I’m the founder of Instagram page and brand called Boise Bucket List. And I’m very excited to talk about consignment and I have some audience questions, and I cannot wait to share them with you so you can learn about consignment.


Awesome. And then next I’ll also have a few questions for Shawn. And for the record, my name is Armando, I am a writer, marketer and developer, and I help Maverick Car Company with its marketing and obviously with its live streaming. And finally, the last group of questions will come from our live audience on YouTube and with Diana on Instagram, and we’ll be reading those probably at the end as they come up on YouTube or on Instagram.

Again, we are new at this. So it might be that the only people watching this live are the three of us, but if you are watching it live and you want to ask a question, we would really encourage you to do so. Diana, do I need to give you a minute to get going there on Instagram?


Yes, I have about four or five people tuning in now, and I’m going to make sure they can ask a question… I’ll put a hand up if I see any particular questions about that.


Awesome. I was going to point out, I guess, since we’re waiting a little time there as Shawn and I were going on, he was concerned about having that printer in the background, and I’m kind of in the attic dungeon here at Maverick. And so I told him not to worry about the printer.


No, I think people get that, we’re just hanging in there working from home right now or wherever our spaces.


That’s it. So, let’s go ahead and get the Q and A started if everybody’s ready. Is that good?




Yeah, let’s do it.

What’s In It For The Dealer?


Okay. So I’m going to ask the first question. So I have a car, I want to sell it. I’m thinking about consignment, but I don’t necessarily understand what’s in it for you, Shawn. Why does a dealership, any dealership, your dealership want to sell my car for me?

Screen capture of the consignment live stream


That’s a great question. Well, I think first and foremost, it gives us an opportunity to do what we do best and that’s help people get the opportunity to meet, we call them friends or sometimes clients, I guess, but we would like to refer to them as friends. And it gives the dealership an opportunity to sell vehicles that we have a history of, and I think that’s super important.

A good case in point, we just recently sold an Audi actually three days ago, and it was awesome because the gentlemen that’s purchasing it, had a lot of questions about it and I was able to help the sales team by answering and just explaining very simply, hey, this vehicle is being sold. The gentleman’s actually pursuing his commercial pilot license. It’s an extra vehicle and he doesn’t need it anymore. It’s been sitting and that’s why he’s like, “Why is it so clean?” I said, “That’s just who the guy is.”

So I was able to explain that and that helped out. Obviously, as you know, we’re in business to make money. So we do make money on the consignment program as well. But I think it’s important for folks to know with our program specifically, that if we don’t sell your vehicle, we don’t make anything. And so we we’re really, really confident in what we do, and we show that by investing our money, our time upfront with the hopes to the end result of having a sold the vehicle.

What Is Vehicle Consignment?


All right, so consignment. So we talk about it and I know a little bit about it for those who are tuning in you might know. I’ve heard of it for when it comes to clothing consignment. I’ve gotten my fair share of clothing, at consignment stores in Boise and beyond. So break it down for us Shawn, what exactly is vehicle consignment?


Well, another good question. I’ve had people say that, in fact, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called folks back, got a call and they say, first words, “I’ve heard of clothing consignment. How does cars work?” Virtually, it works the exact same way. The short answer I give folks is you’re allowing a professional to sell something for you. We do this every single day, that’s what business is built on, it’s selling vehicles.

So, bringing it to us ensures that it’s going to be done and done ideally without you having to… Same reason you dropped the clothes off at a consignment clothing store or furniture. You don’t want to deal with it. You drop it off with us, we handle it from start to finish, and ideally you get a phone call and pick up a check.


Oh wow. That’s ideal. Phone call, check. Nice.


And real quick to point out one more thing on that as far as consignment goes. Vehicles specifically, vehicles and houses are typically your two biggest purchases, and the financing component for us on the consignment is a big thing. You get people come in here and they owe 30,000, $40,000 on a car and they say, “Hey, I’m having trouble selling this.” And typically, it’s a financing thing with people not wanting to go to their own banks. And so having the ability to get folks finance same day and have them drive off of the vehicle helps immensely as well.

Vehicle Consignment Save Vs. Vehicle Consignment


We got some good audience questions already.


Oh, man.


So, do you want me to ask now or wait until the end? What do you think?


I’m good either way, we can go to the questions you have.


Yeah, go with it if you want.


We have an audience question from Christina, Stina, hi Stina. How often are their vehicle consignment sales? Can a regular customer, like let’s say she wanted to come in with her husband buy a car at consignment? And how is it different from buying a car on auction?


That’s a great question. So buying one of our consignment vehicles, when you come into the dealership, it would be no different than buying one of our traded in vehicles that are on our lot. It’s the same process from start to finish. The big difference again being is when someone has those specific questions on a vehicle. We have a little bit more history on those consigned vehicles than we do on the vehicles that are on our lot. But there’s no set dates for our consignment sales, they’re for sale on our lot, just as our other inventory is.


Awesome. Thank you.


Hey, can I add something to that? We’re starting to send out a weekly newsletter as well. And the weekly newsletter today featured a vehicle that is a consignment vehicle here in our lot. So from a marketing perspective and from the dealership perspective, we treat consignment vehicles just like we would a car that arrived here in some other way. In fact, sometimes better because Shawn does have the backstory.

Is Automobile Consignment Renting?


Cool, we can’t wait to hear more about the backstory. So keep staying too, because we have more from Shawn. So that’s a little transition into what I was going to ask too. I had an audience question about, is it like renting? The concept of renting a vehicle, how does that differ? Is it renting your consignment or what does that mean?


And again, it’s no different than how we do it with our regular vehicles. There are special instructions at times with some of the higher-end vehicles, but ultimately we make sure they have a valid license, valid insurance, and that they’re here to actually pursue a purchase of a vehicle, not just here to see how fast zero to 60 is in a Tesla.


Good. That’s good to know in case someone wants to consign their Tesla, they have faith and there’s clearance to drive it. That’s great.



How Long Does Vehicle Consignment Take?


Shawn, you mentioned how long it takes to go zero to 60 in a Tesla. I have a sort of a how long question. How long does consignment take? If I had my car on Facebook Marketplace for a month and it’s not selling and I bring it to you guys, how quickly will it sell with the dealership?

screen capture of the live stream


That’s probably my favorite question, because I think I get it about five times a day. So really, it just comes down to this. It depends on how realistic you are with what your expectations are as far as pricing goes. In short, we do our best to get someone as close to the private party value for the vehicle, if not a little more at times, sometimes a little less, depending on the market.

If you had your vehicle on Facebook Marketplace for a month, I would look at where you had at price wise and be able to give you a good idea of, hey, this is a good price and you should have been able to sell it so on and so forth. But for us, our timeline it varies because we use so many different avenues for marketing the vehicle and honestly, our reputation alone, we get a lot of walking clients just have repeats referral clientele.

So our timeline is a little bit, I would say better than those of just posting a picture on Facebook and hoping for the best. Quick story, if I may, just to kind of give you an idea. I had a gentleman, it’s been a week and a half, brought in a 2018 Rubicon. It’s lifted has all this trick stuff on it. Super nice Jeep.

And I went out and talked to him about consigning with us and we went through it and the books didn’t really apply to this vehicle because it was built up for SEMA shows. And so I said, “Well, what do you want for it?” And he told me, he said, “Hey, I want around 53 to $55,000.” And I honestly kind of chuckled because I was like, wow, that’s… Okay, well, I’ll be honest. That’s kind of uncharted waters on a Jeep Wrangler, but I think it deems it, looking at the books and everything.

