Cars http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3888/all en-US 13 Surprising Things You Can Rent for Extra Cash http://www.wisebread.com/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wedding_dresses_000022803729.jpg" alt="Woman earning extra money renting her wedding dress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Okay. So you're intrigued by the whole idea of renting your stuff to make some extra money. But what exactly should you rent and how exactly do you rent it? The list of stuff you can rent for cash is so vast that your imagination is your biggest limitation. From the ordinary to the outlandish, here's what you should know about what to rent &mdash; and how to rent it successfully.</p> <h2>What Should You Rent?</h2> <p>It depends. What do you have? Where do you live? How much are you charging? Like everything else, your success as a &quot;stuff renter&quot; will depend on supply and demand. For instance, renting your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-parking-apps-for-your-city">parking spot</a> or driveway will work better in densely populated areas like cities, college towns, or during special events. Renting a high-end baby stroller can work well in tourist areas, because people prefer to not lug theirs on a plane.</p> <p>But no matter how great your product, no one will rent if it's not priced right. Why would someone rent your private vehicle when a better price can be had at the auto rental place?</p> <h2>How to Rent Successfully</h2> <p>The biggest peer-to-peer marketplace is probably Craigslist, where people have had successful and lucrative experiences. Facebook is up there too with groups dedicated to connecting owners with people who want to rent their stuff. However, if you're looking to widen your scope and increase your options, you might try one of the websites below. Most of them are free to join. Some are even free to use, while others earn a commission when a rental transaction is completed.</p> <h2>Rent Anything</h2> <p>These marketplaces cast a wide net.</p> <h3>1. Craigslist</h3> <p><a href="http://www.craigslist.org/">Craigslist</a> is a huge market for renting anything and everything. It's free to list, there are no commissions to pay, and you set all of the parameters. Since there is no intermediary, take extra precautions when it comes to meeting prospective renters, and developing rental agreements to cover yourself against theft or damage.</p> <h3>2. Loanables</h3> <p><a href="https://www.loanables.com/">Loanables</a>, like Craigslist, offers the opportunity to rent things from multiple categories. Also like Craigslist, people post what they want to rent, decide on the price, and how the payment transaction is handled. Loanables does provide both parties with a rental agreement. While it is free to post a listing, Loanables takes a 10% fee for any transaction completed.</p> <h3>3. Zilok</h3> <p><a href="http://us.zilok.com/">Zilok</a>, which originated in France and has expanded to the U.S. (among other countries) is another site where people can list and rent items across multiple categories. While some locations are hot and have a lot of listings, others are non-existent. It is free to list your items, and Zilok is paid a commission when your stuff is rented.</p> <h2>Rent Your Vehicle and Parking Space</h2> <p>Your car can be a twofer &mdash; rent your car and then rent the space you park it in.</p> <h3>4. Getaround</h3> <p><a href="https://www.getaround.com/">Getaround</a> is a peer-to-peer carsharing service that is available in California (Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco) Portland, OR, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, IL. They will be coming to NYC soon. Getaround has safeguards in place like insurance coverage and identity verification processes to help you feel secure. They also offer 24/7 support. You set the rental amount and the dates that your vehicle will be available for rent. There are no membership fees and it is free to list your vehicle. Getaround receives 40% of the rental fee and you keep a 60% cut. They advertise some users earn hundreds a month and thousands per year using their service.</p> <h3>5. ParkingSpotter</h3> <p><a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com/">ParkingSpotter</a> is an app that lets you list your parking space for extra cash. You can rent your space short term or longer term. You choose your price, though there is a guide with suggested rates. It's free to list your space and ParkingSpotter is available in multiple big cities across the U.S.</p> <h3>6. RelayRides</h3> <p><a href="https://relayrides.com/">RelayRides</a> is another peer-to-peer system that helps owners rent their vehicles for extra money. Their market is much larger than Getaround's as there are literally hundreds of cities across the country available for owners to rent their vehicle. Listing your ride is free with their app and when your vehicle is rented, you take home 75% of the rental fee. You decide the length of time it will be available to rent and the rental price. Payment is received three days after a reservation is completed.</p> <h2>Rent Your &quot;Residence&quot;</h2> <p>The term &quot;residence&quot; is sometimes used loosely based on some of the sleeping arrangements available. Think tricked out van or a tent in someone's backyard. Whether yours is eccentric or more traditional, consider one of the sites below to make some extra cash.</p> <h3>7. Airbnb</h3> <p>It's free to list your space on <a href="http://www.airbnb.com/c/kimo25?s=8">Airbnb</a>. It's probably the most liberal site out there in terms of the type of space you can rent (igloo or van with a bed anyone?). They do charge a 3% service fee when your space is rented and guests pay a guest fee. Reservations and payments are made through the site. While the site does not provide rental agreements, individual renters can supply their own if they wish. Airbnb also offers a $1,000,000 &quot;Host Guarantee&quot; against property damage.</p> <h3>8. HomeAway</h3> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10784590-1438817078000">HomeAway</a> specializes in &quot;whole spaces,&quot; so think in terms of entire houses, apartments, boats, barns, etc., not rooms. There are three listing choices. List for free and pay a 10% commission when your space is rented, pay a $349 annual fee and pay nothing when your space is rented, or pay a professional to list your space for you and pay a 13% commission when your space is rented. Owners provide their own rental agreement and payments can be handled through their website. HomeAway also owns other websites including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.travelmob.com/">TravelMob</a> (for people who live in Asia),&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/cg66p-85-7NVRPPQRSNPOVPRSSWNPSRWWPVSUSOOO">VRBO</a> (Vacation Rentals Only), and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vacationrentals.com/">VacationRentals.com</a>.</p> <h3>9. Roomorama</h3> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12325506-1440752446000">Roomarama</a> is for people who are interested in renting out a room, apartment or condo, or house. It's free to list your space and Roomorama does not earn a commission when someone books it. Instead, Roomorama collects a fee from the guests. Roomorama collects the rental fee and sends it to you through PayPal, which deducts a 3% transaction fee.</p> <h2>Rent Your Photography Equipment</h2> <p>Camera and gear gathering dust? Put it to work.</p> <h3>10. Cameralends</h3> <p>Are you a photography buff with lots of equipment that you wouldn't mind renting to others? Well even if you only have a few pieces, you could turn your equipment into passive income. <a href="https://www.cameralends.com/">Cameralends</a> specializes in connecting owners with people who want to rent everything from cameras to lenses, lighting, video recording equipment, and more. It is free to join the site, and they take 10%&ndash;30% of the profit from successful rentals. Payments are handled online, and security measures are in place to ensure the safety of your equipment.</p> <h2>Rent Yourself</h2> <p>You are your most valuable resource.</p> <h3>11. Bridesmaid for Hire</h3> <p>I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised that this is an option, but it is.&nbsp;<a href="http://bridesmaidforhire.com/">Bridesmaid for Hire</a> is a newish option that lets those in need hire various bridesmaid services such as virtual support and wedding planning, all the way up to acting as a bridesmaid or maid of honor on the big day. Prices start at $199 to over $1000. The business is expanding and they are looking to add more bridesmaids (mother of the brides, etc.) to their network. If you think you'd enjoy renting yourself out as a bridesmaid&nbsp;<a href="http://bridesmaidforhire.com/become-pro/">consider applying</a>!</p> <h3>12. RentAFriend</h3> <p><a href="http://rentafriend.com/index/">RentAFriend</a> is a &quot;strictly platonic website that allows you to rent friends from all over the world.&quot; The type of friends available range anywhere from dinner/movie companions, to being a tour guide for out of town visitors, teaching a language, sharing art or cooking skills, and more. It is free to list a profile and set your own hourly rate, which is usually between $15&ndash;$50 an hour. The site claims that some people earn several hundred per week and keep 100% of the proceeds. RentAFriend earns money through membership fees paid by those who want to rent friends.</p> <h2>Rent Your Wedding Dress</h2> <p>You looked great in it &mdash; and the money it earns will look good in your savings account.</p> <h3>13. Borrowing Magnolia</h3> <p><a href="https://www.borrowingmagnolia.com/">Borrowing Magnolia</a> is a website is for people who want to make some extra cash by renting their wedding dress to others. It's an easy and stress-free way to make an extra buck because the staff does all of the work for you. Interested parties will complete a &quot;submit a dress&quot; application which consists of question about the dress, along with some pictures. If your dress is accepted, you'll work directly with the staff regarding the rental price and how much you'll earn per rental. Shipping, cleaning, and maintaining the dress is taken care of by them.</p> <p>Renting your belongings can be a great way to bring in some extra income. You can do it around your schedule, control what you rent and to whom, and set the price and length of time. But first, take a little time to conduct some due diligence about rental guidelines, laws, and of course taxes in your area. Once you know, you'll be limited only by your creativity. Good luck!</p> <p><em>Have you rented out your stuff before? What was it like? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-amazon-pay-you">7 Ways to Make Amazon Pay YOU!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-your-body-to-science">6 Ways to Sell Your Body to Science</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-ways-to-make-extra-money">The 10 Worst Ways to Make Extra Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Extra Income Cars earning money loaning parking peer-to-peer renting renting house wedding dresses Thu, 10 Sep 2015 21:00:26 +0000 Kim Owens 1553392 at http://www.wisebread.com Uber, Lyft, and More — Where to Find the Best Rideshare Deals http://www.wisebread.com/uber-lyft-and-more-where-to-find-the-best-rideshare-deals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/uber-lyft-and-more-where-to-find-the-best-rideshare-deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_ride_sharing_000025867571.jpg" alt="Woman making sense of ridesharing prices" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Learning how to use ridesharing apps is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">modern skill you should master</a>, but which service is actually the best deal? We're comparing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">Uber</a>, Lyft, and other options to make sense of rideshare pricing.</p> <h2>Uber</h2> <p><a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> is definitely the top competitor in the space and they have the most cars on the road in the most cities. In comparison to a taxi, however, it turns out that Uber's pricing only beats the average taxi on <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/view/535886/data-mining-reveals-when-a-yellow-taxi-is-cheaper-than-uber/">trips greater than $35</a>. But the convenience and speed of getting an Uber versus calling a taxi service makes it the better option for many.</p> <p>Price surging is the main drawback to Uber. If demand is high, Uber will increase the pricing commensurate to demand. This means that in big cities like L.A. or New York, prices can double or more during rush hours and on holidays like New Year's Eve. If you need to get around for as cheap as possible without the prolonged travel time of a bus, the new shared-ride service called Uber Pool can be as low as $3 per person, depending on your destination. You share the car with one or two other riders who are going a similar direction.</p> <p>Get a fare estimate for any trip using this <a href="http://uberestimate.com/">unaffiliated Uber calculator</a>.</p> <h2>Lyft</h2> <p><a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1473799&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Lyft</a>, the app whose cars wear a pink mustache, attempts to be the equivalent of getting a ride from a friend. The overall casual and fun attitude is clear on their app and with their drivers. The best upside: no big price hikes during peak travel times. A downside: Lyft is not as widely available as Uber, but they are working toward adding new cities and drivers.</p> <p>While Lyft's pricing is comparable to Uber's, it can climb higher when factoring in tipping your driver, which is encouraged. Lyft drivers are generous (expect to find candy, water bottles, and gum in the backseat) and friendly, so you will likely be compelled to tip.</p> <p><a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1473799&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$15 Off first ride for new customers with code: LYFTAFF70457</a></p> <h2>Sidecar</h2> <p><a href="https://www.side.cr/">Sidecar</a> is a smaller, but interesting player in the ridesharing arena. Drivers name their own prices and filter their own rides. Riders get their pricing up front once they type in the destination, and riders get to <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/20/5429350/sidecar-ridesharing-app-relaunches-as-a-friendlier-uber-competitor">choose a driver</a> &mdash; unlike Uber or Lyft, which both assign whomever takes the request first.</p> <p>Pricing varies by driver, so while some might be as low as pocket change, others might offer a more luxurious ride for a higher price. The biggest drawback to Sidecar is that it not as available in many cities. If you live in the Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Chicago, Boston, and Charlotte, it's possible that an Uber or Lyft driver might be moonlighting on Sidecar.</p> <h2>Taxi</h2> <p>Taxi cabs are usually the last resort when you have no choice, and that has worked to the taxi industry's advantage (getting your business) and disadvantage (earning your disdain) for years. That said, taxis don't price surge, they are available at every airport while app drivers are not, and they are licensed professionals whose companies are more liable for their drivers than the app companies, which <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/uber-lyft-liability">operate in a legal gray area</a>.</p> <p>Taxi cabs usually start with a base fare ranging from $2&ndash;$5, plus a per-mile rate ranging from $1&ndash;$4. You can also find out when <a href="http://bgr.com/2015/03/18/uber-vs-taxi-cost/">Ubers are cheaper than taxis</a> with a new app that neither cab companies nor Uber wants us to know about.</p> <h2>Your Car</h2> <p>There will be times when nothing other than your own car will do: picking up your parents at the airport (good luck trying to get them to use Uber), days full of many tiny errands, or the dreaded trip to Ikea. But with the <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/GB_Price_List.aspx?cntry=USA">average gas price</a> in the U.S. varying from $2.30 to $3.90 per gallon, we're all trying to save money on personal car use.</p> <p>Carpooling has become a more viable option for most people in suburban areas, especially for long commutes and road trips, when you can take advantage of the carpool lanes or have your passengers kick-in a little for sharing the car. Find out how much you can <a href="http://www.cleanaircampaign.org/Your-Commute/Commute-Calculator">save by carpooling</a>.</p> <h2>The Rankings</h2> <ol> <li>Your car is still the <a href="http://www.mandatory.com/2015/02/05/is-taking-an-uber-all-the-time-cheaper-than-owning-a-car/">cheapest and most convenient</a> choice for most of the U.S., especially for burdensome errands and personal trips. If you carpool, it's an even better deal (though Uber is <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/ubers-plans-to-be-cheaper-than-owning-a-car-2015-2">trying to change that</a>).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar's advantages of speed and convenience make them ideal when traveling or on a night out. Of the apps, Uber is the most consistent and the best deal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Taxis are still the best option for remote locations and select airports because they have access that apps are still trying to gain, but the longer the trip, the more expensive it will be compared to an Uber.</li> </ol> <p>To compare your options in the moment, try using new app <a href="http://www.priceride.com/">PriceRide</a>, which can reveal the best price for any given trip.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite ridesharing service?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/uber-lyft-and-more-where-to-find-the-best-rideshare-deals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">How to Score Free Rides on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft">How to Earn Extra Money Driving for Uber or Lyft</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-surprising-things-you-can-rent-for-extra-cash">13 Surprising Things You Can Rent for Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-finally-make-your-finances-paperless">5 Ways to Finally Make Your Finances Paperless</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks carpooling Cars lyft ridesharing taxis Uber Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:00:16 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1457075 at http://www.wisebread.com Big Purchases You Should Make by 30, 40, and 50 http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_empty_piggybank_000018649757.jpg" alt="Man planning big purchases at 30, 40, and 50" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It used to be that major purchases such as a house or a car were rites of passage into adulthood. Sure, times are changing, and the new generation isn't buying all the things their parents did. But there are some things you probably <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-scariest-big-purchases-people-make">can't avoid buying</a>. Here are the big purchases most of us should make by ages 30, 40, or 50.</p> <h2>By Age 30</h2> <p>By the time we reach 30 we've turned the corner from the youth to adulthood, and our possessions show it.</p> <h3>A Car</h3> <p>As more people choose to live in cities, and use mass transit or ride-sharing apps, it's become less necessary to own a car. That said, many of us still have a lifestyle that requires owning a set of wheels. If this is the case for you, by the age of 30, you probably should have purchased a car <em>by yourself for yoursel</em>f. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips?ref=seealso">The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips</a>)</p> <h3>A Real Bed</h3> <p>This is something everyone avoids for years. Millenials have bought and sold cars well before buying a new bed for themselves. Once you are old enough to live on your own, an ugly used frame propping up a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-clean-your-mattress-for-a-better-nights-sleep">decades-old (and filthy) mattress</a> just won't do. A more comfortable bed will help you sleep better, and sleeping better will improve your overall health, which will cost you less in the long run. It's one of the best investments you can make in your 20s. Now that one can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money">buy affordable and comfortable mattresses online</a>, there's no excuse anymore!</p> <h2>By Age 40</h2> <p>What lies around the corner from age 30? A nest and a family of one's own.</p> <h3>A Home</h3> <p>This can be the most emotional purchase you'll ever make, especially in areas of the country where it's virtually impossible for the average person to afford a home. For those of us who want to own our own home, working toward buying before age 40 is a worthy goal. It's wise to start making sound decisions in your 20s and 30s that will keep your financial state healthy, such as building your credit, in anticipation of a home loan.</p> <h3>Home Appliances</h3> <p>Not every home, whether bought or rented, will come equipped with everything you need. As you get older, you'll probably grow tired of washing your dishes in the sink, or going to the laundromat like you did in your 20s. Eventually, you'll break down and buy a refrigerator, dishwasher, a washer/dryer set, or woodworking tools for the garage. Make sure you do your comparison homework in order to get the best appliance deals.</p> <h2>By Age 50</h2> <p>By now the roots are set deep and the big purchases are behind us, but there are a few big buys that mark time's passage.</p> <h3>Life Insurance</h3> <p>As you get older and have children, you'll want to be covered for whatever may happen. By age 50, you'll almost definitely want to consider life insurance &mdash; well before you develop any chronic health issues or are old enough for premiums to skyrocket. Think about what you need from your life insurance and start planning your beneficiaries' financial future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison?ref=seealso">Universal Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance: A Comparison</a>)</p> <h3>Contractor Work</h3> <p>At this point in your life, making renovations on your bathroom or kitchen, adding on to your home, or re-landscaping your backyard is common. In fact, some renovations <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-renovations-that-almost-pay-for-themselves">nearly pay for themselves</a> over time. If you've never hired a contractor, you'll need to create a budget and detailed timeline, along with a cash buffer for incidentals, accidents, and hotels if you cannot stay in the home at a certain point. Extra frugal? It's also worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-diy-home-renovating-for-you">considering DIY renovations</a>.</p> <p><em>Which major purchases do you think signify life milestones?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-purchases-you-should-make-by-30-40-and-50">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-the-end-of-6-real-estate-commissions">Is It the End of 6% Real Estate Commissions?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8000-housing-tax-credit-can-now-be-turned-into-cash-at-closing-according-to-fha">$8000 housing tax credit can now be turned into cash at closing according to FHA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-50-rule-can-save-you-money">4 Ways the 50% Rule Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance appliances big purchases Cars housing life insurance real estate Thu, 07 May 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1410180 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Warranties That Aren't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000019329937.jpg" alt="Woman shopping and learning which warranties aren&#039;t worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us believe that it's better to be safe than sorry.</p> <p>However, when it comes to buying warranties, you may be acting on emotion. It's time to step back and take a closer look at those extended warranties &mdash; your extra peace of mind may be coming with a hidden high cost. Here are four warranties that aren't worth it.</p> <h2>1. Warranties That Are Too Expensive</h2> <p>According to the Service Contract Industry Council, most <a href="http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/news-events/consumer-tips/2014/12/be-in-the-know-before-buying-extended-warranties/">extended warranty costs</a> are 10% to 20% of the sales price. Anything above that 20% benchmark may be too much, particularly for small ticket items. For example, a $20 extended warranty on a $55 panini press is a waste of money.</p> <p>On the other hand, buying a $150 warranty on a $2,000 computer is a more sensible purchase. Not only is that warranty just 7.5% of the total price, but it'd also cover the high cost of replacing parts.</p> <h2>2. Warranties Shorter Than Those From Your Credit Card</h2> <p>There is no need to pay twice for coverage that you may already have. As long as you complete the entire purchase on a single credit card, most major credit card companies will extend the original manufacturer's warranty up to one additional year.</p> <p>Review the fine print on your credit card's extended warranty for other applicable limits, such as the maximum purchase price and maximum dollar value of claims within the same year. As long as you're aware of applicable exclusions and requirements, having a credit card with an excellent extended warranty can be a lifesaver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=seealso">How to Take Advantage of the Free Extended Warranty From Your Credit Card Issuer</a>)</p> <h2>3. Warranties for Products With Low Repair Rates</h2> <p>Some people claim that things aren't built to last anymore. However, surveys from Consumer Reports seem to indicate that it may all just be in our heads. The <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm">repair rates</a> for several items are going down.</p> <ul> <li>Laptops had a repair rate of 36% in 2010, and 24% in 2013.</li> <li>LCD TVs had a repair rate of 15% in 2010, and 7% in 2013.</li> <li>Dishwashers already had a <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/warranties.asp">low repair rate</a> of 13% back in 2004.</li> </ul> <p>Consumer Reports found that appliances usually don't break during the extended warranty period. Even when breakdowns occur, the median cost of a repair ($152) isn't that much more than the median price of a warranty ($136).</p> <p>A great alternative to extended warranties for products with low repair rates is to put the money you would have spent on the warranty in a savings account, instead. By &quot;self-insuring,&quot; you're keeping the money and gaining interest on your rainy day fund.