Rising oil prices are great news if you're Exxon Mobil,
but not so much for the rest of us. And, while those of us who drive
regularly were hoping that the cost of hybrid cars would drop, it
instead looks like car manufacturers are moving away from hybrid cars altogether. What's a cost-conscious commuter to do?
If you're like me, you change your car's motor oil religiously. The
"Every Three Thousand Miles or Every Three Months (Whichever Comes
First)" standard might as well have been carved into slabs and
hand-delivered by Moses.
And, if you're like me, you've been doing it
wrong this whole time.
A brief plateau in gas prices has done nothing to alleviate our
concern that fuel prices may climb even higher. Gas cost less than
$3.25 a gallon mere months ago, but it's only now dipped below $4.
As consumers struggle to adapt to higher gas prices, a number of
long-term suggestions crop up: buying hybrid cars, investing in
public transit and bike lanes, drilling on our own soil. In the
meantime, though, such investments are impractical. While taking
public transportation or walking will certainly reduce fuel costs,
you can also save quite a bit by using the right credit card.
Gas credit cards, in particular, reward you
for paying at the pump. Some of them are tied to a specific
company, while others will give cash back anywhere you fill up.
Last September I wrote two blog posts about used car prices and how to find the best used cars for your dollar. Recently over a couple of beers with co-workers a gauntlet was tossed (not literally) by my supervisor Michael who used to work at a new car dealership. He claimed you can't get a drivable car that will get you to work for less than $1,000. I said I could get one for little more than $500 with enough time.
So a challenge was made and I started shopping. I had two weeks to find a car and drive it to work.
As we've all noticed in the last few weeks (even out here in L.A.), winter is coming. The days are getting shorter, coats and sweaters are coming out of the closets, the leaves are falling, and the Christmas lights are going up. Soon there will be real rain and snow falling--and getting to work will seem even more like work.
So, here are a few tips to keep you rolling all winter long:
Are you in the process of shopping for a new car? If you are like most people, you are worried about buying the right vehicle at the right price. Although there are some potential issues waiting for you, this does not mean that you have to give into them. Smart, informed consumers are those who will get a deal they are happy with.
Here are three potential issues that you want to avoid: