Buying vs. Leasing a Car

Having access to a vehicle is a must in today’s world. Often, not having a car can mean all the difference, whether it’s for personal or professional matters. But it’s also really important to have a reliable car, not just any car. There are several factors to consider when it comes to buying a car. Cars aren’t cheap, especially when buying one outright. In order to make a smart financial decision, be sure to take the following into account.

If you’re a person that likes to drive good cars but doesn’t always have the finances to afford one, leasing is an incredibly affordable option in most cases. Not always, because owning a car means that after you pay it off, it becomes yours to do what you wish with it, but for the short term having a lease negates many of the downsides of owning a car.

If you don’t spend too much time on the road or you can’t afford to purchase a car outright due to the loan being too expensive or the down payment too high, for a smaller cost you can lease practically any car you want. For example, you could lease a Mercedes and still be able to pay off the lease, because in most cases, the lease only lasts for two or three years.

Owning a car means it’s yours to do whatever you please. If you have a loan on it, every payment you make builds equity, and once you pay it off it’s completely yours. But remember, loans are more expensive and generally require bigger down payments, so if you need access to more cash each month, then leasing is the more favorable option.

One thing to note when leasing a car is that while it’s a great alternative to owning, there are some factors to consider before signing on the dotted line. Firstly, be aware that your leasing company has a limit on how many miles you can drive within the terms of the lease. If you manage to go over them you will need to pay additional fees for every mile driven over the limit. In some cases the mileage limit can be negotiated, or you can pay to increase the limit when signing the lease.

Also, if you’re accident prone or have young children that might be pose a risk of scratching the vehicle then a lease may not be the best option. Damage fees for leased vehicles can vary but they´re generally limited to the total amount of three month’s worth of lease payments.

In conclusion, both owning and leasing have their pros and cons. If you don’t have the money to purchase a new car, and maintaining an older vehicle feels like too much of a hassle, then leasing is definitely the way to go. If you plan on using the same car for the foreseeable future, and you’re looking to spend less money in the long run, then buying a car would make a lot more sense.

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Is a DUI Charge Going to Drive Your Future?

Being saddled with a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can harm you in several ways.

To start, there is the scenario where you end up going to jail and losing your driving privileges for some time. When you add in a big fine, the outcome can seem rather dire.

Another scenario is when you’ve not only gotten a DUI charge, but your actions led to an accident. As a result of that accident, one or more people get hurt. In the event the injuries prove fatal, you could be steering at some major hard times ahead.

With that being the case, it is imperative that you have an experienced DUI attorney by your side.

He or she can assist you in mounting a legal defense. That defense should do everything possible to show that you are innocent of the said charges. If it appears you will not be able to beat those charges, you at least want to fight for the best available plea deal.

So, is a DUI charge going to drive your future?

Presenting Your Side of the Story

When you are facing DUI charges, don’t take them for granted. Such charges can impact not only the present time, but also your future.

With that in mind, look at how a DUI conviction could alter your life moving forward.

Among the ways:

1. Career aspirations – For some, finding and keeping a job can be challenging enough in today’s world. Now, imagine if you’ve got a DUI conviction hanging over your head to boot. Such a conviction could hamper a present job or the ability to locate a new one. This is why beating the conviction is so important. With the right attorney by your side, you stand a better chance of walking away from the charges.

2. Personal life – Some family and friends may look at you in a different way with a DUI conviction. The level of trust you had with some of these people could change moving ahead. If someone relies on you for transport, would they again get in a vehicle with you? They may now consider you an unsafe bet when you get behind the wheel. If you have children, what kind of example would you be setting for them with a DUI conviction in your life?

3. Financial ramifications – Last, having a DUI conviction can also cause financial ramifications. For example, the fines that go with such charges can be hefty. When you have to apply again for a driver’s license, you’re looking at more money. Last, expect your auto insurance to go up with a DUI conviction on your record. As you can see, you’re not getting out of this situation with more money in your wallet.

Avoid Being a Repeat Offender

In the event you are unable to shake a DUI charge, learn from your mistake.

