Category Archives: 1000

Donating Your Used Car To Charity: Pros, Cons, And Tips

used_carWe donate our used clothing and other items to charity, so why not other items that we no longer have a use for? You can make a difference in a big way by donating big ticket items like boats and cars to charitable organizations. The increase in charities accepting vehicle donations has led to a mutually beneficial and booming business, wherein the donor saves by claiming the donation on income taz returns and the charity is able to sell the vehicle and use the funds to further its cause. While this might seem like a straightforward way to do good in the world, there are some associated risks with donating your car. 

Pros

  • Many charities have started to accept vehicles as a form of donation, so you can most likely find a charity that supports your favorite cause to donate to.
  • You can claim a huge deduction on your income tax returns when you donate your car to a charity approved by the IRS.
  • You get to save yourself the hassle of trying to find a buyer for your used car.
  • Donating a car makes it much easier to make a big difference for your charity with less financial impact to you than a cash donation.

Cons

  • Intermediaries that accept your car donation and then donate the proceeds to the charity of your choice often take a substantial cut away from your chosen cause. If the charities you support don’t accept car donations directly, you may be better off finding one that does.
  • To get a tax deduction, you’ll need to follow up with the charity to get paperwork that proves the vehicle’s value. Your estimate or the fair market value probably won’t cut it if your car is worth over $500.
  • The same paperwork to get rid of the car is still necessary- if you don’t formally re-title the vehicle, you could risk parking tickets and more down the line.

Tips

  1. Avoid 3rd parties and try to donate your car directly to the charity of your choice.
  2. Choose a charity that means a lot to you and has a big impact in its line of work. If the charities you usually support don’t accept car donations, take time to investigate alternatives instead of just picking the first charity you find. The Better Business Bureau can help you to evaluate charities whose activities you aren’t very familiar with.
  3. Make 100% sure that your chosen charity is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is qualified by the IRS for donation deduction purposes. 
  4. If you have to use a middle man, do your research to find out how much of the proceeds from the car’s sale will actually go to the charity. Do they take a percentage, or a flat fee? Using an intermediary not only limits the effectiveness of your gift, but can also have tax implications.
  5. Keep a thorough paper trail for tax purposes in order to claim the donation on your tax returns.
  6. Deliver the car to the charity yourself so they don’t have to take money out of your donation to pay someone to come pick it up.
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Jack Lovegood is a automotive expert and a contributing blogger for Chrysler Group LLC, where you can purchase a Jeep extended warranty at a discounted rate. 

5 Essential Maintenance Tips For Your Tires

After spending good money on tires, most drivers fail to give them adequate maintenance. Tires play an important role in driving safety, so making sure they’re in road-worthy condition is essential. Below are a few tire tips and tricks to follow. Properly purchased and maintained tires will last longer than neglected ones, saving you money, and most importantly, keeping you safe.

1. Buy Quality Tires from a Reputable Brand

First and foremost, when you purchase new tires, make sure they’re from a reputable company and of premium quality. You and your car depend on them. Buying internationally known brands like Goodyear and Nokian tires ensures safety and affordability. Remember, your purchase should reflect your driving style, driving environment, and vehicle. After buying a new set of tires, try driving the vehicle initially for at least 200 miles at medium speed on dry roads.

2. Maintain the Correct Tire Pressure

Find out the right air pressure for your tires and make sure you maintain it. Check the pressure before and after long drives, during cold driving conditions, and when carrying heavy loads. Otherwise, check every month regularly on a fixed date.

Under-inflated tires can overheat, causing excessive and irregular wear from over exertion. This might even lead to a blowout. Besides, tires that have been riding around with the improper air pressure need to be replaced more often. Over-inflated ones lead to loss of proper road grip and less traction on braking, the consequences of which are obvious. Maintaining optimum tire pressure is even good for the environment as the correct pressure helps in making the vehicle more fuel efficient.

3. Select the Right Tire Tread

More tread just means more grip. Although legal limits are 1.6mm, driving with anything under 3.0mm can be risky. Do not just buy tires based on how the tire looks. Use a standard tread gauge and ensure tread depth is sufficient on all four tires. Check the inside, outside and center portions. How long tires will last with good tread in the end depends on the brand.  For example, the usual length of service for quality Nokian tires can be as long as 60,000 miles.

4. Pay Attention to Balance and Alignment

Improper wheel alignment is the main reason for premature tire wear. Poor alignment and balance issues also contribute to over-consumption of fuel and loss of road grip. Check the alignment immediately if you sense the vehicle pulling towards either side while driving or if the steering wheel shakes when driving at high speeds.

5. Stay on Top of Tire Rotation

If you’re only buying two tires, always fit the new tires in the back. Having the better tires in the back means more driving control and directional stability. Also, be sure to have your tires rotated every so often – many people like to have this done at the same time as an oil change – in order to ensure even wear. In addition, replace the valves every time you change your tires. Properly tightened and functioning values with well fitted dust caps make sure the tires remain safe. Check for tears on the side, cracks, bulges, and damage to the wheel rim. Sub-standard products damage easily, but high-quality tires will last longer.

These five tire tips are extremely important to follow, primarily because they concern the safety of the car and its passengers. On top of being a smart car owner who properly maintains his or her vehicle, remember to avoid rash driving, excessive speeds, and frequent braking. Take good care of your car and it will take good care of you!

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  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=tires&ex=2#ai:MP900202010|

James Cash is a master mechanic and part time writer.

Keeping Your Vehicle Safe In New Jersey

The Garden state is a wonderful place to explore, raise a family, or settle down. It offers the upscale pace of cities, beaches and shore living, woodlands and farms, and family-friendly suburbs. There is an environment for everyone, and a different feel to each part. While its diversity in living arrangements is beneficial, one thing to remember is that the laws of the state are all the same, no matter which environment you choose to live in. For your own safety, New Jersey holds high standards and regulations on most of their state laws. Motor vehicle regulations are no exception to these rules. Expect to cruise around in your car with style, while upholding a strict degree of safety. While most states can be fairly lenient in their safety inspection rules, NJ makes sure their residents are in tip-top shape while cruising on their highways.

NJ Inspection
If you plan on driving around with your Toyota in NJ, be prepared to meet all of the necessary requirements to do so. While it may seem like a lot compared to other states, it’s all for safety’s sake! The rules of a NJ inspection have gone through some changes in recent years. Due to budget cuts, decisions needed to be made on what was most important for the vehicles of the Garden state. As of August 2010, residents will not have to worry about working lights, turn signals, or other mechanical safety aspects during their cars’ inspection. Although a damaged brake light or turn signal can still land you a ticket while driving, it won’t flunk you during a mandated inspection test. It’s up to you as the responsible driver to check and fix your lights and signals.

Emmissions Test
The biggest test for your vehicle to undergo in a NJ inspection is the emissions test. While some states negate this portion all together, New Jersey adheres to a strict guideline when it comes to the quality of our environment. While efforts are being made every day to meet the air requirements set by the National Clean Air Act Standards, New Jersey still has not reached its goal. This is why the emissions portion of the inspection process is so crucial, not only for the safety of the vehicle but also for the safety and cleanliness of the environment.  Vehicles that exceed national health standards will fail to pass the inspection, and must be assessed by a mechanic to have the emissions problem fixed. Gas caps will also be inspected to assure that it limits the escape of fumes into the environment.

Inspection Sticker
If you pass the regulations of a New Jersey state inspection, you get shiny new sticker on your windshield saying to come back in another two years. Fortunately for people who reside in New Jersey who purchase a used, non-commercial vehicle inspection does not have to be done until the vehicles model is five years old. The inspection of motorcycles has also been cut and it’s up to the driver to keep their bike safe and secure while braving the roads.

Just like any state, safety and security is a top priority for the vehicles of New Jersey. The laws may vary, but they still exist. When making the move to the popular east coast state, be sure to review the laws and regulations necessary to reside there. It’ll make the transition much less stressful and much safer! Enjoy your ride into Jersey!

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Ashely is a New Jersey resident and has been through all the strict New Jersey inspection laws. To see more, check out her Twitter @ashelymarie1985. 

Tips To Keep Your New Car Running Like New For Years To Come

Your new car is your pride and joy. When you left the Ford dealership lot with your brand new car you were then hit with a terrifying thought—this is as good as your car will ever be, it is all downhill from here. There is no need to be so pessimistic about your new vehicle the second you drive it off the lot because with proper care and maintenance, you can keep it running like a brand new car for years to come. And there is no reason you and your car should not have a long, happy relationship together if you are willing to put the proper effort into it. Here are the ways to keep your car running like new for years to come.

Follow the Service Schedule

Did you read your owner’s manual? Well if you didn’t, do it now, because inside there is a service schedule that will tell you exactly what service your car will need and how often you should get it, according to Edmunds. The manufacturers build your car, they know the ins and outs of this vehicle better than anyone and therefore know what kind of maintenance is needed to keep it running at its best, so why would you choose to ignore the service schedule they laid out for you? They couldn’t have made it any easier for you if they scheduled the oil changes and tune-ups for you themselves! Do you and your car a favor and do not skimp on the maintenance, you will be thankful that you didn’t in the long run.

Don’t Make a Lot of Short Trips

Short trips of less than 10 minutes are actually really bad for your car, explains Cars.com. Whenever you can, try to pair up your short trips and errands to avoid short trips because they really are unkind to your car. Here’s what happens: when your car is on, one of the processes of engine combustion is it creates water. That water will then turn to vapor and be released out of the tailpipe or ventilation system, but if you are on a short trip, the water is never given the chance to heat to the point of turning to vapor. That means the water then just sits in the engine and exhaust system, which can lead to rust. Another problem with water just sitting in your engine is that it can dilute your oil, causing a need for more frequent oil changes.

Let Your Car Wake Up

When you first start your car, it needs a moment to wake up and get its gears greased, literally. When a car has been sitting for five or more hours, the oil has left all of the greased parts and drained back into the oil pan. So, when you first start your engine, you need to give it at least 30 seconds to allow the oil pump to lubricate your engine again. If your car has been sitting, unused for more than 24 hours, give it a little more time before putting it in gear and driving off to ensure proper lubrication.

Proper care of your car will help to ensure a long life, and when your car does have problems a quick visit to your Ford dealership parts and service department should have you fixed up and on your way in no time, especially if you have been doing your due diligence with preventative care. 

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Ashely is a recent college greaduate with a degree in writing. She grew up with a house full of motor heads so she enjoys writing about cars. To see more, check out her Twitter @ashelymarie1985. 

Finding The Best Volkswagen Auto Parts

Consumers frequently hunt for numerous characteristics when looking for a car. Some favor eight cylinders and horsepower while others merely want additional trendy accessories for a fantastic looking vehicle that manages smoothly. Furthermore, each driver likes to feel comfortable. Volkswagen provides quality service in each of these aspects. The company has built its standing by being professional and skillful, producing lustrous, magnificent, and long-lasting automobiles. Even today, Volkswagen auto parts provide true strength and superb performance, having stood the test of time in today’s world of car manufacturing.

Even though Volkswagen has advanced, their principles have remained grounded, from the innovative Beetle to the latest Jetta model. There are a number of Volkswagen accessories and parts that suit every VW models’ need to become ever more exemplar and conspicuous than before.

Finding Your Volkswagen Parts

Volkswagen body parts can be hard to find when you need them quickly. When you need VW auto body parts for your automobile, you should make sure that you know where to find them beforehand. Thankfully, there are online auto parts websites that offer numerous VW auto parts. However, if you have one of the older model Volkswagens, auto part dealers may need time to order the part specifically for VW model.

A Brief History of Volkswagen

Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturing company famous for its classiness and performance. Volkswagen vehicles are popular and respected for their up-to-date features, good quality, and endurance. Designed by well-known engineer Ferdinand Porsche, the initial Volkswagen was intended to be a compact, inexpensive, convenience for the everyday German citizen.

The legendary Volkswagen Beetle went into full production during the end of the 1940s, eventually landing on the American coast in 1949. By 1955, more than a million Volkswagens had been manufactured at the Wolfsburg factory, establishing the Beetle as a darling of overseas buyers. During the 60s, the Volkswagen skyrocketed.

The 90s were coming to a close, and the reemergence of the Jetta together with acquirements of choice luxury car brands like Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti, gave the automaker more leeway in a huge number of divisions. The 5th Generation Golf was launched in 2002. During that same year, the polished Touareg was introduced as a stylish, comfortable SUV. Volkswagen’s numbers steadily climbed in the United States as well, and the sophisticated Phaeton and the hardtop convertible Eos were hits. VW has reinforced itself as a winner in the automotive industry, which is a good thing. With the onslaught of the Internet, Volkswagen auto parts are more readily available. Many parts may have faded into obscurity without the availability of online merchants.

Conclusion

VW is a brand name that delivers classy vehicles offering smooth functioning and reliability. If you decide to reinstate Volkswagen parts, you will find a broad range of genuine car parts available at reasonable prices. Often times, you can find your required car parts via an online catalog at one of the many Volkswagen dealers by giving the make and model of your car. Keep in mind that older Volkswagen models may require a waiting period since the auto part will more than likely require special ordering. Some Volkswagen dealers will actually find the part for you if they do not have it in stock.

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  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: https://www.google.com/search?as_st=y&tbm=isch&hl=en&as_q=volkswagen&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&cr=&as_sitesearch=&safe=images&tbs=sur:fmc&biw=1440&bih=839&sei=KU3pUaqUBajD4APQmIHwDg#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=Hk1Lx_IUxIBiHM%3A%3BW0-1ap9SJgtWfM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Ffc01.deviantart.net%252Ffs70%252Fi%252F2012%252F302%252F2%252Fe%252Fvolkswagen_beetle_by_amitshita-d5jend8.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Famitshita.deviantart.com%252Fart%252FVolkswagen-Beetle-334927052%3B1024%3B688

Mike Miller has just bout a new Volkswagen Jetta and is very excited. He decides to find a good place where he can purshase auto parts if there is any problem with his car. 

What Does Your Car Air Freshener Say About You?

What Does Your Car Air Freshener Say About You?

You used to be able to tell a lot about a person by the car they drove. Nowadays, unless you’re zooming around in a Ferrari or chuffing along in a vintage Bubble Car, cars tend to give out little information about what sort of person we are. But your car air freshener? Well, that can say a lot about who you are. Here’s a humorous, tongue-in-cheek guide to what your car air freshener says about YOU!

Hanging Jelly Bean/Dolphin/Little Shoe

These intensely sweet smelling car air fresheners are the reserve of the very old or the very young. This car is most likely packed to the rafters with unfeasibly glamorous blonde twenty-somethings, on a trip to buy half of the high street en route to a week ‘looking reem, smelling reem, and being reem’ in Majorca. Either that or it’s an old lady who happens to be the grandmother of an unfeasibly glamorous blonde twenty-something who couldn’t think what to buy her for Christmas.

 Feu Orange Traffic Lights

Do not be fooled by the classic Feu Orange Traffic Light, dangling insouciantly from the rear-view mirror by a tiny gold chain. You have not fallen through a time warp back into your dad’s Cortina, circa 1982, Simon Bates is not going to start recounting a tragic tale of lost love on Radio 1 at any moment. Those days are, thankfully, over. What you have encountered here, no doubt in a 1982 Cortina, is the car air freshener of a Hipster. Hipsters love anything vintage. So even while they’re dry retching from the overpowering scent of the Feu Orange, they’ll be patting themselves on the back for getting the details spot on.

car air freshener

Naturally Scented Cedar Acorn

These naturally scented wooden car air fresheners are usually found in small cars with a small, environmentally friendly size engine. This driver is usually female, although they can also be males who share a fondness for yoga, quinoa and aromatherapy massages. This car is always spotless. There is a selection of herbal teas kept in the glove box with the emergency tea tree oil and arnica tablets. You can often hear this car approaching before you see it; the eerie, cawing grunts of whalesong booming out as the driver pulls up to Holland & Barrett.

No Car Air Freshener

Do not be mistaken, people who have no air freshener in their car are not in this position because their cars do not smell. Far from it, these drivers are usually busy working parents, who gave up the dream of a sweet smelling car after baby George got car sick from the smell of the scented cedar acorn during a fraught cross-country drive to the in-laws. Air fresheners have no chance in these cars, fighting a losing battle against the old banana skins trapped down the back of the seats, a year’s worth of muddy footprints on the back of the front head rests and half chewed crisp clinging cement-like to both of the children’s car seats.

So which one are you? And what does your car air freshener say about YOU?

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Kate Parker is a writer and blogger with a curiosity about car air fresheners. Advanced Vehicle Cleaning Limited supplies hanging and liquid car air fresheners in bulk.

6 tips for maintaining centrifugal pumps

For pushing liquid through any tunnel, pipe or connected network that requires pressure and force for travelling, a centrifugal pump is used. The function basically pulls away the object that moves in a circular motion from the center of its attraction. It is commonly used to regulate pressure and initiate motion in pumping systems. The idea of maintaining pumps in the best working condition so it delivers at its best for longer periods of time is what these tips are all about-

1)      Relationship between flow and pressure-

To keep the pump in optimum working condition, rule number one is to understand the correlation between these two factors- flow and pressure. As the flow of a liquid increases, the discharge pressure of the pump starts to decrease. Similarly, if the flow of liquid decreases, automatically the effect of the discharge pressure changes and it boosts up to increase the flow of liquid. If the relationship status between these two factors seems to change, it is a signal that the pump needs attention and there is something wrong in the functioning.

2)      Avoid operating pumps at low flow-

If the flow level of liquid is indicated at zero, then to keep the pump running for long periods of time is dangerous for the machine. The resulting stress built on the pump heats up the engine and affects its capacity to pump or move liquid around. Usually it has been recorded that residential areas end up leaving the pump operating for several hours under zero or very low pressure, this exhausts the system and very soon the pump’s efficiency goes down.

3)      Install a pressure gauge to the pump-

There are devices available in the market, more commonly called as pressure gauge, which is specifically used to monitor the amount of pressure that is being developed and worked on by the pump. It is recommended to attach the pressure gauge at the suction side, the readings indicate a formula. The difference in pressure recorded from the gauge should be proportional to the total head. As the pressure gauge is attached to the pump, the readings should be adjusted for fine results, as the previous readings are according to the reference plane.

4)      Read through check valve-

To avoid the pump to operate on low pressure or no liquid areas, it is better to use a check valve to see if liquid is present or not. If pumps keep on operating on dry pipes, it is again an exhaustive and damaging activity. The check valve or most commonly known as foot valve is attached at the bottom of the tank where water or liquid is stored. It easily indicates presence of liquid and hence pumps are run until the time required and then shut down to avoid heating up issues.

5)      Install suction valves-

At the pump suction there are gate valves attached, by using these there is zero resistance to water flow recorded and results in a tight and safe shut down as well. Other valves that are used by residential areas include butterfly valves. These are average valves according to the performance required; at times these valves lead to resistance in water flow and therefore affect the flow stream. If the flow is affected, it can lead to hang-ups which alter the pumps performance.

6)      Use of eccentric reducer-

If there is a pipe size transition required, then use an eccentric reducer at the pump. The basic purpose of using this is to avoid any sort of air pockets being formed which alter the pressure being built by the pump on the liquid. The proper way to operate it is to keep the flat portion on the upper side if the liquid is coming from below or straight and keep it on the lower side if it is coming from above.

About us: Denis is a professional author having vast working experience in Petroleum Engineering and Power Generation. He likes to spread his knowledge about various lubricants and gas products through his informative writings on different sites like this.

Selling Your Car Online

We have come a long way from the days of listing your car for sale in the local paper, crossing your fingers that someone wanted it, and hoping that you didn’t undervalue your car in the process just to get rid of it. Now you can compare prices of the car you’re trying to sell with others who are selling the same thing, have some protection against fraud, and reach more people, all at the same time by selling it online. 

Selling your car online isn’t riskier than selling it in a local paper or any other way, if you do it right. If you stick to the big names in the business like CarSales, CarsGuide, Drive, CarPoint, and others that you’ll hear about everywhere as you do your research, then you should be fine. Avoid personal contacts from people outside of the websites you have listed your car for sale on, and avoid PayPal or other forms of payment that can be easily reversed by the buyer after receiving the goods. And in general, just avoid anything that sounds like some kind of scheme to get either your money or your car for nothing. It’s a jungle out there, so if you’re new to all of this you should probably stick to the more mainstream methods of selling a car online. 

There are many competing websites such as those mentioned above looking to get your business and sell your car for you. Most of them will cost you around $50 to list your advertisement, with some being a little cheaper or more expensive, and some are free. I definitely recommend shelling out the average of $50 though, as the time and hassle saved compared to the free services is well worth it. Just think about it, how motivated would you be to try to sell a car if you weren’t making any money out of the deal? 

Now while we’re talking about fees for listing car advertisements online, that brings us to the question of whether it’s worth selling cheap cars. In almost all cases I think it is worth it, because the listing fee is pretty much all you have to pay and that shouldn’t eat up much of the price of even a very cheap car. 

Some sites, such as CarSales.com.au, will give you the option of either selling your car privately on their network of websites or selling it directly to one of the dealers in their network. If you choose to sell to a dealer, CarSales will interact with them on your behalf and send the offers on to you. That means you don’t have to talk to any salespeople yourself. You also don’t need to prepare roadworthy papers before selling to a dealer. 

You can reach a lot more potential buyers when listing your car for sale online, but unless you have something very special for sale then the buyers will almost all be from your local area. So, even though the internet is this big amazing place, you’re still stuck with the fact that nobody wants to travel a long way to buy your car unless it’s unique or the prices is quite low.

About Mike

Mike is an auto enthusiast who deals in buying and selling cars in Australia. Lately he has came across a new trend of getting a new car but not owning it known as Novated Lease. He has found that Private Fleet is one such company that is offering Novated Lease options to car buyers.

Do You Own Paintless Dent Repair In 1 Hour Or Less

Have you ever accidently banged a shopping cart into the side of your vehicle? Ever found yourself driving through a hail storm with huge golf ball sized stones hitting your vehicle? If you have answered yes to both these questions then you should probably opt for PDR also known as paintless dent removal. PDR specialists are highly trained people with years of experience who travel the country looking for cars or vehicles that have previously been damaged by mainly hail.

Even though paintless dent removal in cities like Wollongong are not that expensive you may still want to save some money by trying it yourself. You may also want to try it yourself if there isn’t a PDR specialist near you. The first thing you ought to do is to purchase a dent removal kit and probably start watching a few DIY tutorials on websites like YouTube. This should help give you a good idea of how the kit works. Also read the instructions that came along with the kit to get a better idea of how to use that specific kit. That said if you don’t have experience working with metal then you could end up doing more damage than good.

