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How to Sell a Car in Illinois in 6 Steps

If you live in the Windy City or the Illinois suburbs, you may consider either opting for public transportation or upgrading your vehicle. That may mean getting rid of the car you have now. You could go to a dealership and trade it in, but you may find you can get even more money by selling your car via a private car sale in Illinois. The used car market is still pretty hot and you can take advantage of this time to get even more for your vehicle. Here’s how to sell a car in Illinois and get started.

How to Sell a Car in Illinois | Metromile

Step 1: Get your car ready for selling 

The first thing you need to do is get your car ready for selling. When it’s your personal car you can do as you please and keep your favorite things in your car. It doesn’t matter if that Starbucks cup has been sitting there for a week. But when you’re getting ready to sell, it does. 

To get started selling a car in Illinois, take these steps to get it ready:

  1. Remove all trash from the vehicle. 
  2. Get a car wash. 
  3. Buff out any scratches. 
  4. Take out all personal belongings. 
  5. Take alluring pictures of your car. 

Taking these steps will help you get the car ready to sell and for prospective buyers to look at. People want to imagine themselves as the new owner and if you still have your own stuff in there, it’s tough to do that. So remove all of your stuff and get it nice and spiffy, ready for a new home. 

Step 2: Post the car for sale in various places 

Once your car is sale-ready, take your photos of your vehicle at various angles (with good lighting!) and post your car sale advertisement on various marketplaces. In addition to photos, you want to include a comprehensive description of the car including make, model, year, and condition. You want to avoid any “gotcha” moments with buyers so be upfront in the description. 

You can post the vehicle on places such as:

  • OfferUp
  • AutoTrader
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Any other local sites or publications

Once you hit publish, it’s time to sit back and wait for the buyers to roll in. 

Step 3: Agree to a vehicle inspection if asked 

Selling a car in Illinois means playing message ping pong with prospective buyers. Some people may be flaky and not that serious, while others might be serious and want to move forward. Typically serious buyers will want a vehicle inspection to make sure the car is good and as you described. 

If the buyer requests a vehicle inspection, agree to it and coordinate with them to make it happen. Buyers usually pay the price for that so you don’t necessarily have to worry about that but you want to be a willing participant if the buyer wants to take the next step to get the car checked. 

Step 4: Get your vehicle documents in order 

If the car selling process is getting serious, you want to make sure to get your vehicle documents in order. You’ll need the following as part of selling a car in Illinois, per the Illinois Secretary of State. 

When dealing with a private car sale in Illinois, you want to make sure you have all your vehicle documents ready to make the car selling process smoother. 

Step 5: Accept payment and hand over the signed title 

Once you have a serious buyer and you agree on a price, it’s time to accept payment and transfer the vehicle title. Get your money and hand over your vehicle title with your signature and the date. The buyer will need to sign and date as well. 

You also want to get the buyer’s info such as full name, address, and contact information in case there are problems down the road. 

You’ll need to submit an odometer disclosure as part of the title transfer. Give the buyer a Bill of Sale and keep one for your records as well. Lastly, you want to remove the license plates before handing over the vehicle to the new buyer. Your plates stay with you. 

Step 6: Mail the Notice of Sale form 

Once the car is no longer legally yours, you want to let the state of Illinois know that so you’re not on the hook for it anymore. 

You can use the Notice of Sale at the bottom of your title or use this Seller’s Report of Sale form and mail to:

Secretary of State 

Vehicle Services Department 

Record Inquiry Section 501 S. Second St., Rm. 408 

Springfield, IL 62756

On top of that, be sure to either update or cancel your car insurance. Your part will be done, but be aware that the buyer also needs to send title and tax info to the state of Illinois within 20 days. When the buyer does that, the whole process of selling a car will be complete. 

The bottom line 

If you’re wondering how to sell a car in Illinois follow these steps so that you have everything in order and you’re no longer liable for the vehicle. 

Once you’ve completed a private car sale in Illinois you might consider buying a new car. As part of buying a new car, you can also look into getting new insurance as well. You can get affordable car insurance with pay-per-mile coverage using Metromile and save big. Why pay for miles you aren’t driving, when you can get more accurate and appropriate coverage and pay a base rate and only for the miles you drive? Get a free quote to see if it’s a good fit for you. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

All you Need to Know About Street Sweeping in Los Angeles

Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat, filled with anxiety that you missed street sweeping in Los Angeles, again? Whether you’ve racked up a number of street sweeping tickets already or just want to avoid them and keep your budget intact, it’s important to be aware of street cleaning Los Angeles times and dates. Whether you live, work, or hang out in downtown, Koreatown, Hollywood, or elsewhere, you want to arm yourself with knowledge and be prepared to avoid those pesky tickets. Read on to learn more about how to prepare for street sweeping in Los Angeles as well as Los Angeles street sweeping holidays.

Guide to Street Cleaning Los Angeles | Metromile

How does street cleaning in Los Angeles work? 

Street cleaning in Los Angeles is managed by the Public Works department of Los Angeles County. According to the Bureau of Street Services in Los Angeles, there are 4,700 curb miles that have restricted parking areas in order to maintain street cleaning. 

The street sweeping process effectively removes trash and various types of pollutants from the streets, making areas of the city cleaner and more hygienic. Plus, it helps unwanted materials from getting into the storm drains and ultimately in the ocean. Given that LA’s beaches are one of the top perks of the city, it’s a win-win and a much-needed service. 

In Los Angeles, some areas have specific signs that denote when street sweeping is and that you shouldn’t park there. It can be a bit confusing as in other areas there aren’t signs but are still designated street sweeping times. That’s why it’s key to review the street sweeping map for your area (more on that later). 

Many areas have 1 to 2-hour blocks of time where you’re unable to park there due to street cleaning. 

If you don’t end up moving your car in time for street cleaning, you may get hit with a ticket and have to pay a fine. 

When is street cleaning in my area?

If you’re an LA resident, you want to know when street cleaning is happening in your area. The first thing to note is that as of May 1, 2021, the street sweeping schedule in Los Angeles changed to twice a month in residential areas, however many major streets still have street cleaning once a week. 

To check the street cleaning schedule in Los Angeles, you can look at the Los Angeles map here. 

Street Cleaning Los Angeles Map

Source/credit: LA County Department of Public Works website 

You can also review this calendar by the Bureau of Street Services to see the 2021 Los Angeles street sweeping schedule. You can also view this Los Angeles County Public Works Residential Street Sweeping Calendar for 2021 all the way up until 2026. 

You can also check out this street sweeping routes in Los Angeles map. Additionally, you can check out specific addresses here and even sign up for notifications in your area about street cleaning. 

How much is a street cleaning ticket in Los Angeles?

Getting a street cleaning ticket in Los Angeles isn’t exactly cheap at $73 a pop. That means every time you miss street sweeping and don’t move your car, you could get hit with a $73 ticket. If you get a ticket every few months, that’s several hundred dollars a year. 

What are the Los Angeles street sweeping holidays?

There are certain Los Angeles street sweeping holidays that can offer you a break from having to move your car. According to the Public Works of LA County website, the following are observed holidays:

  • New Year Day* – January 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Third Monday in January
  • President’s Day – Third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day – Last Monday in May
  • Cesar Chavez Day – Last Monday in March
  • Independence Day* – July 4
  • Labor Day – First Monday in September
  • Indigenous People Day – Second Monday in October
  • Veteran’s Day – November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day – Fourth Thursday in November
  • Day After Thanksgiving – Fourth Friday in November
  • Christmas Day* – December 25

The asterisks refer to when the holidays are observed based on the day they fall on. The holidays with asterisks that occur on a Saturday are observed on the previous Friday. If it happens to fall on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the Monday after. 

How to avoid getting street cleaning tickets in Los Angeles?

Getting a street cleaning ticket is no one’s idea of a good time and can turn a perfectly fine day into an annoying one. If you want to avoid street cleaning tickets in Los Angeles, you can:

  • Put calendar reminders in your phone
  • Sign-up for street sweeping notifications
  • Use the Metromile app to get alerts about street sweeping in your area. Metromile customers get the added benefit of getting text, email, or push notifications about street sweeping 12 hours ahead of time and also 1 hour ahead, to make sure you move that car and avoid that ticket! Metromile has your back and uses local data to ensure you’re alerted when the street sweeper is on its way. As a customer, you get to pay for only the miles you drive plus a low base rate and get reminders for street sweeping to keep money in your pocket. 

Is it okay to park after the street sweeper passes? 

If you’re waiting until the street sweeper passes to move your car back, you might want to think again. According to the Public Works site, a parking enforcement officer is within their rights to give you a citation during the no parking period whether the street sweeper has passed or not. The best way to avoid a street sweeping ticket in Los Angeles is to not park during the restricted hours. 

The bottom line 

If you live in the City of Angels, you’re well aware of the importance of becoming fluent in reading parking signs and understanding when street sweeping in Los Angeles occurs. The street sweepers come and the officers can be ruthless, so you want to do your part to avoid a ticket and move your car on time. Using Metromile, you can get alerts without all the hassle and also may get more affordable coverage depending on how much you drive. Get a free quote today and consider making the switch. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

How to Get Into a Locked Car

You go to your car and you have the unfortunate realization that you’re locked out. Maybe you locked your keys in the car or the keys are lost or in a mere moment, the keys break in what feels like a freak accident. You want to scream internally, but you try to remain calm. What do you do? It doesn’t matter if you’re on a road trip or just on your way back from the grocery store, these things can happen with no warning at all. Though it can be annoying and frustrating, here are some tips for how to get into a locked car.

Locked Keys In Car? Here’s What To Do Next | Metromile

1. Troubleshoot Your Locks

If you realize, “OMG, I locked my keys in my car” and are starting to freak out, the first step is to breathe. The next step is to troubleshoot your locks. The good news is you might be able to find a way back in by simply checking all of your car doors. 

If you locked keys in car or lost them, there might be a door lock that did not close properly. Try all of the car doors and windows to see if you can get in. If you’re successful and do get in this way, great! Just be sure to fix the malfunctioning lock once you’ve retrieved your car keys, as unlocked cars are one of the top causes of car break-ins.

If you have your keys on you, but your car door lock is broken or malfunctioning, you can try getting into the car through your trunk. 

Even if you don’t have a hatchback, you might be able to get into your car to unlock the doors through the trunk. Once you have your physical key (if you have one) try to unlock the door, as there may be an issue with your car’s remote that is preventing you from entering the vehicle. 

2. Phone a Friend or Family Member

If you locked keys in car, it’s natural to panic a bit and wonder how the issue will get fixed. Being locked out of your car can put you in a vulnerable position, even if it does not seem like a full-blown roadside emergency. That’s why it’s crucial to call a friend or family member if there’s one nearby. 

You’re put at risk by having to potentially get help from strangers or stand by the side of the road, so it is always a good idea to let people in your life know where you are and the situation you’re facing. If they can’t help you figure out how to get into a locked car, they can provide some much-needed emotional support, and also it can be a good safety measure to know your whereabouts. 

In the absolute best-case scenario, your family member or friend has a spare key you can use to unlock your car and remedy the issue. But even if they don’t have a key, they may be able to help out by bringing you some supplies to help you manually unlock the door. Some tools that you might find helpful include: shoelaces (or comparable string), a doorstop, and a wire coat hanger, to name a few (more on that later).

