How to Get Your Parents to Buy You a New Car


Posted by  | July 31, 2014 | 
Originally published on 


Your parents, they love you. They want the best for you. They raised you and bought you clothes, food and video games, but why aren’t they buying a new car for you when you’ve asked? And they are not even willing to buy you an old one either!

You’ve negotiated and made the loose bargains you’ve been making your whole life: “I’ll get straight A’s!”, “I’ll do the chores!” or “I’ll take care of you when you’re old!” But those aren’t working. Perhaps it’s time to grow up and approach this tactfully. Think: What would an adult do?

Pick the Car You Want and Explain Its Benefits


Prove your maturity by doing research. Not only will it show your family that you are knowledgeable, but you might also impress them with all your added automotive expertise.

If your parents are hesitant, which they probably are, then you should suggest several vehicles that will ease their nerves and make them reconsider. Select several cars and highlight their safety features, comfort level, fuel economy and price.

Most vehicles these days come with state-of-the-art safety technology, so it wouldn’t hurt to know what electronic stability control does and why anti-lock brakes are important. If you want to really show off your chops, list all the IIHS Top Safety Picks and pinpoint the vehicle you want on the list. Nothing is more important to your parents than your safety, so be sure to leverage that!

Gas prices are on a pretty consistent rise, insurance is always more expensive than it should be and cars aren’t cheap either. With that in mind, beggars can’t really be choosers, so demonstrate to your parents that you can be financially responsible. After researching affordable cars, you’ll notice that not every vehicle has the lavishness of a Lexus, Porsche orBMW, but they can still get you places and isn’t that the important thing? A car should not be a status symbol unless you have earned it yourself.

Convince Them That You’ll Pay Your Share


Nobody likes a spoiled brat, not even your parents, so pay back the good deed. Your mom and dad may take some convincing, but if you can show off your budgeting capability, not only will you get a car, but your family will have a piece of mind too.

Start by paying for the gas you use, move up to the monthly insurance and then, hopefully, over time, you’ll be able to take over the financing or lease. If the car breaks down, if you get a ticket or if your friends make a mess in the backseat, it is your job to clean up that mess. Please don’t let your mom solve all your problems. Admit it, your parents work hard because they don’t deserve to worry about another set of payments. So, anything you can chip in would be great – and make sure you do.

This might mean getting a job on the weekend or after school. Heck, you might even be able to drive to work and show off your ride. All of a sudden, you look a little bit more like the adult you totally are. Understand that a car is not only a wonderful alternative to the bus, it is also a huge responsibility. You’ll need to clean it, take it to maintenance and of course, be responsible while driving it.

Make Your Car Useful and Promise to Follow Rules


My late Uncle Ben once told me: “With great power comes great responsibility.” I always heed those words, and so should you. If you have a car, it is your duty to use it to not only make your life better, but to make your whole family’s life better too.

By sharing the vehicle with your loved ones, you’ll better convince your parents that you actually deserve it. So, why not give your sister a ride to the party? Why not help your mom pick up groceries at the store? Or why not drive your dad to the doctor’s office instead of simply driving him mad? The car shouldn’t just change your life, it should change everyone else’s too – and for the better.

Yes, you’re helping out, but when you do have the car for your own time, be sure to follow the rules; rules that you and your parents have agreed upon initially, before the trip to the dealership, before you put the key into the ignition and before you go cruising down the road.

You should be the one who approaches your parents with the rules. Write them down on paper and make them official – parents love official stuff. Whether you deserve a curfew, restrictions on where you drive or the freedom to have food in your car are up for you and your parents to decide. But, once the rules are set, regardless of what they are, be sure to follow them. As soon as you break a rule and your parents catch you, the trust is lost – and the same might happen to your car privileges.

You deserve a car. But, if you want to drive, you’ll have to prove it.

I won’t save your baby


Baby (12-18 Months) Sitting in Car Seat

Children left in hot cars are parent’s responsibility, not civilians

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Originally published in The Other Press, Aug 5, 2014

Parents leaving their children in the car while they run errands is nothing uncommon—sadly. And recent tragedies remind us of all the bad moms and dads out there, too ignorant and irresponsible to care about their children’s safety. I’m saddened by the death of those infants, but I have no sympathy for bad parenting. If it’s preventable, it should have been prevented; otherwise, you don’t deserve children.

Walking through the parking lot of shopping malls and supermarkets, it’s not unusual to see an automobile with a child or a pet inside. The common behaviour when witnessing such a circumstance is to mind your own business. The parents or guardians will return shortly. It’s wrong to make a big deal, smash the windows, and call the police, right? Even if the being trapped inside is suffocating, dying?

