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Media post: GPS Trackers Becoming More and More Popular

GPS Tracking. Picture google.com.au

A little more than twenty years ago, GPS trackers for cars were thought of as a super secret James Bond era spy device. Currently there are millions of devices deployed worldwide for a variety of reasons. Whether you are a parent keeping track of your teenage driver or a small business monitoring your employees; GPS trackers have several different uses when it comes to your individual needs. In the last five years, Gartner, a world class IT consulting firm began researching GPS wearables and recognized it as an emerging technology. That technology is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years to somewhere between 3.5 and 4 billion USD.

There are basically three types of devices for vehicles: Magnetic Asset Trackers, On Board Diagnostic (OBD), and hard wired devices. Depending on the software behind the device, gps trackers can do a lot more than just provide locations. Smart trackers have built in sensors that are capable of reporting a multitude of statistics about your car.

Devices communicate over a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network which is the same network your mobile phone uses for data. These “smart” GPS trackers can provide real time reporting, geo-fencing, and the ability to retain and report trip history up to sixty days. Sensors can also send alerts for when your device is tampered with or dropped. Low battery warnings, satellite signal strength, and GPS signal strength are all displayed on a GPS tracking app for your smartphone or can be sent by email or SMS.

Magnetic GPS Trackers

These devices are widely used by Private Investigators or people who wish to place the device in a conspicuous location. A well designed hidden gps tracker for car is the SATX 2043 made by SATX Technologies. These types of devices are embedded with a powerful magnet that will hold to any metal surface. The devices typically have a 10 to 20,000 Milliamp-Hour (mAh) battery that can last for several weeks or months. The GPS chip-set and software is probably the same as an OBD or hard wired device. Basically the only difference is physical, the software is typically all the same but the battery life always varies. The devices are a lot more rugged and can be placed outside a vehicle and are water resistant (IP65-66). You can also use these trackers for enclosed trailers, trucks, construction equipment, shipping containers, and boats. One thing to look for in a magnetic device is a strong internal antenna to ensure your device can get a strong signal.

OBD GPS Tracking Devices

An OBD port is located in any car 1997 or newer. The port itself is used for on board diagnostics testing but can also be used as a continuous power source. Some “smart” GPS trackers can actually pull data from the sensors inside the car. Hard breaking, accident detection, and reckless driving can all be reported through the device. Only downside to this device is its typically in open view and can easily be removed. Some companies do make special adapters where the front of the port is open for use with a two way splitter behind it. You can place the OBD tracker behind it to conceal it. Greatest point about this device is that continuous power is delivered through the port and no battery charging is needed.

In Dash or Embedded GPS Tracking Devices

Finding a power source other than the OBD device is not very difficult. You basically are looking to embed the device inside the dash, under the seat or up in the dash from the floorboard. You then zip tie or fasten the device once you have it grounded and a power source. Most devices are looking for a 6-30 Volts Direct Current (VDC) output and can synch up to 150 mAh. The device must be fuse protected up to 5 amps and the ground must be connected to the battery negative or the chassis ground. Again, the device itself will typically provide the same reporting data and the hardware components are very similar the GPS you’d find in your smartphone. This device and the OBD also have a small battery embedded inside which gives the device a little extra power to continue to report when the power source has been switched off to ensure the last location is reported properly.

Real Time Tracking?

Any device using data is going to work off a network. Most all GPS devices require some sort of subscription plan for tracking. Data travels across a network just like your cell phone and that data is definitely not free. Is ten second reporting real time? Some may argue it’s not, while others might understand for the data to travel across a network there is going to be some latency. Ten seconds versus where the vehicle really is could matter, but in reality it would be more like three-four seconds. Speed also plays a role in how close you can get to real time reporting also. Ultimately that vehicle at some point will stop, therefore a real time debate about 10 seconds isn’t really that important. Any GPS tracker can give you the location when needed. In most cases you can click on the device within your app and the device gets pinged and will report back the longitude/latitude.

Some vehicle recovery companies in the repossession business are using GPS trackers to track down people who fail to pay their car payments. These companies have long been without this type of technology and were used to good old fashioned surveillance work in the past. Defaulting on car loans are at an all time high in many parts of the world, subprime lenders and the repossession industry are using tools like these to make their jobs easier.

Costs

GPS Trackers have become more and more affordable over the last few years. Some insurance companies are even offering discounted rates on premiums if you mention you have a GPS tracker. In some ways, that discount in itself could pay for the device. Devices can retail anywhere from $50.00 to $250.00 USD and subscription plans can go for $19.95 – $39.95. One thing to mention about the subscriptions is this could be price dependent on how often you want reporting (10, 20 secs versus 1 x a day). In respect to cost benefit, GPS trackers can quickly help you locate your car if it should ever be stolen. Knowing that your loved ones have arrived somewhere safely or you have a means to recover your car if stolen, GPS trackers ultimately pay for themselves by putting your mind at ease. The devices have been pegged negatively recently in the media for invading privacy, however, these devices are part of an evolving technology that is definitely here to stay for the long term.

Media post: Movies That Destroyed a Lot of Cars

Everyone knows that when movies are made it’s not unusual for cars and trucks to get damaged and some cases totally destroyed. Even today with CGI? Yes, a lot of the vehicular mayhem you see on-screen is created via CGI (Computer-generated Imagery) but when realism is needed, real cars are still used. Here’s a few movies that destroyed an awful lot of cars.

Bullitt – More than 80 cars destroyed

Bullitt is a 1968 American thriller directed by Peter Yates and stars Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset. It was based on the 1963 novel: Mute Witness.  The movie is famous for one of the most intense car chases ever filmed. The car driven by Steve McQueen is a brand new 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang Fastback. Apparently, Ford Motor Company loaned 2 of the Mustangs to Warner Bros. as part of a promotional agreement. With speeds over 100 mph on the streets of San Francisco, the movie consumed over 80 cars during production.

Gone In 60 Seconds – 127 cars destroyed

Gone in 60 Seconds is a 1974 American action film written, directed, produced by Toby Halicki. The plot centers on a group of car thieves and the 48 cars they “must” steal in a matter of days. It is said to have cost just $150,000 to make and to-date has grossed over $40 million dollars. The film was so low budget that some of bystanders were members of the public and many of the scenes were made in one take. The film is famous for having wrecked and destroyed 93 cars in just the 40-minute car chase scene. The grand total? 127 cars were destroyed in the making of the film

A Good Day to Die Hard – 132 cars destroyed

A Good Day to Die Hard is an American action film and the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise. The film was directed by John Moore and stars Bruce Willis. The main plot involves McClane travelling to Russia to get his estranged son, Jack, an undercover CIA agent, out of prison. He is soon caught in the intrigue of a global terrorist plot. Technically “only” 132 vehicles were destroyed but a further 518 automobiles were heavily damaged.

Fast & Furious 5 – 260 cars destroyed

Fast & Furious is an American film franchise based on street racing, theft and espionage. Our friends at Liberty Chrysler in Hinesville, GA were the ones who tipped us off to this one. The fifth installment of the film, Fast & Furious 5, is said to have laid some 260 cars to rest.

Matrix Reloaded – Over 300 cars destroyed

The Matrix Reloaded is the first sequel in The Matrix trilogy.  It is a 2003 sci-fi action film written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers. The film was largely filmed at Fox Studios in Australia. The freeway chase and Burly Brawl scenes were filmed at the decommissioned Naval Air Station in Alameda, CA. The producers constructed a 1.5-mile freeway on the old runways specifically for the film. The number of cars destroyed in the filming of the Matrix is technically unknown but the producers had to write-off over 300 loaned to them by General Motors.

Media post: It’s Not Just Trade Policy

Why aren’t American cars more popular in Japan? If you believe that the answer to this evolves around trade policy and tariffs, you’d only partially be right. The real answer is more complex and involves several factors. In this article, we will look a few of the things that have made it difficult for American car manufacturers to penetrate the Japanese market.

Trade policy

Yes, there is some trade policy that affects American car sales in Japan. Earlier this year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the U.S. During that visit, President Trump said that the Japanese “make it impossible to sell cars in Japan.” This is also the line being touted by American carmakers, which accuse Japan of automotive protectionist policies. Well, there is some truth to this. Perhaps the most significant issue is that there is a law that prevents existing domestic car dealers from selling foreign cars. This makes it necessary for any manufacturer that wants to sell in Japan to build an enormous dealer network. For obvious reasons, this puts a damper on the efforts of any manufacturer that wishes to penetrate the Japanese market.

Strong relationships

Japan’s entire car sales model is different than that of the rest of the world. In Japan, car dealers build very strong relationships with their customers. It might be similar to the relationship you and I have with a local merchant, a merchant that you genuinely enjoy seeing and doing business with.

For example, when a Japanese dealer knows a potential customer is interested in a new car, they go to work. After several phone conversations and much information gathering, dealers typically bring several cars right to the customer’s home for evaluation. The customer then inspects, test drives and looks over the cars before deciding if one meets their needs.  All the negotiation and paperwork is done wherever the customer pleases, often on a kitchen table. When done, the dealer arranges insurance and registration.

After purchase, the dealer continues the relationship by staying in touch with the customer. This may be by offering free car washes, promotional products and even informal meals, back at the dealership. It is important to understand that this is not an arms-length relationship; the car dealer and staff get to know the customers immediate family, extended family, and even everyone’s birthdays.

Conditioned to buy

There are also some historical reasons that make it hard for U.S. automakers to sell cars in Japan. It has to do with the way that Japanese citizens view other car manufacturers. Our subject matter consultant at Selma Chrysler of Selma, CA, explained that after World War II, all the foreign car manufacturers were forced to leave Japan. As the Japanese economy strengthened, all the domestic brands competed with each other and, as a result, grew better and better in terms of quality and design. By the time Japan opened its market in the 1970s to other makes, the Japanese people were accustomed to buying only domestic cars; cars that offered excellent reliability and were fine-tuned to Japanese tastes. Because of this bias, efforts to sell foreign automobiles has been difficult.

In summary

Its all too easy to state that the reason more American cars aren’t bought by the Japanese is due to simple trade policy and tariffs. After analysis, it turns out that the situation is more complex and needs to be addressed on multiple levels.

Media post: Five Reasons You Need a NYC Lawyer for Your Car Accident Claim

If you are in a car accident in New York City and think that you can handle it without the help of a car accident lawyer, you should know that not having someone in your corner is a huge disadvantage. There are five critical reasons why you should have an attorney represent you.

  1. You will get more for your accident damages

Studies show that those who hire a car accident lawyer get more than those who decide to negotiate on their own. If you aren’t sure how much you are entitled to, then there is no way to know if the settlement offer you receive is enough to cover your expenses. A professional car accident attorney will not only know what you are entitled to be properly compensated, but they can also anticipate if you will need further treatment going forward and what those costs are worth.

Additionally, if you don’t know how to calculate noneconomic damages, which are highly subjective, then you won’t know if you are getting a fair settlement from the insurance company. The only way to know that you are getting all that you deserve is to have someone on your side to calculate exactly what your injuries are worth.

  1. You need to protect yourself

Whoever is found at-fault for an accident in the state of New York pays for their injuries and the damages and injuries of the other party. Since New York is a pure comparative negligence state, there are times when both parties can be at-fault in an accident and liable for paying for their “share” of negligence.

Since, in some cases, comparative negligence can be hard to calculate, if you don’t have a lawyer in your corner, it is possible that you can be taking on more than your fair share of blame and liability. To ensure that you aren’t left paying for someone else’s mistakes, it is critical to have the best accident lawyer in NYC represent you.

  1. If things should escalate, you will want someone on your side

Most car accident cases can be settled before they have to go to court, but there are times when an insurance company won’t offer what is fair and right to the victim of a car accident. In these cases, the lawsuit will need to be taken to court so that the victim can recover a fair settlement for their damages.

