Used Car Guide

Read our latest guides
28 August 2020
The Volkswagen Beetle in SA 1951 to 1979
How many people can you fit into a bug? Not just any bug, a VW Bug. This was a thing back in the 60s when the Beetle was the car to own and people thought cramming themselves into small spaces was fun. This is the playful appeal of the lovable little car, and why we are proud as South Africa to have played a part in manufacturing this classic icon. Why the Beetle is the original “People’s Car” As the first Volkswagen ever designed and produced, the VW Beetle is one of the greatest automotive icons of the 20th century. First manufactured in 1938 in Germany, it was given many fond nicknames across the world – named in its home country as the “beetle”, in France as the “ladybug”, and in Nigeria as the “tortoise car”. During the 60s and the hippie era, the car represented a symbol of personal freedom and often seen painted with colourful patterns and graphic images, but perhaps the most popular was the daisy, a flower that symbolised peace and love. No other car could represent or sport these two traits better than the Beetle. Made in SA – 69 years ago August 31, 1951 – a historic date for Volkswagen South Africa. 69 years ago the first VW Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Uitenhage, Port Elizabeth. For 28 years since then until the end of production in 1979 – 290,000 Beetles were sold in South Africa. During this time, it was the top-selling vehicle in the country for 11 years. 1951 to 1952 – Split window. Very few of the first-generation VW Beetles were built, making them extremely rare. They are known as ‘split-window’ referring to the small rear windscreen that is divided into two windows. 1953 to 1957 – Oval window. A small oval-shaped rear windscreen replaces the split window and the engine size is increased to 1200. 1958 – Larger rear windscreens still sporting the pop-out indicators or ‘semaphores’. 1958 to 1965 – the classic 1200 model. They consisted of rounded bumpers and railings. 1966 – enter the 1300 models. 1967 – the 1500 model when for a short period of the year Beetles in South Africa were manufactured with disc brakes and flat hubcaps, making it one of the country’s rarest Beetles. 1968 to 1970 – newer 1500 models with smaller taillights and flat-pressed bumpers. 1970 – the production of 1300 and 1600 models with large round taillights. The 1600S also featured curved windshields and a new dashboard, and later models fitted with red tartan upholstery. 1978 – 1600 models were phased out leaving only the 1300 model in production. 1979 – in January of this year the last Beetle rolled off the South African production line, heralding out a period of automotive history. With 21,529,464 produced,the Beetle is the longest-running andmost-manufactured carof a singleplatformever made. Launched in the 50s in South Africa, infused into South African driving culture into the 70s shaping the memories of generations, the VW will always be fondly remembered as the People’s Car and a part of South African heritage. Volkswagen South Africa "Memories" TV ad So How Many People Can Fit Into a Beetle? Twenty. According to the Guinness World Record, in 2010, twenty university students piled into an old 60s Beetle in order to bring attention to human trafficking. Volkswagen – a true people’s car! Disclaimer:This information is for entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
11 August 2020
Fraud Alert! Car Sale Scams
Warning: Please do not make any payment transactions to purchase a vehicle before ensuring it is from a trusted source. Many people have fallen victim to second-hand car scams by fraudsters falsely portraying themselves as legitimate car dealers – particularly on Facebook’s Marketplace platform. Sadly, it’s extremely difficult to track these criminals and the unfortunate victims never recover their money. Avoid being taken for a ride by unscrupulous car sellers and don’t fall victim to internet scams when looking to buy a car. Use this information to safeguard yourself and help you make an informed decision before you buy. How you are scammed There are a variety of ways that fraudsters operate, and one of the most popular platforms is Facebook Marketplace. Scammers either pose as private sellers or auto dealers. This is how a fake car dealer offer generally plays out: The fraudster creates pages of a fake dealership that look legitimate by stealing the dealership’s name and logo. These pages are not around for long, and the so-called dealership’s website doesn’t exist. A fake advert shows up for a vehicle that looks like a really good deal. The car looks immaculate and the price too good to be true. You show interest and are prompted to make a deposit in order to: a). Secure the vehicle, and b). Indicate that you’re serious about the purchase. If you have been scammed on Facebook Marketplace, this is Facebook’s advice: “…you can report the seller to us in Marketplace. To do that, visit the seller's profile, which can be found at the bottom of the product profile. Tap on the “Seller Info” section, and there you'll find a “Report” button. Facebook will review the case.” However, in many cases, the fraudster deletes their account before anyone notices they have been scammed, or anything can be done about it. How to spot a scam Finding a good car deal these days also means you need to be able to tell whether you’re dealing with a legitimate car