All posts by Will Griffin

October Photo Contest Results!

Lots of great entries for the photo contest but we went with these 3 winners!

Angela Roach sent this photo in from Georgia with her custom plate and curious passenger.

When we asked Angela about the meaning of the plate and why there was a stuffed Sloth poking out of her car she said;
“Carlisle is the name of my Mini. …I was looking for a manly name. Something w/ a little english/British background. It originates as a protected tower…….so hopefully on my journeys if I ever wreck him, he’ll protect me….lol.. 
The sloth is another story. My birthday was in June. My husband and I live in a tiny house. So, we don’t really buy presents. The north Georgia zoo in Cleveland GA has a sloth (always loved them). And they were looking for money to create a new habitat for the sloth. We donated to them for this. So, I got to meet the sloth and spend time with her. Her name is Jubilee. So, hubby got that sloth for me as a memory from that day. The stuffed sloth stays in my car and rides seat belted in the back seat every where I go. “
Love it! Thanks for the submission Angela and keep supporting the Sloth! 

Our next winner was a Instagram submission from @iamjwest08 

We just loved the color here and composition, yeah we are sort of photography dorks, as well as how the plate perfectly fits the car.

Now we do not suggest you power wash your custom plate but he did a good job avoiding spraying the plate directly. But he is rocking a 2003 Mercedes-Benz C240 with his “DÄS BENZ” plate that he designed online.

Our final winner from October comes from Kyle Hertzler, who got creative with his plate to and surprised is bride to be.

When Kyle ordered this plate a few months back we reached out to him and said PLEASE SEND US PHOTOS! The timing worked out and he send the photos in for the photo contest.

The surprised Fiancé is Larisa and they have been together for 2 years & 7 months!

When we asked what Larisa thought of the proposal he said, “She liked it, thought it was creative, and I got a ver quick YES!” 

The car is a 2003 (MK4) Jetta DI with the GLI skirting all around. We asked why he chose to propose this way and Kyle said, “I have one of your plates on my car all the time and on our first date she asked me what it was supposed to mean. I had 2 bins of rose petals attached to the garage door so 1 dumped when the door opened, the other dumped after I pulled the string.”

Thanks for sharing Kyle and good luck to you and Larisa! Let us know if you need some party favor plates for the wedding. 🙂

Thank you again for everyone who entered. Keep sending them in and checkout our customer gallery page to see if you made on our site.

 

October Photo Contest

What:

CustomEuropeanPlates.com’s, (CEP), October Photo Contest begins on the 1st of the October, and ends on the last day of the October 2017, at 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. By submitting an entry, each contestant agrees to the rules of the contest and states that he or she is 18 years old or older.

Who may enter:

Anyone above 18 years of age.

What to enter:

Engaging photos with a European Plate in the photo, a car is not required. Original ideas, unique design, & a creative presentation are desirable.

How to enter:

Tweet or Instagram your photos to #CustomEuroplatesGallery. Or send your photos to support@customeuropeanplates.com

We do not accept photographs submitted through the US mail and do not accept more than one contestant per e-mail address. High-quality scans of non-digital photographs are acceptable. Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible.

CEP may collect a photograph’s metadata upon entry.

You retain your rights to your photograph; however, by entering the contest, you grant CEP a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion of the magazine and its website, exhibition, and commercial products, including but not limited to CEP publications. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. CEP will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.

Entry deadline:

The contest begins on the 1st of the October. All entries must be received by 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time on the last day of the month, 10/31/17

Judging:

Photo entries will be judged on creativity, quality, & originality. Photos with a European Plate in it are prefered but not required. Photos will be judged by the CEP team on the 1st of November month with the winner being announced by the end of the first week of the month.

CEP will notify the winner via the contact information provided at the time of entry or through their social media channel; CEP may disqualify anyone who fails to respond to the notification within five business days.

Please do not contact us about the status of entries or judging.

Prizes: $50 credit to CustomEuropeanPlates.com

One prize per person; winners may receive additional noncash prizes. Winners will be responsible for paying any notary public fees or taxes they may owe on a prize.

Online Features:  CEP may select photos for highlight on its website or display in a publicly accessible contest archive; such selections will be made in the CEPs sole discretion.

Conditions of Entry

For a photo in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release from the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian and provide it to CEP upon request.

Similarly, entrants whose photos depict other people’s work (such as sculptures, statues, paintings, and other copyrightable works) may need to obtain a release from the rights holder and provide it to CEP upon request. When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close-up of another person’s creation.

Photos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible.

Photos that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent or other objectionable or inappropriate content, as determined by CEP in its sole discretion, are ineligible for this contest.

All entrants hold the Sponsors and their respective regents, directors, officers, employees, emeriti, fellows, interns, research associates, and volunteers (the “Indemnified Parties”) harmless from and against all claims of any nature arising in connection with entrant’s participation in the contest and acceptance or use of a prize. The Indemnified Parties are not liable for any costs, damages, injuries, or other claims incurred as a result of entrants’ participation in the contest or winner’s acceptance and usage of a prize.  The Indemnified Parties are not responsible for incomplete or misdirected entries, technical or network malfunctions or failures, or causes beyond their control. Entrants are solely responsible for their entries. Entrants may not submit materials that introduce any software viruses, worms or other programs designed to damage software, hardware or telecommunications equipment or are off-topic, partisan-political, contain advertising, nudity, personal attacks or expletives, or is otherwise abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, discriminatory, libelous, obscene, false, sexually explicit, or that infringes on the rights of any third party.

The contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. CEP reserves the right to cancel the contest or modify these rules at its discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the winners, the CEP reserves the right to award or not award the prizes in its sole discretion. The CEP reserves the right to disqualify any entrant whose entry or conduct appears in any way to: inhibit the enjoyment of others; tamper with the competition; violate these rules or other applicable law or regulation; infringe on the rights of third parties; or act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Decisions of the CEP are final and binding.

10 Tips to make that old car feel new-ish

Most of us grow tired of our used cars long before they’re used-up cars. But money is tight for just about everyone, so why throw away a car that’s running well just because it’s feeling worn down?

Here are 10 tips recommended by popularmechanic.com

1. Keep it Clean

Not the sexiest first tip but it’s important. Get in there and clean her out. Shampoo, vacuum, & repeat. Get into all the tight spaces and scrub the dirt and grime out of the seats, upolstry, trunk, engine, wheels, everywhere.

This is a pretty obvious first step. But the cleaning pays off because all that time spent tidying up the car is also time spent inspecting it. This is your chance to uncover hidden problems.

2. Keep the Cockpit Clean

“Focus on the area you’re actually going to touch,” Atlanta-area used car dealer Steven Lang says. “Start at the steering wheel and the dashboard. If the wheel is pitted or deteriorated, a simple $10 cover can make a big difference to how a car feels. A dashboard cover may be a good investment too.”

Also check dashboard illumination. There are drivers out there who can’t read their speedometers at night simply because the illumination knob has been dimmed for years through sheer inattention. If the knobs and switches are actually busted or worn-out, though, they can often be cheaply replaced with either new parts or recycled pieces found at a junkyard.

If the dashboard pad is faded, consider repainting or dyeing it. You’re going to spend a lot of time staring at it.

And don’t forget the fabric. One of Lang’s favorite tricks for reinvigorating a car is to swap out the front seats for a pair he finds at a junkyard with fewer miles on them. “Seat foam breaks up over time,” he says. “For $100 or $150, a set from a low-mileage vehicle can make a car seem new.”

3. Electronics

Even if your car is only a couple of years old, it’s almost certainly got an outdated sound system. Trading an old radio head unit for one that integrates with an iPod, iPhone or satellite radio, and includes a Bluetooth connection for a cellphone, will shoot your car or truck into the present.

Head units with iPod integration start at under $80 on BestBuy.com. Throw in installation costs and you’ve still spent less than $200 to seriously upgrade your commute entertainment.

Electronic GPS navigation systems have also become affordable over the last few years. Good systems run about $150 and offer all the functionality of OEM systems that are often more than a $1000.

4. Let it Breathe

Aftermarket intake systems and air filters don’t work miracles, but they can open up an older engine’s inhalation system and kick up output a by few horsepower. Cold air intake systems from companies like K & N (KNFilters.com) are available for nearly every vehicle, and installation can usually be accomplished with little more than a screwdriver. Many are under $200.

5. Clean the lenses

Vehicles built during the last couple of decades usually have plastic composite headlamps that weather and dull over time. You can pick up a headlight restoration often for under $30, and they’re easy to use. It only takes a few minutes to turn a dull, yellowed headlight clear—which makes your old car look nicer and instantly improves illumination.

6. Fix the AC

Like your home air conditioner, your car’s AC can suffer buildups of mold, mildew and bacteria. To clean out the system, first make sure the air coming into the system isn’t first passing through leaves, dust or other accumulated grime in the air passageways. Then change or clean any filters in the system. Finally, use an air-conditioning deodorizer to finish things off. If nothing else, your nose should be happier.

7. Rubberize

Your car doors seal against rubber trim that is vulnerable to tears as it ages. These tears can lead to air gaps that howl in the wind while you drive, let heat escape when it’s cold outside, allow cold air to escape when its hot outside, and invite water in when it rains. Replacing these rubber strips takes patience, time and a talent for adhesives, but the strips themselves are usually inexpensive, and installing fresh ones can make your car quieter instantly. Don’t replace the seals if they’re still in good shape, but don’t hesitate if they’re brittle or ragged.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to replace your rubber windshield wiper blades. It’s a cheap way to survive the rainy season.

8. Paint

The use and abuse of touchup paint is a subject that could fill volumes. Generally speaking, it’s best to use it sparingly and carefully.

However, you can easily remove plastic trim pieces on your car’s exterior and repaint them with a spray can. It particularly makes a big difference on black parts that have weathered to a dull gray.

9. Brake & Suspension

“Shocks, springs, dampers, struts, brake rotors and pads may seem like normal service items,” says Matt Edmonds, marketing director for The Tire Rack. “But replacing them can make a huge difference in how a car drives.”

If you go nuts and buy everything—stabilizer bars, urethane bushings, racing shocks and more—it’s possible to make even a 1981 Cadillac Seville handle something like a race car and ride as stiffly as one too. But you don’t have to go to extremes to make your vehicle handle more precisely.

New shock absorbers make a big difference on their own, but while they’re off the car, you might consider rebuilding the suspension and steering system with new ball joints and tie rod ends. If you’re an enthusiast, new springs can lower your car for better handling and give a more aggressive look. Just stay within your budget and mechanical abilities.

The same goes for brakes. Worn discs and pads seriously degrade performance, so replace them.

10. Wheels & Tires

Getting better performance from your tires can be as simple as making sure they’re properly inflated. But when tires need to be replaced, that presents an opportunity to both improve the performance and appearance of your car.

Remember: Everything your car does, it does through the tires. And so good tires enable your car to do everything better. It used to be that moving up to wider tires or larger diameter wheels was difficult, because it was difficult to determine the correct wheel back spacing or how much rubber could fit under your car’s fenders. But today sites like The Tire Rack can provide dozens of wheel and tire combinations tailored to your vehicle.

New, bigger tires are the single most impressive way to change a car’s performance and appearance. Of course, a new set of wheels and tires won’t be inexpensive. But it’s still cheaper than getting a new car.

Source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g175/10-ways-to-make-your-old-car-feel-new/

New Product: The Mystery Plate Box

We are excited to announce the launch of our new product! The Mystery Plate Box!

For $35 you get 4 authentic German plates but what you get is the Mystery. We have a ton of plates around the shop and wanted to get them out in the street so we came up with the Mystery Box!

You’ll get 4 plates with one of the guaranteed to come from our Hall Of Fame! Check out this unboxing video from Youtuber SoNiicYT.

Get your Mystery Plate Box here!

51 Of our favorite Dad Jokes

We love our fathers just like everyone else, but somehow these dad jokes are just as cringeworthy as when he would say them!

Here are the 51 top dad jokes we could recall:

  1. Dad, did you get a haircut? No I got them all cut.
  2. Dad I’m hungry … “Hi hungry” I’m dad
  3. Dad, can you put my shoes on? No, I don’t think they’ll fit me.
  4. Can I watch the TV? Dad: Yes, but don’t turn it on.
  5. I would avoid the sushi if I was you. It’s a little fishy.
  6. What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta.
  7. You know, people say they pick their nose, but I feel like I was just born with mine.
  8. “Every time I hurt myself, even to this day, my dad says, ‘The good news is..it’ll feel better when it quits hurting.’”
  9. What’s brown and sticky? A stick.
  10. Want to hear a joke about paper? Nevermind it’s tearable.
  11. Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
  12. “I’ll call you later!”- “Please don’t do that. I’ve always asked you to call me Dad!”
  13. What did the mountain climber name his son? Cliff.
  14. This graveyard looks overcrowded. People must be dying to get in there.
  15. “My dad literally told me this one last week: ‘Did you hear about the guy who invented Lifesavers? They say he made a mint.’”
  16. “Whenever the cashier at the grocery store asks my dad if he would like the milk in a bag he replies, ‘No, just leave it in the carton!’”
  17. I got so angry the other day when I couldn’t find my stress ball.
  18. If I had a dime for every book I’ve ever read, I’d say: “Wow, that’s coincidental.”
  19. I’m not indecisive. Unless you want me to be.
  20. How many apples grow on a tree? All of them.
  21. How does a penguin build it’s house? Igloos it together.
  22. “Me: ‘Dad, make me a sandwich!’ Dad: ‘Poof, You’re a sandwich!’”
  23. “I heard there was a new store called Moderation. They have everything there
  24. A steak pun is a rare medium well done.
  25. “How can you tell if a ant is a boy or a girl? They’re all girls, otherwise they’d be uncles.”
  26. Milk is also the fastest liquid on earth – its pasteurized before you even see it
  27. “What’s Forrest Gump’s password? 1forrest1”
  28. The only thing worse than having diarrhea is having to spell it.
  29. I asked my friend to help me with a math problem. He said: “Don’t worry; this is a piece of cake.” I said: “No, it’s a math problem.”
  30. People don’t like having to bend over to get their drinks. We really need to raise the bar.
  31. I don’t play soccer because I enjoy the sport. I’m just doing it for kicks.
  32. Did I tell you the time I fell in love during a backflip? I was heels over head.
  33. I used to work in a shoe recycling shop. It was sole destroying.
  34. Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees? Because they’re so good at it.
  35. Where did the one-legged waitress work? IHOP!
  36. What happened when the two antennas got married? Well, the ceremony was kinda boring, but the reception was great!
  37. What did one snowman say to the other one?  “Do you smell carrots?”
  38. How do you make a tissue dance?  You put a little boogie in it!
  39. Why did the blonde stare at the orange juice container?  It said concentrate!
  40. If your nose runs and your feet smell, you are built upside down!
  41. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn’t find any.
  42. Q: How do you organize an outer space party? A: You planet.
  43. Q: What do you call a belt with a watch on it?A: A waist of time.
  44. What kind of shoes does a thief wear? Sneakers
  45. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”
  46. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.
  47. I went to a seafood disco last week… and pulled a mussel.
  48. Did you hear about the man who stole a calendar? He got 12 months.
  49. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, Doctor, doctor, I can’t feel my legs!” The doctor replied, “I know you can’t I’ve cut off your arms!”
  50. Do you know where you can get chicken broth in bulk? The stock market.
  51. What did the ocean say to the shore? Nothing, it just waved.

CustomEuropeanPlates.com

Summer is Here! How to Protect your Car from the Summer Heat?

We all know that sun exposure can harm our skin, but did you know the sun’s rays can also damage your car? When you leave your car in the sun for extended periods of time, the temperature inside can reach as high as 145 degrees Fahrenheit, while the surface of the car’s exterior can reach much higher – up to nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit!

Your car is not immune to negative effects caused by such heat. Here are 10 simple ways to protect your vehicle from sun damage:

  1. Regularly check your fluid levels: When it’s hot outside, the fluids in your car can get used up more quickly than under normal circumstances. If you happen to be low on coolant, transmission fluid, or oil anyway, then that suboptimal condition coupled with high temperatures increases the chance of damage to your car.
  2. Have your battery tested once or twice each summer: When it’s hot outside, there is often a higher load placed on your car’s battery from running systems like the air conditioning. Periodic testing of your battery and charging system in general prevents you from unpleasant surprises (i.e. the car not starting) on hot days.
  3. Get the air filters checked: There is typically more dust and debris circulating in the air during the warmer months, particularly in arid climates, and this can clog the air filters in your car. If this happens, your gas mileage may suffer, and it could even damage your mass air flow sensor, which helps regulate the air and fuel levels in your engine.
  4. Use reflectorized sun panels on your front and rear dashes: While it may seem like a hassle to whip these fold-out panels out every time you go to the store, it pays off in the long run. These panels greatly reduce the overall temperature inside your car, which you’ll appreciate when you return, and need to use less air conditioning to cool the car. These panels also help to prevent the bleaching effect the sun has on your interior surfaces and upholstery, which can lower the value of your car should you wish to sell it.
  5. Perform tire pressure checks monthly: Extreme heat, trapped air, and rubber can be a volatile combination, and it’s one on which your entire vehicle rests in the summer months. Underinflated tires are more likely to blow out in high temperatures, so prevent accidents (and poor gas mileage) by checking your tire pressure at least once a month. Do this as early in the day as possible when the temperatures are coolest for the most accurate pressure readings.
  6. Park smart: If you have the choice between parking your car in the middle of a blazing parking lot or under a broad tree, opt for the shade. This doesn’t require any fancy props and will keep your car’s interior as cool as possible.
  7. Regularly clean your car’s interior: The pairing of dust and hot sun can wreak havoc on your interior, essentially caking grime onto your dash and other surfaces. With periodic cleaning, however, this becomes a non-issue; just be sure to use cleaners intended for automobile use to avoid stains and unnecessarily drying out materials at risk of cracking.
  8. Wash and hand-dry your car often: Just as dust and debris can cake onto your interior surfaces when exposed to high temperatures, your exterior paint can suffer in the summer sun. Frequently wash your vehicle to keep the surface clean, and dry it thoroughly by hand with a soft cloth, so bits of minerals and grime don’t stick to the residual moisture after a rinse.
  9. Use a protective wax: It’s not enough just to clean your car from time to time; you should wax it at least twice a year to lock in the natural oils in the exterior paint and provide a layer of protection not just from grimy bits that can scratch the surface, but also from the sun’s rays.
  10. Consider paint protection film: If you truly want to be vigilant against potential sun damage to your car, you may want to invest in a paint protection film kit. Some kits only cover the acrylic headlights, but some kits are available that cover your entire vehicle. If you adopt some or all of these simple tips to provide protection from the hot sun, your car will age more gracefully, much like your skin will with the regular application of sunscreen. They don’t take much effort to implement, and these small actions can save a lot of money down the road and help retain your car’s value over time.

BimmerFest 2017 is FAST Approaching!

We will be making plates ON SITE! Come out, say hi, and get a custom plate. Come early, as we will get VERY busy.

Date / Time: June 3rd, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM AND June 4th, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Entry Fee: Bimmerfest 2017 California is $30 per car for exhibition parking in the infield, $20 per car for general admission parking in the outer lots. All passengers are free so bring your family and friends. Check it out

With BimmerFest around the corner we thought we’d share one of our favorite articles from BMWBlog.com from a couple years ago. You can find the original post here.

Top 5 Fastest BMWs of All Time

While there is much talk about BMW becoming soft and not making the kind of performance car that its customers are used to, it’s fair to say that this talk is a bit ill-founded. Sure BMWs may not be the scalpel sharp tools they once were, but there’s no denying that current BMWs are the highest performing of all time. To prove that, we’ll look at the top five fastest BMWs of all time.

One thing you’ll notice about this list is that all of these BMWs are of the modern era. While this is obvious, as engines get more powerful and efficient every year, it’s safe to say that this metric alone proves that BMW still cares very much about performance. So let’s take a look.

5. X5 M/X6 M

These mammoth super SUVs both pack a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8 under hood. Mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic and powering all four wheels, the X5 and X6 M are able to achieve 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds. That’s an incredible feat of engineering, to get these two elephants to dance so well. Top speed is electronically limited to 155, but we suspect it would be a lot higher than that, without the limiter. Either way, these two SUVs are scary quick.

4. BMW i8

Who said hybrids have to be slow and boring. The BMW i8’s combination of a 1.5 liter three-cylinder engine paired to two electric motors, one in the rear aiding the engine drive the rear wheels and one in the front driving the front wheels, might not sound like much but it packs more than enough punch. The i8’s lightweight frame allows its hybrid setup to get from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. That’s Porsche 911 Carrera S fast and it also gets superb fuel economy. It’s top speed is also limited to 155, but I’m not sure how much faster it would go, given its small engine.

3. BMW M6 Gran Coupe Competition Package

The M6 Gran Coupe was already one of BMWs fastest cars. But BMW decided to give it a competition package which bumps power from 560 hp to 600. This power bump, along with a slight weight decrease and some suspension stiffening, allows the M6 Gran Coupe CP to nail 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. That’s blistering for a massively luxurious four-seater. Though it has more power, BMW didn’t raise the electronic limiter of 155 mph. We suspect it can do much more, given the 600 hp and slippery aerodynamic design.

2. BMW M4

The M4 is one of BMW’s fastest cars. This is as it should be. The M3/M4 should always be BMW’s best performing cars. The M4’s 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 engine produces 420 hp and, when mated to BMW’s DCT gearbox, can get from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, according to Car and Driver, and limited 155 mph top speed.. That’s mighty quick for a car starting at $64,200. The M4 is not only one of BMW’s fastest cars, it’s one of the fastest sports cars on the road.

1. BMW M5 30th Anniversary Edition

The 30th Anniversary Jahre Edition M5 is a special car. Packing 600 hp from its 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8, the BMW M5 Jahre can do 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. Now, while this is the same as the lighter and smaller M4, the Jahre is still the fastest BMW ever made. And that has to do with top speed. The Jahre M5 has a “limited” top speed of 199 mph. While the M4 is limited to 155 mph and can probably far exceed that, it most likely can’t touch the Jahre’s 199 mph limit. Plus the Jahre would almost definitely break 200 mph if it was unrestricted. This makes the massively powerful 30th Anniversary Jahre Edition M5 the fastest BMW of all time.

Top 10 Reasons to love Friday!

Friday can be the best day of the week, but why? We kicked around our thoughts on why Friday is the best day of the week. Here are our top 10.

10 – It’s not Tuesday

9 – Happy Hour

8 – Casual Friday

7 – Friday is the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else.

6 – It is the best day to start a road trip.

5 – It is the one day of the week, that everyone looks forward to.

4 – Friday is the best day to play hooky from work and/or school.  Just don’t get caught.

3 – It is the first day of the week you can party late into the night and not worry about getting up early the next day.  Saturday being the second best day for such wild abandon.

2 – On Friday, you know someone, somewhere is having a happy hour and you’re invited.

1 – Friday rocks most, because it kicks off the weekend, Saturday and Sunday following. Our time to play, explore, rest, rejuvenate!

5 Ways to Write off Your Car Expenses

Cars are one of the most expensive items to own, both in terms of the initial investment we make in them and in the cost of ongoing maintenance.

Fortunately, there are valid ways to offset these expenses with tax deductions. You might qualify for one or more of these options for personal, small business, self-employed or business deductions. (If you’re not taking advantage of these deductions, you could be missing out on tax savings, start planning for next year!)

1. Charitable Contributions
If your old car isn’t going to make it much longer, and the cost of repair isn’t worth the investment, consider donating it to charity rather than trying to make a little money selling it used. You’ll save the hassle of putting up an ad and dealing with potential buyers who want to talk you down from your price. And if you know your car isn’t worth a whole lot, you may be better off donating it, which will give you a deduction for the market value the car still has. Many charitable organizations will even pick up your donated car for you. This method of tax deduction can apply to personal or business application, just make sure you get an official receipt from the charity, which should include the value of the vehicle you donated.

2. Convert Your Car
Keeping your current car but wanting to reduce emissions? Look into a electric drive conversion kit, which you can hire a professional mechanic to install onto your car. Before you purchase the kit, get a mechanic’s opinion on whether your car is worth converting; in some cases, such as on older cars that don’t have much life left in them, the cost of conversion may be an investment not worth making. But if you have a newer car with a lot of life left in it, converting can save you on fuel daily as well as giving you a nice tax credit, up to $4,000.

3. Deduct Business Use
If you are a freelancer and otherwise self-employed individual, you can deduct the cost of business use, even if it’s on your personal vehicle. This is the best method for those who work under a sole proprietorship rather than as a legal business structure such as a corporation. The key here is to separate business use from personal use, which can be done by using some sort of tracking mechanism like CarCheckup, a small device which plugs into your car for business trips and then uploads mileage information and other data to your computer when you plug it in via USB.

4. Small Business Fleet Deductions
If you’re running a small business, a vehicle used exclusively for business can add to your yearly tax deductions as part of your operating expenses. While the cost of overhauling a business vehicle doesn’t qualify as a deduction the cost of repair can be deducted. Keep clear records of repairs, because just claiming an estimated cost won’t go over well with the IRS.

5. Unreimbursed Business Expenses
If you’re employed by a company and have used your own personal vehicle for business-related purposes, you can claim those expenses on your tax deduction if your company has not reimbursed you. These expenses could include fuel costs and maintenance, and are usually best calculated by using a per-mile cost, which the IRS updates on a regular basis. As with self-employed tax deductions, the key is to keep clear records and differentiate between business use and personal use.

The Bottom Line
Unless you’re using your car exclusively for your business, you can’t deduct the full cost of purchasing, maintaining and repairing it. You can and should, however, deduct what you can. The key, as with almost any issue to do with the IRS, is having clear records to support your claims.

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