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March 26, 2012

Tips for Taking Car to College

Taking Your Car to College by Cameron Stone

Tips for Taking Your Car to College

by Cameron Sloane

When you’re deciding what to take to college, one of the most important things to figure out is whether you’ll need a car. Having a car in college offers a lot of conveniences: You won’t have to rely on public transportation or ask friends for rides, so you’ll be able to come and go as you please. But before you head off to campus with a car, here are a few things to consider. 

Parking on campus
If you’re going to live on campus, find out what your college’s student-vehicle policy is. Colleges often don’t allow first-year students to bring cars on campus.

If you are allowed to bring a car to your college campus, find out what parking options are available. You’ll probably need to get a parking permit, so make sure you budget for the cost. Also, familiarize yourself with – and follow – your college’s regulations for parking on campus to avoid tickets.

Sharing your car at college
You’ll probably make friends who didn’t bring a car to college. Before the situation arises, think about whether you’re willing to lend your car or give them rides. If you don’t want to share your car or drive your friends around, you can offer to take them along when you’re already making a trip somewhere. Thinking through these scenarios before you take your car to college will help you avoid being put on the spot and making a decision you aren’t comfortable with. [Full story]


October 28, 2011

How to Choose Best Driving School for Your Teen

How to Choose a Reputable Driving School for Your Teen

Driver's Ed Alone is Not Enough to Keep Your Teen Safe

Choosing a driving school for your teen can be a difficult decision. Use the following tips to find a reputable driver’s education course to help prepare your teen to get behind the wheel.

Get recommendations
If your teen’s high school doesn’t offer a driver’s education course, ask if they recommend a local driving school. Also check with friends, family and neighbors to see if they have recommendations for a first-rate driving school. Contact your state’s department of motor vehicles for a list of state-certified local schools.

What to look for
Look for a driver’s education course that encourages parent involvement. Some schools invite parents to attend the first class and provide regular updates on your teen’s progress throughout the course.

Find out if the driving school offers supervised lessons on a variety of road types and driving conditions so your teen can gain behind-the-wheel experience driving in different situations.

Ask about the condition of the cars your teen will be driving: Are they regularly maintained? Are all safety features in working order? Do the tires have good tread left on them?  Full story here.

October 25, 2011

Dad is Becoming Carpool King

2012 Chevrolet Traverse Dad-Mobile

National survey finds majority of fathers active in driving kids to and fro

As children across America head back to school, a new survey commissioned by Chevrolet finds that many fathers in America are taking more of an active role in before-and after-school carpooling duties, with utility vehicles the preferred choice of dads over minivans.

An online survey conducted by Harris Interactive® showed that 80 percent of fathers in the United States with children age 17 or younger take an active role in daily family life, with more than 70 percent driving their kids to school, daycare or extracurricular activities.

But in the evolution of carpooling, the study also showed that both drivers and their vehicles have changed. While moms may prefer minivans for their sliding doors, more than half (58 percent) of the dads surveyed prefer to do their business, personal and leisure shuttling in a family hauler that doesn’t question their masculinity. In fact, survey results demonstrated that fathers gave their current family vehicle a 6.4 “cool” rating on a 10-point scale. Full story.

October 05, 2011

Teach Your Teen to Budget for Car Expenses

Teach Teen How to Budget for Car Expenses 

By Mollie Jones

Getting a driver’s license is an important milestone in any teenager’s life. Before that day comes, be sure to teach your teen smart money habits with our car budgeting tips.

Determine income
To budget for car expenses, your teen should figure out how much he is earning on a monthly basis. Include all sources of income like money earned from a part-time job, babysitting and allowance.

Define expenses
Have your teen write down all his monthly expenses like lunch money, clothing and entertainment. To budget for a car, figure out for which auto expenses your teen will be responsible for, like monthly car payments and gas. If you haven’t yet chosen a specific car to save up for, use the Internet to research average car prices to use as a guideline.

Calculate the monthly budget
Have your teen add up all the expenses to see if he’s earning enough to pay for all his expenses plus a car. If his income exceeds the car budget and other planned expenses, all he needs to do is stick to the budget. If the expenses are higher than income, he will need to prioritize what he wants to spend money on.  Teach your teen to keep receipts from all transactions and subtract those amounts from their monthly budget amount to stay within the budget during the month. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

September 16, 2011

5 Ways to Save on Teen Auto Insurance

5 Ways to Save on Teen Insurance

by Mollie Jones

If you have a teen driver in the family, you know teen insurance rates may be higher than for experienced drivers. However, there are ways to control teen auto insurance costs. Consider these five tips to start saving today.

1. Make sure your teen is driving the right car
The type of vehicle your teen drives can affect teen auto insurance premiums. For example, a brand new car may be more expensive to insure than a used one; its replacement cost is higher than most older vehicles and may be more prone to theft. However, older cars may be lacking several important safety features, such as side airbags, to keep your teen safe on the road – and earn them a safety discount on their policy.

2. Practice smart driving habits
An accident-free driving record can help keep your teen’s insurance rates reasonable. Help your child drive smarter by creating a teen driving contract. In the contract, outline specific driving responsibilities, privileges and consequences, like curfews, number of passengers, and when they are responsible for filling up the car with gas.

3. Raise deductibles
You may want to consider higher deductibles in exchange for lower teen auto insurance rates. Keep in mind that while your teen may pay a lower premium, they will have to pay more out-of-pocket if they’re in an accident. READ ALL

September 15, 2011

Free Pocket Ranger App Powered by ParksByNature Network

Pocket Ranger App Powered by ParksbyNature Network

Have you thought about visiting a State Park? These parks are often within 50 miles from home, making it easy for visitors to come and go as they please.