Sure, it can be a costly experience, but it is one that you do not want to go unnoticed.

Think twice before having a drink and getting behind the wheel next time. If you were lucky, your DUI experience did not result in an auto accident.

If you convicted of more than one DUI experience, you may lose your driver’s license for good.

Next time you think about drinking and driving, think about the repercussions.

In the end, chances are you won’t make the same mistake twice.

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How To Make Sure You Ace The Dmv Written Exam

If you are learning to drive then you will no doubt want to ace your DMV written exam so that you can get behind the wheel as soon as possible. With this being said, you will not pass the exam if you don’t prepare in the right way and as many as 4 in 10 actually fail this test the first time around. In order to pass the test first time it is important that you prepare in the right way so that you can give yourself the best possible opportunity of acing it.

We have looked at some of the most common mistakes that people make when preparing for this test in order to let you know exactly how you should be getting ready for this exam when the time comes.

Planning Ahead

From the moment that you find out when your exam will be, it is time to start getting into study mode. Many people make the mistake of studying too late in the day which means that they are putting themselves in a position whereby they will not have sufficient time to work through all that they need to study. In order to avoid rushing your studies as the exam date approaches, make sure that you are on the front foot in terms of getting started on studying for the exam.

Allotting Your Time

As with anything that you study for, it is important that you allot your time correctly when it comes to studying for this test. The best way to do this is to flick through the DMV handbook and break it down into sections. Create a time window in which to study each of these sections and then at the end of each week, do a quick recap on what you have studied to make sure that you have remembered it.

Don’t Just Read

You could sit and read the handbook until you are blue in the face and the information will not simply fall into your brain. Instead of just reading you need to be doing so in a way that highlights all of the key points that you are learning about. So, when you read through the book for the first time, you need to be underlining, making notes and highlighting the important points that you see in the handbook. Not only does this help the knowledge stay in your head, it makes it much easier to study when you read through the book again.

Practice Tests

It is important that you aren’t surprised by anything that happens when you go in to take the exam and in order to avoid this you should be doing as many practice tests as you possibly can. There are some great websites which can help you to pass your test through giving you test questions and mock exams, a great way to get some experience under your belt. Once you have been through a couple of  practice exams, you will be able to see just where you are going wrong, what form the questions take and what is expected of you during the exam itself. Once you have finished studying through the guide book and think that you are ready, head online for a practice test to see if you are up to the required standard.

If you do happen to fail your exam then you can always study some more and try again but this will prolong the wait to get behind the wheel and hit the road. In order to get driving as soon as possible, make sure that you prepare well and ace the DMV written exam straight away.

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Make Safety Your Driving Focus

Each time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, are you the safest you can be?

In answering that question, stop to think about all the factors in play each time you are driving. Not only do you have to be cognizant of operating your car or truck, but there is also all that is going on around you. There is more to driving than getting in the vehicle, turning on the ignition, and then driving off.

With that being the case, what are you doing to make all your times in a car or truck as safe as they can be?

Is Technology Playing a Role?

In your quest to make each trip in a vehicle a safe one, keep a few pointers in mind:

1. Vehicle technology

What kind of technology does your vehicle offer you?

For many of the more recent cars and trucks to hit the road, they come equipped with some tech advances.

One such tech item is the backup camera system.

Such systems allow drivers to have a good view of what is behind them before going in reverse. Such cameras are also an option for those consumers with recreational vehicles.

By searching for a license plate backup camera, you can better keep you and others in your car or truck safe. You also protect others around you such as other drivers and even pedestrians. Knowing what is behind you when you go to backup is a necessity, not a choice.

2. Vehicle maintenance

Even with the proper technology, you must maintain your vehicle on regular intervals.

As an example, how often do take your vehicle in for service? By doing regular maintenance, you lessen the odds vehicle will put your life and the lives of others at risk.

From keeping tires from getting worn to making sure the brakes work, don’t slip on maintenance. If you do, you put yourself and others in harm’s way.

