After the first 1000 miles gradually use more of the car's performance
It used to be absolutely essential to follow rigorous running-in procedures to get the best life and performance out of a new vehicle. You may even remember the sight of a new car moving slowly in the nearside lane of a motorway with a 'running-in, please pass' sign in the rear window.
Improvements in engineering, manufacturing and oil quality mean that modern cars are much less dependent on this careful treatment for the first few thousand miles.
It's still a good idea to take a little extra care though, particularly if it's a car you plan to keep for a long time – reliability, oil consumption and fuel consumption can all benefit.
Ask the dealer for advice when you pick the car up, and check the handbook – many still include some 'running-in' advice.
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After the first 1000 miles gradually use more of the car's performance.
(updated 31 March 2015)