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Driving with a Disability: Overcoming the Impossible

Learning how to drive is stressful for almost everyone. Imagine that you’re on a busy road and you’ve stalled your car four times already. The drivers behind you are getting impatient, despite the fact that they were once where you are now. Now imagine the same situation, but as someone who has a disability.

People who have disabilities face challenges that many couldn’t even imagine. Things that seem simple to able-bodied people can become almost impossible on a good day. One of these things that are sometimes taken for granted, is driving.

Being able to drive yourself is a luxury that countless teens dream of. They count down the days until they can take their driving test and finally have the freedom to decide where they want to go (with their parents’ permission, of course). For others, this opportunity only presents itself much later in life due to their circumstances. Regardless of when you learn how to drive, being able to get yourself from point A to B without too much assistance is a milestone to be proud of.

Fortunately, this is now a possibility for almost anyone. Thanks to vehicle modifications, specialized licences, and intensive driving lessons, people with certain disabilities can drive just as well as (or, in some cases, better than) everyone else.

People with Physical Disabilities 

Physical disabilities can include different degrees of affected mobility, stamina or dexterity. Some people might need wheelchairs, crutches or other mobility aids. In this case, a person’s driving ability depends on their degree of mobility. People with physical disabilities can make use of organisations like QASAs Driving Ambitions (that specializes in driving lessons) to help them decide on what best suits their needs. Driving Ambitions “[accommodates] many different types of disabilities, including quadriplegics, paraplegics, strokes, amputees, cerebral palsy”. Each case is dealt with individually and a representative assesses a client’s abilities in advance.

Some of the many resources available while taking driving lessons at Driving Ambitions are:

  • Space Drive systems
  • Electronic brake and acceleration systems
  • Wheelchair accessible vehicles
  • Push Button Controls

People Who Suffer from Hearing Loss

It’s a common misconception that people who are hard of hearing can’t drive. Some studies have found that they actually drive better than hearing drivers because of their heightened sense of vision. Driving is a primarily visual activity and being able to process visual cues is imperative.

Some of the vehicle modifications that can be used for people with hearing loss are:

  • Devices that indicate when emergency vehicles are nearby. These devices can often detect when other drivers use their horns.
  • Panoramic mirrors that enhance visibility.
  • Panels of different indicators that detect nearby sounds and show on screen notifications.

 

People with Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual disabilities include Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Down’s Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and others. People who have intellectual disabilities are all very different and there is no hard and fast rule to determine whether they are fit to drive or not.

That being said, if they’re able to take and pass their theory and practical tests, they will be allowed to drive just like anyone else.

 

How do I know if I’m fit to drive?

You are fit to drive if you do not suffer from one of these diseases or disabilities (taken from Chapter 4 of the Road traffic Act):

  1. Uncontrolled epilepsy
  2. Sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting due to hypertension or any other cause
  3. Any form of mental illness to such an extent that it is necessary that he or she be detained, supervised, controlled and treated as a patient in terms of the Mental Health Act, 1973 (Act No. 18 of 1973)
  4. Any condition causing muscular in-coordination
  5. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
  6. Defective vision ascertained in accordance with a prescribed standard
  7. (vii) any other disease or physical defect which is likely to render him or her incapable of effectively driving and controlling a motor vehicle of the class to which such licence relates without endangering the safety of the public: Provided that deafness shall not of itself be deemed to be such a defect

Selling Your Car – Do I still Need to do my Research?

 

We all know that doing extensive research is essential when buying a new or used car. There are so many things to take into consideration that we spend hours scouring the internet for information. After all, you don’t want to spend your well-earned money on a bad decision. That being said, selling your vehicle is just as nerve-wracking. There is so much more involved in selling a vehicle than merely accepting your payment and watching the buyer drive away.

The biggest risk when selling a car without doing any research is simple – you’ll be getting much less than your vehicle is worth. You might also damage your reputation as a vehicle seller in the future if you don’t follow the right protocols. Here’s what you need to know before selling your car.

Know how you want to sell your vehicle.

Do you want to trade it in or sell privately? Weigh the pros and cons of both options and decide which one best suits your needs. Selling your car privately might give you much more freedom, but this comes at the price of doing even more research. You would be responsible for every aspect of the sale. Compared to this, selling your car to a dealership or trading it in may seem much easier. Although it is more convenient from a research point of view, you might get much less than you bargained for. To sell your vehicle, decide on your needs as a seller and use these to decide which method is the most efficient for you as an individual and then find a trustworthy, reputable dealer.

Know your vehicle, inside and out.

You need not be a qualified mechanic, but you need to know about any problems or quirks your car might have before you sell it. You can take your car in for a pre-purchase inspection to determine how well your car would do on the market. You also need to know (and show) your car’s history. Buyers might feel more comfortable negotiating with someone who has their previous service history and maintenance receipts at hand. Lastly, you need to be able to give your buyer an outline of how your car will be able to perform in the future.

Market your vehicle efficiently.

Nothing hinders a sale like terrible marketing. Whether this is by not providing a positive description, or by posting low-quality photos online, it makes a lasting first impression on a buyer. Make sure that any photos of your car are clear, professional, and accurate. This goes hand in hand with making sure that the inside and outside of your car is clean and neat in photos/during a test-drive. Marketing your vehicle is not just about the vehicle itself, but how you treat your clients. Be polite, professional and patient when speaking to your clients.

Be safe.

If you decide to sell your vehicle privately, meet your buyer in a safe, public space. Do your research on how to negotiate test-drives or inspections. In addition to this, make sure you have a safe and secure method of payment that can give you as well as the buyer peace of mind.

If you feel uncomfortable with any aspect of the process of selling your vehicle, do not hesitate to ask for advice from a professional.

Do Not Cut Your Budget: Marketing in a Volatile Economy

 

Staying afloat in a volatile economy is a problem faced by countless businesses today. With budgets being cut drastically due to increased costs, advertising and marketing seem to take the brunt of the blow. According to The Guardian, overall marketing spending has been cut by almost 15% in the last few years alone. Due to the instability and uncertainty of a volatile economy, experts are unable to predict exactly how this will improve/worsen in the future.

Increase your advertising instead of cutting it

Despite the overall opinion, the importance of marketing during an unsteady period might increase instead of decrease. Ash Sobhe writes that “a McGraw-Hill research study of over 600 businesses showed that during the early 1980’s recession, businesses that increased their ad spending had, by 1985, witnessed a 256% growth in sales over companies that had cut back on advertising.”

A widely held belief during hard times is that if a business can hold onto the customers it has, instead of trying to find new ones, it should survive. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

What businesses tend to forget during a recession, is that their customers are suffering as well and are looking for ways to cut their own budgets. If your business falls under the group of expenses that they find unnecessary or irrelevant right now, then you might lose them as clients for the time being.

Increasing your marketing to try and gain new clients is therefore important to make up for the possible loss of clientele.

Change your approach to advertising

Roy Osing advises that instead of cutting your marketing, try to change it to suit the market.

One example is to work with other related companies to offer customers deals that include more than just one service. Osing uses “A Romantic Night” as an example. Instead of only advertising a restaurant, this package integrates different services like babysitting, transport, meals and much more. This way, each company involved gets great publicity without having a customer pay for each individual service.

Just because everyone seems to be cutting their advertising budgets doesn’t mean you have to. Rather take the risk of spending the same amount or even more on marketing during difficult times and you might just reap incredible benefits once those times are over.

Everything You Need To Know About Financing Your Car In SA

Car Financing in South Africa

 

For most South Africans, buying a car is a big financial decision. Because most people aren’t able to pay for a vehicle upfront, they tend to turn to financiers to help finance their vehicle. There are several car finance options available which allow buyers to choose what best suits their needs.

Leasing.

One option to consider when financing your car is leasing. This is essentially renting a vehicle over a longer time period. This usually requires an initial rental payment or fee, which is followed by monthly payments. This is a popular option because your car is still under manufacturer warranty and some leasing options might even include a maintenance plan. After the lease period, the car is returned or the lease could be renewed.

Personal Loan.

In this case, you lend a large sum of money from your choice of financier to pay for the vehicle and own it immediately. You then pay off the loan over an agreed period of time at an agreed interest rate. This usually requires an incredible credit history. This is a popular option for people who are selling their previous cars but want a new car immediately. They could then use the money received from selling their previous cars to pay off their loan as soon as they find a buyer.

Hire Purchase (HP).

This option requires a full payment for the vehicle upfront. This is paid by a financier who then owns your car until you’ve paid off the amount owed. This usually requires a deposit followed by monthly installments. The general rule of thumb with HP’s is that the higher the deposit is, the lower your monthly installments will be.

Personal Contract Purchase (PCP).

This option also requires a full payment for the vehicle upfront. This is very similar to an HP. The difference between a normal HP and a PCP is that a PCP usually includes lower monthly installments, but a large sum of money paid at the end of your contract. When you reach the end of your contract, you can either decide to pay off the aptly named “balloon” payment, or give the car back. If you choose to pay the balloon payment, the car will then officially belong to you.

Of course, every option has its own extensive list of pros and cons.  If you’re unsure of which option might be best for you, you can also approach a trustworthy car dealership to help you choose the best finance option for your budget/lifestyle. This usually involves presenting personal details and documents like a copy of your ID, previous bank statements and proof of residence. The dealership you choose should have a comprehensive list of required documents found on their website or available at request.

It’s Time To Sell Your Car If…

 

Buying a new car is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. You might wonder whether you’ve made the right decision or just wasted a fortune on the wrong one. Whatever the case may be, that excitement unfortunately wears off eventually and oftentimes it might be replaced by apprehension. Although you might feel that you’ll never need another car in your entire life, that usually isn’t the case. People sell their cars for a multitude of different reasons and not all of them are negative. Here are a few signs that it might be time to sell your car.

It might be time to sell your car if…

It’s not road-worthy or safe anymore.

While you might not get a fortune for it or trade it in for a sports car, you can still sell a damaged car in a variety of different ways. Many people opt to sell their cars piece by piece if they’ve been damaged beyond repair. Another option is to contact a reputable junk car buyer that will often evaluate, buy, and tow your vehicle after the sale. This of course all depends on the degree of damage that the car has and whether it runs at all. The best advice is to contact a professional that can inspect your car and help you decide on the best course of action.

You can’t afford it anymore.

Times are tough on almost everyone these days and we’re all compromising to still make ends meet. But if your car is contributing to sleepless nights worrying about its ridiculously high fuel consumption or monthly down-payment, then it might be time to consider going for a more affordable method of transportation. Regardless of whether that means buying a cheaper car or making use of public transport instead, selling your car might give you a bit more financial freedom.

Your lifestyle has changed.

You might have recently had a child and you need space for a car seat, or maybe you’ve moved into an apartment with a tiny garage and your SUV just won’t fit. Maybe you’re moving across the world and you’ve finally realised fitting your “perfect” car on the plane just isn’t going to happen. Your lifestyle has a huge impact on your mobility and vice versa. The one changes with the other and when it’s time to make your decision, make sure you’re considering its long-term implications as well.

 

That being said, this article isn’t meant to encourage you to sell your car immediately. In the end, you’re the only person that can decide when and if you’re ready to part with your car despite its impracticality. If you’re still unsure or wary about whether or not you’re ready to sell your car, contact us at Mobility-Online for in-depth, professional automotive advice. Regardless of why, you should rather focus on how you’re going to sell your car. Check out some of our other articles on how to sell, trade in and auction off your car in South Africa. Who knows? You might be making your best decision yet.

Digital Disruption in the Automotive Industry

Digital disruption is a mindset that ultimately leads to a way of behaving”

 James McQuivey, Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

Everything is connected today – phones, computers, and even cars. Because digital technology is constantly advancing and changing the way we interact with the world around us, industry experts are ceaselessly trying to find new ways to stay abreast. It seems impossible to plan for the future when not even the automotive industry is exempt from the disruption caused by the dawn of the digital age.

Why does digital disruption matter to the automotive industry?

Traditional marketing strategies have been turned upside-down by the influx of companies like Uber and Lyft. An increasing amount of media platforms are also advocating for more sustainable means of living, which includes cutting down on pollution caused by heavy traffic. Cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg have started sustainable transport initiatives like the MyCiti BRT System and the Gautrain, respectively.  This social connectivity offered by today’s technology means that more and more people are relying on alternative means of transportation. This gives rise to using apps like Uber or finding what IBM calls ‘the car of the future’.

What exactly is the car of the future?

This car would be fuel-efficient, eco-friendly and most importantly, connected. Automotive manufacturers are not only expected to follow this trend of ‘connecting’ their vehicles through means of in-vehicle navigation, Bluetooth, etc., but also make sure that their vehicles are ‘upgradeable’. According to Deloitte, technology advances so quickly that auto manufacturers need to speed up their design process to keep up. Unlike mobile devices and software that are updated as often as every year, vehicles can take up to 6 or 7 years to be designed and manufactured. This means that these vehicles need to still be compatible with technology that evolves much faster than the vehicle itself does. IBM has called this problem the ‘battle between […] the dumb car and the smartphone’.

Why should I care?

Digital disruption not only changes the cars we buy, but also how we choose to buy them. Instead of working with a dealership to find a suitable vehicle, people are now relying on online sources and reviews to help them decide for themselves. This often eliminates the need for in-person communication and customers often only meet once they’ve decided on exactly what they’d like to buy. This forces automotive dealers to digitize their customer services and have a user-friendly interface that allows clients to choose between browsing vehicle options and speaking directly to an adviser. Those companies that fail to keep their customers engaged and do not provide information platforms run the risk of falling behind.

Keeping up with perpetually advancing technology is a daunting task and businesses cannot have a fixed plan for the future when the future is constantly changing. That being said, a fluid market and unfixed future also gives one the opportunity to test and develop products that have never been seen before. Digital disruption could simultaneously be a threat and an opportunity and its impact differs from industry to industry.