Tag Archives: cars

Leasing a Car vs. Buying a Car: When Should You Lease?

Can’t decide whether you should lease or buy your next vehicle? Don’t worry because you are just one of many people who contemplate this purchase decision on a daily basis in the United States. Just as kids and teenagers should be taught in school how to open a checking account, how to responsibly use a credit card, what to do to improve their credit history, how to change a flat tire, why you don’t wash your neon yellow shirt with your white Polo golf shirt, someone who has molded your mind thus far in life should have explained the differences between leasing and purchasing an automobile. Moreover, you need to fully understand what type of impact each could have on your daily life financially and logistically.

If you haven’t come to this conclusion as of yet, let me be blunt…Leasing a car versus buying a vehicle is very different. Buying or leasing a car boils down to two basic things; the person, primarily their driving habits, and the financial situation. When you weigh these two aspects against one another, the advantages and disadvantages of both choices will become evident and ultimately place you in the appropriate purchase bucket for you.

If you are an individual who intends to have the same vehicle for an extended period of time, let’s say a Nissan sedan, and prefer more flexibility when the time comes to sell the vehicle, buying a Nissan is the choice for you. On the flip side, if you desire to drive a new vehicle every two years or 36 months (these are two standard time frames to lease a vehicle for), the best financial decision for you is to lease your car. Here is a fun fact as you consider this point; a typical car lease lasts half the time of a typical car loan. Once the lease is up, you can move on to your next cool ride.

Another factor that may place you in the leasing bucket is whether or not your vehicle of choice is out of your price range. Reason being, leasing a car is best understood by the masses when compared to renting a shore house for the summer. Thus, you are only paying for the time and use (mileage) of the vehicle for the given and agreed upon lease term. By not buying the whole car, you will lower your monthly payments by 30% to 60% when leasing. You are only paying for a portion of the car and as a result your monthly payment is lower compared to your monthly payment when financing the vehicle and being responsible for the entire car regardless if you drive it for two years or 15 years. Plus, you pay sales tax only on the portion of the car you finance. To be exact, you finance the cost of the depreciation of the car while you’re driving it…that is your lease payment.

Furthermore, leasing has another financial aspect making leasing a better choice relative to buying a new car — like the fact that up-front out-of-pocket expenses are generally lower. For example, the down payment is usually low, and sometimes nonexistent. Have you ever heard the term “Sign and Drive”? This commonly used term in the auto industry simply means that you put no money down, sign the lease agreement and drive off into the sunset. Not only are monthly payments much lower than loan payments, leases are often easier to obtain than a loan.

Are you too busy to worry about the wear and tear of what will most likely be the second largest purchase you ever make in your life? It’s okay if you are because most Americans dread the chore and cost of maintaining their vehicle. When leasing a vehicle, the lease terms already include the wear and tear on the vehicle as well as the specific mileage so you never have to worry about anything aside from the rare $19.99 oil change every 6 months or so (really depends on the amount of miles between oil changes). Plus, some leases can include the cost of basic vehicle maintenance. To put this into concrete numbers, leasing saves the average car owner up to $1,200 a year on repair and maintenance fees. Eliminating the financial headaches of depreciation and mechanical problems are two driving forces that push people into leasing because knowing that your only responsibility is returning the car to the dealer at the end of the lease is gratifying in its own right. Keep in mind that you have also erased the headache of negotiating the value of your trade-in at the end of your lease because you don’t have one. You just drop it off at the dealer with the keys!

The length of a lease or ownership can be looked at from a number of different angles, and once again, comes down to your personal life. In a six year period, you could have leased two different vehicles or owned a single one. Looking at this from one of two ways, either you would have to return and repay for a new vehicle, or you have been given the opportunity to choose an entirely new model.

Those who plan on keeping a vehicle long term will benefit financially once the vehicle is paid off, avoiding the need to repay down payments and never ending monthly lease payments. Also, going beyond the pride in ownership, buyers will be able to customize the vehicle however they like, and sell it wherever and whenever they please. Did you know consumers in the USA on average spend $700 on vehicle modifications? Individuals who decide upon leasing will not have this luxury; however, depending on the purchase, some businesses consider a car lease a tax write-off.

Depending on your financial situation and priorities behind choosing a new car, we recommend you speak with our experts here at Windsor Nissan in East Windsor, NJ, who will be able to further help you weigh the options and make a decision you feel happy and secure with. To be honest, most people do not lease, or even consider leasing as an option, because lease contracts are confusing and Americans do not like to admit what they do not know. Hopefully, this article eliminates this bullet point since you should be far more educated than the average consumer upon reading this.

As the debate continues, a recurring theme that weighs on the decision to buy a car is flexibility. Mileage limits are not a problem so if you wake up on Wednesday morning and decide that you want to drive across the country, it is your car so you can do as you please. Plus, if you are committed to a lease and your driving needs change…tough luck. It is costly to terminate a lease early.

After buying a car, you can add the vehicle as an asset to your personal balance sheet because again, you own the car. Remember you are more or less borrowing the leased vehicle from the leasing company who is the true owner of the car. Many people view actual ownership of the vehicle as an important advantage because it can be more economical over the long run as you build equity in the vehicle over time.

While leasing may appear to be the best bang for your buck, especially if you avoid extra mileage fees, there are extra expenses with a lease that you must be aware of. Insurance rates are usually higher for leased vehicles since lease coverage may include gap insurance, which pays off what is still owed on the lease in the event the car is totaled. And, by returning your leased car every three years (really whatever your lease term is), if you lease a car that requires a down payment, that expense will come out of your pocket each time you get a new lease. Plus, each time you turn in your old car for a new one, there are added fees like doc, motor vehicle, NJ tire tax, etc..

Now consider the person who purchases or finances a car. At the end of five years of car payments, the car now belongs to him or her. Five years was the standard finance length for Americans, but leading up to the financial meltdown, many consumers were entering lengthier car loan terms along the lines of 72 and even 84 months. The pendulum has swung back in the other direction as many bank institutions prefer 60 month loan terms and therefore make extended term options so costly that most pass and agree to a 60 month car loan term. It might not have much value on the open market, but if you’re willing to drive it for several more years, it becomes nearly free transportation until the wheels fall off.

To put an end to this debate, here are the basic nuts and bolts in summary. Leasing makes it easier, and/or possible, to get more car for less money. You are essentially paying, “renting”, for a portion of the car, instead of buying the entire automobile. So, like many things, leasing looks great in the short run. However, if you really pencil the dollars and cents and you take the long view of economics, you will see that leasing will eventually be more expensive. It is more costly because once you begin leasing, there is a very high likelihood that you will continue to do so forever. Auto manufacturers’ and car dealers often entice leasing customers with private lease pull ahead offers that enable the lessee to return their vehicle 3 months early with no penalty and get into a brand new model. And by the way, this is a great offer and there is no reason not to take advantage of it; you would be silly not to. But, this means you will always have a car payment and never own anything.

Ultimately, leasing isn’t only a dollars-and-cents question — it’s about personal tastes and priorities. Whether you choose to lease a car or buy a new car, you must educate yourself so that you can negotiate a great price at the dealership either way.

Windsor Nissan has announced a Historic 3 Day $990 Sale

Biggest Sale in Windsor’s 20 Year History

East Windsor, NJ – General Manager Michael Maguire has announced a $990 Pre-Owned Vehicle Sale on Friday, October 25th at 9:15AM and ends on Monday October 28th at 9PM.

This sale is taking place at Windsor Nissan 590 US 130 East Windsor NJ, just minutes from Route, I-95 and Route 1. Registration starts at 9:00AM. Vehicles will be clearly marked, so come early for the best selection.

This is a one-of-a-kind, three day only sale designed to get the local community driving again. According to General Manager Michael Maguire “We are helping those people that just can’t afford a car right now.”

