When most people think about improving their credit score when it comes to their cars they think of lowering interest rates of their repayments, finding affordable parts and buying economically.
But there are also ways your behaviour inside your car affects your overall credit rating.
Check out these pointers on how your driving habits can affect your credit score
Avoid traffic violations
In South Africa, unpaid traffic violations like speeding fines or parking tickets may be handed over to a collections agency if they remain unpaid for too long. If this happens, the unpaid fine and subsequent collection will be documented onto your credit record and could remain there for up to 7 years.
Always make sure that your traffic fines are paid in time, or better yet, drive safely and courteously to avoid fines altogether.
Road accidents could cost you more than you think
Road accidents are terrible in more ways than one. You could injure yourself and others, your car can be severely damaged and repair/medical bills could financially cripple you.
If any of these bills remain unpaid they too could be handed over to a collections agency and negatively reflect on your credit score.
Your driving habits affect your insurance premiums
Many insurance companies determine your individual risk profile when deciding on how to charge for insurance premiums.
Your insurance premiums are likely to be higher if you have been involved in road accidents, drive a vehicle in poor condition, or have a poor credit rating.
In fact, most car insurance policy holders don't know just how much their credit rating reflects onto their car insurance premiums.
Poor driving habits mean increased repair costs
Poor driving habits such as speeding, riding the brakes downhill, running down your petrol tank till empty and other bad habits all put unnecessary wear-and-tear on your car.
Repairing or replacing integral car parts can be expensive, and often have to be paid for using credit cards.
As many of these payments are unforeseen, many people fall behind with the repayments, and in turn results in a poor credit score.
Find out how to cover your vehicle against factory defaults with a motor warranty plan before you pay out-of-pocket.