3. Use Your Shoelace

If you’re trying to figure out how to get into a locked car, you’re probably not thinking that your shoes might come to the rescue. In fact, your shoelace may be able to help you unlock your car. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with every type of car lock. In order for this to work, your car has to have post locks, which are the type of locks that stick straight up on the window sill. 

You pull up to unlock them and can clearly see them from outside the car. If you have that type of car lock, here’s what to do:

  • Start by removing your shoelace from one of your shoes. 
  • Eyeball around 5 inches from the middle of the lace. 
  • Tie a slip knot at that point. 
  • Work the shoelace between the door and the doorframe of the car at the midpoint, holding one end of the lace at the top of the window, and the other end on the side where the door would open.
  • Use a flossing motion to loop the slip knot around the post lock. 
  • Pull on both ends of the shoelace to grip the post and pull upward while continuing to restrict/tighten the knot. 

Hopefully, that will help unlock your car. If you’re wearing slip-on shoes or sandals and don’t have shoes with laces, if you’re with someone else see if you can borrow their shoelaces. 

4. Use DIY Tools to Reach Inside

When it comes to tips for purchasing a car, chances are you didn’t consider whether your vehicle had post locks or not. If your car doesn’t have those types of locks, the good news is there are many DIY-friendly methods to get back into your locked car. Here are some tools you can use:

A coat hanger

If you have horizontal locks, you may be able to use a coat hanger by untwisting and molding it into a hook shape. Once you do that, try to use the car door and maneuver the hook around the lock. Then pull to see if it unlocks. 

A screwdriver and metal rod 

If you have a screwdriver and a metal rod, you can try to get your car door unlocked as well if you don’t have the keys. Use the screwdriver to open some space and then take the metal rod and push into the lock to see if it opens. Just be careful as these tools can damage the vehicle. 

Spatula 

You might even find kitchen tools like a spatula may help if you’re trying to figure out how to get into a locked car. Take a spatula and place it between the car door to create space and pry the door open. If you can get the door to open with the spatula you can unlock it from the inside. 

An air bag pump wedge

You can also get an air bag pump wedge that can be used to open your car door. Using this tool, the air is pushed between the car doors to make a door opening that is big enough to use tools so that you can effectively unlock the car. 

Plastic 

If you have a strip of plastic, you can fold the plastic into a U-shape, and then with the bottom closed portion you can place it between the door jamb and lift it up. 

5. Get Professional Help

Having locked keys in car is stressful enough. Sometimes you don’t have the time or energy to DIY it or your DIY attempts simply don’t work. If you’ve tried to figure out how to get into a locked car to no avail, it’s time to call the professionals. 

Roadside assistance 

You can get roadside assistance to help you with your car lock situation. These professionals can come to your location, but you do need to know where your car is. The good news is you can use the GPS function on your Metromile App, so you can locate your car even if you had to leave it to get a signal. For customers with roadside assistance support, help will come to your location and open your car for you (one of the added perks of being a Metromile customer). 

Locksmith

If you don’t have roadside assistance, you’ll want to contact a car locksmith to help you get into your locked car. They’ll be able to open your car without causing any damage and fix any broken locks that may have led to this predicament. On top of that, a car locksmith can make you new keys if yours have been lost or broken.

The bottom line 

If you’ve locked keys in car and are trying to figure out how to get into a locked car, follow these steps. Whether it’s DIY or calling a professional, there are a lot of ways to open a locked car. Just be sure to avoid potentially dangerous options like breaking the window or using tools such as slim jims as they are a bit risky nowadays as modern cars have important wires stored in these spaces. Using the options listed above, you can get into your car safely. 
If you want to get the added bonus of roadside assistance and affordable car insurance, check out pay-per-mile insurance with Metromile. It’s a smarter, more affordable way to pay for coverage based on the miles you actually drive. Pay a low base rate plus per-mile, so if you drive less, you can save more. Get your free quote using Metromile.

Ralph Goodman is a security expert and lead writer for the Lock Blog, the #1 locksmith blog on the Internet. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about locks, safety and security. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, homeowners, locksmiths, and security professionals. Ralph has been featured widely throughout the web on sites such as Business Insider, Zillow, Bluetooth, Apartments.com, CIO and Safewise.

Welcome Adam Harrington, VP, Marketing

We’re excited to welcome Adam Harrington on board as our new VP, Marketing on the Growth team, where he’ll be leading the teams that catapult our community of happy drivers into its next phase of growth. 

Adam joins us from the east coast—he’s a born and raised Bostonian—and is an insurance veteran, joining us from a large insurance carrier where he built key marketing functions from the ground up.

Welcome Adam Harrington, VP, Marketing

Why Metromile? “The insurance industry has gone practically unchanged for decades and Metromile is challenging the status quo with their pay-per-mile model. I had written out my vision for the next phase of my career and I wanted to work for a company that’s building a customer-first, digitally native product. It feels good to market a product that gives customers peace of mind and a fair, flexible price.”

The chance to work on a car insurance product that’s priced for the changing world excites Adam. There’s no reason for insurance to stay the same. 

We asked Adam what convinced him to make the switch. “I believe in Metromile’s product philosophy. And when you believe in a product, you believe you can help it grow. We know our style of insurance can be sold profitably—it’s just a matter of getting it in the hands of more drivers.”

“There’s an opportunity to make auto insurance less commoditized, more personalized. And by doing that we create fairer pricing for everybody that’s based on their true behavior.”

The chance to work on a product that’s fair and flexible means a lot to Adam, especially when that flexibility can transform what often feels like a legally obligated bummer into something better, or actually delightful. In a changing world, it’s actually possible to really like your insurance and your insurer.

His impression so far? “The team is incredibly talented and I’m excited to dig in. Everyone believes that Metromile is making the world better, and is working towards a shared vision.  They truly care about the customer.”

