Category Archives: Car

Fun and Friendship on the Road

Are you someone passionate about cars, seeking a community to connect with and share your enthusiasm? Consider joining a car club! Car clubs are groups of people who come together to celebrate their love for automobiles, exchange knowledge, and enjoy various car-related activities. Being part of a car club can be a fantastic experience, offering camaraderie, excitement, and a sense of belonging to car lovers of all ages.

What is a Car Club?

A car club is a gathering of people who share a common interest in automobiles. These clubs can focus on specific car brands, models, or even particular types of vehicles, such as classic cars, sports cars, or off-road vehicles. Members of car clubs meet regularly to socialize, showcase their cars, and participate in events related to their shared passion.

Benefits of Joining a Car Club:

·         Community and Friendship: One of the most significant advantages of being part of a car club is the sense of community it offers. You’ll meet like-minded individuals who share your enthusiasm for cars. These friendships often extend beyond the club meetings, leading to lasting relationships.

·         Knowledge Sharing: Car clubs provide a platform for members to exchange information and expertise about cars. Whether you’re a beginner seeking advice on maintenance or a seasoned enthusiast discussing modifications, there’s always something new to learn from fellow members.

·         Events and Activities: Car clubs organize a wide range of events and activities, including car shows, road trips, charity drives, and autocross races. Participating in these events allows you to showcase your vehicle, connect with other enthusiasts, and experience the thrill of the open road together.

·         Access to Resources: Being part of a car club means having access to a network of resources. Members often help each other find rare car parts, recommend trustworthy mechanics, or share tips on car care and maintenance.

·         Support and Encouragement: Whether you’re restoring a classic car or customizing a modern vehicle, the encouragement and support from fellow club members can be invaluable. Their enthusiasm can motivate you to tackle challenging projects and achieve your car-related goals.

How to Join a Car Club:

Joining a car club is usually straightforward. Start by researching clubs in your area that align with your interests. Many clubs have online platforms or social media pages where you can learn more about their activities and events. Attend a few club meetings or events as a guest to get a feel for the atmosphere and the members.

Once you’ve found the right club for you, becoming a member often involves filling out a membership form and paying a nominal fee, which helps cover club expenses and event costs.

In conclusion, joining a car club can enhance your love for automobiles by providing a supportive community, knowledge sharing, and exciting events. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned enthusiast, being part of a car club opens the door to a world of friendship, fun, and unforgettable adventures on the road. So, gear up and join a car club today – the journey awaits!

How to Determine if Your Car Should be Totaled or Repaired

Hey there, car owners! We’ve all been there – that sinking feeling after an accident or a more serious collision. Now, the big question appears: repair or total. Don’t worry, because we’re here to break it down for you. 

In this article, we’ll help you find. No car hassle, no complicated terms – just plain and simple advice to make this tough question a whole lot easier. Let’s dive in and reveal the mystery of what to do when your car’s in trouble!

Understanding the Damage: How Bad Is It?

When your car takes a hit, it’s essential to figure out how bad things are. Here’s a simple way to do it:

  1. Get an Estimate: Take your car to a reliable mechanic or body shop. They’ll give you an idea of what needs fixing.
  1. Sort the Damage: There are three kinds: looks, structure, and how it runs. Some dents and scratches are just skin-deep. But if the frame’s messed up, that’s more serious.
  1. Frame Check: A strong frame means a safe car. If the frame is bent, it’s a big problem.

Quick Tip: A good mechanic can spot hidden damage that’s not obvious.

Remember, it’s like checking if you’re okay after a fall – just for your car!

Calculating Your Car’s Worth Pre-Accident 

Before the accident, your car had a certain value – we call it the “before-the-bump” value. This is what your car was worth if it had never met an unfortunate event. To find this value, think about how much your car was worth before the accident happened. You can look at what similar cars are selling for or check out trusted sources like Kelley Blue Book. Knowing this value helps you decide if repairing your car makes sense or if it’s time to explore other options.

Understanding Repair Costs vs. Your Car’s Worth

Repairing or replacing your vehicle after an accident? Let’s break it down:

Calculate Repair Expenses:

When you get an estimate from your mechanic, you’re seeing the price tag for repairs. This includes labour, parts, and all the needed fixes.

