Why You Should Consider Getting a Company Vehicle for Your Business

Company vehicles are an important part of many businesses. If you’re looking to start a business, one of the things you might think about is whether or not you’ll need a company vehicle. But how do you decide if it’s right for your business? Find out if it’s worthwhile to pursue your business idea with the help of this article.

You Can Write off Vehicle Expenses

Having a company vehicle allows you to deduct a portion of your monthly payment as a business expense, which is one of the biggest perks. This means that if you’re in business, you can write off the cost of your car on your taxes. For example, Forbes reports that people spend an average of 100% more when using a credit card rather than cash. Even if you don’t get reimbursed by the company for gas and other expenses, you can still take advantage of this deduction.

Vehicle expenses are one of business owners’ most common and lucrative deductions. Depreciation and lease payments, as well as the costs of gas, oil, insurance, maintenance, repairs, and even tolls, can all be written off as legitimate business expenses. All of these costs can be deducted as an adjustment to income on your taxes if you are a sole proprietor or a partner in a partnership. You can also write off your vehicle costs as a business expense if you’re an S Corporation shareholder or employee-owner.

A Company Vehicle Improves Employee Morale

Company vehicles can help improve employee morale and keep your employees safe. More than half of workers want access to a company vehicle for use in the course of their employment. And if there’s one thing we know about employee satisfaction, it’s that it leads to happier workers who are more productive and have higher retention rates.

Additionally, weather conditions contribute to approximately 21% of all car accidents in the US. With a vehicle for your business, employees can get to work safely and reliably no matter what the weather is like outside.

Durable and Capable of Delivering Performance

Company vehicles are not as likely to break down on the road or require maintenance as often as consumer cars do because they are built with stronger parts that are less prone to wear and tear over time. This can save you money on repairs or even replacement parts in the long run.

For example, driveshafts are essentially the axle of your car, and they’re built from metal or carbon fiber, which is why they can be expensive to replace if something goes wrong. Driveshafts don’t have a definitive lifespan, but mechanics usually recommend replacing them every 75,000 miles as a safe estimate. However, having a company vehicle means you won’t have to worry about replacing them as often because they’ll last longer than everyday drivers.

A Company Vehicle Increases Brand Recognition

A company vehicle is a great way to increase brand recognition because it builds credibility in the eyes of your customers. People associate your company with the vehicle and its appearance when you have a branded car or truck. If you have a big enough budget, you can even get custom graphics designed for your vehicle, making it stand out from other vehicles on the road and giving you an edge over competitors who don’t have their own branded vehicles.

If you have a business, it is important to ensure you have the proper tools and resources to succeed. A company vehicle can be a great way to ensure your business is successful. Additionally, it is important to consider the benefits of having a company vehicle before purchasing one for your business.

5 Things You Should Save Money for if You Own a Car

Owning a car is a big financial responsibility. Many drivers focus on the cost of buying a car and need to consider the true cost of ownership. When you own a car, you should save money to cover unavoidable and potentially unexpected expenses. Here are five things you should save money for if you own a car.

1. Maintenance Costs

One of the best ways to protect your automotive investment is with regular maintenance. Skipping out on maintenance because you don’t have the money to cover the costs can snowball costs. It is best to be prepared to pay for maintenance instead of repairs. According to the National Highway Safety Institute, every year, millions of people are injured on American roadways, and about 33% of those injuries are due to unsafe equipment.

Regular maintenance ensures your vehicle’s performance and can reduce the risk of equipment failure. Save money out of every paycheck toward vehicle maintenance.

2. Accident Costs

You may be a safe driver, however, the risk of having an accident is still very high. The financial fallout from an accident can also be high. If you are injured in an accident, you may not be able to return to work right away. According to Bankrate, costs for a car accident with an injury that resulted in disability costs, on average, $101,000. In the case of a fatality, the average cost was $1,750,00. The potential for personal economic impact includes medical costs, wage loss, property damage, and administrative expense.

Accidents can be costly, even with full coverage. There is a waiting period between filing a claim and receiving payment. You should have money saved if you are impacted by a vehicle accident and unable to work. It can happen to you. PolicyAdvice says it happens to 130,000 people involved in truck accidents. Save money and be prepared for worst-case scenarios.

3. Unexpected Repairs

Proper maintenance reduces the risk of unexpected repairs but does not eliminate the risk. There is always the chance that your vehicle will need repairs. Every driver must have money saved just in case their vehicle needs repairs. A slush fund for repairs can reduce stress and ensure that needed repairs are done promptly.

If you depend on your vehicle to get back and forth to work, you must have money to repair it when needed. Earmark a few dollars a paycheck to cover repair costs

4. Taxes, Registration, Insurance, and Fees

In most states, vehicle registration is valid for one year. In some states, it is valid for two. In either case, it is a cost you will have to pay to keep your vehicle legally on the road. Putting money on the side every month to cover the cost of registration, insurance, taxes, and fees can make covering those expenses more budget-friendly. Registration costs vary depending on the book value of your vehicle and the state you live in.

You can’t avoid taxes and other costs, so it is best to prepare for them. Save for these recurring expenses.

5. Fuel, Parking, and Tolls

Other recurring expenses you will need to cover for your vehicle are fuel, parking, and toll costs. These everyday costs can add up quickly. Create a budget by tracking these costs for a month. Once you have tracked the costs, you can add those costs to your budget. Fuel and other daily costs for operating your vehicle can sneak up on you and throw your budget out of whack.

Owning a vehicle comes with a lot of hidden expenses. Adjusting your savings budget to reflect those expenses will keep your budget on track. Learn more money-saving tips today.

Why You Need Your Finances in Order Before You Buy a Car

Many people buy a car before they have their finances in order. This can lead to all sorts of problems down the road, from being unable to keep up with payments to ending up upside down on your loan. Before you buy a car, it’s important to get your finances in order. This means taking a close look at your income and expenses, setting a budget for your money, and setting up a savings account. Below are some of the many reasons to have savings and have your finances in order before buying your car.

Save For Wear and Tear

Did you know that some racing cars or roadsters can weigh up to 3,400 pounds? Cobras weigh less, but either way, that’s a lot of metal to move around. As you can imagine, all that weight takes a toll on the car’s parts. Even if you don’t do any off-roading or take your car to the track every weekend, regular wear and tear will cause parts to break down and need replacing. Saving money for these repairs will help you keep your car in good shape and prevent you from going into debt.

Set a Budget for Gasoline

The price of gasoline is always changing, making it hard to predict how much you’ll need to budget for gas each month. However, by knowing how much your car typically uses per gallon and using a gas price estimator, you can get a good idea of how much money you’ll need to budget. You may even want to set up a separate savings account for gasoline so you’re never caught off guard by a sudden increase in prices.

Build an Emergency Fund

No one likes to think about emergencies, but they happen. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation, car crashes in New York cost an estimated $15.246 billion. That’s a lot of money! If you don’t have an emergency fund, you could find yourself in debt if you’re ever in an accident. By saving up now, you can rest assured knowing that you have the money to cover any unexpected costs.

Pay Down Debt

If you have any debt, it’s important to pay it down before buying your car. Putting down a bigger down payment or getting a shorter loan term will help you save money on interest and could even lower your monthly payments. You’ll also want to make sure you have a good credit score so you can qualify for the best financing terms possible. In addition, you could pay for your car in cash, eliminating the need for a loan altogether.

Buy Within Your Means

One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a car is spending more than they can afford. Just because you’re approved for a certain loan doesn’t mean you have to spend it all. It’s important to only buy a car that you can comfortably afford so you don’t have to worry about making payments that you can’t afford later on.

Save For Legal Fees

Unfortunately, you might face legal trouble when driving, especially if you’re unaware of the DWI laws. In most cases, upon being charged with a DWI, your license will be immediately suspended for at least 30 days in states like North Carolina. After that, you might need to go to court and pay legal fees, which can add up quickly. If you have a savings account for these fees, you won’t have to worry about going into debt or not being able to afford the costs. In addition, your money can go toward getting your life back and getting your license reinstated.

There are many reasons to have savings and have your finances in order before buying your car. By doing so, you can avoid going into debt, save for repairs and gas, build an emergency fund, and pay down debt.

Will an Electric Vehicle Save You Money In the Long Run?

All the buzz about electric cars has a lot of people wondering if they are worth the money. Electric vehicles are designed to run on an electric charge, which means you do not have to worry about paying for gas. Of course, it is not free to drive an electric vehicle. Here are some costs that you need to consider.

The Cost of Fueling an Electric Vehicle

If you are not paying for gas can you save money with an electric vehicle? Yes, but electricity is not free. On average, according to the EPA, you can expect to pay the equivalent of $1 per gallon of gas to charge your electric vehicle. That seems like that would be a lot of money to save on fuel costs.

You can check fuel savings off as something you will save money on with an electric vehicle. Over the years the savings will be significant. On average an American driver will spend over $1,700 a year on fuel costs, with an electric vehicle you will pay a fraction of that cost.

The News Is Not All Good

Electric vehicles have been around for a while. However, charging stations have not quite kept up with their popularity. Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a charging station. Installing a charging station in your home can be expensive, which of course cuts into the amount of money you can save by owning an electric vehicle.

Additionally, there have been some reports recently about the cost of replacing batteries in some brands of electric vehicles. Revenue for U.S. motor vehicle parts suppliers was $1 trillion, according to IBIS, which includes the cost of replacement parts for electric vehicles.

Batteries for these vehicles can cost more than $20,000. If you do the math and include the risk of having to pay for a replacement battery after the warranty period, it may be difficult to see how you can save money on fuel when all that savings will have to go to the cost of a replacement battery.

While most people have had very good experiences with battery life, there are some people that have had terrible experiences with battery life and have had to fork over 20K plus to get a new one. In the United States, about four out of five vehicle repairs are directly related to durability issues. Because electric vehicles are still relatively new long-term studies have not been performed to determine which vehicles are durable and which are not. It may be a risk to jump right in and buy an electric vehicle with the plan of saving money on gas only to find that you have to pay for the cost of a battery in a few years.

Other Costs to Consider

Another cost that can dent your overall money savings is the cost of other repairs. You may only be able to go back to the dealership to get repairs done on your new electric vehicle because it can be difficult to find an independently owned-auto repair shop that has the expertise to manage the repairs.

Historically, dealerships are more expensive for repairs than going to your local privately-owned auto repair shop. It may cost you more to maintain your electric vehicle which can put also put a dent in your money savings.

Overall, Is It Worth Owning an Electric Vehicle?

Electric vehicles can be a way to save money on fuel costs. They are better for the environment, and as time moves forward they are becoming much more reliable with longer ranges. However, there are some downsides to jumping on the bandwagon and buying an electric vehicle.

Choose your options carefully and do some research before you decide if this is a money-saving option that will fit your needs. Learn more about electric vehicles and the potential for saving money.

How a DUI Can Destroy Your Budget

Driving under the influence has a number of potential repercussions, both financially and in other arenas of your life. There’s also the potential risk to property and life that you put others and yourself in when you drive under the influence. If you’re wondering just what ways a DUI can destroy your budget, have a look below to see its major financial implications.

You Will Pay Fines and Legal Fees

The fines that you pay as a result of DUI arrests vary from state to state, but they generally don’t come cheap. In Massachusetts, for instance, a DUI conviction may attract 30 months in jail as well as a fine of anywhere between $500 and $5,000. The more convictions that you get as a result of DUI, the higher the fines and jail terms will be. This is done with the aim of discouraging people from committing the offense and repeating it.

Your Insurance Premiums Will Be Increased

The moment your auto insurance providers learn of your DUI, they will increase your insurance premiums. This is because your liability increases and the insurance providers are a business looking to make a profit. They simply want to make sure that providing you with insurance coverage won’t be a massive cost for them that results in a loss. If you have to pay higher premiums, you will definitely have less money left over for other uses, effectively leaving a negative spot on your budget.

You Pay Impound Fees

Because you won’t be allowed to drive from the place you get arrested for a DUI, you will have to pay the impound and towing services to move your car. This means that you’ll not only be inconvenienced and have to find alternative transport, but you will also be out of pocket for the amount that you pay. The legal limit for alcohol when driving varies from state to state. In California, for instance, if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% and above, you will be arrested as you will have surpassed the limit.

You May Need to Pay a Mechanic to Fix Damage

If you damage your car or someone else’s car or property while driving under the influence, insurance may not cover the entire cost of fixing the damage. This means that you may have to match what they pay or even pay the whole amount by yourself depending on the circumstances. Auto repair charges could have a wide range depending on the specific damage that is being fixed. If not careful, you may need to pay a premium amount out of pocket, something that will leave you feeling the consequences for a long time to come.

Your Job May Be Impacted Negatively

Finally, information about your DUI could reach your employer and future employers as well. When employers know about it, depending on the policies of the organization, you may be out of a job. Even if you don’t lose your job, your reputation may be impacted negatively, leaving you ineligible for certain privileges. You may need to attend DUI classes, which are typically short programs designed to show the dangers that accompany driving under the influence. These may take up time you could have used to work on a project that would make you some extra money or do work that would help you become eligible for a raise, among other things.

Clearly, there’s nothing good to be said about driving while under the influence. The potential price that you stand to pay far outweighs the benefits, if any, that you feel you would get out of driving under the influence. Secure your budget and safety by avoiding DUI so that you can minimize the negative outcomes and live your best life.

How To Fix Your Brakes On A Budget

How To Fix Your Brakes On A Budget

Although many people put off costly car repairs, it is impossible to ignore the terrifying squeal of failing brakes. Every time you come to a screeching stop can feel like a constant reminder of the price tag that comes with the repairs. However, if your brakes start to feel “soft” or scream at the lightest pressure, it’s time to take your car to the mechanic. But, what happens if your emergency funds have run dry? Although it will still require an investment, here’s how you can stay under budget to fix your brakes.

What Is the Average Cost to Fix Your Brakes?

Before you have your brakes looked at, you should know how the repair shop will quote the work and have a general price range. However, the actual cost will vary greatly depending on their labor fees, the number of hours required, how many need to be replaced, and the extent of the damage. The longer you ignore the issues, the more components it will affect.

When the shop gives you an estimate, it is quoted by each axle. The final bill will be much cheaper if you only need to replace one. Unfortunately, the price will double if they need to repair both.

The average price will probably be around $300 – $500. But budget brake shops may start as low as $40 while the most expensive charge over $1,000. Hopefully, your quote will be on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

Here is a rough breakdown of what you can expect:

  • Brake Pads: $30-$75 per wheel/$60-$150 per axle
  • Rotors: $30-$75 per wheel/$60-$150 per axle
  • Calipers: up to $130 per axle
  • Labor: $50-$100 per hour

What Are the Cheapest Places to Have Your Brakes Done?

Based on the current market, these providers consistently offer quality service at the best prices. Each one will have slightly different rates for labor and parts. However, they frequently run discounts and promotional rates to help you save. And, they will typically guarantee their work and use parts that come with warranties.


Once you give them the make and model of your car, AutoZone can give you an exact estimate for the repairs. And, they use their top-of-the-line parts. Depending on what needs to be replaced, it will usually be between $300 and $1,000.

Jiffy Lube

Many car owners like Jiffy lube because they have quality parts and low prices. A simple brake job starts at $40, but more serious issues will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $500.


Many happy customers continue to have their work done through Firestone because of the good service and product warranties. They also offer competitive prices on brake repairs, ranging between $175 – $450 per axle.


Although their labor fees start at $80 an hour and complex jobs can cost nearly $1,000, Midas still has some of the most competitive rates.

Pep Boys

Pep Boys is another good option for budget brakes since they offer frequent discounts. You can expect an invoice ranging between $210 – $300 per axle.

Other Budget-Friendly Options to Fix Your Brakes

DIY Brake Replacement

While these retailers will give you a fair price, the cheapest way to fix your brakes is to do it yourself. So, if you can turn a wrench, you may want to consider this option. In addition to saving on the cost of labor, you can also look for the best prices on the parts themselves through sites like Rock Auto.

Phone a Friend

Another option would be to talk to people you know who are more mechanically inclined. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who would be willing to give you a hand or could refer you to a trustworthy mechanic.

Go Online for Cheaper Options

You may also be surprised to find how many capable mechanics offer their services through online marketplaces like Craigslist, Angi, Next Door, and Facebook. A quick search in my area brought up several local professionals who offer their services for about half of what the repair shops charge for their time.

From my encounters, many of them are people with experience working in garages but have since moved on to other careers. They have always done quality work at a fair price for me. However, there are always risks when you hire people from these sites. It’s easier for them to take advantage of unsuspecting people since they don’t have to guarantee their work or adhere to industry standards. So, I prefer to ask for a referral from someone I trust first.

How to Avoid Excessive Repair Fees

No one wants to be taken advantage of. To help you avoid excessive repair fees when you are shopping for budget brakes, here are a few tips.

1. Ask for an inspection report.

Even if you know what’s going on with your vehicle, ask for an inspection report before you commit to anything. Most places offer free estimates for their services. But, they will also sell you the report for future reference and quotes. This will come in handy if you want to shop around to compare prices.

2. Beware of scams.

One of the best proactive methods to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of is to stay informed. Before you visit any repair shop, read up on the commonly reported problems and quirks that are specific to your car. It will also make you appear more knowledgeable to the mechanic if you are already aware of these issues.

Furthermore, it will make you aware if they are trying to perform unnecessary repairs to drive up the bill. When the inspection report comes back, you shouldn’t receive a laundry list of unexpected issues. This is a major red flag.

Other indications that the shop may be trying to scam you is if they are vague with the costs and lifespan of parts or try high-pressure sales tactics to have you commit to the costly repairs right away.

3. Do your research.

As stated above, knowledge is your most powerful tool. The more informed you are, the more aware you become. Take some time to familiarize yourself with your vehicle and review the inspection report.

You can go online and look up the cost of the parts to make sure they aren’t overcharging you. Another idea is to call around to other shops to compare their rates. It never hurts to get a second or even a third opinion.

However, I believe the best resource is the customer reviews. Places that have hundreds or thousands of positive comments from their customers are usually a safe bet. If you spend some time sorting through them, you can surely find a reputable mechanic for a fair price.

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5 Tips for Saving Money on Car Repairs

Saving money is always an important goal. There are ways to save money on everything, including saving money on car repairs. These five tips will help you to easily save some money on your next car repairs.

Start With a Good Maintenance Plan

If you want to cut costs on car repairs, the easiest way to do that is by taking good care of your vehicle. A good maintenance plan can help you to avoid costly, unexpected breakdowns. Regular oil changes, replacing parts before they fail, and being proactive with maintenance is the single best way to keep costs down.

In 2020, there were about 234,700 auto shops, many of which provide maintenance services, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There is a shop near you that can help you manage maintenance. It is less expensive to have maintenance done than it is to make repairs.

Invest In Good Insurance

Sometimes you must spend money to save money. Getting good auto insurance coverage can pay off if you are ever in an accident and need repairs. For example, if you live in Texas and get into an accident, you may be equally responsible for the costs. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, if a driver is found to be more than 50% responsible for an accident, they will need to ante up and cover costs. Texas is a “shared fault” state. Repairs can run into the thousands after a car accident. Get good insurance to protect your investment and your finances.

Use a Local Mechanic For Repairs

About 75% of repairs are done by locally owned independent mechanics while only 25% of repairs are done by dealerships, according to Car And Driver. Why? That is a simple answer. Local mechanics are cheaper than going to the dealership. You can save money on auto repairs by finding a reputable local mechanic.

Learn How To DIY Some Repairs

Not every car repair requires an expert. A great way to save money on car repairs is to learn how to do them yourself. There is so much information online about how to manage car repairs that anyone can make basic repairs on their own.

A little DIY can go a long way when it comes to stocking up on savings. With some basic tools and the right parts, you can easily do some car repairs on your own. If making your own repairs is off the table, the next tip may be the right one for you.

Buy Your Own Parts

A good way to shave off some of the cost of professional car repair is to bring your own parts to the mechanic. Retail costs for auto parts can be marked up as much as 5,000%. Buying parts online or even from a salvage yard can drastically cut the cost of parts. Check with your mechanic to see if they will let you purchase your own parts. Most will. If they do not, consider switching mechanics. The cost saving of making your own part purchases can be significant.

Some Final Tips

Before you agree to a large repair bill, ask for a discount. Negotiate the costs. Most people do not realize that they can negotiate costs with a repair shop. You can, and you should. If the cost is still too high for you, consider a second opinion. You do not have to accept the cost of repairs based on one shop’s opinion. Mechanics often vary widely in their pricing. You can save money by asking for estimates from several different mechanics.

Finally, saving money on repairs comes down to putting a little extra effort in on your part. Sticking to a maintenance schedule, doing some of the work on your own, and making smart decisions about insurance and who it is that will make repairs, all fall on you. The extra effort can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings. Make the effort.

Why You Should Wait to Buy a Car

Why You Should Wait to Buy a Car

Last year I moved back to the U.S. after living overseas for nearly a decade. I lived very modestly and didn’t need a car as I worked and traveled through Southeast Asia. However, living in the U.S. is an entirely different story. Since I was working from home, I thought I could get by without having to commute daily. Unfortunately, getting around in the U.S. with only public transportation was much more difficult than I expected. Needing convenience and independence, I began shopping for a used car. Imagine my shock when I discovered the market had completely transformed since my last purchase. It was one of the most stressful and difficult shopping experiences I have ever had. Unless you have an urgent transportation need, here’s why you should wait to buy a car.

Looking to Buy a Car in 2021

I spent months researching different vehicles. Although I wasn’t driving every day, I was often going long distances and using back roads. Ultimately, I settled on the Toyota RAV4 since it met all of my minimum requirements of reliability and safety. With the decision made, I focused on the search. I started with models that were about 10 years old since that’s what I expected was within my budget.

However, even these older models were extremely overpriced. Furthermore, none of them had all the features I needed. I adjusted my search once again since newer models had better fuel efficiency with only a slightly higher price by comparison.

Once I narrowed my scope to 2017-2019, I spent hours calling dealerships and arranging test drives in the area. At the same time, I was also scouring national websites looking to see if I could find what I wanted at a better price. After a few failed negotiations and missed deals, I finally found a car. The catch was that it was in another city. So, my husband and I picked it up in Chicago and drove it home.

3 Reasons Why You Should Wait to Buy a Car

What I learned from this experience was that had I been able to, I should have waited to buy a car. Here’s why.

1. There is a global microchip shortage.

There is an ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips. And, no one can be sure how long it’s going to last. Some industry experts say it could extend well into 2023. Not only does it mean that there are fewer new cars available, but it has also supercharged the demand for used vehicles.

These microchips are required for many systems, so manufacturers had to cut production due to the shortage. Dealerships are receiving fewer vehicles and new car inventories are only a third of what they usually have. Many lots sit empty as they wait for more vehicles to arrive.

In an attempt to meet consumer demands, manufacturers are eliminating things that rely on the semiconductor chip to function. So, even if dealerships are getting new cars, they may not have all the features you would expect.

2. Less inventory equates to higher prices.

Right now, the car industry is a textbook case study of how supply and demand work against the consumer. Limited inventories and increasing demands for new and used vehicles have caused prices to skyrocket. Many dealers are charging more than the MSRP because people are willing to pay it.

According to Edmunds.com, 50% of people are paying more than the sticker price. In June, the average price for a new vehicle was $42,331 which is 8.6% than last year. For a used car, the average price shot up to $26,457, a 27% increase from the previous year.

Unfortunately, this also means dealerships are less likely to offer discounts or negotiate on price. If you aren’t willing to pay the asking price, you can be certain someone else is.

3. It’s harder to find what you want.

There is no doubt that it is currently a seller’s market. What makes it even harder is that many vehicles never even hit the lot. It is becoming more common for buyers to make deposits even before the new cars arrive, sight unseen.

Some analysts suggest that the car market may never return to normal since manufacturers are rethinking production and sales strategies. So, if the car you want isn’t in your budget, you may have to compromise. Many consumers have to settle for cheaper options. This could mean choosing older models with higher mileage, different colors, fewer features, or a different make and model altogether.

If You Can’t Wait to Buy a Car…

The simple solution is to ride out the price increases and wait to buy a car. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of waiting for the market to improve. Even though it is a tough climate, you can find good deals. But, timing your purchase is important. Many customers shop during sales promotions and other events to get better prices. However, there are also a few other factors to consider.

Sales Quotas

Any used car salesman will tell you about the quotas they must meet each month or quarter. So, if you shop around the end of these cycles, you are likely to have more room for negotiation.

Choosing the Best Time

You should also avoid going to a dealership on the weekends since many other people are likely to be shopping at the same time. Instead, try to go during a weekday when you will have the salesperson’s undivided attention.

Psychologically speaking, it’s also a good idea to go earlier in the day. People tend to be more flexible when they are in a better mood. So, if you can make a deal before the stress of the day sets in, the sales reps will probably be more open to negotiating.

