For most people, the easiest way to buy a car is through a local major brand dealer, which usually able to provide access to factory-trained personnel and on-site financing. However, even though your local brand dealer has the best of intentions, it’s still a good idea to know all the options available to you when it comes time to buy.
To help you out, we surveyed the car finance officers at , a car financing company in Phoenix, AZ, and they explained that loan misunderstandings do occasionally occur. This is likely because not everyone lives and breathes accounting concepts. Here are a few of the common loan issues people run into.
1. Your Credit Score
Your credit score, from 300 to 850, is based on feedback from financial institutions that you interact with. The main three companies that calculate your credit score are: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The important thing to know is that your credit score can vary among these three agencies. Before you sit down with a loan officer at the car dealership, check out your credit on one of the free credit websites (ex: creditkarma.com). You may find out that it is lower than you think because of errors, errors that you may be able to correct before visiting a car dealer.
2. Down Payment, Monthly Payment
Before you sit down with the loan officer at the car dealership, know what you are comfortable paying per month for your new car and how much you can put down for down payment. If you want a low monthly payment, be prepared to put a sizable down payment down.
3. Cash Rebate Or Low Interest Rate
Car manufacturers often offer cash rebates on their new cars, but if you don’t need the cash, they usually offer a special low interest on the loan. In deciding which is the better option, do your homework — the method netting you the best savings will vary from offer to offer.
4. Are You Upside Down?
“Upside down” is the term used to describe when you owe more on your car than it’s worth. When a dealer tells a consumer that they are upside down on their trade-in, they may offer to build that “negative equity” into the car financing of your new car. You should understand that when you do this, you will be essentially paying on two cars with your new loan: interest and principle on that negative equity and interest in addition to the principle for your new car. This is a less than optimum situation but, while you could potentially , there might be no alternative sometimes. Always make sure the car you are buying holds its resale value well.
3 Reasons Why You Should Buy Winter Tires For Snowy, Icy Conditions
Don’t replace your winter tires with all-season tires just yet.
The arrival of spring marks the end of four months of bitter, cold weather and the corresponding icy and slippery roads, but driving in the spring poses a lot of the same challenges as driving in the winter, and you can be sure there will be another winter.
Snowy or wet road surfaces are dangerous for drivers of all skill levels, so want you to make sure your ready for the next winter. Having the right car tires that offer ample traction on snow and ice would be a great start.
To optimally drive on icy surfaces, it is essential that the tires are soft and flexible, and winter tires are superior to all season tires in both regards. Summer and all season tires harden as the temperature drops, making it difficult to grip roads in .
In addition to being softer and more flexible than all-season tires, winter tires also have tread patters designed especially for snow, ice and rain. Numerous sharp edges on the tire surface created by the ‘siping’ or narrow cuts of the tread bite hard on icy surfaces to greatly reduce the chance of slippage.
Why put your safety at risk over a set of tires? Here are several other interesting facts about winter tires you should know.
Ideal For Snow-Packed Roads
If you are driving up a slight incline covered with snow, make sure that you have winter tires that grip the surface hard and make the wheel roll over smoothly unlike all season tires that spin fruitlessly. You should be able to start the vehicle from a stationary position and drive it effortlessly with minimal or no spinning. While driving, you would rarely use the antilock brake and together with much less wheel spinning you will feel that the car is more stable. However, you should not drive fast on snowy surfaces as it could reduce the gripping power of tires that tend to slip and the same can happen when you are climbing up a steep road. As long as you maintain a safe speed, you will experience increased stability and safety with winter tires. Adjusting the driving speed with the road condition improves tire performance.
Cost Effective Tires
Since are not designed to be used round-the-year, you can use the same set for multiple winter season. However, you must buy winter tires in addition to all season tires, and the cost would be almost the same as the latter. While the initial investment is high for two sets of tiress, the cost recovery is quite satisfactory in the long run. By combining the two type of tires, the all-season tire would also last longer and provide more cost benefit.
Not Suitable For Hot Climates
At places where the temperature hovers around 50oFahrenheit, winter tires that have soft rubber become squishy and lose its effectiveness. When the temperature rises further, you would feel as if the steering linkage has loosened a bit and during cornering and harder turns, the car starts wobbling.
As the spring approaches, you must change the winter tires that are only good in snow and ice.
5 Tyre Maintenance Tips To Keep Your Tyres In Good Shape
Tyre maintenance is that thing that’s never on our to-do list, but it definitely should.
Most Aussies are happy to drive their car without so much as giving a thought to tyre maintenance. For most drivers, if the four tyres of the car are not flat, all is well.
However, it would help to have a tyre maintenance routine to ensure they are in top form at all times. Here are 5 tips for tyre maintenance, courtesy of our friends at Mobile Tyre Shop.
1. Daily Checks
Tyre maintenance begins with regular checks. By regularly examining the condition of your tyres, you can spot any small problems before they turn complicated.
As you examine the tyres, look for the wear bar and check to see if it is flush with the rest of the tyre’s tread. If that is the case, that’s a safety red flag. Get your tyres replaced at the earliest. Like now!
Next, check the sidewall. Tyres are prone to minor scars and scuffs. That’s okay. However, if there’s a bubble or a deep scratch, your tyre is not safe for driving.
A quick daily check can ensure you can detect signs of trouble and stop it in its tracks.
2. Rotate The Tyres Regularly
Tyre rotation is a good habit to inculcate if you are concerned about tyre maintenance. By rotating your tyres regularly, you can lower the risk of black spots and other localised wear that occurs on your tyre’s treads. As a thumb rule, rotate the tyres once every 12,000 km or seven months, whichever occurs first.
3. Wheel Alignment Is Good
Wheel alignment is at the heart of a good tyre maintenance routine. A wheel alignment ensures that the angles of your wheels are adjusted per the manufacturer’s recommendations. It helps make the most of your tyres, while ensuring they wear evenly.
4. Check Tyre Pressure Once A Month At Least
Tyres can lose pressure slowly yet surely. So if you are not in the habit of checking the tyre pressure regularly, you might be putting your family at risk.
Under-inflated tyres are one of the most common causes of tyre-related crashes. What’s more, under-inflated tyres reduce fuel efficiency and can even cause premature wear.
So check the tyre pressure at least once a month. If need be, get a tyre inflation station set at your home. This way, you can check tyre pressure at your convenience without having to worry about long queues at the gas station.
5. Avoid Overloading The Vehicle
This is pretty straightforward. On the door frame is a placard that will tell you how much weight your car can handle safely.
Overloading the car can lead to tyre failure. If that seems like the worst case scenario, do take note that overloading your vehicle is sure to affect the handling. And that has a huge bearing on vehicle safety.
About Mobile Tyre Shop
supply and fit all leading tyre brands. Our prices are fully inclusive of onsite fitting, wheel balancing, new valves and weights. We also recycle your old tyres.
3 Sneaky Auto Insurance Practices You Should Look Out For
No one likes insurance scams, and you definitely wouldn’t want to fall for one.
If you’re in the market for a new car, you’ll of course need a good insurance policy. Per usual, the first course of action is to figure out what to do with your previous vehicle (assuming you have one).
There are usually four primary options available to you: trade the car in, sell it, junk it, or give it away (for instance, if you lived along the California coast, you could look for ways to ).
After considering your options, you can move forward with choosing a new vehicle and deciding what to do about your insurance policy. Stay with your current provider? Switch and get a new one? Either way, it’s crucial that you use this transitioning stage to re-examine your policy, identify any red flags, and learn more about the industry. There are many tricks that auto insurance companies use to avoid paying for claims, so the more educated you are about these types of tricks, the better you’ll be able to react if you’re being targeted.
With that in mind, here are three sneaky auto insurance tactics to keep an eye out for:
1) Outrageous Claim Denials
The auto insurance industry is riddled with outrageous claim denial stories. In these cases, a person who deserves to receive funds for medical expenses or other claims are denied for ridiculous reasons. There’s a reason for this. Although all auto insurance companies have a public-facing side that frames their company as on the side of their policyholders, the truth is that many companies reward their employees for their ability to deny claims and sneak their way out of paying for claims rightfully. In fact, Tom Wilson, the CEO of AllState, was as saying, “Our obligation is to earn a return for our shareholders.”
One of the most famous examples of outrageous claim denials is the , who was wound up in a coma for 9 days after a bad car accident. After she came out of her coma, not only was she confined to a wheelchair, but awoke to an incredibly high medical bill. As she worked to get her bill paid for through her insurance agency, she was shockingly denied because Farmers Insurance claimed that the other driver hit her intentionally, and therefore she was not actually involved in an “accident.”
This case exploded in the media, and Farmers Insurance eventually paid out the claim after much public outcry. If you ever find yourself in a similar position, the best thing to do is to try and get as much exposure as you can; talk about it on social media, encourage others to share it, and call up your local newspapers and television stations.
2) Delay Policy Claims
Delaying policy claims is the one of the oldest tricks in the auto insurance book. With this tactic, the auto insurance company purposely delays a claim in the hopes that the policyholder will simply give up. And there are many different ways auto insurance companies will delay a claim. They might leave the policy holder on the phone for hours at a time, giving them the runaround.
One insurance company, Conesco, who bundled auto and life insurance policies, received bad press when they started sending the wrong forms to their policyholders, forcing them past the deadline. One profiled the story of Mary Rose Derks, who was denied her claims to move into an assisted living home multiple times, each time for a different reason.
“Interviews by The New York Times and confidential depositions indicate that some long-term-care insurers have developed procedures that make it difficult — if not impossible — for policyholders to get paid,” the article states. “A review of more than 400 of the thousands of grievances and lawsuits filed in recent years shows elderly policyholders confronting unnecessary delays and overwhelming bureaucracies. In California alone, nearly one in every four long-term-care claims was denied in 2005, according to the state.”
3) Too Much Fine Print
Like every other agreement you might sign, there’s a lot to be said in the fine print. And unfortunately, the majority of people don’t read the fine print… ever. In fact, one found that 91% of Americans agree to the Terms of Service without ever actually reading it. And the fine print can completely ruin your claim and hurt your ability to take care of yourself and your property after an accident.
It’s important to go through the fine print in your policy, and to stay up to date with any changes that may occur in your policy. If you have legal representation, have them take a look at it and point out any potential issues that may arise.
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