Cover_image_Chicago Summer

Still Summer: Thing to Do in Chicago

By | Luxe Chicago, Travel | No Comments

When it’s summer vacation, you make it a point to treat yourself to fun activities you know you’ll enjoy. You may use your PTO or even play hooky to not miss out. It’s easy to look forward to all the fun you’ll have.

Although the summer’s nearly over, there’s still plenty of fun things to do in Chicago to make those great summer feelings last into early fall. Whether you plan to take a long weekend exploring what Chicago has to offer or take a day trip from a nearby town, plan to visit a few attractions and eat some delicious food. Here are six of our favorite places to visit in Chicago.

Millennium Park

One of the most iconic locations in Chicago, Millennium Park is a beautiful green space surrounded by modern art and impressive skyscrapers. You can attend free concerts throughout most of the year, including the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago in September. On their website, you can check out workout classes, nature programs, and other free events scheduled throughout the year.

Piccolo Sogno

Located at 464 North Halsted Street garden seating, Piccolo Sogno offers rustic Italian cuisine made from fresh seasonal ingredients. Known for their comprehensive wine list and homemade gelato, the restaurant serves a wide range of fairly priced and delicious menu items locals love. During the summer, you can relax and dine in garden seating.

Navy Pier

If you think waterfront views and a beachy atmosphere only exist near oceans, make sure to check out Navy Pier. Here you can catch a speed boat tour of Lake Michigan, play with toy cars at Zoom Room or simply stroll along the pier. Plus, there are many special events scheduled to take place throughout the year.

Museum of Contemporary Art

You can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art throughout the year to check out new art exhibits or attend a free guided tour. During the summer, go to the museum to take a break from the sun. Locals love that Illinois residents get free admission on Tuesdays all year long.

Bridge House Tavern

Located at 321 N. Clark Street, you can watch people from the pub’s terrace and enjoy the view from the Bridge House Tavern. The restaurant serves up delicious lunches and dinners as well as weekend brunches. You can even rent out cabanas and the deck area for private events.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is a world-renowned, AZA-accredited aquarium located within Chicago’s city limits. It’s part of Chicago’s CityPASS that offers tremendous savings to visitors looking to go to the aquarium and other attractions such as the Adler Planetarium or the Museum of Science and Industry during their visit. You can see more than just the normal saltwater fish at the Shedd Aquarium with less common exhibits such as belugas and sea otters.

Priceless Views

Chicago’s architecture and skyline are beautiful from both the ground and the sky. At least once, plan on seeing the city from the top of a skyscraper to truly appreciate the magnificence. Look down off a glass ledge at the Chicago Skydeck from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower or drink cocktails from the roof at the London House Chicago. If you’re really fearless, experience Tilt at the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, where you’ll see the Magnificent Mile by looking down.

Parking in Chicago

If you plan to drive into the city, plan in advance where you want to park your car, as this can be difficult and expensive in any city. New mobile apps, such as Luxe, make it easy to park your car in Chicago and other major cities. Once you download the app, just let your valet driver know where to find you. You don’t need to waste time finding a parking garage and walking long distances to your favorite attractions.

Cover_image_Best Times to Buy a Car

Best Times to Buy a Car

By | Car Tips | No Comments

Purchasing a new car can be a daunting task. It requires thorough research, budgeting, a pre-approved loan (if necessary), and careful prioritization.

Don’t fret—the car-buying process doesn’t need to be a painful or expensive one. If you want the best deal, timing is everything. We’ve laid out some tips and tricks you can use to walk away with the car you want at a price that won’t break the bank.

Shop at the End of the Year

During late fall and early winter, salespeople and finance managers are looking to meet or exceed quotas, and manufacturers ranging from Nissan to Ford are offering incentives to clear older inventory. This is why November and December often feature lower prices.

The one downside, however, to shopping for cars towards the end of the year is that selections for new cars may be limited. So long as you’re not seeking out a specific model, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Go to the Dealership Right Before Closing

While many salespeople are pushing to get their numbers up at the end of the year, many also have weekly—and even daily —goals to meet. Furthermore, if you come in well-rested and ready to negotiate, you will have an advantage over the salesperson who’s been working all day, especially if you demonstrate you are serious about purchasing a car. The dealer may be more willing to offer discounts in order to get the last deal in before going home.

If you use this method, note the salesperson’s attitude as you enter. While many are more than happy to assist you—and give you a nice price because they want another sale before heading home. Some may be too tired to haggle, have social plans, or simply have already made enough sales in the day (and thus aren’t willing to cut into that sticker price).

Wait for the End of the Month or Quarter

Sales quotas also apply to the end of months and quarters. Remember: car sales representatives work on commission, and many bonuses are given after quotas are satisfied or exceeded. This is why deals are more likely to be given to customers in the days before a big monthly or quarterly sales report.

Realize, however, that each sale must be approved by the dealership’s manager. While most sales are approved, some can be too good to be true. Before you get excited about the deal-of-a-lifetime you just snagged, be sure to relax and wait for approval from the higher-ups first.

Buy Cars When Next Year’s Models Are Released

You’ve heard the saying, “In with the new, out with the old.” Next year’s models typically arrive in late summer to early fall, making dealers eager to sell the remaining cars leftover from the previous year since they are still paying for their inventory. If you’re not trying to get the best and the latest, seek out these older models. Chances are their prices will go down as the new cars come in.

Manufacturers differ in when they release new models. Some come out as early as May. Pay attention to this, and go make a purchase on the older model when the new units hit the lot.

Other Tips

Understand there is no perfect method to getting a great deal on a new car. The key in getting cheap cars is to be flexible and strategic. Research the prices others are getting for your vehicle before even going to the dealership. Also, go to at least three dealerships, so you can compare quotes. If you need financing, compare the terms you get at several financial institutions as well as from the dealership. Finally, keep an eye out for rebates and other incentives for purchasing a vehicle; manufacturers often offer these to buyers.

Blog cover_image_Car Leasing

Buy or Lease a Car—Which Is Right for You?

By | Car Tips | No Comments

Leasing a car is a viable option for those who need one, but would you prefer that to buying a car outright? However, not all lease deals are created equal. Some of the topics discussed below include how to lease a car, long and short-term leases, and what “wear and tear” is acceptable on a leased car.

Short-Term Car Lease vs. Long-Term Car Lease: Which of These Lease Deals Is Better For You?

There are a variety of advantages and disadvantages to having either a short-term and a long-term lease. Before you decide which option is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need a car for more than six months, but less than 24 months? If so, a short-term lease option is best for you.
  • Are you concerned with having a lower monthly payment? If so, a long-term lease will be a better option than a short-term lease.
  • Other things to take into consideration, when choosing a lease option, is the following:
    • Gap insurance: this is insurance needed to bridge the difference between what your car is actually worth and what the fair market value is. This is essential because, in the event of an accident, your insurance company may not be able to cover the full amount of what you owe the leasing company.
    • Warranties: will they be jeopardized on your car if you get non-dealership services, or “after market” parts?
    • Subleasing: be advised that, unless you get permission from the leaseholder, you cannot sublease your car. Therefore, consider how long you really need the car for before leasing it.

Wear and Tear: What Qualifies, and What Doesn’t?

When you’re getting ready to turn in your car, certain things do, and do not, qualify as normal wear and tear. Please be sure to keep this in mind as it can result in incurring additional fees when you turn in your leased car. Before the dealer whips out his car lease calculator, make sure you keep the following in mind:

  • Mileage: keep your prescribed mileage in check—you will be hit with severe overage fees if you go over the prescribed mileage.
  • Detailing: if your tires are bald, your bumpers have “dings”, or your interior is too filthy, it pays to get your car detailed. If you allow the dealership to do it for you, you’ll have to pay the price.
  • Any missing parts—such as spare tires—must be replaced before you return the car, or you will be charged for the replacements.

Should You Buy Your Car Instead?

Sometimes, leasing a car isn’t the best option, even if you get one of the best cars to lease. The following is a list of reasons why you should buy a car instead of leasing it:

  • Do you plan on keeping the car after the lease term is up? If you’re the type to have a “long-term relationship” with your cars, then buying a car is cheaper—and better—for you in the long run.
  • How hard are you on your car? If you tend to be rough with your cars—whether deliberately or not–then buying a car is a smarter option in the long run—leasing a car that you’re hard on will result in substantial fees.
  • Do you need to drive a car for business? For taxation purposes, you cannot deduct the use of a leased car from your taxes. However, a purchased car can indeed be deducted from your taxes.

 

Regardless of whether you choose to lease or buy a car, Luxe will be able to provide you with a variety of on-demand parking and car services to suit your needs. Download the app today to learn more and get started!

Cover_image_5 Tips for Stress-Free Car Purchase Negotiations

5 Tips for Stress-Free Car Purchase Negotiations

By | Car Tips | No Comments

Aside from purchasing a home, car buying is the largest investment most people make. You’re paying thousands of dollars and are usually locked into financing over several years, so it’s no wonder it’s such a stressful transaction.

Much of that stress comes when it’s time to discuss the dollars and cents. Negotiation can be nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know how to buy a car or are inexperienced at haggling. After all, bartering with a professional salesperson might make you feel like you’re a little out of your depth.

Here are a few car buying tips when you’re negotiating your car purchase.

1. Know the Vehicle You Want

Before you set foot in the dealership, narrow down your vehicle selection. Have three vehicles at most that you’re seriously looking to buy. Car salespeople will take full advantage of customers who aren’t sure what they want or haven’t done their research. These are the customers who end up having buyer’s remorse soon after.

Spend time researching reputable online sites, comparing models you think you might want. Drive through car dealership lots after hours to look at these vehicles without any pressure from salespeople. Only once you think you’d seriously consider the car should you walk into the dealership.

2. Only Pay for the Features You Want

On the car lot, there’s a good chance you won’t always find vehicles equipped exactly how you want. That means a salesperson will probably show you cars that have more features than you need. While the extras may be nice to have, you should base your negotiation on the features you originally want. The salesperson knows they are “upselling” you on features, which is a soft spot in their armor. Act like the extras aren’t important, offering only to buy car features you want.

3. Know Actual Selling Prices

You can use an online tool such as Kelley Blue Book to determine the Fair Market Pricing for virtually any vehicle, used or new. When you know the Fair Market Price, you know what range you should expect to pay for the vehicle you want.

Start your negotiations at the low end of the Fair Market Price, and be comfortable settling for a selling price anywhere in the fair range. If the salesperson won’t agree to a price in the fair market range, be prepared to walk away.

4. Get Competitive Quotes

Leverage your position for buying a car by obtaining quotes from more than one dealership. If there is one dealership that clearly has a better price than the others, start your car buying process there. You may just want to deal with a local dealership, so you can use the competitor’s quotes to negotiate a better price. Just make sure the vehicles you are comparing are apples to apples — the same car make and model with the same features.

5. Negotiate on Selling Price, Not Payment

When you are discussing price with the salesperson, they will probably try to negotiate a payment price with you, not a selling price. It’s a favorite tactic used by salespeople to increasing the selling price. By talking about small amounts instead of the overall price, small increases can seem harmless yet make a big difference in the total amount you’ll pay. Keep the topic on total selling price so you maintain control of negotiations.

If the sales process gets uncomfortable, simply walk away. You should never feel like you’re being pressured. After all, it’s your money and you’re in control.

Cover_image_NYC Cruises - Cruise into your vacation

Cruise Into Your Vacation From NYC: Easy Planning and on Board Travel Tips

By | Luxe New York City, Travel | No Comments

You’ve finally managed to get some time away from the office to book a much-needed cruise leaving from the Manhattan cruise terminal, and you have a lot of things to do before you leave. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of essentials you need to handle before you leave on your New York cruise.

Be Flexible With Your Dates, and Book Early

This is, admittedly, a little easier when you can take a vacation at your leisure and not when you have preset vacation days. However, if you can afford to be flexible with your vacation dates, try to leave on days when it would be cheaper to do so and book your tickets as soon as you possibly can. Many travel experts suggest that you book on Tuesdays, in the early afternoon, to get the best rates from the airline. If you wait until the last minute to book your tickets, they will be exorbitantly expensive.

Don’t Wait Until You Get On The Ship to Book Shore Excursions

If you’re looking to save some money — and make no mistake about it, cruises can be extremely expensive — plan for your shore excursions before you leave. If you wait until you’re sailing to book a shore excursion, it can cost a lot.

If You Have Dietary Restrictions, Alert the Cruise Ship Ahead of Time

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? Do you require a gluten-free diet? Do you not eat pork due to religious reasons? These are all dietary restrictions that the cruise ship must take into account before it leaves the port; it can’t, and won’t, do so on the day you leave. You should communicate any dietary restrictions you have with the ship at least a few weeks before your trip starts.

Bring Enough to Sustain Yourself, But Don’t Overpack

It’s a good idea to bring all toiletries such as soaps and shampoos from home because it’s much less expensive than buying what you need on the cruise ship. However, be mindful not to over pack. If it can’t all fit into a carry-on suitcase, then it’s probably not worth taking. And don’t worry about running out of clothes; many cruise ships have laundry services on board.

Arrive in New York the Day Before Departure

You have a long day of traveling ahead of you on the first day of your NYC cruise. If you need to arrive in NYC from somewhere else, especially if you’re traveling from outside the state, make sure you get to NY the day before your boat is scheduled to leave. Your body, free of jet lag, will be grateful.

Use Luxe to Keep Your Car Safely and Securely Parked

Parking your car in NYC can be a huge expense, and there’s no guarantee your car will be kept safe. With Luxe, you can take comfort in knowing that your car will be safely and securely parked while you’re away on vacation. In addition to curbside service — where we’ll pick up your car right near the Manhattan Cruise Terminal for you—we also offer competitive parking rates and a convenient app that lets you pay for your parking securely. For more information about us and our services, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

NYC Cruise launch_Blog cover_MR_8.3

Introducing Parking for Your Cruise

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Hop on board the S.S. Luxe Manhattan, because we’re introducing a new way for you to worry less about your car and enjoy more of what you have planned ahead. We’re launching Parking For Your Cruise, a prepaid package that has Luxe store your vehicle in one of our secure garages while you’re away out at sea. On the day of your trip, a valet will meet you at the cruise terminal to pick up your car. When you return, a valet will bring your car back to the same cruise terminal.

