Are you going to be driving a rental car in the aftermath of a crash? Maybe you need to buy a new one because yours is beyond repair. Either way, you’re going to be finding yourself behind the wheel of an unfamiliar car at a time when you’re probably already nervous about driving again.
Even if you get a newer model of the same car, there are going to be a lot of differences to get used to. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with all of those changes before you’re out on the road. That requires a bit of time and patience.
Know how to make adjustments
Before you drive anywhere, make sure the seat and mirrors are adjusted properly. Don’t forget the side view mirrors. If you’re sharing the car with someone who’s a different size, you’ll need to know how to readjust things when it’s your turn to drive.
Learn where all the controls are
Just like people taking their driving test, you should be able to quickly find the controls for the headlights, hazard lights, windshield wipers and defroster. You should also learn how to work anything in the onboard entertainment/media center that you’ll be using. However, it’s best to select your entertainment choice and destination on your GPS navigation system before you set off while you’re still getting accustomed to the vehicle.
Get used to the feel of the car
A new car may brake with just a light touch. The steering wheel may turn much more easily than your old one. Those are just two of the differences you’ll likely notice. If the car has a different shape or size than you’re used to, judging how much space you have around you can be tricky. It’s best to allow yourself plenty of room behind other vehicles and pay attention to what your lane control, blindspot detection and other safety systems are telling you.
Start out gradually
Take short trips on familiar streets at times when traffic isn’t bad at first until you get used to driving the new car. This will give you a chance to break it without worrying about other drivers getting impatient.
Meanwhile, if your crash was caused by another driver, make sure that you’re getting the compensation you need to cover the cost of new transportation as well as medical bills and other expenses and damages.