Get a Deal on Name-Brand Car Audio Video Electronics with Factory-Direct Quality

Get the quality you deserve at a price that’s right for your budget: some car audio shops offer name-brand products at factory-direct prices. Call your mobile electronics store to learn more today!

Want to add aftermarket mobile electronics to your car or truck? Ready to upgrade beyond the limitations of your OEM stereo? Don’t think you can afford the quality car GPS or car DVD player you need? Then it’s time to reconsider. There are a lot of great deals out there when it comes to car electronics, and you may be surprised at just how affordable a new car stereo head unit or flip-down car DVD player may be. You can get name-brand equipment to enhance your driving experience, all at a cost-effective price.

Just like with other bargains, though, it’s important to make certain you’re getting quality equipment when you’re checking out deals on amps, woofers, and other mobile electronics. Perhaps the best way to get reliable, affordable car audio video products at a reduced price is to work with a shop that offers factory-direct pricing. These professionals get name-brand components (like head units, car GPS systems, car DVD players, and more) straight from the manufacturers, and by cutting out the middleman, you’ll be amazed at how much they can help you save. Because they’re offering the same top-quality car electronics products as the other area shops, you’ll be getting the systems you want at a great savings!

Sometimes low prices really are too good to be true: other times, you can score a major deal. So don’t get scammed. Make certain you’re getting the best possible quality at the best possible price: rely on a shop with a factory-direct relationship to get the car DVD, car GPS, and other car electronics you want without breaking the bank!

Cheap Car Insurance Is Easy To Get Online

Car insurance is an added expense over and above the considerable expense of owning and maintaining a car, particularly when you consider all the other types of insurance that are necessary in today’s world, so it is only natural to want to get cheap car insurance without compromising on coverage. Luckily, cheap car insurance is well within your reach, provided you know how to get it.

The Internet is the best place to start when shopping for cheap car insurance. Insurance companies are now geared to provide you with a quote online but you will still need to shop around and compare quotes, and keying in your details separately for each insurance company you want a quote from can be a hassle. The answer is to use an insurance company that allows you to get multiple quotes online. You enter your details online, and the insurance company will draw up individual quotes for a number of insurance providers (sometimes as many as eight) and send them to you all in one go. How cool is that? You will even save on your phone bill because you won’t need to use the phone to get your quotes.

There are a number of other things you can do to reduce your car insurance besides getting cheap car insurance quotes online. You can increase your excess which will decrease your premiums on a monthly basis but substantially increase the amount you will have to pay out of your pocket when you claim. Accidents happen when you least expect them so you need to be sure you can afford to pay such a high excess if you go this route. All new cars now have to be insured before they leave the showroom floor these days but you can limit the amount of insurance you will have to pay by purchasing a cheap or moderately priced car. To insurance companies, cheaper cars mean cheaper repairs which means they will have to fork out less. The result is a lower premium for the consumer who buys a cheaper car.

Ensure that your car is parked in a secured area like a garage or lockable car port at night, and consider fitting additional security measures such as a gear-lock, as this can help you get a cheaper package. Speaking of packages, it is often cheaper to have a combined coverage package, where you insure your car, home and possessions with one insurance company than several separate premiums with different companies. Avoid driving a high-risk vehicle or expensive car if you can. High-risk vehicles are the makes and models of cars that insurance companies consider to be vulnerable to theft and hi-jacking, and your premium will be raised accordingly. Also, expensive cars tend to be expensive to repair, so you can expect your insurance premium to be higher than if you had a cheaper car.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to get cheaper car insurance, but cheaper is not always better because it can mean you aren’t adequately covered. You need to be clear on what your insurance status is and what adequate coverage costs, and then decide how far over and above a reasonable insurance premium you want to go with extras.Car insurance is an added expense over and above the considerable expense of owning and maintaining a car, particularly when you consider all the other types of insurance that are necessary in today’s world, so it is only natural to want to get cheap car insurance without compromising on coverage. Luckily, cheap car insurance is well within your reach, provided you know how to get it.

The Internet is the best place to start when shopping for cheap car insurance. Insurance companies are now geared to provide you with a quote online but you will still need to shop around and compare quotes, and keying in your details separately for each insurance company you want a quote from can be a hassle. The answer is to use an insurance company that allows you to get multiple quotes online. You enter your details online, and the insurance company will draw up individual quotes for a number of insurance providers (sometimes as many as 8) and send them to you all in one go. How cool is that? You will even save on your phone bill because you won’t need to use the phone to get your quotes.

There are a number of other things you can do to reduce your car insurance besides getting cheap car insurance quotes online. You can increase your excess which will decrease your premiums on a monthly basis but substantially increase the amount you will have to pay out of your pocket when you claim. Accidents happen when you least expect them so you need to be sure you can afford to pay such a high excess if you go this route. All new cars now have to be insured before they leave the showroom floor these days but you can limit the amount of insurance you will have to pay by purchasing a cheap or moderately priced car. To insurance companies, cheaper cars mean cheaper repairs which means they will have to fork out less. The result is a lower premium for the consumer who buys a cheaper car.

Ensure that your car is parked in a secured area like a garage or lockable car port at night, and consider fitting additional security measures such as a gear-lock, as this can help you get a cheaper package. Speaking of packages, it is often cheaper to have a combined coverage package, where you insure your car, home and possessions with one insurance company than several separate premiums with different companies. Avoid driving a high-risk vehicle or expensive car if you can. High-risk vehicles are the makes and models of cars that insurance companies consider to be vulnerable to theft and hi-jacking, and your premium will be raised accordingly. Also, expensive cars tend to be expensive to repair, so you can expect your insurance premium to be higher than if you had a cheaper car.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to get cheaper car insurance, but cheaper is not always better because it can mean you aren’t adequately covered. You need to be clear on what your insurance status is and what adequate coverage costs, and then decide how far over and above a reasonable insurance premium you want to go with extras.

What to Consider When Buying a Classic Car

Buying a classic car is, for many, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Whether buying a prize example of their first car 30 years on or reliving childhood holidays in a fine example of dad’s old saloon, classic car ownership is about enjoyment and relaxation. But the sheer enthusiasm with which many people enter into the purchase can sometimes blind them to the harsh realities of owning and running a classic car.

I have bought and sold many cars in my years running the UK’s largest classic car hire company. In that time I have learnt the hard way how to buy classic cars well. I bought my first classic car in 1993, a rare Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti in black. It was my dream car, having cycled past an identical example every day while at school. I did my research, buying copies of all available Buyers’ Guides and I knew exactly what to look for and what to avoid. Unfortunately, what none of these guides told me was the cardinal rule – buy with your head not your heart. I particularly wanted a black Alfasud and when I clapped eyes on the car this was the over-riding thought in my head. It blinded me to the reality of the car’s obvious flaws, including suspect electrics and typically Alfa-esque rust holes. Floating on a wave of dream fulfillment I convinced myself that these were idle matters and coughed up the asking price to a probably flabbergasted owner.

