Just Bought a New Car? Here are a Few Tips to Help You Get Comfortable With It

Did you just buy a new car? Congratulations! Now it’s time to get familiar with it. And while that might sound easy, considering all you have to do is drive the car, there are some drivers that could use a few tips in getting started with their hot new set of wheels. As such, here are a few tips to help you get more familiar with your brand-new car.

1. Adjust the mirrors

The setting sun on the horizon is reflected in the wing mirror of a car.
The setting sun on the horizon is reflected in the wing mirror of a car. | Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Different cars have different seat heights and interior dimensions, so it’s important to sit in your driver’s seat and adjust the mirrors so you can see the road clearly. First, make sure that you can clearly see out of the rearview mirror without having to move your head. Next, adjust the side mirrors so that you can partly see the side of the car with most of the horizon in the middle of the mirror. As always, make sure to adjust the mirrors when the car is safely parked.

2. Get a good feel for the brakes

A close-up of the wheel and front brakes on a Tesla
A close-up of the wheel and front brakes on a Tesla. | Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images

Whether you got out of an older car before buying a new one – or this new car is your first one – you’ll need to get used to the brakes. Every car has a different response time and feel when braking, so the more time you spend getting used to it the better. In order to get used to the brakes, leave plenty of space between you and the car in front so that you know how much pressure to apply. This will also ensure that you don’t brake too late in the event of an emergency.

3. Familiarize yourself with the various controls

Knobs of automobile climate control system on the center console of Nissan automobile.
Knobs of automobile climate control system on the center console of Nissan automobile. | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Another tricky part of owning a new car is getting familiar with all of the interior controls. That means understanding where the blinkers and wiper controls are and how to activate them as well as the climate controls. While this may seem like a simple concept, you’ll be surprised at how long it takes to get familiar with where everything is.

If the car has a touchscreen infotainment system, then it’s important to understand how to access features like Apple Carplay and Android Auto and connect your smartphone via Bluetooth. Additionally, don’t forget to take note of which side the fuel filler door is on.

4. Get used to the way the car handles

 A car drives into an autumn-colored forest on a rain-soaked country road
A car drives into an autumn-colored forest on a rain-soaked country road. | Lino Mirgeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Just like getting used to the new car’s brakes, it’s also important to get familiar with the way it handles. No, you don’t need to pitch into tight corners at high speeds, but it is important to understand the way it feels when you take turns normally, as every car is different.

It’s also important to note that new cars come with new tires, which always have a thin oil coating on them that wears off when they get broken in. As such, it’s important to take it easy for the first 500 miles in order to wear the tires in and get used to the way the car drives.

5. Feel the power

A car drives in sunny weather on the autumn-colored avenue between Garz and Putbus.
A car drives in sunny weather on the autumn-colored avenue between Garz and Putbus. | Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

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While it’s safe to assume that you probably didn’t buy a Corvette with over 400 hp, it’s still important to get used to your new car’s power. Whether your new car has more or less power than you’re used to, it will still take time to get a feel for how it accelerates from a dead stop and at highway speeds.

This is important because understanding the car’s power will enable you to time freeway entrances and passing more effectively, which can ultimately lead to you being safer when you drive. The folks at Autos.com recommend finding an open stretch of road to test the way the car accelerates.

Getting used to your new car can take time

Getting comfortable with your new car mainly takes a lot of seat time and experience. In fact, you may find out something new about it every time you drive it, which is fun in itself. If anything, just remember to take it easy, drive safe, and above all else, enjoy your new car.

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