And so I asked him, “Have you been trying to sell it on your own?” And he said, “Actually I had it somewhere for two months prior to trying to sell it.” And I said, “Okay, so I’m always up for a challenge.” So we talked price a little more and then I said, well, we’re going to do everything we can to market and get this thing out there and see. Within two days we had three leads on it and four days into the consignment it sold. I mean that’s a $55,000 Jeep Wrangler. So I’d say we do better than you on your own, typically.


Okay. So let’s repeat that again.


Makes sense.


To those who are tuning it a little late. Let’s repeat the timeline again, just in case someone couldn’t hear it. So they dropped a very tricked out Wrangler, people get like, what can I get that? You said, how much it costs or you were selling it for.

So you got all the photos, which Maverick does, and we’ll talk about that in marketing, but the moment it’s on the lot, what was the timeframe of it being on Fairview? Hey, look at that car. And then its selling. Let’s talk about that.


It was bizarre. It actually came on the lot. Funny enough the first gentleman looked at it, came in to look at another Jeep saw it back here getting photos and behind it under our awning here, and was like, can I drive that? Absolutely. And in that first 24 hour period, we had three people seriously interested and then it sold on day four.

It’s pretty amazing honestly. So that happened to a week and a half ago, two weeks ago, the Audi I touched on earlier today, it actually is the first vehicle thus far that went on the lot last Friday morning. It was on the lot at about 10:00 AM and it’s sold at four o’clock.




Yeah, that was pretty cool. He’s like, “is that a record?” And I said, “I think so.” When I called him and let him know, he was pretty excited. So I’d say we’re doing pretty good. And the difference being is that was a 16, $17,000 vehicle versus a 55,000. So with everything going on in the world today, I would love to say I have a really good gauge on what’s happening in the industry, but I mean, ultimately it seems to me there’s a level of normalcy back that we’re pretty happy with.

How Can You Feel Comfortable With Automobile Consignment?


I love normalcy, yes. All right. Well, I feel like I have more of a little normal situation. From my high school vehicle that got me through law school. And then when I had to get a second vehicle, when I lived in Maine, I leaned on the men in my life. I don’t like using gender, but that’s who I actually leaned on.

So, the whole buying or selling a car process to lease on the car, just a lot of fear behind that. So me being a woman and those who are tuning in who have their own experiences with car dealerships and selling and that engagement with the potential seller, how does consignment help ease that fear, mitigate some of those challenges we feel with selling our vehicle?


I have to say, I think this is my favorite question, because I’ve had folks on the phone that have been extremely timid. And I’d say the short answer to this is, Maverick does business the right way. It just, ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you are a single mother with three children or a car guru, at the end of the day, the numbers are the numbers. We’re extremely transparent about that. We show you the numbers. If it’s something you’re not certain of, we say, “Hey, take these home here. They are. Think about it.”

I’ve even had folks come in and say, “Gosh, I was really hoping to get a little bit more.” And I say, “well, why don’t you give it a shot selling it private party? I’m happy to help you write up your ad even.” And I’ve done that, and give them some coaching and advice on how to do that. And I’ve had people literally leave here and call me the same day and say, “Yeah, I’m good. I’m just going to bring it in.” I’ve had folks try it and be successful. So we’re here to help however we can. We treat every single person that comes to the door, the exact same. So it doesn’t matter who you are, the program is the program, and we do it the right way every time.


Yes. And for me, I’ll be happy to drop off the vehicle. You sell it. I show up and say, I get a phone call, say, what a check? Thank you so much. I like that feeling, leave it to the experts as I like to say.

How Does Automobile Consignment Work When I Still Owe Money?


Shawn how do the consignment work if I still owe money on my car?Shawn

Well, it honestly work’s the same for you. It just adds a step on the back end for us. But honestly, I would say close to 70, 75% of the folks that come in with consignment vehicles owe money on their vehicles. And so we deal with that every single day. It’s not a big deal at all. It’s kind of funny. I’ll put that in the same box as, people say, “Hey, should I have my car cleaned before I bring it to you?” Or, “Do I need to pay off the loan before I bring it to you?” And neither of those are true statements. We can handle everything here.

