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Who Should Drive The Nicer Car?

I hate buying cars. It’s such a long, exhausting process. First you decide what car (or at the very least what type of vehicle you might like to drive). Then you need to identify the appropriate dealership, visit the dealership for test drives, negotiate and then sign away your left kidney and resign yourself to the fact that you just took on thousands of dollars worth of debt. But, at least when it’s all said in done, you get a nice new car to drive, right?

Not necessarily. If you’re one of thousands of Americans that live in two-car households you may find that your spouse is the one with the keys.

There are many ways to determine who gets the fancy, new car.

The Commuter

One logic goes that the person who will be in the car for the longest amount of time each day should get to drive. That makes sense. For example, I drive 45-minutes one way to the office. Having a nice new set of wheels may help me enjoy the ride a little longer.

But, you need to consider the effect this commute will have on your car. A longer commute equals more mileage for your vehicle and more wear-and-tear. Allowing the spouse with the shorter commute may help protect your investment.

The Soccer Mom

Who will be transporting your kids to school or daycare? This is ultimately the method we used when we decided my husband would take the new minivan to work. This is obviously the right choice when your new car is a family car. But what if your new vehicle is a two-seat convertible ? Then the person taking the kids should probably stick to the old car.

The Trade In

Did you trade in your car? Then perhaps, by default, you’ve earned the right to drive the new one. I hated my husbands Jeep, he loved it. I was only lukewarm on my Malibu. If we had traded in my car, I would have driven the new car.

The Clients

Do you transport clients around on a regular basis? Than perhaps a nice new car is the wise choice. I mean, if you want to chauffer that important client around in your 1996 Honda Civic while your spouse cruises to the post office in crisp, new leather seats, be my guest.

The Weather

Is your new car AWD? Then whoever deals with the most treacherous road conditions should probably drive it. My commute takes me over the Palmer Divide, a place in Colorado known to receive an extra beating in the winter time. Make sure the person facing the most complicated conditions has the right car for the job.

The Alternative

My parents always buy new cars at the same time, so they can avoid this dilemma. It’s not in everyone’s budget, but it allows each driver to enjoy the joy of the new car.

New Cars Have Their Advantages

In the United States, much of the country has become very much dependent on their motor vehicles to get to work, to run errands and to take care of the many responsibilities of busy individuals and families.

The brand new cars that are available with all of the latest bells and whistles, and many with better fuel economy, are attractive and tempting to many, but with the way the economy is today not as many people can afford to finance a new car, nor can they handle the higher auto insurance rates they would have to pay as well.

In many instances, when people just can’t manage the monthly payments of a new car, they simply look to used vehicles and the kind of value they can enjoy by purchasing a pre-owned auto. The fact of the matter is that when people who are mindful of their budgets compare auto features and the cost of a used car against the cost of a brand new vehicle, it often makes a great deal of sense to go with a used car, if it has low mileage and has been well maintained.

One of the primary concerns that many people have related to purchasing new cars is the fact the as soon as the car is purchased and driven home that vehicle becomes a “used” car and the value plummets. While some motorists much prefer having a new car and knowing that their vehicle is in perfect condition, there is a large segment of the population that simply do not like the thought of immediately losing so much value on something that is costing them thousands of dollars.

Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration when people compare auto deals is the automobile insurance that will be required. Because a new vehicle has a higher value, this needs to be covered by the auto insurance policy, which will push the insurance rates higher. Because of this, it often makes sense to purchase a car that is only two or three years old and still has a few years left on the manufacturer’s warranty, and will be cheaper to insure.

These days, people do a great deal of new car research online and read unbiased and honest reviews from people who have purchased the same model of new car they are considering for themselves. This information can be very helpful, regardless of whether the person is interested in a new car or if they are thinking about buying a used model. Either way, the car research that can be done these days online can be very helpful, as people try to determine what will be the best car for them and their family.

On top of having the ability to do a great deal of research via the internet nowadays, more and more often the auto dealerships are even making it easy to buy new cars and used cars through their dealership websites.

There are even some auto dealers that will let you make an online request to test drive a car and the dealership will bring the car right to your doorstep. At the same time, you can start the process of getting your auto financing and you can find auto insurance quotes online as well, making the whole process of buying a car much simpler.

How To Find Old Cars For Sale

My next door neighbor Len Anderson is a classic car collector and has a beautifully repainted 1953 Rolls Royce in his garage. He also has some more old, unusual cars in his basement. In the recent past he has had and sold two running Edsels and a World War Two Jeep. The other old car that he has upstairs in his automotive museum is an original 1934 Plymouth 4 door. It is a barn car with all original paint, glass and mechanicals.

Besides having antique toys and toy cars, Len sells mostly old car parts and paraphernalia. He has boxes and boxes full of items from the teens to the 1950’s including: 1930’s car door handles, chrome trim parts, old spotlights, hood ornaments, car ads, old manuals, and misc. classic car collectibles.

He has found most of his sell ables and personal collection just driving around northern Illinois and Iowa, but he frequently scans the pages of Hemming’s Motor News magazine. To contact his business to see if he has any of those missing pieces that would finish your collection or auto restoration, call the Riverview Antiques at: 1-815-244-7875.

Archaeological Digs

Len’s building was originally a Model T garage and later a Chevy garage in the 1960’s. The canyon behind my house and his building has offered up some old car parts, such as a complete Model T frame that still had it’s original muffler ends hanging from it (they were cast iron), fenders from that same car and fenders from various other 1930’s cars. Discarded parts and pieces and even whole cars found their way over the bluff. One such automobile is a 1959 Chevy upside down at the base of the sixty foot cliff. However, the forest wildlife has picked it pretty clean.

My house was originally built as an inn and tavern in 1870. At different periods of time what is now my yard was a Oldsmobile garage and the city dump. Whenever I do any digging or even rototill I find many things of interest; from a stack of Model T windshields in their frames to 130 year old wagon parts, this whole areas is a treasure trove.

Look For The Occasional Mistake Ad

For a month there was an ad in the Rockford, Illinois newspaper selling a 1963 Ford Convertible, but the price seemed wrong. I told my Dad that I believed it was a typo and it was really a 1936 Ford convertible. On the chance that I was right, we drove to Rockford and it was a 1936! We bought it for $475, and drove it home. The owner said he only had a few people drive up in his driveway, look at it, then drive away. (well it wasn’t As Advertised was it? )

At that same time in1966, the one new car dealer in Rockford had a small ad selling a 1963 Cobra for $1,995. Obviously they didn’t know what it was worth or what it would be worth someday. That Cobra ad ran for months and I could not convince my Dad to buy it!

Finding A Running Classic

Where could you find an old, classic car? How about the fabric store parking lot? Great-grandma only drives once or twice a month anymore but one of her stops is the fabric store. There sits her 1963 Pontiac, an almost flawless, beautiful light blue Catalina. Make her an offer! Probably no one else will be standing there bidding against you!

Classics Are Where You Find Them!

One time we located a classic collectible on an island in the Mississippi River! It was a 1955 Ford two-seater Thunderbird, but someone had replaced the original 272 Y-block with a Ford Flathead. And although the car had been underwater a few times, the owner still thought it was worth $2,000. It wasn’t.


When looking at cars on E-Bay also look under Antiques. There will be some classic car collectibles usually there, hiding out from the higher insertion fees. We put our 1957 Cadillac hearse there and sold it. There was a b.b. hole in the windshield, bidders wanted to see just how large the hole was so I put a dime beside the imperfection and took it’s picture. The dime could have hid the breakage.

Farmer Auctions

Farm sales will publish a sale bill in advance. Look for car listings hidden among the tractors and horse harnesses. I have known of local farmers who bought a new car yet almost never drove it. Sometimes the farmer’s lane was to blame.

One farmer didn’t have a lane to his house, so he had to drive over his neighbor’s cornfield. He had a 1939 Ford with less than 5,000 miles on it. It was sold at the auction in 1990.

There are many magazines and websites out there that can perhaps land you a decent deal on an old vehicle, but if you take your time and look between the lines who knows what pristine gems you may find.

Buy Cheap Cars From Government Auctions And Make Money

Are you are looking for opportunities to help you buy cheap cars from government auctions? You need not look elsewhere but in the local city you live in. Auctions held by the police and the government happen all the time and hear you can purchase cars that are sold cheaply because they have either been repossessed or claimed as state property.


Inquire with your local city officials to get an idea of where you can buy cheap cars from government auctions. Ask when and where the auctions will happen. You will surely come across some useful information. The local paper will also have listings on where you can buy cheap cars from government auctions.

Since you are already trying to learn about how you can buy cheap cars from government auctions, you should also learn that buying cars this way will help you turn a good profit. Re-selling these cars is a great idea because you can sell them at higher prices to people looking to buy used cars. You can have some improvements and upgrades on the cars to enhance the reselling price. Learning about how you can buy cheap cars from government auctions will help you to make lots of money.

Learning to buy cheap cars from government auctions is not a difficult thing to do. But it could be hard to find buyers for the cars that you purchase. First of all, you need to inform people that you are selling these cars.

You need to put up advertisements such as colorful and noticeable signs that you can put on well-traveled roads. You can also put up listings on the local paper and even put online ads on the Internet. If you are smart regarding how you can buy cheap cars from government auctions, you will be able to make a profit easily.

If you need more information on how you should buy cheap cars from government auctions, you need to do a little searching. Listen to the radio for announcements. Call the office of your local government. Look for newspaper listings.

There are also some resources on the Internet which will help you better. They can teach you how to discern which cars are easier to resell, how to negotiate on the prices, and generally how to get better deals.

Knowing how to buy cheap cars from government auctions can be a great way to make money. Just be vigilant with the opportunities that you can get and you will surely earn the great rewards.

Add On Car Alarms, Are They Worth It?

So you bought an brand new, hi tech, example of automotive technology and your wondering how to protect your investment. Well the truth is the cars security system is most likely all you really need to keep your wheels safe. Many manufacturers are using security key systems that use a chip embedded in the key (transponder), and a receiver usually at the ignition key cylinder.

Quite frankly, these systems are not new, if fact they are required in most countries in Europe so many manufactures have developed systems that integrate with the car seamlessly. Most systems have the capability to disable the fuel system and the starter motor when an attempt is made to start the car without a programmed key or by breaking the lock cylinder. Some do include intrusion systems (door, hood and trunk security) that work when the system is armed.

The problem arises when a “piggy back” system is installed to the original system the most common being a motion or glass break sensor. Many times the installation may cause the base system to malfunction or even become inoperative. There are some factory add on accessories that are designed to work with the factory system. Use of approved factory add on units are the best way to go if you want to avoid problems in the future since they are designed to work with the base system not against it.

One of the most common add on units are system that interrupt the circuit from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid. The total cost of a system like this to the dealer (parts and labor) can be as little as 25 dollars.

Of course the system is offered as an add on for as much as 300 dollars and if the customer declines the system is still left on the car and a “by-pass” chip is installed in the receiver where the owner would use a security chip. Since the system is still on the car, it can still malfunction and cost the owner of the car labor to have it removed.

To sum it all up, the factory system is all you really should ever need. If you feel the factory system is not sufficient, then ask for factory approved add on units and make sure they are covered by the new car warranty, they should be if they are installed at the time of sale, or soon thereafter. If car theft is a problem in your area, the extra money may be better spent on more insurance coverage when you apply the discount given for having an alarm on the car.

Aluminum Cars Could Be Safer As Well As Lighter: Are The Days Of Heavy Steel Cars Numbered?

Today there is one thing that everyone is clamoring about when it comes to a new car: miles per gallon. While car companies are in a frantic race to develop the first all-electric car or the best hybrid on the market, they are also looking at using aluminum as opposed to steel to manufacture the car body itself. Not only will this lighten the car and thus improve miles per gallon, but it may ultimately be safer than steel when involved in a crash.

Let’s start with the increased miles per gallon. Because aluminum is lighter and weighs considerably less than its steel counterpart, it will of course get better fuel mileage. It will also burn less carbon into the atmosphere as the drive train will not have to work as hard to propel the vehicle. But along with what everyone wants in high miles per gallon, aluminum can offer something that some may not expect; increased safely.

Unlike ridged steel, aluminum can be designed to “fold” a certain way upon impact. With this advantage, engineers can design the cars so that the cars themselves and not their drivers absorb most of the impact.

It is for this reason that the all-aluminum Audi A8 received a perfect five star safety rating from federal safety regulators. But another interesting advantage occurs because of the use of the lighter weight material; more space becomes an option (source:

Again, when it comes to increasing the miles per gallon in any vehicle, weight is a primary factor. Most cars that are made of the heavier steel will reduce the size of the car and the “cock-pit” that the occupants sit in so that they can save weight.

With aluminum there is no need to reduce the size of the car as the weight is already considerably less. A bigger car and “cock-pit” not only provide for a more comfortable ride, but a safer one as well as a bigger car is of course going to fare better in a crash when compared to a smaller one.

When you take all those factors into consideration you begin to see the possibilities for today’s hybrids. They already boast wonderful miles per gallon and with the lighter weight of aluminum could be built to be a nice big luxurious ride with added space and safety. This can be accomplished without sacrificing the good gas mileage.

It is not a matter of if the auto industry is going towards aluminum it is simply a matter of when. The sooner the better as far as I am concerned. There seems to be many applications for aluminum that there simply isn’t with steel. It will increase our miles per gallon, give us a more comfortable ride and keep us safer; what more could we ask for?

