Automobile

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?

How much is car insurance going to cost you? It’s not an easy question to answer. The quote you receive could be painfully high or comfortably low based on a number of different factors. But for what it’s worth, the average amount spent to insure a car in the U.S. was $815 a year in …

Categories: Automobile, Insurance

The Best Used Cars for Simply Getting Around

It’s expensive to buy and own a car — the American Automobile Association (AAA) pegs the cost of owning a vehicle at a whopping $8,698 a year. But most of us need one to get around; in much of America, it’s just a fact of life. Still, that doesn’t mean we need an expensive car. While AAA takes into account …

Walking, Bicycling, Driving, and Cost-Effectiveness

Recently, it was announced that a grocery store is opening within two miles of my home. This is actually pretty good news for me as, prior to that announcement, the only grocery store anywhere nearby was more than 10 miles away. I would simply have to drive to a different town for groceries. This means …

How Big Should My Down Payment on a Car Be?

Reader Jimmie wrote in with a good question about the ideal down payment on a car: I’m going to buy a new car in several months and I’m trying to figure out how much down payment I should have. I’ve heard tons of different answers from different people. What’s your take? My initial take was …

Why You Shouldn’t Lease a Car (and Other Similar Money Moves)

More than once on this site, I’ve argued on behalf of renting instead of buying a home. Renting comes with a number of financial advantages, not the least of which is that it’s far cheaper per month than owning your own home. You’re not responsible for homeowners insurance, property taxes, property maintenance, or any of …

Best Car Insurance Companies of 2015

The best car insurance companies offer comprehensive coverage, superior customer service, financial strength, and painless shopping experiences to get a leg up on their competition. The barrage of TV ads underscores that there’s no shortage of competition in the industry, either. Whether you’re staring at Progressive’s Flo or Allstate’s “Mayhem,” it’s hard to escape any …

How to Get Cheap Car Insurance in 2015

Whether you have a set of shiny new wheels or a decaying rust bucket, cheap car insurance is a must for staying legal on the road. The good news? You have more control over factors that influence your car insurance rates than those that affect other types of coverage, such as life insurance or home …

How Much Will That Ticket Cost You?

Before we pass our road test and receive a freshly minted driver’s license, we learn one of the most important facts about driving: Being charged with a moving violation is costly. Most of us have the facts imparted first by a driving instructor and then reinforced by a concerned parent, who assures us that the …

Categories: Automobile, Insurance

Is Buying a Snowplow a Good Investment?

Have you ever had one of those winters? Here in Boston, it feels like it’s been snowing for days. We got 22 inches earlier this week, and now another 6 inches are on the way. Schools in Boston were closed for three straight days, which seems crazy to me — buck up, people! But to be truthful, getting …

Why You Probably Don’t Need Rental-Car Insurance

Your bags are packed, you’ve found a sitter for the dog, and you’ve suspended your newspaper subscription for a few days. That can only mean one thing: You’re going on a trip. This year, consumers will take 1.6 billion leisure trips across the United States, reports the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group. Nearly eight in …

Insuring the Sharing Economy

Any doubt about the depth of wisdom of a mother’s time-honored aphorism to “share and share alike” has been laid to rest by the meteoric rise of the sharing economy. From Airbnb to Zipcar and an ever-growing list of collaborative enterprises, the opportunities for consumers and entrepreneurs abound almost equally. No matter whether you attribute …

What a Deal: Groupon for Essentials

It’s easy to dismiss Groupon as a service aimed at getting you to waste your hard-earned cash on frivolous splurges and bargains of questionable value. After all, some of the most popular Groupon deals are for things like buy-one-get-one-free restaurant meals, spa treatments, and vacation bundles. In other words, stuff you don’t need. An article in The Atlantic echoed …

Best Bad Credit Auto Loans of 2015

Featured Providers Auto Credit Express MyAutoLoan.com read more read more Apply Now Apply Now Getting the best price on a car is never an enjoyable experience, and getting a car loan with bad credit can make this experience even harder to swallow. If your credit score is less than ideal, you’ll probably find yourself locked …

How to Make Money Driving for Uber

Thanks to the modern marvel of the Internet, a slew of disruptive technologies have completely reshaped entire industries over the last decade. Think about how Amazon.com reinvented shopping by offering subscription services for everything from diapers to groceries with Amazon Prime, for example. And remember Blockbuster? Streaming video services like Amazon and Netflix turned video rental storefronts into the …

Steering Clear of Car Insurance Scams

You are probably already a victim of insurance fraud, whether you realize it or not: The average family pays between $400 and $700 a year in higher premiums just to cover the more than $40 billion cost of non-health insurance fraud, according to FBI estimates. About half of that comes from auto insurance alone. The National Insurance …

Categories: Automobile, Insurance

Eight Strategies for Fuel Efficient Driving

A few weeks ago, I found myself following a strangely erratic driver while rolling along on US-163 here in Iowa. This driver was doing several very noticeable things. For starters, this person was driving several miles an hour under the speed limit, going about 57 in a 65 MPH area. Whenever we reached a dip, …

Categories: Automobile

Best Auto Loans for 2015

For most people, the best auto loans are the ones with the lowest rates. And unless you’re lucky (or disciplined) enough to be sitting on a small pile of cash, chances are you’ll need to find the best car loan rates to buy your next vehicle. But who should get your business? The list of …

The Rise of Black Box Car Insurance

Car insurance companies have always looked for ways to maximize profits by minimizing their risk. Insurance companies make money by taking in more in premiums than they pay out in claims. It’s hard to raise premiums in a competitive market, so reducing risk is the easiest way for them to become more profitable. Making money would …

Categories: Automobile, Insurance

How to Switch to Paying Cash for Your Car

In 2003, I purchased a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup. Given the financial disaster that my life was at the tiem, I “paid” for it entirely with a loan, which saddled me with car payments for the next three-plus years. In 2010, the Ford F-150 needed to be replaced, so we bought a 2004 Honda Pilot. …

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