The Audi A1 Sportback: spacious and sporty

Do you consider yourself bold, intuitive and intelligent? Then the Audi A1 Sportback is the ideal car for you! Modelled around living life in the moment. It’s funky, youthful and those primary colour options give it a massive presence for a small car.

Audi’s first-generation smallest model was released in 2011. After eight years, the second generation offers a bigger car filled with more tech and cool options such as contrasting roof colours, among other things. Two colours to make your mark!

The new Audi is driver-focused and integrated into the digital world as you are. It offers more space, a digitised cabin and new trim lines and package structures. The original Audi Quattro of the 80s inspired the Sporting design. Think about everything you’d want to put in the boot, all at once…now it’s possible. The boot capacity grows by 65 litres to a total of 335 litres. The best part is when the rear seats are folded, the capacity increases to 1090 litres with a loading sill height of 67cm.

The buyer has three direct-injection turbo-petrol engines to choose from. A 30 TSFI powered by a 1.0-liter engine producing 85kW and 200Nm, a 35 TFSI powered by a 1.5-litre engine producing 110kW and 250Nm, or the top-of-the-line 40 TSFI powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 147kW and 320Nm. The latter is also recognisable with its striking tailpipes. They are all turbocharged and use a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The cabin is fit for a digital future. All three models come standard with a fully digital instrument cluster with high resolution, 10.25-inch display and a multifunction steering wheel. LED headlights are also standard, but buyers can additionally order Audi’s virtual cockpit, satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto integration, and wireless charging.
Other standard features include manual air conditioning, powered and heated exterior mirrors, auto headlights and wipers, central front armrest, black gloss dashboard accents, fabric seat upholstery, electronic stability control and tyre pressure monitoring.

With the 35 TFSI, a whole lot of LEDs is about to change your life! From LED headlights, taillights and interior lighting. Additionally, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and colour-coded exterior mirrors.

On top of that, the 40 TFSI gains dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, front sports seats with adjustable lumbar support, aluminium-look interior, upgraded seat fabric and an S Line exterior styling package.

Buyers have the option to choose from three exterior configurations: Standard, Advanced and S Line with distinct styling characteristics. Depending on the package chosen, all models come with alloy wheels ranging from 15” to 17”. With numerous possibilities to select the colours and materials, Audi included a Black Styling Package and a Contrast Package. Included in the Black Styling Package is the radiator grille in matte black, grille frame, front air inlet frame, rear diffuser and front spoiler, all in high gloss black. With the Contrast Package, a contrasting roof dome is included as well as exterior mirror housing, front spoiler lip, and side skirts in Mythos Black Metallic or Manhattan Grey Metallic.

The new Audi A1 Sportback’s pricing starts at R 359 900. It will also sure give you a comfortable space to perfectly handle on any South African road and drive a statement wherever you go!
Read more about the packages and pricing here.

10 Popular car colours with high resale value in SA

Car colours in South Africa are almost infinite. You can probably order a car that matches your nail polish, like pink, orange or yellow. In South Africa, black remains a popular colour but pales into insignificance when compared to South Africans’ most popular colour choice – white.

AutoTrader analysed cars sold on the automotive digital marketplace in 2019, and George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, said that white is by far the most popular car colour in the country. “It accounts for more sales than the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth most popular car colours combined,” he said.

According to Axalta’s 2019 Annual Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report, white was also the most popular colour globally. In Asia, Africa and South America, white proved to be especially popular. In Asia, white cars sold made up 49%, in Africa 46% of cars were white, and 42% in South America were white.

White is popular for many reasons – it’s better in the heat compared to darker colours, it retains its resale value, and it’s easy to repair. A 2011 study, conducted by Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technology Division, proved that light-coloured cars reflect 60% of sunlight compared to dark-coloured cars. Darker cars also show a 2% higher fuel consumption due to the greater use of air conditioning.

The second-best colour in South Africa for 2019, was silver, followed by grey, blue and red. Global preferences differ with black as the second most popular colour, followed by grey, silver and blue. In South Africa, black ranked in the 6th position.

Green cars are also mostly sold in global countries but don’t feature on South Africa’s list. Purple cars show the highest depreciation. Gold, green, maroon and turquoise caused their owners between 4% to 6% losses in resale value.

Gumtree commented when asked about the resale value and the impact of colour, that they buy cars with the heart. It should be a specific brand, body variant, engine and gearbox type, accessories and colour. According to them, white and silver are easy to sell, compared to darker colours.

The local trend is also hues of silver such as grey. The buyers prefer white, silver/grey, black/blue, red and then variants of yellow, brown and green.

Here are 5 tips when you choose your car colour:

  • Maintenance and appearance: White and silver cars don’t show dust and micro-scratches to the extent darker tones do. In wet weather, however, road dirt and mud show up more, but there is a balance. These colour tones need less washing, less polishing, and less fading.
  • Visibility: Lighter coloured-vehicles are safer because of their visibility on the road, in scenery and among traffic.
  • Cost and availability: Your options are limited when you are particular about colour when buying and metallic paint on new cars is often extra. You might end up paying more than a comparable neutral colour. White-painted vehicles also attract lower insurance premiums.
  • Repair: There is lower risk with lighter colours because panel beaters don’t have to match and blend colours to repair the car.
  • Resale value: Lighter cars have stronger resale value because the pool of buyers for popular colours is larger.

The new winning Toyota Corolla Quest

The 2020 Toyota Corolla Quest. It’s all-new, although it looks pretty much identical to the outgoing Corolla model. After almost six years since the launch of the original Corolla Quest, the 11th-generation Corolla might look rebadged, but there’s more to it than that. It shares certain aspects with the Hilux and Fortuner models built alongside it.

South Africa is the only country in the world where this Corolla sedan is still being built, through a detailed development programme to make it more affordable. The newcomer aims to maintain the Quality, Reliability, and Durability (QDR) level. The Corolla Quest has enabled Toyota a 71% share in South Africa’s compact family car market. And, for 2020, Toyota adds a new Corolla Quest with modernised styling, improved satisfaction levels, and enhanced safety features.

The new Corolla sedan bawl refined, smooth-riding and fine-handling. More spacious than before, and with a standard 1.8-litre engine (previously 1.6-liter), it’s something to look forward to. The key difference between the new Corolla Quest and the outgoing model is that the new Quest is splitting off into a model range of its own. Three different trim levels will be available to cater for owners in fleets, taxi companies, the now go-to model for Uber, and Taxify/Bolt users, as well as the family market, and the junior executive buyers.

The three grades of trim are Standard, Prestige and Exclusive. They are fitted with a reasonably extensive features list that carries many of the older model’s features over. The Standard Quest, however, doesn’t differ much more than the old Quest. It’s equipped with auto-door locking, electric windows, four speakers, and airbags for passengers and the driver (including the driver’s knee).

The Prestige model has additionally (than to what the Quest already offers), six speakers, a multi-media system that reads DVDs, a leather steering wheel, cruise control, cloth-and-leather-covered seats, and 16-inch alloy wheels. The top-of-the-range Exclusive model offers keyless-entry and -start, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlamp levelling, LED headlamps, and leather seats.

Producing 103kW, the new engine feels more comfortable to drive, and a lot torquier than the old 1.6-litre engine. It sounds great under less strain and gains momentum much smoother. Customers can choose between a 6-speed manual or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT or automatic transmission). Toyota SA claims average fuel consumption of 7.0L/100km for the manual and 6.3L/100km for the automatic.

Regarding safety, Isofix child-seat anchors, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist, rear fog lamps, LED daytime running lights, and a rear seatbelt buzzer/lamp are standard across the range. Five exterior colours are available – Chromium Silver, Arizona Red, Graphite Grey Metallic, Glacier White, and Seaside Pearl Metallic.

Toyota Corolla Quest Range & Price in SA

  • 1.8 Quest – R249 900
  • 1.8 Quest CVT – R270 400
  • 1.8 Quest Prestige – R286 500
  • 1.8 Quest Prestige CVT – R296 800
  • 1.8 Quest Exclusive – R307 400
  • 1.8 Quest Exclusive CVT – R317 700

The new Quest is sold with a 3-services/45 000km service plan with intervals pegged at 12 months/15 000km. A 3-year/100 000km warranty is included.
The new Quest range will undoubtedly be a roaring sales success because it’s decent to drive and generally well-made too. It represents excellent sense, and it’s a win all round.

