Buying the Best Used Car for Your Needs

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

 

Buying a used car in Canada will give you the independence you need at an economical price. Used cars can be a great deal for the money, and there are many well-maintained cars that will provide you with a great source of transportation. Finding the right used car means matching the right car to your individual needs.

Start With a Budget

Your budget will be the determining factor in which car you ultimately choose. When it comes to used cars, a car that is between two and four years old will offer the best value for the money. These cars often come with the original warranty which can save you on annual repair costs. A late model used car may also offer the same features as its brand new counterpart.

Understanding what car you can afford will help you to save money if you are planning to finance your purchase. Beware of simply looking at the monthly payments when planning your car purchase. Factor in the cost of monthly maintenance, licensing, insurance and taxes. These costs add up quickly and can easily take a bite out of your budget.

Give it a Spin

Test driving a car is an important part of the buying process. This will give you an idea of how well the car drives and whether it has any mechanical issues that should be addressed. Many people visit a mechanic with the car before making a purchase decision. Your mechanic will determine whether the car will need major repairs and can give you recommendations on the car’s stability and performance.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

The key to winning the car buying game is to negotiate from a position of strength. If you are desperate for a new car and short on cash, you will be at a disadvantage when it comes to buying. Don’t be in a hurry to buy the car and be prepared to walk away if you don’t get a deal that matches your needs. If you are planning to finance a car, it helps to know your credit score and secure financing before you get to the dealership.

Buying a used car can mean newfound independence and freedom. A used car can give you years of enjoyment in addition to being a reliable source of transportation. Do your homework before shopping for your used car and find the car that will best fit your needs. Be prepared for the negotiation process and know your financial standing before going to the dealership.

There are many great certified pre-owned and used cars on the market, and finding one that will meet your needs is simple. There are many research sites online that will match you with the perfect car for your budget.

 

Saving Money: Old Car vs New Car

Getting left by the side of the road is no fun at all, and it makes it awful tempting to get rid of that old car for a newer model. However, before getting too bent out of shape, it’s best to step back and really take a look at the situation. This is a minor inconvenience, but is it really the pinnacle moment for trading up? Trading up, after all, often brings with it much higher automobile-related expenses.

Benefits of Buying a New Car

Oh, it is so easy to get car buying fever when one has had their old vehicle for many years. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new, shiny, clean, pretty vehicle to get around in? Then this thought somehow becomes a desperate want, and sometimes this is mistaken for a need. There are some benefits to buying a new vehicle. For instance, it is pretty and shiny and clean. It seems like a new car would be very reliable. Plus, friends would be so jealous!

Problems with Buying a New Car

Absolutely, there are some really fun, happy emotions connected to purchasing a new vehicle. The question is, how long are those positive emotions going to last? After all, a vehicle won’t stay clean and lovely for very long while it’s in use. A newer model can break down just like an older one. While friends may indeed be jealous, it isn’t likely worth the extra expense just to make that happen.

Yes, buying a new vehicle is not inexpensive. All of those fun motivators come at a very steep price, particularly if that old car is paid for. It’s not just a hefty car payment for a vehicle that is going to depreciate thousands once it’s driven off the lot. Insurance will be higher. As a matter of fact, in many areas, a car with a payment attached requires collision insurance as well as the regular old stuff, which costs much more. Plus, there are the taxes, titling, and other requirements for registering a new vehicle.

Really, it is often in the best interest of the owner to simply have their old car repaired and continue on with it. Take all of that money saved and have it detailed, washed, and waxed so that it can feel newer! Unless an older car is literally falling apart, it really is the least expensive to fix that old jalopy and keep on trucking with it.

 

Mediation as a Means to an End

People have been disagreeing on just about every issue since the beginning of time.  Be it how the world was created, which religion is the most righteous, which car drives the best, or which country is superior to the others.  You name it, people have disagreed on it, but sometimes there are issues that can’t simply be brushed off.  Lawsuits are a commonality when two parties disagree strongly enough on an issue.  Unfortunately, lawsuits can be costly to both parties, they can needlessly use up public dollars when tying up a district or judicial court, and they are often quite difficult to collect money on.  In cases like this an alternative dispute resolution works well, or a mediator.

Mediation has become quite popular over the years.  Companies, like the one found at http://www.globalmediation.co.uk/, have had a lot of success at dispute resolution. The techniques that these companies use are wide ranging, and they offer many types of benefits.  First and foremost, they are a great tool for mitigating costs during the dispute.  Because resolution often happens at a much quicker pace than through legal channels, the cost is often much lower going this route.  Another great benefit is the confidentiality of mediation.  Because you are behind closed doors with only three parties involved, you can avoid the public eye of a courtroom.  Also, you maintain a higher degree of control than you would otherwise in a courtroom.  In a public court the judge and jury have all the power, whereas in a closed door mediation both parties have an equal footing and control all the power themselves.  Collection and compliance is something else that has a much higher success rate in mediation.  If a party feels they were wronged in a dispute, they may not pay out a judgment issued against them, which can lead to longer and more costly legal battles.  However, if both parties feel they have reached a mutually beneficial agreement then the chances of compliance is much greater.  Lastly, mediators are a great source for ideas that think outside of the box.  Often times people are too focused on the monetary awards of judgments, whereas mediators are trained to think of alternative solutions that will satisfy both parties in other ways.

Regardless of the disagreement, and methods attempted at resolution, do yourself a favor and consider mediation.  You may find it financially beneficial, and quite a bit less stressful.

Save Time and Money with Fuel Efficiency

 

It seems that every day, when you pass the gas station, the cost of fuel is rising. Even with the introduction of hybrid cars and better ways to fuel our cars, gas is still a necessity, and finding room in your budget for that weekly fill-up is probably becoming a strain. However, there are ways to become more fuel efficient, and all of these techniques for saving and using your gas most efficiently are very simple to employ. We all want to save money when it comes to filling up our cars and making it last as long as possible, and the following tips will help you do just that.

 

One of best ways to employ fuel efficiency for your car is to keep it running in great shape. Investing in tune ups for your car’s engine and buying fuel injector cleaner will keep you from wasting gas because the harder your engine has to work, the more gas you will use. By getting a tune up once every few months, your car’s engine will burn fuel more efficiently and produce less exhaust, which also helps the environment at the same time. In addition, buying a bottle of fuel injector cleaner to add to your tank each time you fill up will keep your fuel injectors clean, which means you will save more gas when you accelerate, as the engine will receive the fuel more quickly and efficiently. You can also help your car be more fuel efficient by filling up your tank each week. By filling up completely, your car’s gas tank will use the fuel more efficiently because it will not have to work as hard to draw the gas from the tank. Not only that, but if the tank is full, the fuel injectors will stay cleaner by using pure gas instead of sucking up the sludge that can build up on the bottom of the tank, which will clog the injectors and cause you to use more fuel. Understanding fuel efficiency will not only put less of a dent in your wallet, but it will help your car to run more smoothly and benefit the environment as well.

 

Top 5 Ways You’re Needlessly Adding Weight to Your Car

One of the simplest ways for you to increase your car’s gas mileage is to reduce all of the excess weight you’re carrying around.  According to FuelEconomy.gov for every extra 100 pounds you carry around in your car, you’ll reduce its gas mileage by 2%.

So, with that being said, what extra things are you needlessly carrying around in your car that could be reducing its gas mileage?

Here’s the top five list of common items that you might be carrying around in your car and effectively reducing your gas mileage:

  1. Sports equipment.  Golf clubs, baseball bats, cleats, basketballs – all that stuff needlessly adds weight to your car.  So, take all of this stuff out of your car when you’re not going to be using it.
  2. Your cases of CDs.  The other day I took two full books of CDs out of my car.  Just for fun I weighed the two of them and found out that I had been carrying around 35 extra pounds in my car.
  3. Unused child safety seats.  Now, I know it’s a pain to schlep this stuff in and out of the car, but if you’re really trying to improve gas mileage, it may be worth considering taking unused safety seats out of your car.
  4. Miscellaneous trunk items.  Tool boxes, luggage,
  5. You.  If you’re overweight you’re bringing down your car’s fuel economy.  Lose some weight, get better gas mileage.

Anyway, if you can get all of the excess items out of your car, you should see a jump in your car’s gas mileage.  As I’ve said before many times on this site, every little bit counts.

Fuel Economy Tip – Get All the Snow and Ice Off of Your Car

Well, it’s been quite a while since I posted an actual fuel economy tip here, so I figured it was about time to get a new and useful tip up here.  Hopefully the winter will continue to be nice and mild so this tip won’t be necessary, but in case you get stuck in a winter storm, this tip will probably be pretty handy.

Make sure all of the snow and ice is off of your car before you start driving down the road.

Aside from the safety issues (both for you and for other people on the road with you), getting all of the snow and ice off of your car will help you achieve much better gas mileage thanks to two main reasons:

  1. Weight
  2. Aerodynamics

If you’ve got a couple inches of snow or a layer of ice on your car it’s not enough to just clear your car’s windows – you need to get everything off your car.

Leaving a lot of snow and/or ice on your car will add between 50 and 100 pounds of additional weight to your car.  This extra weight will reduce your gas mileage between 1% and 2%.

In addition to reducing your car’s gas mileage thanks to the extra weight, the snow and ice will reduce gas mileage by reducing how aerodynamic your car is.

So, even though it can be a pain, make sure you clear all of the snow and ice off of your car before you head down the road.

Americans Burning Gas, Not Calories

Turns out losing weight can help save your life and the world at the same time.

According to a recent study published in The Engineering Economist, Americans are currently burning over 1 billion extra gallons of gas per year than in 1960 thanks to the country’s growing (no pun intended) obesity crisis.

With current gas prices at $2.20, that’s $2.2 billion dollars wasted over the course of an entire year.

The general rule of thumb is that for every extra 100 pounds you carry around in your car you will reduce its gas mileage by roughly 2%.  Obviously, the lighter the car, the less energy (burned fuel) is needed in order to get up to and maintain speed.

While reading the report, I thought there were two things that really stood out:

  1. The current average weight is 191 pounds for a man, 164 pounds for a woman.  This is roughly 25 pounds heavier than in 1960.
  2. The 1 billion gallons of wasted fuel accounts for less than 1% of annual fuel consumption in the United States.  In doing that math, this means Americans consume 100 billion gallons of gasoline each year.

Of the two items listed above, I think the most eye opening statistic is the fact Americans consume over 100 billion gallons of gas each year.  While I don’t exactly have a basis for comparison, that seems like a lot of gas.

In looking at how much fuel we consume, it certainly makes you wonder whether or not trying your best to save gas really amounts to anything.

That being said, if everyone saved a little in the end it would amount to a lot – so keep trying to get the best gas mileage possible! 

So, if you find yourself weighing a little more than you’d like, turns out you can use your health and saving the environment as motivation to get in shape.

Fuel Economy Tip – Lighten Your Load

One of the easiest ways for you to quickly increase your car’s gas mileage is also one of the most overlooked ways.

Reduce the amount of excess weight you lug around in your car.

Decluttering your car is one of the easiest ways for you to increase your car’s gas mileage (not to mention make it look a little bit nicer).  According to FuelEconomy.gov, for every extra 100 pounds you carry in your car, you are effectively reducing its gas mileage by 2%.  While that may not seem like much, over time the cost certainly will add up.

Here are some simple ways you can reduce the amount of excess weight your car carries:

  • Clean out the trunk – Many times our car’s trunk gets littered with items that we mean to bring into the house but never remember to grab.  These items include golf clubs, tools, luggage, etc.
  • Take off the roof rack - Not only will a roof rack add weight to your car, but it will also reduce your car’s aerodynamics.  Only use the roof rack when absolutely necessary and take it off as soon as you’re done using it.
  • Take in the miscellaneous items - All of those little items littered around the car add up.  Books of CDs, dry cleaning, library books, toys, etc. all add up and add weight.

Aside from getting all of the excess items out of your car, there’s one more thing you can get rid of to help increase your car’s gas mileage – removing the spare tire… around your waste.  Considering it doesn’t matter HOW you get rid of the extra weight your car is carrying around, if you can drop a couple of pounds yourself, it’ll be good for both your car’s fuel economy and you’re health.

Moral of the story, try your best to reduce the amount of extra weight your car lugs around and you should see an instant improvement in its gas mileage.

Fuel Economy Tip – Play a Game of Musical Chairs

Today’s tip really only applies to people with bigger vehicles (sorry!) but is a simple way to help these drivers increase their fuel economy by a couple of percent.

If your vehicle has the capability, remove seating when not in use.

I realize that to most people - I’m assuming most people drive sedans or other vehicles that have seats that are permanently attached to the vehicle) – this tip seems ridiculous.  However, for many drivers of newer “family vehicles” this could be a very simple way to save a bunch of money on gas.

For example, I know that many PT Cruisers, Honda Elements, Town & Countries and many other mini-van like vehicles, drivers are actually able to remove seating.

By taking out this extra seating, you will probably reduce the amount of weight your car is carrying between 100 and 200 pounds (this is just a guess, I really have no idea).  And, with the rule of thumb that every additional 100 pounds reduces your vehicle’s gas mileage between 1 and 2 percent, by removing the extra seating you should see a slight increase in your overall fuel economy.

Fuel Economy Tip – Lay Off The Doughnuts

Today’s tip will hopefully help you save a small amount of gas while helping you prolong your life.

Go on a diet and lose some weight.

Look, I know I’m reaching here, but it’s true: if you lose some of that spare tire you’re carrying around your mid-section, you will get better gas mileage. Take that Jared dude from the Subway commercials as an example; he’s not happy about the fact he’s getting free subs for life, he’s just pumped he’s saving on his car’s gas.

As I have stated in previous posts, carrying around an extra 100 pounds will reduce your gas mileage by roughly two percent. For example, if you’re carrying around an extra 25 pounds, you’re reducing your gas mileage by about about two cents per gallon.

So, if you need some extra incentive to get off the couch and stop doing the 12 ounce curls, maybe this’ll do it.

Or, you can check out all the research that links being overweight to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. Whatever floats your boat to get you to live a healthier life, take it and run with it.

No pun intended.

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