Owning a car is something that we often take for granted. But it should not be forgotten how much of a privilege cr ownership is. We can easily forget that it is only a matter of a few generations ago that owning a motor vehicle was a rare experience. As great as the experience and freedom our cars bring there is also a huge range of common issues drivers everywhere face. In this guide, we look at these issues and the best ways to deal with them.
What type of Driver to Be
You can be a different type of driver depending on how you choose to react when behind the wheel. It may be a case of deciding if you want to be an aggressive or a defensive diver, then we can see that these are oversimplifications of people’s behaviors. As we progress through our driving careers, we can grow and adapt to become better drivers.
What Vehicle to Drive
What you drive says a lot about you and your personality. An environmentally conscious individual will probably drive an electric or hybrid and certainly would not a gas-guzzling SUV or truck. For young, free, and single individuals choice of cars is often more flexible than those with families. When you have several kids, you need space, not just for the children, but also pushchairs, toy bags, etc. Some have brand loyalty, and reasons for this can be numerous, some have had a good experience, and this can even stretch across several generations of the one family. Others even buy cars along patriotic lines; we all know someone who will only buy American.
New or 2nd Hand?
New or 2nd hand is a debate that has long divided motorists, but is there any clear answer to this question? As with many debates, it all depends on who you ask? Looking initially at the benefits of a new vehicle purchase, we can see many advantages. For peace of mind, you can be certain that no-one else has driven it. Being the first driver is the only way you can be sure there have been no safety issues; these can range from relatively minor such as under-inflated tires causing excess wear to the vehicle that has been in an accident. A new car also shows some class and carries a certain prestige. There are some advantages to buying 2nd hand; the obvious one being cost, it’s well known that the minute you drive a car off the forecourt, it loses several thousand from its value. Older vehicles can be cheaper to insure due to the lower cost of replacement after a crash that’s a total write-off.
Keeping a car in good working order is a must for every motorist, but what should we be aware of keeping up to date ourselves, and what should we leave to the mechanics? For the most basic tasks, there is no excuse for negligence. Basic tasks include low-grade operations such as topping up water and oil, changing light bulbs, monitoring tire pressure, and not running out of fuel. Some other tasks are within the skills of many drivers but are a step up from the most basic operations. These intermediate maintenance tasks, such as replacing air filters, changing from summer to winter tires, and replacing wiper blades. Anything mechanical or safety-related should be left to a qualified mechanic. Some people are happy to replace brakes or clean a fuel supply, but I wouldn’t personally take that risk.
Driver Learning & Training
We all took some form of driver tuition when we first began driving, but for many of us, that was decades ago. How much have we forgotten, and how many bad habits have we gotten into since then? It may be prudent to take up an advanced driving course on top of the legally required test in your state or country. No matter if it’s your first lesson or you need to up your driving skills, a competent driving instructor is a must, such as those from the California traffic school. One bonus of additional driving instruction is that it can lead to a reduction in your motor insurance on the presentation of the certificate.
Gas or Electric
Gas or electric vehicles have been one of the fiercest debates in the auto industry in recent years. Electric vehiclesare going to be the future and has the added advantage of lower fuel bills and running costs in general. You do have to offset this advantage by taking into consideration the significantly higher purchase cost, over $10,000 in some cases. Gas vehicles are also more abundant in the 2nd hand market, so if you don’t have the means to buy new you may be limited in choice of electric cars. As we mentioned already, we are all going to have to go electric eventually, as fossil-fuelled vehicles will be outlawed within a couple of decades. It just depends whether you are going to switch early or later?
What to Drive
What do you drive? A common question, but what is it really asking? Some of us don’t care what impression our vehicle gives, it’s simply a means of getting from A to B, however, it’s rare that our car means this little. You can show your environmental credentials with an electric, or your style with a classic or retro choice.
Safety is something that every driver must take responsibility for. In some places, such as the UK, it is a legal requirement to have your vehicle tested for roadworthiness annually, and in others, such as the USA, it is not. Legality aside, it is your responsibility not to drive a vehicle that will harm you, your passengers, or other road users. Keeping your car in a safe and roadworthy condition should not be difficult. Check the car for safety regularly, and don’t miss service intervals. Security to stop your vehicle from being stolen or interfered with are also important. Did you know that a modern car’s computer can be hacked!