How to drive a new car

By: Cherise Threewitt | Updated: Apr 9, 2021

How to drive a new car

“Drive it like you stole it” is a common and arguably overused phrase to describe the way “real” car enthusiasts think everyone should behave behind the wheel: pushing a car to its limit at every opportunity. And it’s tempting, to say the least, to really explore the potential of a brand new car. After all, you’ve probably been waiting a long time for the chance to call it your own. But cars actually need a “break-in” period before you test them to the max. Here’s why.

Breaking in a new vehicle is really about the engine. The break-in — or mechanical run-in — period is designed to begin to wear the engine evenly and smoothly with low, consistent pressure, normal operating temperature and smoothly flowing oil. The goal is to get the engine’s piston rings, which expand, contract and flex, to seat properly on the cylinder walls. If there are imperfections in the pistons or the cylinder walls from the manufacturing process, working the engine too hard and too soon can wear down those imperfections too quickly. That leads to “hot spots” within the engine’s cylinders, which can cause problems in the years to come.

Most drivers have no idea what’s going on inside their car’s engine at any given time or, more to the point, how their behavior behind the wheel affects it. Rest assured that proper, manufacturer-recommended break-in procedure is designed to enable the engine to do what it needs to do. The benefits, according to CNET, are better fuel economy, better performance, less chance of burning or leaking oil and overall longer engine life.

Break-in Times Vary

Examples of break-in periods for specific vehicles vary, depending on the make, model and other variables. For instance, Nissan suggests its GT-R should not be driven at more than 50 percent throttle or over 3,500 RPM (revolutions per minute) for the first 300 miles (482 kilometers). Chevrolet has a two-stage break-in for its famed Corvette: For the first 500 miles (804 kilometers), it suggests drivers stay below 4,000 RPM and avoid driving at full throttle. Subaru recommends owners keep it below 4,000 RPM for the first 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers), regardless of the car model.

The Acura NSX, on the other hand, has its break-in period completed at the factory before the car is delivered to the customer. The engine is manipulated manually and via computer for the equivalent of 150 miles (241 kilometers), below 4,000 RPM and at varying engine loads (essentially, simulating driving in different types of traffic and at different speeds). This process ensures an even break-in and allows new NSX owners to immediately drive the car at peak performance.

How to Condition Your Car

Better manufacturing practices have shortened the average conditioning period, but can’t yet eliminate it entirely. Engines are stronger, their parts are made with more precision and they’re filled with higher-quality oil. Despite these improvements in engine performance and longevity, there are some recommendations on how you should still drive your new car for the first 500 to 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) or the interval recommended in your owner’s manual:

  • Avoid pushing the engine up to redline.
  • Be particularly careful if it’s a high-performance car.
  • Don’t floor the gas pedal.
  • If it’s a manual transmission, shift gears before it redlines.
  • Don’t use cruise control. It’s important for the engine to go through different RPMs.
  • If possible, avoid short trips that don’t allow the car’s engine to warm up to normal operating temperature.
  • Avoid towing as it can put a heavy load on the engine, and because the car’s brakes and tires require increased stopping distance (see Now That’s Interesting).

Is There a Better Way?

There are some fans of an alternative method, which is to drive the car as hard as possible right off the dealer lot, believing that getting the engine hot and highly pressurized right off the bat is the best way to create that seal. There is some anecdotal evidence to support this method, and it’s certainly more fun than babying the new car you’d really rather show off.

“The break-in period is a ‘general’ recommendation,” Ron Kiino, manager of product communications for Subaru of America, says via email. “Usually for the first 1,000 miles, the break-in period can be different for certain types of cars or engines (longer/shorter mileage, lower/higher rpm limits, etc). Those differences, if present, should be detailed in the vehicle’s owner manual.”

Keep in mind, these are simply guidelines and recommendations. Kiino says there probably won’t be catastrophic consequences if you accidentally accelerate a little too hard or shift a little too late.

“It’s likely that nothing would happen [if you don’t follow the guidelines perfectly], but following the break-in guidelines and proper maintenance are the best ways to ensure the longevity of a vehicle,” he says. “Within the break-in period, the engine may be more susceptible to damage if it is abused.”

