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eTags Wants You to Stay Safe on the Road

road trip


eTags often promotes driving safety on its blog and social channels. Unfortunately, as eTags has pointed out, too many people are dying on roads. Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released new statistics reporting that the number of people who died in traffic crashes in 2016 rose 5.6 percent from the year before. In total, 37,461 people died on the roads in car crashes.


Federal Highway Administration figures and other safety officials have said that an improved economy is part of the reason there are more traffic crashes and deaths from those crashes. When you have an improved economy, more people are on the road for business, shopping, and vacations. In fact, according to their figures, Americans traveled more than 3.2 trillion miles in 2016, which was the ever recorded.


However, a good economy is not the only factor here, and it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. First, we should say that smartphone use has had enormous implications on driver safety. Distracted driving is still a major problem and every driver should be made aware of  its consequences. Distracted driving applies to any time you lose focus on the road, and glancing down to look at your cell phone is certainly one of the most common examples of this.


But it should be noted that NHTSA statistics have shown a 2.2 percent drop in 2016 for casualties related to distracted driving. While always a concern, it appears more drivers are aware of this problem and doing something to alter their behavior. In addition to that, there is now technology available that can prevent drivers from having access to their phones when they drive including apps and manufacturer built-in safety functions on phones and cars themselves.


An always serious concern is drunk driving and speeding: the two causes of traffic crashes and fatalities that safety officials know all too well. NTHSA statistics show that alcohol-related deaths rose 1.7 percent in 2016 and speeding-related deaths increased four percent. In addition to that, the number of people who died who were unbelted rose 4.6 percent despite national and local “Buckle-Up” campaigns that have been running for years.


If you want to learn more about tips for driver safety, we highly encourage you to check out this driving safety blog from eTags as well as other relevant resources to help inform you, your family, and friends on being a safer driver.

New Fees in California eTags Wants You to Be Aware of

eTags provides online vehicle registration renewal services to motorists in California, Florida, and Maryland. They offers vehicle owners an alternative to standing in line at the DMV or even having to deal with confusing and sometimes frustrating online platforms with other online renewal options. They want their California customers to be aware that registrations fees will be slightly higher for certain vehicle owners next year when it comes time to renew.


In the state of California, registration fees go towards paying for the DMV and the California Highway Safety Patrol. However, new fees legislation passed in the California legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown would go towards improving California’s roadway infrastructure. There will be two news registration fees that will go into effect on January 1st of 2018.


The first is called a “Transportation Improvement Fee.” This will be calculated on the value of the vehicle, but public officials note that most vehicle owners will spend around $50 for this fee based on average vehicle values. The second fee will be specifically for Californians who own zero-emissions vehicles. This will be $100, and it will offset some of the lost revenue that California has missed in the past year as these vehicle owners are not paying any taxes on gas, which are used for highway improvement projects.


Also, please keep in mind if you live in California that gas taxes will be going up soon as well as part of this bill. The gas tax will be bumped by 12 cents, and the diesel tax will go up an additional 20 cents. This increase is slated to take effect in November. If you renew your vehicle registration in 2018 through eTags or the DMV or just simply go to the pump, you will be paying more, so it’s important to keep this in mind when you budget out your vehicle expenses.Money

Reviewing eTags’ Services and Other Online Platforms

Woman with smartphone


We use technology for so many different things in our lives for convenience and because it’s just plain easier. Consider banking. Do you remember the old days when we actually had to go to the bank to deposit a check or conduct a transfer? You would have to make sure you could get make it during business hours, which could be difficult if you work a 9-5 job. You would have to stand in line and hope nobody had too complicated of a transaction. And when you finally were helped, you would have to resist being upsold on a new credit card or other bank promotion.

Now, all you need is your smartphone, an internet connection, and the check, and you can deposit it anytime, anywhere.

The same idea could be applied to the DMV.  Every year or two, depending on the state where you live, you will need to renew your vehicle registration. Now, before the Internet, smartphones, and mobile apps, you had no other choice but to use the snail mail option or go to the DMV in person. Obviously, this is not always the best use of time as lines can be long depending on when you go. In addition to that, you have to make sure you can make it to the DMV during its business hours, which, like banks, are often limited. Do you really want to use a personal day so you can renew your registration at the DMV? We are betting the answer to that question is now. Thanks to technology you may have more than just one online option. If you live in California, Florida, or Maryland, eTags offers an online registration renewal service that enable motorists to renew their registration on their laptop, mobile phone, or tablet right from their very own home. Just as technology has driven major changes in banking, it can do the same for some DMV services.

Here is where your input is very important. Whether at the start of the development of a new online service or after its establishment, your feedback is integral in the forward progress of updating antiquated processes like those of the banks and DMVs. By providing your feedback or review, you provide the people in charge of implementing things like online transaction platforms the information they need to both understand what people want and how in demand it is. Taking for example eTags again, the company founders identified an area of need where vehicle owners in many states were looking for more convenience than their state DMVs were offering. With continuous customer feedback from over 80,000 reviews to date, the company has added conveniences and improved their platform and overall customer experience. Imagine how that much feedback could help other companies or industries like real estate or even the food insustry.

When consumers leave feedback, industries respond.

Winter Driving Tips

The air is chilled and the first winter snow has fallen across the country. For many, driving in the snow is a commonplace affair. For others in more temperate climates, dealing with the snow and ice comes once in a while and takes some getting used to. Severe weather, like snow, sleet, and ice, can create hazardous and frightening driving conditions. According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 500 people are killed annually on average due to snow/slushy conditions. As responsible drivers, it’s important to know how to handle driving in inclement weather. eTags offers a few tips and reminders on how to handle your car in the snow.

Know Before You Go

  • Always keep an eye on worsening weather conditions. If you don’t have to go out, don’t.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank at least halfway filled
  • Be sure that tires are properly inflated and equipped for winter driving before getting on the road
  • Keep your windshield and windows clear and make sure your windshield wipers are in proper working condition.
  • Completely clear your car of ice and snow. The last thing you want is snow flying off the roof of your car and affecting your line of vision and others. Remove ice and snow from your windshield, roof, mirrors, hood, etc.

Driving for the Winter

  • Speed limits do not take into account inclement weather conditions. Reduce your speed accordingly even if it means driving well under the posted speed limit.
  • Refrain from using cruise control on slippery surfaces. This includes roads that have been sanded or are extremely icy as well.
  • Utilize your All-wheel drive. This helps with acceleration and control of power and traction in all of your wheels. This is especially handy on slippery surfaces and inclines.
  • Drive with your headlights on but keep your high beams off unless you absolutely need them.

Though staying off the roads in inclement weather is always advised, it is not always easy to do. Between commuting to work and taking care of regular errands like grocery shopping, there always seems to be a reason to leave your house even when it is snowing. If you do find yourself driving in the snow, follow these safe winter driving tips from eTags to get you to your destination safely.

Fall Tire Tips to Ensure You’re Ready for Winter



Wet Road in Mountains in Fall

When was the last time you had your tire pressure checked? If it’s been a while, now might be the time to take a look at those all-too important parts of your car that get you from Point A to Point B. It is still relatively warm in most parts of the country, but it will be winter before you know it. If your tires are worn and have lost their tread, it might be a good idea to get new tires now before ice, sleet, and snow make their appearance. In addition to that, you might wonder if you should get seasonal tires for the colder months. Consumer Reports recently provided several tips to keep in mind when making tire decisions this fall. Here are a few things the consumer-centric publication recommended:


Examine Your Tires Very Carefully for Signs of Wear and Tear:  Experts recommend using the quarter test to determine the depth of the thread. All you need to do is put the quarter down headfirst onto the tire. If you see the top of the head, you will need to replace the tire or tires as soon as possible to avoid risk when the snow and ice hit.


Consider Whether or Not You Will Need Snow/Winter Tires: On wet and icy roads, traction is greatly affected. If you live in an area where it snows, have snow tires, also known as studded tires, is useful. If you choose not to change out your tires throughout the year, make sure you have all whether tires that are able to adapt to all seasons.


Check Your Pressure Often When the Weather Gets Cooler: You might notice that your tire air pressure light goes on more in the winter. This is no accident. Air pressure drops one psi for every ten degree drop in air temperature. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on air pressure and check it periodically; especially if you notice that it is colder than usual.  Low tire pressure can lead to anything from premature wear of the tire to tread separation, which is something that you definitely don’t want.


Learn more about tire care and safety on



Should You Keep Full Coverage on Your Older Car?

Classic Old Car decays in a meadow.


One of the most common questions car owners will have is whether or not they should maintain full coverage on their vehicle when it gets up there in years. Even if you love your car, there comes a time when it might not be worth it anymore to pay the premium required for full coverage. If you are looking to save some money on your monthly payment, it might be worth it to change your insurance policy. But how do you know when that point is?


First, review your policy and see what your full coverage entails. Is roadside assistance and towing covered? How much of a deductible do you have to pay before coverage can go into effect? What are approved repairs and maintenance services? By looking over your policy, you can really see what you’re paying for and whether or not that extra $50-$100 a month is worth it.


Second, you’ll want to find out the value of your car. You can easily find this out by going to online resources like Kelley Blue Book. According to some industry experts, $5000 is the magic number. If your car isn’t worth this much, full coverage probably isn’t worth it. Although you will have to pay for any repair costs and roadside assistance, you will most likely save on the long run.


And, always remember, if you are looking to lower your rate, you can always shop for quotes at and receive quotes from a variety of providers instantly.

Is Leasing a Vehicle the Cheaper Option?

Verkufer hlt neuen Autoschlssel in der Hand












Is leasing an automobile ever the smarter financial decision over buying? In many cases, it is. For those who aren’t exactly sure, leasing means that you basically pay to use the vehicle, but the dealership maintains ownership. If you are the type of person who likes to have a vehicle with the latest technology and safety features, leasing a vehicle may make a lot of sense. By leasing a vehicle, you could experience the following benefits:


You Will Have Lower Initial Fees:  When you buy an automobile, it is typically recommended that you put twenty percent down if you need to finance. For a $20,000 new vehicle, this means an initial payment of $4000. Leasing fees are usually much lower than this, so if you’re struggling to come up with a down payment to purchase a vehicle, this might be a smarter option.


You Will Have Lower Payments as Well: In addition to just the initial fees, another way lessees can save money is through the monthly payments. According to, a $25,000 car would, on average, have monthly payments of $400 when financed over five years. If the individual decided to lease, the monthly payment would be closer to $300 for a three year agreement.


You Will Have Lower Maintenance Costs: When you own a car, repair costs are most usually always the responsibility of the owner. Anybody who has experienced a significant repair knows that it could quickly add up. When you lease, you are typically not responsible for those costs. The only costs you’re responsible for are basic maintenance procedures like oil changes or tire rotations. In some cases, you might be responsible for the tires as well.


With these points in mind, it might be worth it to lease. You may have to pay additionally for car registration renewals through your DMV or when you renew if you live in an applicable state, but the potential shot term savings on other things may make it worth it. Again, this is a personal decision as you might not be too keen on making payments on a vehicle you don’t intent to own or if you want to customize it in any way. If you do decide to lease, though and as you would if you intent to finance a purchase, make sure to shop around before making your financial deision.

May Reviews for eTags

Here are a few reviews from May posted by actual customers. Have you placed an order with eTags?… If so, what was your experience like?

Read more reviews here.

etagsdirect reviews




May etags reviews






















eTags reviews in may



The 4 Best EVs on the Market

Electric cars aren’t just a thing of the future anymore. Nowadays, they are realistic options for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid having to pay for gas. But which one should you get? Here are our picks for the best EVs on the market and the specific advantages that each has to offer.

2016 Chevy Spark

2016 Chevy Spark baby blue

Range: 82 miles

Price: Starts at $25,995

Why Buy it: The 2016 Chevy Spark is one of the most affordable EVs on the market. The small size and easy handling make this car a great choice for tight city driving. Also, the 82-mile range is higher than many similar vehicles and more than ample for most commuters.

2016 Kia Soul EV

2016 Kia Soul EV medium blue

Range: 92 miles

Price: Starts at $31,950

Why Buy it: First off, this vehicle has one of the longest ranges of any EV aside from the Tesla, and offers access to a fast charging network that exceeds most others. In other words, you can get back on the road much more quickly with this vehicle. Add to that the smooth drive that its gas counterpart is famous for, lots of modern, high-tech features, and a generous amount of cargo space, and you’ve got a winner.

2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3 orange & black

Range: 81 miles

Price: Starts at $42,400

Why Buy it: If you are looking for a family crossover vehicle with a bit more power, the i3 is a great option. It boasts a unique carbon fiber structure, 170 horsepower, and a stylish design for both the exterior and interior. In addition, there’s also an optional gas generator that can extend the range of this vehicle to roughly 150 miles, which could be a distinct advantage to those who may have to travel a bit further but would still like to remain completely electric on average days.

2016 Tesla Model S

2016 Tesla Model S red

Range: 208-268 miles

Price: Starts at $71,200

Why Buy it: This is the mother of all electric vehicles. It revolutionized both the car and the entire industry, and is a testament to scientific advancement, comfort, and economy. The car can take you an industry best 200+ miles before needing a recharge, can go from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and offers all of the modern safety and convenience amenities that drivers have come to expect in luxury vehicles. However, not everyone can afford the high ticket price, which makes the above options more consumer-friendly. That could all change when the Model 3 is released of course, but we’ll have to wait and see if that vehicle lives up to its predecessors’ standards.

If you are looking for a more fuel efficient car, you can’t go wrong with these electric vehicles. Don’t forget to factor in extras like paying for registration and the nice tax credit you can get for purchasing an EV when calculating how much you can afford.