Finding The Perfect Car

When you have made a solid decision about which type of car will best fit your needs, it is time to zero in on the details. You will have to decide on specifics like, make, model, color, options and more.

Of course we all would like to own a car that we have chosen every last bit of detail for, be it an unusual paint job or something as practical as an ABS system.

However the more leeway you are willing to give on your preferences, the better your chances are of making a great deal on your car purchase. There’s no need to sacrifice any options that are absolutely necessary to ensure your safety and comfort while on the road, but if you are willing to be flexible as to what color and accessories are included in the package, you may just find a more reasonable deal and certainly more options to choose from. This will give you more leverage when it comes time to bargain for the final price of the automobile.

Let’s put it this way: say you have very strict requirements about your chosen car’s paint job and rims. Or perhaps you just have to have that expensive and esoteric car stereo system. What are the chances that your car dealer has a car in stock with those exact same specifications? Fairly slim actually and if they do have what you want in stock, chances are you will have no other choice but to pay the price the dealer is asking for. Either that or find another car dealer who does carry your chosen model in stock but is willing to lower the price.

Of course if you do find the model you want with the specifications you want, you wouldn’t want the dealer to know that so you can proceed with the negotiation as if you were just not that particular about the little details.

You may want to call several car dealerships in your area and ask about your chosen car model. This will give you an idea how much of them are available so you can then plan your bargaining strategy accordingly. Keep track of the results you gather from your inquiries; make notes detailing the name and contact information of the dealer and what line of cars they carry. This will help you get a clearer picture of all the options available to you when you make your final decision.

Eight Tips For The Road Ahead

 

Whether you’re traveling alone, with a buddy or with your spouse and a car full of kids, there are few things more “American” than the long-distance road trip. Countless vacation travelers will drive the highways looking for fun and making memories with every mile.

If traveling down the “holiday road” is in your plans, take the time to prepare for your trip. You’ll have a more enjoyable vacation if you plan carefully. Here are a few driving tips courtesy of Drive Insurance from Progressive.

1) Maintain your car. Make sure your vehicle is up to date on its maintenance schedule, and be sure to check the battery and tires.

2) Plan your trip and know where you’re going. Call ahead for proper and safe directions to get you to your destination safely and have maps of the area on hand to help you navigate once you are off the main road. You’re more likely to make good decisions, even in dangerous situations, if you’re clearheaded and know where you’re going.

3) Be alert. Seems obvious, but driver inattention is surely the cause of a lot of accidents. If you stay focused behind the wheel and plan carefully, you will have a wonderful summer road trip.

4) Take precaution with a cell phone. Cell phones can be a lifesaver when you need immediate access to emergency services after an accident. Keep your phone within easy reach and get to know its features. However, use it prudently. Reports suggest that driving while talking on the phone increases accident rates.

5) Wear your seat belt. Whether or not it’s required by law in the state through which you’re driving, always wear your seat belt as a safety precaution.

6) Protect your car against theft. Help deter criminals from taking your car with steering wheel locks, switches that disable fuel or ignition systems, and electronic tracking devices.

7) If you’re in an accident. Taking immediate steps if you’ve been in an accident can protect your family and your car from further damage. Stop immediately and make sure your car is not blocking traffic. Turn off your car to keep it from overheating or catching fire. Warn oncoming cars using road flares or orange triangle reflectors. After you have protected yourself and your family, call your insurance company immediately.

8) Make sure your auto insurance is up to date. Before you even leave the driveway, you want to be sure you’re protected when you’re on the road and far from home. An independent insurance agent or broker can provide the personal service and advice you need to travel in confidence. To find an agent or broker, go to driveinsurance.com.

 

To be safe, be smart on your next long-distance road trip.

Car Maintenance and Repairs

Tires

Use all-season tires. These tires should carry you safely from season to season, but it is imperative that you check the tires regularly for wear or damage. Ideally, tires should be checked on a weekly basis. If you live somewhere that there is a lot of snow and ice, winter tires are a must.

