I’ve always dreamed of driving an aggressive car, which makes people turn their heads. And I’ve always known that this will be a Japanese car. Toyota did not take long to make my dream and the dream of all sports enthusiasts come true. I’m sure you’ll agree that the Scion FR-S is a fantastic racing car in perfect shape.

Check out the specifications of Scion FR-S in the handy infographic below. I’d be glad if you shared your feedback on this racing car. What do you think – what a drive? 😉

Via: Scion

If you have a car and you just smashed it into a tree, but you don’t really have the money to have it repaired, I think that you are slightly – or more than slightly – panicked and would like to know just how you can get some cash to get it fixed and fast.

If you don’t have the money saved in your account, and your credit card is tapped out or non-existent, and you don’t want to or can’t approach friends and family, there is a way.

Many payday loan lenders offer loans, both online and in storefronts. Payday loans are short term loans for relatively small amounts of cash that are easy to get. They are designed for people with poor or no credit, and no where else to turn. You can get your loan approved and the money in your account the same day you apply, or usually no longer than 24 hours or the next business day.

The main requirement for applying for a payday loan is – as the name suggests – regular employment. Showing proof of employment – such as a paycheck stub or regular electronic transfer payments into your checking account, along with some ID, will usually be enough to get you approved.

You can use the money to get your car repaired and back on the road quickly, so you can get back to work. And earn the money to pay back that loan. They don’t come cheap, however.

Payday loans, especially when used for car emergencies, can be tremendously helpful. They can also be dangerous if you take out a loan without knowing how you are going to pay it back. They are not an alternative to financing a car with a normal car loan. Payday loans should only be used for emergencies, such as getting your car back in safe and working order.

Of course, the money you borrow can be used for anything you want. It’s not a good idea to use payday loans to finance purchases of things you want but don’t need. They should only be used for emergencies. If you do not keep your promise to repay the amount due within the time specified, the interest, fees and penalty charges can grow quickly, so quickly, that in a few months you can owe double what you originally borrowed.

The only time you should take out a payday loan to use on your car is in an emergency.

Auto insurance is one of those necessary expenses that can eat you alive if you aren’t careful. This is especially true for those of you that stick with an auto insurance company, get complacent, and forget to check the market from time to time.

Though there is a lot of competition in the auto insurance industry, many of the upstarts, such as GEICO, esurance, and Progressive have been able to penetrate the market by offering great customer service and lower rates, banking on the fact that they’ll make up for low margins by pushing a lot of volume.

And this has paid off, because according to the annual JD Power & Associates insurance ratings, many of the highest rated companies are some of the newest.

It’s because of this competition, and the way these upstarts have scared traditional insurance companies, that it’s highly possible to save money on auto insurance every 6-12 months by doing nothing more than getting a few free quotes and comparing them to your current policy. Better yet, it’s also possible to save money in the middle of a current policy, since there are usually zero penalties for switching providers mid-term.

Besides switching providers, a few other ways to save money on auto insurance are:

  1. Raising deductibles – if you have an older car or plenty of money in the bank, consider moving to a $500 or $1,000 deductible to save money.
  2. Removing full coverage – though this is not recommended for cars that you still owe money on, you can remove comprehensive and collision coverage and save a substantial amount of money.
  3. Driving less – many car insurance companies will lower your rates if you tell them that you are driving less than 5,000 miles per year. Of course, you don’t want to lie, but if that’s you, see if you can get a discount.
  4. Remove add-ons – if you don’t need towing or rental car reimbursement, you can usually save a few dollars per month by dropping these coverages.
  5. Buy older cars – older cars cost less to fix, and are usually much cheaper to insure than new cars. If you’re having a hard time with insurance, consider selling your newer model and buying something with a bit more mileage under its belt.

To save money on auto insurance, get new quotes regularly and take advantage of coverages and discounts to maximize your value. If you have any questions, you can easily get help by calling your local insurance agent.

Car parts are ridiculously overpriced. If you’ve ever taken your car to the dealer for repair, or tried to buy a replacement part, then you know exactly what I mean. Something as simple as a stereo knob costs about ten times more than it should, and when it comes to metal parts, it gets even worse.

While aftermarket parts, such as those that you buy at local auto parts stores, can help mitigate those costs, the problem there is that they’re still expensive, and if you’re on a tight budget, then buying even aftermarket parts might put you in a bad spot financially.

It’s for reasons like this that I’m a big fan of trying to save money with used auto parts when I can find them. For parts that are unseen, such as underbody (exhaust, rotors, etc), or inside of the engine, I don’t mind buying used parts provided that they are in decent shape. You can often get these at local scrap yards, or even on classified ad sites, from people that have dismantled their cars for parts, or had an accident in which the insurance company wouldn’t fix the car, but left it with many good and usable parts.

Even on parts that will be seen, such as body and interior parts, you can often find them in good enough shape that they won’t look out of place, and when they do, a bit of repair work can be used to finish the job.

When you save money with used auto parts from a junkyard or online site, you can often save as much as 50% of retail cost.

The only downside to buying used auto parts is that usually they don’t come with a guarantee, so if you’re buying something mechanical, you’ll want to test it before installation. For example, a used muffler might sound like a great deal until you find out it won’t pass inspection, and is a waste of money. Engine parts in particular, are important to test as you don’t want to introduce anything under the hood that could cause more damage or make your vehicle unsafe.

