7 useful buys under $100 for your car

Our cars are our pride and joy. Putting a little bit of extra care or effort into maintaining its mechanics and appearance on a regular basis will mean you’re less likely to be hit by hefty repair bills in the future and keep it looking good in the long run. 

While maintaining a regular car service schedule is critical to keep your car healthy, you can also tick off some items by yourself. Our friends at Repco have a wide selection of car parts, accessories and lubricants to help you keep your car looking at its best but also enhance your every day driving experience.

NRMA Members can take advantage of the massive 30% off* storewide sale at any Repco store this Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 January just by showing your Membership card or your member barcode found in the mynrma app.

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Engine oil
The engine oil in your vehicle acts as a lubricant for all the moving parts, allowing the major components to move freely and easily. It’s vital that you replace your engine oil regularly or top-up when necessary. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the correct specification and amount you need. Repco stocks a variety of engine oils in different grades. Learn more about how oil works in a car’s engine.

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Replace your worn windscreen wiper blades
Are your wipers skipping and hoping across your windscreen? Wiper blades are made of rubber and will deteriorate over time. They’ll become brittle and even tear so it’s a good idea to replace your wiper blades if this is the case.

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Sunshades
Keep your car cool during summer with sunshade to prevent your dashboard and steering wheel from becoming unbearably hot.

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Get a new head unit
Good music is as important to driving as fuel and inflated tyres but sometimes trying to connect your iPod or MP3 player can be a messy task. There’s always those ugly wires, radio interference, and whatever else preventing you from blasting your favourite tunes. Upgrade to a head unit which has Bluetooth-streaming capabilities which allows you to stream your music, make hands-free calls and that overall better sound quality.

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Car care products
Fix those light door scratches that have always annoyed you or stock up with a bottle of car wash to keep your pride and joy nice and shiny. See our tips for washing your car.

Seat covers and floor mats
Are your car seats hopelessly stained or just plain ugly? Keep the kids, friends, or pets from messing up your interior with a pair of new car seat covers or floor mats.

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Dash cams
Having a dash cam can give you the peace of mind of knowing that the facts will speak for themselves in the event of a collision. These days dash cams are becoming increasingly popular but also affordable. You can pick one up for under $100.

If you could fix one thing on your car, what would it be?

*T&C’s apply. For full terms and conditions please see offer page.

 

Ask NRMA: Can you use a mobile phone while supervising a learner driver?

An NRMA Member recently asked: “When instructing a learner driver, is the supervisor permitted to use a mobile phone? I myself have a teenager who is only just starting out and I would NOT use my phone regardless of the law.” 

SDS

HANDS OFF IT: Avoid using the radio, mobile phone or talking to other passengers while a learner is practising.

Answer: There is no specific rule that says it is illegal for a Supervisor to use a mobile phone while instructing a learner, however Section 16(a) of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2008 states:

A person accompanying a learner in a vehicle being driven by the learner on a road or road related area (other than a person submitting the learner to a driving test for any of the purposes of this Regulation) must:

(a)  supervise the learner with respect to the driving of the vehicle, 

(b)  take all reasonable precautions to prevent a contravention of the road transport legislation.

It would appear that a supervisor texting, talking on a mobile phone or performing another function on a phone would arguably result in the supervisor not supervising the learner driver and the supervisor could receive a fine of $108.00 with no demerit points for breach of this section.

It should also be noted that a supervisor of a learner driver is also responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to prevent a contravention of the road transport legislation as per Section 16(b) of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2008.

Being distracted while using a mobile phone could also result in the Supervisor receiving a fine fine of $108.00 with no demerit points under this section, if the Learner driver being supervised were to breach a NSW Road Rule.

What do you think?

The information contained on this webpage is provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. 

While we endeavour to ensure the information is complete and up to date, we make no warranties as to the accuracy or any other aspect of the information and accept no responsibility for any loss or damage you may suffer as a result or your reliance on any part of it. Links to other websites are inserted for convenience only and do not constitute endorsement of material on those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.

Related content:

How to help your Learner Driver
Do parents make good driving instructors?
Mobile phones and driving
Changes for L and P plate drivers

7 tips for a stress-free journey to the airport

Whether you are driving, getting a lift or taking public transport, sitting in traffic or looking for parking while your plane waits at the airport is a nerve wracking experience.

Flughafen Sydney

The Christmas and New-Year period is the busiest time of year for airports, with passengers flying to spend the holidays with their friends and families.

However, there are some steps you can take to make the journey to your destination as stress-free as it can be:

1. Plan ahead and factor in traffic peaks

During the holidays, Sydney traffic is often lighter. However, travellers should not assume they will have a clear run to the airport as bottlenecks usually develop on the approach, which need to be accounted for in time planning. Check out Live Traffic NSW for updates for roadworks, incident reports and live traffic information.

Google maps can also suggest the best route to avoid traffic, so it’s worth checking it before leaving. Ensure that the car has enough fuel to avoid any necessary delays filling up. If you do need to fill up, use the my nrma app to find the cheapest fuel on your route.

