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                After filing taxes and getting the return, the next move is to decide what to do with your refund. Some choose to add the amount into saving, while others make a purchase. The most popular purchase that is made is a vehicle. Since it is tax season, using the refund as a down payment helps in the long run.

More and more people are buying used vehicles over new ones. There are many incentives to buying a used over a new vehicle. It helps save money on insurance, registration, taxes and depreciation. Vehicles today are very reliable and so it just makes sense to go the used route.

Buying a vehicle can be very stressful for everyone. At A&J Collision Repair, we want to help make that process easier. There are several steps that can be taken to ensure the purchase of a vehicle is a good one. Some steps that can be taken prior to even stepping onto a car lot would be to: set your budget, choose the right vehicle, check reliability and ownership costs, locate good used vehicles, price the vehicle, check the vehicle history report, contact the seller, go on a test drive, negotiate the best price, and close the deal. These are all important factors to consider since a vehicle is a big purchase for anyone.

Setting the Budget

When purchasing a vehicle there are only two ways to purchase it; paying cash or taking out a loan. If paying with cash, that makes budgeting simple. However, it is best to not spend all the contents of the savings. There needs to be money set aside for registration and insurance. If using a loan, it is best to put 10% down and finance the vehicle for three years.

Choose the Right Vehicle

The most fun part, picking your vehicle. It is important to take inconsideration what the vehicle will be used for. Narrow the field by making a list of must have features. Based on that list, search for models that will fit your needs best.

Check Reliability and Ownership Costs

Every used vehicle is different. Some have gone more miles than others and some have more wear and tear. It is best to pick a vehicle known for dependability. While some cars are cheap to buy, they may have issues in the long run because of maintenance and repairs.

Locate Good Vehicles

There are lots of websites that list used vehicles. Each site has its own character. Go with that best fits your list of needs.

Price the Vehicle

Once there are several models of vehicles chosen, look up their price. This can be done through several vehicle model pricing guides found online such as Kelly Blue Book and NADA. When doing this make sure to include the year, make, model, options (such as navigation), mileage, and condition level.

Check the Vehicle History Report

It is good to run a history report on the vehicle before ever going to see it. Running the report only requires the VIN number. This is to make sure there is a clean title, any serious accidents, and if there was regular maintenance done on the vehicle.

Contact the Seller

By calling the seller, you will get a lot of questions answered and it will save you some time. A few basic questions to ask are: how many owners have there been, are the service records available, do you have the title and is it clear, can I have the car inspected by a mechanic?

Test Drive the Vehicle

Until now the vehicle has not been driven. When you go to test drive make sure to drive on various roads, (hills, rough pavement, curves and a stretch of highway), that way you can feel how it drives on all road types. You will want to pay attention to the following: visibility, acceleration and cornering, brakes, ergonomics, mechanical condition.

Inspect the Vehicle

If the vehicle drives well and seems to be in good condition, it should still be taken to a mechanic. Here at A&J Collision Repair, we offer a free pre-purchase inspection. You can bring a vehicle that you are hoping to purchase, and we can inspect it for you. We will look it over and make sure that all components are working properly.

Negotiate the Best Price

This part of buying a vehicle always stresses people. If you have done the proper research, this will be a piece of cake. When offered the price compare it to the average market price. It is up to the seller to either accept your offer or make a counteroffer.

Close the Deal

Before taking ownership of your vehicle, add it to your insurance. Then, you will only need to pay for the vehicle. Make sure to get the title and have the seller sign it correctly. Once the sale contract is signed, the vehicle is yours. Take time to review the contract and do not let yourself be pressured into signing it just to get it over with.

Emily Patterson

Receptionist, A&J Collision Repair

1215 Thomas G Wilson Dr

Conway, AR 72032

501-327-1882

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In recent days, there are reports of individuals posing as car insurance agents trying to sell fraudulent policies at dealerships. This statement was released by Arkansas Insurance Commissioner, Allen Kerr.

He stated that these complaints were received from Progressive Insurance about people posing as Progressive agents. These individuals were attempting to sell policies to consumers looking into purchasing a vehicle.