Take Note: new 0% blood-alcohol limit from June 2020

You’ve probably noticed additional roadblocks and checkpoints on South African roads already. This is due to the new legislation that will be implemented in June 2020. Currently, your blood may not have an alcohol content of more than 0.05%, but with the new legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers, it will be 0%.

This law forms part of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act, which was proposed by Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula in November 2019. “We are going to be intolerant to drinking and driving. We’re going beyond saying there’s some percentage – it must be zero percent. It’s going to be zero. No alcohol in the blood – and the law is going to bite with regard to that,” he said.

Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) says it supports the incoming law and that it will help put an end to the confusion around the legal blood-alcohol limit. Mbalula added that the new legislation received overwhelming support from citizens; out of 500 000 comments received, only one allegedly queried the zero-tolerance rule.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) raised the following concern. “The regulations say those who lose their licences due to the accumulation of the maximum demerit points may be informed by registered post or electronic means, but the AARTO Act says only registered post may be used. This makes the regulation void.” OUTA also listed 22 errors in cross-referencing in the regulations saying that the way the regulations were drafted makes it difficult to read and interpret.

What will happen if you get caught?

With the new stricter drunk driving laws, you’ll also see the introduction of the much-discussed driving demerit system. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), those over the limit will be arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Liquor.

With the reclassification, drunk driving will be a schedule 5 offence placing it in the same schedule of crimes such as murder or rape. Persons arrested for drunk driving will spend a minimum of 7 days behind bars before they may be considered for bail, which can be denied in some situations. Depending on your prior convictions, you could face a two-year prison sentence, a R2000 fine, or both. You will receive a criminal record, and you could lose your driver’s license, or have it suspended.

With the demerit system, a driver may incur no more than 12 demerit points without their license being suspended. On the 13th point, and every point thereafter, your license will be suspended for three months for every point over 12. If you incur 15 demerit points, for example, the suspension period will be nine months.

Over the 2019 festive season, almost 25 000 drunk drivers were arrested by the police for drunk driving. During a media briefing on festive road stats, Police Minister, Bheki Cele announced that alcohol consumption was at the centre of most crimes.

Dr Leana Olivier, CEO of FARR, said, “A zero-tolerance limit, within a country where we have got such a big problem with drunken driving, is most probably the way to go.” This new law could be the end of the road for drunk drivers in South Africa. To be safe, people under the influence should instead consider using a ride-hailing application such as Uber or Bolt.

New Toyota GR Yaris – No normal hot hatch

This new pocket rocket seems like a Yaris. Still, it’s not really a Yaris… It’s a high-performance homologation special, unveiled at Tokyo Auto Salon 2020. This latest flagship hot hatchback is designed to give Toyota a competitive advantage in the World Rally Championship (WRC), where it is locked in battle with Korean rival Hyundai.

If you don’t care about practicality, but anticipate lightweight, powerful and exhilarate… this is the juice kit just for you! It’s the first true performance car developed entirely in-house by Toyota for around 20 years. This is all the work of Toyota’s developing Gazoo Racing performance division, together with Toyota’s motorsport arm and Tommi Mäkinen Racing, which runs the firm’s WRC programme.

It features a range of motorsport-derived design features, such as an all-new 257bhp turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a dedicated three-door platform and a unique chassis and suspension setup. The roof is substantially lower at the rear louvre, and the rear features a notably wider track, with big, beefy wheel arches.

Beneath the hulking shoulders

Only one gearbox choice, manual, hooked up to the smallest, lightest 1.6-liter engine in the world. It’s shoved back an extra 21mm on the chassis with a three-cylinder turbo, developing 260bhp and 260lb ft. It gives a 0-100km/h time in less than 5.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 230km/h.
A six-speed manual gearbox – there’s no automatic, to save weight and a manual makes it more fun to drive – sends power to all four wheels. It uses a high-performance coupling in front of the rear axle to control power to the rear wheels. The driver can choose between three modes – Normal, Sport and Track – where torque distribution is shifted in 60:40, 30:70 and 50:50 ratios, respectively.

The fresh three-door bodyshell

For this super-Yaris, the body is mostly aluminium except for the roof, which is carbon fibre reinforced plastic replacement. The GR is 91mm lower than the standard Yaris, for better aerodynamic aids and, in case you want to take the GR rallying, Toyota has reinforced the chassis suspension mounts. Also, the car’s engine sits further in the back than the regular model, which improves weight distribution.

