For many new drivers, there is a lot of pressure on learning how to drive. Whether it’s learning the highway code or mastering various driving maneuvers, practical maintenance and other factors often get relegated as a response.
Of course, nobody is expecting young drivers to also be technical mechanics, but there are a few practical elements to driving that all drivers should be aware of. By introducing people to this at the start of their driving life, it’s easier for them to adapt and grow into a better, sensible driving style. Whether it's fuel-efficient tyres or knowing when to service your car, these are all worthwhile habits to pick up.
1.Auto services and inspections
For new drivers, the urge to simply drive is strong. After all, what can go wrong when you’ve just started driving? As anyone who’s had a car long enough knows, you should always expect the unexpected.
Because of this, it’s always useful to follow the instructions in the manual, this includes how often to service your car as well as when to change oil and other parts. This is important, because many people falsely assume this should be done every 3,000 miles, when it’s really dependant on the car. It’s better for young drivers to learn the correct way as early as possible, rather than being misinformed.
2.The right tyres
When it comes to actual driving, choosing the proper tyres for your car is of pivotal importance. Tyres are the only part of the vehicle that make contact with the road. As such, it’s essential to look after these vital components, but new drivers might simply want to find the cheapest tyres. While economy class tyres can work, there are other factors to consider.
Rolling resistance, as seen in various fuel-efficient tyres, for example, can be one other way to reduce costs. However, for the purpose of safety, new drivers should focus on grip and braking distances - especially when driving in wet conditions.
Caring about the tyres wheels is an important way to maintain the performance and handling of the vehicle. Likewise, many drivers choose to install winter tyres during the colder months (certainly useful if you’re driving outside of the city). While this, again, is a smart choice, drivers should also learn some practical tyre storage tips for the tyres not currently in use.
3.Dealing with difficult road conditions
Similarly, there are always going to be various situations which just aren’t covered in driving school. While many instructors will offer guidance on various weather conditions, encountering your first instance of aquaplaning might be quite alarming. In these cases, it is important to simply remain calm.
As for tough conditions, such as heavy rain and snow, there’s nothing wrong with more practice. Empty parking areas and driveways are great for this, as it is often beneficial for drivers to get a physical feel for how their car performs in these situations.
Any experienced driver knows how to make the best of their fuel, whether it’s learning which places offer the cheapest prices to driving at an optimal 55 mph for the most efficient driving on the motorway.
While many young drivers tend to be quite frugal, picking up the importance of buying fuel at the best price, some often need to get into the habit of knowing when to refill their tank. A quarter full tank might seem like it can last a long time, until a long trip is suddenly planned and the driver is at the mercy of motorway-side stations.
Likewise, it’s important to keep a practical mindset when looking at various fuel types. An eager driver, keen to take good care of their car, might opt for premium fuel. Yet many experts will tell you there are little to no benefits of premium fuel. Even when there are possible advantages, it’s only in very small moderation.
Save some money and look in the car manual again - it will specifically state what fuel is needed and, if it does benefit from premium sources, how often this is needed. Anything above this doesn’t actually benefit the car, but it does cost more money.
A constant learning curve
This is just an overview of some of the more practical aspects of owning a car. While drivers could also look at getting the best insurance, remembering where their car keys are and practical storage tips for the vehicle itself, these are all things that will be learnt in time. Still, it’s important to get into this practical mindset as soon as possible, to stop complacency and a lazier attitude taking hold.
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