If you are heroic, you are also foolish. Mentalities of bad parents are also the mentalities of bad people. It’s a generalization, but if you’re bad at one, there are few redeeming qualities that can balance it out. Parenting attributes should be a parent’s identity first and foremost. That means if you break a bad parent’s car window, you are probably going to get sued. It doesn’t matter if the child is saved or not. They will blame it on you, the red-handed car thief and alleged child abductor. If you call the cops and you’re right, you might save a child from an abusive life, but if you’re wrong, you’ll have social services take a child away from their parents. You just broke up a family for essentially no reason. So, are you a hero?

The only way to stop infants and toddlers from dying in vehicles while their parents shop, bank, or whatever, is that the parents take onus for what they are doing. They need to stop leaving their children in the car. That is the only solution!

But I do understand the parent’s psyche. All through my childhood, my parents have left me sitting in the backseat of their Honda Civic, while they did whatever adults do. Did anyone make a big deal out of it in 1994? Probably not, and I grew up just fine. Do I think my parents should have been arrested for that act? Probably not, but they should have at least understood the consequences. Did they do something wrong? Well, all that is still debatable. But if they did do something wrong, I would have been hurt, and their guilt would be their punishment. I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed.

Bad parenting kills, if it’s not in the car, it can be in the bathtub or on a sidewalk. Only the parents know what is right for their children and therefore, they should pay the full price when something goes wrong, especially when doing something asinine, like leaving a helpless infant in the car.

I will not break a car window to save your baby. I will turn a blind eye and live with no regrets. Your baby is your responsibility and you are the one who will live with the guilt. Not me. I have no sympathy for bad parenting, and children all over the world die all the time. I can’t save them, and I won’t save yours. It’s only fair. So let’s hope your kid learns to open a car door sooner than later.

Unhaggle | Can Smoking Pot Make You a Better Driver?

Ghostwritten by Elliot Chan for| March 18, 2014 |


In Canada, smoking pot might not be as frowned upon as it once was, but driving while high is still questionable. While some consider it an impairment akin to drinking and driving, others say that marijuana increases awareness on the road and focuses the driver, allowing him or her to be more cautious. But as any experienced driver knows, traffic can be unpredictable. It doesn’t matter how aware, cautious or slow you are going… sometimes things happen.

So, does one ever really feel confident “blazing” down the “high” way in a Hyundai Sonata? Can one ever be certain that a Toyota Venza won’t pull out of an intersection unexpectedly or merge without warning? I ask: should an accident happen, would you want to be sober and competent or would you rather be panicky, high and paranoid? You make the judgement.

High On DUI

In the British Medical Journal, researchers found that the risk of accidents double should a pot smoker choose to drive within three hours after smoking. Although there wasn’t an exact correlation between driving high and accidents, the journal found that those involved in a collision have higher levels of tetrahyrocannabinol (THC), a key compound in marijuana.

The research states, “[TCH] concentrations might also be important, with minor collisions more likely than fatal collisions to involve drivers with lower concentrations of cannabis.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that approximately 18% of fatal accidents involve drug consumption other than alcohol, and that statistic includes weed. In addition, one in nine drivers involved in fatal collisions will test positive for marijuana, according to Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia.

Marijuana use, although is becoming more lenient, is also causing law enforcement to reconsider the term impairment. An article from the 2009 American Journal of Addiction showed that, unlike alcohol, smoking weed has a different effect on different people and measuring impairment may be trickier than conducting a breathalyser.

“We have this notion that since we have a magic number for alcohol, we are going to have a similar number for marijuana,” Paul Armentano, the deputy director NORML said in a The New York Timesinterview“The problem is that marijuana is not metabolized and absorbed by the body in the same way alcohol is.”

But in terms of medical use, the same way some patients shouldn’t operate heavy machinery on certain pharmaceutical medication, so shouldn’t stoners. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is recommending a zero tolerance rule, while roadside officers are willing to put suspected impaired drivers through a physical coordination test called Standard Field Sobriety Test. Failing the test will result in an evaluation from a drug recognition expert and advance on further charges from there.

The punishment for DUI is different in each province, but one thing is certain, the consequence is definitely not something to get high about.

Green Means Go

Pot smokers are known to overcompensate for their diminished motor skills by being cautious and slow on the road. In incidents where officers have pulled over drivers suspected of smoking and driving, the suspects were recognized to be coherent and respectful. There have been many examples where suspects have been acquitted in court due to limited evidence.

Unlike alcohol, which is often known as the aggressor and accelerant for rash decision-making, pot is a relaxant and is much safer than alcohol. But should drivers drop their guard and be relaxed on the road?

