Month: August 2015

South Africa says hello to Brabus

Modded Monday: Brabus is officially available in South Africa

Walking into Daytona is like walking into the equivalent of a candy store for petrolheads. One the one side, you have the choice of various Mini’s and BMW’s, raging from M models to the eco-friendly I-stable. One the other side you have Aston Martin and Rolls Royce, the two most suave car brands out there. Then lastly, in the middle, there is the McLaren and Daytona showroom, which is always stocked full with different types of exotics. At Daytona, there is a division called Daytona Customs, this part of the company caters specifically for those who want a little bit more in terms of exclusivity. If more is what a client wants, then more is what they will get at Daytona. As of last week Daytona was happy to announce that Mercedes Benz Clients wanting more, had to look no further since Daytona is the now sole official importer and distributor of Brabus in South Africa.

What does that mean for Mercedes Benz clients?   

This means that a Mercedes Benz client can customize their car with Brabus parts, which is world renown for its quality and craftsmanship. The modifications include exterior parts such as body kits, wheels and suspension kits, interior parts and last but not least, exhaust system. All of the highest quality. The aim of these modifications is to enhance the assets of Mercedes Benz’s and still maintain the car’s classy nature.

What this does for the South African Modifications industry.

In South Africa modifying vehicles is a big business, one that is popular among different ages, races and genders too. The issue about modifying cars is that there is a negative association with this because often times, certain modifications are done without the right knowledge. As a result there have been numerous issues that have happened to modified cars and vehicle manufacturers have generally been against modifying due to the risks associated with it. On the other hand, if modifications are administered properly to cars by trained professionals that can guarantee that the car will function properly in day to day scenarios, the risks are reduced of things going wrong.

Slowly but surely, viable solutions are being put in place for certified modifying to happen in South Africa, which is great for local clients looking to customize their cars without risk. For BMW there is Schnitzer, for Volkswagen there is Oettinger and now for Mercedes Benz there is Brabus. This shows that if the right steps are followed, tuning brands and manufacturers can meet half way, creating great solutions for clients seeking something different. Daytona is one of the companies at the forefront of making collaborations like this happen and we hear that there will be more options like this available in the near future. We welcome this progression in the modifications industry and we are excited for what is in store in the near future from Daytona and other companies run by enthusiasts. Happy Modded Monday Motorists.

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Hello Sunny: Quality time with the Opel Corsa Cosmo.

Opel Corsa Cosmo aka Sunny.

It’s not often that we name a press car, we only have it for a week so there generally isn’t enough time for us to get too attached to it. This wasn’t the case with the bright yellow Opel Corsa Cosmo aka “Sunny” that was delivered to us over the past week. First and foremost, the colour. It’s bright yellow and we have never been one to enjoy driving a car that makes you squint due to the brightness of its hue. That being said, the yellow paintwork on this car was almost a subliminal message from Opel about the character of this car. See many small cars now feature small three cylinder engines, which generally do the job depending on how many people you have in the car and how steep the uphill is.

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Opel on the other hand has chosen to do something that only a few manufacturers are doing, they have decided to turbo-charge their 1.0 litre three cylinder engine. The results? A nippy rev-happy engine that has no problems going uphill and lugging around humans of various shapes and sizes. The car feels like it loves to be driven and as a result, because you’re enjoying yourself behind the wheel, the yellow paintwork seems to add to the fun factor of it all.

Earlier we referred to people of different shapes and sizes, this is another positive aspect of the Opel Corsa, it can actually fit people in the back. We love it’s sibling the Opel Adam, but its limited space in the back makes the Corsa the more practical choice to have. As a young team at TheMotorist, space counts for us and many other people in our age group and life cycle. The thing about being twenty-something, is that being social is an important part of your life, you want the flexibility to say “let’s jump in my car” and it’s not a problem.

Another thing about being young in the times we live in, is that our lives revolve around technology, which is a good and a bad thing. The good part is that we’re tech-savvy but the bad thing is that we expect everything to be the same, whether it’s our cell phone or our vehicle. It’s almost as if Opel built the Corsa and filled it with the technology it has especially for young people. The Cosmo has all the bells and whistles as standard but if you want the car to feel complete, the optional park distances sensors are worth the extra money.

The infotainment system is a peach, the Bi-Xenon lights look great and really improve night time visibility and the cabin is modern yet simple. The car has a feeling of automation to it that makes you feel like you’re in a good place. The only feature I would leave out is the Advanced Park Assist 2, simply because you will use it less than you think. The system works well seven times out of ten but personally we think it’s easier to beef up your parking skills and do it yourself. The car is not huge so it parking itself is not exactly necessary, especially when you have the “City” steering mode which reduces the weight to the steering wheel, making it easier to turn the wheel.

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Driving the car everyday makes you think economically as the on-board computer tells you to shift up all the time. Even when you think you’re in the right gear, the car keeps instructing you to change up, teaching you to drive it in the most economical way. The start-stop system works well too but in heavy traffic it did eventually get on our nerves so we gave it a break.

So after a few days went by we looked forward to driving Sunny more and more, it hit us, we were attached. Yes it was yellow and yes people stared at it, but we didn’t care. We formed a relationship with that little car, we felt like it was working with us all the time and it feels good to get that feeling from a car. The fact that we were driving a car that cost around R245 000 with the features it had, also made us relax because sometimes driving a very expensive press car can be a bit intimidating.

Would we live with it? The article answers that question. Would we recommend it? The same goes for that question too. You don’t have to have it in Yellow, there are other colours too, but most times it’s nice to have something to brighten up your day…literally.

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Climb Jimny Climb…

Thought Thursday: Suzuki’s off-road baby

Let’s be honest, the Suzuki Jimny doesn’t look like much. It’s not ugly nor is it attractive in any way. It’s not fast either and it’s not all that big too. So what is the point of this small, average looking 4×4 car and why do I often see them on the road? See the Jimny is a peculiar car, it kind of reminds me of my parents’ microwave. This microwave was bought in the early 90’s, around the same time Michael Jackson released the hit “Black or White”. Since then old Michael has seen the grave but this feisty microwave has kept going. The job of a microwave is simple, to heat food and make sausages explode. If a microwave was meant to heat and cool food, it would need to be a very smart device in order to do that and the thing about very smart devices is that they often don’t work.

Over the years as my parents could afford fancier things, my mother did what most mothers do, she bought new appliances. One of the things she bought was a silver button clad microwave-oven, which could tell you what the temperature was outside. Needless to say that after two years this appliance died more prematurely than a Hollywood child star. What did my mother do? She bought a brand new one, this time it could tell you if the milk you were heating was off or not. Again, like all overly fancy things, it met its end very quickly. As a result if you go to my parents’ home, you will find that original Michael Jackson era microwave ticking along and pinging when it’s finished doing its job.

The Suzuki Jimny can drive on the road perfectly. You may not be driving as quickly as everybody else, but you will get there eventually. Much like my parents’ microwave, it can defrost a chicken but not the same way a newer microwave can. The thing about my parents’ microwave is that it will do what it does best, which is to simply heat and reheat but it will not break down, it simply refuses. Which brings me to the Suzuki again, take that car on a 4×4 trip and it will be one of the last cars standing. I don’t know if it is the size of the car, or some sort of magical Japanese voodoo that they have used, but that car is simply brilliant in those scenarios. The Suzuki Jimny is simply an off-roader, and is just that. As a road car it ticks the boxes but what it can do on the road can’t compare to what it can do off the road.

I was always told this about a Suzuki Jimny, but I had never experienced it before, until I took a trip to Bass Lake Adventures. This is a 4×4 training facility that has seen many people roll their cars on the course. I am not one for off-roading, purely because of the preparation you need to do before starting. In fancier more expensive 4×4’s you need to sit with a neurosurgeon and choose all the right settings before you get going. In the Jimny all I had to do was put the car in 4×4 mode and set it to low range. Thereafter I could climb whatever I wanted and still keep the car and its occupants in one piece. Ascent after ascent, descent after descent the car kept going. No wonder the owner of the course uses a pair of these Jimny’s to teach people about proper 4×4 driving. In the world of 4×4 driving, many will agree that if you’re looking for a simple car to explore in, that won’t cost you all the money in the world, the Suzuki Jimny is the car to go for. Like most older appliances, it was built with that “it must work forever” philosophy and with a start up price of just under R230 000, what more could you ask for?

 

Are women more at risk of getting a Smash and Grab attack?

Women Wednesday: Tips for women to avoid a potential smash and grab attack.

It’s 8:05 am and your foot is already tired from the hour you’ve spent in traffic, you’re late and you can feel that today is going to be “one of those days”. If only you didn’t press snooze three times and woke up when your alarm screamed at you the first time. The traffic doesn’t look like it’s going to get better and you can see yourself getting into the office closer to 9:00 am. You may as well use this free time to make yourself look presentable, after all you don’t want your colleagues seeing your “I overslept” face. Time to pop open that sun visor mirror, get out that MAC from the handbag and make yourself look fashionably late. The traffic light just turned red so there is a quick opportunity to get started. These stupid hawkers always bother you here and as always you tell them to go away. Why is one of them lingering like that? You ask, surely he can see that no means no. Why is he not going away? What is in his hand? *SMASH* *GRAB* *GONE*. By the time you’ve realised the deafening noise of glass breaking was in fact your window, the vagrant is gone with your handbag containing your wallet, cell phone and I.D.

It can happen to you.

Does that scene seem all to familiar? For many women who have been through this traumatic experience, it does. The day you least expect it, is the day somebody decides to violate you and your car through a smash and grab attack. These type of incidents happen to both men and women, but the likelihood of these type of incidents happening to women are higher as criminals view women as soft targets. Another factor is that women unlike many men carry bags which contain vital items in them. It’s cumbersome to put bags like these into the boot as things like cell phones and wallets are easier to access when they’re next to you stowed in a bag instead of in various other places. The reality is that even though this may be easier, it’s not safer. A hawker can often times be an opportunist and if they get the chance to some easy money, they might just take it.

How can I prevent a Smash and Grab attack?

One of the simplest ways of preventing this to happen to anyone, (man or woman) is to simply store handbags, laptop bags and other items in the boot. Not only is this safer, it also clears unnecessary driving distractions because it’s easy to quickly do your eye-liner at the traffic light if your handbag is close by or even answer a quick text. The fact is that even though it’s easier, again it’s not safe. Even though I am not a female, spending time with many women has made me realise how easy it is to leave a handbag on the passenger seat. If you’re late, rather do your make up at the office car park when stationary and safe. It’s the saddest thing to see criminals take advantage of women at traffic lights, but the risk can be reduced if the right precautions are taken. So ladies stay safe and keep your bags in the boot, everyone wants you to look good, but not at the expense of your window and your belongings. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists.

*Image courtesy of www.buzzsouthafrica.co.za

The new Jaguar XE is joining the technology war

Technology Tuesday: Jaguar’s new XE is ready to fight.

The XE is Jaguar’s answer to BMW’s 3 Series, Mercedes’s C-Class and Audi’s A4. This classification of car, the D segment is one of the most popular in South Africa. This means that the Jaguar is up against some strong competition and to make it worse, South Africa is an extremely brand loyal country. Jaguar is aware of this and that is why they have put their hearts and souls into producing something that can potentially make a client think twice before buying the more popular brands. One of the ways Jaguar has done this in the new XE is by giving the car some very tech savvy features, something that is no longer a want but rather a need for many clients.

Major brands have been driving connectivity between car and driver in the last few years and almost all the premium brands offer services that link one’s phone with their car. To keep younger target markets happy, even less premium brands offer Bluetooth pairing and touch screen infotainment systems in their cars as standard in some of their models. So what technologies will be available in the new Jaguar XE? The usual things like Bluetooth and USB will be standard in the car and although it seems mundane nowadays there are very handy features to have. What I have personally noticed about these systems is the way the manufacturer configures their Bluetooth systems is what counts. I have driven cars that stream audio poorly and I have also driven cars that stream Bluetooth audio that sounds better than a CD player.

One thing that I love is when manufacturers team up with well known audio companies to create excellent sounding systems. Think of Harman Kardon, Bang and Olufsen and now there is Meridian which is available in the new Jaguar XE. Excellent sound quality in a premium car is of utmost importance since a Jaguar XE client can have a variety of tastes in music. The Meridian sound system is a 380-watt, 11 speaker system which will be able to thump out a Justin Timberlake track straight after a Beethoven number. The new Jaguar is not all about entertaining though, ride quality is of utmost importance too. Jaguars like the XF and the XJ are known for their creamy rides and comfort and you can expect no less from the XE. The JaguarDrive system allows the driver to choose different characteristics in their car, ranging from a sportier chassis and steering to a more comfort orientated drive and even an ECO mode to save fuel. Last but not least the car will also have as optional a laser Heads Up Display which shows the driver vital information on the windscreen so the driver can keep his/her eyes on the road at all times.

As mentioned, the technology war is going strong and Jaguar made sure that they weren’t left out of it in the new XE. This car promises to be something to contend with the big boys and we’re convinced that it will be a worthy adversary. It doesn’t hurt that aesthetically the new Jaguar XE is not bad looking, rather good looking actually, but when have Jaguars been ugly? At the end of the day, the decision lies with the potential clients and if their willing to step out of their comfort zone and step into something different. The new Jaguar XE launched in South Africa this week, now it’s a matter of time to see how the market will respond. We wish it nothing but the best. Happy Tech Tuesday Motorists.

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No it’s not a Golf R, it’s an R-Line Package

Modded Monday: Volkswagen’s R- Line Package

As any car lover would do, I was driving the other day and I spotted a Golf with big bumpers and shiny wheels. Automatically I thought to myself “nice work buddy, a Golf R is always a good choice”, until I drove closer to this car and realised it was not in fact a Golf R. This Volkswagen Golf was a normal TSI dressed in a kit that made it look sportier, very similar to the Golf R. Volkswagen have officially introduced the R-Line Package into their Golf models and even the Beetle too. Yes, the beetle. I’m sure the decision makers at Volkswagen have heard the public’s pleas to make the Beetle look more masculine and they’ve listened.

For the Golf, the R-Line Package is basically different front and rear bumpers, a rear spoiler, a badge, a diffuser and 17 inch mags if you have a Comfortline or 18 inch mags if you have a Highline. This treatment turns your Golf from looking nice, to a Golf R look alike which is a bit more than nice, it’s hot. As for the Beetle, the R-Line package give the car the same treatment but instead of 17 or 18 inch wheels, you get 19 inch wheels for your bug including a sport suspension. All these extra bits and bobs for a mere R12 500 on both cars? Now that’s a very sweet deal. If I was buying one of these cars, I would much rather opt for the R-Line Package and leave something else out at that price, I’m sure most people will do the same.

It’s nice to see that manufacturers are buying into the modifying aspect of new cars, whether it’s aesthetics or performance. Packages like the R-Line Package will surely encourage younger audiences to specify their cars with these kits during the buying process instead of getting tasteless body kits installed through after-market tuners. All in the name of keeping it in the family whilst keeping the client happy. Good job Volkswagen, Good job.

Best of both worlds: The facelifted Audi Q3

Feature Friday: Audi Q3 2.0TFSI S-Line

Many people living in Johannesburg will complain that the city is too congested, I am one of those people. As someone born and raised in the big bad city, I often long for some open space and a fresh aired environment lacking noise. That is why one of my biggest dreams is to have a large piece of land overlooking nature and maybe even a barn. The problem with that, as someone who has been raised in the city, I am so used to having certain amenities at my disposal, so the lack of them could cause great frustration. The ideal scenario would be to find a place that has the best of both worlds, a place that is still open and farm-like but not too far from the city.

Am I asking too much? Some may say yes but exploring Johannesburg in the facelifted Audi Q3 made me realise that places like these do actually exist. When the Audi Q3 arrived at my house it seemed much smaller than what it looked like on the road. I was genuinely surprised. When I entered into the car I was even more surprised because the car provided very good space for it’s passengers despite its smaller stature. I almost felt like I was in a higher A3 with a bit more room in it and that isn’t a bad thing at all. The car I received was the S-Line package with all the sportier touches added to it, including lovely bucket seats. There is something about the combination of leather and alcantara that makes a cabin look more suave, perhaps the word alcantara itself is what makes me feel this way. It’s like the word cashmere, just saying the word makes one automatically seem fancier, a word you drop at dinner parties to impress friends.

Starting the car creates an audible burble of a refined petrol engine. The badging on the outside simple stated TFSI so I tried find out which derivative it was. Eventually I located a piece of paper listing all the specifications on the car, which had a healthy amount of extras on it. It was the 2.0 litre turbo 132kW version, fitted with the seven speed double clutch S-Tronic gearbox. The sum total of R 590 000 was the price of the vehicle I had in my driveway, a price which falls on the more expensive side of things I must say. Which brings me to my travels in and around Johannesburg. If you travel 15km’s north of Johannesburg after Kyalami, you enter into a different world. Everything slows down, there is empty land everywhere and the site of horses catches your attention. If you carry on for a few more kilometres you will be presented by a sign that says “Beaulieu”. This residential area is exactly what I have been longing for, it is basically farm life or rather “horse life” a few minutes away from civilisation. What a lovely area it is, with large homes and open land and the smell of fresh air coupled with the sound of nothing.

As I drove around my future suburb, the Q3 blended in nicely. The locals gave me that “you’re one of us” smile when I drove passed them. The area has a mixture of gravel road and tar, something the Q3 handled very well despite its low profile tyres and large rims. On the road is where the car is in it’s element though, very quiet and stately until someone is driving 25km/h in an 60km/h zone. When that happens it’s simply a matter of slightly squeezing the accelerator for all 320Nm to engage and you’ve overtaken effortlessly. After driving the car around for a bit, I realised that there were similarities between the area and the car I was driving. In what way?

The Audi Q3 is a peculiar car, it does not feel like a 4×4 but when fitted with the Quattro suspension, it is. It doesn’t look very big on the outside but is quite spacious on the inside. It is the right car for someone who does not want a sedan but at the same time doesn’t want a large 4×4. It is for someone who still wants the nimbleness of a sedan but the clearance of a larger car. It’s the perfect car for the undecided, people like myself who want a farm life but with the city’s convenience. It is a larger car that drives like a hatchback and even though it has a powerful engine, the 62l fuel tank is big enough for you not to really notice that all that overtaking is affecting your fuel consumption. Like Beaulieu the Audi Q3 offers something different for people, an alternative to the sedan without having to lug a big 4×4 around. The houses in Beaulieu cost well into the millions so I will have to play my cards right in order to afford living there one day, but the cost is justifiable in my mind. The same goes for the Audi Q3, cars in general are not cheap, most premium cars cost over half a million Rand, so for R90 000 more with some decent extras, you may just think it’s justifiable too. Happy Feature Friday Motorists.

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Mercedes’ C63 Coupé revealed, can it get any more powerful?

Thought Thursday: Mercedes’ C63 Coupé will produce more power than all it’s competitors

What do car makers and dictators have in common? They all want absolute power, but in the words of Spiderman’s grandfather, “with great power comes great responsibility”. This is especially true for our German friends trying to one-up each other in the power game. As most car lovers will know, the new Mercedes C-Class Coupé was launched a few days ago. Now we have more information to reveal regarding the flagship power house of the lot, the C63 Coupé. We want to talk about the “S” version of this car specifically. The “normal” version of the C63 Coupé will feature ONLY 345kW and 650Nm whilst the “S” version will produce 370kW and 700Nm of torque.

Let’s talk about these figures for a moment. The power this car produces is less than what the last version of the brutal normally aspirated C63 507 Edition produced. The difference though is that despite it producing a kilowatt or two less, the delivery of that power is very different, due to turbocharging. Now that the new C63’s are running 4.0l turbocharged engines, the car goes from being very fast, to down right ludicrous. As any car lover will say, bring on the power, more is better and better is more. That being said, a part of me is a tad concerned about all of this. I recently read a statement made by a very experienced journalist regarding how these super saloons and coupé’s should do away with being rear wheeled drive as standard.

To most enthusiasts that statement may sound like a slap in the face, but in reality, it makes perfect sense. The reason being that because the new engines are turbocharged, the maximum torque delivery of these cars is almost instant. This is good and bad. Good for producing insane acceleration, but bad for those who cannot handle it. The reality is that most C63 Coupé owners will not be die hard enthusiasts, a great deal of them will be wealthy individuals who want the latest and greatest. For that clientèle, having 700Nm of torque available to you and traction control being a simple press of a button to switch off, can mean potential injury. The fact is that all that power can mean too much car for most and even the slightest bit of “fast” driving can create a dangerous situation.

If these cars were to be all-wheel drive as standard, as they have them in the US, the danger lessens. For those who regard themselves as enthusiasts, they should have the choice to deselect the all-wheel drive setup and opt for the rear wheel drive setup when specifying their car with their dealership. If this was the case, it would mean for a safer, more manageable car for those who aren’t interested in going sideways and simply want a very fast car. At the same time the deselect option will still keep the enthusiasts happy too. This may be a reality soon, as the rumblings of the new BMW M5 have started and talk is that the car will have the exact setup we’re discussing now. I think it’s a good thing, because even now with the current BMW M5, many will agree that a very specific skill-set is needed to drive that car on it’s limit with the traction control off.

We look forward to the new C63 Coupé hitting our shores in South Africa. For those looking to purchase one, if you have not gone for advanced driving yet, we strongly recommend you do so. This will ensure your safety behind the wheel and increase your joy in owning such a car, because what’s the point in having all that power if you can’t handle it? Happy Thought Thursday Motorists.

Gals Garage-no more “damsels in distress”.

Women Wednesday: Gals Garage

A group of women all talking about how men want to take advantage of them when a car emergency happens can be a really intimidating site to watch. You see heads nod passionately about the subject, all agreeing about how women are often disrespected in the motor industry. Stories are exchanged regarding bad experiences in dealerships, all based on gender discrimination. Being a fly all of a suddenly turns into being an elephant in the room, since I am the only male present in a workshop entitled “Gals Garage”.

You many wonder why I allowed myself to be in such an awkward position? Well the main reason is that I am always interested to try out new experiences and another reason is that the topics being discussed in this workshop were topics that were very close to home for me. See I have three females in my life that are very dear to me and the thought of them being in a vulnerable position whilst driving makes me worry a great deal. So when Vuyi Mpofu, the founder of Gals Garage invited me to sit in on a session, I agreed and came back feeling even more liberated than the women who attended.

So what is Gals Garage? Before we answer that question, let’s deal with a fact that needs to be discussed with regards to women in the motor industry. Since the bad old days of blatant sexism, cars have been labelled as a “manly” thing to be interested in and cooking and cleaning has been labelled as something “girly”. Times have changed and so have gender roles in many different industries, except for the automotive industry. Are men to blame for this? Yes. Are women to blame for this? Yes. Firstly some men need to get it out of their heads that women don’t need to know about cars. The fact is that there are many females who are very passionate and knowledgeable about cars. Secondly many women need to get it out their heads that they don’t need to know about cars, as long as their boyfriend/husband/brother knows, their fine. Both of these thoughts are nonsense.

Which brings me back to the first question, Gals Garage and what it’s about. Vuyi Mpofu focuses on empowerment, not only for women but for their daughters. She builds the scenario of someones daughter getting a flat tyre on the side of the road. Will that daughter know how to change her own tyre or will she wait for “a knight in shining armour”? It’s a simple yet profound question. If I as a guy get a flat tyre, it’s taboo for me to not know how to change it myself, yet it’s normal for a lady to plead ignorance when this happens. Those are the old school stereotypes that Gals Garage seeks to break down, through simply educating women about things a guy “should” know about cars.

The workshop teaches women how to diagnose potential problems they may encounter in their car, what happens when a dealership services their car and what are their options when they finance a car. This workshop endeavours to empower women by giving them the relevant knowledge so that they aren’t taken advantage of in certain scenarios. Growing up with a mother who could tell you if your wheel bearings needed replacing by listening to them made me realise the importance of women having such knowledge. Time and time again, dealerships, petrol attendants and even panel beaters tried to take advantage of my mother but failed, because she was empowered.

Gals Garage aims to make sure that all the women who attend this workshop come out of it feeling the same way. There is a need for these negative stereotypes to die because whether you’re a man or women, you’re a motorist and as a motorist there are things about your car that you need to know. Workshops like these are great but the work begins at home, if your daughter wants to play with toy cars, don’t tell her that’s not “lady like” because if you do she may just phone you one day and tell you that she has a flat tyre and you may be far far away when this happens. For more information on Gals Garage, contact Vuyi Mpofu on Facebook under her personal name and on twitter under the handle @drivinginheels. Happy Women Wednesday Motorists.

*Image courtesy of www.blog.drive24.co.uk

Which vehicle tracking system is best for you?

Technology Tuesday: Vehicle Tracking, what is the best option for you?

I’ve heard many people say they don’t want to install a vehicle tracking unit in their vehicle because if their car gets stolen, they don’t want it back. This is understandable because the feeling of violation that is felt after your car gets stolen is one people shouldn’t have to go through. That being said, a vehicle tracking system – in crime riddled South Africa is a very useful thing to have in your car, for a few reasons. The obvious one being that if they steal your car, it can be recovered. The second one being that through the process of your car getting recovered, the police can expose car theft syndicates and arrest bad people. Another big reason why people are getting vehicle tracking units installed, is because having one fitted into your car lowers your insurance premium (slightly). Most people who have had a tracker fitted in their car, were probably sold one when they bought the car at the dealership.

The question is, if you’re going to get a vehicle tracking system fitted, which one is the best for you? The reason for this question is because the vehicle tracking business is a very big one, with various options available. Your sales person will rattle off names like “Retrieve”, “Alert” and all other complicated jargon. So today we want to make things slightly easier. The two main systems that we feel should be of importance to you are these: “Dormant” versus “Active” systems. Generally you have entry level vehicle tracking systems that lie dormant in the car until activated when an emergency happens. For instance, if your car gets stolen overnight whilst you’re sleeping, only when you wake up and realise that your car is gone will you then phone the tracking company to begin the process. Whereas an active system is basically “awake” all the time, with signals that tell the tracking company if there is unauthorised entry into the car. Personally we feel that the latter system is the better one to choose because if you only realise that your car is stolen after an 8 hour sleep, it can be too late.

There are other more sophisticated tracker’s nowadays, system that allow for you to have an app that gives you a live location for your car. These systems are very nifty as they can pinpoint various details such as vehicle speed and the tracking company will even alert you when you enter into an unsafe area. You as the consumer have many options to choose from when it comes to vehicle tracking. So next time when your sales person is talking the usual jargon, ask him or her if it’s a dormant or active system and choose the one that is best for you. Happy Tech Tuesday Motorists.

*Image courtesy of : www.pictures.dealer.com