It features a wider front and rear track width, a set of grooved front discs, an electric power steering system and a set of 18-inch alloys with Dunlop SP Sport tyres. Stopping is no problem, with 356mm Ventilated 4 pot fixed callipers on the front and 297mm 2 pot at the rear. To improve handling, Toyota also uses a double-wishbone suspension setup on the new GR.
Customers can upgrade with an optional Circuit Pack, which includes a Torsen limited-slip differential on both axles, a performance-tuned suspension and 18-inch forged alloy wheels, in Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.

There’s no hot hatch to rival Toyota’s new GR Yaris directly, and it will give hot hatches from a class above a bloody nose. This is 2020’s most proper supercar with the drive and power from the small four-wheel fiendishly clever car. This machine loves a narrow lane, relishes filthy weather and laughs in a pothole’s face.

Mercedes-Benz Concept: Avatar Car

Mercedes-Benz recently revealed the Mercedes Vision AVTR Concept which was inspired by James Cameron’s 2009 science fiction film – Avatar. The name not only comes from the film but also stands for “Advanced Vehicle Transformation.” This German car brand believes that this car embodies their vision of what mobility will look like in the distant future, with scales and crab-like movements.

This Vision AVTR Concept is the connection between man, machine, and nature, as well as the dream of a society where the trio lives together in perfect symbiosis. It acts as a “living organism” that connects with its users and allows them to feel the world around them. Similar to the Na’vi people and their connection to the flying Banshee, remember?

It’s unlike anything in Mercedes’ current line-up of vehicles – it’s full of glorious hi-tech details that Mercedes says embody the next step of sustainable luxury. The car won’t be featured in Avatar movies, but in a sense, Avatar is in the car. It seamlessly interacts with its occupants – with advanced AI it senses the heartbeat and breathing patterns of the driver and the passengers.

No steering wheel, but a centre console

A multifunctional control element runs through the centre of the car’s interior and acts in place of a car’s conventional steering wheel. This allows the car and driver to connect via biometric readings when the driver places its hand on the control unit. If the driver lifts their hand, a menu selection is projected on the palm to choose different driving functions. The centre console pays homage to the Tree of Souls, a holy place for the Avatar’s imaginary land of Na’vi.

Organic battery technology

With four electric motors, powered by a new-age graphene-based organic battery pack, it becomes independent of fossil resources. It eliminates rare, toxic and expensive earth-like metals such as nickel and cobalt. Graphene batteries also store higher energy density – up to 1200 Wh/litre which is double that of an ordinary lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack has automated wireless conductive charging, capable of ultra-fast recharging capabilities in less than 15 minutes. The battery capacity is rated at 110kWh for an all-electric range of 700 kilometres and produces 470 horsepower.

Enhanced interior comfort

The holistic interior design encapsulates the driver and passengers to deliver an immerse riding experience and was meant to resemble a nest or cocoon. The seats are wrapped in vegan-based DINAMICA leather, which is the first and only microfibre material in the world that guarantees environmental sustainability throughout the production cycle. The material is soft and slip-resistant for enhanced comfort. The seats also vibrate to convey information to passengers. The floor is from Indonesian Karuun (or rattan) wood sustainably harvested from roots found in the Amazon rainforest. Replacing the dashboard is a curved display module projecting 3D graphics along with real-time images of the environment ahead. The Vision AVTR can also sense occupants’ vital signs and adjust the lighting accordingly.

Crab-like movements

The wheels and tyres were inspired by the Wood Sprites, which are seeds of the Trees of Souls from the movie. With a fully-variable torque vectoring system, each wheel can be driven separately depending on any given driving situation. The front and rear axles of the car can be driven in the same or opposite direction. This enables the car to move sideways around 30 degrees, like a crab, and backwards and forward, giving the vehicle an animal-like presence.

Flying insect

The transparent doors open gracefully upwards to mimic the gesture of a flying insect and its rider. The entire rear is covered in 33 discrete scales, or “bionic flaps”, which emulates the scales of reptiles. These scales communicate information to the driver and to the car’s surrounding environment via subtle flowing movements. The flaps can also be utilised to enhance aerodynamic efficiency, increasing driving dynamics and improving braking.

While this concept vehicle was designed to be a “zero-impact car”, it may not make it to production. At least not anywhere in the near future. But we can expect more recycled materials and ecologically-sound trim as well as graphene-based battery technology, and that’s a future worth getting excited for!

How to get the highest possible offer on your vehicle

Selling your car can be somewhat of a struggle, especially when you haven’t done it before. How do you know if you’re getting a valid offer, and how do you prepare your car for the best possible sale? We’re giving you top tips on how to prepare when you’re planning on selling your car.

Clean up your car

Give your car a good clean. A good looking, good sounding and even pleasant smelling car can help increase your offer.
• Remove all your possessions and get rid of anything under and between the seats and from the cup holders. Make sure to get all the hard-to-reach places like door openings, boot openings and the engine bay. Take everything out of the boot and ensure that the spare wheel and jack are properly secured. Get rid of rattling noises that might be mistaken for more serious mechanical problems.

• Vacuum and wipe the interior. Give loose items a good wash, like mats and seat covers (vinegar works best to get rid of stains). Clean vinyl surfaces and treat any leather. If you’re a smoker, clean the ashtray and lighter and ensure that the interior doesn’t smell of smoke – use a deodoriser at least two weeks before selling your car.

• Wash and polish the exterior – don’t forget the details such as lights, hubs, tyres, windows, any chrome or stainless trim, and mud flaps should be spotless.

• Clean minor mechanical bits such as door jambs and seals. Oil all hinges of the doors and make sure the seat belts pull easily. Ensure that the windscreen washer reservoir and radiator are topped up.

• Check the tyres and tyre pressure. Make sure that the tyres are in good condition and inflate them to the correct pressure.

• Finishing touches – when someone is about to test-drive your car, leave the driver seat back and at the lowest setting for the person to adjust it.

Prep your car

Apart from cleaning your car, you’ll want to spend some money on prepping your car for sale. The better shape your car is in, the higher possibility of it being sold. Consider doing the following things:
• Consider a safety inspection and fixing up important mechanical issues.
• Fix chips on the windscreen, or if necessary, replace it.
• If the tread on your tyres is worn out, it’s best to replace the tyres. It can be used ones, but make sure that they are matching and on the same axle.
• Fix dents and deep scratches. It has an impact on the buyer’s perception of the car.
• Change oil and replace small things such as the wipers if they’re not working well.
• Replace broken or missing trim pieces like door panels, glovebox lids, and other odds.
• Ensure that there’s an owner’s manual in the glove box. If you don’t have one, buy a new one.

Organise the documentation

Ensure that the car was serviced recently and that you have all the necessary papers together and organised before the sale. The following documents can be prepared:
• Car registration papers.
• A declaration that the car has been paid off in full.
• Any repair and maintenance papers.
• Service history booklet.
• Your identification.
• Change of ownership document.
You can find these documents on our website here

When your car is clean and ready, it’s time to take some quality photos. This is essential when uploading your car to a car selling website or app. It also assists with the pre-evaluation before any inspections.
• No need to buy or borrow a camera; your smartphone will take perfectly good pictures.
• Shoot early mornings, or late afternoons or when it’s overcast; never in the rain.
• Wipe your camera lens to prevent blurring or lens flare. Avoid using the flash.
• Only take landscape (horizontal) images.
• Try to replicate photos seen from car reviews – front ¾ view, rear ¾ view, side view, and interior shots.
• Take as many photos as possible, especially of extra detail like a boot shot and close-ups of any damage.

Get the value of your car

Get a reliable estimate of your car’s value. Since everyone is not a car expert, it’s the only way to know if an offer is reasonable. You can easily do it from home.
For a quick and easy indication of your car’s value, click here. You’ll need to complete the following – car year, car make, car model, transmission type, fuel type, car variant, and the total kilometres.
For a more accurate offer on your car, you can download our app, complete the easy steps and we’ll give you an irresistible, accurate and guaranteed cash offer. If you’re interested in our offer, the next step is evaluating your car.
We have depots nationwide and no appointment is needed. If you don’t have the time to come to us, we’ll even come to you.

The New BMW M3 Super Saloon

The new 2020 BMW M3 has been snapped, and although the prototypes are being heavily disguised, it’s clearly visible that it includes the trademark quad exhaust pipes, big alloy wheels, and beefed-up carbon ceramic breaks. It also seems to have a subtle boot lid lip spoiler, designed to push the rear axle into the tarmac at higher speeds.