“When you’re high, you’re supposed to be relaxed,” 18-year-old Madelyn told Teen Vogue. “But when you’re driving, you technically can’t be! I went numb. I wasn’t sure if I was pressing the gas or the brakes or if I was moving at all. It was really intense, and the colours from the cars and the headlights were all blurring.”

While traditional-thinking people are against pot use and driving, others are presenting new studies that say weed is in fact making our streets safer.

“Our research suggests that the legalization of medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities through reducing alcohol consumption by young adults,” Daniel Rees, professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver and co-author of the study said. Rees added, “Although we make no policy recommendations, it certainly appears as though medical marijuana laws are making our highways safer.”

Because there is so little information available about the result of driving high, researchers are looking at the stats on total fatalities on the roads in relation to the legalization and increased usage of marijuana.

Don’t Be a Dope

Whether you are on your way to White Castle or to watch a delightful movie, we must understand that the driver will always be responsible for their actions prior to stepping behind the wheel. If you are tired, you shouldn’t drive; if you are drunk, you shouldn’t drive; if you are high… you probably shouldn’t drive either. After all, wouldn’t you rather just chill than burn out?

Unhaggle | The 5 Car Features That Will Keep Your Family Safe

Originally posted in
March 13, 2014
Written by Elliot Chan
Before you buy a car, don’t just consider the driver’s needs, but consider the passengers as well. If your family is important to you – you don’t need to convince me that they are – then finding a car with safety features to match is equally as important. Families come in all sizes and so do vehicles, so it doesn’t matter if you are dropping off your kid at school in your Chevrolet Cruze or heading on a family trip in your Toyota Highlander, safety is paramount.Here are five car features that every family-caring chauffeur should consider.

Automated braking


One third of all collisions are rear enders. Excessive speed, road conditions, and carelessness cause drivers to slam their brakes, but sometimes collision happen anyway and the driver from the rear is always liable. That makes braking essential, especially in those close-call moments on the road.

Automated braking is quickly showing its value to many drivers who occasionally change radio stations and enjoy their coffee during their commute. Using sensors, such as radar, laser or video data, the input system is able to calculate the speed of the vehicle and the approaching object and time the brakes accordingly – to stop before the two collide.

As an intuitive system, automated braking works unobtrusively. The driver shouldn’t even notice it’s there. It only activates when the moment arises.

Collision avoidance systems


Collision avoidance systems give your car a little brain of its own, not that it can drive without you. However, it can definitely access the situation around you (speed of traffic, visibility, etc.) to get you where you need to go safer.

Adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, blind spot detections, front crash prevention, lane departure warning and prevention, and park assist are all key features of the collision avoidance system. Each feature utilizes sensors to notify the driver when something (another car, an object, a pedestrian, etc.) is too close for the safety of your car.

Camera assistance (reversing, side views and blind spots)


Not every collision is a major one, but slight maneuvers can still cause big problems, especially for those that occur in tight spaces around your blind spots. Camera assistance is a popular option to help drivers see in those situations. It acts as another mirror or sightline in your vehicle located conveniently on your dashboard or rearview mirrors.

Whether you are changing lanes, parallel parking, or backing into a tight spot, camera assistance will offer you assurance that you’ll at least get to see where you are going, and they are becoming a standard and not simply a luxury item.

Enhanced night visibility


Unlit roads and oncoming headlights strains the eyes and limit visibility causing hazards for many nighttime drivers. Using near-infrared illuminators and a charge-coupled device camera, innovative engineers and manufactures have equipped vehicles with, enhances night visibility. This technology allows drivers to see obstructions that would otherwise be unapparent.

From UV technology, augmented reality windshields, to night-vision imaging systems, prototypes of all kinds are being tested by the biggest names in car manufacturing, because drivers of all calibres know that driving at night is often one of the most challenging aspects, weather conditions aside.

Electronic stability control


Because of the fact that most roads are not straight and traffic doesn’t flow at a constant speed, vehicles and the drivers driving them can find themselves losing control in gut-wrenching situations. According to Transport Canada, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) had worked to reduce the rate of control-loss accidents by 29%.

ESC works by utilizing a sensory system that addresses the speed of the vehicle in relation to the rotation of the wheels with the steering of the driver. If it senses that there is a disconnect between the two, than it can assess the type of swerve (or loss of control) to properly administer the braking needed and help the driver regain control.

Unhaggle | Mo Money Mo Problems: How to Keep Your New Car Budget in Control


Ghostwritten by Elliot Chan| January 15, 2014 | 
Formerly published by 

The coming of age tale: new car buyer enters the dealership seeking for the Batmobile or KITT from Knight Rider, but forced to settle for a car with features no more impressive than those on a flip phone.

Technology in the automotive industry has been taking great leaps forward, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to splurge on a crime-fighting vehicle…yet. New gimmicky features can end up raising the price of your vehicle and the perks of having louder sound, cooler air and a push start ignition may be more than you can spare. So, unless you have a Bruce Wayne budget, it’s best to consider what your ride really needs.

Bells and Whistles of 2014 Cars

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Like all things technology, there is always a more advanced version. Certain features that were once touted as high-end are now standards, such as power lock and window, air conditioning and Bluetooth, are no longer that impressive. Stereo systems today can sync up to your smartphone with ease and play all the tunes you have available without having to shuffle through your collection of CDs or fumbling around with the auxiliary cable. For those who enjoy music, podcasts or any other form of audio entertainment while cruising down the highway, Internet radio is the next feature to look forward to. Yep, even pulling out the smartphone and activating the apps can be considered primitive now.

This year some of the newly integrated features may turn your car ride into a spa treatment, Mercedes’ 2014 S-Class’s Hot-stone massages and E-Class’s semi-autonomous driver may enable drivers and passengers to travel with the luxury of a sultan. And the Tesla Motor’s Model S’s receding door handle will not replicate the palanquin of royalty, but they are still very impressive.

Meanwhile, in a more practical world, Honda has partnered up with industrial vacuum company Shop-Vac to equip drivers with an integrated vacuum. With a new advancement like this, you might only be slightly angry with your friends for eating in your vehicle.

Some might say that every luxury feature only adds to the safety as a car ride because a comfortable driver is a good driver. Advancements in seating technology may seem like a feature we can forego – sure, massaging seats may be an overkill, but a seat that is smart enough to recognize your ergonomic needs is one worth investing in, for your health and the safety of others.

Safety Features That Will Save Your Family

Safety has always been a top priority when it comes to car buying. But whether new safety features are actually beneficial are still in question. While enhanced visibility additions, such as brighter headlights and hydrophobic windshield have proven to be effective; fancy warning systems may in fact be distractions says 2012 Highway Loss Data Institute report.

Regardless, manufacturers are making efforts in developing innovations to enhance safety and mitigate accidents. Pedestrian detection is a feature that Volvo, among other manufacturers, are focusing on. And traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning systems are other features aimed to improve the driving ability of those in urban environments.

Technology packages may be an addition to your new vehicle that might be worth considering. Each manufacturer will have a different set of features and price, here are just a few to give you an idea of how much new innovations can cost:

Make (and Features)

Approx. Price for Technology Package (or Additional Tech Features)

Volvo: tech package


Mercedes-Benz: tech package


BMW: night vision, pedestrian detection


Audi: night vision, pedestrian detection


Lexus: Advanced Pre-Collision System and pedestrian detection


Technology advancements can never truly replace a quality driver, but if you feel the need to add on some tools to make your trip safer, consider the three aspects of vehicle safety when deciding which feature will offer you the best security: crash avoidance, crash protection and driver comfort.

Features for Your Kids’ Future and Your Wallet

For many years now, car manufacturers and drivers have been trying to reduce their carbon (footprint) tire streaks on this planet. To do so they have been gradually introducing new features to offer drivers an opportunity to feel less guilty about their choices.

Honda’s Eco Assist is a feature built specifically to improve fuel efficiency. A push of the button is all it takes for the vehicle to operate at its most economical mode. Honda is leading the way in the car manufacturing revolution by introducing Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicles, an alternative to electric cars and hybrids.

Adding eco-friendly features to your car will make a significant difference to the world we live in and the price we pay to get around. I probably don’t need to tell you about the money you’ll save at the gas station – but I guess I kind of did. In addition to fuel, the government also offers tax rebates for those who choose to drive environmentally friendly cars.

How to Get All the Features You Want Through Greater Negotiation Power

Add-ons cost money and if you want the latest features, you will need to re-evaluate your budget to incorporate some wiggle room or you’ll have to be savvy enough to find the best deal through research or negotiation. There are deals all the time, you just need to be alert when they pop up.

Yahoo! Auto Car Deals offer monthly updates on a wide variety of Canadian vehicles. If you want to have the advantage when you step into the dealership, know what you want and how much it will cost ahead of time.

By simply clicking on the make and model of your choice, you will be directed to the information about the car’s features and finance, courtesy of

From there you can carefully strategize and determine which features suite you. After all, oil slicks and fire boost may help you catch criminals, but if you just want a pleasant ride from home to work, like most people, figure out what will make your car safer and more enjoyable – after all, why shouldn’t getting stuck in traffic be more pleasurable?