10 driving habits that are costing you money

Aviva Car Insurance

Not everyone has bad habits, but chances are we can all probably admit to a few bad driving behaviours that have crept in over time!  Not only are bad driving habits damaging to your car, they also result in you spending more money than you need to.

Aviva Car Insurance Article

Habits may be hard to break but if they’re costing you money it’s definitely time for a rethink. We spoke to motor journalist, Ger Herbert on the top ten driving habits which are causing an unnecessary drain on our pockets.

The first step to saving money on your car? Buy your Aviva car insurance online and we’ll give you a 10% discount.1 Easy!

Here are the common driving habits costing you money:

1. Driving in the wrong gear

To drive more efficiently, change up into a higher gear as soon as conditions allow, as correct use of gears can save you up to 15% off your fuel bill.

2. Ignoring warning lights

While many drivers don't understand the most common dashboard warning lights, remember they’re there to alert you that something is wrong and needs attention; ignore a warning light and you could end up stranded on the road or face expensive repairs later!

3. Sudden Braking

Constantly slamming on your brakes will wear out your discs and brake pads and increase the likelihood of brake failure. This also increases the risk of a rear end shunt, which may also cost you time, hassle and money.

4. Skimping on car maintenance

Nobody enjoys taking their car for a routine service; especially when often the car comes back feeling and looking the same as before. Even so, cost-cutting on maintenance is a false economy. Taking good care of your car is an easy way to prolong its driving life, so do regular checks as it will pays huge dividends in the long run.

Watch episode one of our car maintenance series to hear car expert Bob Flavin explain just how important proper car maintenance is.

5. Forgetting about your tyres

Well maintained tyres are essential for safe and economical driving. Check tyre pressures regularly; correctly inflated tyres can improve fuel consumption by up to 2%.

Here’s some advice more on tyre safety that’s worth having a read over.

6. Driving too fast

The faster you go the greater the fuel consumption and pollution. Driving just 8 km/h over the speed limit can affect fuel consumption by 23%. The most fuel-efficient speed is 75-80 km/h, but always keep within the legal limits as signified on road signs

7. Overlooking how much you spend on fuel

Working out exactly how much fuel your car actually uses will allow you better understand costs. To do that, fill your car from empty and reset the counter to determine how much of a distance you can cover with a full tank. Then, for example, if your car uses 65 litres to travel 500km, you use 13 litres per 100 km. The main fuel stations will have all their prices on their official websites, so have a look through these to compare.

8. Failing to prepare for the NCT

The NCT costs you time and might, depending on why your car failed, cost you money, so download the NCT checklist from their website. There are over 62 items that are part of the test so check as many of them as you can.

9. Careless parking

Be careful when you’re parking to avoid hitting the curb, as this can knock off your car’s tracking, which in turn can cause uneven tyre wear. In a car park try to park away from other cars and keep your valuables well hidden.

10. Carrying too much weight around

Carrying too much weight on your car can cause unnecessary strain to its suspension, brakes, tyres and bodywork. This means you’re more likely to need repairs on these areas down the line. Check your car manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you’re not overloading your car. 

Breaking one of these habits could have an impact on your pocket, so give it a try and see what difference it can make.

We encourage our customers, where possible, to make use of our online options to access any help you need. If you have a query you can reach us via our contact forms. MyAviva is an online self-service portal available to all our home and car insurance customers.

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