Windsor Nissan’s pre-owned inventory levels need to be reduced to make room for the arrival of additional 2014 Nissan models. As a result, Windsor Nissan is selling these additional pre-owned vehicles to the public at drastic discounts in an attempt to help its core customers get back on the road. These are the regular folks who are feeling this economic downturn the hardest.

Windsor Nissan believes that reviving the economy starts at home, and that changing things locally will lead to changing things nationally.

In addition to Windsor Nissan’s extra inventory, additional vehicles have been acquired at incredible prices from various banks, repossession companies, auto auctions, credit unions, lease companies, and rental companies for this sale.

The $990 Pre-Owned Vehicle Sale will make vehicles available at low prices that are not normally offered to the general public. According to Mr. Maguire, “We want to give our customers a reason to believe in the local economy again. Someone’s got to look out for their best interests.”

Customers are encouraged to arrive as early as 9:00AM. Every vehicle will be cleaned, detailed, and fully prepared for instant delivery. At 9:15AM, Michael Maguire and his team will mark the special sale price on each and every vehicle.

And because Windsor Nissan customers are feeling the credit crunch right now, Mr. Maguire has given the dealership’s financing manager the resources necessary to get most customers’ credit approved on the spot. This means that customers with “less than perfect” credit history can have their credit approved and drive a quality pre-owned car, truck, van or SUV home. Even if a customer’s credit report shows a bankruptcy, divorce, tax lien, slow payment history, missed payment, or repossession, or if a customer is a first time buyer, Windsor Nissan will accept all applications.

This special, THREE DAY ONLY $990 Pre-Owned Vehicle Sale will be held in East Windsor on Friday, October 25th at 9:15AM and end on Monday, October 28th at 9PM.

Customers are encouraged to register as early as 9:00AM. Incredible sale prices, starting as low as $990, will be posted no later than 9:15AM. All vehicles will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Windsor Nissan is expecting a high volume of customers for this sale, so be sure to reserve your spot early.

Customers wishing to trade in a vehicle are asked to bring their title or payment book for immediate delivery. Windsor Nissan will even pay off your trade-in in full, no matter how much you still owe on it. Negative equity will carry forward. Most of these surplus pre-owned vehicles will get sent directly to auto auctions for liquidation. So, if anyone has been thinking about purchasing a good, clean, dependable pre-owned car, truck, van or sport utility vehicle, do not miss this special one day only sale.

For more information about this sale at the Windsor Nissan, please contact them at: 1-800-884-3816

590 US 130, East Windsor, NJ 08520
1-800-884-3816
We Speak Spanish

www.windsornissan.com

Our new 2014 GT-R goes for a test drive!

Newly Redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra Named Best-In-Class Compact Car

The newly redesigned 2013 Nissan Sentra was named Best-In-Class Compact Car in AutoPacific‘s 17th annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA), topping a list of 15 other vehicles.

An industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new vehicle, AutoPacific’s VSA are based on the results of responses from more than 52,000 new vehicle owners. VSA vehicles are assessed on 51 separate attributes, ranging from interior comfort to fuel economy and performance to determine owner satisfaction.

Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America said: “Always a smart, economical purchase, the 2013 Sentra pairs value and best-in-class fuel efficiency with style and comfort. It is great to see Sentra owners give the vehicle high marks in this important third-party survey, and share their satisfaction with the vehicle. The completely-redesigned Sentra earning an AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award helps solidify its place in a very competitive class.”

Sentra’s all-new design is elegant, modern and refined. It offers a high-quality interior design with available features not usually found in compact vehicles, including dual-zone auto temperature control, Bose® premium audio system, and a navigation system with hands-free text messaging assistant.

Sentra includes several changes contributing to the increased fuel savings. The 2013 Sentra is 150 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, yet has slightly larger overall dimensions and more interior room. The lighter and more aerodynamic Sentra also uses a more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine, which along with its next-generation Xtronic CVT® with sub-planetary gear helps deliver a 13 percent improvement in EPA combined fuel economy (over the prior model year). Fuel economy is rated at 30 miles per gallon city, 39 miles per gallon highway and a class-leading 34 miles per gallon combined with the CVT*.

