Autotrader Provides Tips for Turning Your Tax Refund into a New Ride


Three quick tips on how to stay on budget plus Autotrader editors pick 10 used cars you should consider.

ATLANTA, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Filing taxes may not be the highlight of your year, but getting a hefty refund can be an exciting reward. In fact, 70 percent of respondents to a recent Autotrader® survey1 expect a tax refund this year. Of the 27 percent of survey respondents who plan to spend their refund on a car-related expense, 61 percent are looking to purchase a new or used car. If you are among those dreaming of using your tax refund toward a new or new-to-you car, Autotrader offers tips and advice to set you up for success. 

Autotrader Provides Tips for Turning Your Tax Refund into a New Ride

"There's nothing like a sudden influx of cash to spur on big purchases, and tax refunds make for great down payments on new and used cars," said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader. "However, it's important for car shoppers to be smart about the purchase, being sure to get the right car for their needs that fits nicely into their budgets."

Using a sizeable refund check as a down payment will lower your monthly car payments, but looking at the full cost of ownership is important when deciding which car to buy. Keep the following tips in mind so you don't let your newfound dollars lure you into buying more car than you need or can comfortably afford.

  1. Create a budget.
    Compare your net income against every expense you have in a month, and be honest about what you can afford to pay each month for a car. Don't forget to factor in additional car-related expenses such as insurance, fuel and maintenance.
  2. Base your vehicle search on what you can afford.
    Make a list of your wants and needs in a car, and focus on finding a car that meets all of your needs within your budget first, then address the wants if your budget allows. 
  3. Don't budge.
    Once you've decided on how much you can spend and which car you want, don't let anyone—or anything—convince you to buy more car than you can truly afford.

To help out shoppers who plan to use their tax refunds toward their next car, Autotrader experts picked 10 used cars that are easy to find for around $13,000 or less. In that price range, shoppers getting the average tax refund of $3,000 will only have to finance around $10,000, which will result in a low monthly payment while enabling them to get a newer, nicer and more reliable car.

"Even if you already have your mind set on a specific car, the extra money from your refund can mean getting a car with more features like a sunroof or satellite radio, or one with fewer miles on the odometer," said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. "Keep in mind that it is usually better to get a car that's a year or two older, but with lower miles, than a newer car with high mileage. The only exception is if there's a compelling safety or convenience feature you really want and it's only available on the newer model."

The 10 used cars Autotrader's editors recommend are:

2012-2015 Chevrolet Sonic

2007-2012 Mazda CX-9

2010-2012 Ford Fusion

2003-2008 Nissan 350Z

2005-2010 Honda Odyssey

2005-2012 Nissan Frontier

2006-2011 Hyundai Azera

2010-2015 Subaru Outback

2010-2014 Kia Soul

2006-2012 Toyota RAV4

To find more about these vehicles and why they made our experts' list, check out the following article: Use Your Tax Refund as a Down Payment to Buy These 10 Great Used Cars.

About Autotrader
Autotrader is the most visited third-party car shopping site, with the most engaged audience of in-market shoppers. As the foremost authority on automotive consumer insights and expert in online and mobile marketing, Autotrader makes the car shopping experience easy and fun for today's empowered consumer looking to find or sell the perfect new, used or Certified Pre-Owned car. Using technology, shopper insights and local market guidance, Autotrader's comprehensive marketing solutions guide dealers to personalized digital marketing strategies that grow brand, drive traffic and connect the online and in-store shopping experience.

Autotrader is a Cox Automotive™ brand. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. For more information, please visit

About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. is transforming the way the world buys, sells and owns cars with industry-leading digital marketing, software, financial, wholesale and e-commerce solutions for consumers, dealers, manufacturers and the overall automotive ecosystem worldwide. Committed to open choice and dedicated to strong partnerships, the Cox Automotive family includes Autotrader®,®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, vAuto®, Xtime® and a host of other brands. The global company has nearly 30,000 team members in more than 200 locations and is partner to more than 40,000 auto dealers, as well as most major automobile manufacturers, while engaging U.S. consumer car buyers with the most recognized media brands in the industry. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., an Atlanta-based company with revenues of $18 billion and approximately 55,000 employees. Cox Enterprises' other major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications and Cox Media Group. For more information about Cox Automotive, visit

1 The Autotrader survey was conducted among 550 U.S. adults in February 2016.

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SOURCE Autotrader

For further information: Julie Shipp, Public Relations Manager, 404-568-7914,


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