Dear Holly: The Car You Created from a Box

6 years, 11 months.

Dear Holly,

This past week we ordered an indoor grill. It made me realize, “I still have a child who is young enough to appreciate playing with a box.”

Without ever making an announcement nor asking anyone’s permission, you took it upon yourself to turn that shipping box into a car. I noticed it had three pedals on the floor, implying it’s a manual transmission like my Jeep.

You also proudly brought to my attention that on the inside of the car door, you drew a stethoscope; which I suppose was intended to be a more grandiose first aid kit than the one in my Jeep I keep with me.

It was a very relevant choice for you to build your car from the box.

Even now as I type this, you are sitting down in your box playing, while Mommy drinks her coffee on Sunday afternoon after church.




9 Things to Consider When Buying a Car 

Buying a car is very exciting, but there are many considerations to make. This guide lists 9 things to consider when buying a car.

Buying a car is extremely exciting. But being on the verge of excitement can always lead to making mistakes.

There are some things to consider when buying a car, things that will ensure that you make the right decision that will leave you satisfied.

In this article, we will cover 9 things you might want to consider.

So if that sounds interesting, keep reading to learn more.

  1. Your Need for the Car

A very necessary idea to consider is your need for the car. Needs and wants are far apart, and rarely crossover in the realm of common ground.

So think what you will be using the car for the daily commute, adventure, showing off, so on and so forth.

Has your family expanded and you require more room? Do you need a car that can go off-road, and have efficient mileage? Or maybe you’re a bachelor and you want a small car because you hate public transportation.

Think about your needs, or more so your problems, and then determine why the car is a solution to those issues. Thus, you will narrow down the options and make a better choice.

  1. Your Budget

Budget is very important, and if this is your first car, it’s critical to your success. Consider your entire monthly income and expenses, so that you can determine the amount you can spend on a car payment.

Looking for a new car is looking for a new loan. All loans are different, as some offer more money and some offer better interest than the others.

Understanding these changes in loan structure is crucial to understanding the realistic cost of your monthly payments. It’s also a good idea to have 20% as a down payment to cover the car’s price.

This will help you get out of term earlier, reduce the interest and make sure you don’t need excessive insurance.

  1. Used Vehicle

Buying a used car is a great opportunity to save money, and get a vehicle in optimal condition. A used car doesn’t have to be 20 years old, even cars that are 5 years old are depreciated but ultimately function as new.

Having an open mind about buying provides you with more opportunities. That means that you can look for vehicles from dealerships, individuals, online directories, so on and so forth.

Don’t limit yourself. You never know, your dream car might have already had an owner. Find out more about buying new vs used.

  1. Cost of Ownership

Another critical aspect of buying a car is cost of ownership. Ownership costs cover fuel, repairs, maintenance, insurance, and of course, depreciation. Out of all those aspects, depreciation is the most important, because at some point you might want to sell the car.

In general, your car expenses should not exceed 20% of your budget for the month. Obviously, the more expensive a car, the higher the insurance will be. If you are looking to buy an expensive car, you can work with a high net-worth insurance company, so that you get a great deal.

Besides all of that, you need to think about the availability and cost of spare car parts. Not to mention, the fuel economy is very important as well.

  1. Test Drive

No matter if you’re buying a new or used car, a test drive makes all the difference. Your car is your ship, and you are the crew, thus it’s important to get along.

If you don’t like driving that car, don’t buy it. Make sure everything feels comfortable and enjoyable. When driving, listen for odd sounds, and inspect if possible.

How’s the interior of the vehicle? Does it appeal to you? There’s a myriad of other questions that you can ask yourself to determine if the vehicle is right for you.

In any case, if you can’t decide between two vehicles, a test drive makes all the difference.

  1. Car Inspection

No matter if you’re buying from a dealership or a private person, you should always get an inspection by a specialized mechanic.

Even though it might cost you some money, it can save you lots of trouble from buying a vehicle that will fall apart in front of you in the future.

Also, the mechanic would be able to instantly assess any necessary servicing to the vehicle that will make sure you get the best possible driving experience.

  1. The Right Time

Getting the car at the right time can be very useful.

If you’re not in a rush, buying a car towards the end of the year will be cheaper then earlier in the year. Dealerships have quotas, and they need to move product. If they haven’t reached the number yet, they will be more eager to provide deep discounts on great vehicles.

You can also save money by taking advantage of holiday sales. But if you’re not up for waiting for a holiday or the end of the year, you should go car shopping early in the week.