Your kit should come accompanied by a few essential tools like a bright light, suction cups, blow dryer and a heat gun. If your specific kit does not come with these items you can obviously purchase these separately. Once you have everything follow the steps outlined below.

While paintless dent repair is a professional job you could try your hand at it. Using a PDR kit you should be able to get a few minor dents out. However, you need to exercise caution since the lightest mistake will ruin your car’s paint if not damage it further.

Step no. 1: Highlighting the Dent

Using a powerful portable light you need to highlight the dent. Then rub a damp cloth over the area to remove any dirt which may be causing an issue with the reflection.

Step no. 2: Setting Up the Equipment

Once you have read the directions that come accompanied by your kit the next step is to use your suction cups to pull strongly on the dented surface so that it returns to its original position. In some cases you may need to alternate between hot and cold air to help the metal first expand and then suddenly contract which gets the dent out.

Alternative Method – Slightly Difficult

 This method requires that you remove the door panels or any covering which is under the hood or on top of the car. You then reach behind the dent (where it bulges) and pound very gently on it using a rubber mallet. However, you need to be very careful not to use too much force as it will ruin the metal further.

If you feel as if you’re not able to properly get the dent out or if you find it difficult it is best to consult a professional. The idea of doing it yourself is to save money but if you ruin the dent even further you’re going to end up spending a lot more than you save and ruin the resale value of your vehicle in the process. 

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Manu Alias is an experienced SEO Analyst and working for the best SEO Agency in Sydney. He’s dealing with the Sydney based Business owners and working for their website to getting better rankings in Search Engines.

5 Tips For Buying A New Car Online

Souvenir car

Choosing and buying a car these days couldn’t be easier, especially with the vast resources of the Internet at your fingertips. Some might feel hesitant buying a big ticket item like a car online though, but you don’t have to be worried. Here are some tips to get you started.

Know what you want

To streamline your search, the more accurate an idea of what car you want the better. It’s great if you know what make, model and year you want, but even if you don’t have such a clear, detailed idea of what you’re interested in, you should still have a general purpose in mind. For instance, do you want a utility vehicle to help you with your business, a family car to take the kids to soccer practice in, or an economical means to get from A to B? keep that in mind when you do your browsing.

Make sure the online dealer is reputable

There are many hucksters out there who will try to con you out of your money. So watch out who you’re dealing with. Be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers, because they probably are. And don’t pay over any money until you’ve seen and actually driven the car (yes, even though you’re buying online, you still get to drive the car first). This website will give you detailed insight into protecting yourself from fraud when buying a vehicle online.

Most car dealerships in any case now have an online department because online buying is becoming more and more commonplace. So in those cases you can be sure you’re still dealing with a “real” dealership, even if most of your interaction isn’t going to happen face-to-face.

Make sure you’re getting the right quote

Once you’ve browsed through the selection and narrowed down your choices, contact the dealership via email for a quote. The online dealer’s response should restate the car’s features, so you know that you are both talking about the same vehicle. If the features aren’t being restated, just make sure you have the same car in mind. Also, carefully read what features the quote specifically entails, and what you would need to pay extra for.  Similarly, make sure all additional fees and surcharges are included in the quote as well.

Make sure you’re getting a good deal

Check your quote against the recommended retail selling price to see what kind of deal you’re getting. And never simply go with the first quote. Shop around and compare prices. And print out your quotes and save them in case the price changes between the time you received the quote, and are actually ready to make the purchase.

Use the Internet’s extensive resources

Finally, remember that the online space gives you a host of tools unavailable to the car buyers of old: easy access to expert ratings, hundreds of user reviews, the recommended retail selling price of models, trade-in values, financing, incentives, and more. You can even use an online vehicle repayment calculator to instantly calculate your budget.

Take your time to do the research. The Internet gives you the tools to make sure you’re making a deal you’re going to be happy with for years to come.  

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Queenie Bates is a freelance writer currently based in Cape Town, South Africa, where she lives with her partner and beloved Great Danes.