Author: Life or Debt
Life or Debt on September 5, 2009
Car rental insurance policies (technically not actually insurance, but a fee you’re paying to offset any damage you cause) rank high among the western world’s great rip-offs. Your regular car insurance or possibly even your gold credit card will often render it unnecessary. If you need it, you may have to buy it – but … Continued
Life or Debt on September 4, 2009
If you’re going to rent a car, comparison-shop heavily. Prices differ a bunch depending on company, current demand and location. Don’t hesitate to pit companies against each other. And ask as many times as possible about special deals, promotions, coupons, and any source of potential savings such as membership in AARP or AAA. Even while … Continued
Life or Debt on September 3, 2009
If they’ll work as well, try used or rebuilt parts in your car. Your mechanic or body shop will know if OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are necessary or desirable. If they are, fine. But if they’re not, you can save a bundle.
Life or Debt on September 2, 2009
The best way to save money on cars is to keep yours as long as possible, and the best way to do that is to have it serviced well and regularly. To find a good mechanic, try calling some classified ads placed by people selling cars similar to yours. They might have a good suggestion. … Continued
Life or Debt on September 1, 2009
Lighten up your car. Roof racks hurt mileage by spoiling your aerodynamics. If you don’t use ‘em, lose ‘em. To increase your mileage even more, take the excess weight out of your car. Things like golf clubs don’t need to be driven around everywhere.
Life or Debt on August 29, 2009
Carpool! Sharing the ride with just one other person will cut your commuting costs in half. You’ll also reduce your stress level by 50% and may shave time off your commute by letting you drive in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes implemented in many cities.
Life or Debt on August 27, 2009
Always use the lowest octane gas your owner’s manual suggests. While only 15% of cars require premium, 25% of gasoline sold is premium. Why? Probably because some people respond to advertising instead of reading their owner’s manual.
Life or Debt on August 26, 2009
Whether you’re buying or leasing a car, negotiate the value of your trade-in before you negotiate the new car. Actually, you should never trade in a used car. You’re nearly always better off selling it yourself. But if you are going to trade in your old car, establish its value first before you start on … Continued
Life or Debt on August 25, 2009
Be aware of the fees for excess mileage and excess wear and tear. They should show up in microscopic print somewhere in the contract. Understand them, and realize that average lease return fees total more than $1,000. Think about that before you lease.
Life or Debt on August 24, 2009
Leasing is more complicated than buying. But when you boil it down, leasing is essentially like financing part of a car’s life. There are three main components to a lease: the capitalized cost (“purchase” price), the money factor (interest rate), the residual value (what it’s worth when the lease is up). You should be familiar … Continued
Life or Debt on August 23, 2009
Don’t think of buying a used car without a thorough inspection. Even if your car of choice was driven only to church on Sundays, have it thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic before you think of buying it. This cannot only help you avoid a nightmare, it could also help you negotiate a better price.
Life or Debt on August 21, 2009
Check with private car sellers. Dealers offer the advantage of broader selection and in some situations, warrantees. Private sellers may offer you a better deal, however, and you also get to see who’s been driving the car and how it’s been kept and maintained. But the greatest advantage of private sellers is that you don’t … Continued
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