Safe2Drive Blog

6/9/2021

7 Tips on How to Save Money When Buying a Car

by Marko Jovanovic

We’ve all come to terms with cars being expensive, so we pay little mind to the price tag and focus on saving up enough money. Even the cheapest wheeled tin cans cost at least a few hundred dollars, while boutique models cost several times more than lofty luxurious suites.

There are, however, ways by which you can save some cash when buying a car, and depending on what you’re aiming for and how efficiently you can utilize the following tips, your savings may be fairly considerable.

Timing is everything.

The most important factor to consider when buying any car is the specific time of year. Essentially, car dealership companies need to fulfill certain quotas each semester, and occasionally, these quotas aren’t met, which results in bonuses and discounts the following month.

Sadly, this does not apply to household names and the latest models, but it works for pretty much everything else.

Some companies offer discounts throughout the entire year, so keep an eye open for events such as the brand’s founding day, Christmas sales, and especially Independence Day discounts.

As a matter of fact, due to people swarming the car markets during big holidays, the vast majority of car dealerships and salespeople tend to knock substantial amounts off of the initial price tag in order to sell as many models as possible. Don’t worry about super-low prices around these dates, as they’re still making a huge profit.

You’ll want to act fast, though. The biggest discounts revolve around the most important holidays, and these typically last for only a couple of days. The Independence Day discounts in particular seldom last more than three days and typically start on the 3rd of July until the 6th.

Compare prices across several dealerships.

Essentially, doing your research is the main prerequisite of saving money, as car salespeople can sniff out people who’ve come to buy their car without knowing anything about its actual value. This means that you shouldn’t settle for the first dealership that has the model you are looking for in stock.

Take as much time as necessary and visit as many sites as possible. In fact, it’s sometimes better to drive across the country to buy a better car than to settle for whatever your local second-hand vendor has to offer.

Negotiate whenever possible.

Even though legal dealerships and salespeople will never go above the original price of any vehicle, it’s not uncommon to get a discount if you know how to approach the negotiations, if such is allowed in the first place.

Second-hand salespeople are more inclined to reduce the price than household names in the industry, so it might be wise to place your chips there. The general rules of negotiating are to never show your eagerness and to appear borderline uninterested whenever the actual price is mentioned.

On the other hand, you should showcase your knowledge about cars as often as possible throughout the discussion. Salespeople who have a feeling that you aren’t well-versed in the car’s mechanics may omit a thing or two, typically when it comes to the shortcomings of a particular model.

Bring an expert.

There are numerous reasons why you’ll want to have a tech-savvy friend or a car expert by your side as you’re entering the lot. Even though the salespeople will provide all the necessary information, as well as give you the opportunity for a test drive, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where no one knows about certain hidden faults of a car in question.

Both brand-new and second-hand cars are typically backed by warranties, but being able to replace faulty parts for free isn’t as beneficial as getting an actual discount.

You’ll want to inspect the car inside out, and if you don’t know what to look for, having an expert by your side can make a significant difference. The tires, the motor, the mileage, and even the car’s paint can be tweaked to appear as if they’re much less worn-out than they actually are.

Settling for older models can be very beneficial.

The latest car models are ridiculously expensive simply because they’re the newest editions in the class. Oftentimes, the newer model isn’t that much better than its predecessor, although salespeople will try their best to persuade you to think otherwise.

Most manufacturers release new models every two to three years, which in most cases is not enough time for quantum leaps in terms of car technology. The electronics may be a bit faster, the tires may offer slightly better traction, and the seats may be slightly more comfortable. However, are these features worth tens of thousands of dollars in price difference? In most cases, they’re not.

Another reason why you should consider buying older car models is that they’re fundamentally built with the same specs in mind. The general quality of comfort and features older models offer isn’t substantially different when compared to their hyped, younger counterparts.

Look for dealerships that approve exchanges.

If you already have a car and are looking for an upgrade, the best way to reduce the price of your new one is to offer your old one. The biggest problem with this approach is determining the actual value of your car. In some cases, you’d be better off selling your car to someone else, and then using that money to upgrade.

However, certain second-hand dealerships may offer you a better deal depending on certain circumstances. Individual buyers tend to value a car’s performance more than its parts, while dealerships and car salespeople value the quality of its parts more than its performance.

For example, selling a perfectly functioning Audi Q5 to a dealership wouldn’t be as lucrative as selling it to an individual who is looking for that particular model. On the flip side, if you have custom fenders, the latest wheels, and an updated GPS system in an old, worn-out car, you’ll fare better turning it in for exchange; it all varies from model to model.

Avoid models that burn too much fuel.

A car with a cheap price tag may end up becoming a financial burden if its fuel upkeep is high. It’s always better to pay a bit more upfront for vehicles that don’t consume as much fuel per mile instead.

We hope that this guide was useful to you and that you’ve learned something new today on saving money when buying a new car. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through, and have a good one!

We’ve all come to terms with cars being expensive, so we pay little mind to the price tag and focus on saving up enough money. Even the cheapest wheeled tin cans cost at least a few hundred dollars, while boutique models cost several times more than lofty luxurious suites.

There are, however, ways by which you can save some cash when buying a car, and depending on what you’re aiming for and how efficiently you can utilize the following tips, your savings may be fairly considerable.

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6/7/2021

How Far Can an Object Lawfully Extend from Your Vehicle?

by Courtney Conley

One common question we hear is: how far can an object lawfully extend from your vehicle? This is a good question, because the distance varies depending on which state you’re in. Let’s take a look at the rules in each state.

Truck

The federal size regulations state that loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front, 4 feet to the rear, and 4 inches to the sides of a vehicle. Same states follow these guidelines, whereas others have overhang laws specific to their own state. For loads exceeding these limits, there usually needs to be a warning flag displayed at the end of the load during the day, and warning lights displayed at the end of the load at night. We’ve listed the size regulations for each state below.

  • Alabama: A load can extend 4 feet past the rear of the bed or body of the vehicle.
  • Alaska: A load can’t extend beyond 3 feet in the front of the vehicle, and 4 feet in the rear or body of the vehicle.
  • Arizona: Loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 6 feet in the rear.
  • Arkansas: Loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 4 feet in the rear.
  • California: Loads can extend up to 3 feet to the front of the vehicle, and up to 4 feet to the rear.
  • Colorado: A load can extend up to 4 feet to the front and 4 feet to the rear of a vehicle. No loads can extend beyond 4 feet to the front or 10 feet from the rear of a vehicle without a legal permit from the CO Department of Transportation.
  • Connecticut: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Delaware: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front of the vehicle and up to 6 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle.
  • Florida: In most cases, loads can extend up to 4 feet to the rear and up to 3 feet in the front of a vehicle. For trucks transporting automobiles or boats, the load can extend up to 9 feet to the rear of the vehicle, and for trucks transporting trees, the limit is up to 10 feet to the rear.
  • Georgia: Loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and up to 4 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Hawaii: Loads in Hawaii can’t extend beyond 4 feet to the front and 10 feet to the rear of a vehicle.
  • Idaho: A load may extend up to 4 feet past the front and 10 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Illinois: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle.
  • Indiana: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Iowa: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle.
  • Kansas: Loads may extend no more than 3 feet to the front and 4 feet to the rear of a vehicle.
  • Kentucky: In this state, loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 5 feet in the rear of a vehicle.
  • Louisiana: Loads in Louisiana can extend no more than 4 feet in the front and 8 feet in the rear.
  • Maine: For loads in Maine, the limit is up to 4 feet to the front and 6 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Maryland: Vehicles in this state can carry loads that extend up to 3 feet in the front and 6 feet in the rear.
  • Massachusetts: Loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 4 feet in the rear.
  • Michigan: Any size load is permitted in Michigan, as long as it doesn’t exceed the overall legal length of the vehicle. For loads extended beyond 4 feet, there needs to be a red flag attached to the end of the load during the day, and a red light or lantern at night.
  • Minnesota: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front of the vehicle, and up to 4 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Mississippi: In this state, a load can extend no more than 3 feet to the front and 15 feet to the rear of the vehicle. Loads exceeding these limits require a permit and an escort. Forest products can extend up to 28 feet, but can only move during daylight.
  • Missouri: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle.
  • Montana: Loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 4 feet in the rear.
  • Nebraska: In Nebraska, you can carry a load up to the overall legal length of your vehicle. Any loads exceeding 4 feet to the rear of the vehicle must display a red flag during the day, and a red light at night.
  • Nevada: Loads can extend no more than 10 feet beyond the front or the rear of the vehicle, or a total of 10 feet to both the rear and the front of the vehicle.
  • New Hampshire: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • New Jersey: Loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 4 feet in the rear.
  • New Mexico: A special permit is required for loads that extend more than 3 feet beyond the front of the vehicle, or more than 7 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle.
  • New York: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle.
  • North Carolina: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • North Dakota: A load can extend up to 10 feet to the front and the rear of a vehicle.
  • Ohio: In this state, loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 4 feet in the rear of a vehicle.
  • Oklahoma: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Oregon: In Oregon, loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 5 feet in the rear of a vehicle.
  • Pennsylvania: Loads can extend up to 3 feet from the front and no more than 6 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
  • Rhode Island: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 6 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • South Carolina: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • South Dakota: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle.
  • Tennessee: In this state, loads can extend up to 3 feet in the front and 4 feet in the rear of a vehicle.
  • Texas: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Utah: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle.
  • Vermont: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 6 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Virginia: Loads can extend up to 3 feet beyond the front and 4 feet beyond the rear of a vehicle.
  • Washington: In Washington, loads can extend up to 3 feet to the front and 15 feet to the rear of a vehicle.
  • West Virginia: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 6 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Wisconsin: A load can extend up to 3 feet past the front and up to 4 feet past the rear of a vehicle.
  • Wyoming: Loads in Wyoming can extend up to 4 feet to the front and rear of a vehicle.

Keep in mind that these limits must be followed and ignoring them could result in an infraction or other penalties, depending on what state you’re driving in. Always be sure to follow the proper laws in your state when carrying a load.

Want to learn more about traffic safety topics? Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course is a great way to brush up on your driving skills! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state.

One common question we hear is: how far can an object lawfully extend from your vehicle? This is a good question, because the distance varies depending on which state you’re in. Let’s take a look at the rules in each state.

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6/1/2021

Do You Need to Wear Your Glasses While Driving?

by Courtney Conley

June 6th is National Eyewear Day! It was founded to celebrate the benefits of eyewear and how improved vision can impact our daily lives. Vision is especially important when it comes to driving. Why do you need to wear your glasses while driving? Let’s take a look.

Field of Vision

Your field of vision is the area you can see while looking straight ahead. This includes your central vision, which is your clear, direct sight.

Central Vision

Field of vision also includes your peripheral vision, which is what you can see out of the corner of your eyes, without turning your head. Drivers rely on peripheral vision to support a number of tasks while driving, such as maintaining speed and lane position and detecting potential hazards. Peripheral Vision

In order to drive safely, you need to be able to see clearly in both your central vision and your peripheral vision.

Vision Requirements

How much vision you need in order to get your driver’s license varies depending on which state you live in. In California, for example, you need 20/40 vision with both eyes tested together, or 20/40 in one eye and at least 20/70 in the other eye. If you fail your vision exam, you may be referred to an eye specialist before you’re able to reapply for your license.

When Are Glasses Needed?

In most cases, if you wear glasses or corrective lenses in your daily life, you will need to wear them when you drive. When you earn your driver’s license, the department will let you know when you’re required to wear your corrective lenses. Some drivers will have a restriction on their license that indicates they may only drive when wearing their corrective lenses. Other drivers may be able to see well enough during the day, but their vision isn’t strong enough at night to be able to drive safely.

Want to learn more about traffic safety topics? Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course is a great way to brush up on your driving skills! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state.

June 6th is National Eyewear Day! It was founded to celebrate the benefits of eyewear and how improved vision can impact our daily lives. Vision is especially important when it comes to driving. Why do you need to wear your glasses while driving? Let’s take a look.

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5/17/2021

Which State Has the Fewest Car Accidents?

by Courtney Conley

In a previous post, we looked at which state has the most collisions. There were about 38,000 traffic fatalities in 2019. While Texas had the most fatal collisions that year with 3,615, which state had the fewest collisions?

Crash

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Vermont had the fewest fatal collisions in 2019 with 47 total. Rhode Island came in second with 57 fatal crashes, and Alaska in third with 67 fatal crashes.

It makes sense that states with fewer drivers had fewer collisions than states with a larger population. Michigan had the lowest collision rate at 6.18%, whereas the average percentage in the US was 12.45%.

Even if your state had fewer collisions than other states, it’s still important to be alert and do everything you can to avoid a collision. One way to avoid collisions is to be extra cautious at times when collisions are more likely to occur. Take a look at the chart below.

Collisions Time of Day

If you’re traveling during times when there are more vehicles on the road (e.g., "Rush Hour"), make sure you are paying close attention to the road!

Taking an online defensive driving course or an insurance discount course is a great defense against collisions! Click here to visit our website to see the online courses we offer in your state!

In a previous post, we looked at which state has the most collisions. There were about 38,000 traffic fatalities in 2019. While Texas had the most fatal collisions that year with 3,615, which state had the fewest collisions?

Back to TopRead More
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