• Car Insurance Prices Get Discounted to Almost A Fifth

    Car key on an insurance policy. Toned warm.

    The average annual cost of automobile insurance is right down to £596 compared to £736 this period last year – a fall of 19.1%.

    This is based on the latest quarterly Confused.com car insurance price index.

    The index analysed greater than 4 million quotes from between March and January this season to reflect what prices drivers have been investing in cover.

    Cheaper car insurance for all those drivers

    This fall in car insurance prices is welcome news for motorists, particularly as average premiums have not fallen below £600 a year since 2009.

    What’s more, the index shows that the cost of cover has fallen for drivers of all ages, of both sexes, and across all regions of the country.

    Automobile insurance prices falling by age

    Drivers of all ages are reaping the rewards of cheaper car cover but young drivers have seen the biggest fall in prices.

    For example, the standard annual expense of cover for any 49-year-old motorist has fallen by 20.7% over the last one year – down from £644 to £510.

    But 17-year-old motorists have seen prices fall by a whopping 38.6% within the same period – from £3,587 to £2,203.

    Based on experts, the increase in drivers taking out telematics or black-box car insurance policies is one explanation for falling prices.

    With these policies, a tiny black box about how big a packet of playing cards is fitted to the car to keep track of driving behaviour such as acceleration and braking.

    This information is then fed to your insurer.

    Telematics policies lower vehicle insurance prices

    By demonstrating responsible driving, customers can prove to insurers they present a low risk, as well as their premium – the cost of cover – is adjusted accordingly.

    Telematics policies are particularly geared towards young drivers who most often have higher vehicle insurance prices due to their higher risk of accidents.

    Stephen Jones of insurance analysts Towers Watson says: The frequency with which telematics providers are coming up with the cheapest quote, particularly for young drivers, is rising.

    Automobile insurance price by sex

    The fall in prices can be partly caused by the European Union (EU) Gender Directive.

    This legislation forced insurers to stop using gender to put car insurance prices from December 2012.

    Because ladies have fewer road accidents than male drivers, women paid less for car insurance since they were unlikely to make a claim, in the past.

    But following this EU gender ban the space between men and women premiums has narrowed.

    Male motorists have seen a 17% drop in the cost of cover, down from £748 to £621 before year.

    Meanwhile, female motorists have experienced a 22% price drop, with automobile insurance costs down from £721 to £565.

    EU gender ban

    But, as Gemma Stanbury, head of vehicle insurance at Confused.com, explains, says some gender differences still exist.

    Although insurers can’t set prices differently based on gender, there are many factors taken into account when calculating car insurance costs.

    For instance, men typically drive better cars meaning their insurance would be more costly than women’s.

    Car insurance prices by region

    Drivers in Manchester and Merseyside have experienced the greatest fall in car insurance prices of the regions of the nation, with average annual premiums falling by 23% to £832.

    However, it really is still probably the most expensive UK areas for cover – outranked only by inner London, where average annual car insurance costs motorists £985.


  • Sweet, sweet traffic

    Angelinos, does it ever end? This god-forsaken traffic? Seriously, my work is SIX miles away from my apartment and I’m forced to allot FORTY minutes to get there. If I wasn’t concerned about showing up a sweaty disheveled mess of embarrassment and stink, I’d run to work every morning in the same amount of time AND get my exercise in. Talk about two birds. This is how I’ve felt for nine of the ten years I’ve lived in Los Angeles. My loathing of traffic was compounded by my car’s lack of sufficient air conditioning and the fact that I don’t have CDs anymore and that’s what might car likes to eat. Or should I say… my OLD car. Yes, yes, this aforementioned tone of rage and discontent is over forever. Why, you might ask? Well I’ll tell you. It’s my new Nissan Altima.

