Monthly Archives: February 2011

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Harley Builds 3-wheel Motorcycles – Harley Magazine Review of the 2009 Tri-glide

The rumor mill never seems to slow down when it comes to Harley-Davidson and its future bikes. I guess that kind of passion and curiosity is what drives the MoCo. The rumor of a factory Harley-Davidson trike making a comeback after more than three decades is true. The new Tri Glide Ultra Classic will be available at your local Harley dealer in limited numbers as a 2009 model. 

Let’s start with what the machine is and isn’t. It is a genuine Harley-Davidson covered by a full factory 2 year warrantee. It is manufactured by Harley in association with Lehman Trikes of South Dakota. It lists for $29,999 (in the US) and is available in the 48 contiguous US states and Canada. It is well engineered, looks good and is a blast to ride. It isn’t a warmed over Lehman trike. I don’t know why this project was internally nicknamed “Boomer” but it was, and now you know.

What’s involved in riding a trike verses a bike? Well, let’s just say that they are exactly the same only different. Quite different. Same throttle, clutch, shifter and brakes. But the handling is more like a car because trikes don’t lean, they steer around turns. So get used to pulling on one side of the handlebars and pushing on the other through the turns. And, thanks to all the extra weight out back, you’ll have to slip the clutch a bit more and give it a bit more throttle coming off a stop than with a bike. Plus you can keep your feet on the floorboards all the time, even at a full stop. And always remember that your machine is a lot wider than a bike, even a bagger, when going through narrow spaces. And just because you missed the pothole in the road with your front tire doesn’t mean you’ll miss it with your rear ones. And. . . well you get the idea. Trikes and bikes are simply different.

Out on the road the Tri Glide is impressive. I have ridden several old and new trikes over the years and feel this is the best of the breed. Superior handling, a healthy power train and top notch fit and finish – and this was on a pre-production model! The low and high speed handling is more neutral than I expect from a trike. I suspect the purpose-build frame and specific fork geometry and rear suspension has a lot to do with that. Once you get used to slipping the clutch slightly from a dead stop and push/pull steering on the handlebars, riding the Tri Glide is a blast. I predict these machines will sell out quickly with a waiting line once word is out on how much fun they are.  Anyone who has ridden a two-wheel motorcycle will quickly take to the Tri Glide and will be confidently cruising the highways and slicing through zig zag turns on back roads in no time.

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In our discussions with Harley’s marketing and engineering staff we heard how the main goal for the Tri Glide was “to extend riding access” which we took to mean extending the riding season (trikes handle better in snow, ice and rain than bikes do) as well as making people more comfortable riding a stable three-wheeler than a less stable two-wheeler. The Harley staffers told us their target customers tend to be more experienced riders.  One of the senior people confided in us “A lot of people who try a Tri Glide for the first time are pleased and surprised with the ride.” After we put some miles on one we have to agree,

Unlike any other current model Harley-Davidson that I am aware of, the host portion of the new Tri Glides are built on a new assembly line in the York factory. It is then shipped to the Lehman factory in South Dakota to be finished. From there, the complete machines are shipped to Milwaukee where they are forwarded on to the dealer network. When we asked about the relationship between Lehman Trikes and Harley-Davidson we were told that Lehman is actively involved in the process, but the Harley Tri Glides are quite different than Lehman’s own Ultra-based trikes. While the Lehman version uses a modified stock Harley FL frame and one-piece rear body section, the Tri Glides use unique, purpose-built frames and separate rear body sections and fenders. Harley assured us the current association with Lehman is not based on a buy-out or a joint venture. Harley views Lehman as a supplier.

OK, so what else is unique or unusual about the Tri Glide? We have already touched on the specific-to-this-model frame with increased fork angle and less trail for better steering effort. It has an electronic hand control to activate the optional electric reverse motor. The front forks are longer than those on the two-wheel Ultras and have an external steering stabilizer for a more consistent ride.

The front wheel is a 16 inch hoop, the rears are 15 inchers. The wheels and brake rotors all match. Machines with this much weight need good brakes, and the front dual Brembos are up to the task.  The 103 cubic inch engine mated with a heavy duty police-style clutch offers sufficient power to get down the road quite smartly. The Tri Glide has a unique transmission case and rear mounts are also different from the stock Harley Ultra two-wheel version. There is a standard oil cooler to help keep engine temperatures down, and the new for 2009 mufflers compliment the modified header pipes.


The Tour Pak is rated for up to 30 pounds of cargo, and the trunk, featuring hidden hinges and a lockable latch, can handle an additional 50 pounds in 4.3 cubic feet. We like the rear fenders are separate from the trunk and attached to it. Typically the trunk and rear fenders on most trikes are built as one unit making repairs or replacement quite expensive. 

Apparently Harley management had been considering the possibility of adding a trike to the line-up for some time but there were many issues to deal with. These included safety concerns, marketing options, and manufacturing challenges. When we asked about the stability of a Tri Glide in various real world riding conditions, one of the Harley engineers responded by saying they designed it with several goals in mind. “We wanted it to slip” he said, “before it would tip.”

2 critical measures the trike had to pass were the lane change maneuver at highway speeds, and the steady state turn (in tight circles at increasing speeds). The trike accomplished both with room to spare. Harley management ok’d the project when they realized the Ultra-based Tri Glide can go faster and corner harder than a stock Harley Ultra motorcycle “so we felt a comfort zone there.”

All the 2009 Tri Glides will be based on Ultra Classics. But Harley isn’t saying whether this might change in the future to expand across other models using V-Rods, Dynas or Sportsters as the base. However, given the fact that Harley considers the Tri Glide a new separate model platform, I’d bet there are more variations in the works. Personally, I’d like to see a water-cooled V-Rod powered trike.

Harley is planning on building only 2500 Tri Glides for 2009 in three color options – Vivid Black, Dark Blue Pearl or Red Hot Sunglo, and plans are for them to be available in Harley dealerships in August 2008. MSRP is $29,999, which is significantly less than a similar Lehman Harley Ultra, and the Tri Glide comes with a 2-year factory warrantee. Want one? Better get your name and deposit to your dealer ASAP. They are going to go fast.

Interested in learning more about Harley motorcycles, from Sportsters to Softails and touring FL motorcycles? Check out motorcycle bulletin board and Harley forum, run by American Iron Magazine, where this article was first published.

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Best Selling Cars In India

In the recent years there are so many new car models entering the Indian car market. It has become very difficult for the buyers to choose a car when they plan to buy. There are many options for a car buyer. For instance in small car segment one can find so many options like Alto, Maruti 800, Chevrolet Spark, Hyundai i10, Santro, Zen Estillo, etc. So with so many options in the market the buyers are confused what to opt for. People keep buying new cars and replace old ones due to the floating economy, higher replacement demand, better market penetration, easy loans and even low interest rates. These factors lead the consumers to go for newer models.

In the recent times, there has been good number of sales in the country. A few decades back it was only the Premier Padmini, Ambassador or Contessa that were ruling Indian roads. However, today one can find ample number of cars. One or the other day there are new-car launches in the market. Today we can find cars from the cheapest car Nano-yet to launch to Mercedes Maybach. The aggressive competition offered way to pioneered marketing tactics and new tactics, assisting the consumers in a big way.

Some of the Top five cars from the Best selling Lot

Little Wonder Alto

Most well-accepted Alto was launched in the year 2004 and this compact car vroomed the Indian roads. This is another stable car from Maruti after the successful Maruti 800. Alto grabbed the attention of Indian buyers. There was good and cheap finance that increased the sale of the Alto.

Now the cute Alto is available in six models. All that it needs to do is maintain a safe place in the Indian roads and continue to give the best shot to the country. The main factor leading to enormous sales is the less maintenance cost and easy to drive on Indian roads.

Popular Tata Indica

The car that has changed the destiny of Tata Motor’s is the Indica. It is one of the 3rd best selling cars in India. Indica was actually rolled-out in 2000. However, the sales were not up to the mark. So finally they upgraded version of Indica V-2 (Version 2) was launched in 2001 and won millions of Indian hearts. Then came Vista with latest addition impressing every one. The attractive hatchback made a noteworthy place in the Indian market. The years passed by and the car craving increased. This car is very successful in the cab segment. Many cars are being used as cabs because it offers good mileage and easy to handle and drive in cities.

Elegant Honda City

The first Honda City was launched in India in the year 1997. The sedan became an overnight best-seller in the market. It is one of the best fuel-efficient cars in the mid-size segment. One can sense that Honda City was wholly manufactured for India and proves to be a typical Indian city car. The car comes with good performance, spacious interior, sporty look that has caught the Indian audience. It also came with the 2nd generation Honda and finally it has arrived with the third generation Honda City.

Honda City is completely designed to astound and stun people. This car has also bagged to be one of the best selling and well-accepted sedans in India.

Smart Hyundai i10

Hyundai i10 has been one of the successful car and has made a good history in Indian roads. The cute car was launched on October 2007. The compact hatchback has made a remarkable pace and within such a less span of time it has been one of the fastest selling cars in the country. The car sales and demand for it is growing tremendously in India. It is designed with a host of attractive features and is said to be one of the best selling cars in Indian roads. Later i10 was upgraded with more powerful engine and rolled out i10 kappa.

The car offers a stylish look and also provides good mileage in city roads as well as highways. The demand for it is not only in domestic market, but also in the overseas market.

Sporty Maruti Suzuki Swift

Swift has made a successful journey on Indian roads. This brawny car was launched in 2005. Today it has become one of the best selling cars in the country. The unique compact hatchback offers the best driving experience and the demand for this car is increasing day by day. Even before the launch of the Swift, the bookings were in huge numbers. In addition, many of the consumers had to wait for a couple of months to get this seducing compact car.

With so many new launches the Swift plays an important role in the market and proves to be the best selling car in the country.

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Car Insurance – Tips on Getting the Best Car Insurance Rates

Times are hard and we need to economize on many things. However, our cars are essential to our lives and our jobs. We don’t want to fret about high car insurance costs but car insurance is mandatory both for legal reasons and for our own peace of mind. It’s not something we want to skimp on. However, there are ways to minimize the costs of our auto insurance without compromising the quality of he coverage. If you think you’re getting the cheapest car insurance for your needs right now, you may want to reconsider after reading these tips on getting the best car insurance rates.

The first thing to do is to take stock of your individual situation and that of your vehicle to see if there are any ways to get a reduction in your auto insurance rates.

For one thing, if you are a member of the armed services, you are eligible for a military discount on your auto insurance rates. Also, if you haven’t been involved in any accidents for a number of years you can apply for a safe driver discount. And if you just use your car to commute to work, you could apply for a lower mileage discount. Some insurers recognizing that the less your drive your car, the less likely you are to have an accident will offer such a discount.

Another thing you can do to get lower rates is to take a defensive driver or driver education course. These courses are recognized by insurance companies and you’ll soon recap the cost of the course through lower insurance premiums.

Next there’s the matter of your vehicle. Some insurance companies offer discounts on insurance for vehicles with certain safety features such as air bags, anti lock brakes, automatic restraint systems, and automatic daytime lights.

By doing such an inventory on yourself and your vehicle, you can make sure you’re taking advantage of any discounts that insurers might be offering.

However, the most significant savings in car insurance you can make are those that come from getting your auto insurance online. Not only can this kind of comparison shopping get your the best rates, you can also be sure that the companies involved are reputable.

The procedure is very simple. You visit the web site an insurance comparison company and enter your zip code. You will then get a list of companies in your area that can provide you with a range of car insurance quotes. You can choose one or all of these companies. Simply fill in the usual details regarding home, vehicle and driving history and you will be presented with a range of quotes from local car insurance providers. You can then compare these to decide on the most suitable offering for you. These sites also provide contact information where you can ask more questions.

By comparing car insurance quotes online in this way you can save yourself a lot of time and effort compared to contacting local insurance companies individually. It also beats calling companies up on the phone and having to give out all your details over and over again. By comparing online, you can be sure you’re getting the lowest insurance quotes for your state. However, don’t forget that price is not the only factor you should take into account when getting insurance for your car.

One important thing to remember when comparing auto insurance rates is that the cheapest quote doesn’t necessarily represent the best value. When you get your auto insurance quotes, consider what the policies actually cover. You need to think about the types of coverage offered, what is covered (and what is not), the coverage amounts and deductibles. And be sure to check the policy exclusions section of the document.

You also need to inquire about each company’s process for filing auto insurance claims. You need to be sure about the procedure and the length of time involved in handling and processing any claim. Should you be involved in a car accident, it’s comforting to know your insurance company will handle things in an efficient and timely manner.

