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Car Buying Scams To Be Aware Of

Do you feel nervous about buying a new car? If so, you’re not alone. Most people feel anxious about buying a new car because they’re afraid the salesperson will give them a bad deal. Car scams cost American consumers more than $30 billion annually. The sad thing is that most of these scams can be avoided if you know how to spot them. It doesn’t mean you should distrust all car salespeople. There are good ones out there who are honest and considerate. However, you must learn how to spot the various tricks used by shady salespeople. Even though they might act respectfully and have a smile on their face, they could still be up to no good. After extensive research into car scams, I’ve uncovered the most popular scams that are used quite often in the automobile industry. I’ve outlined them for you below. Window Stickers That Cause Confusion The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is the manufacturer’s price believes a car is worth. Car dealerships usually put an MSRP sticker on each vehicle they want to sell. If they’re honest, they will leave the sticker as-is without adding any other stickers next to it. But if they’re dishonest, they’ll add an even bigger sticker of their own near the MRSP. This sticker will have an inflated price that goes far beyond the manufacturer’s recommended price. The higher price includes a lot of upgrades and extra features that did not come from the manufacturer. Sometimes these are bonus upgrades for things that don’t even matter, such as fabric protection warranties. Look for advertising labels with acronyms like ADP or ADM. They stand for “Additional Dealer Markup” or “Additional Dealer Profit,” respectively. If you see these acronyms advertised on any vehicle, run away fast. Car Buying Scams To Be Aware Of Worthless Upgrades and Extra Features If a dealer doesn’t have an inflated listing price on a car, they might use another tactic to scam you. When you go into the salesperson’s office to sign the paperwork to purchase the vehicle, they will attempt to sell you add-ons or package deals. These deals might include things like rust-roofing, VIN etching, fabric protection, and paint protection. These features are unnecessary. Don’t waste your time and money on them. Decline all add-on offers. Holding Deposit If you’re interested in a particular model car in high demand, the car dealership might be willing to hold it for you. The stipulation is that you must pay a “holding” deposit if you want them to hold the car for you and not sell it to someone else. Do not take this deal unless the dealership agrees to refund the deposit after following through with the purchase. A holding deposit could also be made if the dealership is willing to perform a dealer trade for you as well. Car Buying Scams To Be Aware Of  Camouflaging Visible Flaws on the Cars A car dealership could have a lot of scratched and scuffed vehicles. Even if the cars are new, they might have gotten marked up as they were delivered to the car dealership. If that happened, the salespeople might attempt to hide these flaws with stickers and other innovative methods. That is why you should inspect each car for flaws before deciding to purchase one of them. Cashing in Your Rebate It is common for car manufacturers to offer cash rebates to consumers who purchase specific model vehicles. Sadly, most consumers don’t even know about these rebates because car dealerships don’t tell them. Unless the consumers know about the rebates already, the car dealerships will cash-in the rebates themselves. How is this possible? Simple. Car manufacturers don’t usually audit the personal information of each consumer who purchases one of their vehicles. They leave that up to the dealerships. Unfortunately, a dishonest dealership will take advantage of consumers who are unaware of those cash rebates. If you want to avoid losing out on a rebate, ask your local car dealership to show you all the vehicles that have cash rebate offerings attached to them. Then you can know if the car you want to purchase has a cash rebate before buying it. Deceptive Negotiations When you negotiate with a car salesperson on a particular vehicle’s price, make sure they understand the exact vehicle you want to purchase. Sometimes the salesperson might think you’re talking about a different year on the model car you want to buy. For instance, if you are interested in purchasing a 2015 Ford Focus, the salesperson might be thinking about a 2016 Ford Focus. It could be an honest misunderstanding, or it could be deceptive. So, be clear with the salesperson from the beginning about the make, model, and year of the vehicle you want to purchase. The pressure to Purchase Used Rather Than New If you’re negotiating with a salesperson about a new car, they might try to persuade you to purchase a used car instead. If a particular used car is not selling and the dealership wants it off their lot, the salespeople will create incentives for consumers to purchase it. These could be bonus incentives, such as certified preowned or free oil changes. As the consumer, it might not necessarily be a bad thing. But you should never feel pressured to make a quick purchasing decision. If the salesperson tries to tell you their special deal is only available now, then do not purchase the car. A good salesperson will give you time to make the right choice for your own needs.   Must Pay MSRP Price to Get Cash Rebate Manufacturers issue cash rebates to consumers who purchase their vehicles, regardless of the prices that are negotiated with the salespeople. The only problem is the salespeople will tell consumers that they must pay the MSRP prices to receive the cash rebates. That way, the consumers will end up paying more money to the dealerships. Don’t fall for this trick. If a car has a cash rebate available, you


