Tag Archives: safety

Do's and don'ts of selling a car online

How much is the second-hand car you want selling for?

On March 8th the 2016 South African Car of the Year will be announced from finalists that include the likes of the new Opel Corsa, Kia Sorento, Mazda 2, Jaguar XE and Opel Adam. The SA COTY competition has grown significantly in stature over the last few years to become a respected sign of excellence for its’ winners. Judged on criteria such as value for money, safety & technology and performance though, it can help you establish what cars to consider and pursue in the search for your next purchase. A review of the second-hand car industry has been conducted to review COTY winners from previous years and what you can expect to pick them up for now.

The ins and outs of selling a car privately

Supercar superiority

Buying a supercar doesn’t mean you have to forego value for money. Porsche has dominated the last 3 COTY competitions, winning last year with the Macan, 2014 with the Cayman S and in 2013 with the Boxster. Although probably a bit too soon for current Macan owners to pass ways with their pride and joy, the Cayman S (2014’s winner) and 2013’s Boxster are both starting to pop up on Gumtree around the R750 000 mark.

Do you know the hidden costs of buying a car?

Hatchback heroes

Hatchbacks will always be popular due to their affordability, size and urban sense but which models in this cluttered category are the best value? The two most listed cars on Gumtree are the ever-reliable and popular Volkswagen Polo and the Golf. One of 2014’s COTY runners-up was the Golf 7, and given the massive demand for these popular models you can find many options for this classic ranging from R200 000 for entry-level options to R400 000 for the bells and whistles. In 2014, following the long-awaited return of the iconic Frenchman, the Renault Clio also picked up a runners-up medal and these can now also be found from R160 000 to R240 000.

The uncertainties of car finance, be prepared

The rise & rise of the SUV

With the continued increase of manufacturer entrants into the SUV market, this category has become more affordable and more popular. 2013’s COTY competition saw the Range Rover Evoque along with Nissan’s uniquely-shaped Juke make the finalists’ list. This year’s competition celebrated two other popular models, the updated Nissan Qashqai and the Renault Duster both of which can be found on Gumtree at a good second-hand price.

13 tips for buying or selling a car on Gumtree

With great models to suit all tastes, users can easily search for SA’s favourite vehicles but most of us need to sell first before looking to upgrade. Gumtree not only compares prices and let’s you browse through hundreds of sales, but it also affords sellers the best opportunity to sell their existing vehicles. Selling a car without going through a dealer can be daunting but Gumtree offers a vast amount of help to get you through the process with tips on things such as valuation, certification, checklists, documentation, pitfalls and much more.

10 questions to ask when buying a used car online


towing a boat

Do you know how to tow a trailer, a boat or a caravan?

It’s finally the holidays! Well for some in any case. And so many of you will be heading out on the roads to get to your preferred holiday spots. Will you be towing a trailer, a boat or a caravan? Arrive Alive had this to say about towing safely this festive season.

“Towing another vehicle requires extra attention from the driver. Apart from ensuring the towing vehicle is safe and in a good condition, the vehicle that is being towed also needs to be roadworthy and capable of making the journey. It’s also important that drivers follow the rules of the road and tow responsibly,” said the Automobile Association (AA).

Before setting off all the components of the towed vehicle need to be checked to ensure they are in working condition. This includes the hitch, the coupler, and safety chain and light systems. If any of these components are not working, they should be repaired or replaced before setting off. They are there for a reason and driving with defective parts may lead to serious consequences. If you are in any doubt as to the condition of the vehicle you will be towing, speak to an expert.

“Many people also inadvertently overload their trailers in an effort to take as much with them on their holiday. Resist this temptation and take only what you need. Overloading a trailer beyond its size and weight capacity may cause problems with braking or even damage the engine and suspension of the towing vehicle,” the AA warned.

The AA said drivers must ensure that trailers are balanced properly with even weight distribution in the trailer. The centre of gravity of the trailer is towards the front of the trailer but don’t overload this either, as this will put too much pressure on the tongue of the trailer and may cause problems. Rather distribute the contents of the trailer evenly on both sides with a little more weight packed into the front section. If you are in any doubt as to trailer capacity or the car’s towing limits, consult the manufacturer’s handbook or contact your dealer.

The trailer, or any other vehicle being towed, and the road behind, should also always be visible to the driver. Extra side mirrors may be needed that extend to give a good view. Also give extra attention to overtaking (especially on hills and gradients), remembering that you have an extra load that must also pass the vehicle in front. And, don’t forget, the extra weight will require more distance and time to stop.

“Most important is to ensure you are driving safely on any road. Obey the speed limits, use your indicators when you need to, and be sure when you are overtaking that it is legal to do so and the road ahead is clear. Remember that your family’s safety is more important than reaching your destination an hour early,” the AA said.

Apart from this, the AA said it is important that drivers take a break every two hours or 200km and that they are sufficiently alert to operate both vehicles they have control over.


Imperial Road Safety - Holiday season

Imperial Road Safety – Making this festive season safer!

As part of Imperial Road Safety’s support in raising awareness and contributing to initiatives that encourage road safety. Imperial Road Safety announce its commitment to the partnership between Bakwena N1/N4 Toll Road the N3 Toll concession (N3TC). With the objective being a solid focus on addressing road safety along these routes, during this festive season.

“As leaders in mobility it is our responsibility to encourage road safety and ensure that we are taking the lead in doing so. This project, we believe, does just this and of course, there is no better way to drive road safety than to create key opportunities at a time where road crashes are at their highest – the need is large,” says Niki Cronje, Group Marketing at Imperial.

Imperial Road Safety and Imperial’s car rental division, through Europcar, have handed over four vehicles to Bakwena and fifteen patrol Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) vehicles to N3TC. This being the fourth year vehicles have been sponsored by Imperial’s Europcar, aims at increasing route surveillance, patrol support and post-crash care during the busy holiday season. These vehicles will be used from the 10 December 2015 – 5 January 2016.

“There is no doubt that visible policing of our roads influences consumers to be more cautious and to ensure they practice safer road usage and as such, the support from Imperial Road Safety during such busy seasons is fundamental to aiding us in servicing the needs of road users and ensuring safer roads for all,” says Charmaine Van Wyk, PR Officer for Bakwena. “In fact, in April this year, the Bakwena route saw 4 less crashes than the previous year & zero fatalities over the Easter period, with the N3 route decreasing the number of fatalities from 3 the previous year, to zero – evidence of the influence of additional road patrol vehicles and the importance of support such as this from corporate South Africa.”

Bakwena have a good working relationship with the Traffic Authorities along the N1/N4 route, who will also be carrying out regular road checks along these roads.

Out of the fifteen vehicles allocated to N3TC by the Imperial Road Safety initiative, two of these will be used to provide medical assistance on the N3 Toll Route and one vehicle for the N3TC Duduza ‘We Care’ Initiative.

“These vehicles will be used to improve response times and patient care, in the unfortunate instance that there is a crash along the Route – a service that is most welcomed and will go a long way in demonstrating solid route support,”

states Con Roux, Commercial Manager of N3TC.

Imperial has previously shown complete commitment and dedication to assisting N3TC in making the N3 Toll Route safer over this time and we look forward to another strong road safety campaign this year.”

“We are committed to improving road safety and supporting the larger Imperial brand in achieving this. Therefore, we are proud to, yet again, form a key pillar of this project and trust that we will make a sound difference through our involvement. As a leader in the vehicle rental space, we understand the importance of contributing to the safety of South African citizens on our roads and believe that this vehicle sponsorship is certainly one way in which we are creating safer roads this holiday season,” states Corne Venter, CEO of Imperial Car Rental Division.

Imperial Road Safety warns of expected road-blocks along the N3 Toll Route and main arterial routes leading to the N3.

The consumption of alcohol and/or drugs greatly influences the chance of crashing. Alcohol, being a depressant, slows down the function of the nervous system and affects the way our brains process information. This has a detrimental effect on hand-eye coordination and reaction times. As well as reducing our ability to concentrate and comprehend new information. Drugs can have also have the same, if not worse of an effect on driving ability. This is a major focus of the Imperial Road Safety initiative.

The N3TC has implemented a narcotics testing facility along its route, aimed at identifying drivers who are driving under the influence of illegal substances. This testing is critical to manage road safety effectively.

“Whether ensuring road safety through scholar patrol, pedestrian visibility, or encouraging people to buckle up their children, Imperial Road Safety is committed to changing people’s perceptions around being responsible road users and as such, this project is an extension of our broad and focused commitment to road safety for all. We look forward to a safer and more aware holiday period and wish all road users safe travels this festive season,” concludes Cronje.

road trip

7 tips to ensure you are road trip ready this festive season!

There’s no time like summertime to set off on a road trip with friends or family. In the spirit of road safety and a love for open road adventures, Battery Centre is encouraging South Africans to conduct important vehicle checks before taking to the road this festive season.

With your vehicle in top condition, you can ensure a smooth, safe trip to your destination.

1. Starting point
Firstly, pop the hood and check the vitals while the engine is cool. These include engine oil, brake fluid and water in the cooling systems. Get a petrol attendant to assist if you’re unsure. Look out for irregularities like leaks; if any are apparent have the cause/reason sorted before driving the distance.

2. Maintain the charge
Ensure your car battery is in the best possible condition by visiting your nearest Battery Centre for a free battery and vehicle electrical check. One of the team of experts will check for battery damage, test the terminals and rate overall performance.

Should a new battery be needed, the best options for your specific needs will be advised before a quick and efficient battery replacement is made.

3. Read the rubber
Check whether the tyre tread on your wheels is within the safe limit. If it’s worn below the limit, it’s unsafe to drive and your tyres should be replaced – in SA, the legal thread limit is one millimetre. Look out for uneven tread wear as this can indicate an alignment issue.

Don’t forget to check tyre pressure. If you’re not sure what the optimum tyre pressure is for your wheels, reference your car’s user manual and/or the inside of the driver’s door. Remember to check your spare tyre, as you might need this along the way.

4. Swish, swish
It may be a fairly dry holiday in most parts of SA this year, with little rainfall predicted, but you should always be prepared for a downpour. Ensure your wipers are equipped to keep your windshield clear when it rains. Check the rubbers are still intact and not falling apart.

5. Smooth, quiet drive
Brakes, suspension, steering, shock absorbers and CV joints all affect your driving experience and safety. It’s a good idea to get a professional to conduct a full check of all these performance influencers, for peace of mind throughout your trip.

6. Switched on
From windows, mirrors and lights to indicators and fuses, a check of all the electrical equipment is very important before heading out onto the road. Check for any malfunctions and be sure to replace or repair them in time for your trip. Carry extra bulbs in case of an emergency lighting issue.

7. The emergency kit
To avoid being caught off guard with no solutions at hand, do an audit of your toolbox for all necessary tools. You should have the following in your car: a reflective triangle, a torch and batteries, jumper cables, car jack, fire extinguisher, a wrench, rope, gloves, tape, screwdrivers, pliers and some rags for wiping your hands.

With your checks complete, you’re all set to enjoy the beautiful local landscape without any vehicle stress. In case of battery troubles when you’re on the road, here’s where to find your nearest Battery Centre.

“Remember to get your car checked out after your trip as well, for year-round safety,” says Andrew Webb, Automotive Marketing Director of Battery Centre’s parent company, First National Battery.

road block

You won’t get away with anything on our roads this festive season

Just this past weekend 23 people were killed on our roads, 8 were in the Western Cape and 15 in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape. This is a scary statistic, especially with the festive season fast approaching. But Cape Town safety and security directorate and traffic authority promise to ensure everyone enjoys a safe festive season.

Drunk drivers and unroadworthy vehicles will be the main targets at roadblocks. 1 621 metro police, law enforcement and traffic officers will support the police this festive season with additional resources being deployed on days like Day of Goodwill and New Year’s Eve says Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.

“Officers will focus on road safety, including drunk driving and will step up patrols in the vicinity of places of entertainment, routes to and from major shopping centres, tourist attractions, business and residential areas to combat property crimes, while also maintaining a presence along main routes to and from our popular beaches,” he says.

Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa says, “No drivers will ever take chances again and gamble with people’s lives while driving drunk. That is the main cause of road accidents. We will thoroughly check roadworthiness of long-distance taxis as we know that is where most road deaths occur during the festive season as people are going out on holiday”.

Source: IOL

driving home

Your car’s happy holiday check list

With just a couple of weeks to go before the holiday rush hits South Africa’s roads, cities and holiday destinations, it is important to make sure that your car is in good running order.

This is according to Kerry Cassel, Managing Director of MotorHappy – an Imperial company – who notes that South African motorists travelling long distances over the festive season should take some time to conduct pre-trip car-checks.

Cassel says, “Along with regular servicing and maintenance, it is important to check your car’s oil, brakes, tyres, lights and windscreen wipers in order to avoid nasty surprises or delays on your journey.”

“If you know what to look for, you can do it yourself. If not, it would be best to make an appointment at your dealership and have a trained technician inspect that things are as they should be,” she adds.

Cassel explains that checking your car’s oil level is one of the most important things you can do to extend the lifespan of your car’s engine.

“Your oil will be changed during your scheduled service but, always check your levels before heading on a long trip,” she says.

Another crucial check, according to Cassel, is your brakes. “Responsible for bringing your car to a stop – which could ultimately save your life – it is best to have your brakes checked regularly by a professional at your car manufacturer’s recommended servicing intervals.”

To be checked even more regularly, your car’s tyres take a lot of strain when driving long distances.

“Tyres that are improperly inflated can blowout which can result in an accident. Check the inside your front driver’s-side door or your owner’s manual for your manufacturer recommended tyre pressure,” she adds.

While tyre pressure is important, it is not the only tyre and wheel consideration.

“Your tyres depend on tread for traction on the road and wheel alignment for steering and reaction reliability. Keep an eye on how far your tyre’s tread has worn away and check for any bulges or lumps which can cause a blowout or sliding while driving. It’s a good idea to have your wheel alignment checked if you feel as though your steering is not completely straight or if you have recently hit a large pot-hole.”

To be able to see pot-holes and other objects or obstructions on your journey, Cassel emphasises that your car’s lights and windscreen wipers need to be in tip-top shape.

“It is dangerous if any of your car’s lights are not functioning properly because they let other drivers know that you are on the road or that you are braking, switching lanes or reversing. Likewise, windscreen wipers clear your vision if you are caught driving during a summer thunderstorm.”

“While you can’t plan ahead to miss the traffic or the rain this festive season, you can ensure that your car is ready, happy and safe leading up to your holiday journey,” Cassel concludes.