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Standing Ovation for the Winners of 2014 Best Resale Value Award

The 2014 model-year brand and category winners of the annual Best Resale Value Awards, recognizing vehicles for their projected retained value through the initial five-year ownership period, were announced today by Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new and used car information. Both Toyota and Lexus earned top honors for best brand and best luxury brand, and each of those top brands had six segment winners from a total of 22 different segments. Honda earned three segment awards, while Chevrolet captured two segment awards and placed an impressive three vehicles in the overall top 10 list.

The winners of the 2014 Best Resale Value Award Winners Announced By Kelley Blue Book with top honors and earned respect. “Capturing top honors for the third year in a row, Toyota and Lexus continue their Best Resale Value Awards Brand and Luxury Brand reign, earning an impressive 18 combined awards among the 2014 model-year lineups,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual value consulting for Kelley Blue Book. “While both Toyota and Lexus continue to deliver incredible resale value, we also are impressed with the strides made by Chevrolet, which tops domestic automakers with five combined awards, and Subaru with its Impreza making its way back to the top spot in its segment.”

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

6 Necessary Steps When Budgeting for a Car

Sticking to a budget is not easy. Many people try to save a little extra, but things come up that seem irresistible at the time. However, the benefits of saving to buy a shiny new car are well worth the struggle. Here are 6 necessary steps to help you meet that coveted goal.

6. Crunch the Numbers


Image via Flickr by Tax Credits

The first step in setting up your budget lies deciding how much you can spend on the car. If you plan to finance the car, decide how much you want to put down to avoid paying high interest rates. Generally, financial experts recommend paying at least 20 to 50 percent of the total cost as a down payment to a dealer like Hoffman Nissan. That may seem overwhelming, but there are ways to cut back and save money without feeling deprived.

5. Make a Plan

Once you know how much you need to save, it’s time to sit down and draw up your plan of action. Compile several months of credit card bills, pay stubs, bank account statements, and other bills, such as mortgage or rent payment, utilities, and any others. Calculate how much you need for basic living necessities and budget for some extra things that come up now and then, such as medical bills or automobile registration.

4. Directly Deposit to Savings

Once you decide how much you’ll be able to save each month toward your car, you may think about having that amount automatically deposited into a savings or other account. If it goes into your checking account, it’s much more difficult to save, whereas if you never see it, you’re less likely to spend.

3. Cut Out Costly Habits

Some habits are very expensive, such as alcohol or tobacco. If you smoke one pack of cigarettes weekly, you could save about $300 in one year by quitting. If you eat out often, or commute to work, look at how you can cut costs in that department. Eating lunch out adds up: you might spend over $2000 in a year on a daily $8 lunch. Even bringing your lunch just twice a week could save about $800 per year. Gas prices are high as well, so find a friend and take turns driving, or look into public transportation.

2. Card vs. Cash

Some budget experts encourage using cash instead of a card for extra expenses. It’s much easier to swipe a credit or debit card without thinking about how it will affect your finances. When you pay in cash, seeing the money leave your wallet serves as a reminder. When you’re out shopping and find a pair of shoes that you just can’t resist, you can check your cash supply and see if it’s in the budget.

1. Talk With Your Family

Another important tip when budgeting is to ensure all household members are on the same page. If you’re willing to forego luxuries but your partner isn’t, you won’t get very far. Work together to make a budget that you can both stick to, and then give encouragement and reminders if one of you isn’t making it work.

Saving is tough, but the payout is worth the temporary struggle. You’ll certainly feel the benefits of saving your hard-earned cash when your family is cruising around in a brand new car.

Author Bio:

Allie Muelleck graduated from BYU in 2009 with a BA in English, editing emphasis. She enjoys writing, reading, running, and playing with her cat.

