Kick Asphalt: Teach Your Kids About The Dangers Of Driving

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Cars are not toys. They can be fun, enjoyable and smile-encouraging, but they are not toys. That is a lesson we all got taught, and a lesson we will all have to teach our children. However, that can be easier said than done.

 

Driving is the very skill all teenage children dream of acquiring and all parents hate thinking about, which is entirely normal. Your child is excited by the new prospects of freedom and independence and you are terrified by the dangers of the road, and rightly so. Luckily, your worries don’t have to be kept as worries, because there are things you can do to better prepare your teenager for the road and ways you can teach them to be that much safer.

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Be The Example You Should Be

Whether your kid wants to admit it or not, you are their biggest hero. You are their inspiration. As such, they naturally mimic almost everything you do, and driving is no different. That means safe driving starts with you. It is a responsibility you need to uphold. If there is something you wouldn’t want your child to do, then it is imperative you don’t do it yourself because bad habits die hard. That means driving well within the speed limits, checking your mirrors, wearing your seatbelt and keeping a safe distance. It also means no texting while at the wheel, no ignoring signs and no speeding.

 

Teach them About The Costs

Chances are you are going to pay most of the costs of the car whether you like it or not, but you should set a time limit on that generosity so that they spend their first year on the road conscious of money. This will give you a good chance to explain how costs can be kept down. As such,  show them how much their current insurance premium is on moneyexpert.com and then show them how much they could save after just one year of safe driving. Teach them about the diesel versus petrol, and about car tax, and how accelerating fast and braking hard can waste fuel. If they know these things will help them save their own pennies then they will listen for sure.

 

Help Them With An Emergency Kit

Cars may not be humans, but they were built and designed by them which means they are still prone to human error. Cars have problems. They break down, or get flat tires or just stop working. That is when an emergency kit comes in handy, and there is little worse than rooting around in the boot and finding absolutely nothing useful. The idea of your child being stranded isn’t pleasant, and that is why it is well worth packing an emergency kit in advance of any trip they go on. You can find an extensive list of must-haves at http://www.bankrate.com, but any and all emergency kits should include a spare tire, a jack, a torch, a first-aid kit, jump leads, de-icer and a tire iron from which to build on.

 

Let them Drive With You

There is no better way to learn than by doing. It is proven to be the most effective form of learning out there, which is why you should take every opportunity you can to share the driving responsibilities. Let your teenage kid take to the wheel, and take this chance to teach them a few things and let them improve their skills in a safe environment. It could be that they drive you to the supermarket to do your grocery shopping, or to school to pick up their younger sibling, or to their grandparent’s house. This will help you understand what their driving is like while also helping them to feel like they are contributing, and thus building their confidence to a safe standard.

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Be Honest With Them About The Dangers

Driving is dangerous; there are no two ways about it. It is one of the leading causes of death in the world. As such, it is crucial you have open and regular chats with them about the dangers of driving. This doesn’t just mean drink driving but distracted driving too, which can be lethal. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and it comes with a lot of responsibility. At the end of the day, strangers drive toward each other at speeds of up and over 70 mph with only a white line dividing them. It is madness, and it demands respect, concentration, and understanding. That is why it is important you sit down with your child and carefully explain the consequences of bad driving habits, driving under the influence and taking your eyes – or mind – off the road. It can kill, and that message needs to be understood.

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Getting Ahead In The Used Car Business

There are many different business types available to anyone who wants to try their hand, but some are particularly useful for those who want to make some money fast. Used cars is a great example of a business type which you can set up in a matter of days and starting earning before you even know what’s happening. The great thing about this business model is that people are always going to want to buy cars, and with used cars you have the opportunity to have a quicker turnover because you are selling older cars for less money. This means that you can get your business rolling and off to a strong start as soon as you like. However, you will need to know a few things to ensure that it all goes smoothly and to plan. Let’s take a look at some of the essential considerations for making sure this business type works out for you.

