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Dec
09

Preparing Your Car For Sale: Tips and Tricks

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There are plenty of articles out there that will give you ideas about buying a secondhand car. There are loads of guides and reviews, all of which tell you what to look out for as you go to inspect your new car. You should be looking out for wear and tear signs of general poor maintenance, as well as more the more general practical specifications of the vehicle. These are just a few of the elements covered by so many guides out there, but you get the general idea.

However, there seems to be a huge lack of guides on how you should be preparing your car for sale. Most people are selling their old car as they begin to look for a new one, and selling your old car can be just as stressful and difficult as finding a new one. It should also be a huge financial concern. The money that you make from the sale will mean that you have more choice as you search for a new vehicle using sites such as Motorline Direct. You’ll want to get as much from the sale as possible in order to ensure that you have a decent budget for your next buy. You’ll also want to have a quick and hassle-free sale. There’s nothing worse than someone coming around and saying they’re interested in your vehicle, before spending an hour trying to low-ball you on the price.

To make sure that you’re going to get the most out of your sale here are a few of our tips and tricks.

Valet

No matter what state your car is in you should have it valeted before you put it up for sale. This serves a number of purposes. The general presentation of the car is obviously hugely important. It allows potential buyers to imagine themselves driving off in it without having to do any work themselves. It furthermore makes your car seem “younger”, being reminiscent of the look, feel and smell it would have had as it came off the forecourt. It will also act as a general signifier to your buyer that you have been a careful and responsible owner. This will make them more likely to believe the car is well-maintained and therefore worth the money you’re asking.

MOT and Tax

It depends on the general cost of MOT and road tax, but it can sometimes be worth paying for these in advance for when your car is put up for sale. If the tax is paid for the rest of the year, and the MOT is fully up to date then your potential customer will feel as though they are driving away a car that is ready to be used. Look at similar vehicles which have these pending/paid for, and look over their asking price. See if it’s worth your while paying for it.

 

oil-change-36096_640Source: Pixabay

General Maintenance

This is a simple one that you should already be taking care of. Fill the oil and the wiper fluid. Check the brakes and think through all of the basic stuff. This will all make your car more attractive to any potential buyer.

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Dec
01

Should You Purchase A Second-Hand Automobile Before Christmas?

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Image Credit Carissa Rogers

 

The decision on whether or not to purchase a second-hand vehicle can be tough. There are so many different elements to think about that it can be hard to know where to start. We’ll do our best to offer you some great advice today in the hope of making your life easier. Making your purchase before Christmas could be a wise move as prices are a little lower. That is because most people are using their finances to pay for presents for their loved ones, and so dealer do less business at this time of year. Also, getting everything sorted before the holidays should mean you have less to worry about when January comes around. Most people struggle with money during that month due to the amount of time they had off work at the end of December.

As you can see, now is the best time to make your investment. However, you’re going to need some tips and suggestions from people who understand the industry well. Luckily, that is exactly what you’re going to get this afternoon. Of course, there are a number of other alternatives. Some people prefer to opt for a brand new model from a registered dealership. Others prefer the idea of leasing a car. While we may publish articles offering advice on that in the future, this one will concentrate solely on the second-hand market.

Ask to see the paperwork

Regardless of what time of year it might be, you should always ask to see relevant paperwork before agreeing to purchase any automobile. If the seller cannot provide you with the information you require, that could be a sign that all is not well. Some will simply have lost the service history, but you should steer clear of anyone that can’t produce essential documents. At the very least, there should be the owner’s logbook and receipts for any work carried out since the car rolled off the production line. Don’t be too worried about walking away if this information is not available. No matter which model you find most desirable, there will be hundreds more for sale around the country from reputable suppliers like Sandles.

Check the engine

You should always take a look at the engine before signing on the dotted line. Presuming you have some basic mechanical knowledge, you shouldn’t have too much trouble spotting when something is wrong. If you’re completely clueless, it might be a good idea to employ the services of an impartial mechanic. While you might have to pay around £100 to borrow a professional for the afternoon, doing so could mean you avoid getting a bad deal. You simply can’t rely on the seller to the upfront and honest in most situations. That is especially the case if you’re looking to purchase a used model from the private market. Buying from individuals means you won’t have a warranty. They are also not obliged to give you a refund for any reason after you hand over the cash.

Compare prices online

There are thousands of websites that list used cars for sale at the moment, and so you should check them to compare prices. If you don’t know the average cost of the model you’re looking to purchase, the seller could easily offer you a bad deal. Understanding pricing means you have a lot of room to negotiate. If you can provide evidence to the seller that proves their asking price is too high, they will have little choice but to lower it. The task of comparing cars online should take no longer than a couple of hours. However, you should always do it before arranging your viewing as there isn’t much you can do if you find out you’ve overpaid after agreeing to the sale.

Find out about insurance costs

So long as you can get hold of the car’s registration number, there are lots of websites you can use to get insurance quotes. While the final figure you pay might be higher than the quotes amount, doing that will give you a ballpark figure. It’s all well and good getting a fantastic deal on a used automobile. However, it can sting a little when you get home and find it will cost over £1000 per year to keep it on the road. At the end of the day, you just need to select something with a reasonably sized engine. You do not want anything too big and powerful. Standard insurance prices tend to rocket with anything above a 1.8 litre engine.

Work on your negotiation skills

Your negotiation skills will play a big role in determining the deal you receive. By taking the right approach, you could encourage the seller to drop their prices and tip the scales of balance back in your favour. There are lots of fantastic articles available online that offer tips, so perhaps you should start reading through them. Just to help you with the basics; it’s always a good idea to keep your mouth shut and allow the other party to start negotiations. You never want to seem too keen, but you do want to let them know you have cash to spend. That way; it’s up to them to work hard and do their best to sell the car.

Presuming you manage to follow all the advice on this page, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting hold of a good second-hand model this side of Christmas. As we said at the start of this post, prices are a little lower over the holiday season because fewer people are buying. That means sellers are more likely to come down in price and throw in some extras to sweeten the deal. Unless you understand engines well, it’s best to make your purchase from used dealerships rather than individuals. At least then you can take the car back if you discover any major issues.

Good luck with your search and we hope you have a fantastic Christmas with your new vehicle. You can thank us for the advice later.

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Dec
01

Essential Car Maintenance Tips that Every Car Owner Needs to Know

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The world may be a somewhat more complicated case than what it was a few years ago. But, it is vital that you are in the right place to know how your car works. Yes, cars are now fitted with more mod cons than the average household. But, engineering-wise, they are fairly similar as to what they were a few decades ago.

When it comes to being a car owner, there are some basic tips that you need to know. You don’t have to be an auto mechanic to know how your car works.

Check Your Motor: Under the Bonnet

Open the bonnet of the car. Does it look scary? Probably. But, it isn’t. When it comes to maintaining your car, you need to be aware of some basic and simple things.

You need to make sure that you are regularly checking the oil within your car. Check the level at which is sits. If it’s too low, add some oil. Check the cleanliness of the oil too. If there is a lot of debris and dirt within the oil, it’s time to change it. Checking the fluids is one of the easiest things that you can do via the DIY route. So, check the coolant levels and transmission fluid. Top them up if necessary.

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Image Credit Emyr Jones

While you’re under the hood, as it were, you need to make sure that your belts are in an excellent state of repair. Check for cracks in the rubber and visible signs of wear and tear. Cracks are the most common sign of damage within a belt, and they are visible to the human eye with ease. However modern belts don’t show visible signs. Use a “belt wear gauge” to evaluate the belts condition. You can even download an App to assist you – the PIC Gauge by Gates.

Also check for loose electrical wires. This can be problematic for a car owner. So, make sure that you are investigating these problems. Simply reconnect them and away you go.

Imperial Car Supermarket have said that a car’s battery is often a cause for concern. When was the last time you checked your battery? Do you know when it was last replaced? If not, get outside and check your battery. This is imperative. Batteries often suffer from intense wear and tear. A battery lasts about 5 years. Have it load tested. For older cars, this is vital.

Visual Checks on the Exterior

Many of us examine the interior of our car. But, you also need to consider the outside to make sure that it is in a good state of repair. Check for body and bumper damage. Check for rust and signs of damage. You need to take a look at the exhaust and make sure that it is performing as it should be. Endeavor to check your tyres regularly.

While you may not be able to fix the problem, you will be aware of it while it is a minor issue. Get it fixed and make your car last for the long term.

Minor checks don’t require a qualification in mechanics. Simple checks can be done at home and easily rectified. Your car will certainly last the distance by doing this.

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Dec
01

Electric Cars vs. Hydrogen Fuel Cells: Which is the Best?

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Eco friendly and green solutions are on everyone’s lips right now. Whether it’s governments, big businesses or car manufacturers, we are all on the quest to be greener. This competition couldn’t be more fierce in the world of cars. The car manufacturers themselves are doing their best to outdo one another. Each are trying to make the best, fastest and most economical hybrid or electric car.

This competition extends further than that, however. We are all aware of the hybrid cars that are slowly filling up our streets. They provide much better fuel economy and are softer on the environment. Then there are the fully electric cars which have no harmful emissions at all. However, there is a third option out there. It isn’t as well established yet, but it has the opportunity to be the future of motoring. This option is hydrogen fuel cell power.

Instead of plugging your car into the mains to recharge it every night, you would fill it with hydrogen. In theory, it will be an easier process and the car will run for longer. They emit nothing but water, leading many to call it the ultimate green car. However, not everything is as transparent as it seems. Let’s have a look at the differences between hybrids, electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells.

Hybrid cars

When we think of an electric car nowadays, we generally picture a hybrid. The infamous Toyota Prius is a hybrid car, for example. They are powered using two power sources. They contain an electric motor that powers the car. Then there is a supplementary combustion engine. This is the same as the traditional engine we see in conventional cars.

The combustion engine does one of two things in a hybrid. In some cases it is simply used to recharge the batteries that run the electric motor. That means you can fill up with gas which will keep the electric motor running. Other designs use the combustion engine in parallel with the electric motor. Both are used to power the cars.

There are plenty of benefits to the hybrids. They run at a much more economical level. You won’t fill up anywhere near as often. Some hybrids manufactured are called Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). They allow plugging in for a full recharge – which can take hours. PHEVs can go for a short distance (usually 8 to 20 miles) on electric power alone.

Fully electric cars

The other type of electric cars are the fully electric powered motors. These have no supplementary combustion engine and are powered solely by the electric battery. They became possible as batteries became more powerful. Originally, a battery wouldn’t hold more than 30 miles of charge. In a fully electric vehicle, this isn’t much use to anyone. You would constantly be stopping and recharging. Hence the introduction of hybrid systems.

However, we are slowly getting to a place with technology where full electric cars are viable. Unlike hybrids, they have zero emissions and aren’t reliant on petrol and diesel at all. Audi claims it is developing a battery powered vehicle that will have a range of 250 miles from a single charge. The Tesla Model S with an 85 kWh battery pack has a range of 265 miles. This is a significant step forward in the evolution of electric propulsion. More and more charging stations are popping up, particularly in California. This means they are becoming a more practical solution. There is still a long way to go, but the technology will keep getting better and better.

Hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cell technology is the one on the horizon. There is no mass produced car on the market yet and hardly any hydrogen filling stations exist. You won’t find one for sale on www.rrg-group.com just yet. However, the opportunity here is huge. Hydrogen power is an infinite resource, since hydrogen is the single most abundant element on the planet. The cars emit nothing but water. So, how exactly do they work? We’re going to have to get into some science here, so bear with us.

The science

The hydrogen atom is the lightest and smallest atom in the universe. There is also more of it than anything else in the world. That makes it the perfect chemical for abundant use. When you fill up a hydrogen fuel cell car, you are pouring hydrogen into the engine. Hydrogen is made up of two parts, an electron and a proton. It is the electron that creates electricity. In fact, all electricity is just a continuous flow of electrons.

So, once the hydrogen is inside the car’s system, it is separated into those two parts. The sophisticated engine rips apart the proton from the electron. It directs the electron (the electricity) into the motor which powers it. As you can see, it requires no petrol or diesel and it will do this process as you drive.

