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The price of gas is going through the roof and it is time to take action. According to the Energy Information Administration the cost of a gallon of gasoline has gone up 25.7% since 2006! There seems to be no end in sight. Here is an updated version of our 30 Programs for Gas Guzzlers to help you save a few bucks.
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Your employer can give you $115 a month to help pay for bus, train, ferry, or vanpool commuting expenses and neither you nor the employer has to pay taxes on this money. Contact your local transit authority for more details on the program called "Tax Free Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits", or contact: Commuter Check Services Corporation, 401 S. Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ 07631; 201-833-9700; 800-727-9436; Fax: 201-833-8704; http://www.accorservicesusa.com/services/CommuterCheck.aspx. Get a copy of IRS Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide To Fringe Benefits and show your boss the section entitled "Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits." The publication is available from your local IRS office or from 800-TAX-FORM or from their website at www.irs.ustreas.gov
Many seniors have to give up driving their cars, perhaps because of the cost or illness. But then how do they get to the doctor or the bank or the store? Many rely upon their friends and children to solve their transportation needs, but there are times when you need to come up with another alternative. The Eldercare Locator provides access to an extensive network of organizations serving older people at state and local community levels. This service can connect you to information sources for a variety of services including transportation. For more information, contact Eldercare Locator, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Washington, DC 20201; 800-677-1116 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST; http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare/Public/Home.asp
Air courier services operate the same way, but you are required to have a valid passport. Most air freight services don't do enough business to send a plane overseas each day. As a courier, you carry a package checked as baggage to an overseas destination. There have been no incidences of contraband problems, and customs is familiar with this service.
You deliver the package to a company representative in the customs section of the airport, then you are on your own. In exchange, you get to fly to exotic ports for FREE or cheap. Children are not allowed to accompany couriers. Contact companies listed in the air courier section of your phone book, do a web search using the terms "air courier service," or contact the Air Courier Association at 800-383-6814; or online at http://www.aircourier.org/
1. "Gas Savings Products - Fact or Fuelishness"2. "Good, Better, Best: How to Improve Gas Mileage"3. "The Low-Down on High Octane Gasoline"4. "Consider the Alternatives: Alternative Fueled Vehicles and Alternative Vehicle Fuels"5. "Tips for Buying a Used Car"
These five publications are available from the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania, NW, H-130, Washington, DC 20580; 877-FTC-HELP; http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/autos/maintain.shtm
The Environmental Protection Agency publishes several brochures to improve both air quality and gas consumption when it comes to driving your family car. Titles include:
Contact: Transportation and Air Quality, EPA, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460; 202-272-0167; www.epa.gov/otaq/
Buying a new car is usually the second most expensive purchase you make, after the purchase of your home. So getting the most for your money is important. Knowing information about fuel efficiency can save you even more over time. There are several buying guides and publications available to help you choose the car that is right for you and your wallet. The most common resource guide is Consumer Reports. They publish automobile review guides that are available at your local library.
The government estimates that their auctions give them 3 cents for every $100 they spent on the original item. I've never seen those Jeeps for $1 advertised in the back of magazines, but one official said that he has seen vehicles with less than 3,000 miles being sold for well under $1,000. Cars and trucks can go for as little as $100. The price of cars varies depending upon who attends the auctions. The two major agencies that sell vehicles at auctions are the General Services Administration and the Department of Defense. To find the auctions nearest to you contact:
U.S. General Services AdministrationPersonal Property Disposal Solutions1800 F Street, NWWashington, DC 20405703-605-5610www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/home.do?tabId=3
Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service74 N. Washington AvenueBattle Creek, MI 490171-888-352-2255www.drms.dla.mil
When you can't get satisfaction from the manager or owner, then it is time to bring in the big guns: Your state attorney general's office is set up to handle automobile complaints. Sometimes all you have to do is send a letter to the attorney general with a copy to the business owner. The office is in your state capitol which you can find by calling the state capitol operator or going to www.govengine.com and clicking on your state.
Automotive Consumer Action Program (AUTOCAP) is a complaint handling system sponsored by the automobile industry for new or used car purchases from NEW car dealers only. AUTOCAP is conducted by many State Automobile Dealers Associations. Better Business Bureau (BBB) Auto Line is a FREE, out-of-court arbitration program, paid for by the business community to handle automobile complaints between consumers and most auto manufacturers. Contact your local Better Business Bureau or BBB Auto Line, Dispute Resolution Division, Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., 4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22202; 703-276-0100; www.dr.bbb.org/autoline/index.asp/
June Rapp of Massachusetts took her family van into a dealer to have it fixed and they wanted to charge her over $1000 to make the repairs. She called the U.S. Department of Transportation and found out that her problem was part of a manufacturer recall. Recalls have to be fixed for free and the repair shop didn't know that. To find out about recalls for any car, contact: