What is GVM and How Does it Affect your Driving?

Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is the total weight of the vehicle, which includes all the passengers, the luggage and equipment, and even the fuel. This will be very different to the actual weight of the vehicle itself, and if you go overboard with the accessories, you could be adding so much extra weight that stability becomes an issue. All Australian vehicles will have both the gross weight of the vehicle (as sold) and the GVM, which would be displayed in Tonnes and kilogrammes.

Know your GVM

If you’ve just purchased the truck, then you do not need to concern yourself with the GVM, but if you are planning lots of heavy duty add ons, then the weight of your truck is likely to significantly increase. Improved suspension help when driving a heavy vehicle, and if you are in WA, check out http://www.westcoastsuspension.com.au/, who are experts in off road suspension for every environment.

Related: Could 2017 be a record year for auto sales?

Stay Within the Weight Limits

The vehicle manufacturer will have extensively tested the truck, and would know the safe limits of gross weight, which should never be exceeded for obvious reasons. If you are driving a truck that is close to the maximum weight, upgrading the suspension is essential, and West Coast Suspensions are the ideal people to talk to.

Weight Distribution

The handling of a vehicle will be much better if the weight has been evenly distributed, and generally, heavier objects should be centrally located, and the lower the better, as stability will be affected if you attach heavy objects to the roof rack. If, for example, you are carrying a lot of camping equipment, make sure it is correctly tied down, and also that it is as aerodynamic as possible. Waterproof rubber covers can be tailor made to give roof contents a dry base, even in the heaviest of rain, and try to keep things balanced, with not too much weight at one end, or on one side.

Weighbridges

These are everywhere and if your vehicle is fully loaded and ready for an extended trip into the wilderness, spend a few dollars and find out the exact weight of the fully loaded truck, and this will give you peace of mind, knowing that the GVM is within the limits.

Sluggish Response

If your truck is overloaded, the handling will become sluggish, and this will put extra strain on your suspension and chassis, along with much more work for the braking system, and if you have to negotiate any steep inclines, the weight of the vehicle is critical. Momentum increases with more weight, and this means you need more distance to effectively stop the vehicle, and if you feel the handling is not what it should be, consult a suspension expert, who can recommend a suitable upgrade.

The gross vehicle mass is something that should never be exceeded, and with evenly balancing the extra weight, your ride will always be solid and reliable. If you are in any doubt about this, talk to an expert, who can make sure everything is as it should be.

You might also enjoy: Things you should be excited about when buying a new car

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Vehicular Vigor – Things to Get Excited about When Buying a New Car

So, you’re buying a car! Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, buying a car is an extremely exciting time. It means independence, ticking of an adult life goal, as well as that brand new car smell! Read on to discover what things you should be excited about – and what you should be wary of – next time you purchase a car.

  1. First timers

After your home, a car is one of the best necessary, albeit expensive, big ticket items that you will spend money on. Therefore, it’s worth putting the adequate amount of research into what you’re going to buy. If it’s your first time buying a car, you will have a few other considerations to think about.

For example, what is your budget?

Plus, don’t forget to factor in registration and insurance! As well as this, you need to establish whether you can actually drive the vehicle you are going to purchase on your current license. Do you have a manual or automatic license, and how many passengers can you legally drive? Lastly, your first car should be a safe and easy to drive car, especially as you are just starting out in your car owning journey.

  1. New or used?

No matter what type of car you decide to buy – new, used or perhaps even demo – you need to ensure you enlist a reliable dealer, such as Cars and Co. Let’s dissect these types of car options one by one.

Firstly, one of the most appealing things about buying a brand new car is that you can choose exactly the make, colour and model that you want. There is no compromise. However, you are going to be paying more than with the other options.

Secondly, a used car makes a lot of sense, especially for first time car buyers.

This is because a second hand car will stretch your budget much further, meaning you will usually get a better quality car for the amount of money you spend. If you’re still undecided on whether to purchase a new or used car, perhaps you should consider purchasing a demonstrator. There is the potential to save a lot of money and value in a demo car, which is the car that customers take for test drives.