</p> <h2>4. Unsolicited Car Warranties</h2> <p>There are warranties that aren't worth the money, and then there are warranty scams.</p> <p>For several decades, the FCC has been warning consumers about <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/guides/auto-warranty-scams">auto warranty scams</a>. Malicious companies prey on consumers whose auto warranties are about to expire &mdash; or in some cases, they may not even be close to expiration. Back in 2008, the Better Business Bureau received more than <a href="http://www.bbb.org/central-illinois/migration/other-news/2009/02/bbb-warns-deceptive-auto-warranty-solicitations-plague-consumers-nationwide/">140,000 consumer calls</a> to confirm the legitimacy of companies claiming to sell auto warranties.</p> <p>For example, in the year that the basic warranty of my 2012 Volkswagen Passat was set to expire, I started receiving unsolicited mail with warnings in big, bold letters; &quot;Final Notice: Expiring Auto Warranty.&quot; After ignoring a couple of these mailers, additional ones started pouring in with labels such as &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/28440855-e863-431f-9e60-c46e13226298/Warranty-mailer.aspx">2nd Attempt</a>,&quot; &quot;Time Sensitive,&quot; or &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/9c4deb4f-8f10-4206-bd5b-2ab75bf70bcc/Warranty-Mailer-2.aspx">Vehicle Alert Notice</a>.&quot; Then, the calls started coming in every single week. It was all from unscrupulous car warranty salespeople.</p> <p>Don't cave in to the pressure and protect yourself against potential car warranty fraud:</p> <ul> <li>Don't provide any personal or financial information over the phone to unsolicited telemarketers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Resist high-pressure pitches from salespeople or mailers that urge you to act now. Those &quot;final deadlines&quot; extend for several months over and over.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>These car warranties rarely pay claims. The BBB reports that <a href="http://stlouis.bbb.org/storage/142/documents/vehicleservicecontractstudy2011.pdf">93% of vehicle service claims</a> are denied under these warranties.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Never agree to any contract without having a physical copy of the contract and an appropriate timeframe to review the fine print.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A major red flag is the requirement of a down payment to view a contract. Don't agree to pay over the phone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search online for the name of the company offering the auto warranty (such as <a href="http://www.ncdoj.com/getdoc/221259f6-b0a2-40aa-801c-f76835f31be2/AG-Cooper-gives-auto-warranty-sellers-the-boot.aspx">U.S. Fidelis</a>), since some of those companies are often in trouble with the law. Or, check the company with your <a href="http://www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/">state and local consumer agencies</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>File a complaint with the FCC by visiting <a href="http://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov">consumercomplaints.fcc.gov</a>, calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322), or writing to Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Place your phone number on the <a href="http://www.donotcall.gov">National Do Not Call Registry</a>.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are some warranties that you wished you never paid for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gift-card-scam-of-2011-don-t-be-a-victim">The Gift Card Scam of 2011: Don’t Be a Victim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-something-breaks-should-you-repair-or-replace">When Something Breaks, Should You Repair or Replace?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping appliances Cars electronics repairs scams warranties Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Damian Davila 1360904 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Dangerous Mistakes Even Safe Drivers Make http://www.wisebread.com/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-driving-talking-phone-Dollarphotoclub_67350021.jpg" alt="man driving phone" title="man driving phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are bad drivers, and there are good drivers. There are reckless drivers, and safe drivers. Most of us, hopefully, fall into the latter category. But how many of us are making dangerous mistakes even though we think we're actually safe drivers?</p> <p>Take a look through some of the findings at the National Safety Council's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving-research-studies.aspx">Distracted Driving Research Studies</a>, and you might be surprised that the answer is: many of us. But are you one of them? As you look through the following list, how many of these eight dangerous mistakes are you making?</p> <h2>1. Hitting the Gas on Green</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PzlEQvRkhHc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Wait a minute; green means go, right? Well of course, but red also means stop, and that doesn't seem to make much of a difference for some very bad drivers out there. Whether they aren't paying attention, drunk, or even evading the police, thousands of drivers run red lights every year. If they happen to be very late, and you hit the gas the second the light turns green, you could&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzlEQvRkhHc">get into a major accident.</a> It's not your fault, but that doesn't make the consequences any less severe. So, when the light turns green, look left and right, and make sure the path is clear before you pull away. Blindly accelerating could be dangerous, or even deadly.</p> <h2>2. Driving Drowsy</h2> <p>I was talking to my father-in-law once about some of the long road trips he used to make, and he said he would often pull his nose or arm hair out when he was getting drowsy, and the sting would wake him up. We all laughed, but drowsy driving is no laughing matter.</p> <p>In a 2005 study, over 103 million U.S. drivers admitted to&nbsp;<a href="http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/">falling asleep at the wheel</a>. Fatigued driving results in around 100,000 police-reported accidents every year, with over 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and over $12.5 billion in losses. This is completely unacceptable. If you feel yourself getting sleepy while driving, you must pull your car over when it is safe to do so, and rest. Take a nap, drink something with caffeine, or even go for a walk. You need to be completely alert before continuing your journey.</p> <h2>3. Poor Mirror Positioning</h2> <p>Look in your side mirrors &mdash; what do you see? Most likely, you'll see some of your car. This is not necessary, and means you are missing some of the road; which can lead to accidents. The idea of side mirrors is obviously not to check to see if your car is still there, but to look behind you without having to take your eyes of the road for longer than necessary. By adjusting your wing mirrors so that your car is no longer visible, you can <a href="http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~gdguo/driving/BlindSpot.htm">eliminate the blind spot</a>. You also want to make sure your rear view mirror is angled correctly for you. If you share a car with someone else, this often goes out of alignment. Check it every time you drive.</p> <h2>4. Driving Too Slow in the Left Lane</h2> <p>There is a speed limit. There is also a minimum speed limit on some roads. You may think that by hitting that limit, say 55, you are being safe and have no reason to worry. But by maintaining the bare minimum speed in the left lane, you are forcing other drivers who want to go the maximum allowed speed to pass you. Any time you force people to change lanes, you are making the roads less safe, and can actually contribute to road rage if you create backed-up traffic. By all means go the safe speed you want to go, but do it in the far right lane. Or, if you see someone coming up fast in your mirror, prepare to move over safely and let them pass.</p> <h2>5. Poor Signaling Habits</h2> <p>Your indicators are there to tell other drivers what your intentions are. When you use them incorrectly, or forgetfully, you are being a poor communicator. This can lead to accidents, especially if you plan to keep going straight at a turn, and the other driver pulls out. You should be using your turn signal at least 100 feet before changing lanes or turning (it can be 200 feet in some states). Once you have completed the turn, you must turn off the signal. Loud music or forgetfulness can be at fault for signals that stay on longer than necessary, and this can lead to accidents when other drivers wrongly assume your intentions.</p> <h2>6. Driving With Loose Objects in the Car</h2> <p>Your car is not a home for books, toys, gadgets, and other devices. Yet if you take a look in your car, how many of these items are just strewn around in there? During the course of everyday driving, it's no big deal. But if you are involved in a crash, even at lower speeds, these items can become projectiles that can cause injury, or even death. You should make sure anything unnecessary for the journey is stored securely in the trunk. Pets need to be harnessed, and cell phones should be in a secured holder.</p> <h2>7. Talking on the Phone</h2> <p>You may think that you are perfectly capable of talking and driving at the same time, but you are being distracted. Some people say it's the same as listening to music, but it's not. Music is a passive experience, but a conversation is active, and the person on the other end of the phone has no idea of your surroundings. Even if you are using a hands-free set, you are not reducing the risks of an accident. Your car is there to get you from A to B. It is not a phone booth. If you must make a call, you should safely pull over and do so. Yes, it adds time to your journey, but if we all did this we'd make the roads much safer. And of course, texting is akin to drunk driving; don't even go there.</p> <h2>8. Speeding up Through Yellow Lights</h2> <p>It seems that drivers have two different interpretations of the yellow light. Some think it means &quot;prepare to stop&quot; and others think it means &quot;floor it, a red light is coming.&quot; If you are close to a traffic signal, and the light changes from green to yellow, then you are fine to keep going. But if you see the light change and have to hit the gas to scrape through it, you are being a dangerous driver. All it takes is for another driver to be a little premature on their green light (see point #1), and you have a major accident. You could also hit a pedestrian.</p> <p><em>Which of these do you do on a regular basis? Do you know any other dangerous moves that even your &quot;safest&quot; friends or relatives make? Let us know.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bicycling-safety-in-the-city">Bicycling Safety in the City</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snow-patrol-winter-driving-safety-kit-must-haves">Snow Patrol: Winter Driving Safety Kit Must-Haves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-bear-repeating-driving-slower-saves-you-money">It Bears Repeating - Driving Slower Saves Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know">10 Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Cars dangerous driving driving safety transportation Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1284839 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-cleaning-snow-windshield-Dollarphotoclub_28403476.jpg" alt="woman cleaning snow car" title="woman cleaning snow car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The weather outside may be frightful, but your driving experience can still be delightful. All it takes is a little preparation to set yourself up for a safe and sound winter driving season.</p> <p>Of course, the best advice is always this: When the roads are slick and unsafe, stay home. But if you must go out, you'll be glad you planned ahead.</p> <h2>1. Check the Battery</h2> <p>Your vehicle's battery <a href="http://corporate.interstatebatteries.com/winterizing_batteries/">loses 33% of its power</a> when the temperature dips below freezing and as much as 60% of its juice when the mercury falls below zero. So it's wise to give the battery and its charger a once-over to ensure they're performing optimally. A quick trip to your local car technician will quickly reveal whether the battery is winter-ready, or corroded and otherwise not performing well.</p> <h2>2. Switch to Winter Wiper Blades and Cold Weather Washer Fluid</h2> <p>Windshield wipers are crucial to a clear view from the driver's seat &mdash; but a nasty winter storm makes their job many times harder. That's why you should consider investing in a pair of winter blades, which are built to withstand precipitation and freezing cold. Most winter blades are encased in a protective rubber shell that prevents ice and snow from hardening on the wiper. The going rate for a pair ranges from less than $20 to about $40, depending on size and quality.</p> <p>While you're attending to windshield issues, car safety experts also suggest switching over to cold weather washer fluid, or any brand containing antifreeze.