Featured Image Caption: A Blue Color Car
Buying a car can be a sweet moment in life. Whether you’re getting back on the road, hitting it for the first time, or just starting off with a better vehicle than you had before, it should be the start of a better phase of your life. However, there are important things to do before and after buying your car.
Be Ready for Paperwork
Buying a car isn’t like getting carry-out. There might be a moment where you swipe your card or put in your numbers, but you’ll also have to sign a lot of things. From state registration with your department of motor vehicles and getting a driver’s license to arranging for vehicle insurance and actually buying the vehicle, you’ll have quite a bit of paperwork to go through. Depending on where you live, you might even need a parking permit.
Budget for Everything
While your car cost or loan will be the biggest expense, it won’t be the only item in your vehicle budget. You’ll also need to factor in fuel, insurance, tax, tag and title fees, gas, and repairs. Selling your previous vehicle, if you have one and are willing to part with it, can help offset a lot of your initial costs, however. This is something that often gets overlooked and needs to be done. Many people get caught in a rocky situation because all they think about when buying a car is the monthly payment. But they fail to remember all the other finances involved in a vehicle.
Have Roadside Assistance Ready
Roadside assistance is great for when you run out of gas or can’t start your car. Even better might be an option like Safeguard My Car, if your insurance company doesn’t offer it. With that, you not only get roadside assistance but also 100% coverage for a lot of things that can happen to your vehicle. For that matter, you might even get hooked up with a rental car while yours is in the garage and getting fixed.
Keep Up With the Maintenance
Be sure you know your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and then follow it closely. Even if you’re the kind of person that lets occasional rain save you money on car washes, you still need to make sure the oil and spark plugs get changed regularly. Find a mechanic you can trust and afford, and have them take care of your ride a few times a year. Standard maintenance will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the life of your vehicle.
Maintain Interior Cleanliness
The interior of your car is just as important as the exterior and under the hood. When it comes to longevity and resell value, keeping the interior clean and tidy is very important. For those who have young children, this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. However, for anyone who owns a vehicle, you may want to consider investing in sturdy floor mats and waterproof seat covers. These things prevent carpet and leather from deteriorating quickly and also help you in the event of a spill.
Enjoy Your New Ride
Whether your car is new or just new to you, make sure you enjoy it. While it can be a valuable tool to run errands and get to work and back, it can also be a chance to see friends and family and even get out of town a bit. Remember that a vehicle is considered a depreciating asset, so the more you take care of it, the more likely you are going to be able to get more when you sell it and move on to your next vehicle.
By Rachelle Wilber
who is a freelance writer and residing in San Diego, California area. Rachelle finds an interest in all topics and have Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies.