The Top 20 Coolest Fictional Vehicles of All Time

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Think about your favorite iconic fictional cars from movies, television and other forms of pop culture. What makes them special? What is it that makes them different than any other car on the road? Sure, some of these cars look the part, but the real reason these cars are considered iconic is the fictional features hidden under the hood. You can’t get an MSRP for a 2015 Dodge Avenger with rockets and laser cannons, and you certainly can’t read an Edmunds car review of a VW Beetle with a personality of its own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t let your imagination run wild and envision yourself behind the wheel of them. This infographic features 20 fictional cars, their unique fabulous features and the MSRP or cost of these cars if you were to buy one (sans features) today.

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Tips to Resell Your Vehicle

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Part of the rhythm of being a driver is to own, then sell, then purchase, then sell… you get the picture. Make life a little easier for yourself and read these vehicle resale value tips for how to get a great resale of your car. First of all, though it may be too late for the car you are currently looking to sell, know that from the moment you buy a car, you are prepping it for resale down the road. Care for it thoroughly, maintain it regularly, and keep organized records of service.

Vehicle resale value

But let’s talk about the car that you own right now. Do you want to sell it yourself? Typically, this will put the most money into your pocket, but it certainly comes with a few hassles that you may be happy to pay someone else for. Maybe you want to bring it to a dealer and trade it in? Some states offer tax benefits when you choose to do this. Regardless of how you sell it, the question remains, “How can you get the best vehicle resale value and experience from the resale of your vehicle?”

Most Important To Remember When Aiming For Highest Vehicle Resale Value:

Above all, remember that first impressions are all that many people have to go on. Some would-be purchasers have done research on the car (your car) that they are about to evaluate for purchase. But most are not car experts; they will go on their first impressions of how the car looks, smells, sounds. Have it professionally washed, detailed and waxed. Money spent on this will easily be recovered in a higher sale price. Have minor scratches buffed. Do any repairs and maintenance that you can- get an oil change, top up fluids under the hood, pump up tires. Take time to get it ready for showing. Be sure to answer emails and messages promptly if you are trying to sell your vehicle. Consumers like customer service.

Get a fair sense of what your car is worth before listing it. Be honest about the condition it is in. Car Buying Strategies is an excellent resource for getting started on this. It’s a repository of helpful car buying and selling information. You’ll resell your car at a competitive price when you’ve done good research.

When you write up a listing, be choosy with your words. Every word, especially in your title, should count. Use keywords that you know buyers might be searching for- sedan, great condition, low mileage. Don’t just list the year, make and model but also any extras such as whether it has any added equipment or special features that you have added to it. Give details that may become an issue because you don’t want to surprise a potential buyer with it when they come to view the car- for example, if there is mentionable wear and tear. Be succinct and honest about the car. Describe what you’ve enjoyed about driving and owning it. Is it great for families? For an active lifestyle? The ideal commuter car? This will help draw an appropriate, interested buyer. Take good quality photos, in suitable light, and lots of them- inside and out- but especially of things like the body of the car, trunk, side-view of interior. Market it online for a broad audience. Putting out an ad in local hard copy print materials won’t hurt either.

Check with your insurance company to make sure that a test drive by a stranger is covered. When the potential buyer shows up to see the car, have paperwork ready, in case the car is the right one for them. Contact the DMV to be certain that you’ve got the right information on the paperwork. If going on a test drive with the potential buyer alone is uncomfortable to you, feel free to invite someone else along. If all goes well, you’ll get to the actual transaction. Accepting cash is never a good idea; a certified check is the best way to go about it. The more paper trail you can leave, the better. Make sure that you save a copy of it for yourself!

It takes time to resell a vehicle well, to make sure that both parties get a fair deal. Take the required time, don’t be afraid to ask some experts for advice on it, and you might even find it an enjoyable and empowering experience!

Auto Repair: Service by Dealership or Local Mechanic?

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It’s a question for which there is no single, best answer- only the best one for you. Whether you should or shouldn’t get your your auto repair performed at the corner repair shop or at a dealership depends on several factors. Only you can answer that question.

Auto Repair

At a dealership, the technicians (aka, ‘mechanics’) are trained for and experienced in working on the car that you bring to them- in so far as the mechanics aren’t fresh out of their schooling. That being said, a privately-owned auto repair shop is usually staffed with mechanics that have experience over years of working in different shops (often got their start in a dealership) on a wide variety of car makes and models, and they have expertise on what’s under the hood of a vehicle. They could be a one-stop shop for your family’s vehicles of multiple makes.

An experienced auto repair mechanic is not just a parts-replacer, but can diagnose a vacuum leak just by the sound he is hearing; he or she is familiar enough with the specific mechanics of the parts in a vehicle to know the interchangeability of older parts with newer versions of the same. Regardless of who services your vehicle, make sure that they are certified to do so. It is perfectly fine for you to poke around a bit and ask about certification and extra training.

Specifically, look for some of these standards of auto repair certification:

  • Automotive Service Excellence, “ASE”
  • AAA (or CAA, in Canada)
  • NAPA Autocare
  • Better Business Bureau, “BBB”
  • PPG Certification
  • Parts Plus Car Care
  • I-CAR
  • AIA (in Canada)

As far as figuring out what’s wrong, access to electronic diagnostics is par for the course at a dealership. It helps a mechanic more quickly figure out which specific valve or sensor or (insert trouble car part here) needs replacing. The equipment is micro chipped for different makes and models and a mechanic simply needs to insert the chip required for the specific car being worked on. This diagnostic equipment is expensive for the local mechanic; however, many are choosing to purchase them as part of the increasing overhead costs to remain competitive with the service that a dealership can offer.

At a dealership, mechanics use original manufacturers’ parts. These genuine parts- usually kept in a centralized dealership for cost and ease of storage- are ordered and delivered as they are needed. Hopefully for you, that can happen quickly. However, more and more dealerships do not carry parts in an inventory, so it is not uncommon to have to leave your car at the dealership shop for a few days, waiting for a specific part to arrive and be installed. The other option is to take your car home and make a second appointment once the part comes in. The original parts used by a dealership are more expensive, but usually of higher quality. A local mechanic, on the other hand, has the option to order (and have same-day, express-delivered!) parts from a local parts store, as he or she is not bound to using original, genuine parts. A corner shop mechanic can choose to use ‘jobber’ parts that have been refurbished and are available at a much cheaper price.

Knowing your mechanic may or may not be critical to you, but for some people it is. At a dealership, there is no guarantee that your car will ever be worked on by the same person twice; whereas at a local, smaller shop, the mechanic can get to know you, as well as your car and its quirks, with consistency.

Generally, the costs at your local mechanic shop are a bit higher; they have a higher overhead costs, and mechanics working there tend to be paid a higher hourly rate. At a dealership, money often comes from your pocket and into perks like shuttles or loaner cars, technician training in proprietary information and skills for new yearly models, plus a comfy waiting room with a fancy coffee machine. Again, if you feel that what you pay is buying dependable service and quality work, that is what answers the question for you.

Loyalty is, perhaps, the biggest part of the answer to our question. Ultimately, a driver will take their car to a mechanic or shop that they trust. If you have been bringing your vehicle to a dealership while under warranty for all maintenance and repairs, and find that the customer service is consistent and reliable and the cost is justified, then by all means, let that loyalty lead you. Other drivers might choose a local repair shop simply because it means that they can also get to know their car’s mechanic, not just the front-desk guy.

Regardless of where you get your car maintained and repaired, the important thing is that you get it done. Replacing the timing belt regularly isn’t just something a garage tells you so that you’ll come in and spend your money. Getting frequent oil changes means far more than a new sticker on your window every once in a while. Make sure to do your homework by checking out wherever you are considering. Ask around… word of mouth turns out to be a pretty reliable indicator of the quality of work and service that any shop can provide to its customers.