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Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars

When buying a car, remember to look beyond the sticker price. Owning a car is much more than simply purchasing it. Consider maintenance cost, insurance, taxes, registration fees, fuel economy, and standard features. If you are looking for a car that is cheap to own, paying a bit higher initial price may be worth it in the long run.

Kelly Blue Book (KBB) researches and keeps track of all vehicle ownership costs and publishes its 5-Year Cost to Own Awards annually. They calculate how much it costs to own a given car over a period of five years in 22 different categories. Based on this research, we present you the top 5 cheapest-to-own vehicles for 2018.

1. Chevrolet Spark

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

Chevrolet Spark was ranked number one by KBB in the category: Subcompact Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $21,819. Its initial price ranges from $13,050 to $17,475. Some of its main advantages include:

  • A well-equipped information and entertainment system that comes with the basic model
  • Great power and handling for a city car

It has a few drawbacks, such as the small cargo area and the lack of sufficient power on the highway.

2. Toyota Corolla iM

Toyota Corolla iM won in the category: Compact Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $30,856. It has an initial price that starts at $18,850 up to $19,590. The car is praised for:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • The abundance of standard features that come even with the base model, and
  • The excellent cargo capacity.

Some of its disadvantages include a loud engine with not so much power and fewer comfort and entertainment features compared to other vehicles in the same class.

3. Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V takes the first place in the category: Subcompact SUV with KBB 5-year cost to own: $32,874. The price tag on a new car is between 19,670 and $26,540. The vehicle has many advantages that make it a good choice:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • Adult-friendly back seat
  • Sufficient cargo area
  • High quality of the build
  • Above-average reliability

There are a few drawbacks though, like the awkward touch screen and the firm front seat cushions, which are minor for an SUV of this class. The biggest disadvantage is perhaps that it takes some time to reach highway speed.

4. Toyota Prius c

Toyota Prius c is at the head in the category: Hybrid/Alternative-Energy Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $33,454. Its initial price starts at $20,630 and is the least expensive Toyota hybrid. The things that you will like in this car are:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • The clean lines
  • The spacious interior
  • The direct steering

Some of its disadvantages are that the engine gets quite noisy when pushed and the budget materials used for the interior. Otherwise, it is a great vehicle compared to its rivals.

5. Honda Civic Si

Honda Civic Si was chosen as the top performer in category: Sporty Compact Car with KBB 5-year cost to own: $33,484. Its price ranges from $18,840 to $34,100 depending on the extras it offers. The car is loved for many reasons that include:

Top 5 Cheapest-to-Own Cars | Car Buying Tips

  • High-grade cabin
  • A lot of cargo room
  • Spacious and comfortable seats
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Very comfortable ride and great agility

As for the negatives, the available infotainment system is a bit tricky to use.

It is worth noting that according to KBB Hyundai is the Best Brand winner since the cars it offers come at an affordable price and is also cost-efficient in the long run. The Best Luxury Brand winner for 2018 is Acura. They manage to make vehicles that are both luxurious and great value and are worth investing in them.

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Car Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage & Limitations

Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage and Limitations

Buying a new car is exciting but remember that it is an investment. Aside from insuring your investment, you need to consider the warranty coverage. Although the car may be brand new, there is no certainty that its condition will remain as perfect as it is at the time of purchase or that you won’t require repair.

Manufacturer warranties are available with most car producers to cover the costs of a number of repairs, but they include specific limitations. Here is what you can expect from your manufacturer warranty!

Car Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage & Limitations

Manufacturer Warranty Coverage

The standard manufacturer warranty (aka the powertrain warranty) will guarantee that the manufacturer will cover expenses related to repairs or defects on major components (like the engine and transmission) over an allocated time period.

Usually, the coverage will be documented with a time and mileage limit. For most manufacturers, the warranty will be active for 3 years/36000 miles, up to 5 years/60,000 miles but these numbers will vary depending on the producer and the vehicle model.

Car Manufacturer’s Warranty: Coverage & Limitations

Under the manufacturer warranty, the car producer is bound to make up for any faulty car parts installed during the manufacturing process. In addition, any electronic issues will usually be repaired for free by the manufacturer.

Ask your car dealer about the available warranty levels as their coverage will vary. Some manufacturer warranties include coverage on general repairs, rusting car parts or even required repairs for the reduction of harmful emissions if your vehicle is not authorized by environmental organizations as safe.

Components covered under the Powertrain warranty

The powertrain warranty (which is the basic manufacturer warranty) covers all components that make a car run.

Engine

  • Crankshaft
  • intake and exhaust valves
  • pistons
  • the oil pump
  • timing belt and gears

Transmission

Typically, all internal transmission components are covered, but cables and electrical items are often excluded.