Putt-Putt, the Posse, & Me

The year was 1990. I was a very young mother highly frustrated with the enormity of it all. I had just recently started driving and after a particularly harrowing day with my infant sons and my idiot husband, I snatched up the car keys and went for a joyride through rural Georgia . I got more than just a little bit nervous whenever I would see a car coming from the other direction, so I was very lucky not to run into much traffic as I carelessly drove through several adjoining counties.

It was very late at night, or early in the morning depending on how you looked at it, and my eyes began to get heavy with sleep. Before I knew it, I had run over something. I immediately slammed on the breaks and got out to take a look.

All I could find were the remnants of a large branch, but I convinced myself that I had hit an animal and the poor wounded thing crawled off somewhere to die alone. So frightened was I by the ordeal that I shakily made my way back home and didn’t get behind the wheel again for eleven years!

Flash forward to 2001. I was divorced and now had two daughters as well as my two sons to care for. I was also a non-traditional college senior majoring in social work, about to begin my field placement.

Only two things stood in the way of me graduating and securing a job in the field that I loved: number one was I had no vehicle. Number two was that I was afraid to drive. I had never gotten over what I perceived to have happened all those years ago, but I couldn’t let a little thing like fear keep me from realizing my dream.

Right before I was set to start my placement at the local hospital, I found a cheap and dependable car. It was a red 1984 Chevy Chevette, which I nicknamed “Putt-Putt,” because I still was not a strong driver, but I did manage to “putt putt” all around town.

The fact that my car was old and unsightly was not lost on me. I was more than happy to be driving as opposed to walking, but whenever my class would meet to discuss how our placements were going, I would park off campus and walk to the social work building so no one could see what I was riding in.

One day, it began to rain heavily. I drove “The T-4 Posse” (a nickname for my kids) to school and headed to work. It rained heavily and steadily all day and by the time I got off work and school got out, a tornado had been spotted in town.

Because we lived in a small trailer and had nowhere else to go, my children and I were not safe. The closest family we had was 40 miles away. I didn’t believe there was any way that we would make it in Putt-Putt, but I had to take a chance. The well-being of my family depended on it. So, I bundled up The Posse and we headed for the highway.

As we headed away from town, the sky was almost pitch black behind us and rain water began to seep into a hole in the floorboard and pool around my feet. The windshield wipers all but blew off and at times the little red car hydroplaned as if it would leave the road completely, but by the Grace of God, we made it to safety.

So while my car was nothing pretty to look at, it was a real trooper and worthy of being parked on campus every day after that until I graduated. I eventually traded my car for something more fashionable, but it didn’t take long for me to regret that decision. When the chips were down, Putt-Putt really came through for The Posse and me, and I will never forget it.

High Quality Stereo Systems For Cars

There are many different kinds of stereo systems that are available for cars. Since high quality stereo systems are becoming more popular for cars, many manufacturers have started putting these kinds of stereo systems inside of cars straight from the factory. Some people also choose to add on components to increase the quality of stereo systems.

With so many stereo systems to choose from, it can be difficult to select the ones that are best for the type of cars that you wish to install in. More than likely if you are looking for the after market kinds of stereo systems, you are looking for one that is of high quality. The higher the quality of the stereo systems, the better sound it will have when music is played inside.

Cars that have high quality stereo systems will always provide the ability to adjust the amount of treble and bass that the radio will play. Some cars come equipped with stereo systems and have a fully customizable equalizer allowing the listener to totally customize the sound that they hear from their radio.

These kinds of stereo systems are of higher quality because the sound can be adjusted based on the genre of music that is played. Different genres of music sound better with variations on the highs and lows that are played. Cars with stereo systems that allow the listener to totally customize their sound are of higher quality.

In the past, cars did not come equipped with stereo systems with amplifiers. The amplifier is a part of a stereo system that basically amplifies the sound that is played in the stereo. The sound that is produced by stereo systems that have amplifiers is vastly better than stereo systems in cars that do not have an amplifier. Even if your car did not come standard with an amplifier, you can purchase one from an electronics store for a reasonable price.

The speakers are perhaps the most important component of stereo systems. Usually there are two kinds of speakers in cars that produce a high quality sound. These are tweeters and subwoofers. The tweeters are usually placed in the front of the car on the door panel or the dashboard.

These small speakers play the high sounds in the music allowing you to hear even the slight ching of a symbol or the background flutes in a song. Subwoofers in stereo systems are responsible for playing the bass and other low tones in songs. These are usually place in the trunk of the vehicle. Some cars come with stereo systems that have separate controls for the subwoofer.

Whether you are purchasing a new vehicle or adding components to your existing vehicle, try to listen to the stereo system to decide if it is the one that you would like. Bring along your own CD’s in order to get a more realistic idea of what the stereo systems sound like in the car.

Why The Market Of Small Car Is On Such A Rise

The small compact car market in North America is flourishing for quite some time. People in Europe always have preferred the small compact cars as they realize the merits of these cars. SUVs are very popular in North America for more than a decade, and you find them parked in every parking place.

Now the trend has changed recently with the increasing fuel prices. There is lot of uncertainty about gas prices in the future. This has led the people to go for small compact cars. The small compact cars are more fuel efficient. There is a lot of bustle in this sector.

Many car manufacturers are jumping in order to make use of this opportunity. For instance, Hyundai has launched its new version of Accent. Toyota has brought in Yaris, while Kia and Honda have introduced Rio and Fit respectively. Nissan is bringing its Versa. Apart from it, you cannot ignore the xA and xB by Scion.

Introducing a new car in the subcompact section is a sensible decision for many reasons. It attracts new young people in the market as buyers to purchase these small compact cars. If they like the vehicle and are satisfied by this car, they will get attached to this brand.

As they become older and grow in their profession, they will like to purchase the higher models in the brand. All the big makes like Honda, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Mazda, Volkswagen and so many other manufacturers have entered this sector of small compact cars.

Moreover, during the economic recession, small compact cars provide a relief and safety against the downtrends, to the owners. The unforeseen escalation in the fuel prices will not have much impact on them, as these small compact cars are far more fuel efficient and economical to keep. For instance, the Honda will give an average of 33 mpg in city and 38 mpg on a highway.

It is to be noted that in order to reduce the price, the small compact cars offered in the market have a couple of things compromised. These cars are not meant only for one time use. Besides their fuel efficiency, these small compact cars provide an effective and reliable performance over the long run.

The Yaris from Toyota develops 106 bhp, which may not appear enough. The car weighs only 2315 lbs. The ratio of weight vs. bhp works out over 220. This car is capable of carrying anything. If you fold the back seat, Honda has a capacity of 21.3 cft while at the same time Fod Crown Victoria has a capacity to carry 20.6 cft of cargo in its back.

The US manufacturers have not yet come forward with the investment in this sector on small compact cars. For instance, Chevrolet Aveo is typically a remake of Deadwoo and has nothing exciting to provide at par with the improvements which other makes are offering.

Ford Focus is larger and expensive also. It is also true with Dodge Caliber. It is expected that with the present economic trends and the uncertain fuel prices likely to soar high, the brands like GM, DaimlerChrysler will definitely enter this competitive segment of the small compact car market and attract new customers towards their brands.

The small compact cars have helped many car makers to flourish on their business. They have been successful in developing their brand loyalty in the customers. Some people are now coming forward in Detroit to do it.

Is Rebuilding Classic Cars Falling By The Wayside

Classic Car rebuilding is indeed falling by the wayside, assuming by classic car your considering cars from about the early 1970’s and going back as classic cars. Usually a car that is 25 years old would be eligible for collector plates.

Lets face facts, 1982 didn’t produce any American made cars that could be called collectible classics. Of course this is a generalization and there may be one or two that would be considered possibly collectible. But for the most part, the past 25 years has left us with a bunch of cars that all look the same and are less them spectacular in performance or appearance.

Availability of good old muscle cars from the 60’s or 70’s is a factor in lose of interest. What few can be found are usually so badly dissolved from rust that it becomes very costly, or even impractical to try to bring them back.

The average high school kid of today doesn’t’t have the financial means to attempt this level of project. Realistically if a kid is going to get interested in classic cars it will be while he’s in high school, and now he is priced right out of that market.

Tuners, Honda Civics and similar cars are what the young mechanically incline person is going for today. Restoring classic muscle cars has become a past time of the aging Baby Boomer trying to recapture his youth. They’re the ones with the resources to attempt such a project.

Of course they want that 69′ Camaro they had way back when. That’s why if you have enough money, you can buy every part to build a complete 1969 Camaro. Just like what came off the assembly line, only no rust and complete with up to date reliable running gear, disk brakes, etc. etc.

Today’s cars will never become classics. Plastic cars that all look the same just don’t warrant the attention. There is no style, nothing to make one stand out from another. They just don’t catch your eye.

If you go back to 1970, every teenage male could correctly identify every American brand, model and year of car seen on the road ranging from 1950 to current year. Without fail, we knew them all.

Today’s teenager can tell you the characters on the current video game, if your lucky. A car is just transportation to them. To us Baby Boomers a car was our life.

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