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Resources, Guides, And Articles

We need our cars. For many of us, public transportation is just not a viable option: it may be unreliable or have limited schedules, or it may not go where we need to go or let us carry the loads we need to carry. Owning a car gives us the freedom to get where we need to go when we need to go there. That freedom is not just a luxury. For many of us work, school, shopping, and other essentials of life are just not realistically possible without our vehicles.

At the same time, our cars can be a heavy burden. Lower-income households spend 16% of their income on transportation, and that comes down to buying, financing, insuring, fueling, and repairing our cars.[1] We live in troubled economic times, and many of us can't afford the latest and most fuel-efficient vehicles: the average age of the vehicles on America's roads is now 11.6 years, and consumers are holding onto cars longer than ever before.[2] For those of us with older than average cars, fuel, maintenance, and other expenses can easily spiral out of control.

The best way to buy, use and take care of our cars without spending too much or saving in the wrong places is to have accurate, up to date information. An informed consumer is an efficient consumer. That's especially true with cars because cars are both expensive and complicated. There's a lot to learn, from purchase, financing, leasing, insurance, maintenance, and much more. Most of us don't know as much as we should, and as a result, we often spend more than we have to or put our resources in the wrong places.

The articles, guides, and resources below are designed to provide you with the knowledge you need to become an informed, efficient automotive consumer. We've divided them into sections to make it easier to find what you need. If you're looking for something that's not here, let us know, and we'll do our best to add it!

Financial Assistance
Grants & Assistance For Transportation – Transportation is an essential part of modern life, and transportation costs are a significant burden for low-income families. Here are some ways to get help with your transportation needs.

Car Loans For People With Bad Credit – If you have a poor credit rating and need to finance a car purchase, don't give up. Affordable loans are available, but you'll need to put some effort into finding the right loan and closing the right deal. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

I'm Living in My Car & Need Help – There's no shame in living in your car for a while. Plenty of honorable Americans have done it. Our helpful guide breaks down what you have to know so you can survive and even thrive as you adjust to your new circumstances and get your life in order.

All About Auto-Financing – Very few of us have enough cash on hand to buy a car outright, so a vehicle purchase almost always means financing. The more you know about the financing process and the options you have, the more likely you are to get a good deal!

All About Car Insurance – Car insurance is mandatory: you can't drive without it. It's also expensive and confusing. Understanding insurance will help you to be an informed customer, choose the policy you need, and get the best possible deal.

Lower Car Payments? Boost Your Credit! – Few people know that your payments on auto loans and leases are partly determined by your credit score. Improving your credit score is a good strategy if you want to bring those monthly auto payments down. This helpful article tells you how.

Find Vehicles
Car Donations - What You Need To Know – Life without a car can be more than an inconvenience. Many people need a vehicle to work, buy food and other essentials, and move their families around. If you need a car but can't afford one, there are organizations linking vehicle donors with families who have legitimate needs.

Finding Good Cheap Cars Online – Car shopping is a complicated business, and as with most other business these days, the Internet is a valuable resource that can make the process simpler. Here are some suggestions on using the internet to help look for your next car!

Car Auctions – What You Need To Know – Car auctions are a risky place to buy, but if you know your cars, have some mechanical aptitude, and have a good idea of what you're looking for and what it's worth, you can find a deal. Here are some tips on what to look for and what pitfalls to avoid.

Budget Vehicles - Which Is The Best – Shopping for cars on a budget can be tough. Check out this handy review of what's on the market and what they have to offer.

Leasing vs Buying Your Next Car – Do you want to lease a car or buy one? Both options have a place, and what's best for you depends on your specific needs and situation. Review the differences here!

Secrets of Buying A Used Car – We've all heard stories about used car salespeople being the ultimate hustlers. There may be some exaggeration there, but buying a used car can be a risky proposition, especially if you don't know much about cars. Check these tips to help you get the right deal.

Secrets For Negotiating the Cheapest Auto Lease – Leasing is a financially sensible and convenient way to finance your car. Knowing when it's a good idea to lease and how to get the best deal possible can save you money!

What Car Dealerships Don't Want You To Know – Did you know that car dealerships often use sneaky tactics to manipulate honest, taxpaying customers into bad deals? Our helpful article breaks down what you need to know.

Save & Make Money
Repair Your Car On The Cheap – Auto repair can be a major expense, and we often don't budget for it, because our cars don't tell us when trouble is coming! Follow these tips to get the work you need done without breaking your maintenance budget.

How To Get Free or Discounted Gas – Your car won't run with an empty tank, and fuel prices can be a serious burden for low-income drivers who need to use their cars. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to save money on gas.

Pimp Your Ride On The Cheap – We all want our cars to look good, but most of us don't have the cash for a high-end makeover. If you're willing to put in a bit of time and effort, you can pimp your ride without spending a fortune!

Making Money With Ride Sharing – Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft let you use your car to earn money. Whether you're after a few extra dollars or a full-time job, ride sharing can deliver!

Legal Help
I Just Got a DUI, What Do I Do? – Being arrested for DUI is a low point in anybody's life, but it's not the end. Here's an idea of what to expect, and what you can do to mitigate the impact on your life.

I Just Got In An Accident, What Do I Do? – A car accident is traumatic and often involves serious injury. It's still important to do the right things after the accident occurs. Here's a basic rundown of what you need to do and not do.

My Car Was Just Stolen, What Do I Do? – Car theft is common, and it's a traumatic and infuriating experience. You'll need to calm down and make the right moves to have the best chance of getting your ride back. Check these tips for dealing with police, insurance companies, and more.

How To Find Free/Low-Cost Legal Help – Lawyers can be expensive, but that doesn't mean low-income people have to get by without legal help. Use these tips to get legal advice free or at reduced cost!