Brakes
The brake system serves one main purpose: to slow down or stop the car when it is needed. If you step on the brake pedal and it goes all the way to the floor, you’ve got trouble. Late model automobiles are equipped with a brake warning light. This dashboard indicator will light up if something is wrong with your brake system. If your brake warning light indicates trouble, it is imperative that you check the brake system immediately. Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance advice, and call an experienced mechanic for repairs. Brake repairs or replacements are no jobs for a weekend or hobby mechanic.

Headlights
In 2005, over 2,300 pedestrians died because drivers suffered eye problems or had faulty headlights in the automobiles. Properly maintained vehicle headlights help you drive safely, and see more clearly. Replace your headlight bulbs at least once per year.

Wipers
Many people don’t think of changing their wiper blades until it is too late. This is one of the easiest and most inexpensive parts of the car to maintain. Change your wiper blades twice a year, in the spring and just before winter.

There are 10 common reasons why automobile owners visit the mechanic:

1. Electronic/Ignition control
2. Suspension/steering
3. Electrical problem
4. Brake system
5. Oil change/filters/lube
6. Exhaust system
7. Radiator repairs
8. Fuel system/carburetor
9. Clutch/transmission
10. Air conditioning system

Routine check-ups and proper maintenance of a car be expensive, and budget restrictions are often the leading factors in keeping car owners from living up to their responsibilities. This does not need to be a problem. The key is in knowing how to save on car maintenance and repairs. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) confirmed that $20 billion has been wasted on unnecessary auto repairs due to fraud and incompetence.

If your car is not performing to its full potential, remember the following tips to help you save money on repairs:

Preventive Maintenance
Be your car’s best friend, and you can save a bundle. By conducting regular preventative maintenance, such as regular oil changes and radiator flushes, you prevent unnecessary damage to the car and save a lot of money in the long run. Regular check-ups by a qualified repairperson will keep your car running better, longer.

Conserve
Even automobiles need to take a break now and then. If you drive your car every day the miles will add up quickly, and damage can occur prematurely. To avoid this, consider carpooling with friends and coworkers. Ask around to form your own carpool group. You’ll all save on maintenance, and you’ll be able to pool your fuel and parking expenses.

Estimate
Before choosing a mechanic to repair your car, be sure to get a written estimate. If the mechanic wants more than your budget can afford, shop around. Compare estimates to find the best deal. Just be sure that you are paying for quality service.

Do It Yourself
You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish after doing a little research. Read over your owner’s manual from time to time. Learn as much as you can about your car. Understand potential problems and how to solve them. For example, that mysterious clunking noise might be bothersome but could be as simple to fix as tightening a bolt. Regular maintenance tasks like oil changes and radiator flushes are fairly easy to do if you understand your vehicle and take the time to do the job properly.

As an automobile owner, you have a responsibility to keep your car properly maintained at all times. Consider it an investment in your car’s future, and remember that it could save a life.

What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down On The Road

 

I have to admit one of my fears when I hit the road is breaking down, especially if I am going somewhere unfamiliar. I am thankful we have cell phones now and can call from just about anywhere but what do you do while waiting for help to arrive?

First off you shouldn’t stop unless it is a real emergency. If it is possible to keep going and find a safe place to pull over you should. It is not only safer but can make it easier to get help. But sometimes you have a sincere emergency and need to stop. Here are some tips on how to stop safely and keep you, your passengers, and other vehicles on the road safe.

1. Stop as far onto the right side of the road as you can and keep your wheels turned away from the road.

2. Turn on your hazard lights.

3. If you must exit the vehicle get out on the side away from the road. Make sure your passengers do the same. This will keep you from being hit.

4. If you are traveling with animals keep them in the car. They sense your panic and if they get out they may run away. If they must use the potty, etc, make sure they are leashed when they exit the vehicle.

5. If you have reflective jackets, wear them. This will insure that other drivers see you, especially at night.

6. If you are on a regular road put out your hazard triangle. If you are on a highway, don’t. It is too dangerous to be around the back of your car.

The most important thing is to call for help and stay safe. Do not exit the vehicle unless you absolutely have to. Call for roadside assistance as soon as possible and wait for it to arrive. Getting out and traveling on foot can be even more dangerous than staying in the vehicle.