How to Select an Honest Mechanic: 5 Foolproof Ideas

Most people are so desperate to have an honest mechanic that they stick to one professional for as long as humanly possible. When a person must change his or her maintenance person, it can cause a great deal of stress and angst. Luckily, there are smart ways to choose an honest mechanic: here are a few foolproof methods to get a decent price and quick turnaround when your car needs attention.

1. Talk to Locals


Image via Flickr by Tobyotter

If you’re new to a neighborhood or in town on business, then the best resources at hand are the locals. Try to ask people who are frank and open for their advice. Most likely they will be able to refer you to their long-term mechanic.  Here are a few types of people to ask:

  • New neighbors
  • Colleagues in the local office
  • Church friends
  • Rental car companies

2. Check Reviews


Image via Flickr by Ed Yourdon

Even if a new friend refers you to a mechanic (and especially if you find the professional on your own) check online ratings and reviews. Some of the things you’ll learn might be astounding because unhappy customers are much more likely to post than those with positive experiences.

By checking reviews you can learn what type of service to expect from the mechanic and how much he or she will charge. Also, reviews will tell you of questions you should ask. For example, if several people state that the mechanic mis-quoted prices, then you should ask if there is a written guaranteed quote.

3. Second Opinions


Image via Flickr by jeshua.nace

When you first use a new mechanic, make sure to get alternate quotes from other dealers and shops. While his or her price might vary slightly, any drastic price difference could be a sign of non-disclosure of information or over-charging. By using sites like www.reedmantoll.com you can learn if specific parts are being over-priced in addition to mechanics charging for time, or if the part just includes the necessary labor.

4. Read the Mechanic


Image via Flickr by kk+

Actively listen to the new mechanic when he or she is speaking, and note any signs of obfuscating truths, exaggerating issues, or avoiding solid schedules and quotes. Liars are much easier to spot than honest people, because they get into a routine of deceit that will feel familiar to those who have been conned before.

5. Read the Bill Closely


Image via Flickr via The MK Shop

When the bill or physical quote arrives, do not quickly sign it. Read each line item and ask questions. Dishonest mechanics can easily charge consumers for extra time (at an average rate of $70 per hour), as well as unnecessary services. Furthermore, when inquisitive customers ask questions mechanics might offer discounts or reveal information (like that military members get 15% off).

While finding an honest mechanic might be difficult, keeping him or her in your Rolodex should be an easy choice. Make sure you share the information with others scanning reviews and message boards, so that your honest mechanic gets enough business to stay true.

Car Covers Save Car!

Your car is among the biggest investments you’ll make apart from your property. Therefore it just follows that you’d keep an eye on this valued possession like a new mother would her baby. And here, a great car cover is needed. Without it simple but noteworthy protection, you’re certain to have your vehicle sporting scratches and dents very quickly. If you are seeking a solid guide to selecting a car cover for your car, you have arrived at the perfect place.

Think of the worry when you discover the very first scratch or dent on your new car. Regrettably, it’s a known fact of life. If you aren’t thinking about protecting your motor vehicle in coated steel, probabilities you’ll be viewing greater number of these scratches. Even so, a solid car protection cover can, at least, keep the vehicle from numerous unnecessary scratches it might endure. [Read more…]

Antique Car Insurance Advice

Lots of people decide to bring back and display vintage vehicles as a pastime. However even these vehicles require some kind of insurance policy to protect from unintentional damage. For this reason some people look for insurance policy for a classic car. You can find firms which offer car insurance policy , with a lot of companies focusing on vintage car insurance. With a wide selection of companies to pick from, the customer is able to select the right model of insurance for his or her needs.

Auto Insurance Businesses

Some commercial car insurance businesses additionally offer insurance policy for a classic car. Also known as collector insurance, these policies are customized to the vehicle you are trying to insure. A vehicle insurance consultant takes all your details and talks about different coverage choices with you to make sure that you are getting the insurance policy that you need. They’ll also assist you to choose which forms of coverage are inside your target spending budget and which allowable and restrict levels you’ll need.

[Read more…]