Presidents’ Day Car Buying – Bargains, Research & Shopping Tips


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Consumer Reports issues a guide for the 25 best deals on American-made cars for the Presidents Day Weekend. In addition to using its customary rating criteria on reliability and safety, safety tests, if evaluated, Consumer Reports adds another dimension to the ratings:

But for this car-sales holiday, we scrutinized the recent leads secured through our Build & Buy service, reflecting not just potential discounts, but real-world pricing. The retail price and savings are based on the average configured vehicle at consumerreports.org. In other words, these are cars as popularly equipped with real price quotes from dealerships bound to high customer service standards.

In addition, we point you to some great consumer resources for car shopping we’ve covered before:
Looking at Presidents Day car sales? Do your research now – lots of links to ratings and safety resources
New fuel labels on 2013 cars will help consumers save – learn how to use this information in your favor when shopping
Car shoppers: Watch out for flood-damaged cars – buyer beware!

Presidents’ Day Car Buying – Bargains, Research & Shopping Tips


Presidents’ Day weekend is traditionally a big car buying time. Manufacturers and dealers roll out incentives and discounts galore to lure buyers into a purchase. Is it really a good time for consumers to buy? The best time to buy is when you can afford it and when you’ve done your research. Rather than acting impulsively on any of the deals, you should plan your budget, your purchase goals, and do your research in advance – then, if any deals coincide with your pre-established budget, criteria, and goals – terrific!
Step by Step: Buying a new car – a good guide from Consumer Reports that covers choosing a car, what to expect at the dealership, getting the best price on your new car and your trade in, financing tips, closing the deal, and post-sale tips.
Safercar.gov Vehicle Shoppers – Consumer resources from the U.S. Department of Transportation, including 5 Star Ratings, which measure the crash worthiness and rollover safety of vehicles. Five stars is the highest rating, one is the lowest. The site also offers information on child safety, tire safety, safety technologies, and other topics.
Watch out for scams
One other thing to watch out for: The head of Consumer Affairs in Boston says to be on the alert for questionable fees. “NewsCenter 5’s Susan Wornick obtained the results of a new state surveyin which state regulators, posing as consumers, called 180 car dealers across the state and found 130 charged some questionable fees that can drive up the final cost by hundreds or even more than $1,000.”
Just another reason not to rush into things!
Other car-buying research tools
Consumer Reports: Step-by-step: Buying a used car
Edmunds True Cost to Own Vehicle Calculator
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Picks for 2012 Autos
Myths and Truths About Timing Your car Purchase

Cupid urges you to Insure Your Love


Every February, The LifeFoundation runs a promotion called “Insure Your Love” which reminds the public that a good way to show you love somebody is to protect them via the gift of life insurance. Here are a few wacky videos from the nonprofit’s past promotions. If you are a traditionalist about Valentine’s Day gifts and choose to buy jewelry or some other expensive item, make sure you insure those, too!



Blizzard of ’13!


If you live in New England, you know that the Blizzard of ’78 is part of the local lore. You can relive that historic storm with a presentation from the Taunton MA NOAA: The Blizzard of ’78 Revisited. Hopefully, the lessons we learned then will keep us all better prepared and safer in the next few days during what is shaping up to be another historic storm: the Blizzard of ’13.
We’ve compiled some of our past posts dealing with extreme winter weather to help get you through the storm. Stay home, stay safe, keep warm, and call your agent if you have problems.
Brrrr! Extreme weather survival tips for your home, your car & you – a winter survival kit with a compilation of expert tips with advice for protecting homes, cars, and people in extreme winter weather.
Sharing the road with snowplows – common sense tips for driving safely near plows and heavy equipment.
Brrr… are you prepared for the cold if your car gets stranded? – if you do have to drive in storms, here is some advice on what to keep in your car emergency kit
Before and after winter storms: advance planning and filing claims – pointers on how to start the insurance process if your home or car suffers damage in the storm.
Snow shoveling and snow removal safety – basic tips to help you avoid problems from shoveling.
Are you ready for snowy, icy roads? Hone your winter driving skills – a fun way to brush up on your seasonal skills and maybe even learn something new
Dealing with ice dams and other winter weather hazards – advice should you have ice dams or snow overload problems post storm.
Plus, here are some links to handy resources:
State Offices of Emergency Management
Connecticut
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Vermont
Weather.gov – Active Weather alerts – enter your zip code for local alerts