Even if you’ve had your wheels for a while, things change whenever you own your own car. Whether you’re buying your vehicle from your parents or venturing into the world of dealership lots, there’s plenty to keep in mind once you have a car in your name. Fortunately, with a little bit of research and care, you can turn car ownership from intimidating to incredible. Make the most of this next step of adulting with this list of what first-time car owners need to know.
Take Routine Checkups Seriously
Oil changes, tire rotation, and other routine maintenance might seem like little more than an inconvenience in your schedule. However, now that your car is yours, it’s up to you to keep it running smoothly. Remember that these checkups and services are a significant part of that. When you stay on top of appointments and take your car in when you need to, you can extend your vehicle’s life. These checkups will also help you avoid any major damage—and the high mechanic bill that comes with it—down the road.
Always Be a Safe Driver
You know how to be a safe driver, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you always practice safe driving habits. You should always drive responsibly—even when you’re in a hurry, stressed, or alone on the road. Part of what first-time car owners need to know is how irresponsible driving can lead to serious consequences. Traffic violations end up on your driving record and can impact your insurance rates or even cause you to lose your license. Plus, even seemingly insignificant behaviors like speeding or performing a rolling stop can add up to unsafe driving habits, which can cost you a great deal in the long run.
Do Your Research Before Purchasing Insurance
Knowledge is power, right? The more you know about auto insurance, the better off you’ll be. This goes for both your specific policy and auto insurance in general. Read up on the laws in your state and how each type of coverage works. It’s also good to know your car’s value, your credit score, and your driving record. This information will help you go into the process of purchasing an insurance policy with a clear understanding of what to expect. Additionally, always shop around and get a few quotes before you choose a policy. Equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible so that you can find an insurance plan that works for you, your car, and your life as a driver.