Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How To Get Out Of A Car Lease Without (Too Much) Regret!

You've loved your leased car but the payments are steeper than you thought to manage. Or maybe you've just been transferred overseas. Or, maybe you just decided you really just don't like driving this car as much as you thought you would! You know that getting into the lease was pretty easy but getting out maybe be a bit more difficult.

It's true that getting out of a car lease is not as easy as paying a penalty fee (like you might if you wanted to end a cell phone agreement) and giving back the car. Those payments that you make every month were calculated on a legal binding agreement and breaking that agreement will be costly. However, the closer you are to the end of the lease, the less it will cost to end it. Find your lease agreement and read ALL the fine print on the back to find out how your leasing company will charge you. The fees will likely be heavy and it may cost up to thousands of dollars to rid yourself of your agreement.

Often the best option is to transfer a lease to someone else. It might seem easy to just let a friend or family member take the car and make the payments but you must transfer the agreement legally to be able to be free and clear of all liability in the event the car was in an accident.

There are companies that work with matching up individuals who want to take over a lease with those that need to get out of a car lease. You can list your lease online and see if someone else would like to take over the agreement. Of course they will have to meet the requirements of your leasing agent such as a good credit record.

There are some other options such as selling the vehicle and using the proceeds to pay off the lease. There is also a way to negotiate an early buyout. You might want to buy your car and own it outright sooner than the end of the agreement. If you are near the end of your lease agreement, sometimes you will be allowed to trade into a new lease through the same leasing company.

Everyone's situation is different and sometimes after weighing all the considerations, holding onto the car and continue in the agreement may be the best decision.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mobile Auto Services Should Look Into Hybrid Work Trucks and Vans to Stay Green

Okay so, it obviously costs more to own a hybrid work truck or van, but sometimes it can pay dividends in more than just the fuel economy saved. Generally, when business people make a decision to invest in business equipment they consider many factors such as; tax depreciation, reliability, cost, insurance, maintenance, operational expenses, performance, capacity, and most of all will it do the job they need it for. Now then, I'd like to discuss a mobile auto service type business and the decision to buy a hybrid vehicle over a regular vehicle.

Besides all the criteria in the decision matrix above, one should also consider the advertising and marketing value of being a "green company" when it comes to customer and client perception because if you have a hybrid it speaks volumes about your business and beliefs, thus, it could very well add business to your book. Most US citizens and therefore, most of your customers do care about the environment or have bought into the whole environmental movement.

If they see your company as one with their beliefs, then you win, and you have a better chance over the competition if your delivery or service vehicles are hybrid. Still, it's getting rather hard these days to find a superb choice for a hybrid van, even though there are several available if you do some checking around. Still, there are fewer choices than there once were, even at a time when fuel prices are once again near an all time high.

According to CNN Money Online News (March 1, 2012) there was an article titled; "Hybrid maker Bright Automotive goes bust," by James O'Toole, which stated;

"Hybrid vehicle maker Bright Automotive has announced plans to close, blasting the Department of Energy for failing to finalize a loan that the firm says would have kept it afloat."

Apparently, the CEO of the company stated that "they were withdrawing their application for a $314 million loan and winding down their operations, as they had been strung along for the past few years as the government insisted on increasingly stringent loan requirements. "The actions -- or better said 'lack of action' -- by your team means hundreds of great manufacturing and technical jobs... and thousands of indirect jobs in Indiana and Michigan will not see the light of day," the letter said."

This is quite problematic, because these are awesome little vans, and if you go to their website, you will see just how state-of-the-art these vans really are. As a former franchisor of automotive service businesses, if I were still running the company today, I would have seriously looked into these vans for our company. You see, they would save in fuel, they look cool, and they are hybrids and green-friendly meaning it would attract more business. It's therefore unfortunate that they will not be available in the future, or that the company is cutting production presently.

Indeed, I hope you will be able to find an alternative choice for a company work truck or van in your automotive service business, and that you will consider some of what I've noted here today. Please think on it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why Learn to Drive????

For many, learning to drive is an unnecessary expense - something that takes away from the fun that they could be having with their money when they are a teenager. But the fact is that, although driving lessons can be costly, they are vital if you want to make your way successfully in the world. Below are a few reasons why this is truly the case...

