Driving your first car can be quite a daunting task. There's lots to learn, most of which is gained through experience. Here’s four tips for the new driver.
1. Kerbing your wheels
When parallel parking against a kerb, it’s very easy to go in too fast which results in you scraping your lovely alloys against the harsh, concrete roadside. This not only makes an excruciatingly painful sound, but it can cause damage to your wheels.
Some cars have automatically lowering wing mirrors when the car is reversing. This makes it much easier to see the kerb as you're approaching it, but not all cars have this. Take your time, manually lower your mirrors using your controls to avoid expensive cosmetic wheel repairs. Most ‘kerbuccinos’ occur when the driver is rushing to park up.
2. Bird poo stains
Believe it or not, bird poo can be highly acidic. If you leave bird droppings on your car over the course of a few days or weeks it can cause the paintwork underneath to discolour and even scratch. This is particularly worse in the summer when the droppings dry onto the hot metalwork and can be very difficult to remove.
There’s a few car care products out there that are specifically designed to remove bugs and bird droppings. That being said, soapy water works just as well. Keep some micro fibre cloths and a bottle of bird dropping remover in the boot of your car so that you can get rid of the muck as soon as you notice it.
3. Reverse parking is easier in the long run
The majority of people park their cars face first. This is obviously easier and quicker initially, but when you come to leave your space, you’ll find yourself edging back slowly whilst looking for pedestrians and other cars. In other words, you’re fairly blind when you reverse out of your space. This is made easier with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera, but if you don’t have these, you’re relying on nothing but your good self. Of course, forward parking is more convenient when trying to access your boot, but why make leaving more difficult?
Do the tricky part first. Find a nice space, drive past it and then slowly reverse into it. Once you’re done and ready to leave, you can slowly move forward with a much better view of what is around you. Many new drivers don’t do this, and they end up having collisions with other cars in car parks. Once you've done this a few times, it will become second nature.
4. Don't let the bully driver pressure you into speeding
Tailgating is a big problem in the UK. Some drivers will fire down the motorway at licence-revoking speeds without any thought or care for their fellow road users. That is until they come screaming up to you, just inches from your backside to demand that you either partake in some speeding with them, or that you move aside. Some drivers will flash their headlights at you, some will honk their horn in displeasure and others will give you rude hand gestures. It's annoying, but you should always put your own safety first.
The safest thing to do is to move over and let the driver race past you. At the end of the day, that car could be incredibly close to your backside, if you had to brake, they're going to plough into you. If it's not safe to move over then you have to maintain your speed until it is safe. When you are ready to move over, make sure that you indicate as the driver behind you may be thinking about undertaking you from the left side.
What else should a new driver know? Let me know in the comments
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Header image: www.carbuyer.co.uk