When you go to buy a classic car bear in mind two simple rules. Firstly, it is not the only example of its kind in the world. Regardless of how closely its specification matches your desires, there will be another one out there. Secondly, picture the asking price as money in your hand – this will help you to appreciate the value of the purchase. Very often cars are bought and then paid for later, which gives plenty of time for circumspection! I strongly recommend that anyone buying a classic car takes along a friend who can be relied upon to be objective – they can reign you back when your enthusiasm takes ov er.

When I bought the Alfasud I managed to bring it back to a respectable standard, but it cost me to do so. That taught me another rule of car buying – objectively assess the cost of repairing the car before you buy it. Know the market value of any car you plan to buy – what is it worth in average condition and what is it worth in excellent condition? Objectively assess the value of repairing the car’s faults by researching the cost of trim, bodywork, mechanical work and so on. Do not under-estimate the cost of apparently minor work – scuffs and scrapes on the paintwork can cost hundreds of pounds to put right. If a seller says something is an ‘easy fix’ you have to wonder why they haven’t done it themselves.

When you go to view a classic car do your research first. Check the buying guides. Visit web forums and ask questions that are not immediately answered by your research – generally forum contributors are very happy to help. Talk to the experts – marque experts who repair cars on a daily basis are often very happy to offer advice because you may become a customer. Talk to people who own similar cars – a good place to start is with classic car hire companies who run classic cars over several thousand miles every year. I often get asked by would-be owners about the cars I run and I am always very happy to offer advice based on living with classic cars day in and day out. Before you view the car ring the owner first and run through a checklist of questions – this will save you a wasted journey.

Besides the actual car itself, there are two other areas to pay particular attention to when you view a car. Firstly, the owner – the old adage about buying a used car from a man like this obviously applies. If the owner is genuine, the chances are that the car is too. And of course, the reverse is true too. Secondly, have a look at the paperwork thoroughly – check that the contents back up the description of the car in the advertisement and from the owner. The paperwork should be well presented rather than a jumble of paperwork that is difficult to decipher – if the owner can’t be bothered to organise this detail, what else has he skimped on?

Your test should include full inspection inside and out and underneath, ideally using a ramp (local garages are often happy to arrange this – the seller should be able to sort this out).

On the test drive you should start the car from cold – insist before arrival that the seller allows you to do this – and you should drive at least 5-10 miles at the wheel. Check for unusual noises on start up – particularly knocking – and monitor the dials throughout the test. Check that the oil pressure and water temperature perform as expected. Check the brakes – do an emergency stop. Rev the engine through the gears and test rapid gear changing. Drive the car quickly around a corner to test the suspension and steering. Test all of the switches, particularly the heating – failed heaters can be a costly and very inconvenient expense.

if you like the car you’re looking at, buy yourself some thinking time. Don’t be railroaded into a quick decision by the vendor. Often the seller will genuinely have a lot of interest in the car – if so, depending on how you feel you should ask for either overnight or at least a few hours to think about it. if you are serious you could offer a small deposit as a demonstration of good faith. It is better to lose £100 than several thousand through a rushed decision. I would recommend viewing the car at least twice in daylight.

This is inevitably not an exhaustive assessment of what to consider when buying a classic car but if you follow these simple rules you will stand a much better chance of buying the right car for you. Buy with your head not your heart and buy with a closed wallet.

Nairobi, Kenya Car Hire Rental – Self Drive, Chauffeur Driven and Unlimited Mileage

Where I come from, We have a saying that, “vehicles do not go for dowry negotiations”. In other words, dowry negotiations is not a show. Your vehicle can breakdown and shame you in front of your in-laws. Who wants a friend who will let you down during that very special occasion? In any case life is not simple. As you know and I know, a car is not 100 percent dependable as it can breakdown even on the most important occasion. However breakdowns can be minimized or avoided all together if you make the right choice from the very beginning. The car to hire will depend on the destination and purpose. Is it for leisure, family, business, haulage or do

Advantages of car hire:

Car hire is also known as car rental or renting a car is the best option if you want to visit several destinations in Kenya. Unlike organized safaris where the routes and schedules are fixed it allows for high degree of flexibility and hence discovery. Likewise car hire means a higher degree of privacy, security and independence. Unlike group safaris which brings together people from diverse interests and backgrounds, car hire means your interests are not distracted.

Car to hire in Nairobi.

The car to hire will depend on the destination and purpose. Is it for leisure, family, business, haulage or do you simply want to replace your broken down? If you are traveling upcountry a RAV4 will handle most of the roads. However if you are thinking of Northern Kenya, beyond archers post, and Rumuruti, get a juggernaut -Land-cruiser not Prado SUV type but a real one. Make sure you also get some new tyres. However if you are attending business meeting, you can get an impressive salon. If you are taking your pet out on a sunny day or in the beach, you can get a convertible. For haulage, there are small and big tracks including clearing and forwarding companies.

What are your car rental options?

Generally four rental options are available for you. Self drive, Chauffeur driven, 4×4, unlimited mileage and one way rental. The option to choose will depend on your preferences and prevailing conditions. If you are the uncomfortable when some else is on the wheel then go for self drive. Self drive is also recommended when you need a higher degree of privacy. On the other hand, those that need more time to enjoy the scenery and relax are better off with a driver option. A local driver also comes in hardy when you are not familiar with the local customs, languages etc. In my view, a local driver is not only a source of valuable information but is also your security guard. He is your interpreter of local arts, thus adding to the overall experience. A major plus of using a driver is that you are at most only obligated to fuel the car. Any incidental costs that accrue to the rented vehicle is the responsibility of the company.

Special car hire:

Security car hire is an element that is entering the market for a select few. Celebrity and transportation of valuables is a different category all together. For these two, you not only need special equipments( armored cars) but you may also require security outriders and qualified chauffeur services. A good example is the elaborate security sought when took the world cup on a world tour. This category of car hire is available by special arrangements for it require armed guards in some cases.

How to rent your car:

Purpose, Purpose and again purpose. Why do you need the car? This should always be in your mind. Once you decide on this, the first step is to do a window shopping. Car hire market in Kenya is wide. International companies like Herz, Budget, Europcar are represented in Nairobi and Mombasa. Whether to go local or use multinationals is your own choice. But always bear in mind that at the end of the day, the elements of budget and continuity will come into play. Make research and narrow down your options to two or maximum three agencies and send enquiries to them. Ask what is included in their hire options. Look at the issue of fuel. Who is to fuel the car? There are two options here. A car rental company can leave the responsibility of fueling to the renter or alternatively they can fuel for you. The best option is of course for the car rental company to bring the car full tank and you return it full tank. Alternatively, they can bring the car empty and you likewise return it empty. If you let the car hire company pay the fuel for you, you end up paying lots of premium. Note, If you decide to hire a car empty and return it empty, you cannot claim any fuel in the car at the end of the rental. Fill up the car at the car hire yards may also be expensive for you. A better option is just to buy enough to take you the public petrol station. Besides the issue of fuel, continuity is a major issue. How will the company react in the event of breakdown?

