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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

Old cars, your teens and safety

The average age of vehicles in Australia is higher than the average in developed nations. Yet technology has changed a lot in 10 years and many safety features are only available on newer models. Some groups are urging government to make it easier for people to afford newer vehicles to help stem the rate of road deaths and injuries. Read More

Drive a collapsible vehicle

Imagine if you could take your car anywhere with you – even on the bus or inside your house. A collapsible vehicle may seem like a wild idea, but it is perfect for congested cities, narrow streets or parking at home. These three examples may whet your appetite. Read More

The trouble with cutting emissions

The VW diesel emissions debacle showed the world it was all too easy to fudge the figures on cutting emissions. Now the Australian government is in discussions with industry on setting emission standards for new vehicles. Unfortunately, different groups come up with their own statistics, making it harder for consumers to know the truth. Read More

The future is fly and drive

Humans have always been fascinated by the idea of being able to fly because we are so earthbound. But watching birds take off and fly offers science a few ideas for how we might do the same. Just as birds, insects and other animals can walk and fly, there is potential for a flying machine that works efficiently on the ground and in the air. Read More