Sophisticated Focus – Improve Well-Being Behind The Wheel


There are many different aspects to cars. We look at the numbers in the brochure, we look at equipment levels, debate the maintenance costs and consider the manufacturer. But what if you want the car to make you feel a certain way? What if we want a more sophisticated focus, to feel more important and at ease? I believe we can certainly make inroads into this, though I’m still waiting for my knighthood. The following tips aren’t going to the turn a humble Focus into a Rolls Royce Phantom. However, I do believe we can do wonders for our well-being by driving in a more ‘upmarket’ manner. Others will perceive us more favourably on the road too. Let’s get into what I mean.

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Scuff plates, and electric seat height adjustment? The generosity….

Clean Up, Look Sharp
Firstly, it pays to keep the car’s inside reasonably clean, for a number of reasons. A dusty and dirt interior can be a bit of a health hazard. I, like many, suffer from hay fever and a dirty car interior does not help this. But beyond that, if when you look around all you see is mess, this is not going to be any good for our well being. In the same way that an untidy house is not great if we want to remain calm and collected. And even more if we want to actually know where vital items are! Parents of small children are exempt from this for obvious reasons. If a two year old is involved, nothing ends up where you left it. Including the actual two year old themselves.

I actually place slightly less importance on keeping the outside clean. Partly this is because the outside never stays clean for long due to weather, dust and general use. An occasional wipe down is what I get away with, but even that makes a difference. Walking up to a cleaner car and setting off makes you instantly feel more valuable. Especially if we see the number of cars that aren’t clean. Even the newer ones. The slight irony here is that often my car is not quite as clean as most of the SUVs on this road. I’m therefore not sure they’re being used as intended. Anyway, there is enough rain in this country to do some of the hard work for me. Or to ruin any hard work I may have already done.

So clean, no others come close. Literally….

Smooth It Out
Once we’ve established our desired level of cleanliness, it’s time to actually drive the car. How do we remain sophisticated while doing this? Actually, we do this by using many of the techniques outlined for cheap driving. For classy driving we don’t need to be slow necessarily, but smooth with our getaways and overtaking. Imagine we have someone from the UN in the back. We want to get a move on, but we don’t want them spilling their cider. Not that I know whether they drink cider or not.

There is a certain satisfaction to a smooth drive. Smooth doesn’t have to mean slow. Many of the most successful racing drivers are very smooth, as it’s better for tyre longevity and component reliability. In a long race like Le Mans, these factors become critical. It’s also safer, because the vehicle is ‘surprised’ by any inputs we make. This makes it react more predictably to those inputs.

After You. No, After You…
Unfortunately most of us won’t drive at Le Mans, so let’s get back to our sophistication. The other tip is to execute road politeness. How often to do we let other cars out of side turns? How often do we drive straight past and pretend they’re not there? What sort of time do we save while doing this? Yes, not a lot. I’m not sure I see many more impressive sights on the road than a solidly presented car being driven well within its limits, and showing ample respect to other road users. Anyone can put their foot down in any car. But to me, a good driver is able to get behind the wheel and be courteous to others while maintaining good and smooth progress. We all have equal right to be on the road (assuming we are taxed, insured and legitimate).

Try these, and let me know how you fee at the end of it. They may surprise you. They may make you feel more at ease on the road, thus enabling you to make calmer decisions. Calmer and more considered decisions tend to be better for our bank accounts than rash decisions! Maybe you have more tips for our driving well-being. Feel free to get in contact with me or to join the family share them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts?