Alhapps

Lead your free and happy life

Comfortably Traveling to Your Destination

Traveling for a vacation should be something that everyone will enjoy. There should be no worries or stress. While traveling by car, it is important to find entertainment that everyone is comfortable with as this contributes to successful “drive time” while on vacation. Remember that the driver’s comfort is your comfort too and you wouldn’t want him/her to be uncomfortable.

Comfortable traveling tips:

  • Try things like wiping off the windshield when it gets too misty instead of waiting for the driver to do it alone so as to keep him focused on the road.
  • Try to stay awake. Though many of us will usually sleep when traveling and especially when traveling as a family, it’s not that good both for you and for the driver.
  • Another thing that you can decide to do so that the journey becomes less tiresome and boring is to take breaks while traveling just to freshen up and renew your energy. It becomes even more fun when you make unplanned stops and maybe have some lunch at a local restaurant then keep on traveling.
  • When you are through with the stops, maybe you can change your sitting positions so that you don’t strain too much on one single sitting position. Straining on a single sitting position can be quite dangerous since it won’t allow oxygen to reach some of the cells in your body thus making you feel tired and uncomfortable and we definitely don’t want that. This applies for the driver and the passengers.

Also read:April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

  • When you start to feel cramped, this necessitates the need to take breaks so that you can stretch as much as you want to. Also, the meals that you have on the road shouldn’t be heavy just light enough to keep you awake. Take things like milk and cake or bread and you will be ok. Food like roast meat can make sleepy, which will lead to leaving the driver all alone while you are enjoying your sleep. Avoid that as it could be dangerous to leave the driver all alone. At least one person should remain awake and keep the driver company.
  • Help make sure the driver does not get distracted by anything that can withdraw his/her attention from the road. Distracted driving is one of the main causes for accidents on the road today. Don’t become a statistic.
  • As a passenger, keep an eye on the speed. Sometimes the driver can get carried away and accelerate the speed. Don’t let the driver speed and be advised on how fast you can drive. Follow the signs on the road and .
  • Comfortable and safe go hand in hand. Do not let the driver talk on the cell phone while driving. This would be engaging in distracted driving which endangers everyone in the car.

Also read:How Fast Can I Drive? Hang up for Safety…

Now that you know what it takes to have a comfortable journey, you should try to employ all the techniques which will help you have more fun journey. If you rarely go to vacations with your family driving then you should start reconsidering this as vacations don’t just help you relax, but help sustain the family bond. When you are driving for your vacation the time spent on the road should be made as much enjoyable as possible, and remember – safety first.  Make the travel a happy time and enjoy the time with your family. Follow our comfortable traveling tips when going on your next vacation and ensure a great time on the road.

How Fast Can I Drive? Hang up for Safety…

Transport trucks in Canada and the European Union have been using speed limiters for a few years now. It’s a great way to increase overall highway safety and doubles as an effective method of increasing fuel economy as well as the overall impact these vehicles have on the environment. But your average consumer cars don’t come with speed limiters installed, so how else is speed controlled?

also read:Buyer Beware: Yelp’s Sorting of Reviews Misleads Readers

Of course, we all know about speed limits – those black and white metal signs lining every road in the world do much to help keep us safe. The reasoning is that this one piece of legislation, wherever you happen to be, reduces the difference in speed between vehicles on the same road. Enforcing a common maximum speed limit improves road traffic safety: the World Health Organization lists it as one of the many ways a nation’s legislative body can attempt to reduce road casualties.

also read:To Drive, or Not to Drive, That is the Question.

Also, a 2003 report from the British Columbia ministry of transport, which studied speed reductions in various places around the globe, showed that reducing speed limits led to a decline in the number of motor vehicle accidents and injuries. At higher speeds drivers have less time to react to changing weather conditions or other unsafe scenarios such as collisions or road construction. By putting a cap on the fastest a car can go, the government, and the police officers that enforce the law, can help increase overall road traffic safety.

also read:Men Love For Cars – desire to control or real emotions?

In the case where there are no posted speed limits, drivers will often simply “go with the flow.” This is an effect that I argue comes from the fact that there are posted speed limits everywhere. We are used to keeping our speeds relative to those around us. But what is a good rule of thumb for knowing how fast you can drive when there are no posted signs concerning speeds?

In Canada, the general rule of thumb, if you can’t seem to find a speed limit sign on the road you’re driving, is as follows: if you’re in an urban or suburban area you should drive around 40 km/h. Most single lanes and residential area roads are set at this limit and it is a safe speed for those environments. On a multiple lane road (2 or higher), a good rule of thumb is to drive 60-70 km/h. If you are on a highway, the generally accepted practice would be to drive 80 – 100 km/h. But it is always better to be sure about what the speed limit is as going too fast can earn you some demerit points and – as I mentioned here – that’s not something you want to happen.

also read:How to Choose Your Ideal Car

In addition to being recommended as a way to reduce pollution, fuel consumption and normal wear and tear on a car, speed limits have been shown time and again to reduce road traffic collisions and casualties. There will always be people who don’t obey these signs – I, myself, often find that I’m going around 20 km/h above the speed limit. But even though many people grumble and complain about them, they have proven their worth by forcing us to keep an eye on how quick we’re travelling and will no doubt be here to stay for a long time to come.

Hang up for Safety

As I’ve mentioned before, the bureaucratic safety net that underlies the automotive industry is, for all intents and purposes, very effective. However, when the laws change or a new law is created it’s a big challenge for the government to communicate it to every single driver out there. It’s up to us to keep ourselves abreast of this information and although we can get it from the normal sources – friends, TV, newspapers, the radio, etc. – sometimes drivers slip through the cracks.

Dad had become comfortable with the way I drove his car. Of course, with only my learner’s permit I still had to have him, or another experienced driver, in the car with me at all times. It was a good sign when he stopped correcting every second move I made. I was finally able to enjoy the simple act of driving. Don’t get me wrong – I loved having Dad there. He’s a very knowledgeable guy, at least when it comes to road traffic safety, but as I found out one day, he doesn’t know everything.

also read: Donating a car to charity?

We had been driving along when Mom called my cell. I turned down the radio and picked up the phone. She wanted us to pick something up on the way home, but before she could tell me what it was I saw flashing blue and red lights in the rear-view mirror.

My heart immediately leapt out of my chest. I turned to Dad who looked confused and stunned at the same time, his eyes wide, staring into the side view mirror of the car.

“Pull over. Now,” he said.

I hung up on Mom, in the middle of a sentence, and slowly pulled the car onto the shoulder of the road. I was nervous as the cop approached.

“Just let me do the talking,” Dad said.

A few minutes into the conversation with the police officer I had learned the following things:

  1. I had not been speeding
  2. I had not been driving recklessly
  3. Using a cell phone while driving is illegal in some states – if you’re under 18.
  4. Dad does not know everything.

As it turns out, driving while using a cell phone can be as unsafe as driving while impaired. There have been several studies done, in several countries, that illustrate the delayed reaction time people exhibit while texting, or talking, and driving at the same time. The general conclusion seems to be that it is dangerous to use a hand-held device while driving. Therefore, many regions have enacted laws that limit the use of these devices while a person is behind the wheel.

I avoided getting a ticket, because it was obvious that I was still learning. Dad also managed to argue that he didn’t know about the law and therefore couldn’t be held responsible for making sure that I knew about it. The police officer was very cordial and let us off with just a friendly warning, but mentioned that the penalty – if I were to be caught again – would be much more severe.

For up to date information on the latest safety regulations and laws you can sign up for email and text alerts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – click here (http://www.nhtsa.gov/) for more information.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

From East to West coast April is marked as national distracted driving awareness month. Regulatory authorities from across the country promote the month as such and make sure violators get what they deserve. The driving safety community has one simple message:

One text or call could wreck it all

Police in every state take it very seriously and ticket violators. Statistics from across the US has proven that when you put away your cell phone while driving the likely hood of accident is lower. Today, almost 65 per cent of accidents occurring are due to distracted driving as the most popular cause is cell phone use. Laws are catching up though as many states are banning cell phone usage while driving.

Currently some ten states plus DC, Guam and Virgin Islands have banned both texting and talking while driving, while 34 states have banned texting only. Moreover, all across these states leading governors and state authorities organize educational events at schools and community centers. Especially in April state DOTs are doing their best to educate drivers about the dangers of texting or talking on cell phone while driving.

also read: Holiday travel safety tips! Be advised the roads will be busy….

The Texas DOT for a second year in a roll has organized a great outreach campaign – Talk. Tex. Crash. that raises awareness of the tragic consequences  of distracted driving. Texas along with the other states enforcing the laws state firmly that control texting and talking behind the wheel will reduce the gloomy number of distracted driving accidents.

Distracted Driving in Numbers

  • 16 % of fatal crashes in 2009 are due to distracted driving – 5,400 died
  • In 2010 over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes
  • In 2011 37% of drivers text or talk while driving
  • Large percentage of the people say THEY KNOW IT IS DANGEROUS, BUT DO IT ANYWAY
  • 10 % of drivers 16-24 are on their phones at any one time
  • Drivers who use handheld devices are 4 time more likely to get into an accident
  •  who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get involved into an accident
  • drivers inattention causes 1 million crashes every year in North America, and has an economic impact of approximately $40 billion

Don’t be a distracted driver!

Statistics support the fact that texting and talking while driving is killing people. Surveys conducted show that 8 in 10 people support the ban on cell phone usage while driving, yet only ten states have enforced any laws. And although laws have helped reduced those tragic numbers too many people still roll the dice and text or talk while driving even though it is illegal.

In 2011 the National Transportation Safety Board (NATSB) has recommended a total cell phone usage ban in all US states. Currently too few states have done that and the rest have various laws dealing with distracted driving and they don’t seem to be stopping the problem. Thus, a national law should come into action to make it illegal to text or talk while driving because people are getting injured or killed on the road every day across the states. Even though distracted driving is number one killer of American teens it is not limited to young drivers though.

Learn more about our enclosed vehicle transport services

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had prohibited commercial truck and bus drivers from texting with any handheld device. Last year interstate bus drivers were added to the bill. The US Department of Transportation is working hard to make the US roads safer.Nothing is more dangerous on the road today than texting or talking while driving. The older generation can’t imagine how far we have come to allow technologies to help us advance that easily and in the same time die that easily.

also read:Things to Remember if Your Car Breaks Down

It is all about control and responsibility, and obviously this skips Generation X’s mindset. Obviously the idea of sending a text or talking while behind the wheel of a 2 or more tons vehicle rushing with 50 mph does not scare today’s generation, and this is sad. The authorities advice is don’t ignore the statistics because you can become such. For more information about distracted driving the Official Government Website for Distracted Driving to check out the statistics and get involved.

Holiday travel safety tips! Be advised the roads will be busy….

Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

Check road conditions

It is not easy to predict the weather and the road conditions, especially if you are traveling across the country. Yet check the road conditions before you head out. You can find info on Traffic.com or Weather.com. There are also many useful apps that will keep you up to date with the road conditions during the time you travel.

Pack supplies

There is an old saying stating you should always have food and water supplies, and warm clothes. A bag of food and clothes, and a few bottles of water will not take too much space in the car . You never know what may come your way and being prepared is the best way and always a good example for your children.

Prepare your Car for the long travel

No matter the distance you will travel during the holidays, winter traveling always require additional tune-ups. You may need to change your car’s tires and wiper blades, so check them out, don’t wait until you leave your garage to find out you have to do that.

Learn more about our car shipping services

Check your emergency kit

Do you have one? Don’t answer this question. I am sure you do! Double check it and make sure you have a first aid kit, tire repair kit and flares and fire extinguisher.

Cell phone always near – car charger ready!

It happens to me so often that I could not miss that one. Have your cell phone car charger with you in the car, plugged in at all times! You never know when the smart phone you trust with all your personal information will show you how stupid it can act.

Child safety seat

If you are traveling with little children, under 8 years old ,you should have installed a child safety seat. Make sure you have done so properly and the seat is the right size. Always keep an eye on your child during the trip.

Buckle up!

Now that you have taken care of your children, please do take care of yourself! You have most likely heard the national ‘Click it or ticket’ slogan.

Also read: Things to Remember if Your Car Breaks Down

This campaign is aimed exactly to help safe lives because many people do not probably believe the power of the seat belt.

DO NOT DRINK and DRIVE

There is no better way to say that. Do not drink and drive. Never ever! Think about the consequences. We all know how the alcohol affect us – let’s not argue about that now. Many people will say that there is nothing wrong with one beer, but in fact there is – it falls under the drink and drive when you are on the road violations, which make you a danger on the road automatically.

Distracted driving …during the Holidays

Driving while talking on the phone or texting is as dangerous as driving under influence. So, is that simple – don’t drive and text or talk on the phone. It’s winter, and you are going to visit relatives for the Holidays to have fun and share the joy. Don’t ruin it with one text massage or phone call.

Keep your eyes on the road

 

So, basically after talking about distracted driving and driving under influence, we would like to tell you keep your eyes on the road. I know it can get hectic in the car when the whole family travels together and everybody is excited about the holidays, but the driver should keep his / her eyes on the road.

Don’t speed

One of the last, but not least advises is don’t speed … simply leave early. We all want to get home for the holidays as early as possible, but don’t risk your safety for that. Take it easy and drive safe, not fast. Slow down and take your time when traveling for the Holidays across the country. The roads will be busy so you should be careful and keep in mind that safety is the first priority.