  1. The buying process

The buying process is certainly exciting, however it does need to be treated with the appropriate care. Firstly, you need to research the car options you’re after, gathering all appropriate knowledge you need. Next, you should create a list of the exact car you want, as well as all the accessories and add-ons that you deem necessary.

From this point, you need to compare this list with your actual budget to see what you can actually afford. Then, you’ll be able to investigate your financing options in order to get a realistic quote and have an idea of your car buying timeline.

  1. Important considerations

Just before you go throwing your hand earned cash down on a vehicle, it’s imperative that you remember a number of important considerations. For example, ensure that you compare all models of the car that you are keen on buying. Usually, they will vary in safety, luxury, reliability and running costs. No matter your preference, safety is the one aspect that you should not compromise on.

Always aim for a 5-star safety rating when buying a car.

Next, you’ll think about whether you want to buy an automatic or a manual car. This will depend on your license as well as personal preference.

Lastly, if you have the budget for it, you can consider some lifestyle features. For instance, do you need space for outdoors items such as sports equipment or camping gear? Perhaps a good sound system is paramount for you? Think about what lifestyle features you may want and, if you can afford them, talk to your car dealer about purchasing a model that incorporates these.

With some adequate planning, buying a car can be a relatively painless and seamless process. If you stick to these 4 tips, not only will you be excited about the right things when buying a car, but you will understand the important things you need to consider, also. Good luck!

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Top Tips For Buying a Used Car

When it comes to buying a new car, deciding on purchasing a used car is a far more cost effective way to get the new auto that you want. There are many benefits of buying a used car over a new one, the initial costs, the fact that used cars hold value far better and you can also get a better car than what you perhaps could afford if you decided on buying new. There is a stigma attached with some used car salesmen so you need to ensure that you are fully prepared with how to go about buying your used car, here are some top tips for you to help you out.

Know What You Want

If you are going to buy a used car from a dealership, it is important that you have a firm idea of what you are after before entering , simply turning up to see what they have leaves you vulnerable to a strong sales pitch for something which you may not have had in mind. Do plenty of research beforehand, check out magazines and classifieds and look online to get an idea of what you want. Consider what you will be using the car for and how often you plan to drive it in order to narrow down your options.

Keep Your Price to Yourself

Sales staff will always want to know what your budget is when you walk into the dealership, this is so that they can do their best to max it out on the price of the car and any add-ons which they might be able to sell you. You wouldn’t reveal your budget when you enter the grocery store so don’t do so here.

Inspect the Vehicle

Unfortunately, there is some truth in the stories that there are some real cowboys out there in the used car industry and in order to protect yourself, you need to ensure that the car is in great condition before you buy. If you, like many of us, don’t really know what you should be looking for under the bonnet, then take a professional. Naturally it helps if you know someone that has knowledge about these things but if not, it might be worth giving a mechanic a few dollars to give you a hand.

Negotiate Hard

When the time comes to talk pricing, you need to be hard and smart with your negotiation skills. Don’t ever accept the price that is on the car, this will be largely inflated, try to aim to take 10-15% off the price of the car. If you don’t get the price that you want then it is time to walk away. Very often, the sales staff will want to make the sale far more than you wish to buy the car so try to remember that. You may be offered some add-ons to sweeten the deal, if this happens then take some time to consider things before making a decision. A good technique is to tell them that you wish to sleep on it, once you leave the car lot you can pretty much guarantee that they’ll be on the phone soon with a better offer.

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Top tips for keeping classic cars in mint condition 

If you are about to pick up your first classic car, you might be wondering how to keep it in good enough condition so that it can compete for first prize at the Show and Shine contests in your area.

By following a few cardinal rules that collectors like Robert Bassam swear by, you’ll be able to keep your roadster in tip-top condition for the foreseeable future.

1) Detail your car once per year

This is one of the most obvious steps, but it is also one of the most dreaded. Detailing your car is a very labor-intensive procedure, as it involves deep cleaning, vacuuming, washing and waxing the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Neglect this important task, and your classic car will gradually accumulate dust, dirt, and grime, which are all things that will cause its good looks to fade.

Remember that you only have to do this once per year: put in one solid weekend afternoon of effort, and your car will look amazing for the rest of the year.

2) Keep your garage rodent-free

As much care as you put into the prior step, your effort will be for naught if your garage ends up becoming infested with mice and rats.

If they are allowed to invade its walls, they will eventually find their way inside, and they will end up chewing up the upholstery of your classic car.

While you may be certain that your garage and home does not contain rodents, it is it best to consult with a pest control expert, just to be sure.

3) Take it out / start it up once per month

If you’re like most collectors, you don’t acquire cars just so they can collect dust in your garage. You dream of being able to take them out during the summer and drive them down the main streets of your community. However, there are some times, especially during the cooler months of the year, where your car will sit dormant for extended periods.

Not starting the vehicle for a long time can be stressful on its systems, as moisture and condensation conspire to create leaks that can hasten the aging process.

By taking out your car at least once per month, you will be able to dry up any sources of moisture by heating up the vehicle.

If it is too cold outside, run the vehicle in your garage with the doors and windows open during the off-season.

4) Park them well away from other vehicles

There’s a reason why you rarely see any classic cars on the road after the first snow flies. It’s has nothing to do with with classic cars being out of style once summer is over, and everything to do with what is put on the roads once they begin to freeze.

Road salt is incredibly destructive to classic cars, so unless you have no choice but to move your vehicle, it is best to leave your baby parked in the garage until spring arrives.

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4 Means to Buying the Perfect Used Car

Are you in the mood for purchasing a used car?

If so, the most important thing you can do is take your time looking for one.

One of the things consumers (like yourself) need to avoid is rushing into buying a vehicle. When one does that, they could very well end up with a clunker, a clunker that costs them money and quite possibly their safety and the safety of those around them.

With that being the case, make sure you do your homework before agreeing to buy that used vehicle.

So, are you ready to start searching for the perfect used car?

Do Your Homework and Take Your Time

When it comes to locating the best used car out there for your needs, keep the following pointers in mind:

  1. Search – As mentioned a moment ago, avoid the impulse to just go out and buy anything on the spot. When purchasing a used vehicle, it is just that, used. As a result, you don’t know its history without asking questions and/or doing an online search to try and learn more. That said spending time on a license plate lookup is a good way to try and dig into a vehicle’s history. Find the best online resource tool to do just that, allowing you to uncover as many details as possible regarding the vehicle of interest. You should also check different online resources to see what used vehicles are typically going for these days in both the private market and from car dealers. Knowing the average price for your vehicle of interest is important so that you do not get taken for a ride financially (see more below);
  2. Money – One of the typical reasons many people opt for used cars over new ones is the idea of saving money. That said make sure you are getting what you pay for. Unfortunately, some will buy a vehicle out of their love for it (way it looks, way it drives etc.) without truly knowing what it is worth. In the end, they then realize that they overpaid for it. Go online and use the different resources available when it comes to pricing used vehicles. If the deal sounds too go to be true, it probably is.

Don’t Buy without Testing First

  1. Performance – Would you buy a new vehicle without taking it for a spin first? Given the answer is likely of course not, the same holds true (even more importance) when considering buying a used vehicle. With all that a used car could have been through over its lifetime, you want to not only drive it, but preferably have a mechanic check it out. Knowing that things such as the engine, brakes, transmission etc. are in good shape is key. If someone tries to sell used a vehicle without letting you try it out, you’re better off hitting the road and finding another opportunity;
  2. Safety – Finally, you should already know this, but be sure to never overlook the importance of safety when considering buying a used vehicle. You likely do not know if that car you’re considering has been in an accident or two. If it has, was it repaired properly? If not, you could potentially be buying something that will put you and others at risk. This is yet another reason why the vehicle needs to be checked out by a mechanic and an auto body expert wouldn’t hurt either.

If you have the itch to purchase a used car, now might be the perfect time for you to go ahead and do it.

Just remember to use commonsense when making such a purchase.

Make sure the vehicle is thoroughly checked out before you open up your wallet or purse and drive away.

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Debunked: Motor oil myths for novices

It’s hidden away and for that reason, it sometimes goes forgotten. However, like it or not, your motor oil is the thing that makes your car tick and without it, problems are going to arise.

When we talk about problems, we’re not discussing minor inconveniences either. Extensive engine damage is one issue and it will most probably mean that you can’t rely on your vehicle warranty and instead have to make a claim with a company like Omega Auto Care.

However, while it might be critically important, there are a lot of misconceptions that surround oil and just how you should manage it in your vehicle. It’s for this reason that we’ve put together this guide, as we scrutinize motor oil in-detail and highlight the many myths that have emerged about it.

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“Black oil means that it should be changed”

This is something that’s commonly stated but suffice to say, it’s just not correct. The general consensus is that you should use your dipstick to check the color of the oil and if it’s black, you should change it as a matter of urgency.

However, rather than showing that the oil is bordering on useless, the darker color instead highlights that it’s working correctly. Oil will change color over time and there’s no need to act apart from in extreme cases.

“You should change your oil every three months”

Another piece of advice which is alarmingly common is the notion that you should change your vehicle’s oil every three months, or every 3,000 miles if you happen to complete that even more quickly.

Generally, if you follow this approach you will just be wasting oil. A better approach is to check your owner’s manual, with most new cars recommending that you change it after at least 7,000 miles – a far cry from the 3,000 that has been historically documented. Failing that, just wait for your warning light to illuminate.

“Synthetic oil is just better”

There’s a couple of myths on synthetic oil, and here’s the first. It’s often said that synthetic oil isn’t just better for your vehicle, but also for fuel economy.

Well, truth be told, it’s not completely accurate. A lot of the time the synthetic claims are exaggerated and umpteen tests have still failed to prove the benefit that it has to fuel economy. Sure, it’s a more lubricated substance, but whether or not this is worthy of the inflated price is another matter.

“There’s no going back after turning to synthetic oil”

Our next synthetic oil myth surrounds the choices you have once you’ve taken the plunge. While some might suggest that you can never go back to petroleum-based oil after using a synthetic type – this generally isn’t the case. As long as the oil is of the required standard, you are able to use both alternately. Usually, these types of oil are blended anyway, so it makes no sense to suggest that they have such dangerous effects on each other.

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Give Your Vehicle the TLC It Needs

Would you consider yourself someone who goes above and beyond what is necessary to take care of one’s vehicle?

If so, you are like millions of other car and truck owners nationwide.

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That being the case, given many cars and trucks are built these days to last longer, it is a sound investment for you to take care of your vehicle. Not only will it mean lower auto insurance and registration fees down the road, but you will also save money on major repairs by doing regular maintenance.

That said where you live and where you drive both play roles in how long you can typically keep a car or truck (see more below). Between weather conditions and area roads, your vehicle can take a beating over time. If that is the case in your situation this all the more reason to be attentive to your vehicle’s needs.

So, are you giving your vehicle all the TLC it needs?

Note Your Weather and Road Conditions

Even if you don’t use your vehicle all that much, the time it spends outside (assuming you don’t garage it all of the time) and the roads it must tackle can take a toll.

With that being the case, here are some helpful reminders to preserve the life of your vehicle for as long as possible:

  • Weather – One of the things that can wear on a vehicle over time would be the weather conditions. As bad as some roads may be, your vehicle being out in snow, ice, heat etc. can be a real game-changer. For example, if you live in the Phoenix area, you know all too well how hot it can get from May to October. As such, your vehicle can literally bake in the summer sun, leading to possible paint damage and other issues. If you are considering purchasing a new BMW in Phoenix or another make or model, think about your choices. For instance, buying a black car in Arizona or other hot climates may not be the wisest choice, especially when those hot days roll around. Meantime, for those residing in rainy areas of the country like Seattle, buying a vehicle with a sunroof may not be the wisest choice. Although sunroofs provide a look and feel that many drivers like, a leaky sunroof can turn into a real problem, especially if it provides continuous problems. The best option no matter where you reside is to have a garage or even a carport to house your vehicle. In doing so, you will typically increase the life of your vehicle, saving you money when all is said and done;
  • Roads – Unless you are retired and/or you don’t have to drive all that often, your vehicle is going to come across its share of potholes, bumpy roads, roads where you have to brake often etc. As such, expect your vehicle to get a true workout. Although some contact with potholes and other road issues is all but inevitable, do your best to avoid such issues. From your tires to your brakes, how you drive on local roads and highways will go a long way in determining how many years you keep that vehicle. Lastly, make sure you know the road conditions as much as possible before setting out to drive. This is especially the case in the wintertime. Roads that appear to be safe can turn on a dime when snow and/or ice come in contact with them. By taking extra time to get where you need to go, you and your vehicle will likely arrive safely.

Regular Maintenance is a Necessity

  • Maintenance – Finally, are you one of those drivers with an avoidance of your area mechanic at all costs? Just like some people never want to see a dentist, some drivers are missing in action when it comes to taking care of their vehicles. Even if you decide regular maintenance updates (30K, 60K, 90K miles etc.) are not going to happen, at least get your recommended oil changes, have the tires rotated, and get the brakes inspected. Not only are those check-ups important for the life of your vehicle, they also improve your safety odds each and every time you get behind the wheel.

If giving your vehicle some TLC has been an afterthought as of late, drive forward with better habits this year and down the road.

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Best Motorcycle Road Trips in the USA

motorcycle-road-trip

Time to take a motorcycle trip! There is nothing like the great American road trip on a motorcycle; the perfect way to have a great time and experience the beauty and diversity of the country. Before you set out however, make sure you have some spare essential motorcycle parts with you in the case of an emergency.

When you are all set, these road trips offer ever-changing scenery along the way and a chance to see just how beautiful the US truly is. They are by no means untraveled roads, but these routes are worth the journey.

The Blue Ridge Parkway – North Carolina to Virginia

This drive is a breathtaking experience for anyone setting tire on the ground. Starting at the southern end of Shenandoah National Park and winding along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains all the way to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the 469 miles of twisty and curvy road offers great driving at several elevations and views you can talk about all year. Lush green landscapes, old farmsteads, breathtaking vistas, and dozens of places to stop and visit, make this one of the most inviting and popular to ride.

Route 66 – Illinois to California

Since 1926, Route 66 has long been called The Main Street of America because it runs through so many inner city avenues and small-town main streets along its meandering length. In fact, the original route was a patchwork of existing roads, which ranged from brick streets and urban four lanes, to cattle paths cut across farms. There is no stretch of road more closely associated with Americana than Route 66 which covers more than 2,000 miles from Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, to Arizona and California. The miles contain a diversity of attractions including national parks, architectural landmarks roadside oddities (the world’s largest ketchup bottle, covered wagon, and rocking chair), countless billboards, motels, and dozens of greasy diners. And of course great roads to ride.

Road to Hana – Paia to Hana, Hawaii

Unspooling along 52 snakelike miles of Maui’s eastern coast, this route runs from Kahului to the town of Hana. The drive is a cliff hanger that strains many a driver’s equilibrium and often demands several stops to get your balance. Hairpin turns that wind over plunging cliffs and postcard-perfect waterfalls make this one of the most picturesque drives in the US. Without stops, and traffic pending, the trip takes around three hours, but plenty of lookouts, beaches, and other attractions along the way will likely have you making detours. The modern world seems distant, and as you ride your cares fade into a mustard colored sunset, and tensions get gently blown away in the trade winds. The road takes you to Hana’s famous black sand beaches and lava tubes.

Yes, that sound you hear is the open road calling you, and every motorcyclist needs to take a memorable trip, on an unforgettable road. And remember, taking these scenic and exhilarating drives is not about getting to the destination, it’s about the ride. So enjoy!

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Things to Look for When Choosing a Mechanic

What are the Things to Look for When Choosing a Mechanic?
Photo by CC user Interiot on English Wikipedia

Few things in life are guaranteed beyond death and taxes – and one of those things is that if you own a car, you will eventually need to find a good mechanic. Finding a good a mechanic shouldn’t left to luck. There are some things that you can ask to help you narrow your search for a qualified mechanic that you can trust in a reliable shop. Honda owners can check out Omega Auto Care, but no matter what kind of car you drive, these tips can help you find the right mechanic for you.

Is the mechanic certified?

