Can’t Afford To Replace Your Old Car, Here’s How To Keep It Healthy!

old car, flat tire

When you become a parent, money becomes much tighter than before. You’ve got costs to pay for that before hadn’t even crossed your mind, such as dance lessons, clothes, or health insurance that covers your kids – there’s no getting away from the fact that family life is expensive. With that in mind, when it comes to how you choose to spend your money, you become a lot more cautious with your spending. This means that you don’t just replace your car once it gets to a certain age. Instead, you simply soldier on, hoping it will last a little longer.

While it’s all well and good running an older car, what you need to realize is that older cars need more care. To help you keep your older family car running for as long as possible, below are some tips to take note of.

Get Regular Oil Changes

A lot of people fail to get their vehicle’s oil changed because they believe it’s an unnecessary cost. However, if you want to keep your car healthy and ensure it runs smoothly for many years to come, regular oil changes are a must. The parts of the engine need to be properly lubricated with clean oil for the vehicle to run properly, which is why regular oil changes are important. When it comes to learning more about your oil change options, has the best resources for this, so it’s worth having a browse on their website. You see, each car has different oil change needs, which means that the price an oil change will cost and the time it will take differs from vehicle to vehicle. That’s why it’s worth doing some research into oil changes so that you know what to expect.

Have it serviced regularly

The major benefit of having your older car (or car of any age) serviced is that it can ensure that any problems are caught early and are easy to deal with. A service is like a health check for your car, just like you undergo each year to ensure that you’re healthy and your body is working properly. By getting your car checked for any problems on an annual basis, dealing with any issues such as rust, for instance, becomes easier and less expensive.

Keep it clean

Older cars are more prone to rust as they’ve been exposed to the elements for a longer period of time than newer cars. The best way to prevent rust is to ensure that the exterior of your vehicle is kept nice and clean and washed once a week. This is important as dirt speeds up how quickly rust forms, so keeping your car clean is the best way to prevent rust from occurring. Don’t fancy cleaning your car yourself, why not pay the kids to do it? Another way to prevent rust is to keep your car parked in a garage when not in use or to put a cover over it. This might seem over the top for an old car, but if you want it to last, it’s important to give it as much protection from the elements as possible.

Only drive where you need to

Yes, you have a car to drive it as and when you need to, but that doesn’t mean having to drive it everywhere. The fact is that the less mileage a car has done, the better. So aim to only drive when necessary, instead of driving everywhere. Need a pint of milk from the shop? Instead of getting in the car, walk. Dropping the kids to a playdate? Don’t drive, get on your bikes and cycle over. The less you can use your car, the better.

Want to ensure that your old car stays healthy? Then take note of the tips and advice above.

Cover Your Tire Tracks

Your tires are one of the most important parts of your car. They are your point of contact with the road. And let’s be honest, if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t get anywhere! Even so, many of us fail to pay them the attention they deserve. Until there’s a problem, you might not look at your tires at all. But, it’s time to make a change. You can’t take proper care of your car if you don’t get your tires in check. Don’t put yourself at risk! Know what to look out for.


Like any other aspect of your car, tires need regular checks. You should check them at least every couple of weeks. Look for splits, punctures, or signs of uneven wear. It’s also important you check tire pressure! Or, save yourself a job by investing in a tyre pressure monitor which can keep track for you! There are many reasons for keeping on top of this, from saving fuel, to increasing the lifespan of your tires. If you do notice a problem, take action. You put your life at risk if you don’t do anything when you spot the warning signs.


Okay, it may seem slightly strange getting to know your tires, but it’s important. This is especially the case with a second-hand car. To ensure they’re fit for purpose, learn how to read their markings. There, you’ll be able to see manufacturer information. Most importantly, you’ll find the manufacture date. You should never drive with tires that are older than six years. Take the time to check the date on your tires to ensure you haven’t exceeded that period. It’s important, too, to pay attention to your spare tire. It won’t do you any good if it’s too old for driving. Don’t assume that you won’t need to use it at some point. Check the date on there and get it replaced if it’s past the six-year mark! That way, you can ensure you’re covered should anything happen.