The 70-75% Rule:

Here’s the deal – if the repair costs climb to 70-75% (that’s a big portion) of what your car was worth before the accident, it might be time to think twice. Spending this much could be like pouring money into a hole.

Going Over the Limit:

If repair expenses soar past that 70-75% mark, it could bring some not-so-great consequences. Your car might get a “salvage” title, which could affect its resale value. Plus, its overall value might take a hit – that’s called “diminished value.”

Remember: Don’t spend more fixing it than it’s actually worth. Make the call wisely! Instead of repairing you can sell and get cash for cars Sydney

Considering Safety and Structural Integrity

When it comes to your car’s well-being, there’s more than meets the eye. Let’s delve into it:

Safety First: Fixing your car can mean fiddling with its safety gear. Are airbags, seat belts, and other life-saving features still top-notch? Weigh repairs with your safety in mind.

Long-Term Outlook: Remember, the car’s bones matter. If its framework got a knock, it might affect how it keeps you safe down the road. Safety and drivability go hand in hand.

Expert Eyes: Don’t play detective alone. Consult pros who can spot lurking issues. Hidden damage might seem harmless now, but it could come back to haunt you later. Stay on the safe side.

Insurance Company Involvement

When the unexpected happens to your car, your insurance company steps in to help you navigate the bumpy road ahead. Here’s how they’re involved:

Assessing Value and Damage:

Your insurance company checks out the condition of your car and it’s worth it. They look at what’s broken and how much it costs to fix. 

Negotiating Repairs:

If the repair estimate feels off, don’t hesitate to talk it over. You can chat with your insurance folks about getting a fair deal for fixing things up.

Policy Details:

Know your insurance policy like a map. It spells out what’s covered and what’s not. Don’t forget to peek at those limits – they’re like the boundaries of your car protection world.

Remember, your insurance buddies are there to guide you through the process, making sure you’re back on the road in no time!

Salvage Titles and Diminished Value: Navigating After an Accident

When your car faces a major accident, it’s more than just dents and repairs. Understanding salvage titles and diminished value is crucial to making informed decisions.

Salvage Title: What’s That?

A salvage title is like a red flag. It’s given to cars damaged extensively, often beyond repair costs. Imagine a car puzzle, but many pieces are missing or damaged. Salvage title means it’s been pieced back together. It’s not all doom – these cars can still be roadworthy if rebuilt well. In case your car received a salvage title then you still have options available such as car removal service who buys salvage cars. 

The Ripple Effect on Insurance and Value

Getting insurance for a salvage-titled car can be tricky. Some insurers might hesitate, or you may need specialised coverage. Also, the value of your car drops. Even if it’s fixed beautifully, its history affects its resale value. People worry it might misbehave later due to past injuries.

Lower Value: A Tricky Term

Diminished value is like an invisible scar. Even when fixed, a car with a salvage title loses charm. When you sell, buyers see an accident-prone past, so they pay less. It’s like selling a story – people pay less for one with a dark chapter.

Personal Considerations

When it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace your car, it’s not just about numbers and calculations. Your emotions and practical needs play a crucial role too.

Emotional Attachment: Your car might hold special memories, making parting with it a tough call. Sentimentality often tugs at the heartstrings, so factor in your emotional bond.

Daily Dependability: Think about how vital your car is for your daily routine. Is it your workhorse for commuting, errands, and family outings? Reliable wheels matter in keeping life running smoothly.

Future Plans: Consider what lies ahead. Are you planning to keep the car for the long haul or just temporarily? Your intentions influence whether it’s worth investing in repairs or exploring new options.

Strike a balance between practicality and sentiment when pondering the fate of your vehicle. Your personal connection and practical needs should guide your decision-making.

Exploring All Angles: Seeking Multiple Opinions

When faced with the pivotal decision of whether to repair or part ways with your vehicle after an accident, it’s wise to cast a wide net for guidance. Here’s how to gather insights from various sources:

Get Talking with Mechanics and Body Shops: Reach out to different mechanics or body shops to obtain a range of perspectives. These automotive experts can scrutinise the damage and offer diverse repair options. Their collective insights will help you form a clearer picture of the best course of action.

