How to Drive Stick Shift

These days, it’s difficult to find a vehicle with a standard transmission unless you specifically look for one. Most modern cars are automatic. However, knowing how to drive a stick shift is a useful skill to have. You never know if you’ll find yourself needing to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission. Here’s a short guide to help you get started.

Familiarize Yourself Knowing the differences between a standard and an automatic transmission and familiarizing yourself with these differences is the biggest hurdle in learning to drive stick. Give yourself some time to sit in the vehicle without driving and get to know the layout.

You’ll notice an additional pedal on the left side of the floor. This is the clutch. The clutch is what allows you to shift gears.

Also take note of the gear box. Most vehicles have 5 gears, plus reverse. Reverse is pretty self-explanatory. The rest of the gears are ordered in regards to wheel rotations. It’s just like a bike: A lower gear has many wheel rotations per a certain energy input, while a higher gear has fewer wheel rotations for that same energy input. In general, you use the higher gears when driving faster or going down a steep hill.

Have Someone Help You Find a friend or family member who knows how to drive a stick shift and see if they’ll help you learn.

First have them start, drive, and park the car with you in it. Have them explain when they shift gears, which gear they shift to, and why.

Next, you get in the driver’s seat. Have them slowly walk you through starting, driving, and parking. It’s best to have someone knowledgeable with you the first few times driving so you don’t permanently damage the car, which can easily happen to beginners.

Practice, Practice, Practice! The clutch only works when you’re aren’t accelerating, or using the accelerator pedal. And after you’ve switched gears, you want to step off the clutch and on to the gas pedal at the same time. Practice stepping on the clutch and off the pedal, moving the gear stick, and disengaging the clutch and accelerating. The quicker you can do it, the better.

Memorize where each gear is located on the gear box. Practice shifting and getting to know where each is located by feel.

Learn the intricacies of your car and when’s the best time to upshift or downshift. With a lot of practice, you’ll be able to tell by feel and the sound of your car what gear you should shift to.

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Understanding Car Insurance Basics

Most motor vehicle insurance providers usually offer different types of cover. The three most common include Third Party Only, Third Party Fire & Theft and Comprehensive. You might use all of these over the course of your driving career or just one, but in either case, you need to know what sets each type apart so you can select the one suited to your needs.

Third Party Only

Third Party Only insurance is often confused with Road Traffic Act Only insurance. The latter of these, which is usually not sold anymore, offers the absolute bare minimum you need to meet the requirements of the Road Traffic Act of 1988. Third Party Only insurance provides just a little more, exceeding what the Act requires. It provides liability cover to third parties (others involved in your accident), but that’s about it. You can use it to pay for damage or injury to others, their vehicles or other property they own, but it doesn’t protect you, your car or your property.

Third Party Fire & Theft

This type of insurance is more common than Third Party Only. It offers the third party liability cover of Third Party Only, but in addition, as the title insinuates, you also get protection from having your car stolen or damaged in a fire. It still will not cover injury to you or damages to your vehicle or property that result from an accident.


Comprehensive covers everything Third Party Fire & Theft does, but you also can make claims for your own injuries, vehicle damage or property loss in accidents. You also might get other perks rolled into this type of cover, too, depending on the insurance provider you’re using. For instance, your insurance might cover getting you a rental vehicle free of charge while your own is being repaired. It also could cover things like roadside assistance.

Which Type of Insurance Should I Get?

Very generally, Third Party Only and Third Party Fire & Theft both are good options if you drive a relatively cheap car that it wouldn’t cost too much to fix or replace on your own if written off by the insurance company (totaled). You also might want to consider them if you feel sure you could do a lot of the repair work yourself. The decision of whether to use Third Party Only or Third Party Fire & Theft usually comes down to whether you feel it’s worth it to insure yourself, your car or your stuff a little more.

Young drivers also can find Third Party Only or Third Party Fire & Theft helpful. Although rates vary and sometimes are higher than what you’d pay for more cover, these options tend to be less expensive overall and, therefore, are attractive to young motorists who don’t have as much money to spare. For the same reason, anyone with a tight budget can investigate whether these choices are more economical for their specific circumstances. Another reason you might opt for them is because you want to deter yourself from making claims that could be covered under Comprehensive but which would drive up your rates over time.

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Citizens Insurance Michigan

Citizens Insurance is owned by The Hannover Insurance Group, one of the biggest and best property and casualty insurers in United States. It is now currently on the top 25 insurance providers in the country with more than 160 years of experience in this industry. Besides property and casualty, Hannover Group also provides coverage for healthcare, business, industrial property risk, technology, and more.