Markus Flasch, the head of the BMW M division, confirmed that this upcoming super-saloon would be offered in all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive guises in both manual and automatic. The all-wheel-drive M3 will also get a drift mode; however, it will have the same set-up as the latest M5. According to Flasch, the fully variable all-wheel-drive system is set to be used in some M3 and M4 derivatives because there’s no reason in changing a winning system. What is known from the M5 is pretty much carried over.

The Competition version of the new M3 would be good for 380kW, while the standard variant would be tuned to produce 358kW. This will make the new M3 models much perkier than their predecessors, which produced between 317kW and 338kW. With power being put to the road more cleanly, much-improved acceleration figures can be expected for the new M3 models.

The M3’s redline is sitting somewhere above 7,000 rpm, but well below 8,000 rpm. Nearly everything on the interior is standard fare, and the standard handbrake is kept. The M3 will be powered by the same twin-turbo, six-cylinder engine as the high-performance SUVs, with superior power culminating in peak torque of 550 Nm. It will have the brand new S58 engine as the X3 M and X4 M and will have 480bhp in the standard version and 510bhp in the Competition version.

BMW is planning entry-level M3 and M4 variants, sold as reduced-to-the-max drivers’ cars. The internal nickname being Pure (merely a working title), which sums up their roles with no frills, back-to-the-roots extensions of the range. They’ll have less power than the plusher models, but they’ll be the only M3/M4 variants without the otherwise standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Pure versions will use a six-speed manual transmission, and a quicker-acting, electronically-controlled diff lock will complement their rear-wheel-drive layout.

Furthermore, Flasch commented that there is a demand for high-performance cars in all-wheel drive in the segment where power output gets to an extent where it’s challenging to get the cars to the road if conditions aren’t perfect. BMW is also expected to debut a new M4 around the same time as the M3. He said that the M3 and M4 were set to hit the showrooms only in 2021, although adding that the Munich-based firm would have the most powerful engine in the segment.

What to know: new driver’s demerit system

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Bill into law in August 2019. The new law will introduce a demerit system that could ultimately end with Johannesburg’s habitual traffic offenders’ driver’s licences being suspended.

If implemented, it will be beneficial to all road users, but we’re left with tons of questions – is this more a ‘money-spinner’ than an aid? Will this really resolve current traffic problems, or will the rest of South Africa just be more cautious than ever before? Will this European point system really work in our rainbow nation?

We don’t have the answers, but if it could reduce the high rate of road deaths (over 14 000 road deaths annually with an economic impact of R146bn), we could surely try it. The system will also have a direct effect on car insurance, as it could potentially be linked to an underwriting criterion as it does reflect driving behaviour. Drivers with a poor record on this system could face higher premiums, while good drivers could benefit from better premiums. Whatever the case may be, here is what you need to know about the new driver demerit system.

How will the new driver demerit system work?

Every driver will start with zero points to their name and will face a three-month licence suspension if they exceed 12 points. One point is reduced every three months if no further violations occur, but the licence will be permanently cancelled if suspended three times.

The suspended driver will then have to reapply for testing as if they are a first-time licence applicant. The new system will also encourage drivers to speed up paying traffic fines – if not paid up, the system will prevent you from renewing your driver’s licence and vehicle licence.

Traffic offences that would add to demerit points

These points will work on a cumulative basis and will be allocated per violation as opposed to per incident. From the lowest to the highest allocation of points:

  • Using and holding a mobile phone while driving will be one demerit point.
  • Skipping a stop sign (light vehicles) is one demerit point, and for buses and trucks, it’s two points.
  • Speeding can be between two and six points, depending on the speed limit.
  • Driving without a licence equals four demerit points.
  • Driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance will be six demerit points.

Click here for the full list of violations, penalties and demerit points.

How can you avoid points piling up?

  • Adhere to speed limits.
  • Maintain a safe following distance between your car and the car ahead of you.
  • Put away your mobile phone – whatever it is, it can wait until you reach your destination.
  • Look after your vehicle – make sure it’s roadworthy at all times.
  • If your vehicle is being used as public transport, it’s a legal requirement to test your vehicle for roadworthiness annually.
  • Be courteous and adhere to good road manners.
  • Respect road rules and fellow motorists.
  • Be more tolerant and patient to avoid aggressive driving.

Your Rights When Pulled Over by Metro Police

All road users will, at some point, be pulled over by Metro Police and be required to abide by the law and the police officers’ instructions. However, over the last couple of months, South Africa’s social climate has left women and children in a vulnerable state that safety isn’t guaranteed. In 2019, numerous incidents were reported and shared on social media which questioned some police officials’ behaviour. Motorists don’t feel safe when pulled over by traffic officials, especially at night. So, what are your rights as a South African motorist when stopped at roadblocks or on the road?

Firstly, there are two types of roadblocks in South Africa – informal and approved. Informal roadblocks pop up on major roads or off-ramps to prevent speeding, drunken driving, and unroadworthy vehicles by checking licences or outstanding fines. Metro Police are not permitted to search a person or a vehicle without a warrant unless the officer can prove extraordinary circumstances in a court of law – for example, the sound of someone’s muffled screams from your boot.

Secondly, the approved, or K78 roadblock, has been permitted by the National Police Commissioner which allows police officers to conduct a full search of the person and the vehicle without a warrant. Women should be searched by a women police officer, of course. Male officers are prohibited from conducting a search on any woman, and vice versa. If a female officer is not present, you may ask that a female officer be called to the scene and you can remain in your vehicle until she arrives. A woman is entitled to call for help when in a situation where she feels her safety is at risk.

A police officer has the right to stop any vehicle at any time, not just at roadblocks. We are obligated to pull over to the side of the road in a safe and timely manner. It’s best to remain calm, be courteous, and provide the requested personal details and documents. This could include your driver’s licence, ID, physical address, and any other particulars about your identity.

You are entitled to ask the officer, in uniform or not, for proof of identity or appointment card. An officer who can’t or won’t provide an appointment certificate is transgressing the Criminal Procedures Act, and any actions taken will be illegal. You should never stop for any officers out of uniform, or if no marked vehicle is clearly visible. In this case, you have the full right to signal to the officer to follow you to the nearest police station, where it’ll be safer for you to stop. The blue light imposer con is prevalent, therefore, always be aware and if in doubt, don’t stop. Drive to the nearest police station and, if possible, take note of the vehicle’s registration number.

A police officer has the right to discontinue an unroadworthy vehicle immediately with motivation. They may specify that the vehicle may be used for a limited period or to reach a specific destination. When your vehicle is searched and confiscated, officers must have a strong suspicion that you’ve been involved in a crime and a warrant must already be issued by a magistrate. This does not apply for official roadblocks where necessary warrants have already been obtained.

You may not be arrested by Metro Police for outstanding fines unless they’ve issued a warrant for your arrest. They may also not force you to pay the fine there and then. Don’t offer a bribe or agree to one if requested.

If you are arrested, you must be informed of your rights immediately. Don’t resist, but request to see a copy of the warrant of arrest. If there’s no warrant for your arrest, you have the right to refuse being placed under arrest. However, the officer may detain you at the scene for a considerable amount of time to obtain the warrant. After an arrest, the officer must transfer you directly to the police station and may not drive around with you in the back of the vehicle. You have the right to be brought before a court within 48 hours of your detention. You have the right to apply and be granted bail, except for serious crimes where an application for bail can only be heard by the court.

Should you be pulled over and feel unsafe, do the following:

  • Switch on your emergency lights.
  • Slow down.
  •  Indicate with your hand that you want to talk to the officer and that you are cooperating.
  • If the officer’s vehicle is alongside yours, indicate that you feel unsafe and that you’re heading towards the nearest police station, petrol station or any other safe haven.
  • Notify a family member of where you are and request them to meet you there.

When pulled over, you can also get in trouble if you:

  • Disrespect or verbally/physically abuse an officer or damage their property.
  • Intentionally disobey a lawful request of any officer.
  • Refuse a breathalyser test or a blood test at the nearest hospital.
  • Resist an arrest.
  • Offer or pay a bribe.

Always remain calm and don’t contest the officers. If you ever feel like you’re being victimised, you may insist on being taken to the nearest police station. You have the full right to record any incident and officials at roadblocks without your personal property being seized. Always take note of names, times, dates, registration numbers, and anything else that might be significant And most importantly – drive safe and obey the rules of the road.