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*2013 EPA Fuel Economy Estimate 34 MPG combined 50-state emissions and CVT transmission; 33 MPG combined CA state emissions. Actual mileage may vary — use for comparison only. Ward’s Light Vehicle Market Segmentation. MY13 Sentra vs. 2012 Upper Small Class excluding Hybrid and Diesel models.

Windsor Nissan Best Choice Sales Event June 22nd, 2013

Exclusive Windsor Nissan June Sale

Exclusive Windsor Nissan June Sale

 

6 Ways to Find Cheaper Gas This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is here and many of you are probably enjoying a cold one and getting ready to begin some serious grilling with your family and friends.  However, the day will come to an end and everyone will be hitting the roads to drive back home today so these easy to follow tips will at least save you a few dollars.

Save Money @ The Fuel Pumps Now

Tips to Finding Cheaper Gas This Memorial Day

While Spring gas prices are already trending higher then usual, these tips will be ever more important if we experience record highs for the 2013 summer.  The hunt for less expensive gas is not, and does not, need to be difficult.  Like most daily activities today, there are apps out there to help.

GasBuddy.com started out as a website that let users report and view fuel prices in their area to help others find cheap gas locally. It now has an app for both iOS and Android devices.

Gregg Laskoski, an analyst for GasBuddy, said the app can help drivers save money.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much of a gap exists just in their local markets,” he said. “In Miami … there was a gap in the lowest priced station and the highest priced station at $1.05 a gallon. In mini-markets, it can be $0.50, $0.60, $0.70 cents per gallon.”

This app will not only save you money, but it turns into a fun game as well as you earn points for entering gas prices in your local market.  Depending how much you drive on annual basis, will clearly determine how much you save with the assistance of an application like GasBuddy, but figure that you will save anywhere between $250 to $300 for every 15,000 miles you drive.

Aside from a helpful app like GasBuddy.com, here are 6 basic money-saving tips to help you determine where, and how, you fill up next.

1. Pay Attention to the Newest Price Reports

Whichever app or website you use to retrieve local gas prices, be sure to pay attention to the age of the information.  For example., postings from 22 hours ago are probably not very reliable whereas information posted 3 hours ago is most likely on the money.

2. Pick a Card, But Not Just Any Credit Card

The credit card you use at the gas station can be the critical difference between saving you money at the local pump or costing you more then you initial thought.

Many stations will charge a surcharge unless [you] use their particular gas card. On the flip side, you can seek out and get a credit card that includes specific perks related to purchasing gasoline. For example, the Chase Freedom credit card can provide you with  5 percent rebate on gas.  But to complicate matters, you better make sure that you are filling up at a gas station that does not have the up-charge when paying with your credit card since the uptick in cost will most likely wipe out your savings.

To put simply, If you are paying with a credit card, you can sometimes be slapped with an extra fee at the pump so pay attention.

3. Location, Location, Location

Gasoline stations near the highway can be a win if there is more than one major truck or travel stop or a loss if there is only one station and it is small in size.  Also, in areas like NJ, Sunoco has contracts with the Turnpike Authority to provide fuel services on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, but under the terms of the agreement, those specific gas stations may only change their prices weekly, prior to 7 am on Fridays.

4. Keep an Eye on Those Truck Stops

Truck stops are a good indicator to see if the price of gas will go up because they sell ample amounts of gas very quickly.  Hence, truck stops are constantly receiving new loads of gasoline and that means that truck stop owners are paying the most-up-to-date prices for gasoline.  You can use this tip in conjunction with the previous fuel saving tidbit to determine whether or not you should fill your vehicle up in NJ before or after the weekly price change.

5. Fill Up in an Area With Many Gas Stations

This is really just common sense since competition will typically keep prices lower.

6. Fill Up Near State Lines

Filling up near state lines will save you money. States are more competitive because of any difference in taxes. For example, the combined tax in Illinois is nearly $0.61 per gallon, where Missouri is $0.36 per gallon.  This holds a lot of weight if you travel the roads in the Northeast or the Mid-Atlantic since a typical road trip often involves crossing multiple state lines.

Be sure to take a moment of silence to remember the brave service men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Have fun cooking, attending parades, swimming in the ocean, camping in the mountains or just relaxing this Memorial Day and from everyone at Windsor Nissan, please drive safe…and save some money at the gas pumps!!!

Top 5 Tips To Save Money While Driving Memorial Day Weekend

It is pretty simple when it comes down to it; find ways to maximize your MPG. Driving a car can be analogous to a video game. For example, you can drive from point A to point B exactly as stated by your Navigation or Google Maps just like you can play Zelda on Nintendo from beginning to end, but Google Maps and your vehicle do not tell that there are tons of ways to manipulate your car that will save you real money and time by earning an extra 50 miles on the road compared to your previous full tank of gas in your 2013 Nissan Rogue.

Whether you are visiting family, heading to the beach or camping in the mountains, you are probably driving, as it is far more convenient then having to strip down at airport security and that is after paying United Airlines $25.00 for your bag. Considering 31.2 million people hit the roads on Memorial Day Weekend, US drivers will spend approximately $1.44 billion filling up at the pump.

So, in an attempt to save you some of your hard earned wages and to make a small impact on our environments (come on….every bit helps), here are the Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips that will enhance the amount of miles you will achieve while driving per gallon of gasoline this Memorial Day Weekend (and obviously anytime that you are driving your vehicle).

1. Plan Ahead & Pick Your Route Wisely

Most people are fairly lazy when it comes to this specific topic since vehicle navigation is becoming as standard as a CD player in new vehicles. Combine that with the prevalent use of smart phones and map applications and you fill find that most people simply get into their vehicle and then figure out how to get to their end point from the driver’s seat. Yet, since everyone relies on this method, the end result is having everyone on the same road at the same time in a gigantic traffic jam…..wasting fuel.

If you plan ahead, you can avoid this nightmare and waste of expensive fuel. It might mean taking the road less-traveled, but it could result in a more pleasant, scenic route, free of traffic and even if it’s longer, in terms of actual miles driven, it might prove quicker. A moving car that spends less time on the road is more efficient than one stuck in traffic for hours.

2. Check Your Tires

To start, make sure you tire is wearing evenly across the tread because if it is not, you may find yourself an unfortunate situation and/or with a much larger service bill the next time you visit your local Car Dealership. For example, if your tire tread is uneven, this might be a direct result of your vehicles alignment being off.

Or, your tire could just be under-inflated (I know that sounds awkward), which is a quick fix you can accomplish by yourself at any gas station in a matter of minutes. This is an easy fix and it will pay huge dividends.  Lower tire pressures can adversely affect wear and increase drag, reducing gas mileage. From a safety standpoint, low pressure tries are my susceptible to overheat at high speeds, and will increase the potential for blowouts.

Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive, and a weekly check will ensure you are always at a safe, economical pressure.

Tires don’t have to cause you much stress, and confirming that yours are always in tip-top shape will both improve safety, and save you money on gas.

3. Check Your Car

Do a few quick checks over your automobile. By checking that the engine has sufficient oil, confirming all the lights work, and cleaning your vehicle before your departure are easy and inexpensive to do and increase the fuel efficiency of your ride.

Although you’ll likely be loading the car up with people and luggage, do a check around to make sure your car isn’t full of junk or unnecessary paraphernalia, like mine is, because it all adds weight, and weight is the enemy of efficient driving.

4. Timing Is Everything

Set off earlier and travel during off hours. No, really. New Yorkers know not to head to the Jersey Shore, Southampton, or the Catskills Friday night. If you have any control over your schedule, take an extra day off or travel at night. After dark, it will be cooler in the car, less taxing on your engine and you will burn less fuel.

Big rigs also take a break in the evening, so fewer trucks on the highway will give you peace of mind over your precious cargo…your loved ones and/or friends. Otherwise, avoid city centers and major interstate exchanges during rush hour or the hours right after lunch.

