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  1. Everyone is different when it comes to driving. Some people hate to parallel park, while others come out in a cold sweat at the thought of a hill start. The same can be said when you’re learning to drive. You’ll always have that one person who swears they passed first time after three lessons, but that’s far from the average. According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), it takes most people 45 hours of lessons to learn how to drive, plus 22 hours of practising. An intensive courses could help you discard your L-plates after just 10 hours of instruction - but that’s the exception, not the rule.
  2. 3) Be prepared to ‘creep’ An automatic will move slowly forwards if you’re in Drive or any other forward gear. If you’re in Reverse, it’ll slowly go backwards. This is called ‘creeping’ (or ‘idle speed’) and it makes it easy to simply keep your right foot over or on the brake when you’re parking or in slow-moving traffic. You can select Neutral and/or use the brake (or handbrake) to make sure you don’t move when you don’t want to. 4) Know what to expect in different conditions Automatic cars are certainly easier to learn to drive in: there’s no need to think about gears, so learners are free to focus on mirrors, speed, other cars, pedestrians and all the rest. But if you’re already used to a manual, you’ll notice some differences: On motorways, there’s no real difference at all: staying in Drive is exactly the same as staying in top gear. In traffic jams, automatics are great. It’s nice not to have to shift between first and neutral over and over. When you’re parking, you might find the ‘creep’ feature useful. Or you might think it’s annoying. While overtaking, or going up/down hills or towing, some people find an automatic car doesn’t give them as much control as a manual. However, most older automatics have an ‘O/D’ (Overdrive) button* on the gearstick that gives the engine a bit more ‘oomph’. And most newer models are smart enough to know when the driver wants a bit more power, so they don’t need this button. * Overdrive is a feature that keeps the revs down so the car uses less fuel. An automatic car will start off with Overdrive on, so pushing the button turns it off – you’ll burn more fuel, but get more power/control. 5) Practise Finally, it’s best to practise a bit somewhere out of the way before you hit any busy roads. It shouldn’t take long to get used to keeping your hand off the gearstick and your left foot out of the way. rentalcars.com
  3. First time driving an automatic car? 5 tips for an easy ride If you hold a manual licence, you can legally drive and rent an automatic car, although letting the car handle the gears might take some getting used to. Discover quick tips for driving an automatic car. Automatics are easier to drive than manual cars: as the name says, they do a lot of the work for you. So it’s not surprising that people with a manual driving licence can also hire and drive automatic cars (but not vice versa). Never driven an automatic before? It’s simple… just check out these tips and you’ll feel at home behind the wheel in no time. 1) Forget about the clutch pedal Automatics do have gears, but the car handles most gear changes itself. That’s why there’s no clutch pedal – just the brake and the accelerator. Any car, manual or automatic, will be upset if you hit those two pedals at the same time. So a lot of ‘manual’ drivers actually tuck their left foot behind their right foot while they’re getting used to an automatic. Just in case their left foot forgets that it's not a clutch on the left-hand side 2) Get used to the gearstick Before you even turn the key, take some time to get used to the gearstick. You’ll only use it occasionally, but if you need to find reverse in a hurry, you’ll be glad you did this. You won’t touch the gearstick much in an automatic… but when you do shift gear, just hold the brake down (like the clutch in a manual). There are four basic gears: P – Park Park is just Neutral with the gears locked so the wheels can’t turn. It’s always good to make sure you’re in Park before you start the car – and back in Park before you turn the engine off. R – Reverse For going backwards, of course. N – Neutral Stopping at lights or in traffic (for more than a couple of seconds)? Lots of automatic drivers will put the car in Neutral. As with a manual car, it’s best to use the brake/handbrake to make sure you don’t roll. D – Drive For going forwards. When you’re moving fast enough, the car will automatically switch to second gear, then third, and so on. Some automatics have other settings on the gearstick as well. For example, you might see: 1: Stay in first gear (good for hills) 2: Stay in second gear (good for hills) L: Stay in low gear (1 or 2) S: Sport (better acceleration) rentalcars.com
  4. 4 Rid yourself of distractions. This is not the time to transport your crying little sister to daycare or three of your talkative friends to a party. Driving with distractions is never a good idea, particularly if you have never driven a vehicle before. Also turn off the radio, roll up the windows, and put away your cell phone. Again, a trusted and experienced driver is the best passenger to have on your first experience behind the wheel. 5 Stay on familiar roads the first time you drive. You do not need to have to navigate your surroundings as you drive for the first time. Drive around your neighborhood or on a route that you are very familiar with. 6 Stay away from interstates and major highways. Although you will need to learn how to drive on these types of roadways at some point in the future, the first time you get behind the wheel is not a good time. Wait until you have some experience controlling a vehicle before putting yourself in difficult driving situations. driving-tests.org
  5. 6 Things You Should Know When Driving for the First Time 1 Adjust the vehicle so that you are comfortable. Before you start the car, make sure that you can see out of all mirrors and that the seat is adjusted to your height. Being comfortable will help you relax during this somewhat nerve rattling experience. The following guide is an excellent assistant when you try to adjust your seat and mirrors. 2 Do not overthink the situation. Driving a car is an experience that requires you to multitask. As you sit in the driver’s seat for the very first time, you might begin to feel overwhelmed with all the rules that you have to remember. Although remembering to use turn signals and what a particular road sign means are both very important, even more important is your ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Try to clear your mind and focus on what you are doing. 3 Calm your nerves. It is always best to have a trusted and experienced driver in the passenger seat next to you when you drive a car for the first time. There is a reason that a learning period during which you are only able to drive with another adult in the vehicle is usually required before you are issued a driver’s license. Having a trusted parent or other adult there to help you and give you advice will make driving a vehicle for the first time a little less scary. driving-tests.org
  6. That is essentially the first lesson for learning how to drive a car. Keep practicing and as you gain in confidence, increase your speed. To do this, you’ll need to change gears. See the changing gears tutorial for help. You will of course need to progress from there but it’s important to learn step by step and to not rush it. Below continues from the basics by pointing you to tutorials that will prove beneficial. Passing parked cars – Learning how to drive a car requires an understanding of safe passing distances. This tutorial helps with passing parked cars. Cyclists and cycle lanes – As you learn to drive, you will encounter many cyclists. This tutorial helps you understand how to safely deal with cyclists and the use of cycle lanes. Road positioning – Ensure you are positioned correctly whilst driving. Lane discipline – This is all about know what lane for where you need to go. Junctions – Statistically it’s at junctions that fail the most driving tests. Check out these tutorials to ensure you do it properly. Crossroads – Crossroads can become complex, particularly busy busy yellow box junctions. Roundabouts – Roundabouts scare many learners, but really they’re not that bad when you get used to them. Left and right turns – You’ll need to know the correct procedure for making left and right turns. Emergency stop – Whilst learning how to drive a car, it’s essential you know how to stop it safely and in good control in a emergency situation. Dual carriageways – As your driving skills progress, you will need to learn how to deal with joining dual carriageways, driving on them and exiting them. 2 second rule – Driving too close to another vehicle is a common cause of accidents. The 2 second rule is an easy to remember system for keeping a safe driving distance. Country road driving – Statistically, the most dangerous roads are country roads. This tutorial provides safe driving tips. drivingtesttips.biz
  7. We need to stop the car and park up on the left, similar to how it was before we had a drive, ensuring it is a safe, convenient and legal position. Remember the left door mirror mental photo? That’s where we’re heading. Before moving back over to the left: Check the internal and left door mirror If there are any road users or pedestrians around, signal to the left. Again, if nobody is around, there’s no need, though this is up to you. Cover the brake and the clutch. This means place your feet on top of the pedals but do not press the pedals down. This is preparation to use the pedals and to be in the correct position when doing so. Begin to slightly steer to the left. Avoid doing so harshly else you’ll hit the kerb. As the left door mirror ‘mental photo’ comes into shot, start to straighten out the steering again and adjust accordingly. Depress the clutch quickly to the floor Gently apply the foot brake until the vehicle comes to a standstill Keep your feet / pedals as they are and apply the handbrake Select neutral and cancel the signal if you applied it It’s often difficult for new drivers to judge where the kerb is in relation to the vehicle. drivingtesttips.biz
  8. CLUTCH WEAR Finding and using the clutch bite point is an excellent method for new drivers to move off and minimise the potential of stalling. This method does however increase clutch wear. As you progress and gain confidence in clutch control, try releasing the handbrake, increasing the accelerator and bringing up the clutch from the floor simultaneously without holding it on the bite point. To avoid stalling, you’ll need to slow lifting the clutch pedal at the bite point area, but can lift it quickly once the car has gained momentum. This takes a little more practice, but is easier long-term and reduces clutch wear. DRIVING SAFETY PROCEDURES Part of the process of learning how to drive a car are safety observations and procedures. Your supervising passenger will help you initially with safety observations, but as you progress with moving off, you should include these observations: Mirrors Just before you move the car off, the final thing you need to do is check the mirrors. This is the internal mirror followed by the right door mirror. If there are any vehicles approaching from the rear, wait till they pass and check your mirrors again. If all clear, check the: Blind Spot The blind spot is the part that you cannot see in your mirrors. A cyclists or a small vehicle can easily be concealed in the blind spot, so take a look over your right shoulder to ensure all is clear. Finally: Look Ahead If there are any vehicles or cyclists approaching, give a right signal before moving off. If there are no road users or pedestrians that may benefit from a signal, then you may still signal if you wish, or simply not do so. This is also acceptable on a driving test. As you move off, steer half-turn of the wheel to the right and once you reach the centre of your side of the road, straighten the wheel once again. Keep the car very slow (5 – 10 mph) in 1st gear and cancel the signal (if applied) if it didn’t automatically do so. drivingtesttips.biz
  9. HOW TO DRIVE A CAR 1. Starting the Car Start the car by turning the key clockwise till it stops for 1 to 2 seconds. Once you hear the engine fire up, release the ignition key. 2. Depress the Clutch If you’re a little unsure of which floor pedals do what, think from right to left A, B and C; Accelerator, Brake and Clutch. Using your left foot, press the clutch down all the way to the floor and hold it there. 3. Select 1st Gear From neutral, using your left hand push the gear lever all the way to the left and once it stops, push it straight up into 1st gear. Now place that hand onto the handbrake lever. 4. A Little Gas Give the engine a little power by ‘setting the gas’. Gently and slowly press the accelerator pedal. You only need to press it a small amount, think roughly around 1 cm. Steady the pedal once the rev counter reaches approximately 1500 rpm. 5. Find the Bite Point The clutch allows you to change gear, so think of the clutch as two plates that can join and separate. One plate is connected to the engine and the other is connected to the wheels. When you put the clutch down it separates the plates allowing you to change gear. You need to find the clutch bite point – the point in which the two plates begin to join and connect the engine, gears and wheels. As you lift the clutch, the plates will begin to come together and you will hear the engine change its tone and the car may creak a little. As soon as you hear this, hold the clutch right there as it’s the bite point. 6. Handbrake You now need to release the handbrake. Slightly raise it and pull in the button on the end. Now release the lever all the way down and place your hand back onto the steering wheel. If your car has an electronic handbrake (parking brake), there will be a button that requires pressing. 7. Moving the Car Off Very slowly and very slightly press down on the accelerator, whilst simultaneously releasing the clutch. It’s important at this point that you release the clutch slowly else it will likely result in stalling the car. Shortly after the car has moved off and has gained momentum, you can fully release the clutch all the way and remove your foot from the pedal. That’s the basics for learning how to drive a car by moving it off at its simplest. Don’t worry if you stall, most learners do, just start again until you get the hang of it. For further information, see how to stop stalling the car. drivingtesttips.biz
  10. SETTING UP THE CAR Before we begin covering how to drive a car, you’ll need to get the car set up for you. We are all different sizes and heights, so setting up the car in order to easily reach all the controls is important in terms of safety. This procedure is called the cockpit drill. That is: D (doors) – Check that all the doors a shut S (Seat) – Move the seat forwards or backwards to that you can press the clutch pedal to the floor but maintain a slight bend in your leg. S (steering) – Adjust the steering or the back of the seat to that you can place both hands at the top of the steering wheel but maintain a slight bend in your arms. If you can comfortably grip the top of the steering wheel, you can easily reach every other control. S (seat belt) – Secure your seat belt and ensure there are no twists. Ensure passengers are securely belted. M (mirrors) – Adjust the interior and door mirrors. For help setting up mirrors, see mirror adjustment. The cockpit drill tutorial covers all of these safety procedures in much more detail. Once you have the car set up, you can begin learning how to drive a car. BEFORE YOU DRIVE The following instructions are for how to drive a manual car and are for beginners with little or zero experience. If it is your first time behind the wheel: Choose a quiet residential street. Avoid using a country road as these can in fact be dangerous, particularly for a novice driver. A road that is ideally as straight and as flat (to avoid rolling) as possible Start from a normal parked position on the left facing the flow of traffic. What we are going to do is to drive the car from a stationary position for a short distance and then pull up on the left, secure and park the car. Ideally you are confident with vehicle setup (DSSSM) and the main controls detailed within the cockpit drill tutorial. Finally, ensure your seat belt is secured, the handbrake is applied and the gear stick is in neutral (see how to change gears for further information if necessary). Now, before you drive, take a look into your left door mirror; look at how parallel the car looks with the kerb and how far away the car is from the kerb. Take a mental photo of that as you’ll need to recall it later. Right, let’s drive. drivingtesttips.biz
  11. Steps for selling your vehicle to a private buyer: Determine the vehicle’s worth Use multiple resources such as Kelley Blue Book, NADA Guides, and Autotrader. If you have a junk car, you may be better off donating it. Gather the paperwork This includes the title, maintenance records, bill of sale, release of liability, warranty documents, and as-is documentation. Get the car ready Clean the car inside and out. Shine the exterior, vacuum the interior, replace any damaged floor mats, and clean rims and tires. Or, go with a professional car detailer. Take pictures You should have high-quality images from multiple angles for your advertisement. This includes, all sides of the exterior, front and back seat, trunk, dashboard, carpets, wheels, and engine. Find a place to advertise There are many options available to you, some better than others. You’ll want to compare among the following advertising methods: social media, “for sale” window signs, newspapers and other print media, craigslist, eBay, cars.com, autotrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, and Beepi. Create an ad Creating a good ad that will get a response takes some time and effort. You want to come across as a trustworthy person who has taken care of their car. At the absolute minimum, you’ll want to make sure that you include the price, mileage, modifications, VIN number, and the number of owners. Screen potential buyers This is probably the most time-consuming part of the process. You can help eliminate the number of false leads by choosing carefully where and how you are advertising your vehicle. Regardless of where the potential buyer comes from, you’ll want to verify their full name, clarify acceptable forms of payment, only accept full payment, and determine if the buyer is in the area. Give your sales pitch You’ll have to bring out your inner salesperson to pitch your car to prospective buyers. Negotiate the sale price If you are set on the price, stand firm. Most private car buyers, however, are expecting to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to counter-offer to get a price you both agree on. Write down your lowest acceptable price and never go lower than that. Finalize the sale You’ll need to do a couple of things before you can successfully transfer ownership to another person. The sale isn’t complete until you complete a title transfer. You may also need a bill of sale, depending on what state you are in. After payment is accepted and the bill of sale completed, you need to sign over the title, fill out a Release of Liability (if required), provide warranty documents (if applicable), maintenance records, and any additional paperwork your state may require. Don’t forget to hand over the keys and remove your vehicle from your insurance policy. autosimple.com
  12. Before taking ownership of the car, you should add it to your insurance policy. Then, you only need to pay for the car — usually with cash or a cashier’s check. Make sure you get a title and have the seller sign it correctly. When in doubt, check the state’s registry website for more information. Most states allow about 10 days to register the car in your name. If you’re buying from a private party, and there is still a loan on the car, call the lender to find out how to close the deal. If the lender is a bank, offer to meet the seller in a branch office and sign papers there. If you’re at a dealer, even if you have a preapproved loan to pay for the car, the dealership’s finance manager will probably offer to beat the terms of the loan. It doesn’t hurt to see if he or she can get a better interest rate. Just make sure all the other terms of the loan are the same. Before the contract is drawn up, the finance manager will also likely pitch you additional products and services. Buying an extended warranty at the right price can provide peace of mind. But check first to see how much warranty still remains on the car. Many manufacturers now include “powertrain” warranties up to 75,000 miles. This covers all the parts that make the car driveable, such as the engine, transmission and suspension. Once you sign the sales contract, the car is yours. So take your time reviewing the contract and don’t let yourself be pressured into signing just to get it over with. The contract will include the agreed-on sales price and these additional items: State sales tax. This is a percentage of the cost of the car. Documentation fee. It seems crazy but the dealership actually charges you for filling out the contract. This “doc fee” is limited in some states. In others states, such as Florida, some dealerships charge as much as $700 for doc fees. Registration fees. A dealer has the ability to register the car for you, which is convenient. Some dealerships might include additional fees, some of which are bogus. It’s tricky to know what’s legit and what’s just included to boost their profit. If the finance manager can’t explain a fee in the contract, ask to have it removed. nerdwallet.com
