Category Archives: Automotive

Learn More About In Car Cameras Purchasing

Accidents can happen, no matter how much effort we put into avoiding them. All it takes is for another motorist to make
a careless error, and even the most skilled and careful driver
can end up in a fender-bender.

After the Motor Claims Framework was introduced in 2008, all policy holders must report every accident, regardless of the severity, to their insurer

Minor mishaps used to be less stressful. If the incident left the vehicles in question with minor scratches or small dents, the matter could be quickly (and privately) settled if one party compensated the other. You only needed to inform your insurer if the damage was bad.

But things changed. In 2008, the General Insurance
Association of Singapore (GIA) introduced the Motor Claims Framework (MCF), which requires all policyholders to report every accident – no matter how minor – to their insurer.

This regulation came about as a result of the growing number of drivers who would later file exaggerated claims for ‘grievous injuries’ sustained in accidents.

To cope with the higher payouts that were affecting their bottom line, insurance firms started charging steeper premiums to all motorists – even those who had never made a claim weren’t spared.

For protection, drivers began installing in-car cameras in their vehicles, using the recorded footage (which is typically stored on SD or micro SD cards) to combat fraudulent claims filed against them by unscrupulous parties.

The popularity of in-car cameras also took off following that infamous Ferrari accident – which was captured by a taxi’s in-car recorder – at the junction of Victoria Street and Rochor Road last year.

Also, in-car cameras have been a great aid to authorities in nabbing errant drivers. One such example is the ‘Honda Civic road bully’ case, where the driver was caught driving recklessly on two videos.

In the ‘Honda Civic road bully’ case, authorities used video footages to help nab the culprit

Here are some handy tips to help you decide which camera to purchase:

Tip 1: Pixels Matter

The first and most important consideration when it comes to choosing an in-car camera is its resolution, which is expressed in terms of the number of pixels per square inch. A device with a 1080i format is definitely better than one only capable of 720i, because having more pixels per square inch means clearer videos.

It would be best, however, to opt for a High-Definition (HD) camera, which has a resolution of 1080p. The difference between 1080i and 1080p lies in their playback – the ‘i’ rating in the former refers to interlaced video, while the ‘p’ in the latter refers to progressive scan

Fuel Saving Tips From Ford

More Americans will embark on family vacations and other getaways over this Memorial Day weekend than in 2006, according to a recent survey conducted by AAA. The travel authority also forecasts that more will travel by car over the holiday than a year ago: 32.1 million motorists will drive, up 1.8 percent from last year. With gas prices getting higher, traveling any distance by car can be expensive. However, there are steps motorists can take to get the most from a tank a gas.

Fuel efficiency experts agree that making simple changes to driving habits can increase fuel economy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving such as rapid acceleration, speeding and braking can lower gas mileage significantly.

Below are a few tips to help drivers conserve fuel and save money at the pump, while at the same time helping the environment and improving traffic safety.

1. Slow down and watch speed – Drive 55 miles per hour instead of 65 to save fuel. EPA estimates a 10-15 percent improvement in fuel economy by following this tip. Also, aim for a constant speed. Pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine. Using cruise control whenever possible on the highway helps maintain speeds and conserve fuel.
2. Accelerate and brake smoothly – Accelerating smoothly from a stop and braking softly conserves fuel. Fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic and hard braking wastes fuel and wears out some of the car components, such as brakes and tires, more quickly. Maintain a safe distance between vehicles and anticipate traffic conditions to allow for more time to brake and accelerate gradually.
3. No idling – Today’s engines don’t need a warm up. Start the car immediately and gently drive away. Don’t leave your car idling. Prolonged idling increases emissions and wastes fuel. Turn the engine off in non-traffic situations, such as at bank and fast food drive-up windows, when idling more than 30 seconds.
4. Check your tires – Keeptires properly inflated to the recommended tire pressure. This alone can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3-4 percent.Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel economy. They also wear more rapidly. Check the vehicle’s door-post sticker for minimum cold tire inflation pressure.
5. Be kind to your vehicle – Maintain proper engine tune-up to keep vehicles running efficiently. Keep the wheels aligned. Wheels that are fighting each other waste fuel. Replace air filters as recommended. Use a fuel with good detergent additives to keep the vehicle engine clean and performing efficiently. Always consult the Owner’s Manual for proper maintenance.
6. Travel light – Avoid piling a lot of luggage on the roof rack. The added frontal area reduces aerodynamics and will hurt fuel economy, reducing it by as much as 5 percent. Remove excess weight from the vehicle. Unnecessary weight, such as unneeded items in the trunk, makes the engine work harder and consumes more fuel.
7. Minimize use of heater and air conditioning – Use heating and air conditioning selectively to reduce the load on the engine. Decreasing your usage of the air conditioner when temperatures are above 80 degrees can help you save 10-15 percent of fuel. Use the vent setting as much as possible. Park in the shade to keep car cool and reduce the need for air conditioning.
8. Close windows at high speeds – Don’t drive with the windows open unless your keep your speed under 50 mph . Driving with the windows open at highways speeds increases aerodynamic drag on the vehicle and lowers fuel economy.
9. Choose the right oil – Use good quality, energy-conserving EC oils with the viscosity grade recommended in the Owner’s Manual. Look for cans marked with the symbol ECII, which is the American Society of Testing Materials logo for fuel-efficient oils.
10. Consolidate trips – Plan ahead to consolidate your trips. This will enable you to bypass congested routes, lead to less idling, fewer start-ups and less stop-and-go traffic. Whenever feasible, share a ride and/or carpool

Learn More About 5 Must Haves in Your Car

Remember Batman’s handy utility belt? The one that housed various small weapons, such as his Batarangs, lock picks and tracers, which helped him win fights? If there’s anything we’ve learnt from watching reruns of Batman, it’s that it always pays to be well-equipped. Always.

Whether it’s something as mild, but annoying, like a bird’s number two or a flat tyre, these are some things that are great to have in your car.

1. A bottle of water

A bottle of water, a big one, preferably 1.5-litres, will save you when your car overheats. With some water at the ready, you can top up the radiator and rush to your nearest workshop.

There are a million other uses for the water, like rinsing off bird waste from your precious paintwork. And from experience, if a friend decides to hurl vomit all over your dashboard, having water and some cloths help reduce the damage done before you can make it to your nearest carwash.

2. Parking coupons
A ton of parking spaces don’t have Electronic Parking Systems (EPS) yet. Jaunts to Serangoon Gardens or Geylang for gastronomical treats often require parking payment via coupons.

Parking without displaying valid coupons or sufficient valid coupons to meet the prescribed parking charges will result in a $6.00 to $50.00 fine. Those caught for cheating by using used parking coupons can face fines of up to $1,000. So always ensure that you have enough coupons, don’t give Ah Gong another reasons to saman you.

3. Pen and paper
Most of us jot down information on our smartphones but technology has a mind of its own and may die on us unexpectedly.

When that happens, a trusty pen and notebook will save the day.

In the event of an accident, it’s a great habit to sketch how it happened, and have in writing what the other party says – especially if a private settlement is agreed upon. On a lighter note, having a pen and notebook lets you entertain your kids without an electrical outlet.

4. Accident kit
If the abovementioned accident occurs, it’s also handy to have an accident kit.

Such a kit helps ensure that you are and ready to respond appropriately if you are in an accident by providing step-by-step instructions so that proper reporting procedures are followed and adequately documented. Sign up as a MyCarForum Premium Member or upgrade your existing membership for a complimentary welcome gift pack, inclusive of the aforementioned accident kit.

5. Spare cash card

It’s not uncommon to forget to top up your cash card once in awhile.

Many a time, we’ve seen a car stuck at the exit gantry of a carpark due to insufficient funds in the driver’s cash card, accompanied by a snaking queue behind. It’s no fun causing a jam and having to reverse out of the way while a string of cars honk angrily at you.

To save yourself the panic, embarrassment and inconvenience, have a spare cash card in your car. Just ensure that it, too, has money in it

Get a Discount When Buying a Car

Chances are, when you use the proper negotiation technique, you are more likely to get a discount. Buying a car is unlike bargaining for a better price at the wet market. The following points might save you some ka-ching!

1) Start negotiating from the very start. Try to get a discount from the first time you enquiry about the car. If the seller/dealer asks for S$55,000, ask if the best price can be S$53,000.
2) Negotiate on the total price. Dealers always like to add in some “hidden costs” on top of the asking price. Ask for a total price inclusive of all “hidden costs” and use it during your negotiation.
3) Make a lower offer. If they are asking for S$55,000, offer S$52,000. If the salesperson believes you are sincere about buying the car, he will reduce the price. You might get the car for around S$52,800 if you are lucky.
4) Nothing works better than a little competition. Let’s say you have two cars on your list that you are interested in. Make sure both sellers/dealers are aware of your options. Better still, tell them you will buy the car from whoever offers you a better price. For example, if one of the them offers you a S$1000 discount, call the other seller/dealer and ask if he can match it.
Don’t put yourself on the chopping board. It is important to learn the technique of negotiations.

These four steps should be taken into consideration when asking for a lower price.

Negotiation is an art. It takes determination, patience, and should include some ‘silent’ time – a pause, to allow the seller/dealer to think about the amount he wants to sell the car for.

You may find yourself in a more favourable predicament if you take the risk to negotiate, especially if you use our four tips in tandem. However, if the seller/dealer is set on his original price, you may have to back off. Perhaps, you may want to approach him a week later. Do note that the car will not always be there though. Another buyer might beat you to it. Hence, if you have set your eyes on a particular car, get it before it is too late

Buy Cars From Parallel Importers

You’ve probably heard it before. A friend, colleague or even a relative visits a parallel importer (PIs) attracted by the newspaper advertisements that promise low prices. They end up going through late deliveries, get a car that doesn’t come with the specs they want or they end up not getting a car at all. The whole buying experience turns into a terrible waste of time and sometimes, money.

You would think that with all that bad publicity, PIs should’ve become a thing of the past by now. If you thought that, you would be wrong. PIs are still flourishing in the local market due to two reasons. Unlike Authorised Distributors (ADs), PIs can find a car (as long as it meets LTA’s regulations for cars in Singapore) that ADs aren’t carrying and more often than not, at a better price.

How are PIs able to offer cars that are so much more affordable than the list price from ADs? Unlike ADs who are only allowed to get cars from one source (usually the factory), PIs are able to source cars (as long as they’re right hand drive) from anywhere. During the economic crisis, dealers in UK were facing a huge difficulty in selling their cars despite the low price.

While UK was facing the brunt of the financial crisis, Singapore was riding the crisis a lot better than Europe. Thus there was still demand for cars in Singapore. This ideal situation allowed PIs in Singapore to get cars at ridiculously low prices and the savings were passed on directly to the consumer.

While working as a salesman with a PI in Singapore that specialised in exotic continental marques, I was selling a brand new Silverstone E60 BMW M5 at $298,000 in the 1st quarter of this year. Not only were you getting a brand new car at a used car price, you were getting one that was filled to the brim with factory options. At Performance Motors, you would’ve paid over $448,000 for a basic BMW M5. The $150,000 you save could be used to further rack up the M5’s horsepower or let it grow interest for you in a bank.

1. Sales Agreement – Always make sure that everything the salesman has promised you is written clearly and legibly on the Sales Agreement. This is a contract that binds both parties to the sale. Check that the warranty period has been correctly written down, make sure options promised to you are included as well and make sure other items like road tax and solar film are written in the contract as well.

2. Warranty – This is one of the most important factors in purchasing a PI car. It will either give you a peace of mind or cause months (if not years) of grief. Make sure the warranty is covered by a reputable workshop. Some PIs purchase a third party warranty program for your car which lets you avoid being left without a coverage if and when the PI or the workshop folds.

3. Search – Find the car you have in mind through sgCarMart’s PI database. You can either sort through the PIs list or alternatively search through the car list offered by PIs

4. COE – When buying parallel imported cars, it is advised to go for a package that comes with “guaranteed COE without top-ups”. This will make you invulnerable to COE increases as the price you pay has been locked in.

5. Current car – When changing to a new car, you can typically get more value for your current car by selling it yourself rather than trading it in.

6. Price – Car dealers may list out prices with hidden costs, so consumers are advised to refer to the “Ref price” highlighted in red above. It is an indication of the actual price you would expect to pay for the vehicle.