Make sure you have insurance because accidents happen!
One of the key decisions in deciding what car to buy is assessing how much all the other costs are that come with ownership. The purchase price and/or the car payments are just the most obvious of costs.
There are two main ownership costs to consider: maintenance and insurance. For new cars, maintenance costs are quite minimal, unless you have a lemon and have to waste all your time going to and from the dealer. For used cars, maintenance costs are a much bigger issue that can quickly eat into any savings you’ve made from not buying new. We can talk about maintenance costs in more detail in another post. For now, let’s talk about insurance costs.
I received my semi-annual car insurance premium bill the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it only costs $285 every 6 months to cover Moose. However, by not telling you the full details of what $285 gets, it’s hard to understand whether $285 really is good value. Let’s breakdown the line-items to better understand what car insurance options I get for my money.
UNDERSTANDING CAR INSURANCE OPTIONS Read more…
As you may know, my 11 year old car is dying and I’ve been unsure whether to spend up to $2,500 fixing Moose, or let him fade away. The service dealer said I would have to spend around $1,200-$1,500 to replace the entire exhaust system below, which is around 35% of the total value of my car! That just doesn’t seem right.
As any frugal person would do, I got a second opinion. The auto service industry is even more shady than the insurance industry and I wanted to make absolutely sure that I wasn’t being ripped off by the dealer before spending any more. Besides, we all know that getting your car fixed at the dealer when you’re not under warranty is seldom the cheapest, and often the most expensive way to go.
ALMOST GOT ME FOR BIG BUCKS
In a rush to get to a meeting, I managed to bash Moose’s right side mirror into a garage side wall and blow the mirror off. Crap. That’s what happens when you have a large car, in a small garage, and do things in a hurry. This little accident cost $135 to fix and 30 minutes of time.
While I was at the dealer, I used the opportunity to ask several other questions regarding what’s wrong with Moose. For the past 12 months, there’s been a progressively louder rattling sound every time I drive, or slam the door shut. After a little inspection, the service agent said that it looks like my middle muffler connected to my catalytic converter is wearing out and needs changing. OK, good to know. “How much?”, I asked. The service agent said around $1,200-$1,500! YOWZA!
LET MOOSE LIVE OR DIE? Read more…
If you are in the market for a new car—and have ruled out buying used for whatever reason—and you are on this site then you are probably concerned about getting the best deal possible. After all, nobody wants to overpay. Even a financial fool appreciates knowing that the value they’re getting from their purchase is up to par and that they didn’t make an embarrassing deal. It is imperative that you strike a compromise between affordability and practicality if you’re looking for a set of bargain wheels. This has been said a million times in the past, but the current offerings of both foreign and domestic automakers
makes this easier than ever.
Many Americans are turning towards cars that can be bought for relatively cheap but still want something new and something that has the basic comforts and amenities we’ve grown accustomed to. Everyone’s situation is different, but purchasing an inexpensive car is a great idea for if you need a second car or a commuter; or you simply need a cheap car period. If you’re looking for your primary mode of transportation for you and the family though, it’s best to err on the side of a larger car than having to buy another one down the road when finances improve or you outgrow it.
THE CHEAPEST CARS FOR 2011 Read more…
I’ve been neglecting Moose for a couple weeks since I’ve been traveling so much. But, I took him out for a spin the other day and was absolutely shocked to see that gas prices have ROCKETED to $4.11, $4.29, and $4.39 for regular, plus, and supreme at my neighborhood Chevron station! I know WTI oil prices have risen to $112, but it really didn’t hit me until I saw and paid for the latest gasoline prices.
As a city dweller, I take the bus to and from work, and try and ride the bus as much as possible on the weekends. The only times I really drive is to and from the tennis club, and up to Tahoe which is about 180 miles away. Overall, I drive about 6,500 miles a year which is not that much compared to the national average of 15,500 miles a year. With Moose getting roughly 17 mpg, I spend around $2,145 a year in gasoline, up from just $1,750 this time last year.
IF I’M SHOCKED, WHY AREN’T YOU SHOCKED TOO? Read more…
I have to admit, I’m having withdrawals from not driving a different car for over 3 years now. I used to get a new (used) car every year by wheeling and dealing on Craigslist, but I stopped once I found Moose. Moose is so handsome and adventurous, even the ladies love him. I picked up a friend of mine one evening to go grab some grub, and she mentioned a week later that her stalking neighbor, who has a crush on her said he’s frustrated that guys who own “Moose-like” cars always gets the girl. Maybe buddy, it’s the creepy way you stare out the corner of your window to spy on women that makes you still single?!
A year ago, Moose’s passenger side electronics seat stopped working to my dismay. Luckily, the seat was in a comfortable, semi-reclined position so I let it be. I told myself then that it might be time to start looking for another car soon as fixing the thing might cost $500+ dollars. And so, I made a decision that as soon as the driver’s seat electronics also stopped working, I’d go and buy me another car.
Each week that went by, I started secretly hoping my seat would stop working. I was hoping for something bad, but not too bad to happen, so I could justify buying something new! Screw it, I thought. I’m going to go visit the dealer and check out the new rides anyway. Moose ain’t ever gonna fail me!
THE BENEVOLENT DEALER Read more…
When it comes to purchasing car insurance, more consumers are putting down their telephone and picking up their mouse. A record 2.8 million auto insurance policies were purchased online last year. That’s an increase of 80% since 2006, according to the 2010 U.S. Online Auto Insurance Report by ComScore. It’s not that surprising given the way everything is moving online.
Shopping for car insurance online is a quick and easy way to get the coverage you need to insure your vehicles.
THREE THINGS TO DO Read more…