We asked Adam about his vision for marketing at Metromile. “Create a brand that our employees and customers are proud of, and that meets drivers where they want to do business with us.”

Here’s to bringing that vision to life, Adam. Welcome on board!

What is a Mileage Tax and the Vehicle Mileage Tax Program, Explained

On June 24, 2021, President Biden announced a $1.2 trillion dollar “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework” as part of his “Build Back Better vision” notes a White House press release on the matter.  As of September 30, 2021, the vote on the Infrastructure Bill was delayed. Part of the package includes proposing a vehicle mileage tax pilot program. Read on to learn what you need to know about vehicle mileage tax.

Everything You Need to Know About Vehicle Mileage Tax | Metromile

What is a mileage tax?

Mileage tax is a type of tax that is paid by the driver based on miles driven. You can think of it as a pay-per-mile tax that subsidizes government programs and can be thought of as a “road user charge”. The vehicle mileage tax is typically based on how many miles you drive in a particular time frame, like a year or quarter. 

What is the vehicle mileage tax program? 

Currently, there is talk on social media about the vehicle mileage tax program. Users are expressing concerns about the cost of driving and incorrectly stating that it would cost drivers 8 cents a mile, per a USA Today story. 

In reality, the vehicle mileage tax program that is included in the infrastructure bill proposes a three-year pilot program to study the viability of a road user charge. The program would begin in 2022 and after the three-year period is up, it may be voted into law by Congress. 

How does the pay-per-mile vehicle mileage tax program work? 

According to the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” document:

“The Secretary shall establish a program to test the feasibility of a road usage fee and other user-based alternative revenue mechanisms (referred to in this section as “user-based 

alternative revenue mechanisms”) to help maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, through pilot projects at the State, local, and regional level.”

The program is designed to test out alternative revenue streams that are user-based, conduct outreach as well as education about these programs, assess their acceptance in the community as well as address privacy concerns about getting tracked by the mile, and more. 

There are national as well as state programs that will try out the per-mile user fees. Given that it’s a pilot program and not established into law, it requires passenger and commercial drivers’ participation. 

Volunteers from all 50 states will be solicited to participate in this program. Various telematics devices will be used such as on-board diagnostic devices, smartphone apps, and more. 

These devices will track the miles driven within a specific time period. Volunteers as part of the vehicle mileage tax pilot program will pay per-mile taxes based on the amount of miles driven, within a particular quarter of the calendar year. 

Is the per-mile mileage tax replacing the gas tax?

You might wonder if the per-mile vehicle mileage tax will replace the gas tax also known as the Motor Fuel Tax (MFT). Unfortunately, it’s not clear. 

For some background, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website notes that since the early 2000s many states have been trying to come up with solutions to replace MFT. 

Based on data from the National Association of State Budget Officers’ 2019 State Expenditure Report, motor fuel taxes are the largest transportation source of revenue coming in at 39.8%.

Seeing as many states are making moves to reduce emissions and make vehicles less reliant on fuel with the boom of electric cars, there are ideas floating around about how to navigate this going forward, which is one reason the per-mile tax or road user charge is coming into conversation. These can also be referred to as “Vehicle Miles Traveled” (VMT) or “Mileage-Based User Fees” (MBUF). 

There are already some states that are trying out regional pilot programs but the infrastructure bill is bringing it to a national and statewide level. 

Which states are included in the vehicle mileage tax pilot program? 

The National Motor Vehicle Per-Mile User Fee Pilot Program is not in effect as of yet, but if it moves forward it intends to attract volunteers from all 50 states. It will include passenger and commercial vehicle drivers as well. 

Although the program intends to attract drivers from various geographic locations and all 50 states, it is a pilot program where you must volunteer and opt into. 

According to a Washington Post article on vehicle mileage tax, Oregon and Utah are already launching per-mile programs. A more recent posting on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website notes that there are 14 state and regional pilots that have received federal grants to implement these programs.

Expect more states to get on board with road user charges (RUC). An earlier blog from NCSL stated:

“State legislatures continue to debate RUC legislation. In 2019 and 2020, at least 19 states—Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington—considered 34 pieces of legislation addressing RUC. Of those, at least seven states—Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington—have enacted eight pieces of legislation. Five states—Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Vermont—currently have seven pending pieces of legislation, including carryover bills from 2019.”

The bottom line 

The new vehicle mileage tax pilot program is in the infrastructure bill and could be in place in 2022 as part of the pilot program lasting three years. It won’t necessarily affect you until then unless you opt into the pilot program. However, it’s something to monitor and be aware of as many states are looking for alternatives to Motor Fuel Tax. 

If you want to save money based on how much (or how little) you drive, consider pay-per-mile auto insurance that offers you a car insurance premium based on an affordable base rate plus the miles you actually drive. Get a free quote today. 



Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

7 Ways to Prevent Car Break-Ins

If you’ve ever arrived at your car and seen glass shattered, you feel it in the pit of your stomach as you realize you’ve been a victim of a car break-in. Worse, you may realize your car is completely gone and has been stolen. Dealing with car burglary can be unsettling. Having your items taken from you and replacing broken windows or more can be frustrating too. 

If you live in a major city, you probably know the obvious tips of how to prevent your car from being broken into or stolen. You know that leaving a bag visible is thief bait, and a rogue phone is even more enticing. But with break-ins on the rise, it’s probably a smart idea to take extra precautions. In fact, in San Francisco alone, there was a staggering 753% increase in car break-ins from May 2020 to May 2021 according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Given the fact that cars may be staying in place longer due to people driving less while working from home, you want to make moves to protect your car. Here is how to prevent car break-ins.

prevent_car_break_in

1. Lock the car doors and make sure your windows are completely closed 

The first thing you want to do to prevent car break-ins is to double-check that your car is actually locked and that your windows are completely closed. Although this may seem obvious, up to 25% of vehicle thefts are from unlocked cars. Similarly, an open window invites the same fate. Even if you’re doing a quick run inside a gas station, that’s still enough time for a thief to make moves. 

