auto body repair

Missouri License Plate Renewals Simplified

Well, as simplified as possible. There is always a bit of confusion surrounding exactly what you need to have to renew your license plates every year or other year depending on how long you last chose to renew. The following is what you will need with explanations and tips!

1.     Personal Property Tax receipt - You can print a copy of your paid tax receipt from the county website or you can go to the county tax office and purchase a copy. If you have never had to pay personal property taxes before getting your first vehicle you will need to go to the county tax office to get a Certificate of Non-Assessment. Note that you will need to bring your drivers license and proof that you are who you say you are. If you can’t go in person you will have to provide your substitute with a copy of your drivers license and the title to the vehicle for them to be able to take care of the tax matter for you. If your personal property tax bill didn’t list the vehicle you are wanting to renew it is either because you bought it so recently (within the last year) that you haven’t generated the first tax bill on that vehicle or you didn’t get your assessment updated. You won’t be able to renew your plates without the vehicle (unless recently bought) being listed on your tax receipt. Tax tip - be sure to fill out your yearly personal property assessment on time. Many counties place hefty fines on late filing. Most counties allow you to file online before the filing due date, however after that date it’s a trip to the county office and that can take quite a long time to get the assessment filed.

2.     Inspection - Inspections especially as of late can be the most confusing of all the items you need to bring to the DMV. Right now, inspections are required for vehicles based on the model year, so if your vehicle was made in 2013 you will need an inspection for every odd year if made in 2014 you will need and inspection for every even year. If you choose two year plates you will likely need an updated inspection with each renewal. Inspections can’t be more than 60 days old before renewal. Call your mechanic with plenty of notice for your inspection - inspections require minimum amounts of time per vehicle therefore your mechanic can only perform a limited number of inspections per day.

 
 

Vehicles less than five years of manufacturing date are exempt from inspection requirements. There are a few other exemptions such as vehicles with historic plates, for more click here. There is also legislation being considered in Missouri to change inspection requirement laws, although, at this point none of them have become law.

3.     Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice - This is a small blue card that comes to your home in the mail. It includes a pin number that will allow you to renew online. If you renew in person you will have to have this card with you. If you lose this card you will have to fill out an Application for License form found here. Although this form looks like it is only for a newly purchased vehicle it is also used for renewals.

4.     Proof of Insurance - Use the proof of insurance card issued by your insurance company, the same one you keep in your vehicle. A picture on your phone or a copy of a bill can be rejected as proof. However according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Missouri will allow you to use an e-card accessible by your insurance providers smart phone app.

Lastly, if you are looking for a personalized or specialty license plate there is something for everyone. If you’re a qualified disabled Veteran or were a former Prisoner of War you may qualify for a free license plate. Check out the entire list of personalized and specialty plates available at the Missouri Department of Revenue.

 

Blog by: Allison Green

When it’s Time to Stop Driving

Driving is freedom. Losing the ability to drive can be devastating for anyone. The ability to take care of oneself, to have no need to rely on anyone and to come and go as they please is one of the greatest examples of the kind of freedom that driving allows. Keeping that in mind, how do we know when it is time to consider telling an aging loved one that their driving days are over? Beyond that what can be done to help them cope with that decision?

This conversation might be the most difficult of any you’ve had with your parents or grandparents. Keep in mind that neither of you are alone. Even recent international news brought up the subject of aging drivers. After being involved in a car crash while driving, Prince Philip was soon convinced to give up his keys at the age of 97. Around 20% of American drivers are over 65 years of age though within that age range very few have been responsible for any kind of accident. The rate of crash related deaths sees a significant increase for those over 75 years of age, even more so for those over 80. Here in Missouri, 2017 saw accidents involving drivers over 65 result in 183 deaths and 736 severe injuries. Keep in mind however, health conditions that can impair driving can happen at any age, so exactly how do you know when it is time to intervene?

The good news is According to AAA, most senior drivers decide themselves to change their own driving habits. Many begin by avoiding high traffic times of the day, driving in bad weather and often keeping within a small range of travel. Also, in the state of Missouri, drivers over 70 are required to renew their license every three years to ensure their eyesight is sufficient for safe driving and the ability to recognize road signs. If there is still concern regarding a loved one’s safety on the road, AAA offers the following list of reasons to insure that a loved one no longer drives:

  • Delayed response to unexpected situations

  • Becoming easily distracted while driving

  • Decrease in confidence while driving

  • Having difficulty moving into or maintaining the correct lane of traffic

  • Hitting curbs when making right turns or backing up

  • Getting scrapes or dents on car, garage or mailbox

  • Having frequent close calls

  • Driving too fast or too slow for road conditions” ~ AARP.org Kyle Rakow

This article also includes this link for a free online seminar on how best to have that conversation. When and if this moment occurs remember to be empathetic to what they will be experiencing, the loss of what will feel like a main source of independence. Allow them to be a part of the plan for new means of getting around. It is also important to note that getting to doctor’s visits and the grocery store is just as important to your loved ones health as maintaining friendships and social opportunities.

Do the best you can to find out what their normal life routine is before driving abilities are removed to ensure they aren’t left in a lonely situation afterwards. Where again it might be one of the most difficult moments in your relationship with your loved ones, remember the loving care you have for each other will see you through just as it always has.

Blog References: Department of Transportation, Centers for Disease Control, Missouri Department of Transportation

Blog by: Allison Green

Vehicle Damage Insurance Instant Photos Claims – Is it a Good Idea or Not?

According to the Auto Body Repair Industry relying just on your photos of your vehicle accident to make a claim with your insurance company could prove to drastically shortchange your final estimate. Especially if something is damaged under the vehicle and is not apparent in the photos.  

According to insurance data, 2 out of 3 claims can be “underpaid” if the claims are paid within 48 hrs.  In an “I want it now” world it may seem super convenient to have the freedom to simply submit photos via a cell phone to your insurance company to speed up the estimate so that you can gain your repair quickly.

Auto body experts across the Country are cautioning people to allow your Auto Body shop experienced technician to offer your insurance company a firm estimate to be certain that you are not owed more money than the insurance estimate given from submission of only photos.

According to a CNBC.com article instant insurance crash claim cell phone apps are becoming popular and allow you to take photos or video and simply instantaneously send to your insurance claims department:

car-accident-bump.jpg

“Insurers benefit, from, reduced costs of sending out adjusters to handle what turns out to be cosmetic damage, said Loretta Worters, a vice president at the Insurance Information Institute. "It helps to get the claims filed, and their resources are utilized where they're needed most," she said.  

The article goes on to explain that the apps are for minor fender benders and any claim that involves an injury or fault that is not certain will likely involve further investigation. Another thing to take note of is your cell phone camera/video quality. Most insurance companies require superior quality photos.

So, yes, taking photos of your accident scene is important but it is not the end all.  At Richards’ Collision Center, for example, we offer free estimates that we personally submit to your insurance company listing any other damages that the photos did not capture.  This can significantly increase your estimate value thereby gaining your vehicle a proper and efficient repair.

We want to be sure that our customers and customers around the Country are receiving all the money that is owed for their collision repairs.

Learn more about this important subject at Body Shop News

 

 

Rip Roaring Fast Cars in 2017!

Last year we brought you “Rip Roaring Fast Cars in 2016” which highlighted the Venom GT taking you up to 270 miles per hour, the McLaren 675LT at 205 mph and the Audi R8 also up to 205 mph.  So will 2017 cars move even faster? As unimaginable as it may seem, the answer is YES!

Photo Credit: venomgt.com/venom-f5/

The Texas manufacturer has beat its own record of 207 mph with the 2017 Hennessy Venom F5 at 290 miles per hour made in America!   This hypercar has 1500 horsepower and reaches speed in two seconds.  However, don’t expect to see too many of these in the grocery store parking lot.  According to Hennessy Venom website: "Production is very limited, making the Hennessey Venom F5 not only one of the quickest and fastest hypercar in the World, but also one of the most exclusive."

