When you borrow an electric car from Enterprise Car Club, they give you printed instructions covering the basics such as how to start it, and how to return it to the charging point.

The thing is, the unfamiliar charging set-up gets all the attention, at the expense of the truly basic, like how to start the car. Having successfully unhooked it from the charging post and stored the cable in the boot, and with the dashboard lit up, I was unable to drive away.

Because the previously explicit instructions came over all vague, with a cursory ‘just switch it on’. The diagram was no help, as it applied to an older model. And it turns out the ‘switch’ wasn’t a switch, and it wasn’t on the left-hand side of the steering wheel.

We all know how tricky it can be to drive an unfamiliar car, with a radically different dashboard, and frankly, with an electric car who knew what to look for?

Each time I borrow a car, there’s a mistake in the instructions. Enterprise Car Club say they are on the case, and I believe them. I’ve got sympathy for the writer because I have experience of producing operating manuals myself. Sometimes you can get too close, and that makes it difficult to spot obvious mistakes. Which is why is can be better to hire an external writer with a fresh eye. That’s me.