Cars and Transportation http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4812/all en-US Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money? http://www.wisebread.com/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_88284853_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="hailing a cab: is it cheaper than uber?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Uber is more than just convenient; it can actually save you time and money. Everyday commuters are saving hundreds of dollars per month by foregoing their car in favor of rideshare apps like Uber. Businesses are also <a href="https://newsroom.uber.com/uber-for-business-saves-companies-1k-per-employee/">saving money by using Uber</a> for their business transportation needs, rather than hiring a limo or expensive business vehicle for their employees.</p> <p>Uber can also be safer than a taxi because it's all managed through the app, so you can always track your driver and leave reviews for them later on. When it comes to largely populated cities like Manhattan, simply ordering an Uber through the app (rather than fighting with people to catch a cab) can be very convenient and save you a lot of time and frustration. You can even automatically pay using the app, so there's no need to carry cash or worry about paying at the end of the ride.</p> <p>But if you're using Uber often enough, is it actually saving you money? Or is it draining your bank account? Let's investigate.</p> <h2>What Does Uber Cost?</h2> <p>The cost of Uber depends on which car you choose, the time of day, and how far you will be going. For instance, if you choose a traditional UberX vehicle, you will be charged per mile and per minute with a small booking fee of $1.65. If you choose an SUV, the charges per mile will be higher, as well as a base fare of $15, which will cost you a lot more for both short and long rides. A luxury vehicle is even more expensive and the base fare is $20.</p> <p>For an accurate fare quote, you can either use the app or a site like <a href="http://uberestimate.com/">UberEstimate.com</a>. You simply put in your pickup and drop-off locations and it will give you an accurate price range. You aren't required to tip, and Uber does not offer the capabilities to tip on the app, but your driver will usually accept a cash tip, if you feel like it.</p> <h2>Watch Out for Surge Pricing</h2> <p>Surge pricing occurs when the demand for Uber is higher, such as on the weekends, around holidays, and in inclement weather. The cost of your commute will be higher thanks to surge pricing, which can go up to eight times the normal rate. In these cases, you likely won't save any money using Uber and should instead choose a rental car, public transportation, or even a taxi.</p> <h2>Try UberPool</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/uber.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you want to save even more money, consider using UberPool. With UberPool, you share a ride with another person who is going on a similar route as you. Then, you split the cost of the trip to save more money. While this will save you more in the end, it won't split the cost in half, so if you don't feel comfortable riding with another passenger, don't bother, as you won't be saving <em>that </em>much.</p> <h2>The Costs of Car Ownership</h2> <p>The average monthly payment for a new car has <a href="https://www.experianplc.com/media/news/2015/q2-2015-safm-pt-2/">risen to $483</a>. Just think about what you could do with $483+ extra per month. When it comes to owning a car, there are a number of other expenses beyond the monthly car payment. For instance, there may be a weekly need to fill up on gas and a monthly car wash, at minimum. You will also have to pay for car insurance, registration fees, car maintenance, and car repairs from time to time. The occasional car accident and parking tickets can also add a lot to the cost of car ownership. These basic and unexpected costs can quickly add up to an astronomical amount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs?ref=seealso">How to Cut Car Ownership Costs</a>)</p> <p>According to a test conducted by Business Insider, one person's <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/how-using-uber-and-lyft-saves-me-money-2015-2">monthly cost of car ownership</a> totaled more than $1,500 in San Francisco, while the cost of public transportation and Uber rides only cost $572 per month. This is an extreme example, as most people won't need to spend nearly this much on transportation, but the savings are obvious.</p> <p>As a general basis, AAA estimates that the average person will spend <a href="http://exchange.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Your-Driving-Costs-infographic-2014.png">$8,876 per year</a> for a new sedan in an average city. To drive the same average amount using Uber, the cost would be <a href="https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/avoid-car-insurance-costs-lyft-uber/">$17,095 per year</a>, which is about twice the cost of owning your own car. For this reason, Business Insider recommends using UberX if you drive less than <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/is-uber-cheaper-than-owning-a-car-2014-9">9,480 miles per year</a>. If you drive more than that, Uber will actually cost you more in the end.</p> <h2>Paying for Parking</h2> <p>If you live in a large city like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York, you may also need to pay for parking, both on a monthly basis and whenever you are enjoying a night out. If you're on vacation, your hotel may also charge for parking, particularly if you're staying in the city center. Valet parking, and even self-park options, often total around $25 per night, and even more if those garages charge every time you enter.</p> <h2>How Often Do You Need a Car?</h2> <p>When it comes to owning a car or taking an Uber, you will almost always spend more on the costs of a car, unless you need a car on a daily basis. For instance, if you work from home and don't need a vehicle everyday, then paying for an Uber only when you need it can be a huge money saver. On the other hand, if you travel to work everyday, or live in the suburbs and need to travel for your daily needs, you may need a vehicle of your own.</p> <h2>Who Benefits Most From Uber?</h2> <p>Uber is a great alternative if you are living in a large city and don't need a car on a daily basis. It is also ideal if you don't currently have the credit or funds to purchase a car. On the other hand, even if you have a car, Uber can be a great option for a night you plan on drinking. Rather than trying to hail a taxi or depending on a friend to be the designated driver, you can simply use your app and an Uber will come to you when you're ready to go home.</p> <p>For quick trips to the airport, Uber can also be ideal. For instance, the cost of parking at LAX can range from $5.95-$30 per day, depending on how far you are willing to park from the terminal, which can really add to the total cost of your trip. According to Time Magazine, if your longest round-trip is the airport to the hotel, <a href="http://time.com/money/4299690/uber-rental-cars-which-cheaper/">Uber can save you money</a>. If you are simply taking a short trip and won't be driving too far out of the immediate surroundings, Uber will be your most affordable, and most convenient, option.</p> <h2>Is a Taxi More Affordable?</h2> <p>According to MIT's Technology Review, <a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/s/535886/data-mining-reveals-when-a-yellow-taxi-is-cheaper-than-uber/">taxis are more affordable</a> for rides below $35. However, this all depends on where you live. In Canadian cities, you will almost always save money on Uber, compared to a taxi. To be sure, use an app like <a href="http://www.openstreetcab.com/">OpenStreetCab</a>, <a href="http://www.priceride.com/">PriceRide</a>, or <a href="https://ride.guru/">RideGuru</a> to determine whether Uber, Lyft, or a taxi would be more affordable for your next trip.</p> <h2>When Is It Time for a Rental?</h2> <p>If you will need to use Uber from more than one consecutive day, you need to take a long trip, or you need Uber during surge pricing times, then a rental car may be the best way to go. In most cases, having a car at your disposal for both long and short trips is the most convenient option. However, in most cases, using Uber for infrequent traveling needs is your best bet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks?ref=seealso">Save on Car Rentals With These 10 Easy Hacks</a>)</p> <h2>Promo Codes</h2> <p>Each app, like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, offers their own promo codes, so it's in your best interest to try them all out with unique promo codes. You can also send invites to your friends and when they use your link or code to sign up, you will earn more free rides, so it's worth trying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar?ref=seealso">How to Score Free Rides on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar</a>)</p> <h2>Alternative Options</h2> <p>Uber and Lyft have transformed the taxi game. There are now also alternative transportation options to improve your ability to get around, such as <a href="https://www.getaround.com/">GetAround</a> (peer-to-peer car sharing), <a href="http://skurt.com/">Skurt</a> (rental cars are delivered and picked up from your location), <a href="http://www.carzup.com/">CarzUp</a> (all rental cars in one location), and <a href="http://www.swapalease.com/">Swapalease</a> (lease transfer options with no down payments). Make sure to compare the options and prices in your area before deciding on any one particular mode of transportation.</p> <p><em>Have you lived a month or more on Uber? What have your experiences been with popular rideshare apps? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">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/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</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-save-money-at-the-post-office">How to Save Money at the Post Office</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-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">How to Score Free Rides on Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation frugal living lyft ridesharing ridesharing app saving money surge pricing Uber uber pool Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1755639 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Cities for Going Car-Free http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_72593117_LARGE.jpg" alt="going car free is easy in these cities" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's ample evidence that walkable neighborhoods breed <a href="http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/12/growing-evidence-shows-walkability-is-good-for-you-and-for-cities/383612/">safer, healthier, and more democratic constituencies</a>. And even in cities with high levels of smog &mdash; here's looking at you, Los Angeles &mdash; studies show that the <a href="http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/walking-and-cycling-good-for-health-even-in-cities-with-higher-levels-of-air-pollution">health benefits of walking</a> or cycling or recreation or as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-morning-commute">means of commuting</a> far outweigh the negative health risks associated with breathing in air pollution. What's more, when city dwellers opt to walk or cycle instead of relying on gas guzzlers, overall air pollution levels can be reduced. It's a win-win-win. You don't need a car to get around these U.S. cities.</p> <h2>1. Boston</h2> <p>Nicknamed America's Walking City, Boston's relatively small footprint is dense with small neighborhoods, each with a unique character and a smattering of restaurants, shops, and convenience stores. That is to say that most Bostonians can complete their daily errands without ever putting the key in the ignition. Boston is also a city where owning a car, in many cases, costs more than it's worth. Take, for example, these<a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/06/30/got-these-back-bay-parking-spots-could-yours/BOvFjiiID0xWUJtQZxjdNM/story.html"> tandem, uncovered parking spaces</a> in the high-end Beacon Hill neighborhood. For about a half million dollars, they can be yours. No, this isn't a one-time fluke in pricing. That's actually the going rate. A pair of parking spots on the same street <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/11/03/look-back-some-priciest-parking-spots-boston/tIPhO225Vv5Mrdxy8aVYjJ/story.html?p1=Article_Related_Box_Article">sold for $560,000</a> at an auction in 2013.</p> <h2>2. New York</h2> <p>The city that never sleeps &mdash; Manhattan, in particular &mdash; is as pedestrian-friendly as they come. With sidewalks, bike lanes, buses, and subway routes galore, New York brings amenities such as markets, shops, workplaces, medical centers, and gyms in close proximity to the apartments and condos where people live. The city also has easy street crossings and long block lengths, making for more pleasurable pedestrian routes. There is, however, <a href="http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/plans-studies/sustainable-communities/bmn/bronx_metro_report/walkability.pdf">room for improvement</a>. Manhattan is by far the most walkable of New York's boroughs, but it accounts for just 8% of the city's population. Other boroughs aren't actually all that walkable. In the Bronx, neighborhood decline and disinvestment in public transit has made walking around some neighborhoods difficult and less enticing. In truth, the real walkability winner here is Manhattan, and not all of New York City.