An Overview of Motorcycle Towing

Motorcycles are not invincible. They might seem fast and flawless, but they can break down just as easily as standard passenger cars. Most people don’t think about calling a towing company when their motorcycle malfunctions. But it is wise to have your faulty motorcycle towed because it will prevent further damage to it. If you were to leave your motorcycle on the side of the road or attempt to tow it through unconventional means, you might wind up paying a more extensive repair bill. Do yourself a favor and call a towing company instead. Motorcycle vs. Car Towing The towing process for motorcycles is different compared to cars. For one thing, a motorcycle has an entirely different design layout. It also has a different number of wheels, balance, engine functions, weight, and size. A tow truck operator cannot simply hoist up the front of your motorcycle and pull it from the back of the truck. The bike would surely bounce around and fall out of the cradle where the wheel is locked. Even if your motorcycle has front wheel locks, they won’t do any good for a tow. Motorcycles have two wheels and cannot withstand the same level of impact that a four-wheeled car can endure from a tow. Special Motorcycle Roadside Assistance Companies If you need to tow your motorcycle, you’ll have to look for companies specializing in motorcycle towing. These are usually companies that only focus on motorcycles rather than standard cars and trucks. They have the necessary equipment and tools to accommodate all motorcycle towing tasks. Most importantly, these particular operators have experience in motorcycles. They will treat your bike with love and care. The Motorcycle Towing Process The hook and chain process will not work on a motorcycle. To tow a bike safely, it needs to be entirely off the road. The motorcycle towing process involves a hydraulic lift or ramp to transfer the motorcycle from the ground to the flatbed in the rear of the truck. Let’s discuss the three main elements of the motorcycling towing process. Flatbeds Motorcycle flatbed trucks are the best choice for towing motorcycles. Your entire motorcycle gets lifted off the ground and placed onto a flat surface behind the truck. There is special equipment integrated into the flatbed to keep the bike steady and secured. It is similar to a standard flatbed tow truck for cars and trucks, except this one is designed specifically for hauling motorcycles. Ramped Flatbeds Motorcycle ramped flatbeds are a hybrid of a flatbed and a ramp to deliver a safe transportation. The ramp gets extended onto the ground so the motorcycle can be rolled up onto it and then onto the flatbed, where it is secured into the proper position. Nothing has to be lifted or hoisted up into the air like with the traditional tow truck. Hydraulic Lifts Hydraulic lifting technology is in several modern tow trucks. There are special hydraulic lifts used for motorcycle towing trucks only. They are designed to lift motorcycles off the ground completely and safely.   The hydraulic lift lowers the flatbed onto the ground. The motorcycle gets rolled onto the flatbed, where it is restrained and secured in place. The flatbed gets lifted back up onto the rear of the truck. Now it can be locked and secured in place. The Importance of Motorcycle Towing Coverage Do not ignore the need for motorcycle towing coverage. If you own a motorcycle, you have to realize that it can break down just like a car. In fact, it has a greater chance of breaking down because of how small and vulnerable it is on the road. There is no rear trunk to hold a jack or spare tire either. If one of your two motorcycle tires goes flat, you will get stranded on the side of the road. Are you going to leave your car alone while you walk to the nearest auto shop for help? Your motorcycle might not even be there when you get back. Motorcycle towing is the safest solution. That is why you must subscribe to a roadside service plan which offers motorcycle roadside coverage. Not all roadside services provide this type of coverage, so make sure your service provider offers it before you sign up.


Possible Reasons Your Car Was Towed Without Your Consent

Did your car disappear from its parking space? If so, perhaps your vehicle was towed without your consent. You should first call your local police department and ask whether your car was actually towed. The towing company is supposed to notify the police about the tow. That way, you’ll know your vehicle wasn’t stolen. However, there are some cases when the police will tow your car right in front of you. This could happen after they pull you over and discover something wrong with your driver’s license or vehicle documentation. It is essential to learn about the common reasons why the police and other entities may have the legal right to have your car towed without your consent. Then you can do whatever you can to prevent it from happening in the future. Below are the top 6 reasons why your car was towed without your consent. Parked on Private Property You cannot park your vehicle on someone else’s private property without their consent, and if you do, the property owner has the right to have your car towed without your permission. The worst part is that all the towing service costs get charged to the vehicle’s registered owner, which is you in this scenario. A homeowner’s association manager may also tow your parked car if it violates the community’s rules on parking. For instance, if a town-home community doesn’t allow more than two parked cars per property, they would have the right to tow away any excess vehicles on its driveway or land. 1. Suspended License or No License If the police catch you driving with a suspended driver’s license or no driver’s license at all, they will likely arrest you and tow your vehicle away without your consent. It is a crime to drive without a valid driver’s license. So, the police aren’t about to let you go away with a warning if you don’t have a valid license. 2. Expired Vehicle Tags The police will pull you over if you have expired tags on your vehicle’s license plate. It indicates that your vehicle registration surpassed its expiration date. If you don’t renew your vehicle registration and you let it expire, the police have the right to tow your car away. 3. Unpaid Traffic Tickets Do you have a glove compartment filled with unpaid parking tickets or speeding tickets? If so, you need to pay off the tickets or appeal them in court as soon as possible. Otherwise, the police may decide to tow your vehicle as collateral for all the unpaid traffic tickets that you let accumulate over time. 4. Illegal Parking Public parking spaces have their own rules too. For instance, you cannot park in handicapped parking spaces without an official handicap tag or sticker showing in your vehicle. You also cannot park in front of a fire hydrant or any public space deemed a tow-away zone. Failure to comply with these local laws will result in your vehicle getting towed. 5. Unsafe Vehicle for Driving Police may determine that your vehicle is unsafe to drive on public roads. If they see it has broken brake lights, missing side-view mirrors, and other forms of damage that make the vehicle dangerous for driving, they will pull you over immediately. Then your vehicle will get towed to any destination of your choice. A traffic accident is another way a vehicle can be made unsafe to drive. When a vehicle suffers damage from an accident, it may have suffered mechanical or functional issues which limit your ability to operate it properly. That is why most vehicles get towed after they get into a traffic accident. Conclusion The most common reasons for having your car towed without your consent are illegal parking, illegal driving (suspended license, DUI, or vehicle that is unsafe to drive), or unpaid tickets. If you understand the local parking and property laws of your town or city, then you should be able to avoid getting into these circumstances. Just remember to keep your vehicle in drive-able condition and avoid parking in areas where you’re not allowed to park. And, of course, make sure you pay for your vehicle registration renewal, driver’s license renewal, and outstanding traffic tickets.


What To Do If I Have a Flat Tire and No Spare

Most vehicles come equipped with a spare tire or donut tire in the trunk. A donut tire is a smaller version of your standard tire. It is meant to be a temporary tire so that you can drive your vehicle to an auto shop without requiring a tow. Unfortunately, there are some cases where you might not have a spare tire or donut tire available in your trunk. Perhaps you bought your vehicle used, and it didn’t come with these additional accessories in the trunk. Maybe you installed the spare tire in the past and never bothered adding a new spare tire to your trunk afterward. Sometimes a spare tire loses air pressure and is inadequate for use when you need it the most. When you get a flat tire without a sufficient spare available, it could leave you stranded and panicked on the side of the road. But don’t worry because you can still get out of this situation if you take the appropriate actions. The first step is to pull your vehicle to the side of the road as soon as possible. If you keep driving with a flat tire, you’ll damage the rim and potentially the suspension. That could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement expenses. So, you must turn on your emergency lights and pull over to a safe location on the side of the road. You can worry about what to do next after this crucial step is followed. Here are the top 3 ways to handle a flat tire when a spare is unavailable:   1. Patch the Tire It only takes a small puncture through the tread for a tire to go flat. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to replace an entire tire because of a small hole or puncture. Instead, you can use a tire repair kit to patch up the hole. A typical tire repair kit includes a sealant and a small air compressor. Apply the sealant to the punctured tread to prevent further air leakage. The sealant is meant to cover small holes only. After that, use the air compressor to add more air to the tire until the pressure meets the manufacturer’s recommendation. Patching a tire is only a temporary solution. The next thing you should do is drive your vehicle to the nearest auto shop and have them inspect the tire. They can either add a better quality patch or replace the tire for you. Tire repair kits may use a foam spray or plug for the sealant. The foam spray is the easiest to apply. Just follow the directions on the label. 2. Call a Friend Do you have any friends or family in the area? If so, you can simply remove the flat tire from your vehicle and have your friend give you a ride to the nearest auto shop. An auto technician can remove the flat tire from the rim and install a new one. Your entire vehicle doesn’t need to be there for that. Once you have the new tire, your friend can give you a ride back to your vehicle’s location. From there, you can proceed to install the new tire onto your car. Use this option if patching the tire does not work. For example, if the size of the hole is too big, you won’t be able to patch it up or reinflate it. The only option will be to replace the tire altogether. 3. Call Emergency Roadside Assistance Emergency roadside assistance can be a last resort if patching doesn’t work and you don’t have a friend to give you a ride. It is also helpful if you don’t have a jack or lug wrench in the trunk. If you have no other way to move your vehicle safely, you can contact a professional emergency roadside assistance provider. Your auto insurance policy may cover emergency roadside assistance services, so contact them first. Your insurance company will then contact the nearest available emergency roadside technician and have them come out to your location. The technician can attempt to patch and reinflate your flat tire as needed. But if that doesn’t work, they can tow your vehicle to an auto shop or safe location. Conclusion   Of course, it always helps to keep a spare tire in your trunk with the proper amount of air pressure in it. However, it is understandable why most people don’t do this because it is easy to forget and get sidetracked from this responsibility. But you need to check on your spare tire as often as you check on your regular tires. Otherwise, your spare tire might be useless when needed the most. In any event, you now know three ways to deal with a flat tire situation without a spare. Choose the way which is most convenient to your budget and circumstances. The critical thing to remember is to remain safe and get your vehicle away from traffic. The rest is easy.


