Winter-proof your car Article 25 May 0
Winter is coming! Caring for your car now will ensure you’re prepared to drive in chillier weather and enjoy a safer journey, whatever the weather throws at you!
You’ve booked some time off work and want to do something different – something more intrepid than a beach or ski holiday. Maybe even somewhere off the beaten track. New Zealand is one of the most picturesque places in the world, and with 65,500km of rural and 15,900km of urban roads crossing the country, there is plenty of scope for adventure.
A great parking spot can give you a surge of happiness not unlike that of a new lottery winner – but when the only spot you can find is two kilometres from where you need to be, it can really ruin your day. And while there’s an element of luck involved, some people consistently seem to get those spaces right outside the door. So what’s their secret?
As if you needed another excuse for a road trip, the public holidays gracing New Zealand’s calendar over the next few months will be slotting some long weekends into our schedules. To help your travels go smoothly, follow these tips for an epic road trip.
Good travel companions are surprisingly hard to find. Some friends make road trips easy. Others use your hairbrush without asking, demonstrate they know all the words to Eminem’s latest album and bring along a packet of chips that’s only big enough for one. Here’s how to be the ideal road trip companion.
Not to be a downer, but being a good passenger involves more than just getting in the car and staring out the window. At their worst, passengers can distract or annoy the driver, or even cause damage to the car. While young children have a free pass, if you’re old enough to take responsibility for putting on your own seat belt, it’s a good idea to also take responsibility for how fun you are to drive with.
We’ve all heard stories about cowboy mechanics. Maybe you’ve been quoted thousands for a job that another mechanic said was unnecessary. Maybe your parents’ car guy seems to always find problems with their relatively new car. But not all mechanics will inflate their prices and charge for problems that don’t exist. Here’s how to sort the trustworthy mechanics from the ones who insist you should replace your battery twice a year.
Driving is a skill. Just like your skill with making the perfect coffee or pulling off hipster jeans, if you practise, you’ll get better. Yes, most of the driving lessons and courses available are targeted at young people about to sit (or resit) their restricted test. But a refresher on the road rules or an advanced driving skills course is not something just for beginner drivers. We could all learn something from the experts, and the advanced driving skills courses available in New Zealand are suitable for all ages. Even if you’ve been driving for years, defensive driving skills could save your life.
Although the purchase price of a vehicle may be written on a neon sign, other costs of owning a car are easier to overlook. Issues such as the loss in value that results from driving a new car out of the showroom, or the costly repairs if parts are difficult to come by, can really set you back.