If you are unable to come to a fair agreement during the negotiation phase of a car accident settlement, then it might be necessary to take the insurance company to court to get all that you is entitled to. A lawyer will know when what you are being offered is fair and when it isn’t, and will be able to guide you about whether you should settle or hold out.

  1. Lawyers work on a contingency basis–if you don’t collect, they don’t either

Since most car accident attorneys work on contingency, they don’t get any reimbursement unless they can get you the award you deserve. So, not only does that mean that you don’t have to pay them at the start, it also means that if your case isn’t suit-worthy, they will let you know and save you from drawing out a car accident negotiation if you don’t really have a case. If you want to make sure that you aren’t wasting time when settling a car accident case, a car accident lawyer is the best source of advice when deciding enough is enough.

  1. The insurance company works for profit, not you

Just like any other business, insurance companies are in the business to make money. The way that they increase their bottom line is by decreasing their liability. If you don’t have someone who has your best interest in mind, then your best interests are certainly not going to be served. A good car accident lawyer will know all the nasty tactics that insurance companies use to limit what they pay and how to negotiate to get you the settlement you deserve. Although it might be tempting to go it alone, if you are in a car accident, it is always a good idea to hire a car accident lawyer who knows how to get you the compensation you are entitled to. If you don’t, you are almost guaranteed to leave money on the table. Don’t take that risk!

Kosovo Full Year 2017: Skoda Rapid and VW Caddy on top

The Skoda Rapid is the best-selling vehicle in Kosovo in 2017.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

For the first time on BSCB and thanks to our partnership with CE Auto, we have a new market in our Full Year Reports: Kosovo. 1.701 new light vehicles found a new home here in 2017, and the H1 2017 ranking we published last August has been revised as it included incorrect figures. The Skoda Rapid however remains in pole position with 6.5% share but now distances the VW Caddy at 6.1% and the Skoda Octavia at 4.8%. The Peugeot 301 and Ford Fiesta round up the Top 10 while the Citroen C-Elysee, C3 and Suzuki Vitara also appear in the Top 10.

Previous post: Kosovo First Half 2017: Skoda Rapid and Dacia Sandero best-sellers

Full Year 2017 Top 10 models ranking below.

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Media post: Best-selling Luxury Mercedes Cars of all Time

Bestselling Luxury Mercedes Cars of all Time

It doesn’t matter whether you love to drive or are just interested in cars, you would love to know about the bestselling luxury cars either way. Meant for the wealthy, these cars probably do a lot more than what yours and mine would do. The focus here for luxury cars, is on comfort, style and elegance rather than fuel economy, which we would probably be looking a while buying one. And while we are sure there are a good many options to choose from for the rich, we will talk about the top Mercedes cars that have graced us in the years gone by, and promise that we will discuss the even less accessible Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 in another article.

Cars, after all, are that one luxury that people not only need but like to possess. And if the car is a luxury one, then there’s nothing like it. Among the variety of luxury cars available in the market, Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the bestselling luxury car of all time. Individuals who think of luxury cars decide to own this first.

The unmatched style of Mercedes-Benz C-Class:

This C-Class variation of Mercedes Benz has been on the market since 1994 and for the past 24 years have been one of the most opted brands of luxury cars in the world. With varied features such as style, driver assistance technology and safety features the C-Class variation of this brand has won hearts and accolades of performance mongers for cars. Mercedes Benz C-Class comes in convertibles, sedan and coupes. With various models springing up with the passing of time Mercedes Benz has turned out to be a great option.

The present models:

With power-driven style and advanced features, the C-Class varieties have improved rapidly over the years. Presently, AMG versions of the Mercedes Benz C-Class are performance driven cars that are neat and smart. With dapper cars from a basic C300, one can choose to go with other AMG versions such as AMG C63, AMG C63 S and AMG C43. Also, the amalgamated plug-in version of C350e and the stylish C300 4Matic are the sought after ones. All these current models define the add-on features, and sub-forms of models such as C300 comes in sports as well as luxury models that are different from one another with a difference in wheel design, in styling and a slight variation in suspension. But all these models are equipped to offer the purchaser with an ample amount of style, comfort and a host of modern technological advances.

