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Finance - Money Matters - Save money on your car and stay safe this autumn

Your questions answered by Ivan Ahern

As we settle into autumn, we’ve pulled together some tips and advice that will help to keep you safe on the roads, while also saving you money.

Weekly basic car maintenance1
Taking 20 minutes each week to look over your car can help to avoid major car trouble in the long-term. This will help to save you money as well as keeping you and your family safe. It doesn’t cost you a great amount of time or money, but these regular checks will ensure that your car is geared up for the week ahead and any long haul trips you may 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 fuel2
Shop around for fuel! The price differences between petrol station fuel prices can be quite significant, often as much as five cent per litre.

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 motorway1

  • 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 checklist1
It is advised that motorists carry a number of essentials in the boot of their car:

  • High visibility vest
  • Spare fuel
  • Hazard warning triangle
  • Spare wheel
  • Tow rope
  • De-icing equipment (for glass and door locks)
  • Spare bulbs
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Working torch
  • Car blanket.

Know your car insurance benefits
Check your car insurance policy document and know your benefits. If you have 24-hour breakdown assist and windscreen cover keep the helpline numbers and details in your phone or in your glove compartment. In 2012, over 7,000 of our customers countrywide who encountered motor difficulties availed of our breakdown assist service.3 Many of these customers were members of the Nurses’ Car Insurance Scheme. INMO members can get preferential rates through this scheme.

For further details and benefits please contact us. Tel: 01 4708042. Ivan Ahern is the director of Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd


  1. www.rsa.ie
  2. www.nca.ie
  3. mapfre asistencia

This information is intended only as a general guide and has no legal standing. Members who have specific questions relating to their personal finances, Superannuation entitlements, etc. are advised to seek professional advice and can contact Cornmarket at (01) 408 4000. Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of the Irish Life Group Ltd. RSA Insurance Ireland Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Telephone calls may be recorded for quality control and training purposes. MAPFRE ASISTENCIA Compania de Seguros y Reaseguros SA trading as MAPFRE ASSISTANCE Agency Ireland is regulated by the Direccion General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensiones del Ministerio de Economia y Hacienda, Spain, and is subject to the Central Bank of Ireland’s conduct of business rules. Administered by Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd, Christchurch Square, Dublin 8.

Finance - Money Matters - Save money on your car and stay safe this


November 2013 Vol 21 (9)
November 2013 Vol 21 (9)
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Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (Cumann Altrai agus Ban Cabhrach na hEireann). The Whitworth Building, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. T:+353 1 664 0600 E:inmo@inmo.ie