Can You Tow a Car Blocking Your Driveway?

It can be frustrating to walk outside your home or business and see a car blocking your driveway. After all, you cannot leave or enter your driveway until the other vehicle gets removed. But if you wait for the owner to return and remove it themselves, you could be waiting a very long time. Sometimes a person may park their car entirely or partially on your driveway if they visit a neighbor next door. Either that or somebody may abandon their vehicle after it has broken down there. None of these situations would give the vehicle’s owner the right to park on any part of your driveway. According to California law, residents have the legal right to tow any vehicle blocking their driveway. The only requirement is that the residential property has fewer than four housing units, such as houses and duplexes. So, if you live on a residential property with under four housing units, you can immediately contact a towing company to remove the car blocking your driveway. Private business owners have different rules to follow for their commercial properties. For example, they must post a warning sign on their driveway that uses the proper legal language and complies with local laws. The signage must outline the specific parking rules of the property, such as where they can park and the penalties for blocking the driveway during non-business hours. The main liability would be towing the vehicle at the car owner’s expense. Therefore, if someone violates the rules of a posted warning sign on the driveway, the business owner has the legal right to immediately contact a towing company to remove the car from the area. However, if there is no warning sign on the property, then a business owner can only have the vehicle towed after 24 hours have passed. The business owner can only get police assistance once they wait 24 hours. Are you a business owner in California? If so, make sure you post the necessary warning signage on your driveway and parking lot. Then you will have more authority to remove vehicles blocking your driveway and violating the parking rules of your commercial property. The Best Actions to Take It is understandable why you’d be anxious to remove a vehicle blocking your driveway because it prevents anyone from leaving or entering your property. What if you have to get to work, but you cannot leave your residential property? What if potential customers cannot enter your commercial property to shop at your business? Before you get on the phone with your local towing company, your first call should be to the police. It is always better to call the police first to verify whether you have the legal right to tow a vehicle blocking your driveway. Then, if the police say it’s okay to tow the car, the police will file a report of the incident. That way, if the owner calls the police looking for their vehicle, the police can give them the information of the towing company that hauled it away.   Sometimes the towing company will call the police to report the incident on your behalf. In fact, their legal obligation is to call the police each time they tow a vehicle because the towing company is the entity moving the car without the owner’s consent. However, take it upon yourself to call the police for verification anyway. Then you can have peace of mind knowing you’re complying with the law rightfully. Be Careful of Towing Cars on Public Streets You have the right to tow parked cars blocking your driveway when they are actually on your property, whether entirely or partially. But removing it gets more complicated if the entire vehicle is on the public street and no part is on your driveway. After all, the law only gives you the right to remove unwanted cars when they are on your property because that is where you have authority. Homeowners and business owners have no authority over public streets. For this reason, you must call the police if a vehicle is parked on a public street directly in front of your driveway. The police are the only ones with legal authority over the public roads and the cars on them. They will force the motorist to move their vehicle away from your driveway if it is blocking it. If the motorist doesn’t comply or is nowhere to be found, the police will contact and authorize a local towing company to impound the vehicle. The police will usually attempt to contact the vehicle’s owner first by running a trace on their license plate. But if they are unsuccessful in communicating with the owner, the police will immediately remove the car from the public street. Then your driveway will no longer be blocked.

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