2. Invest in an anti-theft device 

If you want to take your car burglary prevention to the next level, you want to invest in an anti-theft device. A car alarm is the first level of thief-deterrent, but there are many other preventive measures you can take. For example, there are several anti-theft devices you can choose from:

Using one or more of these options can help you take steps to prevent car break-ins and car burglary. On top of that, using an anti-theft device can help lower your car insurance rate, too. 

3. Park in populated areas with lots of light

If you leave your car on a dark, lonely street there may be a higher chance of a car break-in without anyone around to notice. That’s why it’s best to park in populated areas with lots of other people and cars and in areas with lots of lighting as well. 

Parking directly under a street lamp is a good idea when possible. Those who break into cars and also steal thrive on darkness and having no one around, so take these steps to help mitigate risk. 

4. Hide all of your belongings 

The common advice to avoid car break-ins is to hide your valuables. But to go even further, you should hide all of your belongings, whether they’re truly valuable to you or not. Why? Because a car thief or burglar doesn’t know the difference until they break into your car and find out. 

I once left a bottle of shampoo and conditioner in a bag in my car. The next morning I went to my car, the window was broken and the bag was gone. I couldn’t care less about those items being gone, but having to get the window replaced was a hassle and extra money. Your best bet is to keep next to nothing in your car. Your second-best bet is to keep things in the trunk or glove compartment, so they’re out of sight for any potential intruders. 

5. Get your windows tinted 

Given the fact that car break-ins can happen after nosy intruders see something they potentially want in your window, it can also be a good idea to get your windows tinted. Adding a darker hue to your window can make it difficult to see through the windows, acting as a barrier to would-be car thieves. 

Just be sure to check the local state guidelines and laws about window tinting to make sure you’re in compliance. 

6. Make inside and outside less appealing 

If you want to know how to prevent car break-ins, you need to make the inside and outside of your car less appealing. That means no flashy signs or decals, expensive gear, or even an upgraded stereo. While a really good stereo while driving can make listening to tunes fun as you drive down the road, a really sweet stereo system is just asking to be stolen. 

If you have a faceplate, you might want to remove it when you’re not in the vehicle just to be safe. Though an NPR article in 2009 noted that car stereo theft was on the decline and cut in half from the previous 15 years, you still want to be careful. 

The key is to make sure your car looks basic and minimal on the inside and outside to attract less attention. Also, don’t think you’re off the hook if you have an older vehicle. 

Older and stereotypical “family cars” are more desirable to a thief because of the demand and resale value of the car parts and the fact that they may be easier to steal. In fact, as of 2017 in Spokane, the car stolen the most was a 90s Subaru Legacy, according to this article from King5.

7. Avoid leaving the car unattended 

Think you’ll just double park and leave your car unattended and running, while you hop into your apartment to get the gym bag you forgot? Think again. At all costs, avoid leaving your car running and unsupervised. That’s an invitation for trouble and in a way that makes it super easy to do a car break-in or just straight-up steal your car. 

The bottom line 

Figuring out how to prevent car break-ins can take some work but it’s worth the extra precautions. If you’ve had a car break-in or car burglary, check your auto insurance coverage. If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, that could cover you in the event that your car is damaged during a robbery. You want to check your policy for specific details, but if you only have liability insurance, you won’t be covered. 

In the unfortunate event that your car is stolen, you can follow these steps. If you’re a pay-per-mile insurance customer with Metromile, your Metromile Pulse device doubles as a car locator. We’ve used it to recover stolen cars in the past!

Not a Metromile customer but want added car break-in protection? Get that and potentially a lower car insurance premium. Get your free quote and pay only for the miles you drive plus a low base rate. 

How to Sell a Car In Oregon in 7 Steps

Whether you live in the City of Roses or in the ‘burbs in Oregon, if you have a car you want to get rid of you want to get the most out of selling it. Right now the used car market is booming. Instead of going the easy route and trading it in at a dealership, you may be able to get more money selling on the private market. Here’s how to sell a car in Oregon and what you should know.

How to Sell a Car in Oregon | Metromile

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle 

The first thing you want to do is prepare your vehicle for selling. That means cleaning out your car and removing your belongings and any trash. Getting a car wash, buffing out any scratches, and putting in a car air freshener. While you may not be able to replicate the new car smell, you can freshen it up and prepare it for a new home. Getting your car prepared ahead of time and nice and clean can help you sell your vehicle faster and get a better deal. 

Step 2: Take pretty photos of your car 

After your car is clean and organized, it’s time to take pretty photos of your car. Your car’s photos are the first impression a buyer gets. You need to give them enough incentive to even want to see the car. 

Think of it like a dating app, but for cars. You don’t join a dating app and put up just any photos. You put up photos that make you look good and represent you well. Do the same for your car. Take full interior photos and exterior photos and remember, it’s all about angles and lighting! 

Step 3: List your vehicle on various car marketplaces 

Now that you have photos, it’s time to list your vehicle on various car marketplaces. You can place car ads on:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • OfferUp
  • AutoTrader

Be sure to write compelling copy about the car and the more detail the better! Think like a dating app, but instead of selling yourself, you’re selling a car. Also, like a dating app, expect that many people will waste your time with one-off messages or questions that are already answered in your listing. But be patient and entertain serious buyers by replying in a timely fashion and with details as needed. 

Step 4: Say yes to an inspection if asked 

How do you separate the flakes and the serious buyers when it comes to selling a car in Oregon? Well, the serious buyers typically want an inspection. The buyer is usually on the hook for this and may bring the car to a mechanic of their choice, but you still want to be a willing participant and help out with the coordination. While it’s an added step, it means they’re serious.

