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What to Consider Before Buying a Used Car



When it comes to their next set of wheels, the majority of Americans would consider buying used despite harboring concerns about reliability and necessary repairs, suggests a new survey.

The survey from Ally Financial and conducted online by The Harris Poll found that 69% percent of Americans would be likely to consider a used vehicle for their next auto purchase.

The survey also found that the source of the used vehicle matters to consumers, with 53% of respondents saying they would feel most comfortable buying used at a dealership that sells both new and used vehicles. This was much higher than any other category, including purchasing the car from another individual (12%), a used-vehicle-only dealership (10%) and from an internet-based company (8%).

“While there’s a lot of hype around internet auto sales within the industry, the majority of consumers are most comfortable purchasing at a franchise dealer that’s part of the community and where they can ask questions,” says Matthew Arnold, senior regional vice president of Auto Finance at Ally Financial.

Those who currently own used cars largely cite value as the reason for their purchase, with 61% saying they opted for a used car because it was less expensive than a new vehicle, and 34% saying they were able to get more car for their money.

“With new vehicle prices approaching $38,000, it’s a good time to have a refreshed look at used vehicles,” Arnold says. “Vehicle quality from the factory has greatly improved in recent years and that is carrying over to the used vehicle market. Yet, there are still several common sense steps consumers should take before purchasing.”

Arnold recommends the following steps when researching used vehicles:

• Get a vehicle history report. The minimal cost is worth the investment, and some car dealers will provide it for free upon request.

• Consider buying certified pre-owned (CPO). CPO vehicles are backed by the manufacturer and are a good option for used car buyers concerned about reliability.

• Give yourself peace of mind. Vehicle service contracts can help cover unexpected repairs and replacements parts.

• Do your homework. Go online and check independent sources on vehicle reliability and dealership reviews. You can also check the local market value for a specific model based on its mileage and condition. To get savvy about car buying and ownership in general, visit

While a used vehicle can be a good idea for a lot of shoppers, it may require a bit of extra research, particularly if you are harboring any concerns about the vehicle’s reliability. However, experts say that taking a few smart steps can offer you peace of mind and a better deal. (StatePoint)

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Travel Lifestyle

Top Tips for Those Interested in Starting Travel Photography



Traveling the world is the only way to truly know the world. Sadly, not everyone is able to travel the world. As a travel photographer, you can document landscapes, peoples, cultures, customs and history to share with those at home. You’ll also be helping other travelers know what to expect when they visit the places you’ve been. If you are looking to get started in travel photography, consider the following.

Picking Your Gear

The first thing you are going to need is obviously a camera. In fact, you probably want multiple. Your smartphone camera isn’t going to cut it. Smartphones can take nice pictures, but they lack the depth and clarity of a high-quality camera. If you’re going to make a profession out of this, you need to invest. You want a camera that can handle different lighting, focus points, and shutter speeds. If you really want to stand out, you may even consider getting a photography drone.

Aside from cameras, you’re also going to want a quality assortment of lenses. If you want to have really sharp images, according to Photography Talk, then you should use prime lenses. You’re also going to need something to carry it all in. Normally, it’s best to keep your camera gear in a hard case. And you might want to do that when you’re traveling to your destination. But when you’re out and about exploring, you’ll want easy access, so get a photography bag with plenty of padding.

Protect Your Gear

Whatever equipment you choose to get, it won’t come cheap. As such, you really want to protect it. That means more than just getting a good carrying case. You need to make sure that you are cleaning your equipment regularly. Check your owner’s manual for any recommended routine maintenance.

It’s usually a good idea to insure your equipment. You can often buy an insurance package for an additional fee when you purchase your equipment. This will provide you with a quick repair or replacement if your camera is broken or stolen. That isn’t the only type of insurance travel photographers use. According to Athos Insurance Solutions, rental houses will always require the renters to have inland marine equipment insurance, and almost all of them will also require general liability insurance.

Finding Your Destination

If you want to stand out, you need to have quality work that engages people. So, as The Wandering Lens suggests, you need to put a lot of thought into the destinations you choose to document. People are intrigued by the unknown and mysterious. Not many people are amazed by another travel blog about a trip to New York City. That is a place that has been photographed and blogged about by millions. More intriguing would be a trip to Western New York to visit an Amish community. There you could document a culture that is vastly different from what modern society experiences. The curiosity of the unknown would drive interest in your work.

Staging Your Shots

There is a lot more to photography and videography than a simple point and shoot. If you’re going to be making a vlog, you should plan out your video ahead of time. If you are posing for pictures, you should practice your poses in front of a mirror so that you know what they look like. You want to pick the right time for photography. The best lighting is usually at sunrise and sunset. However, if it is a cloudy day, you may want to go a bit earlier or later since it will get darker sooner. If you choose to include drone videos and photography, make sure that you plan your flights ahead of time so that you don’t waste battery. Be sure that you check with local regulations before flying.

Reaching Your Audience

Success as a travel photographer depends on your ability to reach and connect with your audience. As such, you need to know who your audience is. What demographic are you shooting for? Travel interests will vary between age groups. You should pick something and stick to it. The subjects of your photographs should connect with the interests of your target audience. If your audience is interested in history, then photographing ancient ruins will be more productive than beaches. When you post your images, cater your wording towards your audience.

There is a beautiful world out there waiting to be discovered. It is your job as a travel photographer to go out there and find it, capture it in photographs and video, and bring it back for the rest of the world to see. Your work will add to the wonder and awe that people have for this life.

Here’s another article you might like: Play Safe at Home With a Fun-Filled Family Staycation

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