Don’t panic. Just stay safe and wait for help to arrive.

20 Tips To Cheaper Auto Insurance

 

1. Buy from the internet. Most companies offer a discount for online applications as this is automated process and costs them a lot less to process your application, you can usually see discounts of 5%-10%.

2. Shop around. All insurance companies use different formulas to calculate your insurance premium by adding or detracting money after each question the ask you. By shopping around you could find big savings on your insurance premium.

3. Buy extra products. Most insurance companies also do other insurance products ie”Building’s and content’s insurance”. Most insurance companies will give extra discounts for purchasing more than one product, instalments by doing this you could save a fair amount on all your insurance premiums.

4. Pay your insurance premium in one go. By paying your insurance premium in full you can avoid paying costly interest charges that would be added if you paid your insurance installments. Some insurance companies may charge as much as 15% APR on installments. You may even receive a discount for paying in full. If you can not afford to pay in full check out what rate a small loan would be you may still save some money. Fill out an online loan application.

5. Increase your voluntary excess.Your excess is the amount paid by you in the event of a claim,  by increasing this your insurance company should reduce your premium.

6. Lower your annual mileage. Lowering your annual mileage can reduce your premium, most insurance companies will quote you for around 12,000 miles a year. Try and work out how many miles you will do if it’s likely to be less you may get a discount. Be honest about this as your insurance company may ask to see old MOT’S and service history to verify your mileage in the event of an accident.

7. Have an Alarm, Immobiliser or Tracker fitted. Theft of and from your vehicle plays a major role in the calculation of your insurance premium. Having an alarm or immobilizer fitted will give you a small discount to your premium and having a tracker fitted could make you quite a saving.

8. Take the advanced driving test. Passing your advanced driving test will show your insurance company that you have extra skill when driving and are less likely to be involved in an accident.

9. Don’t inflate the value of your car. Adding extra value to your car when you apply for your insurance quote will do nothing for you apart from increasing your premium. In the event your car is stolen or written off you will only be paid the market value of your car at the time of your accident.

10.Look after your credit rating. Insurance companies are now looking at your credit score as part of the calculation for your insurance premium. Maintaining a good credit rating could avoid unnecessary additions to your premium.

11. Insure your car Third Party Only. Third party only is the minimum cover you are required to have by law it’s also the cheapest. If your vehicle is of a low value then you could consider this type of cover. You need to remember that with this type of cover if you was to have a accident that any damage to your vehicle would not be covered for repair.

12. Keep a clean license- Insurance companies take driving convictions very seriously and can dramatically increase your car insurance premium, by maintaining a clean licence proves to the insurance you are a safe and careful driver.

13. Remove any unnecessary drivers. If you have a young driver on your insurance policy that no longer use’s the vehicle you should remove them as this will reduce your premium.

14. Young driver’s add an older driver. Some insurance companies will reduce young drivers premiums if they have a older named driver on the insurance.

15. Build up your no-claims discount- One of the biggest factors affecting your car insurance premium is the number of years no-claim’s discount. You could receive up to 75% discount for around 5 years of no claims. The more years you can stay claim free the safer driver your insurance company will see you as.

16. Protect your no-claims discount. Although this will increase your insurance premium if you have a lot of years of no-claims you may want to protect this as a small claim may increase your premium by up to 75%.

17. Buy a lower insurance group car. A very important factor to your insurance premium is what car you drive.  Most insurance companies adopt the Association Of British Insurance Group Rating. This rates vehicle’s from 1 – 20 generally speaking the higher the group the higher the premium. By buying a car with a lower group rating can lower your premium especially for young or inexperienced drivers.

18. Join a car club. If your vehicle is a classic or specialist consider joining a club related to your car most clubs offer insurance schemes which have very good premium rates.

19. Put your spouse as a named driver. Some insurance companies offer discounts when you add a spouse as a named driver as opposed to unmarried couples, they see marriage as a sign of stability and associate stability with safe driving and there for give you a discount.

20. Take pass plus. If you are a new driver consider taking your pass plus.some insurance companies could give you as much as a 25% discount and when you have just passed your test and have no no-claims this could make a considerable saving.