Kiino also clarified that failing to follow the conditioning period won’t void your new car’s warranty, but if the car has obviously been abused, that may affect warranty coverage. So go on, drive and enjoy your new car. Just plan some easy miles to get acquainted to each other.

Even though the engine is the biggest concern with regard to breaking in a new car, drivers should also be mindful of the brakes and tires. Their surfaces aren’t yet optimized for performance because they may have a film left over from the manufacturing process. Since tires and brakes both work by creating friction, they’re less efficient if they’re too smooth. So give yourself extra stopping distance for the first couple hundred miles in a new car, or whenever you get new brakes or tires.

How to drive a new car

Buying a new car is an exhilarating experience — the ownership of a brand new ride comes with freedom and possibility. Before you take your wheels out for a serious spin, though, you need to consider a few tips and guidelines. A new car needs to be broken in a bit before it sees any major action, so brush up on the basics and take it easy — you and your car should enjoy a long, rewarding relationship, but you need to get off on the right foot.

Familiarize Yourself

Before you start driving, familiarize yourself with the car’s bells and whistles — you don’t want to be caught in a rainstorm only to realize you can’t figure out the windshield wipers. Read the owner’s manual before you locate and test out the various gadgets and utilities the car offers, including the wipers, headlights, brights, cruise control, emergency brakes, adjustable mirrors and adjustable steering wheel positions. Before you take to the open road, you should be confident in your ability to control the vehicle’s different tools, including the fun ones, like the CD player.

Break It In

A new car, like a new baseball glove, needs to be broken in. The break-in period, usually the first 600 to 1,200 miles, gives your car the opportunity to settle in. Since it’s new, the various parts — including the piston rings — haven’t yet had the opportunity to find their groove. Characterized by easy driving, the break-in period gives these parts a chance to fall into place while sorting out any mechanical imperfections. The two rules of the break-in period are maintaining low RPMs and low speed. Try not to exceed 4,500 RPMs, and don’t drive at excessive speeds if you don’t have to — vary your speed on highway trips instead of using the cruise control. Taking it easy on the engine now helps ensure a long life, so be patient.

Protect It

You want your new car to always stay as nice as it is when you first buy it, so take the proper precautionary measures early in its life. Change the oil after the first 20 miles or so. This removes many of the imperfections and debris that are shaken loose from a young engine. After that, you should change the oil again near the end of the break-in period — about 1,000 miles or so. Avoid using protectants on the vinyl interiors, but do use a fabric protectant on your upholstery to fend off dirt and allergens. Give the outside of the car the same protection with a coat of wax to shield it from water, bugs and other debris.

How to drive a new car

Whether you’re learning independently or having driving lessons, having a few concepts clear in your mind is useful in facilitating the process of learning how to drive. Knowing how the gears of the vehicle work, the best way to travel on the road, the optimal way to stop, etc., are all important when it comes to driving the car more safely and absorbing more information during your lessons. OneHowTo offers a number of tips on how to learn to drive a car for the first time.

Many people with newly obtained license do not feel secure enough to drive a car. Some uncertainty is positive in the sense that you will move more cautiously. However, certain levels can lead to dangerous manoeuvres or can even cause the driver to suffer amaxophobia, a fear of driving. These situations of fear of driving can be avoided if we know how the car works and have some basic knowledge of how the driving process is developed.

To learn to drive a car, having some knowledge of how it operates is vital. The subject of speeds you have to stick to when driving is very important. The lower the gear used, the more power the engine will have; but as the car picks up speed, you’ll have to move up gears so that the vehicle requires less power.

Also in connection with the gears of the car, you should know that starting in first gear is not always advisable. For example, if you are downhill, simply releasing the brake will cause the car to move forward, so starting in second gear is fine. On the other hand, if the road is slippery for whatever reason, it’s always best to drive in high gears. This is because the gears have less pressure and it is less likely for the car to skid.