Adventure And Discovery:

Besides fuel, mileage option should concern you. Car hire is about adventure and discovery. Remember you are hiring a car to be free from any mobility restrictions. Personally I will go for unlimited mileage anytime. This option does not restrict you to a particular radius. It might look expensive but to the adventurous, it is cheap in the long run. Even if you want to stick within a specific radius, just go for unlimited mileage. Nairobi city centre might look restrictive but an hours drive takes you to large expanses of open space and the sought after breathing space.

Car hire agreements differ from one company to another. The normal procedure is to look for inclusions and exclusions. Put into consideration compulsory insurance cover and extras or recommended covers. Some covers will include the passengers and leave the driver. In this case you will need a personal insurance cover. Local insurance companies will gladly offer you a monthly travel cover. AAR will offer travelers an evacuation cover just in case you need emergency medical attention.

On the rental day, make sure you inspect the car you are given to avoid paying for repairs of damages accrued before your rental. Some multinational companies have been accused of charging several unsuspecting guests for the same damage. Do not fall for this trick. Check the body for any dents. Any defects must be noted. Check the tyre thread and make sure they are not worn out. Remember you are responsible for any tyre bust.

Points Of Hire:

On arrival in Nairobi, you can hire a car at the airport. An option is to contact your travel agent so that a car will be waiting for you.

Those going on a safari are better off with an inclusive car rental option with insurance, driver’s allowance, fuel and park entry fees. That way the guests will sit down an enjoy themselves without a bother. However if you are conversant with the country you can go on a self drive safari. However it is always good to have company.

Insurance- most of the cars will come with the compulsory Third Party insurance. However some companies will feature comprehensive covers. Ask your operator insurance he is offering.

Driving

In Kenya, the rule of the road is keep left. At the round about, people coming from the right have freedom of way. Nairobi can be a nightmare even for the most experienced driver but if you keep your cool, you will arrive at your destination in one piece and peace. Simply said, just give way even when it might not be necessary. The public transport driver also called Matatu driver can be very courteous and rude at the same time. He will intimidate you to give way but when things are not in his favor, he is the first to give in. A little downpour is likely to make Nairobi a Jam city. My best advice at such times is just to relax in your office and wait for the madness to ebb.

Car Leasing:

If you are staying for a short while or your company does not need to be bothered with routine maintenance and disposal just go for leasing. However be careful the agreement you enter into. Some companies may actually sell to you a car through back door in the name of leasing.

On The Road – Auto Services Will Look After You When You’re Going On A Road Trip

You, some friends or family, some sweet tunes, and the wide, open road – what could be a better way to enjoy your car than going on a road trip? It would even be better if you were on a long, paid holiday leave from work so you’ve got all the time in the world to cruise by those long stretches of highways, take in the spectacular sights, and be swept away by your carefully selected mix of digital tunes. Only one thing could ruin this image: your car breaking down in the middle of the road.

Your car suddenly grinding to a halt in the middle of a lonely highway will turn your dreamy road trip into a potential plot for a “Wolf Creek” sequel. Don’t let your car “get in the way” of your road trip. Guard against car trouble by getting your car serviced at auto services.

Prepare for every road trip you take by making sure your car is in tip-top condition. Go over a checklist of things you need to get inspected. Start with the condition of your tyres. Get your trusted auto care services to check your tyres for wear and tear. Is tread wear too worrying that you’ll need to replace your tyres? Make sure to ask your car technician whether or not the distance you intend to travel might be too much for the current tread wear on your tyres. Do not take any chances.

While you’re at it, verify if you need tyre and wheel alignment service. Alignment creates safer, smoother rides and increases fuel efficiency. Also in keeping with safety on the road is the need to have your brakes checked. Maybe you need to replace your brake pads; maybe you need to get your brake fluid serviced. Whatever it is, have the technicians at auto service check your brakes.

Ensure a cool ride by preventing your cooling system from effectively rendering car failure. A cooling (and heating) system check could reveal weakened hoses, leaks, and worn out parts. Make sure that your reliable auto care service has the necessary equipment and the technical skill to perform cooling and heating services to every type of car.

Other auto services you need to include are transmission service (transmission problems can be costly and time-consuming to fix), exhaust system service (to avoid any dangerous leaks that may endanger you and your passengers), and the routine tune-up service.

The maintenance you do today won’t just potentially save you money at auto repairs in the future. The essential auto services you obtain will keep you driving on that long stretch of highway and get you to your destination safe and sound. So get your car checked and guarantee one enjoyable, dreamy road trip ahead.

Used Auto Parts – Affordable, Convenient, Practical and Popular

Owning a car is not just about a one-time purchase. Those who own one would definitely know what I am trying to say. Once the initial period of 3 to 4 years is over, the expenses kick in and this is the time when the manufacturer’s service warranty would also have lapsed. The truth is no matter how well you maintain your vehicle, at some point of time, there would always arise a need for repairs and auto-part replacements. This is because your car is just a machine composed of mechanical and electronic parts and all machines need maintenance and repair over a period of time otherwise they break down.

If you are practical enough in life, you would think that I am stating the obvious. But you might also be wondering what I am trying to arrive at. So here it is.

It does not matter what make, model or year your car belongs to. There can be a malfunctioning, worn out or damaged part prominent enough and you might still be thinking that your car is still new and proud of how well you have maintained it. But when that car breaks down in the middle of the road, it leads to the mother of all embarrassments. That is not all, I haven’t even mentioned the security risks, poor performance and constant relative deterioration of other car parts that can be instigated by a certain part failure.

After that stage, when it comes to repairs for damaged parts, the bills multiply and so do the service charges. This is the worst stage for a motorist. In this case, you have a few options available and it totally depends on you to choose the best one for your car. If you own a brand new car, it is better to seek help from your car manufacturer or dealer where you have purchased it. They can provide new OEM parts that will fit like a charm and make your car feel brand new again. The service might be free of cost but brand new auto parts are definitely not. In fact, brand new car parts are the costliest option available to you. But if your car is relatively old, would it make sense to install a brand new auto part? Definitely not unless money is not a consideration for you.

The competitive automobile market has thrown open another option and that is aftermarket parts. There are a lot of manufacturers that manufacture auto parts either under their own brand name or on behalf of some other car maker. The key is to ascertain whether an aftermarket part seller is recognized or recommended by your car manufacturer. If it is not, you might want to consider the fact that fitting such an aftermarket part in your car will void the car’s manufacturer-warranty. Also, cheap aftermarket parts may seem like a good option but these are not tested and verified to suit all car models. There may be a case that such an auto part can jeopardize the safety of your car and affect other original parts that are connected with it. Such parts may also not confirm to government laws and regulations in your state.

There are also some aftermarket-parts manufacturers who produce performance enhancing auto parts. But that would fall under the category of car customization since it is quite obvious that performance enhancing auto parts are costlier than even brand new OEM parts.

Then we come to the current trend in car maintenance and repairs, the used auto parts. Over the last couple of years, used parts have experienced a tremendous rise in popularity and there are sales figures to prove that. People are increasingly preferring used auto parts when they need replacement parts for their cars. There are a lot of reasons for this surge in demand, let’s understand some of them.

First things first, used auto parts are definitely the most practical cost-effective option. The reasons for that being, when you fit a used auto part in your car, it does not void any manufacturer-warranty since it is an original part made by your car manufacturer. There is no doubt about the compatibility of these parts with your vehicle since these are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer’s) parts. These are original parts that have been used before in another vehicle of the same year and model. Also, most used auto part sellers clean and test these parts before selling them.

It is a fact that used auto parts usually cost one-third of what the brand new ones do and they also come with a warranty and a quality assurance if you buy from an established seller. That is what makes this concept so popular. There are also some other benefits of buying used auto parts from major auto-parts stores. You not only get genuine OEM used auto parts, but you also get great deals online without even thinking about stepping foot in a junk-yard or a salvage-yard. You can view auto parts online, buy them and have them shipped to your doorstep free of cost at the click of a button. You can also compare deals online to ensure you get the best value for your money. There is also a dedicated customer support available and you can even call the seller to verify your order. Shopping for used auto parts has never been easier. There is a range of used parts available for your car and all you have to do is switch on your computer and search the internet.

If you are searching for a replacement part for your car, I am sure now you know how to get the best deal even without moving a muscle.

Future Visions of the Auto Industry and Automotive Advertising Based on What Was and What Is

Auto industry social networks all have different rules and protocols to create their unique identities in the auto industry and the inter-dependent automotive advertising industry. While there are differences in format, content and contributors they share the common goal to educate their community members by sharing best practices and insights with the concept that a rising tide floats all boats. To provide clarity and share my vision of the future of the retail auto industry and automotive advertising it must be framed it in the context of our changing geo-political and economic environment. Once the foundation of today is built on the broad picture of our world economy and politic, then the role of the Internet and related technologies can be applied to the one constant that we can all depend on — human nature — to help define tomorrow as I see it.

Any competitive business model must be built to accommodate tomorrow as well as today. Today is obvious. Sales volume, profit margins and inventory are down across all brands. Consumer confidence is falling as unemployment is rising even in the face of the expected temporary increase when the million plus census workers and various government employees — such as the sixteen thousand IRS agents to police our new health care system — are artificially added to the equation. Wholesale and retail credit lines are restricted by both natural business cycles and government intervention. Our economy is directly linked to the world economy along both monetary and political lines and the United States as well as our European trading partners are faced with excessive debt and unstable monetary systems. Our monetization of our debt — basically the fact that we loaned ourselves the money we needed to fund our growing debt by printing more money, since no one else would lend it to us — has insured the inevitable inflation of our dollar or some similar correction to our monetary system. This anticipated correction is already supported when observing the situation maturing in Greece, Portugal, Spain and other European Countries tied to the Euro and the International Monetary Fund, (IMF). No one has a crystal ball, so the only way to plan for tomorrow is to recap today’s critical issues that didn’t exist yesterday. It is these changes in — what was — vs. — what is — that will likely define — what will be and the actions that auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies must take to remain profitable and competitive in unchartered waters.

The current administration was voted in on a platform of hope and change with the expectation that the promised transformation of America would take place within the confines of our constitution and in consideration of our established belief in a free marketplace. The redistribution of wealth was understood by most to reflect the giving nature of the American people as a moral and sharing society. Unfortunately, the transformation began in ways that could not have been imagined by the majority that voted for it with an agenda that is only now coming to light. The inherited financial burdens on our banking system that justified the need for change were matured across Republican and Democratic party lines — as evidenced by the contributions of Fannie May and Freddie Mac to our mortgage crisis and the preferred treatment enjoyed by the unions, Goldman Sachs, AIG and other entities on Wall Street supported by the progressive political movement that is represented within both parties.

By way of disclaimer, I recognize that approximately 30% of our population believes in the collective — We the people — and the associated movement for the — workers of the world to unite — vs. the framers of the constitution that defined it as the individual — We The People — and the rights of the individual as a contributing member of the whole. That said, as the President has clearly stated, elections have consequences and I will attempt to limit my comments and future visions to only those actions that have or will have a direct impact on the auto industry and the automotive advertising agencies that are engaged to serve it.

The empowerment of the unions in the formation of Government Motors is already impacting the marketplace even while it is being challenged in the courts. The mandated consolidation of the retail distribution channels for General Motors and Chrysler preserved the interest of the unions over the guaranteed bond holders and independent dealers contrary to established rules of law. This precedence diluted expectations of both investors and corporations to rely on binding contracts and individual rights in favor of the collective we that our evolving society is expected to serve. Recent adjustments to the language in a variety of Federal powers have impacted previously accepted State and individual rights which must also be considered when projecting the future of the auto industry and automotive advertising — if not our country as a whole.

For example, the change in the definition of eminent domain from taking personal property — for public use — to the new definition — for public good — has already resulted in private and commercial property being taken at distressed market values and given to other individuals that promised a higher tax base to the governing authority based on their position that the additional tax revenue was for the public good. Similarly, the ownership of water rights in the United States has been changed from the previous Federal ownership of all — navigable waterways — to include — all waterways — such as ponds, surface streams and basically any water that the government determines can be used for the public good. The potential impact on the farming industry and our food supplies evidence a shift in government control of society that must be considered when projecting the future of any industry — including our beloved auto industry.

Given the government takeover of the banking industry, General Motors, Chrysler, Health Care and Student Loans that are now part of our history, the point becomes self evident. These single word changes and government takeover of entire industries for the public good dilute individual and corporate rights in favor of the rights of the collective. This is a basic step in the process of redistributing the wealth in accordance with Socialistic and Marxist principles. I am not judging the validity of any of these differing political philosophies since it would risk my ability to remain unbiased in my evaluation of present and pending opportunities in the auto industry. My intent is not to defend our previous constitutional republic over the shift to a Socialistic or Marxist democratic society, but rather to apply them when preparing a business model moving forward for my auto dealer / vendor clients and affiliated automotive advertising agencies.

For example, the recess appointment of Craig Becker as member of the five seat body of the National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB), suggests the intent of the administration to resume its push for the Card Check Regulation that is designed to facilitate unionizing all businesses in the United States. Recess appointments are an accepted practice used by previous administrations to bypass the Congress and the Senate to fill cabinet positions with individuals that are often blocked by partisan agendas. However, Mr. Becker was challenged in a bi-partisan manner based on his role as a senior attorney for the Unions including the CIO and the Service Employees International Union, (S.E.I.U), just before his appointment. The NLRB decides cases involving workers’ rights which directly impacts larger issues between Democrats and their labor allies vs. stated Republican party interests and those of the corporate world When coupled with the intent of Card Check regulation to eliminate the right of workers to a private vote to determine if a business can be unionized, the likelihood that retail auto dealerships will be forced to become union shops becomes a real possibility. The regulation also allows the government to intervene in the event that an employer challenges a union take over with a Federal administrator enforcing the union proposals as to wage and other terms and conditions of employment pending a final determination. Based on reduced sales volume, profit margins and increased costs of doing business the inevitability of these privately held dealerships collapsing under the financial weight of union demands is painfully obvious to any auto dealer that understands his cost of sales line items and their impact on his shrinking bottom line.