Is Vehicle Consignment Limited To Just Cars And Trucks?


I like that. So we’re in Idaho, not only do we have vehicles, we have a lot of people here who have toys. You have the RVs, you have the razors, you have motorcycles, all these different modes of transportation and for fun. Do you only consign vehicles or other motor type of things?


Great question. So as of now it’s vehicles, cars and trucks. But I could definitely see in the future. I’ve had enough calls for motorcycles and RVs to where I could see us being who we are, wanting to see if we could add value and help folks out. I could see us transitioning into it a little bit more, but right now we’re trying to really master the car and truck industry, vehicle industry. And then we’ll go from there.

How Are Automobile Consignments Marketed?


Oh, that gives them a stay tuned part. Stay tuned. I’m on Instagram Live. Hi, everyone on YouTube. And I’m no one to shy away from marketing. Which leads to my next question. How does marketing come into play with your consignment vehicle? What platform do you utilize? I know we have Armando here who can answer that too. But if someone were to have their vehicle consigned, how would it be marketed?


You guys are killing it. I love these questions. These are good. These are ones that I get every day. So it’s awesome. But there are a few in here that I haven’t. So we use all major online car shopping sites,, CarGurus, Autotrader, Craigslist, Facebook, Instagram, and I’m sure there’s a few others I’m forgetting. But I say, think of it this way. You’re getting the full benefit of a dealership marketing department. And marketing strategies are ever changing, and we adapt to the market. It’s a lot more than, as I said earlier to Armando, it’s a lot more than just an ad on Facebook or Craigslist, if you will.


I like that. I’ve seen the ads. For those who follow Maverick on Instagram and Facebook, the genius behind that is Mr. Armando himself. If you haven’t followed then, this is my plug because I love Instagram obviously, but you see the vehicles and how they look and you can imagine yourself in them. I saw that white Rubicon. Obviously you took it down, but I saw it and I was like, “Ooh, that’s quite the car.” So when it makes you stop and say, ooh, that’s what you want.


And I have to say, shout out to Jessica who does our photos, she’s phenomenal.


Oh, she’s behind that marketing team. I love them.


She’s so good.


I don’t know if this is the right format, but I will maybe a preview of what is to come. I will tell you that future vehicle pages on Maverick will include video, that’s coming. And it’s possible that we’re going to use a flying drone to shoot those, so coming your way.


Wait a minute, you talking about… Wait, is this an exclusive insight into…

Will I Have To Lower The Price For My Car?


Hey, I’m just going to move on to the next question. Hey Shawn, is there ever going to be a chance as I’m consigning with you that I’m going to have to sort of lower my asking price at some point?


Fabulous question. Ideally. No, but there are times when that is necessary. But that being said, it never comes as a surprise and give you an example of that. If someone comes in and I’ll use the Toyota Tacoma for an example, and they come in and we’re looking at the market and I say, gosh, well I’ll say it’s your car Armando, and I say, “Armando, I think we could realistically sell his truck rather quickly if we get 24 to you and price it accordingly. But I think you could get as much as 25, and I’m happy to start there, but we got to see how the market plays out two weeks from now, if we’re not getting the interest that we’re looking for, the click throughs and the things that we look to gauge how things are going, then I might call you and ask you for that.”

And then it gives you the opportunity actually to say, “You know what? I don’t want to leave any money on the table. So let’s try that. That sounds good.” So yes, you will, but it will be something that, again, it’s not going to be a surprise call from me. It’s going to be something that you’re expecting, and so we talk about that upfront, if that makes sense.


Transparency, of course, I love that.

Why Does Shawn Love Consignment?


I love to affiliate myself and learn from those who are experts. Like I said earlier about me selling a car, I had to go to the experts. And Shawn, by you answering these questions, and it’s clear that you have all the enthusiasm about talking about cars. Can you tell us, why do you enjoy this part of car consignment? And do you have any particular stories of, you shared the one about the Rubicon and the Audi, but what you enjoy most about this role and if you could shed light on maybe how your background influenced that.


