If taking care of your vehicle is high on your priority list, what are you doing to in order to keep it looking and feeling great?
Whether you own an expensive car or something a little more on the less expensive side, taking care of it doesn’t have to be the toughest chore you will ever encounter in your life. In fact, it can be rather simple to care for if you have a plan in place.
That said there are a number of ways you can maintain your vehicle, give it a longer than expected life expectancy, and save money from expensive repairs etc. over the years.
One of the first ways to go about this is by protecting your car from the outside elements as much as possible.
Whether that means keeping it in your own garage all the time (except of course when driving it), finding a storage unit to store it as much as you can, or making sure it has regular maintenance check-ups and cleanings, you do have options.
So, how much time, effort, not to mention money, will you put into making sure your vehicle lasts as long as possible?
Giving Your Vehicle Extended Life
So that you can extend the life of your vehicle, it is important to remember that auto storage of any kind is a great starting point.
Keep in mind that your vehicle can typically take a pounding from not only the roads, but also the weather. With that being the case, protecting it as much as possible is key.
For example, if you live in a real cold wintertime climate or an area of the country where summers can be all but unbearable due to the heat, your vehicle is susceptible to all kinds of problems.
These problems can include damage to the vehicle’s body, the interior, the tires, the engine etc. By keeping your vehicle in an enclosed storage as much as possible, you lessen the wear and tear that Mother Nature can dish out, along with protecting key parts of the vehicle.
Another item to keep in mind is that the make and model of your vehicle will oftentimes go a long way in determining just how long you will have it around.
Some vehicles such as Toyota, Honda, and VW etc. are typically known to have rather long life expectancies. This doesn’t mean if you have another brand that you’re all but doomed to having a vehicle with a short shelf life, but some makes and models simply have history on their side as being reliable cars and trucks.
Don’t Become a Stranger to Regular Maintenance Checks
You can also extend the life of your vehicle by simple maintenance checks.
Yes, taking time to get an oil change or having the tires rotated etc. may seem like an inconvenience, but such preventative maintenance sure beats having to pay hundreds of dollars for repairs, repairs that may very well have been prevented if you had done the simple maintenance requirements the dealers noted.
As simple as some of these preventative maintenance items are, it is up to the driver (you) to make sure that they are getting done on a regular basis.
Finally, don’t be afraid to do some research on both storage facilities and places where you take your vehicle for maintenance.
For example, you want to make sure you are taking your vehicle to mechanics and/or dealerships where customer service is a top priority. If your vehicle needs special attention, you want it at a place where it will receive it.
The same holds true when considering where you might store your vehicle away from home.
If you are thinking about a storage facility etc. do some investigating to see how long the place has been in business, if it has had any notable customer service issues, and what the general consensus is from the public about the facility.
In a day and age when millions of consumers are doing their best to save money, making sure you do just that with your vehicle is certainly possible.
The proper storage and maintenance of your vehicle can add up to many years of happiness, along with bills that won’t put your financial well-being in reverse.
In order to walk out of a car dealership feeling like you got the best deal possible, you definitely have to be skilled when comes to the art of negotiation.
That said knowing how to do some give-and-take of course doesn’t hurt.
Whether you are looking for a brand new car or a used one, it is important that you do your research ahead of time.
What cars or trucks are the most popular sellers at this time? Which vehicles tend to have the greatest durability over time? Are certain vehicles going to severely inflate your auto insurance rates? Which cars or trucks tend to get pulled over most often by law enforcement? What is the likelihood that the vehicle you are thinking of purchasing will turn out to be a lemon?
Those are but a few of the questions that you should be able to answer with some confidence, thus aided by the research you do before ever setting foot in a dealership.
As you prepare for your next vehicle sooner or later, will you negotiate the best vehicle deal?
Research and Shop Around Before Signing the Papers
So that you can get the best deal out there, be it with Chapman VW or another dealer closer to where you reside, remember a few important pointers:
- Know your data – You can’t walk into a car dealership or just about any other business without having some research under your belt. If you do go in without having done your homework, you could easily get taken to school (no pun intended). With the help of the Internet and family and friends, there is no reason you can’t educate yourself on the best vehicle deals out there. While you don’t have to know how every single dollar is broken down on the sticker price, educating yourself on what the vehicle includes, how it tests against comparable vehicles etc. is not something to be taken for granted;
- Decide what is important – Unless you are raking in major dollars these days, you will likely have to make a couple of decisions as to which amenities you can and can’t include on your new or used vehicle purchase. That being the case, it is important to sit down and determine which extras really are necessary, along with which ones are more cosmetic than anything else. Sure, you may have to pass on those heated seats or that sound system that would make you feel like you were in the first row of a rock concert, but saving some money now can mean more money in your pocket down the road for another vehicle purchase;
- Avoid a bad attitude – Look, negotiating for a new or used vehicle can be stressful, but you can’t go into the process with negativity throughout your mind. Yes, you may not get the exact deal you desire, but receiving a good deal is better than either a bad one or having to bounce around from dealership to dealership. The majority of salespeople are there to make the best sale possible for their bosses, but they’re also there to make a sale at the end of the day. If they can give away a few “extras” to you in order to get the sale done, nine out of 10 are likely to do that. If you go into the experience with a positive attitude and are friendly towards your salesperson, you are much more likely to get out of the showroom with the majority of items you want on your vehicle of choice.