The Platinum Auto service is a special type of insurance by the company offering smart savings feature with all the discounts and a stand-alone customer support from the rest of the company’s products; it even has a dedicated phone line for Platinum customers. Compared to all competitors in the market of car insurance Michigan, it obviously stands out from the crowd. Platinum Auto protection by Citizens Insurance Michigan covers at least the following issues.

1. Waiver of Deductible

In case a single accident brings damages to one or more properties such as two vehicles, this car insurance Michigan requires you to pay only one deductible and the company will cover the entire damages. This rule also applies if a single accident damages your car and home or any other type of property.

2. Child Restraint System Replacement

Child safety feature is often overlooked by most companies, but not with Citizens Insurance Michigan. In the event of accident where the child restraint system is damaged, the company will cover the cost for replacement for up to $300. The best thing is that you don’t have to pay deductible for that.

3. Glass Coverage

If the safety glass is damaged in an accident, the repair will be completed at the preferred glass provider with no deductible as well. If you choose to have it fixed at a glass provider of your own choosing, the company still covers the cost but it is limited to a reasonable amount. If the safety glass needs a replacement, only $100 deductible is required.

4. Replacement Parts

A damaged car costs money to repair since you need to replace some parts on the body and the mechanical parts too. Both are covered by this car insurance Michigan; this option includes the use of OEM and non-body related parts such as batteries and tires.

5. Rental and Towing Citizens Insurance Michigan gives you a rental car for as long as it takes until your damaged car is completely fixed and ready to go again. Also, it gives Roadside Assistant with up to $75 coverage for broken, lost, or stolen keys.

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Looking for Car Insurance For Your Vauxhall? What Your Policy Must Have

You have many options when it comes to insuring your Vauxhall. The insurer you choose may depend on where you live, who offers the lowest premium, and the company you already enlist for other insurance policies. While the right company and premium for you is a very personal decision, there are a few things every Vauxhall consumer should know. If you have too limited an insurance policy, you may not get financial assistance when you need it the most, such as after a major collision or when you are the victim of vehicle theft.

Guaranteed Repairs

Some insurance policies will guarantee all repairs for five years. If a car part that you have replaced as a part of your insurance claim fails within five years, you can get it replaced again at no or limited cost to you. This part of an insurance policy helps both you and your insurer protect your investment. A car with the proper repairs is less likely to get into accidents or fail to work, and guaranteed repairs give you peace of mind when you have work done. Bear in mind that repairs you pay for out of pocket and not as part of a claim may not be protected under this scheme.

Complete Replacement Coverage

Many accidents result in minor repairs, and if your car is stolen it may be recovered. However, if you are in a major accident your car may be deemed beyond repair. Likewise, if the policy can’t find your car within about a month, they will usually recommend that you file a loss claim with your insurance company. Complete replacement coverage is essential because it helps you buy a new car in these circumstances. You may not recover enough money to fully cover the expense of buying a new car, but you will get enough money to cover the current market value of your Vauxhall. Without complete replacement coverage, you can pay a lot more out of pocket when your vehicle can’t be fixed.

Comprehensive Drivers Coverage

Comprehensive insurance has many benefits, not the least of which is that it covers all drivers to whom you give permission to drive your Vauxhall. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage over all drivers, only named drivers might be covered in the event of an accident. For instance, you may loan your car to your teenage son; if he gets into an accident but is not named on the vehicle, your insurer could deny the claim if you don’t have him named to the car. With a comprehensive policy, you don’t need to worry about naming specific additional drivers to your insurance policy.

Legal Cover

More comprehensive insurance plans also offer legal cover up to a set amount. For instance, many policies will allow for a maximum of £50,000 in legal coverage. This protects you when you are sued after an accident. This is usually only relevant when you caused the accident, but even the safest of drivers can be liable for an accident at least once in his life. Another driver may try to take legal action against you for the costs they incurred after the accident, including the cost of repairs that were not covered by insurance, car replacement costs, or any medical fees that were not paid for by NHS or a private insurer. Legal cover is essential because without it you could be on the hook for thousands of pounds in no time.

Getting car insurance for your Vauxhall is not a decision to be made lightly. The right policy will depend on how much coverage you want for your vehicle’s modifications, the number of drivers who need to be covered, and whether or not you want to earn a substantial no claims bonus. However, always make sure that insurance covers some basic elements. While paying for a more comprehensive insurance cover costs more money now than choosing a limited insurance policy, it can offer more financial assistance in the long run. Consider hefty insurance an investment in the safety of your Vauxhall and the protection against major legal fees in the future.

