Essential winter road safety tips

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As the icy winter tightens its grip on South Africa, you need to make sure you take the right precautions and maintain your car. Follow these tips to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. 

Windscreen
Make sure the rubber has not corroded in your windscreen wipers ahead of the rainy weather. If you’re in areas of South Africa that experience a dry winter, you should refrain from pouring boiling water on icy windscreens. Apply some cold or lukewarm water to remove ice, you can also try using your defog on the inside of your car. 

Tyres
Between wet weather and dry icy weather, you need to always make sure your tyres have good tread to ensure grip on the road. Keep your tyres properly pumped and your wheels aligned. Being prepared and maintaining your tyres on a regular basis can extend the life of your tyres. 

Headlights
Early mornings and late afternoons shrouded in darkness make it even more important to switch your headlights on early. Statistically, dark coloured cars are more likely to have accidents, which makes it more imperative that if you drive a dark car, you need to turn your lights on early. Make sure your headlights are always in working condition. 

Useful links
How to defog your windscreen: http://bit.ly/1mQXrbc
How the colour of your car affects your car insurance: http://bit.ly/1mf0YnN 

You should always make sure you have the best car insurance you can afford, it can save you from financial burdens if you lose control on the icy roads. 

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6 factors in choosing a new car

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As the second biggest investment you’ll make during your lifetime, buying a car needs to be a well thought out plan. Other than the obvious factor of price, we have a useful list that you should consider in choosing a car.

Consider a few things before you buy a new car.

Insurance
Although car insurance is not mandatory in South Africa, it’s best to have at least the most basic form of car insurance to protect other drivers and yourself from financial liability.

The general rule of thumb is the higher the price of your car, the higher the insurance premium because it costs more to repair or replace it. Insuring newer cars compared to older cars at their market value is also usually higher. Other factors influence your insurance premium include:

-type of car
-type of engine capacity
-year of car’s manufacture
-age of car driver or owner
-driving experience, premiums are lower for drivers with more experience
-where your car is stored, on the street or in a garage

You can snap up a great cheap car insurance quote from Click n Compare.

Prioritise Safety Equipment and Adds Ons
You should have a checklist ranked in importance for essentials such as air bags, seat belts, anti-lock brake systems and more. You can also add a few extras lower on the list like a sunroof or fog lights.

You can look at adding body kits as well but seeing as they come in packages from the dealers, you should truly weigh up whether you will actually utilize each feature.

Incentives and Rewards
Dealerships often offer incentives or rewards for buying with a low finance rate. Be aware that to qualify for these low financing rates, you need to maintain a good credit score. Keep an eye out for festive offers such as Christmas offers where body kits and other additional extras may be on promotion.

Resale Value
If you buy a new car every 5 to 10 years, you should definitely consider the resale value of your car seeing a new car depreciates by around 60% of the original purchase price after five years. You should also note that the resale of a hybrid car would be higher, however the purchase price of a hybrid car is always higher than a petrol or diesel car. Many factors affect your resale value, they include:

-brand of the car
-history of reliability
-mileage
-current fuel efficiency
-age of your car in years
-level of wear and tear
-any add-ons used for aesthetics or performance
-whether you do a direct private sale or go through a used-car dealership

Fuel Efficiency
This refers to how much petrol or diesel (in litres) your car consumers per 100km. South Africa and the world has faced recent instability, which has affected the price of fuel. Finding a fuel-efficient car has become a necessity and as a result, more people are turning towards hybrids. Hybrid cars are able to minimize the amount of petrol consumed compared to regular petrol and diesel cars.

Warranty and Maintenance Plan
Experiencing car trouble such as breaking down can be a very costly event that can run into the thousands of rand. However, by having your warranty in place, you can avoid the costly fees. Most new cars come with a 3 year or 60 000km or 5 year or 100 000km warranty plan. If you are looking to for a used car, you should opt for one with the balance of the warranty in tact. Take note of what is included in the warranty as some expensive components may be excluded.

You should also look for a car that has a comprehensive maintenance plan, whether it is a new car or a used car, you should find a car with a dealership approved maintenance plan. By having perfect records of maintenance from the car brand’s dealership, you can also increase the resale value because it has been documented as being well looked after.

This article has been adapted from Iris Lee’s article, view the original here: http://bit.ly/1vETP1r