10 driving habits that are costing you money

Habits may be hard to break but if they are costing you money it’s time for a rethink writes Geraldine Herbert

1) Driving in the wrong gear –
To drive more efficiently don’t rev the engine and change up into a higher gear as soon as it is possible, correct use of gears can save you up to 15% of 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.

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 it will pay 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 to 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.

Geraldine Herbert


Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK), EuroNews and to RTÉ, Newstalk, TodayFM, BBC Radio and Vigin Media. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

Share This Post On