Why keeping your car on the road should be your New Year’s resolution

January can be quite a miserable month – you’re well and truly back to reality after an extended break over the Christmas period, money is tight and dreadful weather makes driving incredibly difficult.

“New Year 2014 concept”, road with modern city.

Rejoice though, because the start of a new year gives you the chance to set yourself aspirational targets for the year ahead as you try and make 2014 one to remember.

The main problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they’re often unrealistic as people set themselves life-changing goals. We’re offering you advice on how to make manageable New Year’s resolutions that relate to your car and your driving.

5. Keep your car clean

Appearances are everything and driving around in a filthy car will not reflect positively on you. During the winter months it is admittedly difficult to keep your vehicle in pristine condition as one journey down the motorway can see it caked in mud and battered with rain water, but if you keep on top of it you’ll prevent your vehicle resembling a rally car. It’s important to keep the inside of your car tidy as well, because it doesn’t serve for a great first impression if you pick someone up and they have to navigate their way around fast food bags and empty cans of fizzy drink, just to sit down.

At the end of each day make sure you remove all of the rubbish out of your car and every two weeks take your hoover to task. Driving around in a clean car will make your journeys far more enjoyable and rewarding.

Once the weather starts to improve and heavy rain showers cease to be a routine part of your day you should look to get your car cleaned every two weeks.

4. Improve your patience and tolerance

Do you suffer from a short fuse when driving on the roads? 2014 can be the year you curb that anger and develop more patience towards your fellow drivers. It’s important to note that road rage, like footballers arguing with referees, will not get you anywhere, and will only serve to wind you up and negatively affect your driving and mood.

Remember that other drivers aren’t there for your annoyance and they’re in exactly the same boat as you – getting from A to B. There are a number of things you can do to stay calm and collected when driving, including ensuring you’re comfortable in your seated position, taking breaks every two hours and getting your car regularly serviced to prevent frustration breakdowns.

Being courteous will go a long way and you should always acknowledge other drivers letting you pass and apologise if you’ve made a mistake – this will make you feel better as well, and remember that we’re all human and we all make mistakes.

By staying positive in your car you’ll notice the effect it has on the rest of your day – there’s nothing worse than turning up at work red-faced after berating the driver of a Ford KA that had the nerve to cut you up.

3. Understand your insurance policy

Although car insurance is undoubtedly very important, many people are guilty of not fully understanding what they’re covered against. Set a bit of time aside so you can really get to grips with your policy.

Do you know what would happen if someone breaks into your car and steals something? Can you drive someone else’s car with their permission? Do you know how much your excess is? Will you receive a courtesy car if you breakdown? If you don’t know then consult your policy or ring your insurance provider.

2. Carry out regular maintenance checks

Get in the habit of carrying out weekly or fortnightly checks on your car. Whilst we’re all aware of the importance of checking tyres, oil levels, wipers etc. we conducted a survey last year that showed a whopping 84% of drivers neglect to carry out regular checks!

So what do you need to be checking? Tyres are very important, especially as driving conditions in the winter becoming challenging. Check their pressure, tread and overall condition to ensure you’re as safe as possible on the road. Oil, water, windscreen washer fluid and anti-freeze levels all need to looked at on a weekly basis too.

It might be the last thing you want to do after a long day at work, but a quick check can save your life and in the long-run save you money as you’ll benefit from less costly breakdowns and repairs.

1. Regular servicing

Why should you get your car regularly serviced? By taking your vehicle in for checks at a trusted independent garage you’ll prevent nasty repair bills because problems will be detected before they cause further damage. As mentioned in the first paragraph there are things you can do yourself, but to be sure we always recommend you take your car to your nearest trusted independent garage and let the experts have a look over it. Whilst you can roughly gauge your tyre tread depth yourself with the old coin trick, it is far safer to trust a professional.

To find a garage you can trust for an honest and professional service just put your postcode in our garage finder and we will show you where your nearest Trust My Garage members can be found. And you can even submit feedback on the service you receive via the Trust My Garage website!

 

About trustmygarage

TRUST MY GARAGE (TMG) is a scheme developed for independent garages by the Independent Garage Association (IGA) to recognise the high standards of independent garages throughout the UK.

Posted on January 10, 2014, in car maintenance, Car tips, People, Trust My Garage and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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