Used auto parts are easy to find if you know where to look, and they are often available for other vehicles too, such as motorcycles, boats, and ATV’s. So next time you need to buy a new car part, check used first and see what’s out there. You might be surprised at the price difference.

The car rental industry is a very competitive one, and so rates for rentals change fast and sometimes look like they change without rhyme or reason on the surface. To make sure you get the best rate possible, it helps to be familiar with how rates work and keep a few things in mind when making your reservation.

The quick rate changes at rental car agencies are due to the fact that the entire process is based mostly on supply and demand at each rental location. The rate strategy widely employed by these companies is known as “yield management.” It uses a computer system that automatically adjusts rates based on the number of cars available at any given time at each rental location. This is why reserving in advance will help in keeping your car rental rates down, since the rates and prices automatically adjust for availability of the different vehicles, and when they start running low on a certain class, the rate goes up. When you are making a reservation, you are actually usually just reserving a rate, not the car itself, as car availability can change. This could mean you end up with a nicer car for the lower rate you booked, if the original car is gone when you arrive, but you must book in advance to even get a chance for a deal like that.

Rental care rates will also vary wildly at the SAME rental car location, even in one day. A weekly rate at a location may run you 100 dollars more if you book it in the afternoon instead of that morning, because of that supply and demand structure. If your destination is in a high travel area or tourist area such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles, or other similar vacation spots, then this is something you must really remember, because those are the places you are most likely to get caught with a crazy rate fluctuation. Again, the key is to book in advance!

Renting a car for your trip does not have to break the bank, especially if you keep the yield management structure in mind and remember to book early. Even if you must make a last minute reservation for a spur of the moment trip, at least call it in on the way to the airport instead of just walking up to the desk when you get there, because the rate will likely still be lower that way.

Car rental agencies typically offer four different types of insurance coverage at the desk when you arrive to pick up your rental car. Many of these things may be covered by your personal or business auto insurance plans, so check the policies you already have against what the rental agency is going to offer you beforehand to determine what you may or may not want to pick up when you get there.

  1. Damage Waivers – The Damage Waivers offered at the desk are generally called Collision Damage Waivers (CDW), Loss Damage Waivers (LDW), or Physical Damage Waivers (PDW). These are technically not the same as the collision insurance coverage you get from your own personal or business insurances policies. CDW or LDW waives the right for the rental car agency to recover money from you the renter if the rental vehicle is damaged or stolen, in return for a daily fee tacked onto your rental car bill. This will NOT cover damages made to someone else’s car during your rental period – also known as third party damages. Your personal or business auto insurance will normally cover this when you are driving a car you’ve rented.
    Some Damage Waivers offered by the desk can become void in certain situations, such as if it is determined you drove in a negligent manner or you drove the rental car outside of the geographical limits your rental contract specifies, so be sure to keep an eye on that.
  2. Liability Insurance Supplements (LIS) – A rental agency may offer you supplemental liability coverage, which is coverage that will pay over and above what your personal or business insurance already covers. If you do not already have personal liability coverage, then you should seriously consider purchasing it from the rental agency.
  3. Personal Accident Insurance or Coverage (PAI) – This type of coverage provides you with a one-time payout for you or a passenger in case of death or maiming from a car accident, and is usually covered under your own auto or health policies, so you likely do not need to buy this at the desk.
  4. Personal Effects Coverage or Personal Property Insurance – This type of coverage pays you if something is lost or stolen from your car. Opting for this is something you’ll have to decide for based on personal need, and your existing coverage probably doesn’t include it, so if you want it, you will likely need to get it from the desk.

And please remember that while many of these things may be already covered by your existing insurance, it’s best to double check before you leave to make sure.

September 26, 2008

It is an ancient battle – you want to save money when renting a vehicle and the car rental company wants to make money when renting a vehicle to you. There are quite a few ways that car rental companies make money, and one of them is suckering you into paying for things you do not really need to pay for. So next time you find yourself renting a vehicle for a vacation with family or friends, or for a business trip, keep the following tip in mind so you are not stuck with a bill that is much bigger than you intended: get what you came for.

Due to the car rental company’s supply and demand rate structure, you always want to make your car reservation in advance to lock in the rate you will pay, because rates can fluctuate wildly from hour to hour, let alone day to day, particularly in high traffic cities. Also due to that supply and demand structure, the agency location at your destination of choice may run out of the type of vehicle you have reserved in advance before you arrive to pick it up.

But do not worry – when you book a reservation, you are actually reserving a RATE, not a car itself, and the rates are usually based on the company’s vehicle class structure. You are usually not reserving a specific vehicle, only a car in a certain class, such as economy or luxury. Economy class vehicles are usually the first ones to run out, because they are the least expensive. But since you were savvy and have made a prior reservation, if there is no economy car on the lot for you, the agent at the desk will upgrade you to a more expensive class car for no additional charge.

Before they tell you that, though, the agent may try to talk you into paying for an upgrade yourself. This is a scam, so do not do it. Remember: if you made a reservation in advance, you reserved a rate, NOT a specific car. Say no, and insist on the vehicle you booked. If they do not have it available, then they will give you a vehicle in a more expensive class at no additional charge, even if the only thing left on the lot is a Mercedes and the usual economy car you paid for is a Corolla.