The first reason why learning to drive is very important for a teenager is because it provides freedom from having to rely on parents for lifts everywhere - something that they won't be able to rely on when they fly the nest and head to university, or move out on their own. Many people without driving licenses are forced to use public transport, which has a couple of massive drawbacks in comparison to cars - it is notoriously unreliable and also it is incredibly expensive. A bus ticket for a 5 minutes journey, for example, can cost as much as £2.50 in some areas! This is far more than the cost of petrol for this distance!

Employment prospects can also be incredibly limited if you don't have a driving license. This isn't just for jobs that require them, such as the police or ambulance service, but also for jobs that are situated away from your home. In this current economic climate more and more people have to commute longer distances, and if you don't have a driving license you will be restricted to hunting for jobs in your immediate area, which will often be a fruitless exercise.

The final reason why learning to drive is worth the money for a teenager is the social life that it will bring! You'll be able to go with mates on daytrips and stay out past the time that parents will agree to pick you up, and you'll also be the envy of many of our friends too! Although this isn't the most important reason to learn to drive in the long term, many teenagers use it as their main motivation for getting their driving license!

As can be seen, the number of reasons for learning to drive should make it something that every single teenager should aim to achieve. Even if there are some short term sacrifices in what you can spend your money on, it will certainly be more than worth it in the long term, when you are fully independent and not having to rely on anyone for your transportation needs

Sunday, February 5, 2012

3 Things to Do When You Have Your New Car

Purchasing a new car is one of the most exciting times in a person's life. I'm sure everyone has a story to tell when they bought their first car. Many would agree that we live in a time where our economy is up and down and buying a car is now a major personal investment. With that knowledge you want to keep your car looking its best as long as you can. There are some inexpensive methods that you can do without the help of an outside company to keep your car looking brand new. Like anything that is made it will lose its original look over time; however, you can slow the process down with a few helpful hints.

The first method for protecting your car is purchasing a traditional car cover. Depending on where you live, the outdoors can be inviting to some, but it can be very harmful to your vehicle's exterior and interior finish. Using a car cover helps maintains your vehicle's appearance and at the same time keeps all of the attention on how good it looks. The sun plays a huge factor in how long your car looks good. Just imagine going to the beach or pool and not wearing sun screen lotion. Our skin will start to peel and lose its smooth touch. The same goes for a car. Due to the intensity of the Sun you must protect your car from blemishes and minor cracks. When a car is affected by this, you often see a break in the paint as if it was painted in layers. The cover helps prevent dirt and dust from penetrating the vehicle's paint, and the hard to wash cracks and crevices.

Car covers will also help maintain the "just washed" look between washes, prevent scratches, some door dents and people's prying eyes. Although it attracts unwanted attention, it's still a great option. The covers for your car will also help keep birds from pooping, animals from jumping on and off leaving claw stretches and tree debris from leaving their marks on your vehicle. They also work well in your home garage or parking garage at work.

Keeping your car washed on the regular is another thing you can do to maintain your vehicle. Most people wash their cars at least once a week depending on where you live and if it rains there often. Car wash companies recommend you washing your car at least twice a month, if not more. More and more people make Sunday mornings to wash the car a family tradition. Others prefer to wash their cars on a Saturday. If you avoid washing your car, things like bugs, dirt, bird droppings and dust can damage the paint over time and leave permanent stains. Not to mention the feeling of driving a dirty car not being good for personal confidence. There's a popular saying that your car and trunk is sometimes a reflection of someones life. A clean and fresh smelling car gives a person a renewed energy or power.

One of the last things to do is stopping people and yourself from eating in your car. This is probably the biggest factor. It happens all too often where you start by snacking on chips, candy or other little foods in the car and then it progress to burgers, chicken and other finger foods leaving stains from spilled food. It's always the little foxes, better known as crumbs, that destroy everything from seats to mats to the carpet. You can see them in all of the little compartments, crevices and pressed into the interior. Since we live in an era where the best thing to eat is fast food, it always leaves behind crumbs. Take the time to eat prior to getting into your car.

There are other ways to help keep your car looking new. Depending on where you live, you must decide what will work for you to protect your car.