For those of us who have kids who are new drivers in Cincinnati, we are well aware of the increasing costs in regards to insuring teen drivers. Now I’m past that initial shock as my kids are old enough now to pay for their own insurance, but I do still have nightmares about our car insurance bills.
I found a good article at The New York Times which I’ve taken the liberty of paraphrasing below for your convenience.
A new study from Insurance.com shows how much a parent’s insurance policy can go up when a teenage driver is added.
When a teenager is added to the parent’s policy, according to the study, the annual insurance premium for a one-car family typically increases 44 percent, while for a two-car family it generally jumps about 58 percent and for a three-car family, about 62 percent.
This is because drivers ages 15 to 19 tend to get into more accidents than older drivers and have little driving experience.
So how can parents of teenage drivers reduce the insurance costs? Insurance.com recommended comparing rates from different companies; making sure your teenager is driving a safe car that is inexpensive to insure; and asking for discounts if your child gets good grades in school, takes certain driving classes or drives a vehicle with a monitoring device installed.
The data is based on an analysis of car insurance quotes provided to Insurance.com users for all levels of liability coverage from October 2009 through September 2010. Collision and comprehensive coverage was not included in the analysis.
How much did your insurance jump when your child started driving? How have you lowered the cost, if at all? Leave me a comment or two. Oh, and if you are ever around an Superior Auto Dealership location, let’s talk cars!
“Never buy a car on looks alone…” is some of the wisest advice I heard long ago. A sexy shell may hide a rough ride -- or seats that make your back ache after 15 minutes of driving.
Just as you’d (hopefully) take a wider view about the person you’d want to marry, take the time to consider the entire package before determining whether to purchase. Otherwise, the morning after could be a rude awakening! At this new car dealership in Cincinnati, we’ve heard some stories about some bad car purchases just because the car “looked cool”.
Here are a few things to put on your pre-buy checklist:
Don’t buy a vehicle without spending some time behind the wheel -- and in the seat. Chairs that seem comfortable and supportive in the showroom may feel like you are riding the pine after a few hours. Or they could be too soft, which is another problem. Regardless, the key is to find out what they’re like in real life, day-in and day-out. The only way to do that is to insist on a test drive. A real one, not just a 10 minute spin around the block. Most dealers will accommodate this practical request provided you’re a serious buyer. If not, walk away. It is much better to go on with shopping than to buy a car you’re unsure fits you.
Like the seats, it’s hard to know whether a given car’s ride quality is too soft, too firm, or just right without a test drive that lasts at least an hour -- and takes place on a wide variety of roads, including not-so-great roads with potholes and uneven pavement. If you haven’t gone new car shopping recently, one thing you’ll discover is that “sporty” (read: firmer -- often unpleasantly so) ride quality is now the trendy thing. Aggressive, performance-type tires (short, stiff sidewalls and tread patterns designed to produce maximum grip and response to steering inputs) are being fitted to (ostensibly) family-minded and even luxury cars -- which are now marketed as luxury-sport cars. High-speed handling maybe outstanding, but the day-to-day ride quality could be harsher than you wish to live with daily. Also, be sure to try the vehicle out on bumpy secondary roads as well as smooth highways. You need to determine how it feels going over less-than-perfect pavement.
If the vehicle offers different suspension levels -- a standard version and a “sport” upgrade -- try both out. Never buy the sport suspension package just because of the (usually larger) wheels that include they look better than the ones fitted to the standard suspension model. Larger/wider wheels -- and tires with shorter/stiffer sidewalls -- will almost always give you a firmer -- even harsher -- ride.
How easy is it to change the radio station, adjust the climate control system and operate other vehicle controls? In their quest to be “different,” automakers sometimes graft over-complex, hard-to-use controls onto their cars that leave the owner with never-ending hassles. For example, the use of scrolling menus and LCD displays to toggle through vs. an easy knob or button to adjust fan speed. Some such interfaces could be very aggravating -- even after you figure out how they work. Sometimes, simpler is better. Make sure you can work all the features of your next car without having to take your eyes off the road or fumble with complicated controls. If the vehicle stresses you out, it’s not the car for you.
