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  • Tips For Inspecting And Test Driving Used Cars This Winter
    Uploaded 2 years ago

    Tips For Inspecting And Test Driving Used Cars This Winter

  • The effect of inflation on insurance
    Uploaded 20 hours ago

    The effect of inflation on insurance

  • Minimising the risk associated with buying your next car
    Uploaded 20 hours ago

    Minimising the risk associated with buying your next car

  • 5 Tips to help you find a vehicle that will fall in love with your budget!
    Uploaded 1 day ago

    5 Tips to help you find a vehicle that will fall in love with your budget!

  • Tips to avoid getting stranded this winter with a flat car battery
    Uploaded 1 day ago

    Tips to avoid getting stranded this winter with a flat car battery

  • How to avoid being hijacked
    Uploaded 1 day ago

    How to avoid being hijacked

Tips For Inspecting And Test Driving Used Cars This Winter

Uploaded 2 years ago

Tips For Inspecting And Test Driving Used Cars This Winter

Tips For Inspecting And Test Driving Used Cars This Winter

If you’re in the market for a car this winter and are busy scouting around for the best-used cars for sale, there are certain things to bear in mind if you want to avoid running into buyer’s regret at a later stage. While many great previously owned cars are available to buy – some of them only a few months or a year old, even – it’s important to know what to look out for as issues with the vehicle may not be immediately obvious. 

Just because the interior and bodywork look spotless, it may be a very different story under the bonnet. Today we’ll cover a few ways you can get a better idea of a car’s condition when viewing and test driving it.

During Inspection

First impressions matter, as they say. Your interest in a car was probably escalated because of what you’ve seen in photographs and by the price tag. When you go view the car in person, here are a few less-than-obvious things to check out.

  1. Look for any signs of rust or flaking paint and patched up bodywork. 

This is especially important if you’re viewing a car whose owner resides close to the ocean, as salty sea air is notorious for degrading metal much faster in coastal towns and cities. Be sure to check under the car as well, as the owner may have neglected to do proper upkeep in those areas, and a sudden issue could arise due to components that have begun to rust through.

  1. Open and close all doors and check that all the keys work in all slots. 

Check for doors that creak or don’t close properly. Also, be sure to check the exterior of the car for misaligned panels, as this could indicate that the car may have been in an accident or fender bender. If that seems to be the case, ask the owner or dealer for more information and be sure to take note of how forthcoming they are about the less appealing aspects of the car. After all, you’d rather deal with an honest person who admits to the car’s faults than someone who claims there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, as this is highly unlikely to be the case for a car that’s a few years old.

  1. Check the condition of the tyres and paintwork.

If the tread is looking thin, it means you’ll have to add a new set of tyres to your budget if you’re going to buy the car. The same goes for other parts and components that look like they will need an upgrade or repair soon.

  1. Don’t forget the small things because once you own the car, you’re bound to notice them.

Check all the lights on the car. That includes headlights, indicator lights, fog lights and interior cabin lights. Try all the seatbelts to ensure they work properly. Test the radio and the air conditioning on both hot and cold and all the various fan speeds.

When Test Driving

For this part, you’ll need to tune into your senses and make mental notes of anything that feels or sounds ‘off’.

  1. Make sure that the driver’s seat is comfortable.

We don’t often think about this, but some cars simply don’t feel comfortable driving, either because the seat causes back pain and discomfort, or the distance between you and the gear knob isn’t an easy reach away. This all depends entirely on your build, height and personal preference, but it is important that you feel ‘good’ when sitting behind the wheel. You should also be sure that you have a clear view ahead of you and to the sides, as any of these factors will affect how you drive with the car.

  1. Start the car and let it idle for a bit.

Listen for any rattling noises, odd vibrations or sounds that shouldn’t be there. Also, check if the car starts the first time and check for any excess smoke emissions from the exhaust.

  1. While driving, try to test out as many aspects of the vehicle as possible.

Turn the radio on and listen for audio clarity – this also helps determine how soundproof the car’s interior is, which is something you’ll want to enjoy for years, instead of constant noise from the engine and outside. Take the car on various terrains to see how well it handles, and be sure to test the handbrake on an uphill stop, especially if you live in a hilly area where this will be an important function.

If you’re happy with everything, you saw and felt while inspecting the vehicle and during the test drive, the final remaining thing to check is paperwork. Try to get as much information about the car’s history through service records and registered paperwork. Remember never to buy a car from someone if they don’t have the registered documents proving that they are the vehicle owner. 

For an effortless viewing of the best-used cars for sale, trust a dealership that guarantees customer satisfaction, and that has gone through the necessary paperwork and red tape for you to save you time and give you peace of mind when buying from them.

Uploaded 20 hours ago

The effect of inflation on insurance

The effect of inflation on insurance

Your insurance premium is calculated by taking several factors into account and each insurer places their own significance on each of these factors, which will result in varying pricing.

In most cases your cars insurance premium will decrease as the car gets older, but this might not always be the case as inflation could have an adverse effect and negate any savings.

Insurance premiums tend to increase in line with inflation and it is expected that inflation will remain at approximately 7% for the next few months.

These increases in your insurance premium are due to the fact that even though your cars value may decrease over time, the cost of repairing your car should you be involved in an accident increases over time. This is due to fact that the cost of paint, parts and labour will continue to increase with inflation as these costs are market related and not linked to the age of your car.

Insurers report that most claims are generally as a result of accident damage and as a result a greater portion of your premium goes towards the risk associated with accident damage.

The easiest way to save on insurance is to shop around and get comparative quotes. Your insurance premium is calculated by taking several factors into account and each insurer places their own significance on each of these factors, which will result in varying pricing. The following advice can ensure you pay the best premium possible.

Choose the correct excess

The excess is the contribution that you will need to pay when claiming from your insurance. A lower excess will result in higher premiums and a higher excess in lower premiums, so it is a decision you need to make based on your personal situation. If you do opt for a higher excess in order to save on your monthly premiums it is important to make sure that you will be able to cover the amount, should you need to claim for loss or damage.

Your claims history

When calculating your insurance premium, insurers will look at how often you have claimed in the past. Motorists who haven’t been in any accidents or who don't claim regularly will enjoy the benefit of lower premiums.

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle for all kinds of damage including fire, theft, hijacking, natural disasters or an accident with another vehicle regardless of who is at fault. If your car is financed, most banks will require that the vehicle be comprehensively insured. Due to the scope of coverage, comprehensive insurance is the most expensive form of insurance.

Driving a luxurious car

The premiums of high-end luxurious vehicles as well as vehicles that are sold in limited quantities, such as special edition models will be more expensive since it will be significantly more expensive to repair or replace these types of cars if they are damaged or stolen.

Where your car is stored

Where you live and work will influence your insurance premium. For example, if you live in a high-risk area, your insurance premiums will be higher. Transversely if you live in a regular neighbourhood, park your car in a locked garage and have security features such as an alarm or tracker, your insurance premiums will be lower.

General factors

When calculating risk and your premium insurers will also consider things like your age and gender as well as how the car is used. Coverage for men as well as using a car for business will be more expensive as insurers see this as a greater risk.

Uploaded 20 hours ago

Minimising the risk associated with buying your next car

Minimising the risk associated with buying your next car

Pre-owned cars or demo models still represent a significant cost saving, even those that are as little as a year old. These pre-owned cars and demo models are often in an almost new condition and benefit from lengthy aftersales warranties and service plans.

Buying a new or pre-owned car is a big commitment but proper planning can ensure that you get the car you can afford while minimising the risk.

With a large variety of cars available in both the new and used market it can be difficult to find the one that is right for you. It is therefore very important to carefully calculate exactly how much you are prepared to spend on a car and to be realistic about what you can afford.

Tools like affordability and repayment calculators are a big help in this regard. It is also important to factor in other expenses such as fuel, insurance and maintenance in order to make sure that you do not over extend your budget. Ensure that you factor in some leeway for costs that may change over time such as rising fuel prices, interest rate increases, and other unexpected costs associated with driving.

Recent global stock shortages due to a variety of reasons in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a narrowing of the price difference between new and used cars. In a classic case of supply and demand many dealerships increased the prices of pre-owned models and inadvertently caused market wide increases. Motorists need to be careful of paying too much, because the bubble will burst at some stage and when it comes to resell, the deficit between what you paid and what you are offered could be substantially larger than normal.

It is therefore important to shop around and do your research to ensure that you are getting a good deal now as well as a deal that makes sense in the long run.

Despite this unfortunate price volatility, pre-owned cars still offer several benefits. Pre-owned cars or demo models still represent a significant cost saving, even those that are as little as a year old. These pre-owned cars and demo models are often in an almost new condition and benefit from lengthy aftersales warranties and service plans.

Pre-owned cars offered by reputable dealerships such as those in the Motus network are very often sold with added benefits such as extended aftersales plans and guarantees and will be subjected to thorough checks by certified workshop technicians before they are offered for sale.

Pre-owned vehicles are less affected by depreciation than new cars and when buying a pre-owned car, you are starting off from a lower initial outlay and the effects of the depreciation will be less severe on your wallet.

While there is some risk involved with purchasing pre-owned vehicles, this can be mitigated by shopping smartly such as by only considering vehicles with a full service history or getting the vehicle independently inspected by experts.

It is also always safer to do business with reputable dealers, such as those that form part of the extensive Motus network, who will go out of their way to protect their reputation by offering quality products and exceptional customer service.

Uploaded 1 day ago

5 Tips to help you find a vehicle that will fall in love with your budget!

5 Tips to help you find a vehicle that will fall in love with your budget!

It’s funny how love works! Imagining your ideal partner will have a certain hair colour, be a certain height or body shape – only to find the person you fall in love with has completely different attributes!

The same thing goes for finding your ideal car.  You may have imagined a red convertible as the love of your life, but if you had to buy one, would the relationship last?

There are many aspects to consider when purchasing a vehicle, and one of the most important is choosing one that your budget will love. Especially now as we find ourselves in uncertain times and economic restraints.

In the excitement of falling in love and shopping for a new car, many people forget about this especially important thing! It's amazing how few take the time to actually figure out what they can comfortably afford.

Here are 5 important tips to consider before you buy your next car:

 

1. Review your budget

Before you start researching the latest models and test-driving vehicles, you first need to determine your budget and how you’ll pay for your new car.

  • How much money do you have saved for a deposit?
  • What’s the best interest rate you can you find?
  • What fees and licensing costs will you have to pay?

 

Look at your recent bank statement and monthly bills to determine your budget. Add the trade-in value of your current vehicle to this budget — you can use this to make a larger deposit that will lower your monthly payment and interest.

The cost of purchasing a vehicle is more than just the price of the car itself, so make sure to plan for additional expenses such as the registration fee or add-ons you might want such as an extended warranty, as well as the monthly running costs like fuel and insurance.

Establish what you are willing and able to pay using our finance calculator.

 

2. Determine your wants vs needs

Once you have figured out how much you can comfortably spend on your car, it is a good idea to assess what you want and need at this stage of your life. A single person in their twenties will have a vastly different checklist than that of a family of five.

Make a list of non-negotiables such as vehicle size, safety features and fuel economy to determine what kind of vehicle will best satisfy your needs. Then list everything you want but do not necessarily need, like technology, colour preference, conveniences, and style. Keep this list in mind when researching specific models.

3. Do your research

Once you  know what you need, you can choose the exact brand and model that best meets your requirements. Compare listings online to find vehicles that come with the specs you are looking for.  Take a look at used and demo options before deciding what will be best for you.

Take your top two or three choices for a test drive.  Pay attention to the car’s acceleration, comfort, and handling. This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about the engineering or functionality of the vehicle.

4. Consider ongoing costs

You have found one or two cars you love, and you’re almost ready to make your decision. But before you sign the paperwork, make sure your budget will love it too by taking into consideration the ongoing costs. For example, some models have parts that cost more to repair, which means your maintenance costs will be higher. Others are not so efficient on fuel which will cost you more every time you fill up and some have a higher insurance price tag. Make sure you can afford the car you choose throughout its lifetime.

 

5. Financing your car

We would all like to pay cash for our new car , but most of us cannot afford it, so we have to finance the purchase of our car. Make sure that you shop around. Try and choose a short-term repayment plan with the lowest interest rate possible. Be wary of balloon payments, as they can make repayments seem small, but could leave you still owing quite a sizeable amount on your car by the end of your term. Try to make as big a deposit as you can (ideally anything from 10% to 20% of the purchase price), as this will help lower your monthly instalments.

