Receiving your Federal Tax Refund can be an exciting day. Whether you prepare taxes yourself with an online tax return calculator, or you’ve let a professional handle your business, nothing beats the day you look at your account and find yourself a bit richer. So what do you do with that extra dough? Spend it on a vacation? Buy a cute new outfit? A wiser decision may be taking care of your car. Next to a home, your car is the biggest and most important investment you’ll make. To keep your vehicle running smoothly, and to avoid pouring your wallet’s contents into the pocket of an auto mechanic, check your scheduled maintenance, and regularly inspect for worn parts. Each vehicle will have specific car service needs, and here are a few they all likely have in common.

For decades, the narrative of the shady used car salesman has been repeated. While this misconception is not entirely unfounded, it is greatly overstated. Running into a person who has a story about the time when their little sister’s best friend’s neighbor had to get involved in a car sales transaction because their kid was about to get into a bad deal makes a great story. Either the storyteller (and the person listening to the story) gets the satisfaction of “sticking it to the man”, or gets to commiserate about how they “got stuck by the man.”


An essential part of buying a new car is the test drive. Test drives are exciting, the car is new to you, and you likely have a lot of hope that this is the car you’ll love. Don’t get overly sentimental about the first car you test drive, or even about the third car you test drive. Drive many cars that are in your price range. Driving several cars will allow you to get over the excitement, and remain objective. A car is an investment that you will likely live with for at least a year; the test drive will give you a good idea of problems to come.

It’s the first part of the year and you just saw your tax return hit the bank, It’s a good chunk of change, but it’s not enough to replace your car with a brand new Maserati. So where do you start? Here are a few tips on how to use your tax refund to get you started.

There was a time when you had to take a seller’s word on the history of his car. “Oh, sure, yeah, there’s never been any damage to this beauty, she runs like a top,” they tell you.