This year we keep hearing "Thanksgiving is too darn early!" ...and variations like "Thanksgiving already? I still have Halloween candy!" or "Can't we just skip right to Christmas?" 2017's early Thanksgiving date seems to be making a lot of us feel a bit rushed and unprepared for the holiday. And while we can't help with your Thanksgiving menu or guest list, we would like to assist with another concern...minimizing traffic problems for this major travel holiday.
Many intern...et sources are available to help you figure out the best departure and return times for your holiday car travel, and we've provided links to some of the most popular. In general the advice seems to be both expected (don't try to drive on Wednesday afternoon) and unfortunate (your best bet for avoiding traffic requires cramming your tired, cranky family into the car before dawn on Thanksgiving Day.) While our hometown of Grand Junction isn't known for major holiday traffic problems, if you'll be in another area around Thanksgiving you may want to check out the following:
Auto “experts,” financial “experts,” and the auto-buying population in general have mixed feelings about buying new vehicles. And if you’re buying new, we recommend that you shop very carefully to counteract the effects of depreciation.
Car industry news sources indicate that this November is a good month for new auto buying. Auto model year seasons, like new TV programming seasons, have become seemingly harder to define over the years...but apparently there are still some ...predictable factors. According to U.S.News & World Report, “November marks the last big month of the 2017 sell-down season as dealers are rushing to get the last of the 2017 models off of their lots to make room for a rush of 2018s.” Other sources seem to agree, so we recommend that new-car (or new-truck/SUV in snowy locations!) shoppers check out the following links:
Let us know if your real-life November car shopping is uncovering some good seasonal deals...we welcome your comments!
Since it’s approximately the midpoint between the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving, we thought we’d treat you with some car news you might be thankful for. And as Christmas approaches, we can also help you fill your wish list today...if one of your wishes is to own a car featured in a favorite movie or TV show.
Of course the actual cars from movies tend to be out of the average buyer’s price range...but getting into the same make/model vehicle as you’ve seen onscreen c...an be more affordable than you might expect. While you likely can’t fit the time-machine DeLorean from “Back to the Future” into your budget, Marty McFly’s 1985 Toyota 4x4 “dream truck” may be within your reach. So could a VW like “Herbie the Love Bug,” “Starsky and Hutch”’s 1975 Ford Gran Torino, or one of many different vehicles driven by various James Bonds over the years.
The following Carfax blog post goes over a variety of vintage movie cars...
...while this US News & World Report link concentrates on new versions of iconic movie models:
And if you’re really focused on driving in James Bond style, you can check out this link to a variety of alternatives:
And if you’re interested in finding out more about insuring your dream car, give us a call. But if you’re really not in the market for a vehicle just yet, you can always whet your appetite with this Batmobile:
On most Fridays, our Facebook posts are usually pretty lighthearted...sometimes even trivial. But on the day before Veterans Day, we’re getting a bit serious. The upcoming holiday honors all U.S. military veterans, so we wanted to share some ideas on just what meaningful steps we can take in honoring them...not just tomorrow, but all year long.
Military.com gives some basic tips on how to respectfully honor our veterans on the holiday..recommending that you take a more pers...onal approach than just saying “Thank you for your service.” http://www.military.com/…/8-ways-to-express-appreciation-on…
And Military.com’s “SpouseBuzz” offers these personal insights on how veterans themselves view the holiday: https://www.spousebuzz.com/…/3-things-veterans-want-know-ve…
Veterans United encourages us to take action for veterans in our own community in honor of the holiday: https://www.veteransunited.com/…/honoring-those-who-served…/
And finally, CNN.com reminds us to go beyond the holiday itself, with these thoughts on how to help veterans throughout the year: http://www.cnn.com/…/veterans-day-five-ways-to-h…/index.html
We recently brought up the topic of self-driving (aka “autonomous” or “driverless”) cars. But while considering the potential of this technology, we also wanted to bring attention to another vehicle tech issue, sometimes known as the “self-distracting car” phenomenon...
Previously common sources of driver distraction (phone use for calls/texts, plugging in a GPS navigation device, playing videos for your passengers, etc.) are sometimes now replaced by equally distracting te...chnology that is part of the car itself. Please see the following research-related information.
Advanced technology can make your driving experience happier and less stressful...but it can also take your attention away from road hazards. Check in with us if you want to make sure you have the protection you need--in case your fellow drivers turn a distraction into an accident.
As we reminded you last week, an hour of afternoon sunlight has just been lost due to the end of Daylight Saving Time. On top of that Mother Nature will be chipping away at our daylight hours for the next month and a half, with earlier sunsets and later sunrises throughout the Northern Hemisphere until December 21. So we thought this week is a good time to give you some helpful hints for an activity you’re likely to do a lot of in the next few months...driving in the dark.
T...he first tip for driving in the dark may seem ridiculously obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less important: make sure your headlights are on. Some vehicles have “automatic headlights” that work through sensors that detect how much light is outside the vehicle, but these have their limitations--rainy and foggy situations can fool the sensors--so it’s still necessary to pay attention and turn on lights manually if needed.
