There’s nothing quite like being with people who share your passion. Joining a car club can connect you with like-minded people who are just as passionate as you are and can provide you with a sense of community and belonging. This is something BMWDCM does exceptionally well. Proof is having been awarded ‘International BMW Club of The Year 2021’ by the BMW Clubs International Council. Seeing there are over 800 official BMW car clubs worldwide, this award means BMWDCM is literally the best BMW car club in the world. Whilst we already knew this, here’s a few reasons you should know it too.
What is a Car Club?
A car club is characterised as a community of car enthusiasts who share the same car-related interests. They focus may on marque (such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen, etc.), make or model (such as RS2, M3, 230SL, 911, Golf R Mk 8 etc.) or purpose (such as cars for racing, showing or driving). Car clubs may pick just one specialty or may generalise, accepting members with various marques, makes and models.
Whilst BMWDCM was founded specifically as a driving club for BMW car owners, it’s an inclusive club. I’m a proud club member and although I don’t own a BMW myself, I have always been made to feel welcome. In fact, my 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SL won an award at the 2020 annual show and shine. Membership to a car club comes with a wide variety of exclusive member benefits of which BMWDCM offers many.
Ability to register a vehicle registration under the Club Permit Scheme.
A ‘historic vehicle’ under the Club Permit scheme is a vehicle that is 25 years or older. Owners of historic vehicles can register their vehicles under the VicRoads Club Permit scheme. The scheme enables owners to drive their vehicles for 45 or 90 days per year for a reduced registration fee. Only registered car clubs can issue club permits and the vehicle’s age and roadworthiness must be proven to do so. Club permit holders must log an entry in a logbook each time they drive or they risk a fine. If you have a historic vehicle you would like to register under the Club Permit Scheme, contact Jo Mawson, Vice President of BMWDCM on 0412 661 900.
Access to publications, newsletters and social media.
Car clubs traditionally publish a magazine or newsletter and this may be annually, bi-annually, quarterly or monthly. These publications may be distributed in hardcopy or via email and feature a mix of automotive articles and photographs, event coverage, service and parts advice, items and vehicles wanted or for sale, historical material of interest to the membership and other information relevant to car enthusiasts. This also applies other club collaterals the club uses to communicate with members. Many clubs also have a strong online and social media presence with which they keep members up to date with industry information, news and events and offer a forum where members can contribute images and articles and ask questions or get feedback and advice. Magazines and newsletters are predominantly informative whilst social media forums can also provide a strong sense of community and belonging.
The annual hard copy publication of BMWDCM is the idrive magazine, an exceptionally well produced, high quality magazine filled with interesting articles, automotive news and up to date information. BMWDCM also has a strong online presence with its comprehensive and informative website and interesting and interactive social media pages on both Facebook and Instagram.
Invitations to club meetings.
In essence, car clubs are hubs for socialising and interaction and offer something real and tangible to connect to in an online world. Meetings can range from monthly club meetings to larger events, like drive days, track days, race days, driver training days, car displays, cars and coffees, show and shines and fundraising events. Club meetings are a fantastic opportunity for club members to connect with one another and share their passions regarding everything automotive. Attending club meetings offers members a wide range of benefits ranging from socialising and meeting people with shared common interests to making friends and forming emotional connections and bonds. They also offer a positive outlet for club members to get involved and contribute to the goings on within the club and provide forums where they can be recognised for their support.
BMWDCM holds a monthly club meeting either in person at a selected location or via zoom. These meetings are often hosted by club sponsors and club members. The hosts will often put on an interesting, informative or educational talk, display or demonstration exclusively for club members and members can often receive discounted merchandise, products and services from the hosts.
Access to club merchandise and industry discounts.
Through the club, members can purchase branded club merchandise often not available to the general public. Club members can also receive exclusive club member discounts on a variety of services and products within the automotive and motorsport industry. BMWDCM has their own range of branded merchandise and offer their members access to product and service discounts through their affiliations within their sponsorship base, membership base, automotive industry and motorsport connections.
Racing licenses and driver training.
Motorsport Australia affiliated car clubs provide their members with access to racing licenses and official driver training. Some clubs also run driver training programs to assist members in gaining advanced skills.
BMWDCM runs several driver training ‘come and try’ days throughout the year at Calder Park, Sandown and Broadford race tracks. Anyone who wants to be a better driver or experience the exhilaration of driving on a race track is welcome at these events. With instructors by their sides, drivers learn how to handle a motor vehicle under track conditions. These events grow in popularity each year and have formed a bit of a cult following with attendees often ‘trying out’ on more than one track and returning each year.
Access to motorsport events.
BMWDCM is a Motorsport Australia affiliated club. Such clubs help their members take their first step into motorsport. Club members can then participate in exclusive events such as motorkhanas, hill climbs and track days. Some of the events included in the BMWDCM calendar are the Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers’ Championship, Challenge Bathurst, and E30 Racing. All great events and well attended by BMWDCM members every year.
Access to car shows and show ‘n shines.
Car shows, cars and coffee catch ups, shown ‘n shines are a great way for members to show off their pride and joy to the general public. From current models to the classics, these spectacular head turning events may be open class or restricted to a particular specialty. Car shows allow both car club members and the general public to view a wide variety of marques, makes and models to socialise with other passionate car enthusiasts and experts. The German Auto Show, Geelong Revival and BMW Clubs Australia Nationals are popular annual and biannual events in the BMWDCM calendar.
This year BMWDCM has received the honour of hosting the 2023 German Auto Show. This year the show will be held at the Calder Park Thunderdome on 23 August 2023. With all German vehicles, bikes and cars welcome at the show spectators can be assured of seeing a great representation of German marques, makes and models of all vintages from classics to current. The German Auto Show is a fabulous annual event that brings together multiple clubs and is a favourite in the annual calendar for both club members and the general public.
Held every two years in a different location, the BMW Clubs Australia Nationals are where BMW clubs from all over Australia meet to share their love of their BMWs. BMWDCM has also received the honour of hosting the 2025 Nationals which will be held at in Melbourne, with some great events in the planning.
Joining club runs, drive days and drive tours.
Club runs constitute anything from a one day run, a breakfast run, a short run followed by lunch, a weekend away or a longer run over several days. Club runs are often taken on scenic, quieter roads and may involve a visit to an interesting site, historic location or vineyard. There might also be a stop for breakfast or lunch.
BMWDCM hold many such fun and fabulous events throughout the year. Some of these popular events include the Australia Day weekend drive, the Anzac Day weekend drive, the Tasmania Tour and the Kings Birthday Long Weekend away.
BMWDCM actively supports many charities by raising funds at events throughout the year. Some of these include The Smith Family, Beyond Blue, Royal Childrens Hospital Good Friday Appeal and Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation. Hosting many different events throughout the year, BMWDCM raised over $10,500 for Beyond Blue at the German Auto Show in 2022 and $2,000 for the Royal Childrens Hospital Good Friday Appeal in 2023. Annually BMWDCM raise approximately $16,000 for their nominated charities.
Access to the BMWDCM Welfare Team.
Whilst car club events are fun and exciting, sometimes life is not. In recognition of this, and to support its members who may be facing challenges, BMWDCM formed the BMWDCM Welfare Team. The team is comprised of a range of members from all walks of life who volunteer themselves at club events, club meetings, via email, phone or zoom for the benefit and wellbeing of club members. Whether it’s anxiety about getting on the track on a ‘come and Try’ day or just needing some support through a challenging life event or experience, the BMWDCM Welfare Team will be there for you.
German Auto Haus – Proud Sponsors of the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne.
German Auto Haus are proud sponsors of BMW Drivers Club Melbourne. If you’re not already a member and are considering joining a car club, we highly recommend joining BMWDCM as an all-inclusive club with a fun filled action packed annual calendar of events. For more information contact Jo Mawson, Vice President of BMWDCM on 0412 661 900 or head to their website www.bmwdcm.com.au.
Nella Santisi | Member #32
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne / German Auto Haus