ParksByNature Network is working with the Government to Save the Parks by marrying today’s technology that is often used to navigate through our days by bringing The Sanctioned and Approved Mobile Tour Guide to enhance your visit.

Pocket Ranger™ apps are offered in a “FREE” and “purchasable” Pro-Enhanced version formatted for Apple and Android devices.

These tour guides also translate into a universal mobile website for each participating state park system, making Pocket Ranger extremely accessible for everyone to use. With its innovative features, Pocket Ranger™ enhances a visitor’s experience before, during, and after an outing to a state park.  These guides deliver to users hundreds of maps, real-time location-based weather conditions, park overview, park history, calendar of events, reservations, photo sharing and social networking capability through today’s popular sites.

Did you ever lose child in a park? Well, the Friend/Family Finder feature can help reduce this problem. Users can sync their devices to locate and keep track of one another. Full story

September 14, 2011

Is Your Car College Ready?

Vehicle Maintenance 101

Brought to you by Car Care Council

It’s easy for college students to remember to get new clothes, school supplies and dorm and apartment furniture, but what about preparing the car that’s going to haul all that stuff? The Car Care Council reminds students and their parents not to overlook Vehicle Maintenance 101.

“Making sure the college-bound vehicle gets a passing grade will give both the student and their parents peace of mind for the drive back to school and the first semester of bombing around,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It’s always a good idea to inspect a vehicle and have any repairs done near home, at a familiar repair shop”.

The Car Care Council recommends that the following items be checked before hitting the road:

•  Tires and tire pressure
•  Hoses and belts
•  Air filters
•  Wipers
•  Exterior and interior lighting
•  Fluid levels, including engine oil, power steering, brake, transmission, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant

In addition, a 21st century tune-up should also be performed, which includes inspecting the following systems: battery, charging and starting; engine mechanical; power train control; fuel; ignition; and emissions. To learn more, view the Car Care Council’s “21st Century Tune-Up” video. MORE INFO

August 24, 2011

Car Games for Kids

Fun Car Games for Kids of All Ages

by Laurel Smith

Time flies when you’re having fun - the miles fly by too! You can make a long family car trip seem a lot shorter if you have fun with your kids along the way. Plan ahead with a few car activities, and making the journey can be as much fun as the destination. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Make a Trip-Journal or Scrapbook
Give everyone a big spiral bound sketchpad and a box of crayons or markers. Each day of the trip or for each event along the way, draw a picture of what you did that day, or draw a map of where you went, and write about it. You can also paste in souvenirs.

Get a Good Songbook With All the Lyrics
It surprising how many songs you think you know, but you don't really know all the words. Have a singing marathon and learn the old classics by heart.

Give Your Kids an Allowance for the Day
Tell them that this money is for snacks, treats, souvenirs etc. Help them learn to budget their money and make good choices. More Tips Here.

August 19, 2011

Teaching Students How to Travel on a Budget

Teaching Students How & Where to Travel on a Budget

Top 10 Student Getaways and Tips on How to Save

With the summer winding down, many college students are gearing up for the year ahead. Taking a break to shake off the stress that comes from all-nighters and dining hall “food” is not only essential but can be done within a student budget with tips from’s guide on How To Travel on a Student Budget. And, whether you’re in need of a weekend away to detox before exams or a spring break packed with parties - err, culture – we have suggestions. Our list features affordable getaway ideas for a long weekend break, spring break, winter break or the summer holidays. 

Below are four student getaways from our Top 10 College Student Destinations from each of the vacation categories.

  • Over a long weekend … Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - As a college student, it’s important to get your money’s worth without spending an arm and a leg. Niagara Falls can satisfy that for cash-strapped youth. Cheap hotels by the Falls abound, and you can move around town easily on foot, as many of the attractions are within walking distance of each other. Pack your weekend with visits to the Falls and Marineland Theme Park, where you’ll get your fix of seafaring animals like dolphins and killer whales – combined with the thrill of amusement park rides. The drinking age is 19, so a visit to the Fallsview Casino – and Dragonfly Nightclub after – is an absolute must. READ MORE

July 26, 2011

The Cost of Human Life from Texting While Driving

Cost of Texting While Driving by Keith Jensen

By Keith Jensen, CMO of Plymouth Rock Assurance

Distracted driving – particularly, using a cell phone while driving – has unfortunately emerged as the most dangerous habit of drivers across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 6,000 people died on the roads in 2009 at least in part because of the use of electronic devices such as smart phones and cell phones. I’ve seen this dangerous behavior first hand here in Massachusetts, where, for example, several subway trains experienced crashes as a result of conductors using their phones while operating the trains, resulting in at least one fatality and multiple injuries.

Drivers who text are distracted, slower to respond, cannot watch the road carefully and do not have full control of the vehicle. In fact, many states including my home state, Massachusetts, have passed legislation that completely bans texting while driving and eliminates all cell phone use for younger drivers. I’m glad to see that many lawmakers are more informed about the real dangers cell phone use poses to drivers, passengers and pedestrians.  Emphasis is put on safety first by passing the bill into law.

I wanted to share with you a few tips that are helpful in avoiding distracted driving behavior.  While it is imperative that you completely avoid using your cell phone while driving altogether, these tips will make you aware of the other forms of distracted driving that will remove your attention from the road.

[Full story]