It’s also important that you know what to do in an emergency. Punctures usually happen in the worst places possible. Do a little research to find out how to change a tire. That way, you won’t be stuck waiting for a repair company on a busy road. Changing a tire isn’t hard once you know how. You may not be able to practice, but doing your research should be enough preparation. If it helps, print off instructions and keep them somewhere in your car! Know, too, where to find your spare tire and jack. If you’re in a compromising location, you won’t have time to waste finding these. Many modern cars aren’t fitted with a spare tire due to space restrictions. If that’s the case, see what alternatives your vehicle has. Often, modern cars have a tire sealant kit instead. If your vehicle has one of these, make sure you know how to use it!

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New Car? How to Take the Safety-First Approach

When you’ve just bought a new car, there’s usually an awful lot of excitement and anticipation. Before you jump into the driving seat, however, have you thought about whether you have taken all the necessary safety measures first?

If you’ve just received a “new” car that you’ve purchased second-hand, then it’s highly likely that there may be additional safety precautions that you should take. If you want to ensure that your vehicle is as safe as it can possible be, here are some tips to consider.

Regular maintenance

There are a lot of regular maintenance tasks that should be carried out to ensure the safety of your vehicle. Although it can be daunting looking at all the complicated equipment under your car’s bonnet, in reality, many of these regular maintenance jobs are straightforward.

Make sure you check the levels of your engine coolant, oil and windscreen washer fluid regularly to ensure that they do not run low. Furthermore, looking after your tires will also help keep you safe on the road. A tire tread gauge, or the penny test, will tell you if your tires have enough grip. A pressure gauge will also tell you if you have enough air in your tires.

Insurance and MOT

Making sure your car has all the right documentation can also let you know if it is safe to drive. A yearly MOT will tell you whether or not it is roadworthy, while renewing your insurance policy will ensure that you are covered in the event of an accident occurring.

Of course, if your vehicle is involved in a collision, you should remain calm and talk it over with any other parties involved. If there is a dispute, seeking help with car accidents, lawyers, and choosing the best course of action should be your next step. Do not endanger your safety further by getting into a heated argument about the accident.

Additional features

If your car is going to be used by other members of your family, it may be worth investing in additional safety features. An infant car seat, for example, is required for children under a certain age or height, but many parents are not installing them correctly.

If you’re interested in more modern upgrades to car safety then there are plenty of options available to you. Collision warning systems, software to help you stay in lane and drowsiness alert notifications are all recent additions to the world of automobiles that can make your car safer to drive.

Prepare for emergencies

If you do not have an emergency kit stored away in your car, then its safety must be called into question. It is impossible to know when an accident might occur or when your car will breakdown. Car owners should have a blanket, some fresh water and torch in their vehicle at all times. A basic tool kit and everything you need to change your tire will also prove useful. It’s the sort of thing that will, hopefully, never have to be used, but you’ll be thankful it’s there should anything happen to your car.

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Driving For Less

Cars are one of the most expensive things most of us ever own, and I’m not just talking about the price you pay to drive it off the lot in the first place! After that, there’s insurance, fuel, maintenance, and so many other things that need to be covered. Luckily, there are a range of simple ways you can actively keep your running costs to a minimum.


Many people can shave a fair amount off their running costs by simply choosing tires that are appropriate for their needs. If you’re driving around built-up urban areas all day, then you probably don’t need to fork out for high-performance tires. As long as you’re not sacrificing your safety, you can save a lot by going with standards. Keeping your tires inflated to the right level is also a good habit to get into. This will help your fuel economy a lot in the long-run. If you’re not sure of what the right pressure is, check the manufacturer’s website. The one thing you shouldn’t do is put off replacing worn tires. This can certainly be cheaper, but the safety risk isn’t worth it.


