Simple Ways to Make Driving Easier

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This story appears in the October 2013 issue of . Subscribe »

If the prospect of acquiring an almost-new vehicle on a short-term lease (typically 18 to 24 months) with no down payment sounds enticing, look to sites such as Swapalease.com, LeaseTrader.com and TakeMyPayments.com. These online clearinghouses provide a platform to negotiate directly with lease owners who are motivated to shed their cars.

OK, you've got your vehicle. When trying to get from A to B in the most efficient way, check out Waze, a free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation smartphone app for iOS and Android. Fed by info from a network of some 50 million U.S. drivers, Waze offers real-time reports on traffic, accidents, construction zones and road hazards. It also locates the cheapest fuel prices along a given route.

When you're working on the road, the IRS generously lets you write off 55 cents for each mile driven. But tracking those miles can be a pain. That's where the Milelogr app ($2.99) comes in. It syncs with your desktop calendar's appointment list, attaching mileage numbers to off-site appointments and trips, to automatically create exportable Excel spreadsheet files tailored specifically for tax returns.

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