Tag Archives: vehicle maintenance

4 Ways To Cover The Cost Of Unexpected Car Repairs

4 Ways To Cover The Cost Of Unexpected Car Repairs

Unexpected repairs are just part of being a car owner, and your car isn’t going to wait until it is convenient before it breaks down. This can be a big problem because repairs are incredibly expensive and if you don’t have the money to pay for them, you could find yourself in some financial trouble. You rely on your car, so you can’t just leave it, which means that you need to find the money from somewhere. The good news is, there are ways that you can cover the cost without completely ruining your finances. If you are hit with unexpected car repairs that you can’t really afford, here’s what you can do. 

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Shop Around 

Before you start thinking about how you are going to find the money, it’s important that you shop around for the best price. The cost of repairs varies a lot depending on the mechanic, and some mechanics will try to rip you off if they suspect that you don’t really know what is wrong with the car. If you want to make the cost more manageable, you need to shop around and compare prices. You should also check out reviews of local mechanics so you can find somebody that you know is going to be reliable. 

Get a Repayment Plan 

A lot of people don’t realize that you can get a repayment plan to help you pay for your car repairs. Companies like Optimal Warranty offer auto repair payment plans, so you can get the repairs done and then pay it off in installments over the coming months. This makes it so much more manageable and you can fit it into your budget, rather than rushing around trying to find a big lump sum from somewhere. 

Do Repairs Yourself 

In some cases, you may be able to do the repairs yourself. When you first buy a new car, you should spend some time looking through the manual and learning the basics of how the engine works. You are not a mechanic so there will be a lot of things that you cannot do, but if you spend some time learning, you may be able to do simple repairs on your own. This saves you a lot of money and even if you do have to go to a mechanic, knowing a bit about your car will make it harder for them to rip you off. 

Get a Loan 

 If none of the other options on this list are possible, you may need to get a loan. You should always exhaust all of the other possibilities before you do this, and if you need to get a loan, make sure that you avoid payday loans with crazy interest rates. It’s much better to put the money on a credit card or take out a loan from the bank so you are only paying a reasonable amount of interest. 

Unexpected car repairs can throw you a financial curveball, but these are all great ways to cover the cost without ruining your budget. 

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How To Choose Your Next Car

How To Choose Your Next Car

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When you are buying a car you will be faced with a lot of different decisions that you will need to make. The car you choose is a major financial commitment. Ideally, you will want a car that will last you for a while, and one that will be cost-effective, and reliable. In order to make the right decisions, you will need to weight quite a bit up. 

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A major decision that you will need to make is whether you are going to buy a new or used model. Both have their advantages and their disadvantages, and you will need to make the decision based on your own personal situation. 

New cars will come with a manufacturers guarantee. Although things can go wrong with new cars, they are generally covered for anything major. This means that you should not have to worry about dealing with any big maintenance issues anytime soon. 

The downside to a new car is that it will very quickly lose its value. Within the first year, it will have lost the biggest percentage of the price you paid for it. 

A used car, on the other hand, can vary dramatically in terms of quality and price. Once a car is more than a couple of years old, it will have dropped in value considerably and this is often a good time to buy. 

Used cars may have maintenance issues and you obviously don’t have the benefit of the manufacturer’s warranty to fall back on. Any repairs with the vehicle will need to paid for by you. 

Check Insurance Before You Buy

Whether you plan on buying your car new or used, you will need to get the vehicle insured before you are allowed to drive it. But insurance costs can vary dramatically. Get a few quotes before you commit to buying the vehicle, as if the cost for that vehicle is too high, you may end up being out of your budget. Get quotes from a number of places and check out transparent Metromile customer reviews to ensure you are happy with the insurer. 

Road Testing The Vehicle

Whichever car you are considering, you need to road test it. You need to feel comfortable behind the steering wheel. Making sure that the car is right for you is vital. 

If you are buying a used car, your road test will let you know if there are any problems with the vehicle that you should be aware of. Listen out for strange knocking or grinding sounds, see how the car turns in the road, make sure that it sits evenly on the road and doesn’t seem abnormally bumpy when driven. The more situations you can test the car in the better. Try a few manoeuvres and drive the vehicle at a range of different speeds. The last thing that you want is to miss a glaring problem that ends up costing as much as the car to get fixed.  