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    To be fair, I miss my old car. I don’t miss it because it worked very well, in fact it broke down on the 10 freeway in the middle of the night. I miss it because I drove across country in it, I off-roaded in the desert with it, I invested many futile dollars into it… until it could go no further. That terrible night on the 10 proved to start a chain reaction of events that has led me to a place of relaxation and happiness I never thought I’d get to in Los Angeles. My new Nissan Altima is beautiful. Objectively. When I look at it, I feel such a sense of misplaced pride, as though it loves me or I built it. These odd feelings aside, I love this car because I honestly feel as though it loves me. Not only is driving it (even in stop and go traffic) smooth and delightful, it connects to my phone using magical alien technology known as blu-tooth! Obviously I’m not a tech genius, but I am a consumer with high standards, and the fact that I can listen to my podcasts or Pandora or talk on the phone, all without taking my eyes off the road seems paramount to the Red Sea parting in the Exodus! Also, this car comes as a hybrid! Yes, I’m shouting it. With a hybrid I get to save money on gas, I get to tell my friends while looking down my nose at them that I drive a hybrid, and most of all, I save money!

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    Truly, this is just the tip of the iceberg on why I love my car. It makes me feel more successful and confident, and the real deal sealer is that it is reasonably priced. And this is coming from a television assistant who makes the same in a week as he did shoveling driveways in Boston in the 90s. If you’re interested in changing your life for the better, don’t work in entertainment and get a new Nissan at either Nissan Los Angeles or Downtown Nissan.

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  • 2015 Chevrolet’s best feature

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    We’re spending time with the newly revamped 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon XL, vehicles that appear to defy the forces of evolution. These are huge, old-school SUVs built on a full-sized pickup chassis inside a world where nearly every other SUV has adopted carlike structures.

    Standing more than six feet, 2 “” tall, occupying almost 19 feet of parking space, and weighing close on to three tons, these are the vehicles that make green enthusiasts see red. But there is however no denying the Suburban’s iconic utility and status.

    GM has found plenty of takers for this formula, having its full-sized SUVs claiming almost three-quarters of this lucrative market. Price hikes for the 2015 models will take a typically equipped Tahoe to about $60,000, and the Suburban close to $70,000. The top-trim GMC Yukon XL Denali will surely cost in the mid-$70s and higher.

    GM’s dominant market share means that it has little incentive to try anything revolutionary, and it hasn’t. The “national car of Texas,” because the Suburban is sometimes known, continues to be modernized without risking becoming too modern.

    The interiors of the Chevrolet GMC and Tahoe Yukon XL we’re sampling look plush, with lots of soft-touch padded surfaces edged with the “French” stitching GM does so well, giving a tailored, hand-sewn look. With controls wrapping across the driver, as well as a legible and easily understood MyLink touch screen that manages the climate, phone and audio and navigation systems, the cockpit looks almost modern. If it weren’t for the high-effort, long-reach column shifter, a throwback on the 1970s, and foot-operated parking brake, the inner would be all modern and befitting the vehicle’s asking price.

    The multi-adjustable front seats are large. Second-row passengers get limousine-level stretch-out room, especially with another-row captain’s chairs. Abundant cabin storage includes a seemingly endless supply of large and small covered, open and bins.

    You could almost move into this mobile home. Approximately six USB ports are given, plus five 12-volt power ports, plus a 110-volt outlet. Also new is a power-folding third-row seat that with the ability-release second-row captain’s chairs can fold down to make a flat load floor. While the third row folds flat now, eliminating the desire to take it out when they are not needed as in the previous generation, it doesn’t fold in a well so that it creates a high loading floor. That’s a consequence of retaining the solid rear axle as opposed to choosing a more expensive independent rear suspension setup.

    They’re a little noisy when they crank in and out, although mounting up is eased by new power-retractable running boards.

    These trucks are exceptionally quiet, a lot like a good luxury car,. That’s the initial thing you notice while driving. You merely don’t hear muchwind and road, or tire noise, and it’s easy to possess a comfortable conversation no matter what’s happening outdoors. The bulk is ever present, although handling is sound and responsive enough, without having excessive body roll. The ride is compliant enough, but a great deal of jiggle is evident at low speeds.

    The powertrains could be better. Suburbans and Tahoes offer just one combination: a 355-hp, 5.3-liter V8 mated to some six-speed automatic. That sounds like it must deliver a good amount of gusto but somehow it doesn’t. Acceleration feels leisurely.

