How to save money on car servicing without affecting your new vehicle warranty: official ACCC guidelines
The consumer watchdog is very clear that you don't need to get your car serviced at an "authorised dealership" in order to preserve the new-vehicle warranty. Read the three conditions you must meet to ensure your warranty remains intact HERE. Preserving your warranty is easier than you think - and you could save thousands over the life of the vehicle.
Do Australian road rules apply on private property? If you just said 'no', brace yourself for a real shock
The law doesn't distinguish between public roads and private property when it comes to road rules. This can have major implications for you if you are (for example) moving your car in the car park at the local hotel after a few beers, or if you fail to give way at a T-intersection in the car park at the local shopping mall. You could lose your licence - or worse - on private property. Find out where the road rules do - and don't - apply HERE
Which fuel drives your dollar further? John Cadogan investigates on Channel 7's Today Tonight (video)
Reporting for Today Tonight on Channel 7 is pretty cool - it gives you the chances to throw significant resources at stories. Like this one, where we got five identical cars and filled them full of e10, 91-, 95- and 98-octane petrol, and diesel, to help decide which fuel drives your dollar further.
I especially liked Professor Tim White's comments at the end, which neatly explains the rough running problems commonly claimed by callers to the motoring programme I do on radio 2UE.
Petrol Vs Diesel: Which fuel is right for you?
There have been great advances in diesel engines over the past 10 years but diesel is not yet an equal to petrol. In some ways it's better, and in others, worse. Full story HERE
The nitrogen re-fill rip-off: your tyres just don't need it (unless of course you're a Formula One driver...)
This is one of the all-time tyre retailing rip-offs. More tyre retailers than ever are suggesting that ordinary drivers fill up using nitrogen - for a fee that's nearly 100% profit. It's pretty clear to anyone with a halfway formal applied science background that you should just say 'no'. Whatever the price, there is no benefit whatsoever ... unless you're competing in the upper echelons of motor sport. Take a big, deep breath - what do you think makes up 80-something per cent of those big lungfuls of air you just sucked in? Read more HERE
HOW SAFE IS THAT CAR IN A CRASH?
ANCAP independently tests the safety of new cars in Australia - more info HERE . Bottom line: Four or five stars is what you want. Anything else is a death trap, basically.
WHAT'S YOUR CAR REALLY WORTH?
To find out exactly what people are paying for particular models here and now, research the real value of your car (or the one you're looking to buy) HERE
CONCERNED ABOUT A CAR'S HISTORY?
Make sure your next car isn't a repaired write-off, or the subject of a major insurance claim, flood damaged or otherwise problematic HERE
HOW DO YOU TELL IF THER'S MONEY OWING ON A USED CAR?
Inheriting someone else's debt is a real worry when you're buying a car privately. Ensure you're not purchasing an encumbered vehicle HERE
DOES YOUR NEXT CAR HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM?
Compare fuel consumption using official data HERE. (Note that these official government figures are directly comparable between vehicles, but are almost certainly better than what you'll achieve in the real world.)