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Most Googled car questions answered

By David Bonnici and WhichCar staff, 08 Oct 2019 Car Advice

Most Googled car questions answered

We look into the top car-related questions that Australians ask Google and give you answers to help your quest for car knowledge

When were cars invented? 

An often disputed fact, the car as we know it today was first invented in the late 1800s. Of course, it presented as nothing like we know and love it today, but what you would now call an automobile was first invented by Karl Benz in 1885. 

What car should I buy?

As everyone is different and has separate needs and wants, there is no one car that suits everyone. The Australian new car market is one of the most competitive in the world, each and every brand vying for your hard-earned dollar which can sometimes make buying decisions confusing. But there's a hidden advantage of having an amazing amount of choice. Luckily, WhichCar is here to help and provides thousands of new car reviews and comparisons, and car buying advice you can arm yourself with before hitting the dealership.

Read next: WhichCar should I buy: I want a 'plain' car

Additionally, we run a series of articles called "Which car should I buy?" where we answer the question based on each person's specific circumstances. If you want the chance to get picked for a "Which car should I buy?" article, please send us an email at whichcar@bauer-media.com.au.

How are cars made?

There is no easy answer to this question as each and every car manufacturer has different ways of going about producing cars. Generally it involves a production line, where the chassis is sent down a line and each part is added sequentially. A lot of car production is completed using robots and machines rather than humans these days. 

Read: Will Australian car manufacturing ever come back?

Is car allowance taxable?

Car allowance is included in your taxable income and as such, you will need to pay tax on it. However, if you are using your car for work you should document the travel in a logbook as you can claim 68 cents per kilometre of travel which in turn, will reduce your taxable income. 

What cars are made in Australia?

Australia no longer manufactures cars. The only exception is Brabham who builds the BT62 out of Adelaide.

How do I jump start my car?

Jump starting a car is pretty simple but there are several precautions you need to take to do it safely.  If possible, get roadside assistance to come and start your car as they’ll have anti-surge equipment that prevents any damage to your car’s electronics. If that’s not possible or convenient, follow these steps to jump start your car and safely get your car going again.

MORE Car Advice

How do I replace my car key?

Car keys are quite complex these days. Getting car keys replaced or fixed through a dealership can be expensive, with standard electronic keys costing anywhere from $250 to $1000 to replace.  

You can save about $100 by going to an automotive locksmith or accredited locksmith with the necessary equipment to replace modern car keys.

As well as cutting metal keys based on your car’s unique code, some locksmiths have equipment that can help reset the car's computer if both keys are lost.

You can find a suitable locksmith at the Master Locksmiths Association of Australia website.

car key

What does comparison rate mean in relation to car loans?

Lenders are required by law to provide comparison rates that help identify the true cost of a loan including the interest rate, term of the loan, repayment frequency and accompanying fees to give you a better picture of what the loan will cost over its life. It will generally be about 0.5 percent higher than the primary interest rate.

Sometimes you’ll see car dealers advertising very cheap “comparison rates” as low as 0.0 percent. If this seems too good to be true, it’s probably because it is. What happens here is they ramp up the purchase cost of the car so the total repayments end up being the same as if the car was cheaper.

According to CarLoans.com.au, a car with a purchase price of $23,000 over 36 months at 0 percent will cost you more than the same car with a purchase price of $20,000 over 36 months at a 7 percent comparison rate. 

More about Car Finance

Unless the purchase price with the comparison rate is a bargain, you are better off organising finance separately and negotiating for the cheapest price on your new car purchase. In any case, do the homework before you buy.

Find out more about how to finance your new car.  

What are the best cars for towing?

Check out the top 10 caravan tow vehicles, as judged by the expert team at Caravan World.

The best towers have a maximum towing capacity of 3000-3500kg and are generally larger SUVs and trade utes, which are listed here. 

What is the best tyre pressure for my car?

This depends on your car and tyres. Assuming your car has appropriate tyres, you can find the correct pressure on the tyre placard located in one of your car’s door jams or in the glove box.

Once you know the correct tyre pressure setting, be sure to check it once a month and top up if necessary.

Now read all you need to know about tyres

What is car suspension?

Your car’s suspension is generally out of sight and out of mind, but it plays a crucial role. The suspension does everything from ensuring the wheels stay connected with the road for better grip and braking, to stopping the car from shaking to pieces over rough surfaces. As well as smoothing a bumpy ride, it also helps steering by absorbing lateral forces that make the car want to roll.

Suspension comes with two basic components – springs and dampers (also called shock absorbers).

Read our in-depth guide to suspension for more details.