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September 2015

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Is your car getting old? Don’t worry, it probably has lots of life left in it yet. But you will need to know how to keep it in decent shape.


Change the Oil

All car experts and manufacturers agree that it’s essential to change the car’s oil every so often. You have two options when it comes to changing your oil. It is possible to buy the oil and change it yourself. If you do this, use a synthetic oil like Mobil 1. 

Or you could take your car to a mechanic and let them change the oil for you. If you don’t know what you’re doing, letting a professional do it is probably the most sensible option to go for. I’d recommend changing the oil every 5000 to 6000 miles you do on the road.

Rotate the Tyres

Tyres don’t suffer wear and tear evenly. Depending on what type of car you have and where you drive it, the tyres will wear at different rates. To make sure that they all stay in the same condition, you should rotate the tyres every few months. 

It might be a hassle, but it’s the best way to make sure your tyres last as long as they possibly can. It’s also important to keep the tyre pressure at the correct level. Low tyre pressure can lead to an increased likelihood of you being involved in a crash.

Maintain the Interiors

Most drivers and car enthusiasts tend to focus on the outside of the car and the mechanical aspects when they’re looking for ways to maintain their car. But, if you ask me, the car’s interiors are just as important. No, the interiors don’t affect how the car drives or how it looks when people pass it by. But it does affect your driving experience and how much it might be worth when it comes to selling the car. Without well maintained and clean interiors, the car won’t retain its value in the long-term.

Regular MOT Checks

MOTs are a vital part of the car maintenance process. Every car is required to have MOTs carried out to judge whether it’s still roadworthy or not. Don’t be tempted to skip these checks. They’re vital for keeping the car in good shape. 

Yes, they might highlight problems with the car that will cost money to fix. But it’s best to have these problems sorted rather than let them get worse over time. You can find a local MOT tester easily enough, so don’t put it off for too long or you might regret it.

Store it Carefully

Where you park your car when you’re not behind the wheel is something that you should think about carefully. It’s not usually a very good idea to keep the car parked on the road. Anything can happen to it there; cars can hit it or scrape it as they pass. It’s not a good idea to park it under a tree either because the branches can fall and damage it. 

If you have a garage, clear out the junk and park your car in there. If you don’t have one, find one nearby that you can rent out. It will be a good investment if it keeps your car safe.

If you can turn your hobby or interest into a way of making money, why not go for it? There’s nothing better than loving your job, or even just doing something you love to make some money on the side.


Renovating Old Cars


The market for classic cars is getting bigger all the time. People love the idea of having a classic car sitting on their drive. But they don’t want an old banger that is going to break down every week or so. That’s why there’s a big demand for people who can take old cars and fix them up again.


This is a task that requires investment. You need to have the money to buy the classic cars in the first place. But if you can get the cash together, you might be able to make a lot of money in the long-term. That’s because renovated classic cars tend to sell for quite large sums of money.


Repairs


You don’t have to own a garage and manage a team of staff to carry out car repairs. If you have the necessary skills and experience to repair cars, you could set up a small business from your driveway. If you have a garage next to your home, you could operate the business from there.


Many people who do this, start out by fixing small problems with the cars of their friends and family members. And then if the word starts to spread about the work you’re doing, you might find more people approaching you with work. It might not make you rich, but it could make you some extra money.



Deliveries


There’s more demand than ever before for delivery services. This is mainly down to the huge rise in online sales of products. Those products have to make their way from the seller to the buyer somehow, and this is where delivery firms come into play. And that’s not the only form of delivery out there.

There’s also business to business deliveries that need to be carried out. It’s perfectly possible to invest in a van and start up a small delivery business that operates in your local area. You just need to be able to find clients and build trust with them. If you can do that, you could find real success. Be sure to compare motor trade insurance online because you’ll need to be covered.


Scrap Dealing

There is money to be made from scrap dealing. If you can buy old cars that no longer work or that nobody wants, you could strip them down and then make some money from the metal.

Getting locked out of your car is a pain. But it happens; it’s just one of those things. Here are your options if it happens to you.


Try the Coat Hanger Method

The first thing to do if you have a coat hanger nearby is to see if you can get the coat hanger inside the car, and prize open the door. You have to somehow reach the lock and pull it up with the coat hanger. This isn’t easy, and on a lot of modern cars it won’t be possible at all. You will also look a little suspect to people passing by!