Drive Axle

Most powertrain warranties cover axle shafts, axle housing, and other internal parts.

Seals and Gaskets

Your seals, gaskets, sprockets, chains, and gears will likely be covered if they are defective.

Limitations to Consider

The basic manufacturer warranty has some limitations, which may be difficult to spot, especially at the time of purchase when your adrenaline levels are high because of the new, amazing car you are about to have!

The restriction that comes into play with basic manufacturer warranty is the mileage. Since you can run up your miles before your warranty expires, ask your manufacturer or car dealer at which point you will actually not have any coverage. Also, double check if the mileage limit is for the whole warranty period or per year.

Not all parts of your car will be covered by the manufacturer warranty and even the parts that are initially covered may not be replaced if the damage is due to a car accident. Furthermore, if the damaged parts fail to function properly as a result of poor maintenance or climate conditions, it is likely that the manufacturer will refuse to cover the repair costs.

Finally, it is possible that different components will have different warranty periods, after which they will not be covered.

You can also buy an extended warranty direct from the manufacturer or through a 3rd party. 3rd party warranties can be added after the initial vehicle purchase.

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Benefits of Alternative-fuel Cars

Alternative-fuel cars – what are the benefits?

Being environmentally-friendly is becoming more popular among young people and the good news is that the alternatives in many industries are becoming better and more accessible. Alternative-fuel vehicles can be just as luxurious and comfortable as their traditional counterparts, look good and suit ambitious people, and what is even better, they become more and more affordable.

Generally, an alternative-fuel car is any vehicle that uses power different than the conventional fuels like petrol and diesel. This can be solar power, electricity, biofuels or the modern hybrids. These vehicles are cleaner, produce fewer emissions and are much safer for the environment. They are also referred to as green vehicles and have a lot of benefits that can make you consider buying one.

Benefits of Alternative-fuel Cars

Alternative-fuel cars are the future for all drivers who want to enjoy the latest technology and comfort while saving money and keeping the environment clean.

Alternative fuels are here to stay

While conventional fuels are limited and are going to run out, the alternative options are here to stay. They are easier to get and come from renewable sources. Solar energy is one such example. The oil fields, most of which are located in the Middle East, will sooner or later run dry and the time will come when the demand will be greater than the supply. Not to mention, the cost of conventional fuel is increasing. This makes alternative-fuel cars even more attractive for people with a vision for the future.

Alternative-fuel cars offer more options

Automakers now have more options to offer to the potential consumers. The end user has the opportunity to choose between the different type of cars and different types of fuels. While in the past it was rather exotic to drive an electric vehicle and difficult to find where to charge it, this is changing as we speak and the option is becoming more and more affordable. Besides, the different alternative-fuel cars offer various options in terms of looks, accessories and safety to fit different lifestyles.

Alternative-fuel cars are environmentally-friendly

Since this is one of the main benefits of vehicles running on alternative fuels, we have to mention that they are environmentally-friendly. Driving a green car means that you generate less pollution which relates to several health benefits as a result of breathing clean air.

Higher competition and improved standards

The creation of alternative-fuel vehicles leads to increased competition among automakers, which is to the benefit of the end user. The companies are trying to make their cars more attractive their competitors’ vehicles. They do it by increasing the standards, adding more extras, improving safety and ultimately lowering the price. Not to mention the mere feeling of being the proud owner of the latest Tesla model – you inevitably get the idea of being better, doing better, deserving better. In other words, modern and green go hand in hand when it comes to alternative-fuel vehicles.

Alternative-fuel cars are cost-efficient

The actual price of alternative-fuel cars is falling and they are no longer a privilege of the wealthy. Besides, alternative fuels are often less expensive than the conventional ones and have alonger service life. Often, alternative fuels can also be produced domestically at a lower cost, while stimulating the local economy. Fuel economy is also a factor to consider. Vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells and even diesel are more economical in fuel, which means spending less money day-to-day. In a nutshell, green cars are a cost-efficient investment in the long-term.

Substantial improvements and innovation

Alternative-fuel vehicles offer much more than simply a substitute for conventional cars. They utilize the newest technology, which allows for faster acceleration and better behavior on the road. Electrification of the engine and using metals such as lithium gives more power to your car. Electrical interfaces replace the typical hydraulic and mechanical linkages making the vehicle much easier to maneuver. Besides, you can program your car with many pre-sets, such as the time you usually go to work in the morning, so that the car awaits you with a warmed coupe. The advanced GPS-navigation or the different sensors that help you navigate in the traffic or park successfully are just a few of the extras that most of the alternative-fuel cars offer.