Tap into Appraisers and Specialists: Engage with auto appraisers or specialists specialising in total loss evaluations. Their trained eyes can provide a comprehensive analysis of the damage and its implications. Their input adds an extra layer of expertise to your decision-making process.

Utilise Online Resources and Forums: The internet can be your ally here. Online forums and resources are treasure troves of knowledge, where fellow car enthusiasts share experiences and advice. Benefit from their firsthand encounters to gain a well-rounded perspective.

By accumulating advice from these diverse sources, you equip yourself with a robust arsenal of insights, ensuring a well-informed verdict on the fate of your vehicle.


In conclusion, deciding whether to repair or total your car requires a careful evaluation of factors such as repair costs, pre-accident value, safety implications, and personal considerations. By considering these aspects and seeking expert opinions, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and ensures the best outcome for your situation.

Ready to Sell Your Car Online? Know the Essentials

Whether you plan to sell your vehicle privately or at a dealership, getting all your documents in order can make the process easier for everyone involved. This includes having maintenance records and extended warranty information readily available for interested buyers.

Know the Basics

You need to do a few key things before putting your car up for sale. This includes cleaning and detailing it, getting a smog inspection (if necessary), and fixing any obvious problems. Deciding on your price and negotiating with prospective buyers is also important. Be upfront about your car’s condition and include the vehicle identification number (VIN) so interested parties can search its history.

Potential buyers will want to test drive your vehicle, so always be prepared to go along. If possible, arrange for a friend to ride with you or meet the buyer in a public place like a police precinct parking lot or mechanic shop. If you’re meeting a buyer at your home, ask for their driver’s license and phone number, and be extra cautious about meeting late at night.

Know Your Car’s Value

When it comes time to sell my car online Huntsville AL, you want to ensure you aren’t selling it below its value. This will allow you to be prepared for any price negotiations and ensure that the new buyer is satisfied with your asking price. Remember that your car’s value to you is not the same as its worth to another person or business, so be careful not to get emotionally attached to it when determining its value. Also, understand that your car’s value is influenced by market conditions in your area and the popularity of your vehicle among potential buyers. This is why comparing pricing guides and offers from online retailers is essential when valuing your vehicle.

Know the Process

With a clear understanding of your car’s value, it’s time to decide how you’ll sell your vehicle. There are many ways to do it, but your chosen method should reflect your priorities and preferences. Be prepared to negotiate if selling to a private buyer or dealership. You’ll want to use what you learned from researching your vehicle’s value and using valuation tools to inform your pricing strategy. Take photos to entice buyers and highlight key features, like the odometer and tires. You’ll also want to order a vehicle history report and keep service records showing the car has been well-maintained. 

Know Your Options

For some sellers, skipping the dealership and selling directly to a private buyer can be the best way. But be aware of the additional investment in time and energy that comes with posting ads, communicating with potential buyers, going on test drives, and completing sales documents. Getting your car professionally detailed before the sale also can help boost its value. It’s reassuring a buyer that you’ve taken care of little things, like a broken door lock lever or the clattering sound of the exhaust pipe.

Majority of Europeans Want Ban on Petrol and Diesel Cars by 2030

Petrol and diesel cars are considered two of the most dangerous means of transportation because of their contribution to global warming and their effect on the environment in general. The emissions released through their tailpipes are highly toxic and polluting. 

Diesel cars used to be the popular alternative for those who prefer environmentally friendly vehicles, but only until the Dieselgate scandal revealed that their emissions affect the global climate, environment, and human health. 

The diesel emissions scam initially involved German carmaker Volkswagen and exposed the dangers of diesel vehicles equipped with defeat devices. These vehicles have extremely high nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and have contributed to the rise in hospital visits and admissions, emergency room and GP visits, school and work absences, chronic respiratory conditions, and premature death.

As a result, governments, environmental volunteers and organisations have come up with several mandates, programs, and laws intended to curb toxic petrol and diesel emissions.

In the UK, the government has established Clean Air Zones (CAZs), areas where vehicles with high emissions are not allowed to enter unless they pay assigned charges. London’s version of this is the ULEZ or Ultra-Low Emissions Zones, a project of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. 

Post-Dieselgate scandal, car manufacturers have also drawn up several measures that allow them to correct their mistake of using illegal defeat devices. Many of the carmakers involved in the diesel emissions scandal have recalled thousands upon thousands of affected vehicles and had them corrected with engines that follow the right emissions standards.

European cities have also taken action and are preparing for the phase out of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Many cities have also started working on realising their zero-emissions campaign by slowly switching to electric vehicles.

Petrol and diesel cars ban

In a survey conducted in 2021, most of Europe’s residents strongly support the phase out of petrol and diesel vehicle sales beginning the year 2030. The poll, which was carried out on behalf of environmental campaigners, had a total of approximately 10,050 respondents from 15 cities (including Budapest, Warsaw, and London).

Of the total respondents, around 63% expressed their support for selling only emissions-free vehicles in Europe after 2030. Only 29% of the over 10,000 surveyed said they did not support the end of petrol and diesel vehicle sales. Around 8% of the respondents were undecided.

Transport & Environment’s Julia Poliscanova shared that residents of cities are the ones who are most exposed to high levels of toxic air pollution, which is why they strongly oppose the selling of internal combustion engines. They do not want to delay the ban any longer.

The European Union has promised to come up with clearer and stricter emissions limits for vehicles and an expansion of the electric charging infrastructure. 

In June 2022, the European Parliament voted to stop the use of combustion engines by the year 2035, a decision that is in line with the European Union’s fleet-wide goal of reducing toxic emissions coming from new light commercial vehicles and passenger cars. 

How do defeat devices fit into the equation?

Defeat devices play an important role in the emissions story, especially in the UK and Europe. These devices were what government and environmental authorities found in diesel engines of popular carmakers such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and BMW. 

A defeat device is illegal because it is programmed to detect when a vehicle is in the lab for an emissions test. As testing starts, the device artificially reduces emissions levels to within the limits that the World Health Organization set. When driven in real-world road conditions though, the vehicle emits extremely high levels of nitrogen oxides – in amounts that are multiple times over the EU and WHO limit. 

Thus, vehicles with defeat devices are dirty and toxic. They are highly polluting and endanger the environment and human health. 

What does nitrogen oxide do?

Nitrogen oxide or NOx, the gas that diesel vehicles emit, has nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as its main components. When it reacts with some compounds, NOx forms acid rain and smog, which highly pollute the environment.

NOx also creates ground-level ozone, which can harm vegetation by stunting the growth of plants and crops. Vegetation also becomes more susceptible to frost and damage. 

Exposure to nitrogen oxide can significantly impact a person’s health. Some of its effects include headaches, breathing problems, bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory issues. Serious cases can lead to increased risks for cardiovascular diseases and cancer, chronic lung problems, asphyxiation, laryngospasm, and premature death.

Car owners whose vehicles were fitted with defeat devices are encouraged to file an emissions claim against their manufacturers. The action is one way of holding carmakers responsible for the devastating effects of diesel emissions. It will also allow affected car owners to receive compensation for the inconvenience and stress their carmaker caused them by mis-selling polluting vehicles.

File your claim now

File your Mercedes emissions claim with the help of a panel of emission solicitors. Knowing how the process works will give you an edge over your erring manufacturer. 
Get in touch with now to determine if you are eligible to file a claim. Start your emission claim action now.  

Pro Car Cleaning Tips for a Fresh Smelling Ride

Riding in a clean and fresh-smelling car is enjoyable and peaceful. No one loves dealing with musky car smells in the traffic or on a hot day. Although you may want to have your ride looking as good as new, cleaning it isn’t that simple. It takes time and effort, and you need proper cleaning and odor elimination products.

What are the common causes of car smells?

There are various causes of funky car smells. In most cases, food spills sick on the seat covers, and carpets cause a musky odor in your ride. Smoking is also another leading cause. If you smoke or carry a passenger who smokes in your car, you’ll definitely deal with a smoky odor in the car interiors. Also, mildew in the car can cause smells, and it mainly results from condensation. To eliminate such odors; identify the source, use chlorine bomb for car and other cleaning products in your home.

Cleaning tips for car owners:

Regular cleaning gets rid of foul smells and ensures that your ride smells fresh throughout the day. To clean your car, first remove all the trash, mats and check for any odor-causing elements. Clean with soapy water or a water-vinegar solution to kill bacteria and maintain an odor-free interior. Here are tips to guide you;

1. Remove accumulated dirt

First of all, shower your car with a hose to get rid f all the accumulated dirt and dust. Start from the roof all through to the tires. Once done, rinse the car thoroughly and dry immediately to avoid watermarks. You can use a soft lint-free towel to dry and prevent any water spots.

2. Clean the car interiors

Review the owner’s manual before cleaning the interiors. This reminds you of how to go about the process and avoids any serious concerns. Use a vacuum and a hose to clean the hard- to reach parts. Also, a paintbrush or toothbrush will be of help. 

Wipe the dashboard, clean the buttons and knobs, clean the air filter and spray the mats. The mats collect a lot of mud, debris, and moisture in between cleanings; shake them to keep away dirt from your car. What of the trunk? For most car owners, this is a collection spot for books, magazines, and jackets. Declutter and keep a small box where you can organize your things.

3. Wheel cleaning

Use safe wheel cleaners and brush down dirt and mud using a high-quality wheel brush. Use soapy water and rinse thoroughly before moving to the next wheel. While cleaning, examine the valve stem for all the wheels, and ensure that the cap is on. The reason? Lost stem caps encourage dirt and dust accumulation which can cause air loss and flat tires.

Final thoughts

While cleaning your car, pay attention to the parts that you use often. Use soapy water or vinegar to dilute musty odors, and inspect your vehicle regularly for leftover foods under the seats. Also, hire car detailing services once in a while; this leaves your ride looking brand new.

The difference between a car repair manual and a factory service manual

Before investing in such a resourceful thing, buyers must be fully aware of the difference between the factory service manuals and the car repair manuals. It is the question of a person’s vehicle which is for most people a once in a lifetime purchase, so they should weigh the pros and cons of both manuals and then reach a decision. Hence, vehicle owners need to know the exact difference between the two manuals and should be fully aware that a wrong decision can affect their vehicle’s resale value. 

Factory service manuals are those manuals that are created and provided by the manufacturers themselves. These manuals cover a wide range of things about a vehicle such as its servicing, maintenance, and repair. Initially, these manuals were not available to the public because they were made for dealerships so that their mechanics could fix any kind of faults in their own vehicles.

Car repair manuals on the other hand focus on the maintenance and repair of automotive vehicles only. These are created by various different publishing groups such as Haynes, Clymer, Chilton, and many more. These car repair manuals are primarily aimed at car owners who are interested in fixing their own vehicles, that is, DIY enthusiasts instead of professional garage mechanics because these mechanics lack the depth of coverage on particular vehicles or certain issues in them. 

Since factory service manuals are made by the manufacturers themselves, they are much more detailed and comprehensive about the vehicle because they are familiar with the ins and outs of everything. While even though a car service manual may be detailed but it is possible that it might also have a lot of flaws which can therefore be harmful to the vehicles. So the difference mainly lies with the fact that where each of these types of manuals comes from. The factory service manuals are usually very much in-depth and they have a specific tone as opposed to repair manuals that have more of a general tone and are not specific enough.

Factory service manuals have a set, professional layout and are better in quality in terms of paper and representation. But car repair manuals are sometimes scanned and can have misprints in places. So, even though both the manuals are supposed to serve the same purpose, but because each has a different source of where they come from their content and quality differ. This is the ultimate reason why there is such a huge difference in the prices of both the manuals because factory service manuals are extremely expensive. This also explains why factory service manuals are not as widely available and accessible to people.

The difference between factory service manuals and car repair manuals thus lies in their origin. It is advised that vehicle owners go for factory service manuals instead of car repair manuals in order to avoid any kind of trouble because the people who build the vehicles are more accurate than those who take apart the car and write everything down.

Car Value Insurance Claims: The Difference Between Actual Cash Value And Replacement Value

Knowledge they say is never wasted, and as a car owner, knowing the difference between actual cash value and replacement value might come in handy if you ever need to file for car value insurance claims.

Actual Cash Value and Replacement Value

Actual Cash Value

The actual cash value of a car is what the car’s worth at any point you want to sell it. To determine this value, a number of factors are put into consideration. These factors include the age of the car and the mileage on it, wear and tear, and any damage that might have occurred due to accidents of any sort amongst others.

 In essence, what actual cash value means is the worth of your car on the market today less all the depreciation. With these in mind, it is easy to deduce that the actual cash value of a car wouldn’t be enough to get a comparable new one. What do you do then? Consider the replacement value

Replacement Value

Simply put, the replacement value is the current cost of buying a new car that is similar to your own. In ascertaining this value, no depreciation is accounted for. In fact, in many cases, and sometimes on request, the insurance firm may also cover extra expenses like sales tax, title, and transfer fees amongst others. Thus, if you are looking to be completely covered in the event of a total loss of your car due to an accident, you must take out a policy on it that includes a replacement value in its contract clause. You should note however that the added premium is much more costly than that of the actual cash value. But then, isn’t it worth it?

Note: the actual cash value policy doesn’t always include taxes. In fact, in most states, it doesn’t. Also, there’s no way the actual cash value will ever amount to the price of a similar new car. This is because once a car is driven off the lot, it begins to depreciate, and depreciation increases the longer you use it. So, if you were to sell your car just within a week of buying it, you wouldn’t get the same price you used to buy it, except you’ve made some tangible upgrades to it.

Another reason to consider taking a replacement value policy over an actual value insurance policy is if you’ve taken out a loan on the car and you’ve not yet fully paid it out. In the event that the car is totaled and you only took out an actual value insurance policy, the insurance agency will only pay out the amount the car’s worth presently on the market. That amount might not be enough to set-off the loan you took out on the car, therefore, you’d be left with settling a loan of something you no longer possess.

Keep these in mind if you were ever to take out insurance on your car or trying to make car value insurance claims.

7 Tips for Breaking Up With Your Old Car Insurer

Did you know that there are roughly 1.2 Billion drivers around the world? That’s a lot of people, which means that there are many car insurance companies around to insure those drivers. If you’re considering breaking up with your auto policy then we have good news for you. There are plenty more fish in the sea, and with these seven tips, you’re sure to find your perfect match in no time.

1. Look over the policy you already have.

With the many different kinds of auto insurance policies out there, it’s best to take a look at the insurance policy you already have before you start looking for other coverage options. As is the case with most breakups, both you and your car insurance have probably changed over the years. It’s best to make sure that any additional costs that may have been added on to your auto insurance coverage are actually worth paying for.

After looking over their car insurance rates, many drivers often find that their collision coverage is far too expensive while also not giving them the coverage they need. It makes no sense to overpay for unnecessary coverage and still find yourself lacking if an automobile accident ever should occur. Compare car insurance with iSelect to find a company with automotive service excellence that is right for you.

2. Find the perfect policy for you.

Car insurance companies can do a lot more than simply protecting you in a car accident. In fact, they often partner with different companies with years of work experience to offer you certain benefits as an incentive to get you to join their policy. Look over these benefits as you are shopping around for an auto insurance quote. If you are splitting hairs deciding between two car insurance quotes then a benefit might be the dealbreaker you’re looking for.

One way to keep your insurance and maintenance costs at bay in the first place is to regularly keep up with your car’s maintenance. Many people make the mistake of only going into the shop when something has gone horribly wrong. To avert that habit (and the high bill that comes with it), you can regularly work with technicians that keep up with automotive and diesel certifications—or even look into getting them yourself—to keep your car in top shape year-round. Being in touch with the state of your car will save you big headaches in the long-run when larger problems arise.

3. Try to negotiate a better deal.

Many car insurance companies offer a free car insurance quote. You can use this quote as a valuable bargaining chip when negotiating a better deal with the company is ensuring you now. If simply lowering your monthly bill is your biggest issue, then you have a fighting chance when you can show them you have a quote from a competitor offering a lower rate.