Uploaded 1 day ago

Tips to avoid getting stranded this winter with a flat car battery

Tips to avoid getting stranded this winter with a flat car battery

If your battery is running out of time or you can’t remember when it was last replaced, it is a good idea to have it checked to ascertain if it still has some life left in it. Most battery retailers will perform this check free of charge.

Winter is not a great time for your car battery and if it is not in a good condition, it will probably fail during these colder months.

Why is that?

A vehicle’s engine requires more power to start when it is cold and at the same time the colder temperatures make it more difficult for a car battery to provide the power that it normally does.

Getting stranded with a flat battery is more serious than in years gone by. Cars these days are equipped with a myriad of electronics that all rely on the correct battery voltage to perform optimally. Automatic gearboxes found in most cars these days also mean that it is not possible to push start your car and sensitive electronics can be damaged by jump-starting vehicles incorrectly.

“In normal circumstances a car battery needs to be changed approximately every three years. With many people driving less or infrequently due to the on-going work-from-home trend, the normal three-year lifespan could be considerably shorter,” says the CEO of Motus Retail and Rental SA, Corné Venter.

As batteries get older they require a longer running time to fully recharge after the heavy load of starting a vehicle, so if you generally only travel short distances the battery will not have enough time to sufficiently recharge.

If your battery is running out of time or you can’t remember when it was last replaced, it is a good idea to have it checked to ascertain if it still has some life left in it. Most battery retailers will perform this check free of charge.

Prolong the life of your battery with these handy tips:

1. Keeping your car warm by parking it under cover or in a garage will lessen the strain on the battery as you try and start your car on cold mornings.

2. If your car is struggling to start, don't keep cranking it over for long periods of time. Rather take a break of a few minutes between starting attempts.

3. Ensure that all ancillaries including the lights, radio and heater are turned off to free up extra power for the starting process.

4. A well-serviced vehicle will start easier. Ensure that your vehicle is maintained and that the engine oil and belts are replaced in line with the manufacturers recommendations. A well-maintained car will place less strain on the battery, as the vehicle will start easily, no matter the temperature.

 

Find your nearest Motus dealer, and book a service here.

Uploaded 1 day ago

How to avoid being hijacked

How to avoid being hijacked

The best practice is to rather be safe than sorry, do an extra circle around the block or ask someone for assistance rather than regret it.

While nobody wants to be in a hijacking situation, it is an unfortunately a very real threat for motorists in South Africa.

Recent crime statistics reveal that the amount of hijacking has increased by 3.5% quarter on quarter.

In the light of this, drivers need to increase their awareness and do whatever they can to prevent it from happening.

The following tips and rules can go a long way in keeping you safe:

  • Keep an eye out for any vehicles following you.

If you are travelling from a shopping centre or airport and are being followed, do not turn into your driveway. Rather drive to a safe place such as a petrol station or the nearest police station.

  • Many armed response companies offer a service whereby they will escort you home when you are planning on arriving home at night.

If you are a client of such a company it is a good idea to make use of this service.

  • When arriving home, do not drive straight into your driveway. Park your vehicle in a parallel fashion while you wait for your gates to open, giving yourself a way to escape if you need to.
  • Once you enter, stop just inside your gate, and remain in your vehicle, while the gate is closing to prevent another car from following you in.
  • When stopped at intersections, do not be tempted to look at your phone. Rather be aware of your surroundings and look out for any possible threats.
  • When parking at a shopping mall, reverse into the parking space, preferably against a wall in order to prevent someone from catching you unaware from behind. This will also allow you to exit the parking quickly if necessary.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with the presence of someone in the parking lot, ask a security guard to walk you to your car.

Tip: The best practice is to rather be safe than sorry, do an extra circle around the block or ask someone for assistance rather than regret it.

These tips can go a long way to help you be aware of your surroundings and to protect yourself as far as possible, but it is not always preventable. Drivers should learn what they should do to increase their chances to safely remove themselves from that situation:

  • Make sure that your loved ones always know where you are and what time to expect you home.
  • Install apps on your phone and the phones of loved ones that can be used to track their location.
  • Be aware of high-risk areas and high-risk vehicles and if you have to drive in those areas make sure that you are exceptionally alert.
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