Are Bad Driving Habits Costing You?

Now that summer is in full swing (at least it is for me), it’s time to consider what you’ll be doing with yourself. Many of us have summer plans to go on a road trip, or even just to drive to the next town for the day. No matter what you plans are — or even if you are just commuting to work every day — the reality is that poor driving habits can cost you money.

Have a look at the below infographic, which is from Michelin, which offers a look at how much you might be spending when you engage in bad driving habits:

Save Money with Better Driving Habits

As you can see, you can save up to $1,500 just by changing the way you maintain and drive your car. Even better is the fact that good driving habits reduce wear and tear on your car, and proper maintenance helps keep it in good shape. This means that your car will last longer, and you won’t have to buy a new one so soon. This can save you money over your lifetime as well. It makes sense to be careful about how you maintain and drive your car.

One of the more interesting tips is to avoid hauling cargo on your roof. For someone like me, this is fairly easy and straightforward. I have a family of three, and Subaru Outback. We never need the roof to haul things. However, the situation might be different if you have a larger family. For a longer road trip, you might not be able to fit everything inside your vehicle. My sister has four kids. Even the minivan isn’t big enough for everything when they go on vacation.

You can reduce what you take by doing something like packing efficiently and planning to do laundry on the trip so you don’t have to take as much. In some cases, simply by reviewing your packing choices and identifying what you don’t actually need, it’s possible to reduce your luggage and avoid using the top rack.

Another thing I noticed is that driving faster can destroy your gas mileage. It’s tempting to drive fast — after all you’re trying to get somewhere — but it could be your down fall. Make it a point to drive the speed limit at least, rather than trying to inch a little faster. Michelin points out that you can save between seven and 14 percent for every five to 10 miles per hour that you don’t speed.

No, I’m not going to drop to 50 miles per hour when I drive. But I’m likely to stay closer to the speed limit. Plus, I’ll reduce the risk of getting a speeding ticket, which comes with its own costs.

As you get ready to hit the road this summer, consider your driving habits. Consider ways that you can reduce your driving costs, and come out ahead, at least a little bit. You can use the extra money to buy awesome souvenirs or use it to do something extra and fun on your trip.

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.