Step 5: Get your documents in order 

If you have a buyer that’s interested, to start selling a car in Oregon you want to get your documents in order first. Get the owner’s manual ready, any vehicle history records, etc. You also want to gather your title, get the Oregon DMV selling a car Bill of Sale Form and the Statement of Lien Satisfaction form, if you’ve paid off your car loan. 

If you don’t have your car title, you’ll need to get a replacement title and can fill out an Application for Replacement. It’ll take about a week to get a replacement title and you’ll have to pay a fee, based on your car. 

Step 6: Sign the back of the title or the Bill of Sale to transfer ownership 

As part of selling a car in Oregon, you need to officially transfer ownership in one of two ways, per the Oregon DMV:

  1. Sign the back of your vehicle title. 
  2. Sign the Bill of Sale Form. 

You also want to make sure your lienholder signs the front of the title if you had a loan on the vehicle. It needs to be paid off and signed off by the lienholder in order to sell. 

Additionally, if the car is less than 10 years old both you and the buyer will need to report the mileage on the odometer on the back of the title or on the Secure Odometer Disclosure form, which you must request to be mailed to you here. If it’s older than 10 years, you don’t need to do this part. 

Doing one of these two steps is integral to complete the Oregon DMV selling a car process. 

Step 7: Report the sale using DMV2U within 10 days

After accepting the money and transferring the title, you need to report the sale of the vehicle using DMV2U online within 10 days. You’ll need the VIN number to make that happen. 

If you’d rather have a paper trail, you can fill out the Notice of Sale Form and mail it here:

DMV 
1905 Lana Ave NE 
Salem, OR 97314 

This is important as it releases you of any liability with the car. So if there is any type of infraction with the vehicle, the DMV knows you’re not the owner anymore. The buyer also needs to do their part in transferring the title to make it all official. 

The bottom line 

If you’re interested in figuring out how to sell a car in Oregon, take these seven steps to get started. Once you complete the seven steps, make sure to report the sale to finalize the Oregon DMV selling a car process. After selling a car in Oregon, it might be time to buy a new car and get affordable car insurance. You can check out rates and providers like Metromile, which offers pay-per-mile insurance so you don’t pay more than you need to, ever. You pay for utilities based on usage, and gas by the gallon. Why not pay for insurance by the miles you actually drive? Grab your free quote today. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Introducing our Values: Nurture Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging

We spent the spring and early summer months at Metromile refreshing our values to make sure they were aligned with who we are, the work we’re doing, and the future we’re building. The end result? Five updated value statements that express how we operate and treat each other:

  • Create fiercely loyal customers.
  • Invent the future
  • Be intellectually persistent
  • Be outcome oriented
  • Nurture diversity, inclusion, and belonging

When we put our values in writing and commit to them, we’re saying something about what’s important to us as an organization, but also what’s important to our stakeholders, customers, and employees.

The best way to introduce our values is to let Metromilers speak for themselves. After all, values don’t mean much without the people who believe in them.

Metromile Values: Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Nurture Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

“I’ve never worked at a company that is so involved in making sure that there is equality across the board…that there are women represented in leadership, that there are other backgrounds represented in leadership.”

Megan Kurin is a Senior Process Manager at Metromile. She works with Enterprise customers  – often other insurers – who are interested in licensing Metromile’s technology. Megan works across a wide variety of departments and outside organizations, and is a self-described ‘insurance geek.’

“Metromilers really do look at people from the work product that they do versus who they are,” Megan said. “I think that’s really important, especially as a woman in the insurance industry, I feel like I can always belong. I feel like I could always speak up and have a voice.”  

For Brandie Smith, a Senior Principal User Researcher at Metromile, the belonging part of diversity, inclusion, and belonging stands out.

“The company found it so important to create environments where everyone feels like they belong. That to me is really important to commit to as a company value because if it’s not happening, we can point to that value and say, ‘it needs to happen.’”

Brandie also appreciates that everyone is held accountable for living our diversity, inclusion, and belonging value.“ Rather than leaving it up to one person to fight against it, we have this stake in the ground. It shows it’s important to us and we expect everybody to contribute.”

Having that stake in the ground is key, Megan said, not just as a company goal, but as a part of daily work.

“There are always groups that are driving more conversations about it. It’s easier because it’s just present every day. I don’t always have to be thinking, ‘okay, how do we get more women in leadership’? Or ‘how do we get more backgrounds in leadership’? We have a team that consistently works to make sure it stays that way and that we continue to get better and learn more.”

For Kailee Rackham-Wojtasek, a Customer Experience Trainer at Metromile, it’s clear that diversity, inclusion, and belonging are central to Metromile’s culture.

“We are a united front. I’ve worked at a lot of places which profess to have strong culture and values, but there is no company-wide alignment on those values. I never have any doubt that I can reach out to a Metromiler with my questions or curiosities.”

Metromile Recruiter Brigitte Garay agrees, saying “Because we understand the value that everyone brings regardless of age, race, sexual orientation etc., nurturing, diversity, inclusion, and belonging is who we are daily.”

“It’s literally in the fabric of being a Metromiler”

* * *

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Metromilers. Look out for more on the other four values.

Why Is Car Insurance So Expensive, Explained

You’re reviewing your monthly expenses and combing through the list and aside from food and housing, there’s one number that jumps out at you — your car insurance. If you’ve checked your car insurance bill and wondered “Why is my car insurance so high?!”, there are a variety of reasons. Read on to learn what factors make up your car insurance rate and why your car insurance might be expensive.

Why is My Car Insurance So High? | Metromile

The type of car insurance you have 

If you look at your bill and let out a deep sigh and think “Why is car insurance so expensive?” it might have something to do with the type of insurance you have. 