3. Driver focus

Last, as important as having a sound vehicle is, make sure your focus is there too.

This means not allowing distractions to creep into your daily driving habits.

Among some of the worst ones can be:

· Drinking and driving

· Drowsiness

· Using a cell phone or other such device while driving

· Trying to read material (newspapers, maps etc.) while operating the vehicle

· Being preoccupied with talking to passengers

· Allowing other drivers to get to you aka road rage

While there is nothing wrong with having some fun while behind the feel, take it as the serious manner it is.

The last thing you want to have happen is a life-changing accident. Remember, that accident may not only change your life, but lives around you and away from you.

If you had to rate yourself as a driver, what kind of grade would you offer?

Last, if you have children who may be driving soon, will you give them the right advice when it comes to safety?

Given kids often follow their parents; make sure you set a good example each time you get in your vehicle.

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Reasons to Avoid Longer Term Auto Loans

Most consumers would have a difficult time purchasing a new or used vehicle without the help of financing from a bank, credit union, or another lender. Vehicle loans allow a prospective car buyer to receive a lump sum specifically for the purchase of the vehicle of their choice, and payments of that total amount plus interest charges are made over the course of months or years. The interest rate applied to a vehicle loan is dependent on the borrower’s credit history and score, but because the car is collateral for the loan, lenders are able to offer relatively low rates. Both the monthly payment and the interest rate are fixed for the life of the loan, offering predictability to the car buyer.

Given that the average price of a new car is an impressive $33,000, a vehicle loan is the best way to purchase without having to save up a significant amount of money beforehand. However, each lender provides varied repayment terms which car buyers should understand before signing on the dotted line. Most notably, having a longer repayment term may be appealing on the surface, but extending the payoff of a new or used vehicle is not always a sound financial decision. Here are a few things to consider with longer repayment terms for new or used vehicle loans.

Immediate Depreciation

Selecting a longer repayment term for a new or used vehicle loan exaggerates the problem of depreciation. For new cars, the value of the vehicle is significantly reduced the moment the owner drives off the lot. While less dramatic for used vehicle purchases, depreciation still takes place immediately after changing ownership. When a longer vehicle loan is taken out on a new or used vehicle purchase, owners may be stuck with a loan payment and remaining balance on a car that isn’t worth that much if it were sold.

Negative Equity

Depreciation takes a toll on the equity in a vehicle as well. Equity is the difference between what is owed on the vehicle loan and the market value of the vehicle. When a longer vehicle loan is chosen at the time of purchase, the combination of smaller principal payments and rapid depreciation come together to create negative equity – owing more on the vehicle that its market value. When this takes place, it can be difficult to trade in the vehicle before the loan is paid off, and car owners have no options for using their vehicle as collateral for a short-term loan. Negative equity can become a dangerous cycle of debt, especially when a vehicle is traded in before the loan is paid in full.

Higher Interest Rates

The most common term for a new or used auto loan is 60 months, or five years, but some find that the monthly payment for that repayment agreement does not fit easily into the budget. A longer loan term of 72 or 84 months may be offered by the selected lender to help ease the shock of the monthly payment; however, a lengthier term often results in a higher interest rate for the life of the loan. Again, with lower monthly payments and less of those payments applying to the principal balance, car owners will inevitably face negative equity in the vehicle unless the loan is paid in full before the end of the term.

Borrowing from a reputable lender is a smart way to finance the purchase of a new or used vehicle, but card buyers should steer clear of longer term loans when possible. Consider reducing the purchase price of the vehicle, or selecting a used car over a brand new vehicle to keep monthly payments on a shorter repayment term to avoid depreciation, negative equity, and higher interest rates on the auto loan.

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Where to Avoid Damage to Your Car’s Glass

There several terrains and surfaces out there that can be easily negotiated when driving a car. There are others, though, that pose more of a threat – like a stone or a small rock popping up, hitting and cracking your windscreen.