Real World Gas Mileage
Don’t assume the fuel economy information listed on the window sticker represent the actual mileage you will get. Particularly if you are looking at the sticker on a hybrid vehicle. The government tests new cars and trucks to get an “average” city/highway fuel economy figure -- but the government’s test loop may not reflect the type of driving you do. If, for instance, you drive faster than the testers did your actual fuel economy is probably going to be significantly lower than the government’s rating. You may also frequently carry passengers -- or pull a heavy load. These variables will have an effect on fuel efficiency. Never assume that the advertised 18-mpg rating (as an example) is what you will get. Read the fine print. Your mileage will almost certainly will vary. If you are budgeting a certain amount for gas bills each month based on the marketed fuel efficiency, you could find yourself paying more than you anticipated. Again, the test drive provides salvation. Be sure the tank is full before you head out, and top it off just before you take the vehicle back to the dealership. After your afternoon’s drive you’ll be able to figure out just how much fuel the thing is likely to use given the type of driving that you -- not government testers -- do.
And don’t forget: Hybrids get their top mileage in low-speed, city-type driving, the reverse of standard cars -- which do best on the highway. Should you do a great deal of highway/distance driving, a hybrid’s real-world mileage could be very disappointing.
Lifestyle And Family
Unless this car (or truck) is just for you, it’s wise to determine how the members of your family like it -- particularly those who will be driving it frequently.
A typical mistake people sometimes make is to buy a vehicle that their wife or husband either dislikes immensely or isn’t comfortable driving. Maybe it’s “too big,” or “too cramped, “hard to get into” or “has terrible blind spots” -- ultimately it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that someone else who needs to use the car doesn’t like the car you decided to buy. Years of listening to grumpy complaining could be your punishment. Make certain -- especially with SUVs and sporty cars, which can be awkward or uncomfortable for some people to drive -- that anyone who will be using the vehicle regularly likes the thing. Or at least, that they don’t despise the thing.
Need any questions answered? Looking for purchase advice? The Superior Automotive Group has all of the answers!
Most of us at this Cincinnati car dealership subscribe to the old adage, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t”. Stick with that and you usually can never go wrong. However there are times where we are so stressed, or beat down that even the most ludicrous claims can sometime prey on our hopes. The hike in gas prices for example. Although we’ve just seen some of our highest gas prices ever, and we understand that there will always be fluctuation, the fact of the matter is that the price per gallon keeps climbing and climbing with the seemingly no end in sight. Such is the nature of inflation and supply and demand.
So what if you had the supply to cover the demand? Something that could be available on all manufacturers like Honda, Acura, Kia and Hyundai. You may or may not know that I’m all for alternate gas saving solutions, but things like hybrids are just band-aids to a bigger issue. What if we could use water to create fuel and convert water to hydroelectricity powerful enough to fuel our vehicles? If you’ve actually looked for conversion kits for “run your car on water” you will find many different products…but do these products work? So far, the general consensus is “No.”
Although, the technology is being worked on in earnest, I think It will be some time before we find a real way to convert water to hydrogen and ultimately have a fairly limitless supply of fuel.Check out the video below on how Hydrogen Fuel cells work.
…now the reality of the matter is contained in the video below:
There you have it, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t…at least not yet. If you have any questions or comments about the development of alternate fuels that can ease our burden at the pump, leave them below, or call your favorite Cincinnati car dealership.
At the Superior Automotive Group, we see a lot of cars who have been in accidents come through our body shop. I really don’t make it a habit of dwelling on unfortunate or writing about stuff that literally puts my stomach in knots, however, I couldn’t pass this up. It’s very interesting information…even if it is a bit macabre.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has some interesting stats available to the public through their Fatality Analysis Reporting System. One of the statistics they keep is the number of crashes on each day of the year. We decided it would be interesting to see which days had the most accidents and which days had the lowest number of new and used car crashes across the country.
Without further ado, here are the fifteen days with the most accidents on average from 1999-2008 (ten years):
January 1 132.1 average crashes
July 4 131.5 average crashes
July 3 126.3 average crashes
August 3 123.3 average crashes
September 2 122.7 average crashes
September 1 120.9 average crashes
August 6 120.8 average crashes
September 22 120.6 average crashes
July 2 120.4 average crashes
October 14 119.7 average crashes
August 4 119.6 average crashes
August 31 119.5 average crashes
June 30 119.2 average crashes
July 15 118.4 average crashes
August 11 118.3 average crashes
It’s no surprise to see New Years Day and the 4th of July near the top of the list, but there a few odd ones in there.
January 8 81.9 average crashes
January 23 82.1 average crashes
January 29 82.6 average crashes
January 30 83.2 average crashes
January 15 83.2 average crashes
February 27 83.3 average crashes
January 24 83.4 average crashes
January 2 83.6 average crashes
March 14 85.1 average crashes
March 20 85.1 average crashes
December 25 85.2 average crashes
February 1 85.3 average crashes
February 28 85.4 average crashes
February 9 85.5 average crashes
March 22 85.7 average crashes
The winter months dominate this list which makes sense. The danger of icy roads obviously didn’t outweigh the lower amount of drivers on the road.
I admit, not one of our most joyous posts, but an important one just the same. Everyone stay safe out there!
Most of us at Superior Cars have kids, and we understand that when a teen is getting his or her license, it can be stressful. While there are driving schools you can (and should) enroll them in, you can also teach them yourself. Some of us take our kids to empty parking lots. Heck, I remember the first time I drove…
But I digress, I found a great website, teendriving.com, that is full of resources for teaching your teen how to become a competent driver. There are many links for how to teach your child how to drive in many different situations, but it also laws out two basic rules that you, as a teacher, need to understand from the beginning.
Know the Rules
Having the right information can make your job as driving mentor so much easier. First, visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website. Most states have a new driver’s booklet, list of places and times to take the exam, state driving laws, and more on their site. If you don’t have access to the Internet at home, you can use the free computers at the library, pick up printed materials at the DMV offices, or often request them by phone. Parents should review the materials as well as ensuring that their teen studies them. This is usually one homework assignment, they are eager to do.
Another helpful resource is your insurance agent. Many insurance companies have programs for new drivers including videos, safe driving booklets, and criteria for getting good student and safe driving discounts. This is a good time to check the rates for having a teen driver on your policy. If you have more than one vehicle, chose one with an airbag if possible, and find out which one will have the lower rate and best safety rating. Then add the teen as a driver to that car.
Be a Role Model
Setting a good example is one of the best ways that you can help your teen be a better driver. If you run red and yellow lights, speed down the highway at 75 MPH, weave in and out of traffic, take chances on the road, ride the bumper of the car in front of you, scream at other drivers, or exhibit other signs of road rage, you’re showing your teen that the rules don’t count—and this can be fatal. Model the behavior you want your teen to follow and start early.
Before you teach your child to drive, you should know what you should do to prepare in becoming the teacher. If you are looking for a new or used car for the new driver in your family, be sure to check out the Superior family of dealerships.
I wonder how many Cars in Cincinnati are used as roving battery chargers for our phones, mp3 players, GPS and a whole host of other little gadgetsWell maybe not.It seems that every time I get in my carI immediately plug in my phone for charging. Is this a good thing? It doesn’t matter if my phone or iPod is fully charged or flat lined, I will plug it in for the ride home just to be sure it’s not going to die on me later while I am already at HOME!! I started paying attention to how long it was taking my phone or iPod to charge up and for some reason it seems they charge faster in the car then they do at home. Why is this? Is this even true or am I seeing things? Well I did some research and this is what I found:
Once a standard internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle gets up to operating speeds, it produces more energy than can go to the wheels thanks to losses from heat and friction. And, since it’s the engine that sends energy to the power outlet in the car (via the battery), does it make sense to charge your gadgets during your commute rather than at home, using energy that would otherwise be wasted? There is no simple answer, but the way that some new vehicle powerplants are changing means it’s going to be more and more likely that you’ll want to charge up on the road, even if you live in a solar-powered house.
One reason it’s hard to answer the question right now is that, while an engine is capable of producing much more energy than it uses to cruise, it doesn’t necessarily produce that energy at all times. Thus, plugging in a gadget adds a bit of load to the engine, but probably a lot less than running the headlights, heater or defogger. So if you drive a normal vehicle powered by an ICE, keep plugging that iPhone into the wall.
The trick comes with newer vehicles that have brake energy regeneration. In these cars, the difference might actually be negligible because they use an intelligently-controlled alternator that only charges the car’s battery when the car is slowing down and it’s the battery that supplies juice for your gadgets. Thus, the engine isn’t taxed with spending fuel to keep the battery charged. Over the next few years as regenerative braking becomes more common, getting some gadget energy from your car will at least help reduce your home energy load.
Tell your Cincinnati car dealer what you think. You still want to plug in at home or on the road?