Car maintenance makes up a massive part of a driver’s recurring costs, and this is another important area where you should penny-pinch. The first thing you can do is shop around for a capped price servicing deal. A lot of auto companies run a capped price service scheme, which will make budgeting for your recurring costs so much easier. If you’re looking to buy, and you’re choosing your car based on its capped servicing scheme, be sure to shop around. Not all of these are considered equal in terms of the potential for savings. Another simple habit to get into is simply taking your car in for all the servicing and auto repair it needs. Under-servicing your car may save you a bit of money from one week to the next, it will be very costly in the long term. A lot of common mechanical issues in a car start off small and trivial, but become bigger and more severe as time goes on. Regular servicing will allow you to dodge these high costs, and also help your car to run with greater efficiency.

Fuel Economy

A lot of the biggest complaints from drivers center around fuel economy. With the uncertain future of fuel prices, and filling up counting for such a big portion of a car’s overall running costs, there’s no wonder it’s such a big talking point when people are looking for ways to make driving cheaper. Fortunately, you can help your fuel economy a lot by getting into a few simple driving habits. If you drive a little more conservatively when you first set off on a journey to let your engine warm up, accelerate gradually from a standstill, and avoid any lengthy periods of idling, it will do a lot to shave down your fuel usage.

Follow these tips, and driving will be so much cheaper!
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Can You Afford A Car?

To some people, learning to drive and owning a car is a rite of passage. But not everyone can afford to own a car – especially in this day and age with insurance and fuel costs constantly rising. Before you go full-speed ahead and buy yourself a vehicle, make sure you’ve weighed the financial costs.

Here are a few considerations that every buyer should consider first:

Work out your buying budget

Before you go looking for cars, it pays to have rough idea of the figure that you’re willing to spend. Ideally, you should be able to afford 20% of the car’s value. This will allow you to apply for a decent loan that’s not going to rip you off in the long run – some companies will allow you to pay gradual amounts over a series of many years, but in this time you’ll accumulate interest that could make the whole thing needlessly expensive.

If you can save up first it may be worthwhile. This could allow you to increase your budget and not simply settle for the only car you can afford.

Calculate running costs

As well as having a budget, you’ll need to account for other costs such as insurance, fuel, road tax, repairs and servicing.

All of this can depend largely on the vehicle. Cars that produce fewer emissions can result in lower road taxes – for electric cars you won’t have to pay tax at all. Tank capacity and economy settings could determine how much fuel you guzzle up. Car models that are prone to crashes or faults meanwhile may result in higher insurance premiums and greater chance of costly repairs.

Of course, there are steps you can take after purchase to reduce running costs. Advanced driving courses could lower your insurance. Biofuel and fuel economy gadgets could affect your gas consumption. Emissions tests may even reduce your tax.

Weigh up the cost of these after-purchase methods against regular running costs to see if they are worthwhile. You can do all this by using an online car costs calculator tool.

Counter your credit score

Even if your budget works out, your attempts to take out a loan from a lender may fall through if you have a bad credit score. In these cases, it pays to know your auto loan options. Some loan companies specialize in providing loans to people with poor credit ratings. You should target these and not simply approach any old loan company, as this may result in multiple rejections, further decreasing your credit score and leading to a vicious cycle of rejection and steadily decreasing credit score.

Of course, you don’t have to take out a loan and can pay by credit card. Not all dealers accept credit cards and some will insist you pay the merchant’s fee, but it could be a preferable alternative for some.

Shop around

To get a better idea of what you can get within your budget, make sure that you shop around. This includes private sellers and dealerships. Dealerships on average will charge higher prices to account for the running costs of their business. However, you may be able to get certain bundle deals at a dealership that you can’t get with a private seller. You can negotiate the cost in both situations – most dealers expect some haggling. Private sellers may be more firm with their price, whereas you may have more room for movement with a dealership, as well as having the option to ask if they can throw in free extras (a useful bargaining tool if a dealer isn’t budging on a price).

Be wary of old cars

New cars will always be pricier. By opting for a used car over a new one, you may be able to get practically the same model for half the cost due depreciation.

However, you should be wary of going too old. Older used cars will have done more mileage, which means the engine will have suffered more wear and tear. This could result in some expensive repair costs further down the line.

Consider the distance that you will be realistically driving in your car and whether you’re likely to go over your mileage. Your car won’t spontaneously combust the moment it runs out of miles on the clock, but it will increase your insurance and mechanics will be more wary when servicing.