If the time has arrived for you to start negotiating on a new or used car or truck, make the most of the situation.
Yes, there could be some moments of stress and angst, but you do have control of the situation for the most part.
By being an informed vehicle buyer, you can go into the process with much more confidence than if you were just trying to wing it.
Do your research, stand your ground without being rude, and more than likely come home with the best negotiated vehicle deal you could have received.
When that happens, you can drive off knowing you did your job.
Buying a van – especially if it’s a van that you will be using for your business – is a major decision and should never be taken lightly. After all, your decision could affect your business’ profits and growth in the long term. But if you have decided that you really need a van for whatever reason (be it for transporting and delivering goods, for providing a specific service and so on) then you should take some time to get to know your options for purchasing one. Here is a list of your best financing options when it comes to purchasing a van.
Pay with cash?
Ideally, you should purchase a van – or any other vehicle for that matter – with cash. But this isn’t really an option that is realistic for everyone. For one, not many of us have the cash on-hand to pay for a van outright. Unless you have plenty of savings and you can afford to pay for it with cash without seriously affecting your business’ cash flow, then you are better off settling for the other options on the list.
Some individuals and business owners may choose to pay for a van with a loan from a bank. But this is where the situation becomes a bit tricky. First, you have a loan that can last from one to six or seven years. You also have to realise that with a bank loan, your repayments every month can actually be higher compared to other vehicle financing options. Another factor is this: if you don’t have a good credit rating, you may have a difficult or challenging time applying for a bank loan. This is also true if you are just a start-up business and don’t have much credit rating to speak of.
Consider a hire purchase agreement
Another option that is attractive for most business owners (and which most business owners can afford) is a hire purchase agreement. This type of agreement usually consists of you paying for a deposit for the vehicle of about 10 percent. Afterwards, you simply make a fixed payment every month to the financier. Keep in mind, though, that during this period the vehicle isn’t technically yours yet – it is only when the vehicle payments are over and done with that the ownership of the van will be transferred to you.
What about vehicle leasing?
Vehicle leasing (such as the service offered by www.vansdirect.co.uk) is another option that you may want to consider. This arrangement is more comparable to rental for the long term, where you also make fixed payments every month so you can use the vehicle until the expiration of the contract. With vehicle leasing, payments are usually lower compared to other kinds of van financing deals. However, you may have to deal with restrictions regarding mileage.
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There are plenty of businesses out there that produce goods that cannot be transported freely, due to the size or the shape of the load. Industries that require construction equipment or steel pipes need a flatbed truck in order to be transported safely. Like other trucking jobs, flatbed trucking companies require you to have a commercial driver’s license in order to drive. If you are considering becoming an owner-operator of a flatbed truck, then you’re going to need to know what will help you make it into a successful career.
General Flatbed Knowledge and Tips
As a flatbed trucker, you will have more responsibility with this job than any other trucking job because it requires more skill with the actual transportation of the products. You will have to directly load the goods onto your truck which must be done in a specific way.
Once you’ve received your load, you will need to use pre-approved ties and restraints to ensure that the goods are properly secured and can be safely transported. In addition to this, flatbed trucking companies require you to be physically fit as you will have to load and unload your own truck. This can be physically demanding and will require more time at your destination.
You will need special training and expertise in order to start driving flatbed trucks. You may be able to get this training from a company if you decide to sign on with them and it is something they provide.
Additional Important Notes
- The more work you take on and responsibly execute, the more you will earn.
- Make sure you do the proper research on rates, safety requirements, and costs associated with running a flatbed truck.
Search out companies that are serving growing industries, as this will ensure that you are getting into a good economy that will provide you with work.
Whether it’s the flexibility, the independence, or the potential to make a lot more money, there could be a variety of reasons why you would want to make the switch from a truck driver employee to an expedited owner-operator.
How well you do in your business will depend on how much homework you do beforehand and how hard you work. Here are some helpful success strategies to help you make it big in your new endeavor.
Think Like a Business Owner
When you work for someone else, you depend on steady paychecks, health benefits, and paid holidays. But when you’re in business for yourself, you’re depending on your own success to bring you the money you need.
There’s definitely a level of uncertainty involved, but there’s also great potential to make a lot more money than you ever would be able to as a paid employee. It’s up to you to manage your business to ensure a positive cash flow that will cover your pay, vacations, and health insurance.
Buy the Right Truck
The truck you buy or lease will definitely be the biggest expense related to your expedited shipping business. When you’re out looking for expedited shipping jobs and starting out as an owner-operator with a reputable carrier, you need to make sure the truck you get meets your financials.
Choose a truck that specializes in the expedited shipping market. Consider the engine, and whether or not it’s big enough to support the type of freight you plan on hauling. Consider the type of fuel you’ll need, such as gasoline or diesel. Also, consider the difference between buying new or used; new will likely come with less maintenance costs, but will be more expensive up front.
Choose a Carrier That Helps You Meet Your Goals
One of the most important decisions to make as an expedited owner-operator is choosing the trucking carrier you will be leasing to, because it will have a direct effect on your income potential. As you’re looking at prospective trucking carriers, keep certain things in mind such, as compensation, fuel surcharge, pay schedule, and expenses.