Traditional car insurance rates take into account a number of factors that we’ll go over later, but you typically pay a standard monthly premium. You pay the same amount regardless of how much you drive. 

In many cases, that doesn’t make the most sense. When you drive more, you’re taking on more risk. But the converse is also true. If you drive less, you take on less risk and there is less wear and tear on the vehicle. Given we’re in pandemic times and many people have made the shift to working from home, you might be driving less than you ever have. Why wouldn’t you want to be rewarded for that?

The good news is you can be if you use pay-per-mile auto insurance. Pay-per-mile auto coverage with Metromile offers you the ability to pay a low base rate each month while paying just several cents for each mile you drive up to 250 miles per day. You pay for gas by the gallon, why not pay for insurance based on the miles you actually drive and not for anything more? 

Using Metromile, on average customers have saved $741 per year*. Imagine putting that money in the stock market, toward your student loans, or for a fun vacay. The type of insurance you have can heavily impact how much you pay for car insurance. 

Your location 

You know the saying “location, location, location” when it comes to real estate evaluations? Your location and where you live affect not only real estate values but also your car insurance. 

Consider how where you live might add additional risk factors that play into your car insurance rate. For example, do you live in a congested, population-dense city where the streets are narrow, parking is hard to come by, and break-ins are fairly commonplace? Or do you live somewhere more rural, where the streets are wide, there are more covered garages, and fewer instances of theft and damage? The weather where you live may also impact the rate as well. 

As you can see, there are many factors that are location-dependent that ultimately affect your car insurance rate. Car insurance providers use data from your zip code to make risk assessments about your area. 

How old you are 

In some cases, you might think age is “just a number” but that’s not the case when it comes to car insurance. If you’re a younger driver, you’re much more likely to have a higher car insurance premium compared to someone with more years of experience under their belt. 

Why? Well, it comes down to experience and risk. As a younger driver, you have less experience on the road and have a higher likelihood of an accident. In fact, according to CDC data, car accidents are the second leading cause of death for teens in the United States. 

The risk of dying in a car accident is about three times higher for teens ages 16 to 19 compared to drivers who are 20 and older. Teen male drivers within the 16 to 19 age group were two times more likely to die in a car accident compared to female drivers. On top of that, the risk of a car accident is higher for teens within the first few months of getting a driver’s license. 

Your driving history 

If you’re scratching your head thinking “Why is car insurance so expensive?” the first thing you want to consider is your driving history. Your driving history, or driving record, may play a big role in your car insurance rate. 

For example, if you have an at-fault accident or a speeding ticket on your record, that can affect how much you pay for car insurance. In fact, the financial site Bankrate.com states that drivers can see an average car insurance premium increase of 38% after an at-fault accident. 

If you have a DUI or DWI, that number could be even higher. If you have many back-to-back incidents, your car insurance provider may even drop you, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). 

The type of coverage you have 

When you get car insurance, there are different types of coverage you can get. For example, if you get comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, that will be at a higher price than liability only. Comprehensive, collision and liability in one policy can protect your finances in case of an accident. 

Those policies are higher priced because they cover more and help recoup costs for damages you may incur in case of an accident. Typically, you simply pay the car insurance deductible and your car insurance provider covers the rest. 

According to financial site WalletHub.com, liability coverage is on average 64% lower on its own than when combined with collision and comprehensive coverage. Most states require minimum liability coverage. While that may be more affordable, you also get what you pay for. So if you get in an accident, the financial burden may fall mostly on you. 

 Credit-based insurance score 

Your credit score and credit report aren’t just for applying for a loan or credit card. In fact, some states allow use of your credit information as a factor when determining car insurance premiums as part of creating a credit-based insurance score. The reasoning is that those with poor credit or no credit typically have a higher likelihood of filing a claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 

If you think this is an unfair metric to determine credit-based car insurance scores, there are some states that agree and have banned the use of credit scores in some capacity as it relates to car insurance. 

If you’re not in those states, the best way to boost your credit score is to make payments on your loans on time and in full, when possible. Some states may not use your credit score to set the car insurance rate but may have restrictions based on whether your policy can be canceled or non-renewed due to your credit. 

Your car’s make and model 

Do you dream of driving a corvette or mustang? You may end up paying more for car insurance because of it. In fact, your car’s make and model affect your car insurance rate. All of these factors play into the safety of the vehicle as well as how likely they are to get stolen. 

Cars that tend to be fancier and more expensive also have higher rates, as do newer cars and electric cars. So if you’re thinking of buying a car, you might want to consider how the make and model will affect your car insurance rate. 

Your insurance record 

If you want to know why is car insurance so expensive, you also want to consider your insurance record. Having car insurance is important as a driver. If there are gaps in coverage, even for a short period of time, it may impact your car insurance premium in certain states. If you switch car insurance providers, make sure there isn’t a lapse in your car insurance coverage. 

The number of miles you drive 

Do you drive a lot? That could impact your car insurance premium as well. Every time you get on the road, you’re gambling a bit with safety. The more miles you drive, the more risk you have which insurance providers have to take into account. 

When you sign-up for car insurance, you might have to provide the number of miles you drive per year which can affect your rate. If your mileage shifts, it makes sense to contact your car insurance provider. If you don’t drive that often, pay-per-mile insurance can make a lot more sense for your budget.

The bottom line 

If you’ve ever wondered “Why is my car insurance so high?” now you know there are many factors that affect how costly your premium is. There are some things that are out of your control but there are other things you can do to make car insurance more affordable. If you’re a low-mileage driver, check out pay-per-mile auto insurance. Don’t pay a penny more than you need to and only pay for the miles you drive, along with an affordable base rate. Get your free quote today.

