For many drivers, navigating busy city streets can be a stressful experience, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the geography of a place, its one-way systems and so on. Often you need to make decisions very quickly, just as other vehicles appear to be coming at you from all directions. There are a host of other issues too, such as finding a parking spot, dealing with unscheduled road works, jaywalking pedestrians, cyclists, buses, taxis, one-way streets and bewildering roundabouts.
However, there are a number of things you can do that will help make the experience much more manageable.
Be prepared – and don’t panic
Taking the time to plan an unfamiliar route can pay massive dividends. Being familiar with a route in theory is much better than knowing nothing at all about it. If you can, try to keep on top of traffic and weather reports from relevant sources such as local radio and television.
When driving in a city, you really need to have your eyes, and wits, about you. Being vigilant is always a good thing. Having said that, always try to remain calm, and allow yourself enough time to get to your destination. A relaxed person with time on their hands will always deal with sudden changes much more easily than someone who is stressed because the clock is ticking.
Have I got the right car?
If you are likely to be doing a lot of city driving, considering an appropriate vehicle is always a good idea. There are a huge number of superminis on the market and their compact dimensions can help you circumvent bustling streets that much easier. They typically have smaller turning circles and are better suited to squeezing into tight parking spaces.
How can I make my ideal car even better?
Another thing to consider is the type of transmission your car has. If you are going to be spending most of your time driving in a large town or city, an automatic gearbox can make life a lot easier.
It stands to reason that the bigger a metropolitan centre, the more potential crime there is. Don’t be apprehensive though, taking simple precautions will help ensure your car is not an easy target for ne’er-do-wells. Always put valuables in the boot, or at least out of sight of opportunistic eyes. Leaving an iPhone on the car seat for all to see is probably not a good idea. If you can, try to park your car in a well-lit area. Simple anti-theft devices, such as an immobiliser and/or wheel lock will also ensure that your vehicle is not an easy target.
The price of fuel
The stop-start nature of city driving tends to increase fuel consumption markedly. This not only has an impact on the amount of petrol or diesel you get through, it can also be detrimental to the long-term well-being of your car. More often than not, maintaining a steady speed will get you where you need to be just as quickly as racing about. It will also benefit your car’s fuel efficiency.
Please browse our website to find a wide variety of vehicles ideally suited to city driving from our extensive used car range.