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As car meet season fast approaches, it’s an exciting time to get out there and see the cars in your local area. If you’re attending your first car meet, there are a few things you can do to ensure you have a great experience.

Read the room

Every car show is different. If you’re going to your first car meet, it’s important to understand the vibe. For example, some private meets allow burnouts and two-stepping, while others have a more subdued atmosphere. It all depends on the organizer and the area. By understanding the expectations of your local car meet, you can avoid stepping on any toes and have a good day enjoying each other’s cars.

Don’t park regular traffic in the show car lot if it’s your first car meet

A teal show car like you might see when attending your first car meet
Show car entering a meet | MAX HERMAN/AFP via Getty Images

Most car meets will have spectator parking that is separate from regular parking. If you’re just going to your first car meet to see the cars, be sure you’re parking in the spectator area. As as much as you may love your brand-new GTI, if it’s bone stock, it’s probably a better idea to leave it out of the car show lot for the time being.

There is nothing wrong with that, either. The show car lot is typically set aside for high-end or modified cars, and there is plenty to take inspiration from to start your own build. Once you’ve started to make your car your own, feel free to show off your unique style with the show cars. Until then, just get to know the cars and people in your area to become a part of the community.

It’s important to know, though, that you should never be looked down upon for owning a stock car. Just buying a sports car is a pricey endeavor these days. Everyone is there for the love of cars, and gatekeeping shouldn’t be tolerated.

Respect the establishment to preserve your local meet spot

There are plenty of headlines about car meet spots getting shut down because of a few bad actors. Don’t add your name to that list. If your first car meet is in a public setting, keep the revving to a minimum and don’t arrive (or leave) in a trail of tire smoke.

As tempting as it is to make an entrance, event organizers won’t appreciate having so much negative attention on their event. Doing burnouts on public streets will only harm the future of that event.

Any racing, showboating, or excessive revving will anger the locals and bring negative attention to the car meet itself. That’s a fast track to ending the event altogether, and it’s an easy way to destroy your local car community in the process. Just ask the people of New Jersey.

If nothing else, organizers will ban you from future events to protect their reputation. In all ways, it’s essential to know and respect the rules before you attend your first car meet.

Always show respect for everyone at the car meet

We’re living in a divisive time. The car meet isn’t the place to deepen that divide. Everyone is there to love cars, and everyone comes from different backgrounds. Just like we should respect all builds, we should also respect everyone that comes out to celebrate the thing that we all have in common.

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