Here are some top tips to help you stay safe on the roads this summer, while also helping to save you money!
Weekly basic car maintenance*
Taking 20 minutes each week to look over your car can help to avoid major car trouble in the long term, helping to save you money as well as keeping you and your family safe. It doesn't have to cost you a great amount of time or money, but these regular checks will ensure your car is geared up for the week ahead and any long haul trips you have to take:
- Check all lights
- Check the oil in the engine, brake fluid, windscreen wash and the level of anti-freeze
- Check the grip on your tyres and look out for uneven wear - a sign of suspension problems or wheels out of alignment.
Save money on fuel**
- Shop around for fuel! The price difference between petrol station fuel prices can be significant, often as much as 5 cent per litre. Websites such as www.pumps.ie provide great price comparisons nationwide
- Avoiding rush hour traffic can help to reduce the amount of fuel your car uses while you are stuck in traffic. Plan an alternative route or if possible leave earlier to avoid traffic jams
- How you drive can impact your fuel consumption – the harder you brake and accelerate, the more fuel your car consumes. Reducing your speed can help to cut down on costs. For example cutting your speed from 110kph to around 80kph, will use about 25% less petrol
- Travel light – remove heavy items such as golf clubs, roof racks and bike racks, which can weigh down your car and increase fuel consumption.
Plan your journey
Take the time to plan your journey before you set off and give yourself some extra time to allow for any unforeseen delays which you may encounter. This will reduce your risk of speeding and keep you and your passengers safe. When planning a long journey, factor in time to stop off for some light refreshments and a stretch break.
What to do if you break down on a motorway*
- Pull onto the hard shoulder as far away from the inside lane as possible
- Turn your front wheels towards the hard shoulder
- Try to stop near an emergency phone
- Switch on your hazard warning lights
- Keep your sidelights on if it is dark or visibility is poor
- Get out of your car on the passenger side
- Keep passengers away from the motorway and keep children under control
- Walk to an emergency phone on your side of the motorway. These phones are free and connect directly to the Gardaí who can work out where you are. As a result, it's better to use them rather than a mobile
- Face oncoming traffic while on the phone
- After phoning, return to your car
- If you're travelling alone and feel at risk, you may want to wait in the front passenger seat with the doors locked. If someone approaches, wind down your window a little to talk to them. Only unlock the door once you're sure that they are genuine
- Before you rejoin the motorway after a breakdown, build up speed on the hard shoulder and watch for a safe gap in the traffic.
Your car safety checklist*
It is advised that all motorists carry a number of essentials in the boot of their car:
- High visibility vest
- Spare fuel
- A hazard warning triangle
- Spare wheel
- Tow Rope
- De-icing equipment (for glass and door locks)
- Spare bulbs
- First aid kit
- A fire extinguisher
- A working torch
- A car blanket.
Know your Car Insurance benefits
Review your car insurance policy document and know your benefits. If you have breakdown assist and windscreen cover, keep the helpline numbers and details to hand at all times in your phone or glove compartment.
At Cornmarket, we’re dedicated to providing competitively priced Car Insurance with a substantial range of benefits, that deliver when it matters most. For more information, click here or call us on (01) 420 0995.
*www.rsa.ie **www.nca.ie ***Mapfre Assistance Agency Ireland 2015. MAPFRE ASISTENCIA Compania de Seguros y Reaseguros SA trading as MAPFRE ASSISTANCE Agency Ireland and MAPFRE WARRANTY is authorised by the Direccion General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensiones del Ministerio de Economia y Hacienda in Spain, and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules. Reg No. 903874.
RSA Insurance Ireland DAC trading as RSA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
This information is intended as a general guide only and has no legal standing. Please note that Cornmarket cannot be held responsible for the information contained on external websites.