Packages start at only $140 for a 5-day trip. To learn more about this new offering and how to purchase a Parking For Your Cruise package, click here.

Bon voyage, and sea you there!
Team Luxe

Memorial Day Hours

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Memorial Day weekend kicks off tomorrow! That’s right, only one day until you drive off to enjoy 72 hours of fun. But before you head out, please take note of our holiday operating hours this Monday, May 30. We will resume our normal hours on Tuesday, May 31.

Memorial Day Hours:

  • Chicago: Closed
  • Austin: Closed
  • SF: 10 AM–9 PM
  • LA: 10 AM–8 PM
  • NYC: 7 AM–10 PM
  • Seattle: 10 AM–9 PM

Happy 3-day weekend!
Team Luxe

Goodwill_Twitter_MR_5.12.16

Clean out your closet with Luxe and Goodwill!

By | Luxe Partnerships, Luxe Promotion | No Comments

Before Spring comes to an end, we’ve partnered with Goodwill® to collect gently used clothing such as jackets, shirts, pants, blouses and any other items of clothing you’re shedding and would like to donate. And for every bag you donate, we’ll donate $1 to Goodwill.

Goodwill sells donations in its stores and online and uses the revenue to help people find jobs, earn paychecks, build their careers, support their families and build stronger communities. Together, as a community, we’re helping Goodwill put people back to work. Read the personal stories of people Goodwill has helped through your donations.

Here’s how you can spring clean for a good cause when you park with Luxe

  • Select the Give to Goodwill service from the Add-Ons menu after you park with us starting today till June 1.
  • Place your clothing donation in a bag clearly marked for Goodwill and leave it in the front seat (not the trunk) for a Luxe valet to collect.
  • All donations should be new or gently used, and must be clothing only. For more information on what to, and not to, donate please click here.
  • All Seattle customers will receive their donation receipts via email after completion of the service.
  • All NYC customers can download their donation receipt here.

Happy spring cleaning!
Team Luxe

Hertz + Luxe

Luxe Raises $50 Million Series B to Continue to Deliver On-Demand Valet Parking and Car Services to Consumers

By | Luxe News | No Comments

Today, we are proud to continue to make car ownership as painless as possible together with Hertz Global Holdings, Redpoint Ventures and Venrock. We are thrilled to welcome Hertz Global Holdings to the Luxe family, as well as the addition of John P. Tague, Hertz Global Holdings president and chief executive officer, and a member of the Hertz Global Holdings Board of Directors, to our board. Thank you to our investors and employees for all of their hard work — and most importantly, we couldn’t have done this without our amazing customers — THANK YOU! Stay tuned for even more great things from Luxe!

Read more about it here.

Team Luxe

April Fools_blog_MR_3.30

Announcing Luxebots

By | Luxe News | No Comments

At Luxe, we drive innovation while staying ahead of the curve on the road to on-demand valet parking and car services perfection. While doing this, we embrace the inherent challenges faced in simplifying the way cities park and maintain their vehicles. And while our technology and automotive industry friends invest in self-driving cars in hope of the perfect future for transportation, we’ve also been planning for the future of on-demand valet parking. Because aside from Luxe’s many successes, solving for the urban problem of parking is complicated. However, one of our greatest challenges is about to become one of our most robust solutions. It’s called LuxeBot.

LuxeBot is simply the replacement of imperfect human valets with perfect robots. Investing in the creation of these machines is an investment in our customer experience—our main inspiration for everything we do. There are countless reasons for making this profound transition. The secret software servicing our LuxeBots provides plentiful perks that will be sure to please all of our customers.

Customers can now enjoy constant, in-depth communication about the status of their vehicle even while their LuxeBot is driving. Each LuxeBot is now programmed to speak our customer’s preferred language fluently, in the appropriate dialect and accent. LuxeBots can run one mile per minute up hills with a 9% grade, in the rain. They can jump over intersections during rush hour. And LuxeBots are equipped with up-to-the-second self-navigation software that guarantees they never take a wrong turn.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about our new LuxeBot program. We have a feeling you’ll enjoy it and immediately forget about those human valets we used for way too long.

Happy Parking!
Team Luxe

P.S. If you have read this far, Happy April Fools’ Day from Luxe! We love our perfect human valets and thank them for being such troopers. We have no plans to ever replace them. Those self-driving cars still need to be parked, too!