The forest

While the beauty of your surroundings might be well worth the trip, it can be a negative if something from the surface beneath your car’s tyres has a say. A large branch from a fallen tree or the root from a large plant can pose a big threat, falling from the tree or skipping up from the road when effectively triggered by your car partially riding over it. Either way, car glass repair would be needed.

The urban jungle

The big city, despite its smooth road surfaces and evenly tarred roads should not be thought as entirely safe and free of danger to your car’s windscreens and windshields. For that matter, the glass covering some or all of the headlights, reverse lights and turning indicators could also be placed in jeopardy if something like a small stone or piece of rubble springs up for whatever reason. Basically, stick to the speed limit and you should – more often than not – be safe enough.

On holiday

No matter the road surface, whether you are in a small coastal town or driving through a bigger inland city, for a weekend away or an entire week’s holiday, you just never know when a nasty surprise could hamper your proceedings. There isn’t really many ways to truly avoid this, but if it does strike, hopefully the place you are in has a quick repair place, which can help you get back on the road quickly enough. That said, you’d do well to research these kind of places ahead of time, just in case something does happen.

Act now, not later

Whether it’s truth or myth, many will differ, but placing your thumb or a piece of tape on a small crack on the glass won’t necessarily prevent it from becoming bigger and longer and even wider over time. When there is a crack, big, small or medium, the time to act on getting it fixed is there and then. There is no time to waste – and the problem must be sorted out. It’s not like a leaky tap, which is a waste of water actually, or a long hairdo that needs cutting – the urgency is much greater. The need is more major. The requirement will be entirely more obvious.

Thereafter

Once you’ve had the repair and have presumably been advised how to hopefully avoid such a shock for the car glass in the future, you will be able to resume what you were doing – whether you were on holiday or on the way to work or going to visit family or friends. To reiterate, while there is not a lot you can do to stop a stone or the like from popping up to crack the glass, there are things you can do to make the fixing of it more simple and quick.

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How to avoid locking your keys in your car

Learning to avoid locking your keys in your car is the wish of many drivers ... Photo by CC user  Masi27185 on English Wikipedia

Of all the misfortunes which can befall you while driving, locking your keys in your car is certainly one of the most annoying. Aside from wasting time and money, it makes one appear to be incompetent. Once this happens to you for the first time, you’ll never want it to happen to you again.

Even if you have no problems calling up a car locksmith specialist whenever your absent-mindedness rears its ugly head, taking the time to adopt the following habits will help keep these embarrassing incidents to a minimum.

1) Never lock the doors without having your car keys in hand

If there is one habit that has served the author of this article well over the years, it has been the adoption of the following practice: never lock any door without having its respective key in your hands.

It doesn’t matter if you swear that your keys are in your coat pocket – take them out and place them in your hands as you lock the door from the inside.

On occasion, you’ll find your keys are not where you think they are. In these instances, you’ll find them on the passenger side seat, or in the ignition. Oops.

Once you get used to this protocol, the number of situations where you’ll have to call upon a car locksmith Perth will drop drastically.

2) Only lock the doors using a fob

The development of modern car systems have made fob-controlled locks a ubiquitous feature in all but the most basic of models.

As such, you can adopt the policy of only locking your doors from the outside using your fob. Since they are attached to your keys, this makes it impossible for them to be inside the vehicle while you are securing it.

Even if the batteries die within the fob (get them replaced at an auto parts store ASAP when this happens), you’ll still have your physical keys present to lock and unlock your vehicle.

3) Stow spare keys in your house/purse/pocket

Don’t trust yourself still? Add another layer of security by going to a key cutter and having replicas of your car keys made.

Make enough so your partner has two sets, one to hide in the kitchen, and an extra set to put in your pocket or purse. With all these redundant keys, you’ll have a backup even if you commit a massive brain fart and end up locking the main set in your car.

4) Have a locksmith in your phone’s contact list

Despite all the measures described above, Murphy’s Law will sometimes supersede all these safeguards. Example: you lose your spare key in the laundry one day and then proceed to lock your keys in your car hours later.

Guard against this by having a trusted car locksmith on speed dial. Find their number of a car locksmith Perth and store it in your contacts before you find yourself in this situation. If you don’t, you’ll inevitably find yourself out of data or be too far from your provider’s tower to try to search for a number on the fly.

With a variety of tools designed to pick the lock of almost every make and model on the road, your friendly neighbourhood car locksmith will be able to save you from this awkward situation within minutes of their arrival.

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Buying for These Things Will Boost Your Mood!

Science has proven that shopping can lift up your spirits. In a recent survey by TNS Global on behalf of Ebates.com, around 52 percent of respondents said they’ve engaged in “retail therapy,” the act of shopping and spending to improve one’s mood. Shopping for many people can be like a mini-mental vacation, and this has been consistent for both men and women. So if you are feeling down, here are some purchases that can lift your mood:

Small Purchase – A Song Download

Music has positive physical and mental effects on our bodies. As we listen, music works on the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling blood pressure and heartbeat, as well as the limbic system, which is responsible for feelings and emotions. A review of 23 studies in 2009 involving almost 1,500 people found music helped to reduce blood pressure, and anxiety in heart disease patients. Music can benefit psychological wellbeing, too. Research from the University of Missouri found that upbeat music can have a very positive effect on our wellbeing. And, you feel better even if you are listening to sad music. So for the price of a music download (less than 99 cents) you can feel great while singing along with your favorite song.

Medium Purchase – A Dog

Ask a dog owner, if having a dog is worth it, and you will almost always get a resounding yes. Ask them why, and you will hear that having them around makes the owner happy. The social support provided by pets is comparable to that from a fellow family member. One of the reasons for these happy feelings is that dogs fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with dogs, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression. Dogs can instill a greater sense of self-worth and self-esteem in their owners. They make the perfect companion and lift your mood.

Big PurchaseA Car

Buying a car seems like a long way to go to improve your mood, but think of it as making a big purchase once to have mood lifter for many years. Driving is an awesome experience. Once you develop the automatic, intuitive way of switching indicator lights, interchanging clutch/brake/accelerator pedals so smoothly you barely notice it yourself; listening to the revs on the edge of your conscious to know when to switch gears; master the traffic rules and how to use them to your advantage and the way traffic flows; you become a part of a single organism that is the car with the driver, with your hands and legs becoming extensions of its gears and axles, making the complex mechanism fulfill its transportation task impeccably.

Your see hear and feel everything and fly along the road without a care in the world. This is the thrill you can get from driving a car and why it is so good at lifting your mood. The great part of it, is that you do not need to purchase a high-priced brand new Mercedes, you can buy a used Ford car and get these same feelings. So make the purchase and feel great about it.

So next time you are feeling down, don’t feel bad about wanting to spend your way out of it. Retail therapy purchases are overwhelmingly beneficial at leading to mood boosts with no regrets or guilt.

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4 Tips in Shopping for That Next Vehicle

If you’ve purchased a new car or truck in the past, you certainly know how nervous a time that can be.

Unless you are rather well off financially, you will more than likely end up making car payments. As such, the rate of interest you will pay of course varies, along with factoring in how much money you put down at the initial signing. Always be on top of your financial well-being (see more below) before signing any new vehicle paperwork.

There is also the possibility that you will be one of those unfortunate consumers who ends up driving off the lot with a lemon.

Although most consumers end up getting the new car or truck they want, one that ultimately serves them for many years to come, some unfortunate individuals are stuck with a disaster.

So, how can you go about doing everything correctly in shopping for that next vehicle?

Related: Safest cars and trucks

Be That Informed Consumer

When it comes to increasing your odds of getting the best vehicle at the best value, it all starts with being an informed consumer.

Tip #1- Know the basics

In order to put yourself in the best situation when buying a new car or truck, be sure to know about as much as possible regarding the vehicle you’re interested in. Things like what kind of fuel efficiency it gets, how it is rated in terms of safety, and whether or not you need all the bells and whistles that come with it. With a simple Google search, you can oftentimes find out that kind of information and much more, so use the Internet to your advantage.