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Visit Auctions Regularly

 

You will need to figure out, most of all, where you are going to get your cars from, and this might be harder than you think. One of the basic things to do in this regard is to keep an eye out on any local newspaper, notice boards or online postings. These will usually be rife with people trying to get rid of old cars. Often, you might be surprised at just how little money people are asking for their old cars. However, another great way to find a lot of cheap cars is by going to local auctions. These are a fantastic opportunity for someone just starting out in this type of business, because they give you a chance to pick up a number of vehicles on one day. At the same time, you can get a feel for what the industry is like at the moment, and you can try to gauge the market prices of various cars. All of this is likely to prove useful in getting your business up and running and drawing customers in.

 

Get Good At Closing

 

For success in this type of business, you really do need to learn how to get good at closing your sale. Being a good salesperson is going to be your main skill here, and you need to begin learning what you need to do for that as soon as possible. Fortunately, learning these skills is much easier than you might have thought, with car sales training being relatively easy to get hold of. The more ability you have with your patter, the more cars you will sell, and that will mean a better start to your business on the whole. You might even want to practice these skills before getting going for real with your new business.

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Befriend Some Mechanics
Most of the time, the vehicles you buy will not be in their best state of repair. This is obvious enough; after all, you are trading in used cars. However, you do need to make sure that they are in a good way when you come to resell them. Before long, you are going to be a mechanic’s best customer, so you might as well try to go out of your way to befriend one as well as possible. You might even be able to make a deal with them which benefits both of you – but you can only find out by asking.

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I’ve Passed My Driving Test- What Next?

The moment your examiner tells you you’ve passed your driving test is pure elation, and despite feeling like a dream, it’s something most of us will always remember. After months and months of hard work, honing your skills and stressing about driving tests, once it’s all over you can let out a huge sigh of relief. However, this isn’t the end, in fact it’s just the beginning! You can now start your real driving ‘career’ as an independent driver, and learn what being out on the roads is really like. If you’ve just passed your driving test, congratulations! Here’s what you need to do next.

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Consider a Pass Plus Course

Now your lessons are finally over, the last thing you probably want is to take more of them. But if you’re lacking in confidence or just want to bring down the cost of your car insurance, Pass Plus is one way to go. This is done over six hour-long lessons and costs about £180. It gives you more driving experience, and statistically helps you to reduce your risk of an accident.

 

Find a Suitable Vehicle/ Get Insured

These two go hand in hand because as a new driver you can be somewhat limited to your car choices simply because of the insurance. Some models will be cheaper to insure, the age of the car and the engine size will all play a role too. Set your budget, then browse through suitable cars. Each time you find one you like the look of, run a quote through a comparison site. You will need to keep looking until you find one you like which is also affordable to insure. Often newer cars are cheaper to insure since there’s less chance of them breaking down, and also it’s easier to find parts if they need replacing. However, newer cars are of course going to be more expensive. Getting car finance could be the answer in some cases. If your credit score isn’t perfect it’s not the end of the line, there are specialist companies out there who offer car finance for bad credit too. Then you need to find a car where you can afford both the finance and the insurance. It’s a balancing act as generally as one goes down, the other goes up.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

While you will have spent many hours out on the road as a learner driver, nothing comes close to gaining experience on your own. Over the next few months you will come up against situations you will never have come across on your lessons. Driving in different weather conditions, driving at night, driving in rush hour traffic. Don’t throw yourself in at the deep end, short journeys at less busy times of the day are a good way to build up your confidence. From there you can start doing more and more. Every time you get into the car you have something new to learn, so keep your wits about you and use it all as experience for becoming the best driver you can be.
Have you recently passed your driving test? What’s your next move?

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Is It Time To Retire Your Workhorse?

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You’ve held onto your car through many years and every time you think her life has come to an end, miraculously you have managed to stretch a few more miles out of her.  The thought of saying goodbye to the car you took on your first date, headed out on your favourite road trip and got you home through a storm when others were stranded, has been a little too much for you.  Sadly though, it’s time to admit her driving days are over.

 

If you are lucky you may find someone who is just starting out as a driver and is desperate to get their hands on a cheap project car.  Who know’s with a little bit of TLC somebody could nurse her back to life.  Or you could consider setting her off on a new life at the race track.  Her engine is kaput but she has an incredible chassis so maybe someone could give her an exciting future.  The likely route? Junk cars for cash.  Sorry, as hard as that is going to be, we have to let go at some point right?

