Vehicular Vigor – Things to Get Excited about When Buying a New Car

So, you’re buying a car! Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, buying a car is an extremely exciting time. It means independence, ticking of an adult life goal, as well as that brand new car smell! Read on to discover what things you should be excited about – and what you should be wary of – next time you purchase a car.

  1. First timers

After your home, a car is one of the best necessary, albeit expensive, big ticket items that you will spend money on. Therefore, it’s worth putting the adequate amount of research into what you’re going to buy. If it’s your first time buying a car, you will have a few other considerations to think about.

For example, what is your budget?

Plus, don’t forget to factor in registration and insurance! As well as this, you need to establish whether you can actually drive the vehicle you are going to purchase on your current license. Do you have a manual or automatic license, and how many passengers can you legally drive? Lastly, your first car should be a safe and easy to drive car, especially as you are just starting out in your car owning journey.

  1. New or used?

No matter what type of car you decide to buy – new, used or perhaps even demo – you need to ensure you enlist a reliable dealer, such as Cars and Co. Let’s dissect these types of car options one by one.

Firstly, one of the most appealing things about buying a brand new car is that you can choose exactly the make, colour and model that you want. There is no compromise. However, you are going to be paying more than with the other options.

Secondly, a used car makes a lot of sense, especially for first time car buyers.

This is because a second hand car will stretch your budget much further, meaning you will usually get a better quality car for the amount of money you spend. If you’re still undecided on whether to purchase a new or used car, perhaps you should consider purchasing a demonstrator. There is the potential to save a lot of money and value in a demo car, which is the car that customers take for test drives.

  1. The buying process

The buying process is certainly exciting, however it does need to be treated with the appropriate care. Firstly, you need to research the car options you’re after, gathering all appropriate knowledge you need. Next, you should create a list of the exact car you want, as well as all the accessories and add-ons that you deem necessary.

From this point, you need to compare this list with your actual budget to see what you can actually afford. Then, you’ll be able to investigate your financing options in order to get a realistic quote and have an idea of your car buying timeline.

  1. Important considerations

Just before you go throwing your hand earned cash down on a vehicle, it’s imperative that you remember a number of important considerations. For example, ensure that you compare all models of the car that you are keen on buying. Usually, they will vary in safety, luxury, reliability and running costs. No matter your preference, safety is the one aspect that you should not compromise on.

Always aim for a 5-star safety rating when buying a car.

Next, you’ll think about whether you want to buy an automatic or a manual car. This will depend on your license as well as personal preference.

Lastly, if you have the budget for it, you can consider some lifestyle features. For instance, do you need space for outdoors items such as sports equipment or camping gear? Perhaps a good sound system is paramount for you? Think about what lifestyle features you may want and, if you can afford them, talk to your car dealer about purchasing a model that incorporates these.

With some adequate planning, buying a car can be a relatively painless and seamless process. If you stick to these 4 tips, not only will you be excited about the right things when buying a car, but you will understand the important things you need to consider, also. Good luck!

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4 Means to Buying the Perfect Used Car

Are you in the mood for purchasing a used car?

If so, the most important thing you can do is take your time looking for one.

One of the things consumers (like yourself) need to avoid is rushing into buying a vehicle. When one does that, they could very well end up with a clunker, a clunker that costs them money and quite possibly their safety and the safety of those around them.

With that being the case, make sure you do your homework before agreeing to buy that used vehicle.

So, are you ready to start searching for the perfect used car?

Do Your Homework and Take Your Time

When it comes to locating the best used car out there for your needs, keep the following pointers in mind:

  1. Search – As mentioned a moment ago, avoid the impulse to just go out and buy anything on the spot. When purchasing a used vehicle, it is just that, used. As a result, you don’t know its history without asking questions and/or doing an online search to try and learn more. That said spending time on a license plate lookup is a good way to try and dig into a vehicle’s history. Find the best online resource tool to do just that, allowing you to uncover as many details as possible regarding the vehicle of interest. You should also check different online resources to see what used vehicles are typically going for these days in both the private market and from car dealers. Knowing the average price for your vehicle of interest is important so that you do not get taken for a ride financially (see more below);
  2. Money – One of the typical reasons many people opt for used cars over new ones is the idea of saving money. That said make sure you are getting what you pay for. Unfortunately, some will buy a vehicle out of their love for it (way it looks, way it drives etc.) without truly knowing what it is worth. In the end, they then realize that they overpaid for it. Go online and use the different resources available when it comes to pricing used vehicles. If the deal sounds too go to be true, it probably is.

Don’t Buy without Testing First

  1. Performance – Would you buy a new vehicle without taking it for a spin first? Given the answer is likely of course not, the same holds true (even more importance) when considering buying a used vehicle. With all that a used car could have been through over its lifetime, you want to not only drive it, but preferably have a mechanic check it out. Knowing that things such as the engine, brakes, transmission etc. are in good shape is key. If someone tries to sell used a vehicle without letting you try it out, you’re better off hitting the road and finding another opportunity;
  2. Safety – Finally, you should already know this, but be sure to never overlook the importance of safety when considering buying a used vehicle. You likely do not know if that car you’re considering has been in an accident or two. If it has, was it repaired properly? If not, you could potentially be buying something that will put you and others at risk. This is yet another reason why the vehicle needs to be checked out by a mechanic and an auto body expert wouldn’t hurt either.

If you have the itch to purchase a used car, now might be the perfect time for you to go ahead and do it.

Just remember to use commonsense when making such a purchase.

Make sure the vehicle is thoroughly checked out before you open up your wallet or purse and drive away.

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Give Your Vehicle the TLC It Needs

Would you consider yourself someone who goes above and beyond what is necessary to take care of one’s vehicle?

If so, you are like millions of other car and truck owners nationwide.

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That being the case, given many cars and trucks are built these days to last longer, it is a sound investment for you to take care of your vehicle. Not only will it mean lower auto insurance and registration fees down the road, but you will also save money on major repairs by doing regular maintenance.

That said where you live and where you drive both play roles in how long you can typically keep a car or truck (see more below). Between weather conditions and area roads, your vehicle can take a beating over time. If that is the case in your situation this all the more reason to be attentive to your vehicle’s needs.

So, are you giving your vehicle all the TLC it needs?

Note Your Weather and Road Conditions

Even if you don’t use your vehicle all that much, the time it spends outside (assuming you don’t garage it all of the time) and the roads it must tackle can take a toll.

With that being the case, here are some helpful reminders to preserve the life of your vehicle for as long as possible:

  • Weather – One of the things that can wear on a vehicle over time would be the weather conditions. As bad as some roads may be, your vehicle being out in snow, ice, heat etc. can be a real game-changer. For example, if you live in the Phoenix area, you know all too well how hot it can get from May to October. As such, your vehicle can literally bake in the summer sun, leading to possible paint damage and other issues. If you are considering purchasing a new BMW in Phoenix or another make or model, think about your choices. For instance, buying a black car in Arizona or other hot climates may not be the wisest choice, especially when those hot days roll around. Meantime, for those residing in rainy areas of the country like Seattle, buying a vehicle with a sunroof may not be the wisest choice. Although sunroofs provide a look and feel that many drivers like, a leaky sunroof can turn into a real problem, especially if it provides continuous problems. The best option no matter where you reside is to have a garage or even a carport to house your vehicle. In doing so, you will typically increase the life of your vehicle, saving you money when all is said and done;
  • Roads – Unless you are retired and/or you don’t have to drive all that often, your vehicle is going to come across its share of potholes, bumpy roads, roads where you have to brake often etc. As such, expect your vehicle to get a true workout. Although some contact with potholes and other road issues is all but inevitable, do your best to avoid such issues. From your tires to your brakes, how you drive on local roads and highways will go a long way in determining how many years you keep that vehicle. Lastly, make sure you know the road conditions as much as possible before setting out to drive. This is especially the case in the wintertime. Roads that appear to be safe can turn on a dime when snow and/or ice come in contact with them. By taking extra time to get where you need to go, you and your vehicle will likely arrive safely.

Regular Maintenance is a Necessity

  • Maintenance – Finally, are you one of those drivers with an avoidance of your area mechanic at all costs? Just like some people never want to see a dentist, some drivers are missing in action when it comes to taking care of their vehicles. Even if you decide regular maintenance updates (30K, 60K, 90K miles etc.) are not going to happen, at least get your recommended oil changes, have the tires rotated, and get the brakes inspected. Not only are those check-ups important for the life of your vehicle, they also improve your safety odds each and every time you get behind the wheel.

If giving your vehicle some TLC has been an afterthought as of late, drive forward with better habits this year and down the road.

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Things to Look for When Choosing a Mechanic

What are the Things to Look for When Choosing a Mechanic?
Photo by CC user Interiot on English Wikipedia

Few things in life are guaranteed beyond death and taxes – and one of those things is that if you own a car, you will eventually need to find a good mechanic. Finding a good a mechanic shouldn’t left to luck. There are some things that you can ask to help you narrow your search for a qualified mechanic that you can trust in a reliable shop. Honda owners can check out Omega Auto Care, but no matter what kind of car you drive, these tips can help you find the right mechanic for you.

Is the mechanic certified?

This is the most obvious way to know if a mechanic is qualified. There are number of certifications that a mechanic can hold, including manufacturer’s certifications which confirm a mechanic’s ability to work on a particular make of car. Mechanics may also be certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE certification means that a mechanic has been tested for knowledge and skills, and also has the required amount of experience. It is important to bear in mind that individuals rather than shops receive ASE certification, and so you will need to ask about the credentials of the particular mechanic who will be working on your car.

Does the shop have reputable affiliations?

Look for a sign indicating that the shop you are considering is AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) affiliated. These shops are monitored for the quality of their service, and must use only certified mechanics. If you are not able to identify beforehand who will be working on your car, you will at least be sure that the mechanic will be certified if the shop has an AAR affiliation.

Does the mechanic take the time to explain things?

Especially if you are not familiar with the inner workings of your car, it can be overwhelming to sort through a lot of technical jargon as the mechanic explains what is wrong with your car and what it will take to fix. A good mechanic will be a good communicator, and will take the time required to make sure that you understand the details of your situation, and will answer questions to your satisfaction.

Does the mechanic have a good reputation?

Knowing that a mechanic is certified and works in a reputable shop provides a basic degree of assurance that the mechanic has the skills necessary to expertly service your car. However, there is more to being a good mechanic than simply knowing your way around a car. You want to know that a mechanic is honest and reliable, that the quotes are going to be accurate, and that the work will be completed on time. You also want to know that your mechanic is a good communicator, and a fast diagnostician. These sorts of qualities are harder to evaluate without references, and it is always a good idea to check those references. But in the end, you should be sure to talk with your mechanic and go with your gut – if you don’t get a positive feeling from that conversation, then move on.

A car is a big investment, and the last thing you want to do is entrust it to just any mechanic. Make sure you take the time to properly research the mechanics in your area to make sure that your investment is in the right hands!

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How Getting the Right Rental Car Can Totally Make your Vacation a Memorable One

Holidays are a time for fun, freedom, and relaxation, and if the vacation involves taking in the sights, the family will need the right vehicle. Let’s take Perth as an example, the surrounding areas have a wealth of treasures for the traveller, not to mention the city itself. When choosing a rental vehicle, consider the number of people, and also the space required for extras like picnic hampers or fold up bikes, and it might be an idea to hire an SUV or a minivan, which gives the group space to be comfortable.

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Sports Utility Vehicles

SUVs are the ideal choice for a holiday, as they can go off road, and can carry up to 8 people in comfort, with lots of space in the rear for those extra things we all carry. The latest generation of SUVs are powerful, handle well, and are equally at home in the city or the outback. Four wheel drive options allow the group to come off the roads and explore the countryside in more detail.

Online Solutions

If a person is planning a self-drive holiday, it is easy to source a reputable car rental company online, and if the destination happens to be WA, there is affordable car hire from Perth’s Ace Rent a Car, and with so many vehicles to choose from, they are sure to have the ideal transport. An established hire company would have a website where it is simple to book the vehicle, which will be waiting at the airport when the group arrives.

Freedom to Explore

If the family decides they want to tour the region, the vehicle needs to be large enough to accommodate the group, and any extras deemed necessary for the trip. Some folk prefer to book into one hotel, and use that as a base, while touring daily. Others want to venture further afield and prefer to stay at hotels along the way, which means the vehicle must be able to carry everyone’s luggage. It is a nice feeling being on the open road, with no timetable to follow, and no restrictions on where one can go. Explore the countryside at one’s leisure and with so many routes on offer, the choices are indeed varied.

Minibuses

If the group is anything from 8 to 12 in number, a minibus might be the best solution. Air conditioned and comfortable, people movers are ideal for larger groups, and with so much extra space for luggage, the family will not be limited in any way.

Local Knowledge

Of course, the Internet is a great source of knowledge, and one can soon find out what there is to see and do, and the rental company would be knowledgeable about the local attractions, so one can ask them in advance and they would be happy to suggest suitable venues. The wineries in Swan Valley are world class, and anyone who visits WA, simply must include a wine tour. The Margaret River region is another area for vineyards, with more than 200 wineries producing some of the best wine Australia has to offer.

Hiring the right vehicle can mean the difference between an average holiday or a memorable one, and by talking to the right company, the perfect vehicle will be awaiting the group’s arrival.

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Save Money by Refinancing Your Loan

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Did you know that you could save a whole lot of money by refinancing your auto loan? You may, for instance, have had bad credit when you took the loan out, which meant your interest rate was really high. If your credit rating has since improved, your rate could also be lowered, meaning you save a great deal of money overall. Even just half a percentage drop can equate to several hundred dollars. This also means that you could pay your loan back quicker – if you continue to make the same repayments, which means you save even more money. While an excellent idea, you do have to make sure you know how to actually secure the best deal.

Using the Internet for Refinancing

Thanks to the internet, it is now easier than ever to find the best deals on just about everything. This includes auto refinancing deal. By using these tools, you are able to check exactly what the difference is going to be to your overall disposable income.

How to Save Money by Refinancing

  1. Find out whether there is a lender out there that is able to offer you a loan at a lower rate than what you currently have.
  2. Do you have a W2 paycheck? If not, you will need two years of tax returns to prove income.
  3. If you refinance as soon as possible, you will save the most money overall on interest. However, you may also end up having to pay an expensive early redemption fee, which means it will be more expensive overall. Make your calculations properly, therefore.
  4. Keep your eye on the financial market. Even a small drop in interest can make a huge difference on how much you pay overall. Every drop in point is a dollar in your pocket, at the end of the day.
  5. Spend some time researching the companies that are out there before you apply. Find out how easy it was for others to make the application and to get approved, and how long it took for the entire process to be completed. Make sure you particularly look at their level of customer service.
  6. Try to negotiate on the interest rate. You could also do this with your existing lender. They want to keep you on their books, after all, so they may be willing to make a concession.
  7. Never borrow more than the current value of your vehicle, so check out how much it is worth right now.

When it comes to your finances, you have to do a lot of research so that you always have the best possible deal, and this is doubly true for refinancing. You should be able to find some good refinancing calculators online, particularly through companies that offer these types of loans, which should tell you exactly how much you can save overall. You could actually save several thousand dollars over the lifetime of your loan, so it is certainly worth looking into.

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Protect Your RV and Extend Its Lifetime

Protect your RV, as you spent too much money on it for it not to live a full life
Photo by CC user Motorhomes on Wikimedia Commona

If you own an RV, what are you doing to make sure it lasts as long as possible?

Some RV owners go out of their way to take care of their prized possessions, while others certainly could do better when it comes to caring for a sizable investment in their lives.

That said storing your RV in a safe and secure place when not using it is your best option.

Yes, you likely have a number of questions as to how to go about this, but it is actually not all that difficult to find the right storage scenario.

So, if you’re looking to protect your RV and extend its lifetime, are you ready to do your research?

Research the Options Available

When it comes to finding the solution in where to locate RV storage near me, keep these tips in mind:

     

  1. Security – First and foremost, you want a secure place to store your RV when it is not in use. Yes, you certainly have the option of storing it on your property, but keep in mind that such vehicles take up a fair amount of space. As a result, if you have a smaller home, you could find yourself a little bit crunched with a big RV on the property in the driveway or backyard. As you look at different providers to store your RV at, check to see how secure the locations are. The last thing in the world you want is placing your RV in a locale where crime might be an issue. You also do not want it in a location where there is a huge amount of traffic, making it hard to get in and out of with your vehicle. Just as road accidents for cars and trucks can prove a big headache for their owners, RV owners do not want to find their prized vehicles damaged due to an accident. One of the ways to get a better handle on how secure such RV storage spots can be is using the Internet. In today’s digital age, more and more consumers use the worldwide web to talk about anything and everything. With that being the case, you can get some good consumer feedback on what RV storage spots come highly recommended and which ones are advisable to stay away from;
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  3. Pricing – Given the fact money is tight for many people, you are probably looking at how best to save on an RV storage spot. By doing your research (a lot of which can be done online), you can weed out which storage providers are just looking out for themselves and which ones offer fair deals. Make sure you understand all the fine print in any agreement you consider going with. The last thing you want to have happen is miss something in your contract, only to end up with a bill bigger than you originally had planned for;
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  5. Weather – Last but certainly not least, you are likely wondering (perhaps even concerned) about storing your RV outside without any protection from Mother Nature. It is important to remember that RV’s are built to be durable, especially when it comes to all the weather conditions that can come their way. While you could store your RV in an inside storage unit, keep in mind that you will pay more for such an arrangement. Another option is having it outside, yet undercover. This at least protects it to some degree from inclement weather, especially snow, ice, hail etc. No matter where you end up storing your RV, weather will get to it over time, so do your best to keep it in good shape. Making sure the paint is not peeling away, replacing worn tires, staying on top of all fluids under the hood etc. are all important upkeep priorities.

 

Whether you are young or old, an RV could be your ride to many years of happiness and seeing the countryside.

That said taking care of the major investment is something you never take for granted.

If the time has come to find the proper storage situation for your RV, do your research both online and offline, looking to drive on over for the best spot.

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