The earlier ones:

In the past 24 years, there have been severe technological changes everywhere, and cars have been no exception. Mercedes Benz has owned this changed and introduced variations since 1995 with the advent of AMG versions that powered the then C36, followed by C43.

The major changes came in Mercedes C-Class from 2001 to 2007 that saw the debut of models such as C320 wagon, C240, C230 Kompressor hatchback coupe with two-door and more. By the start of 2012 to 2016 it saw multiple changes in style and look to compete with their contemporaries.

(photo by order_242 from Chile)

The cars started to get an upgrade with technologies and hardware up-gradation with the introduction of models like C450. With customer praises, especially from all those who have driven Mercedes Benz C-Class cars, it’s reliability, and a track record of winning accolades by scoring well in the crash tests makes it the best in the luxury car section.

Media post: How To Prove That Your Houston Truck Accident Was Due To Mechanical Failure

When you are in a truck accident in Houston, the injuries and damages are typically much more severe than in other types of vehicular accidents. It can also become very complex to determine who is to blame in a truck accident. There are times when they happen due to driver negligence, but there are also times when the accident is caused by something other than poor driving.

If you believe that your truck accident in Houston was the result of maintenance or mechanical failure, then you do have the right to seek compensation from the company who was responsible for maintaining the truck if they failed to do so.

Trucking companies have very stringent rules and regulations regarding maintaining, repairing, and inspecting their fleet – and with reason. One small mechanical issue can be the catalyst for a multi-vehicle accident with a large body count. The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and their job is to ensure that trucks pass mechanical inspections and are maintained properly. Since one truck can weigh well over 10,000 pounds and be carrying hazardous materials, maintenance is essential to everyone’s safety on the roads.

Any company that operates trucks, regardless of whether they are an independent contractor or a large fleet company, is responsible for ensuring that any truck out on the road has been inspected before it is put to service. If they fail to comply with all the safety standards necessary, then they can be charged with a violation of FMCSA regulations and be cited. Maintenance checks must be performed on all components of the truck, including the brake lights, tires, brakes, turn signals, headlights, fuel systems, windows, body frame, wiring, cargo areas, hitches, reflectors, or any other parts of the truck that aids in its operation and safety.

Why violation of the law is considered negligence per se

If anyone who operates a truck or has the job of maintaining a vehicle fails to do so, then they are considered “negligence per se.” That means that in the eyes of the law, the company that operates and owns the vehicle is negligent. That is important because due to that determination of negligence per se, the burden of proving who was at fault is obsolete, as is the question of reasonableness. If you can prove that someone failed to maintain a truck properly through maintenance and inspection, then they are automatically negligence per se, which means that they are deemed at fault for the accident. The other component to winning a trucking accident case is to prove not only that the maintenance person was negligent, but also that you were injured as a result of their negligence. For any personal injury case, you have to show that the other party was negligent, and that their negligence caused your injuries; you also must prove that you are actually injured and that you suffered as a result.

Why you need an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer

Since proving that a truck accident was caused by poor maintenance is not an easy thing to do, you will need the help of a personal injury lawyer in Houston who deals primarily with truck accidents. Not just any car accident lawyer will do. When it comes to proving negligence per se through maintenance, a whole lot of investigation has to go into examining records and documents, which takes a lot of time and resources.

What if you can’t afford an attorney?



The good news is that most truck accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they spend their own time and resources and you only have to pay if they can win your case in court and get the compensation that you are entitled to. Typically, you sign a contract ahead of time stating that they get a portion of the compensation that they recover for your case.

Truck accidents differ from other types of vehicular accidents, not just in severity but in proving who is to blame. If you believe that your Houston truck accident was due to poor maintenance on the part of the trucking company, make sure to hire a truck accident attorney in Houston who knows how to win the case and get you what you deserve for your injuries and damages.

Media post: Does Color Affect Safety, Tickets or Theft?

You have undoubtedly heard some of the urban legends concerning car colors, things like: white cars are cooler in the summer; red cars get pulled over by police more; yellow cars get stolen the least, etc. We have heard most these too and thought it would be fun to do a little research. Here is what we found out.

The most popular color

According to Edmunds, white has been the most popular color in North America since 2006. While this may not be especially relevant to you (because you prefer other colors,) consider one fact: popularity translates into higher resale value. That’s right, all other things being equal, a white car will bring you more money when its time to trade it in. We verified this with www.thompsonmazda.com, a Mazda dealer in Baltimore, MD. They said that a majority of their clients are opting for white cars today and this extends to their used cars. Something to think about.

The ”Safest” Car Color

This one has been around for a long time. Some people believe that lighter color cars are a bit safer on the road because they are more easily seen. Unfortunately, research on car colors and crash rates is relatively sparse, however we did find one. In an Australian study performed at the Monash University Accident Research Centre in 2007, they found that white vehicles were about 10 percent less likely to be in a crash during daylight hours than vehicles in darker colored cars. This kind of makes sense, but who knew it was true?

Low-theft Colors

This is another piece of wisdom that comes up in conversation occasionally: cars of certain colors are less likely to be stolen. Well, as it turns out there is some truth to this too.
Dutch economist Ben Vollaard, an assistant professor at Tilburg University in The Netherlands, looked at vehicle theft data in the Netherlands from 2004 through 2008. What he discovered is interesting. According to his 2010 research report, cars painted two popular Dutch colors (blue and silver-gray) were stolen nearly 40 percent more often than cars in less popular colors. So, the natural next question is “why” and the answer is simple: resale value. Thieves naturally want cars that they can sell easily so they steal the most popular colors.

White cars are cooler in the summer

Conventional wisdom says people living in hot climates would do well to buy white cars if they want to keep their car cooler. This is another area of sparse research, but a quick study performed in 2011 at Argonne National Lab’s Center for Transportation Research revealed that this is true. In that study, scientists parked two Honda Civics, one black and the other silver, in the sun. After an hour, the silver car had an internal temperature about 10 degrees cooler than the black one.

Red cars get more tickets

A common piece of urban mythology says that red cars get pulled over by Police more often than other colors. Like the other factoids, this is also an area with sparse research but rich automotive urban mythology. Unfortunately, there aren’t public databases to verify this assumption but we found several articles that quoted police officers saying color makes no difference in who they pull over. So while we know what we want (or think we do) when it comes to the color of the vehicle we’re buying, there are a few things to think about before you settle on that final decision.

Media post: Is Cheap Gas Bad for Your Car?

Gasoline is expensive and if you’re like most people, you’re looking at every possible way to save money at the pump. First, you know that your car doesn’t need expensive premium fuel because it doesn’t have a high compression engine. So, you got that added expense covered. But what about saving money by filling up with cheap gas? You know the non-branded gas from those small, independent stations. Is that stuff safe to put in your tank? After all, you paid a lot of money for your new car, what’s a few extra pennies per gallon if it protects your investment?

The differences between gasoline brands

The first thing you should know is that the fuel from different filling stations all comes from a common source: a “Base Mix” from all the major oil refineries. This Base Mix contains a mixture of hydrocarbon fluids distilled from crude oil and additives mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The additives are primarily for reducing emissions although some are to keep internal combustion engines clean.

Once the base mix is formulated, the different gas companies put in their own additive packages to further boost cleaning and performance. At that point, the gasoline is shipped to their branded gas stations. So, back to our original question: are the top-tier branded gasolines worth the added expense?

