So, You’ve Purchased Your First Car. What Next
Leaving the dealership in your brand new (or, more than likely) used car is a hugely exciting time. And we’re sure you’re ecstatic with the purchase.
The hard work (getting your license and finding a car) has been done. But you need to do so much more. Here are some of the next steps you must take to ensure that your first year of driving is as safe, affordable, and enjoyable as can be.
Get your insurance in place
As a first-time driver, you are statistically more likely to crash. Insurance firms know this, which is why your monthly premiums will cost more. However, there are several ways to bring down the costs to a more manageable level. Firstly, you can run a price comparison to find the most competitive prices. Secondly, you could consider having a black box installed in the vehicle. It tracks your driving habits to adjust your insurance costs accordingly. So, as long as you drive in a responsible manner, it will save you money.
Get the car checked
Assuming you did buy a used car, it’s important to know that it’s in good health. You can expect to require a small level of repairs in the coming months. Some of those jobs may be left until a service is due. Others will need to be handled right away. The most common tasks include new tires, new brakes, new suspensions, and transmission flushing. You may also find that headlights and related items can benefit from being upgraded too. Many of the tasks will make you safer and happier on the road. Increased efficiency can save money too.
Personalize the car
In truth, most customizations are unnecessary. Worse still, they will reduce the car’s resale value because your potential customer base gets smaller. So, unless you are planning to drive the same car for the rest of your life, you should take this into account. Some personalizations are ideal, though. The addition of parking sensors or new tech features that make the car feel newer than it is can work well. Likewise, anything that you can subsequently remove and add to your future vehicle may be a good investment.
Invest in good organization
As a new driver, you should be eager to embrace winning habits. Stay organized from day one, and you’ll know no other way. Learning how to keep the car shiny clean, inside and out, is a great starting point. You should also get into the habit of topping up the air pressure once per month and filling up gas (or charge) as soon as you hit a certain level. Keeping all necessary contacts organized is vital too. From your insurance and roadside assistance to a mechanic and your dealer, being able to contact them gives you peace of mind.
Set some rules
Finally, it’s important to set some rules when passengers enter the car. From friends playing loud music to parents criticizing you, these distractions are a disaster. Stamp your authority early on and let them know that you won’t give them any future lifts if those rules aren’t obeyed. Your safety and comfort come first, particularly in those early months of driving. Meanwhile, you must set strict rules for yourself. Don’t drive tired, drunk, or in situations where you feel uncomfortable due to adverse weather.