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Aussie’s Rosco aiming for 1000 mph

Aussie Invader 5R

It might be a bit hard to call it a conventional car but then it’s not really a conventional car in the sense that the Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car looks more plane/rocket in its appearance.  The Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car boasts an insanely long arrow-shaped design with three wheels, large aerodynamic wind deflectors and an engine with close to 150,000 kW!  Yes, that’s correct; you did read that figure correctly.  To put that in perspective, an Aussie V8 Supercar puts out, on average, around 475 kW of power.  Now, if you’ve ever experienced the wonderful roar of these V8s when they blast by around the circuit, then you can understand the aura of such kW potency.  But this Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car makes as much power as 316 of these Aussie V8 Supercars put together! The Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car is powered by a single bi-propellant rocket reportedly capable of producing upwards of 62,000 lbf of thrust.  That’s over four times more than a Boeing 737 jet!

Founder and designer of the new Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car, Rosco McGlashan, has the world’s fastest land speed record in his sights.  He will reportedly be the pilot of the 16-metre long, nine-tonne steel-framed vehicle.  And the target?  The target top speed of 1609 km/h (1000 mph) would be the fastest of any land-going vehicle, ever. And 1000 mph would see it blitz the current land speed record held by the Noble Thrust SSC on a Nevada salt flat in 1997, which averaged 1223.7 km/h and broke the sound barrier while doing so.

Rosco McGlashan

Rosco McGlashan would like to set the new record next year once all the Covid palaver is over-and-done-with, and it will likely be set somewhere in the Queensland or Western Australian desert.  Rosco is no stranger to setting speed records; he is already the holder of the Australian land speed record, where in 1994 he clocked 802.6 km/h behind the wheel of a jet-powered predecessor to the Aussie Invader 5R out on the dry salt flats of Lake Gairdner, near Adelaide.  He has, after all, built all of his drag racing, exhibition, and land-speed racing vehicles himself over the years in a shed at his home.

Rosco has accurate computer modelling on the Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car, which suggests that the Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car will have enough power and thrust for launching the car from 0-100 km/h in approximately 1.1 seconds.  It should reach its target of 1000 mph in less than 30 seconds.  Slowing the Aussie Invader 5R rocket-car down is no mean feat and will thus will require a full 13 km of flat desert just to stop it.  A multi-stage deployment of high-speed hydraulic air brakes, mid-speed parachutes, and low-speed disc brakes have been designed to activate progressively to safely bring the vehicle to a halt.

Picking an exact location will depend largely on which organization or individual steps up as the primary sponsor for the effort. As will the practical necessity of having 5 km of flat desert for getting up to speed plus another 13 km to stop it.

Aussie Invader 5R

January 2021 Sales Figures Show Upwards Swing

Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released the sales figures for January of 2021. A total of 79,666 vehicles were sold in January 2021 which is up by 11.1 per cent on January 2020. 71,731 vehicles were sold in that month. Every state and territory saw an increase, and following on from December 2020, with the Northern Territory seeing the highest increase of 38.7% to just 1.9% in Victoria. Private buyers contributed by having an increase of 25.4%. Business buyers decreased, but by only 1.3% whilst government and rental sales dropped by 11.2% and 12.4%.

Of note was that Holden as a brand registered zero sales.

The private sales had the passenger vehicle category down by 9.3% compared to January 2020, with SUVs rising by 17.4%. Light Commercial Vehicles jumped by 24.6%. Toyota lead the way in January 2021 with 16,819 vehicles (21.1%) with HiLux 3,913 of those. Mazda was 2nd overall on 8,508 with 10.7% market share. Hyundai saw 5,951 new vehicles sold for a 7.5% share and Kia on 5,500 units for 6.9%. Mitsubishi backed up with 5,179 units and took a market share of 6.5%.Ford’s Ranger was the 2nd highest seller behind the HiLux, moving 3,120 units, just ahead of the RAV4 with 3,066 whilst the LandCruiser sold 2,388 units. Mazda’s CX-5 had 2,081 units find new homes.

The FCAI chief executive, Tony Weber, said: “During the past three months sales had increased by 12.4 per cent compared to the corresponding period twelve months earlier. The January sales numbers are indicative of positive consumer confidence in the domestic economy. With attractive interest rates and a range of other economic indicators encouraging consumption, we hope to see this trend in new vehicle purchasing continue through 2021.”

Toyota was the leading brand in January with sales of 16,819 vehicles (21.1 per cent of the market), followed by Mazda with 8,508 (10.7 per cent), Hyundai with 5,951 (7.5 per cent), Kia with 5,500 (6.9 per cent) and Mitsubishi with 5,179 (6.5 per cent).

The Toyota Hilux was the best-selling vehicle in January 2021 with sales of 3,913 vehicles, followed by the Ford Ranger (3,120), the Toyota RAV4 (3,066), the Toyota Landcruiser (2,388) and the Mazda CX5 (2,081).

In the Micro Car segment, the Kia Picanto continued to dominate in a three car field. The Fiat Abarth and Mitsubishi Mirage are the other two, and sold 49 and 56 respectively, way off the 573 of the Picanto.In the light car category, Chinese owned MG scored gold with 859, outclassing the Suzuki Swift (562), Volkswagen Polo (526) and the Toyota Yaris (486). Moving to the Small Cars, and Toyota’s Corolla moved 2,062, Just clearing the revamped Hyundai i30 on 1,952. 3rd was a tight tussle, with the Kia Cerato emerging as the winner over the Mazda3, on 1,545 to 1,501.

Medium cars and sub-$60K, and Toyota’s big Camry blew the opposition away on 815. Subaru’s Liberty was 2nd on 183. Skoda and there Octavia took bronze on 153, ahead comfortably of the Mazda6 with 114.

Large cars and there’s really only one contender now, Kia’s Stinger on 147, 99 units ahead of the Skoda Superb.

People movers and Kia’s Carnival moved 442, thumping the Hyundai iMax and Honda Odyysey, both on 67. Moving into Sports Cars and the Mustang said hello to 361 new homes, well ahead of Mazda’s MX5 and Hyundai’s soon to be discontinued Veloster, on 53 and 45.

For the Light SUVs sector, Mazda’s CX-3 absolutely dominated with 1,344. Toyota’s new SUV based on the Yaris, the Yaris Cross, moved an impressive 541, just edging out the slightly older VW T-Cros on 494.

In the Small SUV sector, another close battle here and it was 25 units separating the Mitsubishi ASX (1,278) to the MG ZS (1,253). Hyundai’s run-out Kona was the only other to crack the 1,000 with 1,091. It’s been updated and available for sale from February.

RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 duked it out for the Medium SUV segment, with 3,066 to 2,081. 4rd was Nissan’s X-Trail on 1,593, clear of Hyundai’s Tucson on 1,206. Go large and it was Toyota’s Prado on 1,259, ahead of Kia’s recently updated Sorento on 745. Mazda’s in-betweener, the CX-8, saw 571, tying with Hyundai’s Santa Fe. In the upper large, Toyota’s LandCruiser outclassed its opponent, Nissan’s Patrol, with 1,499 to 241.

Inside the ute/pick-up segment, the HiLux in both 4×2 and 4×4 continued its dominance. In two wheel drive guise it more than doubled the Isuzu D-Max, with 823 to 406. Ford’s Ranger was 3rd on 318. In the 4WD sector it was 3,090 to Ranger’s 2,802. In 3rd was Mitsubishi’s Triton, edging the D-Max on 1,416.

Petrol is still the clear winner in preferred fuels, with just 32 PHEVs, 78 EVs, and 1,915 Hybrids moving in the Passenger segment. In the SUVs, 30,062 petrols moved in comparison to diesel with 7,811, PHEV on 126, EV on 213, and Hybrids at 3,332.

On a country of manufacturing basis, Japan was the leader at 29,275, with Korea on 11,516. Thailand and their ute/pickup manufacturing shone at 16,903, and Chinese made vehicles rose to 4,198. This puts the brands sold from Chinese manufacturing into 4th overall.

Top Six Tips For Ending The School Run Motoring Madness

If you listen carefully, you might hear the sound of parents (and quite a few children) cheering because the long summer holidays are over and it’s time for the school year to start.  Or maybe you won’t hear the cheering because all you can hear is the sound of traffic as everybody carts the little nippers to school.

I don’t suppose I’m the only person with grown-up children who avoids certain parts of the road at certain times of day, namely the places nearest the school and the times when school is starting and finishing.  We all know that the traffic goes mad at this time of day, with everybody wanting to pick up their kids or drop them off, depending on what the case may be.