How to drive a new car

Novice drivers often drive around in a low gear until they reach the highest speeds. However, remember that you can drive at 45 mph in fifth gear – there’s no need to stay in fourth. Get used to hearing the noise emitted by the engine; if it is loud, it’s probably time you moved up to a higher gear. On the contrary, if it seems to be waning, the gear is too high and you should move down into a lower gear. This will entirely depend on your car and the power it has. At the beginning, when you start taking driving lessons, the instructor will explain you how you need to change gears in the specific car you’ll be using. Then, when you pass the exam and you drive your own car, you’ll be able to know when it’s the right time to change gears, as your car might be different from the one you used during your lessons.

The position of the arms on the steering wheel is another basic factor to consider when learning to drive a car. If you do not do so properly, you run the risk of crossing your arms around a tight bend. Thus, on sharp turns, hold hands so that, if the steering wheel were a clock, you hands would be at 10 past 10. Keep them there and slide the wheel between your hands when turning, rather than moving your arms.

How to drive a new car

Knowing how to take a bend from the point of view of speed is also very important. Whether the bend is smooth or sharp, a basic principle should be followed: reduce speed by half and start accelerating when you’ve taken the bend and are starting to drive away from it. You always have to stay in your lane at a speed at which you can control the car. It’s best to go too slowly to begin with rather than having to brake suddenly as the car slips out of your control.

Another issue you must consider when learning to drive a car is the brake. You do not always use the brake pedal to slow the car. Moving down a gear will also slow down the car. Do it in a gradual manner because the vehicle will not manage to move at a high speed in very low gears.

Having knowledge of your car in detail will help you to control it and thus to drive more safely. Read the car manual well to know where all the lights are; the horn; how to operate the water; what type of fuel it needs; how to open the bonnet, etc. The first thing you need to do when entering a new car is get acquainted with all these features. You need to sit in the cockpit drill, the place in the car where there are all the controls and basic functions. Sit there and take a look around. You will need to familiarise with all the controls before starting the engine. Also, make sure that all the mirrors are in the correct position and you see everything perfectly.

This is probably the first thing your instructor will teach you on your first driving lesson. If you want to save some time you can start getting used to this at home, checking your parents’ car to get used to all the different controls. The car you’ll be using for your lessons might be different, but the majority of cars include the same controls, even if they come with different shapes or located in different places of the cockpit drill.

How to drive a new car

It is essential that you know all about these things throughout the learning process and have no doubts. If you go to a driving school, ask all the questions you have, even if they seem very obvious.

Automatic cars work slightly different from manual gear cars. You can learn how to drive an automatic car in this article.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Learn to Drive a Car for the First Time, we recommend you visit our Cars category.

While it’s easy to assume that a brand-new car from the dealership will have zero miles, this is rarely the case. So how many miles should a new car have?

How to drive a new car

How to drive a new car

While it’s easy to assume that a brand-new car from the dealership will have zero miles, this is rarely the case. So how many miles should a new car have? Though every new car will have a few miles on the odometer, there is a threshold for what’s acceptable, at which point it’s appropriate to ask for a discounted price or a replacement vehicle. For this reason, every smart car buyer should check the odometer before closing the deal.

You can expect every new car to have at least 2 miles on it, simply as a result of short-distance driving around the factory floor while being finished and moved to transport. More short-distance driving will occur during maintenance and examination and while the car is being parked at the dealership. In total, a new car usually has at least 10 or more miles on the odometer.

What Is Delivery Mileage?

According to Perry’s News, delivery mileage is the limited number of miles on a new, unregistered car as a result of transportation to the dealership, between dealerships, or from the dealership to the buyer. Delivery mileage can be beneficial to buyers, as it allows them to avoid a transporter fee. It also means the buyer can typically drive away with the car that day, often with a significant discount. A new car with delivery mileage can also be sold with the manufacturer’s warranty, with the buyer listed as the first registered owner.

How Many Miles Should a New Car Have?

Estimating an acceptable delivery mileage isn’t an exact science, as the amount can vary by manufacturer and dealer. The general rule, though, is that anything under 200 miles is acceptable for a new car. That allows enough capacity for transport from the shipping port or between dealerships if the car has to be sent to a new showroom. It’s also unlikely that the car would suffer any technical issues with fewer than 200 miles.

That said, most new cars have far fewer than 200 miles. In fact, most new cars have between 10 and 50 miles on them right off the lot. A buyer, however, should keep a number of factors in mind when evaluating what’s an acceptable number of miles, including the journey from storage compounds, loading and unloading from ferries, and inspections.

Ultimately, how many miles is too many for a new car depends on your preferences and the car’s price. It’s fair for you to expect that your new car will come with no more than 10 miles on it, and if your car arrives with 190 miles on the odometer, you have the right to refuse delivery.

No new car will have zero miles, though. Even those that have barely been driven will have at least five or six, simply from being transported. However, if the odometer shows over 100 miles, you might want to reconsider the purchase, as it’s either been used frequently for test drives or it’s been driven on the highway during the transfer from one dealership to another.

Test Drives and Breaking in a New Car

While you certainly don’t want your new car to have more than 100 miles on it, there is a benefit to buying a car that’s been test-driven: It’s been broken in.

One or two test drives of a car at the dealership can start the break-in process before you have acquired the vehicle. The process of driving a brand-new car seals the piston rings in the cylinders and ensures they can withstand the pressure of regular operation. Buying a vehicle that’s been test-driven can make the break-in process faster and easier.

That said, you have no control over how it’s driven during that time, and the first few hundred miles are crucial to ensure the engine is properly broken in. Many manufacturers even say a new vehicle should be kept below 50 mph for the first 1000 miles.

New Car vs. Other Kinds of Cars

Before you rush out and buy a brand-new car, consider how new cars with delivery mileage compare to other types of cars to determine the best option for you. Your car-buying choices include:

  • New cars.
  • Demo cars.
  • Used cars.

New Cars

A new car is any car that’s never had a title issued to anyone before the buyer drives it off the lot. The odometer should read close to zero. Because cars depreciate the most between the first and second owners, the first buyer has the advantage of a mint-condition car.

Demo Cars

According to Autoblog, a demonstrator car, or demo car, is a vehicle the dealership staff, such as salespeople, managers, and executives, have driven. These cars have never been registered, which means, legally, they’re considered new, regardless of the mileage.

Dealerships often encourage buyers to purchase demo cars that have been driven by managers or executives, asserting that they are immaculately maintained and that the buyer will get a better deal on a demo than on a new car. That’s not always the case. Demo cars usually have considerable mileage, especially considering they’re legally “new,” and can have wear and tear that might not be immediately apparent.

Used Cars

A used car has had one or more previous owners who have driven the car for personal use. Purchasing a used car can save you a lot of money. However, keep in mind that someone else was in charge of its maintenance and servicing. It’s important to purchase a used car from a dealership you trust and have the car’s history comprehensively reviewed before buying.

Ultimately, the choice between a new or used car is yours alone. Evaluate your budget, and go to a reputable and trusted dealership. However, if you’re buying new, don’t hesitate to ask for a different car if you notice that the odometer is near or over 100. You’ll likely be driving the car for years to come, and those first few hundred miles can have a big impact on the life of the engine.

How to drive a new car

When you buy a brand new car with only a handful of kilometres showing on the odometer, you have to go easy on it… Here’s how to run in a new car.

A CAR IS A COLLECTION OF VARIOUS components bolted or otherwise connected together, particularly the engine. When anything is connected to anything else there will be a tiny mismatch here and there, and this is known as a tolerance. The parts need to settle into through the tolerances into their best working positions, gently, and this is what running in is all about.

In particular, the piston rings need be bedded in to the cylinder walls. The process for running in will be described in your owner’s manual. Typically it involves driving gently for around the first 1600km without exceeding an RPM limit, but there’s a bit more to it than that. The trick with running in a new car is varied engine loads, not just racking up the kays.

Cruising on the freeway in top gear for hours on end isn’t ideal either as it doesn’t variably load the engine, so try accelerating in higher gears with more accelerator than you’d normally use, varying speed, cruising in the gear one down from the top and so on. But don’t labour the engine, which is forcing it to use far too high a gear for the conditions, for example fifth at 40km/h. And do all this only when the engine is warm, which means the temperature gauge has got to around halfway and has stabilised…

How to drive a new car

In fact, any hard or fast driving is best done with a warm engine, whether the car is run in or not. And on that subject, idling a car before driving doesn’t warm it up. All you’re doing is using fuel and increasing wear while the engine runs cold. Instead, drive the car gently – light acceleration – immediately after starting so you’re applying light load to warm the engine up, but not enough for undue wear.

