Many people believe that, if you live in a city centre, it’s almost pointless owning a car as you’ll spend more of your time stuck in traffic than not. But if you are travelling into a city centre, either for work or leisure, it’s still something many of us will have to experience at some point in our lives. Indeed, many of us might even choose to drive into the city on a daily commute.
But how do you make inner-city driving feel more manageable?
Not only do electric cars reduce your carbon and noise pollution levels, but they’re also far better for short-distance driving, which is what you’ll generally be doing when driving in a city. This is because short trips have always been inefficient in traditional engines, which lose about 60% of their efficiency on heat and friction. Electric cars don’t have that problem. Electric car insurance is also more affordable than petrol or diesel car insurance and while they might have been seen as luxury vehicles in the past, they’ve never been more affordable.
Being a high-traffic area, trips through or in the city centre can often take longer than expected, especially at peak times. That’s why it’s important to give yourself extra time for any journeys to keep yourself free of stress and focus all your attention on driving safely. If you need to be somewhere at 5 and you expect the trip to take an hour, leave at 3. In fact, if you’re driving in London, leave at 2!
Make Google Maps your best friend
No matter how well you think you know the city centre, using a map app is crucial to safely making your way around, as many roads can switch to one-way or vice versa without advance warning and Google Maps is constantly updating with the latest information. It can also help quickly divert you, should there be an accident or unusually high volume of traffic, and find a safer and faster route at a moment’s notice. In fact, we honestly don’t know how we managed with inner city driving before the invention of the smartphone!
With narrow roads and parking spaces, smaller cars are a far more convenient option if you travel into the city centre regularly. While you might want to opt for a Range Rover or an estate car if you live in the suburbs, if you’re going to be doing even a small amount of city driving, we’d suggest investing in a second car that’s more compact and cheaper to run.
The most important thing about inner-city driving is to take your time and relax. No matter how much you think you have to be wherever you need to be on time, it’s not worth your safety.