</p> <h2>3. Store a Shovel in the Trunk</h2> <p>You're driving down the road when your tires hit a patch of ice that sends you sliding into a snow bank. It's a gentle spinout that causes no injury or damage, but now your front tires are sunk in a heap of fresh snow. You're not going anywhere for awhile &mdash; unless you packed a shovel and have the muscle to dig yourself out. The shovel needn't be a humdinger, just something sturdy that fits in the trunk.</p> <h2>4. Check the Tire Pressure</h2> <p>For every 10 degree change in temperature, car tires <a href="http://www.goodyear.com/cfmx/web/corporate/media/news/story.cfm?a_id=371">lose a pound of pressure</a>. That's why it's wise to make sure the pressure in all four tires is in check at the outset of the winter season. In cold weather, any pressure imbalance will be made that much worse.</p> <h2>5. Evaluate the Tire Tread Depth</h2> <p>Car tires in any season need <a href="http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/index.jsp">a tread depth of at least 6/32-inch</a> to get adequate traction, according to Tire Rack. If yours fall short, you're going to need to go tire shopping. Wintry road conditions necessitate even more depth than normal to help the tire grooves compress and release snow as they roll. Without sufficient tread depth, spinouts are more likely.</p> <p>Should you opt for new winter tires, be sure to get a full set. Mounting winter tires on the front of a front-wheel-drive car can prompt sliding while putting winter tires only on the back of a rear-drive car will make turns more difficult.</p> <h2>6. Switch to Thinner Oil</h2> <p>Cold weather thickens the engine oil, which forces the car battery to work double time to get your car running smoothly. But you can give your battery a break and prevent potential engine trouble by switching over to a thinner oil. Most vehicles are served well by a 5W-20, 5W-30, or 10W-30 oil formula, but be sure to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/12/winterizing-your-vehicle/index.htm">check your owners manual</a> for notes on compatibility. It's also wise to have the oil filter changed to maintain fluidity.</p> <h2>7. Pack a Blanket</h2> <p>Should you get stranded on the side of a highway during a temper tantrum by Jack Frost, you'll be much less likely to run the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, or plain old cold weather discomfort if you've got a warm blanket stowed away in the trunk. While you're at it, it's not a bad idea to add a set of hand warmers, gloves, a wooly hat, a flashlight, bottled water, and a non-perishable snack to your winter weather emergency survival kit. Here's hoping you never have to use it.</p> <p><em>What do you do to prep your car for winter?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make">8 Dangerous Mistakes Even Safe Drivers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/56-life-hacks-to-help-you-win-at-winter">56 Life Hacks to Help You Win at Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-car-stolen">How to get your car stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living auto Cars driving emergencies snow winter Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1271197 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things to Never Do When Your Car Breaks Down http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-never-do-when-your-car-breaks-down <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-to-never-do-when-your-car-breaks-down" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-hitchiking-broken-car-Dollarphotoclub_55893103.jpg" alt="woman hitchiking broken car" title="woman hitchiking broken car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A car breakdown is not a common occurrence for the average motorist. In fact, it has yet to happen to me, although I have only been driving for 13 years. However, at some point your car could break down, be it a mechanical failure, an electrical issue, or a flat tire. When that happens, you will probably call your insurance or a tow service first. But make sure you also take heed of the following list. It will save you time, money, and maybe even your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash?ref=seealso">Repair the Car or Spend the Settlement?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Do Not Stay in the Car</h2> <p>Unless the weather is extreme, you need to get everyone out of the car and away from the road. Ideally, people should be behind a crash barrier if there is one. Of course, if the weather is extreme, you may have to balance the risks of staying in the car and being hit, with the possibility of exposure or other weather-related conditions. And if you are in a dangerous area, you may need to lock yourself in the car until help arrives. Try and get the car as far away from the road as possible in these exceptions.</p> <h2>2. Do Not Exit the Vehicle Using the Doors Nearest the Traffic</h2> <p>This may seem like common sense, but few people are thinking clearly when they're in a situation like this. The first reaction is to get out of the car and look under the hood. But if you exit using the driver's door, you are at much greater risk of being hit by a vehicle. It may seem like a pain, but get out of the doors that are furthest from the flow of traffic. It is much safer.</p> <h2>3. Do Not Stand Behind, or Next to, the Vehicle</h2> <p>Once you're out of the car, you need to get a safe distance away from it. Remember, a car parked by the side of the road can be a distraction, and there are plenty of horrific crashes and near misses caught on camera every year. You do not want to be leaning on the car when a vehicle doing 60 mph smashes into it. Like it says above, get behind a crash barrier.</p> <h2>4. Do Not Accept Help From Unofficial Sources</h2> <p>It's a sad sign of the times that this one is on the list. But, it's necessary. Good Samaritans are everywhere, but so are predators, scam artists, and thieves. Even if their intentions seem genuine, someone could be setting you up for something unthinkable. You never want to get into their car if they offer to take you to the nearest gas station or repair shop. The only time you should ever accept help when it is offered is from the emergency services, official breakdown or highway services, or from someone you know and trust. If anyone else offers, politely decline and tell them the breakdown service is just a couple of minutes away.</p> <h2>5. Do Not Flag Down Other Vehicles</h2> <p>Just like the previous tip, this is a precaution you have to take for your personal safety. You have no idea who you're going to get to help, and there are plenty of people out there who will take advantage of the situation. You are basically telling a potential predator that you are stranded, and that puts you in a very vulnerable spot. Even if you're a big burly guy who can handle himself, there are always people out there who can do you harm. Don't take the chance; don't take the chance, wait for help from your breakdown service.</p> <h2>6. Do Not Leave Your Vehicle in the Road</h2> <p>You are required to get that car out of the way, and quickly. If it's possible to pull over to the side of the road, do so safely. If the car is stuck in traffic, you're going to have to move it yourself. A friendly (or impatient) motorist will no doubt come along and help you push or steer. If you don't get it out of the road, you could be rear-ended, cause a collision, or something even worse could happen.</p> <h2>7. Do Not Assume People Can See You</h2> <p>Your car is parked by the side of the road; the hood is up, it's clear you're having car trouble. But these days, motorists are more preoccupied than ever (which is not a good sign at all). You need to make sure you and your car are as visible as possible to other drivers. Turn on your emergency lights immediately, that's what they're there for.</p> <h2>8. Do Not Display Your Red Warning Triangle</h2> <p>It seems obvious that you should put that out the second you breakdown. Not so. <a href="http://www.greenflag.com/downloads/hardshoulderguide.pdf">Green Flag breakdown service</a> says that the risks of getting out of your car and walking by the side of fast-moving traffic are far greater than the benefits of that red triangle.</p> <h2>9. Do Not Try to Fix the Problem Unless You Know What You're Doing</h2> <p>This may seem like a no brainer, but any mechanic will tell you that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Most people know how to fix a flat tire, but some have never even tried. Put the jack in the wrong place on the car and start jacking it up, and you're doing damage. You may also have to put yourself perilously close to the moving traffic in order to change the tire. If that's the case, wait for your breakdown service. You pay a monthly fee, now is the time to utilize it.</p> <p>Fiddling with engine parts can also be dangerous, and can cause more damage to the car (and you). So, if you have the knowhow, and are confident you can solve the problem, by all means do so. But if you're planning to lift the hood to fiddle with wires and do a little mindless tinkering, don't bother. You are not helping. In fact, you could make it even harder to repair.</p> <p><em>Any other roadside safety tips we should pass along? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-never-do-when-your-car-breaks-down">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make">8 Dangerous Mistakes Even Safe Drivers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/broken-down-turn-your-pencil-into-a-flashlight">Broken down? Turn your pencil into a flashlight.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/skills-that-can-save-you-money-part-1-parallel-parking">Skills That Can Save You Money Part 1: Parallel Parking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quickly-removing-scratches-from-cds-and-dvds">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips accidents breakdowns Cars Wed, 10 Dec 2014 18:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 1265971 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-cleaning-car-interior-524625211-small.jpg" alt="man cleaning car" title="man cleaning car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us car owners spend an awful lot of time in our vehicles, whether commuting to work, driving the kids to soccer practice, or just hauling groceries. I'm no big fan of keeping up with the Joneses, but the temptation to purchase a new, shiny car is a familiar feeling for many of us, even though keeping an older car can be much more cost effective (especially if it is paid off). So if making small upgrades to your older car help you keep it longer, then you're making a truly frugal choice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them?ref=seealso">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a>)</p> <p>In short, if you feel good about your older car, you're less likely to be tempted to buy a new one. Here are some easy ways to make your older car feel like a new one.</p> <h2>Inexpensive Fixes</h2> <p>These basic maintenance tips should cost you less than $100 and will help prolong the life of your car while keeping it looking good.</p> <h3>1. Clean and Organize Your Car</h3> <p>Every time you get out of your car, make it a habit to empty it of trash. A serious deep cleaning is great, so you can splurge (money or your own time and effort) once a year on a good interior detailing, but a simple dusting once a month can keep your dashboard looking spiffy.</p> <p>There's no need to invest in expensive organization tools &mdash; you can keep your glove compartment organized using Ziplock bags (all the car manuals in one bag, tools in another, car repair and maintenance paperwork in another, phone chargers and iPod cords in yet another, etc.).</p> <p>As for the exterior, you don't have to wax your car to a perfect shine, but putting it through a good car wash every couple of weeks will help you feel better about it. If you have the inclination, you can always use a toilet brush to clean your wheels every few weeks &mdash; wheels don't tend to get very clean in the car wash.</p> <h3>2. Replace Your Floor Mats</h3> <p>Floor mats are usually the first things to get ruined in a car. If your car still has the original floor mats <em>and</em> they don't qualify as Superfund cleanup sites, congrats! You should probably take them out of your car and store them for later, if and when you decide to trade in or sell your car. Instead, use weather-appropriate rubber floor mats. These will keep your car's carpet looking good and prevent the growth of mold caused by wet boots.</p> <h3>3. Get New Windshield Wipers</h3> <p>If you live anywhere that gets real weather, you know how important a good set of windshield wipers can be. Clean your blades with a microfiber cloth once a week, replace your blades every couple of months, and use a windshield treatment like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BVRZ74/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000BVRZ74&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HQSM6FUNT4IEKQAG">Rain-X</a> to help keep your wipers in good working condition.</p> <p>Some older cars have particularly weak windshield wipers, so if you really want to see the road, shell out some extra dough and get an entirely new set of wipers (with motor).</p> <h3>4. Get Some Seat Covers</h3> <p>To protect your seats from future abuse, or to cover up seats that are too far gone already, buy some seat covers in basic, unobtrusive colors.</p> <h3>5. Clean Windows Inside and Out</h3> <p>Clean the insides and outsides of your windows to improve both your visibility and the appearance of your car.</p> <p>Do you have kids? Chances are that the inside of your car's back windows are disgusting (I know mine are). Use a cleaner like GooGone to remove stickers and other goop, and then clean with your favorite window cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Some car owners swear by newspaper (as opposed to towels or paper towels) and barely soapy water as a windshield cleaner.</p> <h3>6. Repair Dents and Scratches</h3> <p>There are quite a few ways to remove dents from the body of your car &mdash; everything from the <a href="http://diy-auto-repair.wonderhowto.com/how-to/fix-huge-dent-your-car-home-without-ruining-paint-job-0146581/">hot glue method</a> to the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW3qzH7W-5c">suction method</a>. On older cars (especially cars that have body parts that are still made of actual metal), repairing deep scratches can prevent rust and future damage.</p> <p>Inexpensive scratch <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/06/car-scratch-repair-pens-review/index.htm">repair pens can only fix the top layer</a> of your car's protective coating, so don't count on them to fix a scratch the goes through the actual paint.</p> <h3>7. Perform Regular Maintenance, Like Oil Changes</h3> <p>Okay, this might not contribute directly to the appearance of your car, but keeping your car in good running condition is even more important than making sure it looks good (and fewer things will drive into the arms of a car salesman faster than a roadside breakdown with your older vehicle). With older cars, sometimes basic maintenance almost seems like it isn't worth it. But it is! Regular oil changes, filter replacement, and belt checks can keep an older car running for years beyond its expected expiration date.</p> <h2>Moderately Expensive Fixes</h2> <p>These car-care options are a touch more expensive, but can increase your enjoyment of your car.</p> <h3>8. Get the Seats and Carpets Shampooed Regularly</h3> <p>Look for social coupons and deals with local detail shops, or just do what I do and spend $100 every six months to have your seats and carpets vacuumed and shampooed. If you allow food and drink in your vehicle, you may need to do this more often. Clean upholstery can make a car feel practically new inside.</p> <h3>9. Upgrade Your Car Speakers</h3> <p>Factory default sound systems in older cars are generally pretty lame, but you don't have to break the bank to get an improvement in sound quality. Sometimes, something as simple as <a href="http://cartech.about.com/od/Car-Audio/ss/Newbies-Guide-To-Car-Audio_2.htm#step-heading">replacing the factory speakers</a> can be enough to drastically improve your car's sound. Of course, if you want to replace that 8-track player with a system that you can plug your iPod into, that'll cost you quite a bit more. However, if music is something that makes your commute more bearable, it might be worthwhile to spend a little more to get the tunes you need.</p> <h2>Spendy Fixes</h2> <p>These investments cost more upfront, but make a big difference in how your car looks.</p> <h3>10. Replace Banged-Up Body Parts</h3> <p>If you can't easily repair a deep scratch or remove a dent, you can always look for <a href="http://www.car-part.com/">body part replacements</a>, either online or through local scrap shops. You might just find a stellar deal on that passenger side door.</p> <h3>11. Repaint the Exterior</h3> <p>Probably more than any other service, a new paint job can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your car. At the low end, you can expect to pay at least $600 for a paint job at shops like Maaco, but the <a href="http://www.carsdirect.com/car-maintenance/average-costs-of-common-custom-car-paint-jobs">quality of car paint</a> used in these jobs isn't necessarily the greatest. For a couple of thousand dollars, you should be able to get a good exterior paint job that will dramatically improve how your car looks.</p> <h3>12. Get New Wheels</h3> <p>Vehicle wheels are funny &mdash; you wouldn't think that they could make such a big difference in a car's appearance, but they do. Cheap, older cars come equipped with cheap wheels, and over time, wheels really do show their age. Between missing hubcaps and mishaps with cement curbs, your wheels probably look pretty bad once your car hits the 125K mark.</p> <p>New high performance wheels can set you back between $400-1500 (plus the cost of tires), so only consider them if you really love your car and want to keep it for a long time (and want it to drive a bit better).</p> <p><em>How do you keep your old car looking (and running) like new? Please share your car care tips in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">How To Cut Car Ownership Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-fixes-to-boost-your-cars-re-sale-value">8 Easy Fixes to Boost Your Car&#039;s Re-Sale Value</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living auto repair car maintenance Cars old car used car Thu, 04 Dec 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Andrea Karim 1263098 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Secrets to Save Money on Gas http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-secrets-to-save-money-on-gas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-secrets-to-save-money-on-gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gas-station-103582811-small.jpg" alt="gas station" title="gas station" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on secrets to save money on gas, things you'll be proud of doing, and things you are likely paying too much for.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/10-secrets-save-gas/">10 Secrets to Save Money on Gas</a> &mdash; To save money on gas, take advantage of grocery shopping rewards and don't wait until you are on empty to fill up. [BargainBabe]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Do-Make-Yourself-Proud-34837079">17 Things You'll Be Proud of Doing</a> &mdash; Chances are you'll be proud of yourself for setting aside time for loved ones. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2014/09/5-things-you-are-likely-paying-too-much-for/">5 Things You Are Likely Paying Too Much For</a> &mdash; It is likely that you are paying too much for gas and entertainment. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://staplerconfessions.com/index.php/how-to-make-money-selling-at-consignment-sales/">How to Make Money Selling at Consignment Sales</a> &mdash; It is important to carefully clean your items before you sell them at a consignment store. [Stapler Confessions]</p> <p><a href="https://www.creditkarma.com/article/key-moments-for-your-credit-score">3 Key Moments When Your Credit Score Matters</a> &mdash; Did you know that your credit score matters when you are moving? [Credit Karma]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/convert-employer-individual-insurance/">How to Convert Employer-Paid Insurance to an Individual Policy Upon Layoff</a> &mdash; If you want to convert your employer-paid life insurance to an individual policy, check for a conversion provision. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/professionals/100314/top-ways-fund-your-new-business.asp">The Top Ways to Fund Your New Business</a> &mdash; When finding funding for your new business, consider borrowing money from the SBA. [Investopedia]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/10/08/i-want-christmas-to-be-debt-free/">I Want Christmas to Be Debt-Free</a> &mdash; To keep your Christmas debt-free, opt out of gift exchanges and don't buy &quot;hot&quot; gifts. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/10/06/planning-a-fun-frugal-halloween/">Planning a Fun, Frugal Halloween</a> &mdash; Keep your Halloween fun and frugal by making your own costume and using what you already have to decorate. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-ways-to-instantly-make-a-house-feel-like-a-home">5 Ways to Instantly Make a House Feel Like a Home</a> &mdash; Embracing knick knacks can make your house feel like a home. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-secrets-to-save-money-on-gas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/running-the-numbers-on-the-bigger-car-what-s-your-cost-and-is-it-worth-it">Running the numbers on the bigger car: what’s your cost and is it worth it?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-bear-repeating-driving-slower-saves-you-money">It Bears Repeating - Driving Slower Saves Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation best money tips Cars gas saving Fri, 10 Oct 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1231316 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/speeding-ticket-452522717-small.jpg" alt="speeding ticket" title="speeding ticket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are two types of drivers in America: those who've received a ticket; and those who haven't.</p> <p>In the past five years, <a href="http://www.insurancequotes.com/auto/traffic-tickets-insurance-premiums" style="text-decoration:none;">25% of drivers</a> have received traffic tickets. That's one in four. Of course, tickets can range from the minor (such as driving with a broken headlight), to the very serious (a DUI). Tickets carry penalties, including fines and point violations, and if you hit 12 points your license is taken away. Typically, you'll automatically get 12 points for a DUI. However, the biggest hit your wallet takes will not come from fines and fees, but from the insurance rate hikes that accompany tickets. Here are five of the biggest insurance rate increases you'll get from traffic tickets.</p> <h2>DUI or DWI &mdash; 93% Rate Increase</h2> <p>That's <a href="http://www.carinsurancecompanies.net/how-much-does-car-insurance-cost-after-a-dui/" style="text-decoration:none;">almost double</a>, if you're lucky; many insurance carriers will actually drop you altogether, and some will triple your rate.</p> <p>The insurance industry does not like people driving under the influence. They consider you to be a very high-risk driver, and rightly so. <a href="http://alcoholism.about.com/od/dui/a/dui_insurance.htm" style="text-decoration:none;">Drunk drivers</a> are a danger not only to themselves and their own property, but also to everyone else on the road. If you can afford to pay the increased rate, it will be that way for three years. That equates to thousands of dollars. If your policy is cancelled, you need to get SR-22 insurance from another carrier before you can legally drive your car. And guess what? You now have a cancellation on your record, so it will be even more expensive. Of course, depending on your blood alcohol level, you may not even be able to get behind the wheel for another nine months.</p> <p>The bottom line is, <strong>never ever drive under the influence of alcohol</strong>. With the insurance hikes, penalties, classes, interlock devices, and everything else, it will cost you $10,000 and stay on your record for a long, long time. How much does it cost to get a cab, or spend the night in a nearby hotel? It's not $10k!</p> <h2>Texting &mdash; 21% Increase</h2> <p>Texting rate hikes have not come in line with DUI rate hikes yet, but they will. Research has shown that texting and driving is the same as driving after four beers &mdash; something that would easily get you a DUI conviction. Worse still, you are <a href="http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/" style="text-decoration:none;">SIX TIMES</a> more likely to cause an accident if you're texting, as opposed to driving while intoxicated. Not only that, but 25% of all car accidents are now caused by drivers who text.</p> <p>It's an outrage that the insurance companies, and the laws, are not seeing texting for what it really is; one of the greatest dangers to road safety today. As it stands right now, if you get a ticket for texting and driving you can get as little as one point and a $20 fine, plus a 21% increase in your insurance rate (it's treated the same as a 15 mph speeding violation). It's very possible that if you have a good record, your insurance company will forgive you.</p> <p>But like I said above, expect the penalties for texting and driving to start increasing.</p> <h2>Reckless Driving &mdash; 82% Increase</h2> <p>If you're driving without using your hands, reading a book or map, erratically changing lanes while speeding, tailgating, road raging, or basically your attention is anywhere but the road ahead, you can get a ticket for reckless driving. Also, some DUI cases will plea down to reckless, or &quot;wet reckless&quot; (meaning alcohol was involved), and this results in slightly lesser charges and penalties. But don't go celebrating. Reckless driving is not something your insurance company likes to see on your record, and they will heavily penalize you for it.</p> <h2>Careless Driving &mdash; 27% Increase</h2> <p>On the other hand, careless driving brings much smaller penalties.</p> <p>While reckless driving is seen as intentional, <a href="http://law.freeadvice.com/general_practice/traffic_law/careless-driving.htm" style="text-decoration:none;">careless driving</a> is not done on purpose. You may forget to signal while changing lanes, or may fall asleep at the wheel (which brings disastrous consequences, but was never something the driver wanted to do). If you are ticketed for careless driving, you'll get a few points on your license and your insurance rate could rise by as much as 25%. Of course, your previous record will come into play, and your insurance company may let you off easy. There's a world of difference between forgetting to signal, and falling asleep behind the wheel.