Similarly, the administration’s success in manipulating the processes in the Congress to pass its version of Health Care reform will increase expenses to auto dealers regarding insurance costs for their employees either in the form of forced coverage or penalties which must now be factored into projected operational expenses. These expenses may pale in comparison to other increases in the cost of doing business if the administrations’ next stated goal to enforce Cap and Trade regulations are passed. This legislation promises to raise the cost of electricity and other costs of goods in America on many energy related fronts.

For those not familiar with Cap and Trade regulations, think of it as a tax on carbon emissions that would be collected by yet another government controlled body to pay restitution to third world countries who have been breathing our pollution and suffering from its impact on global warming. Of course the same scientists that collected the evidence that global warming exists which supported this legislation have since reversed their position while confessing that they manipulated the data. However, that revelation has not slowed the administrations’ desire to move forward. In fact, they have empowered the Environment Protection Agency, (E.P.A.), to intercede and impose carbon taxes by claiming that carbon is a poisonous gas which they are authorized to restrict. Either way, the taxes will be imposed on American industry while other industrialized countries have already reversed their positions on imposing these same fees. This inequity in manufacturing costs will further reduce the ability for American manufacturers to compete in the world economy and will likely force the exit of many carbon producing industries to countries that do not impose these additional costs while taking their jobs with them.

Itemizing — what is — vs. — what was — has little value other than to cause panic when people realize that there is little that they can do to reverse the changes that they voted in. However, if properly framed in a problem solution format it can provide an opportunity for those that accept — what is, forget — what was, and work towards — what can be. Now comes the good news!

The solution to surviving the promised redistribution of wealth from the perspective of auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies lies in their use of technology to reduce and even eliminate certain fixed and semi-variable expenses. Brick and mortar facilities are often financed with mortgage terms and/or rent factors that were based on now dated real estate values and anticipated sales volume and profit margins to carry the debt service. The commercial real estate bubble of over one trillion dollars coming due over the next eighteen months with no current resource of funds to replace maturing commercial mortgages promise to exasperate already reduced equity positions for auto dealers. The related unsustainable debt service demands a change in the ways that vehicles are sold in the United States; can you say Internet!

Similarly, current staffing needs are often related to processes that are labor intensive. The associated human resource expense and exposure is based on a business model that is antiquated in the face of potential union intervention and government controls; can you say Technology!

Tax consequences resulting from LIFO credits that impacted auto dealerships who could not maintain inventory levels projected in their annual computations due to issues beyond their control are eliminating annual profits. As a direct result of all of these cumulative issues, even captive lenders are balking on maintaining floor plan credit lines or real estate mortgages. Minimum working capital requirements for auto dealers faced with reduced sales, profits and equity to present as collateral for much needed financing has severely limited dealer options to acquire funds to maintain operations.

As already hinted, the solution lies in shifting the focus form brick and mortar facilities to new online virtual showrooms and other Internet based applications that provide more efficient selling processes. Of course real world facilities for sales and service are still part of the projected solution as are the people that will be required to staff them. All processes start and end with people and human nature has and will survive on the Internet. However, the allocation of these resources and the associated expenses must be reduced in the face of the changes already in place as well as those being contemplated to accommodate our new role in a world economy.

Today’s car sales person must be educated to use new technologies and Internet based selling systems much like previous generations needed to be trained with the skills of a mechanized society versus an agricultural one. Computers are already an integral part of our culture so the transition shouldn’t be as hard as some may perceive. Similarly, large central distribution channels that used to provide efficiencies for manufacturing and retail outlets have been replaced by more cost effective online linked resources across the World Wide Web that reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses in a shared manner that didn’t exist before the Internet Super Highway.

Consumers have already been empowered by the Internet to bypass the auto dealer in both the real and the virtual world as the source for the information that they need to purchase a vehicle. Seeking the path of least resistance to satisfy a need is an established element in human nature. An auto dealers ability to accommodate their customers preference to be in charge of their vehicle purchase will be the key to their survival now and in the future. Online customer interaction platforms already allow a dealer to accommodate a two way video communication with real time interaction with the online shopper/buyer sourced from data on the auto dealer’s DMS and linked to their CRM. The transparency of this negotiation process allows the dealer to crash through the glass wall of the Internet with the ability to push and pull the same material that they can at their dealership. The result is the opportunity to accommodate an online transaction with the inevitable ability to reduce staff and facility needs in the real world along with the associated expenses and increased profits.

Social networking is another technology based solution that capitalizes on human nature which promises to change the face of the auto industry and the resources available to automotive advertising agencies to help their auto dealers sell more for less in the future. Consumer centric inventory based marketing platforms fueled by social networking communities that provide word of mouth advertising to virally extend the auto dealer’s branding and marketing messages represent the next generation of applied social media. C2C marketing messaging to social networking communities from the inside out vs. the now dated attempts to market to online communities with B2C messages from the outside in builds on established protocols in social media. Next generation platforms promise to monetize social media for automotive advertising agencies with integrated Ask-A-Friend / Tell-A-Friend features that allow online shoppers to solicit opinions from friends and family. Customer driven posts on their Face Book page drags the dealership and their vehicle into the conversation with the obvious advantage of the increased exposure and the associated viral coefficient to extend their message and online footprint for potential customers linked to the initial online shopper. Google agrees as evidenced by their weighted consideration of real time social media which quantifies the R.O.I. for the dealer with improved S.E.O. for the sourcing dealer’s expanding virtual showroom.

Other technology based solutions that improve online marketing processes converts the pictures on an auto dealer’s web site to professional quality videos with human voice placed on the auto dealer’s site, all third party marketing sites and even the search engines through a dedicated API with You Tube — further evidence the ability of auto dealers to expand beyond the limitations of their brick and mortar facilities and in-house support staff. Extended social networking platforms which allow an auto dealer to empower their sales staff to develop their own websites to market to their spheres of influence with management controls to moderate content and monitor use to prevent employee abuse exist today with the promise to be more widely used tomorrow to build the vision of what will be in the face of a challenging economy.

To extend my vision for the auto industry beyond the technologies that exist today requires a similar understanding that expenses and staff need to be consolidated beyond current expectations. Limited resources for consumers to purchase, finance and/or lease their vehicles won’t eliminate their need for transportation. Future financial instruments that are a hybrid of a lease and a rental agreement could allow consumers access to a pool of vehicles in a convenient central location where their Drivers License could act as a key and a charge card to apply charges against pre-paid transportation credits deducted by their employers and controlled by the government to track personal activities and location along with socially accepted consumption of our limited resources. I recognize that the big brother flavor of that vision may seem foreign in the context of what was and is, but we are talking about what will be based on the new collective society that our country has moved towards.