If you need to exceed the RPM recommendation during the run-in period then feel free to do so, on occasion, preferably when the engine is warm. You might want to get a feel for the acceleration you just paid for and not want to wait till you’ve run it in, or you might just need the extra power in a hurry. You won’t hurt the car, but contrary to many Internet forums it’s not a good idea to race a new roadcar engine at high revs in order to break it in.

Another run-in instruction typically recommended by the manufacturers is to keep the car lightly loaded, so avoid the heavy loads and bigger trailers, at least initially. Sometimes other new components need a bed-in process too, and brakepads come to mind. Of course, it depends on the pads and the car, and the workshop may do it for you, but if you get new brakes fitted ask about the bed-in process to follow for maximum stopping power and pad life.

While modern cars are better built and more reliable than ever, there’s still the possibility of a problem. My Toyota 86 had its engine replaced early in its life, for example, so if you feel anything amiss don’t put it down to the newness of the car or the running in process, get it checked. But don’t be content with a simple “that’s ok” – ask why, probe a bit further, and if you don’t feel comfortable with the answer seek other expert opinions. That’s the advice you should follow.

Here’s some advice you should ignore. The first oft-cited comparison is race engines. Very often racecars are compared to roadcars, with the view that whatever’s good for the track is good for the road. Not true, and just because a newly-built race engine is taken to the track and run hard doesn’t mean to say that your roadcar engine can be treated the same way. Racecars have a team of expert mechanics constantly monitoring their every need, and the cars are rebuilt to a greater or lesser degree after every race. Not true of roadcars.

How to drive a new car

The second bit of advice is for historic cars. Older cars had far greater manufacturing tolerances, so you really did have to be very careful with prolonged running-in processes. The run-in process for newer cars still exists, but is less critical to the long-term life of the car and easier – you simply don’t need to worry as much as you did 10, 20 or 30 years ago.

But, the run-in process is recommended by the manufacturers for a reason, it’s not hard or inconvenient to follow so you may as well take their advice. There’s also likely to be less issue with early warranty claims. And don’t you want to treat your new car with the respect it deserves?

Driving on the interstate for the first time can be nerve-racking, which is why many new drivers stick to local roads until they have gained enough real-world experience to venture onto the interstate. When a new driver is ready to take on the interstate, being fully prepared can aid in a smooth and safe transition from local roads to the interstate. Here are some highway driving tips for new drivers to consider before their first trip on the highway.

Pick The Right Time

If you’re going on your first highway drive, you’ll want to choose the right time and location. Consider beginning on a less congested highway or at a time of day when there are fewer drivers on the road. You should avoid driving on the freeway under these conditions:

  • Fog, rain, or snow, as well as wet, slippery, or icy road conditions
  • Congested or busy traffic
  • When there is a risk of drunk drivers on the highways, such as on New Year’s Eve, Friday, or Saturday nights.

If you must use freeways, slow down to a safe speed close to the flow of traffic and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Keep an eye out for traffic that is slowing or stopping and give yourself enough time to stop. When traffic is congested and bumper-to-bumper, you may need to cover your brakes as well.

Stay In Right Lane

When driving on the highway for the first time, stay in the right lane at all times. Young drivers have no business driving in the left lane, which is designated for passing. “Staying in the right lane will help them interact with traffic coming onto the freeway, and they’ll be able to maintain their speed easier there,” says Maria A. Wojtczak, owner, and operator of DrivingMBA, an Arizona driver education company.

