Car clubs: The hidden benefit of car ownership

Aug 02, 2017 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
What’s the point of joining a car club? Here are the 6 advantages that will make you want to join one right away.
For the most part, buying and appreciating a car is about what you can see, hear and feel; the show-stopping looks, the heart-stopping performance, the cool toys, the spaciousness and comfort, the long-term reliability.
 
But human beings being such social animals, it’s not always enough to gain a sense of personal satisfaction that comes with choice. We will always look for others who made the same choice we did, kindred spirits in a way, with whom we can share our enthusiasm and our frustrations as we deal with the many pains and gains of being a car owner.  
 
The authorized dealerships, despite their official title, can’t always be relied upon to be forthcoming when an issue comes up (knowing how they generally see clients as a source of income). Third-party shops can’t expect to be always familiar with the inner workings of a particular model, especially if it’s a brand new car. This is where the car club comes in.
 

Inauguration Of The Ferrari Club Philippines
 
Simply speaking, a car club is any group of enthusiasts that share a common interest of, and passion in, motorized four-wheeled vehicles. Car clubs come in many different kinds, probably as varied as the kind of cars there are on the road these days: there are clubs that cater to car lovers in general, and clubs dedicated to a particular brand (or a particular model). Some clubs are formed for a particular genre e.g. vintage, SUVs, supercars, old-school makes, clubs that are all about the accessories of choice (body kits, audio modifications, suspension lifts/drops), and clubs by gender (all-women racers/drifters, for instance). There are even sub-groups formed within these clubs, for members that live within a particular geographic area or location.
 
Car clubs back then were about presence in scheduled gatherings, an opportunity to meet fellow members and get a glimpse of their respective car set-ups.
 
An image of an outdoor car meeting

Car clubs: the hidden benefit of car ownership
 
With the emergence of information technology these days, one can simply register at a car club’s website to obtain membership, or even join its social media channels. Members post pictures of their respective rides to easily compare and exchange notes with each other, without having to brave traffic, although meet-ups (also called eyeballs or EBs) are still periodically done. 
 
What’s the point of joining a car club, when it’s just me and my faithful steed on the road most of the time, you might ask. There are several benefits:
 

1. Car clubs help you get to know your ride better

 parade of classic cars on the road

Simply speaking, a car club is any group of enthusiasts that share a common interest of, and passion in, motorized four-wheeled vehicles

Not everything is covered in the manufacturer’s marketing materials or even the instruction manual. For better or worse, cars have certain peculiarities that come out in actual use, and it’s always a huge help to talk about it to someone who can relate. Why does my car tend to lean a little to the left during acceleration? Where is that screeching noise coming from every time I step on the brakes? Why is my car not saving as much fuel as advertised? How do I get that annoying icon to disappear from my dashboard? Any positive feedback can help grow a car’s circle of admirers, while negative feedback can alert both potential and current owners on what to watch out for.

>>> Read our helpful tips to extend the life of your beloved vehicle

See also:
 

Toyota Corolla Club Philippines
 

2. Car clubs provide a wider range of options

Many cars are on display

There will always be the more intrepid car owners who have experimented with different ways of improving their rides at various price points (and equally varying degrees of success)

We need not be stuck with “official” channels in terms of maintaining and upgrading our cars. When a major component breaks down, our first instinct would be to bring the car to the dealership ASAP, and while that isn’t necessarily bad in itself, a car club is ready to provide you with alternatives (especially if you’re on a tight budget).
 

Case in point

Barely a year into ownership, my first car needed new ball joints (which weren’t covered by the warranty). The authorized parts dealer didn’t sell them separately, instead bundled with front suspension brackets that set me back almost P7,000. It was only much later that I learned I could use aftermarket ball joints that retailed for less than P1,000. There will always be the more intrepid car owners who have experimented with different ways of improving their rides at various price points (and equally varying degrees of success), and the best part is that they’re ready to share what they’ve learned with the rest of the group.

See also:
 

Cavite Auto Club Philippines
 

3. Car clubs are all about cars 

 Some classic vehicles parked on the road

It’s a great way to widen your automotive horizons, especially if you’ve always had a lot of car questions

Obviously, the first rule of car club is, talk about cars all you want. The fact that everyone has his or her own preference means that discussions are anything but boring. It’s not unusual to find enthusiasts of a particular make or model pitting their knowledge against fans of competing brands.
 
Exchanges can get pretty heated at times, but its part of the passion you have for your favorite. It’s a great way to widen your automotive horizons, especially if you’ve always had a lot of car questions but didn’t know where and who to start asking. Again, beyond the marketing materials car manufacturers throw at you, the best answers always come from those who use the car in everyday conditions.

>>> Our Philkotse team also comes up with a topic of car owners speak up. Click here for sincere sharings from car owners across our country.

 See also: 
 

Team Isuzu Philippines. First Official Car Club Meet 2016

4. Car clubs are not always about cars 

an offline meeting of car club members

When they’re not debating the merits of their preferred automobiles, car club members talk about other things under the sun too
 
On the flip side, everyone needs a break from car talk at some point. Let’s face it, obsessing over your car of choice can wear you down at times, and there is life outside those four sheet metal doors. When they’re not debating the merits of their preferred automobiles, car club members talk about other things under the sun too, from politics, religion, showbiz, fashion, technology, and yes, other car clubs.
 
A lot of members are able to participate in multiple discussions at once, and someone you may be at odds with on one topic might be on the same page as you are in another issue. Most people are mature enough to stick to the relevant points, but the moderators are standing by just in case things get a little too personal or rowdy.

See also:
 

Civic Club Philippines presents Civic Auto Funrun
 

5. Car clubs also lend a helping hand to others

offline meeting of car enthusiasts

Other clubs hold annual outreach efforts such as medical or dental services, donate their time and resources to educate out-of-school children

Being part of a car club is more than just personal gratification; it’s an opportunity to come together for a good cause. Some car clubs (especially those involving off-roaders) organize relief efforts in times of natural disasters, using their capable vehicles to deliver much-needed supplies to people in stricken areas.
 
Other clubs hold annual outreach efforts such as medical or dental services, donate their time and resources to educate out-of-school children, and even conduct fun runs or road trips among their members, with the proceeds going to a chosen charity or cause. It’s always gratifying for a car club to look beyond themselves and extend a helping hand to less fortunate members of society, dispelling the notion that car owners are just a bunch of elitists.
 
See also:

Sentra Club Philippines 15th Anniversary
 

6. Car clubs promote camaraderie and teamwork

A car club is only as good as the individual efforts of its members, and only if they’re headed toward the same goal. Whether it’s a life-saving mission or a grand meet-up, everyone has a hand in making it a success.
 
In day-to-day discussions online, seemingly random acquaintances can become friends, especially if they share a lot of interests in common; this becomes even more cemented when club members finally meet and they’re finally able to put a face on that username or avatar they otherwise interact with only on the computer screen.
 
For a lot of car clubs, meet-ups are not just strictly club gatherings but family affairs as well, with members bringing their spouses and children for a day (or night) filled with fun and general a sense of belonging.
 
Whether you own the latest car model or holding on to a keeper for sentimental reasons, joining a car club isn’t a half-bad idea. In fact, it could be the hidden key to your continued enjoyment of your car well beyond its design lifespan.
 

Philippines Car Shows 2016
Source: Joseph Paolo Estabillo