The car you drive reflects a lot about who you are as a person, and is perhaps one of the most outward status symbols available to you – as like it or not we are all judged on the car we drive. That said, making the most of your car isn’t limited to the car itself, as cars are designed to facilitate experiences rather than sit on the drive and look nice.
We’ve all seen people take great care of their car, waxing and polishing it each weekend, yet their car just remains in the driveway – not really being used. Cars are there for adventure, as in, you don’t go in search of finding a used car purely based on practical aspects such as boot space for the weekly shop; you consider the comfort, the colour, and how the car makes you feel.
In this sense, cars facilitate practical and emotional experiences; for instance, if it’s a cold day and you get into your car to feel the comfort of heated seats, this creates a feeling of comfort and being protected from the cold – yes, it’s a tangible feature with a practical benefit but as with almost all features of cars, there is a deeper emotional feeling that is being tapped into.
For instance, if you are driving a Volvo with twenty airbags, the feeling you might have whilst driving your kids to school is that of ‘protection’ and to feel like a strong, stable provider of protection, from having a car that is so safe. Conversely, if you own a supercharged convertible, the feeling you might get from that car is significance and a feeling of freedom.
Yet, making more from your car isn’t all about the car, it’s about how you use the car, and in that sense making more from your car comes down to using to for more fun experiences. In this article, we’re going to take a look at three ways to make more from your car this year, with a particular focus on road trip adventures.
1. UPGRADE YOUR CAR
The car you drive will determine a lot about how much you squeeze from the driving experience, for instance, driving a large modern car that has some real power when you put your foot down will feel very different to driving a tiny two door lawnmower engine of a car.
There’s no denying it, when it comes to making more from driving, the car you own is going to determine a lot about your driving experience. If you own a fun sports car, then you’re going to have an amazing driving experience, but are likely to be doing so alone, or with just one other person. Whereas, if you own a full size off road vehicle, you’re like to be able to have fun days out as a family or group of friends in the countryside.
The point is, your choice of car inherently influences the experience you will have and if you’re in the ‘wrong car’ for the experience you want to create then the first step is to upgrade your car to something more aligned with what you want.
2. EMBRACE THE FREEDOM
Many people tend to use their car to get from A to B, and that’s it. They drive to work and back, pick the kids up from school, get the shopping, and so on. We forget that we are lucky enough to have the freedom to jump in a car, in complete comfort, and in a very short space of time get to wherever we want.
We forget that cars allow for independence, and many people don’t have this luxury or comfort. Many people are stuck getting buses or trains, without the freedom or control car owners experience. Therefore, you want to consider yourself lucky, and use your car to embrace the sense of freedom it can offer.
This is particularly true as the weather begins to get better, for instance, there’s nothing nicer than a spring drive to see the beautiful scenery – remember, not everyone can just jump in a car and get wherever they want… they have to rely on public transport, so try to embrace your freedom, and focus less on needing a bigger or better car, and more on appreciating what you have.
3. GO ON ADVENTURES
In a similar vein to the above, you want to start taking your car on some adventures — head out for a leisure trip at the weekend, and do something fun. Even on your own, in fact, there’s something very healing about driving around with some top tunes, windows down, breeze in your face… it can feel very stress relieving and life enhancing.
Of course, if you spend a few hours each day stuck in traffic, on the way to work, you might not fancy driving around the country lanes, but perhaps one weekend when you don’t have much to do, pack a little picnic and go for a long drive. After all, there’s a world of difference between driving for fun and driving to somewhere you need to get to.
4. KEEP IT CLEAN
Keeping your car clean, sounds like a no brainer, yet so many people drive around with all sorts of trash in their car. Unfortunately, a car does represent who you are, on the inside as well as the outside, so if you have a really messy car, it looks like you have a messy life, and perhaps have low standards for your life.
Have you ever seen a really fancy and expensive car, that on the inside is full of junk, or is kept really dirty on the outside? There’s a mismatch.
No matter what car you drive, you will want to ensure you keep it clean, as this is all about optimising the driving experience and making the most of what you have.
There’s nothing more sad to see than a really expensive, brand new car, that hasn’t been washed for months. In this sense, we often neglect our cars, yet they are such expensive and important assets you would think we would want to make more from them.
Sometimes, having a mediocre car that is a few years old, but well taken care of in terms of its appearance can be viewed as more appealing than a dirty premium car.
When your car is left in a dirty state, or there are bits of trash littered all over the seats, it might not seem like a big deal – but deep down, it will chip away at your self-esteem; and it’s such an easy fix. Just take it to be valeted once a fortnight, and you will feel much better about yourself as well as your car.
BE A BETTER DRIVER
So far, we’ve talked a lot about the car itself, and the experiences you should be having in your car. Yet, if you want to make more of your car, you might want to consider making more of yourself, as the driver.
In addition to being a “good driver” in the sense of being a safe driver you might want to consider enhancing your driving skills in a more performance enhancing way, so that you can fully squeeze the most out of your car, particularly if you have a sporty car.
In this way your car can be likened to how an artist uses a paintbrush – you can give the same paintbrush to two different people, and one will squeeze much more out of it, and produce a much better result than the other… because of their skill, in knowing how to use it.