The remaining proton now forms a hydrogen ion. That’s a hydrogen atom with a positive charge. This will react with the oxygen in the engine to form water. The process uses a lot of heat and so the exhaust pipe will emit steam. It is a completely green form of energy creation.

Or is it?

Although it is abundant all around us, hydrogen cannot simply be plucked from the air. It must be harnessed using a process called electrolysis. You may remember a similar experiment from your school science days! It is the process of running electricity through water to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen.

Of course to do this, we need to generate electricity.

This electricity must come from somewhere, and for now that relies on the electric grid. This is powered by burning coal and oil. In a roundabout way, the car is still burning fossil fuels to function. Until we can come up with a more efficient way of generating electricity, it will never be truly green. We must learn to generate mass electricity through solar panels, wind or water. Only then will they be completely eco friendly.

Verdict

Within fifteen years, hybrid cars have gone from a weird anomaly to mass-produced cars. They now function as well as cars with just a conventional engine and they are coming down in price. For now, fully electric and hydrogen cars are still an anomaly. In fifteen years however, they will be commonplace. Hopefully we have begun to make the switch to entirely green electricity generation too.

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Nov
15

The Ultimate Guide To Caring For Your Car

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Thanks to Daniel Go for the image.

Your car is your prized possession. It takes months or years of saving to purchase it. No matter what you use your car for however, it needs regular maintenance to keep it healthy. Whether you just use it to nip around town or embark on long drives, the parts can wear down. This is particularly true in older cars.

Caring for you car is all about keeping regular checks in order to prevent major problems. Those who care for their vehicle on a monthly basis are much less likely to incur huge costs down the line. The regular checks and care that you’re about to read are simply, easy procedures. They don’t take long and they don’t have to be done too often. However, each of the components we’ll look at serve the larger, more expensive parts like the engine. If the small parts don’t function correctly, the larger parts suffer.

Whether you own your own car or you’ve used car leasing options in the UK, good care is essential. Think of these checks as a health update for your car. Get into a routine and set a calendar for when each of these needs doing. It’s easy to stay on top of. If you get into this habit, your car will run for longer, it will run healthier and it’ll save you money. When it comes to selling the car, it will be worth a lot more as it will remain in good condition.

Check Tyre Pressure

You should check the pressure of your tyres once a month. Tyre pressure fluctuates depending on the season. The temperature can affect them, and that can affect your driving. Over-inflated tyres will lead to poor handling on the road. They are much more likely to burst or rip off on corners. Under-inflated tyres will simply overheat and wear down faster. Tyres are designed to run for longest at their correct pressure. This varies for each car, check the manual and tyre placard in the door to keep them at the advised pressure.

Rotate Your Tyres

Every 3,000 to 7,500 miles or so, simply switch your tyres around. Tyres wear unevenly on most cars. The ones at the front wear down faster on front-wheel drive cars, for example. Rotating the front tyres to the back can significantly extend the life of your tyres. They’ll wear evenly, and when you do need them replaced, you can change all of them at once. This saves money and time in the garage. Follow your owner’s manual on the proper tire rotation patterns. Some tires are directional.

Change the oil regularly

Whenever you rotate your tyres, get into the habit of changing your oil too. Every 3,000 miles or as required by the manufacturer. Oil is the lubricant for all the internal parts of your engine. Without it, the engine parts will begin to grind against each other and wear down. Engine parts are expensive. Simply changing the oil is a much cheaper alternative.

Check fluids

Although you’re changing your oil regularly, you should be checking its level even more often. Check the oil every time you fuel up at the pump. It’s good practice to always know how much oil you have in the car. It only takes a second. Simply open the hood, wipe the dipstick clean and re-insert it. The oil mark should fall between the two lines (or dots). While you’re there, check the transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant and windscreen wiper fluid. These are the things that keep your car going. When they run out, they cause costly damage. It doesn’t hurt to stay on top of it. Read your owner’s manual for the proper procedure on how to check all your fluids.

Replace air filters

The air filters in your car stops dirt from the road getting into your engine. When dirt enters the mechanics of the engine, there are all sorts of problems to be had. Keep this at bay by simply changing the air filters regularly. They are cheap and easy to replace. Think of it like a shield for your engine. Keep it clean.

Inspect brakes

Brake pads will last a fairly long time, but try to check them annually. The best practice is to have a quick look every time you rotate the tyres, since they are already removed. When brake pads wear down past their usable life, the metal backing of the brake pads will wear on the rotor…causing irreversible damage. If they’re running thin, it’s time to replace them. New brake pads are much cheaper than replacing rotors.

Practice changing a tyre

You never know when the worst will happen. No matter how many precautions you take, a tyre can burst at any moment. Make sure you can change it quickly and safely. You want to be at the side of the road for as short a time as possible. Practice with a jack once a year on your driveway. Make sure every family member knows how to do it. You might not always be with them when the worst happens. However, if the vehicle is in an unsafe location like the side of a busy highway, call for roadside assistance. Your life is not worth the risk.

Breakdown kit

Always keep a breakdown kit in the car. This should include a first aid box, a large bottle of water (for you and the car), a flashlight and some cash. It’s also worth keeping a jacket and some blankets in the car in case it’s cold. Hazard lighting and visibility items are a good idea too.

Keep it clean

Finally, make sure you keep your car clean. Keeping your windscreen, mirrors and headlamps clean will help you avoid accidents. They’ll also last longer. All elements of your car can be worn down when left dirty. Keep the paint looking brand new with regular waxing. Don’t treat the car like a dustbin. When it comes to selling your car on, the appearance will make a big difference. Buyers can tell a well-kept car when they see one and will trust the internal parts have been cared for.

The key to caring for you car is ensuring that all the moveable parts are in pristine condition. All the fluids and easily accessible areas are vital to the internal workings. Keep them in good condition and it will help the engine and other internal systems last longer. Good care of your car will save you a fortune and help keep the resale value high.

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Nov
12

Do Your Brake Pads Need Replacement?

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Written by a Guest Blogger

The brake pads on your vehicle get thinner with time and eventually need replacing. If you don’t inspect your brakes and the pads wear completely out when driving, it may land you in a troubled situation.

Signs that reveal impending brake problems

It is important to keep a check on the condition of the brake pads as there are a few signs that indicate about the forthcoming trouble related to the brakes.

  • Hard and sudden brake pedals
  • Squealing of the brakes
  • Grinding brakes
  • When brake pedals get spongy
  • Grabbing wheels
  • Drawing the car from one corner to another
  • Pumping the brakes to stop the vehicle

These are common problems that reveal that the brake system is malfunctioning and that the pads (or other components) are past their usable life.

Other points to consider in examining the condition of the brakes

Brake inspections are necessary to perform a detailed inspection, examination, and evaluation.

First, your safety is of the upmost importance. Secondly, you may need to consider your budget. Some service centers will complete a free brake inspection for you. Or find a technician (mechanic) who is reliable and knowledgeable that fits your budget.

A skilled technician can confirm whether the brake pads need replacing or not.

Inquire about the cost associated with brake pad replacement

Your mechanic will let you know the rough estimate to repair or replace the brake pads. The final cost may shoot up 5-10% higher than the estimated cost figures offered by the mechanic. Also if additional parts are needed, such as brake calipers or rotors, the cost could easily double.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can surely save a decent amount by eliminating labor costs. Since the effectiveness of braking leads to your safety and the safety of others on the road, please make sure you have the skills to perform the task.

Once the parts needed are identified, purchase them locally or online. Complete research to find a dealer who sells OEM or quality aftermarket parts. This way you can directly contact the dealer by eliminating any middleman and can get the best deal at lower prices.

Compare warranties and return policies. It is also important to find out if the car part you bought can be easily returned or replaced. Beware of the overseas auto parts sellers as it may not be easy to get a replacement for any defective or incorrect product.

About the Blogger

Carpartkings is an online store that deals with the marketing of the various parts of the cars at affordable prices. This New York based company holds a 3 decade old industry expert in auto parts business and believe in offering high quality products to their customers. For detailed information visit their website at http://www.carpartkings.com/

 

Categories : Auto Parts
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Nov
07

Leasing a Car for the Wrong Reasons

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Image Credit M 93

Car leasing can be a complicated business. You need to make sure you select the right models, and you need to work hard to get a good deal. At the end of the day, companies that provide these vehicles need to make a profit, and so leasing could become an expensive experience if you get it wrong. Opting to do that instead of buying outright could be a wise move if you have a business though. The entire payments for your vehicles can be taken away from your company’s profits. That will help to lower next year’s tax bill and make sure more of the cash you’ve made is spent within your firm. While it is important that corporate clients present a professional image, leasing is also a good idea for some families too. Just make sure you do lots of research before signing on the dotted line. The last thing you want is to get home and realise you’ve made a bad decision.

There are lots of different car leasing companies around in the UK at the moment, and so you could be spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting the perfect model. One of the main advantages to obtaining vehicles this way is that you are free to swap and change them whenever you feel like it. That is unless you decide to agree to a long-term lease to drive prices down. Until you are 100% satisfied with your choice, it will be wise for you to rent on a month by month basis. So long as you find a car you’re happy with, you can then negotiate cheaper prices for more-lengthy contracts. Some leasing firms will even allow you to purchase a vehicle from them if you have loaned it for more than a few months. Even so, some people use this method of getting cars for the wrong reasons.

Leasing because you don’t have much cash

Leasing solely because you don’t have much money to spend isn’t always a good idea. Unfortunately, you could still end up with huge bills if anything goes wrong. While any exterior damage to the vehicle caused by collisions should be covered by the insurance you receive, the same cannot be said for issues inside the car. Leasing can become very costly if you opt for a model with top of the range leather seats and allow your children to sit in the back. They might not mean to cause problems for you, but damage to the interior of a lease car could mean you’re landed with a huge bill when the time comes to take it back.

Leasing because you want a more-luxurious car

While renting cars does mean you can afford to go for a more-luxurious model, doing so for that reason can be an unwise move. That is the case in most circumstances, unless you’re loaning the vehicle for business use. Company bosses need to impress their customers and clients, which is why turning up to meetings in the new BMW or Mercedes is a good idea. That will help to make the people you visit a little more confident in your products or services. However, people with a family to think about shouldn’t lease high-end models just to keep up with the Jones’. At the end of the day, the amount you spend over the course of a year on a top quality model when leasing could be enough to purchase an average car outright. That said, some providers do offer low prices. For instance, you can lease Audi’s at Leasing Options for next to nothing these days.

Leasing because you like the aesthetics

Whether you’re a business or private lender, you should never choose a car based on looks alone. Performance, reliability and safety are far more important. Also, there are many green cars hitting the markets over the next few months. For that reason, you should consider getting something that is a little more economical. The last thing you want is to spend hundreds of pounds of fuel each week when you only travel a few short miles to work. That said, it makes more sense to get something with a smaller engine size if you commute long distances on a regular basis. You just have to assess your situation and make a judgement based on the facts.

Leasing because you saw a car on Top Gear

You might not realise this, but car manufacturers pay a lot of money to have their vehicles featured on some of the top industry-related TV shows. That means you cannot trust what you hear on those programs. Just because high profile car host says a car is fantastic, that doesn’t mean he really thinks it. You would do a lot better by visiting websites that publish reviews from people who own the vehicle in question. Luckily, there are lots of good sites around these days that do that, and so you shouldn’t have to work too hard. Just search on Google, and you’ll find everything you need to know.

Leasing because you have a bad credit history

All car leasing firms are going to perform a credit check to see what your history is like. So, don’t think you should take this route just because you’ve been turned down for finance. If the dealer is unable to offer you a vehicle because you have a terrible credit rating, you will almost certain encounter the same response when trying to arrange a lease. Unfortunately, the only viable option open to you in that situation is to start saving. At the end of the day, you should never have something you can’t afford anyway.

Now you know about all the wrong reasons to lease a new vehicle, you should be ready to focus on the right ones. Leasing cars is a brilliant alternative to buying if you only need an automobile for a short amount of time. Also, it’s a fantastic way of trying out lots of new models before deciding which is worthy of a purchase.

Enjoy!

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Nov
06

Top 4 Car Lock Picking Tools

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Locking the keys inside the cars can be frustrating and your best and the most tension free way out of such a situation is by hiring the services of a professional locksmith. Locksmiths are skilled with extensive lock picking tools and can open most types of stubborn locks. Car locksmiths use a wide array of tools and lock picking equipment that unlocks the car door without damaging the car window or the locking mechanism. There is a wide range of tools that a locksmith uses, and most people are often curious to know about the various car lock picking equipment. Here’s the list of the most commonly used car lock picking tools used by locksmiths, towing companies, police departments, and private investigators.

Slim Jims

These are basically long thin strips of metal, usually made of spring steel, which is usually 60 centimeters long and 2-4 centimeters wide. The thin strips are manufactured specifically for each car make and manufacturer and totally eliminate the trouble of hacking the lock mechanism. The thin strip easily slides between the window and the door to unlock the car manually by lifting the rods that control the locking mechanism. However easy this might sound, it requires skilled lock smiths and tow truck professionals to operate as improper use can damage the rods and render the lock inoperable even with a key.

Wedge

Wedges are one of the most effective tools that can be easily slipped between the door and the car to make room for inserting another lock picking tool into the gap. Wedges come in various types; the most common of them are the plastic wedges and the inflatable wedges. The inflatable wedges are the most convenient to use tools which can easily slip between small spaces and can be then inflated to create a larger gap without damaging the window or the door.

Auto Jigglers

Also known as try out keys, auto jigglers are a set of various shaped keys which are sometimes able to unlock most types of auto locks. These aren’t master keys which are made specific for each car model or make but are universal and one of the keys in the set might be able to unlock your car door. Try out keys or jigglers are available for various car brands like Ford, Chrysler, General Motors etc. and are also able to unlock most gas and glove box locks. Auto jigglers are used by most lock smiths and would probably be the first equipment that is used in case of a lockout.

Tension Wrench

Tension wrench is also known as a torsion wrench which is one of the most essential tools of a lock picking professional. A typical torsion wrench is made of metal in an ‘L’ shape which helps the user apply constant tension on the keyway and rotate it when the pins are pressed by the picking needle. While a tension wrench is highlighted in most works of fiction involving lock picking, it is nearly impossible to unlock a door without a tension wrench, even if an electronic lock pick or a lock pick gun is used.

Lock picking tools are the bread and butter of a lock smith and without the knowledge and the proper tools, a lock smith is rendered entirely useless. If you are looking for some knowledge in locksmithing, you can research more about the above tools.

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Nov
06

Upcoming cars in 2015

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Written by a Guest Blogger

The Indian market’s affinity towards new cars never stops. Here are a few cars that are gearing up for a 2015 release.

Volkswagen Tiguan:

A compact SUV from Volkswagen, the Taigun. It was showcased as a concept car in the New Delhi Auto Expo 2014. The concept car had a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine with TSI technology that will churn out a power of 109 bhp with a peak torque of 175 Nm. The engine is coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission. This sub-4 m car has grille with chrome furnished dual slats that hold the company’s iconic logo. The headlamps have LEDs and lights have been mounted on the front roof rails as well. The front and rear bumpers have silver and aluminium protective cladding. The SUV may come in dual tone colour shades of beige and black. It is also expected to have adjustable steering column, and entertainment system with Bluetooth, USB, AUX connectivity. The SUV is expected to fall in the price bracket of Rs. 8 to 14 lakh and may give a stiff competition to the Renault Duster. Expected launch date is August 2015.

Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha:

The XA Alpha concept Sports Utility Vehicle was introduced during the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo. The slightly revised model of the XA Alpha was presented once again, at the 2014 Delhi Motor Show. XA Alpha is based on the Swift platform. The new XA Alpha will be offered in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.4 litre K-series petrol unit delivers a peak power output of 95 bhp with 130 Nm of torque. The diesel one is a 1.3 litre DDiS diesel power train offering a maximum power of 90 bhp with a torque of 210 Nm. The vehicle may come with a 1.5 litre turbo-diesel engine. Expected Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha price in India is Rs. 6.5 to 10 lakh. Expected launch in 2015.

Hyundai ix25:

A compact SUV from the table of Hyundai, ix25 made its first appearance as a concept car at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. This compact SUV comes with the Fluidic design philosophy. The triple slat matte grille is flanked by LED daytime running lamps, while the front bumper has a broader air dam and fog lamps. The stylish diamond-cut alloy wheels add to the sporty appeal. The SUV also comes with roof rails and turn indicators integrated ORVMs. The interior features include automatic air conditioning and LCD screen multimedia system. The SUV is expected to have 2 different petrol engines – 1.6 l 4-cylinder engine with base and mid variants while 2.0 l unit with top-end trim. The diesel variants will house a 1.6 l engine. Expected price range is Rs. 8-10 Lakhs. Expected date of launch is June 2015.

For News on Upcoming Cars Please visit : http://autoportal.com/upcoming-cars/

Categories : Car Buying
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Oct
29

Give Your Classic Car The 21st Century Treatment With These Essential Upgrades

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Many people buy classic cars with the intention of restoring them to their former glory. They are then driven on weekends or to special events like classic car shows. But for some people, classic cars get used as daily drivers.

These people prefer to drive their classic cars each day. That’s because they offer a rewarding drive compared to newer, more-modern cars. If you drive a car that’s thirty or more years old, it will be obvious that it won’t have the same luxuries and technology as today’s cars.

The good news is that you can give any classic car the 21st century treatment! In today’s guide, I will show you how you can turn your classic car into a practical daily driver that’s just as good as today’s modern cars!

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A note on modifications

If you make any major changes to your classic car, it’s important that your insurance policy covers your mods.

With classic car insurance in the UK, you can choose policies that allow declared modifications.

It’s important to check your insurance includes such provision for modifications. If you have an accident and it becomes clear your modded classic is listed as standard, your insurance might become invalidated. That means you are driving around without valid insurance!

Brakes

Safety is of paramount concern when you drive any car on a public road, regardless of the car’s age. The thing about classic cars is that some have pretty archaic braking systems.

Things like ABS, electronic stability control and disc brakes were not common in cars made decades ago. As you are planning to use your classic car as a daily driver, it is important you upgrade its braking systems.

The first step is to renew the metal hydraulic brake lines. They go from each wheel to the brake master cylinder into the engine compartment. The thing about these brake lines is that they can corrode (i.e. rust) over time. Replacing them will ensure many years of reliable service. Replace the rubber lines too…they crack over time.

Next, fit disc brakes all round if aftermarket kits exist.

A new dual-circuit (dual reservoir) master cylinder will provide braking power even to either the front or the back if there is a leak on one of the other circuits. Older classic cars only have single-circuit master cylinders. As you can imagine, if there is a leak in a single-circuit system, you’d have no braking power at all!

Engine cooling

Most classic cars use a crude cooling system for their engines. As you know, fans ensure that engines get kept cool when the car is stationary or driving at a slow speed. The fans used in many classic cars were viscous.

That means the fans operate using the engine’s speed. They usually have a thermostatic “clutch” that engaged or disengaged at certain vehicle speeds. The problem with such fans is that they didn’t always do a good job at stopping engines from overheating.

Today’s modern cars use electric fans. They connect to the car’s 12-volt electricity system. And they operate by means of a thermostatic controller. They are more reliable than viscous fans, cheaper to buy and easier to install.

As you might get stuck in traffic at some point in your classic car, it’s important to ensure the car doesn’t overheat. If aftermarket kits exist, you may want to fit an electric fan to your car.

Electronic ignition

Does your classic car use an old distributor-based ignition system? If so, one thing you will know is that such systems need frequent adjustments or replacement.

The cars of today use electronic ignition systems. A “coil pack” replaces the distributor cap and rotor, and the whole conversion can be done. There are plenty of electronic ignition conversion kits that you can buy. And each will increase your car’s reliability!

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Battery

Older cars can sometimes take a bit of effort to start on a cold winter’s morning. One thing you can do to make the experience better each morning is fit a heavy-duty battery with plenty of cold cranking amps.

The size of the battery that comes with your car as standard might be OK for a standard vehicle. But what if you plan on upgrading or adding accessories that use additional electricity, then you may need a beefier battery.

Lighting

Let’s face it; you and I both know that the lighting systems in classic cars aren’t as good as the ones used in today’s cars. In the UK because of vehicle testing laws, you won’t be able to fit HID lights in your headlight lenses without getting fined by the police.

What you can do is upgrade the bulbs to better-performing ones, as long as they use the original lens or holder fittings. The good news is the market is awash with lighting upgrades.

Osram Night Breaker headlight bulbs, for example, claim to offer up to 110% extra brightness. And for the back of your car, you can retro-fit LED tail light bulbs. They are brighter than standard bulbs, and yet they use less electricity.

You can even use LED bulbs for your interior lighting too! Some folks might just replace the interior light by the windscreen. Whereas others might also replace dashboard and centre console bulbs with LED ones as well!

Wipers

Not much has changed over recent decades when it comes to wiper blade technology. Most of today’s cars use flat-blade wipers rather than ones with metal arms.

The benefit of flat-blade wipers is that they work well at high speeds. Whereas conventional wipers tend to judder or smear. They are simple upgrades, and you can get flat-blade wipers for pretty much any car.

One downside to flat-blade wipers is that they cost a bit more than conventional ones. But, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh that downside!

In-car entertainment

8-track and cassette tapes are old obsolete technology. Today’s cars feature head units that play CDs. And they offer wireless Bluetooth connectivity to MP3 players and smartphones.

You can even upgrade to a head unit that offers DAB digital radio; a perfect way to bring your car into the 21st century!

Thanks for reading today’s guide. See you soon!

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Oct
28

Deal on Wheels: Getting a Steal on Your Next Used Car

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Right after the 2008 housing and market collapse, many people were in such poor financial shape that they could only afford used cars. The rise in demand greatly increased prices. Now, though, with the economy beginning to look up, pressure on the market has eased. The fact that new cars are selling at healthy discounts is also keeping used-car prices depressed.

The market offers some great deals now. To make sure that you get the best deal available, you need to learn a little about the used-car market.

Buying a Used Car Is an Excellent Idea

The manufacture of new cars greatly pollutes the environment. Heading to the used-car dealership each time you need a car, then, is the environmentally friendly thing to do.

A used car also can save you a fantastic amount of money. Buying a new vehicle, your investment loses value the minute you drive off the lot. Depreciation works against you. This doesn’t happen with a used car. Your car’s price remains intact. If you always buy used, you let others pay for the depreciation. You save money.

Learn to Price a Used Car

Every motor vehicle manufactured since 1981 comes with a unique Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. You can use this number to check online for the kind of prices you should expect to pay for it. Tools, such as MyVinny, give you average wholesale prices for every used car. When you find a car that you like, you can use the tool to find the lowest possible price that it could sell for. You can add dealership margins to it and arrive at a number that you can aim for when you haggle.

Check Out New Car Dealerships

You don’t necessarily need to head to a used-car dealership for deal on a used car. New car dealerships have used cars, too — ones that they’ve accepted as trade-ins. Usually they sell these cars to used-car dealerships at low prices. If they sell directly to end users, they can make more money, even if they ask for less than a used-car dealership. So trying a new car dealership can be a good idea.

Consider Buying a Slightly Flood-Damaged Vehicle

If you’ve been reading up about buying used cars, you’ve probably often read warnings about crooked dealerships selling flood damaged cars without full disclosure. While it’s good advice, it’s also important to remember that flood damage doesn’t automatically make a car useless. A car that has only light flood damage could work perfectly well. As long as you can be sure that the car wasn’t submerged deeply enough to have water get into the electronics or the engine, the car may be okay. You’ll get it at a massive discount.

You need to be able to trust the seller of a flood-damaged car when they tell you about the kind of damage the car has. SalvageAutosAuction.com is one of the most trusted names in this business. Every car listed has complete and accurate information on damage levels.

It makes the most sense to buy a salvage car if you don’t plan to keep it for 100,000 miles. If you simply need a car for light use for a couple of years, you could save a lot.

About the Blogger

Cecil Owen is a motoring enthusiast with a motor mechanic background. He always enjoys tinkering with all things mechanical and his articles mainly focus on ways to not pay more that is needed when it comes to autos and parts.

 

Categories : Car Buying
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Oct
23

Where’s the Spare: Fixing Flat Tire Frustration

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Written by a Guest Blogger

When you get a flat tire, it’s never at a convenient time or location. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Here’s what you should do when the air is taken out from under you.

Get A Roadside Assistance Program

Roadside assistance programs are offered by almost every major insurance company out there. You don’t have to buy one from your insurer though. Organizations, like AAA, are more than happy to sell you a service plan.

So, what do these plans cover, exactly? Well, that depends on the level of service you purchase. Some companies only offer one level of service. These “entry level” packages are only meant to be used in the case of extreme emergency and usually only provide towing services.

Other plans may cover small services like a gallon of gas (if you happen to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere) or flat-tire service. If you pick up a roadside assistance program, make sure it covers flat tires.

Also make sure your plan provides towing coverage, like 24 hour towing in Union City, just in case you happen to experience a blow out at 1AM or something.

Make Sure You Have A Good Spare Tire

One in seven vehicles today doesn’t come equipped with a spare tire. Why not? In short, fuel economy regulations imposed by the federal government. Car manufacturers are struggling to figure out how to keep vehicles safe and, at the same time, meet government fuel economy regulations.

The result, many times, is elimination of the classic spare tire hidden away in the trunk. Check under your trunk’s floor panel. If there’s no spare tire or no tire well, you’ll have to go out and buy yourself a spare tire. Spare tires can cost upwards of $100, but check the prices for your vehicle, specifically. You may be able to purchase a spare full-size tire for the same price. The only problem will be finding room to store it in the vehicle.

Practice Changing A Flat Tire

What good is a spare tire if you don’t know how to change it? While many roadside assistance programs will do this for you, not all areas of the country have cell service. If you’re way out in some remote location, for example, you may have only yourself to rely on. Take a couple of weekends, and practice changing your tire using the jack that came with your vehicle and the spare tire you’ll keep in the car. Don’t drive around on the spare though. Just change the tire.

Once you’ve gotten good at it, and can change a tire in about 10 minutes, you’re ready for an emergency.

Don’t forget to practice in the dark though too. You never know when you’ll have to change a tire. Try practicing with a flashlight or a portable light that you can attach in the wheel well while you work.

Practice in the rain. Practice in the sun. Practice in the snow, if it snows where you live. You want to be able to change a tire when you really need it.

About the Blogger

Luke Owens has worked on many cars and tires over his illustrious career as a mechanic. Now retired, he enjoys sharing what he has learned with others on the web. You can read his interesting posts on a variety of websites and blogs.

 

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Oct
22

Lost, Locked or Stolen: Curing Those Car Key Conundrums

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Losing your car keys is frustrating and stressful, especially when you are just about to go somewhere important or there is a chance that they may have been stolen. However, don’t panic. Stay calm and take a few simple steps to protect your car and get back on the road as soon as possible.

What to Do if Your Keys Are Lost or Stolen

If you have lost your keys, you may want to spend a bit of time looking for them first. There is nothing worse than making arrangements to get a new key only to find your original key under the sofa the next day. Replacement keys can be expensive, so just make sure you have not simply misplaced it.

If you know your keys have been stolen, call the police and report it. They will provide you with a crime reference number, which you may need should you make a claim on your insurance policy.

Whether your keys have been stolen or are just lost, there will be a risk that someone has access to your vehicle, so you should take steps to avoid them getting to your car. These include:

– Fit a clamp or steering wheel lock on your car to prevent anyone from moving it.

– If you have a spare set of keys, move your car somewhere away from your home in case the thief knows where you live.

– You may want to remove a fuse or relay from under the bonnet.

Call a Specialist to Get a New Key

Lost and stolen keys are not usually covered on home insurance, but they may be covered on your car insurance policy. However, this can often mean paying a large excess, so think carefully before deciding to make a claim.

You may assume that you need to go to your car’s manufacturer for the new keys, but this is often the most expensive and time consuming option. Instead, call a specialist lost car key replacement service. They will send out a trained technician with specialist equipment, and they will get access to your vehicle without causing damage. They will then use their equipment to create a new transponder key, and you will be able to drive your car again.

What if You Lock Your Keys in Your Car?

This is another situation that can be very annoying. Rather than attempting to break in yourself, call out a specialist locksmith. A breakdown service can also be used, but this may be a more time consuming and expensive option.

Specialist locksmith services will get access to your car quickly and without causing damage by using state-of-the-art equipment, so you will soon get your key back and you can then drive your car again.

Take Care of Your Keys

The most important thing of all is to prevent these problems arising in the first place. You should therefore look after your keys just as you would your smartphone or any other expensive gadget. Be vigilant and never leave them hanging around, and always keep them somewhere safe in your home, which means away from the door. You may also want to keep them separate from your house keys and anything with your address on them, so that if you do lose them, any potential thieves won’t know where to find your car.

About the Blogger

Taylor Douglas is an auto mechanic with several years under his toolbelt. When he has the time, he likes to sit down and create posts that help people keep their cars secure and safe. You can find his informative articles mostly on car and vehicle websites online.

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Oct
17

How to Get Your MOT for Cheaper

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Written by a Guest Blogger

Is that time of year coming up again? If your vehicle is over three years old it will be required by law to take an annual MOT test to determine its safety and roadworthiness. A number of important points will be checked during this examination, including seatbelts, mirrors, exhaust system, windscreens, brakes, fuel lines and oil levels.

Your MOT can be a big expense every year. Not only will you need to pay for the test, but you will also need to shell out for the repairs if your vehicle fails the examination. So how can you save money when it comes to your MOT? Where can you find MOT and car servicing deals? Here are some ideas:

Give Your Car a DIY MOT First

Most MOT tests fail due to small problems that could have easily been fixed in advance, such as a burnt out light bulb. Make sure that you give your car a quick look over first so that you can avoid any issues such as these. If you spot any obvious and easy to fix issues you can have them repaired before the actual test. This includes looking at your brakes, exhaust, lights, suspension and tires.

If you can eliminate these problems you will save a lot of money on your final bill. You will be able to repair these problems yourself and order the replacement parts online for a lot cheaper than it would be at the mechanic’s.