Another tricky situation involves driving a vehicle with “daytime running lights.” While not mandatory in the U.S., DRLs which “switch on automatically when a vehicle moves forward” have become an increasingly common safety feature. They are intended to improve the visibility of vehicles in any traffic conditions--not the vision of the vehicle’s driver-- and are not a substitute for headlights. However, in some cases inattention/confusion can lead drivers to assume their headlights are on when they’re really just using their daytime running lights.
Below are a few articles with different perspectives on daytime running lights, but the below passage from AskMen.com’s list of “Top 10 Driving Mistakes” (https://www.askmen.com/…/cars/top-10-driving-mistakes_5.html) sums up the most commonly reported problem:
"We’ve come to take daytime running lights for granted, sometimes leaving our lights in that mode after dark. With some cars, that’s not enough. Depending on your vehicle, your headlights may be dimmer and your taillights may not be on at all. It’s a common driving mistake that’s not always caught in city driving, since there are typically so many other sources of light at night. But on the highway, this could mean the difference between life and death; if your taillights aren't on, you're not visible to other motorists on the road, not to mention the fact that you'll have much less visibility in front of you. So, make the effort and turn the lever one notch up on the left-hand side. Not so hard, is it?"
So check out the following, and don't forget to turn on your lights!
As you’ve probably heard by now, Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend with a “Fall Back” on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 a.m. Whether you stay up late and ritually reset your clocks at that exact moment, pre-set them before you go to bed Saturday night, procrastinate until you wake up Sunday morning, or ignore the whole process with the confidence that all your timekeeping devices will update automatically, the time change itself is unavoidable (unless you’re in Arizona, the one st...ate that does not observe DST.) Another thing that seems unavoidable is the public debate on the pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time--including its effects on your daily driving safety.
Much of the published material regarding DST - like the below-linked article - focuses on the traffic safety issues at the “Spring Forward” and “Fall Back” transition times.
The authors say “Although most research tends to focus on the "spring forward" period, when we lose an hour of sleep, experts say that the "fall back" period also has negative and dangerous effects, despite the extra hour gained, because the sleep cycle is still significantly altered.”
The below-linked TIME Magazine piece also addresses safety concerns. ( http://time.com/3549442/daylight-saving-time-traffic-deaths/) In the article, University of Washington Law Professor Steve Calandrillo not only opposes the twice-a-year time change but also advocates for DST to be implemented throughout the year. He says that “more people are active during the evening...and the additional sunlight that DST provides helps provide drivers with the visibility necessary to see pedestrians. ‘At 5 pm virtually everyone in society is awake...There are far more people asleep at 7 in the morning than at 7 in the evening.’”
A recent Popular Mechanics article also leans towards advocating year-round Daylight Saving Time. (http://www.popularmechanics.com/…/in-defense-of-daylight-s…/)
It seems like everyone has an opinion on DST. Let us know what you think of “Spring Forward, Fall Back”, and whether you believe it affects your driving safety.
Along with fully electric cars, “self-driving” fully autonomous vehicles have been highly publicized as the future of auto technology. But for the average driver with an average income, owning a driverless vehicle still looks like a very far-off possibility.
Getting safe and efficient self-driving cars to market is a goal of not just traditional automakers, but also technology companies like Apple and Google. While some studies like this one from MIT (http://www.wbur.org/….../2017/05/25/mit-study-self-driving-cars) show consumers are skeptical about going driverless, many other sources insist that autonomous vehicles are just what the U.S. market needs.
As they do with many other topics, the Consumer Reports organization puts a lot of effort into getting unbiased and comprehensive information out about self-driving cars. Please check out their below-linked features and judge for yourself. Let us know if you think having a driverless car sounds like a good idea--all comments are welcome.
Happy car-buying bargain day! Well, at least that’s what some experts say. According to the articles linked here from U.S. News & World Report (https://cars.usnews.com/cars-truc…/6-best-times-to-buy-a-car) and Edmunds.com (https://www.edmunds.com/car-…/when-to-buy-your-next-car.html), there are several different dates, months, times and weekdays that tend to present opportunities for the best discounts on vehicle prices.
While Edmunds debunks the “full-moon discount” as a myth, both sources seem to agree that there can be price advantages to buying cars in October, at the end of the month, on Mondays, and in some cases on rainy days. Today is the last Monday in October, so we’re hoping that you can catch a bargain trifecta. If so, let us know what we can do to help you with insuring your new vehicle.
Lots of our posts have been about selecting and buying a NEW (or at least “new to you”) car. But when you do, you also have to figure out what to do with your OLD car. In some cases the destination of your soon-to-be-former vehicle is already decided:
...It’s been “totalled” and is going off to the junkyard,
...It’s getting “handed down” to a family member,
...It goes from being a couple’s shared vehicle to being the primary vehicle of one of its owners.
But in most cases, getting a new car means selling the old car. If you’re working with an auto dealer, you can try to negotiate a good “trade-in” deal. But whether your purchase is with a dealer or a private seller, you may choose to sell your old auto yourself. The increase in internet sales and research information has done a lot to popularize the private auto sales market...sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Selling your own car can net you a better return than other options--but can also involve more risk, time and hassle. Here are some tips on how best to handle the process: