8 Reasons Not To Miss Australia’s Best Cars

This Thursday, Australia’s Best Cars are revealed in Sydney. It’s a huge day on the Australian motoring calendar, where car buyers and manufacturers discover the year’s best cars, as judged by an independent panel of motoring experts from Australia’s seven car clubs.

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There are eight key factors that make Australia’s Best Cars stand out as the nation’s most important car awards program, and make the all new Best Car tool (see below) an essential resource for car buyers.

1. Independent: Australia’s Best Cars is the most objective car assessment program in Australia. Unlike other award programs, ABC is wholly funded by the Australian Motoring Clubs and does not rely on advertising revenue. Therefore, the results are based on pure data, resulting from rigorous, independent testing with no external influences or bias.

2. Transparent: ABC is the only awards program in the country, and one of the only in the world, that has total transparency across the judging process. All scores are published for our Members, the wider public and manufacturers to scrutinise.

3. Expert: ABC’s 12 judges have more than 141 years of road testing experience, combined with backgrounds in vehicle engineering, vehicle testing and motoring advice.

4. Comprehensive: ABC evaluates 180 eligible cars on the market (not just new cars for that year) over a wide range of criteria. The testing takes place on 3000 kilometres of driving trackon on bitumen, dirt and off road. There is a yearlong evaluation period to develop the shortlist of 45 finalists.

5. Detailed:  Under the three headings Value for MoneyDesign and Function, and On the Road, there are up to eight criteria. Each criterion is given a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best score possible, the higher the score the better. The program’s strength is its numbers – there is a number scored for every criteria and the total shows why each car won.

6. Consistent:  The Driving centre at The Australian Automotive Research Centre Test Facility, in Anglesea, Victoria gives the judges repeatability – allowing the same car to be driven over same piece of road.

7. Practical: The ABC uses criteria our Members value, ensuring relevance to the Aussie car buyer. The scores for each criterion are weighted according to their importance to buyers and vary by category. Each year, every car in the program is re-evaluated and we compile and publish in-depth scoring tables so we can give Members a valuable, up to date, reference point that is especially useful if you’re looking to purchase a new car.

8. Influential: The panel of expert judges have a genuine impact on the future of the automotive industry and manufacturers have previously made improvements to their vehicles based on feedback from the program. ABC operates to the benefit of consumers with the Motoring Clubs investing each year to promote safe and affordable motoring.

This year, the NRMA is launching a new Best Cars tool that packages the data from the Australia’s Best Cars Awards program into a portal that allows you to choose the Best Car for you. The new website allows Members to select the criteria that best suits your needs and will re-sort the cars in each category based on your preferences. The Best Car website will go live at midday on Thursday February 25 after the official results are announced. To access the site head to Australia’s Best Cars and follow the link.

How cars are rated to win Australia’s Best Cars

Behind-the-scenes of Australia’s Best Cars

Down and dirty – off-road at Australia’s Best Cars testing

Do you have The NRMA‘s legendary Road Assist? Don’t get caught without it.

- Renew your NRMA Membership - Join the NRMA - Find more about Membership options

How to stay safe when your car overheats

We remind motorists to be wary of the potential dangers associated with overheating vehicles and advise following these simple steps to stay safe. 

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Our roadside patrols have reported an increase in jobs where Members’ vehicles overheat, leading to breakdown.

More than 28 per cent of NRMA callouts in the 12 months to October were for overheated engines.There have been at least five incidences over the past 10 months of people hurting themselves when trying to open the bonnet or remove a radiator cap.

“As we move into the warmer months it’s becoming even more important to remind members not to touch or open anything under the bonnet in any breakdown situation” says NRMA Roadside Manager, Robert Younes.

A vehicle running normally has some very hot components in the engine bay. Although it is rare with modern engines, even a well-tuned vehicle can overheat. If this happens, you should not touch the engine, and never attempt to remove the radiator cap.

The first sign of a vehicle overheating is when the needle on your car’s temperature gauge enters the red zone or the “Check Engine” or “Temperature” warning light on your dashboard illuminates.

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Left alone, the liquid in the radiator eventually boils and steam will rise from under the bonnet. If these indicators are present, follow these simple steps.

  1. Pull over to a safe location as soon as overheating is detected. Continuing to drive, even for a short distance, could greatly increase damage.
  2. Call the NRMA and our call centre staff will dispatch a road service patrol to assist.
  3. While waiting for a patrol, do not open the bonnet. It is very dangerous to remove the radiator cap from a hot engine. A severely overheated engine can take several hours to cool. Do not touch or try to remove any engine components.

If a vehicle requires towing after overheating, it is because it has suffered or is suspected of suffering major damage and the cause could not be found or fixed at the roadside.

Regular checks of your car’s cooling system and proper servicing will significantly reduce the risk of overheating.

During days of extremely hot weather, the NRMA may receive a higher than normal volume of calls. Extra resources are rostered on the phone and out on the roadside to help cope with the demand. Avoid the call queue and use our app to book Roadside Assistance: http://mynr.ma/app

Warning: Members burnt by overheating cars

9 Tips To Save You Fuel

Keep a smile on your fuel dial by committing these ten expert tips to memory. Fuelsaving

  1. Shop around – Download the mynrma app to find the cheapest real time fuel prices in your area.
  2. Refuel when prices are low – not when your tank is empty.
  3. Avoid hard acceleration and braking – Flow with the traffic – smooth driving can reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.
  4. Watch your speed – Keep in the left lane if travelling below the limit.
  5. Lighten the load – Take off roof-racks and bull bars if they’re not needed. Remove golf clubs or tools if you’re not using them.
  6. Tyre pressure – Keep pressure towards the top of the manufacturer’s recommended range. Under-inflated tyres respond poorly to steering and do not hold well on the road.
  7. Open the windows – When the weather is fine, switch off the air-conditioning. This can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent in urban driving.
  8. Shop smart – Take advantage of the range of petrol offers with companies.
  9. Service your car regularly – Blocked air filters can increase fuel consumption significantly. NRMA car servicing carries out a 40 point Safety Check free as part of every general or log book service.

More on the my nrma app

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Find the cheapest fuel in your area with the my nrma app.

As well as saving you money by helping you find the cheapest fuel, the my nrma app is super-handy if you need roadside assistance or need to order a car battery – and you can even use it to save money with our More4Members partners.

Its available on the App Store and on Google Play.

Have you any fuel saving tips to share? We’d love to hear back from you in the comments?

Indicating is not a courtesy, it’s the law

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ON THE BLINK: Why do some drivers not indicate? Laziness, lack of education, or perhaps sometimes a calculated move to not betray intentions?

When we asked on Facebook what road rule you think other motorists break the most, failure to indicate was mentioned repeatedly. So let’s reopen the discussion around this seemingly lost art.

Indicating is the act of using your indicator lights to show other motorists that you intend to change your course of direction. It is not a courtesy, it is the law. Despite this, road users are being surprised by the movements of motorists who did not indicate.

The Road Rules 2014 state that before changing directions, a driver must give a change of direction signal for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians.

Rule 45, ‘What is changing direction’, of the Road Rules 2014 reads:

(1) A driver changes direction if the driver changes direction to the left or the driver changes direction to the right.

A driver changes direction by doing any of the following:

(a) turning
(b) changing marked lanes
(c) diverging
(d) entering a marked lane, or a line of traffic
(e) moving to the right or left from a stationary position
(f) turning into a marked lane, or a line of traffic, from a median strip parking area
(g) making a U-turn
(h) at a T-intersection where the continuing road curves—leaving the continuing road to proceed straight ahead onto the terminating road.

Failing to indicate can result in on the spot fine of $177 and two demerit points. Indicating correctly is essential for the safety of all road users. You must use your blinker to warn other road users of your movements. Not indicating is dangerous not only at high speeds on motorways but at all times on all roads and in car parks.

Have you encountered the problem of motorists not indicating? Where do you think drivers failing to indicate is most dangerous?

Do you have Road Assist from The NRMA? Don’t get caught without it.

- Renew your NRMA Membership
- Join the NRMA
- Find more about Membership options

Putting trust back into mechanics

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MotorServe Car Mechanics

SERVICE WITH A SMILE: By the end of the year, 25 NRMA MotorServe centres will be open for business. Pictured: NRMA MotorServe South Strathfield Manager, Jason Cimino, and NRMA MotorServe CEO, Elaine McFadzean.

Finding a mechanic you can trust can be hard. Few people know what goes on under a modern bonnet and it can be a challenge to find someone they can trust to do work.

That’s the reason why, eight years ago, NRMA started the MotorServe chain of service centres. It was a business decision driven by Members, who were constantly asking NRMA for help for car repairs and servicing. MotorServe was established to ensure all Members got transparency and peace of mind every time they took their car for a service.

“From the very beginning we have made sure our customers know what is being done to their car and, importantly, how much it is going to cost, says MotorServe CEO Elaine McFadzean.”

“Because we’re NRMA, motorists know that they are getting honest and reliable service and good value for their money.”

Seven Hills was the location of the very first MotorServe; by the end of this year there will be 23 service centres in New South Wales and the ACT.

“We are within 10km of 87% of our Members,” says Ms Fadzean. “We want it to be easy for our Members to reach us.”

Both Members and non-Members can use MotorServe services. However, there are many Member-only savings, with exclusive rates that include essential car servicingLog Book Services, General Repairs, Vehicle Inspections and more.

“We have great facilities and all of our service centres are equipped with the latest technology. Most importantly of all, we have a team of highly skilled mechanics who can deal with even the most complicated mechanical problems, says Elaine McFadzean.

“I regularly visit of our MotorServe service centres and talk to all our mechanics and I can honestly say that all of us are committed to giving our Members the best experience we can.”

The MotorServe Difference

  • Members save 10% on all repairs
  • You approve all work before we start
  • 6 month/10,000km guarantee on any work
  • Log book servicing to manufacturers specs

Call 1300 223 544 to make a booking or visit the Car servicing website.

Apprenticeship program
MotorServe employs almost 240 people and NRMA gives back to local communities by offering a tailored apprenticeship program – a Certificate III in Automotive (Mechanical – Light Vehicle) Apprenticeship Program. Our apprentices have the opportunity to learn more than a trade. They receive practical training that not only equips them with the skills to become great technicians but provides them with genuine career development opportunities.

All training is delivered by experienced automotive technicians. In addition, our apprentices receive personalised support from their in-store workplace coaches and a dedicated apprenticeship team.

For more information about the apprenticeship program, email: apprenticeships@mynrma.com.au.

Where do you service your car?