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The Official Car Rental Blog
17 September, 2013 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

Key Pointers for Driving an Unfamiliar Car

Top Tips

Ever hopped into a friend's car and thought, 'wow, this feels different to drive'?

Many people experience the same feeling when they hire a car that they are not familiar with driving.

So here are a few pointers to keep in mind the next time you drive a car that is not your usual style of transport.

  • Sedan
    Use to a hatchback? If you are renting a sedan, remember that there is extra vehicle length that extends from the back window. An important tip to remember when reversing.

  • Hatchback
    If you are parking in a position where a vehicle will be behind you and you need to access the rear of your car, consider how much space is required to safely open the back door of your hatchback. A good tip to consider when parallel parking in an area where there are no dedicated bays.

  • Three Door Car
    You may find that the front doors of a three door car are slightly larger than those of the same car but in a five door version. Good point to remember when opening your door while parked beside other vehicles.

  • 4WD
    Many people love driving a 4WD as it offers them a different driving experience. If you are renting a 4WD, consider the change in visibility - especially when it comes to reversing and your ability to see children walking behind your vehicle. It is also important to think about the car's size when navigating into parking bays.

  • Manual
    Heard of the term 'hill start'? If you are use to driving an automatic, you will find the take off for a manual a different experience - especially if you are stopped on an incline. Use your handbrake should you feel that you will experience a degree of roll back when you proceed forward.

  • Automatic
    New to driving an automatic? It's exactly the same regarding the foot controls as a manual, just less the clutch! More control and smoother operation occurs when you use your right foot for both the accelerator and brake.

  • Interior Design
    'Quick push up for a left three blink indication or a long push up for a continuous left blink indication...'

    Been in a situation where a car's indicator functionality is completely different to the standard push up for left and push down for right?

    While all cars come standard with the same basic driving instruments, each vehicle can vary in where things are located and how they operate. For example, some cars have the indicator switch on the left while others have it on the right. This can be a little confusing when you end up with your wipers going when all you wanted was to indicate left!

    So before you embark on your journey, take a few moments to check out where everything is located and test out the wipers, lights, and indicators to ensure you know their different levels of functionality.

We hope the above has not deterred you from choosing a specific type of vehicle to rent! These tips are designed to offer you some good points to think about should you be driving a car that you are not familiar with.

So travel safe and enjoy your car hire experience.