Win One of Six 2013 Smart Car Pure Coupes on Black Friday or Cyber Monday

smart car
2013 Smart Cars

Win a 2013 Smart Car Pure Coupe!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are full of amazing deals and there are quite a lot of great giveaways going on too.  Slickdeals.net, a forum and website for finding great deals around the web, is holding a pretty sweet giveaway where you have a chance to win a brand new 2013 Smart Car Pure Coupe during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  SlickDeals is not only giving away one new 2013 Smart Car, but six 2013 SmartCars!

Three Smart Cars are being given away for Black Friday on Thursday, November 22th to Friday, November 23rd.  Then another three Smart Cars will be given away by SlickDeals on Saturday, November 24th to Monday, November 26th for Cyber Monday.  This gives you not just one but six chances to win a Smart Car which are valued at a sticker price of $12,490.

All you have to enter the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Smart Car Slickdeals giveaway is to visit this page.  You will have to register and become a member of the Slickdeals community to enter, but it is a quick and painless process.  You can register with a Google or Facebook account if you prefer.  There are ways to gain extra entries for yourself, which is listed on the giveaway page.  You can like Slickdeals on Facebook, Tweet about the contest, sign-up for the Slickdeals newsletters,  etc.  Youu know how these giveaways and contests work, they want you to like and follow them for a chance to win.

Even if you don't want a 2013 Smart Car I would still enter this contest.  You have the option to win $10,000 cash, which is a good chunk of change for buying gifts for the holidays.  You could also use $10,000 to buy yourself a bunch of nice stuff, but I am sure whoever is reading this would be more charitable then that.

To enter the need the Slickdeals 2013 Smart Car Pure Coupe Black Friday and Cyber Monday giveaway you must be over 18 years old or older to enter, live in one of the US states, and obviously will be responsible for all local and federal taxes and fees associated with winning the cash or Smart Car.  Nothing surprising there and to read and familiarize yourself the contest rules click here.  Of course… most people don't bother to read the contest rules but you should at least glance at them! 🙂

Anyway, I already entered the contest and got some entries.  Last time I checked almost 25,000 entries had been recorded so you better start racking up entries if you want to win a 2013 Smart Car or $10,000 in cash.

 

Preparing Yourself and Your Car for Hurricane

Tropical Storm Katia (NASA, International Space Station, 08/31/11)
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / CC BY-NC

Preparing Yourself and Your Car for Hurricane

With Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, bearing down upon the entire Eastern seaboard and many states getting slammed by heavy rain and wind, I am sure lots of people are wondering what they could have done to prepare for a hurricane better.  An important consideration is that your vehicle can be damaged easily during hurricanes, it's important to try to do all you can to protect this valuable asset.

I recommend parking your car as close to your house as possible and in the driveway.  The reason is if a lot of home insurance policies will cover damage to a vehicle from trees or debris if it close to a house.  This varies on what type of policy you have though.  If you have a garage, carport, or some other structure you can park your can that would be the most ideal place to park it.  That is certainly not guarantee but is a safe bet.

Obviously though your car is not the only consideration for preparing for a hurricane during hurricane season.  Here are some tips to get hurricane ready;

  1. Food: Make sure to have enough food for your whole family. This includes any pets you might have in your family.  We have dry dog food and canned dog food that will last our dogs, Cody and Sierra, awhile.
  2. Water: You also need to have clean drinking water too.  It is recommend to have 1 gallon of clean water per day.  If you are not sure if you have enough, at least have a teapot and heat source so that you can boil and sanitize drinking water if necessary.
  3. First Aid:  It’s always good to have a First Aid Kit in case of an emergency.  You never know when you might need it.  I recommend having hydrogen peroxide (for disinfecting wounds), bandages and gauze, cloth tape, needles, gloves, ointment, and a blanket.  It is also a good idea to have a first aid booklet handy as well.
  4. Medications: Make sure to get any medications for your family filled before you need to hunker down at your house or go to a shelter.
  5. Emergency Contacts: Keep an emergency contact list.  This includes, relatives, doctors, veterinarians,(if you have pets), or friends.  Make sure to know about the nearest nearest shelter if you need to evacute your area due to flooding.  If you have pets, be sure to find a pet-friendly shelter.
  6. Rain Gear, Towels, & Clothes: Try not to go outside if you can help it, but it's always good to have a poncho and rain gear in case you do.  It's a good idea to have as much clean clothes as you can too.
  7. Cash: Cash, and I mean the real green stuff, is good to have in case power is going to be out for awhile.
  8. Flashlights, Batteries, and Candles:  It’s good to have flashlights and batteries if you are going to be without power for a long time.   I would also recommend having short stubby candles since they are less likely to tip over and cause a fire.  Matches are a good idea to have too!
  9. Full Tank of Gas:  If gas stations don’t have power, they can’t sell gas.  It’s a good idea to fill up your car’s gas tank if you need to go somewhere with your family.

You should also consider having a spare flashlight with batteries, blanket, and first aid kit in your car if you need to venture out.  It's best to not drive during a hurricane, and you have been told not to, you shouldn't.

I hope these tips will help you prepare for Hurricane Sandy, Frankenstorm, or any other hurricane in the future.  If you have any recommendations, tips, or advice about hurricane preparedness you would like to add, please leave a comment below.

“Minivans Are Just Not Cool!” According to Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab, the financial and investment company, ran a contest called “Oh Chuck! I Blew My Cash.”  It asked people to tell Charles Schwab the most ridiculous items or products they have blown money on.  The company released this promotional “Minivan” video on Youtube to promote the contest.

It shows a women telling Chuck about how she came to buy a $20,000 minivan.  She meet a guy, things were going really well, so he proposed!  Of course he did what most guys would do at the site of a minivan… bolt!  Chuck precedes to tell Carrie about what would have been better options for that money (I mean he is Charles Schwab) and says, “Minivans are just not cool!”

The story sounds so ridiculous, but it raises an important automotive question.  What does this say about Minivans?  Are they just so uncool that not even a billionaire financial adviser and successful entrepreneur like Charles Schwab can recommend buying one?  Are minivans a signal in our culture and society the we are in fact “not cool” anymore?  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

If this story is true, I think Carrie should have win the contest! 🙂

RelayRides Takes Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Nationwide

RelayRides

RelayRides, the world's first peer-to-peer car sharing service, is breaking out of San Francisco and Boston and is launching nationwide today. “Anybody in the country will be able to enroll their car and rent [out] their cars right away,” says Shelby Clark, the company’s founder and Chief Community Officer.  RelayRides introduces us to the revolutionary concept of neighbors renting out their cars to fellow neighbors.  A renter can get a car for as little as $5 an hour.

What are the benefits of personal car sharing?  It is “more affordable, more accessible, and more efficient,” according to Clark. The average shared car “takes 14 other cars off the road,” thus allowing people to meet their mobility needs using far fewer cars. Clark explained.  It is “really good for the environment, community, and local economy.”

RelayRides makes a lot of sense financially in this down economy and in general. Car owners should think of it this way: That car you drive only a few days a week can make you some money when you aren’t using it. On average a car owner using RelayRides can earn $200-$250 a month.  (That’s $2,400-$3,000 dollars a year!) Clark personally makes around $400 a month renting out his Yellow Mini Convertible, which he told me is a lot of fun on sunny San Francisco days.

Renters who take part in RelayRides reap benefits as well. “Car sharing is a more attractive alternative to car ownership,” said Clark.  On average a person can save $500 a month not owning a car and taking part in car sharing.  “It is really convenient and affordable.  The car is located right in your neighborhood,” said Clark.

The personal car sharing concept might be hard for some people to understand.  When Clark initially pitched the idea to friends he faced a bit of resistance. “People were polite and raised their eyebrows, “So you want a stranger to drive my car?”  Clark emphasized the difference in opinion now, “The typical reaction I get from people now when I tell them about RelayRides for the first time is, “Huh, that makes a lot of sense!”

RelayRides currently has 200 cars in the two city fleet and 6000 members. By launching this innovative service nationwide, Clark expects these numbers to grow significantly. “We have learned a lot over the past two years of operation. We feel ready to bring this to the masses,” he told me.

There is a lot of room for growth.  According to Clark there are only about 1 million car-sharing members in North America. With 260 million cars on the road, that equals around 1.2 cars per person in the US.  Shelby thinks this is incredibly wasteful.  He believes that personal car sharing is an ideal solution.  Besides, most cars are only used about 8% percent of the time; the rest of the time they are just parked.

RelayRides is covered by a $1 million insurance policy and market-leading security safeguards.  It is backed by over $13M in venture capital funding from leading investors, such as Google Ventures and GM Ventures.

What impressed me while talking with Clark was not only his enthusiasm, optimism, and drive to make car sharing a viable option for everyone, but his attitude toward the competition. I thought other car sharing services might be unnerved by the news of RelayRides going national. However, Clark sees car sharing companies as being in this together, working for the greater good. He feels there is room for more than one company and that collaboration could be helpful to everyone.

This is a “big step forward for car sharing,” Clark told me. I think it certainly is and the future looks bright for RelayRides.

22nd Annual East Coast Indoor Nationals – Dec. 3-4

East Coast Indoor Nationals

If you love Cars and Motorcycles, there is only one place to be this weekend, the 22nd Annual East Coast Indoor Nationals.  This is the largest Pre-1973 All American Car & Motorcycle Show on the east coast!  There will be cool muscle cars, classic rides, antiques, hot-rods, drag cars, and custom motorcycles displayed.

The show is not just for gearhead enjoyment, it has a special mission to raise money for ‘Toys for Tot.'  Last year the show raised over $20,000 to buy toys.  Let's hope this year they are able to break that!

Special guest Candy Clark will be in attendance, from the movie “American Graffitti.”  $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to those taking part in the show.  There will be auctions, a live DJ, and a vendor area for getting that part you need.  Santa will be in attendance for children.   It should be a great time for everyone!  Be sure to stop by and maybe I will see you there.

Show Admission: $12, Kids 6 & Under Free

Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd, Timonium MD, 21093

When:  Saturday 9am – 6pm, Sunday 9am – 4pm

For more info visit:   www.eastcoastindoornats.com/