</p> <h2>3. Washington, D.C.</h2> <p>Much of the nation's capital has walkable zones where residential and retail spaces are in close proximity. And, unlike New York, these zones are evenly distributed between downtown areas and the suburbs. That means it's not just the <a href="http://www.archdaily.com/521438/washington-d-c-the-most-walkable-city-in-the-us">heart of the city that's walkable</a>, but the outskirts, as well.</p> <h2>4. San Francisco</h2> <p>The Golden Gate City was built on 42 hills &mdash; terrain that can make for treacherous gear shifting. And while all those hills will do a number on your calf muscles, there's truly no better way to get around San Francisco's densely populated districts. That's because a quarter of the 49 square-mile city's office, retail, and multi-family rental space is located within the bounds of <a href="http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/foot-traffic-ahead-2016/">walkable neighborhoods</a>. And while it's possible to break out of these neighborhood walkability zones and <a href="http://www.sfwalkingman.com/">trek the entire city by foot</a>, it's not exactly the fastest or most practical method of getting around. Alas, every city has its walkability limits.</p> <h2>5. Detroit</h2> <p>Oddly enough, you can get around Motor City just fine by foot &mdash; no motor required. In fact, these days <a href="http://wdet.org/posts/2016/06/20/83328-going-motorless-in-the-motor-city/">pedestrian-friendly projects</a> are sprouting up all over Detroit. And it's not just for the sake of recreation. About a quarter of all households citywide lack access to a motor vehicle. New walking path projects can help many in this demographic commute to and from the places they need to go, such as work, the grocery store, and school. And since you can't walk everywhere, new bike paths are surfacing, as well. Whereas Detroit had no bike lanes a decade ago, there are now nearly 200 of them.</p> <p><em>What other cities are good for going car-free? Share with us!</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/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free">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/7-hidden-advantages-to-getting-rid-of-your-car">7 Hidden Advantages to Getting Rid of Your Car</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us">The good life on less energy--even in the US</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/did-your-car-break-down-check-for-recalled-parts-and-fix-it-for-free">Did your car break down? Check for recalled parts and fix it for free!</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/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Cars and Transportation bike car car-free city environmentally friendly public transportation transportation u.s. cities walking Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1755541 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-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/iStock_73183307_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="is a car service plan worth it?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Considering the purchase of an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-extended-warranties-ever-a-good-deal">extended warranty for a vehicle</a> can lead to serious mockery from the frugal. Everyone <em>knows </em>that dealerships tack large markups to these policies, extracting hundreds of extra dollars from customers. Consumer Reports warns that more than half of people who buy an extended warranty never use it, and even the minority that do use it end up, on average, spending more on the warranty than they save on repairs.</p> <p>But suppose you are able to purchase a warranty at a <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/secrets-of-an-ace-negotiator-part-ii.html">low markup over the dealer's wholesale price</a>? Should you buy a warranty if it's a great deal?</p> <p>I recently found myself in this position after getting offered a price on a Toyota Extra Care Vehicle Service Agreement so low that a friend who worked at a different dealership urged me to snap it up. But still, I worried. Because even at a good price, coverage that I never used would still be money down the drain.</p> <p>I wished for a crystal ball that would tell me whether the used car I was buying &mdash; a late model Highlander Hybrid &mdash; would ever need the services covered by this plan. Seeing the future is impossible, of course. But with some digging, I found resources that helped me make an educated guess by answering the following questions.</p> <h2>How Long Would the Warranty Cover My Car?</h2> <p>The dealer was offering me an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, which sounded like a lot of coverage. But when I looked closer, I realized that the mileage limit was based on the odometer's mileage, not the miles I drove. Since the car already had about 60,000 miles on it, that meant this warranty would cover 40,000 miles of my driving. And since the certified preowned car came with a free one-year warranty, the VSA, if I bought it, it would kick in on year two. Assuming that the car would hit 100,000 miles after four years of driving, this meant that the supposed eight-year policy would really cover me for about three years. I used this information to calculate the cost per year.</p> <p>If you're not sure if a vehicle you're buying is already covered by a warranty, you can check by calling a dealership of that brand, or by getting a VIN-based report from CarFax or CarMD.</p> <h2>What Is the Rate for the Car I'm Buying?</h2> <p>When buying a VSA, it's like betting against the company that your car will break down. Of course, the carmaker and dealership know more about the car's reliability record than you do, so it's a bet that's stacked against you. However, it would help to know how likely it is that you'll need to repair your car during the warranty period, and fortunately, that information is available.</p> <p>One step you can take is to consult the reliability rating of your car's make and model on ConsumerReports.com. My particular car got high marks in this area, which was a strike against buying the warranty. In surveys, Consumer Reports has found that owners of more reliable vehicle makes tend to be less satisfied with their purchases of warranty plans.</p> <p>You can get more specific by ordering a Vehicle History and Title Report from CarMD, a company that sells a diagnostic tool that plugs into the car to tell you why the check engine light is on. You can order a report by typing the VIN into <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/how-to-run-a-health-and-history-report-without-a-tool/">CarMD's site</a>, and in addition to useful information about the car's history, CarMD will draw upon its large database to tell you whether a check-engine light repair is expected within the next year. CarMD showed me a report for a car with the same make, model, and mileage as the one I was buying, and the report indicated that no such repair was expected in the next 12 months.</p> <p>That was another strike against buying the VSA.</p> <p>What repairs can cause that light to go on? About 85% of the systems in the car, says CarMD spokeswoman Kristin Brocoff.</p> <p>&quot;It's not just a handful of parts. The car's check engine light can alert you to anything as small as a loose gas cap and serious as engine failure,&quot; she said.</p> <h2>What Are Car Repairs Likely to Cost Me?</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/reviewing_car_service_plan.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>CarMD can help answer this question too, using data from repair shops nationwide. The vehicle history includes a five-year cost of ownership estimate, which includes fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and depreciation. For my vehicle of choice, Brocoff broke down the $50,433 cost listed on the report, and revealed that repairs over the next five years are expected to run $1,689.18, or $337.80 per year. This was more than the per-year price of my warranty, so, if all those expected repairs were covered by the warranty I was offered, maybe I would come out ahead by buying the warranty.</p> <p>Another way CarMD can help you predict your car's future is its regularly updated <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health-index-introduction/2016-carmd-vehicle-health-index/">Vehicle Health Index</a> reports, which are free dispatches on the cost and incidence of repairs for <em>all</em> cars. For instance, the 2016 VHI says that the typical &quot;check engine light&quot; repair in my region, the West, costs $403.42. Knowing that, I know I would have to get hit with at least two such repairs that were covered by my warranty to make the coverage pay off.</p> <h2>Will the Warranty Even Cover the Expected Repairs?</h2> <p>Up until this point, things have looked good for buying the warranty, because the data predicts that I'd spend a few hundred dollars a year on car repairs. But this is where things get head-scratchy. Some potential repairs would be covered by two <em>other </em>warranties that would come free with my car, and those that aren't might not be covered by the VSA, either.</p> <p>Like many certified used vehicles, my car came with a limited powertrain warranty, which covers &quot;major engine, transmission components, and all internally lubricated parts,&quot; up until my odometer hits 100,000 miles, i.e., for about the same amount of time as the VSA they want to sell me. Because it's a hybrid, Toyota is required by law to also provide a warranty for the hybrid battery, covering about the same period. So, only repairs that don't involve the powertrain or the hybrid battery could potentially be covered by the VSA. Then, of course, the VSA has a specific list of components it covers, and anything not listed there would cost me out of pocket.</p> <p>How do you know what parts are most likely to break? Again, I got help from CarMD's 2016 Vehicle Health Index, which told me that the <a href="https://www.carmd.com/wp/vehicle-health-index-introduction/2016-carmd-vehicle-health-index/#stats">most common check-engine-related repair</a> for all cars was replacing the oxygen sensor (average cost $250), followed closely by replacing the catalytic converter ($1,153!), and replacing ignition coils and spark plugs ($390 for both). Searching for these repairs on the list of items covered by&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sc.toyotafinancial.com/web/tfs/pub/contents/vsa/TFS_VSA_Platinum_VSA_eBrochure.pdf">Toyota's powertrain warranty and the Toyota Extra Care Platinum VSA</a>, I found the O2 sensor listed on neither, the catalytic converter and ignition coils listed on the VSA, and spark plugs listed on neither. The high cost and high ranking of catalytic converter replacement was definitely a point for buying the warranty; then again, even at the second most likely repair, this job only accounted for about 7% of all car repairs. And despite all the data I'd read, I could not really predict how likely it was that my car would need a new catalytic converter during the warranty coverage.</p> <p>After investing multiple hours researching the likelihood of needing the offered VSA, I came to the frustrating conclusion that buying it or not buying it was basically a toss up.</p> <p>My educated guess based on my research is that my car may need one or two of the smaller covered repairs during the coverage period, but that the out-of-pocket cost would be close to what I paid for the warranty. On the other hand, reading CarMD's reports made me feel more secure that the odds of a really expensive repair hitting me in the next few years was probably not very high.</p> <p>One actionable thing I learned from this experience is that if you opt to buy a VSA, you should absolutely not pay the first price offered by the dealership. My dealership's finance guy first offered me the plan at twice the price he eventually ended up offering it at. All it took to cut the price in half was telling him that I didn't want to buy it.</p> <p><em>Have you purchased a similar warranty on your vehicle? Share your experience with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-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-11"> <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/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</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-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car">How Much Does it Cost Every Time you Get Into Your Car?</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/ask-the-readers">Ask the Readers</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/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You 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/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free">5 Best Cities for Going Car-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car car insurance car maintenance car repair car service plan mechanic saving money service plan Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1753054 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Best Ways to Sell Your Car http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_car_money_89954227.jpg" alt="Man learning best options for selling a car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're trying to sell a car, there are a variety of options available to you. Even if your vehicle is wrecked or no longer in running order, you can still sell it. In fact, thanks to the power of the Internet, it is now easier than ever to sell your used car or truck. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-sell-your-car?ref=seealso">5 Questions to Ask Before You Sell Your Car</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sell It Privately</h2> <p>Selling a car on your own will ensure you get the most money for it. However, this can require a great deal of time and effort on your part. Selling it on your own means you will need to determine the <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/how-to-use-tmv.html">vehicle's market value</a>, advertise, and meet with potential buyers. This also means that you will need to allow strangers to visit your home in order to test drive, which can be awkward and time-consuming.</p> <p>Depending on how quickly you are looking to get rid of your car, you can consider placing ads on Craigslist, eBay Motors, Cars.com, Autotrader, AutoTempest, Beepi, or even on the Kelley Blue Book site. Your ad should have clear photos and a good description, along with a history report. Be upfront about the condition, maintenance and repair history, and previous accidents so that you don't have angry buyers coming back later.</p> <h2>2. Sell It to a Dealership</h2> <p>Once you visit the dealership, you will receive an appraisal of the value of your vehicle. If you accept the offer, you can walk away with cash in no time at all. If your car is no longer in working order, you have fewer options, as a dealership most likely won't want it. You will need to turn to a scrap yard, local auto dealer, or a car buying service like CashForCars.com or JunkACar.com. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso">17 Things Car Salesmen Don't Want You to Know</a>)</p> <h2>3. Sell It to CarMax</h2> <p><a href="https://www.carmax.com/">CarMax</a> is a very dependable service, with more than 150 locations in 27 states. In fact, many drivers have found that the appraisal offered by CarMax was much higher than what they received at a dealership.</p> <p>Once you visit CarMax, you will receive an appraisal of the value of your vehicle. The process takes about 30 minutes and the appraisal will be valid for seven days, so you have time to make your decision. During those seven days, you can try selling it privately or see if you can get a higher offer at a dealership or another used car store. If you accept the offer within seven days, you can walk away with a bank draft in no time.</p> <h2>4. Take Advantage of Autotrader</h2> <p>Autotrader offers a number of solutions to drivers who are looking to sell their car in less time. You can take advantage of their <a href="https://www.autotrader.com/instant-cash-offer/">Instant Cash Offer</a>, which will allow you to sell your vehicle at a local participating dealer after receiving an instant online appraisal. They also offer services and packages to help you privately sell your car in less time and with less effort.</p> <h2>5. Have the Vehicle Picked Up</h2> <p>If your vehicle is still in good running order, but you need a fast service that can come to you, consider a service like <a href="https://www.webuycars.com/">WeBuyCars</a>. Car buying services like WeBuyCars will allow you to sell your vehicle in virtually no time. They will travel to your location, provide an instant appraisal, and can tow the vehicle away on the same day. If you accept their offer, they will issue a check on the spot and can even travel to your local bank with you, so that you can feel confident that the check will clear.</p> <h2>6. Trade It In</h2> <p>You can trade in your car, if you are thinking of purchasing another one at a dealer. Once you visit the dealership, you will receive an appraisal of the value. If you accept the offer, you can use the value as a down payment on your next vehicle. Some trade-in programs will provide you with a future trade-in value, so you have a guaranteed trade-in price or resale value once you decide to sell it.</p> <p>Trading in at the dealer is possibly the easiest solution. You drive in with your old car and drive away in a new car, and the dealer will take care of all of the paperwork and hassle for you. However, in most cases, trading in will result in the worst price of all options. When you sell to a dealership, you can expect close to wholesale value, whereas if you sold it privately, you could expect close to retail value. This can be a difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.</p> <h2>What You Need to Know</h2> <p>If your car is in high demand, it will be easier to sell. If you still find that you aren't getting any solid offers, there are some simple steps you can take to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-fixes-to-boost-your-cars-re-sale-value">increase the resale value</a>, so you get the most for your old car.</p> <p>In order to get the best value for your car, it's important that you <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/appraisal/">know what it's worth</a>.While these figures can provide a good basis for beginning a conversation, remember that you can always negotiate a price that suits both you and the buyer.</p> <p><em>Have you sold a car recently? What was your experience like?</em><em>Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car">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/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</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/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car">Should You Hire a Broker to Buy a Car?</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/7-easy-ways-to-calculate-your-new-car-budget">7 Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget</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-sell-a-car-without-a-title">How to Sell a Car Without a Title</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/should-you-buy-your-leased-car">Should You Buy Your Leased Car?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation autotrader car appraisal CarMax Edmunds kelley blue book selling a car trade-in Fri, 15 Jul 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1738705 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Buy a Car http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-buy-a-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-buy-a-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_new_car_87292815.jpg" alt="Couple making money moves before buying a new car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The beater you are driving now spends more time in the repair shop than on the highway. Or maybe you're sick of trying to time bus schedules or schedule Uber rides. Whatever the reason, it's time to upgrade to a new set of wheels.</p> <p>Unfortunately for most people, a new car comes with a new monthly auto loan payment. And these payments can be high. Kelley Blue Book reported that the estimated average transaction price for new cars hit $33,845 in May 2016. That's an increase of 3.5% from the same month in 2015.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can prepare for this added cost, and all it takes is a bit of research and planning on your part. Here are six money moves to make the instant you decide to buy a new car.</p> <h2>1. Check Your Credit Reports</h2> <p>You want an auto loan with the lowest possible interest rate, so that your monthly payment is as small as possible. And of course, you'll qualify for lower rates if you have strong credit.</p> <p>But before you start shopping for a new car, check your three credit reports (one each maintained by the national credit bureaus of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). You can order one copy of each of your reports free from AnnualCreditReport.com. Check carefully for any mistakes &mdash; fixing a mistake could immediately improve your FICO credit score.</p> <p>Knowing the information that the credit bureaus have on you and what your credit score is will give you an idea of whether you can qualify for a low interest rate now, or whether you should work to improve your score before you start hunting for a new car.</p> <h2>2. Call Your Insurance Company</h2> <p>If you are ditching an old car and upgrading to a new one, your auto insurance premium might rise. If you are buying a car for the first time, you'll need to purchase auto insurance before you can hit the road. And you'll need to know, for budgeting reasons, just how much you might expect to pay in auto insurance premiums.</p> <p>Your premium will vary depending on a host of factors, including everything from your age and driving record to the type of car you buy and where you live. So call either your current insurance agent or, if you aren't yet driving, an insurer licensed to do business in your area to get at least an estimate of how much you'll be paying each month or year in insurance costs.</p> <h2>3. Tweak Your Household Budget</h2> <p>You should have a household budget that you follow each month. Adding a new car payment means that you need to tweak that budget. Study your current budget to determine how much of a car payment you can afford. When you start shopping for cars, don't look at any that will leave you with a monthly payment that exceeds that amount. Having a new car is fun. Having a new car that you can't afford is not.</p> <h2>4. Pre-Apply for Financing</h2> <p>When you buy a new car, the dealer will offer you its own financing plan, meaning that you can take out a car loan directly from the dealership that is selling you your vehicle. But the smarter move is to go to your dealership with a preapproval letter from an outside lender.</p> <p>A preapproval letter states that a lender is willing to provide you with an auto loan. The letter will also state exactly how much money this outside lender is willing to loan you.</p> <p>It's good to have another loan option when you're at the dealership. The dealer will still want you to take out a loan from its own finance department, so the dealer might offer you a loan with slightly better terms, including a lower interest rate, as a way to compete. And if your dealer can't come up with a better offer? You can simply finalize that loan from the outside lender.</p> <h2>5. Gather Money for a Down Payment</h2> <p>You'll want to come up with the largest down payment possible when financing a new car. The more cash you provide upfront, the smaller your auto loan will be. And a smaller loan means lower monthly payments.</p> <p>So before shopping for a car, spend some time saving. It's long been recommended that consumers come up with a down payment of 20% of their car's final purchase price. For a car costing $25,000, that comes out to a down payment of $5,000. However, a smaller number of buyers today are actually providing that 20% down. Edmunds reports that consumers in 2015 provided an average down payment of just 10.5% of their car's final purchase price.</p> <p>Don't be one of those consumers who skimps on the down payment. Wait to buy until you've saved up enough cash for a bigger one.</p> <h2>6. Build an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>New cars come with a host of new expenses in addition to that monthly car payment. You'll face insurance costs, gas prices, and repair and maintenance bills. AAA estimates that the annual cost of owning and operating a vehicle in the United States is $8,558. That is actually a six-year low, but shows that owning a car is far from cheap.</p> <p>Make sure that you can afford these extra costs by building an emergency fund <em>before</em> you start car shopping. It's a sounder financial strategy than paying for such unforeseen events as car repairs or emergency home repairs with a credit card.</p> <p><em>What steps do you take when it's time for a new car?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-buy-a-car">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/5-ways-having-a-paid-off-car-is-surprisingly-great">5 Ways Having a Paid Off Car Is Surprisingly Great</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/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-you-conquer-debt">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as You Conquer Debt</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/avoid-these-5-common-mistakes-while-rebuilding-your-credit">Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes While Rebuilding Your Credit</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-self-employed-persons-guide-to-getting-credit">The Self-Employed Person&#039;s Guide to Getting Credit</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-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto loans budgets credit reports credit score down payments emergency funds financing insurance new car Wed, 13 Jul 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 1748332 at http://www.wisebread.com Buying a Rental Car? Here's What You Need to Know http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_driving_96645249.jpg" alt="Woman learning what she needs to know about buying rental cars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves the convenience of a rental car, especially when on vacation. However, tell someone you're thinking of buying one, and you'll likely see a look of confusion &mdash; or worse, disdain. Rental cars are driven hard and often not worth the risk. At least that's what people will tell you, but in reality, rental cars are a very prudent buys&hellip;if you know what you're getting into. Consider the pros and cons of purchasing a former rental car:</p> <h2>The Pros of Buying a Rental Car</h2> <p>Here's why you might consider buying a rental.</p> <h3>The Car Was Well Maintained</h3> <p>Rental cars are serviced regularly; above and beyond the schedule of a typical car that has been bought or leased. The larger rental companies, such as Hertz and Avis, often employ an army of mechanics to keep the cars in excellent working order. After all, it's a major hassle to deal with a car that has issues <em>after</em> a customer has driven it off the lot. And this means&hellip;no lemons. The chance of a lemon car making it through several years of constant rental is almost zero.</p> <h3>The Car Will Be Priced to Sell</h3> <p>Those ads that say &quot;great car, one careful previous owner&quot; obviously do not apply to rental cars. There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of drivers behind the wheel of the car. The rental company or dealership selling the car knows this. They have to tell you it was a rental car, and they know the reaction will be &quot;Oh&hellip;that means it has been driven by so many people.&quot; Their defense is always &quot;That's why we're giving it to you way below book.&quot; And even then, you have a great way to negotiate price. You know it's a car that has had many drivers, and that stands you in good stead. Ask for extras, a free extended warranty, or whatever else you want to sweeten the deal.</p> <h3>The Car Will Look Good Inside and Out</h3> <p>Rental companies and dealerships know the value of the walk around, and therefore, a bunch of dings, scrapes, and a set of bald tires will not help them move the vehicle off the lot. The company will make sure the imperfections and cosmetic issues are dealt with. Cars of a similar age being sold by a private seller will have more dings, scratches, and cosmetic flaws than an ex-rental car. The paint job will look good, the interior will be clean and smell fresh, and things like mats and carpets will be professionally cleaned, or even replaced.</p> <h3>The Car Won't Be That Old</h3> <p>Rental companies don't like having old models on the lot. People want to rent a new, reliable car, not some old junker. For that reason, the cars are swapped out regularly, and the older models are put up for sale. Often, you can get a great deal on a car that's only one or two years old, because the rental company wanted the newer model on the lot. Young cars are usually still in their typical three year/36,000 miles warranty, which will transfer to you (and some manufacturers go way beyond that). You may even find that the mileage is surprisingly low (although that's certainly not guaranteed).</p> <h3>The Car Was Originally Bought at a Discount</h3> <p>Rental companies don't buy a few cars here and there. They buy in bulk from the major manufacturers, and that means huge price breaks. These savings can then be passed on to you when it's time to sell the car. It's simple math. Their original cost of the car was lower than average, and therefore, the price you pay will be lower. They can afford to heavily discount the book price to move the car quickly without losing any profit.</p> <h3>The Car You Want Is Easy to Find</h3> <p>Whatever ex-rental model you're looking for, chances are you'll find it quickly. The big players like <a href="http://www.hertzcarsales.com">Hertz</a>, <a href="https://www.aviscarsales.com/">Avis</a>, and <a href="http://www.enterprisecarsales.com/">Enterprise</a> have websites stocked with a massive inventory of former rental cars. Not only will you find it easy to find the make and model you're looking for, but probably even the color and options you prefer.</p> <h2>The Cons of Buying a Rental Car</h2> <p>So&hellip; you know the ups, but what about the downs? While buying a rental car is a prudent, frugal move, you have to be careful of the following issues.</p> <h3>The Car Has Been Driven Hard</h3> <p>Rental cars have had a lot of different drivers behind the wheel, and that means a lot of different driving styles. Guaranteed, they were not all excellent drivers who were easy on the brakes and treated the gearbox with respect. The number of different driving styles, including people who hammered the brakes, the shifter, and the clutch on manual cars, can take its toll and cause excessive wear and tear on the mechanical parts of the car. These issues may not show up when you buy it, but after a few months you could find parts failing due to the strain of these juxtaposing driving types.</p> <h3>The Car Was Not Loved</h3> <p>Rental cars are not owned in the same way as a lease or purchase. When someone buys a car, it's a lot of money, and it's an emotional purchase. Everything has to be right. When you get a rental car, you really don't care about it. As long as it's the right size, and runs well, you are fine. You'll be returning it in a few days anyway. So, things get spilled. Dings and dents happen more easily. Scrapes are common. While many of these will be caught, and repaired, before the car is sold, the detailing team may not be able to fix everything. Or, there may be a lot of unoriginal parts inside and outside the car.</p> <h3>The Car Probably Has High Mileage for Its Age</h3> <p>Some rental companies swap out cars for new models so often, the cars don't get a chance to be driven over the expected mileage. However, for many rental cars, the mileage goes way over the average, for obvious reasons. A car sitting in the lot is no good to a rental agency, so they do everything they can to make sure every car is used as often as possible. This means discounts, special offers, and coupons to bring in customers. The cars are often rented by people on vacation, and that means a lot of driving, sightseeing, and additional mileage. But, the good news is that cars are so well engineered these days, the additional mileage is not the problem it was 30 or 40 years ago.</p> <h3>The Car Is Being Bought &quot;As Is&quot;</h3> <p>No equipment upgrades. No extras. No frills. Everything you see is what you get, and if you want anything extra (from a roof rack to a tow bar) then you have to pay for it yourself after you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off" target="_blank">buy the car</a>. This is, of course, standard practice on any used car you buy, so it's not a specific drawback to buying a rental car. But still, just remember that when you shop for a used car, it already has the options (or not) that you'll be getting. No more, no less.</p> <h3>The Car May Have Been in an Accident</h3> <p>If the car is in a fender bender, or something more serious, it could all be taken care of outside of the insurance companies and reporting agencies. It can be cost prohibitive for the rental agency to file an insurance claim on smaller accidents, especially if they have a full fleet of expert mechanics ready to repair the damage. This means the accident may not show up on a Carfax report. So, be careful, and get an independent mechanic to check it out.</p> <p><em>Have you purchased a rental car? Would you?</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/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know">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/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</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/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</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-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever">6 Cars You Can Drive (Almost) Forever</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/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</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-simple-ways-to-cut-your-car-expenses">5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation carfax high mileage maintenance mileage pros and cons rental cars saving money used cars vehicles Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:00:07 +0000 Paul Michael 1746126 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_car_mechanic_82873065.jpg" alt="Man buying car parts that are safe to buy used" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can save a lot of money buying used car parts instead of new for vehicle repairs. Options range from scavenging parts at junkyards, through buying rebuilt parts that have been reconditioned and tested to meet original performance specifications. eBay, Craigslist, auto repair shops, and junkyards are all places where you can find used parts.</p> <p>Even though used parts are less expensive than new, not all <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you" target="_blank">used car parts</a> make sense to install. Some tend to wear significantly with use and age, and may even be unsafe to use as replacements. Which used car parts are worth buying to save some money? These are your best bets.</p> <h2>1. Rims</h2> <p>The chrome rims on my son's 13-year-old car were leaking air due to corrosion and peeling finish. Since it was time to get new tires anyway, I decided to replace the rims with good old steel rims. My shop recommended contacting the local junkyard to find some good steel rims for cheap. If you want fancy alloy rims, sometimes you can find these on wrecked cars for a fraction of the cost of new. Just make sure the used rims are not bent or corroded.</p> <h2>2. Spare Tires</h2> <p>My old car was missing its spare tire, but I didn't want to pay $150 for a new one. The solution to my problem was a $50 spare tire from a junkyard &mdash; this included the &quot;doughnut&quot; spare tire rim and an unused spare tire. The spare tire I found was four years newer than my car, so it was better than the original spare that I was missing.</p> <h2>3. Mirrors</h2> <p>You wouldn't think a broken side mirror would be very expensive to replace, but a heated mirror can cost over $150 if you go with a new one. Rear view mirrors can be expensive to replace too, especially if it has a compass display, lighting, or other special features. Used mirrors are just as good as new ones and can be found for less than half the price.</p> <h2>4. Windows</h2> <p>If you need to replace a cracked or shattered window or sunroof on your car, consider saving some money by finding a used one. Not only can you save on the window glass, but you can find power window motors, hardware, and power window switches with lots of life left for cheap compared with new parts.</p> <h2>5. Power Locks</h2> <p>Eventually power lock solenoids and switches can wear out, leaving you without the convenience of working power locks on your car. When you see the price of replacement power lock parts, you might decide that you can live without them. But don't despair &mdash; check out used power lock parts for a fraction of the cost of new.</p> <h2>6. Transmission</h2> <p>A new transmission can run thousands of dollars. Depending on the age of your car, you might want to lower your repair bill significantly and go with a rebuilt used transmission instead of a new one.</p> <h2>7. Tires</h2> <p>Sometimes it makes sense to buy used tires, especially for an older car that may not make it much longer. Another prime situation for buying a used tire is if your car has older tires and you only need to replace one that has gone flat and cannot be repaired. When buying used tires, be sure to check the code stamped on the side of the tire to determine the date of manufacture. Even if the tires look good, sidewalls get brittle with age and can weaken, increasing the risk of a blowout for tires more than six to 10 years old.</p> <h2>8. Alternator</h2> <p>The wire windings on an alternator can crack and break down as it ages, leaving your car unable to generate enough current to charge the battery and leaving you stranded when your battery finally goes dead. Rebuilt alternators have the old wire winding replaced with new wire, and the voltage regulator is tested and replaced if needed. I have used rebuilt alternators on several occasions to save some money.</p> <h2>9. Interior Parts</h2> <p>Used parts can be a great way to go if you need to replace a car seat, floor mats, steering wheel, or interior trim pieces. Used replacement parts may have some wear and tear, but you can likely find them in similar condition to the rest of your vehicle.</p> <p><em>What used car parts have you used to save money on car repairs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">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/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</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-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</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/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big">6 Smart Shopping Reminders That Will Save You Big</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/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping car parts car repairs driving rebuilt saving money used vehicle Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:31:23 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1746426 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Hire a Broker to Buy a Car? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_60741810_XLARGE.jpg" alt="she hired a broker to find her car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After four years living car-free, a job change recently pushed my family to buy a vehicle. I dreaded going head-to-head with a car salesman and possibly failing to negotiate a good price.</p> <p>While researching how to get a good deal on a used car, I happened upon this quote in an Edmunds article: &quot;You're not a professional car buyer, so why go up against a professional car seller alone?&quot; The piece was about hiring an auto broker to locate a car and negotiate a good deal. It was a practice that I had scarcely heard of, but the one person I know who used a broker raved that it saved her both time and money. And a little online searching had showed me that the specific used car I wanted was going to be hard to track down at a good price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off?ref=seealso">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</a>)</p> <p>So I decided to give it a whirl.</p> <h2>How to Hire a Broker</h2> <p>Car brokers tend to be solo or small-group operators, and each brokerage may operate slightly differently, but this is what the process was like for me.</p> <p>First, I emailed a local broker who had positive reviews on Yelp, and told him exactly what we were looking for: make, model, acceptable years and mileage range, colors, and trim level. He replied, explaining how his service works and the fee, which for used cars is $800. He would search online through publicly available sites, dealer-only wholesale sites &mdash; a good source for finding former rental cars, he said &mdash; and possibly through his network of other brokers. He'd check vehicle history reports, eliminating cars that had been in accidents or driven in rust-prone regions. Then he'd call sellers to verify availability and nail down the lowest price they'd be willing to sell it for. Finally, he'd send me a list of matching cars, so I could pick the one I wanted to buy.</p> <p>The process went pretty much as he said it would. When he sent the list, he also showed me how to judge how good a deal each car was, and gave his recommendations for the best bets.</p> <h3>Be Sure to Confirm Broker Services</h3> <p>One thing that I did not realize going into the experience was that my broker's work ended when I selected a vehicle. I had hoped that I would simply tell him which car I wanted, and he'd have the necessary documents sent to me, tell me where to wire the money, and the car would be delivered to my door without me ever having to speak to a dealership. Some services &mdash; more likely those that market themselves as car concierge services &mdash; do some of this for their clients, but in my case, the broker simply gave me the phone number of the dealership and the price they'd agreed to, and got a shipping quote for me from his preferred shipping service. I had to talk to the dealership, in a series of back-and-forth calls that ended up stretching over several days, sign the paperwork they FedExed me, and then call the shipper to schedule the delivery.</p> <p>In the end, I got the car I wanted at a good price, with less hassle than I would have gone through if I'd tried to do it all on my own. Because the car I wanted, a late-model Toyota Highlander Hybrid, is in high demand, my broker wasn't able to get the dealership to budge from its advertised price. But it was still a good deal &mdash; in fact, when I contacted a local dealer to see if they could match the price, they congratulated me on getting a steal. But the main advantages of the broker, for me, were saving time and peace of mind. If I'd done it on my own, I'd have felt uncertain as to whether I'd gotten a good deal or a bad one &mdash; and I also wouldn't have had the nerve to attempt an out-of-state transaction without someone to explain how it works.</p> <h2>Is It the Right Move for You?</h2> <p>Car brokers also help people buy new vehicles, but because my purchase was used, the tips here mostly pertain to pre-owned car purchases.</p> <p>You may want to work with a dealer if:</p> <h3>You Hate Negotiating</h3> <p>Even though I would have loved to save more, I liked knowing that when I contacted the dealer, we had already agreed on a price. I had considered avoiding negotiation by visiting a fixed-price outlet like CarMax, but I'm glad I didn't, because CarMax is selling an identical vehicle to the one I bought &mdash; for $3,000 more than I paid.</p> <h3>You Are Really Busy</h3> <p>In the past, I have bought cars through ads posted on Craigslist or even the classified section of the newspaper. It takes a lot of time to contact individual sellers and dealerships this way, not to mention checking Carfax reports. My broker made all these searches, phone calls, and background checks for me, earning his fee in the hours he saved me, alone.</p> <h3>You Want to Find a Vehicle Quickly</h3> <p>My broker located a car with everything on my wish list in under a week. If I were searching myself, I'm pretty sure I would have spent all summer searching Craigslist and other sites before I found a vehicle that matched my list so well.</p> <h3>You Don't Know Much About the Car-Buying Business</h3> <p>If I had been well-versed in how to compare prices based on the <a href="http://www.nadaguides.com/">NADAguides</a> trade-in price, and knew what to look for in a car's history, I might not have needed my broker's help. As it was, I learned so much from my broker that I would feel comfortable searching and negotiating on my own next time around.</p> <h3>You're on a Tight Budget</h3> <p>It may seem counterintuitive to be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars up front in order to get a good deal, but think of it this way: If you're not price sensitive, you don't need a broker, because you can save time and hassle by walking into a dealership and buying a new car at the advertised price.</p> <h2>Downsides of Working With a Broker</h2> <p>Although I'm glad I did it, the experience wasn't perfect.</p> <h3>Pressure to Work on the Broker's Timeline</h3> <p>My natural inclination would have been to only spend an hour or two a week working on my car search, and spread it out over a longer period. Understandably, my broker wanted to get the job over with and get paid. Because of that, I ended up fielding multiple phone calls and emails from him during that week, often at times when I was busy with work.</p> <h3>The Broker May Have Other Incentives</h3> <p>Some brokers are also compensated by dealers &mdash; which is something you should ask about in advance. My broker sold extended warranties, and while his warranties were less expensive than those sold by dealerships, I felt like he expected me to buy one. It would have been awkward for me to say no after working together all week. (In the end, I bought a car that came with a warranty, so the point was moot.)</p> <h3>It's Not Ideal for Introverts</h3> <p>On one hand, it was great to have someone available to answer my questions at every step of the car search process. On the other, I'm not much for talking on the phone, and it felt awkward to have to work on a team every day for a week. Sometimes we had communication issues that caused me stress, especially when my broker would sound irritated, because I didn't understand what he was talking about.</p> <p><em>Have you worked with a broker before? What was your experience like? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car">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/how-much-should-you-spend-on-a-new-car">How Much Should You Spend on a New Car?</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-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy">How to Save Money Buying a New Car and Be Happy</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/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</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/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You 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/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> Budgeting Cars and Transportation broker buying a car car financing car salesman car salesperson car shopping new car saving money selling a car Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:00:04 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1735466 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 7 Ways to Get Free Gas http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-7-ways-to-get-free-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-7-ways-to-get-free-gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_getting_gas_28629044.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get free gas" title="" 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 articles on legal ways to get free gas, healthy hacks to a lean body, and ways to protect your home while you&rsquo;re on vacation.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/free-gas/">7 Legal Ways to Get Free Gas: No Hack or Code Required</a> &mdash; Several companies and organizations offer programs that will pay for your gas if you meet their criteria. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/4-healthy-hacks-super-lean-body/">4 Healthy Hacks To A Super Lean Body</a> &mdash; Learn what to eat and drink &mdash; and how to train and relax &mdash; to get a leaner, healthier body. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/06/14/14-ways-to-protect-your-home-while-on-vacation/">14 Ways to Protect Your Home While on Vacation</a> &mdash; Lock or deadbolt every window and door in your house. Make sure every possible entry is secure! [The Art of Manliness]</p> <p><a href="http://www.5dollardinners.com/12-must-buy-organic-ingredients-from-costco/">12 Must Buy Organic Ingredients from Costco</a> &mdash; Costco has a great selection of organic foods, including whole chickens, raisins, peanut butter, and more! [$5 Dinners]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Easy-Ways-Eliminate-Bad-Smells-41669844#photo-41669844">Here Are 18 Safe, Affordable Ways to Get Rid of Nasty Smells</a> &mdash; Got a stinky drain? A homemade drain buster will get rid of pungent odors. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/14-fathers-day-activities-for-grandfathers-fathers-and-sons">14 Father's Day Activities for Grandfathers, Fathers, and Son</a>s &ndash; Life passes way too quickly. Capture this special day with professional photographs! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2016/06/improve-your-mental-health.html">5 Quick Fixes To Improve Your Mental Health</a> &mdash; Keep your mind sharp with puzzles games, books, and even video games. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://shopperstrategy.com/2016/06/16/how-to-take-a-cruise-on-a-budget/">How to Take a Cruise on a Budget</a> &mdash; Booking with a smaller ship will cost less because they don't have as many luxuries. This is a great way to save money if you don't care about spas or a huge selection of on-board restaurants. [Shopper Strategy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/easy-home-remedies-for-itchy-insect-bites/">Easy Home Remedies For Itchy Insect Bites</a> &mdash; Basil can relieve the itch from insect bites and keep bugs away, too. [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/06/16/10-point-checklist-for-investing-in-retail-stocks.aspx">10-Point Checklist for Investing in Retail Stocks</a> &mdash; If the retail stock you're considering competes with Amazon, you may want to move on to another investment with a less dominant competitor. [The Motley Fool]</p> <p><strong>$1,500 Giveaway!</strong> Don't forget to enter before June 30th for your chance to win $1,500 in prizes in our Rutgers Giveaway! If you are a young adult, take a quick survey on your financial decisions and you could win a $500 or one of five $200 Amazon gift cards. For more information and to enter, check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rutgers-is-giving-away-1500-to-wise-bread-readers">giveaway article</a>!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-7-ways-to-get-free-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-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/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</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-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</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/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</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/5-best-cities-for-going-car-free">5 Best Cities for Going Car-Free</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 free gas Fri, 17 Jun 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Amy Lu 1732807 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_road_trip_21640056.jpg" alt="Women finding smart ways to boost gas mileage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is just around the corner, and if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll be hittin' the road before you know it. Cut a bit of the cost from your road trip(s) by saving on gas with these fuel-efficient tips and tricks.