Checking the Weather on the Go – there is an App for that

 

Just like checking the road conditions, you need to be checking the weather as it may change drastically from state to state. Use your smart phone for that – there are tons of Apps that will keep you up to date with the weather. If your cell phone does not allow for that, simply check the weather for each state you are passing through before you leave.

And this is is for this year’s holiday travel safety tips! If you would like to add something please do so in the comment. Share with your friends and family those valuable tips!

Things to Remember if Your Car Breaks Down

You’re chugging along the interstate, on the way to your favorite vacation destination. With the high price of gasoline today – you’ve decided to take your reliable vehicle instead of renting one in an effort to save money for vacation fun. Suddenly, and virtually in the middle of nowhere, your car stalls. This is the worst possible thing that could happen at the start of your vacation.

This dilemma afflicts many road trip drivers around the country. If it should ever happen to you, there are things you’ll wish you had done to be prepared. Here are a few words of advice and a bit of knowledge surrounding what you can do to prepare for the event of a car breakdown on the road.

Pro Tips To remember Before Hitting the Road!

Twenty year veteran mechanic Vincent Gables from New Orleans, Louisiana recommends having the numbers of mechanics in the areas you’ll visit or pass through handy before you even hit the road. “Triple A is a service people should have, but I would suggest that you have the phone number to a mechanic handy as well,” says Gables.

  • Often times, when driving down the highway, you can spot a car or two abandoned along the side of the road. Have you ever wondered what the circumstances were that made people leave their vehicles regardless of the possibility of it being towed? Didn’t the driver of those cars realize that they were having car trouble? Did they have no one they could call? Gables says that usually the problems stem from lack of maintenance, “People don’t do the preventative work needed to keep their cars running. Things like getting a tune-up, changing and topping off fluids.”
  • That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Auto Club, a California emergency road service company, agrees with Gables and adds to that list: the improper maintenance of tires, including rotating, aligning and inflating tires, ignoring warning sounds and signals that cars give drivers, and lack of battery maintenance.
  • The National Safety Council (NSC) offers tips via their website as well. The first thing that they suggest drivers remember when a breakdown occurs is to slowly release your foot from gas pedal and carefully make your way to the shoulder of the road. “Once off the road, make your car visible. Put reflectorized triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers; use your emergency flashers. If it is dark, turn on the interior dome light,” the NSC website explains.

Keep in mind those simple steps in case your car breaks down

This might seem obvious, but honestly – many drivers, especially new or young drivers, don’t know the proper protocol for attracting safe roadside assistance. NSC goes on to say, “Do not try to flag down other vehicles. Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is needed.”Although simplistic, this is great advice for new and veteran drivers.

So, for your next excursion by car – take care of your vehicle before you leave your driveway. Follow these safety tips and find yourself breezing through the fast line on the road to adventure. In case though you need to abandon and transport your car across the country, do not hesitate to call a towing company or a car transport company.

Buyer Beware: Yelp’s Sorting of Reviews Misleads Readers

No matter how good a business’s product or customer service is, you’ll likely find some negative reviews.  Some would say even more so on Yelp than other sites.  The bigger the business, the more total reviews they’ll have and likewise the more negative reviews they’ll have.  At the bottom of nearly every business’s profile page on Yelp you’ll find a link to all the “not currently recommended” reviews, previously known as “filtered” reviews.  Currently, Montway has 36 recommended reviews and 215 not recommended, both types have an average rating of 4 stars.

Also Read:To Drive, or Not to Drive, That is the Question.

If you take a look at the “not currently recommended” reviews for any business, you’ll likely be surprised at just how negative they are.  I certainly was.  If you look a little closer, you’ll eventually notice that Yelp is choosing to sort these reviews first by lowest rating, then by most recent.

Case Study

At first we thought this was a bug or somehow unique to our page, but after looking around, we saw it everywhere. Take this example, for what is arguably the best restaurant in Chicago, Alinea. They’ve got 1,121 featured reviews with an average of 4.5 stars.  However anyone who views the not currently recommended page would certainly get a far different impression.

The average Yelp user who happens to click this link at the bottom of the page (for any business) most likely will not figure out how Yelp is sorting the reviews.  That user could quite reasonably come to the conclusion that all of these supplemental reviews are negative or that this is where all the negative reviews are hidden. The reader might even think that’s the sole reason they’re not recommended, but that they are still somehow valid.

Also Read: How to Choose Your Ideal Car

They might think Yelp is actually trying to protect the business by putting all the negative reviews in this section and not on the previous page.  Nowhere on the supplemental page is a distribution of star ratings, which is available for featured reviews by clicking “Details”.  Also nowhere on this page is an explanation as to how reviews are sorted nor why.  It only mentions that “the reviews below are not factored into the business’s overall star rating.”  Their FAQ has a section about recommended vs. not recommended reviews, but no mention of sorting.

Anyone who happens to click the link at the bottom of the profile page would find it hard not to have a lower opinion of the business after seeing the page.  In some cases it may not change their willingness to patronize the business, but it would be very hard to imagine it doesn’t impair their impression of the brand at some level.  For many businesses, this shockingly negative impression could be enough to drive the customer elsewhere, especially considering that people tend to “overvalue” their most-recent experience or information.

The implication of this sorting method is that Yelp will show every single possible 1-star review (not currently recommended), going back to the beginning of the businesses history on Yelp, then showing every single 2-star before finally showing the first mildly-positive review.

I would argue this is completely unfair to the business and is also a disservice to Yelp users by not accurately representing the current customer experience they could expect at a business.   A business could have hundreds of positive not recommended reviews which get buried by a relative handful of negatives.

Also Read: Men Love For Cars – desire to control or real emotions?

If these “not currently recommended” reviews are of questionable value in Yelp’s eyes, why show them at all?  If they do choose to include them on a separate page, why not use the same sorting method used for recommended reviews or simply sort them newest on top regardless of rating?  Why not at least include a graphic representation of the distribution, i.e. how many 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 star reviews?

We brought this issue to our Yelp Sales Rep.’s attention and got the following response:

 

In the past, businesses have complained that all their positive reviews seemed to be filtered and negative reviews disproportionately shown, among other complaints. It sounds to me like Yelp is using this as pretext, in effect saying ‘Look! There’s negative reviews filtered too.  We’ll even put them all at the top so you don’t miss them.’  To be clear, this is my interpretation, not their quote.  One could read further into Yelp’s statement and my interpretation of it to get the impression this is Yelp’s way of ‘sticking it’ to the business community that has given Yelp so much bad press in the past. The initial complaints (whether true or not) were that all the positive reviews were on the filtered page.  Yelp is acknowledging this perception (while not admitting it’s validity) and the response is in effect ‘now the supplemental page won’t have positive reviews either.’ Again, my editorializing.

Just to be sure, we asked for clarification that we were indeed both talking about the same thing and again got the following response:

 

But wait, it gets worse.  As if showing the 10 worst not currently recommended reviews isn’t enough, Yelp then shows you the 10 worst “removed” reviews with little more than the 1 star rating.  What is the purpose of showing what most would argue is the most meaningful part of a review (the star rating) for reviews which were removed for violating Yelp’s own content guidelines or terms of service?  Anyone scanning the page will first be attracted to the images (1-star ratings) and may not look too much into the details (hey, this review is removed – why is it still here then?) Many users will simply see a whole page full of 1-star reviews.  The inclusion of these additional negative reviews really starts to question Yelp’s motivation for presenting this page as it does.

For Alinea, Yelp’s negative reviews likely won’t cost them any business (they are booked up well in advance and have only so many seats) but most other businesses wouldn’t be so lucky.

In researching this issue, there didn’t seem to be anything out there on the topic, hence this post to call attention to the issue. Hopefully with some others asking similar questions we’ll see some (positive) changes from Yelp.

To Drive, or Not to Drive, That is the Question.

Should I drive my car or have it shipped?” This is one of the classic questions that we know many of our customers struggle with when debating using our services.  For many people the answer to this question is largely based upon the answer to another famous question in our industry: “How much will it cost to ship my car?” many people jump to the conclusion that you can save some hard earned cash by simply deciding to make a road trip out of it, but is this really true?  I would challenge that in order to really understand what it will cost you to drive your car yourself, you should be asking a different question: “What is my time worth?”

Simply put, most people today are busy, really busy.  Finding the time to take 4-5 days off from work or breaking from your weekly routine to drive your car cross country is near impossible.  Another question to ask yourself is “What will this epic road trip cost me?” and by that I mean really cost me?:

“What will this epic road trip cost me?”

  • Car Prep: Taking a long road tip, better make sure that your car is prepared.  Always a good idea to get an oil change and make sure to check on your battery, fluid levels, belts/hoses, tires and breaks while you are at it.
  • Fuel: This is the obvious one of course.  With prices constantly on the move (and seeming to always be going up) average fuel costs can range upwards of $4.00 per gallon
  • Food: Gotta eat!  Simply put, what ‘s the fun of a road trip without some quality snacks?  Plus, you’ll be most likely be stopping 2-3 times a day for a meal. Figure that this will cost around $30 a day per person.
  • Hotel:  Gotta sleep! Let’s face it, the thought of spending the night in your car is really not gonna happen.  A hotel will run you between $70 – 150 per night.
  • Missed Work:  No matter what your income level is, no one likes to be without pay for a few days or have to use vacation days if available to you.
  • Plane Ticket: This is not applicable in all cases, but if you are moving your car on a one-way trip and need to find your way back you are most likely going to end up booking a flight home.  Let’s estimate this as $350 for a one-way ticket.