I get it, I really do.  I’ve brought up kids and got them to school, and I appreciate how you want your children to arrive on time and safely.  I can understand how you’re busy and how you need to fit the school run into a hectic day.  However, there are things that we can all do to ease the congestion a bit so that there is less chance of an accident.  After all, if the road outside the school is madly full of cars of all sizes all trying to get the best parking spots to pick up young Jack and Olivia, then there is more chance of what the traffic analysts will coldly call a “human–vehicle conflict” and what everybody else calls a tragic accident.

So what can we do to make sure that everybody gets their kids to school and back safely? Now that the school year is starting off, here my six best ideas that you might like to apply.

  1. Do the kids actually need to be dropped off at the gate? This is where I trot out the old “I had to walk to school” speech, although I had to walk along a main road rather than through the snow, barefoot and uphill both ways. If your children are reasonably fit and active, and they have good traffic awareness around driveways and intersections (especially if there are good traffic lights or pedestrian crossings), then consider having the kids walk to school. It’s good exercise for them – and possibly you.  If the school is within 2 km of your home and your children are over 10, then there probably isn’t any good reason why they can’t walk themselves to school.
  2. Can you stay out of the crazy congestion zone? If the school is a bit further away and/or your regular commute takes you near it, then you could consider dropping the kids off outside the crazy zone right outside the school.  For example, instead of taking that detour on the way to work to drop the kids at the school gate, why not drop them off where you would have turned off? If they’re too young to walk alone, then park the car and walk with them for those last few blocks to the school gate. If they’re old enough to walk alone… well, they’re probably at the age when having Mummy walk with them to school is embarrassing anyway.
  3. Try carpooling. If you are not the only person on your street who does the school run, or if your kids go to the same after-school activities as someone else at the same school, then maybe it’s time to organise a car pool. This will be limited by the number of seats in your vehicle, of course.  Perhaps it’s time to think about getting a seven-seat MPV? However, car pooling can be a great way to build community and make some connections.
  4. Don’t double-park. If your only option is to drop the kids off at school yourself, then be a courteous driver. Don’t double park so that you can drop the youngsters off as close as possible to the gate. Double-parking makes things extremely difficult for those who are still learning how to cross the road as well as being supremely annoying for other drivers.  It’s also illegal.  Even if you’re not technically parked but are just stopping just for a moment to just let the kids out, still don’t do it.
  5. Keep out of any No Parking zones. Yes, your children are special, valuable and important. So are everybody else’s children. Let’s all respect the No Parking zones and don’t think that the rules don’t apply to you because you’re doing it for your children and they come first.
  6. If your school drop-off zone has time limits, respect them. Quite a few school have “kiss and run” drop-off points where you can stop for long enough to drop the kids off and say goodbye with a hug or kiss (if your kids are young enough to let you do this).  If we all respect the time limits here, then these systems will work.  These places are not the time to discuss lost homework, nosebleeds, etc. If an emergency arises, deal with it further down the street, not in the “kiss and run” spot.

Oh yes – if you want to try any of the ideas that involve children walking and there’s a chance that they’ll be late, you can take advantage of the fact that children who are old enough to walk by themselves are also at the age when parents are embarrassing because they exist.  Acquire some ghastly piece of clothing and state that if you have to drop them off because they mucked around and are now running late, you will do so wearing said item of clothing IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY.  It works.

Our Population’s Need for Cars

The numbers are saying that there is a growing percentage of our population here in Australia that are classed as elderly; by elderly I mean over 65 years of age with a bit of a white/grey background in their hair colour.  Our largest age group sits in the 30 to 34 year old bracket.  Our population of youngsters under the age of 10 also continues to increase.  As well as that, Australia’s overall population is continuing to grow swiftly – thanks mainly to Australia being a great place to make the shift to live and work in.  Building our infrastructure to keep up with the influx and accommodate the population growth is something Australia continues to do well, and definitely Australia does infrastructure a whole lot better than most countries in the rest of the world.

