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A gentleman driver is more than just someone who carries himself and his car fashionably and desirably; he is someone who embodies these five characteristics.

29 Mar 2018

A gentleman driver is defined, by a time-honoured tradition, as a car enthusiast with a sense for the elegant and a passion for motor racing alike. The term, although rather uncommon today, is one that brands like MINI had a strong part in shaping; think Hollywood actor turned racing driver Steve McQueen and his 1967 Mini Cooper S.

And while it seems that the term gentleman driver is reserved for the well-heeled, there are many ways one can become a gentleman driver. Ambition, class, style and the art of inspiring generations thereafter may be some the obvious hallmarks that make a gentleman driver. But there are some areas of well-mannered comportment that often get ignored and here are five.

The first impression is the most important so always ensure you and your car are presentable
1. A gentleman always makes a good first impression

By that, we don't mean draping yourself in a fancy suit. A gentleman knows the importance of first impressions. Keep your style simple and neat. Roll your shirtsleeves the right way, match your shoes and learn what colours and styles are best.

As far as the car goes, something quintessentially urban, unique and artfully constructed with practicality in mind would certainly score brownie points with your date; like the MINI Cooper Clubman that you see here.

A clean car speaks volumes of your hygiene and generally makes for a happier place to be in
2. A gentleman understands cleanliness

Another important part of presentation is keeping your car clean. If your car is filthy, it's easy to assume that your personal habits and housekeeping are no better.

A messy car gives the impression that you're not responsible and efficient so take some time out of your week to vacuum or wipe down your interior after you've given it a wash. If you don't have the time, a quick visit to any car wash will do the trick. But of course, overdoing it might make you appear obsessed or paranoid.

The simple act of opening the doors can bump you to the top of her favourites list
3. A gentleman proves that chivalry isn't dead

People will remember you for even the simplest acts of thoughtfulness and looks aside, it's manners and respect that shows chivalry at its finest.

Opening the car's door for a lady is but a small action, but it's a gesture that will get her attention and one that's so much more than a sweet action in that particular moment. If she starts opening the door for herself, just pull it further open and while doing so, don't get over excited and knock her over to get to the door first.

It doesn't hurt to get a little down and dirty sometimes, especially when it portrays responsibility
4. A gentleman knows how to take care of things

The way a gentleman treats his car is how he treats himself or his lady. It's often overlooked but simple things such as checking the tyre pressure, engine oil and coolant levels, as well as service intervals say a lot about your character.

Instead of standing at the petrol pump checking out credit card discounts while you wait for your tank to fill, use that time to give your car a quick check-up. And thanks to on-board computers these days in cars like the Cooper Clubman we drove, it takes only five minutes.

Whether it's your fault or if someone gives way to you, always be polite and wave thanks in return
5. A gentleman shows his true self behind the wheel

Bad drivers are frustrating. But road rage can frighten your passenger and cause you to make dangerous driving decisions.

Being a gentleman behind the wheel not only makes driving less dangerous for everyone, it also makes what can be a chore at least a little more pleasant. And don't fiddle with your mobile phone when driving, especially when someone else's life is in your hands.

Modern infotainment systems like MINI Connected allow you to go hands-free, and if someone gives way to you, don't forget the thank you wave.
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