How To Save Big On Auto Insurance Costs

Submitted by: David Maillie

With a stagnant economy, prices on everything rising, the constant threat of high gas prices, and recent sales and state tax hikes on our automobiles has made it important to find ways to save anywhere we can. A big and easy area to save lots of money is auto insurance. It is amazing that regardless of the commercials like Geico and Progressive telling people to shop for the best rate that 90 percent or more never do. You need to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. You work too hard to through easy money away and make insurance representatives and executives rich. Recent research shows that you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars just by making a few phone calls and shopping around a little bit.

According to the Insurance Research Council the average savings by shopping around auto insurance carriers is $847. That s $847 per year and that is a lot of money to throw away. To start saving first call your auto insurance company and ask if you are getting all the discounts you qualify for. Most will happily oblige you on this as they want to keep their customers happy. Discounts could be for things like no accidents, age, sex, driving history, college student, even good grades (I believe just Allstate has this one right now). Discounts of 2 percent to 5 percent may not seem like much but could easily become several hundred dollars or more per year really fast. The biggest deduction is usually a clean, accident free driving record and that can be from 4 to 20 percent or more per year in savings. Just be careful as it only takes 1 infraction to nullify most or all of these discounts.

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Check and see if you have any points on your license. If you do not remember if you have had a recent (last 4 years in most cases except DUI), just call your auto insurance agency. They can tell you exactly how many points, why or what the infraction was and what you can do to fix or reduce them. Many auto insurance agencies or companies sponsor safe driving classes if yours does not a simple call or visit to your local DMV will reveal many classes that can remove or lower points and reduce insurance costs or award deductions. Many of these classes are only a one day affair for 4 to 5 hours. Some are free and some may cost $20 to around $50. Regardless, in what they will save you in one year alone it is well worth it.

And the big one, shop around. You need to do this every few years even if your current auto insurer is the best, they may not be in two years. Rates are constantly changing along with crash test and theft recovery numbers. It also depends on where you live. If you have recently moved or are planning a move then shop your auto insurance. The same auto insurance company may have totally different rates (and probably does) in different cities. Even if you have had some recent infractions or just received one, shop your rate. You need to do this as you will save big money. The average savings for all insured persons that shop their rate is $847. The average for those that don t is obviously a big fat zero. Definitely include Progressive and Geico in your shopping as they will usually have the lowest rates and best service. I have personally found Progressive to have the lowest rates in New York and North Carolina.

It is also a good idea to drive safely and to continue to drive safely (non aggressively). It will not only save you big on insurance, but it could save your life or the life of someone else. And never pass a stopped school bus. There is a reason why its 4 points or more on your license, respect school buses and kids for they may not always see you and if something bad were to happen you would never forget or forgive yourself.

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Restoring A Vintage Car

By Harvey Ong

A vintage car can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. A non-enthusiast might consider a classic automobile to be little more than an old, outdated model that needs to be replaced with a more practical machine. A collector would see the value in the machine and keep it for that reason. A more sentimental person might find the vintage car as something that invokes memories of his youth, or a specific moment in his past he wants to be reminded of. However, sadly, most vehicles from the vintage era are likely in need of some level of restoration and as such, there are several things that have to be kept in mind whenever one decides to undertake a restoration.

First off would be where to get the parts for the restoration. A vintage car, no matter how well-maintained, is likely going to need one or more of its parts replaced. Up until recently, it was difficult locating components for a classic automobile since the manufacturers discontinued service for the older models; this stopped production on replacement parts. However, several companies have come into play since that time to produce the replacement parts that vintage auto restorers need. While the numbers for classic car parts companies is small in comparison to their counterparts aimed at modern vehicles, the classic car parts companies have become invaluable to collectors and enthusiasts alike. If the owner can’t find the parts he needs from the companies, another avenue for getting them would be auctions and car shows, both of which have some people selling rare reproduction parts that may not be available anywhere else.

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Most of the time, a vintage car will be sold stock, which means the vehicle is sold as it was built by the manufacturer. However, when restoring a classic automobile, the owner has the option of making a few modifications. Typically, upgrades are made to the overall performance factors of the machine, such as braking and fuel transmission. It is also not unheard of for some enthusiasts to modify or upgrade a vintage auto for drag racing purposes, as popularized by films like “The Fast and The Furious.” Other enthusiasts prefer more mundane upgrades, like better sound systems or more comfortable seats. Drastic changes, such as adding completely new components like hydraulics, are generally not done to classic automobiles, though a few exceedingly modified vehicles do exist.

For the inexperienced, restoring a vintage car can be a daunting task because of the danger of permanently damaging the auto. As such, there are a number of companies out there that have gained expertise in restoring a classic automobile to as close to factory fresh as possible. While the price of hiring a restoration company can seem expensive at first, it is worth noting that an inexperienced enthusiast can easily make a mistake that could prove more expensive than paying for a professional restoration. However, if the owner feels up to the task, then performing the restoration on one’s own is an option.

The price of a restoration can vary depending on a few factors. The main factor would be the make and model of the vintage car to be restored. Some models have parts that are rarer and more expensive than other models. The second factor would be the purpose of the restoration. The cost can go up or down depending on what exactly the owner wants restored and whether or not anything is to be upgraded. The final factor in a vintage car restoration would be the one doing the restoration. An experienced enthusiast who has already done a few restorations will likely find it cheaper to do the restoration on his own rather than hire someone else. However, someone who doesn’t have much mechanical knowledge would be better off hiring a third party to do the restoration, rather than risk damaging the vehicle.

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Mandatory Seat Belt Laws Save Lives Absolutely!

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By Jean Littman

Despite statistics to support the seat belt case, there is still plenty of controversy surrounding the claim that mandatory seat belt laws save lives. Many of us have been around long enough to remember when seat belts were not even installed in vehicles. In the rare event that seat belts were installed, they were often regarded as a nuisance and pushed aside. Drivers in their fifties and sixties cannot recall wearing seat belts as a child – back then, adults usually didn’t wear seat belts and neither did children.

There is plenty of recognized research to show that many lives could have been saved had the occupants in motor vehicle accidents been wearing seat belts. People turn into deadly projectiles during a high speed vehicle impact, smashing into windscreens, steering wheels, other occupants and being hurtled outside the car. Even a minor accident can kill someone if they are not wearing a seat belt. One blow to a vulnerable part of the head is all it takes.

As an Australian resident, I have lived for many years with a seat belt law that helps protect and save lives. I never get into a vehicle without wearing a seat belt and will not allow passengers into my vehicle without wearing one. I also remind drivers to wear their seat belts when I am their passenger. Why? Because ‘buckling-up’ a seat belt saves lives – and it only takes a few seconds prior to driving off.

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It is sometimes difficult to understand why people get offended when the government passes laws that make sense. Speeding laws are a good example of this. People don’t always abide by speeding laws. They know they run a risk of serious accident or a traffic citation, but they do it anyway.

Those who disagree with the claim that mandatory seat belt laws save lives believe ‘buckling up’ is a nuisance and serves no useful purpose. In fact there are many who feel it is a gross invasion of privacy, and want to be able make their own decisions about wearing seat belts. People will always break driving laws, but it doesn’t mean those laws are wrong and should not exist.

The mandatory seat belt laws save lives. That’s the fact, Jack! Driving laws are basically good decisions which are intended to help us stay safe on the roads. The mandatory seat belt laws just make too much sense to argue with them. Children “do as we do, not as we say” much of the time. Statistics reveal that if parents don’t ‘buckle-up’, children’s seat belt usage drops by 36 percent

When it comes to seat belts, it’s time to let the government interfere. When they do get something right, let’s not complain but instead give them some accolades. Speeding and seat belt laws are not punishment, they are mechanisms which could save our lives.

Hard facts and research data supporting the fact that mandatory seat belt laws saves lives is readily available on the web. For example, check out the statistics on driving laws at – they speak for themselves. After a good read, I’m sure you will agree that mandatory seat belt laws save lives!

About the Author: Jean Littman is co-owner of

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defensive driving techniques

, advanced driving and traffic safety programs.


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