 

Good.  Now that is sorted out, let’s have a look at your new options.  A younger, safer more reliable workhorse that is going to look after you, and your children if you have them, slowly becoming full of brilliant memories you will make in the future.

 

Car finance packages are an excellent way of getting into a brand spanking new car.  There are so many options right now including hire purchase solutions which can help bring the monthly costs down a touch.  You could also consider checking with your personal bank and seeing what rates they offer.  Sometimes the interest rate on a bank loan is a little lower.  Although the bonus of dealer finance is you sometimes find they offer some incentives too.  Such a discount on the OTR price of the car.  Dealers make money out of selling you finance so they are able to move a little more on price sometimes.  Also a few manufacturers offer free insurance for a year or free servicing.  So speak to your local car traders and find out what they have to offer.

 

If you don’t have the budget to go new and the finance is something you want to avoid then the second-hand car market is the place for you.  With plenty of internet auction sites specialising in second-hand motors, you can cut out the middleman and head straight for the seller.  You will need mechanical knowledge, so if you are light on that then find a friend or a local mechanic who will come with you.  Make sure you do a history check on the car too.  You don’t want to be buying something that ought to be in the junkyard you just sent your old faithful to.
Buying a new car is a huge commitment and a massive financial investment so take your time and do your research.  However the peace of mind that comes from having a newer car with tons of modern safety features is worth the wait and the money.  Happy driving!

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Buying A Write-Off Car: Can You Grab A Bargain?

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Plenty of cars and other vehicles that are written off by insurance companies are not necessarily as dead as a dodo. In fact, many can be fixed up and sent back onto the road in no time at all, and for any car buyer looking for a good deal, a write-off can prove tempting. However, you do need to be careful, as there are plenty of ways you could end up being taken for a – very dangerous – ride. Let’s take a closer look at some of the basics of buying a write-off, and what you need to do to avoid trouble.

 

The value in written-off cars

 

Cars are written-off because they are damaged beyond a point where insurance companies feel it will cost to fix. So if your car is worth $5,000 at the point of an accident, but repairs will cost more than that, no insurer is likely to give you a payout – and will write-off our vehicle. For a car buyer, the value lies in a written-off car that doesn’t cost as much to repair as the insurance providers think. However, some cars are written off merely because they are dangerous, and it’s important to understand the difference.

 

Check the Written Off Vehicle Register

 

To accurately establish the condition of any vehicle you are thinking of buying, you should always check with the Written Off Vehicle Register (WOVR). This initiative was created to prevent dodgy repair companies fixing up write-offs and putting them back into the market as used cars, rather than ex-write-offs. It’s a process known as ‘rebirthing’ and often results in the car getting a new identity. The truth is that whether you are buying new or a write-off, you should always check this service out regardless.

 

Find repair services

 

Obviously, the best value in buying a previously written off vehicle relies on you doing the repairs. They are a great option for a DIY project, of course, but you should be able to find plenty of professionals to help if you don’t have the skills. Check your local business directory for mechanics with experience of working with write-offs and smash repairs. Bear in mind that buying a write-off is not for the faint of heart, and it’s important to be able to estimate the actual cost of any damage. Some repair jobs could exceed your expectations, so always get it inspected by a qualified individual first.

 

Return to the road

 

You will need to have a string of safety checks on your new purchase when it is fixed, to prove its roadworthiness. If you don’t go through this process, the car will be illegal – and you will end up in a lot of trouble if caught. You should also bear in mind that when you sell it on, it will be necessary to declare it as a write-off. And this could cause you problems, as most people will turn their backs on a car as soon as they realise its history of being a write-off. However, if you want to save money and grab a bargain vehicle that could last you for many years, the write-off market is worth a look – just be careful what you buy!

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The Essentials Of Buying Vehicles For Your Business

There are a million and one reasons why you might need to consider buying cars, trucks, or vans for your business. Whether it’s a little company car or an entire fleet of delivery vehicles, there are plenty of advantages of investing in wheels for your enterprise.

 

Cars are flexible and can act as an enticing offer to prospective employees. Vans are handy for deliveries and are also the workhorse of many a business. And if you need to deliver on a  massive scale – possibly across international borders – then trucks will be an essential purchase.