Convenience

Ultimately, alternative-fuel cars are convenient. Wireless charging is one of the emblematic examples of how convenient these cars can be. You no longer need to go to the gas station or deal with plug-ins for your hybrid. You just press a button and the car navigates to its docking station, where you leave it to charge and go about your business. All the new technologies reduce the stress that may be associated with driving such as time spent navigating through heavy traffic or preventing road accidents while providing better connectivity with internet or more onboard conveniences for the passengers.

If you are thinking that it is high time to upgrade your vehicle, consider getting a green car and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.

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8 Best Cars for California

California is the third largest and the most populous state in the USA. It is the beautiful scenery which makes driving through it a pleasure.

If you are moving or recently moved to California, you’ll want to make sure you find a vehicle that fits the local climate and follows local fashion trends, especially in Long Beach area where the image is of great importance.  Here are 8 great cars for California that are not only convenient but will also help you to fit right in.

best-cars-for-long-beach-ca

The most popular brands in California

Californians do have a good taste for cars, which may differ slightly from the rest of the Americans. The evidence from different surveys such as preferred car brand in California or the top best-selling cars reveals that they are five makes that dominate the market in this state: Honda, Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Chevrolet.

  • Chevrolet Silverado – this is the preferred pickup truck for Californians. It is imperative for those who take care of big houses and yards and those who live in the suburbs and drive a lot. In a nutshell, this is a full-sized V8-powered pickup that is light on the wallet at the pump. It is a do-it-all vehicle that has been part of top 10 best-sellers for California for quite a while.
  • Honda Accord – this vehicle comes packed with lots of extras at a very reasonable price to make driving round Long Beach, LA and other busy areas a pleasure. It is perfect for the tech savvy who has to spend a lot of time in the car, and comes equipped with Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free calling and other features at a lower cost than expected. No wonder Honda Accord was the best selling vehicle for California just three years ago.
  • Chevrolet Corvette – an iconic car that combines image with power and brilliant handling. If you are an experienced driver, you surely deserve to drive around Long Beach in this vehicle.
  • Toyota Camry – the vehicle is perfect for those who need to use it just to get from point A to point B. It can be used both by young singles and families and you can trust that it will behave well on the roads of California, especially in areas with high traffic.
  • Ford F-150 – yet another bestselling truck for the entire USA and one of the top 10 vehicles for California. It is a great choice for commuters who take care of houses with yards in the suburbs. It is the best when it comes to heavy-duty work.
  • Fiat 500 Cabriolet – the best small car for Long Beach area with an old-school roll-back top that opens up almost the entire roof. You can enjoy a scenic ride and the fair weather, without worrying about the cost, since the car is fuel-efficient. It also comes at quite affordable price – just over $20K, which makes this compact quite attractive.
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata – this is another small car that is easy on the eyes and easy to park. It is relatively inexpensive and fuel efficient and is fun to drive. It can be compared to the Fiat 500 but it has a less retro-look and moves faster (even its roof opens quicker). If you love spending time driving on scenic roads around California, then this is the car you need to own.

What to look for this year when driving in California

Taking into account the heavy traffic in Long Beach area and in other parts of California, we recommend two types of cars that you should be looking for in general:

  • Any hybrid – if you want to save gas (and money) the hybrid is the perfect car for you. Despite the initially higher investment, this type of vehicle is truly the answer for anyone who drives a lot around California. The battery comes with a ten-year warranty, so you can even save money by buying a used hybrid. You will enjoy a comfortable ride and take pride in protecting the environment at the same time.
  • Anything with start/stop button – in a densely populated state as California traffic jams are quite common especially in large metropolitan areas such as Long Beach. When you are stuck and moving just a few inches per hour, you are wasting gas and playing bad on your engine. A start/stop system, however, can solve this problem for you. It has been introduced in the United States fairly recently, so you need to consider cars manufactured after 2010.

The ultimate car to drive in California

Whether you live in Long Beach area or elsewhere in California, there is this one car that you simply need to drive – the Tesla Model S. This is the ultimate car for the Golden State as it has it all – from the ultimate in gas savings to the perfection in both image and comfort. It is true that Tesla launched newer and more expensive models recently, but the Model S is still the one you want to own if you want to make a statement. The ultimate sports car, loved by all Americans, the Tesla Model S deserves to top the list of the cars you should drive in California.

We know that choosing a car can be overwhelming. Hopefully, our list of the best 8 cars to drive in California has given you some useful insights. Already drive one of the cars we recommended? Let us know in the comments!

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