</p> <h2>Failure to Stop/Running a Red &mdash; 19% Increase</h2> <p>Whether you run through a stop sign or a red light, you can get a ticket.</p> <p>These days, cameras at intersections are grabbing offenders and sending tickets out automatically. You can always try to fight it, especially if you went through a yellow and the camera or police officer has you down as running a red. But, chances are you'll probably be too busy to go through with a court case, and will simply pay the fine and take the reduced points. Expect your insurance to go up about 19%, unless you have an exceptional history.</p> <h2>Speeding &mdash; Up to 30% Increase</h2> <p>The big one. Almost everyone, at some point in his or her driving life, is going to go over the speed limit. Even if it's just a few miles per hour over, it's breaking the law. Of course, most police officers don't usually bother unless you're going 10 mph or more over the limit (unless it's a very slow day). Depending on how much over the limit you were going, your insurance hike can range from 21% up to 30%. If you were doing something crazy, like 160 mph in a 55 mph zone, you may get a reckless driving ticket instead.</p> <h2>Driving Alone in a Carpool Lane &mdash; 18% Increase</h2> <p>It seems so trivial to get a ticket for driving in a HOV or carpool lane without passengers. However, those lanes are put there to ease traffic congestion, and if we all disobey the rules of the road they will become futile. While nothing major is going to happen, you can expect almost the same rate hike as a low-end speeding ticket. It's really not worth the hassle. Or the cost.</p> <p><em>Have you ever gotten a moving violation? What was the hit to your pocketbook?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dangerous-mistakes-even-safe-drivers-make">8 Dangerous Mistakes Even Safe Drivers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-prepare-your-car-for-winter">7 Ways to Prepare Your Car for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance Cars driving DUI moving violations tickets Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1173261 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Car Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-car-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-car-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-shopping-478789579-small.jpg" alt="car shopping" title="car shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some of the best articles from around the web on keeping your car expenses from draining your bank account.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/car-buying-tricks">Car Buying Guide: Tricks to Save Thousands</a> &mdash; Negotiating via phone or email and financing wisely can help you save thousands when buying a car. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Car-Seller-31000145">8 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car</a> &mdash; When buying a used car, ask the seller for maintenance records. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/16-driving-tips-to-improve-gas-mileage/">16 Driving Tips to Improve Gas Mileage</a> &mdash; You can reduce your gas mileage by using cruise control and checking your gas cap. [Sustainable Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetblonde.com/2013/07/26/buying-and-leasing-cars/">The Difference Between Buying and Leasing Cars</a> &mdash; If you move around a lot for work or pleasure, leasing a car may be a better option for you than buying one. [Budget Blonde]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/how-to-protect-your-car-from-depreciation/">How to Protect Your Car from Depreciation</a> &mdash; Keeping your mileage down and holding onto your maintenance records can protect your car from depreciation. [Thousandaire]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/save-money-at-the-gas-pump/">Save Money at the Gas Pump</a> &mdash; To save at the pump, maintain your car properly and plan your trips efficiently. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2007/01/20-ways-to-waste-money-on-your-car.html">20 Ways to Waste Money on Your Car</a> &mdash; Using a dealer for oil changes and not changing your fuel filter can end up costing you more on your car. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/car-salesmen-tricks-they-do-not-want-you-to-know/">Car Salesman Tricks They Do Not Want You to Know</a> &mdash; Car salesmen do not want you to know the car's real invoice cost. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/live-without-car/">How to Live Without a Car</a> &mdash; If you want to eliminate your car expenses entirely, consider using services like ZipCar. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/surviving-and-thriving-on-an-extended-car-trip-with-your-kids">Surviving and Thriving on an Extended Car Trip with Your Kids</a> &mdash; Packing treats (or &quot;bribes&quot;) can help make extended car trips with your kids a success and keep them frugal. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-car-edition">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-bear-repeating-driving-slower-saves-you-money">It Bears Repeating - Driving Slower Saves Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-change-the-bulb-just-remove-the-bumper-wait-what">To change the bulb, just remove the bumper. Wait, what? - UPDATED.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-car-stolen">How to get your car stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation best money tips car Cars Fri, 18 Jul 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1146782 at http://www.wisebread.com A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them) http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-salesman-151336938-small.jpg" alt="car salesman" title="car salesman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Used car salesmen are generally portrayed in the media as sleazy, greasy guys in too-tight polyester suits that are trying to take you for a ride &mdash; and not just in that lemon sitting on the lot. Of course, not all used car salesmen fit that stereotype, but at least part of that image is accurate: There are dirty tricks that they're putting into action to get that bill of sale signed&hellip; by you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso">17 Things Used Car Salesmen Don't Want You to Know</a>)</p> <p>Jason Lancaster made a living as a used car salesman for a decade &mdash; at an &quot;upstanding dealership,&quot; he says &mdash; but he's now committed to exposing the less-than-ethical business practices because he believes that &quot;customers deserve better.&quot; He left the car business in 2007 and started a website &mdash;<a href="http://www.accurateautoadvice.com">Accurate Auto Advice</a> &mdash; devoted to sharing accurate advice and information with consumers. According to Jason, &quot;The mission of the site is to give consumers advice that's 100% true. A lot of the info I see about car buying is false or misleading, and I'm trying to correct that.&quot;</p> <p>Lancaster exposes some of the more dastardly car-buying schemes in the following four tactics &mdash; and some advice about combatting them.</p> <h2>1. The Scream</h2> <p>Think of &quot;The Scream&quot; tactic as a riff on the good cop/bad cop scenario. The gist of it is that the buyer wants a certain car or a certain price that the dealer doesn't have or can't match. At the same time, the buyer says that they're not ready to buy at the moment. Instead of sending the buyer on their way without any hope of getting what they want &mdash; which, in truth, isn't available &mdash; the salesperson plants a seed that what the buyer wants may be available when he or she is ready to buy and suggests that they contact the dealer before they make any decisions at another dealer.</p> <p>&quot;Then, you sit back and wait for the phone call,&quot; says Lancaster. &quot;If the customer calls you for an unbelievable price, you tell them that you remember what they want and they need to come in to complete the deal. They come down to the dealership believing that you're going to meet their price, get their car, etc., and THEN you tell them the bad news.&quot;</p> <p>That's where the namesake &quot;scream&quot; comes in. Angry that they came back to a dealer that isn't willing to give them what they want when it was suggested that they would, the buyer, in theory, takes their frustration out on the salesperson &mdash; or the bad cop, if you will. And that's when the good cop &mdash; the manager, in most cases &mdash; comes in to seal the deal.</p> <p>Lancaster continues, &quot;The manager comes over, apologizes, then explains how the customer wanted a price that wasn't realistic (or a car that isn't available), that $XX is the very best price there is, offers to throw in a freebie, and makes the deal. If the salesperson is sufficiently scolded, and the manager is good at calming people down, it can work OK.&quot;</p> <p>The problem with this scenario, as Lancaster points out, is that the buyer no longer trusts the salesperson, which means that they'll never come back to them again. &quot;It's great in the short term, but really damaging to the dealership in the long term, so a lot of dealers won't permit it.&quot;</p> <h3>How to Avoid The Scream</h3> <p>First, don't let on that you're not ready to buy right now. That's basically where this scheme begins. Instead, inform the salesperson that you're looking for a car, and you want to find the best price possible, so you're keeping your options open by visiting other dealerships.</p> <p>To flip this tactic on its head altogether, round up a few prices on comparable cars from area dealers and bring them to the table with each salesperson. If the salesperson doesn't want to be competitive, and you don't feel like you're getting the best or fairest deal possible, walk. Simple as that. If they want your business, they'll work with you to find the most reasonable deal for the dealership and for you.</p> <h2>2. Rolling a Car They Know You Can't Finance</h2> <p>What's a dealership manager to do when he wants to move a vehicle off the lot, but he's dealing with a buyer who won't agree to make a sufficient or realistic down payment or who has bad credit with no chance of getting a good finance rate? Lancaster says there are two choices:</p> <ul> <li>The salesperson can tell the buyer what a realistic interest rate will be, and what that means for their payment; or<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The salesperson can tell the buyer whatever they want to hear about interest rates, have them sign paperwork and take delivery, then call them back in a week or so and tell them the terms have changed.</li> </ul> <p>Did you just have a WTF moment, too? Truth is this tactic works &mdash; and it's still used fairly often for three important reasons, according to Lancaster:</p> <ol> <li>People want to believe the dealer tried to get them a good interest rate, says Lancaster. &quot;If you bring them back, show them all the decline notices from the banks, etc., you can prove to them that you tried. Then they'll admit their credit is bad and agree to a higher interest rate and payment.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>People usually show their new car off to friends and family, often the day they get it or the day after. Losing the car a week later would be embarrassing, so people will often pay more just to avoid that embarrassment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Most dealerships make customers sign something called a &quot;bailment agreement&quot; that says the dealership can charge a very high fee for the use of the vehicle if financing falls apart, according to Lancaster. &quot;When I was in the business, bailment was $50 a day and $0.50 a mile. If someone drives a car for a week, that's $500+. That's a big cash penalty a lot of people don't want to pay.&quot;</li> </ol> <h3>How to Avoid This Trick</h3> <p>To avoid the dealer changing your finance rate after you take delivery, consider these three suggestions:</p> <ol> <li>Secure financing before you arrive at the dealer; or<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Request that the dealer show you a copy of the bank approval (they can print it out and show you easily enough); and/or<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't sign a bailment agreement, at least not one that specifies payment of a penalty for miles driven and days of use.</li> </ol> <p>&quot;The bailment agreement is typically the first or last document the dealer will show you,&quot; says Lancaster. &quot;If you see anything that says you agree to pay for vehicle use should financing fall through, don't sign it. However, understand that this may keep you from buying a car if you have poor credit. Sometimes, people with poor credit don't have much of a choice, unfortunately.&quot;</p> <h2>3. &quot;This Is the Finance Rate the Bank Came Back With&quot;</h2> <p>As you may know, dealers can make a percentage of a vehicle's interest rate if they can mark it up. One of the easiest ways to mark up interest rates is to bring a customer into the finance office, ask them a series of probing questions about their credit report, make a show of submitting something to &quot;the bank,&quot; then showing them a piece of paper and saying, essentially, &quot;this is what the bank came back with.