Today’s cars are run by computers

All cars today have onboard computers that adjust engine timing and other operational parameters while you drive. Our technical consultant at www.thompsonchryslerjeep.net/, a Chrysler dealer in Edgewood, MD, explained to us that this means that minor variations between octane ratings and other variations in fuel, can be adjusted out so most drivers won’t notice any change in performance.  This is unlike the old days when the performance of an engine was dictated by physical design. Today’s engines are less sensitive to fuel variations so top-tier fuels are probably not needed for performance issues.

Are more additives needed?

On the other hand, some automakers and oil companies believe that the type and amount of government-required additives isn’t enough to thoroughly protect engines. As a result, many oil companies have created plenty of advertising claims to justify their top-tier pricing.

Take Shell, for example. Shell’s ads feature smiling cartoon cars, lab-coated nerds and gunk-covered engine valves. And they insist that their nitrogen-enhanced gas will prevent any buildup of “gunk” inside your engine.

However, Randy Stephens, the chief engineer for Toyota’s Avalon sedans, isn’t convinced by the claims of engine protection afforded by top-tier gas. He says he has had engineers disassemble engines after 10,000 miles of running them on different brands of gas to see if there is a difference. The results: there aren’t any differences regardless of what the gas companies tell us.

In Conclusion

Despite the fact that most studies show that high-priced, top-tier gas formulations are unnecessary, some consumers will spend a few extra pennies per gallon because it buys peace of mind. Frankly, if that works for them, there’s no problem doing it. For all the sceptics out there, however, there is plenty of evidence that says buy the cheapest gas you can find and you’ll never know the difference.

Media post: Beware of Car Title Loans

Have you ever driven by one of those “Car Title Loan” places and wondered what’s up? Hopefully, you never have to consider a car title loan but, just in case you are curious, here’s how they work.

AKA Pink Slip Loans

As you might expect, a car title loan is a loan where you pledge your ownership in a car for some quick cash. The companies that do this present themselves as an option for clients who are involved in financial emergencies. The mechanics of the loan are simple: you hand over your car title, or “pink slip,” to the company and they give you some cash. Typically, your credit score or even employment are unimportant to these lenders. They just want the title to a hard asset, which in this case is your car.

An Example

We found a good example of a car title loan on the State of Montana website. Here they present a fictitious borrower who gets a $1000 loan from a title loan company. The terms of the loan are that the borrower needs to pay back $1250 in 30 days. If they can’t make this payment, they could pay just the interest, which would be $250 in this example. But then the borrower would still owe $1,250 at the end of the next 30 days.

Interest Rates

Seems like a relatively high interest rate, doesn’t it? $250 after just 30 days. Well, that’s the point. These car title loan companies are legitimate companies but they are in business to make money off those in desperate circumstances. Let’s be honest, these are predatory loans where borrowers often lose their car because they can’t keep up with interest payments; interest payments that might be more than 400% annually.

Support from The Industry

Of course, those that represent these title loan companies say they fill a critical need. Eli Lehrer from the Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, offers this: “It’s a good way for people with few assets to get money and, in many cases, can be less expensive than the alternatives.” Lehrer further notes that he had a friend who was college-educated but out of work and desperate for money to pay his rent. He took out a car title loan but eventually paid it back.

Consumer Advocacy Groups Disagree

“Title loans are predatory because they’re made to people who have little ability to repay them,” says Leslie Parrish of the Center for Responsible Lending. “Repaying a Title Loan in 30 days is nearly impossible. Car title loans are typically rolled over eight times before the loan is repaid or the car is repossessed,” Parrish says. We asked our consultant at www.thompsonautomotive.com of Baltimore, MD for an opinion and what we heard wasn’t surprising. To them, the whole Car Title Loan business is somewhat shady and they recommend doing your homework before you consider one.

Conclusion

Anyone considering taking out a car title loan should ignore the convenience of the loan and exhaust other sources for cash first, including borrowing from relatives. Bottom line is 30 days is an extremely short period of time to repay a loan. Furthermore, consumer advocacy groups warn consumers never to use a car title for a loan if that vehicle is their only way to get to work, school or medical care. The reason is simple: If a borrower defaults, the title company repossesses the vehicle.

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