But as long as the car is registered in your name, you’ll be able to assure any suspicious people that the car is yours. This method only tends to work if there’s a gap at the top of the window through which you can bend the coat hanger. If and when this step fails, it’s time to move on to your next option.


Call a Locksmith


Calling a locksmith is the best option for people who are far away from home and need to get into the car immediately. Make sure you contact a locksmith like eyden locksmiths who offer car lock services. Not all locksmiths deal with cars; some only offer services for homes and doors.


If you’ve completely lost the key, and it’s not in the car, the locks will have to be changed by the roadside if possible. This might not be possible though, so you might need to take it to the locksmith to have the locks changed later on. If the keys are trapped in the car though, you’ll be able to retrieve them once the locksmith has gained entry to the car.


Get Towed


If you have no other options, and you don’t want to spend time and money having the locks changed at the roadside, you could get the car towed. Most towing companies offer services to people who have been locked out of their vehicles. This is usually pretty inexpensive. But you’ll have to decide what to do next.

You could get the car towed to the nearest affordable garage where you know you won’t be ripped off. They’ll then be able to gain access to the car and get your keys trapped inside. Or you could have the car towed to your home if you have a spare set of keys in the house.


Make Sure You Have an Extra Set of Keys in Future


If you don’t have a spare set of keys, you should make sure that you have some cut by a locksmith. It might be costly, but it’ll be worth it. Most cars come with a spare set of keys, so have a dig around in the house to make sure you don’t already have a set of spare keys lying around somewhere.


An extra set of keys offers you a safety net, and it it could even save you some money in the long-term. It’s a lot cheaper to buy a backup set of keys that having to get the locks changed on the car, so it’s something that’s definitely worth considering.


Finding a good deal when you’re looking for a new car can be hard. These ideas will make it easier though.


Weigh Up Your Needs with Your Finances


We all have budgets when buying a car. You should make sure the budget you set is realistic. You don’t want to buy a car and then be struggling to pay the rent for the next few months! So, don’t splash out on a car you can’t afford. Sit down at the table and go through your finances, and add the amount you can afford to the price you got for your old car. If your budget is big, that doesn’t mean you have to use it all. Think about what you need and weigh that up against your budget.



Use Dealerships & the Internet



There are so many channels you can use to find cars nowadays. Of course, there are still the conventional car dealerships, and these can be very useful. The local Mercedes Benz dealership, for example, can be a great place to buy a car for people looking for security and reliability. But you should make the most of the internet as well. There are lots of good deals for people searching for a second-hand car. Be careful not to be ripped off though!



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Always Test Drive



Recent research found that with the rise of the internet and direct person-to-person sales over auction websites, we’re all forgetting to test drive cars before buying them. That’s a huge mistake though, and you should be careful not to make it. If you don’t test drive the car, you could miss the chance to pick up on problems and get a real feel for the car. If you ask me, it’s impossible to know whether a car is the right one for you until you get behind the wheel and drive it.



Think About the Long-Term



Yes, it’s alway easier to think about the short-term, but that’s not a good thing to do. You should think about how much the car will be worth when it comes to selling it. Of course, it’s impossible to know what the exact resale value of the car will be in the future. But you can do a little research. For example, if you’re buying a brand new Fiat 500, have a look how much the price goes down on older models. You can do this by looking at online sales of used Fiat 500s and comparing the prices to the original price of the car when bought new. That way, you can find a car that doesn’t fall in price much.



Don’t be Afraid to Haggle

We’re often worried about haggling, but it’s something that you should always try. Even if you’re not very good at it, you might still be able to knock a bit of money off the price of the car. Don’t be afraid to start with a significantly lower opening offer than the dealer wants. They probably won’t accept this low offer, but it’ll show that you’re serious about getting the car at a reduced rate. They’ll then come back with a lower offer, and the haggling process will be well under way.

Every so often, every driver needs to change car. This could be due to a change or circumstances, such as a new arrival to the family, or because the current model is playing up. Either way, it’s a truly exciting time in your life. But it does come with an immense pressure to make the right decision.