This is the most obvious way to know if a mechanic is qualified. There are number of certifications that a mechanic can hold, including manufacturer’s certifications which confirm a mechanic’s ability to work on a particular make of car. Mechanics may also be certified by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE certification means that a mechanic has been tested for knowledge and skills, and also has the required amount of experience. It is important to bear in mind that individuals rather than shops receive ASE certification, and so you will need to ask about the credentials of the particular mechanic who will be working on your car.

Does the shop have reputable affiliations?

Look for a sign indicating that the shop you are considering is AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) affiliated. These shops are monitored for the quality of their service, and must use only certified mechanics. If you are not able to identify beforehand who will be working on your car, you will at least be sure that the mechanic will be certified if the shop has an AAR affiliation.

Does the mechanic take the time to explain things?

Especially if you are not familiar with the inner workings of your car, it can be overwhelming to sort through a lot of technical jargon as the mechanic explains what is wrong with your car and what it will take to fix. A good mechanic will be a good communicator, and will take the time required to make sure that you understand the details of your situation, and will answer questions to your satisfaction.

Does the mechanic have a good reputation?

Knowing that a mechanic is certified and works in a reputable shop provides a basic degree of assurance that the mechanic has the skills necessary to expertly service your car. However, there is more to being a good mechanic than simply knowing your way around a car. You want to know that a mechanic is honest and reliable, that the quotes are going to be accurate, and that the work will be completed on time. You also want to know that your mechanic is a good communicator, and a fast diagnostician. These sorts of qualities are harder to evaluate without references, and it is always a good idea to check those references. But in the end, you should be sure to talk with your mechanic and go with your gut – if you don’t get a positive feeling from that conversation, then move on.

A car is a big investment, and the last thing you want to do is entrust it to just any mechanic. Make sure you take the time to properly research the mechanics in your area to make sure that your investment is in the right hands!

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How Getting the Right Rental Car Can Totally Make your Vacation a Memorable One

Holidays are a time for fun, freedom, and relaxation, and if the vacation involves taking in the sights, the family will need the right vehicle. Let’s take Perth as an example, the surrounding areas have a wealth of treasures for the traveller, not to mention the city itself. When choosing a rental vehicle, consider the number of people, and also the space required for extras like picnic hampers or fold up bikes, and it might be an idea to hire an SUV or a minivan, which gives the group space to be comfortable.

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Sports Utility Vehicles

SUVs are the ideal choice for a holiday, as they can go off road, and can carry up to 8 people in comfort, with lots of space in the rear for those extra things we all carry. The latest generation of SUVs are powerful, handle well, and are equally at home in the city or the outback. Four wheel drive options allow the group to come off the roads and explore the countryside in more detail.

Online Solutions

If a person is planning a self-drive holiday, it is easy to source a reputable car rental company online, and if the destination happens to be WA, there is affordable car hire from Perth’s Ace Rent a Car, and with so many vehicles to choose from, they are sure to have the ideal transport. An established hire company would have a website where it is simple to book the vehicle, which will be waiting at the airport when the group arrives.

Freedom to Explore

If the family decides they want to tour the region, the vehicle needs to be large enough to accommodate the group, and any extras deemed necessary for the trip. Some folk prefer to book into one hotel, and use that as a base, while touring daily. Others want to venture further afield and prefer to stay at hotels along the way, which means the vehicle must be able to carry everyone’s luggage. It is a nice feeling being on the open road, with no timetable to follow, and no restrictions on where one can go. Explore the countryside at one’s leisure and with so many routes on offer, the choices are indeed varied.

Minibuses

If the group is anything from 8 to 12 in number, a minibus might be the best solution. Air conditioned and comfortable, people movers are ideal for larger groups, and with so much extra space for luggage, the family will not be limited in any way.

Local Knowledge

Of course, the Internet is a great source of knowledge, and one can soon find out what there is to see and do, and the rental company would be knowledgeable about the local attractions, so one can ask them in advance and they would be happy to suggest suitable venues. The wineries in Swan Valley are world class, and anyone who visits WA, simply must include a wine tour. The Margaret River region is another area for vineyards, with more than 200 wineries producing some of the best wine Australia has to offer.

Hiring the right vehicle can mean the difference between an average holiday or a memorable one, and by talking to the right company, the perfect vehicle will be awaiting the group’s arrival.

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