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August 2013

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Road Trip: Visiting the South – Georgia and South Carolina – Part 2
The road trip from the airport in Augusta, Ga., to Aiken, S.C., was easy. I was reminded that the civil engineers in the South hold to high standards, and know well the business of getting you where you’re headed. We arrived at the farmhouse where my wife’s sister and her family live. A southern charmer, it’s on the east edge of town, in the deep woods of South Carolina, and it backs up to 100 acres of cropland. The 100-year-old house is all wood, has a huge attic, is painted white… Read More

Back-to-school driving tips to keep children safe
It sneaks up on us every year. Just like Christmas, back-to-school commitments can catch us off guard, and before we know it, we are racing to and fro, taking our kids to classes and extra-curricular activities. But the rules of the road change a bit from September to May. With some help from, here are a few driving tips that can help you maneuver the back-to-school commute. Check the crosswalk. Just when you think you’re in the clear, a latecomer is making a mad dash in hopes of beating the tardy bell. Double-check the crosswalks to ensure no one… Read More

Car lease or purchase: How to decide which is better for you – Part 2
Should I lease or should I buy? It’s a question we began trying to answer yesterday in Part 1 of our blog post when we provided six reasons you might want to consider leasing your next new vehicle. Today, in Part 2 of our blog post, we provide you six reasons to buy new or used rather than lease. “How does the cost of leasing compare to buying the same new car in terms of out-of-pocket costs? And, if you decide to buy a used car, how much more will that save you? Furthermore, what do those costs look like… Read More

What are the Top 10 new cars for short drivers?
Height is not something I’ve had to worry about when shopping for a new car. At about 6 feet tall, I’m good to go in most, if not all, vehicles. That height is just above average for American men. Women average about 5-foot, 4.5 inches. But that means a lot of people, especially women, are shorter – a disadvantage in many cars, according to Edmunds, a source of car shopping and automotive information. “Diminutive drivers will tell you there are certain things they look for when choosing a vehicle. Good visibility is probably at the top of most of their… Read More

New car for your student? offers its top 10 back-to-school list
Planning to send a new car back to school with your high school or college student? What’s best for you won’t necessarily be the sort of vehicle your student has in mind. But is offering help in the form of its “10 Best Back-To-School Cars” that may suit you both. “As summer ends and another semester opens, editors hand-picked a selection of new cars they recommend for students who may be considering their MPG as well as their GPA,” said The editor’s top pick was the 2014 Nissan Versa Note followed by the Ford Focus and Chevrolet… Read More

Road Trip: Visiting the South – Georgia and South Carolina – Part 1
My wife is an adventurer, for which I am very thankful. The way this usually manifests is that, without my knowing it, we suddenly have dinner plans, a party to go to, or a vacation or road trip in store, and it’s my job to show up and be delightful. I can report that this system is working well. In June, my wife bought four plane tickets so that the two of us and her parents could fly to Augusta, Ga. She reserved a rental car so that we could drive from Augusta to nearby Aiken, S.C., where her sister,… Read More

Keeping up to speed with U.S. used car owners
Our family’s well-used car is about 13 years old, with 128,000 miles on the odometer. But instead of being out of step, it seems we are just about in line with most Americans. A new R.L. Polk study says the average age of American light vehicles is about 11.4 years, the highest average ever, while the average age of light trucks is slightly lower than the overall at 11.3 years. That means there are a lot of well-used vehicles on the roads. In any case, we are satisfied that our 2000 Dodge Caravan,… Read More How to keep kids safe when a babysitter’s behind the wheel
For some parents, just leaving the kids with a babysitter or nanny can be a nerve-racking experience. But it can be several times more distressing when the babysitter is also responsible for chauffeuring the kids around town., a resource for car shopping and automotive information, suggests several steps parents can take to ensure their children's safety while they're in the care — and cars — of others. "First and foremost, parents should check to make sure the caretaker has a valid driver's license and a solid driving record," says Carroll Lachnit, consumer advice editor. "Be on the lookout… Read More

Road Trip destination: Floating down the Guadalupe River
Texas is known for many traditions. There’s the age-old football rivalry between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, the state’s ability to combine our native Mexican fare with Texas flair to form Tex-Mex food and boots worn any time and anywhere. The state flower may be the bluebonnet and pecan the state tree, but the state pastime has to be floating down the Guadalupe River. That’s where my road trip took me during the first week of August. The temperatures were hovering at 100 degrees and nothing sounded better than taking a dip in what the locals… Read More

Kia Optima most affordable midsize car, says
The 2013 Kia Optima has been named the “most affordable” midsize sedan by, an online resource for buying and selling new and used cars. "The Optima topped the list because of its combination of great features, low price and impressive estimated five-year fuel cost," said Patrick Olsen,'s editor-in-chief. "With an estimated $9,750 in fuel cost over five years, the Optima topped out at just $32,975, which is more than $3,000 lower than the average midsize sedan for the same period of time." The Kia Optima LX finished fifth on the… Read More