Know Your Bargaining Position

If you don’t know where to start, read the latest consumer reports to help you choose the best vehicle to suit your needs. And, if you have a vehicle to trade, the market will work in your favor. Elevated prices guarantee that dealers will give you the best trade-in value possible.

Although these tips might save you a few bucks, you can be sure you are going to pay more for a vehicle if you buy today. And until microchip production returns to current levels, you can expect it to be that way for a while to come.

CarExpert can help you learn about different vehicles.

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What Does the Future Hold for Autonomous Vehicles?

What Does the Future Hold for Autonomous Vehicles?

Although we are still years away from full maturation of the AV market, the future is here. Self-driving vehicles are hitting public roads, testing new automated driving software. While developers are still perfecting their technology, huge strides are being made in autonomous vehicles. In fact, Intel and Strategy Analytics estimate that the industry will be worth $7 trillion by 2050. And, with the cost of technology dropping, they could be commercially available sooner than you expect. This leaves many investors like myself asking, what does the future hold for autonomous vehicles?

Who is Leading Autonomous Vehicle Technologies?

Three AV Developers to Watch

If you have been following the news, there are some exciting advancements happening with AV technology. However, there have also been several deaths during beta testing and an unfortunate accident involving a pedestrian. So, industry watchdogs are calling for stricter safety standards to ensure they operate safely. As developers continue to improve their AV technologies, here are three companies to watch.

1. Alphabet inc. (Nasdaq: Goog and googl)

What first started as Google’s pet project has grown into one of the industry leaders. Waymo first launched in 2018. Since then, it has logged millions of miles with its autonomous vehicles. On average, the data shows that their cars can complete 13,219 miles in automated mode before needing manual intervention. With a combination of sensors, short-range lasers, radar, and lidar technology, their vehicles have a 360-degree view that can detect and track moving objects in a 300-meter radius.

Now, they even operate a fully driverless fleet of vehicles in the Phoenix area. Through the Waymo One app, users can now call for a car that does not require a human driver. While safety remains a huge concern, Waymo is forging ahead. In addition to their self-driving ride-share program, it also hopes to break into local and long-distance transportation.

2. Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA)

Company CEO Elon Musk has made several ambitious claims about Tesla’s Level 2 AV technology. He hopes to transform the driving industry with the addition of its Autopilot feature to electric vehicles. Although they have yet to use lidar technology, it utilizes cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors in conjunction with it software and computing platform.

They have also been testing a beta version of its Full Self Driving (FSD) on public roads. Select customers can also purchase it, creating an even larger pool of software testers. However, recent tragedies have brought a harsher look upon the program’s safety features and protocols.

3. XPeng Inc. (Nasdaq: adr, NYSE: xpev)

This EV maker, backed by Alibaba, has made several announcements that pose a serious threat to its competitors. During a recent press event, XPeng sent a fleet of 15 sedans on an eight-day trip along the eastern coast of China. After completing the 3,600 km (1,864 miles) trek, executives claim it surpasses Tesla’s Autopilot software in several areas.

Just this week, XPeng also showcased their newest model at the Shanghai Auto Show. The P5 will be the world’s first smart EV to include its automotive-grade lidar tech. Its XPILOT 3.5 autonomous driving technology has a total of 32 sensors. It incorporates 2 lidar systems, 5 mm-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 13 high-res cameras. Although pricing is not yet available, you can be certain it will be a major player in international AV markets.

What Safety Concerns Exist for Autonomous Vehicles?

Despite recent safety failures, manufacturers hold that automated vehicles are statistically safer than human drivers. They claim this technology will reduce fatal car crashes by removing human elements like negligence, drowsiness, and drunk driving. However, several fatal crashes involving pedestrians and onboard operators leave consumers skeptical.

Statistics show that most accidents involving autonomous vehicles are the result of other drivers’ failure to follow traffic laws. However, industry watchdogs like the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are calling for more accountability. Many want to impose stricter standards that require AV pilot software to outperform human drivers. They want the software to incorporate more intelligent technology to improve decision-making, detection, and response to other drivers.

Other unpredictable factors create significant safety threats as well. Weather conditions, poor infrastructure, traffic congestion, and the behavior of other drivers are just a few that come to mind. In many instances, AV systems still require an onboard pilot to take manual control when reacting to unexpected environmental factors.

What Does the Future Hold for Autonomous Vehicles?

The million-dollar question for investors is what the future looks like for autonomous vehicles. Although no one has a crystal ball, experts can offer insights into how this technology could transform our lives. In his research brief “Autonomous Vehicles, Mobility, and Employment Policy: the Roads Ahead,” MIT professor John Leonard takes a hard look at AV technologies. He discusses both the current progress that has been made and future applications as the software becomes more reliable.

Current AV Technologies

Presently, most operating systems would best be described as driver assistance. While there are many more Level 2 and Level 3 automated vehicles, most still need a human driver on board. Leonard believes it will likely be another decade before fully automated Level 4 vehicles become widespread.

However, you can be certain that manufacturers will be racing to perfect technologies after Amazon, FedEx, and UPS committed to electrifying their fleet of delivery trucks.

The Future of Autonomous Vehicles

AV technology could potentially be one of the biggest technological breakthroughs of our generation. It has limitless applications in several industries such as trucking, delivery, and rideshare services. However, its success will be largely dependent on consumers’ acceptance of electric cars and driverless technology. You can be certain though that affordability and government incentives will speed up the transition.

It will also have a huge impact on the job markets and labor requirements to support the new technology. Although some fear it will reduce the number of human jobs, developers believe that it will merely change the nature of the jobs they need. With proper workforce training, the driving and transportation workers will be able to transition into support services. While much is left to speculation still, there will be a huge demand for technical and maintenance staff, call center and dispatch operators, and engineers.

The growth and application of AV technology will likely be a gradual expansion on a regional basis. Once developers determine when and where it will be most profitable, they will continue to target specific types of transportation. However, a slow rollout will probably be the most effective way to gain consumer acceptance. Not only will it allow manufacturers to improve the safety features, but it will also help ease critics’ concerns.

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Buying a New or Used RAM Truck without Hassles

Whether you are buying a new or used RAM truck, there are factors that can make the experience smoother or more difficult. One of the usual issues with buying a new or used car is what choice of car to buy. However, since you have already decided on the type of truck you want to get, you may only have two more things to consider. The first is the model you want to purchase and the second is the dealer to buy from.

Read more about the RAM truck here.

In this article, we shall focus on these two factors you will need to consider to make your purchase a lot easier.

About the RAM Truck

Let’s take a closer look at this very popular American truck brand. The RAM truck has a long history which started in 1932. It started out as a part of the trucks under the Dodge brand. Today, RAM Trucks is now a brand line on its own, manufactured by Fiat Chrysler Group LLC, an Italian, American auto manufacturer.

RAM Truck Models

There are a number of models available under the RAM truck brand and we will try to look at these and their specifications, so you can have what you need to make an informed decision. Some of the brands include: Ram 1500, Ram 2500, Ram 3500, Ram 4500 HD Chassis, and Ram 5500 HD Chassis.

Ram 1500

The RAM 1500 is a ½ ton, class 2a truck. This makes it a light truck with a weight limit of between 6,001–10,000 pounds.

You may want to take a look at the difference between the 1500 and 2500 in this video.

Ram 2500

The RAM 2500 is a ¾ ton, class 2b truck. It is also a light truck but with a higher weight limit than the class 2a. Its weight limit is between 8,501–10,000 pounds.

Ram 3500

This is a 1 ton, class 3 truck. Its weight limit is between 10,001–14,000 pounds.

Ram 4500 HD Chassis

The Ram 4500 is a class 4 truck which makes it a medium truck with a weight limit of between 14,001–16,000 pounds.

It is a model is designed to offer outfitters room to have custom cargo area, flatbed or whatever additions they need. This means it comes only with a cab and rear frame with industry standard width and wiring.

Ram 5500 HD Chassis

The Ram 5500 also comes with a cab and a rear frame for outfitters. It is a class five truck which means it is a medium truck with a weight limit of between 16,001–19,500 pounds.

Just in case you are not clear on what a cab and chassis (rear frame) is, read this for clarification http://www.dieselhub.com/compare/chassis-cab-vs-pickup-truck.html.

Aside from these trucks, you may also be interested in the vans such as the Ram Cargo, Ram ProMaster 1500, Ram ProMaster 2500, and Ram ProMaster 3500.

Choosing an Auto Dealer