Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Buying a Car

Ride of a Lifetime


Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Buying a Car

By Michelle Ochsner

So you’ve decided it’s time to buy a new car. With so many dealerships out there, you feel like a very small fish in an ocean full of sharks, and with good reason. Car buying is one of those experiences that can either be awe-inspiring or the worst thing that’s happened to you since that horrible date your mother set you up on.

But where do you start?

Explore your buying options to find what best suits your wants and needs. First, decide what type of car is right for you. This decision will likely be made based on lifestyle and a budget that isn’t more than twenty percent of your monthly income. Things to keep mind while researching automobile types are prices, fuel economy, family size, reliable hauling, towing capacity, luxury, and style.

Now that you’ve determined the type of car you need, the hard part begins. It’s overwhelming with so many makes and models to choose from. Outside influences and personal experience are significant when deciding which to select. Whichever you decide; Ford, Honda, Chevy, Dodge, or Toyota, do your homework! Utilize the internet and become an informed buyer. Remember, knowledge is power. Websites such as,, and (Kelly Blue Book) have buyers guides designed to counsel you.

When you’re ready to find a dealership, select ones recommended by friends, family, and co-workers. Walk-in there knowing as much as possible about that style of car you are going to purchase including rebates, incentives, and the true market value, TMV. Download a mobile app to your smartphone for quick information as you explore your buying options on the car lot. You’ll be there for hours so eat before you go shopping. This will keep you focused on the task.

Learn to negotiate. Even though you will never master the art of negotiations like a professional car salesman, the skill can save you thousands of dollars. Research and understand dealerships pricing structures and be ready to quote the absolute highest price your willing to pay as you negotiate. Shop mid-week and at the end of the month when sales are slower or quotas haven’t been met. Learn how to interact with salespeople and stay focused on why your there. You want to buy a car and they want to sell you a car. If you feel you’re being taken or the price is way over budget, simply walk out and go somewhere else.

The idiots guide to sharing the roadway

Bicycle Party
Bicycle Party (Photo credit: Where is Clifford The Big Red Dog?)

Living in a community that is bicycle and pedestrian friendly is both wonderful and taxing for everyone.

As a driver it’s not just the law, it’s common courtesy to share the road with those not surrounded my three thousand pounds of metal and fiberglass.

But more and more we are running into not only rude drivers, but rude and inconsiderate riders. Lets face it, it’s hard enough to drive while watching the oncoming traffic, the rearview traffic, thru traffic (so you’re not t-boned), and pedestrians. Now it’s necessary that drivers are mindful of bicyclists riding in and out of traffic assuming you would not dare run them over, then giving you the stink eye when you nearly do because you thought it was clear.

As a pedestrian, rider, and a driver I can personally vouch that it is possible to share the road safely and productively. But this entitlement people believe they have is just out of control. No one has the right to create havoc they way people do while their on the roadways.  Being aggressive while in transit to your destination will eventually catch up to you. Sound judgement doesn’t apply as the norm now-a-days.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rank accidental fatalities as fifth on the list for leading causes of death in the United States.

We all can do our part to create safer streets when traveling either by car, motorcycle, bicycle, or walking.

1) Abide by your state laws.

Police Officers will issue Cyclists traffic citations violations. According to the Statutes in Idaho, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles. If the light’s red, that means stop not yield. When a car is turning, stop and wait behind it. Do not take your chances that the driver sees you.

2) Riders should go with the flow of traffic. A kid getting ticketed for a traffic infractio...

If there is a bike lane it’s necessary to use it. If not, the cyclist should ride as close to the curb as possible and be able to keep a reasonable speed. This prevents accidental incidents that can occur with truck mirrors.

3) If riding at night be certain you are seen by using lights, and reflectors.

One thing to remember, when person driving a car isn’t able to see you the consequences could be dastardly.

4) Never ride while under the influence.

Not only is this illegal, it’s extremely dangerous.

5) Pedestrians concede to traffic control devices and traffic regulations.

As silly as it sounds, always use the crosswalk if possible and do not assume a car will stop because you have the right of way. Remember, drivers are extremely distracted and it takes only one to seriously injure a pedestrian.

A lot of  these details are plain common sence. If you are not certain about the traffic laws in your state, google (your state) bicycle laws.

Example; Idaho State bicycle laws.

Here is the link for those in Idaho:

The great outdoors is just that, it’s great! When the weather invites one to come out and play we should enjoy it to the fullest extent. One thing to remember is that there are others out and about as well.

Everyone Happy
Everyone Happy (Photo credit: digitalrhino)