    While lesser Yukons make use of the same 5.3L because the Chevys, top-trim Denali versions employ a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V8 exclusively. We haven’t been exactly bowled over by the 6.2L, either. It gets up to speed fine, but it too is like it’s dragging an anchor. So far we’ve been seeing about 16 mpg overall with the Tahoe LTZ 5.3L and about 15 mpg with the 6.2-liter inside the Yukon XL Denali.

    A full complement of electronic safety gear is accessible, including forward-collision alert, a lane-watch and blind-zone system, cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control, among others. Your seat vibrates about the appropriate side to warn you if you cross a lane marking without signaling. In case of a side-on crash, a novel center air bag pops up such as a partition involving the front seats.

    We’ll have a more evolved assessment of those new trucks when we buy models to check. First impressions suggest that GM has merely brought everything it needed to the table but not much more.


  • These Three-row vihicles could just be the best and the worst ones

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    The main appeal of three-row vehicles is the ability to carry up to eight people and cargo, at the same time. They’re perfect for carpooling and carrying all types of gear. A list includes minivans and SUVs, although larger SUVs provide both better access and more cargo space, minivans have a better third-row seat for youngsters as well as adults.

    Our list highlights the worst and greatest of three-row vehicles based on seat comfort and ease of accessibility third-row seat.

    Best three-row vehicles

    Ford Expedition

    The Expedition competes with the Chevrolet Suburban inside the huge SUV class. It’s available in two lengths, with the extended-length EL offering massive cargo space and seating for up to eight. The roomy third-row seat folds flat into the seats and floor three adults easily.

    Honda Odyssey

    A minivan is the best option in a three-row vehicle. The Odyssey can seat eight people with ease and the comfy second-row chairs and third-row split bench can be deployed numerous ways for varying passenger and cargo needs.

    Lincoln Navigator Ultimate

    The Navigator is based on the Ford Expedition and also offers a longer version with additional cargo space behind the third-row seat. The strength-operated third row folds flat into the floor and is as comfortable as being the second row.

    Mercedes-Benz GL

    The GL SUV has one of the best rear seats in the market and it’s even rarer to find a true three-row turbodiesel. Big families will really appreciate the third-row seat, which is one of a very few with room for two adults.

    Nissan Quest

    The Quest is the most luxurious minivan available on the market, but only seats seven, not eight because of the second row captain’s chairs. Three adults will fit comfortably in the third row, which reclines.

    Toyota Sienna

    The Sienna, just like the Odyssey also seats eight people. The next row is acceptably comfortable for three adults, and not too hard to access. The eighth seat cleverly stores in the back when it isn’t installed in the heart of the middle row.

    Dodge Durango

    Sharing its platform together with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Durango adds an available third row with seating for seven. Two adults can easily fit in the third row with adequate room and decent seating posture, but it’s not the place for some time trip.

    Worst three-row vehicles

    Land Rover Range Rover Sport

    It’s cramped along with a chore to access, although while it’s an appeal for families, the optional third row in the Range Rover Sport can take two kids.

    Subaru Tribeca

    While the Tribeca is a three-row SUV, it is really not ideal for families, because seating in all three rows is cramped. The third row has virtually no leg room unless the second row is slid well forward. It won’t fit adults comfortably even for a brief trip.


  • Getting to know your Salesperson

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    An expert salesperson can be the key to getting the car you dream of, and not just a car that will do. While you might have an idea of what you want, a good salesperson can ask you the right questions, narrow down your search, and help you find exactly what you’ve been looking for. The unfortunate thing is that salespeople at car dealerships often get a bad rap. You might have the impression that they’re only interested in making a sale because they often work on commission. At a reputable car lot, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course car lots hope you purchase your car from them, but any salesperson understands that if you’re not happy with the options that are presented, and how they’re presented to you, you aren’t going to make a big purchase. You need to be comfortable, relaxed, and trust that your salesperson is an expert in the field and has your best interest at heart.

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    If you know what dealership you are thinking of purchasing from, it’s never a bad idea to look at their website, like that of Nissan Fontana dealership Metro Nissan Redlands, to visit the ‘get to know the staff’ section. Find out who works there and see what kind of feel you get. You may know who you’d like to work with after reading over this and if a salesperson that you don’t work well with approaches you on the lot, you’ll already have a name in mind of someone that you could ask to work with instead. Salespeople understand this and would rather their lot made a sale at all than completely lose a customer, and they don’t mind passing you along to an expert that you work better with t help you find the right car for you.


  • Here is all what you need to do

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    Greener gas, healthier lungs

    The win: The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules that lower the amount of sulfur in gasoline and cut tailpipe emissions from vehicles. Last year, Consumers Union testified before the EPA and collected more than 31,000 signatures in support of the regulations.

    What’s inside for you: By breathing air that’s heavy with smog and other pollutants, millions of Americans struggle with health issues such as asthma and other respiratory problems that are caused and complex. Consumers Union thinks the new rules-known as ? “Tier 3 standards”-will bring about tremendous health and environmental benefits and push automakers to deliver more fuel-efficient vehicles.

    Low-sulfur gasoline will even help improve vehicle reliability while lowering the costs of maintaining emissions systems. (Learn more about alternative fuels and hybrid and electric vehicles.)

    Whenever you add up the advantages, it’s a large step forward by the EPA.

    State lines: Gift Card City, U.S.A.

    New Haven, Conn., appears to be the first city to enter the gift-card business. Its “Shop-Dine-Park” card costs $4, can hold as much as $999, and supports more than 250 local retailers and restaurants.

    Will city-backed financial products remove in 2014? We are all for community support, but gift cards don’t come with the same protections as credit and atm cards. Your losses won’t be limited in the event of theft or fraud. Check our gift card coverage at ConsumersUnion.org to discover perks and pitfalls.

    4,300

    That’s the typical number of mortgage-­related complaints received each month from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a tally that has shown little improvement. Consumers Union looks toward seeing the impact newest rules enacted in 2014 by the CFPB that aim to prevent irresponsible lending practices. We’ll still push for their full enforcement.

    He is a person the court should expect to defraud his fellow inmates when in custody and also to continue to commit fraud into old age. He appears able to nothing else.

    -The federal prosecutor’s description of your TV pitchman and author Kevin Trudeau, who in March was sentenced to 10 years in prison for violating a 2004 court order prohibiting him from making deceptive infomercials.


  • How To Get A Great Deal on a Used Car

    When you are facing the very real prospect of needing a new car because your current one is about to die, it can be very daunting and very scary and even horrible and mortifying. Yes, it can be, but it also can be fun and an opportunity to change your life around with a new set of wheels. The biggest thing prospective car buyers face is that cars are not cheap and they’re likely looking at their biggest purchase of the year. So when you are faced with needing a new car, here are some great ways to save money on getting a used car so you can be back on the road.

    Low Ball the Dealer

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    If you see a car you like but the sticker price is just a little too high for your liking, you can always try to low ball the dealer. Here’s the thing: dealers can operate from a position of power, knowing they not only know way more about cars than you do, but also how much they can actually sell the car for to still make a profit. Their sticker price is way higher than the amount they need to turn a profit, so they have a lot more wiggle room than they’d ever let on. We were at downey used cars and saw a car we wanted and were able to wiggle it down an extra one thousand dollars from the listed price. That’s fantastic savings that puts the car lower than what we would have spent on CraigsList.

    Forget Cosmetics

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    Another thing that can get you a lot more value for your money is to worry less about what the car looks like, and worry more about the engine. If a potential new car for you has a few dings, but the engine is well maintained and in good shape, you can get a great deal on the car despite the fact that it doesn’t look brand new. Who cares if there’s a ding on it – all that will do is make it so you don’t care if you accidentally bump something, or get bumped by a 92-year old man in a Piggly Wiggly. If you head into McPeek Dodge, you may be able to get a good deal – if not, scour the internet, cause that’s really a good place to find the type of cars that will save you money by being cosmetically challenged.

