Buying a new car will typically require a deposit of about 15%-20% of its purchase price, according to Auto Cheat Sheet. Although most car dealerships commonly advertise a vehicle with a zero deposit, such a purchase can strain your finances as you try to pay down the loan.
Luckily, there are many ways to finance your dream car, some of which might actually have added advantages over a dealership loan. Here are three options to consider.
Home Equity Loans
Often, mortgage lenders are willing to hand over part of your home’s equity to you in the form of a home equity loan. While using your home as collateral, you can easily purchase your car. In fact, this option has a variety of benefits vis-à-vis using car dealership loans.
For instance, you will pay low-interest rates, which can be tax-deductible. On the flip side, such a loan can turn out to be a bad option in case you are not financially responsible. Unlike purchasing your car using auto loans which use your car as collateral, a home equity loan will use your home as collateral. This means that you might lose your home in case you default on the loan.
Use Credit Cards
In case you wouldn’t like to join the 107 million Americans with car dealership loans, then using your credit card is a wise option, as long as you have a line of credit that allows you to do so. This option can be quite beneficial, since making a big purchase on your credit card and fully commit to paying it up can help improve your credit score.
However, it is always crucial to assess your credit card details to ensure that your APR will actually allow you to pay back the purchase. Additionally, it is advisable to watch out for billing errors as they might easily make payments tough to achieve. In case there might be some unfair practices in billing your car purchase among other purchases, the fair credit billing act (FCBA) can easily protect you from any arising costs.
Use 401(K) Loans
Although a good number of healthy 401(k) accounts can easily help you make a car purchase, you should always check with your administrator to ensure that you are actually allowed to take money out of the account for the intended purpose. Some accounts restrict the withdrawal of money for making non-essential purchases like a car.
You will also have to repay the loan in five years or less, with the payments coming straight from your paycheck. And should you lose your job, most accounts will require you to repay the balance within 60 days, which can be quite stressful.
This Simple Trick Will Keep Your Headlights Clean And Bright
For the sake of your safety and everyone around, make sure your headlights are clean and shine their brightest.
We take many things for granted in the digital age, especially our cars. The automotive industry is undergoing a profound transformation, but while autonomous technology and electrification are talk of the streets, evergreen inventions like headlights have also benefited greatly from cutting edge innovations.
What started off as simple acetylene lamps in the late 19th century has evolved into the complex LED and laser systems of today. But as cool and exciting as all their new features are, headlights still have one primary purpose and that’s to be the eyes of a vehicle, allowing you to see at night and be seen by other motorists. As such, always make sure yours are clean at all times to help ensure a safe ride wherever you go.
Checking the condition of your headlights on a regular basis and especially before long trips is a must for drivers of all skill levels. In this article, we look at a few ways for keeping your headlights shining bright whenever and wherever.
Do It Yourself — Cleaning And Polishing Of Headlights
It’s common for the plastic components of a car’s headlights to become blurry or yellow overtime, making the car look older and poorly maintained. Apart from being ugly, yellowing and blurring headlights can be dangerous because they don’t illuminate light as well as clear ones, undermining road visibility. Fortunately, there is one effective way to clean and refresh them, and you can do it yourself without having to spend a lot of money.
All you need is an abrasive toothpaste and a few sandpapers to get started, and then follow these three steps:
1. Washing headlights and car protection
First, wash the headlights and the parts around them with water and car washing detergent to remove any impurities. Washing will help reveal any scratches and the lamp’s matte appearance.
After washing, cover the surface around the headlamps with paper or strips to protect your car’s paintwork from any accidental damage that might arise from the sanding process. You can buy such paper and strips online or from any paintwork shop.
2. Sanding headlights
The next thing you want to do is sand the headlights, but not before applying water (which acts as a lubricant) to the headlight and the sand paper. Start off with a super fine P800 sandpaper to eliminate big scratches, follow up with ultra-fine granulation P1500 sandpaper, and end with P2000 sandpaper.
Changing sandpapers changes the direction of sanding to provide maximum coverage (P800 goes vertically, P1500 horizontally, etc.). The headlights will remain matte after sanding, but this shouldn’t worry you — the polished look is achieved with the next step.
Use a dry cloth to wipe and dry the headlights after sanding, and then apply some toothpaste on a piece of dry cotton cloth to begin the polishing process. Use circular movements with mild pressure. Don’t use a damp cloth or mix the paste with water, as this will reduce the efficacy of the paste and the entire polishing process.
After polishing, wash the headlights with a mild detergent like dishwashing liquid. The difference should be noticeable in the brightness of your headlights after all is said and done, and your visibility at night and in poor weather conditions should improve markedly.
Ask your dentist to order you some prophy paste samples, hopefully for free. Prophy pastes are more abrasive than toothpaste and are used in preventative dentistry for teeth polishing.
There are differences in polishing pastes, such as in their granulation (grit sizes — fine, medium-fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse). Wonderful dental offers a plethora of prophy paste products, so feel free to try it. Prophy paste has been shown to deliver better results than regular toothpaste.
Here’s How Each Type Of Car Insurance Protects You
Chances are you already know how auto insurance works, but do you know what the different types of car insurance are and the kind of protection they provide?
There are more than 35 million cars on the roads in the United Kingdom alone as of 2019, and over the past decade, the number of cars in that country has increased by more than ten percent. This has been a boon to many businesses in the automotive sector, including mechanics, dealerships, petrol stations and insurance companies, but as more people commit to car ownership, they mustn’t forget to meet responsibilities and requirements that comes along with it.
One of the most important aspects of vehicle ownership is car insurance, which can protect both drivers and innocent bystanders alike from collisions or any other accident involving a car. While insurance is mandatory in the UK, there is often some confusion about the different levels of cover available.
Whether you have just purchased your first car or merely want to know if you have the right level of insurance, understanding the various types of car insurance and how each one can protect you will make you an informed shopper and provide some peace of mind.
The most basic form of car insurance available in the UK is third party insurance. This form of insurance is intended to protect the ‘third party’ when an accident occurs, and as such it will cover the cost of injury to other people or damage to their vehicles.
Third party is the minimum level of car insurance cover required by in the UK, and it’s also the least comprehensive. That fact meant that third party was often the cheapest option, but that’s not always the case anymore. That’s why it’s best to use a car insurance comparison service like Compare NI to compare the premiums for different coverage levels.
Third Party, Fire and Theft
The next most basic form of auto insurance is third party, fire and theft. This form of insurance can be thought of as “basic ” because it provides all the same advantages as third party insurance but with a few additional types of incidents covered for good measure.
As the name suggests, third party, fire and theft covers the damages and injuries of other drivers in the event of an accident, but also protects your own vehicle in situations where it is damaged by fire or stolen by a thief.
While this form of insurance does protect your vehicle against damages incurred due to an attempted theft or fire, it still won’t cover the cost of your own repairs if you’re involved in an accident. And, interestingly, it can be more expensive than fully comprehensive insurance — a lot more expensive! — simply because fewer insurers offer third party only policies, which of course means you are less likely to get good deals on them.
For those who want to be covered in most or all situations, comprehensive insurance is the best form of car insurance. This form of insurance is the gold standard of protection, offering assurances and guarantees in a variety of situations. Besides offering all the protections that third party, fire and theft offers, comprehensive insurance also covers damages and injuries relating to you and your vehicle. It will also offer limited protection for any items or valuables in your car that are stolen.
This type of insurance is particularly essential for those who own newer vehicles or those who are in the process of financing their cars. Until or unless the vehicle is paid for in full, comprehensive insurance is an absolute must.
However, many drivers opt for comprehensive insurance regardless of the status of vehicle ownership, particularly since many insurance providers no longer charge substantially more for fully-comp than they would for lower levels of cover.
Other Forms of Car Insurance
While the three types of insurance mentioned above are the primary forms of car insurance drivers can find in the UK and elsewhere in the developed world, there are other niche forms of insurance that drivers with specific needs may have to consider.
For example, if you are charging passengers fares — such as while driving for Uber or Lyft, or a traditional taxi service — then ‘hire and reward’ car insurance will be required.
If you’re using your car to transport goods, on the other hand, you may have to take out goods in transit insurance, while the owner of a classic car will likely need to invest in classic car insurance instead of ordinary car insurance.
Now that you are familiar with the types of insurance available in the UK, you can make an appropriate decision based on your car’s value, driving situation and potential liability.
10 Proven Tips For Doing A Proper Used Car Test Drive
Never buy a car without first giving it a test drive.
Buying a car, even a used car, is a big commitment. You will likely spend thousands of dollars on one and own it for at least a few years, which is why a test drive is important for making the right selection.
When looking for a suitable used car, you need to be able to spot any defects or other shortcomings before handing over your hard-earned money, but going about it can be difficult if you’re new to the car buying process. This guide will help you make a better, more informed buying decision by providing 10 proven tips for doing a proper used car test drive.
1. “Certified Pre-Owned” Vs. “Used Car”
The sales staff at San Marcos Chrysler Jeep (San Marcos, TX) suggested we start off with the difference between ‘certified pre-owned” and “used” cars, something all future car buyers should know.
Certified cars undergo a complete inspection that repairs any damaged or worn parts before they are offered for sale and usually come with an extended warranty and a number of services like 24-hour roadside assistance. With used cars, the buyer must pay for an inspection and usually any subsequent repairs and only gets whatever is left of the factory warranty… if it’s still in effect and fully transferable.
This means, when shopping for a used cars, you need to have a much more critical eye for certain things that you would not when buying a new or certified pre-owned car.
2. Do Your Research
Save yourself the time and trouble of having to test more vehicles than you have to by learning as much as possible about the vehicles your are considering. Read online reviews, try out build and price tools, and go over all available CARFAX reports.
Not only will thorough research help you narrow down your shortlist, but it will also help you figure out what you really want and don’t want going into any test drive, making it easier to notice things you love or hate while on the drive.
3. Bring Someone With You
If you are nervous wreck like I was when I purchased by first two used cars or just not very knowledgeable about cars, bringing along a trusted friend or family member who is can be a big help.
At the very least, they will be extra set of eyes for noticing something you might miss, tell you what it’s like to be a passenger in the vehicle, and point out potential issues that pass your scrutiny.
4. Does It Meet Your Requirements?
Once you’re ready to go on your used car test drive, conduct an inspection of the vehicle to make sure it meets your requirements and standards, especially with regards to size, space and ergonomics.
Assess space in the trunk, back seats, glove compartment and other storage areas, etc. to see if the car offers as much as you need. If there are any, try collapsing and raising the folding seats to see if they are easy and intuitive to operate; see if the seats can be easily adjusted to a comfortable position for you; and use the radio, Bluetooth, GPS and other on-board electronics to see if everything works as desired.
5. Any Exterior Issues?
The car might have a number of issues that, although insignificant by themselves, can add up to become a deal breaker. Check the body panels and the inside of the doors and trunk for rust, scratches, dents and chips, and for usual panels gaps. Also see if the windshield and windows have chips or cracks that need attention.
Do all four tires have acceptable tread and inflation? If some have greater wear and tear than others, there might be a mechanical or alignment issue.
Check that all turn signals, high beams, low beams, brake lights work and aren’t cracked or broken, and look for any signs of exhaust issues such as excess smoke and dark, oily stains.
6. Any Interior Issues?
Once you’ve checked the outside of the vehicle, give the interior a good inspection. Look for any wear and tear, loose stitching and stains on the materials; see if the seats can be moved forward and back, up and down, and folded securely without issue; and test air conditioning, heating, blowers and other applicable climate control functions to make sure they work properly.
Safety should always be your number one priority, so check that all seatbelts are present and operate properly. Make sure the airbags are intact by checking the panel cover for a split, uneven seals, or different colored paint over the seal (these are strong signs that the car has been in an accident). Does the airbag light stay on or does it flash when you turn on the ignition?
Finally, check that all the interior lights, electric windows, radio, center console, electric locks, and electric adjustable mirrors all work as intended and that there are no exposed or deteriorating electrical components present.
7. Test The Steering
You want to make sure the car turns where ever you want it to, paying particular attention to how both the steering wheel itself and the whole vehicle feels and sounds when you turn. Also check the steering wheel for any vibration or unsettling sound when driving at various speeds, as well as the level of resistance or tightness when turning it.
Pay attention to the vehicle when driving in a straight line to see if it pulls to one side. If there is some pulling, there could be a mechanical issue with the steering mechanics.
8. Test The Brakes
Good brakes are paramount for safe driving, so try to find an isolated area, such as a large and mostly empty parking lot or side road, and test out the the car’s brakes at normal speeds.
Test for any looseness in the brake pedal, as well as for any brake fade, shuddering, or vibrations. Do the brakes stop the car at a safe distance, and do they instill a sense of confidence?
Don’t forget to also test the the efficacy of the parking brake (AKA hand brake or emergency brake) by stopping on a slope.
9. Drive Like You Would Normally
The most important thing to do once you start driving is to drive the way you would everyday. There is no need for unrealistic stress tests — driving like you would on any given day will give you a real feel for the vehicle.
See if it accelerates well enough and feels safe at higher speeds by taking it on the highway. Assess the turning radius and overall maneuverability by heading to a parking lot and doing a U-turn or three-point turn on a residential street. And drive on some rough terrain if possible to make sure it feels safe, sturdy and comfortable.
10. Ask Questions, Take Notes
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you deem necessary before, during and after the used car test drive. Was the car a rental car? Was it ever in an accident? What’s up with the mileage? And so on…
Have a little notepad ready to write down any issues you identified and discussed with the salesperson for further analysis at a later time. Getting some sleep can help you process the information of the day and relieve yourself of the immediacy (and accompanying stress) of making a decision.
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