All of us are creatures of habit. We wake up in the morning and what’s the first thing we do? Check our phones. We see a food joint with a long queue and what’s a Singaporean’s knee-jerk response? Join ‘em, of course. We hear someone yell, “Don’t Look!” and what’s the immediate thing we do? Yes, we look!
In driving, our habits run the gamut from innocuously mundane to downright costly. There are habits that keep your driving safe and pleasurable but there are those that could also drain your wallet – without you even realising it. If you find yourself constantly doing some of the things listed below, stop them now before your wallet turns completely malnourished.
Driving like a complete newbie.
You may actually be a newbie driver but you don’t have to act like one. Stories have been told about everyday things people do that ruin their cars and yet they still keep doing it. For instance, hitting abrupt starts and stops. In traffic lights, you might enjoy the feeling of flooring your accelerator but all it does is waste gas and to a certain extent, put a strain on your car. Doing abrupt stops is not good either as you’ll burn through your brakes in no time. The key is to be smooth. Learning how to make your car coast to a stop is also a good way to increase your gas mileage.
Running your car down to empty is another habit that must be stopped. The belief is that if your car gets down to E, you cut the life of the fuel pump quite significantly. The sediment in your tank will settle at the bottom, which could eventually foul your fuel injectors. While some mechanics don’t agree to this, making sure that you don’t run the risk of actually losing out fuel saves you money in the overall scheme of things.
Setting extremely high expectations of your vehicle.
You’re sold with your car’s great features that you start to ignore some of the simple things like turning off your radio, wipers and other accessories when you start the car. Remember that most of the wear on the engine happens when you start the car. By turning off these accessories, you put less stress on the engine, which helps extend the life of your vehicle.
Another thing you should be paying attention to is the sound that your car is making. You shouldn’t ignore them. If your car makes noise, it means it tells you something. For example, those squeaking brakes might mean you need new pads. Ignoring this will cost you more eventually.
Automatically renewing your car insurance without regard for a good deal.
Another habit we should kick is auto-renewing our vehicle’s car insurance policy without any regard for a good deal. Simple rule is: Don’t get stuck with bad car insurance. Most of the time, drivers would forego savings for convenience (auto-renew means no extra effort needed, whatsoever) but the reality is you could have both. Selecting a car insurance provider that offers customisable policies mean you don’t have to pay for what you don’t need. And if the provider offers a personal claims specialist who would assist you until your claim is resolved, the convenience for you when you really need the help is so much greater than just the short-lived convenience of ‘auto-renewing’.
Of course, if your provider already offers money-saving, customisable policies with a dedicated personal claims specialist, then stick with it as that, my friend, is a good deal.
Keeping your car shiny on the outside but filthy on the inside.
Habits like eating fries and cheeseburgers inside a vehicle then tossing the wrappers in the back seat or wherever corner you could put that in, thinking that you will clear it ‘later’, whenever ‘later’ may actually be. Your car is regularly used but car seats and carpets are not vacuumed and cleaned as regularly. These habits will cost you money, not only in terms of more frequent visits to car wash, but in quick deterioration of your car’s interior.
Do you know of other driving habits that puts a strain on your wallet? Sound off in the comments section below.
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