Using an auto insurance comparison site is the easiest and most comfortable way to find out what rates and policies are being offered in your area and thus being able to get real value in your car insurance.

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Car Insurance Tips for International Students

When you are an international student studying in the US, it can be a bit confusing with the new culture and possibly even a new language. Often the simplest things can be difficult to get the hang of. Things like car insurance can be a whole new challenge when you aren`t familiar with the process or the rules.

If you`ll be driving in the country you plan to study in, you will want to have car insurance. Most students are on a budget anyway and having to deal with the cost of an accident, no matter how minor is usually a big dent in the budget, particularly if you were at fault.

- Look for a car insurance provider that doesn’t penalize international students. Many companies will insist on a minimum of 3 years US driving experience in order to qualify for lower rates and higher coverage. Since the majority of international students have little or no experience driving in the States, they will end up paying more for less coverage. A very few insurance companies will count foreign driving experience and offer lower rates and deductibles.

- While liability is the minimum requirement by law, it`s a good idea to find out how much more you`ll pay for collision insurance, as well as comprehensive. Liability covers your passengers or property that you damage in an accident, collision will cover repairs to your vehicle if you crash, even if the accident was your fault. Comprehensive insurance is meant to help you recover your financial losses if the vehicle is stolen or destroyed by means other than a car accident. Read more articles Auto Insurance Quotes FAQ Progressive Online Auto Insurance Quote- Free Related Guideline For Us Auto Insurance Automobile Insurance Q&A Tips on How to Find The Best Canadian Life Insurance Company Online

- Keep the age of your vehicle in mind. Older cars usually aren`t worth insuring for anything more than liability, since you would be better off replacing the vehicle than repairing it in most cases. Newer cars will need to be insured for more since it`s usually far cheaper to repair them than buy a new vehicle. The general rule of thumb is that a car older than 1989 should carry liability only.

- Look for fixed rates. Some car insurance companies will let you sign up for 6 months or 12 months, where your rates will not go up, even if you have an accident during that time. Obviously, the longer the term, the better.

- Make sure you have an up-to-date international driver`s license. This will allow you to drive both in your home country and in the US. Most international students have no need for an American driver`s license, so an international one should be fine. Just be sure that it is good for at least six months after your stay ends so you`ll be able to get the best car insurance possible.

- Bring all paperwork that could be necessary with you when you apply for car insurance. You`ll need proof that you haven`t had an accident in the previous 18-36 months for the best rates. All driving related paperwork will help you out when applying for car insurance and can drastically cut the waiting time, as well, since you won`t be trying to get your papers from your home country.

Car insurance for international students might be a bit tricky, but it mainly comes down to doing some research to find which companies will give you a break, even if you haven`t been driving in the States for the past three years. The prices and amount of coverage should be fair and not hiked up just because you are only temporarily in the country.

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Car Insurance Quotes For 18 Year Olds

There are possibly many reasons why you are currently searching online car insurance quotes for 18 year olds. Are you presently paying too much every month and now you have decided to take action by searching elsewhere for better car insurance quotes for 18 year olds rates. This is apparently a major problem and it is important for you to take care of this as soon as possible.  I can’t blame you for needing to look elsewhere for a better car insurance company that will give you the rates that you deserve.

There are plenty of people out there just like you that have decided to take action because they are unsatisfied with their car insurance company.  Usually bad customer service is enough to force anyone over the edge to start shopping for a better car insurance company.  As a longtime paying customer you have every right to get your money’s worth when it comes to car insurance.

After all, you have been a loyal customer to your auto insurance company for quite a while now.  And you know that you can’t up and just cancel your auto insurance right away because by state law you have to have car insurance coverage at all times.  You know that you can’t go a day without automobile insurance.  If a police officer happens to pull you over today you know that if you do not have car insurance coverage you are going to have some hefty fines to deal with. Since it’s so important to have auto insurance every month and you can go a day without it you might as well get the best rates that you perhaps can get.

By looking online you will have the opportunity to get the best rates and get a better car insurance company that will meet your insurance needs.  You can start saving money as soon as today by taking only five minutes of your time to get the best car insurance quotes for 18 year olds rates possible from the auto insurance providers available to you.