Remember those benefits we talked about earlier as well? While you’re negotiating prices you might as well ask about any benefits the company may want to give you in order to keep you from leaving. If at the end of the negotiation you still find your old companies terms displeasing to you, then you can leave break up with them knowing that you did the best you could, but you’re headed toward bigger and better things.

4. Weigh the pros and cons.

Now that you have all your ducks in order, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons before switching. The best way to do this is to ask yourself a series of questions about your coverage. Do any of the new policies you are looking at offer comprehensive coverage? How do they handle automotive repair: in-house or through partnered companies? Will their medical coverage pay for all of your medical bills?

Remember, a cheaper policy does not always mean a better policy. If you are saving a few bucks every month but putting yourself at risk by cutting back your medical coverage or liability coverage, then you might want to reconsider.

5. Make sure that there isn’t a lapse in coverage.

This is an important step, but don’t worry, it’s simple to do. Just make sure that you schedule your new policy to begin the day after your coverage ends with the company you’re breaking up with. This small step will save you a huge headache later on down the road so make sure you take the two seconds to double-check. You can also bring this up to your new insurance agent who should help you every step of the way.

6. Get a new policy.

Most insurance companies do their best to make this step as easy and pain-free as possible in order to entice new policyholders. Now that you’ve done the prep work beforehand you can begin the process of starting your new policy. You can do this online and it shouldn’t take you longer than a few hours.

7. Drive safe!

Congratulations! You’ve left your toxic old car insurer and are now on a much more financially healthy path, one where you feel safe and protected on the road, and can rest assured that you are getting the best possible deals.

How to Protect Your Car During Bad Weather

Whether you’ve just bought a shiny new sports car, or you have a beautiful classic model, everyone wants their car to look good for as long as possible. When extreme weather is on the way, whether it’s rain, storms or a heatwave, one of your first thoughts may well be how it’ll affect your car. Luckily, there are ways you can protect your car during bad weather, so here are some tips for petrolheads.

Make use of your garage

If your garage is mostly used for junk, then it may be time to clear it out so you can park your car in there. Upcoming bad weather is a good excuse to have a declutter and putting your car in a garage means it’s less likely to get damaged or stolen.

Don’t have a garage? Consider adding a carport to your home. A carport is a shelter that’s usually attached to the side of your home and it protects your car from above. However, it has open sides, so may not be effective in the most extreme storms.

Avoid trees and bushes

When a storm starts up, one of the first things to get damaged are bushes and trees. Branches fall, or the whole tree falls over, which means anything underneath it is liable to get wrecked. If you see a storm forecast, make sure your car is away from any shrubs or trees, so you can avoid scratches, dents or worse.

Buy a cover

You can buy bespoke car covers for different car models, which simply slip over the top to provide weather protection. In extreme weather such as gales, these covers need to be very tightly secured and tied on, otherwise, it’ll just end up halfway down the road.

There are also car tents available, which are a bit like a pop-up garage. However, you’ll need to again make sure you secure it properly to the ground, as like any tent, they are light and easily blow away.

Add paint protection to your paintwork

If you’re serious about protecting your car and keeping it safe from damage, then it’s worth checking out paint protection systems such as those offered on These protective coatings and films are great for protecting from damaged caused by:

  • Water
  • Bird droppings
  • Stone chips
  • Scratches from branches, debris etc.
  • Dead bugs
  • Road tar

This means that not only will your car be safe from the most common causes of damage during storms, it’ll also stand up to day to day wear and tear so much better.

Unless you keep your car locked indoors at all times, it’s at risk of damage, so it’s worth considering ways to keep it safe, especially when extreme weather is on the way. From using paint protectors to buying a car cover, there are many ways you can prevent damage to your car, yet still take it out and enjoy your ride. It’s simply important to be prepared and get these things done before the bad weather hits.

This quiz proves that it’s the end of the hobbyist mechanic!

Can you tell your carburettor from your crank shaft? Ethical car recycling company Scrap Car Network has designed a quiz that challenges respondents to identify some of the most vital car parts which keep their engines running. Take the quiz for yourself, the results are quite surprising!

Only about 36% of respondents struggled to identify some of their car’s most essential components, hinting that increasingly fewer drivers have the confidence or knowledge to tackle DIY maintenance themselves. Here are just a few of the most likely reasons why!

Evolving technologies require more specialist skill

For decades, the majority of problems with cars have been mainly mechanical in nature, which meant that mechanics have been primarily equipped with wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, ratchets, and similar nuts-and-bolts tools.

Now though, the increasingly software-driven nature of most vehicles means that modern mechanics often need basic programming and technical IT skills too. Almost all cars have an Engine Control Unit – essentially an electronic ‘brain’ that monitors and controls engine power and performance, fuel mixture, emissions levels and more.

Nowadays, mechanics need to use specialised diagnostic tools to interface with the ECU to acquire fault codes, which will help them to identify and fix the problem. These sorts of specialist skills and equipment aren’t always available to most hobbyist mechanics, unless they’re willing to spend the considerable time and effort required to obtain them.

The imminent arrival of electric cars and self-driving vehicles will form even greater barriers to hobbyist mechanics without the specialist skills. Even professional mechanics often need additional training to handle electric vehicles. Plus, AI complexity may mean that core technical skills becomes a bare minimum requirement for anyone wishing to safely work on self-driving cars. And as some unfortunate owners know, certain software issues can kill a car just as surely as any hardware problems. On that note…

Complex and unpredictable software makes diagnosis harder

The increasingly software-driven nature of cars poses other big problems. Even if you’ve got the basic technical skills to tackle them, the unpredictable nature of software issues means they can be complex in ways that aren’t immediately obvious. See, the thing with combustion engines is that everything is linked logically. Problems can be narrowed down to one specific area because one part isn’t connecting properly, or failing to connect when it should, or in contact with something it shouldn’t be.

Where software is involved though, all bets are off. Computer chips now manage air bags, door locks, ignition timing, fuel injection, gear selection, and even the brakes. Even if a car is in perfect condition mechanically, software faults can still prevent it from being driven. The ECU might be excessively limiting the engine power for reasons best known to itself, or the immobiliser may fail to recognise a normally valid key.

Certain software faults can also cause knock-on issues in related systems, and these can be hugely dangerous. For example, a small bug with cruise control can end up causing sudden acceleration, an issue which has the potential to maim or even kill. (Just ask Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who experienced it for himself.) These sorts of problems might prove particularly difficult for hobbyist mechanics to diagnose. Even if they do successfully identify the issue, many would probably wisely entrust the actual repair to a professional anyway.

Mistakes are far more costly (and risky) to fix

The thing about electronic issues is that because they’re so unpredictable, they can be very easy to break and very expensive to repair – two factors which immediately make hobbyist car mechanics more wary of trying to tackle them. With physical parts, things are generally straightforward enough – even if you don’t know how to fix the issue, it’s often relatively easy to diagnose what’s gone wrong, and where. But where electrical issues are concerned, it’s anyone’s guess.

If you have to bring in a professional because you’ve botched a software repair, the labour involved in the re-diagnosis alone can sometimes end up costing just as much as the actual fix. The problem doesn’t even have to be particularly complex to be expensive – just ask anyone who’s had to replace an infotainment display screen, or a reversing camera lens.

And as we touched upon briefly above, there are legal complications. Certain safety-focused issues with software are already extremely risky for hobbyist mechanics to just ‘take a crack at it’ unless they know exactly what they’re doing. So much so that plenty of current legislation already restricts them from trying, and we can’t see it becoming more relaxed in the near future. (After all, if a self-taught mechanic fixed the software bugs in your self-driving car, how happy would you be to take a ride in it afterwards?)

So, it’s all quite the laundry list of barriers for hobbyist mechanics, but that’s not to say all petrolheads have to bring their hobby to a full stop immediately. For practical repairs, hobbyists can still save themselves time and money with simple maintenance jobs like changing fluids and changing spark plugs. Plus, it’s likely to be at least ten years before electric cars and self driving cars become the majority of cars on our roads – leaving casual mechanics plenty of time to tinker and experiment with existing models until then. In terms of in-depth tune-ups and serious modifications though, it looks like it won’t be long until they’re jobs best left solely to the professionals.