Many drivers find buying a car to be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. With this simple four-step guide, you should have no problems arriving at the perfect outcome.

Finding The Right Car

The most important feature of the new car is that it suits your needs as a driver. Different people use their vehicles for different reasons, so finding one that ticks your boxes is a must.

Popular cars sell well for a reason and are always worth a look. However, there’s a whole world of information at your fingertips, and you should make good use of it. This will help you make a far more calculated decision.

Before making your final choice, though, it’s imperative that you take the car for a test drive. The perfect car on paper isn’t necessarily the perfect one in real life.

Negotiating A Deal

Money plays a crucial part in any car purchase decision. Therefore, it’s imperative that you give the financial aspects careful consideration.

For starters, you should understand the various types of car finance to work out the best way for you to buy the motor. If you are still unsure, then feel free to ask a friend or relative. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Meanwhile, you should always try to haggle on the price. For the sake of asking a few questions, you could save hundreds. It has to be worth a punt.

Selling The Old Car

In addition to acquiring the new car, you’ll also want to get rid of the old one. After all, there’s no point paying for the tax and insurances for a vehicle that you’re no longer using.

Most drivers will want to hold off until the new car is available. It’s not a bad choice as rental vehicles can be expensive. One option is to part-exchange the current model if buying the new one from a dealer. Alternatively, you could try to make a private sale.

Be warned, though, it involves a lot of paperwork. Meanwhile, you should be prepared for the buyer to argue they want a refund. If you’ve got an older vehicle, car scrap is probably the best and easiest option to take.

Personalisation

As already mentioned, no two drivers are the same, and we all have different needs. After investing heavily in the car itself, it would be foolish not to make the final steps to create the perfect ride.

There are plenty of gadgets designed to make driving more comfortable. Whether it’s a Sat Nav system to plan long journeys or a DVD player to keep the kids occupied doesn’t matter. The key is to find the products that will enhance your experience.

These little perks are what make a good car a great one. Don’t underestimate how important they can be.

Source

Cars go through various stages of disrepair, and it’s important to recognise the signs. The smallest little issue can often lead to significant problems – and you don’t want to be driving down the freeway when they manifest themselves. All cars are sophisticated machines, and very delicate with it – despite their size and power.

So, if something goes wrong – no matter how small – always get it looked at as soon as you possibly can. Here’s how you can tell when your car is suffering…


Learning to hear your car

The good news is that some of the major issues can be easily picked up – as long as you know what your vehicle sounds like. We all get used to the noises of our cars, and the slightest little change in pitch or volume can give us a big clue there is something up. So, use your ears as much as anything else, and don’t put it down to your imagination. If you have it checked, and nothing is wrong, you’ve lost a few dollars. But if you ignore it, there could be significant problems waiting for you down the line.

Suspension issues

Another way to get to know our cars is through how they feel. So, if you are noticing that your journeys are becoming a little bumpier, take notice, and don’t just blame the roads. Suspension issues can lead to accidents, engine problems, and brake trouble. Don’t ignore them.

Brakes

We probably don’t need to tell you the importance of your brakes. But, a lot of people don’t take the necessary precautions. When brake problems begin, you will notice them starting to emit a high-pitched squeak, or your car veering to one side when you use them. If any of things happen to you, it is vital to get them to your auto repair professionals. Squeaking brakes could be a sign that your brakes are about to fail, and the results of that could be – as we all know – catastrophic.

Engine problems

The engine is the hub of your vehicle – and no matter how big it is, there is a chance it could get sick. If it does, then you could be looking at an overheating incident – and that means saying goodnight and God bless to your vehicle. There are a few things to look out for. If your journeys are getting a little jerky, then there could be problems with your engine, and you should book it in for a professional look. It could also start to make strange noises – again, use your ears and take action if this happens to your vehicle. Finally, you can use your nose, too. If things start to get a little stinky, it’s going to need some work. The quicker you put it in for a service, the more chance your car will have of surviving.

As you can see, if you are in tune with your car, you have an excellent chance of nipping any problems in the bud. You don’t need to be a mechanic to hear or feel when something’s up – although the quicker you see one, the better chance you will have of getting a fix.

Sometimes, it’s time for you to buy a new car. This means you have to say goodbye to your old one. It’s served you well over the years, but it’s time for a change. 

If you’re thinking about selling your car, then take a look at some of these tips:

Prepare Your Car For Sale

If you want to get value for money, you need to prepare your car for sale. Make sure that everything is in working order and that the car is cleaned. Clean the outside and inside so that it looks brand new. People are more inclined to buy a vehicle that looks clean and shiny. You also need to have all the service records and car history with the car when you sell it. It’s so you can show buyers that you aren’t lying when you say the car hasn’t had any work done. If you don’t do anything to your car and try and sell it when it looks a state, you won’t get as much money. Sure, someone may buy it, but you simply won’t receive anywhere near as much as you should.

Don’t Settle For Less

When you’re setting a price for your car, make sure you pick one that’s reasonable. Obviously, if you set the price too high, no one will even think about buying it. But this doesn’t mean you should set the price low and settle for less. 

You have to know how much your car is worth in the current market. If you click here, you can get a quick valuation for your vehicle. Once you know the price, you can put it up for a similar amount. I always think you should go a little bit higher than what it’s worth. This is because people often try and haggle to get a discount from the seller. 

If your price is slightly higher, you could haggle down to the car’s valuation price. This will make the buyer think they’ve got a cracking deal, but really they bought it for the standard price! Plus, there’s always a chance someone could buy it for the expensive price, which would be a bonus.

Pick A Way To Sell

There are loads of ways you can sell your car these days. Thanks to the internet, there are many websites out there that let you sell your car to other drivers. Or, you can sell it to other dealers who are looking for cars to add to their showroom. 

My recommendation would be to sell it directly to another driver. This is where you’ll get the best value for money and receive the best price for your car.

Part-Exchange

Instead of going out and selling your car separately, use it as a way to get your new car! When you go car shopping, some dealers will accept your car as a part-exchange. 

This means you effectively sell them your car to cover a portion of your new car’s price. The benefit of this is that it’s super quick, it will be sorted on the day. Plus, you get to save money on your new car, so, win-win!

As exciting as buying a new car is, it’s a process that is also met with a lot of fear. This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for years, and it’s vital that you get it right.



With so many factors to consider, it can feel rather daunting. However, those pressures shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the process. The key is to equip yourself with a strategy. Get this right, and you should find yourself driving away in the perfect vehicle.



Prioritise Practicality



As any driver knows, it’s far too easy to let your eyes fall in love with a particular motor. However, it’s imperative that you realise that the car’s function is far more important than a snazzy exterior.



Make a checklist of what you need from the car and work from there. For example, families in the city will benefit from a Honda FIT as it’s compact yet offers great internal space. The key is to find a solution that is suited to your specific needs as a driver.



This is arguably the most important part of the whole process. After all, there’s no point having a motor that isn’t fit for purpose. Be sure to take it for a test drive too. There’s nothing worse than owning a car you don’t enjoy driving.



Understand Finance



Most drivers will take the time to consider their options when it comes to models. What many fail to do, though, is allow themselves to weigh up the different financial options.



First of all, you should be asking yourself whether to buy new or used. While the feeling of driving away in a brand new car cannot be topped, it is worth noting that the novelty value soon wears off. Once it does, you’ll be left with a car that has depreciated massively. In many cases, going for a nearly new alternative is the best option.





More importantly, though, you need to discover the different types of finance packages. The choice you make could genuinely have a huge impact on the purchase. Furthermore, you should try to understand the different bonuses that are included. Those free services soon add up.



Think About Character



It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a new car or a used one; you want it to feel personal. The motor plays an integral part in your daily lives. After spending so much money on it, it would be foolish not to unleash its full potential.



Making small upgrades to make the car feel unique to you is a must. There are many ways to improve the drive, and the key is to think about which ones will benefit you. A Sat Nav might sound great, but it isn’t really needed if you only ever drive around town. Conversely, a family that takes regular trips should make it a priority.

The personalisation is about making the car feel more comfortable. But you must always put some thought into the potential resale too. You aren’t going to have this car forever, so don’t upgrade it in a way that will prevent the future sale.

There are many options available for people to customise and modify their cars, whether it’s something simple like a paint job, or something more drastic like adding spoilers. Car modifications are a great way to really make your car your own, and lots of people consider it a personal statement by being able to build it in their own unique style.

Nowadays there’s no limit to what can be modified, and are able to do every type of vehicle imaginable, from cars, bikes and vans, to trucks, buses and lorries. You can also customise pretty much everything inside or on your car too. Whether you want to change the cosmetic look of your car, or want to change the actual features of the engine to make it run better.

However, car mods can get quite pricey. Cost also depends on whether you have the skill and know-how to do mods yourself, or whether you take your car to a professional.

Paint Job

Giving your car a new paint job is a simple way to completely overhaul the style of your car. Most people may choose a simple colour, but there are plenty of cars with some pretty wild and crazy patterns and murals.

Wheels

There are plenty of mods you can make to your wheels, whether you’re picking out a new set of wheels entirely, or just customising the rims. Some people even choose to have larger tyres to give their entire vehicle a boost up. There’s even a mod where you can have the wheels flaring out. Although this could be highly impractical when it comes to parking!

Lowering

A popular mod trend is to lower the body of the car, for cosmetic purposes, and there are many tutorials online that show you exactly how to do this. However, this comes with many disadvantages such as: higher insurance, it costs lot a lot of money, the ride will be more firm, and you’ll always have to be careful about going over speed bumps and hitting curbs.






Spoilers

Another popular cosmetic mod is to add a spoiler onto the back of the car. They come in many shapes and sizes, but may not necessarily improve the overall performance of the car.

Stickers

Stickers are a great way to customise your car, as they’re cheap and don’t require any mechanical know-how. Some people decide to go all out and cover their entire car, while most people are content with just a few well-placed graphics.

Replicas

For people who have the time and money, it’s a great project turning to car into an exact replica of a famous one. Whether you want to turn your car into the Batmobile, the Mystery Machine, or even the DeLorean.

If you’re looking for your perfect car, without having to spend time and money on mods then you could consider buying a cool car with bad credit car finance. This means you can get a car on finance regardless of your credit history.

Your car is an extension of your personality. At least, it should be. Yet, it seems like we’re all driving the exact same cars. There are millions of Ford Fiestas on the road. And the motorways are packed full of carbon copy saloon cars. BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes. They’re all the same. It’s time to inject some personality into your vehicle. Make it yours. A quick disclaimer before you do. Some of the ideas on this list will make it tricky to sell in the future.

Custom paint job – When you buy a new car, you’re typically offered the same dull paint choices. The simple whites, blues, and blacks are the most common colours. But what about something a little more personal? How about a two-tone finish or a mix of your favourite colours? Custom car garages like Auto Art can help turn your boring paint job into something more personal. Whether it’s a simple go-faster stripe along the side or full custom artwork, it will transform the car.



Custom license plate – We love a good custom license plate. They make excellent gifts and presents for the petrol-head in your life. Unfortunately, they’re not always cheap to come by. It’s also tricky to find the perfect lettering and numbering, as they aren’t made to order. But, when you do find the perfect license plate, it makes your car that little bit more special.



Seat covers or upholstery – If the exterior of your car is all about expressing your personality, the interior is about comfort. You want to sit behind the wheel and feel comfortable and stylish. One of the best personalised upgrades you can do is fitting leather upholstery. It instantly feels more stylish and comfortable. You can finish it with a specific trim colour, and make it your own. If you’re running low on cash, you can buy simple seat covers that match your style and personality.
Stereo system – Most sensible car buyers advise against upgrading to a big stereo. It could make it more difficult to sell your car in the future, and it might lose value. On the other hand, you get phenomenal, crystal clear sound while you’re driving. If you’re anything like us, you’ll love turning the stereo up loud and going on a road trip. For that level of joy and excitement, any price is worth it.



Fun technology extras – The essence of driving is all about fun. So forget practicality and sensible choices for a second. What would you love to do in your car? We recently came across a car-lover who had installed a small mini-fridge in the front console. Now, he and his family had quick access to cold drinks on a long journey. Genius! Others have installed TVs in the back seats for their kids. It’s these fun technology extras that turn a practical car into a fun place to be.

Forget those same old cars, and find new ways to put your own stamp on your motor. What would you do to your car?