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Archive for September, 2019

Should I Choose Agreed Value or Market Value Car Insurance?

Getting your car finance sorted and picking a vehicle is one thing, but once it is time to take to the road you need to have insurance for your car. With each insurer offering a wide variety of coverage, it pays to examine the fine print carefully to make sure you are covered for what you need. From the excess, to no claim bonuses, car hire, after-accident care, and many other factors – pause and consider.

But one matter where you might have some doubt creep in relates to the valuation of your car, which among other things not only dictates the premium you pay for your insurance, but how much you are covered for in the event of a write-off. You will typically have the choice between an agreed value, or a market value. Which one should you choose?

 

Agreed value car insurance

When you choose agreed value car insurance you will need to come to a direct agreement with the insurer as to the value of your individual car. As it is a key term within the policy, this will take place when you first sign the contract.

For the most part, agreed value car insurance is beneficial when your car has particular modifications, enhancements or is unique in some particular way. For example, if you have fitted the car with performance upgrades, or additional amenities that are not stock, an agreed value should reflect a higher valuation on account of including these features.

 

Market value car insurance

Unlike agreed value car insurance, market value does not involve a direct negotiation or discussion as to the car’s valuation. It is decided solely by the insurer based on the prevailing market price for the same car in its current condition. Some people assume that this translates to the vehicle’s second hand price, however that’s not exactly the case because that in itself is a negotiation process.

As a general rule of thumb, market value car insurance is more likely to be affordable than if the policy were undertaken with an agreed value. Whereas agree value is useful for unique cars, market value is best suited for regular cars, particularly older vehicles in average condition.

 

Questions you should ask yourself

To help you decide which option is best for you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my car brand new, second hand or a collector car?
  • Have I spent money modifying the car and do I need coverage for the value of these variations?
  • What condition is the car currently in?
  • Do I believe the insurer’s valuation is fair and reasonable? How does it compare with others?
  • How long do I plan to own this vehicle?
  • What is my budget for my car insurance premium?

 

Once you’ve walked through these considerations, you should know which option suits you best.

 

When is it Time to Give Up Driving?

While millennials appear to be abandoning vehicle ownership in favour of ride-sharing transportation, an ageing population means that more and more Australians are dependent on transport solutions to remain mobile. Naturally, having driven for most of their lives, it means elderly Australian motorists are clinging onto their driving routine and taking up the seat behind the wheel of their car.

With this however, we’re seeing a higher incidence of accidents and road fatalities than years gone past. For example, since 2007 road fatalities for drivers aged between 65 and 74 has grown 2.3% per year as measured across the nation. Among those drivers aged above 75, the figures point to an increase of 1.2% per year. Drivers aged 65 or above remain the only age group to see an increase in road fatalities across that period, while also recording a 9% rise in “road-related hospitalisations”.

 

The predicament

With a wealth of advertising and education directed towards younger drivers – who do statistically account for a higher number of accidents and fatalities – an absence on the part of all the state governments across the country to tackle a worrying trend is concerning. But how should we manage community mobility to optimise safety for all road users? Just when is it time to give up driving?

Truth be told, there is no simple answer to this predicament. While each of the states have their own road rules governing elderly drivers, having accessibility to a car remains a vital component to the independence of said individuals.

Nevertheless, for couples and families, it is best to discuss and monitor the health of loved ones to ensure they remain in good condition to take to the road. Regular health check-ups become an essential part of validating this, although remember that age in itself shouldn’t be viewed as the only measure of ability when it comes to driving.

Keep in mind as well, certain lenders will have their hesitations extending finance to those individuals who have retired from the workforce and are currently relying on their pension.

 

State rules

As mentioned above, each state has different rules when it comes to requirements for elderly drivers:

  • NSW: annual medical review (aged 75-84); annual medical review and practical driving test (85+)
  • VIC: no annual medical reviews, albeit referrals may be made by doctors, family and police
  • QLD: annual medical review but no practical driving tests (75+)
  • SA: medical assessment but no practical driving tests (at 70)
  • WA: medical assessment (from 80); medical assessment and practical assessment (from 85+)
  • TAS: no annual medical reviews
  • NT: no annual medical reviews, albeit referrals may be made by doctors, family and police

 

Nissan Patrol Updated for 2020

Nissan has shown off the new 2020 Nissan Patrol. There has been additions to the equipment and a reskin of the solid looking machine.

Significant changes see the Nissan “V-grille”reinterpreted for the new Patrol and it’s bracketed by a pair of boomerang LED driving lights.  This is mirrored by a similar design in the rear lights. Sequential indicators have also been added, a first for Nissan.“The Patrol is one of our longest-standing and most cherished models, with a long and proud heritage,” said Joni Paiva, regional vice president of the Africa, Middle East and India region at Nissan. The new Nissan Patrol represents the peak of luxury and ultimate capability and will continue to provide authentic experiences to its loyal customers in the Middle East and around the world.”

The interior has been given a makeover also. A redesigned centre console features dual displays which incorporate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The leather pews are diamond-stitch quilted and have been given extra padding for that luxurious touch. There is also a hand-stitch covering on the tiller. Climate control and powered lumbar support can be optioned for the front seats. Passengers can also feel a bit more cossetted thanks to changes in the structure. Noise, vibration, and harshness, have been reduced for a higher level of comfort, plus the aircon has been improved.Nissan’s own Intelligent Mobility technologies provide a high safety standard. Blind Spot Warning, AEB with pedestrian detection, Forward Collision Warning become standard for the 2020 Patrol.

A V6 engine with 205kW and 394 Nm of torque is the entry level engine. Buyers can also choose a 5.6-litre V8 produces 298kW horsepower and 560 Nm of torque. Drive hits the tarmac and dirt with an All-Mode 4×4 system that provides different drive options depending road conditions. Hydraulic Body Motion Control, available on V8 models, ensures a more comfortable ride thanks to improved suspension and vibration reduction.

An on-sale date and pricing for Australia are yet to be confirmed.

Veloster Gets New Suit for 2020.

Hyundai’s 3 door sports hatch, the Veloster, has been largely untouched since it was released. For 2020 the pert little machine has been given a new set of clothes inside and out. Safety has been upgraded and there are new engines to punt as well.A three model range is the situation here. There is the entry level, the Turbo, and Turbo Premium. The middle and top have the 1.6L engine, delivering 150kW/265Nm with the entry level a 2.0L Atkinson Cycle engine with 110kW/180Nm. That powers down via a 6 speed manual or auto, with the Turbos either 6 speed manuals or 7 speed dual clutch autos. Prices start from $29,490 plus on roads for the Veloster, $35,490 plus ORCs for the Turbo and $38,990 for the Premium. Metallic paint is a $595 option and two tone is $1,000.Standard kit is impressive. The range opens with 6 airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, Forward Collision Avoidance with City camera, Lane Keep Assist, Parking Distance Warning – Reverse, auto headlights, a 7 inch touchscreen with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, 18 inch alloys and Michelin rubber. Sports gauges in a digital format are in the driver’s dash and there’s the usual drive mode options. The Turbo is fitted with Pedestrian Detection camera and radar, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Warning, and Smart Cruise Control. LED lights feature front and rear, and there are a set of sports oriented body parts, and cloth/leather seats. Michelin features again on 18 inch black gloss alloys. The Premium has a Head Up Display, heated tiller, rain sensing wipers, full glass roof, and a wireless charge pad for compatible smartphones plus an eight speaker audio system from Infinity.
The bonnet has been lengthened and the roofline has been given a sharper angle, plus the wheel arches have been reprofiled. As usual, Australian imput has been used for the chassis tune to work with the extra body rigidity and refined independent multi-link suspension. The power steering system has a quicker-ratio and Torque Vectoring Control.

Hyundai offer a five year unlimited kilometres warranty, 12 months roadside assistance, a free first service, and a 10 year service & satnav upgrade if servicing the vehicle through Hyundai dealerships. Head to the Hyundai website for details.

Renault Adds Kadjar To The Family

Renault have added another SUV to their burgeoning range. Renault claims the Kadjar name is based on two words: Kad is inspired by quad to represent a go anywhere four wheeled vehicle, and Jar recalls the French words agile and jaillir respectively representing agility and suddenly emerging from somewhere. Okay then.Regardless, it’s based on another car with an odd name, the Qashqai from Nissan. It makes the Kadjar slightly bigger than the Captur. Pricing for the three model range (Life, Zen, Intens) starts from $29,990. Power is from a turbo 1.3L engine developed with Daimler. Peak power is 117kW (5,500rpm) and torque is a not indecent 260 torques at 1,750rpm. Economy is quoted as 6.3L/100km for the Euro6 compliant, 95RON, engine from a 50L tank. Transmission is a seven speed dual clutch auto. the Life and Zen roll on 17 inch wheels with 215/60 rubber, the Intens goes up to 19s and 225/45 tyres.

Length is 4,449mm, height is 1,607mm, and boot volume is 408L to 1,478L. The exterior is pure current Renault. C shaped LED driving lights, a fluid and organic look to the panels, and chrome highlights add bling to the front and windowline. Black urethane panels add visual appeal and a protective layer to the lower extremities. Inside is a 7.0 inch touchscreen, patterned covers for the seats, and an ergonomically focused design to the elegant sweep of the dashboard. A Bose audio system can be found in the Intens, along with electric seats. The Life and Zen are manually operated, with Zen also having manual lumbar adjustment.All three levels have a pair of 12V sockets, with the Life having a pair of USB ports up front. Zen and Intens have an extra pair for the rear. All three have voice activation, with the Life missing out on navigation. It doesn’t miss out on safety though, with front and rear sensors common across the range. However, side sensors it does miss out on. Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure Warning are also not fitted to the Life. Intens gets hands free parking assistance as well as auto high beam. All three have auto on headlights.Renault provide a five year and unlimited kilometre warranty. Service intervals are pretty good too, just quietly, with 12 months or 30,000 kilometres. Metallic paint is a $750 option and a glass roof is $1,000.

Deposits can be taken online via the Renault website.

 

Ute Buyers Spoilt For Choice

2020 Ford Ranger

Most of us will know the popularity of the ute in Australia.  It’s an awesome type of vehicle for mixing work, play and family duties all together and so easily.  Some utes even scrub up so well that they look stylish enough parked up next to a luxury Mercedes, so it is little wonder as to why we’re seeing the Hilux, Ranger or even Triton being very popular new car buys.

2020 Mitsubishi Triton

Australia’s top-selling modern utes need to be able to tow big weights, carry close to 1000 kg on the tray out the back, be capable 4x4s, drive with premium levels of comfort and refinement, look cool and have the latest technology, infotainment and safety aids.  Tick all these boxes and, if you’re a new ute manufacturer, you can be sure that you’re going to get some foot traffic onto your showroom floors – which will then, hopefully, transfer into those feet driving one of your utes out of your dealership after just having sold the ute.

There are some pretty special new utes available already in Australia, but there will also be some new utes coming in the not-too-distant future.  Hyundai, with joint interest and input from sister company Kia, are poised to bring an exciting ute to Australia.  A team of experts from Hyundai recently visited Australia.  They piloted a detailed ute market research project here in Australia, while also visiting other Asian countries as well as the Middle East.  Hyundai Australia’s CEO, Mr Lee, commented that the new ute would be subject to its extensive local tuning program to tailor it to Australian conditions and consumer tastes.  It sounds like Hyundai are doing their homework very well indeed.  According to Kia Australia, the ute will be offered in a range of single-cab and double-cab body styles with both petrol and diesel engine options.

2020 Jeep Gladiator

The Jeep Gladiator is set to make an entry, and this really is a light truck/ute that imposes itself with immense on-road presence.  It’s big, bold and capable both on and off the road and, essentially, it is a Jeep Wrangler with a big tray out the back.  It will offer Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon trims, and it offers two engine choices: a 3.6-litre Pentaster V6 that delivers 209 kW and 353 Nm, and a torquey 3.0-litre diesel V6 to launch a little further down the track.  The Gladiator stretches 5.54 m in length, 1.88 m wide and up to 1.90 m in height.  A 3.5 tonnes towing weight is no problem.

2020 Ram 1500

In the same vein as the Gladiator, but with even more hulk, is the new Ram 1500, a model that has been birthed out of the Ram Truck Division.  Big on grunt the Ram 1500 comes with an updated 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 engine which should prove more fuel efficient than previous engines.  The new engine is used in the newest Jeep Grand Cherokee and will sit above the entry-level Hemi V8 models.  Taking a look at the 184 kW and 570 Nm figures for the Grand Cherokee, the same engine in the Ram 1500 should be a thumper – providing up to 4.5-tonnes of pulling capability.  So, if you need one of the best tow vehicles then this will be one of them.

Mazda’s new BT-50 will become available next year, and it’s a ute that is being jointly developed with Isuzu.  Tough and strong with masculine looks is what has been indicated.

All the recently updated Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton, Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, Nissan Navara, Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 are still available.  And don’t forget the powerful VW and Mercedes options that are growing in popularity as well.  Ssangyong ‘s new Musso looks the real deal and delivers on rugged reliability and affordability, and will be well worth a look if you’re about to purchase a new ute for yourself.

2020 Ssangyong Musso

Ute buyers are spoilt for choice!

Jeep Grand Cherokee Hits The Summit.

Jeep Australia has released details about a new range topping version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Summit will be available from $84,450 plus on-roads. Power will be supplied via a Remote Start capable 3.0L V6 diesel with 184kW and a hefty 570Nm of torque. Transmission is an eight speed auto, with a mooted combined consumption figure of 7.0L per 100 kilometres. Oomph hits the dirt and tarmac via the Quadra-Drive and Selec-Terrain system that includes Snow, Rock, Mud, Sand, and Auto. The Quadra-Lift suspension has five preset ride height positions. Towing is rated as up to 3.5 tonnes.Outside are 20 inch wheels, and includes the Platinum Package. That includes Platinum chrome and gloss black Jeep 7-slot grille and front & rear lower fascia applique. Unique features outside include a refined front fascia with LED fog lights. The rear is also restyled and includes a pair of trapezoidal exhaust tips. Sill cladding and wheel arches, mirror caps and door handles are body coloured.

Inside are NaturaPlus leather seats, suede-like headlining, and “Summit” illuminated door sill plates. Above the passengers is the Dual-Pane glass sunroof. Harman Kardon supply a 19 speaker, 825 Watt amp, sound system, UConnect 8.4 inch Touchscreen with Digital Radio, Bluetooth Phone/Audio and Navigation, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Seats front and are powered and heated, as is the tiller. Front seats are vented as well, a smart move for the Australian market. Safety features are ticked, with the basic and extras. Reverse camera partners with front & rear parking sensors, as does the Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning. Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Warning are backed by Lane Departure Warning.

Options are limited to just the Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package. This includes ‘Laguna’ quilted leather seats, leather wrapped upper and lower door panels, plus leather wrapped console and glovebox. Rear seat passengers can have a Blu-Ray/DVD Entertainment system.Interior noise is reduced courtesy of the acoustic rear windscreen and second row door glass. This helps to enhance the Harmon Kardon “Active Noise Cancellation” technology and is said to reduce exterior noise by up to 10dB.

Head to hthe Jeep Australia website for more.

New Audi TT And TTS For 2020.

Audi has provided details of the revamped and restyled Audi TT and TTS. Pricing for the Audi TT Coupe 45 TFSI quattro with the 2.0L TSFI 169kW engine starts from $79,900 and the
Audi TTS Coupe TFSI with 210kW starts from $99,900.

The TTS should see the tonne in 4.7 seconds. Economy whilst doing so is rated as 7.0L/100km. The TT is close, with 5.3 seconds and 6.6L/100km. Torque is almost identical at 380Nm and 370Nm respectively. Both powerr down via Audi’s much vaunted “Quattro” system.

The dominant factor visually is the new “Singleframe” grille. Audi says this remains true to the origins of this iconic sportscar, but with a more aggressive, contemporary interpretation. That price represents over $5,000 of value compared to the pevious model, with features such as the LED headlights, the dynamic rear indicator lights, and auto fold wing mirrors.

Highlights inside include heated front seats, Nappa upholstery, and a smartphone charge pad. There is also an a punchy 12 speaker system with 680W from B&O. An option available is the S Line Sport Package. This is $7,990 and includes 19 inch alloys, the exterior post package, bespoke front seats, and aluminuim strip highlights.

