Automotive: Guide for First-Time Car Owners

Becoming a first-time car owner is a pretty big thing. It shows that you saved up enough money for a down payment. Perhaps you even worked on your credit score, or maybe that’s what the vehicle purchase is for, to build your credit. Regardless of why you bought a brand-new ride, you did, and you are now its proud owner.

This guide for first-time car owners can help you determine what comes next. It contains tips designed to make your ride last and, in turn, that will assist you in getting the most out of your investment.

Should You Get a Car Warranty?

Did you buy your vehicle pre-owned? If that’s the case and it has a certain amount of mileage on the odometer, you may want to consider purchasing an extended car warranty. These warranties usually go into effect after manufacturer warranties expire. Of course, various factors can impact what you’ll spend on a contract. However, according to research, the price of a vehicle warranty can range from $1,000 to $4,000. But, on average, people usually pay around $2,550 for policies.

Do You Have the Appropriate Auto Insurance Coverage?

Drivers are required by law to have auto insurance everywhere in the United States except for New Hampshire and Virginia. And unfortunately, different places require different policy limits. It can be tempting for a first-time car buyer to choose a cut-rate insurance company. After all, that can save them some money, but you also get what you pay for, and the staff’s customer service could lack.

Then, you’ll feel like you’re facing everything alone, including picking your policy limit amounts. What if you get it wrong? That could leave you on the hook for substantial out-of-pocket costs if you’re found at fault in an accident. Renewing your registration with inappropriate coverage amounts could present a problem too. Not to mention, a motorist may even receive a ticket for no insurance if they get pulled over, and something isn’t quite right.

Do some research before you sign up with just any old insurance company with all that in mind. The place you give your business should have affordable prices, but customer service shouldn’t be sacrificed for affordability. So, shop around and make sure assistance will be available as you need it. Then, you’ll have someone to explain the different coverages and help you get a policy worth the appropriate amounts. Not to mention, they’ll be there to assist with claims, adjustments, exclusions, and more.

Keep Your Owner’s Manual Close

If you’re a first-time car owner, it is probably a good idea to keep your owner’s manual handy. Within its pages, you’ll find helpful car maintenance tips. The booklet will also contain the appropriate mileage for oil changes, tire rotations, and other items. Of course, with all the tech and driver-assist features in your new vehicle, that’s another reason to keep the owner’s manual close. Without it, who knows?

You may never be able to reset the clock after daylight savings time ends. Or, what if you can’t access things like Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay®? You might need to reset the system or do something else. That’s just another reason to ensure your owner’s manual stays nearby. Without it, making changes to the infotainment or technology systems can seem nearly impossible.

Examine Those Tires

It is essential to keep your car’s tires in tip-top shape. One way to do that is by performing a penny tread test once a month. It won’t give you an exact measurement, but if you put the coin into a groove and Lincoln’s head remains covered, your tires are still good. However, if his entire head can be seen, the tread is worn, and it’s time for some new tires.

In addition to the penny test, you’ll also want to inspect your tires visually. For instance, when filling up the gas tank, be on the lookout for knots or bubbles. Those issues could indicate that a belt has shifted or something else is wrong. It is best not to drive with a tire in such a condition, as it might make the front end vibrate, cause you to lose control, and crash.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide will help make your life as a first-time car owner easier. Use the tips to maintain your ride and keep it running like a well-oiled machine. Then, when the vehicle surpasses your expectations in every way, you’ll be happy you did.


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