What You Need to Do After You Buy Your Car
Buying a new car is a pretty big deal, and usually marks a personal milestone. However, it doesn't end when you hand over the money to the seller or dealer.
What To Do Now You Have Your Car
Here's what you need to do next to make your new-to-you car your own:
1. Register the car and pay stamp duty
When you bought the car, you would have completed a form to transfer ownership of the vehicle into your name from the previous owner's name.
It's important that you take this form to your state's Motor Vehicle Registry to complete the transfer of ownership so that the car is registered under your own name.
When you provide this form you'll need to pay the stamp duty on the purchase at the same time. Then the car is officially yours!
2. Car Insurance
If you used a car loan to buy your car, you should have arranged your car insurance before your car loan settled. If you haven't, now's the time to get this in place.
Do some research to work out which option gives you the benefits you need for the best price. You might consider taking a Safe Driving Course offered by your insurer to lower your premiums.
3. Roadside assistance
Before you take off on a road trip, it pays to consider what might happen if you break down. Not that you'll be expecting a break down, but it does pay to be prepared for a worst case scenario.
Each state has different providers, with some comprehensive car insurance policies including roadside assistance too. Work out what's the best option for you and take out a policy. It doesn't cost much annually, but will be more than worthwhile if you ever need it.
4. Get licensed
This sounds really obvious, but make sure that you have your driver's licence up to date. Check the renewal date to make sure you don't miss it.
5. Read the owners manual
Maybe a little boring, but it will be worthwhile. Not only could you discover features of your car that you weren't already aware of, but you'll also learn where to find the parts that require basic maintenance, and how to perform these tasks yourself to look after the car.
Reading the manual now might be tedious, but it could save you thousands in repairs if you know the warning signs to look for when everything isn't 100 per cent with your car.
6. Change the fluids & filters
If you've purchased a second hand car, you will only know exactly where you stand if you change the fluids and filters soon after purchasing. This will protect your engine and give you the peace of mind that none of these quick fixes will cause any problems in the short term.
7. Check tyres and brakes
Safety comes first! Your tyres and brakes are the thing that's stopping you if you get into a sticky situation, so make sure that your tyres have reasonable tread, and are suitable for the driving conditions.
Your brakes need to be in good condition to stop the car effectively, so make sure the brake pads are in good condition, and replace them if needed.
8. Get a mechanic inspection
If you didn't get a mechanic to inspect the car before you bought it, make sure that you do so soon. A 'stitch in time saves nine' when it comes to car maintenance - picking up a broken pipe, and oil or coolant leak, in time will save you literally thousands.
9. Clean your car
It's nice to get that new car smell. While you might be tempted to treat your car as your home, this is a chance to show you're proud of your new wheels by caring for it inside and out. In particular, waxing the paintwork every six months will help to maintain the paintwork quality.
10. Get a sound system fitted
If you've purchased an older car, you might not be totally happy with the sound. When you spend a lot of time on the road, you'll start to notice it. You might consider adding phone connectivity at the same time to avoid a hefty fine from using your phone illegally while driving.
Congratulations on taking ownership of your new car. Remember that if there's ever anything you need to know about how to look after your car properly, find someone who's passionate about cars and ask them a few questions. You'll probably get more information than you expected, and you'll learn to take pride in performing basic maintenance yourself.
If you're thinking about buying a car, and you need finance, then speaking to a lending specialist can give you an overview of your options, and some clear direction towards owning your own car.