Brisbane, Perth and Sydney know how to do public transport, with Melbourne a shining light when it comes to usable public transport; in fact, more than 80 % of all public transport kilometres in Melbourne are travelled on roads.  All our big Australian cities do the public transport service pretty well, Adelaide being well up the user-usability, user-friendly, and user-satisfaction rankings, too.  However, most of us rely on our own private vehicles to get us across town and city, to travel from one township to another, or even to get from one major city to another throughout, and across, Australia.

The Australian road network covers more than 877,000 kilometres, which is quite phenomenal when you think about it, and well over half a million Australians rely on these roads for their full-time employment.  A relatively recent (2016) analysis of the preferred method of travel that residents in Australia used to get to work showed that 11.4 % used public transport, while 66.1 % used a private vehicle.  These figures still followed pretty-true in Australian Greater Capital Cities surveys, where 15.7 % used public transport and 63.3 % used a private vehicle.  Whilst many of the elderly move closer to the city centre or find a hub that is close to amenities, even the elderly find it hard to totally give up the car keys.  You can’t beat the park just outside your destination!

Here are some interesting stats and bits of info taken from various recent surveys held in Australia, and we need to thank the likes of the Australian Bureau of Statistics for keeping us informed.  Did you know that there were 19.8 million registered motor vehicles across Australia as at the 31st January 2020.  This points to our national fleet having increased by 1.5 % from the same figures discovered in 2019.  Of the 19.8 million vehicles, 25.6 % of the national fleet are diesel and 72.7 % are petrol.  Light, rigid, diesel trucks continue to have the largest growth rate in registrations, increasing 5.8 per cent over the year.  This is followed, rather contemplatively for me, by campervans with a 3.5 per cent growth in registrations.  Light rigid trucks include your Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux type vehicles.

Though still a very small portion of the pie, electric vehicles are gaining some traction in Australia.  Sarah Kiely, Director of ABS Transport Statistics, stated that “While electric vehicles are still small in number, less than 0.1 per cent of the fleet, the 14,253 electric vehicles registered in 2020 is almost double the previous year.”

The growth in our population and the need for more new cars for transportation are reasons why we are seeing the WestConnex  infrastructure project (US $16bn) that is linking Western and South Western Sydney with the city, airport and port in a 33 km continuous motorway.  Once this project is finished, motorists will be able to bypass up to 52 sets of traffic signals from Beverly Hills through to Parramatta.  The Melbourne Airport rail link (US $5bn) is set for construction beginning 2022.  There are many big-ticket infrastructure items on the go, and in the pipeline, that all help get our people about efficiently.

It might be time to trade in your 10.4 year old car (the average age for an Australian car) in for a new Toyota, which is the most preferred manufacturer by Australian new car buyers.

Driving the Hours of Darkness

One of my favourite times for driving is at night or in the early morning; and by early morning I mean well before ‘sparrow’s fart’.  The roads are mostly empty and everything is quiet and serene.  It is possible to travel during the hours of darkness and quite quickly cover the ground.  Here are some definite advantages of travelling by night, with a few of the disadvantages thrown in as well.

First of all there is nothing quite like the fresh, cool air that you get during nightfall.  A lot of the wildlife has settled for the night and the night air has a pristine smell that I love.  When you get out and stretch and take a break during the night drive, the air is always satisfying and refreshing – but just as long as it’s not a frog strangling gulley washer!  You can hear the silence with only the odd chirp or bark, squeak or rustle of wind filling the air.  Just after midnight, the roads are mostly empty and it can be an ideal time to drive.  You will get the odd long haul truck unit doing the intercity run, but on the whole, I find driving at night to be pretty relaxing.

Who doesn’t like getting places faster?  At night, driving with very few other vehicles on the road means that you can keep up a steadier speed at higher velocity which allows you to cover the ground in a shorter amount of time.  You can hit the speed limit and stay at it for longer.  This is a win-win because it also links in with fuel efficiency, which I’ll touch on later.

Not having the sun about means the night air is cooler, which is a phenomenon that’s rather nice in a hot sunny country by-day – like it is in Australia.  Your air-conditioning requirements are not quite so demanding, therefore avoiding the need to pump through gallons of cool fresh air at maximum levels in order to keep cool inside the car.  You also have less heat streaming in through the closed windows and onto your skin, another nice feature about night driving.  Sun strike is not a problem, either.

If you are getting from A to B quicker at night, then it is obvious that the lack of traffic will mean that the drive will be more fuel efficient.  Because there are fewer cars on the road, your speed is even and you avoid the stop and go motion of other cars around you.  There actions and choices slow you down, and the more of these the slower you go as they the weave in and out of your lane and generally make life more stressful. Because you’re avoiding other cars by travelling at night, you are going to get better fuel efficiency.  A steady higher speed is good for economy.  Putting a lighter load on the air-conditioning system by driving at night in the cooler air is also good for fuel economy.  More economic, cooler, more relaxed, quicker and more fuel efficient at night: now who doesn’t like that?

When you do need to refuel at a gas station, getting fuel at night is a breeze, with nobody around other than the sleepy cashier.  And there are even no cashiers at card-only fuel stations.

As with most things, there can be a downside to night driving.  Yes, you could get sleepy when driving during the hours that you’re normally in bed.  Not many shops open; and should you want to stop for a sleep, then most motels are closed up by 9/10 pm.  Kangaroos and other larger creatures still wander, shuffle or bounce onto the road from seemingly out of nowhere in the dark.  They can even do this in daylight, mind you…

Driving at night is/or can be fun and enjoyable.  I personally enjoy it but realise that it’s not for everyone.  After I have done a long haul at night, I do tend to take things pretty cruisy the next day, while ensuring I get a great night’s sleep the following night.  I sense a few roadies coming on; it is the festive season, after all.

Road Trip Australia

One of the things that we can look forward to once everything settles back down to normal after covid is being able to fully appreciate Australia and its diversity.  Instead of grabbing that best flight deal for an overseas trip, I reckon we could pick up the road map and get out and see Australia by road a bit more. Support the locals, you know…

The following are some of the best road trips in Australia; so take a look and be inspired:

1) Round the Perimeter

Doing the whole lap of Australia around the coastline would have to be the ultimate Australian road trip.  The road trip follows around 15,000 km of our great Highway One, and it links seven of the major cities.  You’ll get to explore and taste the menu that Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart all have to offer.

If you can nab a 4WD for this road trip, then you’ll be able to take your time and head down some of the fun tracks that shoot off to the side.  Around Australia will include everything from big city lights to sleepy coastal towns, lush green rainforest to dusty and dry red Outback.

One thing that you might like to factor in is that when you travel the northern part of Australia (Broome to Cairns) it’s best to do it in the April to September window to make the most of the good weather.  During the wet season roads can be closed.

2) Torquay to Allansford, Victoria

One of the country’s most famous road trips stretches along the southern coast on Victoria.  Travelling from Torquay to Allansford winds 243 km along some of Australia’s most stunning coastline.  You’ll also head through rainforest, along sunburnt cliffs, by shipwrecks, and, you’ll also see the famous Twelve Apostles – but there is only eight of them now!

3) The Gibb River Road, Western Australia

If you want to tackle some 4WDing, then the Munja Track, in Kimberley is a super exciting adventure.  The route was constructed in the 1960s to transport stock, and this 660 km road cuts right through from Derby to Wyndham.  You’ll get to see magnificent and remote wilderness, some of our most ancient gorges, beautiful, thundering waterfalls, some sacred Aboriginal sites and so much more.  Take a look at Bell Gorge, where you’ll find a multi-tiered waterfall cascading down layered sandstone into several pools.  And, you can even swim!

4) Cairns to Cape York, Queensland

You’ll need a decent 4WD for this 1000 km drive that begins at Cairns and ends at Cape York.  This is the road that gets you through to the Barrier Reef.  There is loads of red dirt and the river crossings will have crocodiles.  The lush rainforest is amazing, and there are 2 World Heritage areas (The Reef and the Daintree).

5) Perth to Ningaloo, Western Australia

Here is the road that has loads of beautiful secluded beaches and crystal clear water.  It’s close to 1200 km in length and starts at Perth and ends at Exmouth.  Western Australian beaches also have some stunning Coral Coastlines.

Love the sea? Then this is a trip for you.  Western Australia is where the Indian Ocean meets the rugged Outback.  You’ll get to see the Pinnacles Desert and the World Heritage Shark Bay.  How about swimming with dolphins, manta rays and whale sharks?  There is also the breath-taking  gorges of the Kalbarri National Park – wow!

If you book this trip in the June to September window, then you’ll also be wowed with the colourful wildflowers that carpet the barren landscape.

