Driving with J9: Level 3 is here, are you ready to hit the road?

Image: Dries van der Walt
Image: Dries van der Walt

This weekend marked the first time I got behind the wheel for an extended drive, albeit to a family funeral, but I almost felt like a learner driver again. It wasn't because I can't remember what it's like to drive further than 1.5km to the nearest grocery store on an essential run, but because there were so many other vehicles on the roads again, and it's not even June 1. Traffic and loads of it.

Yes, there are roadblocks, but the kind of bumper traffic I experienced was a huge surprise, and also confusing. Perhaps I was just overwhelmed from being indoors since March and following the rules of the restrictions. Come Monday, a new sense of 'normal' will dawn as South Africa marches into Level 3. Most businesses will reopen, and most people will start going back to work; car dealerships can finally sell vehicles as licensing centres to open their doors. The automotive industry, and so many others, can begin a long and challenging journey of recovery.

Being on the road is something motorists will have to get used to once more: the impatient, non-indicating, slow-driving in the fast lane and those who don't abide by the laws of the road. This will stir up rage, and a case of Tourette's spewing from your mouth in your vehicle for no one else to hear. Nonetheless, I missed it.

If you are considering purchasing a new car, or perhaps you are trading down? Which vehicle are you interested in buying, and why? Please email us and share your thoughts.

As we start to pick up the pieces, we all need be grateful for the little blessings we have taken for granted all this time. Yet, many others will continue to work from home, and many others are at the wits' end as their ability to earn a living will only come at Level 2, or even Level 1. 

Travel,Traffic,Cape Town

Image: iStock

Now, more than ever, we need to take care and keep safe. Soon our children will be heading back to school once all provisions are put in place by the government, and just because you're allowed to travel to work, it does not mean we can visit friends and family. We still can't do as we please.  

It's also incredibly scary, and heartbreaking, as I was passing through some communities on the way home that there is just no regard of the seriousness of the dire situation we find ourselves in. No masks, teenagers sitting in groups on street corners, adults are playing card games, no masks, and no sanitising. In some places, it still looks like it's just December holidays, and come June 1; things will only get worse as so many people remain unaware of the severity of Covid-19. I also hope everyone has been taking care of their vehicles and won't be in for any nasty surprises when you're about to leave for work this week. Go and fill up the tank before you tuck in tonight, check your tyres, and your oil and fluid levels, and you could spare yourself five extra minutes in bed. 

But remember, as many things are still uncertain, and restrictions are lifted, Covid-19 numbers are yet to peak in South Africa, so there is no room to be complacent. 

South Africans are eager to purchase vehicles again and are also looking to trade their current cars for something more affordable. This week's top reads included the most affordable, leisure double-cab bakkies, and what to look out for when buying a second-hand vehicle online. 

Wheels24 contributor Robin Classen opened a can of worms as shared his opinion about Volkswagen discontinuing the Jetta and the Passat and replacing it with the Arteon, a luxury sedan which never really took off here in SA. 

Our readers also love a good read about older vehicles, Lance Branquinho's piece about Mazda's 1990 Marvie 4X4 proved very popular too.Take care of yourselves and stay safe on the roads.

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This week's top motoring stories:

1. SEE | These are the five cheapest leisure double-cab bakkies in SA

gwm steed 6

Image: GWM SA

2. Mazda had an early rugged Fortuner SUV rival in the 1990s: Meet the mighty Marvie 4x4

1991 mazda marvie suv

Image: Mazda

3. Six tips to avoid buying a 'lemon' - South Africans are looking for used cars under R200 000

Image: Kia SA

4. OPINION | Volkswagen should never have discontinued the Passat and replaced it with the Arteon

vw jetta

Image: VW

5. Here's what a half-tonne double cab bakkie should include if it comes to SA - reader

Renault Duster Oroch

Image: Renault

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