5 Top Ways to Save Money on Gas

Gas prices continue to rise even when the economy is improving. Most of us spend hundreds of dollars on gas alone every month; taking steps towards saving more on gas is simply logical, especially if you are in the process of improving your personal financial state. Luckily, there are a few simple tips you can apply in order to save money on gas.

1. Combine Trips

Plan ahead before you drive. Instead of going back and forth to multiple destinations, making regular rounds and visiting several places on a single trip are much more efficient. The seemingly small savings will translate into a substantial amount of money at the end of the month.

By combining trips and planning every trip carefully, you can also save on tire wear and the overall cost of maintaining the car. Lower your mileage further and you are looking at a substantial saving in car insurance.

2. Carpool!

Don’t hesitate to share rides with friends and colleagues. If you need to go to the grocery store, for instance, timing the trip so that you can carpool means sharing the cost and saving money.

Take it a step further and join carpooling communities in your area. There are online forums and local communities across the country; finding one near you shouldn’t be difficult. These communities offer access to those who are willing to share the cost of traveling with you.

Save Money on Gas

3. Use GasBuddy.com

Buy gas at the best price. You can now find low gas prices using GasBuddy.com. Visit the site and use the presented search tool to find gas stations that offer the best price near you.

Alternatively, you can install the suitable Gas Buddy mobile app on your phone. The app detects your location and tells you where to go for the best gas price.

4. Drive a Prius

If you are still spending a lot of money on gas even after you apply the previous tips, you may want to consider switching to a more economical car. Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius can reach up to 58 miles per gallon, allowing you to maintain your travel habit while still save money on gas.

You should also review the way you drive. Even standard cars can be made more efficient when driven properly.

5. Keep Your Car Properly Maintained

The more you use your car, the less efficient it will be. The wear on engine parts and badly maintained engine in general are among the reasons why a car consumes more gas than normal. Schedule regular maintenance and keep your car as efficient as it can be.

Online car valuations

There are many websites nowadays offering you selling advice about your car and you can now get online car valuations to see how much the car you are selling is worth. The companies offering these services are looking to help customers sell their care quickly and fairly whilst providing a great experience for the customer.

Some of the selling advice about selling your car through online companies is that; you don’t have to advertise your car, receive calls at all hours of the day and night, you don’t have to have a stranger or time waster come to your home to take a test drive, you are sure it will sell and you will get your money quickly. This also helps avoid continuing tax and insurance costs for a car you do not want.

car valuations

The first step you need to carry out when selling a car, through whichever method, is to get a car valuation. There are many ways you can do this, one of them being online car valuation. You may find that some sites will just offer you an instant price guide but others will use information that you provide about the condition of your car before they send out a valuation. These services are completely free and you are not under any obligation to sell your car.

To get an online valuation look on the internet for companies offering this service. Then;

1. Enter the car registration number plate that you are looking to sell into the website.

2. Give some details about the car, for example, MOT, mileage and service history.

3. Give an honest description and assessment of the car’s condition, noting any extra features that you car might have had fitted. The company will usually provide you will a downloadable condition assessment form to help you with this task.

It is that simple. The company will then look at your information, take into account everything that is written and will then email you a valuation and details about how to make an appointment to sell the car. Should you then choose to use the company who provided the online valuation to sell your car for you then they will carry out an inspection of your car in-site before they actually buy it. They will be looking for aspects of its condition or history which wasn’t apparent when you sent them the car information and offer you selling advice.

So it is clear that using an online valuation of your car is that it can be a quick and effective way to get an estimate of your cars value before you sell it. However you should always be as clear and honest as possible when providing the company with your details to get the very best valuation.

Top Five Driving Destinations

Taxis are notoriously expensive, trains in a foreign country are often too complex to decipher and buses can be slow, uncomfortably hot and laborious. If you want to travel in comfort, with far more luggage that you need in an affordable space you can call your own where there is no such thing as “too much mess”, you’ll want to get a hire car. The limits are…well there are none. Travel where and when you want to and add that sense of spontaneity to your vacation.

Across the globe there are a myriad of adventures waiting to be had and thousands of wonderful countries, cities, towns and landscapes brimming with culture and beauty waiting to be experienced. There are numerous fantastic destinations for holiday-makers to access and enjoy; we’ve compiled five of the best to drive around to take a look at for your next vacation.

First on the list is New Zealand. Hardly a surprise, this country famous for hosting the Lord of the Rings crew for two years whilst the breathtaking blockbuster was filmed boasts some pretty spectacular and famous scenery. Accessed most effectively by car you can easily spend a number of weeks driving through the country. There are numerous driving routes through New Zealand (yes even a Lord of the Rings one) and these span Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Rotorua and Queenstown amongst other specialist routes.

new zealand driving

In second place we have South Africa. Steeped in a rich history the famous Garden Route is popular with tourists and predominantly travelled by car, it’s also home to the worlds highest bridge bungy jump! Another good route through the country is from Johannesburg through to Cape Town…a long way but what a ride! The Kruger national park is also famous and a fantastic place to visit and drive through.

In third place we have the outback – Australia could not be missed off this list! Admittedly there are a lot of nasty bugs, snakes, spiders and cockroaches in this country…but hey look on the bright side, there are also kangaroos, wallabies and koala bears!

Australia driving

Home to the outstanding Ayers Rock, the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef…I could go on. There are so many unique and beautiful landscapes; the sheer expanse of this country often means that investing in a hire car (and possibly a boomerang) is a very wise idea.

The US, arguably one of the campervan/RV capitals of the world, also easily makes the top five. Some outstanding routes, passes, sites and scenery can be explored and appreciated in this country. The USA has excellent facilities for those travelling by car and plenty of amenities. A pleasant experience and with great organisation, the Americans have it sorted and sights such as Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and other places are wonderfully prepared for tourists. The US has space in abundance and this is best covered on four wheels.

Lake Tahoe driving

Finally in fifth place is my homeland. The UK has some wonderful scenery, a lot of green, a lot of farm animals, too much rain and a lot of character. From Devon to the Isle of White to Scotland, even the British weather can’t spoil the stunning landscapes our little island has to offer.

Buy Used Car

To buy used car from a dealer, especially if you’re not an experienced car buyer, you should prepare yourself by getting information on the available options and ways to buying a used car.

Used Car

To start with, you may need to convince yourself of the benefits of buying a used car.

For many, used cars simply mean value for money, as a new cars value can drop as much as 30% as soon as it leaves the dealership.

If you’re thinking about buying one of the more expensive cars but don’t want to pay the full sticker price, buying one used can bring the car within your price range.

The overall process to buying a used car is similar to buying a new car. For the first, you should think about what you need from the car, in terms of car type, options, and details (perhaps down to the make of the car).

Also, smart shopping includes doing research on car prices (for your target price), car financing, car insurance, plus an understanding of the process, which all should help you negotiate better terms for your purchase.

buying a used car

As there are a lot of emotions involved in buying a car, doing research will give a more detached point-of-view to evaluate the purchase.

Where to Buy Used Car

Your options for sources to buy a used car include:

used car dealerships
private sellers
auctions, both online and off-line
classifieds
rental car agencies

Also, dealerships that sell new cars have inventories of used cars. These are either trade-in cars or customer returns of new cars. All these sources have their pros and cons. Read More

Cheap used cars in Scotland

In this article we will look at the best way of going about sourcing a cheap used car in Scotland.

Firstly you will need to do a little research about the kind of car that will be appropriate to your lifestyle. This is not always as straight forward as it seems and many people easily get carried away and fall in love with a car that is wholly unsuitable.

This happened to a buyer at a car dealer in Aberdeen. A woman was generally browsing the forecourt and she spotted a used Alfa Romeo Spider, the earlier model that ceased production in 2004. It was a beautiful yellow colour, in excellent condition and was on sale at a very attractive price. She simply fell in love with it and bought it on the spot. The dealer was able to make all the arrangements and accepted the car in which she had arrived in part exchange.

