How can you stay safer when you take delivery of your new car lease?

There’s no doubt about it – the most exciting stage of leasing a new vehicle is that moment when all the paperwork has been finalised, the keys are in your hands, and there is nothing left to do but get behind the wheel.

But driving a brand-new vehicle can feel very different to the old one that was so comfortable. You probably knew exactly how the car handled and had all your essentials stashed in just the right place. A new car will feel slightly odd, almost alien for the first few weeks.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to exercise caution when you take delivery of your new car.

Brake, a UK based charity, are working to make our roads safer for everyone. Their website contains a wealth of knowledge around road safety, and they even have a hotline that offers support to victims of road crashes and their loved ones.

It’s a cause we’re rallying behind. There is a lot we can all do to help keep ourselves, and everyone around us, safer. So we’ve collated our top 10 tips to keep in mind when you take delivery of your new lease car.

1. Check the Euro NCAP

Check the European New Car Assessment programme before you set your heart on a car. It's a comprehensive database with all the information you need on the safety of new vehicles. They carry out the crash tests themselves and publish their findings on the website. You’ll be able to find the car you love not just for it looks, but for its safety features too.

2. Emergency kit

It pays to be safe rather than sorry, and this is never more true than in the case of an emergency kit. Gather it now, thank yourself later.

Include items like a torch, batteries, non-perishable snacks, charging cables, a power bank, tool kit, and an extra jumper. At the very least, you'll be grateful for that granola bar when the next service station is a little too far away.

3. Read the manual

You know that book that often lives in the glovebox? Turns out it contains some rather useful information. Sit in the car, sniff that lovely new car smell, and look through it. It's full of information about the controls, regular maintenance checks, safety features, and specifics like oil and fuel capacity. 

4. Fiddle with the buttons

Of course, when you get bored of the book, it’s time to start fiddling. Twiddle the knobs, flip the switches, press all the buttons before you take the car anywhere. The last thing you want is to be out during a rainstorm and turn on the radio instead of the windscreen wipers. Anything you can do to get rid of distractions will help keep you and others safe.

5. Adjust seats and mirrors

Like it says – adjust your seats, adjust your mirrors until you feel like you’re in the correct position. The rear-view mirror should give you a view of the back window without you having to move. With the side mirrors, you should see a slice of the side of the car, and the horizon should be in the middle of the mirror. Get this right first time, and it'll not only make the driving experience safer, but a lot easier too.

6. Aim the headlights

There is a chance that the car could turn up with the headlights misaligned. Be sure to check before you travel, so you don't blind anyone, or miss an obstacle. It’s good practice to check every time you change the bulb, too.

7. Stay alert

Chances are that your new car feels strange and handles in a different way. Take it easier than normal for the first week or two to let the newness wear off. Particularly important is keeping an eye on your speed - if the new car has more power than you're used to, you might end up going above the speed limit.

8. Clutter

When your car is new, it's easy to want to keep it clean. But we're all human, and clutter inevitably builds up with more ease than we'd like. But a clear cabin is a much safer cabin - the last thing you want is for a stray water bottle to roll between the pedal and the floor.

9. Maintenance checks

Brand-new cars don't need an MOT until they're three years old - but it's important to keep up with regular maintenance checks in the meantime. Remember FLOWER: fuel, lights, oil, water, electrics, and rubber. 

10. Basic road safety

It sounds simple, but it’s always important to take extra care. Don’t use your phone, don’t drink and drive, cut distractions, drive 'defensively'. It'll help keep you, and those around you, safer on the road.

Not found the car of your dreams yet?

Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.