Here at Welsh VW Specialists, we love New Year’s resolutions! They’re a little symbol of optimism that we can change for the better.
And let’s not dwell on the fact that just under one in three people failed to keep any of their New Year’s resolutions at all. Because this year, you’re definitely going to be in the 25% of people who keep all of them! Yes, by this time next January, you will certainly be running 10K before breakfast and you’ll undoubtedly have finished off your bestseller.
But just in case those don’t pan out, we’ve got some easy-win New Year’s driving resolutions you could try.
1. Do some basic car safety checks
OK, this is the boring-but-important one. UK drivers are pretty terrible at keeping up with basic safety checks on their vehicles.
For example, one survey found only 40% had checked their tyre pressures in the last month, and 17% had never checked them ever. Other surveys regulalry produce stats showing huge numbers of vehicles on the road with minimal levels of tread.
If you change one car-related habit this year, we gently suggest that it’s making basic safety checks on your car. Don’t forget that if you’re in South Wales, we’re here to help with all servicing, repairs and tracking down faults.
2. Drive somewhere different
With Europe and other destinations only intermittently available, why not make 2022 the year you drive to some of the UK’s quirkier attractions? The country is packed full of strange and offbeat visitor destinations, from the British Lawnmower Museum to the Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker, all beckoning you for a day out.
And remember that not every attraction has to be any good to have a great time. Years ago, one of us visited ‘Hobbiton’ in North California — now sadly closed — which turned out to be a bunch of Barbie and Ken dolls in not-very-convincing Middle-Earth costumes. It was the most rubbish attraction imaginable, he had a fabulous time, and he’s still laughing about it now.
3. Learn something in the car
Look, you’re stuck in the car for about 293 hours a year, so could 2022 be the year you spend it learning something interesting? There are some amazing free podcasts out there, or for a relatively modest cost, you could buy a lecture course.
Don’t forget to share absolutely all your new-found knowledge on the Assyrian Empire, or whatever, with your partner and/or kids. They’ll be equally fascinated by your new area of expertise, and gaze at you with shining eyes of admiration!
4. Be chilled about other drivers
Do other drivers reduce you to a sweary rage? Do you respond to their driving misdemeanours with horn-beeping, gesticulating, and revenge fantasies? Then make 2022 the year to take a chill-pill.
Think of it this way:
- Although most people believe they are better-than-average drivers, obviously that’s impossible.
- In fact, chances are you’re closer to being an average driver than you think.
- As you’re probably not an exceptionally good driver, this means that you make roughly the same number of mistakes as other people.
- This in turn means that the bloke who annoyingly forgot to signal isn’t necessarily an incompetent danger to society. He is just you on a different day.
So, maybe New Year’s Resolution No 4. could be to relax about other drivers. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Your blood pressure will thank you for it.
5. Don’t take the car absolutely everywhere
This one has come up a few times in recent posts, so there’s no point in going over the benefits of trying to wean ourselves off the car for shorter distances.
Oh, go on then: potentially significant health benefits, less pollution, lower fuel bills, lower carbon emissions, less traffic on the roads. Not that we’re holier-than-thou on this — we have days where we’d happily drive from the lounge to the kitchen.
Anyway, could 2022 be the year you dust off the bike for those micro-trips down to Tescos? It’s a thought.
6. Most importantly, enjoy a year of driving
There’s no doubt that cars are quickly becoming smarter and more autonomous. Each year, they need less driver input. Meanwhile, cities are already gearing up for ride-sharing and mobility as a service. Does this mean that the days of driving – really driving – your own personal car are numbered? Just maybe.
So in the meantime, let’s make the most of it and make a New Year’s resolution to celebrate our cars and enjoy our driving.
After all, cars are one of our most valuable and useful possessions, picked out with care, greeted with excitement, discovered with pleasure.
They are our viewing platform for sunsets and hovering hawks, our Sunday morning joy on the rural twisties, our venue for out-of-tune singing, and much more besides.
Cars are more comfortable, faster and safer than ever before, and despite fuel costs, traffic and all the rest, 2022 will be a great time to drive one.
The Welsh VW Specialist blog covers a wide range of automotive topics, from the contentious to the light-hearted. We are an independent garage specialising (as the name suggests!) in the VW group marques, including Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda and SEAT. Welsh VW Specialists provide services, repairs and MOTs, delivering a main dealer level of care at affordable prices. To book your vehicle in, or for any enquiries, get in touch.