Can You Daily Drive a Rear-Wheel Drive Car?

As you shop for your next car, models like BMW, Dodge, and Mercedes-Benz offer a range of rear-wheel drive options. But that may leave you wondering if you can daily drive a rear-wheel drive car. And while you certainly can daily a rear-drive machine, there are some things to keep in mind.

Daily driving a rear-wheel drive car isn't all fun and games. This drifting trio is certainly enjoying themselves in this empty parking lot
Rear-wheel drive cars are fun, but are they good for daily driving? | Getty Images

Get the right tires for your climate

Having the right tires for snowy or rainy regions is important with any vehicle. However, it is critical when you daily drive a rear-wheel drive car. Power-sliding on the snow may seem like fun in video games, but in real life, you want the confidence of control. If you have a rear-drive car you plan to drive all year, snow tires are a must-have. They give the rear tires added grip to move you forward without accidental drifts, and they give the front tires road-holding capability to keep you pointed in the right direction. Without snow tires, driving a rear-wheel drive car in winter is bordering on irresponsibility. Not only can you find yourself sliding without warning, but it is even harder to regain control should you suddenly lose grip.

A car driving on a snowy road
Daily driving a rear-wheel drive car means handling roads like this with confidence | Getty Images

Throttle control matters

Once you have the right tires on your car, it’s about how you drive it. With all-wheel drive, mashing the throttle pushes you forward with unbelievable control. Front-wheel drive vehicles may spin the tires, but the risk of ending up backward is much lower. But with rear-wheel drive, getting power to the ground is more of a dance. Applying the right amount of acceleration without breaking traction is a skill honed over time. And while throttle control is just one part of safe daily driving in a rear-wheel drive car, it is perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind.

To daily drive a rear-wheel drive car, be sure you have the right skills

Beyond throttle control on acceleration, you also need to know the limits of your car, tires, and talent on a variety of surfaces. Taking off in a straight line is one thing. Knowing how much throttle application you can get away with in a corner is another. You also need to understand how different surface conditions affect grip level. This will help limit surprises when putting the power down, so you don’t accidentally become part of a Youtube crash compilation.

Sign up for a performance driving course

A BMW M4 race car on track at Daytona.
BMW is one of many brands that offer a performance driving school with your purchase | BMW Group
Related Attending a Performance Driving School Could Save Your Butt This Winter and Turn You Into Lewis Hamilton

Attending a Performance Driving School Could Save Your Butt This Winter and Turn You Into Lewis Hamilton

To up your skills and be more confident daily driving a rear-wheel drive car, a performance driving course can be a big help. This will get you into a controlled environment with an instructor. You’ll learn about control at the limits of grip, and you’ll get a feel for both steering and accelerating. If you’ve never driven a rear-wheel drive car and you plan on getting one for every day, a course like this can help keep you out of trouble. You’ll learn in an area with plenty of grass and sand traps between you and any walls. And throughout the experience, you’ll build both confidence and skills you can use to stay safe on the road.

Drive below the limit

In short, you can absolutely daily drive a rear-wheel drive car. As long as you respect both your skill level and the limits of your vehicle, a rear-wheel drive car can be a fun and engaging daily, even in winter weather. Use the tips given here to make sure you stay safe, and happy hooning!