Most people do their shopping on the weekend, thus a weekday will allow you to get better attention from a salesperson, which means you have a better negotiation advantage than somebody else.

  1. Things to Consider When Buying A Car: Incentives

If you’re looking for a specific vehicle from a specific dealer, you should show interest and sign-up for various newsletters and contact mechanisms, which will provide access to you for the salesperson. If you disappear for too long, they will contact you and see if you would like to buy at a lower price.

Ask about incentives and trade-in offers. If you have a vehicle that you would like to get rid of, offer it up as trade-in, and you might save substantially on your purchase.

  1. Insurance Quotes

Out of all the things to consider when buying a car, this is not as important, but valuable nonetheless.

Insurance agencies take car models and makes into consideration before they can provide you with a premium. One would think that insuring a new car will be less expensive than an older one, however, that’s not always the case.

There are many ways to reduce your insurance premiums, so keep your eyes peeled and do some research.

Buy Your Car

Now that you about the things to consider when buying a car, you can actually get to find the right car for purchase.

As long as you adhere to and consider these ideas, you will be way ahead of the rest, thus making you a better buyer, and dealerships love that.

If you’re interested in learning more about vehicles, check out our categorical page on the left handlebar on the website.

They See Me Rollin’: 8 Achievable Ways to DIY Trick Out Your Car

Looking to turn your ride into something a little more masculine? Check out these simple ways to pimp your car which you totally do yourself! 

Your car is anextension of you. If you drive a lame car — well, you don’t want to drive a lame car. 

If you’re wondering how to pimp your car to get the attention you want, then we are here to help you. Continue reading this article to learn the different ways you can pimp out your car. 

  1. Headlight Covers

Your car headlights have a lot to do with how your car looks. If they are dingy and dirty, it is going to make your whole car look bad. Keeping them clean is important, but putting headlight covers on your car can make your car look like a whole new vehicle. 

The most common thing to do when putting on headlight covers is blacking out the lights. You can black out your car’s lights by using tinted black translucent headlight covers. 

These covers look black until you turn on the headlights, so they don’t get in the way of your road lighting abilities. Besides making your look cool, they also protect your car’s headlight assembly from debris, dirt, and oxidation. 

  1. Upgrading the Wheels

Upgrading your car’s wheels is a great way to make your cool look cool. While standard wheels might function fine, they can make your car look anything but exciting. 

Before looking at the new wheels you want, likefuel wheels, make sure you know what size wheels you need. If you aren’t sure — ask a professional. Using the wrong wheels can cause serious problems with your vehicle. 

If you’re considering buying used wheels, make sure you buy from a reputable source. 

  1. Interior LED Lighting

Putting interior LED lighting in your car helps you add a splash of color in your car and light up the features you want to show off. Most LED lights for cars are on light strips, so it won’t be hard for you to install them. 

For the best look for your car, don’t put the LED lighting strips where you can see them. Instead, put the LED lighting strips underneath areas like the floor mats where you can only see that cool glow. 

  1. Car Seat Covers

Using car seat covers in your car is one of the easiest ways to give your car’s interior an upgrade. 

When choosing your car seat covers, there are a lot of different materials to choose from. Look for covers that are going to be durable and comfortable vs. just covers that look good. 

Keep in mind that all seats are not the same size, so you’ll need to figure out what size car seat cover your vehicle needs. 

  1. Wrap Your Car

Do you feel like changing up your car’s exterior, but you don’t want to change the paint job? Painting your car can be really expensive, so doing a car wrap might be the best route to go. 

While wrapping your car isn’t exactly inexpensive, it is less pricey than paying to have your entire car repainted. 

Car wraps change your vehicle into any color you want, and you can even choose cool graphic designs that make your car look out of this world awesome. You can choose to wrap your entire car, or you might want to only do part of it and use the wraps to accent your vehicle. 

  1. Aftermarket Audio Options

The only people that will think audio can’t upgrade the look of a car are those that aren’t true motorheads. Even those that have seen the Fast and the Furious know that audio makes a major difference in the look of the car. 

Audio upgrades can cost a pretty penny, but as you work to upgrade your vehicle, you’ll start to see just how much it is going to change your vehicle. The new layouts and the fancy displays make your car look futuristic. 

  1. Window Tinting

Window tinting doesn’t just protect your car’s interior — it looks really cool.  

You have quite a few options when you’re choosing the right tint for your car. 

There are infrared films that block the same amount of UV rays, but they are very easy to see through. If your state has strict tinting rules, then this might be a good option for you. 