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Hybrid Cars Advantages and Disadvantages

Hybrid cars are considered as the car of the future. It is able to effectively conserve fuel and at the same time, it only produces low levels of toxic fumes. Because of these benefits, hybrid cars are now growing in popularity every single day. Many people are now considering getting rid of their conventional cars and purchase a hybrid car to help in cutting fuel consumption cost.

Hybrid cars have two engines for it to effectively conserve fuel consumption. It has the traditional gasoline engine and it also has an electric motor and batteries. The two engines work together in order to cut fuel consumption. With this technology, you will be able to cut fuel usage by more than half. Just imagine, with a hybrid car, you will be able to go more than 60 miles to the gallon. With this kind of savings, hybrid cars are definitely the car of the future.

Hybrid car owners virtually do not feel the increasing cost in fuel prices. This is the main advantage of the hybrid car. There are other advantages that a hybrid car can give you. Recently, the President of the United States has signed an agreement that hybrid car buyers will be able to enjoy tax incentives. This means that by owning a hybrid car, you will be able to save money on taxes. Read more articles Hybrid Electric Car: A Promising Technology for a Promising Future for the Environment Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid Cars 11 Exclusive Disadvantages of Hybrid Cars! The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Cars

There are other benefits that the government imposes on hybrid car owners, such as free parking, and free entry to car pool lanes. Some even offer discounted fees on toll gates.

The braking in hybrid cars is also configured to capture the energy released and uses it to charge the batteries inside the hybrid car. This means that unlike electric cars, hybrid cars do not actually need to be charged from your home electric outlet.

However, with all the advantages that a hybrid car can give you, there are also disadvantages. The main disadvantage of hybrid cars is that the retail price is quite expensive. Only people who have enough money can purchase hybrid cars. However, the twist in all this is that hybrid cars are actually cheaper when compared to conventional cars in the long run. If you compute the total fuel consumption of both cars, you will actually see that you can save a lot more money on hybrid cars.

The only thing is that hybrid cars are expensive right from the car lot.

Hybrid cars are relatively heavy because of the heavy batteries installed inside the car. This is why hybrid car manufacturers integrates smaller internal combustion engines and are constructed with light materials and should be aerodynamic in order to maximize efficiency. This means that hybrid cars can never really go fast.

Another issue about hybrid cars is that it is very risky in accidents. What makes a hybrid car work effectively is also what makes it risky if it ever gets involved in an accident. This is because hybrid cars stores high amount of voltage in its batteries. This means that there is a high chance of getting electrocuted when you get involved in an accident. This also means that it is relatively difficult for rescuers to get the drivers and passengers out of the hybrid cars because of the dangers of high voltage in the car.

These are the advantages and the disadvantages of hybrid cars. Car manufacturers today are now looking for ways to get rid of the disadvantages of hybrid cars. In the near future, you will see that hybrid cars will be lighter and also contains less risk due to high voltage dangers.

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Car Insurance for Your Toyota Hybrid Car

When buying brand new cars, there are a lot of things to consider besides the sticker price. Not the least of your concerns should be car insurance costs. Surprisingly, less than 10% of people who purchase new vehicles consider insurance expenditure. For instance, what if you were on the market for a Toyota hybrid car?

Sure, hybrid cars (vehicles that are powered by both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor) are good and all but are you fully aware that they may cost more than the average car when it comes to insurance? So before you buy that Toyota Prius, Camry or Highlander, consider the following points.

• Easy on thieves’ eyes. Hybrid vehicles are quite popular today, often with long waiting lists in several cities. This also means they are major targets for thieves – as what usually happens with anything seen as different, desirable or new. Insurance firms perceive a higher probability of theft as a good likelihood that you’ll be filing a claim. To offset this scenario, insurers charge consumers more.

• Size matters. Smaller cars generally cost more to insure since there is a greater chance of injury in case a vehicular mishap occurs. Minimal or limited crumple zones suggest less protection, particularly when it comes to head-on collisions. As such, insurance firms will think that they’ll be forced to pay out a liability or medical claim with such cars.

