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Top tips all round for young drivers

Wednesday, 3 March 2021


Being a young driver can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. Having your own car and being able to navigate the road is a right of passage for every young Irish person. While the benefits to your new-found independence are many, there are a couple of factors to consider. Having your own car comes with a level of a responsibility. While you might be confident with your driving skills and your rules of the road, a car presents it’s own set of challenges. 

There’s no need to worry however, by conducting some key research you will know exactly how to take care of your car. At - along with great car insurance quotes - we have put together some simple tips in conjunction with Ronan Kelly Motors to ensure that your car will continue running smoothly long into the future.


1. Read your drivers manual

Any daunting questions you might face about your new car will often be answered in your owner’s manual. The excitement of getting your car may have seen you focusing more on the new swanky features and less on the little book that came with it.

All new vehicles come with a booklet containing all the information on the operations of your car. Knowing the ins and outs of this guide can save you money and a lot of calls to your mechanic (or your dad!). This manual will give you tips on proper maintenance and recommendations on the type of oil to use, correct tyre pressure and more.

Take the time to read your manual as it will undeniably benefit you in the future.


2. Service your car regularly

Ronan Kelly from Ronan Kelly Motors has advised us that one of the biggest pitfalls he sees with young driver car maintenance is a lack of servicing. Different manufacturers have varying service requirements depending on mileage. Some manufacturers may require you to service your car at 10’000, 15’000 or 20’000 miles. In order to ensure that you keep your car in the best possible condition, it’s vital to get your car serviced. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended servicing period. When you hit those miles on the clock, ring your mechanic and give your car the once over.

This will enable you to have a safer driving experience and it could also help you to avoid a hefty bill from a garage.


3. Check your oil

One of the most basic yet important maintenance items that all young drivers should know is how to change their car oil. Oil should be changed every 3 months at least or every 3,000 miles. When the oil light comes on it’s important to act as soon as possible. Changing your oil ensures the longevity of your car engine because it lubricates the most critical parts thus protecting it from harm. Changing your oil on time also gets you better mileage for your petrol.

Without proper maintenance, dirt and grime can make its way into the engine causing friction which gnaws away at the engine components. Making sure your car has clean oil in it will reduce this and allow your car to get the best mileage it can from your refill.

How to check it:

a. Warm up your car

Warm up the engine of your car for approximately 10 minutes. When you’re satisfied your car has heated up, shut it off. This will allow oil to move freely in and out of the engine.

b. Drain the oil

Once you are sure your car is off and you are safe to continue, remove the old oil. Place a bucket under the oil drain plug and begin loosening the bolt with a spanner. Once it has been loosened effectively, remove it. Take heed of any steam that might rise from the engine. It shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to drain the oil.

c. Find the oil filter

Your oil filter is a round shaped canister that will be screwed against your engine. It is approximately 5 inches deep.

d. Change the filter

Loosen the filter with your spanner and remove it. Proceed with replacing the filter. Ensure you smear the new filter’s rubber seal with oil before reattaching it. Use your hand to tighten it back in place.

e. Refill you oil

Use your car manual to investigate how much oil you’ll need to refill. Locate the oil cap under the bonnet and fill your oil to the required level. Then replace your oil cap. Ensure levels fall mid-range between high and low using your dipstick. When you turn on your car, watch out for your engine light – it should disappear after a minute.

f. Always use the right oil!

Try to remember to always use high quality oil in your car as this could affect your engine. Read your owner’s manual to check what type of oil is correct, or ask a mechanic!


4. Check your tyres regularly

Your tyres are crucial to the wellbeing of your car and they should never be neglected. A kick test on your tyres is never enough. Check the tyre thread depth of your car on a regular basis, you can do this by lowering a €1 coin on a string into the groves of your tyres. If you can see the rim of the coin then your tyre thread depth is likely to be below the recommended requirements.

It’s important to remember that you should also be checking your tyre pressure. Underinflated tyres can reap havoc on the road. Go to a garage and have your tyre pressure checked if you’re concerned about their inflation.


5. Consider the car

If you have been using a relative’s car or a second hand car and it’s getting a bit worse for wear, do appropriate research before you trade up. Sometimes all the car maintenance in the world can’t help, if your car is simply passed its sell by date. We know how hard it is as a young driver to find a car that meets your requirements while also adhering to your budget.

We asked our expert Ronan for his advice when it comes to picking a car for a young driver. Ronan stated that it’s important to consider a small economical car if you are young driver on the road. He advocates for doing some research around the cost of repairs to models and fuel consumption. Ronan said that young drivers looking for a new car should probably think along the lines of a VW Polo, Nissan Micra, Ford Fiesta or a Fiat.

At, we want to ensure that all our young drivers are safe on Irish roads and have access to a cheaper car insurance with great benefits. If you want a low cost insurance for young drivers or need more information, reach out to us today!