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MAINTAINING YOUR VEHICLE PART II

Keeping your vehicle regularly maintained and serviced not only ensures that it remains in excellent condition, costing you less upkeep, but it also increases the resale value come time to upgrade to a newer model. 

In Part I, we mentioned the first 5 things you can do regularly to keep your vehicle in excellent condition. In Part II, we mention the next 5:

• Continuously monitor oil levels – Oil is what essentially keeps your vehicle running smoothly. Make sure you check the oil levels regularly (about once a week) and ensure that you change your oil around every 5000kms or 6 months, whichever comes first. 

• Keep your interior clean – While this may seem like an obvious thing to do, with busy schedules and running around, you could be going weeks without cleaning the inside of your vehicle. The interior is often the deal breaker when it comes to selling your vehicle, so regular vacuums and washes can help keep it looking new and fresh. 

• Deal with dents and scratches right away – A small scratch or dent here or there may not be very noticeable off the bat, however, over the years these could add up, leaving your vehicle looking worse for wear. Make sure that, wherever possible, you fix any dents and scratches as and when they happen. 

• Rotate your tyres – Making sure your wheels are aligned (as mentioned in Part I) is one thing, but don’t forget to rotate your tyres regularly too. This helps ensure that the tyres sustain wear evenly which in the long run extends their lifespan. 

• Always make use of trusted mechanics – should your vehicle need to go to a mechanic for whatever reason, make sure that you always use reputable mechanics who are trusted in the industry. You could ask around for recommendations, visit your nearest vehicle make dealership or read reviews online. 

Paying attention to these 10 tips will ensure your vehicle stays in the best condition so that you can enjoy a smooth drive for longer, as well as a good return on investment when the time comes to sell. 

If you have any more tips that we haven’t yet mentioned, share them with us below! 

MAINTAINING YOUR VEHICLE PART I

Keeping your vehicle regularly maintained and serviced not only ensures it remains in excellent condition, costing you less upkeep, but it also increases the resale value come time to upgrade to a newer model. 

Here are 5 things you can do regularly to keep your vehicle in excellent condition:

  • Service your vehicle regularly – almost every manufacturer has recommended services scheduled according to year or kms travelled in which they service certain aspects of the vehicle. Make sure you stick to the allocated services and wherever possible, try to go to the manufacturer itself to ensure original parts are used. 
  • Keep inspecting your vehicle regularly yourself – get to know your vehicle and the indicators for when something goes wrong. If warning lights go on, address them immediately; if something feels off, get it looked at sooner rather than later. This will avoid further problems down the line. 
  • Check your tyre tread regularly – tyres can last a long time but when they start disintegrating, they do so quickly so continuously monitor your tyres, checking the tread to ensure that they are aligned with the recommended width. Driving on the road with little to no tread is a recipe for disaster. 
  • Pay attention to wheel alignment – we may overlook the seriousness of wheel alignment as we become used to controlling the pull, however, leaving our wheels unaligned causes further damage to tyres and other areas of the vehicle down the line. Make sure you correct you wheel alignment immediately once you feel it’s unaligned. 
  • Replace windshield wipers – not only do worn windscreen wipers hamper vision during wet weather making it dangerous to be on the roads, but they scratch your windscreen too. Regularly check your windscreen wipers to ensure they’re in good condition and replace them when they start giving in. 

Stay tuned for our next blog post with more maintenance tips to keep your luxury vehicle in the best condition. 

10 Fuel Saving Tips

The petrol and diesel price are set to increase yet again, and so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share 10 fuel-saving tips with you to offset the additional expense.

  • Plan your trips 

Try and plan your errands around a similar route and on one big trip instead of making smaller, regular trips. This avoids you having to drive your car more than needed. 

  • Get rid of additional weight 

The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses, so make sure you’re not carrying around unnecessary, heavy loads, and if possible, remove roof racks, bike racks, etc if they’re not being used. 

  • Use the aircon sparingly 

Your aircon uses quite a bit of fuel every time it’s on, so unless you’re in dire straits with scorching degrees outside, try winding down the windows rather for some fresh air instead of using the aircon.

  • Accelerate smoothly 

Accelerating harshly and pulling off at a speed is doing nothing for your fuel consumption, in fact, it causes you to use up more fuel than necessary. When you’re pulling off or speeding up for whatever reason, make sure you do it gradually and smoothly to save on your fuel.

  • Be a patient driver 

The best way to drive is at a consistent speed (stick to the speed limit) and in the highest gear, so if you’re a patient, consistent driver and avoid speeding up regularly or aggressive driving, you’ll use less fuel and save yourself some money.

  • Make sure your tyre pressure is correct 

The lower your tyre pressure, the more fuel used to move your car. Make sure you know what your tyre pressure should be and regularly check your tyres (at least twice a week, more if you travel often), filling them when necessary.

  • Go easy on your brakes 

Much like acceleration, braking too aggressively and suddenly can have a negative impact on your fuel consumption. When approaching to stop, give yourself time to slow down gradually so that you just need to touch the brakes to stop.

  • Car pool with friends and colleagues 

To save on additional fuel costs, why not car pool with colleagues, friends or family going to the same place or taking a regular route to you and split the costs. This not only saves on costs and fuel consumption, but on your car’s mileage and wear and tear too.

  • Service your car regularly 

Believe it or not, keeping your car in good condition with regular services can help save on fuel consumption and costs too, so make sure you don’t skip out on your required services. 

  • Close your windows 

If you don’t need the fresh air, ensure your windows are closed while traveling (especially far distances) as the wind creates more drag, making your car heavier and therefore impacting your fuel consumption. Remember, a lighter car uses less fuel. 

Insurance – Make it work for you!

So, you’ve bought your dream car. Now what? 

Before even driving your car off of the dealership floor, you’re going to want to insure it first. If you’ve financed the car, then this will be a prerequisite anyway. 

Insurance, while some may see it as a grudge purchase, is an important financial safety net should something ever happen to your car, but the premiums are not always a welcomed expense. Having said this, there are ways you can qualify for a lower premium and we’ve listed them below for you. 

  • Shop around 

Insurance premiums vary from company to company so it may benefit you to shop around and get quotes from different insurers and then compare costs and benefits to find the best option. This is where Insurance Brokers come in handy. They’ll source quotes from a number of different insurers for you, taking out the hassle and finding you the cheapest option, best suited for your risk. 

  • Include your household insurance 

Most of the time, you can benefit from a better premium if you include your household cover under one policy, as well as any additional cars and cover you need (i.e. commercial insurance). So, bring all of your insurance needs under one group, and possibly benefit from a reduced premium. 

  • Become a better driver 

Insurers are making use of the latest technology to incorporate driving programmes into their policies whereby good driving behaviour rewards them in the form of cheaper premiums or cash back rewards. Find out what your insurer offers and then take advantage of the programme by improving the way you drive. 

  • Avoid claims 

While claiming may sometimes be inevitable, you should at all costs try and keep your claim record as low as possible. The higher your claims, the higher your risk and therefore the higher your premium. A good track record will get you a much lower premium and if your insurer has a NCB (no claim bonus) incentive, you could be rewarded for a low claim record too. 

  • Take an advanced driving course 

Some insurers will lower premiums if you’ve been on an advanced driving course. Investigate the costs involved and what difference it may make to your premium and then weigh up your options. 

  • Opt for a higher excess

While this comes with its own risks, you can opt for a higher excess (first amount payable BY YOU in the event of a claim) which will decrease your monthly premium. This will benefit you if you never have to claim, but be cautious. Make sure the excess is affordable should you need to submit a claim and have to pay it. 

Safe driving!

Winter Tips

Winter is fast approaching which means colder weather, darker mornings, icy roads and a lot more fog and mist – sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Whatever your take on winter, it’s important to understand that our vehicles take a bit of a beating during these next couple of months, so knowing how to prep them correctly and give them a little extra TLC will come in handy. 

We’ve rounded up five easy to do steps to ensure your vehicle is winter ready, whether you’re car savvy or not.  

  1. Get your vehicle serviced

This should be done regularly according to kms travelled and years owned. However, if possible, schedule one right before winter too, in order to ensure your vehicle is ready to withstand the winter months. 

  1. Check the battery 

Due to the increased use of lights, heaters and other vehicle accessories during winter, your battery takes more of a beating. Make sure you give it a once over before the start of winter to ensure it can handle the additional strain. 

  1. Check your tyres 

Although we don’t experience snow in South Africa, our roads are wet and icy due to frost and dew in the mornings. Make sure your tyres are in good condition with enough tread. Tread is recommended to be at least 3mm in winter months for better grip. 

  1. Clean your lights 

You’ll be using your lights more often with darker mornings and afternoons, as well as limited vision due to fog and mist. Make sure they’re clean and that none of the bulbs have blown. These include your indicators and any reflectors. 

  1. Top up your anti-freeze 

Check your anti-freeze level to ensure your vehicle doesn’t overheat and make sure to top up with more if necessary. It should be a 50/50 mix with water. You can test this while the engine is cold or take it to your local garage to check for you. 

Added tip – if possible, keep your vehicle under shelter or in a garage at night. If this isn’t possible, try and invest in a shield to cover. 

If looking out for any of the above doesn’t come naturally to you, you don’t have to worry, take your vehicle to a professional who will be happy to assist. 

Drive safely! 

PURCHASING A PRE-OWNED LUXURY VEHICLE PART II: THE HOW

In Part I, we covered the why (not that you needed much convincing). In Part II, we’re covering the how. 

Purchasing a pre-owned vehicle is a daunting task on its own. Make it a luxury vehicle and a little more you have to splash out and it can become even more daunting. You want to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth and spending money on a vehicle in good nick, we get it. 

So we chatted to some of our salesman for their advice on what to look out for and pay attention to when it comes to purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, and then summed it up into the following three important aspects.

Do Your Research 

Know what vehicle you want, what you can afford and what you’re actually looking for in a vehicle, then research, research, research! 

What are the pros and cons? What is its average lifespan? What features does it boast? How does it fare compared to other luxury vehicles in its price range? What warranty programmes are included? What do the maintenance costs look like? Etc. 

Read reviews and make sure you know all about the vehicle you’re wanting to purchase so that you can make an independently informed decision. 

Play Inspector 

Buying a luxury vehicle isn’t a cheap purchase so make sure that what you’re buying is in good condition. You need to know the following and ask your salesman about:

  • Previous owners 
  • Service history 
  • Previous accidents 
  • Mileage 
  • Overall condition 
  • Previous use 
  • Recent repairs 

Be meticulous in these checks. Take your time and ask as many questions as possible, you’re allowed to. You can also ask for documentation to certify the above points. If the salesman can’t produce it, be sceptical. 

If you’re still not 100% sure, get an independent, certified third party to inspect the vehicle too and provide you with a report. 

Test Drive 

It’s all good and well looking at the vehicle and everything seems to be fine, but you drive away from the dealership and the problems start revealing themselves one by one. It’s therefore essential to test drive the vehicle before purchasing it. 

Listen our for any unusual sounds and squeals, pay attention to how it drives (are there any vibrations, rattles or bumps), check the alignment and play around with everything – get comfortable with the vehicle. 

You need to make sure that you’re happy with the fact that this will be your vehicle for the next couple of years. Don’t be afraid to test drive the vehicle more than once. 

Finally, and this one is important so we threw it in, for free! Make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable dealership, experienced in what they do and trusted in the industry, and then make sure you query about their warranties and after-sales services. 

At Pharoah, we’re specialists in pre-owned luxury vehicles and have built firm, trusted relationships with high-end, exclusive brands to offer the highest quality pre-owned luxury vehicles. 

It’s not just about the sale for us. It’s the process of welcoming you to the Pharoah family and matching you up with your dream vehicle. 

Start your journey today. 

PURHCASING A PRE-OWNED LUXURY VEHICLE PART I: THE WHY

It promises a seamless, powerful drive, boasts a timeless, elegant beauty and leaves you with a sense of pure satisfaction and elation; but if that’s not convincing enough for you, here are a few more practical reasons as to why purchasing a pre-owned luxury vehicle is a good move for you. 

Pre-owned Warranty Programmes 

You’re not left to fend for yourself when things go wrong. Believing in offering a valued service and looking after their clients, high-end brands usually offer pre-owned warranties and extended warranties (even years down the line) to ensure your vehicle doesn’t cost you an arm and leg to keep running. 

Less Depreciation 

The first owner took the biggest hit, and while this depreciation hit may vary from model and brand, you can be pretty certain that a new vehicle will depreciate quicker over the same period of time than a pre-owned one would. Your value for money is therefore higher, wouldn’t you agree?

Built to Last 

High-end vehicles are good, solid machines that have been built to last. Sure, you’re spending slightly more than you would on an economical vehicle, but the chances of faults are slim and the differences are more often than not incomparable. So, while your initial outlay may look daunting, if you’re looking after your baby, it shouldn’t give you any hassles.

Safety is Not a Question 

Luxury vehicles are built with safety in mind, first introducing many of the safety features we see in most vehicles these days. A pre-owned luxury vehicle will more than likely still have more safety features that far outweigh a new economical vehicle, despite technological innovations. This is because high-end brands are in a better position to invest in safety. 

More Bang for your Buck 

The quality, the comfort, the features, the innovation (to name a few) far outweigh the money you’ve spent or what you may get for a brand-new economical vehicle. And you just can’t argue with that. A pre-owned luxury vehicle is still of a higher quality than most vehicles on the road. There’s simply no substitute for luxury, style, and class.

Cause You’ve Damn Well Earned It 

We just threw this one in as an extra point but we don’t need to elaborate much. You’ve worked hard and you’ve sacrificed, so why not spoil yourself?

Convinced you yet? Check out our virtual showroom to find a pre-owned luxury vehicle suited to you, then get in touch for a test drive!

A Preview of the Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato

After it was announced last year that Aston Martin and Zagato would be collaborating for a limited run of amazing cars only to be sold in pairs, we have all been waiting in anticipation for a preview of these beasts (well I know I have). They will launch a DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and a DBS GT Zagato, together named the DBZ Centenary Collection, and we finally have a taste of what the DBS GT will look like.

The model is based on Aston Martin DBS Superleggera and is in celebration of the Italian design house Zagato’s 100th anniversary. The basic shape of the Superleggara is there but Zagato’s design has definitely pushed this car to the next level of style, sophistication and all around breathtaking beauty.

The DBZ Centenary Collection, marking a 60 year Aston Martin/Zegato partnership, will start at around £6 million (approx. R114 000 000) and only 19 pairs of these beauties will be available from the fourth quarter of 2020.

Sources for Facts:
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/aston-martin-dbs-gt-zagato-renderings/
https://www.autoblog.com/2019/03/25/aston-martin-dbs-gt-zagato-previewed-in-renderings/

Loadshedding, Electric Vehicles and Musk

Loadshedding… the word on everyone in South Africa’s minds, but what does it mean for electric cars and their growth in the country? The reality is that, as South Africa still generates power from coal, the ‘green’ factor of electric vehicles doesn’t really apply. Your carbon footprint isn’t reduced dramatically by purchasing an electric car, in fact, an electric vehicle can draw the same amount of energy it takes to add three houses to the grid.

South Africa currently has three purely electric vehicles available, the Jaguar i-Pace, the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3 and with Shell announcing that it will launch its first electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, we will surely see more of these vehicles come to market in the near future. The concern about the power utility (we all know the name) and their ability to supply power is a very real one. 

With the Tesla Model 3 said to be coming to SA in 2019, this may be the answer to the consumer who is in the market for an EV but doesn’t want the hassle of not knowing whether or not their car will be able to be charged. Tesla’s solution is their Powerwall – a compact, wall-mounted home battery that stores electricity from solar panels and can then power your household after sunset, serving as a backup electricity supply. This would give the consumer a little more peace of mind if they are set on an EV. 

A little more info on the Tesla Model 3 – for about a half a mil, you will get a fully electric, sporty, attractive vehicle that can travel up to 347km on a single charge and goes 0-95kn per hour in under six seconds. It is designed to achieve a five star safety rating and it has autopilot software. 

We are a little ways off from electric vehicles taking over the market but the future is on it’s way, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, by the year 2040, one in every three new cars sold will be electric.  

Sources for facts… 

https://www.wheels24.co.za/News/Guides_and_Lists/loadshedding-what-if-theres-no-power-to-charge-my-car-sa-motorists-remain-sceptical-about-electric-vehicles-poll-20190320

Mercedes Benz Electric Future – The EQ Range

To quote Malcolm X, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

In anticipation of our future, Mercedes ideated and announced the new all-electric EQ range. Valuing emotion and intelligence, the name EQ (emotional quotient/intelligence) hits home because these future-proof machines are geared towards the wellbeing of future generations. And though we could argue that they’re a little late to the party here, it may have been a wise move…

Rapid advances in lithium battery technology are extending periods of travel and shortening how long it takes for batteries to recharge. With that in mind, it would make total sense that this new EQ range will be a cut above competitors like BMW’s ‘i’ range – though only time will tell. Besides, the infrastructure in place to enable charging is very much in its infancy. And if the voltage coming through those charging cables derives from coal-powered turbines, there’s not much point anyway.

For South Africans, innovations like the EQ range are only relevant to those who have both the financial means to outlay a lot of money initially and who have a real determination to minimise their carbon footprint. Investing in solar panels used for charging at home would be a supporting example of an initially capital-heavy outlay which more than pays for itself if you’re willing to wait a while.

So the EQ range is not going to be for everyone. But nevertheless – the first member of the family, the EQC SUV is set to release internationally in mid-2019. The EQC boasts a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds, a 480km range and just 40 minutes to get from 10% to 80% charged.

In all fairness to BMW’s i series, the EQC’s time to charge is actually in line with it.

So yes, Mercedes is late to the party. Fashionably late…

Disguised as an alien spacecraft, the EQC was previewed at the Paris Motor Show in 2016 – displaying Mercedes’ ambition to energise the market for emission-free luxury vehicles. This was also where Mercedes announced it intends on producing 10 EQ models by 2022, three of which will carry the Smart brand.

We can tell Mercedes really mean business here because their target for the EQ range is for it to make up 15-25% of their global sales by 2025. To meet production targets, Mercedes’ Holding brand, Daimler AG, is actually investing €1 Billion for expansion on its battery production facilities and up to €10 Billion for design and development of the EQ range.

We’re certainly intrigued by Mercedes’ new venture and for the sake of generations to come, we look forward to a more electric future.

But for now – we’ll enjoy the grunt that a 2017 GLE43 or 2016 G63 AMG delivers.

 

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