• Pricey fixes. Toyota hybrid vehicles (or any hybrid car for that matter) cannot be repaired just anywhere by a regular mechanic. They need to be returned to the dealer, especially if the drive system is affected. The insurance outfit interprets this as a greater cost on their part in the event of accidents happening. Even areas where there are trained mechanics to work on hybrid cars, no off-brand parts are yet available for fixing the power system. Although OEM parts are usually covered for hybrid cars, replacing them does not come cheap.

The good news is that even if all the factors mentioned above lead to higher car insurance premiums for hybrid car owners, there are also plenty of credits and discounts that you might be qualified for. Here are some examples.

 Discounts for considerable driving experience or clean records. If you have at least a decade of being behind the wheel, and good driving record at that, then you may be qualified for a discount.

 Good credit begets credit. If you have a good credit score, then chances of getting a good car insurance rate are higher.

 Home-car discounts. Are you a homeowner too? Save money on auto insurance by putting your car insurance and homeowner’s policies under one provider.

Owning a hybrid vehicle is seldom about the money. Most people consider it as a deliberate and conscious choice to be more earth-friendly. Still, knowing about potential related costs or expenses never hurts.

Auto insurance premiums can significantly add to the yearly cost of owning a car. If you’re thinking of owning a Toyota hybrid car, do look at the pros and cons in detail.

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Car Insurance Best Rates

Saving money on car insurance requires a combination of techniques that improve your insurability, decrease the rate of insurance for your vehicles, and provide you with a unique advantage when it comes to purchasing car insurance.

This article will outline seven techniques that will ensure that you receive the lowest possible car insurance rates.

1 – Choosing the Best Insurer

Cost is certainly one factor when considering car insurance, but your insurer selection should be weighted more heavily on reliability. You could easily call a number of insurance companies, ask for quotes, and simply select the lowest bidder. However, even if the lowest cost insurer saves you hundreds of dollars a year in premium payments, that savings does you no good if you find yourself in an accident, needing car repairs or medical attention, with an unreliable and unresponsive insurance company. A good company is crucial. It’s not just about car insurance best rates.

#2 – Customize Your Policy

Before you begin calling around, it’s important that you determine the level of insurance coverage you need. Not everyone’s insurance needs are the same. Some families own two or three very expensive vehicles, while other families own only older used cars. Some people are members of AAA, while others are not. The specific terms of a policy should be determined by your life situation and the value of the items being insured.

#3 – How to Become Highly Insurable

Whether you’ve already purchased car insurance, or you are getting ready to start looking, one of the best things you can do to obtain the lowest possible rates is to improve those things that car insurance companies look at when they calculate your insurance premium. There are several things you can do in the short term to improve your insurability standing, and there are also things you can do over the long term to improve it as well. This section will describe four major elements of this technique to save money on your car insurance.

#4 – Reduce Your Car’s Insurance Rate

Another extremely effective technique to obtain the lowest possible insurance rate is to improve those things about your car which car insurance companies value the most when they calculate your insurance premium. There are several things that you can do before buying a car that will dramatically decrease your insurance premium. If you’ve already bought a car, however, and are looking for ways to decrease your existing insurance costs, there are still methods you can use that will substantially cut your premium costs.

#5 – Gaming the System

In addition to all of the techniques already listed in this article, there are also additional ways that you can use the insurance industries rating rules and premium calculation system in ways that will reduce your costs. Again, use the industry’s rules to get car insurance best rates.

#6 – Constantly Update Your Policy

One of the most important things that you can do to keep your insurance premium at a minimum is to always remember to update your insurance provider of any changes in your life that can reduce your insurance costs. Forgetting to do this can be very costly.

#7 – Deciding on Liability Only

There comes a point in the life of a car when the decision needs to be made whether or not it is worthwhile to maintain collision and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Getting Rock Bottom Insurance Rates

If you carefully follow each of the sections outlined in this guide, you are guaranteed to receive the lowest possible insurance rates for anyone within your calculated risk bracket. No one should ever overpay for car insurance – especially given the fact that there are so many insurers in the industry competing for your business.

Most people overpay for car insurance out of sheer laziness. However the consumer that understands how car insurance works, and is clever enough to take advantage of all of its loopholes, will save significantly on their premium in the long run.

Before you step foot into another insurance office, or visit another insurance website, make sure to print this guide and follow it carefully in order to ensure that you get the best insurance deal possible. Remember, car insurance best rates are achievable.