Hybrid Cars and Auto Insurance

The reasons for buying hybrids vary. Some believe that the ‘War on Terrorism’ is a result of America’s dependence on oil and by purchasing a hybrid they are doing their bit to stop supporting it. Buying a hybrid car is also their way of lending support to organizations that channel resources into the discovery of alternative energy. Air pollution, the increase in smog and the greater incidence of respiratory diseases motivates others. Hybrid owners also receive tax deductions, which may be a factor to be considered. Whatever your reasons, if you’ve decided to buy a hybrid, you’ve probably done your research. You’ve checked out the facts and discovered that while they may cost more initially, hybrids are far more environmentally-friendly and you’ll save a ton on gas in the process. There is however, one relatively unclear dilemma about the practically of owning a hybrid: auto insurance. How do auto car insurance quotes differ when it comes to hybrid cars? Are hybrid cars at a higher risk and does buying one mean that you have no option but to pay higher insurance rates?

Let’s look at the issue from the perspective of car insurance companies. The average hybrid car owner would be someone who is environmentally conscious, has a sense of social responsibility, as well as the means to pay a little bit extra to do his or her part. People who fall into this demographic tend to be middle aged, financially stable, cautious drivers who are unlikely to engage in rash driving. Since demographics play a large part in determining premiums, from the perspective of insurance providers, Hybrid owners tend not to be high risk drivers and are in the age group which has the lowest accident rates, which should earn them low cost car insurance rates.

Hybrids however, employ some of the most cutting-edge technology and their maintenance and repairs tend to cost more than gas-only cars. Granted hybrid- specific components have long warranties and simple maintenance can be conducted at any repair shop but even so, cars with expensive parts tend to cost more to insure. Another issue is that small cars-hybrids and otherwise- tend to cost more to insure. They are harder to see on the road, tend to have more fragile structures, and hence are more likely to be involved in crashes and suffer more damages than your average SUV. While these concerns apply to all small cars, the size of the hybrid definitely affects its insurance rates.

This however, does not mean that Hybrid car owners need to resign themselves to sky-high insurance rates. Due to the fact that we’re progressively becoming a more socially and environmentally conscious society, the fact that the Hybrid employs the latest technology and safety features, as well as the increasing prices of gas, this model is rapidly gaining popularity, and as it continues to do so the prices will fall, the availability of parts will increase, and all in all, many of the financial problems associated with this car will cease to exist. As statistics supporting the safety and functionality of hybrids emerge, the insurance rates for hybrids will start to stabilize. Also, many insurance providers are now encouraging the use of hybrids by offering online car insurance quotes for hybrids. This means that even if your initial insurance rates look a little steep, your premiums will actually be much more affordable than you fear.

There is confusion surrounding the issue of hybrid cars and insurance rates- some say that hybrids and insurance-friendly while others hold the belief that owning a hybrid is like asking for exorbitant premiums. At the end of the day, thanks to hybrid- specific discounts, the rates are not dramatically higher for hybrids. And even the existing gap can be bridged by availing of other discounts such as a defensive driver’s credit, a good driver discount, air bag and safety mechanism installation discounts, etc. The lower gas prices, tax rebates and general sense of satisfaction from standing up for what you believe in may just tip the balance in the hybrids favor for many individuals. Besides, if you look hard enough, chances are you’ll be able to find reasonable auto insurance quotes, even for a hybrid.

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Auto Dealers in Chicago: Premium Benefits Especially for You

There are a number of auto dealers in Chicago. These are described as retail outlets of a specific car manufacturer. However, there are auto dealers who sell brand new cars from different manufacturers, as well as varieties of used or second-hand cars.

Getting Familiar with Auto Dealers in Chicago

Online Searching

With the help of technology, these auto dealers in Chicago have websites that will help you search the dream car that you want. These dealers can conveniently provide you the research about the car that you want, and find dealerships that offer your preferred car model. Many of their searches have the specifications of the car you are looking for – such as year, make, model and even price. You can even compare prices and get the best one – without having to leave the comfort of your own home. You can avoid the inconvenience of having to go to a number of dealerships looking for a car which they might not even have.

Moreover, local auto dealers have joined the social networking fever and have Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can now be updated with their latest news, offers and promotions. If the auto dealer does not have the car that you want, you can fill out their Car Finder form either online or in the place of dealership, and the designated staffs will get in touch with you as soon as they already have the particular car that you are looking for.

Car Financing

If you are worrying about finances and are unsure whether or not you can afford a car, the auto dealers in Chicago have special support teams to finance the car that you select. There are many options to consider, a couple of these are car leases and car loans, which will enable you to own a car. You can even consider buying a second hand or used car, which is a cheaper alternative as it can also bring you to your destination.

Maintenance and Servicing

Most, if not all, of these dealers have service and maintenance departments that will keep your car in top shape and good running condition.

Here are a number of dealers and dealerships situated in the city that provide maintenance servicing:

Archer Auto Sales Inc
4411 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL, 60632
PH: (773) 247-6800

Balzekas Motor Sales
4030 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL, 60632
PH: (773) 847-1515

Carr’s Honda
6600 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL, 60645
PH: (773) 274-7777 | FX: N

Chicago Car Center
3355 N Cicero Ave
Chicago, IL, 60641
PH: (773) 205-2900 | FX: N/A

Chicago, IL, 60609
PH: (773) 476-7000 | FX: N/An Ave
Chicago, IL, 60609
PH: (773) 476-7000 | FX: N

5950 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL, 60659
PH: (773) 334-5222 | FX: N/A

Gateway Chevrolet
5373 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL, 60630
PH: (773) 631-9000 | FX: (773) 631-3150

Johnson Auto World
5370 S WesterJohnson Auto World
5370 S Western Ave

Metro Ford
6455 So Western, Chicago, IL
New: 877-231-3592; Used: 888-488-4511

South Chicago Nissan
7410 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL, 60636
PH: (773) 776-8200 | FX: (773) 776-8489

Premium Benefits Especially for You

The search for your dream car to its purchase and the after-sales service provided are all what you can expect the auto dealers to do for you. You can also get the privilege of having your car maintain its excellent state, and getting support with regard to any concern about your car. These are only a few of the premium benefits that auto dealers in Chicago grant to their special customers like you.

Nissan Electric Car

The Nissan electric car is for now the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is in pre-production at the present time. The car has been making the rounds for several years now to almost universal positive reviews. LEAF is an acronym for Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable, Family Car.

Nissan has recognized the problems of past electric champions like the ill-fated GM EV1. The EV1 was largely manufactured to meet the requirements of the California zero emissions mandate. The mandate was repealed in 2003 with the help of major auto manufacturers, and the EV1 was literally crushed. Ford recalled its Th!nk cars at the same time, and Toyota was sued for use of so-called proprietary battery technology in its electric cars of about the same vintage. Coincidentally, Chevron Oil Company was involved. Production of the Toyota RAV4 EV (still in demand today) was stopped. The electric car movement pulled off the road.

Nissan has been making cars since 1918. The company is not as traditionally as big as Toyota and GM, but is a major Japanese auto manufacturer with a global Leading presence. More recently the company has merged with French automaker Renault. As such, the companies have undertaken a number of projects aimed at producing cars, information for those cars, and the infrastructure to support electric cars.

The companies are working on battery switching technology along with the US company better place. Several governments are supporting the technology in large scale field trials. Israel with inter-city distances well within the range of the Leaf and charging stations at strategic locations makes an excellent test site for electric cars in general. Successful trials will help plant EV technology elsewhere.

Specifications for the Leaf:

Range – 100miles/160km average
Top Speed – 90mph/145kph

Electric Motor – 80kW/107hp
Energy Storage – 24kWh – around 3 quarts/Liters Gasoline equivalent

Empty Weight – 3400lbs/1545kg
Wt/HP – 32lbs/1hp
Battery Pack Wt – 480lbs/418kg

Charge at home 220V – 8 hours
80% quick charge at Nissan/3-phase charger – 30 minutes

As for sales, Nissan plans to produce 50,000 Leafs (leaves?) in 2011, with an eventual worldwide target of 200,000 annually. People can pay $99 USD to reserve a Leaf now. So far, people are reserving cars at a respectable pace. Hopefully the target production run will be met. About 20,000 orders have been placed as of the end of May, 2010.

Price estimates for the Leaf run from $33,000 – $40,000 USD. The actual sticker prices will be known when the first cars hit the showrooms by 2011.

Go Nissan Leaf!

New Technology by Auto Makers to Reduce Accidents

It seems that every time you turn around there is something new and exciting available for new cars. It was at one point new and exciting to get a radio in your car. Now not only do you have a radio but it is a satellite radio with the capability to broadcast stations from all over the country. Multi disk CD players and DVD players are almost standard in vehicles these days. The latest trend is one I support totally. Automakers are moving toward using technology to make their vehicles safer on the road.

There are several new systems that are coming on the market that will help prevent accidents while driving. The technology is very advanced and not available for every make and model of cars but will soon become an industry standard. This new phase of technology has been created to help drivers prevent accidents. Many of the luxury-vehicle makers are now marketing advanced warning system for some of the automobiles in their line.

Volvo now has what is called a Blind Spot Information System. This system uses outside cameras to alert drivers as to when other cars are in their blind spot. It will activate an amber light on the left front window pillar to let the driver know.

Mercedez-Benz now has what is called Distronic Plus system which uses both long and short range radar systems to distance the driver from moving vehicles ahead. It will alert the driver using chimes if they are closing in too quickly. It also will prepare the car for a collision by tensing up the seatbelts and cuing up the airbags. If the driver does not respond the system will begin to brake the car up to 40%. Once the driver responds the system will relinquish its power back to the driver.

Infiniti has what is called Lane Departure Prevention. This feature will physically prevent the vehicle from drifting if the driver does not intend to. The system determines this by recognizing if the car is passing over a lane line when the turn signal is not used. This feature will then apply the brakes on the opposite side of the vehicle which will ease the vehicle back into the lane.

BMW is now offering a Lane Departure Warning which essentially will determine the same as Infiniti’s Lane Departure Prevention. The steering wheel will rumble to alert the driver of the lane crossing s the difference. Also, it will not activate the brakes and has the option of being turned off.

Lexus now has what is called Pre-Collision System. This system has cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle and can sense when a frontal collision is possible and will tighten the seatbelts and boost the brakes. The action is relaxed once the driver responds.

These are all excellent systems and beneficial to the driver but it needs to be remembered that even with every warning system installed there will always be the potential for automobile accidents. The driver has no control over the actions of the other drivers on the road. That issue and uncontrollable factors, such as weather, will always put a driver at risk for automobile accidents. Be as safe as you can once you hit the road. With every system available the most valuable is your attention to the road as you are driving.