Finally, you will be able to drive slower (saving fuel) without the anxiety of sitting in traffic.

5. Drive Smoothly

Now we’re onto specific driving techniques. First, treat all the car’s controls with some respect so use smooth, measured inputs. Not only will it make things more pleasant for your passengers, but accelerating, braking and steering smoothly will mean less engine, brake and tire wear, which increases your vehicles fuel efficiency.

That is not to say you need to travel everywhere at a snail’s pace either. It’s better to accelerate briskly, but be sure to change gears earlier. In addition, reach your economical cruising speed sooner.  Hence do not draw out your acceleration. The more time you spend in the process of accelerating, the less time you will spend at low revs in top gear, where the best economy can be had.

 

I hope these tips help you save a few bucks this weekend and whenever you decide to go on your next road trip.

Happy Driving This Memorial Day from everyone at Windsor Nissan!!!!

Planning a Road Trip

At this exact moment, thousands of parents are thinking about hitting the highway for a family road trip this summer. Destination? Anywhere but here. It’s an exciting prospect for kids, but it’s also fraught with difficulties, including sudden back-seat fights and frequent retreats to the iPod Zone.

Kids think road trips are cool, at least in theory. The mere suggestion that the family might be heading out on a week long odyssey usually ignites serious excitement. As soon as the wheels roll, of course, the anticipation instantly morphs into “Are we there yet?” The challenge parents face is to keep the excitement and sense of wonder alive, even on the long, potentially boring stretches.

Here are 12 tips gleaned from my own childhood memories and from conversations with parents, children and grown-up kids with road-tripping pasts.

PLAN AHEAD

Dredge up some family lore. Think of your road trip as a time to share some “family lore.” Every family has its own oral history, and road trips offer lots of together time, making them ideal occasions for storytelling. Dredge up those old favorite songs and games, too. As a child, I was an impatient traveler, and I am sure my folks find it amusing that I now make my living writing about the “magic” of taking road trips, but much of my enthusiasm for the road comes from those early family jaunts. Not only do I love the driving and the scenery, I can also sing dozens of vintage songs, play every car game known to man, and tell all the old stories passed down through generations of my family. I’m sure I whined, “Are we there yet?” often enough to drive my parents nuts, but those aren’t the memories that linger.

Brush up on your history and geology. Another gift you can give your children is a basic appreciation for the history and geology of the areas you travel through. Even if they grumble, squirm and roll their eyes, they’ll listen. I’m not the only one who can attest to the lifelong value of such discussions, including the sense of personal patriotic pride that arises from actually seeing purple mountains majesty, fruited plains and spacious skies. As an adult, I’ve became aware of just how precious this brand of knowledge is, and I now consider those family road trips some of the best education I received during my first 16 years on the planet.

Get low-tech. Which leads me to my next topic: DVD players, iPods and other electronic gadgets Call me a curmudgeon, but if these devices are used too often on a road trip, you might as well stay home. Nothing insulates people from their surroundings better than ear buds and a video screen. Take electronic gear along if you must, but limit its use if you want to create lasting road trip memories.

GET READY!

Hold a family planning session. Get a big map and plenty of highlighter markers, and then talk about the cool places that would appeal to all members of the trip. Gather information about your route from guidebooks and the Web. Discuss the scope of each traveling day, including how much time in the saddle and how much spent sightseeing and hanging out by the pool. Consider making each child responsible for a one day’s stopping places and restaurants. Including everyone in the planning process invests everyone in the trip and helps ensure a fun adventure for all. One of the most important topics to cover in the planning session is how often the kids will be able to rotate into the front seat. Make the right front seat, the “official navigator’s seat” and whoever is sitting there is designated as being “in charge” (at least for a few moments). The real treat is that it is much easier to see from the front seat and gets everyone involved. Of course, very young children should not be in the front seats because of the inherent air-bag dangers.

Make a trip clipboard. I recommend creating a trip clipboard to hold printed directions to the motels where you plan to stay; these are especially handy if you should reach a city after dark. (I use this technique myself on every road trip.) You can also include directions and information about specific sites and restaurants that you’re planning to see.

