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Tug of war between SUVs and climate

There is a tug of war going on between vehicles we are supposed to be driving – small, electric – and vehicles we want to drive – big, conventional. Some 200 million SUVs are on the world’s roads today, up from about 35 million in 2010. Yet the International Energy Agency says SUVs were the second biggest contributor, after the power sector, to increases in global emissions of CO2. Growing demand for SUVs could even negate all the environmental benefits of electric cars. Read More

Total recalls – they keep going up

Did you know car recalls in Australia have tripled in 7 years to 2019? Manufacturers recalled some 230 vehicles in 2019, not including the Takata airbag crisis. Have we lost the ability to manufacture quality cars? If a brand new car still has loose wheel nuts, is it safe to buy a new car? Read More

Buying a car still needs the personal touch

Sales of new vehicles in Australia have been tumbling for 18 consecutive months. This means car dealers really have to know what their customers want when buying a car. A recent survey suggests they could learn more about their needs and the channels they prefer to use. For example, are we actually ready to buy cars online? Read More

The real costs of owning a car

Do you know the total costs of owning your car? Royal Automobile Association (RAA) says the average weekly cost of running a car in 2019 is $228, up from $218 in 2018. While most people need their vehicle only 5% of the time, it still costs them around $12,000 a year. Read More

Car sales are down, car loans are up

Australians pay more than $1.4 million in interest on car loans every day and owe $148 billion in consumer debt. They borrowed more than $8 billion in 2017 alone to buy new cars, mostly SUVs and light commercials. Now the shine is going off both car sales and car debt. Read More

Peak Car: Are we getting out of cars?

There was a time when all cars ran on combustion engines, we all desired to own one and we drove our own exclusively. All that is changing. Private car sales in all western countries will plateau and plummet. Transport will transform. Peak Car is the time when many people will finally get out of their cars. Read More

Car bans

Would you give up using your car in exchange for travel credit? A local trial in the UK is about to find out. It’s a subtle, typically British move towards nudging cars off the road. Many cities in the world have already moved towards car bans, for example, Vancouver has already met its 2020 active transit target. Meanwhile, Sydney has done nothing. Read More

The changing role of car dealerships

Buying a new car is a very different process from what it used to be. Online shopping sites have not only put retailers out of business, but created new expectations about how we buy cars. In Australia, there are 3,500 dealerships, some owned by families and some by larger businesses. Is there still a role for the dealership? Read More

How much are you influenced by car ads?

If we were not influenced by car ads, the industry would not pay for them. It’s the fourth largest spender in Australia on TV advertising ($341.5 million in 2016). However, some ads walk a fine line between promoting an exciting car and encouraging speeding or reckless driving. This is where the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) steps in. Read More

Truck driving is a dangerous job

Driving a truck may be one of the most dangerous jobs in Australia. Yet there could be double the number of trucks on the roads in the next 20 years. A Macquarie University study in 2017 found truckies work long hours, are afraid to refuse an unsafe schedule or load, and are wary of losing work. Read More