dealer. Before going any further and wasting your time, first look for these suspicious signs: Images are of a good-looking car with unbelievably good prices. These images are generally stolen from the real dealership’s pages or website. The ‘seller’ asks for payment before you even get to see or test drive the car. In this case, you should leave the conversation immediately. The ‘seller’ won’t meet you in person to show you the car. The ‘seller’s’ Facebook personal profile looks suspiciously empty. This is a good sign that it is a fake account. The website address provided is fake. If the website address does exist, verify the vehicle on the website – if it isn’t there, it might be a fake deal. The ‘seller’ asks for payment via PayPal or similar where payments cannot be reversed. Ways to Check that You’re Dealing with Auto Pedigree While it may be easy to fall victim of fraud, it’s just as easy to prevent yourself from being swindled of your hard-earned money. There are many fake deals on Facebook Marketplace misrepresented as Auto Pedigree. Please be vigilant, check the details and follow these rules: Always ensure that the website address is – anything after the ‘www’ must only read ‘’ and not anything else such as ‘’ or ‘’, etc. Auto Pedigree has one customer call centre contact number: 010 593 9505. We do not use private cell phone numbers. Our email address is Our official Facebook page is We do not and will not list and sell cars from the Facebook Marketplace. If you suspect or have fallen victim to fraud through a fake Auto Pedigree deal, please report it to us by calling 010 593 9505 or emailing Disclaimer:This information is for educational purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.
24 May 2020
Smart Ways Drivers Can Reduce Their Carbon Footpri
International Mother Earth Day occurs on the 22 April every year, when we remind ourselves of the pollution our cars emit and the effects it has on our future generations. ‘Carbon’ is essentially a word we use to mean greenhouse gas emissions comprising CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and other toxic gases. These are released into the atmosphere in the various types of human activities and driving a car is just one of them. CO2 and cars – Facts & figures Here are some CO2 figures from various sources (no figures were found or available for South Africa): Whether your vehicle is old or new, for each litre of petrol a car consumes, approximately 2.3kg of CO2 is produced. For each litre of diesel a car consumes, approximately 2.7kg of CO2 is produced. An average car emits about 6 tons of carbon dioxide every year. In Europe, passenger cars account for approximately 61% of total CO2 emissions from road transport. In the US, driving accounts for 47%. Note: The more economical your vehicle, the less CO2 it will produce. Bear this in mind when looking for your next second-hand car. Ways to reduce CO2 emissions from your car Since we are so dependent on our cars to get around, we need to think of ways and take extra steps to reduce our impact on the environment. To begin with, calculate the CO2 created by your vehicle, then make use of the following tips: Drive smartly Not in a suit, but by adopting smooth driving habits, not stop-starts and heavy braking. Hard acceleration and braking can lower mileage by between 15 - 30% on the highway and 10% to 40% in heavy traffic. (Source: US Department of Energy) Try to idle as little as possible. Switch off rather than keep the engine running unnecessarily. Speed matters. More speed increases aerodynamic drag and use more fuel. Studies show that for every 8km you drive over 96 km per hour (approximate figures), fuel economy is lowered by 7%. Carpool – Share rides rather than drive solo. Regular car maintenance Proper tyre inflation can improve your mileage significantly. Regular car services that clean or replace your air and oil filters can reduce your fuel consumption. Keep your engine tuned – some maintenance adjustments can increase fuel efficiency by up to 40%. Choose economy over looks – It’s worth mentioning again, that the more economical your vehicle, the better its fuel efficiency, and therefore the lower the CO2 emissions. Consider weight – When looking for a new second-hand car, consider that a lighter vehicle requires less energy to power it on. Consider shape – When looking for your next second-hand car, bear in mind its aerodynamics and wind resistance factor. We cannot stop our vehicles from emitting CO2, but we can take simple steps to increase fuel efficiency. The advantages are tenfold. Safer driving, money-saving, and planet-friendly. Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
06 May 2020
Ways to Improve Your Credit Scores
For most of us, buying a used car means having to apply for a vehicle finance. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of a bank or financial institution granting you the loan. A higher score also means you’ll qualify for better interest rates, saving you a fair amount of money. If your credit score is lower than the average range of around 600, you may want to take steps to improve it to reach 700 and above. Improving your score does take time, but don’t let this put you off – the sooner you start taking steps towards improving the faster they will increase. To begin with, read our Guide to Credit Scores and Where to Check Your Credit Scores. This will help you understand which factors are negatively impacting your scores and what you need to do. These are some of the key factors to look into that may help you improve your credit score: Pay your bills on time Every monthly account or expense you have, such as rent, student loan, credit card, water and lights, phone, etc. should be paid by the due date. Setting up debit orders are a convenient way to ensure you don’t forget. A late payment affects your credit history as do missed payments. Pay your credit cards off each month Paying the full amount you spent in that month by the due date every month is key to building a good credit score. This shows responsible and reliable credit habits. Reduce your debt Pay off any past balances you owe – especially larger balances, which will make a more positive impact on your credit score than paying off smaller balances. Keep your credit card spend low Try to use as little as your available credit as possible. This indicates that you have sensible spending habits and good money management. Keep new credit applications low Don’t apply for too many new accounts over a short period of time. Pay your bills every two weeks If you can afford to, pay your accounts more than just once in a month. This will reduce your credit utilisation and improve your credit score. In summary These are a number of tips that could help you boost your credit score. Once you’re in the desired score range, follow and maintain two basic rules: Pay your bills in full and on time every month, and keep your credit card balances low. This should go a long way to getting closer to your goal of obtaining vehicle finance for your next quality used car. Also read: Guide to Credit Scores Where to Check Your Credit Scores Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
30 April 2020
How Does Vehicle Depreciation Work
What Is Vehicle Depreciation? In short, depreciation is the decline in the value of a vehicle from the time you bought it. It is the difference between the purchase price and the selling price. Not all cars have the same rate of depreciation but most cars depreciate at a rate of about 15 – 30% a year. However, the first year of ownership accrues the highest rate and decreases as the car gets older. In general, you can expect your vehicle to halve in value after five years of owning it. Asset Or Liability? Certain purchases we make accrue in value with time. They either improve with age or they become more sought after, therefore making them assets. Unfortunately, your vehicle can only be classified as an asset if its current value is greater than what you owe on it, and even then, it is a depreciating asset. This means the car loses value the moment you drive it away from the dealer. In addition to this, owning a car comes with ongoing expenses such as fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Which is why it is more often considered a liability than an asset. What Affects A Car’s Depreciation Rate? The following factors will increase the rate of depreciation: Condition – Any damage or wear and tear Mileage – A high odometer reading Warranty – A short warranty period Service – An incomplete history Reputation – Cars believed to be unreliable Ownership – Too many previous owners Age – Older models Economy – High fuel consumption Size – Big luxury cars with higher expenses Demand – Low demand, high supply Modifications – Spoilers and other non-standard fittings How To Beat Vehicle Depreciation Depreciation is inevitable, but since owning a vehicle is mostly a necessity in South Africa, we can try to minimise the effects. Especially if you’re buying a used car, begin by choosing a quality used car that will hold its value. Take heed of the list above and then consider the following: Buy as new as possible with the lowest mileage. Avoid outrageous shades -neutral colours stay popular for longer. Features such as central locking, safety, air conditioning, CD/MP3 player, etc. improve resale value. Service regularly. Maintain and keep the body in good condition. In general, it makes sense to buy a quality used vehicle with low mileage. But this becomes even more important when you begin to consider depreciation values and what your vehicle will end up being worth when you eventually decide to sell it. That is why Auto Pedigree offers more than 4,000 low-kilometre, quality used cars with full-service history and 116-point quality check. Read next: Will Your Car Pass the Inspection Test? Looking for a Low Mileage Used Car to Buy? Buying a Used Car From Auto Pedigree Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
25 April 2020
The Importance of Fuel Economy
What Is Fuel Economy To understand fuel economy we have to understand fuel consumption. The amount of fuel a vehicle uses is measured using a ratio of distance travelled per unit of fuel used. In South Africa, this is measured in litres per 100 kilometres (L/100 km) There are a number of factors that influence the amount and speed of fuel a vehicle uses, such as a vehicle’s engine parameters, weight, aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance, mechanical resistance, etc. While all the factors that influence a particular vehicle’s fuel efficiency are important in the overall measurement, other dependencies come into play once the vehicle is taken on the road. Much like human beings, cars need oxygen to power. At sea level, the oxygen levels are lower therefore most cars, unless they’re turbocharged, produce less