&quot;</p> <p>Another dirty trick, of course, but it works.</p> <p>&quot;The customer assumes that whatever you're showing them is the actual interest rate they qualified for, not realizing that the dealership has marked the interest rate up 2% to 3%&quot; Lancaster explains. &quot;This is done all the time. Even at nice dealerships. Even today.&quot;</p> <h3>How to Avoid This Trick</h3> <p>The best way to avoid this trap? Join a credit union and ask them for pre-approval on a vehicle loan. Credit unions almost always offer excellent finance rates. From personal experience, I can tell you that my husband has done this in the past, and it's always resulted in a smoother negotiation. Lancaster echoes that sentiment and offers an additional tip: &quot;If you can't join a credit union, I'd go online and see what you can do to secure a loan from one of the lenders that partner with <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/">Edmunds.com</a>, <a href="http://www.cars.com/">Cars.com</a>, etc.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Failing to Disclose Damage</h2> <p>Prior damage to a vehicle will almost certainly play a part in your decision to buy a particular used car. But how do you know what that car has endured? Unfortunately there's no easy way to find this out &mdash; and it's not entirely the fault of the salesman or dealer.</p> <p>&quot;Depending on the damage and the state you live in,&quot; Lancaster says, &quot;dealers may not be under any legal obligation to disclose a vehicle's prior history. The vehicle could be a 'lemon' (manufacturer buy-back), it could have suffered damage while on the dealership's lot, it could have substantial body damage &mdash; and the dealership doesn't have to say a word about it.</p> <p>&quot;While a CARFAX report can help, CARFAX reports are often incomplete. I've seen CARFAX reports that are missing considerable information, to the point where it makes me doubt the quality of their service. In any case, dealers will lie about damage or problems because they're under no obligation to tell the truth, and the consumer can't prove the dealership lied after the fact.&quot;</p> <h3>How to Avoid This Trick</h3> <p>So what can you do to at least try to get the most up-to-date, complete, and accurate information about the vehicle? The answer here isn't the most appealing, but it's sort of a better-safe-than-sorry situation.</p> <p>&quot;The best way to protect yourself is to pay for an independent vehicle inspection and buy a CARFAX or AutoCheck report,&quot; advises Lancaster. &quot;A good inspector can usually spot a vehicle with undisclosed damage, and CARFAX/Autocheck reports are usually good about indicating if a car is a manufacturer buy-back (AKA someone else's lemon).&quot;</p> <p>If you choose to go this route, there are mobile used car inspection services in most medium-sized cities. If you live in a small town, you can take your car to the nearest independent mechanic and ask them to look it over.</p> <h2>How to Beat a Used Car Salesman</h2> <p>In addition to revealing these trickster tactics, Lancaster also has advice for car buyers, so you can walk into the dealership knowledgeable and (hopefully) maintain the upper hand.</p> <h3>Buy From a Reputable Franchise</h3> <p>Buy from a franchised new car dealership, as most of these &quot;tricks&quot; won't fly. New car dealers are carefully monitored by state authorities and the automakers they represent, so they're very careful.</p> <h3>Get It Inspected</h3> <p>Have whatever it is you're buying professionally inspected. It costs $100 to $150, and it's worth every penny.</p> <h3>Secure Financing First</h3> <p>Arrange financing at the local credit union then ask the dealer if they can beat that rate. Outside of a credit union, most of the larger banks have some sort of auto finance program, and most of the popular car sites have a partnership with finance companies.</p> <p><em>Have you ever scored a great deal on a used car from a dealership? How did you do it? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">4 Warranties That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-buying-part-2-into-the-devils-domain">Car Buying Part 2 – Into the Devil&#039;s domain.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-your-new-car-send-mom-not-dad-to-the-dealer">Save on Your New Car: Send Mom, Not Dad, to the Dealer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping car dealerships Cars scams shopping used car Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1153218 at http://www.wisebread.com Do These 5 Car Maintenance Tasks and Keep Your Car on the Road Forever http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-5-car-maintenance-tasks-and-keep-your-car-on-the-road-forever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-these-5-car-maintenance-tasks-and-keep-your-car-on-the-road-forever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-inspection-173299274-small.jpg" alt="car inspection" title="car inspection" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know the feeling: You start the car, and there's a weird noise. Or the check engine light starts to flash halfway into a road trip. Or before leaving for work you discover a disturbing pool of liquid under the car. Pangs of fear course your nervous system, and you frantically check your online banking portal to see if taking the car in will kill your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-slick-tools-to-save-money-on-car-repairs?ref=seealso">6 Slick Tools That Can Help You Save on Car Repairs</a>)</p> <p>All it takes is some foresight to take some preventative measures that keep you from needing major repairs or even replacing your car. You can pay small amounts of money and time for minor improvements in the present that will save you lots of money in the future. Here are five types of maintenance that could save you from costly repairs or even needing a new car.</p> <h2>1. Regular Oil Changes</h2> <p>The average car needs an oil change every 3,000 to 7,000 miles, depending on your car and how often you drive it. At the very least, you should know where and how to check your car's dipstick or gauge to monitor the oil level. It doesn't hurt to learn <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nng2Ey3z8to">how change your own oil</a>, either &mdash; that would save you about $40 every few months, and up to $200 a year!</p> <h2>2. Replace the PCV Valve</h2> <p>You car's positive crankcase ventilation, or <a href="http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/197">PCV valve</a>, is an important hub that ensures pressure is being relieved. This prevents such costly events as sludge buildup or engine oil leaks, which over time cause expensive damage to the engine. The PVC valve itself costs only $25, and remembering to change it out every 30,000-40,000 miles would prevent up to $1,000 in engine damage! The math is clearly in your favor. This is typically a repair that a confident DIYer can handle.</p> <h2>3. Brake Inspections</h2> <p>Oh, the brakes. So many things can go wrong. If you live in an area with tons of traffic (ahem, Los Angeles), you are putting crazy wear and tear on your brakes. The easiest thing you can do on your own is have your <a href="http://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/check-brake-pads.aspx">brake pads</a> inspected every 3-6 months, depending on your mileage. Not checking for wear early and often can lead to exorbitant rotor and disc repairs and replacements.</p> <h2>4. Replace Timing Belt</h2> <p>The timing belt is a crucial piece of simple machinery that synchronizes the turns of the crankshaft and camshaft(s). This ensures the valves, cylinders, and other components work well. If not replaced, the belt could fail while driving, which would cut the engine and potentially cause engine damage before the car slows to a halt (up to $2500 worth). <a href="http://www.motoringassist.com/motoring-advice/car-maintenance/engine-and-transmission/guide-servicing-timing-belt-replacement/">Change the belt</a> every 60,000 miles.</p> <p>This is not, however, an inexpensive maintenance item. Shop around and ask your mechanic to look at other items, such as possible oil or radiator fluid leaks, which may be more accessible while the timing belt is being replaced. You may be able to bundle the services and save. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-and-hassle-by-bundling-your-home-repairs?ref=seealso">Save Time and Money by Bundling Your Home Repairs</a>)</p> <h2>5. Prevent Rust</h2> <p>It seems simple, but in many areas of the US, it's unavoidable. Driving in a rainy, snowy climate can be a costly combo. Rust may be unsightly, but it can also cause other problems. Be careful to not let rust spread on your engine, chassis, exhaust system, frame, and trunk, because it can cause unsafe corrosion. Take simple measures to prevent it from spreading, such as a <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/green-home/rust-never-sleeps-you-can-stop-it.html">salt and lime treatment</a>.</p> <p><em>Any other simple or affordable car maintenance items that your regularly perform? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-5-car-maintenance-tasks-and-keep-your-car-on-the-road-forever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-clunkers-bill-passed-by-congress-what-does-it-mean-for-consumers">&quot;Cash for clunkers&quot; bill passed by Congress - what does it mean for consumers?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation automotive Cars mechanic Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:00:19 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1141811 at http://www.wisebread.com Would You Drive One of the 10 Smallest Cars Ever Made? http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-drive-one-of-the-10-smallest-cars-ever-made <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/would-you-drive-one-of-the-10-smallest-cars-ever-made" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-76800240.jpg" alt="toy car" title="toy car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love my tiny Toyota Yaris (and the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-at-the-gas-pump?ref=seealso">terrific gas mileage</a> it gets), but it's a behemoth compared to some of the smallest vehicles ever made. Which one of these diminutive automobiles would you be willing to drive? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy?ref=seealso">Guide to Buying a Used Car Without Going Crazy</a>)</p> <h2>1. Motoplan</h2> <p><img width="605" height="301" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/motoplan.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Why make cars that seat four or six when most trips are made solo? Way back in 1957, Carl Jurisch became convinced that the future of transportation lay in a personal single-seat vehicle, and he set about building a prototype. His love for two-wheeled vehicles is evident in <a href="http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=1057136">the Motoplan</a> &mdash; a small, personal three-wheeled vehicle that bridged the gap between cycle and car.</p> <h2>2. Peel P50</h2> <p><img width="469" height="369" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/peelp50.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>At a mere 54 inches long and just 41 inches wide, it's little surprise that the UK engineered <a href="http://www.peelengineering.co.uk/peels/peel-p50">Peel P50</a> held the Guinness Book of World Records' title of smallest car for over 50 years! Its 'big' sister, the Peel Trident, is the world's smallest two seater. Both are collector's items now, but still fully street legal in the UK.</p> <h2>3. Mia Electric</h2> <p><img width="589" height="384" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/miaelectric.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Experts say the higher price tag is why people have been slow to adopt electric vehicles. France's <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2014/03/18/in-korea-frances-mia-creates-electric-vehicle-buzz/">Mia Electric Company</a> hoped to overcome that barrier with this tiny offering: a three-seat all electric vehicle measuring just (9 feet, 5 inches), with two sliding doors and a centrally positioned driver's seat.</p> <h2>4. Tango by Commuter Cars</h2> <p><img width="464" height="325" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/tango.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When most of us get in the car, our destination is two miles away (or less), and we're typically alone. So why drive vehicles with massive gas tanks and eight seats? The <a href="http://commutercars.com/gallery.html">Tango</a> was designed to offer the speed and agility of a motorcycle along with the security of a sports car. At 8 feet 6 inches long (and 5 inches narrower than the average motorcycle) can park perpendicularly to the curb like a bike, making it a dream in crowded cities.</p> <h2>5. Smart Fortwo</h2> <p><img width="548" height="366" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/coupefortwo.