Progressive Insurance has referred roughly 240 initial cases of alleged fraudulent insurance that was sold and have sent it to the Arkansas Insurance Department for investigation. The company stated that the individuals frequented the area dealerships presenting themselves as Progressive agents, offering services to assist car buyers in getting insurance online. These policies were purchased by paying cash to the individual at the car lot.

The fake agents would then go online to purchase a Progressive policy using a checking account. The individuals would then claim the transactions as fraud, lending to a return of the purchase and rescission of the policy.

Arkansas Insurance Department encourages consumers who may have been victims to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 866-660-0888.

The Commissioner reminds Arkansans that people who sell or are in possession of a false, fake or counterfeit insurance policies or insurance identification care may be charged with committing a fraudulent Insurance Act, which is a Class D Felony that carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Information source:

www.insurance.arkansas.gov

Emily Patterson

Receptionist-A&J Collision Repair

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Dr Conway, AR 72032

501-327-1882

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The most common vehicle accident seen is a deer hit. They come out of no where and suddenly the driver now has damage to their vehicle. That also comes with many questions, some which do not have a straightforward answer. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about deer hits.

“So I hit a deer, am I covered?”

                In order to be covered for a deer hit you must have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy. This type of coverage is for accidents other than collisions. Although the deer did strike or collide with your vehicle, it is specifically listed as a loss covered by “other than collision”. If you have only liability coverage, then the insurer will not pay for the damages from hitting the deer.

“I swerved to miss a deer, then hit ____. Will I be covered?”

                If it was only the deer that hit the vehicle, then it would go under comprehensive insurance. If the driver swerves to miss the deer and then hit something else, such as another vehicle, guardrail, tree or roll the vehicle, then that turns into a collision claim. Even though the deer started this ordeal, contact with the animal was never made so that is not a comprehensive claim.

“Will the state pay for the damage, or for my deductible”?

                The state will not pay for the repairs or deductible. There is an agency that does manage the deer population, but they cannot prevent deer from crossing roadways.

“Do I need to file a police report?”

                Most insurances do not require the insured to fill out a police report for a comprehensive claim. It is best to contact authorities if there are any signs of injury.

“Will my insurance go up?”

                Usually with a comprehensive claim, the company will not raise your insurance rate. If there are multiple claims filed over a period, then that can raise rates.

We here at A&J Collision Repair are always available to help you with any claim that needs taken care of. Give us a call today!

Emily Patterson

Receptionist

1215 Thomas G Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

501-327-1882

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, many people are preparing to make a road trip to spend the holiday with family or friends. Even if that trip means several hours in close quarters or a spacious Town and Country, traveling to see family during the holidays can be a fun adventure — if you are prepared. Depending on the length of the trip and the ages of the passengers, kids may begin to get bored and become fidgety.

Unfortunately books and coloring may cause kids to get sick, but car games are a great solution to keep your kids and yourself from concentrating on the time spent in the car.  Read below for a couple excellent car games that are easy and fun to play for everyone.

Road Bingo

Road Bingo is a great game for the car. Not only does it  keep kids entertained for long periods of time, they also pay attention to their new surroundings. Road Bingo can be revamped for each road trip depending on the destination or time of year you are traveling. For instance when traveling for  Thanksgiving a couple related things you might see are a pumpkin, or a sign that says “turkey” or “Happy Thanksgiving.”

This game does require a little preparation before the trip. Instead of numbers and letters, you can create custom bingo cards with pictures or words that kids are likely to see on the way. Things to include are barns, animals, churches, police cars, etc.

There are several websites that allow you to customize and print bingo boards that will automatically generate different square combinations. **Don’t forget to bring enough markers for each player so they can mark the square once the object is seen.

How to Play: Once a player crosses off five squares in a horizontal, diagonal, or vertical line they win. Make multiple copies so this game can be played repeatedly or so the kids can play with multiple boards at once.

The Name Game

This game is a good game for road trips where there may not be much to look at outside. Like Road Bingo this game can be changed up to make it apply to different activities such as camping, picnics, the beach, to Grandma’s house, etc.

How to Play: “I’m going to LOCATION and I’m going to bring…” Start with the first letter of the alphabet, and name an object that corresponds with that letter — such as Apples. The next person after must state all of the things previously listed and then announce a new item for the next letter in the alphabet. You can either require items that are typical of the location or allow for some creativity and let them name anything under the sun.

Example: First turn: “I’m going to Grandma’s house  and I’m going to bring an apple.”

Turn 2: “I’m going to Grandma’s house and I’m going to bring an apple and a baseball.”

Turn 3”: “I’m going to Grandma’s house and I’m going to bring an apple, baseball and a cat.”

Twenty Questions

This is another popular game that can be played while on long stretches of the road where there isn’tmuch around.

How to Play: One player thinks of an item or an object. The other passengers in the car take turns asking “yes” or “no” questions in an attempt to guess the object. Each player can guess the object during his or her turn. If the guess is correct, they then choose the next item or object, but if they guess wrong, they are out and others continue playing until the item is guessed.

Playing games during road trips helps to pass the time and provides mental stimulation for the driver and passengers. Games also encourage positive interaction between family members and can help kids learn.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

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A & J Collision Repair Blog by Rachel Sharping - 8M ago
Be prepared

Whether you are going down the street or heading out of town, we suggest taking a few minutes to prepare before leaving your home. No matter the distance you are traveling; don’t hit the roads this Thanksgiving without a full tank of gas. Fuel prices can rise during peak travel seasons, so make sure you check local gas prices for the cheapest in your area. While at the gas station take the time to check your fluids too.

In addition, make sure before setting out that you have the directions. A map is handy, but a GPS system can also help identify gas stations and restaurants on your trip. Most systems can assist in identifying alternative routes if you happen to run into traffic congestion. Finally, before hitting the roads, double check the weather; knowing the weather forecast could affect your travel plans. You never know what may happen, so it is better to take a moment and make sure you are prepared.

Pack smart

We all want to avoid the “are we there yet?” game at all costs, right? If you are traveling with children, pack plenty of snacks, water, games, and DVDs to help keep them entertained. The same is true if you are traveling with pets. Unfortunately, our pets cannot articulate when they are getting a bit stir crazy. To prevent your pet from stressing, bring water, food, toys, and their leash which will allow you to run out a bit of their energy during your stops along the way. Our pets are an important part of the family. This is why it is important to keep them safe while traveling by securing them with either a harness or within a crate. In addition, this will prevent them from becoming a dangerous distraction while you are driving.

Stay calm

During peak travel times we expect traffic. With a large number of drivers on the roads anything can happen. However, if you stay calm you will be able to handle any situation. Remember keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, this will allow you more time to react should something happen. If you are leaving early or driving late to avoid traffic, remember it is just as important to take your time. Make sure you have plenty of rest, and if you feel sleepy, pull over and switch drivers if possible. Finally, buckle up. Always buckle your seat belt as well as your children’s seat belts.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

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Do you know what to do before an accident happens?  Jody has written a booklet to help with just that, most people don’t know what to do before, during and after an accident.  That is where we are here to help!

You have a 1 in 7 chance of being in an accident!  We want to ensure everything goes smoothly for you and your vehicle before and after an accident.

This booklet is 24 pages long, but it has A LOT of valuable information inside of it.

Choosing the right policy for you, being prepared for the accident, at the scene of an accident, after an accident, rental coverage, starting the process, getting your vehicle repaired.  If any of these are something that you would like to know more about then give us a call at (501)327-1882, and get more information on how you can get a booklet.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

The post A&J Collision Repair Booklet appeared first on Auto body, auto scratch repair, collision repair, bumper repair.

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According to Geico, there are many theft prevention devices on the market: a mechanism that locks onto the steering wheel, ignition cut-off systems that prevent a car from starting, and passive alarms that activate automatically when the key is removed from the ignition.

However, you don’t necessarily have to spend money to keep your car safe. Here are a few tips to help ward off thieves:

Hide your valuables. You take good care of your car, so what thief could resist it? Don’t make your car look any more desirable by leaving your Coach purse, Nike shoes, iPod, phone, or wallet within plain sight of people walking by. Always take your valuables inside with you. If you can’t, put them in the trunk or hide them underneath your seats.

Put your car in the garage. Parking your vehicle inside protects it from thieves as well as from thunderstorms, hail, and wind. Even if you park in your garage, It is recommended that you lock your car doors. By locking both the garage and vehicle doors, you have doubled your chances of deterring a thief.

Lock your doors. This seems like a pretty obvious tip, but often, people don’t lock their doors. They figure they are only going inside for a few minutes. They also assume that their car is safe when it is parked in their driveway. The thief might not have enough time to take your car, but he will have enough time to steal your purse, iPod, or phone from the passenger’s seat. As a rule, you should always have your car doors locked, even when you are driving. That way, no one can get in if you don’t want them to.

Don’t leave your keys in the ignition. This goes hand-in-hand with the last tip. Again, this may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people leave the car running with the keys in the ignition while they run inside on a quick errand. Even if you are in the safest, best neighborhood of your city, it’s never a good idea to leave your car keys in the ignition. It only takes one wrong person to see it and make off with your car.

Park in a safe spot. Thieves like to work in the dark where they are less likely to be seen. Whenever possible, make sure you park in a well-lit spot in a safe neighborhood. If you have to park in a parking lot, try to park near the periphery—you want a lot of pedestrians or traffic going by.

The sad truth is that every forty-five seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the United States. If it happens to you, immediately contact the police and file a stolen vehicle report. Next, contact your insurance company to submit a theft claim. If you locate your vehicle before the authorities do, notify the police and your insurance company as soon as possible.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

The post CAR THEFT PREVENTION TIPS appeared first on Auto body, auto scratch repair, collision repair, bumper repair.

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A & J Collision Repair Blog by Rachel Sharping - 1y ago

Renting a car during your vacation or vehicle repair? Safety and Health Magazine, recommends you take a moment to understand the electronic features of the car before you drive off.

– Don’t assume the features work and don’t assume the features work as you expect.

– If you rent a newer car, it could have features that you are not familiar with, including automatic emergency braking or blind spot warnings.  These useful features should make for a safer driving experience but be sure to understand how they work.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

The post Car Rental appeared first on Auto body, auto scratch repair, collision repair, bumper repair.

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A nice, clear day. It’s hot and the lake beckons with cool breezes, some fishing and maybe a dip to cool off.

Get that boat on the trailer and get going!

Not so fast.

Most people don’t know that one of the most dangerous things they can do on the highway involves towing a trailer.  What you do between hitching and driving could save your life or ruin it.

According to Dangerous Trailers, every year about 400 people lose their lives at the scene of the accident when an improperly towed trailer unhitched from the tow vehicle and careens across the highway, or even hits the car towing it.  About 10,000 people are injured every year in towing accidents.  Property damage accidents alone surpassed 1 million since 1975.

So what can you do when you need to get your boat to the lake?

1 Check your tires.  Check the tires on the tow vehicle and the trailer.  A blowout on the road can be deadly.  Don’t take chances.

2 Spend 25 cents.  That is how much it costs to buy a pin that holds the safety latch in place. In many states, this is the law.

In 2017, on a closed course at Lancaster National Speedway in New York, a professional driver tried to tow a small trailer without the pin. On the first turn, the latch came undone and the trailer careened across the track and hit a wall, according to Inside Edition. On the highway, this could be deadly.

3 Use two chains. The trailer hitch must be connected with two chains, not one. The chains must be crossed under the hitch, so that the hitch is cradled in case the latch comes undone.

4 Use the right size ball for your hitch. A 1 7/8-inch ball on a 2-inch trailer hitch could easily come loose and cause an accident.

5 Check and recheck. Check and recheck every time you start the tow.

Customer Service Representative

1215 Thomas G. Wilson Drive

Conway, AR 72032

(501)327-1882

The post Hitch trailers correctly and save lives appeared first on Auto body, auto scratch repair, collision repair, bumper repair.

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