power. Temperature also influences the amount of oxygen a car can intake. Why Fuel Economy is Important Saves You Money According to research, the petrol price has doubled every six and a half years since the 1980s. More and more, South Africans will need to think more carefully about fuel economy when buying a car, and making this decision based on our lifestyles and driving requirements. While the factors that influence fuel efficiency play a significant part, perhaps more importantly is the one that controls the vehicle. Driving style can have a huge impact on fuel consumption. To make every drop count, read our summer fuel-saving tips. Reduces Environmental Impact In the US, cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth ofallUS emissions. Much of the carbon dioxide that is emitted comes from the extraction, production and delivery of fuel, although the bulk of it is attributed to the consumption of that fuel and the resulting exhaust fumes. Fortunately, today’s cars are manufactured with fuel consumption as a major consideration, and choosing a fuel-efficient car is easy compared to a decade ago. Reduces Oil Dependence Costs The volume of crude oil produced will eventually begin to drop while the need for fuel increases. South Africa has become more and more dependent on imported petrol and diesel. Dependence on oil is a risk to our economy and we should bear this in mind when making car-buying decisions. Increases Energy Sustainability In order for future generations to meet their energy needs, fuel sources should be developed from renewable resources that is clean and efficient. These fuel sources must be also used wisely and optimally without wastage. Most road vehicles run on oil as their fuel source, and while there doesn’t seem to be a dire shortage just yet, no one knows exactly how long this source will last. This is why we as drivers must play our part in ensuring energy sustainability for our children by adopting good driving habits and keeping your vehicle in good driving condition both mechanically and electrically. Find out about our Vehicle Component Cover here. Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
21 April 2020
How Traffic Fines Work in South Africa
In South Africa, paying a traffic fine is not an option, but rather a responsibility. Whether a motorist speeds over the limit on a freeway or dashes at 100 km an hour from one traffic light to the next in the suburbs, they know they are breaking the law, and if fined, must bear the consequences. No doubt, there are other even more serious traffic offences, such as speeding while driving under the influence, or skipping a red light at high speed that can have dire repercussions. South Africa has some of the worst road traffic injury statistics in the world, and motorists must understand that these types of traffic violations that could incur serious harm and risk of putting a life in danger are essentially crimes that deserve punishment. How Traffic Fines Work Records of traffic fines and notices of summons that have been served by traffic authorities are backed up electronically. When a road traffic violation has taken place, the procedure is as follows: Step 1 – Infringement Notice Atraffic offenceis regarded as a very serious violation of the law, which warrants a major sentence on conviction, such as imprisonment, or a substantial monetary fine, or both. Minor and major infringementsdealt with in accordance with the administrative procedures, as prescribed in the AARTO Act. If a person is alleged to have committed an infringement, the traffic officer will issue an Infringement Notice. Hand-written infringement notices are handed out by traffic offices and will eventually be replaced by electronic devices. Camera infringements are electronically generated by eNatis and send by mail. At this point, the fine amount has a 50% discount attached if paid in 32 days. Step 2 - Courtesy letter A courtesy letteris mailed if the fine is not paid in the first 32 days that the infringement notice is issued. At this point, the full amount must now be paid plus administration fees. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Courtesy Letter will result in the issuing of an Enforcement Order. Step 3 – Enforcement Order By failing to comply with the Courtesy Letter or appearing in court after electing to appear in court, an offender will be issued an Enforcement Order by mail. At this point, demerit points will be automatically allocated. Failure to comply with the requirements of theEnforcement Orderwithin 32 days will result in a Warrant being issued to recover the applicable penalty and fees. Until such time that the penalty and the additional fees have been paid, no driving licence, professional driving permit, or vehicle licence disc will be issued which is registered in your name until the Enforcement Order has been complied with orrevoked. Step 4 – Warrant of Execution If the Enforcement Order is not complied with within 32 days a Warrant will be issued and handed to a Sheriff for execution. This may include seizing your movable property, defacing your driving license and license disc, or reporting you to a credit bureau. For more information on how to query your fine, pay your fine, going to court, and more fine-related topics, visit Read next: When to Renew Your Motor Vehicle Licence Drinking and Driving – What the Law Says Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.
13 April 2020
Guide to Windshield Wiper Blades
Living in a sunny country like South Africa, windscreen wiper blades often get overlooked – until it rains. Yet, they play such an important role in road safety that they should be kept in good condition consistently. This is so easy that you can perform regular wiper blade maintenance yourself to prolong their lifespan. All it takes is a quick monthly inspection and cleaning. What Causes Wiper Blades Wear to Out? It matters little whether you experience dry summers or wet winters, your car’s wiper blades have a limited lifespan. However, environmental factors certainly play a major role in their deterioration – in fact, more so than actual usage. Depending on which part of the country you’re in and where you park daily, wiper blades can last on average between 6 to 24 months. These are the most common causes that cause deterioration: Heat – Worn wiper blades are most commonly caused by heat and ultraviolet rays of the sun. Oil, wax, sand, grit – Silicone blades are more resistant to deterioration than the rubber variety, but caring for your existing rubber blades will help them to last longer. 5 Common Windscreen Wiper Blade Problems and Tips Skipping/chattering – This can happen when the vertebra or frame of the blade becomes bent, curved, or warped, sometimes caused by lack of use, causing contact between the glass and the rubber to become inconsistent. Badly bent blades should be completely replaced as distorted blades can cause damage to your windscreen. Tip: Check that your wiper fluid is topped up, as wiper fluid adds 'wetness' to water, helping the wipers glide more easily. Streaking – Unless your wiper blade has accumulated foreign objects or substances, such as tree sap or road tar in the squeegee, streaking can happen when the rubber becomes hard and dry and eventually begins to crack. Tip: Keep your windscreen wiper blades soft by cleaning them regularly with rubbing alcohol or a rubber protectant. Smearing – Bugs, oil, bird droppings, or tree sap can all contribute to an even more messy windscreen as soon the wipers are turned on – so can dirt build-up on the wipers themselves. Tip: Keep dirt and grime accumulating on your wiper blades by wiping them with a clean cloth dampened with white vinegar. Squeaking – This noise could be caused by too much tension or friction between the glass and the rubber. Tip: Check that the blades or wipers are not too tight against the windshield. Split wiping – Rubber squeegees thathave aged lose flexibility and softness, making it difficult for them to maintain proper contact along the length of the rubber. Sun damage on the rubber can also cause damage to the squeegee. Tip: Rubbing alcohol will keep the blades soft, but blades that are too old should be replaced. Although petroleum-based products help to soften rubber blades temporarily – they can make the situation worse over time. In a country where we depend so much on our cars for everyday transportation, as mundane as wiper blades may seem, they are a critical safety aspect of driving. Keeping them well-maintained contributes towards continued proper visibility while driving, as well as prolong their life three times over. Overall, keeping your car in good condition means you’ll likely be able to trade it in or sell it for a better price when the time comes. Auto Pedigree’s Vehicle Interior & Exterior Maintenance product helps minimise wear and maximise its value. For more information contact your nearest Auto Pedigree dealer. Read next: Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
03 April 2020
Petrol or Diesel Which Car To Buy?
If you’re looking to buy a vehicle and are overwhelmed by the choices on offer, there’s one more thing to consider: petrol or diesel? Both have advantages and disadvantages, and both are continually making strides in the manufacturing of new vehicles. Diesel driven cars are not the noisy, smoky vehicles they used to be ten years ago. Advances in engineering technology have made it such that they compare favourably against petrol-driven cars both in performance and refinement. All the while the gap between petrol and diesel is closing. Manufacturers are working to improve torque for petrol engines on the one hand and responsiveness for diesel engines on the other. Here, we look at the pros and cons of both types of fuel. As with any purchase you make it comes down to you as an individual and your priorities. What do you want most from your vehicle? Consider the running costs as well as driving preference, and then assess the comparisons below to help you make up your mind. Petrol Powered Vehicles – Pros & Cons Advantages Cars are less expensive to buy. Maintenance costs are lower. Tend to weigh less than the diesel equivalent - an important consideration for high performance. New-generation petrol engines are becoming smaller, lighter and more efficient with little performance loss. The price difference between petrol and diesel is narrowing - petrol will soon become cheaper to buy. Best if you’re using your car mainly for city driving. Disadvantages Less fuel-efficient at 27%compared to 35% for diesel. Higher depreciation rate than diesel cars. Emits more carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons. Lower torque in small petrol cars is more vulnerable on highways. Overtaking requires more frequent gear-changing. Modern Diesel-Powered Vehicles Advantages Smoother than 2- and 3-cylinder petrol engines. Gets good mileage and delivers better fuel economy at 15 – 20% less fuel consumption than petrol. No need for ignition tune-ups since they do not have spark plugs or distributors. Engines are more solidly built to withstand the higher compression and therefore last longer. Able to produce higher torque or ‘pull’ at low speeds allowing them to overtake easily. Delivers good fuel economy even when towing. Diesel engines do not use spark plugs or distributors and therefore have no need for ignition tune-ups. Disadvantages Tend to be more expensive to buy. Diesel fuel costs typically more than petrol. Servicing and repairs tend to cost more than petrol. While routine maintenance costs are similar for petrol and diesel, serious problems such as a clogged particulate filter in a diesel engine can mean an expensive replacement. (Tip: This happens if you use your diesel vehicle mainly for city driving. Taking the car out for a drive on the motorway regularly enough will help clear the filters.) The more advanced technology makes it more expensive to repair. (Tip: Keep it well maintained regularly.) Produces more nitrogen particles, sulphur dioxide, and black smoke particles. Despite lower CO2 emissions diesel particles are linked to breathing disorders. In Summary In summary, if you intend putting in a lot of driving especially on the open roads and long journeys, diesel is a good choice. But if use your car mostly for short distances and city driving, a petrol-driven city car would make better sense. Bear in mind that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) in modern diesel vehicles can clog if you don’t drive it regularly on the open road. This filter is an important component as it helps combat pollution, but a clogged filter is a costly expense. If your travel is mainly local, diesel may not be a good choice. Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.
30 March 2020
Average Driver or Advanced Driver?
In a European study that examined the psychology of road safety, it was found that different people respond differently towards other drivers when interacting on the road. The research identified seven driver personalities, such as The Competitor, who always needs to be ahead, and The Escapee, who must have some form of audio going – talking on a cell phone included. These driver types match a lot of the traits and habits of average drivers. In one simple phrase, an advanced driver is – according to MasterDrive – “a driver that is better than average” – meaning, one that is accomplished, competent, and exceptional. Sadly, most good drivers are merely average, because exceptional competence cannot be solely achieved from driving experience on the roads. Rarely do we encounter dangerous or life-threatening situations that we have to negotiate ourselves out of in the blink of an eye. This is what advanced driving teaches and prepares you for. More importantly, advanced driving is not only about the ability to manage those extreme conditions, but very much about attitude and how you conduct yourself on the road on a daily basis. What is Advanced Driving? The skill and ability to control a vehicle requires a high standard of driving competence. This competence encompasses personality traits coupled with actual driving skills which many drivers think they have, yet the number of accidents and road deaths in South Africa every year continue to astound. Signs of an Advanced vs. Average Driver The driving style of an advanced driver makes safety a top priority. Speeding (unless in an emergency and approached with safety) is a sure sign of a lack of all the above traits and competencies. Exercising restraint to cut in, overtake, or speed takes a certain amount of level-headedness and a rushed or hurried attitude is a glaring indicator of a less than average driver. Driving Skills Vehicle handling and speed control in a smooth, calm, and systematic way – in any situation. Qualities Self-confidence Courteousness Mindfulness Concentration Observation Anticipation Restraint Intuition Spatial awareness Composure Good - Advanced Driver Qualities Bad - Average Driver Qualities Anticipating & observing Speeding for no real reason Showing courtesy Impatience – cutting in, overtaking Smooth and composed style of driving Hurried and rushed style of driving Keeping a decent distance while driving and stopping behind Driving up and stopping too close behind Focused on the road Distracted with devices, children, etc. Tips for Good Driving Habits Of course, not having an advanced course under your belt does not make you a bad driver, but neither does simply passing your driver’s test make you a good driver. However, becoming a good driver costs nothing – continually striving to improve your road safety skills is a must. The following tips are rules that you would have learnt when studying for your learner’s licence: Communication – Assumptions result in accidents. Even when it seems obvious, the other driver has no idea what you’re actually intending to do. For example, even if you’re in a Turn Right Only lane, you still have to indicate. Patience – Drivers are all too familiar with road rage, but if we all exercised just this one thing and that is patience, we could eliminate it completely. Limitations – Even good drivers have limitations, and the main one is not being able to read the minds of other road users, so practice defensive driving. Also, understand the power (or lack) of your vehicle and work within its limits. If you don’t think you can overtake a truck quickly enough then don’t. Motorbikes, cyclists, pedestrians – These road users deserve as much respect and courtesy as car drivers at the very least. They take up less space on the road and create less air pollution – make way for them and let them ride and walk in safety. Basic physics – for example, travelling speed relative to the distance of other objects in the travelling direction. If an object is closer, slow down ahead of time, not at the very last seconds. Safety aside, you’ll save a lot on your car’s wear and tear. So while an advanced driving course is an excellent investment and highly recommended, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to hone your driving attitude and skills with practice. Disclaimer:This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Auto Pedigree.