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. 
Read More
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.
Read More
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.
Read More
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.
Read More
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.
Read More
How vehicle trade-ins work
Trading in the Mommy Wagon
You’ve made enough school runs to earn you honourable mom-stripes, but now that the children have moved out and the mom-mobile has seen better days, what do you trade it in for? First, let’s talk about trade-ins.   What is a vehicle trade-in? When it’s time to replace your existing car, trading it in for a new one is the easiest and most convenient method. Simply put, you are ‘swopping’ one for another at the same dealership.   To illustrate the basic steps for a trade-in: You decide on a replacement vehicle at a dealership Dealer checks the condition and assesses the value of your existing car Dealer provides you with a trade-in offer Should you accept the offer, the trade-in value is deducted from the price of the replacement car. If your car is paid off the paperwork could be done and the deal signed on the same day.   Before going into a dealership to ask for a trade-in offer, get your current car’s book value so that you know what to expect. The better the condition of the car, the more chance of being offered a higher value.   Also read: How vehicle trade-ins-work   Cars for 3 Types of Modern Women Once you’ve decided to trade-in your mom-mobile, you’ll need to assess your personal and lifestyle needs. Will you be using it mostly for work, commuting, weekend trips, or very rarely? Take all these factors into account before choosing the make and model solely on aesthetic appeal. We’ve selected a few cars that we think would suit three different types of modern women: Cars for the career woman Managing a demanding career and driving from meeting to meeting means you need a car that meets a modern woman’s communication needs. BMW new 3-Series with on-board digital assistant Hyundai Accent offers user-friendly tech features Audi A3 offers great multimedia installations Cars for the work-from-home woman You’re a woman who has a lot on her plate and needs a reliable car that can multitask as well as her. Mercedes Benz A-Class makes running from meetings to errands less of a chore Honda Civic is economical and easy to drive Toyota Hilux is a hard-working vehicle with decent fuel efficiency Cars for the single woman You’re an independent woman who has fewer family responsibilities now but still leads a full and busy life. Hyundai i30 designed for the discerning driver Volkswagen Jetta offers up enough individuality for the independent single woman Honda Civic offers a good sound system and USB/Bluetooth connection for driving enjoyment. Also read: Start planning for your next car   At Auto Pedigree, we have a choice of over 4,000 makes and models for you to choose from. All our quality vehicles are late models with low mileage and come with a stringent quality assurance for peace of mind every woman wants. Find your make and model with our easy car search facility.     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.
Read More
New car on showroom floor
How to Start Planning for Your Next Car
Whether you fell out of love for your old car or it’s just falling apart on you, maybe you’re thinking that it’s time to find a younger model. Whatever the reason, replacing it needs some planning involved – how else are you going to make the right decision?   There are just two main considerations before you get to the fun part of choosing the make and model: what your needs are, and how much can you can afford to spend. Begin by asking yourself these three simple questions:   What was wrong with my old car? Let’s be honest, sometimes we just want an upgrade – a shinier coat, new features and mod cons, more speed, and all the nice-to-haves. But the year 2020 is all about being more budget-conscious, so instead, break it down into practical terms and ask yourself:   Is it comfortable for me – Do the seats adjust up and down or forwards and back enough to fit your height? Are all the knobs, buttons, and levers easily accessible?  Does it suit my lifestyle – Your situation may have changed since you bought your existing car. Perhaps you were a single student towing your friends around, but now an adventurous traveller who loves to take long weekend country trips. What’s missing that I wish it had – Do you kick yourself for not taking the sunroof option, or perhaps you just want more storage in the glove box. Maybe your needs are more technical, like more torque or superior suspension and handling. Does it feel safe – Does it start rattling while driving at 120 km/h on the highway? Does it virtually dent if you so much as poke an elbow at it? Safety is the most important consideration, so don’t take it lightly when choosing a vehicle. Do parts take too long to arrive – When the car goes in for a service or repair do you have to wait weeks before you can get it fixed?  Are the parts and repairs more costly than its worth –  Do the parts have to be ordered from overseas which makes them more costly?   Take these answers and bear them in the forefront of your mind when shopping for a new car. This time around, you want to get it as close to the perfect car as possible. Remember, looks are not everything. Suitability and safety are.    Read: Is your car costing more than its worth?    What do I want from my next car? Now that you know what you don’t want, it’s easier to determine what you do want. Begin with taking note of your personal and lifestyle needs, then match these with the features or benefits that should be prioritised in a list.  For example: I need a safer vehicle for regular highway driving – Solid construction I need to cartloads of kids’ sports equipment around often – Bigger boot space I must have cell phone hands-free ability – Bluetooth I don’t want to have keep spending on high maintenance costs – Reliable, low, maintenance This list can be as long as you need. In fact, the longer it is, the clearer the picture in your mind becomes.    Read: Which to buy – petrol or diesel?   What can I reasonably afford on my next car? You may want to start with this step first – calculating your budget. If it feels more comfortable knowing what you can afford before understanding your needs, that’s entirely up to you.   Before hunting down the make and model of your next car, you’ll need to look into your personal finances to determine these basic affordability figures: lump sum, deposit, monthly instalments, and monthly car insurance premiums.  Use this online vehicle calculator to determine your monthly instalments.   Once you know what you want in a car and can afford, you’ll be suitably equipped to make the right decision on what make and model is best suited for your lifestyle and pocket.    Read: Should I pay cash for a car?   It may be hard to say goodbye to your old car. At Auto Pedigree, we make it easy with a choice of over 4,000 makes and models to choose from. All our quality vehicles are late models with low mileage and come with stringent quality assurance for peace of mind. Find your make and model with our easy car search facility.   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.
Read More
Cheers in the sunset
Drinking and Driving – What the Law Says
Driving when drunk is a criminal offence in South Africa. Studies show that those arrested for this often suffer severely in terms of health, finances, job, and career prospects.  Driving under the influence means having a high level of concentration of alcohol in your blood or breath while operating a vehicle.  The legal limit is one unit of alcohol per hour, which equates to 10ml of pure alcohol, based on an adult weighing 68kg. Therefore, if you weigh less than this, your body will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol. How Do I Know If I Am Over The Limit? The following is an approximate breakdown of alcohol units per drink type: 1 x 75ml glass of wine = 1 unit 1 x 25ml tot of spirits = 1 unit 1 x shot/shooter = ½ unit in most instances 1 x spirit cooler = about 1.25 units 1 x beer = 1.5 units or possibly more 1 x cider = 2 units 1 x 250ml glass of wine = 3.3 units 1 x cocktail = Between 2 and 4 units   What Should I Do If I Am Over The Limit? There are no quick fixes to being over the limit because your liver needs time to process the alcohol. Drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, eating fatty foods or drinking a litre of water won’t counteract the effects of alcohol on your body.  So it’s best to restrict your intake so you remain sober in the eyes of the law.    If you are over the limit, don’t try and drive – rather call an e-hailing service like Uber or Bolt, or phone a friend or family member for assistance.     What Happens If I Am Caught Driving Under The Influence? If you are caught in an official roadblock and identified as being over the limit following a breathalyser test, the possible consequences may be that you are :  Arrested and charged for being under the influence. Detained for further evaluation and alcohol testing at an alcohol testing centre. Obliged to provide blood samples. Here you may request your medical practitioner to be present and that a sealed syringe and needle is used to take blood. This sample will be sent to a state laboratory for scientific analysis to estimate the quantity of alcohol in your blood.  Held in custody until you are released on bail or make your first appearance in court, which could mean spending 48 to 72 hours in a holding cell.  Informed of your right to institute bail proceedings at a police station before your court appearance.  Sentenced in court varying from imprisonment of up to six years, receiving a fine between R2,000 and R120,000, or the suspension of your driver’s licence.  Given a criminal record for drunk driving up to ten years.    You may also incur additional charges including those for reckless, negligent, or inconsiderate driving on a public road.   Other Negative Effects of Drunk Driving In addition to the legal ramifications associated with driving under the influence, you could also face severe physical consequences.  Alcohol significantly slows reaction time, distorts vision, and the effects of a heavy night of drinking can affect your driving ability the next morning because you may still be over the legal limit. After only one unit of alcohol, your chances of being in an accident are doubled. When at the legal limit you are four times more likely to be in an accident. If you are tempted to drive under influence during the festive season, think again ensuring you enter 2020 safely – on the right side of the law.     Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. Auto Pedigree does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.
Read More