When shopping around for old cars you should always look into their service history as this will notify you of any recurring faults or minor problems that might have been uncovered during an MOT but weren’t worth fixing at the time. If the car has a healthy record, this could be a good sign that you don’t have to worry about expensive future repair costs.

Consider cutbacks

In some cases, you may be able to budget for cutbacks when buying a car. If you’ve previously travelled to school or work by bus or train, you can make up these costs with a car (although driving will probably still work out more expensive).

If having a car is mandatory to your job or you live in an area where driving is a necessity, then you may have to consider making some cutbacks to your lifestyle in order to afford a car. By driving to some social events you may be able to cut down on alcohol spendings, as you’ll be forcing yourself to keep to limit. Alternatively you can cut back on other costly treats and luxuries.

Don’t let owning a car take preference over basic essentials. Cycling or moving to a more convenient place may be a cheaper solution to living remotely. For specific occasions you may be able to rent a car. There are also sharing methods that can make owning a car cheaper – either with a flatmate, partner or family member.

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3 Tips To Avoid Distractions At The Wheel

Man Driving a Car

Fluctuating gas prices, unfamiliar road signs and eye-catching billboards are just a few of the distractions we all have to deal with on the road. When the driver and passengers throw their own distractions into the mix, it makes things even more dangerous. Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes for crashes these days, and a lot of us take somewhat of a blasé attitude to it. 

Here are a few tips for staying focussed behind the wheel…

Be Prepared

We all have busy schedules we need to keep to in our personal and professional lives. Still, making sure that you’re prepared for whatever you’re going to as soon as you get in the driver’s seat is a great habit to ensure you avoid distractions. Talk to any experienced car accident lawyer, and they’ll tell you that countless collisions are caused by someone eating or grooming themselves at the wheel. Obviously, you should be aiming to get to work and other appointments on time, but you should be aiming to get there in one piece as well! Make sure you’re planning every little journey so that you have enough time to eat, adjust your suit, apply makeup and whatever else long before you hit the road.

Learn to Say “Not Now!”

Another big cause of distracted driving, and in turn dangerous car wrecks, is having an argument or a heated discussion at the wheel. You’re going to have all kinds of facts and speculations running through your head, and if you’re as stubborn as I am you’ll be devoting a lot of your attention to making sure the next point you make is a good one! Whether it’s on the phone or with someone who’s there in the car, a moving vehicle certainly isn’t the place to discuss any important issues that will distract you physically, mentally or emotionally. No matter how pressing the issue feels, learning to say “not now” and focussing all your attention on the road is very important to avoid any distracted driving. You’ll not only be much safer on the road, but also give yourself a little time to recollect your thoughts, and approach the whole thing later in a more calm and measured way.

Get Someone Else to Do It

One of the simplest ways you can avoid distracted driving is putting your passengers to work for you. If you need to adjust something on the navigation system, change the song on the stereo, or respond to calls and texts, get passengers to do it on your behalf. People who have been driving for some time may feel a little too comfortable letting their gaze flicker between a screen and the road. No matter how many times you’ve done this and not crashed, it’s important to remember that every time you do it carries a significant amount of risk. Aside from that, operating a phone or any other device is illegal! To avoid both crashes and weighty fines, don’t hesitate to ask your passengers to do things for you.

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Are Barn Find Investments The New Way Of Making Money From Your Savings?

Ladies, you might want to show this one to your hubbies…

Since the birth of the Internet, buying cars has become a lot easier. Sites such as Ebay and Autotrader open up your options and now we can even shop overseas for something a little more exciting.

As it goes, classic cars are now a pretty exciting investment. When the banks all went a haywire in 2008 many of us started to think of new ways to make our money work and it would appear the classic car market was one of them.

You might have noticed a few more Brits and Germans knocking about the States recently, that’s because we have something they want. Their cars back! Europe has been snatching back the Porsche  after the air cooled era sports cars increased in value at a rate of knots.

Sadly for us, the Europeans don’t really have much to offer us in return so we need to focus a little closer to home to search out a great investment.

Barn finds are a thing of wonder. You know the story, big old barn in the middle of nowhere with no real clues that there could be anything other than old tractors parked up inside, then suddenly you move an old bed sheet and there she is, a 1964 Pontiac GTO. The farmer has no idea this is the coolest car in America, you pick it up for an unspeakable price, get on the internet and before you can sing “We’re in the money” Shiply’s car transport service has packed her up and she’s on her way back to your garage.

Ok, so this scenario is something Richard Rawlings’s dreams are made of, but finding a classic American gem isn’t as hard as you might think.

Check out your local car ads, get out your car and look over a few fences, visit garages and talk to your neighbors. There are so many cars in America that are worth a good deal of cash with a little TLC. Come on, you just have to switch on the TV and you’ll stumble across a show that’s focussed on exactly this (like American Pickers or Count’s Customs).

You will need good mechanical knowledge or a great relationship with a mechanic, and it’s definitely worth taking him with you for a second opinion before you part with your hard earned dollars. If you are looking for a quick turnaround so you can keep a fluid investment (buying small, selling, reinvesting a little more, selling – you see where we are going here) then it will pay to use an auto shop to help bring your project to life. However if you are thinking of one longer investment then you can save money doing the bodywork and basics yourself. A project to work on with your partner or maybe even a bonding experience with one of your kids.

As you will know from the aforementioned King of Classics, Gas Monkey don’t just bring these cars back to their former glory they also improve and modify. Have a look at the current trends and create something really unique.

Then, if you can bear it, get her back on the internet and wait for the sale!

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Drivers Beware: Avoiding Those Heavy Hitting Fines

As a driver, you will be dealing with the pretty heavy financial impact of owning a car on a regular basis. Financing, insurance, repairs, gas. It all adds up to make owning a car an expensive prospect. But it’s worth it. What isn’t worth it is getting hit by big legal fines that could have easily been avoided in the first place. Here, we’ll look at how you can keep on the up-and-up and keep your finances the same way.

Before you hit the road

The best way to ensure that you aren’t hit with any fines is to make sure that you are legally iron-clad before you start driving. Make sure that you never take off without having properly checked the car for broken headlights, windshield cracks, or leaks. There are plenty of malfunctions that could easily get you stopped if you didn’t take a minute to inspect the vehicle before you took off. Besides that, make a mental checklist of all your other responsibilities are you’re driving. Never forget your seatbelts or decide to skip them even for a short journey, after all. The only reason most people get into legal trouble on the road is because they allow themselves to be legally vulnerable when driving.

When you’re pulled over

Assuming the correct behavior is essential to avoiding too much trouble when pulled over. As soon as you see them signaling you, find the next safe place to park. Don’t get out of the car or open the glove compartment or try to get your license and registration out early. If they see you moving around in the car, the police might think you’re trying to hide something. Which could give them a reason to take the stop further. This might even lead to levying an allegation against you. If that’s the case, make sure you have the right advice (hopefully you don’t need a DUI lawyer) ready to stand up for you. Even in cases that seem clear cut, you never know when they could save you from a fine because of a break in protocol or abuse of your rights that you might not have noticed.

When you’re involved in a collision

When it comes to a road accident or a collision, then it’s not as simple as proving your innocence. You might have to prove someone else’s culpability instead. Especially if their insurance provider is trying to get out paying you as they should. In those cases, you should make sure you’re reporting the accident, to the emergency services as well as your insurance provider. Then it’s about collecting evidence. Take pictures at the scene if you can and collect any witnesses you can. Then, to ensure you’re not left paying for everything, keep copies of any medical bills you run up due to the accident.

Being more responsible on the road should be your number one priority. But that doesn’t mean you should accept every fine that someone attempts to throw your way. Rest assured that no-one else is going to try to protect you as much as you could be protecting yourself.

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The Ins and Outs Of Taking Proper Care Of Your Car

If you drive a lot on a daily or even just a weekly basis, then there is a lot to be said for knowing how to properly look after your car. After all, you never do know when something might go wrong, and knowing the ins and outs of basic car care is always a good thing for any motorist to be able to do. The trouble with this is often that most drivers don’t bother to look up this stuff until it is too late. In other words, most motorists only bother with this once they have already started experiencing some kind of trouble with their car. This then means that they have to take the vehicle to the mechanic, and as a result the whole experience costs a lot more and involves a lot more stress than is strictly necessary. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the basic aspects of car care which anyone can benefit from learning.

Keep An Eye Out For Anything Bad

Probably the most important thing of all is to make sure that you are always keeping an eye out for anything which might be wrong or about to go wrong. There are a huge number of potential problems that any car can face, and knowing the warnings signs for the most common ones puts you in a good position as it allows you to fix those issues before they become more serious. Fortunately, the more serious problems tend to also have the more obvious warning signs, but that is not always the case, so it is worth learning the others too. And it is a good idea to remember that sometimes the warning signs are not visual or tactile but rather smell-oriented, particularly problems relating to the clutch and the exhaust. If there is a problem with the exhaust, this could be serious, and you should check exhaust Repair quotes straight away.

Keep Up With Basic Maintenance

As well as keeping an eye out for anything amiss, it also really pays to pay attention to the basic maintenance of your vehicle. This consists of actions which are really straightforward, yet many motorists completely fail to do them time and time again. We are talking here of things such as checking your oil and water levels, for a start. You should aim to do this at least every six weeks, as not doing so could result in fairly serious problems with your car. Similarly, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the tire pressure, as the tires’ health is massively important to the car as a whole.

Replace Those Essential Parts

Finally, it is worth remembering that there are certain parts of the car which are good to replace every now and then, no matter whether or not they are showing apparent signs of imminent failure. The brake pads are a good example of this; ideally, you should be replacing them every 25,000 miles or so, as after that distance they can often start to fall apart or fail on you – and that is the last thing you want.

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Are You Driving As Safely As You Should Be?

Cars are now safer than they’ve ever been before in terms of their tech and features. However, they’re still massive bulks of steel which can reach extremely high speeds, and only really as safe as the “nut behind the wheel”. While I’m not painting all my readers with the “bad driver” brush, I’d say most people can do at least something to make themselves safer on the roads. Here are a few pointers for making sure you’re as safe as you can be.

Keep an Eye on the Speedo

If there’s one thing that gets worse as we become more and more experienced drivers, it’s our tendency to speed. As all those PSAs put it, speed kills, and is found to be at the root of countless car accidents every year. One study found that for every mile an hour faster we drive, the risk of a collision increases by roughly five percent. That’s pretty worrying if you ask me! Once you’ve been driving for a few years, it can be easy to ignore the speedometer altogether, and keep to the limit purely by feel. This is understandable, but not really condonable! If you know you’re not looking at the speedo enough, turn this habit around as soon as possible.

Get a Dash Cam

Okay, having a dash cam recording all the time isn’t going to save you from a collision that isn’t your fault. However, it can act as one extra reminder to drive safely, and can be an extremely useful safety net if and when you are involved in a crash. Dash cams are a pretty common sight on our roads these days, and if another driver who has some less-than-safe habits sees that little black lens behind your windshield, or in a more obvious mount like the ones from Rigid Industry, it can be all it takes to get them to slow down, or abort the dangerous sharp turn they were about to make. By the same token, there’s always the slim, but very real possibility of the camera’s footage being used in a court case. Obviously, you don’t want to have to present footage that shows you were speeding or cutting people off in front of a judge! Aside from the safety aspects, dash cam footage can help a lot in lengthy insurance claims.

Don’t Sleep and Drive

Hopefully, you never, ever drink and drive, knowing how irresponsible and dangerous this is. However, this isn’t the only way you can seriously limit your responsiveness and skills as a driver. Far too many people decide to get behind the wheel of a car when they’re struggling to keep their eyes open. Just like alcohol, tiredness at the wheel can slow your reactions, and even present the risk of you falling asleep at the wheel. Again, like drink driving, tired driving has been the cause of countless fatal accidents over the years. Make sure you’re getting a better night’s sleep, and always take a short break if you’re in any doubt about your driving condition.

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