Tuesday, January 24, 2012

So you want to be a car blogger. Here are my tips.

I am not sure how many cars it takes before you can call yourself a car blogger, but I have decided that 3.5 cars it is.


Car blogging is just not the glam job that you think it is, just like top models discuss the behind the scenes aspects of modelling are not rosy, so too can car blogging be a tough gig, so to help out any future car bloggers here are my tips to help you drive through your car blogging moments.

Start by asking the car company if the car will actually suit you. If the car can’t fit car seats and you have four kids in boosters, than you are not going to be driving this car too much, alternatively it is not handy to be given a ute if you are a family of seven.

Read a page or two of the manual before you drive off. This will prevent you playing with knobs and dials and turning the seat warmers up to high when it is 42 degrees outside. You will also know where the lights are and not get confused between the fog lights, dimmers, auto lights and high beam (sorry to all those cars I blinded). If you have the Holden Captiva it will also tell you how to get into the car without having to climb in through the boot.

Reading the manual is tricky if someone has flogged it before you like they did in my Ford Focus Sedan.

Returning the vehicle has proven to go badly for me 50% of the time. I returned the Holden SV6 and left the pram in it and I still have the headrests from the backseat of the Ford Focus, after putting them safely where they would not be wrecked.

You should prepare mentally for the minor depression that occurs when you get back into your old filthy car that is full of lolly pop wrappers and kids meal toys. Especially if you have fallen in love with the car.

Expect your partner, friends and family that visit to want to take a test-drive, sometimes for so long that you need to refill with petrol.

Do not return to a car park and search for your usual car. You will not find it.

Do not think you can undo the bolts of a brand new car to get the booster seats in by yourself. If your husband is gallivanting around Europe you will have to ask the old man next door to assist you, he will also struggle to remove these machine tightened bolts.

If possible, ask if you can have the car for a longer period or make sure it is when you have time to actually drive it. Most cars come for a week, this can be limiting, depending what you are up to, having the Focus over Christmas really allowed us to get used to the car and like it more and more. The Captiva I have not formally reviewed because it was not my car to review, I hijacked it on our way to Walhalla and while I really enjoyed driving it (heaps and heaps) it was only for the weekend and I was kid free so I may have enjoyed driving a 1970s Valiant under such circumstances.

Would reviewing a car be something you would do, or are you so happy in your own current wheels that it is not that exciting for you to do?

  


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13 comments:

  1. I dream of reviewing cars. The car and I would take long, kid-free and kid-full road trips and visit all our bloggy friends around Victoria. I would luxuriate in the new car smell, the easy steering and all the extra bells and whistles that my car is not equipped with. We would use all the cup holders, all the hidey holes and most likely leave half our possessions behind.

    So your tips are most helpful. Now, if only Mazda and Subaru would come to the party...

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  2. I could be arm twisted into reviewing cars. Who am I kidding? A whiff of new car smell and I'm anybodies. Obviously i might be a little easy in the new car shopping department.

    However, there is one true love who I have had a taste for and who has indeed spoilt it for all others. A loyalty that will see me forever in awe of (and in debt for) four sexy wheels like no other. Although I am currently driving a beat up Ford family station wagon (the salt of the earth and a champion of ferrying many a son's drum kit) my heart lies with my old Lexus rx400h. Actually that's bullshit! My heart now lies with its sexy cousin the rx450h.

    I have contemplated begging for a job at the one and only Lexus dealership in Canberra purely in a hope I might get to drive the demo models home at night. I lie awake at night dreaming of ways to get Lexus to 'loan' me a car. I would be the bestest, most down-to-earth representative they could hope to find. I'd drive the shit out of that car in the name of brand loyalty. My mother once jested that if I couldn't make the repayments on my mortgage then I could practically live in my very fancy car! Cheeky woman.

    So in answer to your question about how many cars it takes to be a car blogger...one. But one very fancy-arse car from a fancy-arse dealership that I'd love with all my heart. Definitely more than my children. Lexus Canberra, I'm winking at you. You've got my number. I'll be hanging by the phone patiently waiting for your call...waiting...(fingers tapping rather impatiently on the table)...

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  3. Apologies Claire. In the brazen hussey-ness of my previous comment I selfishly didn't mention you at all (jeez, what sort of a loser would wantonly self promote at the expense of the blog host - ignore my shifty eyes here). It sounds to me like you're on to something. I'd definitely keep saying yes to any vehicle (yes, even the ute & the 2-seater Ferraris) because then you would have a good excuse to ditch the kids for 5 minutes in the name of research. But please, oh please, stay the hell away from my Lexus dealership. That's got my name on it ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Hello Boomerang Jane, I love your comments, never need to apologise here for anything you say with such passion.

      I will be hoping the good karma that comes from commenting on my blog will bring you the Lexus to drive - you know I have never even sat in one, let alone driven one, am still to feel the Lexus loveliness.

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    2. I don't know that I suggest sitting in one Claire, you'd be playing with fire. Next you'll be taking one for a little test drive. Then they'll let you borrow it for a weekend (because they're evil and know that by this stage you're hooked) and before you know it you've sold a child and an organ to earn enough to buy one. Of course I'm joking...you should be able to keep your kidney.

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  4. Lol great post and comments! I'm sure my husband would be thrilled if I said I had to review a car... Now and again, he actually gets the whole blogging thing and a car would certainly help him to "get it". What's the deal with insurance and the like? Do you have to sign something at the start?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cathy, Yes, you do sign something. They cover the insurance but you have to agree to abide by the road rules, not drive on non roads (no bush bashing) etc. If you break the law and get a ticket, you have to pay that yourself.

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  5. Great tips, Clairey! I'm about to review my 4th car so I guess I cam call myself a personal/mummy/car blogger now :) I love getting the chance to drive around in brand new cars. I drive a 86' Commodore VL so it's such a luxury for me and it's always hard to give them back!

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    1. Look forward to checking it out Tina, I think you are now officially a carblogger too!

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  6. I would love to review a car, mostly because I need a new one, and a 5 minute test drive around the block is not enough to help me decide. My back seat is full of two boosters and a baby seat - and I've bought about 6 different seats just to try and fit them into my tiny car (which was only meant for one baby *snort*). A woman's got needs - does my extra large mocha-cino coffee cup fit? Does it have air vents in the back? Does it have enough anchor points? Can I fit a stroller, suitcase, presents AND the grocery shopping in the back? Does it have a DVD player for long trips? Most importantly - can I see over the dash? and Can I park this thing? So much to think about..

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    Replies
    1. That is quite a list, considering the kids get multiple cup holders in their boosters these days I expect we should get the same too!

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  7. I love your tips, Clairey. Cars has got to be one of the most search things on the web these days, especially for us men. :) We're pretty much interested about any aspect of it, whether it be parts, designs, customization, or whatever as long as it has something to do with the 4-wheel'ers.
    Commodore headlights

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