As you can see, these costs can add up in a hurry. In addition, we have not mentioned or factored in the wear and tear on you car along with the extra miles potentially on a leased vehicle.  Of course there is one other factor that might not have a direct dollar value attributed to it but just as important a factor …

  • Stress:

Dealing with the uncontrollable such as a mechanical breakdown, flat tire, getting a ticket, dealing with bad weather or being involved in an accident.  By shipping your car with a reputable carrier, you can afford yourself peace of mind and a stress free experience.

After looking at all of the factors, costs and considerations listed above, you might realize that your time is worth much more then the cost of shipping your car.

Men Love For Cars – desire to control or real emotions?

Men love high performance cars and that is a fact. They go for testosterone-fueled sports and luxury cars and statistics confirm it. According to Kelly Blue Book, in the last few years the average horsepower (hp) of a car a man would buy is 360, where a woman’s preference is 170. Men buy those with enthusiasm even if they are not as affordable. With men, the bargain is not always the ultimate factor when it comes to buying a car.

Even today when fuel efficient and eco friendly cars are taking over the roads, most men still would go for fast masculine cars as they love them. So, why men love cars so much? And, why do they often take better care of their cars then their women? These questions often present a challenge because we don’t take the time to delve into the topic (issue many women would call it). So now, let us plunge in and tackle the love of men for cars.

Love At First Sight!

What do cars give men? A sense of freedom and adventure is a highly recognized answer among both men and women. In general, both sexes strive for freedom and power that gives recognition in society. Thus, the power and freedom men and women feel when a machine follows their commands is a main driving factor for love of cars. It answers both our instincts and socially constructed perceptions of happiness.

For most men is natural to follow their instincts, but social recognition is just as important and so when a single object can bring them both, they get emotionally attached to it. Moreover, it is not easy for most men today to buy the dream car, and they work hard to make it happen. Thus, it becomes something they been waiting and working for, which is why they feel passionate about it and when they achieve it they love it… and take care of it. This can give some hints to many women out there wondering about the best approach to hold the man’s attention and affection.

It always makes you feel comfortable, when it’s the right car…but isn’t it the same with the right woman?

Men develop personal relationship with their cars faster than women because they perceive their car as an extension while women don’t. Women do experience that for example with their homes – they see the house as an extension of their being. For most women a car is a separate entity…thus when it comes to cars women fall into the category of ‘instrumentalists’, while men fall into ‘expressives’.

For women it is a convenience, what the car can do for them, for men is more like a sentient being they need to get to know and respond to – men love cars, that’s it. Don’t get mad ladies. It is somewhat sad that men feel that way about their cars, but there is an explanation to that. According to a BMW study, men feel like they have nothing to prove to and feel completely relaxed while driving their car.

If you think about it, it is not the same with their woman. Most men feel constantly pressured to prove and justify themselves in front of a woman. And this feeling intensifies even more when they get married. Although many would argue that, it is the truth and it applies to women too. We think that when we get married, we relax and start neglecting ourselves, but in fact, if you really love someone, you always strive to be the best you can be for him or her.

Why Do Men Develop Relationship With Their Car

Therefore, developing this personal relationship with their cars, men easily differentiate it from the personal relationship with a woman as easier to maintain and still satisfactory. Moreover, by owning the car of their dreams – often a high performance, luxury vehicle – most men equate it with them and take pride in their car. Stylish, powerful luxury cars give men the ability to customize, which is another key to satisfaction that makes them take great care of the vehicle, which explains this testimonial

A man can rarely find the right words to explain how he feels about a woman, yet he can be very expressive about his car because it is a different type of love. Both type of relationships, with a woman and with a car, are discovered slowly and deepened with the time. In both relationships, development raises more questions, but with the car, questions often don’t demand an answer instantly.

The response a man gets from his car is mechanical in its nature and yet it speaks on an emotional level. There is clicking, gear shifting and tire screeching, sounds men often describe with purring that makes them happy. In a relationship with the woman they love, the discovery process is more interactive which involves more effort as women are not easy to please at all.

Women acknowledge that and yet it can’t be changed because women are highly emotional and intellectual beings who like to show it. No matter how easy going a woman’s personality is, the relationship demands a lot of work to maintain and unfortunately a big percentage of men  are not ready to put in the effort. So, the car becomes their perfect match on many levels.

Every day…We Are Driving And Loving It!

Driving your car in general is intimate and individual experience. And since we are all emotional creatures this helps us develop a personal relationship with our cars. For most men this translates into even stronger bond because they are not as expressive as women are and with their cars, they actually don’t need to show emotions. They can only feel them, share, and enjoy the fact that they are not pressured to do that and not getting a response from their car only strengthen the personal relationship. Moreover, the way a car looks and feels partly determines how we feel and drive. Sounds familiar maybe ladies?

The emotion a car triggers in a man dictates many car makers’ decisions regarding car design. BMW’s philosophy is “Pure driving pleasure” for example. They associate this with emotional design because today people’s commute is long and we spend a lot of time driving. Thus, for most drivers the word car triggers emotions and it is important that the car responds to our emotional level. So, having the control and familiarity when driving your car is a pleasurable experience that makes the seemingly unemotional men to be strongly attached to their car.

This explains why when moving men are ten times more likely to ship a car, rather than sell it. To most men the car becomes their moving house, their second home that can be shown yet remain private. Many would say that this love for cars in men comes down to control, yet it is an emotional relationship.

How to Choose Your Ideal Car

When it comes time to buy a car, many people feel somewhat overwhelmed with the vast array of options available from which to choose. A consumer must make many small decisions along the way before arriving at the best possible choice. Such factors include the selection of a make and model, the amount of money one can comfortably spend, and whether or not a new or used automobile should be purchased. For this reason, car shopping can be a stressful task. The following are some tips that will make the process more enjoyable and less challenging for most individuals:

Budget Considerations

It is important to work out a budget when shopping for a car, especially if one is experiencing any confusion or anxiety about how much he or she can afford to spend. The best way to accomplish this is for one to make a detailed list of all the current bills for which he or she is obligated, and then take a portion of what remains each month for the new car payment. However, it is not wise to spend all the remaining money on a car payment, as this leaves nothing for an emergency or unexpected expense.

A Used Versus a New Car

When deciding between a used or new car, there are several things one must consider, the most obvious of these being cost. A new car will cost more, regardless of the amount of interest one pays. However, if purchasing a new car is within reach financially, it is certainly a wise decision. Unfortunately, the contracts associated with new automobiles are typically quite difficult to restructure if one’s financial situation changes in the future. If a consumer feels that the latter scenario is likely to happen, a used car is a better option.

Choosing a Size

Selecting the appropriate size is also an important consideration when purchasing a new car, and there are pros and cons associated with both large and small cars.

While it is true that all automobiles are required to meet federal standards for their ability to withstand an accident, big cars are typically safer than smaller models should such an event occur. Additionally, large cars are usually more comfortable than compact cars, but the latter are often easier to maneuver and park. Mileage is a consideration as well, although good gas mileage should never be selected over comfort and safety. One also has the option of a sport utility vehicle, but unless he or she has children or a large family this type of vehicle may not be practical. It is never wise to purchase something that is not really needed simply because it is the latest trend on the market.

Additional Considerations

It is also wise to make one’s initial inquiry with a dealership by e-mail or telephone before going to the establishment in person. This allows one to obtain a sense of the sales style with which he or she will be dealing throughout the selection process. In addition, if one is able to establish a rapport with a salesperson over the internet, it will serve as a confidence booster before the consumer visits the dealership. Telephoning the Internet department is also a smart idea, as this is a good way for a person to discover if the particular car for which he or she is looking is available.

Most automobile salespersons typically attempt to begin negotiations at a steep price, in anticipation of being bargained down to a price that is more reasonable. However, Internet managers are frequently willing to quote bottom-line prices initially. This is very helpful, as a person can determine whether it is worth visiting the dealership, or if the car is completely out of reach financially.

Cost of Ownership

A frequently overlooked factor that should be considered when buying a car is the cost of ownership. Simply explained, even if two automobiles are priced approximately the same, one may depreciate at a slower or faster rate, or cost considerably more to maintain or insure. This means that although a car’s actual price may be cheaper than another model, it may cost more to own the car, thus eating into the amount saved on its initial price. For this reason, one should conduct suitable research with regard to a vehicle’s cost to own statistics before making a final decision between two models.

Taking an Extended Test Drive

Most people would not consider buying a new car before taking it on a test drive; however, the test drives offered by most dealerships are usually of very short duration. A simple way for a person to determine if a particular car is a good fit for his or her needs, is to rent that make and model from a local rent-a-car facility. Of course this is not free, but the cost of renting a car for just one day is well worth the opportunity it gives the driver to determine whether or not the car is right for him or her.

