Thursday, January 29, 2015

What to look for in a Car for your Teen Driver | Imports by Day Monroeville PA

If you ask any teenager what they are looking forward to doing the most as they get older, at the top of most lists is probably being able to drive. After all, being licensed to drive gives teens a great sense of freedom – they can now come and go as they please; they are no longer dependent on mom and dad to get them where they need to go.

However, the time when teens begin to drive can potentially be the most deadly. Every dayseven teens ages 16 to 19 die from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash. And the crash rate is 3.7 times higher for 16 year old drivers compared to drivers all of all ages, and 2.7 higher for drivers aged 16 to 19.

For parents that are conducting a used cars search for appropriate vehicle options for their teen drivers, how can they help them stay as safe as possible? Here’s a look at five in-car options to look for during their used cars search.

Side Airbags

Although everybody knows about airbags as a safety component in vehicles, some may not realize the importance of side airbags. A study conducted in 2006 conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found side airbags that protected driver’s heads helped reduce deaths in cars that were hit on the driver side by about 37 percent.

Electronic Stability Control

ESC works through speed sensors that are placed on all wheels and the steering wheel to help drivers when on roads that are slippery or very curved.

If the ESC system notices the vehicle is about to go in an opposite direction from where the steering wheel is pointed, is will break the necessary wheels to help keep the car under control. ESC can be found vehicles from 2012, and even earlier.

Crash Avoidance Technology

Over the past few years, vehicle manufacturers have unveiled a crop of new applications to help drivers avoid car accidents. These crash avoidance technologies work by providing the driver with warnings, or in some instances even automatically putting on the brakes. Examples of these technologies to look for in a used cars search include blind spot detection, adaptive headlights, lane departure warning, and front crash prevention.

Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)

An ABS is another safeguard against slippery roads, as well as inexperienced young drives that may find themselves “panic braking” in certain situations. The ABS helps ensure the brakes on a car do not lock up, which could cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. ABS on the rear wheels allows the vehicle to keep moving in a straight line, while ABS on all wheels allows the driver to maintain steering capabilities.

Seat Belt Reminder System

Although the “ding, ding, ding” that reminds you to buckle up every time you’re in the car can be rather annoying, studies show they do save lives. For instance, a study published in 2008 found 97.5 percent of passengers put on a seat belt when in a vehicle with a reminder system, while only about 86 percent did in cars without a reminder. And teens need all the reminders they can — a 2002 study found that only 69 percent of teens ages 16 to 24 wear their seat belts, and more than two-thirds of teens killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Owning a Used Car: How Much Can You Expect to Pay Each Month? | Imports by Day Monroeville PA

If you are tempted to cut corners on the purchase of your next used vehicle to save money, you may want to reconsider. Even though you can often find deals to save money up front, it usually comes back to bite you.

Simply put, getting a good deal on a used car spans beyond the purchase price. You also must consider the little things that accompany the monthly payment such as insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs. This may seem like a lot to afford, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to afford the used car of your dreams.

The costs of owning your ride is decreasing as time goes on. On average, the monthly operating and ownership costs associated with owning a sedan is $739.67 (or $8,876 per year), according to a recent report released by AAA. Operating costs include gas, maintenance and tires whereas ownership costs include full-coverage insurance, license, registration, taxes, depreciation and finance charges.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of their findings by vehicle type, based on a 15,000 annual mileage:

If you are blown away by these figures, don’t start worrying yet. Here are some things to consider when shopping that can help you save later on down the line:


Wouldn’t it be grand if all cars could run off of oxygen? Unfortunately, cars need gas, and gas is expensive. Even hybrids require gas to function. Bummer.

So, when you’re shopping, you’ll need to pay attention to the fuel economy ratings, both on the highway and in the city. Put this expense into your car budget, and see how often you can afford to fill your tank. Even though you can’t control gas prices, you can control how much you spend to fill up your tank each week.


Extended warranties are great, but they typically only cover major repairs. That means you’re on your own with the day-to-day maintenance. It’s probably not a good idea to pick out the shiniest model on the lot without first taking a moment to figure out the anticipated maintenance costs. 

Generally speaking, the older the model and the higher the mileage, the more costly the maintenance. You also might want to get the maintenance records to see if the vehicle was properly cared for by its prior owner.


Don’t forget to take a peek at the tires. If they are extremely worn, they will need to be replaced, which can set you back hundreds of dollars out the gate.


Besides the cost of the monthly payment, car insurance is a top expense for your car. Unfortunately, it’s illegal not to carry coverage if you live in any state except for New Hampshire, so insurance is an expense you can’t avoid. But, the year, make and model of your car can affect the cost of your insurance. 


Unless you seriously intend to drive the vehicle until the wheels fall off, you’ll want to purchase something that holds value. Otherwise, be prepared to fork over the difference between the sales price and what you owe when you want to sell or trade it in for a new set of wheels. Don’t let bargains on the purchase price fool you. Before putting any money down, look at the current asking price compared to older models to gain some insight on depreciation. And, steer clear of rebuilt or salvaged vehicles if you intend to earn any equity in your vehicle.

Bottom line, there is more to owning a car than just the car payments. You need to set a budget that includes all of the costs so you can see what you can reasonably afford.