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>It's time to reject the notion that small can't be sexy. The Smart Fortwo <a href="http://www.smartusa.com/models/pure-coupe/overview.aspx">Pure Coupe</a> is a mere 106 inches long and just 61 inches wide, but once inside you'll forget all about its compact body. The two-seater Coupe offers both automatic mode (for ease) and manual mode (for fun), and hill start assist; and it's packed with standard safety features such as eight full-size airbags.</p> <h2>6. Fiat 500</h2> <p><img width="425" height="232" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/Fiat500.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Fiat is another classic tiny car maker now experiencing a renaissance. Manufactured between between 1957 and 1975, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_500">Fiat 500</a> measured just 9 feet 9 inches long, and was originally powered by an itty-bitty 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine. It is believed to be the smallest car to complete a world circumnavigation.</p> <h2>7. Velam Isetta</h2> <p><img width="548" height="339" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/velamisetta.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>This two-seater car used the motorcycle engine of the Iso Moto 200, so was dubbed &quot;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isetta">Isetta</a>&quot; &mdash; an Italian diminutive meaning <em>little ISO</em>. The entire front end of the car hinged outwards to allow entry and the roof was made of canvas to allow for emergency exit in the event of a crash. Thanks to its small size (only 7.5 feet long by 4.5 feet wide) and egg-shape with bubble-type windows, the Isetta became known as the &quot;bubble car.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Mahindra e2o</h2> <p><img width="605" height="331" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/Mahindrae2o.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Most electric vehicles necessitate special charging stations that represent an added cost (or inconvenience) but not the <a href="http://mahindrareva.com/product/explore-the-e2o.aspx">Mahindra e2o</a>. Measuring just 129 inches long by 59 inches wide, this tiny EV can simply be plugged into a normal electrical outlet, just like your laptop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric?ref=also">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a>)</p> <h2>9. DIY Car by Austin Coulson</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/austincoulson.jpg" /></p> <p>If you look too quickly, you might mistake it for a child's toy, but this car built by <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20130904phoenix-native-guinness-record-smallest-roadworthy-car.html">Arizona's Austin Coulson</a> is no joke. At just 2 feet 1 inch high, 2 feet 1.75 inches wide and 4 feet 1.75 inches long the car is fully drivable, licensed, and registered, and it earned the 2014 Guinness Record for the world's smallest roadworthy car.</p> <h2>10. Daewoo Matiz</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="454" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/aqmlK6tTNzo" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Speaking of toy cars, many of us tooled around in one of those plastic pedal cars as a child, but few of us dreamed of making a road-worthy version. English mechanic John Bitmead recently made headlines by doing just that. Bitmead converted a tiny <a href="http://www.inhabitots.com/adult-sized-little-tikes-cozy-coupe-can-reach-60mph/">Daewoo Matiz</a> (now sold as the Chevy Spark) into an adult-sized replica of the classic toddler Cozy Coupe that's capable of traveling 60 mph.</p> <p><em>Can you see yourself in one of these diminutive daily drivers?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beth-buczynski">Beth Buczynski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-drive-one-of-the-10-smallest-cars-ever-made">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-infrastructure-destiny">Is Infrastructure Destiny?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-change-the-bulb-just-remove-the-bumper-wait-what">To change the bulb, just remove the bumper. Wait, what? - UPDATED.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-your-car-stolen">How to get your car stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living Cars classic cars small cars Wed, 28 May 2014 08:12:21 +0000 Beth Buczynski 1140738 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Cars That Thieves Don't Touch (and 5 Simple Anti-Theft Tricks) http://www.wisebread.com/5-cars-that-thieves-dont-touch-and-5-simple-anti-theft-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cars-that-thieves-dont-touch-and-5-simple-anti-theft-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-157407030.jpg" alt="car theft" title="car theft" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us won&#39;t ever know the heartache and misery of having our car stolen. <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/property-crime/motor-vehicle-theft">Despite the fact that thieves steal a car every 43.7 seconds in America</a>, you have to be pretty unlucky to walk to the street or parking lot only to see an empty space where your car once was. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-we-learned-when-our-car-was-stolen">What We Learned When Our Car Was Stolen</a>)</p> <p>But is it all just luck? As it turns out, thieves play the odds and favor some cars way more that others. So it&#39;s in your best interest to choose a car that fits your needs and also makes car thieves look the other way. One of the best ways is to avoid luxury cars (which won&#39;t be an issue for most of us). The penalties for stealing cars are the same, whether you choose a clapped out old banger or a top of the line sports car. So why risk going to jail for something that will make you a few hundred bucks, when you could earn many thousands? But that&#39;s not the only factor.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.iihs.org/iihs">HLDI (Highway Loss Data Institute)</a> recently released its list of <a href="http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/ford-f-250-has-highest-theft-rate-of-any-2010-12-vehicle-cadillac-escalade-drops-to-6th-on-list-after-years-on-top">the top five cars thieves avoid</a>. The data comes from claims filed over the past year, parts taken from vehicles, or personal property stolen from within the car. Of course, we should all make sure we don&#39;t leave valuables in plain sight, that&#39;s just painting a target on your car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">How to Prevent Car Break-ins</a>)</p> <p>So, in reverse order, here are the five cars you should consider if you&#39;d like the odds to favor you and not the car thieves.</p> <h2>5. Toyota Matrix</h2> <p>(Starting price: $19,275)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.4 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p>The biggest reason this car (and most of the cars in this list) is not attractive to thieves is that it spends a lot of its time in a garage. The Matrix also suffers from styling issues and poor sales (<a href="http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/toyota-matrix-discontinued-for-2014/">the model will be discontinued in 2014</a>). If the paying public doesn&#39;t want it, thieves don&#39;t want it either. After all, they&#39;re looking to make quick cash selling it or chopping it up for parts; a basic case of supply and demand. However, the car is cheap, and if you like the styling, it&#39;s well worth a look. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-spend-on-a-new-car">How Much Should You Spend on a New Car?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Acura RDX</h2> <p>(Starting price: $34,520)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.39 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p>At almost double the price of the Matrix, you&#39;d think this one would be much more attractive to thieves. But once again, it&#39;s a crossover favored by suburban moms and spends the majority of its time in a garage. And if you&#39;re going to steal an Acura, why waste your time on a mom car when you can rip off a sportier version with a higher price tag?</p> <h2>3. Audi A4</h2> <p>(Starting price: $32,500)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.38 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p>I was surprised to see this car in this list. It seems far more likely to be one of the top five most stolen cars. It&#39;s got a high starting price, it looks great, it&#39;s fast, and there are a lot of them on the road. But the Audi A4 does come with some sophisticated anti-theft devices, and it&#39;s also regularly garaged.</p> <h2>2. Volkswagen Tiguan</h2> <p>(Starting price: $31,425)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.37 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p>Not to sound like a broken record, but the reason this car is at the number two spot is the familiar combination of style and location. The Tiguan is very popular with suburban moms and is not a car the thieves particularly care for. However, don&#39;t let that deter you. It&#39;s a dependable, good-looking crossover with a decent starting price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-tips-to-keep-your-car-running-longer">Simple Tips to Keep Your Car Running Longer</a>)</p> <h2>1. Dodge Journey</h2> <p>(Starting price: $19,195)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.36 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p>This is it. The least stolen car in America. I have to admit, I wasn&#39;t surprised to see it in the list at all. The 2013 model is boxy and dated (the 2104 is much better). It&#39;s the cheapest car on the list, and it&#39;s very cheap for a crossover. Power and performance specs are nothing special. I think that helps explain why thieves pass this one by. It probably isn&#39;t hard to steal though, but as it&#39;s likely to be housed in a garage, it&#39;s not easy to get to.</p> <p>The expanded top 10 list also included:</p> <p><strong>Toyota Sienna</strong></p> <p>(Starting price: $26,585)</p> <p>Theft rate:0.5 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p><strong>Jeep Compass</strong></p> <p>(Starting price: $18,495)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.5 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p><strong>Lexus HS 250</strong></p> <p>(Discontinued)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.4 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p><strong>Honda CR-V</strong></p> <p>(Starting price: $22,795)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.4 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <p><strong>Hyundai Tucson</strong></p> <p>(Starting price: $20,595)</p> <p>Theft rate: 0.4 claims per thousand insured vehicles</p> <h2>5 Simple Ways to Deter Car Thieves</h2> <p>So, if you don&#39;t see your car on the list, or even worse, you car is <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/financing/insurance/americas-most-stolen-vehicles/">one of the most stolen models</a> each year (the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-most-commonly-stolen-cars-in-2012-20130819,0,591830.photogallery?index=la-the-most-commonly-stolen-vehicles-in-2012-2-010">Honda Accord</a> is up there every year), what can you do about it?</p> <p>Take a <a href="http://www.progressive.com/vehicle-resources/vehicle-theft-prevention/">layered approach</a>, and start with these basics.</p> <h3>1. Park in Busy, Well Lit Areas</h3> <p>If you park your car in a dimly lit side street with very few people around, you&#39;re just asking for trouble. If you were a thief, would you take on a car in plain view of the public, or the one no one can see? Exactly.</p> <h3>2: Put Valuables Out of Sight</h3> <p>Nothing happens by chance when it comes to car theft. Thieves are actively looking for reasons to grab your car&hellip;or whatever is inside your car. If you leave an expensive GPS system mounted on the windshield, or leave a purse, iPhone or laptop on the passenger seat, you&#39;re taunting them to rob you. And they&#39;ll be more than happy to take you up on your invitation.</p> <h3>3. Use the Emergency Brake</h3> <p>A sophisticated operation may use tow trucks to grab cars. You&#39;re making their lives so much easier by not using your emergency brake. Also, if you&#39;re parked on the street, turn the wheels towards the curb. You could also use wheel locks, gear locks and other theft deterrents. They&#39;re easy enough to get past, with time, but any obstacle you put in their way will make them choose a different car.</p> <h3>4. Don&#39;t Hide a Spare Set of Keys</h3> <p>You&#39;ve seen the trick in movies. The crook (or hero) drops the sun visor and the keys fall into his or her lap. This is not a movie cliche; people do it, and it&#39;s dumb. Some will opt for the magnetic key box placed under the car. This is better, but still not a good idea. Thieves will look for a spare set before they smash and grab.</p> <h3>5. Lock Your Doors (Seriously)</h3> <p>Opportunist thieves will walk along a row of cars parked in the street, checking door handles one by one. Sure enough, they&#39;ll hear the satisfying sound of the door opening. It doesn&#39;t take much to hotwire a car, and your lax security has led to a very preventable theft.</p> <p><em>Do you have a surefire way to stop thieves in their tracks? Write your suggestions in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cars-that-thieves-dont-touch-and-5-simple-anti-theft-tricks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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