Yeah, absolutely. First and foremost, I love working with people and I like to help wherever and however I can. I think this program going the way we have it going now, it’s an opportunity to show the community that we do in fact, do things differently here, and that’s through and through. And it’s also an opportunity for me to make a friend, which I’ve actually made quite a few, believe it or not just doing this.


I believe it.


And I would have to say probably my favorite thing is making that phone call with someone that’s either they’ve had their vehicle for sale for a while, they’ve had it here and it’s been a financial burden, and we’re able to get it sold for them. And being able to call them and say hey… I did have a couple that was trying to buy a home. In order to buy their house, they had to get rid of this vehicle.

And so being able to do that and do it in a really quick manner, and then make that call, I was more excited. I was literally watching across the way for the folks to walk out with the keys in their hand so I can make the call, and then I just ran outside and called.

And I think I was more excited than they were, but they later did say, “Hey, we were a lot more excited. We were almost just shocked, and you were so fired up that we were like, is everything okay? Yeah, I’m good. Everything’s good.” But yeah, in short, it’s pretty awesome to get to do thing, what you genuinely like to do. And it’s helping people for me, and I get to do that every day, and I love it.


You and the whole team.




Shout out to Freeman. Freeman’s Is not really into the whole Instagram being on video.


That’s not his gig.


That’s not his gig, but for those who have gone to Maverick and you would pop in, you will see him sometimes, maybe his wife, but that is the Maverick way.

How A Sales Team Helps With Automobile Consignment


If I have time, I do want to add something else. One more value to the consignment program that I don’t know that gets enough attention. The reality is that our sales team is amazing and they come to me when a consignment comes in and they actually ask me, “Hey, Shawn, what’s going on with that Audi? Can you give me a little backstory on this? I have a client.”

So they’re already starting to try to sell your vehicle before it’s even on the lot, and that is not a joke at all. They’re awesome. So I just wanted to say that because although I get the vehicles sold, I’m not actually the one selling them. I’m bringing them in, ideally pricing them right, and giving the right information to the team to have them be able to do their job and do what they do best.


So they’re storytellers. They love to hear the stories, which I can attest to that. So when I dropped off the 4Runner, I told, is it Crystal?




I told Crystal, Crystal, I’m dropping off Stormy. And she’s like, and I told her why it was named Stormy. And she was so, I get high of people who want to know about stories, so she was so eager to learn about Stormy’s, like her name, where it came from. So I saw that with Crystal and somebody that I met just randomly, also felt that from Crystal. That’s one of many of the sales team. But storytelling is the jam.

All right, so for those who are trickling in, I don’t have any questions, but please comment, if you have any questions for Shawn and for Armando, we’re on live. So I will be able to tell them if you have a question, so just don’t be afraid to post. Someone said, thank you for doing this live. They really appreciated the knowledge.

Wrapping Up


Absolutely. Thanks for tuning in.


I guess I’ll add this and then we should probably, unless we have some more questions, come to a close, but this is something that we want to keep doing at Maverick, which is to answer questions. So as you comment, whether it’s with Diana or with us on YouTube, tell us some of the other things you’d like us to cover. If you have questions about the automobile industry, we’d be more than happy to do a Q and A like this covering just about any topic. One of the topics probably want to know, as Shawn mentioned he has owned many cars. The man has had, is it 50 personal vehicles? Is that true?








No one’s counting though.


My wife is actually counting. I actually say, “I don’t know. It’s like 25.” She’s like, “It’s 53 to be exact.”


Oh wow. She is exact.


So, you know what Shawn’s really telling you is that you can sign your car, if nothing else, he’ll buy it.


There’s a good chance. There is a good chance.




No, just kidding. Well, listen, I don’t have any more questions over here on the YouTube side, if there’s nothing else on the Instagram side, I think we should just say thank you for everyone who did watch us live.


Thank you.


And if you have, please do comment even in the future comment, and let us know if there are things we can cover for you. Thank you so much.


Good bye.


Everybody have an awesome evening.


Thank you all. I appreciate it Armando.


Have a great weekend….Now leave the meeting.

Is Buying A New Car A Bad Idea?

a woman buys a used car at a dealership in Boise, Idaho

Buying a new car rarely makes good financial sense, according to several (if not most) financial planners and industry experts.

“Friends, I do not want you to buy a new car,” said self-made millionaire and co-founder of AE Wealth Management, David Bach, in a 2018 interview with CNBC.

Why is buying new so bad?

Rapid Depreciation

“Here’s why. Buy a brand new car —it smells good— but drive it off the lot and it drops in value by 30 percent,” Bach said.

Not everyone in the industry would agree with Bach’s 30-percent estimate, but everyone agrees that a new car is a bad investment because it depreciates so rapidly.

Financial services journalist, Greg Lewerer, for example, estimated that a new car would depreciate about 25 percent in one year and about 46 percent in three years. If you owned that car for five years, it would lose 63 percent of its value.

Thus, according to Lewerer’s article, if you had paid $34,968 for a new car in 2017, it would be worth about $12,938 by 2022. Thus, your vehicular asset lost more than $22,000 of its value.

By comparison, if you had purchased the same car when it was three years old, you could have paid approximately $18,882, again according to Lewerer.

Financing Makes It Worse

“Most people borrow money to buy that [new] car,” Bach said in his CNBC interview. “Why would you borrow money to buy an asset that immediately goes down in value by 30 percent? Don’t do it.”

The truth is that most people borrow money to buy any car, new or used. And some have argued that new cars can have lower interest rates. While this is true, a lower interest rate rarely offsets the depreciation. Thus, financing a new car only makes your investment worse.

“You can buy a brand spanking new mid-size sedan for $25,000. I’ll use round numbers for this example, so it’s easier to follow. You don’t have enough money to purchase the car outright, so you decide to take out a loan. Let’s say your credit is decent, and you get an interest rate of 3.5 percent, with a $3000 down payment, and $1000 on the trade in of your ’98 Subaru Forester with 250,000 miles and a head gasket that won’t make it to 251,” wrote Freddy “Tavarish” Hernandez, in a 2014 article for Jalopnik.

“The average length of a car loan, as of [2013], is just over 60 months, but let’s round to 60 for simplicity’s sake. Let’s also take taxes out of the equation, since each state varies. Per month, you’d be paying $382.02 before tax. It’s a nice, affordable number, and exactly why people get stuck in these predatory loans. When you extrapolate that figure over 60 months, you’d pay $26,921.20 for that $25,000 car,” Hernandez continued.

It Costs More

Finally, new cars simply cost more. Compare a one year old Ford F150 with 18,000 miles to a new F150 with otherwise identical features and the year-old-truck could be as much as 25 percent less.

How To Save For A Car When You Only Make $10 An Hour

a picure of a woman counting dollar bills.

Although it may seem daunting, anyone can save money to either buy a car or make a reasonable down payment, you don’t even have to be very self disciplined or do a lot of penny pinching necessarily. It just takes a plan and a little bit of technology.

So let’s put this challenge into perspective. Our goal is to describe what you need to do to save for a car if you make $10 per hour or $20,800 per year gross. Our solution is a three-step process to automatically put a little bit of money away every payday.

Frankly, this same process is a great way to save money to buy a car or truck even if you earn more than $10 per hour.

Step 1: Pay Yourself First

“Pay yourself first means just what it says,” wrote David Bach in his excellent book, The Automatic Millionaire. “When you earn a dollar, the first person you pay is you.”

If it helps, you can think of paying yourself first as a way of prioritizing saving.

Paying yourself first says instead of paying my bills (which we admit are vital), then buying a latte or getting a new game for the Xbox, and then saving, put the saving up front.