6) The Great Alpine Road, Victoria

This route starts in Wangaratta and winds its way around 500 km through Victorian High Country to Metung in Gippsland Lakes area.  On the way you’ll be travelling over Australia’s highest accessible sealed road, which takes in mountain ranges, deep valleys, wine regions and the sparkling waterways of the Gippsland Lakes region. This is a lovely scenic road that has some nice quaint historic towns along the way.

Victoria’s highest alpine village, Mt Hotham, is nice to visit year-round, with excellent downhill skiing and cross-country trails.  You can also book in for a horse ride, and fish during the warmer months.

7) The Savannah Way

The Savannah Way is around 3700 km in length and it offers loads of adventure.  It takes you from Queensland all the way to Western Australia.

Encompassing 15 national parks and five World Heritage along the way, this is the ultimate east to west road trip. Tropical rainforest, vast grassy plains, remote cattle stations, waterfalls, gorges, turquoise waters and ancient rock art; it’s all there.  Boodjamulla National Park is one of Queensland’s awesome sights and experiences.

It’s advisable to carry a radio for when mobile reception isn’t the best, as you are in some faily remote country at times in the Outback.

8) The Nullarbor, South Australia

This is Australia’s straightest road trip: the Nullarbor Plain.  It’s not hard to find, running 1256 km between the goldfields of WA and the Eyre Peninsula in SA.

It is a legendary flat plain that meets with the towering sea cliffs of the Great Australian Bight. It’s home to prolific wildlife, and you’ll be able to see emus, kangaroos, dingoes and camels along the way.  It also boasts the world’s longest golf course!

9) The Pacific Coast, New South Wales & Queensland

If you haven’t done this trip, then it has to be on your to-do list.  The Legendary Pacific Coast follows around 900 km from Sydney to Brisbane through the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Ballina and Byron Bay.  This is coastal Australia at its best, with it being home to a host of surfing beaches, charming seaside towns, pretty landscapes and national parks.

Take your time and venture off the main highway to find rich pickings of fun activities, boutiques and food.

10) The Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales

This one’s a photographer’s joy; The Grand Pacific Drive is a 140 km scenic coastal drive taking you through rainforests, over the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge and through the coastal cities and townships of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and the Shoalhaven.  This also has some of New South Wale’s most beautiful cliff faces.

Get yourself ready!

What Can A Motorist Do During Lockdown?

Although the restrictions aren’t in place all across the country, the state of Victoria is having to cope with lockdown. We sympathise, we really do. It’s not easy and we wish you all the best.

The lockdown rules mean that you’ve only got four reasons for being in a vehicle on the roads: “to shop for food and essential goods or services; to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment; to exercise or for outdoor recreation; for work or study, if you can’t do it from home” – and that’s a direct quote from the website. You are also advised to “not travel further than you need to”. This means that you probably won’t have much luck convincing the Powers That Be that driving counts as “outdoor recreation”. Of course, if you’re an essential worker, you can keep on working and driving to work (actually, that’s one of the four reasons). Enjoy the clear roads and drive safely, even if you’re exhausted.

So what can a keen motorist do during lockdown to keep that part of their psyche satisfied? The most obvious answer is to spend time during lockdown playing motor racing games on whatever device you fancy. This is all very well and there are some great ones out there that help you fulfil your racing driver or speed freak fantasies. However, one has to remember that (a) don’t get too used to driving that way, as you can’t walk away from a car that crashes by flipping end over end in real life and (b) there is only so long that you ought to spend hogging the X-box or PC console.

There are other things that are (mostly) more productive to keep you occupied. Here are a few suggestions that you can try:

  • Take the time to deep clean the car you own. You know that you need to keep it clean and to get all those stray chips out from under the seat. Now’s your chance. Give your car a bit of TLC and really see it gleaming. While you’re at it, do all those little maintenance jobs on your car that you’ve always meant to get around to.
  • If you don’t know how to do basic maintenance jobs on your car, this is your chance to learn how. If there isn’t anybody at home with you who knows how to do all those little jobs like checking and topping up the oil, rotating the tyres, or whatever needs to be done, then the internet has a lot of useful videos. Watch a few to get an idea of what’s needed, then have a go. If you do know how to do these maintenance jobs and you have kids at home, teach them how to do the basic things. Even if you don’t have anything that needs doing right now, show them how to change a tyre. It’s a life skill that everybody needs to use at some point, in contrast to quadratic equations, which only get used by a few people (including motor engineers).
  • Spend time browsing and learning about all the great new models and makes out there. Who knows, when all this is over, you might decide it’s time to get a new set of wheels. Our car reviews may be a great place to start.
  • Order a model car online and make it up.
  • Read a good e-book or listen to an audiobook on any motoring-related topic.
  • Play with the toy cars with the kids – and teach them about road rules while you’re at it. Sound effects are encouraged.
  • Use those motoring magazines you’ve got stashed away as inspiration and try your hand at drawing.

Could Motorists Receive a Refund for Car Registration and Insurance Costs?

As the impact of the Coronavirus continues to play havoc on our day to day lives, roads are still largely empty compared with normal traffic levels. It’s hardly unsurprising, however.

On the one hand, we’ve been told to stay home unless going out for one of few “essential” reasons, and on the other hand, in the parts of the country where restrictions are starting to be lifted, that doesn’t mean jobs will come back any time soon. Given these changes, our cars are seeing much less usage than they normally might.

But what does that mean for some of the significant costs we bear each year as part of having our car on the road? For starters, we’re paying registration to have our vehicle authorised and approved for roadworthiness, yet we are discouraged (or even fined!) from taking our wheels out. Similarly, insurance is for the most part designed to mitigate any risk associated with an accident, but we should feel pretty comfortable there won’t be any collisions when our cars are parked up in the garage.

 

Should drivers be eligible for a refund?

If you ask thousands of Australian motorists, apparently, the resounding answer is ‘yes’.

In recent days, one online price comparison company has started a petition making the point as to why shouldn’t Australians be eligible to receive a refund on a portion of their unused car registration and insurance costs?

Quite predictably, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. After all, times are tough at the moment and we could all do with a little extra money in our pockets.

 

 

But is it likely that government and insurers would budge?

According to some, the principle of ‘fairness’ goes some way to underpin the request for a partial refund. And sure, if either state governments or insurers are feeling charitable, the prospect certainly can’t be ruled out.

However, we also have to put into perspective broader efforts being made by all levels of government. From health care costs, to support for businesses, jobs and the significant ‘benefits’ payments being distributed to support people who receive subsidies and/or find themselves impacted by a change in employment circumstances. This means that government debt is set to balloon. Believe it or not, we’ll all be paying for that soon enough.

What is also missing from this equation is a ‘benefit’ that motorists have seen offset their car expenses. That is, the overwhelming majority, if not all drivers have seen a significant reduction in running costs. Petrol prices have plummeted in recent weeks, not to mention, most of us are driving nowhere near as much as we normally might. On top of that, a reduction in wear and tear can only help delay some costs arising from repair work.

In light of this benefit relating to lower petrol costs, the federal government will also lose a chunk of its fuel excise intake due to refiners and petrol operators shifting less fuel. And ultimately, this fee is more linked to your driving activity than say, registration, which would still normally apply even if you were not using your car or out of the country.

Although insurance refunds could be on the agenda – especially if there is enough of a vocal push from insured motorists – even here, we have to consider, your car is meant to be insured even when it’s not being driven, in case of fire and theft, or for that once a week trip to the supermarket.

 

We can all hope for a better-than-expected outcome as far as partial refunds go, but let’s realise the principle of ‘fairness’ is merely a cover for that request. http://credit-n.ru/ipoteka.html

Disinfecting Your Car

During this pandemic, we’re all hyperaware of spreading infections and viruses like a bunch of neurotic obsessive-compulsive germophobes, or at least we should be. Hand sanitizer is becoming a must-have and it’s only a matter of time before we have the big fashion houses producing designer masks.

We’re all being encouraged to do our bit to prevent the spread of the dreaded lurgy, aka COVID-19. Handwashing and being extra vigilant about disinfecting surfaces is recommended. OK, if we’re doing as we’re told, we’ll be staying home as much as possible and not going out our cars much, but we are allowed to go to get groceries in the car. And essential workers have to go out in the car as well. Oh, the irony and frustration of super-cheap fuel prices at a time when going out for a drive for fun is discouraged for the rest of us!

However, it’s very easy to forget the car when it comes to good hygiene to the point of excessive hygiene. After all, if you’ve been out doing essential work (good on you, mate!) or if you’ve picked up groceries, you will have touched bits of your car. If by some chance you had the virus on your hands when you got in your car, even if you washed your hands thoroughly when you got home, the next time that you nipped out to the car for whatever reason, that virus will still be lurking there. Boom.

The boffins in the white coats encourage us to sanitise high-touch surfaces, so as well as wiping down things like your phone, computer keyboard, and the doorknobs of your house, don’t forget your car as well. There’s a ton of high-touch surfaces in there as well!

The smart and responsible thing to do is to wipe these places down as well, preferably after every time you come back from going out to get the groceries and other essential items. If you’re off work then you’ve got plenty of time to do this! If you are one of our essential workers, I don’t want to put more strain and stress on you but you’ll definitely have to do this as well.

What you use as a disinfectant for the high-touch spots in your car is up to you. You can use hand sanitizer but there are other options, ranging from common or garden disinfectant from the supermarket to disinfectant wipes to strong alcohol to homemade mixtures involving essential oils. I make my own with a recipe that’s safe for all surfaces and isn’t a beast for your skin (which gets enough grief from all that handwashing).

  • 200 mL white vinegar
  • 100 mL tap water
  • 1 teaspoon eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil.

Put in a bottle and shake well. Apply where you want it with a soft lint-free cloth. It smells rather powerful but better than commercial disinfectants. You also don’t have to explain it to any cops the way that you would if you used vodka to sanitise your car…

Now to get busy with the disinfectant. Here are the spots that you have to give a good wipe with the disinfectant of your choice:

  • Steering wheel. You’ve had both hands on it most of the time if you’ve been driving correctly. This includes any steering wheel mounted controls.
  • Indicators.
  • Handbrake
  • Gear lever. Yes, even if your car is an automatic, you’ll have had to put it in Drive and Park during your trip. Paddle shifters count as well.
  • Door handles. Inside and out. However, you only need to do the handles of the doors that have been used, not the whole lot.
  • Boot release lever or button. Feel smug and grateful if you’ve got one of those auto-opening smart ones. Don’t forget to sterilize the place where you put your hands when you closed the boot as well.
  • Key fob or keys. This one gets overlooked all too easily, even though this one comes into your house.
  • Buttons for automatic windows and climate control.
  • Touchscreens. Be careful when wiping these down and don’t use too much so you don’t damage the finish.
  • Handles of any storage compartments.

Stay safe, whether on the road or in your home! http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/oneclickmoney-zaim-na-kartu.html

Kia To Get Extra Sting?

It’s not confirmed for Australia however Kia has appeared to confirm their ballsy Stinger sedan/five door coupe is to get more mumbo. Currently packing a 2.0L turbo four or the punch you in the guts 272kW/510Nm 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, it’s being spoken that the car will receive the bigger 3.5L V6 as found in siblings Hyundai and Genesis.

Inside the Genesis G80, this mill produces 279kW and 530Nm. The turbo four may also be given some fettling, with a 2.4L version said to offer 223kW and over 420Nm. That’s in comparison to the current 182kW and 353Nm. There is also a milf facelift to the exterior and it’s as yet unconfirmed if much will be done to the interior, although it’s likely there will be.

Kia Australia, however, currently have a different perspective, with the head of PR, Kevin Hepworth, being quoted as saying: “”We are not anticipating any engine changes”. In this context, an extra 200cc offering just 7kW and 20Nm means most buyers would be highly unlikely to tell the difference. Considering that the sedan market is shriveling slowly (although in Europe it is regaining ground under the onslaught of SUVs), should Kia go ahead with that and make that the only powerplant choice, it leaves Kia Australia with either onselling the Stinger with the slightly bigger engine, having Kia pare back the outputs, or, and more unlikely, have Aussie spec Stingers come here with the 3.3L and 2.0L.

Sales figures for the Stinger indicate the V6 is the preferred engine, with around 98% of the 150 to 200 Stingers moved per month being powered by that, and of those a huge 81% are for the top of the range GT. The other factor coming into play is the Australian dollar exchange rate. It’s highly likely that the 2.0L four would be dropped and the 2.4L, if offered, would not be taken up on a cost basis reason. http://credit-n.ru/offers-credit-card/ren-drive-365-credit-card.html