Thursday, April 12, 2007

Neat Little Booklets about Cars

We might be ready to look for a "new" heap that can take me on the freeway! And then maybe we will pass mine down to our son, since a putt-putt car is better than no car, and can be driven to the store or to the subway. But how we go about that gets tricky as far as title transfer...or not, vehicle inspection certification on my ailing heap...or not, maybe we just let him use it, but then there's the insurance and they want to insure him for Ed's car, too, which has comprehensive coverage. So there's a lot of "homework" to do here. But first things first, and the first thing is to find the "right car" for me for a very little bit of money.

So Ed suggested we buy these little books he heard about on the radio. As I was reading them, I knew I had to share these little gems with you! They ARE "little", only a little over twenty pages each, even though each book costs $4.75. But when I think of what we might save, it definitely seems worth it. And who wants to spend hours poring over long books about the mechanics and economics of a car, when you can get it in nuggets?

Even if you're not in the market for a heap (or any other new-to-you car), you might benefit from Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It! The Click and Clack brothers, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, say that they named the book first; then they made a list of fifteen items. By paying attention, we may be able to add years to the lives of our cars. (Now we just need to fix our diets so we can live as long as the car. This, by the way, is my humor, not theirs; although their books are filled with humor.)

The next book is Should I Buy, Lease, or Steal My Next Car? (Incidentally, they don't even address the stealing idea. It's just part of their humor and a catchy title. And if you can't shrug off an occasional in-law joke, these books aren't for you. I never had a problem with my in-laws but I know it's a common area for jokes.) The sub-heading of this book is "How to Save Tens of Thousands of Dollars On Your Cars Over the Next 20 Years". If you drive a heap, like I do, the previous book might be more helpful for saving money. But even if you're a cheapskate like me, you might want to share the information in this book with your children and others. I like that they explain car leasing (which seems so shrouded in mystery to many people...not a recommended option, by the way). I especially like that they give options for different possible strategies that you can use in buying a car, depending on how old or new a car you want, and that they have charts showing how much you can save by using one option over another.

How to Buy a Great Used Car: Secrets Only Your Mechanic Knows is the next book. In addition to the usual tips, this book has a chart you can copy and give to your mechanic to check out a potential used car before you make an offer.

I'd just like to add that I don't make a penny if you buy these books. I am only sharing them because:
A) I want to have something to write about every day. (I'm too honest this morning.)
B) I think they are enlightening and helpful! (I even wonder if I could still be driving my 14 year old car on the freeway today, if I had read the Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car... years ago.)
C) And I would like to ask you to please say a prayer that we make the best decisions regarding the cars, insurance, and so forth. Thank you!

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