Many people will be exploring their own state these Christmas holidays. With road trips on the agenda, here’s a chance to become a little more intimate with your car. Find out seven quirky things you didn’t know about cars.
- Your car has a name
- If you lose your car, use your head
- The colour of your car could cost you money
- You can cook a Christmas lunch in your car
- Dirty cars could get demerits
- Cars live very boring lives
- Your car technically never dies.
1. Your car has a name
Did you know 2 October is International Name Your Car Day? Aussies like to name their cars and they like taking the mickey out of brand names. The iconic Commodore gets called Dunny Door, Bomb-a-door and Commode while Mitsubishi becomes Bitsaremissing and Harley-Davidson, Hardly Driveable. Whether it’s old Henry or Betsy, it’s just a term of endearment. Perhaps it’s time to name yours.
2. If you lose your car, use your head
These holidays, you might actually lose your car, at least temporarily, in a huge car park. One excellent way to find it again is to hold the remote car key to your head. Aside from looking ridiculous, your skull acts as an amplifier. (Not finding your car is even more ridiculous.)
3. The colour of your car could cost you money
Colours are very important to car owners and most of us want white. Who would have thought car colour would affect insurance? Some insurers don’t care but others do. RateCity found white cars were the cheapest and black cars the dearest to insure. Black cars are more likely to be stolen and are harder to see at dusk or in poor weather. Mozo says green cars are cheapest, costing $178 less to insure than a black one.
CTP insurers don’t consider vehicle colour so greenslips.com.au Calculator doesn’t ask for the colour of your car.
4. You can cook a Christmas lunch in your car
People do all sorts of things in their cars, like singing, writing in diaries and eating lunch. Cars and food seem to be closely connected. In fact, the average American eats one in five meals behind the wheel. One family has even cooked a meal inside the engine. They drove for 4 hours, while cooking turkey, sides and miniature pies under the hood in just the right spots. An interesting way to prepare Christmas lunch.
5. Dirty cars could get demerits
Some people never wash their cars, from 8 to 16%, depending on who admits it. About 53% wash their cars once a month and SUV owners wash them once a week or more. Cars in South Australia are the cleanest, while Act and Tasmania are the dirtiest. Drivers of utes and trucks aren’t too fussed about cleaning. In NSW, you can be fined $425 and get three demerits if your licence plates are too dirty to read. So get out the bucket.
6. Cars live very boring lives
Cars don’t have much of a life really. Most cars spend 95% of their lives parked and, even excluding sleeping time, it’s still 94%. When your car is not parked, it’s stuck in traffic or waiting at red lights. The average Brit spends 99 days of their life stuck in traffic and 5 months of their life sitting at red lights. American commuters waste 5.5 billion hours each year in traffic jams. But perhaps commuting is not all bad.
7. Your car technically never dies
Fortunately, after sitting around all that time, your car becomes the most recycled consumer product in the world. About 80% of each car by weight is recyclable. More than 25 million tons of materials from old bombs are recycled each year and, nearly half comes from the US. So your old car never dies, it just gets divvied up.
Remember to turn up the music
On a road trip, there’s nothing like some Aussie music. With Skyhooks lyrics like “Life is like a camshaft, it has its ups and downs”, you can’t go wrong. Better still, that wonderful old song, “I’ve been everywhere”, is a reminder of just how big Australia is. It mentions 80 tongue-twisting Australian towns and each one is worth a visit.
Remember how far you travel and how safely you drive does affect the price of your greenslip. So this Summer, get more intimate with your car.