Assuming the vehicle in question has passed a safety inspection recently, make sure the vehicle is up-to-date as far as service goes. New drivers often don't know or care about how important this is and having a trained mechanic look over every system before your young driver jumps in and cranks the tunes - which often happens and makes it hard to hear a vehicle complaining about something going wrong - can save everyone a lot of stress and money.

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Next, here are some very simple details that make a big difference in a new driver's confidence behind the wheel that may get overlooked.

oClean the glass and replace the windshield wipers. Just the simple act of being able to see clearly out the windows is critical. You may need to teach your driver how to work the defrosting controls properly to avoid them trying to drive with fog or frost blocking their view as well.

oAssess the washer system. Verify the windshield washer system is working properly, and check the fluid levels in the windshield wiper fluid reservoir.

oPrepare an emergency kit. Include at least one heavy blanket, water, extra gloves and boots and maybe even some freeze-dried food. Just make sure that no matter what time of year your young driver gets potentially stranded, that they can wait even days for rescue. Add a first aid kit, with items such as band-aids, bandages, antibacterial cream, pain relievers and motion sickness medicine, and epi-pens if anyone has a serious allergy.

oGet your GPS ready. If the vehicle does not include navigation, make certain your driver's cellphone is up to the task or go buy an aftermarket unit that you can count on. Do not let your driver guess at where they are going or run the risk of ending up in the wrong part of town - or the middle of nowhere. If the vehicle has an integrated system, take the time to enter all of the relevant addresses: school, accommodations, a local grocery, the hospital - everything.

oInspect your spare tire or set-up roadside assistance. Not every vehicle even comes with a spare anymore, but if yours does, make certain it's in good shape and properly inflated - AND - make absolutely sure all of the tools required to change it are properly stored in the vehicle and that your young driver knows how to do it. If that's not possible for any reason, then set up some roadside assistance and make sure your driver has everything in order to get the help they need. And on that note ...

oVerify the paperwork is in order. Make sure all of your vehicle paperwork is in order and where your new driver can find them easily. oDriver's license

oOwner's manual

oProof of car insurance

oRoadside assistance contact number

oVehicle registration

oWarranty information

None of these steps is difficult, but they do take a little time, so don't let yourself get rushed or try to do it all at the last minute. And most importantly, make sure you begin the entire process by having the vehicle properly serviced. A licensed mechanic will take their part seriously and will not only point out what needs work immediately but also what most likely will need some attention further down the road so that you - or your young driver - can plan for it.

Be safe, be confident and be prepared. Click the SERVICE REQUEST button below if you have a vehicle that a young driver will be counting on to get safely to and from school

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