2. Pre-book your parking

The last thing you want to see before boarding your flight is the “Car Park FULL” sign, so it’s best to pre-book beforehand and save on parking. Use the parking function of the my nrma app to find the best parking spots.

We’ve also teamed up with Park & Fly to offer Members 20%* off airport parking so it’s a great time to make use of your Member benefits. You can drop your car off with valet style parking and when you’re good to go, catch one of the on demand shuttles to the Domestic or International terminal.

3. Check over your car beforehand

A holiday drive can quickly become a journey to forget if your car is not prepared. It’s a good idea to check your tyre pressure, lubricants and cooling systems before hitting the road. We recommend Members book their cars in for a regular service with a trusted mechanic at an NRMA Car Servicing centre – this is the best way to spot potential disasters and fix them before they cause any drama.

4. Prepare for crowds

Prepare yourself for long queues if you’re travelling on or around the peak days outlined above and plan to get to the airport well before your flight.

For international flights, aim to arrive three hours before your departure time and two hours for domestic flights. Allow additional time for procedures such as Customs and security screening during and put any metal items such as watches, phones, keys and coins into your hand luggage to save time at screening.

The best thing you can do to manage stress is arrive to your boarding gate early and grab some refreshments before you board your flight.

5. Use time-saving options

Take advantage of online check-in, self-service check-in kiosks or automatic bag-drops offered by your airline and save yourself a lot of standing around at the airport. There will still be a queue for bag drop-off but it tends to move fairly quickly.

6. Travel insurance check

It’s quite astounding how many of us still don’t take out travel insurance when travelling overseas. In fact, in the last 12 months 843,291 Australian adults travelled overseas without insurance*. But if there was ever a time to take out NRMA travel insurance, the peak Christmas travel season is it, especially if you’re carrying gifts.

NRMA’s travel insurance cover includes medical expenses, unforeseen delays and cancellations, lost luggage, travel documents and more. Get a competitive quote today.

7. International Driving Permits

If you’re going overseas, it’s a good idea to get yourself an International Driving Permit (IDP) – sometimes referred to as an international drivers licence. You may need one to rent or drive a vehicle, and they’re also recognised as valid identification in over 150 countries. Get yours now.

*Survey of Australians’ Travel Insurance Behaviour: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – August 2016

Think twice this holiday season

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Image courtesy of NSW Police Force Facebook

We remind motorists that double demerits apply from Friday 23 December 2016 to Monday 2 January 2017 inclusive. Please drive safely and take extra care on the roads. 

If you are planning a road trip this break, download the my nrma app first. You can use it to find the cheapest fuel on your route, order roadside assistance and find parking.

Also, as of 4 January 2016 the standard penalty for mobile phone offences rose to four demerit points. Since the end of last year, mobile phone offences have been included in double demerit periods. This means those caught talking or texting illegally while driving during this long weekend will incur eight demerit points – a huge amount when the threshold on unrestricted licences is 13 points.

The double demerit point scheme now applies for the following types of offences:

  • Speeding
  • Illegal use of mobile phones
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Riding without a helmet

The scheme is designed to encourage safe and responsible driving. Working in conjunction with financial penalties, demerit points provide a strong incentive to drive within the law.

Double demerit periods were introduced in 1997 in NSW. By law, double demerit periods must be advertised and awareness campaigns are co-ordinated with traditional enforcement and increased police numbers. See the RMS Demerits points page for a full rundown of offences and penalties.

Do you think the Double Demerits scheme is an effective way of preventing dangerous driving?

Car Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

The NRMA has been around for a while now, and during our time we’ve picked up some simple car hacks.

1. Use cereal containers to keep your car food rubbish in, this eliminates odors and keep your vehicle looking clean and tidy.
Car container

2. Keep you backseat fur free by placing a blanket over the seats. It keeps all the fur in one place and it also make it quick and easy to clean. While you drive your furry friend around don’t forget how to keep you pets safe while driving.

3. Clean your air vents with cotton buds to remove dirt and dust that may be making your air conditioning musty, for an enjoyable scent, place a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oils between the front vents.

4. Locate fuel and parking in your area with the new my nrma app. Remember P1 & P2 drivers can no longer use mobile devices while driving a vehicle.

5. Do you always forget where you parked in the parking building? Simply take a picture on your smartphone of the closest painted level and section signage.

6. Make sure your vehicles tyres are always properly inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Air is free at most fuel stations, and helps your vehicle perform more efficiently and use less fuel.

7. Forgotten which side of the car the fuel cap is? Many car makes have a small arrow on the dashboard next to the fuel gauge which points to the side you’ll find the fuel tank.
fuel gauge

8. Have the convenience of tissues in the car without a big box sliding around. Easily create a DIY tissue dispenser by placing the tissues in a recycled coffee cup and keep in a cup holder.

9. This one is from our Facebook; easily take keys on and off key rings using a staple remover, never break a nail again!

NRMA Car Hacks

Do you have any special car hacks of your own?