Category: Cars

Cars

Talk to Your Agent to Lower Your Auto Insurance Rate

Improve Auto Insurance Rates

We are all wondering if there is a way to get a better rate on our Auto Insurance. What can we say? Who doesn’t like to save money?

I had several disadvantages when first setting up my insurance. I was under the age of 25. That automatically increases the rate of my auto insurance; there is no way to get around that one. Number two, I was in a minor car accident two and a half years prior to setting up my insurance. Oh, and did I mention the accident was my fault? That of course, was not in my favor and did not help my situation out at all. The insurance company though, did let me know that if I have a clean record for three to five years, then it would reduce my insurance rate.

Car insurance in Texas

So, once that three year mark hit, I called them straight up. I was going to do anything I could to get a better rate on my insurance! I was done paying for a mistake that happened three years ago. In all honesty, I was a little demanding while talking to my agent. I was determined to not hang up that phone call until I had lowered my insurance rate and have done everything in my power to do so. Want to save a ton of money on your car insurance? Well you can if you check out the best car insurance quotes for Illinois.

I told my agent it had been officially over three years since that accident had occurred and after a little pushing, he told me he could drop my monthly payments a little. That made me feel better about it already, but I figured, why not push a little farther? I asked my insurance agent many questions. I knew that there had to be more I could do to get a better insurance rate.

Turns out, there is a device they can install in your car, and it is somehow able to track how fast or how steady you come to a stop, etc. To sum it up, your insurance rate is affected by the way you drive. This was new to me. I have never heard of something like that. This would be an awesome thing to do if I was an epic driver. Since driving is not my best skill, I decided I had better not do that because I was afraid it would increase my monthly insurance payments rather than working as a benefit. My agent also told me my credit score was good which definitely helps, but that was already positively affecting my payments. Apparently, marital status affects it as well. That was a plus for me because I was just recently married a few months before then. I gave him all of that information which also caused it to decrease as well. My insurance rate ended up being lowered by about thirty percent. I was super happy!

I came to find that there are many aspects that influence the rate of auto insurance. Where you live, what you job is and how much you use your vehicle; this all affects it. A good credit score and having a clean record will always be beneficial when it comes to insurance rates! Call and get the most you can out of your insurance company.

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Cars

Top Luxury Sedans: These top sedans boast luxury and speed.

The Mercedes E350 wins out in the luxury sedan category for three reasons: smooth ride, good price and decent fuel economy. Starting at around $52,000, this ultra-luxurious ride is a good value in its category.

The 268 hp, 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine has great acceleration, suspension and handling. The interior is a study in luxury done right with power everything.

And at an estimated 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, the E350 gets pretty good marks for fuel efficiency from such a heavy-feeling wagon.

Want to find out more? In a recent story on Top Five Sport Wagons , the E350 took the No. 2 spot, only behind less expensive and more versatile Saab 9-3 Sport Combi.

You can get any of these car on a lease and save a ton of money with the pros at Los Angeles car leases powered by Zoomr.

Lexus GS 450h

OK, so fuel economy is big these days, which is why the Lexus GS 450h is No. 2 on this list of luxury sedans. However, for a $55,000 hybrid, you’d like to see this sedan get more than its estimated 25 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

The 3.5 liter, four cam, 24-valve V6 engine with front electric Lexus hybrid drive certainly isn’t at all like its roaring counterpart, the Lexus GS 430 . The GS 450h engine starts up without a sound and is ultra quiet until you hit speeds around 30 mph. That’s when the car whines and gurgles a bit and then accelerates at lightning speeds as the gas engine kicks in.

The interior styling seems made for a male driver. The leather bucket seats are long and comfortable. The wood-and-leather steering wheel is classic and fashionable. Tons of faux bois on the dashboard and center console also make for a more luxurious feel. But for the ladies, there seems to be something amiss, something soft and feminine and gentle.

Another reason this luxury sedan is at the top of this list is because of its navigation system. Simply put, Lexus (and Toyota) have the best navigation system in the business! The on-screen, push-button controls are super intuitive, easy to use and provide the best turn-by-turn technology to date. At almost $2,000 extra, this navigation system is worth the extra price.

Here’s some notes from the senior perspective:

If you’re a senior looking for a “quiet” drive with lots of power, the Lexus GS 450h has your name on it. I found this car to be one of the best hybrids on the market for its electric, almost non-existent power driven system, to its luxurious interior. Enough can’t be said for this new generation of hybrids so any senior with a solid retirement plan should check these sports cars out for fuel savings and fast driving performance.

Although the Lexus GS 450h has an arching roof line, the interior roof was a bit too low for a tall senior like me. Still, it has lots of leg room for that quiet ride to the market or the mountains.

The bottom line is price vs. fuel savings. This Lexus hybrid gets an estimated 28 mpg highway with a top speed of 131 mph. You’ll need to do the math to find the value, but for a senior that wants luxury, good gas mileage and a quick pick up, the Lexus GS 450h is my choice for the leaner, meaner hybrid machine. – Rev. Joanne Tucker

Jaguar S-Type

The Jaguar S-Type 4.2 is an all-around good pick in the luxury sedan category, especially for female drivers. I mean, there’s just something about this pussy that’s all about feminine charm from the curvy lines on the outside to the sumptuous and stylish interior.

But this wily cat is also all about power. The agile 300 hp, 4.2 liter V-8 engine is helped along by Jaguar’s speed-sensitive steering, double wishbone suspension and dynamic stability control. To put it simply: This ride rocks!

But the little luxuries make the Jaguar S-Type even more special. The ecru leather seats with brown piping and all-electric controls are deliciously comfortable. And the champagne-colored interiors with complementary Madrona wood trim are pleasing to the eye.

Once again, the push-button navigation system is one big reason to buy Jaguar.

The seven-inch, easy-to-use touch screen navigation and audio system leads anyone around town or country with great ease and certainly more peace of mind.

At almost $52,000 ($55,000 with $2,800 navigation system), the Jaguar S-Type is reasonably priced in its category. The fuel efficiency is also within range at an estimated 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

Want more? Read about our recent Jaguar Desert Getaway to Palm Springs.

Here’s some notes from the senior perspective:

On a weekend jaunt to Palm Springs, California, an upscale desert resort town filled with senior retirees, the Jaguar S-Type fit in perfectly with its old-world elegance and a modern, simple-to-use, color-coordinated navigational system. I loved this car’s international flair for comfort with its burled walnut instrument panel and lux leather seats. For any senior that wants to travel in style, the Jaguar S-Type is definitely your kind of car, offering a fine balance between luxury and sports car. And for a good laugh that reminds a senior that the Jag is a made-in-Britian car, the screen shoots a very British statement that says “most functions are inhibited whilst the vehicle is in motion.” And, I still love that cat’s head on the hood for an unmistakable Jag symbol of luxury and performance. – Rev. Joanne Tucker

BMW 550i

If you need speed, there’s only one luxury sedan to buy for you: anything from BMW. And the BMW 550i doesn’t disappoint. So far, this sedan has the best acceleration, speed and handling of the bunch.

But to this comfort queen, speed isn’t everything. Yes, the interior of the 550i is pleasing with its leather, plastic and lots of shiny wood paneling. However, the dash, controls and console seems more robotic and stiff than the others, especially the cozy Jaguar.

In a recent story comparing the Lexus GS 430 vs. BMW 550i , the BMW couldn’t match the Lexus in overall comfort and amenities.

At about $65,000, this modern marvel also has advanced features like a $2,300 sports package, satellite radio, front and rear seat advanced head protection system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, iDrive system and BMW Assist Bluetooth.

Another reason the BMW 550i is at the bottom of the bunch is gas mileage. It gets a paltry estimated 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

Cadillac STS

Cadillac’s super fast STS is the wild card in the top luxury sedans category. Do you want an American muscle car, but don’t want to sacrifice styling and luxury? Then this pimped out Caddy is your car.

The STS starts out at just $41,000, but the model we tested neared $70,000 with all the bells and whistles like a bumping sound and navigation system. For that much money, we’d like to see a bit more styling on the outside. But if you are looking for a muscle car that harkens back to America’s glory days, then the STS will make your heart skip a beat with its chunky grill, hood and side fenders.

The interior of the car we tested was a rapper’s dream come true with a two-tone, black-and-red leather combo and lots of shiny wood on the steering wheel and center console. The wide, comfortable leather seats seemed to make you want to glide your seat back, put on your shades and blast the music with your Bose 5.1 Studio sound and push-button, on-screen audio systems.

The 4.6-liter V8 we tested was lightning quick on acceleration and handled nimbly. The engine roars nicely and makes you feel powerful too.

Here’s some notes from the senior perspective:

From the moment I laid my senior baby blues on the awesome egg-crated shaped grille and vertical stacked headlamps of the blank Cadillac STS, I knew the racy sleek design of this vehicle was a total package of luxury. But when I opened the driver’s door, my eyes further feasted on a very plush black and red interior, complete with cushy leather seats that reminded me of living room lounge chairs.

For any senior who likes Sci-Fi movies, the Cadillac STS is straight out of a James Bond fleck as its technology recognizes and remembers your own personal seat preferences, which any senior should adore, and responds to your voice commands. And the all-around sound system is amazing!

This car’s trunk has enough space for lots of luggage for long-range trips, and for those golf-loving seniors, you can add a set of golf clubs And with the STS’s comfortable and quiet ride, it makes a wonderful touring car for those seniors who love to travel cross-country or for a relaxing get-away golf and spa weekend. With a price tag of around $42,000, the STS provides good value for a comfortable ride for a senior who loves to travel in luxury. – Rev. Joanne Tucker

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Cars

Defensive Driving Course: Beat the Traffic Ticket by Attending Traffic Ticket School

Moving violations, such as running a red light or speeding, are never fun for the driver who is ticketed. A defensive driving course can be the best option for traffic ticket defense.

Fighting a ticket may conjure up images of a boxing ring with a crowd going wild. The announcer’s words blaring out into the stadium, “And in this corner, the reigning champ, the driving machine, the one, the only Drives Like a Maniac!” The driver in question jumps into the ring pounding his fists against the boxing gloves glaring at his opponent. The announcer continues, “And in this corner, his opponent, his nemesis, the thin but mighty Traffic Ticket!”

Whoops and hollers drown out the announcer reverberating voice as the two begin to spar.

Finding Out If Traffic Ticket School is an Option

When a driver receives a traffic ticket, the options for settling the dispute are explained on the ticket. Generally, the driver can pay the fine. If this is done, points are often assessed on the driver’s driving record. These points count against the driver for a driving offense, and if too many points are assessed in a given time frame, drivers can have their license revoked.

If taking a defensive driving course is an option, this will often dismiss the ticket and any associated points against the driver’s record.

Sign Up for a Defensive Driving Course

Usually there are two options for defensive driving courses: take a classroom course or sign up for online defensive driving school. Often the in-person class requires taking a test which is open book, meaning the students may change their answers if they get them wrong. This way all students pass the test. Taking an online defensive driving school course does not usually allow this open-book option.

Call or go online to sign up for a course. Find out the requirements to sign up and attend class, such as the following:

  • how to pay: many defensive driving schools require payment in the form of a money order or cashier’s check, not cash or credit card or personal check
  • when to show up: signing in at least one-half hour to forty-five minutes early is often required to be admitted to class
  • where to show up: get specific directions of where the class is being held and allow enough time to get to the location

Learn from the pros at Andy1st driving school, these guys are the real deal and will make your driving skills so much better with just a couple of sessions.

Attend the Defensive Driving Course

Showing up to traffic ticket school on time is important. If the school representative says that the class starts of 8:00 a.m., that does not mean the student can show up at 8:00 a.m. They will generally give specifics on the time to show up to register and ensure the student is signed up in person. Following these directions will ensure students are credited with attending the entire class.

Listening to the instructor regarding what is expected of the students is necessary. In person classroom settings often require a test of traffic signs that can be updated following a review in class. Students can take notes as needed to educate themselves on traffic laws they are not familiar with. This will help the student get the full experience from a defensive driving course.

Learn from Traffic School

Hearing other drivers’ stories and listening to the material the instructor presents will allow students to become better drivers by being educated and aware of laws that were unclear before. And better drivers equal fewer traffic tickets and safer roads for all drivers.

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