The TTS has over $8,500 of extra value with items such as metallic paint as standard, along with red brake calipers. The TTS can be specced with the $4,900 S performance package. This includes Matrix LED headlights, black high-gloss exterior accents, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, park assist and an extended leather package.

The Audi TT range also feature an impressive complement of safety and driver assistance systems including: Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, Audi parking system with front and rear sensors and rear view camera, progressive steering, and cruise control with speed limiter.

Sheetmetal can be clad with Cosmos Blue, Pulse Orange and Turbo Blue available for the TT with the TTS available with Pulse Orange and Turbo Blue.

Head to the Audi website for more details.
 

Dieselgate Over? VW To Pay Up.

Volkswagen Australia has agreed to pay up to $140,000,000 to 100,000 Australian customers after it was found to be responsible for fuel consumption figures that varied substantially from the advertised. Buyers that purchased from the Audi, Skoda, and Volkswagen stables are eligible for payments of up to $1,400. The vehicles concerned are powered by their 2.0-litre “EA189” TDI engines.

A statement released by VW Australia says: ““this is a significant step towards fully resolving the diesel lawsuits in Australia, subject to approval by the Federal Court of Australia”. A number of class actions, including one from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, were based on the consumption figures and the resultant lowering of resale values. The settlement itself, says VW Australia, will be on a no-admissions basis. Settlements are expected to be concluded by sometime in 2020.

The lead plaintiff in this case is Alister Dalton. He’s said: “it’s pleasing there will finally be some closure and a resolution for thousands of Australians. It’s important that it forces some recognition from VW that there was a serious issue they had to face up to and deal with here in Australia regarding their vehicles.”

Hybrid News From The Three Pointed Star.

Luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz has provided details of their new hybrid C-Class. There is also a potentially hybrid and/or electric S-Class on its way sometime inside the next decade. The C 300 e Sedan has a motor that can deliver 90 kilowatts of power and 440Nm of torque. Without utilising the petrol engine, there is up to 52 kilometres of electrical driving. Pair in the petrol driven 2.0L four, with a handy 350Nm of torque and 155kW of power, driving the rear wheels via a nine speed auto, peak power is rated as 235kW and torque as 700Nm. M-B says that combined fuel economy can reach as low as 2.1L per 100 kilometres. 0 – 100kmh is 5.4 seconds, the same as the Standard Plus Tesla Model 3.

The standard C-Class has a 2.0L with slightly lesser power and torque at 150kW and 300Nm of twist. 0 – 100kmh is 7.1 seconds.

The battery pack is able to hold 13.5kWh. It can be recharged to full from empty in around two hours using a Type 2 charger, or seven hours on a home circuit. It’s a smart capable battery, which allows both the heater element and cooling system to pre-climatise the interior. Other electronic goodness comes from Live Traffic Updates as standard, the Driver Assistance Package which bundles the Mercedes-Benz Distronic automated cruise control in with a predictive speed adjustment system. This covers off bends, junctions, and roundabouts.

Overall, the range has 19 different variants. There’s petrol power, diesel oomph, hybrid drivelines, and four body shapes. Buyers can choose from Sedan, Estate (wagon), Coupe, and Cabrio. Mercedes also have a limited edition Sport Edition package that buyers can specify as an option for the Sedan, Estate and Coupe. Add it to the Sedan and Estate and that’s $7,700. It’s $7,200 for the Coupe. The range starts at $64,500 and the Sport Edition has driveaway prices starting at $69,900.

When it comes to the S-Class, M-B have previewed a possible version with the unveiling of the EQS concept. EQ is a separate division, a sub-brand, that Mercedes-Benz have created to have an electric car division. By selling the S-Class, which is slated to be available early in 2020, and the EQS a year or so after, M-B then allows their customers to choose which they feel best represents a top level vehicle.

One of the aims of the concept is to assist in getting Level 3 Autonomous Driving classification. The chassis itself will become a modular platform, and will form the basis for a range of vehicles the M-B say will be released in the early 2020s. However, the S-Class, at this stage, is looking to stay as a petrol or hybrid rand range, leaving the EQS series as the separate and complementary arm using electric power. There will be a highly intensive LED look too, for the EQS, to help differentiate visually.