Canadian teenager is having his first car

Type of Car For Every Stage of Life

As an adult living in a large city like Vancouver, you will probably have to rely on a car to get you wherever you need to go. The type of car you own typically reflects the stage you’re at in life. For example, you rarely see a person in their 20s riding in a mini-van unless they already have a family. Similarly, it is rare to see an elderly person in an older model car, as seniors typically have the disposable income to buy or lease a newer car for themselves. If you are in the market for a new or used car, there are some vehicles that are better suited to your stage in life than others. Take a look at the examples of cars that are ideally suited to each stage of a driver’s adult life.

Types of Car For 4 Stages of Your Life

1. Teenagers/Students

Plenty of Canadian teenagers and students get their first car as soon as they are able to legally drive. At this point in life, most students and teens will want a car that is reliable and relatively inexpensive. This car is definitely not going to be your ‘forever car’, but the idea is to get something that can still take a few miles before requiring serious maintenance or repairs. A small car with four doors is often the choice for teens and young adults, such as a Mazda 3, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Veloster or a Honda Fit. These cars have room for passengers, as well as some car-sharing like car2go, making them ideal for road trips with friends! In addition to their convenience and economy, these cars are among the safest on the road, making them ideal for new drivers.

 

Lower Income Earner

After working for a few years and earning a living on your own, you may find it is time to upgrade your vehicle situation. While your options may be somewhat limited due to the level of income you currently earn, there are lots of affordable vehicle options that can reflect your personal style while remaining fuel-efficient and practical for your lifestyle. Some of the following car options come with a few more bells and whistles that can be added on to enhance your driving experience. At this point in your life, you might consider something like a Honda Civic, VW Golf, or even a Mini Cooper S.

 

2. Single Adult, Comfortable Living

As you move into your thirties your tastes and interests may start to change. You may have started a more permanent job which is earning you a comfortable living. Although you live alone, there are likely some long term relationships in your life that will influence your vehicle decision. An upgrade in vehicle size, comfort and style will likely be high on your list of priorities, as your weekend may start to fill up with larger social gatherings such as weddings, birthdays and weekend trips with friends and/or family. A well-rounded SUV like a Jeep Cherokee, Mazda MX-5 or a VW Tiguan can be the perfect option at this stage in life.

 

3. Single-Family

After starting a family, you will probably find that the car you used to drive around in when you were in your 20s and 30s just isn’t cutting it anymore. With children and their car seats especially, it is always best to have plenty of space in a car. This makes it a lot easier to get around with a car full of passengers, and larger vehicles for these purposes typically have enhanced safety features. You can’t go wrong with a quality SUV or mini-van at this stage in life, such as the Dodge Caravan, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, or a practical station wagon such as the Subaru Outback.

 

4. Senior Drivers

As the chicks fly from the nest, and you start diving less and less, downsizing your vehicle can make plenty of practical sense. In terms of fuel economy and safety, there are plenty of great options for senior drivers who can afford to spend a little extra on their cars. Since this will be one of the last cars you may ever buy, don’t be afraid to spend a little more to get exactly what you want in a vehicle. Just because you are driving less, doesn’t mean driving has to be less fun! Some great, fuel-efficient cars that have some luxury and performance to offer include the Mercedes E250, Tesla Model S and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

 

Hopefully you’ve gained a bit of insight into the type of vehicle that is ideal for your station in life. No matter what kind of car you end up with, be sure to give the friendly team at Spotlite Collision a call if you ever are in need of autobody repairs or maintenance.

buying a used car

7 Considerations when Buying a Used Car in 2020

Buying a used car can be a daunting task, especially if you are doing the shopping for the first time. Unlike when you are buying a new car, there are many considerations to make to ensure you get the best car that lasts for a long time. You want to get a used car that will not cost you a lot of money and time doing unnecessary repairs. The good thing is that if you make the right purchase, you get the correct value for your money. A used car costs less compared to a brand new car. Besides, continuous ownership expenses like taxes or collision insurance are lower too.  Whether you are buying from a certified auto body shop Vancouver, neighbor or a dealer, there are certain things to consider. Below are some of the considerations when buying a used car in 2020.

7 Considerations when Buying a Used Car

1. What used car is perfect for you?

The most important thing to consider is the type of used car that is right for you. The right car for you is one that meets your needs, personal taste and budget. Take time to think of the features you need in the used car and those deemed luxurious. Besides, you should also make an evaluation on your car type, safety rating, fuel economy, resale value, driving experience, and size.

2. Where to but the used car

There are several options when it comes to where you can get the right used car in Vancouver. Some of the resources to get information on the best place to buy include; consumer report, online listings, local newspaper’s classified section, public auctions, and other print media. You should also not forget to check your local dealer to find out if they have the type of used car that meets your needs. The most important thing is to ensure that you buy from an ICBC accredited auto body shop.

3. Price of the car

This is another critical consideration you have to make in the process since it is your budget that determines the used car you purchase. To get high quality used car, it is always advisable to have a reasonable budget. Several factors determine the value of a used car in Vancouver. Some of these factors include maintenance, accident history, weather damage, among others. You need to make a comparison of the price from different auto shops to get one providing them at the most affordable price. Avoid very cheap used cars, because you may end up paying more doing repairs and other maintenance work.

4. Perform pre-purchase used car inspection

Like when you are buying any other asset, you should carry out a pre-purchase inspection as you buy a used car in Vancouver. The inspection is necessary so that you can determine the safety, cosmetic and mechanical condition of the car. Seeking helps from a mechanic is the best option since they have the skills and knowledge to detect issues the potential car may be having. Besides, they can also pinpoint problems that may arise in the future. The pre-inspection report can help as you negotiate for a fair price.

5. How do you negotiate for the price?

It is good to think about how you will negotiate for the price of your potential used car after doing the inspection. In most cases, most of the used car shops will quote a higher price than they expect to sell the car. Therefore, there is always room for negotiating for a price reduction. Before you start to negotiate, make sure you understand the used car value range and all other factors that determine the value of the car. This helps you make a more confident offer depending on your budget and research. Do not do it emotionally; you should apply reason because a successful agreement is beneficial for all the parties involved. If you are not confident, you can always get a trusted person to negotiate for the car on your behalf.

6. Insurance needs

Even before you close the deal, it is good to think about your used car insurance needs. It is good to upgrade your used car because this gives you enough time to assess your insurance needs and ensure you get the proper coverage. Before you finalize the sale, you should update the insurance. You need to go out and shop to find out what is there in terms of costs that your premium covers. The great thing is that there are a lot of discount programs, so take the time to get the best among the many.

7. Closing the deal

Now that you have satisfied that you are getting the best deal when buying the used car, it is time to close the deal. Make the final payment and ensure you get all the necessary documents that give you full ownership of the car. An ICBC accredited auto body shop Vancouver will ensure you get the best-used car that serves you for many years and get the value of the amount spent on it.

 

Services car engine machine concept, Automobile mechanic repairman checking a car engine with inspecting writing to the clipboard the checklist for repair machine, car service and maintenance

8 Cost Effective Ways to Extend the Life of Your Car

Buying a brand new or used car is a great investment. You do not only spend money, but also time on it. To get the value on your investment, you should make sure it lasts as long as possible. This requires high level care and maintenance. The following are some of the simple ways on how you can maintain your car to last longer.

Car Maintenance Tips

1. Change the filters often

Your automobile air and oil filters may get clogged after sometimes. Clogging of the filters can bring several problems, so it is advisable to check and change them on a regular basis. It is good to have them replaced during the normal car servicing. The job is simple so you can do it by yourself, but you can also seek help from your mechanic if you are not confident on how to go about it. Washing the filters also goes a long way in enhancing their lifespan.

2. Apply best driving practices

The way you drive your car can highly determine whether it lasts long or not. You should drive it smoothly regardless of the engine condition. Applying the best driving practice help minimize wear and tear. Some of these practices include taking the right control of the steering wheel, pedals, gearbox and looking ahead at all times to avoid sudden breaking. Make sure you rev your engine fully to prevent buildup of carbon deposits that reduce your car efficiency.

3. Leads and spark plug replacements

The performance of your car engine is very essential to the overall efficiency and durability of the car. You can enhance the performance of your car engine by regular replacement of your high tension leads and spark plugs. As you inspect the spark plugs, make sure they have light brown insulators and electrodes. Besides, ensure no signs of deposits, wear or melting are visible. In case the leads are cracked or are worn out, they require replacement. Consult a reputable auto body Vancouver shop to do the job.

4. Change the fluids on a regular basis

It is good to note that fluids act as your car lifeblood. If you do not replenish them, several problems would occur. You should check engine oil bi-weekly. Make sure the oil levels are between the lower and upper limits. The oil should be light yellow brown in colour in case your car has a petrol engine. Dirty and dark oil requires immediate replacement. It is also advisable to check coolant reservoir fortnightly. Fill it with 50 percent antifreeze and same amount of distilled water.

5. Checking and maintaining the tyres

The most critical safety features of your car are the tyres. Checking them once a week is a great way to enhance your car efficiency and saving money. Note that underinflated tyres lead to more fuel consumption, so they should always have the right pressures. Another important consideration to know is that the pressures may differ for the back and front tyres. You can also increase their lifespan by swapping them from time to time. Besides, professional alignment may help reduce the wearing out of the tyres.

6. Cleaning your car

One of the ways of maintaining a car is by regular cleaning. This is not a task that only makes the car look great, but it also increases its overall lifespan. Grime and grit affect the different car moving parts leading to increased risk of tear, wear and corrosion. Take it to a car wash and apply protective spray on the body to reduce the risks of discoloration and cracking.

7. Car battery maintenance

In case you do not use the car for a long time its battery may go flat or degrade. If you jumpstart it, this puts more strain on the battery. This may damage the engine system of the car and other delicate parts. If your car is not being used, you need to use a trickle charger to ensure that battery is topped up.

8. Rust proof the car

Nowadays most of the cars are rust resistant. However, metal corrosion still acts as a factor that affects the lifespan of most cars. Once your car develops rust, it is uneconomical to repair it. Therefore, if you find signs of lasting, you need to act immediately. The first thing you should do is to apply a touch up paint on the affected part before its gets re-sprayed professionally. You can also rust-proof your car by filling the cavities using a waxy substance made to prevent water infiltration.

The above are simple ways you can enhance the lifespan of your car. Car maintenance is not expensive, so you should never allow your car to become inefficient by not doing the right care. You can also regularly take it to a reputable auto body Vancouver shop for regular checking to ensure it is in the right conditions at all times.

autobody repairs

8 Common Auto Body Repairs

Why you should know the different types of auto body repair?

Your car is a vital asset worth protecting. It costs you a good investment, so it is necessary to ensure that it is in the right condition at all times. Like any other machine you own, your car is prone to damage as a result of car accident Vancouver or the normal tear and wear. Some of the damages may make your car dysfunctional. Others may not have immediate effect on the functionality of the car, but if they remain unattended, your car may break down at some point. To avoid such inconveniences, it is good to have your car repaired immediately you note there is an issue that requires attention. A good auto body shop in Vancouver can help do the right repairs.

Knowing the different types of auto body repair is necessary to help you make the right decision. The knowledge helps avoid the nervousness that comes when you find your car is damaged. Besides, you also make the right decision as to whether you take it to a car body shop Vancouver or your mechanic.

Types of auto body repair

1. Paintless dent repair

This is one of the most advanced types of auto body repair. It has brought great impact in the auto body business. When a car body gets a dent or dents, but the paint work is not affected, this is the best type of repair to be done. A paintless dent removal is the best option in such a situation. When paintless dent repair is done, your mechanic makes use of the state of the art tools to tap away from the car body dent. After this procedure is completed, you can expect your car to attain its new look again.

2. Body filler

For more severe car body issues, body filling is usually the best option to restore the car.  Your mechanic will apply the body filler, which is a material added to the car dent surface. This type of repairs is the best option when the dent is big. The body filler get smoothened to come up with a smooth line over the dented surface. When the body filler dries completely, the area is then painted to look like the rest of the car body. After the work is completed, your car body does not look like it had any dent.

3. Bumper replacements

Damaged car in repair shop

bumper replacement

During a car accident Vancouver, the back and front bumpers are often the most affected parts. This mostly happens if the accident involves a collision. In case the bumpers get damaged completely, they require to be replaced. A reputable car body shop Vancouver helps order and replaces the bumper with the one that suits your car model and make.

4. Car body painting

This is a common type of auto body repair. The repair is mostly done to help protect the outside part of the car. The body painting helps protect the body from weathering or it can be for cosmetic purposes. During an accident, your car may get direct damage or might get a deep scratch on the outside part after a collision. Most people view this type of repair just for cosmetic purposes, but it goes a long way in protecting your car from further damages. Note that chips and scratches do pose great risks to your car including cracking, paint damage and rusting. Therefore, car body painting helps protect your car from all these issues. The most critical thing is to make sure the paint applied matches the body and model of the car.

5. Car collision repair

car collision repair

collision repair

 

A car accident in Vancouver may involve collision. Car collision repair may include several fixes and is necessary to enhance the functionality and durability of your car.  A collision can occur anytime and most people tend to ignore the damages that result because they seem minor.  To avoid further problems it is good to have a car body Vancouver shop assess the damage and have it repaired. The repair work may involve working on the damaged frame or other car body parts.

 

 

6. Window repair and replacement

Window damage is one of the most common problems you may face with your car. The damage may come in different sizes and shapes. Besides, the damage can result from various causes. Some of the major causes of car window damage include collision, dust storm, hailstorm among others.  This type of auto body repair involves just repairing the window or replacement if it is extremely damaged.