The Venom GT that we reported on last year sold 12 of its $1.2 million Venom GTs in its six-year production run. But now, the era of the Venom GT draws to a close.  According to Road and Track, as of January 19th, all these beauties are SOLD OUT

Coming in second place is the Bugatti Chiron with a speed up to 260 mph, 1500 horsepower, and a 16 cylinder engine. This super-car is manufactured by the Bugatti Automotive Group which is owned by Volkswagen.  Start saving your pennies for this one, it is currently running around $2.6 million plus (based on current exchange rate).

Also making the list this year:

  • The Saleen S7 Twin Turbo at 248 mph and $550,000

  • The McLaren F1 at 240 mph and $1.1 million

  • The Noble M600 at 225 mph and $300,000

For something a little more affordable, fast and fun you might want to check these winners out.

  •  The 2017 Lotus Evora 400 will get you 0 to 60 in 4.1 seconds for just under $90,000.  The Lotus is returning to the United States after two years and capable of reaching 186 mph.
  • The 2017 Hyundai Genesis Coupe will take you up to 146 mph at a kinder price tag of around $30,000. 
  • The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro makes a fast highway pass reaching 60 mph in 4.3 seconds for around $27,000. 

Looking even further into the future, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon promises, even more fun rolling off the assembly line 200 pounds lighter than the Dodge Hellcat.

Looking for speed and fuel efficiency? According to Forbes, this is entirely possible through a few engineering marvels. The Audi TSS gets up to 27 miles per gallon while still capable of making 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

The Chevrolet Camaro previously mentioned can maintain up to 29 miles per gallon and the Ford Mustang up to 31 miles per gallon hitting 50 in 5.3 seconds. 

Out of all of the dynamic super sonic fast cars which one would you choose? For those willing to travel at hyper speed with all the bells and whistles car manufactures can instill there appears to be something for everyone.

Happy, fast and safe travels to all!  

Rise in Counterfeit Auto Parts Cause Safety Concerns

When consumers have their vehicles repaired at auto body shops they expect to receive OEM Parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer) car parts or at the very least quality Aftermarket parts. According to Bruce Foucart, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center for Homeland Security Investigations report that counterfeit auto parts are on the rise with 85-95% of all counterfeit goods coming from China.  "We’ve seen counterfeit safety belts that weren’t secure and air bags that have exploded so dramatically they probably would have done harm had they gone off.  Some of them even failed to deploy."  

Counterfeiting auto parts is a global issue that proposes health and safety concerns for consumers.  Bruce Foucart urges auto body shops to protect consumers by being certain that their parts are legitimate and checking that it is a reputable distributor and confirmed with the manufacturer.  An unusually cheap part may be a warning sign to a body shop or consumers that may look for parts on their own.  

To combat the problem is a newly formed coalition:  The Automobile Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition—the A2C2. It’s made up of nearly every automobile manufacturer and they meet four times a year.   To discover more about this coalition from Bruce Foucart, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center for Homeland Security Investigations click here to read the entire article written by Stacey Phillips at autobodynews.com

Many car manufactures are passionate in the pursuit to thwart those that put lives in danger through their counterfeiting activities. February of this year Hyundai launched a campaign warning Americans about counterfeit parts and the hazards that they can cause to all of us on the roadways. This Youtube video showcases a roulette wheel showing that it is a gamble not to double check the authenticity of auto parts in this day and age of difficult to detect counterfeit parts.  

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that counterfeit automobile parts cost the global automotive parts industry $12 billion in lost sales a year, including $3 billion in the U.S. alone. The FTC also estimates that the U.S. auto parts industry lost sales to counterfeit parts correlates to approximately 200,000 - 250,000 fewer manufacturing jobs. (Prnewswire.com)

With coalitions being formed to combat counterfeiters and an informed public working together we can authenticate our parts, and essentially maintain greater vehicle safety moving forward.