After you’ve paid yourself, pay your bills. Then live on what you have left. This is likely to mean that you’ll eat out less, spend less on entertainment, and maybe even have to cancel a few services (think Netflix, Hulu, Xbox Live, and the like) to lower your expenses. But these cost cutting efforts will not be because you have so much self control, they will be because you paid yourself first. It may sound strange, but it really is a good way to start saving.

Step 2: Save Automatically

The idea for this second step also comes from Bach’s book, The Automatic Millionaire, which, by the way, you can probably checkout from the library for free.

You see, paying yourself first works great when you do it. But actually doing it takes some willpower. If you have to cash your paycheck and manually remember to place money in a savings account, you’re likely to miss a few weeks or stop doing it altogether. Instead, make saving money automatic.

The process goes like this:

  • Make certain you get paid via direct deposit.
  • Automatically, send a portion of your direct deposit to a savings account or an investment account.

This second part can happen in a couple ways.

First, some payroll systems will allow you to divide your paycheck, sending your savings into one account while the rest goes to another account.

Next, even if your employer isn’t set up to direct deposit funds into multiple accounts, your bank almost certainly can set up an automatic transfer. If your bank won’t do it, consider checking out online banks like Simple or Chime which specialize in just this sort of savings.

Oh, and if you can do it, put the money somewhere it is not too easy to access. You don’t want to be tempted to dip into your savings.

Finally, since we know you’re thinking about it, you should aim to save about 10 percent of your total monthly income after taxes, which is about $150 if you earn $10 per hour at a full-time job.

Step 3: Earn A Yield On Your Savings

Your savings should work just as hard as you do. What we mean is that you don’t just want to put your savings under the mattress or in a checking account that does not pay interest.

Rather, put your money somewhere it will earn interest. This might be a savings account at your bank. Or maybe every time you save $500, you buy a short-term certificate of deposit. Or you could even place the money in an investment account that —under normal circumstances— may out earn a standard savings account.

If you need an example of an investment account, consider checking out Acorns. It is a great place to save for your car and, frankly, for your retirement.

If you have any questions about saving for a car, down payments, or even how credit works, please feel free to contact us here at Maverick Car Company.

How To Pick Your Teen’s First Car

A teenage driver looks in a rearview mirror

Shopping for a teen’s first car is a balancing act. Your young driver is looking forward to freedom and independence, and, as a parent, you’re probably concerned with safety, reliability, and encouraging responsibility.

The car you pick should, perhaps, represent the middle ground between meeting your needs and addressing your child’s hopes.

Your specific situation will, of course, be unique to you and your family. For example, some parents are just as concerned about teaching financial responsibility as they are about driving, so those moms and dads might opt for a much less expensive vehicle the teen can pay for himself or herself.

Another parent, could be much more concerned with safety and opt for a relatively newer vehicle with advanced accident avoidance capabilities.

There is not a wrong answer, necessarily, but there can be a right answer for your family. So really, you need to decide what is most important to you as a parent.

Within this context, we surveyed the team here at Maverick Car Company, and came up with several things you could consider when you’re picking your teen’s first car or truck.

Electronic Stability Control

An electronic stability control (ESC) system significantly improves a car or truck’s stability. Essentially, this automatic system monitors vehicle traction and, in cases of emergency, will apply an individual wheel’s braking system to counteract oversteering or understeer. Practically, this means that cars or trucks equipped with an ESC system are much less likely to spin out of control than a vehicle without ESC.

“The overwhelming majority of studies find that ESC is highly effective in reducing single-vehicle crashes in cars and SUVs. Fatal single-vehicle crashes involving cars are reduced by about 30-to-50 percent and SUVs by 50-to-70 percent.”

“Fatal rollover crashes are estimated to be about 70-to-90-percent lower with ESC regardless of vehicle type,” according to a 2007 ESC study published in the Traffic Injury Prevention journal.