As for the role of the OEM and the auto dealer in the future, it would be reasonable to accept that the government’s existing control of the auto and banking industry will extend into the energy industry which will set the stage for the government determining which vehicles could be manufactured and/or imported and placed into the transportation pools with the locations determined by public transportation hubs that link to local distribution centers. The government currently owns 51 % of all real estate in the country through their mortgage interests in Fannie May and Freddie Mack and the pending commercial real estate bubble promises to shift a great deal more to public control. In addition. the government has recently changed the funding available to both organizations to be considered unlimited with the full faith and backing of the United States Treasury. That action coupled with the previously stated changes in eminent domain and the fact that millions of acres of resource rich land was recently acquired by the government to build additional — national monuments — suggests that land will be made available as needed to accomplish this community transportation system for the public good. Of course government employees will be needed to manage and staff these transportation hubs which would likely represent the auto dealer of the future.

Simply put, my future visions of the auto industry and automotive advertising is built on the past and the present with a recognition of what will be if we continue on the path that we have already chosen. I assume the constant of human nature and the role of technology in our evolution to date with the expectation that neither will change. Of course, there are consequences to elections so I suppose that I should update my projections after November, 2010 and the presidential election in 2012. In any case, the movement from the real to the virtual world has already started and will surely continue so that part of the vision should remain clear.

Various Types of Car Repair Insurance Policies For Your Dream Car

When shopping for car repair insurance, it is important to note that there are many different types of policies. In order to get the best bang for your buck, you should take various factors into account. For example, what make, model, and year is your car? What kind of coverage are you looking for? What is the main purpose you would like to achieve by having car repair insurance? The informed consumer always does their research first. Initially, the buyer looking to buy insurance needs to consider the following:

Different Types of Auto Repair Insurance:

Automobile Liability – Liability auto repair insurance is actually available in two forms. You can purchase bodily injury liability or property damage liability insurance. These two types of car repair insurance are pretty self explanatory. Body liability insurance will cover any bodily injury (car passengers) only so while it is lumped in as a “car insurance”, this would not cover any car repairs. Property damage liability insurance would cover damage caused to your car as well as any public property that is damaged in the case of an accident.

Collision Insurance – Collision insurance covers the damage repair to your car when you collide with another car or even an inanimate object. This is not for “general repairs” needed to your car however. This insurance would only come into play if you “hit” something with your car, whether it’s another automobile or some kind of object / property. Regardless of the collision, this type of insurance will cover the repair (or replacement) of your car, even in the case of severe accidents such as a rolled vehicle. Collision insurance is one of the most common types of car repair insurance because it has a wide coverage blanket, meaning many more type of repairs are covered under this type of a policy.

Comprehensive Insurance – Comprehensive insurance covers solely repairs for damages that could have been incurred due to an elemental damage. This means any damage caused by another driver or the owner of the vehicle would not be covered. However, elemental damage would include any damage caused to the car from water, hail, vandalism, theft, animal collision, wind or fire. This coverage will cover any “natural” accident that is not caused by a car on car or car on inanimate object collision.

When deciding between types of policies, it is important to weigh your options and take all the aspects of your daily life into consideration. For example, if you live in an area that is prone to extreme weather conditions; comprehensive insurance might be a good idea. However if you live in a mild and stable climate, it might be a better idea to opt for a different more appropriate type of car repair insurance. Choose the best option for you and your family based on your location, car, and budget. Remember though, if you do spend just a little bit more money to get the best car repair insurance money can buy, then you will at least be safeguarding yourself against any unexpected accidents or unforeseen circumstances.

Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica

“My time’s limited… how do I choose?”

Car rental is a hot topic for vacationers headed to Costa Rica. Recent research conducted by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) indicates that, after accommodations, renting a car is the largest expense, averaging $702 for an eleven-day vacation.

The Internet is buzzing with negative reviews discussing overcharging, poor customer service and mechanical breakdowns. You might have even written one yourself!

A typical midsize (3 – 4 adults) 4X4 rental runs between $58 and $65 daily with third party insurance and rates can vary as much as 20 percent among car rental companies, so reading a quick review will be time well spent once you calculate the savings.

So the question is; which rental company offers the best balance of fair price, capable customer service and reliable vehicles? I’ve researched it all for you, so keep reading!

Disclosure: This research was conducted in May – July 2013. The following companies were selected because they are the most widely used in Costa Rica. Some are local companies; others are international franchises of recognized brand names. Comparisons include: customer service, pricing and the reservation process. The companies are listed alphabetically and not based on personal or online preferences.
Consider this information before renting:

Insurance

One of the biggest causes for complaints is from the stack of unforeseen charges presented to the renter once standing at the rental company’s counter. Vacationers are typically tired after a long flight and then are confronted by costs that were not anticipated, explained or budgeted.

Topping the list of grievances is the non-disclosure of fees associated with the mandatory third-party insurance at the time the reservation is made.

According to Costa Rican law, every driver is required to carry liability coverage to insure against injuries to third parties. Car rental companies generally refrain from disclosing the cost of this policy in the quoted rental rate to appear more competitive. Mandatory third-party insurance can sometimes be as much as double the vehicle’s rental cost. The only guarantee against insurance confusion is to inquire if your estimate includes the third party insurance and insist on a written quotation.

Cost of Mandatory Insurance (also called Third Party or SLI)

Expect to pay between $12 and $15 daily for this insurance, depending on the make and model of the rented vehicle and the rental car agency. This is a legal condition of your rental agreement and is generally not covered by credit cards and cannot be waived. It’s a fact of renting a car in Costa Rica.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

As the name suggests, this isn’t insurance, but a waiver, which relieves the renter from any liability for damage to the rental car after the deductible is paid (usually from $750 to $1,500). Some agencies require renters to purchase their CDW policy; thereby negating any credit card program. For an additional fee, many agencies do offer a zero liability option where the renter will be freed from paying for any damage to the car. Some companies may put pressure upon renters to purchase the zero liability coverage; however, it is entirely optional, unless it is in the fine print of their rental agreement.

Credit card insurance programs may cover the CDW for a rental vehicle. Check with your chosen rental car company to find which proof of insurance is needed and then request that from your credit card company prior to arriving. If you use your credit card’s CDW policy, expect to pay a higher deposit on the vehicle; around $1,500 to $2000 is common. The higher deposit ensures that the credit card holder has enough financial reserves to cover damages if needed. It is important to consider that if using CDW coverage provided by a credit card (in lieu of the rent a car operator), all damages will be billed to the renter’s credit card. The credit card company will then reimburse the card holder for damages.

More Insurance

Tires and windshields are rarely included in insurance policies, although additional policies may be taken out for covering these frequently damaged items. Neither the interior nor the underneath of the vehicle may be covered. Always read the fine print.

Standard Procedure

Your credit card will be charged, or a ‘hold’ placed, for the rental vehicle during the time of the rental agreement; i.e. from picking up the rental until you return it. Debit cards are generally not acceptable.

