Habits may be hard to break but if they are costing you money than it’s time for a rethink, writes Geraldine Herbert
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 warnings remember they are 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
No-one 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.
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%.
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.
7. Overlooking how much you spend on fuel
Working out exactly how much fuel your car actually uses will allow you plan better. 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. Use websites such as pumps.ie to find the cheapest petrol or diesel in your area.
8. Failing to prepare for the NCT
The NCT costs you time and may, depending on why you 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 are parking not to hit the kerb, 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
Is your car disappearing under the weight of all the family clutter? Clutter in your car is not only an unsightly nuisance but carrying unnecessary items around increases fuel consumption and adds to the wear and tear of our cars.
Get into the good habit of having great car insurance. If you’d like to get an insurance quote for your car, click here or call us on 1890 33 22 11, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.