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How You Can Benefit from Black Box Insurance

Most young people know that finding car insurance–and more importantly, finding a way to pay for your car insurance–isn’t an easy task. Inexperienced drivers can seem like a liability to insurance providers because you haven’t had the chance to prove that you are trustworthy behind the wheel. Often, young motorists have to pay premiums up to four times as expensive as those that experienced drivers are subject to. From the perspective of the insurance company, this bit of age discrimination is fair because they need to protect themselves financially if you were to file a claim. For you, however, these astronomical fees could prevent you from being able to start driving. After years of struggle, insurance providers have found a way to reach a compromise with younger motorists. Black box insurance plans calculate your rates based on how well you actually drive, using complex technology to track your performance behind the wheel. This type of policy could be the godsend you were looking for to finally attain affordable car insurance.

Every black box insurance plan is a little different, but they all use a similar piece of equipment. A small, “black box”–named after the device that tracks airplanes in flight–is installed into your car, and it uses telematics technology to keep track of how you drive. On a basic level, the black box is a GPS tracker, but it also has an accelerometer inside of it–much like the one in your smartphone. The device is able to keep track of a wide array of data, which it reports back to your insurance provider. The information available from the black box includes how often and how far you drive, how well you obey posted speed limits, how smooth your acceleration and braking tend to be, and how well you handle turns and corners. Knowing these details about your driving habits, your insurance company will be able to tailor premiums to fit your performance.

The way that your driving affects your rates varies among providers. Some black box insurance policies will give you a base premium that can either go up or down each month depending on whether the telematics device reports positive or negative information about your driving habits. Many insurers will allow you to track how you are doing on their mobile app or website so that you know what you need to improve upon. At the end of each month, you may be rewarded with a certain number of points, which translates to your rates increasing or decreasing.

Other plans work a little differently in that the main reason for the black box is to limit how often you are on the road. Studies have shown that the more often you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident, so some insurance providers limit the number of miles you are allowed to drive each year (and use the black box to make sure you don’t go over your allotment). Common limits for these telematics plans are 6,000, 8,000, or 10,000 miles per year, and you will often be allowed to bump up to the next tier if you are about to go over–though your rate will go up when you increase your mileage. Under these plans, young motorists are rewarded for their safe driving with bonus miles that they are given for free.

Other insurers will quietly use the device when you are just beginning to drive, without it immediately having a positive or negative effect on your rates. Often, these companies will gather all the data over your first year as a customer and then take that information into consideration when you are renewing your policy. If you have been driving safely, you might see a hefty drop in your premiums–often by as much as 50 percent over the first few years. On the other hand, poor drivers will tend to see their rates increase beyond the already astronomical levels. In this regard, you are taking a bit of a risk by opting for a black box insurance policy, but it’s one that will pay off as long as you put the effort into driving responsibly.

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Using the Internet to Find Lower Cost Motorcycle Insurance

In an effort to find better coverage options on motorcycle insurance at a lower cost, many riders are turning to the internet. There is a wide range of services available to compare policies and deliver quotes you’ll need to protect your bike. Finding the best policy still takes a detailed review of the coverage and the cost of any policy.

Find Your Current Policy

Before you start any surfing, find a current copy of your policy so you know what your coverage levels are now as well as deductibles and other costs. This policy will help you do a legitimate comparison to any other offers you receive on the web. Sometimes consumers are anxious to settle for the lowest cost and this may be a mistake. Some of these lower cost policies have very high deductibles or offer very poor protection. Often times, spending a little bit more for a policy can buy you a whole lot more coverage. Having your current policy in front of you will allow you to compare your existing coverage to any new quote to understand if the deal you are being offered is really better. This will also help you decide if making adjustments to things like your deductibles makes sense for the savings they provide.

Use a Comparison Website

Once you have a baseline of what your current policy provides, you can visit one of the many motorcycle insurance websites available. These sites do an incredible job of asking you for a few pieces of information about your bike and your driving habits to deliver a list of policies that may fit your needs. You can quickly compare these various offers to see the different levels of protection and cost they provide. Some sites will show you the average price for the policy and others will require your email address to have the individual companies send you a quote directly. Some consumers aren’t comfortable surrendering their email and worry that they will receive unwanted solicitations. If this is a concern, you can still use the site to get a general feel for the cost of a policy that fits your needs and then contact the individual companies directly that offer the policy you like.

Request a Digital Quote

If you find a company or two with rates that interest you, ask them to send you a quote for the coverage. In years past this would require a trip to an office to assemble the paperwork. In the new digital age, all of this can be done online and you can actually receive your coverage immediately after submitting payment. Even though this may be tempting, take a little time to review the quote these companies send out. You normally have a few days to consider the coverage they are offering and it’s always a good idea to seriously consider an offer before making a decision. This will also give you the time you’ll need to compare it to your current policy in detail and make sure you’re getting the coverage you want.

Talk With Your Agent

One last step before making a decision online is to speak with your current agent about your policy. When you have this conversation, bring the quote you like most with you to see if they can offer you similar coverage at the same price. In most cases they will appreciate you giving them the opportunity to keep your business and will find a way to make the numbers you have been given online work in one of their policies. They would rather offer you whatever discount was needed, than lose you as a customer.

Even if your agent can’t actually meet the pricing of the quote you received over the web, they can help you review it and may point out problems with the policy that you missed. This review can be a great way to make sure you’re getting what you expect and will help you avoid mistakes with a confusing policy. This is especially true if the price you were quoted was substantially lower than your current policy. This type of dramatic price decrease may indicate problems with the policy that only a trained agent can find. You may discover after reviewing these new quotes with your agent that it’s still a better deal for you to pay a little higher premium to have a policy with someone you already know and can trust to protect you.

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Tips for Getting the Best Car Insurance for Your Mercedes E Class Car

The cars in the Mercedes E class are some of the most popular luxury cars available to drivers today. The bummer is that getting car insurance for your Mercedes can take a huge bite out of your wallet. These handy tips can reduce your bill and make your vehicle more affordable to have.

Be clear with your insurance representative about the safety features in your vehicle.

The Mercedes-Benz brand is known for being exceptional not only in luxury, but also safety. With Mercedes E class vehicles specifically, you get features such as the Pre-Safe Technology system that prepares the car for impact, headlights that adjust automatically for optimum visual clarity and cameras to tell if you are weaving between lanes on the road. All of these safety features lower your risk of getting in a crash and often reduce the severity of the damages or injuries that happen when an accident does happen. Your insurance agent can reward you for this reduced risk, but if you’re not clear on all the safety features present in your model, you could miss out on a bigger discount.

Bundle your insurance.

Many insurance providers offer homeowners and other types of insurance in addition to auto insurance. You often can save money on your Mercedes E class insurance (or vehicle insurance in general) by bundling it with other insurance products you’re going to buy anyway, although you need to shop around to see what’s actually cheapest.

Consider lower horsepower.

In general, the majority of Mercedes E class vehicles offer 300 horsepower or more. Considering that a typical car offers somewhere in the neighborhood of 200, you’re going to get more oomph out of these vehicles. That said, there’s a lot of variance in the engines. If you’re looking for a sedan, for instance, the 2014 E250 BlueTEC offers a modest 195 hp, while the E63 AMG 4Matic has 550 hp. Insurance companies associate higher horsepower with higher speeds, because statistically, people who drive these types of cars do drive faster and, therefore, are at a higher risk of an accident. If you are buying a Mercedes, think critically about the amount of power you’re really going to use and need and you can save on your premiums by toning it down a notch.

Install a security system and use your garage.

Similar to safety features, security systems on vehicles lower premiums. Installing one in your Mercedes E class vehicle provides a greater deterrent against theft and vandalism, reducing risk for your insurance provider. In the same way, putting your Mercedes in a secured garage lowers risk by reducing the direct access people have to the car. It also lowers the odds that the vehicle will be damaged by natural events such as a tree falling in a storm or hail.

Take a class.

Most insurance providers now provide a discount on vehicle premiums if you take a defensive or safe driver class. These apply just as well to Mercedes-Benz vehicles as others. More specifically, however, you can look for a course from Mercedez-Benz or another luxury vehicle manufacturer designed specifically for luxury cars. These classes do offer defensive driving strategies, but they focus more on teaching you to handle the horsepower in your car properly, ensuring that you have the right attitude about how and when to use the vehicle.

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Go Auto Insurance – Specific Offers for Specific Needs

Bundled insurance coverage for house, health, life, and car often gives cost-saving benefit, but some people simply choose to separate their policies because this can often provide better quality of services, for example with auto insurance. Being an insurance company that specifically offers auto insurance policies, Go Auto Insurance does not even sell coverage for motorcycle, boat, or any other type of vehicle. It specializes in providing coverage for all car drivers in Arkansas. Moreover, it is also different from most companies in this industry because it is a family-oriented company which does not publicly trade their shares. Based on those two characteristics, there are plenty of great benefits for customers, including but not limited to the following:

1. Personalized options

One of the biggest benefits of purchasing auto insurance only without bundling it with other policies is the possibility to personalize more options, for example the quotes and payment. Since Go Auto Insurance only sells coverage policies for cars, customers are able to adjust their options without any additional fees. In most cases, there are always less restricting rules about how you pay, or what types of coverage to purchase, and other limitations commonly found in bundled insurance.

2. Non-commissioned agents

You may find yourself in a situation where an insurance agent is determined to persuade you to purchase the insurance from a particular company. The main reason is that the agent may earn some commissions for every sale they make. Go Auto Insurance does have agents, but they are non-commissioned, meaning you only pay for what you get without additional fee for the services provided by the agents.

3. Focus and simplicity

As mentioned earlier, Go Auto Insurance only offers coverage policies for cars. This mindset allows the company to easily focus on a specific field so that everything is handled properly without involving any complexity of a bundled insurance. More than that, all processes from asking for quotes, making a purchase, to filing a claim are simple for customers. Bundled insurance, in one way or another, tends to lead customers to give less detailed attentions to every policy they have. Go Auto Insurance does not deal with any other type of policy, allowing you and the company to discuss and handle all matters more specifically which often leads to better results for both parties.

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Prevent Dangerous Driving with IVMS

As an employer, it’s not only important to ensure the safety of all employees on the road, but to prevent any unnecessary costs associated with dangerous or careless driving. This is why many are turning to In Vehicle Management Systems, also known as telematics or GPS tracking.

IVMS allows users, whether that’s an owner or fleet management, immediate insight into their fleet’s driving activities, therefore enabling real-time identification of dangerous, at risk driving behaviour. At risk driving behaviour can include anything from speeding, excessive engine revving, harsh braking, rapid acceleration, freewheeling or entry of dangerous or high risk geofenced areas.

This insight allows users to first and foremost address the risky driving behaviour. Once employees know their driving is being regularly monitored and at-risk behaviour is being addressed, employees will tend to drive more carefully.

In addition, IVMS offers users the ability to:

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Protecting your Land Rover and Your Passengers

Driving on the road is one of the most dangerous things you can do, yet it is something you do almost everyday. Even if you’re a great driver, you can’t help how other people drive around you. Keeping yourself safe and protecting your Land Rover Discovery from damage and theft can be a challenge. Use these tips to improve your chances.

Safety Features

SUVs have a reputation for rolling. This is a dangerous feature that requires not only safety features in the car but careful driving skills. While SUVs are considered one of the safest vehicles on the road, they do roll more than cars and can be more dangerous and damaging to other smaller vehicles on the road.

Make sure you buy an SUV with anti-lock brakes, which help you to steer your vehicle even under full braking power. The brakes are quickly pumped keeping the wheel from locking up. They also help you stop quicker on slippery pavement.

Anti-skid systems use sensors to detect when a vehicle loses grip on the road. If this happens, the anti-lock brakes kick in to help get the car back on track. Roll stability control is similar, using sensors to help detect if the vehicle could roll. It then activates the anti-skid system and works on flat pavement. The Land Rover has a roll stability control system.

Driving Tips

• Keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you – Tailgating is a dangerous way to drive, especially when you’re driving a Land Rover SUV. If the car in front of you slams on the brakes, you might not be able to stop in time if you don’t have enough distance between the two cars.

• Slow down around corners – If you’re used to driving a sedan or smaller vehicle, you might not think about your speed while taking corners. With an SUV, turn corners at a reasonable speed.

• Drive carefully in snow and rain – This goes for any kind of vehicle, but especially SUVs. SUVs have four-wheel drive, but if you are driving too fast in the snow, you could have trouble stopping.

• If you lose control, don’t panic – Instead, move smoothly. Don’t overcorrect your movements if you are trying to avoid a deer or another vehicle.

Why Anti-Theft Features Benefit you in Multiple Ways

Physical safety is important, but so is protection from theft. Install or use as many of these anti-theft features as you can to protect your Land Rover.

• Lock your doors at all times – If you don’t lock your doors all the time, you better start. Even if your car is at home in your garage, it can still be stolen or broken into. Locking the doors adds another layer of protection. If you have deadbolt locks on your doors, this will also deter thieves and protect your vehicle.

• Don’t leave valuables in your car – If your car is stolen, chances are you won’t get any valuables from inside back. Even items that are only important to you, such as files or papers for work, shouldn’t be stored in your SUV.

• Tracking devices – If you can install a tracking device on your car you could find your car if it’s stolen. This can also help deter thieves from trying to steal your car from the start.

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