Monthly Archives: March 2015

Spend your tax refund on fixing or upgrading your car

As one survey shows, a third of all Americans spend their refund on an auto-related purchase. Some put their refund toward purchasing a new car, while others invest it in car upgrades and maintenance.

Many cars these days can be driven well past 100,000 miles, provided the vehicle is well maintained. Many experts say that maintaining a used car is much thriftier than buying or leasing a new one. So where do you spend your upgrade money?

It is no secret that a set of new tires can greatly improve ride quality, reduce road noise and even improve fuel economy. A major tune-up further boosts fuel economy, smooths out a rough idle and prolongs a vehicle’s life.

Other inexpensive repairs that can go a long way to rekindling your pride of ownership include clearing foggy headlights, getting a thorough detail and repairing interior rips and tears. New floor mats go a long way toward improving an older car’s interior appearance. Additionally, dent removal and paint touch-ups can often be done by a mobile service for just a few hundred dollars.

These fixes certainly don’t top the thrill of new car smell. They will, however, make driving your current car more enjoyable and will likely prolong the car’s life, reducing your need to get a new car and saving you money down the road.

Click here for more ways to spend your tax refund on a car.

Uber Driver Plus Entrepreneur = Uberpreneur

He’s not just an Uber driver or an entrepreneur, he’s an “Uberpreneur.” What does that mean? Well, his car is basically his mobile store and it’s pretty lucrative. This is how one Uberpreneur driver makes $252,000 a year.

“It’s a genius way to start a business nowadays, especially because nobody’s doing it.”

The man sitting beside me is sharing the most insightful business advice I’ve heard lately. His ideas are as unconventional as the location of our conversation. We’re not in a coffee shop or a corner office. We’re in an Uber and he’s my driver.

His name is Gavin Escolar, a charismatic Filipino man with a laugh that’s even louder than his orange-and-red striped dress shirt. We’re cruising down Valencia street when I notice diamond earrings dangling on the dashboard. Around his wrist, an emerald bracelet gleams through the sunlight. In the seat pockets, glossy catalogs display more jewelry. The cover reads: Gavin Escolar’s 2014 Collection.

Then it hits me: I’m not in Gavin’s car. I’m in his mobile showroom. He’s not just an Uber driver. Nor is he just an entrepreneur. He’s an Uberpreneur, using the ridesharing app to promote his jewelry business.

Read the full story here.

Cars that Make Commuting More Comfortable

Traffic isn’t fun for anyone. That’s a fact. But it can be more comfortable if you choose the right car for your commute.

Automakers love to show us commercials with these evocative scenes of fantastic roads surrounded by dramatic scenery, with nary another car as far as the eye can see. It’s just man and machine, and an exhilarating jaunt on that alpine road, or in the open desert, or maybe it’s that coastal highway.

The reality of course, is most people have to deal with the daily crunch, the crushing sea of cars on roads and freeways, more taillight than tailspin. But the daily obstacle that makes getting to the office or dropping kids off at school a mind-numbing chore, it doesn’t have to be all that horrible

Here are a few vehicles that just might make your weekly commute a little more pleasant:

  • Lexus RX350
  • Dodge Charger
  • Mercedes S550 Sedan
  • Honda Odyssey

Click here for more.

Toyota could overtake Ford’s #2 spot in U.S. auto industry

Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. have been battling it out for the #2 spot in the U.S. auto industry. Ford currently holds the position, but Toyota isn’t far from overtaking it.

Toyota posted a 13% sales gain in February, helped along by strong demand for its small SUVs and Lexus models. Ford, which is in the middle of the launch of its redesigned F-150, reported a 2% decline in the month amid sluggish demand for its passenger cars.

Toyota’s gain allowed it to inch past Ford in February, with its 180,467 deliveries 84 vehicles more than Ford. Ford is still ahead of Toyota through two months by about 8,100 vehicles, but that lead is anything but secure.

If Toyota’s surge continues to threaten Ford, it won’t be the only potentially major change in the U.S. auto sales pecking order. Through two months, Nissan 7201.TO -2.25% – long the No.6 auto maker in U.S. sales behind No.5 Honda – has raced in front of Honda.

While Toyota is far more profitable than Ford on a global basis, Ford’s ability to hang on as the No.2 U.S. auto maker in terms of sales, has been a morale boost following years of domestic auto makers ceding market share to Japanese rivals. Ford’s ability to keep its grip on the No.2 spot this year will be a focal point for Chief Executive Mark Fields, who took the helm last summer.

Read the full story here.