You’ve finally bought your first car, soaking in the excitement and that feeling of accomplishment. However, after that, you must remember that owning a car is also a responsibility. The most important part of car ownership happens after you sign the papers and get the keys. You also have to take charge of maintenance and registration, among many other things. Approaching this from the perspective of a new car owner can be daunting, so here’s a quick guide for new car owners.

Don’t Throw the Bill

As mentioned above, you have to register your car in your current city or state, and you’re going to need your deed of sale. This receipt, along with all others you will get whenever you go to a dealership for repairs and services, should be kept and not thrown away. This will help you keep a detailed record of your car’s history, which will be helpful especially if you are considering selling it later on.

Read the Manual

We often only briefly look at the manual. When we purchase a car, many of us only scan through the diagrams and pictures in the manual, but we often skip the walls of text that’s actually meant to teach us how to take care of the vehicle. We understand—the blocks and blocks of text and all those technical terms can be so boring.

However, we miss a lot of useful information when we do away with the manual. Taking the time to read it and understand your car better can help you save money because you will know the basic troubleshooting that’s required for the model. Plus, with how technologically advanced cars are being manufactured, you might discover some useful features that your dealer was not able to discuss.

Learn Car Maintenance

Even if you buy the most expensive cars, it still needs customary maintenance. While your new car won’t immediately need maintenance, you will have to factor in if you want it to last long. However, what it exactly needs can vary from brand to brand, and sometimes, even model to model. Most of the time, the manual would include the maintenance details you need to know. Make a note of this, and put it in your calendar so that you can keep track of when to get these checkups and repairs.

Some aspects of car maintenance can’t be done on your own. Of course, parts of it are definitely within the do-it-yourself capacity, but there will be cases where you will need professional help. In opportunities like this, make sure to bring your car to a trusted mechanic, preferably in a consistent schedule to keep it in good shape (and prevent it from randomly breaking down).

overheating car

Get Insured and Protect Yourself

No matter how careful you drive, you are still prone to danger. After all, you share the road with countless other drivers. You might be driving defensively, but others might not be as responsible. Some variables are also outside of your control, such as snow, rain, or faulty roads.

To protect yourself from accidents caused by unpredictable factors (or even freak accidents), you need to get yourself and your car insured to cover potential issues. If you haven’t included any insurance upon purchasing your car, one of the most important things to do after the purchase is to find a policy that will help you prepare for unexpected problems. It also helps to familiarize yourself with related services, like knowing a reliable car accident attorney who can help you out or looking up the legal restrictions and road safety guidelines in your area.

Familiarize Yourself with the Car

First-time car owners are often unaware of what it’s like to drive a car consistently. They don’t realize that, like every other piece of useful device, there’s a certain “feeling” to using it. It helps to not just read the manual but to also search online for that car’s undocumented quirks. The manual tells you a lot about it, but people who have experienced using it can tell you even more.

Being highly aware of how the car feels when using it, remembering how it reacts to how you control it. Taking note of certain changes when using it also matters. Especially since many cars have tendencies that only show up through constant use and time, making the extra effort to know about its quirks can help a lot in making your experience better.

Owning a car opens up an entirely new world. You feel empowered and independent, and you will be able to travel freely wherever you want. After getting your first car, do these tips immediately as preemptive measures for a seamless car-owning experience.

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