</p> <h2>1. Switch to a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle</h2> <p>It seems like an obvious solution, and it's certainly easier said than done to upgrade your vehicle to a more fuel-efficient model like a fully electric car or hybrid. But if it's time for a new whip, or you want to invest in a ride that will you save you dough in the long term, it's the only way to go. If nothing else, it's at least worth a trip to the dealership to see what it has to offer and <a href="http://www.afdc.energy.gov/calc/">then crunch the numbers</a>.</p> <h2>2. Lighten Your Load Before Long Hauls</h2> <p>Over-packing your car for a road trip &mdash; or, the more likely scenario, hauling around a bunch of junk on a regular basis for no reason at all &mdash; weighs down your vehicle, and that requires it work harder for all that get up-and-go, thus consuming more gas.</p> <p>&quot;Do you go to the garden center, buy several bags of topsoil, then forget to unload your car for a week?&quot; asks auto expert Richard Reina. &quot;Perhaps you have a trunk full of tools, sports equipment, or project supplies which don't need to be there. Think about this: Automotive engineers sweat the details to remove ounces of weight to improve a vehicle's EPA mileage rating. Imagine what happens if you remove several pounds. Make it a habit to only carry what needs to be in the car.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated</h2> <p>Tires low on air don't roll easily, requiring more engine power (and more fuel) to make them rotate &mdash; but tire pressure is one of the easiest checks to perform.</p> <p>&quot;Buy an inexpensive pressure gauge, keep it in your glove box, and make a habit of checking the tires at fill-ups,&quot; Reina says. &quot;Be strict about using the numbers on the vehicle's tire pressure label, usually found in the driver's door jamb. Most vehicles have the same pressure rating for all four tires; but pay attention if your label requires different pressures front and rear.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Avoid Stop-and-Go Traffic</h2> <p>You'll save on gas if you keep your car moving at a steady pace opposed to braking often in traffic. If your morning and afternoon commutes are usually sluggish, try another route. Another reason your vehicle will consume more fuel in stop-and-go traffic is because it'll run longer than if you traveled from A to B quicker. If you have the option, test out different departing times &mdash; maybe leave home/work a little earlier or later, depending on what your schedule (and boss) allows &mdash; to avoid gridlock.</p> <h2>5. Take Your Foot Off the Pedal and Coast for a While</h2> <p>Instead of driving to the absolute last second when you need to stop, take your foot off the pedal well before the light to allow your car to coast to a stop. Make this a habit and you'll start seeing the difference in how often you have to refuel.</p> <h2>6. Turn on Cruise Control to Keep an Even Speed</h2> <p>Personally, I love cruise control. Not so much for the gas-saving factor, but because my feet get tired of always being on the pedal when I'm on long drives &mdash; though the former is as good a reason as any to use it when you hop on the highway.</p> <p>&quot;The best thing you can do to increase your gas mileage is to travel where you can keep an even speed,&quot; say savings expert Paul Moyer. &quot;Most vehicles get the best mileage somewhere between 45 and 55 miles per hour. If you can maintain that speed for long periods of time, you will greatly reduce your gas usage.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Plan Your Errands About Town Efficiently</h2> <p>I'm notoriously forgetful in the morning. I run back in the house at least twice every day to get something I forgot before heading to work. But, I'm much more put together when I'm running weekend errands. I plan out my stops so I can get to one end of town and back without having to cut across roads, make any unnecessary turns, or do the back-and-forth routine. I head north and hit everything on one side of the road, then south to get the rest on the way back. Granted, your errands may not be mapped out so neatly, but there are probably ways you can make your about-town travels more efficient if you tried.</p> <h2>8. Don't Let Your Car Idle if You're Not in It</h2> <p>Even when your car is sitting idle &mdash; like when you're heating it up in the morning when it's cold out &mdash; it's still using gas. If this is your daily practice in the winter, wean yourself off of it. As an alternative, bundle up and let the car heat up gradually as you drive. I know, it's not as cozy-comfortable as getting into a toasty-hot car that's had 20 minutes to sit, but at least your wallet won't feel the burn at the pump. Plus, you'll greatly reduce the chances that your car will get stolen from your own driveway. Do you really want to tell your local law enforcement that embarrassing tale?</p> <h2>9. Take Advantage of the Weather to Heat/Cool the Car Naturally</h2> <p>When it's cold out, park your car in the sun. Vice versa, when it's hot as the dickens, park in the shade. By consciously regulating the temperature inside the car naturally, you may be able to cut down on the times you want to crank up the heat or the A/C&hellip; although the latter isn't as bad as you think it is.</p> <h2>10. Keep the Windows Up When Driving</h2> <p>As I just mentioned, using the A/C isn't the gas-guzzler you might expect it to be. No need to feel wasteful if you require more climate control than Mother Nature is providing.</p> <p>&quot;This tip may run counter to what you were taught: 'Avoid using the A/C unless necessary, because it uses gas!' While this was true 25 years ago, modern electronics have overridden this concern,&quot; Reina says. &quot;Computer controls run the A/C only when needed while still keeping you cool. Automotive aerodynamics have improved so much that driving with windows down actually creates drag. The net effect is that a vehicle gets better mileage if the windows stay up, and the A/C's effect on fuel economy is nil.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Maintain Your Vehicle Regularly to Keep the Engine Running Clean</h2> <p>Of course, the best way to ensure that your car is running clean is to get regular maintenance. Nobody likes to have their car worked on (because what are they going to find wrong with it <em>this time</em>, right?), but if you stay on top of your car's needs, like clean air filters, you'll cut down on costs across the board (not just gas) over the lifetime of the vehicle &mdash; and that's just money in the bank.</p> <p><em>What are some things you do to boost your gas mileage? I'd love to hear your travel tactics 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">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/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know">Buying a Rental Car? Here&#039;s What You Need to Know</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-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</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/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low">Is It Still Smart to Buy an Electric Car While Gas Prices Are Low?</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-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car">How Much Does it Cost Every Time you Get Into Your Car?</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/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation commuting driving efficiency fuels costs gas mileage maintenance road trips vehicles Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1728673 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sell a Car Without a Title http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-a-car-without-a-title <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-a-car-without-a-title" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_car_62781762.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to sell a car without a title" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you're ready to sell your vehicle, but you don't have the title. What now? Fortunately, there are a variety of options available to you.</p> <h2>Request a Duplicate</h2> <p>If you've simply misplaced your title, you can submit a simple Application for Duplicate Title to your state's DMV office. If there are other issues with your title, such as an incorrect name, you can quickly <a href="http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/replacing-a-lost-title.php">correct this through the DMV</a> as well.</p> <p>You can also request a replacement with an Application for Replacement Certificate of Title from your state. This form will be required if you plan to sell the vehicle to someone in another state. You can also use this form to assign ownership of your vehicle to the new buyer.</p> <p>Lastly, you may need to request an Affidavit in Lieu of Title form to prove your ownership. They may require the past bill of sale or previous car insurance documents for proof of ownership. Several weeks after submitting this, you'll receive the title.</p> <h2>Does the Bank Hold the Title?</h2> <p>If the bank holds the title, you'll want to speak with the bank about what procedures they require for you to sell your financed vehicle. You'll also want to know what the payoff amount is, which your lender will likely refer to as the &quot;10 day payoff amount.&quot; Once you sell the vehicle, you will want to use the proceeds to pay off the loan on the car.</p> <p>The buyer may feel nervous about purchasing a vehicle that does not have a free and clear title. It's important that you are completely honest and do what you can to put the buyer's mind at ease so they feel comfortable purchasing the risky vehicle. If you don't let them know upfront, they may want to back out of the sale at the last minute.</p> <p>If you don't have the title at the time of sale, to put the buyer's mind at ease, you can provide the buyer with a bill of sale and intent to get the title to the buyer. Autotrader also recommends having the buyer write you a check for the amount of the outstanding loan and a second check for the remainder of the proceeds. The bank will then send the title to the buyer or the buyer's bank.</p> <h2>Sell It for Quick Cash</h2> <p>Many services that pay cash for your junk car won't require the title at all. They may have some extra forms for you to fill out, but they won't need the title. They may also require that you prove ownership with the vehicle registration and your driver's license. You may not get much for your car, and you may need to sell it for scrap to a local salvage business, but you can still get quick cash for it in no time. If you do sell it for scrap or to a &quot;we buy junk cars&quot; company, you may only get $200&ndash;$300 for a vehicle that could sell in the thousands via traditional means.</p> <h2>How Old Is the Vehicle?</h2> <p>If your vehicle is more than 20 model years old, you may not need a title to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-sell-your-car" target="_blank">sell your vehicle</a>. Instead, you can fill out a Supplemental Assignment of Ownership form to indicate the seller and new buyer.</p> <h2>Are You Related to the Title Owner?</h2> <p>If the title is not in your name, but you know the owner, you may be in luck. Many car-buying services, such as <a href="https://www.webuycars.com/faq">WeBuyCars.com</a>, will allow you to sell the car as long as you have a copy of the title holder's driver's license.</p> <h2>Donate It</h2> <p>When all else fails, you can always <a href="http://www.autos.com/car-buying/how-to-donate-a-car-without-a-title">donate your vehicle</a>. Not every charitable organization will allow this, so you'll need to call your chosen charity and inquire about what they need. Many charities will take the vehicle without a title, as long as the DMV can verify that there are no liens against the car. Some will also accept a notarized signature if you don't have the title.</p> <p>By donating your vehicle, you can feel good about what you are doing. You can also claim a tax deduction on the donation, which will help once tax time rolls around.</p> <h2>Ask the DMV</h2> <p>When all else fails, simply ask the DMV or visit your state-specific DMV site to see what your options are. They can give you clear instructions on where to go from there and provide you with copies of the forms you will need to fill out to safely sell your vehicle.</p> <p><em>Have you ever sold a vehicle without a title? What was your experience like? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-a-car-without-a-title">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/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car">The 6 Best Ways to Sell Your Car</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/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car">Should You Hire a Broker to Buy a Car?