In fact, ESC is so effective the United States mandated that every car or truck sold in the nation include ESC systems beginning in 2012. Thus, when you’re looking for a vehicle for your teen to drive around town, you may want to opt for a model year after 2012.

Anti-Lock Brake Systems

Parents interested in safety first, will also want to consider vehicles with anti-locking brake systems (ABS).

ABS “also allows a driver to maintain control of the steering during emergency braking situations,” according to a driving school in the South.

“Be sure to teach your teen to use anti-lock brakes properly in an emergency —hit the brakes hard and don’t let up. The pulsing vibration you feel means the ABS are working; some drivers instinctively let up on the brake when they feel it, so it’s important to practice not letting up on the brake so your teen will do the right thing in an emergency situation.”

Just The Right Size

If safety is one of your main concerns when you’re shopping for your teen’s first vehicle, you might be considering big trucks and sport utility vehicles. You know, a tank.

While there could be merit in this approach, remember that a big vehicle is relatively more difficult to maneuver and slower to stop in most cases.

Here is an example. The 2020 Toyota Tundra SR5 pickup truck took 153 feet to stop when going 60 miles per hour, according to an April 2020 Consumer Reports article. In contrast, a 2020 Toyota Camry TRD will stop in 118 feet when going 60 miles per hour, according to MotorTrend magazine. That is a difference of 35 feet.

If your teen is about to rear-end someone on West Fairview Avenue in Boise or has to stop because I deer stepped onto the road on the way to Lucky Peak, a 35-foot-improvement in stopping distance could make the difference between a crash or not.

What’s more, Consumer Reports also ranked the 2020 Tundra SR5 among the worst vehicles tested for collision avoidance. This is not uncommon for pickup trucks and large SUVs.

Certainly, many factors contribute to vehicle safety, and it can be a good idea to look at the safety performance record for the specific vehicle you’re considering. As a note, we would not recommend a brand new vehicle for a teen.

We mentioned this not to disparage trucks —we love trucks here at Maverick Car Company— but rather to give you something to think about as you consider safety and what is the “just right” size for your teen’s car or truck.

Not Too Much Power

It seems that almost by nature teenage drivers are tempted to go fast, so, you might not want to encourage the behavior. To this end, take some advice from StateFarm, the insurance company, and “avoid cars that have a sporty, performance-type image. These vehicles can encourage young drivers to speed and test their performance.”

Similarly, Consumer Reports suggests that “parents should take the ‘Goldilocks approach’ and buy a car that’s not too fast and not too slow…. This may not be the coolest car to your kid, but they’ll be safer until they’ve gained more experience as a driver.”

Here in Idaho, this same logic can apply to big off-road vehicles including jacked up trucks or Jeeps. A vehicle clearly equipped for off-road adventure, could encourage your teen to do just that, take an off-road adventure.

Perhaps one way to think about vehicle power is to aim for a vehicle with good performance not necessarily one with high performance.


While some parents may be focused on helping children learn life lessons in a relatively safe way, like having to change a tire in the parking lot at the Village in Meridian, other mom’s and dad’s don’t want a car likely to break down and leave their teen stranded somewhere.

With the latter in mind, when you are looking for your teens first car consider checking two things.

First, get a Carfax or similar report for the specific vehicle you are considering. Nearly every used car dealership will have these available, and you can purchase a vehicle history report for any vehicle, including one being sold private party.

Second, check out the vehicle on Edmunds. For example, if you’re looking at a Subaru with a 2.5L engine, you would learn that it may be likely to have a head gasket issue at or above 100,000 miles.

Not Too Expensive

Your family’s budget should also play an important role in determining which car to get for your teen.

This goes beyond the car or truck’s purchase price, and should consider things like the cost of insuring the vehicle, the cost of fuel, and the cost of maintenance.

Maverick Car Company has sold thousands of cars and trucks. If you have any other questions about how to pick the best car for your teen and your budget, we would love to help.