Additional Charges

Most companies have surcharges for additional drivers, car seats/boosters, cell phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof racks. The costs vary from company to company, but since these extras are billed at a daily rate, it is worth checking the total cost — additional options can add up very quickly! A GPS is around $8 to $10 per day; however, some operators may offer discounted units. Expect to pay around $5 daily for a child seat and a few dollars a day for all the other ‘niceties’. Vamos is notable for offering most of these options and, during some promotions, even the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Budget, Hertz and National charge the most for such additional options; whereas the other companies listed, charge more reasonable prices.

Surcharges

Most companies add small incremental costs, such as license plate and environmental fees, into the total tally. Be wary of operators who insert these additional charges into the small print of the rental contract. Vehicles rented direct at the airport incur airport taxes, which are a whopping 12% of your rental cost!

The rental vehicle should be returned with the same amount of fuel, unless otherwise indicated. If not, companies may charge above gas station rates for missing fuel.

Vehicles

There is a debate over the vehicles supplied by rental companies: Older cars allow the driver to blend in more than a shiny, new car. Having an older model may have the indirect benefit of being less scrutinized by car rental agencies for recent nicks and scratches, unlike a newer vehicle. However, a newer vehicle may be more roadworthy. This debate carries on into the different vehicle makes and models. Generally, Costa Rican firms are able to rent their vehicles for a lower rate because their cars are typically three to five years old (versus two to three). Online reviews would suggest that the local firms have no more complaints concerning vehicle quality than transnational franchises; research on forums, such as TripAdvisor.com, seems to indicate that customers frequently appreciate driving a less-than-new vehicle through the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are plenty, from road conditions to the notion of less-then-new vehicles blending in better — a newer vehicle may draw more unwanted attention.

The choices of rental cars in Costa Rica are mostly limited to makes and models that maintain a competitive resale value, are a common brand in the country, and are inexpensive to maintain. As such a rent-a-car operator’s fleet tend not to be as diverse as the United States. Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Hyundai constitute the mainstay brands of most rental fleets.

Sometimes, drivers are charged for supposed ‘damages’ to the vehicle upon return. Once receiving the vehicle, renters should meticulously check for pre-existing flaws and compare it with the vehicle inspection document used by the rental car representative. Some renters suggest photographing or videoing the vehicle from all angles, to avoid any disagreement between pre-existing and recently damaged items.

Pricing

Car rentals in Costa Rica are pricier compared to other countries. Duties on vehicles are high (as much as 50% of their value!), parts are costlier and unforgiving road conditions contribute to higher wear and tear, generating higher maintenance costs.

The rule is you get what you pay for — there are other options than those rental companies listed here, but they are not listed for a good reason. They simply fail to offer basic customer service and/or a suitable vehicle condition required for a (nearly) trouble-free vacation.

When comparing rental car charges, it is best to go directly to the Costa Rican website of the rental car company, rather than trying to use their international format or an intermediary (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak, et al.). For the same vehicles and reservation dates, the rates offered by the respective international vs. Costa Rican websites for Alamo, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty differed substantially.

To avoid confusion, print out all correspondence with the car rental company with whom you have reserved a vehicle and bring this to the rental office with the quote given at the time of reservation.

The following top ten chart ranks the companies from highest priced to lowest and it includes the mandatory insurance charge. In the cases of Alamo and Hertz, the figure contains their CDW fee as it is one of their rental requirements. This price comparison is based on a week’s rental of a Daihatsu Bego, where available (Dollar offers the Suzuki Vitara) from September 14th – 21st, then again in December to view both Green and High Season rates. The list quickly demonstrates that the price variation depends greatly on the company — for basically the same service. These prices were obtained in June/July 2013.

Rental Car Companies Ranked According to Price

September

10. Alamo $650.96
9. Hertz $514.27
8. Adobe $449
7. Budget $455
6. National $428.01
5. Thrifty $421.05
4. Service $374.43
3. Vamos $370.30
2. Dollar $364
1. Wild Rider $350

December

10. Alamo $650.96
9. National $597.51
8. Hertz $566.52
7. Budget $555
6. Dollar $532
5. Thrifty $506.58
4. Service $494.43
3. Vamos $461.30
2. Adobe $459
1. Wild Rider $395

Alamo ranks number ten for both seasons, making it the most expensive company. Budget, Hertz and National also rate low on the scale for economical rental options.

Company Summaries

Adobe

Website is clear and easy to use, but pricing and even the vehicles listed are not the same as those given by an office representative over the phone. Mandatory insurance costs are not shown with the list of vehicles and rental charges, but they are clearly displayed on the following page as a customer moves towards booking a reservation. Mixed customer reviews online. Email response is less than 24 hours, but may not provide all requested information.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Live Chat.
10 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $19 daily
Additional charges: GPS $9/day, child seat $5/day

Alamo

Website is clear and easy to use, but prices differ against quotes received over the phone. Mandatory insurance costs are not given with the list of vehicles and rental charges, but they are clearly displayed on the following page as the customer moves towards making a reservation. Mixed customer reviews online. Email response is less than 24 hours.

No toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number or Live chat
14 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $11.95 daily, but must also take their CDW at $12.95 daily
Additional charges: GPS $12/day, child seat $6/day

Budget

Website is basic, but easy to use. Prices online differ to the quotations given by a representative over the phone and depending on whether the international or Costa Rican website is used. Mandatory insurance costs are given along with the list of vehicles; however, the other charges are not listed. Mixed customer reviews online. Email response is more than 24 hours.

No toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Live Chat on Costa Rican website.
10 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: included in the listed price
Additional charges: GPS $10.95/day, child seat $12/day (the most expensive of the top ten)

Dollar

Website is clear and easy to use. Prices quoted differ if calling from the U.S. or in Costa Rica. Mandatory insurance costs are not given with the list of vehicles and rental charges, but they are clearly displayed on the following page as a customer moves towards a making a reservation. Mixed reviews online, but generally receives positive feedback. Email inquiries answered within 24 hours.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Live Chat.
3 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $16 daily
Additional charges: GPS $9/day, child seat $5/day

Hertz

Website is clear and easy to use. Mandatory insurance costs are not given besides the list of vehicles and rental charges, but they are clearly displayed on the following page as the customer moves towards a booking a reservation. Mixed customer reviews online. Email response less than 24 hours.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number and Live Chat (although it seems to be permanently offline)
7 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $17.43 daily, but their CDW is also a requirement
Additional charges: GPS $12/day, child seat $2/day

National

Website is clear and easy to use. Mandatory insurance costs are not given along with the list of vehicles and rental charges, but they are clearly displayed on the following page as a customer moves towards making a reservation. Mixed customer reviews online, but more positive than negative. Email response less than 24 hours.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number. Live Chat.
22 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $25 daily (the most expensive of the top ten)
Additional charges: GPS $12/day, child seat $6/day

Service

Website is clear and user friendly with just a slight confusion in that an online quote is obtained by clicking on ‘Reserve Now’ and not the ‘Get a Quote’ option. The response to a phone inquiry was to use the website. Mandatory insurance costs are given along with the list of vehicles and rental charges for the low season charges and on the second page of the other quotation page. Remember is a highly recommended sales representative who is mentioned in many online reviews for the high level of his customer service. Generally online reviews are positive for Service. Email response is less than 24 hours, although all information requested may not be received.