</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/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</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/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You 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/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 car title dmv donating cars quick sale selling a car Fri, 10 Jun 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1727881 at http://www.wisebread.com Is It Still Smart to Buy an Electric Car While Gas Prices Are Low? http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_63756853_SMALL.jpg" alt="Buying an electric car while gas prices are low" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With no end in sight for low gas prices, electric and hybrid cars face a harder value proposition. It can take a decade or more for some <a href="https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybridCompare.jsp">hybrids to pay for their higher price</a> tag through fuel savings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. (I'm looking at you, Toyota Highlander.)</p> <p>So should you bother considering an electric or hybrid vehicle when car shopping? Of course, they are always going to be the better choice for the earth, but not all of us are noble enough (or wealthy enough) to pay more to do the right thing. Here are some alternative car advantages that still might turn your head in the era of cheap gas.</p> <h2>Cost Per Mile Is Still Lower</h2> <p>There are a few hybrids on the market whose fuel savings will still pay for the premium in three years or less &mdash; such as the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which sells for $1,500 more than the regular Avalon and gets 40 miles to the gallon (compared to the standard version's 26). FuelEconomy.gov estimates that a hybrid Avalon would save you $575 on gas per year at a price of $2.30 per gallon, paying back the difference in two and a half years.</p> <p>Plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars save even more at the pump, and even though you have to pay for the electricity to fuel them, it usually amounts to much less. Bonus if you can plug in your car at work and slurp up free juice all day.</p> <h2>Tax Incentives and Rebates</h2> <p>The federal <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">tax credit of up to $7,500</a> for new plug-in cars is still available, and various states will kick in as well. For instance, California's <a href="https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/eligible-vehicles">Clean Vehicle Rebate Project</a> pays you up to $6,500 to buy a new zero-emission or plug-in car. A 2016 Kia Soul electric vehicle, which sells for about $30,000, qualifies for a $7,500 tax credit and a $2,500 California rebate, making its effective price only $20,000 &mdash; not much more than a standard Kia Soul sells for.</p> <p>Check with your electric utility about rebates they may offer to offset the cost of charging your vehicle, too. You may also be able to get an incentive to help pay for the cost of installing a charger for an EV or plug-in hybrid, which can <a href="http://www.plugincars.com/quick-guide-buying-your-first-home-ev-charger-126875.html">cost $600&ndash;$700 for the charger</a>, plus more for installation.</p> <h2>Perks</h2> <p>With congested freeways in the LA and Bay Areas, many Californians have purchased plug-in cars mainly for the privilege of driving in the carpool lane even when they drive alone. In addition to California, a number of other states, including Arizona, Florida, and New York, are letting alternative fuel vehicles drive in the <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/state-electric-vehicle-incentives-state-chart.aspx">high-occupancy vehicle lane</a> no matter how many people are in the car. But read the fine print of your state's program before purchasing to make sure your vehicle choice is eligible and that there are still stickers available; California has already maxed out the available exemptions for some vehicle categories.</p> <p>Other perks that states and municipalities are offering include inspection exemptions, free parking at meters, and registration discounts.</p> <h2>Less Maintenance</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pluginamerica.org/why-plug-vehicles">Plug In America</a>, a nonprofit electric car advocate, puts it this way: &quot;There's no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler, or catalytic converter (in an electric vehicle). So you can expect significantly lower maintenance costs.&quot;</p> <p>EVs don't require oil changes, and of course, you never have to stand at a gas pump in the rain, breathing fumes and hoping you don't spill gasoline on your clothes.</p> <h2>Pleasant to Drive</h2> <p>The silent operation of EVs and hybrids in electric mode make listening to music or an audiobook on the road a dream. Many drivers also enjoy the peppy pickup of an electric engine.</p> <h2>Drawbacks</h2> <p>Let's be honest, though: If owning an electric vehicle or hybrid were perfect, everyone would already own one. For all-electric vehicles, the biggest drawback still holding buyers back is range. Most EVs top out at around 100 miles before needing to charge. A full charge takes at least four hours with the fastest chargers, meaning that most people use them mainly for commuting, and keep a gas-powered car for weekend getaways.</p> <p>Hybrids don't have the range issue, but they do share another worry with EVs: battery replacement. A hybrid battery can <a href="http://www.autotrader.com/car-tech/hybrid-cars-hidden-drawbacks-209417">cost $2,500 or more</a>, and may need to be replaced at the 90,000 to 150,000-mile mark. With that in mind, it's kind of like the premium you pay for a hybrid vehicle is a recurring charge, not a one-time thing. Some carmakers are offering long battery warranties to assuage that worry. Even without a battery warranty, you should take the lower overall maintenance costs of an EV into account when calculating whether an eventual battery replacement makes the car too expensive in the long run.</p> <p><em>Have you considered an electric automobile? What factors swayed your decision?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low">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/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</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/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</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-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">6 Ways to Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car on the Cheap</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/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</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/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation cost per mile driving electric cars environmental fuel economy gas price hybrids maintenance Thu, 09 Jun 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1723184 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways Life Is Wonderful When You're a Good Driver http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-a-good-driver <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-a-good-driver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_driver_000051470206.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways life is wonderful as a good driver" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post brought to you by <a href="https://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C858%7C3098&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Ftags.bluekai.com%2Fsite%2F33111%3Fredir%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fbob.dmpxs.com%252Fbob_007.gif%253Fphnx_id%253D105604%2526atype%253Dclick%2526bk_uuid%253D%2524_BK_UUID%2526bobredir%253Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fad.doubleclick.net%252Fddm%252Fclk%252F305005927%253B132382872%253Bc%253Fhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.progressive.com%252Flp%252Fauto-save%252F%253Fcode%253D9903600564%252526dclid%25253D%252525n-1384245-5108844-132382872-305005927-%252525erid%21" rel="nofollow">Progressive</a>. You could save $598* when you switch to <a href="https://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C858%7C3098&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Ftags.bluekai.com%2Fsite%2F33111%3Fredir%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fbob.dmpxs.com%252Fbob_007.gif%253Fphnx_id%253D105604%2526atype%253Dclick%2526bk_uuid%253D%2524_BK_UUID%2526bobredir%253Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fad.doubleclick.net%252Fddm%252Fclk%252F305005927%253B132382872%253Bc%253Fhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.progressive.com%252Flp%252Fauto-save%252F%253Fcode%253D9903600564%252526dclid%25253D%252525n-1384245-5108844-132382872-305005927-%252525erid%21" rel="nofollow">Progressive</a>.</em></p> <p>Are you the mom who always gets asked to drive on school field trips? Do you take pleasure in feeling yourself come to a complete stop at intersections? Can you recall many instances over the years when your defensive driving prevented an accident?</p> <p>If your answer was yes, then you know the pleasures of being a truly excellent driver. If no, keep reading to learn more about how the care you take behind the wheel can pay dividends that you may not even be aware of.</p> <h2>1. You and Your Loved Ones Are Safer</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s get the obvious out of the way first: Bad driving is responsible for <a href="http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/812115.pdf">94% of car crashes</a>. By avoiding poor decisions such as speeding or driving drunk, and avoiding distractions and being vigilant about driving defensively, you make it much less likely that you or a loved one will be injured in a car crash.</p> <h2>2. You Pay Less for Car Insurance</h2> <p>In order to qualify for the lowest insurance premiums, you need a clean record without crashes or tickets. Ask for a good driver&rsquo;s discount or other perks like &nbsp;<a href="https://www.progressive.com/auto/why-choose-progressive-insurance/">accident forgiveness</a> when negotiating rates and if you do get a moving violation, get rid of the point by attending traffic school before it affects your premium.</p> <h2>3. You&rsquo;re Healthier</h2> <p>Engaging in aggressive driving, commonly known as &ldquo;road rage,&rdquo; has been shown to have a <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/08/30/how-to-control-road-rage">negative effect on your health</a>. As you inevitably get into conflicts with other drivers, your stress levels will rise, to the detriment of your immune system, your cardiovascular system, and your emotional wellbeing.</p> <h2>4. You Spend Less at the Pump</h2> <p>Speeding doesn&rsquo;t actually save much time &mdash;&nbsp;going 10 miles faster on a 20 mile trip gets you there all of <a href="http://personal.denison.edu/~silveira/speeding.html">three minutes faster</a>. But slowing down can save you a lot of money.</p> <p>In one case study, a speedy driver saved about four minutes an hour &mdash;&nbsp;at the cost of <a href="http://blog.automatic.com/cost-speeding-save-little-time-spend-lot-money/">$46 more in gas each month</a>.</p> <h2>5. You Learn Life Lessons</h2> <p>Good driving habits just happen to be the same behaviors we need to do well in life, so why not practice them during your commute?</p> <p>The blog <a href="http://www.drivingintherealworld.com/journal/2015/5/1/how-being-a-better-driver-makes-you-better-at-life.html">Driving in the Real World</a> points out that all safe driving tactics have their big-picture equivalents. For example, it&rsquo;s a good idea to keep a safe distance between yourself and other cars on the road, just as it&rsquo;s a good idea to give yourself a time cushion to avoid being late for work. And when other people behave badly, whether it&rsquo;s on the road or at work, it&rsquo;s safer and healthier to just let it go.</p> <h2>6. You Have Better Employment Prospects</h2> <p>There is a long list of jobs that a ticket for reckless driving may disqualify you for, including police officer, <a href="https://about.usps.com/handbooks/el312/el312c5_006.htm">mail carrier</a>, babysitter, and (of course) commercial driver. If you&rsquo;ve been convicted of driving under the influence, things could be even worse, especially if you <a href="https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi/">are or want to be a pilot</a>.</p> <h2>7. You May Have a Better Credit Score</h2> <p>Higher insurance premiums aren&rsquo;t the only way reckless driving can cost you. There are financial costs involved for receiving a citation, getting a DUI, and of course getting in an accident, especially if your insurance plan has a high deductible. Fail to pay any of these bills on time, and there goes your credit rating.</p> <h2>8. Your Kids Will Become Safer Drivers</h2> <p>Teens who report that their parents are not safe drivers are more likely to get tickets or have crashes themselves, <a href="http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/01/16/242923.htm">a survey found</a>.</p> <h2>9. You Have Better Dating Prospects</h2> <p>This might surprise you, but a <a href="http://www.perrys.co.uk/car-news/news/bad-driving-damage-love-life/">survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists</a> ranked road rage and texting while driving as the most offensive things someone could do on a first date. Apparently, singles value the prospect of staying alive until that goodnight kiss.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no more excuses not to be a good driver when the benefits are clear. Safe driving!</p> <p>*National average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Progressive in 2015.</p> <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="https://vc.cdn.fm/video_conversationalist/system/published/opportunity/105604858/289_3098.js"></script> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-a-good-driver">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/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</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-tell-if-a-car-service-plan-is-worth-it">How to Tell If a Car Service Plan Is 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/5-ways-science-says-travel-is-good-for-your-health">5 Ways Science Says Travel Is Good for Your Health</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/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</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/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car insurance good driver good driver discount Health healthy living Tue, 17 May 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1711685 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Having a Paid Off Car Is Surprisingly Great http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-having-a-paid-off-car-is-surprisingly-great <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-having-a-paid-off-car-is-surprisingly-great" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_car_road_trip_000080274673.jpg" alt="Woman learning how a paid off car makes life better" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2005, I awoke one fine spring morning to the sound of metal crunching. Looking out the window, I saw a box truck mowing down my 1994 Honda Civic, which was parked on the street in front of my house. The driver was a 13-year-old boy who had come across the idling truck and had decided to steal it and go for a joy ride &mdash; which ended with the destruction of my car.</p> <p>It was not a great day.</p> <p>However, as overwhelming as it was for me to watch my car get hit by an uninsured driver, the entire situation was much better than it could have been because of one important fact: My Civic was paid off.</p> <p>As a matter of fact, I have been fortunate enough to never have a car payment in my 21 years of car ownership. While I'm delighted to not have a payment due every month, that's not the only way that having a paid-off car makes my life better. Here are five ways that having a paid-off car will benefit your life:</p> <h2>1. Insurance and Accidents Cost You Less</h2> <p>At the time of its sad demise, my Honda Civic was an 11-year-old car with 120,000 miles on it. I carried liability, uninsured motorist, and collision coverage. The first two were required by the state I lived in, and my collision coverage costs were fairly inexpensive because of the relatively low value of my car. The amount of money I was paying for insurance was a great deal lower than that of a classmate whose car was also totaled by another driver around the same time.</p> <p>The difference was that my classmate was driving a new car with a hefty car payment, so she had to have an expensive comprehensive insurance policy to match.</p> <p>What's more, I felt like I was made whole by my cheaper insurance, while my classmate was not. After my car was totaled, I got a check from my insurance company for the value of the car minus my $500 deductible, which I used to buy another used car. My friend was forced to take on another loan with a monthly payment that was $30 higher than the one she had before the accident.</p> <h2>2. Having a Paid-Off Car Means Potentially Never Paying Interest Again</h2> <p>One of the smartest things my husband and I have ever done was starting a &quot;car fund&quot; savings account. Each month, we set aside $350 into the account so that we have money available to either fix our cars if they need maintenance or repair, or to pay cash for a new one if our vehicles ends up going to the big garage in the sky. We pay ourselves the equivalent of a car payment each month so we never have to pay interest on our cars &mdash; and we earn some interest on the money we've saved, too.</p> <h2>3. Financial Ups and Downs Are Less Stressful</h2> <p>Making a monthly car payment is no biggie when your job feels secure. But if you are still making monthly payments on your car when you lose your job, receive an unexpected bill, or otherwise see your personal finances go south, then that monthly payment can feel more like an albatross around your neck.</p> <p>This is especially true if you have any reason to fear repossession of your car during your financial turmoil. Owning your car free and clear means that you have one less worry while you are trying to get your financial house back in order. You know that you can still rely on your car to transport you to and from work and your other responsibilities.</p> <h2>4. You Don't Have to Worry About Weird Hits to Your Credit</h2> <p>One of the bizarre aspects of how credit scores are calculated is the fact that paying off a major loan &mdash; such as a car loan &mdash; can have the effect of lowering your credit score. That's because paying off an installment loan raises your utilization ratio. For example, if you have a $12,000 car loan with a $3,000 balance that you pay off all at once, your available credit will drop by $12,000 once the account is closed, even though your debt load will also drop by $3,000.</p> <p>I don't know about you, but that kind of convoluted credit logic makes my head spin. It's a lot simpler to just have a car that's paid off &mdash; and have your credit score based on things like your mortgage or rental history, and your utilities payments.</p> <h2>5. It's Better for the Environment</h2> <p>Wanting to avoid ever having a car payment means that I strive to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever" target="_blank">take great care of my cars</a>. My current vehicle is a 14-year-old Honda Accord that could probably last another 14 years if I am diligent about maintenance.</p> <p>While it's possible that car manufacturers will figure out a way for all new cars to get 50 miles per gallon before the year 2030, keeping my current car on the road for as long as possible will be better for the environment than trading it in for a more efficient one. That's because the environmental impact of manufacturing a new car and disposing of a used one offsets a great deal of the fuel efficiency I might gain by buying a new car.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>Having a paid off car offers a great deal of freedom and peace of mind, whether your car provides you with years of faithful service, or it's totaled in an unfortunate joy-riding incident.</p> <p><em>Is your car paid off? What's great about it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-having-a-paid-off-car-is-surprisingly-great">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/6-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-buy-a-car">6 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Buy a Car</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/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</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/can-t-afford-your-car-much-longer-negotiate-to-keep-it">Can’t Afford Your Car Much Longer? Negotiate to Keep It</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/drive-the-old-car-or-buy-a-new-car">Drive the Old Car or Buy a New Car?</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-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation accidents car loans credit score green living insurance interest payments owning your car Fri, 13 May 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1707446 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Buy Your Leased Car? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-your-leased-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-buy-your-leased-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_car_000085912661.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if she should buy her leased car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even after two or three years of driving a leased vehicle, you may find yourself wanting to stay attached to your &quot;rented&quot; car. The good news is that the relationship doesn't have to end.</p> <p>Leasing companies are happy to sell you the car for its residual value &mdash; what the leasing and finance companies determined at the start of the lease to be its expected value at the term's end. But before you make that commitment, there's some homework you should do first to make sure it's financially worthwhile. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car</a>)</p> <h2>How Much Is It?</h2> <p>Find the contract for your leased car and look for the &quot;purchase-option price&quot; or &quot;residual value.&quot; That's the price you'll have to pay to buy the car, along with a purchase-option fee of $300 to $600. Some leasing companies won't bargain with you on residual price when the lease is up, while others will negotiate. But before you can negotiate, you need to know the market value of the car, so you know whether it's worth buying your leased car at its residual value.</p> <p>For how much could you buy the car for from another dealer or from a private seller? That's the retail or market value. It may be lower than your car's residual value, giving you a great advantage in negotiating a lower buyout price.</p> <p>You also want to determine the car's wholesale value. That's the price the leasing company can get for it at auction, which is its only option if it doesn't sell the car to a dealer.</p> <p>You should be able to determine your car's value by searching online, such as at Kelley Blue Book or CarPrice.com. Unless your leased car was extremely popular, chances are its residual value is higher than the market value.</p> <h2>What Shape Is Your Car In?</h2> <p>You're responsible for the car's condition at the end of the lease term, and how many dings, scrapes, and miles you put on it will play a part in how much you pay to buy it. Even if you don't buy the car, you'll have to pay for those things, anyway.</p> <p>Leases only allow up to a certain number of miles per year &mdash; usually 12,000 &mdash; and going over that will cost you an extra amount per mile. The fee could be as high as 25 cents per extra mile, adding up to $250 for every 1,000 miles over the limit. You can avoid the fee by buying the car.</p> <p>Any dents and scratches on your leased car will result in a penalty fee from the leasing company. One way to avoid those penalties is to buy the car, though those dings are things you'll have to live with.</p> <h2>They'll Call You</h2> <p>If you've determined that the market value is more than the purchase-option price of your leased car, or you're happy with the residual value of the car and you want to buy it, don't make the first move.</p> <p>The company will probably call you one to two months before the lease ends to see if you're open to purchasing the leased car. If you call first, it could show that you're eager to buy the car and your negotiating power could drop. Before they call, you can get ahead of the game by shopping for a lease-buyout loan. Local banks, credit unions, and online lenders can offer you rates, which you can pitch to the leasing company if it wants to finance your buyback loan.</p> <p>When the leasing company does call, don't immediately tell them that you want to buy the car. Tell them you don't like the residual value and ask if they'll knock down the purchase price. Can they give you a better deal on the loan or waive the purchase-option fee? If you know your car's market value, you're a step ahead in the negotiating process. All of this homework may look like a lot, but it's a lot less work than starting from scratch and shopping for a new car.</p> <p>After all, the car is already in your driveway and you've driven it for years. You know if it's a car you want to continue driving. Now all you have to do is get it at the best price you can.</p> <p><em>Have you ever purchased the car you leased?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-your-leased-car">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/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</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/10-magic-words-to-say-to-get-the-best-new-car-price">10 Magic Words to Say to Get the Best New Car Price</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/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car">The 6 Best Ways to Sell Your Car</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/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</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-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">10 New Car Costs the Dealer Is Hiding From You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation dealerships kelley blue book lease leased cars negotiating purchase price residual value Thu, 05 May 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1703005 at http://www.wisebread.com