Getting Your Car Ready for a First Date

Vroom! Vroom! Alright, forgive our cheesy intro. If you’re here, the chances are high that you have your engines revved up and are ready for an exciting first date. And the chances are also high that you already decided you’ll be picking them up and driving on the first date.

And probably somewhere in that excitement you realized something—you not only need to get yourself ready for the first date, but you need to get your car ready too. Whether you have plenty of time or are in a panic time crushed, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through 13 steps to get your car ready for the first date like a pro.

car being washed

1. Fill your car with gas.

There’s nothing weirder than having to stop for gas on a first date. Why? Two reasons. Number one—it shows you’re not someone who is prepared. Number two—there’s that awkward silence of them sitting in the car while you’re out there pumping away. Take some time before the date to get the car completely full on gas.

2. Take care of preventable maintenance.

While you can’t always avoid it, doing everything in your power to make sure your car doesn’t break down on the first date is important. If it happens, it happens. And if you have a slightly unreliable car, it is what it is. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do the things in your control to limit the chance of any issues.

This includes things like:

  • Check the tire pressures
  • Check the oil
  • Check your fluid levels
  • Look for anything that looks broken or off
  • Diagnose any check engine lights

And if you still think your car may struggle to make it to and from on the date, have a plan in place to handle things in that instance. This could be roadside assistance phone numbers, tow company numbers, or something to fix whatever the probable issue might be.

3. Clean the inside of your car.

Showing up to a first date with a messy car is just rude. It shows that you didn’t care enough to put in the effort to clean your car for the date. Take some time and get all the trash out, vacuum the seats and floorboards, wipe down the dashes, and do something if it smells bad. Even if you’re a messy person, this shows that you’re willing to put in some effort to make the date a success.

Showing up in a filthy car is one of the worst ways to greet a girl on the first date.

4. Go to the carwash!

Yes, having the inside of your car clean is important. But having the outside clean is also important! Even if you have an older car or a beater that clunks its way down the road, you can still show that you take care of things. If you’re going on a date with someone who is trying to figure out if you’re capable of taking care of them one day, it’s nice for them to see you can take care of a car.

5. Ensure clean and clear access to the spare tire in the trunk.

A lot of times when people clean their car for a date, they just shove everything in the trunk. And while this is better than leaving it in the backseat, it can still create issues. We hope you don’t get a flat tire on your first date, but it can happen.

And if it does happen, you’re going to have to get into the trunk to get out your spare. If you open the trunk and pounds of garbage come out, it’s going to be a real bad look for you. If you really have to, get a big box, put everything in it, and put it in your house, garage, or apartment in a closet.

6. Know how to change the spare.

Speaking of flat tires, they happen. It would really go a long way if you knew how to change the spare safely and correctly if that situation comes up. Not only will it make you look like a great provider, but regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman—a lot of people will find the handiness attractive.

7. Know the routes to get your date and to the date location.

Yes, we know that GPS has come a long way. However, it’s a really smart idea to have a general idea of where you are going and how to get there as a backup. Not only does this help lower stress, but it’s less you have to focus on directions and more you can focus on your date.

Additionally, this will help you to be on time! We can’t stress enough how important being on time is. If you’re late because you didn’t know how to get there or you had to get gas on the way, that’s not a good look.

8. Pack your car like a pro.

Here’s one that you rarely see on lists of how to get your car ready for a date for some strange reason. Pack like a pro. Put some things in your car that might be awesome for your date on the way home from the date.

For example, going to grab drinks? Have some bottles of water in the car for dehydration. Heading out somewhere that it might be cold? Pack a blanket and an extra sweatshirt. Think it could rain? Pack an umbrella. Little things like this could go a long way to making you seem like a thoughtful and awesome person.

9. Set the passenger seat to have legroom.

No matter if your date is tall or short, everyone likes legroom. Sit in the passenger seat and push it all the way back so that when they get in, they’re extremely comfortable. Don’t have it crazy leaned back, but at least pushed back away from the dash.

10. Have a music plan.

No, you don’t have to make a playlist for the date (unless you want to). However, it might be wise to have some music or stations picked out that set the right mood for the date. It’s probably best to stay away from overly romantic stuff on a first or second date. Stick with popular music, or if there is a type of music they expressed liking, go with that.

And yes, you can make a playlist if you want! Just be aware that if you tell them you made a playlist, they will interpret every song accordingly. For example, if you make a playlist and put Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer on there, they might feel uncomfortable like you’re being too sexually forward.

11. Prepare to be polite.

Depending on the way you view things, you may want to get their car door when you pick them up. Yes, this technically isn’t something to get your car ready for the date, but it’s something you can plan for to have yourself ready. If you think it’s something they will like, it can go a long way.

12. Prepare to drive safe.

Again, this is some mental preparation that you need to get ready for. Don’t plan to drive like a hot dog on your first date. In fact, you should plan to be overly cautious and safe to make your date feel safe. You might think speeding and driving crazy is cool, but it’s really not. Even if that’s how you drive, save it for when you drive alone or for after your date shares his or her love for The Fast and the Furious.

13. Desync your phone from your car.

If you have your phone set up to route all your calls and even texts to your in-car screen, that could be an issue. This is especially true if you’re dating or talking to other people who might not be aware that you’re on a date. Just turn off your Bluetooth or don’t connect your phone to the car to save the off chance you have to explain something.

The Bottom Line

Getting your car ready for the date shouldn’t take you too long, but it’s an important step of a great first date. Ideally, you take good care of your car so that preparation is only a few little touches. If not, though, get things in order and then focus on keeping them there moving forward!

Have fun speed racer!


Written By: Jason Lee

Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.

His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, NBC, FOX, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.