Many of us have a love affair with our car, however with our busy lifestyles it can be easy to neglect one of our most precious assets.
Here are our thoughts on some automotive resolutions we think may be useful for you as a new year approaches.
1. Wash (and keep clean) the love of your life more regularly
Regular cleaning of your car not only keeps your car looking great, but also ensures that it is in the best condition possible. A clean car is much more enjoyable to drive for yourself and passengers!
Keep in mind, when you maintain your car and keep it in the best condition, it holds its value and will be worth more when it’s time to sell it!
2. Click, click, click ꟷ learn to jump start your car
It has happened to the best of us. You are running late for work, you jump into your car and turn the key…
The only sound you hear is your engine clicking, and that’s the sound of a dead battery! Things can get worse than arriving to work late!
If you don’t know how to jump-start your car you will have to wait for a mechanic to arrive or request a neighbour to help start your car. But, what if there’s no one to help? That’s why knowing how to jump-start your car is essential AND having jumper leads in your boot can come in handy as well!
3. Learn how to change a tyre
Yes, roadside assist is always an option but knowing how to change a tyre (properly) is an invaluable skill! There may be a time when you need this skill, and you’ll be thankful you took the time to learn.
4. Listen to your car
Your car has a wonderful communication system. It communicates its problems through the lights in your dashboard. So, if it’s lit up like a Christmas tree, don’t neglect it. Ignoring these warning lights can often lead to trouble.
The warning lights come on because the components in your car are either activated, deactivated, malfunctioning or need replacing. Take it to a mechanic to fix the problem as soon as they are noticed.
5. Check the essentials before a road trip
We all love road trips. But if your car breaks down on the way it can be your worst nightmare. So before you head off on that road trip, make sure your car is as ready as you are.
Here’s your road trip check list.
6. Pay more attention
Many of us think we are an above average driver, however the reality is most of us are only average (and then only when we are paying attention).
We’re all guilty of being distracted while driving ꟷ whether we are checking ourselves out in the mirror, reaching for something in the backseat, changing the radio station/sat nav or checking the phone. These actions are very dangerous, some fineable, and can lead to potentially fatal consequences.
Being a better driver is easy, just start paying attention more! Lock your phone in the glove box and keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
7. Advance your driving skills and book a class at a race track
Not only is it great fun, but taking a class in high-speed car control at a racetrack can help you enormously on the road in emergency situations. These courses are designed to teach you:
- speed management
- swerve and recover skills
- over steering and under steering
- correct cornering
- gap selection
- hazard awareness
- safe following distances, and
- how to keep driving safely if distracted.
8. Catch up on the road rules
If you’ve had your Driver Licence for many years, unless you are studying with your teenager for their licence, you are probably not aware of many new road rules.
How many of these new rules have you broken without realising it?
Did you know…
- It’s illegal to toot your horn?
Yep – that’s correct. You are actually breaking the law if you honk your horn unnecessarily – including that friendly ‘hello – I’m here’ and that ‘see ya later’ toot. So keep your ‘tooting’ for warning other road users or animals you want to move from the road.
- You can be fined for driving abnormally slow?
Most of us worry about that next speeding fine heading our way, but did you know all those frustratingly slow drivers out there may actually be breaking the law! According to the legislation, an example of abnormally slow is:“Driving at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour on a length of road to which a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour applies when there is no reason for the driver to drive at that speed on the length of road.”Speed up pops!
- What not to do when being overtaken? You’ll love this one…
It’s against the law to accelerate while being overtaken by another vehicle on a two way road.
Take note lead foot!
- Did you forget to ‘P’?
According to the regulation, ‘before leaving the vehicle, the driver must apply the parking brake effectively.’
Perhaps common sense but breaking the law???
- Splish splash! Bus driver gets the last laugh
This one is just for fun… specific to NSW only, but it had to have a mention…According to the New South Wales legislation, ‘a driver must take due care, by slowing down or stopping the vehicle if necessary, not to splash mud on any person in or on a bus, or any person entering or leaving any stationary bus, or any person waiting at any bus stop.’It’s perfectly okay, it seems, to splash someone waiting for a taxi or a tram with mud, just not somebody waiting for a bus. LoL.
Our last recommended resolution!!!
9. Take a chill pill ꟷ don’t drive when angry
Nobody wins road rage except maybe smash repairers and tow trucks. You’ll be much happier if you stop taking traffic slights personally.
When you observe someone breaking the motorist code of ethics, if you feel the urge to tailgate, honk your horn or flash your lights, perhaps pull over for a minute until you no longer need to vent.
If more people on the roads followed our first 9 suggestions, there should be a lot less to get enraged about. Feel free to share this with your car raging friends.
Who knows how much longer we will have behind the wheel before our cars start driving us around and we’re simply passengers. Enjoy your drive while you still can!
Here’s a link for those wanting a 355 page refresher on our Australian road rules.
And we kept the best ‘til last!
10. How to save on your new car
Using a car buying service can be one of the best ways to save money when buying a new car. Not only will they help you buy that new car cheaper, but they will save you loads of time in the process – and what is that worth to you! Car buying services have access to many dealers across the country and usually have bulk buying and negotiating power.
Working with a finance broker will ensure you are aware of all the finance options available for your personal circumstances and save you loads of time and potentially heaps of money.
For self employed and those using their new car for business purposes, a novated lease (or salary packaging) can be one of the most tax effective ways to drive your car. It allows you to pay for your new car and the associated running costs using your pre-tax salary.
So before you go car shopping, make sure we have had those finance conversations to ensure you are using the most cost and tax effective ways of financing your new beauty.