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4 Mind-Changing Features Of Electric Cars You Didn’t Know’

4 Mind-Changing Features Of Electric Cars You Didn’t Know’

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If you’re a petrolhead, the idea of an electric car won’t appeal. There isn’t enough romanticism like there is with a traditional combustion engine. You might not be a car-enthusiast either, yet you still won’t buy one because the price tag is pretty steep. Anyway, you’ve heard bad things about electric cars that put you off investing in one.

Let’s face it – nobody wants to stop ten times on a short trip to recharge the battery. It’s ludicrous! However, as they’re starting to make their way into the market, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of electric vehicles before dismissing. After all, you might find that what you believe to be weaknesses are strengths, or that they were myths all along.

With that in mind, check out the features of electric cars that you didn’t know below. Any of the following might change your mind and revolutionize your lifestyle.

You Shouldn’t Worry About Charging The Battery

Probably the biggest problem you think you’ll have is charging the battery regularly. The idea of stopping off every thirty minutes isn’t a good one, and it’s tempting to believe the hype. However, it’s nothing more than a myth, and the stats back this up pretty convincingly.

For starters, a standard electric car battery can go over 200 miles before it needs plugging in. And, that’s not at the top end of the scale. Some models, such as the Model 3 Tesla, average out at 300-plus miles. In comparison, your daily mileage is likely to be fewer than 50 miles. So, you can theoretically go all week (almost) without having to recharge the battery.

Mileage does differ depending on the vehicle, so be sure to double-check before you drive it off the lot.

But If You Are, You Can Plan Accordingly

The rebuttal to the mileage argument is that everything changes when you go on long journeys, and the last thing you want is to run out of juice in the middle of nowhere. If there isn’t a charge point, which could be the case if you’re not in a liberal state, there’s not much you can do to rectify the situation.

Thankfully, there’s no reason to take any risks with a Tesla route planner. All you have to do is to input your trip into the system and let it show you where the best chargers are along the way. As long as you don’t take any detours, you’ll know exactly where and when to stop in case of an emergency. You might think it’s more effort than a typical car, yet the same thing can happen if you’re not prepared.

EVs encourage you to be more organized and efficient, and those aren’t bad things!

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Maintenance Costs Should Be Lower

One thing all motorists hate is the expense of running a car. It’s the reason why some drivers turn to motorbikes! If paying a couple of grand up front wasn’t enough, you can also expect to shell out thousands more during the length of your ownership. Sadly, traditional vehicles tend to breakdown, and you need to repair yours if you want it back on the roads.

What’s fantastic about EVs is that they are more energy-efficient. This is because they use regenerative braking to funnel power back to the battery. A side-effect of this is that braking is a lot more gentle, and, therefore, the brakes won’t suffer from wear and tear as much. Usually, these factors aren’t covered by warranties, so you have to pay for the repairs out of your pocket. 

With an electric car, the fact that the brakes are less worn means there’s no need to worry about expensive maintenance bills.

Speed Isn’t An Issue

Going fast isn’t common because roads are lined with cars and limits prevent motorists from driving dangerously. Still, you might like the idea of putting your foot down and racing away into the night. With an electric vehicle, you can do it as you would normally. 

If anything, some EVs are quicker than standard cars. Tesla’s ‘Insane’ and ‘Ludicrous’ modes let it hit 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. The reason it’s worth mentioning is down to weight. You might be aware that electric cars are heavier as they involve more complicated and bulky materials. Regardless, it has no bearing on speed whatsoever, and you’ll still be able to put the pedal to the metal if you feel that way inclined.

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Electric cars are new, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to take away from your experience. Wouldn’t you want a vehicle that is fast, efficient, and affordable to run?

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Have You Ever Heard Of A Lemon Law?

Have You Ever Heard Of A Lemon Law?

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Every once in awhile whilst scrolling the internet you’ll come across something you’ve never heard of before but that could serve you well and save you money later down the line – The Lemon Law, may very well be one of those occasions.