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Use a Price Comparison Website

There are price comparison websites out there for MOTs, such as MyCarNeedsA.com, which will allow you to compare a number of different quotes and find the right price for your MOT. You start by entering the details of what you need on the website and your job will be offered to the network of service providers who will be bidding against each other for your MOT.

You can choose the best deal, whether that is the cheapest price or the best value for the overall service offered. You don’t need to pay for this style of website either – the service providers pay because they want the chance to bid to receive your custom.

Get Your Car Tested by the Council

If you take your vehicle to the garage for an MOT, the mechanic has a vested interest in your vehicle failing because it will mean more repair work for them. If you want your car to be tested by an impartial third party, you can get it at your local council instead. They do not perform repairs so they have no vested interest – which means that you will get an honest report of which repairs are really essential. There are local councils all over the UK that have their own MOT testing stations for vans and buses. Take a look online to find out where your nearest MOT council testing centre is located so you know where to take your vehicle.

Save Money on Your Retest

If your vehicle fails the MOT one the repairs have been completed it will need to be retested – so how can you save on this part of the process. The retests may be free or discounted, depending on where you had the vehicle tested in the first place. If you have your car repaired at a test centre and retested within 10 business days, the retest will be free. If you have the repairs done somewhere else the retest will be free if the car is returned to the test centre by the end of the working day.

If you had your MOT carried at the council centre, the retest will be up to half price if the vehicle is brought back to the original test location for a partial retest within 10 working days. In all other situations the retesting fee will be the full maximum rate, so it makes sense to try to ensure you get a free or discounted retest rate.

Getting your MOT carried out is a necessary part of owning a car in the UK – if you are caught driving without one you will be subjected to a fine. However, it can be a major expense every year to pay for the examination and the resulting repairs to your vehicle.

With these tips in mind you will be able to save money on this yearly vehicle check-up. Money can be tight, so any strategy that means you can save your cash by getting your MOT for cheaper will be a major benefit.

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Oct
08

An American’s Guide To Driving In The United Kingdom

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For thousands of Americans, the British Isles prove to be a popular vacation destination. The “motherland” as some people call it is small. But in days gone past, the British had somehow managed to control large swathes of the world!

The United Kingdom is rich with history. Brits also have a lot of weird and wonderful customs; at least to us Americans anyway! Although most of Britain has a good public transport network, traveling by car is the preferred method to get around.

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You might think to yourself that driving on the streets of Britain is no sweat. There’s just one thing that you might have forgotten; people in the UK drive on the left! Most of the world drives on the right, just like here in the United States.

But certain parts of the world have stuck with the same side of driving their former colonial masters introduced. Such countries include Australia and India. To be honest, it’s pretty straightforward to learn how to steer a right-hand drive car.

There are plenty of other things that you, as an American, need to know before you get behind the wheel of a car in Blighty! Today’s handy guide will tell you everything you need to know about driving in the United Kingdom.

Do you need a car to get around?

If you plan on sticking around central London, the answer will be no. Central London has an excellent public transport network. It includes the world-famous London Underground “tube train” network.

You can use an Oyster card to pay for your fares so that you don’t have to fumble around for cash and change. In fact, London’s bus network no longer accepts cash as a form of payment.

If you are feeling adventurous, you might want to do a road trip of Britain. While it’s possible to use buses and trains throughout most of the UK, driving to many destinations is more convenient.

Before you travel to the UK, plan a rough itinerary of where you want to go. That way, you can research whether you need to hire a car or not.

Renting a car

Renting or “hiring” a car is essential if you need a car in the UK. Many of the familiar rental car companies like Enterprise and Avis exist in the UK just like they do at home. If you’ve rented a car in the United States before, the process is similar in the UK.

You choose what class of car you want to rent, how long for, and you pay the rental costs when you bring the car back. To save money on your rental car costs, I recommend prepaying for your rental online.

In the UK, all cars that drive on public roads and highways must have valid insurance cover. Comprehensive insurance covers cars in the event of an accident. It will also cover accidental damage, vandalism and theft.

As you might already know, car rental companies will take a deposit on your credit card. That deposit can be anything from £200 ($330) to £700 ($1,140). It all depends on what class of car you hire. Small to medium cars will be at the lower end of the scale. Anything “premium” like a BMW or Mercedes-Benz will be at the higher end.

At the rental counter, they will always ask you if you’d like to buy an extra “waiver” to reduce your car’s insurance excess. That insurance excess is often around £700 ($1,140). Refuse to take it, and buy insurance excess cover from a third-party supplier instead. If you buy it from the rental company, you could double the cost of your rental!

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Always give way to your right

In Britain, there are lots of these curious road structures called roundabouts. At home, we are all used to intersections with traffic lights at each end. But someone in the 1960s thought it would be a great idea to use them everywhere in the United Kingdom!

Of course, there are plenty of roads with traffic lights. So when you approach a roundabout, what should you do? The golden rule here is to give way to traffic to your right. You should also determine which lane to be in before you approach it.

For example, if you are driving ahead you should stick to one of the left-hand lanes on your approach. But if you need to turn right, stay on the right-hand lane and merge into the center or left lanes as you approach your exit.

Right turn on red is illegal

Americans take for granted the benefit of right turn on red. In the UK, it would get called a “left turn on red” – if it were legal!

In the UK, it is illegal to turn left at a set of traffic lights if they are on red. The only exception is if there is a “filter” light for the left, and that light turns green. If you forget about this rule, you are likely to get involved in an accident!

Know your roads

Britain has a comprehensive road network, and it can often be confusing to drivers from the United States. Scott from harratts.co.uk was kind enough to write in and offer this information for our readers:

  • A lot of standard roads are often prefixed with “A” or “B.” For instance, the A40, B443 and so forth. Smaller roads and streets only have names;
  • Major trunk roads connecting some towns and cities together are motorways. They get prefixed with “M.” For instance, the M40 and the M5 are two motorways;
  • Dual carriageways are roads with two lanes in each direction. Motorways usually have three lanes in each direction, but some can have two while others have four or even five lanes.

Parking

At some point, you will need to stop driving and park your car. Avoid parking your car on a road with yellow or red lines. You are not allowed to park on such roads, and your car could get clamped or towed away.

I hope you enjoy your trip to the UK. Good luck with your driving adventures there!

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