7. Frame alignment and repair

Car frame repair or alignment is necessary to ensure that your car stop shaking or pulling to the right or left while driving. This form of repair is necessary to enhance the overall health of your car. It also helps avoid accidents because when your car shakes or pull to the right or left there is a high risk of accident.

8. Car detailing

Car detailing

car detailing

is a form of auto body repair that may not be necessary to enhance the health of your car. It is a form of repair that just makes you feel proud of your automobile. The repair may involve polishing the taillights and headlights or touching the paint. Besides making your car look good, it also enhances its resale value.

It is our goal to provide peace of mind as well as fast and reliable auto body repair services to everyone who visits our Vancouver auto body shop. For more information, or to arrange for a free and accurate estimate on any repairs you need, feel free to contact us today.

steps after car accident icbc

Steps to Take After a Collision According to ICBC

According to the ICBC, there are roughly 50,000 traffic collisions in the province of BC each year. For drivers, this means there is about a 1 in 44 chance of being involved in a collision. While those odds are far from a sure thing, they’re still good enough to encourage all drivers to be familiar with what to do in the event of a collision. By taking the proper steps after a collision of any type, drivers can ensure they and their passengers remain safe at all times, and the situation unfolds as smoothly as possible when it comes to dealing with police, fellow drivers and your insurer. To make sure you’re prepared in the instance of a collision, keep the following tips in mind when you get behind the wheel.

Injuries

In the event of a collision, no matter how insignificant it may seem, the first thing you should do is make sure yourself and anyone in your vehicle haven’t suffered any serious injuries. In some cases, the shock of a sudden collision may cause people to downplay the seriousness of their injury. Even if an injury seems insignificant, you should pay a visit to the hospital or dial 911 if you are in doubt. When you’ve made sure everything is under control, you can move your vehicle to an area where it is safe to get out. If the car has suffered extensive damage (major structural damage, leaking fluids, broken glass, etc), simply exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so and wait for emergency crews to arrive.

Information Exchange and Collection

One other vital action you must take at the scene of an accident is an exchange of information with the other driver involved in the collision. You may also want to get the information of any witnesses to the accident. In both cases, this means obtaining information such as the name and phone number of the person involved. You should also make note of the license plate number, the make and model of the car(s) involved in the collision, and the insurance details of the other driver. Once you’ve done this, it is also a good idea to take photos of the damage to your car and to make note of the accident conditions. Things like weather, speed limit, road conditions and more are all relevant when it comes to filing your claim with ICBC.

Police Involvement

In some cases, police will be involved with the aftermath of the collision. No matter who was at fault, it is important to remember the police are there to hear everyone’s side of the story in order to make an accurate report. Be sure to remain calm and cooperative when speaking with an officer, and be as detailed as possible with your description of the events as you experienced them. If you are at all injured and unable to speak to the police right away, be sure to contact them as soon as possible at a later date.

Filing Your Claim

Once the previous tasks have been handled after your collision, it is important to file your claim with ICBC as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to rush home and take care of everything right away. It is important to give yourself some time to let the shock of the collision wear off, and to ensure you and everyone else involved are truly injury-free. You may also want to contact your lawyer, or a number of personal injury lawyers before filing your claim to make sure all of your bases are covered.

For any additional information, be sure to consult the ICBC website, and be sure to bring your vehicle to Spotlite Collision for quality auto body repairs in the event of a collision!

Your Rights as a Car Repair Consumer in Vancouver

Your Rights as a Car Repair Consumer in Vancouver

No one really plans to take their car to a repair garage or autobody shop, but unfortunately there are circumstances in every car owner’s life which may lead to a need for reliable auto repairs. A collision is one of those instances where you will end up having to deal with an autobody repair shop. Before you do so, it is important to have an understanding of your rights as a consumer in this type of situation. For the most part, autobody repair shops will offer you honest and reliable service, but it is still a good idea to know your rights so you can be sure your car will be repaired on time, and according to your budget.

Overcharged for Repairs

Typically you will receive an estimate on any repair work your vehicle requires before you agree to go ahead with the work. Any good autobody repair shop will ensure your estimate is accurate, and that you will only be charged for parts and work that you agree upon. If there is any instance where you are charged for extra parts, labour, or your final cost exceeds a maximum agreed upon amount, or is more than 10% higher than the original estimate, you have the right to lodge a complaint or even seek legal action against the repair shop.

Right to Choose Parts

A good auto mechanic is one you can trust to provide you with parts that are appropriate for the repairs needed. These parts should also fit into your personal budget and/or insurance coverage, otherwise you may end up spending a lot more than you expect. As a consumer, you have the right to choose which parts are used for your vehicle’s repairs. If your mechanic insists on using a certain part, you have the right to know why.