The other options you have are: 

  • Carbon films 
  • Coating tinting 
  • OEM tinting 

Do your research on which type works best for your car, your desires, and your state before you make your choice. 

  1. Console Cover

Upgrading your console cover in your car looks really cool, but make sure it is comfortable. If you use your console as an arm prop a lot, the last thing you want is to put bulky embellishments on your console cover and make it irritate your elbows. 

You don’t have to be too fancy with your console cover if you’re worried about hurting your arms. There are a lot of different colored cloth covers you can put over your console to make sure it’s not only looking good but that it is protected. 

Since console covers are so small, they aren’t expensive, and they are easy to install if you’re just getting one to put over your console. If you’re having the whole thing replaced — that’s a horse of a different color. 

Trick Out Your Car Like a Pro 

Now you know cool ways to trick out your car, so it looks as cool as possible. Having a rad ride will allow you to get attention and feel good about what you drive. 

Do you want to learn more about cars and other cool topics? Keep reading through our site to get the information you need. 

Is the Write off Worth It? How to Donate a Car (And If You Should)

Is it more worth it to donate a car or sell it for cash? Learn about the tax write offs for donating a car, here.

You’ve seen the signs that say you can donate a car to a good cause.

Would they even want your car? Whether it’s the salvation army car donation you’re looking into or another organization that wants you to donate your car, you might not be sure it is even worth the hassle.

Continue reading this article to learn more about car donation and what you need to know.

Look Out for the Tax Man & Scams 

While it might seem like a good idea to help a good cause by donating your car to a charity — be careful. If you don’t work with a good charity, you might find yourself mixed up in a scam or other problematic situation.

Before you decide you want to donate your vehicle, make sure you speak with a professional like a CPA  to see what their advice is on the specific charity you’re considering. If you claim more than what you’re supposed to for your car donation this can get you into trouble with the IRS.

Helping out a charity and getting rid of a car at the same time might seem like an attractive way to help out a charity and get help yourself. While there are some organizations that are on the up and up, you do have to do some extra work to make sure.

Considering Selling Your Car and Donating the Proceeds 

Instead of trusting someone else to give the charity of your choice the money from the sale, why not sell your car and donate the proceeds instead? When you do this, you’ll know where the money is going and you’ll still get the write-off on your taxes.

The good news is the write-off on your taxes won’t be anything to worry about since you’ll be able to prove a specific monetary amount.

While that might sound like a good idea, you might be wondering, “Who buys cars that don’t run?” You should know that there are companies that specialize in buying cars that don’t run. You can look around for some in your area and you’re sure to find companies that will have use for your car.

Doing a Good Deed 

Wanting to do a good deed is great but you need to make sure to protect yourself from any legal matters. Selling your car and donating the proceeds will allow you to have the pleasure of doing a good deed without worrying you’re getting scammed or doing something you’ll be in trouble for.

Making Sense of When to Donate a Car 

Now you can make an informed decision on whether to donate a car or not. You might decide that you want to get some cash out of it instead.

Now that you’ve learned this information, why stop there? Our site is filled with more articles that can help you as you’re increasing your knowledge of cars, donations and more.

Browse our site to find more great articles you’ll love.

Dear Jack: Exploring Your Great-Uncle Johnny’s Car Collection During Spring Break

7 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

It was just about a month ago that you had a pretty cool Spring Break. On the way back from Ruby Falls in the Mazda CX-5, we actually had to drive right past my Uncle Johnny’s house near Chattanooga; which is also near Rock City, where our family would visit a couple of days later. So I let him know in advance, and he was ready for us when we stopped by.

He has the largest collection of classic cars compared to anyone else I personally know. I figured especially at your age now, getting to see his car collection would really be an awesome thing to do.

You obviously were amazed with each car Uncle Johnny proceeded to show you; which included several class Mustangs.

But I think your favorite of them all was his 1993 Ford 150 pick-up truck.

But our visit didn’t just consist of a car museum collection alone.

Uncle Johnny was thoughtful enough, and brave enough, to insist that you drive us around in his golf utility vehicle. Granted, I sat next to you and overtook the wheel and brake pedal for much of the chaotic drive, which included us missing a tree by a few inches.

That’s why I took you to my Uncle Johnny’s house, though.

I knew it would create a memorable experience for you at this age. I have to believe that years from now, you’ll say to me, “Daddy, was that a dream that time we were at that guy’s house and he had all these cars and trucks and then he even let me drive this little car across a field, to another garage where there was this truck I got to stand in?”

Then I can say, “No, that was real.” Here are the pictures to prove it.