    Buy From Family

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    Another great method to find savings on a used car is to guilt a family member into selling you a car of theirs for cheap. Chances are you have a family member who is more successful than you and may be in the market for a new car. Find this out, and if so, offer to buy their car from them. They may be planning just to trade it in, and that’s the lowest they’ll get for it. You can either match that or even pay slightly less, and you’ll have new (to you) wheels and they’ll be getting their spiffy new Beemer and everyone wins.


  • What You Should Know About the The Ackermann Angle

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    In the simplest form of steering, both the front wheels always point in the same direction. You turn the wheel, both point much the same way and around the corner you go. Except that by doing this, you find yourself with tyres scrubbing, loss in grip as well as a vehicle that ‘crabs’ nearby. So, exactly why is this? Well, it’s the same you need to consider when looking at transmissions. When a car goes around a corner, the outside wheels travel beyond the inside wheels. In the case of a transmission, it’s why you need a differential (start to see the Transmission Bible), but when it comes to steering, it’s why you want the front wheels to actually part of different directions. On the left is the diagram from the Transmission Bible. You will notice the inside wheels travel around a circle with a smaller radius (r2) than the outside wheels (r1).


  • Look at the Classic and Antique Cars

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    They don’t build ’em that way anymore!

    If you often end up saying that while browsing the Web or attending the latest classic car show, you’re definitely not alone.

    classic 50s carFrom coast to coast, and around the world, fans of classic cars are legion. What they all have in common is definitely an appreciation for wheels with a pedigree, as well as an often encyclopedic knowledge of how, where, and when they were built.

    Just up ahead, check out clearly sign-posted info and prices, in addition to photos and a bit of history on the collectible classic car…. with possibilities to post your own personal classifieds to purchase or sell antique models, muscle cars, hot racers and rods.

    Or hook up with other classic car fans in discussion boards and forums…


  • Smart Used Cars for Savvy New Drivers

    New drivers are faced with many learning curves. Whether you’re a teenage driver with a shiny new learners permit, or a bustling metropolite who never got around to learning how to drive, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your newfound freedom. Searching for a reliable car can be one of the more stressful challenges new drivers face. Take a deep breath, and start by perusing our list of smart and savvy used cars. Pre-owned vehicles are a financially sound and safe investment for inexperienced drivers. Consider some of these tried and true used vehicles before heading out to the dealership. We’re confident they’ll help you find your footing and sense of fun on the wide-open freeway.

    Toyota Prius

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    The Toyota Prius is a classic hatchback design with a sense of contemporary cool. We think it’s a smart choice for new drivers because of its excellent fuel economy and versatility. With a spacious interior cabin and tons of cargo area, it’s great for families or busy singles who have friends to haul around town. This hybrid vehicle is a car you can feel good about driving, too. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint with significantly lower emissions, and benefit from its gas mileage. The Prius gets an average of 45 miles per gallon, allowing you to keep your money in your pocket instead of the gas pump. Its exceptional safety and reliability ratings will give new drivers a sense of comfort and confidence. If you’re looking for a car that offers economy, safety, and style, look no Further than the Toyota Prius.

    Scion xB

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    The Scion xB is another standout among the midlevel hatchback class. It earned points with us for having one of the highest reliability scores of comparable used vehicles, a sturdy engine, and spacious interior. The Scion also boasts some quirky aesthetic styling, making it a popular option for young drivers. The cabin is roomy and comfortable with lots of headspace and legroom. With room for five passengers and ample cargo space, it can carry you and your friends with ease. Its strong safety scores make it particularly appealing to new drivers, offering them a sense of confidence with standard features like electronic stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes. All around, the Scion xB is a smart option for your first car.

    Fiat 500

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    While the Fiat 500 might seem to be an unexpected choice for our list, we had plenty of good reasons to include it. The Fiat has been marketed to a younger generation of drivers because of its unique style and design. If you’re looking for a car that boasts big personality and savings, the Fiat 500 might be your perfect match. Our friends at fiat dealer Los Angeles report that it’s been popular with newer drivers because of its safety, styling, and price point. Be sure to stop by OC Fiat during your search for the perfect used car to check out some of the great models they have available.