U.S.A phone number, but not toll-free. No Live Chat.
5 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $15 daily
Additional charges: GPS $5.99/day, child seat $2.99/day

Thrifty

Costa Rican version of the website is impossible to use and you are asked to register for a user name and password. Mandatory insurance costs are not given along with the list of vehicles and rental charges. A customer has to click on “Protection Options” on the U.S. website and select the mandatory insurance by clicking on it — implying that it is optional and not a required cost. Thrifty tend to receive mixed reviews online. Email response is more than 24 hours.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number. No Live Chat.
4 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $19.99 daily
Additional charges: GPS $10/day, child seat $5/day

Vamos

Website is clear and easy to use. Mandatory insurance costs are not given along side the list of vehicles and rental charges, but are clearly displayed on the following page as the customer moves towards booking a reservation. Anibal, a representative, is frequently mentioned in online reviews for his high level of customer service skills. General Manager, George Schwarzenbach is known on Trip Advisor for his upfront and honest responses to customers’ posts.

In recent years, Vamos has received very positive reviews online. Email response is less than 24 hours. Live Chat has instant response time to inquiries.

Toll-free U.S.A and Canada phone number. Live Chat.
3 offices nationwide
Mandatory insurance: $11.95 daily
Additional charges: GPS $8/day, child seat free

Wild Rider

Website is clear and easy to use. Mandatory insurance costs are given next to the list of vehicles. Wild Rider is the only car rental firm in Costa Rica with no visible bad reviews online. Owner, Thorsten, is often praised for his efficiency and customer service, despite the very limited resources the company has at hand. Emails receive very prompt and detailed responses in less than 12 hours.

No toll-free phone number or Live Chat
1 office — no Liberia airport office
Mandatory insurance: included
Additional charges: GPS $8/day, child seat $5/day

Comparison Review

Customer Service

Vamos and Wild Rider respond quickly and efficiently to email or live chat inquiries. Adobe, Alamo, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Service respond to email inquiries in less than 24 hours, but Adobe and Service did not provide all the information requested (possibly a language barrier). Budget offers a free phone service, but it appears to be always busy. Hertz’s live chat appears to be constantly offline. During the past year, customers who posted to online review sites expressed a particular satisfaction with the customer service offered by Service, Vamos and Wild Rider.

Clarity

Adobe, Alamo and Budget have different rental prices posted on their websites than those quoted over the phone. Telephone prices were lower than that quoted on the website in the cases of Adobe and Alamo, but yet higher in the case of Budget. Adobe also offers different vehicle models over the phone as compared to their website. International car rental firms with both a Costa Rican and international website appear to have pricing differences between the two sites.

Budget and Wild Rider include the mandatory insurance in their rental prices, but Budget states that ‘other charges’ which will be presented at the counter in the small print on their website. Rental prices for car seating had to be verified on the phone as they are not listed on the Budget website.

All other companies with the exception of Thrifty (a U.S. website), clearly show the mandatory insurance cost with the quotation given. Thrifty’s Costa Rican website is simply unusable.

Pricing

Service, Vamos and Wild Rider consistently offer the best rates for both Green and High seasons, although Dollar has one of the lowest Green season rates available, while Adobe has a cheaper High season rate. Vamos offer the best “all inclusive” rates, given that most options are offered for free.

Adobe, Dollar, Service, Thrifty and Wild Rider remain competitive with their pricing of items such as child seats. Alamo, Hertz and National are the most expensive companies to rent from and their additional option costs are also more expensive.

“So, what’s your rental recommendation?”

Overall, the Costa Rican companies seem to trump the multi-nationals with better pricing, service and clarity.
Service offers a generally high-level of customer service and fairly competitive pricing at both international airports.
Vamos can offer efficient booking and continued high-level of customer service with competitive pricing, as well as free additional options at both SJO and LIR airports.
Wild Rider is very highly rated for a rental with clear and economical pricing and excellent customer service, but they are only in San Jose.

“Now you’re ready to book your rental car after seeing how the competition compares. Good luck and happy travels!”

Junk Car Removal Services: Lucrative Way to Bid Farewell to Scrap Cars

Are your still wondering if it is the time to call a junk car removal company?

Well, you should call a reliable scrap car removal company, when any one of the below situations is true:

- Your car has a very low trade-in value

- Despite repeated repairs, your car is not working well.

- The vehicle has been in an accident and declared a total loss.

- When you think of selling it, you hardly find any positive points to sell it for a substantial price.

- Your car has become a stationary object.

There are many important benefits of hiring scrap car removal services

- Get a good amount of cash

It may come as a surprise, but your useless car can fetch you a handsome sum. The junk car removal companies will always find something worthy of attention in your piece of junk. In fact, these companies have numerous uses for your car.

They can repair and reuse the broken-down parts of the cars. In case, your entire car has turned into scrap then too, you should contact a junk car removal company. It will save you from being duped.

These companies have experts, who can find multiple utilities for your car and quote a suitable price, accordingly.

If you try to sell your car to a scrap dealer, then you will get the price of scrap and not of the car.

- Sell any model from anywhere

A junk car removal company will never be choosy regarding the make of the car. Other alternatives like the towing companies have a definite list of models of cars that they tow. In case your vehicle does not belong in the list, then they will refuse you out rightly.

Moreover, towing companies do not have the expertise or equipment to work under challenging situations. For instance, if your scrap car has been parked for long and is stuck in debris, then a towing company may not be able to help you.

On the other hand, a junk car removal company is well equipped with work force, and the latest technology to deal with every situation.

It will reach your junk car and tow it away. When you call them for fixing an appointment, they will ask you what the destination of the car is. Provide them with the details. Then, just wait for them to arrive and help you in getting rid of the scrap.

You may have the latest model or an old one, if your car is not living up to your standards, then it is time to call the junk car removal company.

- Fix timing at your convenience and receive prompt services

When you have decided to sell your junk car to a company, you can enjoy the liberty of carrying out the transaction any time you want.

Yes, being the owner of the car, you are free to decide the timing of its pick-up. The scrap car-removal companies are very particular regarding timings.

- Environment-friendly option

The junk car removal companies adopt an earth-friendly approach while getting rid of the junk cars. A trash car pollutes the environment by releasing harmful gases. The companies ensure that every car that it has picked goes through several levels of checks.

During the process, all the parts, which can be reused in any form, are extracted and recycled. Only those parts, which cannot be put into use, in any form, are taken to the junk yard.

Thus, by opting for a scrap car removal company, you are saving the environment and helping in keeping your surroundings clean and healthy.