​​Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

*Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

Your Guide to Washington State Vehicle Registration

There are certain big life changes that come with a lot of paperwork. Two examples are moving and also buying a car. In both instances, you’ll have to deal with updating your records. If you recently made the move to Washington or purchased a vehicle there, you’ll want to update your vehicle registration and make sure you’re in good standing. Read on to learn how to register a car in Washington and why it’s important.

How to Register a Car in Washington | Metromile

Do you have to register a car in Washington? 

You may think that you just need your driver’s license to legally drive but that’s not exactly true. While you do need your license, you also need to register the car you’re driving as well and likely have car insurance as well. 

In fact, all states legally require that drivers register their car within the state they live in. When you register your car, you’re creating a paper trail that shows that you own your specific vehicle. 

It’s used if you get pulled over and need to verify your identity and prove your ownership of the vehicle. Registering a car also is a way for local transportation authorities to collect fees related to you driving on the road. 

Who needs to register car in Washington? 

If you recently made the move to Washington, you’ll need to update to Washington state vehicle registration. Just like you need to update your address with the post office, your shipping and billing address when you shop online, and your health insurance, you’ll also need to update your car registration. 

If you purchased a vehicle in Washington and live there, your registration is likely taken care of for you if you bought it at a dealership. However, if you bought used from a private party, you likely need to take care of registering the car yourself. 

How to register a car in Washington?

If you need to register a car in Washington, the process will vary slightly depending if you moved or purchased a vehicle — though the processes in Washington for registering after a move and registering after a car purchase are pretty similar. 

If you’re new to the Evergreen State, you’ll need to get a Washington driver’s license first then register your car in the state and update your license plates. New residents are required to do this within 30 days of establishing residency. You’ll also need:

  • To submit your Vehicle Title Application (if mailed, will need to be signed in front of a notary) 
  • To fill out an Odometer Disclosure Statement, depending on your car model (models from 2010 or older aren’t required to do this but models from 2011 or newer are)
  • To fill out and submit a Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale, if you’ve been living in another state and the car has been registered and owned for less than 90 days 
  • To bring your current Certificate of Title (if you financed your car and are making payments, the lender should fax a copy of the title to the licensing office. Once it’s paid in full, you can apply for a Washington title.) 
  • To submit payment for registration 
  • To get your Washington license plate (in the office will be right away, by mail will take up to three weeks) 
  • To create a License eXpress account 
  • To consider creating a Good to Go! Account, if you travel on bridges or certain routes that require tolls, 

If you purchase a car from a dealership, typically they’ll handle title and registration for you. But if you purchased a used car from a private party, here’s how to register your car:

  • Fill out and submit the Vehicle Title Application (either at an office or in front of a notary) 
  • Fill out and submit the Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale which you and the seller will fill out 
  • Have your current vehicle title ready
  • Fill out and submit an Odometer Disclosure Statement, if the car is from 2011 or newer 
  • Submit payment for registration fees 
  • Get brand new license plates to reflect the new ownership 
  • Add this current vehicle to your License eXpress account 

After purchasing a vehicle from a private party, you have 15 days to transfer the ownership and get your records updated. If not, you could face penalty fees amounting to $50 on the 16th day and $2 per day every day after that, up to a maximum of $125. 

How much does it cost to register a car in Washington? 

Registering a car costs money but each state and each situation will vary. According to the Department of Licensing (DOL) site, “Fees are different for every situation and are calculated many ways. Everyone starts with the basic fees of $43.25 and things like vehicle weight, location, and taxes determine your final amount.”

The breakdown of registration fees is: 

  • Basic renewal fee = $30 
  • County filing fee = $4.50 
  • License service fee = $0.75
  • Service fee = $8 

You then pay that $43.25 on top of whatever fee is associated with the weight of your vehicle. Vehicle weight fees are:

  • $25 for cars up to 4,000 pounds
  • $45 for cars between 4,001 and 6,000 pounds
  • $65 for cars between 6,001 and 8,000 pounds
  • $72 for cars 8,001 pounds and over 

You also may have to pay a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) fee if you live in the following cities:

  • Seattle, $80+
  • Spokane, $20+
  • Wenatchee, $20+
  • Olympia, $40+

Lastly, you may need to pay additional fees if you live in King, Pierce, or Snohomish counties in the form of a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Tax. This is calculated based on the MSRP and a specific depreciation schedule set by the law. The equation to calculate the RTA tax based on DOL info is: 

Current year – year of vehicle + 1 = years of service (value decreases each year in service) Original MSRP x depreciated percentage = Depreciated value (based on years in service) Depreciated value x 1.1% (current RTA rate) = RTA amount due.

Is proof of insurance required to register car in Washington? 

If you have a vehicle that needs to be updated with a Washington state vehicle registration, you need to have proof of insurance, self insurance, certificate of deposit, or a liability bond. A 2019 law mandated that Washington drivers carry some form of minimum liability coverage. The requirements are: 

  • $25,000 to cover injury or death to another person
  • $50,000 to cover injuries or death for multiple people
  • $10,000 to cover damage to another party’s property 

Getting car insurance is one of the easiest ways to cover this requirement. If you’re on the road and caught driving without insurance you may be hit with a fine of $550 or more. If you get into an accident, you may be on the hook for any damages and your license could be suspended. 

The bottom line 

Moving or buying a car can be a big life milestone. It can also mean doing additional paperwork to make sure you’re all set. By using this guide, you can learn how to register a car in Washington and make sure you get all your records updated to Washington state car registration. 

If you’ve recently moved or just want to shop around, now is a great time to check your car insurance rate. If you don’t drive that often, you may be a low-mileage driver and get the most out of pay-per-mile insurance where you pay a nominal base rate and several cents each mile you drive. Check out your rate with Metromile to see if it’s the right fit for you. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.