Most people would agree that shopping for a new automobile can be a complicated process. However, if the aforementioned tips are followed, one will find that it is easier to narrow down the choices. By carefully considering each option, a consumer will almost certainly find an adequate vehicle, which will provide him or her with years of reliable transportation.

Donating a car to charity?

Thinking of donating your clunker to charity for a nice tax deduction? Proceed with caution.

The gifting of used cars to “charities” has become a favorite way for Americans to dispose of unwanted vehicles. And why not? You can avoid the headache of selling or junking the car, help a charitable cause and lower your tax burden all at the same time.

Unfortunately, the experience is rarely, in reality, such a win-win situation. Not only do charities typically see little of the proceeds from a used car sale, but donors can run afoul of the taxman if they’re not careful.

“At the end of the day, donating a used car could be the least cost-effective way to give to a charity,” said Stephanie Kalivas, an analyst with CharityWatch, an organization that monitors the charitable giving industry.

The problem is the industry is riddled with fraud and misrepresentation. Attorneys General from multiple states have investigated car donation charities for false advertising and self-dealing. Many of the organizations are for-profit intermediaries that give token contributions to a participating charity. Others misrepresent the cause they support and/or give low percentages of their funds raised to their stated targets.

Kars4Kids, for example, a New Jersey-based organization with an insipid yet highly successful advertising jingle, has received more than 450,000 car donations, according to its website. The organization, however, got a D rating from CharityWatch because it distributes less than 50 percent of the money it takes in and because, despite a national advertising campaign, it fails to adequately disclose that the money goes to benefit Jewish children only, and almost exclusively in the New York/New Jersey area.

“They’re not transparent about what they do,” Kalivas said. “A lot of these organizations mislead the public, and people need to be careful.”

More from Smart Investing:

Wendy Kirwan, director of public relations for Kars4Kids, said the costs of marketing and operating the car-donation program are high but that because the organization processes donations in-house, more money goes to its charitable work than others who use third parties. She also said that while the catchy advertising jingle doesn’t spell out which kids benefit from the charity, the information is readily available on their website kars4kids.org. “This is an innovative way to support charity in a way that helps the charity and the donors,” said Kirwan. “A lot of people wouldn’t otherwise be donating to charity if it wasn’t with their car.”

For people solely looking to dispose of an unwanted car for which they won’t take a tax deduction, it may not seem to matter what happens to the vehicle and who benefits. Kalivas, however, suggests that charities would be much better off if people sold their cars themselves and donated the proceeds, or simply called up charities they know to find out if they have car donation programs.

If the car in question is valuable and you plan to take a deduction for it, protect yourself. Individuals donating cars can inadvertently mark themselves with big red flag for Internal Revenue Service auditors.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERYOUR WEALTH

Weekly advice on managing your money

Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about about our products and service. Privacy Policy.

When donating a car, here are eight key things you should consider to maximize the benefits to charity and minimize the risk to yourself.

1. Research the charity you plan to give it to. If it doesn’t have 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS, it is not a charity and your donation is not tax-deductible.

2. Pick efficient charities to give to. There are multiple organizations such as CharityWatch that evaluate charities and rate them for efficiency in supporting their causes.

3. Itemize. To take a tax deduction for a car donation, you have to itemize deductions on your return. There are detailed rules about the amount you can claim. Taxpayers can deduct the full market value of a donated car under three circumstances: The charity uses the car in its operations; it materially improves the vehicle to sell or use it; or the charity donates or sells it to a needy person for below market value. Otherwise, you can only deduct what the charity receives as proceeds from selling the car.

4. Get a receipt. Make sure to get a receipt from the charity for the vehicle and eventually a document certifying how much the vehicle was sold for. Charities are required to provide that document within 30 days of selling the car.

5. Don’t forget IRS form 8283. If the sale price or fair market value of the car is greater than $500, you have to complete section A of IRS form 8283 and file it with your tax return. Consult the Kelley Blue Book, the Hearst Black Book or National Auto Dealers Association for market values. If the car is worth more than $5,000, you need to get an independent appraisal of it and also complete Section B of Form 8283.

6. Drop it off. If the car is road-worthy, drive it yourself to the charity you’re donating to. It saves money and ensures you’re not giving the car to some unrelated, for-profit intermediary. Make sure to sign over the title of the car to the organization and that a representative signs it, as well. If someone is picking the car up, have them sign the title and take a photocopy of it. People have been on the hook for liabilities on donated cars that were not properly signed over to a new owner.

7. Snap it. Take pictures of the car and keep receipts for work and repairs done on it — particularly if you’re claiming a deduction for it.

8. Read up. Read IRS publication 4303 — A Donor’s Guide to Car Donations.