Tip #2 – Know the dealer

Unless you have your heart set on dealing with one car dealership only, you will likely visit a number of them. Prior to making your rounds, do some background searches on the dealers themselves. This gives you an advantage in knowing what to expect before you even walk in. When looking to buy a new Honda, be that educated consumer when you start to discuss new vehicles and prices.

Turn to Family and Friends

Tip #3 – Know how others faired

There is a good chance that some outside family members and/or friends have purchased new vehicles within the last couple of years. As a result, lean on them for their experiences, especially the ones that were quite positive. In doing so, they could steer you to a particular dealership where first-rate service is the norm. You might even end up securing a little discount when you mention one’s name to a salesperson. By knowing one or more people who successfully purchased vehicles from a specific dealership, that dealer may want to keep the customer pipeline running, thereby offering new customers a better deal.

Tip #4 – Know your limits

Finally, the last thing you want to do is get in over your head financially. If you do that, you could end up dealing with financial headaches for years to come. Before you set foot in the dealership, sit down and crunch the financial numbers, seeing where you are best-served in buying your next new vehicle. Lastly, see what kinds of deals might be available depending on the time of year you go car shopping. If you wait to certain times of the year, you may find dealers wanting to move certain inventory off their lots, giving you a great opportunity.

Buying that next new car or truck shouldn’t be an experience that sends shivers down your spine.

With some research and a smart head on your shoulders, you can drive off with the best possible vehicle today.

You might also enjoy: Tips for buying a used car

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What is GVM and How Does it Affect your Driving?

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the total weight of the vehicle, which includes all the passengers, the luggage and equipment, and even the fuel. This will be very different to the actual weight of the vehicle itself, and if you go overboard with the accessories, you could be adding so much extra weight that stability becomes an issue. All Australian vehicles will have both the gross weight of the vehicle (as sold) and the GVM, which would be displayed in Tonnes and kilogrammes.

Know your GVM

If you’ve just purchased the truck, then you do not need to concern yourself with the GVM, but if you are planning lots of heavy duty add ons, then the weight of your truck is likely to significantly increase. Improved suspension help when driving a heavy vehicle, and if you are in WA, check out http://www.westcoastsuspension.com.au/, who are experts in off road suspension for every environment.

Related: Could 2017 be a record year for auto sales?

Stay Within the Weight Limits

The vehicle manufacturer will have extensively tested the truck, and would know the safe limits of gross weight, which should never be exceeded for obvious reasons. If you are driving a truck that is close to the maximum weight, upgrading the suspension is essential, and West Coast Suspensions are the ideal people to talk to.

Weight Distribution

The handling of a vehicle will be much better if the weight has been evenly distributed, and generally, heavier objects should be centrally located, and the lower the better, as stability will be affected if you attach heavy objects to the roof rack. If, for example, you are carrying a lot of camping equipment, make sure it is correctly tied down, and also that it is as aerodynamic as possible. Waterproof rubber covers can be tailor made to give roof contents a dry base, even in the heaviest of rain, and try to keep things balanced, with not too much weight at one end, or on one side.

Weighbridges

These are everywhere and if your vehicle is fully loaded and ready for an extended trip into the wilderness, spend a few dollars and find out the exact weight of the fully loaded truck, and this will give you peace of mind, knowing that the GVM is within the limits.

Sluggish Response

If your truck is overloaded, the handling will become sluggish, and this will put extra strain on your suspension and chassis, along with much more work for the braking system, and if you have to negotiate any steep inclines, the weight of the vehicle is critical. Momentum increases with more weight, and this means you need more distance to effectively stop the vehicle, and if you feel the handling is not what it should be, consult a suspension expert, who can recommend a suitable upgrade.

The gross vehicle mass is something that should never be exceeded, and with evenly balancing the extra weight, your ride will always be solid and reliable. If you are in any doubt about this, talk to an expert, who can make sure everything is as it should be.

You might also enjoy: Things you should be excited about when buying a new car

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