 

The big question is, how do you go about investing in a fleet of vehicles? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know – and what to expect.

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Is it worth buying?

 

First of all, you will need to establish whether buying vehicles will be more cost-effective than leasing them. In many cases, leasing your fleet of vehicles will be a better move, as it helps you control costs and spread them evenly over a year. Bear in mind that depreciation comes into play when you buy new vehicles, too, which you won’t have to worry about in a leasing plan. However, in some cases – if you are using plots of cars, for example – it is sometimes better to buy than lease. When you buy multiple vehicles, you will often get a fleet discount, and there may be other accounting reasons for making a purchase.  

 

What are the costs?

 

The expenses of owning a fleet of vehicles will vary depending on what – and how many – you buy. You will need to run regular maintenance programs to ensure your assets are in good shape and there are plenty of one-off costs to consider, such as using a 24/7 truck breakdown service or bringing in mechanics. There’s the cost of storage to consider, too – lorries and vans take up a lot of room, and you will need to pay for that space. Finally, insurance is a must if you have a business fleet.

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What systems do I need?

 

You will also need to invest in a robust fleet management and logistics program to ensure you are keeping track of everything. Fuel costs, health, and safety, routes, license checks – they are all needed when you own a fleet and are employing drivers. Logistics is a vital part of any business that uses vehicles, and the goal for every company in this situation is to cut costs without impacting service quality.

 

Who should drive them?

 

While company cars can be offered to any employee with a license, it’s a little different for vans and trucks. It is imperative that you hire drivers that are sensible on the roads, and have clean licenses. You should also offer plenty of training, to ensure they always comply with health and safety issues. It might be worth buying a fleet with telematics technology on board, too, so that you can ensure that all drivers are using their vehicles at the appropriate speeds.

 

OK, so there you have it – a brief guide to some of the basics of buying a fleet for your business. I hope it has helped!

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Are You A Safe Driver?

What would you say if somebody asked you if you were a good driver? Some people love driving while others feel a lot less comfortable and confident behind the wheel. Sometimes, the people who think they’re brilliant drivers are actually the most dangerous. They tend to be fearless, and they may assume that every problem they encounter is somebody else’s fault. If you’re hitting the roads soon, it’s time to think about whether you’re a safe driver.

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Do you drive too fast or too slowly?

Speed limits are there for a reason. They encourage you to drive at a speed, which is suitable for that stretch of road. If you drive too quickly or too slowly, you could put yourself and other drivers at risk. Always aim to drive just under the speed limit, unless you’re driving in adverse weather conditions or there’s heavy traffic. In these cases, you should reduce your speed. For more bad weather driving tips, check out http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/safe-driving-tips.

 

Have you checked your car recently?

You could be the best driver in the world, but if you’re driving a car that’s a deathtrap, there’s every chance that you could end up in an accident. Every driver should take responsibility for their vehicle. Before you set off on a journey, check the tyres and brakes, make sure your lights are working, and check the oil level. There are legal requirements related to car maintenance, but you can also take additional steps to make sure your car is safe. If you haven’t had it serviced for years, for example, now is the time to get in touch with a garage like Autoco.com.au. Regular services may cost you more in the short-term, but they’re likely to save you a lot of money in the long-run. If you notice problems between services or MOT tests, don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best. It’s always best to get issues like noisy brakes and squeaky sounds from under the bonnet checked out.

 

Do you drive tired?

Tiredness is one of the most common causes of road accidents. If you drive tired, you’re putting your safety at risk, as well as that of your passengers and other drivers on the road. If you are tired, pull over and take a nap. Weariness increases your reaction time, which could result in devastating consequences.

 

Are you prone to road rage?

Do you tend to get angry when you drive? Do you find it hard to keep your emotions in check when other drivers are going too slowly, or somebody cuts you up? It’s normal to have a reaction if other drivers make a mistake, but getting wound up can increase your risk of being injured. Try and stay calm, and don’t dwell on what has happened. Focus on the road ahead, and make sure that you’re the safest driver you can be.
If you think you’re a good driver, ask yourself these questions. Driving can be enjoyable, but it’s also dangerous. Sometimes, it’s impossible to prevent accidents, but if you drive safely, you give yourself every chance of getting from A to B without any trouble.

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