If you are just starting out on the roads and have recently passed your test, congratulations! However, there is a long way to go before you develop your skills as a safe and sound driver, and it is likely you will make many mistakes that could damage you, your car, or perhaps even someone else. That said, because you are new to all of this, it’s understandable – it does take awhile to get into the right habits, and your experience over time will usually teach you everything you need to know.
The scary thing is that many experienced drivers still make some of these schoolboy errors, despite having been driving on the roads for many years and spending a fortune on new vehicles, maintenance, and insurance. So, if any of these issues sound familiar – no matter how long you have been driving for – maybe it’s time to make some changes. Let’s take a look at some of the elementary mistakes made by new – and old – drivers – that are probably going to cost you a small fortune in the long-term.
Read The … Manual. It’s that simple, yet so few new drivers ever get around to it, and there are plenty of more experienced drivers that don’t, either. Your owners manual contains every last drop of vital information you need to keep your car running safely and efficiently, and you should treat it as your bible.
There are a broad range of checks you should be performing on your car on a regular basis – every day, in fact. A quick check for flat tyres and oil levels is essential, especially if you are planning on driving for a long distance. Make sure you plan your journeys in advance, too, including checking the local weather reports of wherever you are headed. And always check your lights, no matter how much of a rush you are in. All it takes is for a police officer to see a broken brake light or indicator bulb and you could end up with a fine – all for the sake of saving yourself a few seconds before getting in the car.
Everyone has to put their car in for a MOT inspection once a year – it’s the law. But many drivers don’t appreciate that this is not a full check of the inner and outer workings of your vehicle. It’s purely a check to make sure your car is in a legal state to drive on the road, not that it is running perfectly. It’s worth developing a relationship with local garage services and put your car in for a service at least once a year. Doing this will prevent minor problems turning into serious issues, and also help keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently.
Failure to listen
Finally, every car has its own unique sound. And when those sounds change, you can guarantee that something is going wrong. The trouble is, few drivers use their ears these days, and are often either concentrating their listening skills on music, phone calls, or the radio. And this will often mean you fail to hear the squeaking noise that signals you need to replace your brake pads, or the mechanical jangle that could mean your exhaust is about to fall off. Use your ears better, and you will save money in the long-term.