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New car - bigger!

(27 Posts)
eddiecat78 Mon 13-Mar-23 15:07:31

I'm a nervous driver who sticks to short local journeys. It really would be sensible if we cut back to just one car so we have bought a mini clubman . It's smaller than Husband's previous car but bigger than mine - and automatic which I'm not used to. We haven't got rid of mine yet but it's getting on a bit and we really don't need 2 cars. I could do with some tips and encouragement to help me adapt to the new car. I don't want to give up driving completely yet

Gingster Mon 13-Mar-23 15:16:15

I think that having an automatic will give you more confidence , as you don’t have to worry when you’re in traffic or going up busy hills. . We only have one car now and find it’s fine for us.
I’m only a local driver and rely on Dh for longer journeys , but I wouldn’t give up altogether. Just take it slowly with the automatic, you will soon get used to it. Dh tells me to forget I have a left leg , keep it out of the way. You only need your right leg!
Good luck and be brave!

Greenfinch Mon 13-Mar-23 15:18:47

I was in exactly the same position as you and went from a small Peugeot to a Fiesta. I was very nervous but after a few runs on quiet roads first with DH and then on my own I was perfectly all right. Neither car was automatic though. I would say don’t over think it . You will be fine.

Sago Mon 13-Mar-23 17:13:31

I go from a manual to an automatic without any problem.
Just find an industrial estate or somewhere quiet and have a practice.

rosie1959 Mon 13-Mar-23 18:54:29

I drive both mine is quite small an Astra which is manual and my husbands Jag which is automatic. The automatic is easy to drive and with its large engine has excellent pick up.
We have discussed having just one car but if we do I will have to give up mine as it is too small for my husband. Will give it more thought when the time comes mine it just so much easier to park.

Daisymae Mon 13-Mar-23 18:57:49

It might be a good idea to drive the new car all the time when you are going out. It will give you confidence. Get parking when it's not too busy. We only have one car now as my husband cannot drive, it's an estate and has parking sensors and it can actually park itself, although I don't really use it, it's nice to know that it's there.

MerylStreep Mon 13-Mar-23 18:59:25

I much prefer to drive a bigger car.
My advice would be: just drive it.

Hetty58 Mon 13-Mar-23 19:00:21

Find a space where you can have a good leisurely drive around (quiet streets or large car park) until you're used to it. You'll gain confidence and soon stop reaching for the gearstick!

Kim19 Mon 13-Mar-23 19:01:44

I'm with Sago in that I find a large unused space and familiarise myself with any new vehicle. It's usually figuring out the new size with a view to parking that I find more of a challenge than the actual mechanics.

NotSpaghetti Mon 13-Mar-23 19:04:12


I much prefer to drive a bigger car.
My advice would be: just drive it.

Me too, Meryl
I'm sure the OP will learn to love it!

Greyduster Mon 13-Mar-23 19:37:36

I’m sure you’ll get used to it in no time at all. I traded in a Honda Hybrid CRV and bought a four door Mini Cooper in October - from one extreme to the other - and was dropped in at the deep end having to drive it home from the showroom in the most apocalyptic thunderstorm storm. We got to know each other the hard way and my Mini feels like a second skin now. They are easy to drive, easy to park and lots of fun. Enjoy it!

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 13-Mar-23 19:46:31

A mini clubman isn’t big! It’s tiny! Whatever are you currently driving? And an automatic is much easier to drive.

Lexisgranny Mon 13-Mar-23 19:55:21

My mother always said that she felt safer in a large car and wouldn’t entertain the idea of a smaller one. I have driven medium sized automatics for many years now and I would never go back to manual. I was a bit apprehensive, but it’s amazing how quickly you get used to it,

Juggernaut Mon 13-Mar-23 20:07:48

I've always found bigger cars far easier to drive!
I have a Smart car (automatic) for popping out and about locally, but also drive my husband's extra long wheelbase, seven seater Range Rover (manual).
I find the Range Rover just as easy to drive, in fact maybe even easier, perhaps due to the increased height and clearer view. However, it has a fancy-pants heads up display which I'm not totally keen on, so I very rarely use that particular gadget!
Maybe it's because I learned to drive in my Dad's car, a Vauxhall VX2300GLS, which was a lot like driving a powerful sofa. My first experience of driving was a large car, so I've always found them easy to handle!
Oh, and I'm confident behind the wheel of the motorhome we share with our DS and family too! It's a manual, DS doesn't like automatics, weird!

AreWeThereYet Mon 13-Mar-23 21:21:25

It is a bit nerve wracking going to a different make of car where the controls may be different and in different places. I second those who say get MrEC to go with you to a nice big (but fairly empty) car park and just practice reversing, parking, etc and driving slowly around to get used to the controls. Make sure you always drive when you know it's going to get quiet and you know where you are going to build up your confidence. It won't be long before you are comfortable.

You're not alone in this either - MrA has a new car with twice as many controls as our last car and it's completely different to drive and he's not completely comfortable with it yet. My neighbour has just bought an old traveller (like a minibus almost) and was telling us he managed to stall it three times in one day as the clutch control was completely different to his car, but he's got used to it now.

eddiecat78 Tue 14-Mar-23 07:16:00


A mini clubman isn’t big! It’s tiny! Whatever are you currently driving? And an automatic is much easier to drive.

Perhaps you are thinking of the original Clubman's. They were tiny but the current ones are large vehicles - much bigger than my VW Up.
I think I will get used to the automatic fairly easily. It's the increase in size - especially the width that is worrying me. My brain doesn't adapt to anything new as easily as it used to!

Calendargirl Tue 14-Mar-23 07:31:37

Our first car was a mini clubman estate, 1977.

I loved it, the best car we ever had.

dragonfly46 Tue 14-Mar-23 07:41:44

I like big cars to drive but small cars to park! We have a manual and an automatic and I drive both.

Greyduster Tue 14-Mar-23 07:52:38

When I started seriously looking at the Mini, it occurred to me that compared with the previous two we had had during our married life, nothing about them is tiny anymore. My six foot son in law drove mine while I was recovering from hip surgery and was perfectly at home with the space inside it. I had to practically prise him out of it with a crowbar when I wanted to drive it again!

MerylStreep Tue 14-Mar-23 07:54:22

Unless I’m looking at the wrong vehicles I find that the clubman is only 6 inches wider than the VW.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 14-Mar-23 08:28:02

My husband had one as a courtesy car when his Range Rover was serviced by the local garage. He liked driving it and it was quite spacious inside but compared with our existing cars, very small. Certainly not daunting to drive.

Greyduster Tue 14-Mar-23 08:48:19

Compared with the VW Up, the Clubman is certainly a longer car - longer than my Cooper - and all Minis have longer bonnets than they used to have. All are automatic now but still have the sound and feel of a manual as you take it up the box. And my God they are nippy! If you are not deeply in love with this car very soon, “eddicat*, I’ll eat my hat!

Kalu Tue 14-Mar-23 09:20:34

Time to bite the bullet and do a few short drives to familiarise yourself with a change of car. I have been driving automatics for years and definitely my preference as opposed to manual.

timetogo2016 Tue 14-Mar-23 09:30:06

I think Kalu`s advice is spot on eddiecat78.
I only drive an automatic now,and i love it.

eddiecat78 Tue 14-Mar-23 11:10:40

Thank you for the encouragement. Perhaps I'll report back in a couple of weeks