Calculating a car purchase – stack of coins, red car, pen, sheet, and calculator on desk

Cash or Finance – Which is Better?

You’re looking to buy a car and have a sum of money in the bank you could use towards the purchase. But you’re not sure whether to spend it or apply for vehicle finance instead.   We’ve been told that buying anything of high value would be best to pay cash rather than applying for a loan. This does make a fair amount of sense since financing a car means paying interest that adds up substantially to the total cost of the car.    Cash or finance, everyone’s situation is different. There are many variables to consider, such as initial deposit amounts, lender interest rates, the potential income from investment of your cash, your credit rating, and even the alternative ways to finance a car, such as personal loan, utilising an access bond facility of a home loan, credit card, and leasing. In this article, we highlight the main pros and cons of financing versus cash purchases.    Advantages of Vehicle Financing With vehicle finance and your savings or investment intact, you’ll retain your savings that can be used as backup funds in an emergency.  In the longer term, you’ll have both an investment and a paid-up vehicle as part of your net worth. Other benefits to consider: Potential income from investment of spare cash An investment of savings earns income (interest, dividends, capital growth, etc.) and using cash to buy a vehicle will reduce, or even eliminate, the opportunity to generate investment income. However, it’s important to compare the interest cost of vehicle finance with the potential investment income. Investment income, net of any tax, will very rarely be more than the interest cost of vehicle finance. Improve your credit record You can benefit from using vehicle finance by establishing a good credit history which will make it easier to obtain credit in the future. As long as you make your monthly payments timeously the bank will see you as a relatively low-risk borrower and may afford you a lower interest rate for future finance agreements. At the very least it will make your life easier when applying for future loans. More purchase options With financing, you may also be able to choose a better car as the cost is spread out over time. However, a better car, should not be taken as a ‘fancier’ car, but rather a better quality car – one that has been quality-checked, has a full service history, and purchased from a reputable dealer.    Overall, vehicle finance affords you the opportunity to purchase a car even if you have no money saved in the bank.   Read: How to Finance a Vehicle   Disadvantages of Vehicle Financing A finance agreement is a contract between you and the financial institution. The worst situations occur when you fail your monthly payments and the bank repossesses the vehicle. Not only does this leave you without a car, but could leave you in debt on something you will never own. Also consider: Interest rate Any form of borrowing from an institution incurs interest, which means ultimately, you end up paying substantially more than the car’s cash purchase price. With vehicle finance too, interests rates are amongst the highest of all forms of borrowing.   Ownership and repossession The vehicle doesn’t belong to you – until it’s fully paid off (including any balloon payment at the end of the agreement) it will still belong to the bank. And if you fail to make your monthly instalments, the bank will repossess the vehicle. Early settlement penalties If you want to dispose of the vehicle before the vehicle finance period is up, there is usually a penalty for early settlement, for example, an equivalent of three months' interest. Comparatively more expensive  Vehicle finance is usually more expensive than other forms of borrowing, such as an overdraft, personal loan, credit card, or home loan where there is an ‘access’ facility.   If you do go the vehicle finance route, ensure that you make your monthly payments on time so that it does not negatively affect your credit score.    VEHICLE FINANCING Advantages Disadvantages Return on investment Interest rate Improve your credit record Ownership and repossession More purchase options Early settlement penalties   Comparatively more expensive   Advantages of Cash Buying cash is just a more simple and straightforward process than financing. No application forms, waiting for approval, administration – basically, it’s so much less paperwork.    No interest The price you see is what you pay – once-off. Besides saving on interest and finance administration costs, managing your budget is easier without the extra monthly car instalment, which is usually one of the highest expenses in most households. When you add up the interest you would have paid, and compare it to the potential earnings from investing that cash amount, paying cash is nearly always the cheapest option. Full ownership Since the car belongs to you, there are no restrictions on how you treat it. You may modify the engine, re-spray it a different colour, or enhance the audio system, without any consequences from a bank or finance institution.  Emergency asset While it is a depreciating asset, (unless you buy a classic vehicle such as a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO) should you run short of cash you can sell the vehicle, which would not be an option if you had financed it.  Trade-ins When you decide to replace the car with another one, you can use it as part-exchange by trading it in at a dealership who will give you a full valuation and make you an offer. The transaction is much simpler too, compared to trading in a financed vehicle which involves the complication of getting a settlement figure from the bank and likely incurring an early settlement penalty. Tax-deductibility. Investment income is usually taxable, whereas interest or finance charges on a vehicle purchase do not usually qualify for tax deductibility.     Disadvantages of Cash No credit history If you are trying to establish a credit record or improve your overall credit score, paying cash won’t help you. A car loan, even for a short period like six months is a good way to build up your credit score.  No emergency funds This cash may be better utilised in other ways, including as a safeguard against possible emergencies. Lost investment income When comparing investment income with finance charges, very rarely will investment income, net of tax, exceed the cost of vehicle finance.    BUYING A CAR CASH Advantages Disadvantages Full ownership No credit history Emergency asset No emergency funds Trade-ins Lost investment income   In Summary Interest charges on vehicle finance are usually at a significantly higher rate than most other forms of borrowing. This interest adds up to a substantial amount over the period of the vehicle finance agreement. On the other hand, when buying cash, you will lose the potential income which could be obtained from investing that cash. It is, therefore, necessary to compare the cost of vehicle finance with the foregone investment earnings (interest, dividends, capital growth, etc.) after tax, where applicable. In nearly all cases it will be cheaper to buy for cash.   Whichever route you decide should fit your unique circumstances. Depending on your available funds and how much you want to spend on a vehicle, you might even consider both options. There’s nothing stopping you from putting down a cash deposit and applying for finance for the balance amount.    If you’re looking for a quality, used car at affordable prices, Auto Pedigree’s deal assistance offers a variety of payment options on a wide range of vehicles.   Read next: https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/what-is-vehicle-finance https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/how-to-finance-a-vehicle https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/financing-a-vehicle-without-credit-history     Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree. 
8 driver qualities to aim for
Average Driver or Advanced Driver?
In a European study that examined the psychology of road safety, it was found that different people respond differently towards other drivers when interacting on the road. The research identified seven driver personalities, such as The Competitor, who always needs to be ahead, and The Escapee, who must have some form of audio going – talking on a cell phone included. These driver types match a lot of the traits and habits of average drivers.    In one simple phrase, an advanced driver is –  according to MasterDrive – “a driver that is better than average” – meaning, one that is accomplished, competent, and exceptional. Sadly, most good drivers are merely average, because exceptional competence cannot be solely achieved from driving experience on the roads. Rarely do we encounter dangerous or life-threatening situations that we have to negotiate ourselves out of in the blink of an eye. This is what advanced driving teaches and prepares you for.    More importantly, advanced driving is not only about the ability to manage those extreme conditions, but very much about attitude and how you conduct yourself on the road on a daily basis.    What is Advanced Driving? The skill and ability to control a vehicle requires a high standard of driving competence. This competence encompasses personality traits coupled with actual driving skills which many drivers think they have, yet the number of accidents and road deaths in South Africa every year continue to astound.  Signs of an Advanced vs. Average Driver The driving style of an advanced driver makes safety a top priority. Speeding (unless in an emergency and approached with safety) is a sure sign of a lack of all the above traits and competencies. Exercising restraint to cut in, overtake, or speed takes a certain amount of level-headedness and a rushed or hurried attitude is a glaring indicator of a less than average driver.    Driving Skills  Vehicle handling and speed control in a smooth, calm, and systematic way – in any situation. Qualities  Self-confidence Courteousness  Mindfulness Concentration Observation Anticipation Restraint Intuition Spatial awareness Composure   Good - Advanced Driver Qualities Bad - Average Driver Qualities Anticipating & observing Speeding for no real reason Showing courtesy Impatience – cutting in, overtaking  Smooth and composed style of driving Hurried and rushed style of driving Keeping a decent distance while driving and stopping behind Driving up and stopping too close behind Focused on the road Distracted with devices, children, etc.   Tips for Good Driving Habits  Of course, not having an advanced course under your belt does not make you a bad driver, but neither does simply passing your driver’s test make you a good driver. However, becoming a good driver costs nothing – continually striving to improve your road safety skills is a must.    The following tips are rules that you would have learnt when studying for your learner’s licence: Communication – Assumptions result in accidents. Even when it seems obvious, the other driver has no idea what you’re actually intending to do. For example, even if you’re in a Turn Right Only lane, you still have to indicate.  Patience – Drivers are all too familiar with road rage, but if we all exercised just this one thing and that is patience, we could eliminate it completely. Limitations – Even good drivers have limitations, and the main one is not being able to read the minds of other road users, so practice defensive driving. Also, understand the power (or lack) of your vehicle and work within its limits. If you don’t think you can overtake a truck quickly enough then don’t.  Motorbikes, cyclists, pedestrians – These road users deserve as much respect and courtesy as car drivers at the very least. They take up less space on the road and create less air pollution – make way for them and let them ride and walk in safety.  Basic physics –  for example, travelling speed relative to the distance of other objects in the travelling direction. If an object is closer, slow down ahead of time, not at the very last seconds. Safety aside, you’ll save a lot on your car’s wear and tear.    So while an advanced driving course is an excellent investment and highly recommended, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to hone your driving attitude and skills with practice. Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
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Calculating a car purchase – stack of coins, red car, pen, sheet, and calculator on desk
Cash or Finance – Which is Better?
You’re looking to buy a car and have a sum of money in the bank you could use towards the purchase. But you’re not sure whether to spend it or apply for vehicle finance instead.   We’ve been told that buying anything of high value would be best to pay cash rather than applying for a loan. This does make a fair amount of sense since financing a car means paying interest that adds up substantially to the total cost of the car.    Cash or finance, everyone’s situation is different. There are many variables to consider, such as initial deposit amounts, lender interest rates, the potential income from investment of your cash, your credit rating, and even the alternative ways to finance a car, such as personal loan, utilising an access bond facility of a home loan, credit card, and leasing. In this article, we highlight the main pros and cons of financing versus cash purchases.    Advantages of Vehicle Financing With vehicle finance and your savings or investment intact, you’ll retain your savings that can be used as backup funds in an emergency.  In the longer term, you’ll have both an investment and a paid-up vehicle as part of your net worth. Other benefits to consider: Potential income from investment of spare cash An investment of savings earns income (interest, dividends, capital growth, etc.) and using cash to buy a vehicle will reduce, or even eliminate, the opportunity to generate investment income. However, it’s important to compare the interest cost of vehicle finance with the potential investment income. Investment income, net of any tax, will very rarely be more than the interest cost of vehicle finance. Improve your credit record You can benefit from using vehicle finance by establishing a good credit history which will make it easier to obtain credit in the future. As long as you make your monthly payments timeously the bank will see you as a relatively low-risk borrower and may afford you a lower interest rate for future finance agreements. At the very least it will make your life easier when applying for future loans. More purchase options With financing, you may also be able to choose a better car as the cost is spread out over time. However, a better car, should not be taken as a ‘fancier’ car, but rather a better quality car – one that has been quality-checked, has a full service history, and purchased from a reputable dealer.    Overall, vehicle finance affords you the opportunity to purchase a car even if you have no money saved in the bank.   Read: How to Finance a Vehicle   Disadvantages of Vehicle Financing A finance agreement is a contract between you and the financial institution. The worst situations occur when you fail your monthly payments and the bank repossesses the vehicle. Not only does this leave you without a car, but could leave you in debt on something you will never own. Also consider: Interest rate Any form of borrowing from an institution incurs interest, which means ultimately, you end up paying substantially more than the car’s cash purchase price. With vehicle finance too, interests rates are amongst the highest of all forms of borrowing.   Ownership and repossession The vehicle doesn’t belong to you – until it’s fully paid off (including any balloon payment at the end of the agreement) it will still belong to the bank. And if you fail to make your monthly instalments, the bank will repossess the vehicle. Early settlement penalties If you want to dispose of the vehicle before the vehicle finance period is up, there is usually a penalty for early settlement, for example, an equivalent of three months' interest. Comparatively more expensive  Vehicle finance is usually more expensive than other forms of borrowing, such as an overdraft, personal loan, credit card, or home loan where there is an ‘access’ facility.   If you do go the vehicle finance route, ensure that you make your monthly payments on time so that it does not negatively affect your credit score.    VEHICLE FINANCING Advantages Disadvantages Return on investment Interest rate Improve your credit record Ownership and repossession More purchase options Early settlement penalties   Comparatively more expensive   Advantages of Cash Buying cash is just a more simple and straightforward process than financing. No application forms, waiting for approval, administration – basically, it’s so much less paperwork.    No interest The price you see is what you pay – once-off. Besides saving on interest and finance administration costs, managing your budget is easier without the extra monthly car instalment, which is usually one of the highest expenses in most households. When you add up the interest you would have paid, and compare it to the potential earnings from investing that cash amount, paying cash is nearly always the cheapest option. Full ownership Since the car belongs to you, there are no restrictions on how you treat it. You may modify the engine, re-spray it a different colour, or enhance the audio system, without any consequences from a bank or finance institution.  Emergency asset While it is a depreciating asset, (unless you buy a classic vehicle such as a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO) should you run short of cash you can sell the vehicle, which would not be an option if you had financed it.  Trade-ins When you decide to replace the car with another one, you can use it as part-exchange by trading it in at a dealership who will give you a full valuation and make you an offer. The transaction is much simpler too, compared to trading in a financed vehicle which involves the complication of getting a settlement figure from the bank and likely incurring an early settlement penalty. Tax-deductibility. Investment income is usually taxable, whereas interest or finance charges on a vehicle purchase do not usually qualify for tax deductibility.     Disadvantages of Cash No credit history If you are trying to establish a credit record or improve your overall credit score, paying cash won’t help you. A car loan, even for a short period like six months is a good way to build up your credit score.  No emergency funds This cash may be better utilised in other ways, including as a safeguard against possible emergencies. Lost investment income When comparing investment income with finance charges, very rarely will investment income, net of tax, exceed the cost of vehicle finance.    BUYING A CAR CASH Advantages Disadvantages Full ownership No credit history Emergency asset No emergency funds Trade-ins Lost investment income   In Summary Interest charges on vehicle finance are usually at a significantly higher rate than most other forms of borrowing. This interest adds up to a substantial amount over the period of the vehicle finance agreement. On the other hand, when buying cash, you will lose the potential income which could be obtained from investing that cash. It is, therefore, necessary to compare the cost of vehicle finance with the foregone investment earnings (interest, dividends, capital growth, etc.) after tax, where applicable. In nearly all cases it will be cheaper to buy for cash.   Whichever route you decide should fit your unique circumstances. Depending on your available funds and how much you want to spend on a vehicle, you might even consider both options. There’s nothing stopping you from putting down a cash deposit and applying for finance for the balance amount.    If you’re looking for a quality, used car at affordable prices, Auto Pedigree’s deal assistance offers a variety of payment options on a wide range of vehicles.   Read next: https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/what-is-vehicle-finance https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/how-to-finance-a-vehicle https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/financing-a-vehicle-without-credit-history     Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree. 
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Bird's eye view of traffic tracking
7 Vehicle Safety Features to Look Out For
It’s an avoidable fact of life – every time you drive your car out onto the roads you put yourself at risk. Statistically, it’s more dangerous driving on the roads than flying in an aeroplane. This is why many car manufacturers work tirelessly to introduce innovative technologies that can help make driving safer for all.   When on the market for a new car, you may want to consider which safety features out there are important to you. Forward Collision Alert Detects an impending collision with another vehicle ahead of you and alerts you in order for you to brake or avoid it in time.  Automatic Emergency Brakes Detects an impending collision with another vehicle and first alerts you. If you fail to take action or are too slow to avoid the crash, the automatic braking system takes over to avoid or reduce the severity of the crash.  Dynamic Brake Support Supplements your own braking if it is not sufficient to avoid a collision. Lane Departure Warning A camera monitors lane markings and alerts you when the car is unintentionally veering out of its lane without indicating a turn signal.  360° Vision  A CCTV system that provides 360° visibility – a complete bird’s eye view of every angle of your vehicle on one screen. Adaptive cruise control Also known as dynamic cruise control, this system automatically adjusts your car’s speed to maintain a safe following distance from vehicles ahead. Night Vision Until it becomes more affordable, this safety feature is not mainstream yet. The system helps drivers see better in the dark with the use of infrared light and can detect pedestrians on the road in front.  In Summary   While it may be correct to say that flying is safer than driving, the fact of the matter is that there are too many drivers that are unlicensed, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, distracted while driving, and many other reasons that lead them and other road users into accident situations. Safety features or not, remember that the most important safety feature is the one in control of the wheel.    Also read:  Vehicle Terminology – what do they all mean? Vehicle Acronyms – What Do They All Stand For?     Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree. 
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Credit score monitor on smartphone
Where to Check Your Credit Score
Did you know that you have the right to one free credit report per year? Once a year, you have the right to obtain a credit report from any of the credit bureaus in South Africa.    A credit report is a summary of your financial background, and includes your credit score which is an indication of your financial decisions. When applying for a loan on a vehicle or any other big purchase, banks and other financial institutions who are the money-lenders, will use this credit score as part of their decision on whether to approve your loan or not.    Read more on our Guide to Credit Scores.   5 Categories that Influence Your Credit Score As mentioned in our credit score guide, there are several factors that influence your credit score. Essentially, to determine your score, there are five major categories of calculation to determine your credit score: Payment history  Credit to debt ratio  Credit history  Credit types  New credit or credit enquiries How Do Credit Bureaus Calculate Your Credit Score? Credit bureaus have their own methods of calculating credit scores since there is no a standard way. Therefore, your score can differ from one credit bureau to another. These are some main areas that they place importance on: Your purchasing behaviour and how much debt you have incurred Employment circumstances How you compare to other consumers Free Online Credit Score Checks While obtaining your credit score is important, it’s something you won’t be able to calculate yourself. Only the credit bureaus know the formula, but you can get your credit score calculated online for free.   Key information you’ll need to provide is your South African identity number, employment status, and monthly income. Try one or more of the following sites: Get a comprehensive overview of your credit information and detailed credit history. See your current credit score, what is going on with your accounts, and any defaults and judgments against you on gocreditreports.co.za  Get a free credit report and credit score on financeman.co.za Sign up and receive your credit history, current payments and balances, alerts, and credit score through one user-friendly dashboard on mycreditcheck.co.za An updated/ once-off view of your TransUnion Credit Report and displays any adverse court action taken against you on transunion.co.za Check your credit score and get tips to improve it on clearscore.co.za mycreditstatus.co.za is not a free service but for those who want to improve their score, they offer a membership subscription and money-back guarantee. Note: We have not tested and are not recommending any of these sites but merely providing you with a shortlist as a starting point.    Remember that you’re aiming for a higher score. Between 600 – 619 puts you in the middle ground, and you should try and increase your score to a minimum of 620. For more information on credit score ranges read our guide to credit scores.     If you’re looking for vehicle finance, Auto Pedigree has arrangements with all major banks in South Africa. Applying is easy, just fill in the finance application form in a few easy steps.        Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree. 
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What to do if you're involved in an accident (infographic)
What To Do When You're Involved In An Accident
There will be minor accidents and then there will be more serious collisions involving bodily injuries. What to do in each case will differ, but the basic procedures are similar.   Immediately After the Accident Occurs Assuming you yourself are not hurt; this is a step-by-step checklist to follow as soon as an accident happens:   Stop – no matter how minor an accident may seem, driving away from an accident is a criminal offence. Besides the fact that any damages you decide to claim for will be rejected, it’s simply the human thing to do. Unless you’re blocking the flow of traffic, do not move your car until an officer has arrived on the scene and taken down details. Failing that, be sure to take clear photographs to mark the position of the vehicles before moving them, as well as the damage made. Ensure the scene is visible as a warning to other motorists – switch on your hazards and use your warning triangle. Assess the situation. Is anyone hurt? Yes? Proceed as follows: Do not move the injured person. Call the ambulance 10177 and take note of the street name and nearest corner of your location. Call the South African Police Service 10111 If you cannot remember the above numbers call the general emergency number 112 who will put you through to the relevant department No? Proceed as follows: See point 1. Exchange details with the other driver Full names ID number Residential address Telephone numbers Car registration number Description of vehicle: make, model, colour Insurance company details Note details of the accident Date and time Location Eyewitnesses Tow truck information Names and station of police officers   After Leaving the Accident Scene As soon as possible: Report the accident within 24 hours at the nearest police station. This is especially important if the other party is not covered by insurance. You should receive an accident report number. Notify your insurance company – you will need to provide your policy number, accident report number, and all the detailed information you noted at the scene. Go for a medical check-up – high impact collisions can cause sudden jerks to your body affecting your internal organs and skeletal structure. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent so taking a little time off to do this is worth avoiding potential issues afterwards.   Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, medical, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
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What factors influence your credit score
Your Guide to Credit Scores in South Africa
What is the Meaning of a Credit Score? In this tough economic time, many South Africans are turning to financial institutions such as banks and other money lenders for loans. A loan should never be seen as a quick-fix solution, and obtaining one is not as simple as 1-2-3. Lenders must be sure that they will get their money back, and one of the methods they use are credit scores.   Your credit score indicates your past credit behaviour – this helps lenders determine how much of a risk you may be when it comes to paying the loan back.   What influences a Credit Score? Credit scores are closely linked to your credit history – this is a record of your ability to repay debts and purchases made on credit. As a consumer, your creditworthiness is evaluated based on your credit history report. Your credit score is then determined based on the following key factors: The number and types of credit accounts you hold The length of your credit history The total amount you owe The amount of available credit that has been used How often you apply for new credit Your payment history What are the Credit Score Ranges? Credit scores range from 300 to 850. You want to aim for as high a score as possible as a good score will give you a better chance of your loan being approved and at a favourable rate.   Individuals with below-average scores – 581 and lower – are seen as higher risk, therefore obtaining a loan will be extremely difficult or they will have to pay very high-interest rates. Credit score ranges 1 – 580 = Very high risk 581 – 599 = High risk 600 – 619 = Average risk 620 – 649 = Low risk 650 – 999 = Minimum risk   How to Improve Your Credit Score It’s always best not to borrow money too frequently and only spend on purchases that are absolutely necessary. When the time comes that you do need to borrow money, it would be in your favour to have kept good spending habits.   As with most things, keeping it simple can help you achieve your goal. Remember three basic rules: Keep credit cards to a minimum Always ensure your payments are made on time Never overspend   In summary While your credit score is extremely important when applying for credit, you need to know that there are other factors just as critical – such as your affordability and income. The earlier you start building up a good credit history, the easier it will be for you to finance a car when the time comes.   Read next: Vehicle Financing Without A Credit History   Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
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Carlock device
Protect Your Car in Layers With Anti-Theft Devices
Stats SA reported that in 2018/19, there were an estimated 83,000 incidences of motor vehicle thefts, affecting 0,4% of South African households. High incidences of car theft are not unique to South Africa. In fact, research shows that even ‘safer’ countries like Canada have reported figures of 85,000 in 2017, while Australia experienced 53,564 vehicles stolen in 2018 or one every ten minutes.   With so much risk of getting your car stolen every day, it doesn’t hurt to invest in some extra form of a preventative measure. These devices fall under two main categories, mechanical and electronic. We’ve featured the following devices to provide a range of price points.   Mechanical Immobilisers Steering Wheel Locks If you want simplicity and affordability, at the lower price point, steering wheel locks are the perfect deal, costing around R300. These work by preventing a thief from turning the wheel of your car and are fairly effective thief deterrents. If you would like something on the upper end of the scale, add a zero for a Disklok where you can pay closer to the R3,000 mark. Brake or Clutch Locks These adopt a similar principle to steering wheel locks in that they require a key to lock it into place. Once locked, the device stops the car from being operational. Unlike the high visibility, a steering wheel lock offers, this one slots in place behind your car’s brake or clutch pedal. They range in price from about R300 – R1,000. Wheel Clamps Similar to what a policeman will do to your car when you park in a No Parking zone, wheel clamps immobilise a vehicle by preventing the wheel from turning. For the same reason that they’re not the most popular choice in this category as they require more time and effort to lock on, they are good deterrent because it takes more time and effort for a thief to remove, as well as the fact that they are highly visible. These can range in price between R400 – R600.   Electronic Devices There are a host of electronic devices to consider for car security such as alarms, trackers, and cameras. The one that suits you best is likely the one that you can best afford. Here are our top picks: Dash Cams Short for ‘dashboard camera’, these on-board cameras are mounted on your car’s dashboard with the purpose of recording surrounding sounds and images whilst driving. More than just a camera, it is used to record accidents and incidents of theft to your vehicle. Prices can range between about R400 – R4,000.   These days, dash cams also come in more discreet forms and sizes, like Garmin’s Dash Cam Mini, which is almost the same length of a car key, and retails for around R2,500. CarLock Tracking systems have been around for a long time with constant advances in the technology. One if the trackers on the forefront is CarLock, which uses GPS technology to track the movements and location of your car from an app on your smartphone. It also alerts you when it detects any vibrations off your car or when the engine has been switched on. Priced at around R5,000. Kill Switch Simple, effective, and cheap. When a thief tries to start the car by some other means other than the correct key, this device will stop the electric current from your car’s ignition to the fuel pump. It’s fairly easy to install and can be mounted anywhere that is a good hiding place. Retails for around R110 – R1,110 depending on how sophisticated you want to get.   In summary Any anti-theft device is limited in its own way and should be seen as just one layer of protection. Basic devices like these, whether mechanical or electronic is not theft-proof and you shouldn’t depend entirely on them to protect your car. Instead, use them in conjunction with more advanced security systems like Datadot or other tracking devices.   Read next: Why Comprehensive Car insurance is important   Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
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ISOfix Mounting point locations are indicated by symbols on the upholstery of the backrest.
A Guide to ISOfix
If you’re a new parent you might already have heard of the strange acronym being thrown around in car safety features. You wouldn’t want to compromise on the safety of your child and would need reassurance that you’re making informed choices. So is ISOfix safer than seat belts? What is ISOfix? Before the ISOfix system was introduced, parents had to buckle up your child in car seats with seat belts. The problem with this method is that there was some risk of the seat belt not being properly secured. Another issue was whether the seat belt was adequate safety for this purpose.   ISOfix is a simple and easy ‘click-in’ method of installing child restraints in a vehicle securely. It uses metal bars that are attached to the car’s chassis, with metal connectors that your child seat fixes into. For extra precaution, ISOfix includes green and red indicators so that you know for sure that the seats are latched in properly. Why is it called ISOfix? The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is based in Switzerland and develops international standards that support innovation and provides a solution to global challenges. Standardisation and world-class specifications ensure quality, safety, and efficiency to products. Fix: (verb) To fasten (something) securely in a particular place or position. How to check if your car has ISOfix Globally, the ISOfix system was first introduced in 1997 and became mandatory in certain parts of the world for vehicles launched after November 2014. This is not the case in South Africa where not all cars come with the ISOfix mounting system yet and only some models have them installed as a standard feature.  Usually, the anchor points are installed in the rear seat of a vehicle. You can check for the ISOfix labels or running your hand between the gap of the rear car seats where the base and backrest join. In other cases, the fitting points may be visible.   3 different types of ISOfix bases Most ISOfix infant car seats can have a separate base which is installed and fixed firmly into the car. Seats for toddlers mostly come with the base integrated.   Once you’ve established your car has an ISOfix system installed and you’re ready to go shopping for a child seat, first check your vehicle owner’s manual what type of system you have: Universal – Three anchor points. Two-point connections and a top tether behind the car’s seat that anchors the child seat and stops it from twisting or lurching forward. Semi-Universal – Three anchor points. Two-point connections and a support leg instead of a top tether. Forward- and rear-facing system Vehicle-Specific – Two anchor points. Special features make it compatible only with specific vehicles. The downside of ISOfix While the benefits of this system are clear that it is safer than the old seat belt, there are a few disadvantages to consider: Less portable – since they are much heavier than a standard child car seat, it can be more difficult to swap between cars. More costly – an advanced system like this is going to be a fair amount more expensive than its poorer cousin. Less flexible – Unlike a standard child seat that can be used in any car along with a seat belt, ISOfix seats must be compatible with the system fitted with the car. Also, some ISOfix seats cannot be used with a seatbelt, so it may be a good idea to ensure you buy one that can if you want that flexibility. Angle – For parents with infants, because ISOfix seats are supposedly safer the more upright its position, your baby may not be able to support his head yet. A standard child car seat allows you to adjust for more comfortable sitting and sleeping angles.    In summary While tests have proven that ISOfix is safer than seat belts in a collision, there are definitely pros and cons to both these child restraint systems. Fit and comfort are almost as important as safety, as it can go a long way in providing you with a less stressful drive.   Read next: https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/Driving-with-a-baby-on-board https://www.autopedigree.co.za/blogs/Top-Car-Features-Moms-Will-Love   Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Auto Pedigree.
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