Unsatisfactory Repairs

Customer satisfaction is just as relevant at an autobody repair shop as it is in any other service industry. Since you are the one paying, you have the right to expect your car to be safely and correctly repaired so you can get back on the road as soon as possible. All repair shops must offer some type of warranty on the parts they use as well as the work they do. If you are not offered a warranty, be sure to ask about one. If you find the work or parts are unsatisfactory in any way, you have the right to get the repairs completed again, without being charged for any work or replacement parts.

At Spotlite Collision, we pride ourselves on being completely honest and upfront about the repair costs and requirements with each of our customers. It is our goal to provide peace of mind as well as fast and reliable autobody repair services to everyone who visits our Vancouver autobody shop. For more information, or to arrange for a free and accurate estimate on any repairs you need, feel free to contact us today.

How to Choose the Right Autobody Shop in Vancouver

Why You Shouldn’t DIY Collision Repairs

In today’s world of viral videos and online how-to guides, there is no shortage of encouragement to take the Do-It-Yourself approach to a number of household projects. The same goes for automotive projects. If you own your own vehicle, you may have even taken advantage of some helpful videos and step by step DIY guides for basic car care. Being able to accomplish tasks on your own can be a great way to save time and money, but there are plenty of instances where you should just leave it up to the professionals at your local Vancouver auto body shop, especially when it comes to your vehicle. One of those instances is collision repairs. When it comes to making auto body repairs, you are better off avoiding the DIY approach all together. Here’s why:

You May Cause Inadvertent Damage

Nobody wants to make things worse by taking the DIY approach to a project, but when it comes to repairing collision damage on a car, that is exactly what you’ll probably end up doing. On the surface, repairing a minor dent, scratch or rust build up on your car’s body may seem pretty straightforward, especially after watching some DIY video guides online. Keep in mind however that these videos can easily be edited to give you the wrong impression about how easy collision repairs can be. Even a minor amount of damage to your car’s body can become a major problem if you use improper repair techniques, leading to higher repair costs and more time waiting for your car to be fixed. This is because dents and body damage require detailed repairs that focus on fixing the warped and distorted metal on your vehicle’s body. Simply popping a dent back into shape is rarely all that is required to fix the problem, which is why you should at least get a professional to assess the extent of the damage before attempting to fix the problem yourself. More often than not, you will just make the problem worse if you try to fix it without the proper tools or technique.

Problems with Paint

In the past, cars were given a single coat of paint which was applied using a one-step method. These days however there is much more that goes into fixing damaged paint on a vehicle’s surface. If you are unfamiliar with the proper steps you need to take to match and apply new paint to your car, you will likely just be adding to the problem, making your car look worse, not better, when you’ve finished. Applying paint to a damaged car requires a number of technical steps in order to ensure the paint refinishing isn’t noticeable or susceptible to fading or distortions. This requires a number of different professional grade tools such as sanders and polishers, as well as a specific paint match which can only be guaranteed by a professional. Without these tools and the necessary skills to take on this task, you will likely end up with more damage to the paint than you started with.

DIY can be beneficial when it comes to a number of different tasks. Unfortunately, collision repair isn’t one of them. If your vehicle is damaged in any way after a collision, be sure to trust the experienced autobody professionals at Spotlite Collision to handle your repairs.

How to Protect Your Car From Vancouver Rain Damage

How to Protect Your Car From Vancouver Rain Damage

The most noticeable thing about a vehicle is how good it looks on the outside. Keeping a vehicle’s paint bright and shiny isn’t just about appearances. Protecting the exterior of your vehicle is a good way to maintain its overall value and lifespan. Living in the Vancouver area causes a number of challenges to maintaining a vehicle’s shine. One challenge that can often be overlooked is rain damage. Vancouver gets a lot of rain, and while water is not inherently bad for your vehicle, the particles in the water can be. Car painting can be expensive and tiresome, so below are some tips on how to protect your car’s shine from rain damage in the Vancouver area.

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How to Fix a Car Paint Scratch

How to Fix a Car Paint Scratch

A clean and well-maintained car not only helps its owner make a good impression wherever they may go, it can also do a lot to ensure the car performs well throughout its lifespan. There are plenty of things that can cause a car to deteriorate before its time however. Issues like paint scratches may not seem very serious or problematic at first, but they can potentially lead to issues with your car’s bodywork and overall integrity. If a paint scratch is allowed to rust, it can mean major auto body repairs in the not too distant future. Fortunately, there is a simple way to fix car paint scratches before they become a major issue for your vehicle.

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