UK motorists are being urged to sharpen up their knowledge of the roads to avoid unnecessary fines and bills.
With petrol prices remaining high and news that insurance costs are on the rise, drivers more than ever need to save money but bad habits and a lack of knowledge could be costing them dearly.
Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk, which has compiled a list of some simple advice, said: “Most drivers don’t give much thought to improving their road knowledge but we found even a few minutes a week spent researching things like bus lane restrictions is an investment worth making.
“Motorists should devote a little time to understanding the particular rules in their local areas so they don’t fall foul of obscure restrictions and find themselves stuck with a hefty fine.
“It’s also worth spending some time understanding some simple maintenance rules which can help prolong the life of a motor and reduce costs for the driver.”
Among the things to be aware of are:
Bus lanes fines
Being caught in a bus lane at the wrong time of day could cost a driver up to £160, a costly fine for a minor offence. Adding to this anguish, drivers could still be fined if they moved into bus lane to get out of the way of a fast approaching emergency vehicle.
So be sure to check the operating times of lanes on your route and be aware of where you are on the road if you need to get out of the way.
Car park grace period
In 2015 a new law introduced in England allowed motorists who parked their vehicles in council-owned spaces a 10-minute grace period after their ticket expired.
This means drivers who are unexpectedly delayed have more time to get back to their car without the fear of picking up a parking ticket for being one or two minutes late.
A similar rule applies in Northern Ireland but there is no such legislation in Scotland, where it is up to local councils or police to decide whether to allow any grace period.
And the law only applies to council-run car parks, don’t assume you’ll get the same allowance at a privately-operated facility.
Read more: How to appeal a parking ticket
Staying in the wrong lane unnecessarily on the motorway could end up with you being prosecuted for careless and inconsiderate driving.
Police can issue on-the-spot £100 fines and three penalty points for drivers who fail to pull into an inside lane but, if the case goes to court the fine can run into four figures.
To avoid any risk of being caught for this offence drivers are advised not to travel in the middle or outside lane of the motorway unless they are overtaking another vehicle. It may seem simple but it could end up saving you hundreds of pounds in unnecessary fines.
Regularly checking tyre pressures could help Britain’s motorists save tens if not hundreds of pounds over time.
Under-inflated tyres harm fuel economy by up to 20 per cent, meaning you could be wasting £4 per tank of fuel by not checking your pressures.
A once-a-week check that all four tyres are at the pressure detailed in your owner’s manual could avoid such expense and also alert you to any damage or excessive wear before it becomes dangerous.
Advanced driving courses
Taking part in an advanced driving course can be beneficial for younger drivers who have just passed their test, offering them more in-depth advice, but can still help more experienced road users brush up on their skills as well.
The courses are a useful way to gain experience on roads and in situations not covered by regular lessons, such as driving at night. While there is an initial cost for the lessons, taking part in a course can make you a better driver and may help to reduce your insurance premiums.
Drivers should make sure they understand each of the different warning lights on their car’s dashboard. They cover every element of the car’s operation and ignoring them could cause serious damage to the car or make it unsafe, so get any issue professional checked as soon as possible.
When you get a new car, it is recommended that you always read the manual to fully understand the ins and outs of your vehicle.