Don’t go too fast too quickly

If your car’s new it can be tempting to test out the acceleration, braking distance and performance, but this isn’t good for your car and you need to break it in. Try not to drive over 50mph (80 km/h) for the first 1,000 miles, and avoid intense acceleration and heavy loads which could put pressure on the car.

Use the right fuel

This sounds obvious, but using the wrong fuel is quite common, especially if you have a new vehicle or are driving someone else’s car, and can cause serious damage to the engine. If you do fill up with the wrong fuel, don’t start the car.

Car Insurance from John Lewis Finance includes Misfuelling Cover - call us and we’ll send a vehicle to drain your car and give you enough fuel to get you moving (10 litres).

If you’re still worried, you can buy FuelSure Diesel Fuel caps to help prevent this error.

Stay cool

Try to park in the shade. This will not only stop your car feeling like an oven (so you won’t wear the battery down by putting on the air conditioning), but it also prevents damage from UV rays and saves fuel, as less will evaporate in the heat. As shaded areas usually go quickly, buy a good quality windshield to keep your car cool.

Don’t ignore chips

Driving along the motorway sends all kinds of debris flying at our windscreen and sometimes this leads to it getting chipped. While this is annoying, the damage is often so slight that people ignore it. But if a chip is left, it could become a crack and your whole windscreen will need replacing, so if you notice a chip, get it fixed.

John Lewis Comprehensive Car Insurance includes the repair or replacement of windscreens as standard, and making a claim will not affect your no claims discount. Details of the applicable excesses can be found in your policy schedule.

To make a windscreen claim, simply use our online claims service or call our 24/7 claims helpline


Clear the garage

If your garage is full of bicycles, surfboards and gardening tools, it’s time to declutter it and use it for your car. Not only does parking in a garage deter thieves, it also keeps your car in good condition. Garages keep your car cool in summer and warm in winter, which also saves you turning the heating or air conditioning on full blast when you first get into your vehicle.

Clean up properly

Grime and slush on the underside of a car lead to rust, particularly when the temperatures are constantly rising and falling. A thorough wash will remove all the sand and grit from your car and help to avoid rust, so make sure you do or have this done regularly.

Look after the tyres

Front tyres get worn quicker, so alternate them after 6,000 miles to ensure even wear. Make sure tyres are correctly inflated as over-inflated tyres wear out sooner and use more fuel. If you’re buying a new car and don’t want to invest in new tyres for your current vehicle, ask your local garage about second-hand tyres.

Top up regularly

Check the oil, water and coolant regularly, and refill and replace when necessary. You should also regularly change (or ask someone to change) the filters in your car, as these will be full of dust and dirt which could affect the performance of your vehicle.

Get a regular service

If your car fails its MOT it causes a lot of hassle and a hefty bill. Having your car regularly serviced will help you become aware of potential problems with your car early on. It’s also worth having a service shortly before an MOT so that you can deal with any issues beforehand, and saves you being without a car for longer than is necessary.

Keep the lights clear

If you’re driving at night, seeing and being seen are crucial. Before each journey, wipe your headlights to get rid of dirt and grime from the last drive, then turn your lights on and walk around your car to check no bulbs have gone. Make sure that your wiper blades are working and that you have enough fluid so that you can clean the windscreen easily.

Keep it safe

When not in use - keep your car locked, close the windows and shut the sunroof.

Park somewhere well lit and near other cars.

Don’t leave valuables in plain sight and clear satnav suction cup marks off your windscreen.

Don’t leave the engine running when you’re not in it.

Install a steering wheel lock, immobiliser, car alarm and vehicle tracking system.

Don’t keep your car registration documents in the car.

If your car is broken into or stolen, Car Insurance from John Lewis Finance provides up to £250 for personal possessions stolen from your car. We’ll also cover the cost of replacing your stolen car or the price of repairing your vehicle if it was damaged by a break in.


You need to take your car for an MOT once a year unless the vehicle is less than 3 years old. This is a legal requirement, and you can be fined up to £1000 if you’re caught driving without a valid MOT.

If you’re worried about forgetting when your car is due for an MOT, you can sign up for a free text reminder service from GOV.UK.

The pressure of your car tyres is measured by PSI (pounds per square inch) of air. To find the recommended PSI for your tyres, you can check either your car manual, in some cases, the inside of your driver’s car door, or inside the petrol cap. Your tyre wall should also inform you of the maximum PSI.

To make sure your car is running smoothly, you should regularly check your oil and coolant levels. This can be every few weeks, but especially just before you plan on driving a long distance.

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Call us on 0330 024 0614 for more information on our car insurance policies, or get an online quote.

John Lewis Finance, John Lewis Insurance and John Lewis & Partners are all trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England and Wales (Registered Company Number 233462). John Lewis plc is an Appointed Representative (Financial Services Register Number 416011) of Covea Insurance plc which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register Number 202277). John Lewis Car Insurance is underwritten by Covea Insurance plc. Registered Office: A&B Mills, Dean Clough, Halifax, HX3 5AX. Registered in England and Wales No. 613259.

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