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Car Insurance

10 Aug 2021

This article was written in partnership with carsales.com.au. Carsales is the largest online automotive business in Australia, attracting more people interested in buying or selling cars.


Life lessons on cars

Keeping your car well maintained is one of the easiest ways to minimise breakdowns and accidents.

A car is generally the second most expensive purchase – apart from a house – that most people will ever make.

This means taking care of your car and preparing for unexpected events is almost as important as keeping the roof on your home.

Unfortunately, most mainstream vehicles don’t appreciate in value like a house, but there’s every reason to invest the same attention in care and maintenance to avoid spending more than you should over the lifetime of ownership.

Keeping your car in tip-top condition has numerous long-term benefits, so here are some ‘life lessons’ to take into account in order to protect you and your vehicle.

Maintenance

It might sound obvious, but ensuring your vehicle remains in proper working order and following the recommended servicing schedule will not only extend its useable life but make it perform better, which means it’s easier to avoid any potential incidents.
 

Parking

Not every incident happens when you’re driving on the road. Sometimes damage can be caused while navigating carparks and when the car is parked.

With the former, having a car with front and rear parking sensors, or better still a camera view on the display screen, will help prevent bumping into bollards or other unsighted carpark objects.

As the popularity of large SUVs and dual-cab utes has increased dramatically in recent years, it has become almost impossible to see around them while reversing out of tight spaces. Having a vehicle fitted with rear-cross traffic alert, or rear autonomous emergency braking, helps the driver navigate around obstructions and may assist in avoiding car park incidents.

No matter what, make sure you don’t leave any valuable items – or at least visible – in the vehicle when it is unattended. This prevents any temptation for thieves to break into the car.

Finally, parking your vehicle in a secure undercover location whenever possible is the best way to prevent damage from extreme weather events. If you are a Woolworths Car Insurance customer and you have your mobile number listed on the policy, you can opt-in to receive weather alerts. If there is a greater than 50 per cent chance of hail in your area or if the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning, an SMS will be sent which gives you a chance to move your car.

Tyres

Your tyres are the only point of contact between the car and the road, so it is critically important to have them in the best possible condition.

For starters, regularly check the tyres are inflated to the recommended pressures as this will ensure the vehicle brakes, steers and corners effectively and that all the supplementary safety systems like the anti-skid brakes and stability control work at their optimum.

Secondly, make sure the tyres have enough tread depth as this is critical for their performance in wet weather, and that they are wearing evenly.

Any sign of uneven wear – if the tyres are bald only on the outer edge, for example – could indicate the vehicle’s suspension and steering system is out of alignment, which, again, effects the car’s performance.

Crash-avoidance technology

If you’re looking to buy a new car, there have been some rapid advances in technology recently with the introduction of standard semi-autonomous crash-avoidance features such as autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control.

All of these systems are linked together using a complex array of sensors, radars and cameras to essentially give the car an omnipotent view of its surroundings and will automatically slow, stop and steer the car to avoid an incident without the driver’s input.

Some more advanced vehicles even have eyes on the driver to detect whether they are fatigued or inattentive and will display an alert and sound an alarm to prompt them back to the task of driving safely.

So, when choosing your next new car, look at the safety specifications and make sure they tick as many boxes as possible.

Know how your car works

No matter how safe your car is – whether it has none or all of those latest semi-autonomous crash-avoidance systems and five-star safety ratings – there is nothing more effective in avoiding damage to your car, or anybody else’s, than fully understanding the capabilities of your vehicle by experiencing how each of the safety systems operate in an emergency situation and knowing what to do to avoid an accident in the first place.

There is nothing that can compensate for being a better driver.
 

Pay attention

Driving is a task that most of us take for granted, especially among the grind of everyday commuting which is where the majority of unnecessary incidents occur.

So, even if you’re stuck in a slow-moving traffic jam, keep your eyes on the road, and the traffic further ahead, and remain alert.
 

Plan your road trip

When you’re not driving on a familiar stretch of road, such as taking a family holiday to a new destination, a little research before you leave could go a long way.

At the very least, knowing how far away you have to go, and how long it will take, ensures everyone is prepared before you leave.

It also allows you to plan for rest breaks at interesting stopovers along the way, have an alternative route if necessary and also an understanding of any unique road conditions that might require special preparation, such as carrying snow chains to the ski fields in winter.

Consider car insurance

Be prepared for the unexpected events with car insurance. Car insurance can help cover accidental loss or damage to your vehicle, other people's vehicles and property depending on the policy type.

When it comes to comparing every available option, it can be a time-consuming exercise. That’s why Woolworths Car Insurance offers a wide range of cover including Comprehensive, Drive Less Pay Less (Comprehensive), Third Party Fire & Theft, and Third Party Property Damage policies so you can choose a policy suitable for you.


So, there you go; some simple life lessons on car ownership that will help ensure your vehicle stays in great shape.



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Article originally published on carsales.com.au.

Benefits are subject to the terms and conditions including the limits and exclusions of the insurance policy. Any advice provided is general only and may not be right for you. Before you purchase this product you should carefully read the Car Insurance Product Disclosure Statement and consider the Target Market Determination to decide if it is right for you.