Volvo adds new safety features to detect cyclists

This new “Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake” from Volvo looks pretty interesting. I’m a little skeptical of the automatic brake feature. Yes, it can save lives, but it will be interesting to see how it works in the real world. As more of these “automated driving” features take hold, it will be interesting to see if car insurance companies will give lower rates if your car has these features.


Telematics starting to influence car insurance market

This story from highlights an important new trend in the auto insurance business, and it will likely affect you and your own car insurance rates in the future.

When Zshavina Meacher of Cleveland traded in her car for a new 2011 Chevy Malibu last summer, her insurance premium jumped to $510 every six months. Her insurer, Progressive Corp., asked her whether she wanted to cut her rate.

If Meacher agreed to install a device in her car that monitors how safely she drives and the results were good, her rates would go down. If the results weren’t so good, her rates would stay the same. She agreed.

During the first few weeks, the device told Meacher that she slammed on her brakes a lot. She stopped the hard braking.
In February, the 23-year-old’s insurance bill dropped by $120 per six months, or 24 percent.

Meacher is happy her rates went down. And Progressive is happy the risk of Meacher getting into an accident went down. Fewer claims will help keep Mayfield-based Progressive profitable.

The technology that makes this possible is called telematics, and you’re probably going to be hearing more about it as more car insurance companies start using it and more states start permitting it. Along with Progressive, State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, Travelers and American Family are also trying it, though there are some patent disputes in play as Progressive tries to protect its innovation.

The key is that it works, as information about driving habits is more valuable to insurance companies than demographic information. Also, it’s not surprising that drivers will also be more careful if they know they are being monitored.

But it also raises all sorts of privacy concerns. When does health monitoring start? Do we want insurance companies knowing everything about us?


Considering your car budget

There are so many factors to consider when picking a car to fit your budget. The obvious starting point always goes towards your monthly payment, and this is how most car marketing is conducted. You have the choice of leasing versus buying, but for most people it comes down to the payments.

That of course makes sense, but there’s so much more to consider. Some people want style, so inexpensive cars like the inexpensive Hyundai Veloster will potentially be very popular, as it’s a beautiful car even if it doesn’t have much under the hood.

But it also has the huge advantage of excellent gas mileage. This is the fourth car in Hyundai’s lineup where 40 MPG comes standard. So in today’s world of high gas prices, gas mileage is very important when figuring out your real car budget. It might be cool to buy an old used muscle car or a sedan with a V-8, but you have to figure in how it will kill you on gas.

The other big expense is car insurance, and as most people realize, you have to do your research. There are great online resources where you can quickly see your options. Gocompare provides you with unique comparison services for range of financial products. Car insurance is a big one, and you can save a ton of money.

We’re currently bombarded with funny and quirky car insurance commercials. That stuff shouldn’t drive your decision. Do research on price and service and you’ll be much better off.


Direct Line = Multi-car insurance discounts for you!

Direct Line = Multi-car insurance discounts for you!

In this day and age of frugality car insurance rates are getting customers attention and that’s a good reason to take a look at Direct Line Multi Car Insurance. With Direct Line if you insure more than one car you’ll benefit from Direct Line’s multi-car discount. They give you a 10% discount off your household’s second or subsequent vehicles that are insured with Direct Line for the first year of the policy and 5% at renewal and every year after that. Those are the type of saving folks are looking for and that has alot to do with Direct Line’s growing business.

Other benefits with switching to Direct Line include that if you’re hit by an uninsured driver they’ll cover your excess and your no claims discount won’t be affected ( if it’s not your fault), 24/7 Accident recovery helpline for all insured cars and since Direct Line knows you can’t always protect your cars from vandals, Vandalism coverage comes as standard and preserves your No Claims Discount (go to Direct Line to learn more) for all cars on your insurance policy!

From what we can see Direct Line is well worth looking into for those readers with more than one vehicle to insure.


Top 6 Tips for First Time Car Buyers

First car.

When buying your first car, you will probably feel a little overwhelmed. There are so many things to think about when purchasing any car, but when you are getting your first car, these decisions seem even more important. Keeping these tips in mind can help you when purchasing your first car.

Consider Your Insurance Options

Almost every vehicle on the road must be insured. When you are looking at getting a new car, you will also want to consider buying new car insurance. You may have previously been on your parent’s insurance, but this isn’t always the most affordable option for you. Getting good car insurance can help you significantly if something were to happen to your car.

Don’t Forget to Negotiate

The art of negotiation is slowly dying. Many people don’t feel the need to negotiate their car prices anymore. However, if you do choose to negotiate, you will likely get a much better deal than if you just take the sticker price. Whether buying new or used, try out your negotiation skills when purchasing a new car.

Shop for a Loan

It may be enticing to get a car loan through the dealership, or even go with your normal bank for your loan. However, if you do a bit of shopping around, you may find a better interest rate somewhere else. The interest rate that you get will help determine your monthly payments. Having a great interest rate is important for those looking to buy a new car.

Look at the Options

Though you may feel that one type of vehicle is best for you, take the time to look around. You may find something that you hadn’t thought of before, for a great price. 

Think of the Pros and Cons

Has the vehicle that you are considering been recalled recently? Is there something about the vehicle that may increase your insurance rate? If you are looking at a used car, make sure you find out any damage the car may have had. Can you get a discount on your taxes for this particular car? Going over the pros and cons of your car choice can help you make the right decision.

Have Fun

Don’t forget to have fun while looking for the perfect car. Though it may seem like a chore, it is also a great adventure. Buying your first car is something you will remember for the rest of your life. Keep your car buying experience fun.

If you are buying a car for the first time, use these tips to make sure you bring home a winner. Do you have any car-buying tips to add to this list?


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