The Road Ahead : August 1st 2012
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 65 AUG/SEP 2012 THE ROAD AHEAD TIPS + ADVICE MEMBER ESSENTIALS be prepared Before heading off on your next caravanning holiday, remember to brush up on your towing skills. It can often be months, or even years between caravan trips, so it's important to be prepared for your own safety and that of other road users. In addition to completing an RACQ towing workshop, which is designed to help novice and experienced drivers safely and competently tow and manoeuvre a range of recreational trailers, it's important to ensure all equipment is roadworthy. www.racq.com.au/motoring/driver_ training SCHOOL HOLIDAY SAFETY To avoid potential mechanical mishaps on school holiday road trips, motorists should ensure that: • The vehicle’s lights are working properly • Tyres, including the spare, have adequate tread and are inflated to the correct pressure • Engine oil and coolant are topped up to the correct level • The windscreen isn’t chipped, cracked or scratched • Windscreen wipers and washers are functioning well It's also important that vehicles and trailers are packed safely, allowing the driver a clear view through the rear window at all times. To book your car in for a mechanical check visit www.racq.com/ vehicleinspections. making life easier IN OUR PREVIOUS column, we discussed how to complain if a consumer guarantee has not been complied with. Ultimately, if this is the case, you might need to take legal action. The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) or the appropriate court is the venue in this state for commencing legal action against a trader with whom you have a dispute. QCAT hears consumer civil dispute claims, including those involving repairers and consumer guarantees. To claim through QCAT, you need to pay a fee, which is determined by the amount of your claim, and submit an application for a minor civil dispute- consumer dispute form. Note that the maximum amount for a QCAT claim is $25,000. You can obtain more information about the QCAT process, fees and forms by visiting www.qcat.qld.gov.au, or through your local Magistrates Court registry. For claims above $25,000, you cannot claim through QCAT and will need to proceed through the Magistrates Court (up to $150,000), District Court (to $750,000) or Supreme Court (above $750,000). As there is never any certainty as to the success of a claim, ensure you obtain legal advice first. Legal action can be expensive, and if your claim does not succeed, you may be ordered to pay the other party's legal costs. This column provides general information only on legal topics. Members can contact RACQ Legal Advisory Service on 1800 680 050 with legal queries related to motoring. consumer guarantees (part 6) RACQ LEGAL UPDATE SMART SHOPPING Shopping for car finance is no different from any other kind of retail therapy -- it's important to see what's out there to ensure you are paying the best price. RACQ Finance has created a checklist of information for prospective car buyers, advising them what questions to ask and how best to handle the application process to ensure they achieve the best result. For more information visit www.racq.com/finance. ULTIMATE DIRECT DEBIT RACQ Ultimate members can now pay for their annual membership renewal through direct debit. By simply filling out a form and nominating a bank account or credit card, the membership fee can be debited annually on the renewal date. There are no annual fees for the direct debit facility, just the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have breakdown assistance 24-7. To upgrade to Ultimate membership, or register for direct debit, visit www.racq. com/ultimate.
June July 2012