Thrilled with her new wheels she drove it home but when she arrived there she was greeted by the barking of her Golden Retriever. She had failed to consider her dog and despite her best efforts it was completely impossible for her to carry Rex in the car.

Somewhat upset she returned to the dealer who was very sympathetic and was happy to take back the Spider and replace it with a more suitable car (a Ford Focus). He didn’t even charge her for the inconvenience. Of course not everybody is lucky enough to find such a generous dealer as that one.

If you are looking for a used car in Scotland, you can do a dealer search on one of the many comparison sites. Once you have matched your needs to your desired car, you need to find a good deal that ideally does not involve you in travelling too far afield. Fortunately, most good comparison sites specialises in finding cheap used car deals close to your own Scottish postal code.

A Second Coming for the American Muscle Car Era?

From the mid 1960s until the early 1970s, the big three American car manufacturers put their own unique stamp on the performance car market. Rather than the traditional sports car, which was usually very small and featured a big engine, America’s contribution was a car with plenty of horses under the hood that was also big, relatively speaking.

While Australia and South Africa manufactured their own muscle cars, this article is about the American versions. These are high performance cars, midsize 2-door models with rear wheel drive and a great big engine under the hood. Muscle cars were mass produced, and were affordable for middle class car buyers.

The first, most successful American muscle car was the Ford Mustang. Making its debut in 1964, the smallish, very attractive model with the big V6 (or optional V8) captured the attention of every American car enthusiast.  While the Mustang has been through many design changes over the decades, the original look remains the most popular. That is why the new “retro” Mustang, which came out in 2005 has appealed so heavily to young buyers who never rode in an old Mustang, and also the older generation who remembers them well.

retro-mustang

Plymouth loyalists will point out that the Barracuda, Plymouth’s muscle car, beat the Mustang to the market. But only just. And sales of the Mustang took off faster than a V8 model at a stoplight next to a Camaro. In its first two years, two million Mustangs were sold, and the fact that buyers could customize them was a big selling point. The Mustang convertible, which debuted in 1964 has been turning heads for over 40 years now.

While Ford Mustangs underwent changes during the 1970s and 1980s – some good, some not so good – it is still the classic 1960s Mustang that most people over 35 think of when they hear the word “Mustang.”

General Motors didn’t produce an answer to the Ford Mustang until Sept. 29, 1966, when the 1967 Camaro appeared on the market. The Camaro had remained nameless right up until the time it was introduced. Though Ford had some fun speculating what the word “Camaro” stood for, any controversy over the name was forgotten as soon as people got a look at the 1967 Camaro. To keep costs competitive with the Mustang, GM introduced only two types of Camaro: a coupe and a convertible.

1967-camaro

Engine choices included a 230 cubic inch 6-cylinder and a 327 cubic inch V8, and a Camaro-only 350 cubic inch V8 that boasted 295 horsepower. This type of Camaro remained available through 1969. The second generation Camaro was made throughout the 1970s and was a fixture on American roads and in parking lots of American high schools throughout that decade. This was a larger, wider, and heavier car than the late 60s model.

In 1981, the third generation Camaro was born for the 1982 model year. These were available with automatic transmissions for the first time, as well as fuel injection, and 15 or 16 inch wheels. It was during the 1980s that the IROC-Z Camaro was introduced, featuring a performance suspension and 16-inch tires.

irocz-camaro

The fourth generation Camaro was produced from 1993 until 2004, when the brand took a break. The new fifth generation Camaro is scheduled to go on sale in spring 2009 as a 2010 model year version.

While the Barracuda beat the first Ford Mustang to market by two weeks, it never sold as well. In 1970, Dodge introduced the Challenger. These used  new architecture from the older Barracudas and were made to compete with the Camaro and the Mustang. The Challenger had the option of a big 440 cubic inch engine or a 426 cubic inch Hemi powered V8. This was during peak of muscle car mania. In terms of styling, the Challenger was similar to the first generation Chevy Camaro and was available as a coupe or convertible. By the early 1970s, the muscle car fever was starting to break, and new car emissions laws plus the oil embargo looming on the horizon seriously dampened demand for cars like the Challenger. The brand died out in 1974.

The Challenger

The Challenger

But in 1978, Dodge paired with Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi to make the Challenger once again. While it wasn’t close to being a substitute for the classic 1970 Challenger, it was nonetheless competitive with cars like the Honda Prelude and Toyota Celica. This version disappeared in 1983.

But 25 years later, the 2008 Dodge Challenger appeared, with retro styling that gives it a profile similar to the 1970 Challenger. It even has similar headlights!  It is, however, a bigger car, and has been outfitted with stability control, airbags, and other safety features. Similar to the 2008 Dodge Charger, the Challenger is a rear-wheel drive car just like the muscle cars of old.

2008 Dodge Challenger

2008 Dodge Challenger

With the Dodge Challenger, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Ford Mustang all on the road again with new models by the end of 2009, some wonder if America is experiencing a revival of muscle car mania, or if these hot new cars are more of a quiet tribute to a time that has been gone for over 30 years. It probably doesn’t matter. Muscle car enthusiasts will appreciate these new retro designs, particularly if they remember driving their own Mustang, Camaro, or Challenger back in 1970.

Drivers and Sports Cars: A Love Affair

It wasn’t long after the automobile was mass produced in the early 20th century that enthusiasts began thinking of ways to maximize their performance. Though it took a few decades to perfect the design of sports cars to the point where they weren’t rolling death traps, sports cars have always been the objects of desire and fascination for people who are into cars. Even people who claim not to care about car models will take an extra look when a gorgeous little red sports car rolls past. Aesthetics are a close second to engine power where sports cars are concerned. Read More

3 Hybrid Cars Worth Considering

With the uncertainty surrounding fuel prices and growing concern over the environment, the popularity of hybrid cars has risen dramatically in the past five years. These cars use a combination of electric and gas power: gas when acceleration is needed, and electricity when coasting or stopped. Because of this, these cars get really good gas mileage, even in the family sedan models. Honda and Toyota, two car brands that are popular and have a reputation for quality, have hybrid cars on the market. Let’s take a look. Read More

4 Affordable Super Cars

Luxury sports cars appeal to a very particular American demographic. Buyers of luxury sports cars average 41 years old, are overwhelmingly male (81% male to 19% female), and have household incomes of nearly $190,000. Here are some of the characteristics they look for in luxury sports cars: Read More

Car Safety Features

Car Safety Features and Advancements

The issue of car safety is on everyone’s lips these days.  With the countless number of crashes that are due to the malfunction of some manufacturer’s vehicles–think Toyota–other car makers are taking appropriate steps to make sure their vehicles will not be slammed in the evening news.   The following is a list of typical safety points one will find in newer cars.

Stability Control

Stability control assists drivers in avoiding devastating crashes by using electronic computerized technology.  This feature comes into play when a driver loses directional control and steering.

Anti-Lock Brake System

This system is essential in preventing skidding by stopping wheels from locking up while driving on icy or slippery roads.  This brake system advancement enhances directional and steering control.  An anti-lock brake system, or ABS, will pump the brake automatically in instances of sudden stops in order to help the driver gear his concentration toward steering.

Backup Sensing System

This feature is fairly new in car safety technology; it creates a warning signal when the vehicle approaches a car too closely.  This warning signal operates from a sensor that is installed in the rear portion of a car.

Airbags

Airbags have been around since the first one was placed in Oldsmobile Toronados in 1973.  They automatically provide a cushion to protect passengers from the impact of a crash.  Airbags can be found in doors, steering wheels, dashboards, and the backs of seats, depending upon the year, make, and model of the car. Read More

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