What is the Lemon Law?

Believe it or not, the Lemon Law has nothing to do with the sour citrus fruit with which it shares its name and instead is a law designed to protect a car owner whose car is considered a ‘lemon’.  We realize that is still a little confusing, so let’s clear things up a bit. When buying a car you expect it to be free from issues or faults but sadly this is not always the case. Generally, a car is referred to as a ‘lemon’ if it is still under warranty but has dangerous issues that aren’t able to be repaired. The Lemon Law, therefore, was designed to protect a car owner whose car is a lemon from falling into an endless cycle of faults and repairs, and when proved to be a lemon ensures that the car’s owner is suitably compensated with a new vehicle or cash to the value. 

Where is the Lemon Law active?

The Federal Government and each individual US state each have Lemon Laws to protect their inhabitants and the precise details of these laws do vary. In general, California is considered to have one of the toughest Lemon Laws that ensures the best result for the consumer and is referred to formally as The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty act applies not only to cars but to all consumer goods under warranty, and so it’s not just cars that can be classed as a lemon.  

Is your car eligible? 

In California, your car will be covered under the Lemon Law so long as it is under warranty, and so this doesn’t mean that it needs to be brand new. There are a number of different warranties that could apply to your vehicle including the manufacturer’s warranty, a powertrain warranty, the dealer’s written warranty or a CPO (Certified pre-owned). Where you purchased your car may also not matter as you could still be able to claim under the Federal Lemon Law. 

What should you do if you think your car is a lemon?

You can file a claim for the Lemon Law yourself but as with any legal matter, it is always best to contact an attorney.  A Lemon Law Lawyer will know the law in and out be able to advise you on how best to make your claim to ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. A Lemon Law Lawyer will also be able to defend you against the manufacturer or car salesperson who will naturally want to fight the Lemon Law to save themselves some money. What’s even better is that when hiring a Lemon Lawyer you needn’t pay a thing! If successful the car manufacturer will pay your legal fees leaving you with the full amount of compensation owed to you.

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Prepping Car For the Winter Ahead

Prepping Car For the Winter Ahead


Winter conditions can cause hazardous roadways. But forgetting to prep your car for the season ahead can cause some headaches along with some potential hazards.

Check the fluids



Make sure your car has all its fluids. Running out of oil can be detrimental to the car. Although, running out of windshield washer fluid can be just as scary when your windshield is covered with salt and sludge splashed across your window while traveling down a highway.

If you are unsure of what fluids are needed or where they go, stop by to see a local mechanic or visita full service has station. They can certainly help.

Check your lights



This might be a two person job… But be sure to check all of the lights on the car. Winter can bring dark nights, fog and snowy whiteouts. Replace any lights that aren’t working. And be sure your headlights are shine l shining as bright as possible. Use the headlight cleaner solution, or to bring your headlights back to peek condition look into headlight restoration wipes.

Check your tires

Check your tire tread before winter to prevent sliding. Using the penny test will help tell you if you need new tires. Insert a penny, Abe’s head facing dow into the tread, if you can see the top of Abe Lincoln’s head you probably need new tires.

Pack the trunk



Making sure the trunk has the usual… Spare tire, jumper cables, flares, extra fluids, etc is important. But in the winter make sure you also pack a blanket, gloves, snow pants, rock salt or cat litter, water and snacks just in case you get stuck somewhere. Some folks recommend a small snow shovel and tire chains depending where you live or travel.

Prepping the car for winter doesn’t have to be over extensive like, detailing the paint job or coating the under carriage. Those are personal preferences. But all cars need a little prep to help prevent certain potential hazards. Have a safe and happy season!

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Irresistible Reasons To Buy A Used Car

Irresistible Reasons To Buy A Used Car

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Today we are talking about choosing a new car but instead of heading to a showroom, choosing a used model. Used cars can be just as good as new and often you will save a ton of money on your purchase. Here are some of the top reasons why you should choose a used car this year.

Used cars

No matter your reasons for buying a new car, it is incredibly important to consider the resale value of the car in years to come. When you purchase a car you will often be able to sell it on and part exchange it for a new one years down the line. This means when you sell your car you are also partially paying for a new one. New cars are great, but the label ‘NEW’ only lasts until you sit behind the wheel and from this point onwards the value of the car will drop significantly. However, if you are to choose a used car instead, you will see a steady decrease in value over the time you own the car and you’ll likely be able to sell it for not much less than you bought it.

More for the money

Shopping for a new car can be incredibly exciting as a prospect until you realise how expensive all of your favourite models are. Once you take a dive into car shopping you will soon realise that many of the options you hoped to buy are out of your price range or carry a steep insurance premium. This can narrow your options massively and make you wish you had kept your old car. However, if you filter your search for used cars, you might find that the make and model you want is within your price range and this can open up a whole world of doors for you. Used cars are cheaper and therefore easier to buy, and this likely will mean that you can get a better car for your money, such as Mercedes approved used cars or used versions of your other favourite brands.

Lower Insurance

Even if you can afford to buy your dream car, the biggest hurdle which can get in the way is your insurance costs. Insurance is very expensive and it can even be more expensive than the car itself. When shopping for a car the insurance cost might stop you from getting what you want, however when choosing a used car you may be able to avoid the issues. Used cars are worthless and therefore are cheaper to insure, so this is always a great option for you when you want to buy a fancy new model.

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How To Prepare Your Car For Any Weather Conditions

How To Prepare Your Car For Any Weather Conditions

Sometimes, it’s hard for us to put off driving if we need to be somewhere and when the weather conditions are pretty bad, it’s daunting to have your car on the road. So here is how to prepare your car for any driving conditions so that you’re safe no matter what.

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Inspect And Replace Any Windshield Wipers

The windshield wipers are important because it’s going to work at keeping your vision of the road clear at all times. Windshield wipers that are old and don’t go fast enough could certainly make your car more dangerous to drive. So be sure to check your wipers before going onto the road and if they’re not performing like they used to, get them replaced sooner rather than later.

Get The Right Type Of Tires

Tires keep your vehicle rolling along on the ground and depending on the time of year, it’s always a good idea to purchase tires that are right for that season in particular. There’s a difference between summer tires and winter tires in terms of the tread depth and the rubber itself. You want to make sure that the tires that you have on your car are going to maintain your safety and no jeopardize it. It’s also wise to have a spare tire in the trunk of your car for emergencies.

Keep To A Safe Speed

Your speed is an important factor in keeping you and your passengers safe. It can be easy to ignore or forget speed limits in certain areas. You don’t want to be caught out with a speeding ticket so keep an eye on your speed at all times. Be wary of other drivers on the road and don’t be tempted to try and keep with up those who are trying to outrun you. Always keep track of your speed in a new area and be conscious of extreme weather conditions and adapting your speed to cater for this.

Have Your Car Serviced

Just like anything, a car depreciates, and that means it’s more likely to encounter issues as it gets older. Therefore, it’s important that you get your car serviced on an annual basis and to be aware of any dramatic changes in your car’s performance. You’ll come to learn how your car drives and sounds when it’s healthy. If it’s not, then it’s good to get it checked, especially during harsher weather conditions.

Carry A Car Breakdown Kit

And finally, always carry a car breakdown kit. With certain weather conditions, you cannot predict if and when your car will break down and having something to help yourself in a situation where it happens is useful. Some things to include in your car breakdown kit is a spare tire, the relevant contact details of a breakdown company. A charger port for your phone for emergency power. An ice scraper and some sort of defroster. A flashlight and jumper cables will be handy too. 

Follow these tips to prepare your car for any weather conditions and to keep you and your family safe.

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What Not to Do After a Car Accident

What Not to Do After a Car Accident

Car accidents are horrible. Whether you were driving or the passenger, whether it was your fault or someone else’s, it’s awful. It’s scary, even if it’s a relatively minor incident where there’s not much damage, and no one is injured, having to get out of the car, speak to the other party and assess the situation is frightening. It’s not something that any of us are ever prepared for, and it’s never taught in driving school. It can be terrifying, and most of us just want to get home and find some comfort. 

Of course, if you are injured, your next steps might be dictated. But, in most cases, the incident is minor, and we can just carry on. But, because of the scariness of the situation, many people don’t do the right things. They panic, and they make mistakes. Here are some of the things that you SHOULDN’T do after a road accident. 

Drive Off

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You should never just drive away from an accident. Even if no one has seen and everything seems fine, you need to stop the car. If another party is involved, you need to swap license and insurance details and if necessary call the police and an ambulance. It can be a good idea to call the police even if you don’t think it’s that bad, just in case. Failing to stop the car after an accident is a crime, and the punishment can be severe, depending on the nature and results of the crash. It’s always best to stop!

Get Angry

The worst thing that you can do is get out of the car and start screaming and shouting. It could affect your passenger in car accident settlement later on, or mean that you get yourself in trouble. At the very least it will make a tense situation a lot worse. Even if the other party was clearly at fault, and you are raging, take a few seconds to breathe deeply before getting out of your car to speak with them. Be as calm as you possibly can, and if you feel your temper rising, walk away for a few moments, or wait for the police to arrive before carrying on the conversation. 

Forget to Take Details

Sometimes, accidents are very minor. Someone might crash into you in a car park, or while moving very slowly in traffic. These tend to occur during a brief lapse in concentration and don’t tend to cause much damage. You might see only a few small scratches and think it’s not worth swapping details. But, the damage might be more than you can see. You should still swap license and insurance details, even if you think it will go no further. 

Drive as Normal

Even after one of these minor bumps, you should take your car into the garage to be checked. You never know what damage you might not be able to see, which could be making your vehicle unsafe, or becoming a much more costly problem while you are driving. Get it checked out even if it seems fine. 

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The Girl’s Guide To Car Maintenance

The Girl’s Guide To Car Maintenance

There’s nothing more infuriating as a woman than standing in the garage while a mechanic tries to overcharge you for repairs to your car, because he assumes you don’t know anything about it. Instead of having to phone your brother, or accept your husband’s mocking, every time your engine is making a strange noise, learn some basic car maintenance tips, so you can be in charge of your own car. 

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Learn The Basics

There are some basic maintenance tasks that all cars need on a regular basis. Learning how to do them yourself will save you money instead of paying a professional, or will save you the embarrassment of having to ask for help. 

Learn how to top up your washer fluid. This is a really simple task once you’ve identified where the fluid goes, and will take less than a minute to do. Learn how to check your tire pressure. In most cars, you’ll find a sticker on the driver’s side door which tiles you what your tire pressure should be. Unscrew the air cap on the tire and press the gauge into the slot. Easy. 

Another simple task is checking your oil level. All you do is slide the dipstick out of the engine. Wipe it clean, and pop it back. Lift it back out and see where the oil level is. There should be some guidelines on the stick to show you where to look. If it’s low, just top up the oil tank. 

Learn How To Change A Flat Tire

Don’t end up stranded at the side of the road with a flat tire and no idea how to change it. If you don’t have a spare tire, get one, and store it safely in the car. Ask someone to teach you how to change it, or find a guide on YouTube. You might find yourself very grateful of the skill one day! 

Learn To Jump Start

Accidentally left a light on in the car overnight and now can’t get the engine to start. First, check the battery is actually the problem. To do this, check to see if the headlights or any interior lights come on. If they don’t, the battery is probably dead. 

To jump start a car, you’ll need a second car with a working battery. Check the location of the battery in each car, and then park the cars close together. Turn off everything in both cars. With your jumper cables, attach the red clips to the positive terminal of the battery (it’ll have POS or a plus sign on it). Attach one black clip to the negative terminal of the working battery. Attach the other black slip to an unpainted metal surface on the car. The strut that holds up the hood is ideal. Start the working car and let the engine run for a few minutes. Try your engine. If it doesn’t work, check the connections and let the other engine run for five minutes before trying again. 

Buy The Right Gas

Filling your with good quality gas will prolong its life. Choose gas from a trusted company whenever you fill up. 

Try to avoid letting the tank get less than a quarter full. The gas tank can get sediment inside it, and letting the car run too empty runs the risk of that sediment getting into the fuel filter. 

Keep Things Clean

Caring for your car will help it last longer. Make sure you clean the car inside and out, even in winter, to get rid of dirt buildup. If you have a leather interior, care for it with proper leather conditioner to keep it supple and in good condition. 

Keep an old blanket or towels in the car to protect your interior if you ever need to move anything dirty, whether that’s picking up second hand furniture or driving home with the dog after a muddy walk. 

Know When It’s Time To Call A Professional

While it’s important to know how to take the best care of your car, it’s also important to know when you’re beaten. If you’re not sure how to do something, always take your car to a mechanic instead of trying to fix the problem yourself. This is much safer for you and your car. For things like transmission repair, engine repairs or anything else you’re not sure about, call in the professionals.  

Knowing how to look after your own car is very rewarding and will help you keep your car in top condition, without having to rely on others. 

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Protecting Your Personal Finances As A Driver

Protecting Your Personal Finances As A Driver

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Owning a car can be costly, but it’s a necessity for most people in the modern world. Still, that doesn’t mean it has to be an expense which excessively consumes your available funds. You’ll always face regular costs as a driver, but those costs can be mitigated. It just takes some careful planning and some careful driving, as we’ll explain in this article. Let’s talk about some of the ways in which you could start protecting your personal finances as a driver.

Economical driving.

For starters, driving sensibly is one of the best ways to protect your personal finances. When people buy cars, they assess many different aspects that determine both the initial cost and the costs they’ll face throughout the life of the vehicle they’re purchasing. One of the most important variables is the fuel economy of the car in question. How much is it going to cost per gallon? Modern cars are becoming more and more efficient in this regard, but many drivers still fail to accept that economical driving is the best way to make your money go further.

Accelerating and braking excessively hard are both examples of ways in which you’ll burn through petrol far more quickly. By taking a calmer and more methodical approach to driving (in particular, by avoiding speeding and driving aggressively), you’ll be able to cover more miles with a full tank. That means you’ll have to take fewer trips to the local petrol station. Obviously, this would save you a lot of money in the long run. If you want to protect your personal finances as a driver then think about the way in which you operate your vehicle. As we’ve discussed before, driving efficiently is a great way to save fuel.

Accidents.

Unfortunately, car accidents are very common in modern society. It’s hard to say whether the blame falls on careless drivers or the sheer number of cars on the road, but the point is that you must be ever-vigilant. Being a good driver is important, but that doesn’t mean others on the road are going to be good drivers. It’s important not to react to dangerous drivers in an aggressive way; that could turn a potential hazard into an accident. But even the most cautious drivers can find themselves in road incidents. Obviously, the priority is that everyone is safe in such an event, but many of us have probably been involved in some sort of car accident at some point in our lives, even if it was just a minor bump or scratch. The cost that comes with such accidents can be astronomical, so make sure you collect details from any other drivers or witnesses involved to help protect your finances as much as possible. If you are injured in an accident then it’s important to get compensation for any medical bills or time off work that might impact your finances as well as your health. You might even want to check out https://www.braininjurylawofseattle.com/seattle-brain-injury-lawyer/ if you’re suffering something more serious, such as a brain injury. Your recovery is essential, but your finances play a big part in this.

Insurance.

Finally, let’s talk about insurance. This is the cost that gives most car owners headaches. No matter how good a deal you might get on a car itself, it’s the insurance premium that determines how much that vehicle is ultimately going to cost you on an annual basis. Still, there are ways to save money in this regard. Take a look at your existing insurance policy. Is the coverage essential for your current situation? Maybe you don’t actually drive that many miles anymore. Maybe your car is getting older and you wouldn’t actually get a very high payout if there was an incident, so there’s probably no need for such a high premium. You could even raise your deductible, as suggested at https://www.fivecentnickel.com/does-raising-your-car-insurance-deductible-save-you-money/. The deductible is the amount you’re willing to pay before the insurance provider starts paying. If you raise your deductible then you’ll face a lower premium because your insurance company will consider you less of a risk.

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