  13. Here’s the part that everyone dreads: negotiation. But it doesn’t have to be stressful, particularly if you’ve done your research and have a good idea what the car you want is worth. Compare the seller’s asking price to the average market price you determined on the pricing guides. Chances are, the seller is asking more than the market average. Let’s say the seller is asking $12,000 and your research has told you the car is worth only $10,500. Start by pointing out any concerns you have about the car’s condition. For example, you can say, “I like the way the car drives. But it really needs a new set of tires. And besides that, the book value is only $10,500. So I’d be willing to buy it for $10,000.” Now, it’s up to the seller to either accept your offer or make a counteroffer. If his counteroffer still seems too high, you can either stick to your guns or invoke the time-honored phrase, “I’ll meet you halfway,” and split the difference. You can go back and forth until you agree. When you bargain with a car salesperson at a car lot or dealership, keep in mind that you’re dealing with a pro who knows all the tricks. Here are a few tips to use on the car lot: Don’t be a monthly payment buyer. If you have a preapproved loan, you’re a cash buyer as far as the dealer is concerned and you should negotiate on the price of the car, not the size of the monthly payment. This allows you to dodge a common trap set for buyers by salesmen: convincing a buyer to focus on the monthly payment rather than the overall cost of the car. Start low, but in the ballpark. Lowball the seller and they won’t treat you as a serious buyer. Instead, make an offer that is on the low side, but still enticing. Then, improve your offer slowly, perhaps in increments of $250. Don’t be trapped in the sales office. Don’t let a salesman leave you alone while he “goes to talk with his boss.” Instead, roam around the showroom or go get a cup of coffee. Uncontrollable buyers keep salespeople off balance, which can help you in negotiations. Negotiate slowly and repeat the numbers you hear. It’s easy to get confused, so go slow or even write down the numbers thrown at you. Make sure you know if you’re talking about the “out-the-door” price, which includes all taxes and fees, or just the sale price of the car. Ask about fees before saying yes to a deal. Some dealers include bogus fees to take back profit they lose in negotiating. Ask for a breakdown of additional fees before you agree to any deal. Always be ready to walk. If you aren’t making progress toward a deal, or you don’t like the way you’re being treated, just walk out. No goodbyes are necessary. nerdwallet.com
  14. Up to this point you haven’t actually driven the car you’ve chosen. Now, you’ll not only see if you like this model, you’ll also have to decide if this particular car is worth buying. Unless you’re a mechanic, you can’t be expected to inspect a car thoroughly. However, you can give the car a pretty good initial inspection. If it looks good, then you can pop for a full inspection, which will cost you about $100. Select a test drive route that has a little bit of everything: hills, rough pavement, curves and even a stretch of highway. Drive the car with the radio off — you can test that later. Pay attention to the following things: Visibility: Are there any blind spots? Acceleration and cornering: Does the car have enough power? How does the steering feel? Brakes: Are they responsive and predictable? Ergonomics: Can you easily reach all the gauges and controls? Mechanical condition: Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations that could indicate worn suspension parts or tires. After the test drive, check the back-seat leg room and cargo capacity. Now it’s time to blast the sound system and see if your phone connects via Bluetooth. Inspect the car If you liked driving the car, and it seems to be in good condition, you should still take it to a mechanic. Private party sellers are pretty relaxed about this. Some dealers might give you pushback, claiming they’ve already inspected it. Go ahead and insist if you have any doubt about the car’s condition. On independent used car lots, you often see a sign in the window saying that the vehicle is “certified,” which can mean almost anything — and usually means nothing — about the condition or reliability of the car. But on new car lots, “certified” means the car’s in a certified preowned (CPO) program, which have become very popular and make used car shopping a whole lot easier. CPO cars are thoroughly inspected and include an extended factory warranty. You really don’t need to take a CPO car to your own mechanic. nerdwallet.com
  15. Contact the seller A quick chat will answer lots of questions and save time. First, verify the information you read in the advertisement. Then, here are some basic questions to ask: Are you the first owner? Are the service records available? Do you have the title and is it clear? (A clear title shows there are no liens on the car.) How did you set the asking price? Is there any important information that wasn’t in the ad? Can I have the car inspected by a mechanic? nerdwallet.com
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