The cardinal rule of freeway travel is: Stay in the farthest right lane unless you have to pass a slower motorist. Many drivers break this rule so their cruise isn’t interrupted by traffic merging from the on-ramp. But to go against this basic tenet results in all lanes traveling more slowly than their potential. When traffic is light, your driving time should be spent in the far right lane of the freeway. Drive in the middle lane when the right lane fills up with slower-moving cars. But never travel in the far left lane (a.k.a. the fast lane) unless passing a vehicle in that center lane. When the pass is complete, immediately return to the center. Cars merging onto the freeway should always yield to oncoming traffic. But if they don’t, when safe, switch over to the middle lane to go around them, then return to the right lane.

Now, about passing on the right. Technically, this is a legal gray area in many regions, though rarely if ever enforced. Due to inconsiderate, inattentive drivers clogging the left lane, many motorists are left with no other option than to pass on the right. In that regard, use it only as a last resort.

Don’t be a left-lane squatter: If someone approaching from behind flashes their headlights at you while you’re in the left lane, don’t take it as an insult. They’re just driving faster. It happens. Typically, this driver will briefly flash his headlights (or high beams at night) as a gentle reminder to the slower driver to return to the middle lane. As an alternative to the headlight flash, some drivers will put on their left blinker as a way to alert left-lane squatters to their approach. Either method means the same thing: Move over as soon as it’s safe and let them by. No biggie. Traveling in the left lane does not magically make you a fast driver. And although it may be an ideal place to zone out, if you’re traveling slower than the speed of traffic, your squatting in the left lane slows everyone down and just lets ’em know that you are DWI (driving while ignorant). Whether you see a flash, a blinker, or just an approaching car, the left lane is not the place to cruise.

Have Enough Spaces Between Vehicles

It is important to maintain proper speed and distance while driving on the freeway. Going too close to the vehicle in front of you will greatly reduce your time of reaction in case anything happens, which is dangerous. It will also be harder to change lanes when needed. You should leave about four to six seconds between your vehicle and others. Carefully check the rearview mirror, side mirrors, and blind-spot before changing lanes. More space means you’ll have more time to avoid a collision or react to road debris.

Blinker Is A Most

Young drivers must develop the habit of constantly using their blinkers, even if they believe their intentions are obvious. “The only way we have to communicate with other drivers is through blinkers,” says Chris Duquin, owner of Stevens Driving School, which has several locations throughout New York. “It’s amazing how frequently drivers cause problems by failing to use them on highways.”

SEE MORE:

Keep Calm

Learning to drive on the highway entails more than just proper driving technique; it also includes ensuring that a young driver’s maturity level is adequate for the task. “They must understand never to take anything personally, especially on a highway,” says Michael Soubirous, a retired California Highway Patrol lieutenant who now writes a local newspaper column called “On the Road” in Riverside, Calif. “Let it go if someone cuts you off. You never know what the other person is thinking, and it’s possible that they simply made a mistake. After all, drivers are not perfect.”

Stay Focused

According to the CDC, drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. That is why it is critical to maintaining your focus on the road. While driving on the highway, do not text, change the music, or be distracted by talking to friends. Distractions while driving are plentiful, so here is an easy way to maintain your focus: Keep both hands on the wheel. This will instantly make you a more aware driver and better able to respond to emergency driving maneuvers.

Avoid Driving In Blind Spots

Driving in the blind spot of other vehicles can be very dangerous, especially around commercial vehicles. Remember to stay out of their blind spots and keep your distance around them. Big vehicles are slow to start and stop, so have patience and allow a few more seconds between you and them. They will require more space to turn, so never ever stay between them and the curb. Cutting them off is a very big no-no.

Conclusion

That’s mostly what good lane discipline is all about — a little bit of knowledge and an awareness of your surroundings. By using the basic guidelines we’ve provided here, we will all reach our destinations much sooner and safely. Visit Driving Tips for more useful tips and information like this!

How to drive a new car

Matsumoto Naoki is senior car blogger at Car From Japan. Having background in mechanical engineering, he has a unique perspective on a lot of new car innovations. Prior to Car From Japan, Matsumoto was Mechanical Design Engineer at Yajima Plant, Subaru Corporation. His articles provide detailed DIY instructions and how-tos to help you get your new car on the road. If you want to save money and feel more confident when working on your cars, you should not ignore Matsumoto’s sharing posts. He presents driving tips and tricks for everyone through easy-following steps and mechanically but friendly writing.

Car subscription boxes are here, and they promise to steer car shopping in a whole new direction for American families. We’ve all seen subscription boxes for makeup, grooming supplies, coffee and clothing. But car subscription services take it to the next level! They are essentially an alternative to buying or leasing a car. Interested? Check out our beginner’s guide to car subscriptions.

1. What is a Car Subscription?

Carroll Lachnit, Edmunds‘ Senior Consumer Advice Editor, says the service consists of paying a monthly fee for which you get the use of a car. It covers roadside assistance, standard maintenance, any repairs that might turn up under warranty, and insurance as well.

You don’t actually own the vehicle, just like you don’t own the car if you’re leasing. Depending on the service you use, you could have a sedan for the week, and get an SUV for a weekend trip. Keep in mind that all subscription “boxes” are different, and the price could change depending on the vehicle you choose.

2. How Does it Work?

You basically go to the website and apply. Typically, they check your driving record and they do a soft credit check to make sure you can pay for the service every month. Everything is managed from an app. There are no down payments or finance charges. Some services let you select your mileage and build that cost into the monthly fee.

3. Who Offers Subscriptions?

Ford’s service called “canvas” provides pre-owned cars with packages starting at around $400 a month. Customers choose a mileage plan the same way you’d choose a data plan for your smartphone. Mileage rolls over each month and you can adjust your plan up or down.

Other companies like Volvo, Cadillac and Porsche also offer subscription services with prices ranging from $850 to $3000 a month.

Car subscription “boxes” offer a different angle to car shopping with easy accessibility, without the compromise. Looks like the classic American car culture is about to get a huge disruption.

Would you consider signing up for car subscription services? Join the conversation on our Facebook page @TheListShowTV.

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How to drive a new car

Most states require car insurance before new car owners can leave the lot.

full parking lot image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com

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You can see a real-time update of the number of vehicles rolling off assembly lines at the Worldometers website. The numbers tick by in rapid succession, but if you were to try to drive any of these off U.S. lots without insurance coverage, you would be looking for trouble. In most cases, state law requires insurance before leaving a dealership, so there’s only one answer to the question of how to drive a new car off a lot with no insurance: You don’t.

Call Your Current Agent

The best way to avoid driving a car off the dealership lot without insurance is to call the agent who sold you your current policy and advise her that you are car shopping. If you already know the make and model you plan to buy, even better. Your agent can add the new car to your existing policy via a binder that covers you until your policy can be updated. Contact your agent again after sealing the deal to give her pertinent details on the car. You can choose to wait, but only if you know for a fact that your insurer covers customers when they buy new cars. According to Insure.com, some companies give customers from 14 to 30 days to report new car purchases.

Shop for New Coverage

Before you choose a car, identify local insurance agents if you don’t already have one and comparison shop. Ask each broker and agent if they can sell you a binder up front that covers you so you don’t have to drive the car you buy off the lot without coverage. There’s a good chance you will have to make a trip to the agent’s office once you pick one, but you may find that it was worth the trip. Some insurers also offer car financing. Even if you say no to the insurer’s financing, the quote can be used to negotiate a better rate at the dealership when you show your proof of insurance coverage.

Ask the Dealer First

Not every car dealership offers shoppers the names of local insurance agencies with whom they do business, but some do. If you have no coverage, ask your car salesman about such resources before you browse the inventory. Alternately, if you have insurance policies covering other assets—a house, apartment, or boat, for example—you may be able to obtain a binder from that agent if the company also writes car insurance. Certain dealerships and insurance agencies offer a “gap insurance” product that pays the difference between what you paid and the sale price in the event you total the car after driving off the lot.

Leave the Car

It may sound counter-intuitive – after all, you’re writing a check to get your hands on the car – but you can leave it on the lot after buying it, obtain insurance and then return to pick it up so you don’t drive without coverage. Some situations may require you to leave the vehicle at the dealership even if you have insurance. For example, you’re finally getting rid of that old beater and now you’re buying a nicer automobile. If the minimal amount of coverage you carry on the beater is inadequate for the new car, you may have to leave the car on the lot until you make sure that you have enough coverage in place.