Check out your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is reliable and ready to go. Of special importance is a check of the tires, coolant and engine oil.

GET SET!

Pack a “Go Kit.” Include bottles of water, a fire extinguisher, beach towels, personal pillows, maps and atlases. And here are some more suggestions.

Pack a “Car Kit” for each child. Choose age-appropriate items including crayons or markers, pads of paper, bandanas, personal travel pillows, games, small toys, a few treats and the first day’s “travel allowance.” Travel allowances allow kids to shop in gift stores and tourist traps without begging for money at every stop. Maps of your route are also good for children old enough to read them. They can trace their progress, learn to navigate and even stop asking “Are we there yet?” quite as often. Put everything in a bag or other container that the child can also use to hold souvenirs, interesting “finds,” and so on; nylon lunch bags or small daypacks work well. Let the children know that they’ll be getting their Car Kits the day you leave home. That will give them one more thing to look forward to, and you won’t have any trouble at all getting them out of bed. You can add to the Car Kits as the trip progresses, giving the kids a little something to look forward to each morning.

Pack electronic devices. Consider a CB radio, portable DVD player, GPS receiver, audio books and inverters. Electronic entertainment devices can be helpful if you’re stuck in a traffic jam or you’ve exhausted all other options. Audio books are a great way to be entertained and yet remain alert and focused on the tasks of driving. Many companies now offer rental GPS units, which are both useful navigational tools and a source of information about road conditions. Portable CB radios with magnetic mounts allow you to be in touch with other drivers on the road and to get accurate weather reports.

Pack good eats. Though the kids may argue this point, it is not necessary to stop at every fast-food joint along the way. In fact, it is possible to get good nutrition on the road. Make sure everyone drinks twice as much water as they might at home. Take a good cooler along and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Prepare road trip snacks and consider packing a road trip picnic.

GO!

Eat and greet. Eat in unusual local restaurants at least sometimes, and make a point of speaking with locals or other travelers.

Keep it fun! Avoid vacationing at the same hectic pace as you live at home. A relaxing pace will be remembered more fondly than an overly ambitious one. Take the advice of a local or get off the highway at an unplanned exit and see what is to be found “around the next bend.” Drive fewer hours and spend more time lounging around the motel pool. By allowing time for serendipity, you will re-capture the wonder of the road trip adventure.

Got toddlers? Roadtrippers who are younger than five years old can sometimes present additional challenges. Consider organizing the traveling day so that you reach the motel after 8:00 pm, when the children are likely to fall asleep more easily. Pool time can be done in the morning. Spend the extra $$ to get as comfortable a car seat as possible. Plan to stop every two hours and let the little guys run, play, and blow off as much energy as possible. For more ideas, MomsMinivan.com has several good tips and suggestions.

As parents, you can design a family road trip that will give both you and your children memories to last a lifetime. Grab those markers and a map and start planning your escape!

Best car deals come at the end of the Month…NOW!

Big_Last_Chance

So Windsor Nissan wants to ask you…When did you buy your car?  Or when do you plan on buying your next vehicle?

Thinking of buying a new car?

Don’t do it on Tuesday.

March 6 is the worst day of the month to purchase new wheels, according to TrueCar.com–a web service that forecasts car prices using dealership data.

This Tuesday you’ll get only a 6 percent discount off a car’s sticker price, as reported on the site.

The best deals on autos tend to come at the end of the month when dealers need to meet their quotas, according to the site. On February 25, for example, the average discount was 8.34 percent.

After a year-long slump following the recession, auto sales have been picking up. February saw the highest auto sales in the past four years and higher gas prices drove more people to buy compact and midsize cars, the Associated Press reports.

If you’re willing to wait it out for a deal, Edmunds. com reports that the end of December is the most cost-effective time to pick up new wheels, with discounts running between 8.5 and 9.5 percent off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Besides the best and worst times in the month, there’s also a pattern among the days of the week. Weekend shoppers get better deals. Dealers perceive people who buy cars on Mondays and Tuesdays to be “need-based buyers,” and are therefore less open to haggling, TrueCar senior analyst Kristen Andersson told Moneyland.

Other than days of the month and week, TrueCar.com notes that “vehicle availability, incentives, holiday shopping and economic conditions” can also determine car-buying discounts.

Playing it Safe with Kids and Cars

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Did you know 3 out of every 4 car seats are used incorrectly? According to safercar.gov, parents haven’t been doing enough to keep their kids safe on the road, which has resulted in vehicle crashes becoming one of the leading causes of death for children between 1 and 13 years old.

In order to combat these sobering statistics, NHTSA provides an informative booklet aimed at getting parents prepared for life on the road with their children. Available online in PDF form here, the information equips parents with useful knowledge such as what features you should look for in buying a car, which types of car seats you should use and how to properly do so and child safety scores for nearly every vehicle available today.

We highly recommend that every driver who has children or is planning on having children take a look give this booklet a read and keep it handy for future reference. Here are some highlights from the publication:

Car safety features

NHTSA advises that you should ensure that a car has the following safety features if it is on your shopping list. Each one serves a specific purpose in making sure accidents, both minor and major, don’t occur and, if they do, injury is minimized.

– Automatic door locks: Auto door locks, which engage when a vehicle reaches a certain speed (usually 10 or 20 mph), can prevent accidental door openings in a moving vehicle and the can lower the risk of ejection in the event of a crash.

– Push down/pull-up window switches: These minimize accidental window closure and prevent injury in the car. Older, rocker-type window can shut windows inadvertently if leaned on, trapping fingers and limbs.

– Advanced frontal air bags: These new types of air bags can sense the presence of a child and will shut off in the event of a crash or mitigate their release to minimize harm. NHTSA advises that kids should always sit in the back, but in the event that the front seat is the only one available, these air bags will keep your child as safe as possible.

– Side impact air bags: These air bags deploy during side impact crashes and when they do, they deploy very quickly. So while they can be helpful in preventing injury, they can also cause injury to smaller children. NHTSA says you shouldn’t allow your kids to lean against the area where these air bags are stored.

– Anti-pinch/auto-reverse windows: These windows are designed to reverse direction if they’re closing and sense something is in the way, eliminating the risk of body parts getting pinched or trapped.

– Trunk release levers: Most vehicles have this equipped. It allows someone to get out if they become trapped in the trunk.

– Rearview cameras: These will likely become mandated by law in the near future, but until then, they’re an important safety option available on many cars or from aftermarket companies. They allow you to see a wide field of view while backing up.

Car seat 101

Given that three out of four car seats are being used incorrectly, according to NHTSA, the booklet focuses a good deal on getting that practice correct. From installation to daily use, car seats require proper attention and care in order to work correctly and safely.

Here are some tips to get you started:

– Read the car seat manual and you vehicle’s owner’s manual. Every vehicle and car seat is different, so it’s very important that you familiarize yourself with their installation and use instructions before you do anything at all.

– Place the car seat in the back seat.

– Secure it very tightly to the vehicle. It shouldn’t move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when pulled at the belt path.

– If you have a forward-facing seat with a top tether trap, connect it to the tether anchor and tighten. It’s imperative that you do so, as it limits head movement in a crash.

– If you have a rear-facing sear, make sure it’s installed at the correct recline angle. Most seats have angle indicators or adjustors that help you do so.

– Make sure your child is fitting correctly in the car seat after you’ve done proper installation. To do so, ensure that the harness is properly placed (lying flat, not twisted), the harness is buckled and tightened and the chest clip is at armpit level.

For more tips on child safety, head over to safercar.gov and get the full download. The site also has information on everything from combating distracted driving to driving in bad weather. Take some time out of your day and help make yourself a safer driver. You, your passengers and your fellow drivers will all benefit.

If you should have any questions about installing a car seat in your Nissan, please call the service department at Windsor Nissan, and our friendly staff will be able to assist you.

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