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Just Bought a New Car? What to Do Next

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Just Bought a New Car? What to Do Next

 

If you have just bought a new car, you are sharing that experience on the same day as 38,355 other Americans. That’s at least what 14 million new cars per year works out to being on a daily basis.

As exciting and fun as the experience is, it also comes with its share of headaches. Those don’t have to be headaches, though, when you plan ahead and know what comes next. In the following article, we’re going to be walking you through those very things.

Consider What, Where, and How You Are Buying

Before moving too far ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on the three elements that can factor in your next moves. Admittedly, you’ll end up in the same place (i.e., with a registered and insured automobile). However, you may need to take different avenues to get there.

What You Buy

If we’re talking about truly “new” cars, then you’ll probably be buying them from a dealership. Expect to pay a lot more than you will for a quality used car that’s a few years old.

In fact, the average new car price as of May 2019 was more than $36,000. Compare that to the average used car price of $20,200. In other words, a new car will probably force you to finance while you may be able to purchase used for cash, or at least finance a considerable amount less once you’ve made a downpayment.

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Where You Buy

Pretty much all dealerships, new or used, are going to offer in-house financing or the choice to finance through a bank. Terms are generally better on bank loans, though it may be more difficult to get the best interest rates if you have bad credit.

You can also go FSBO, or for sale by owner. This is liable to get you a better deal but you’ll need to know what you’re doing to make sure you’re protected.

How You Buy

We’ve already touched on it some, but it deserves its own mention. Figure out how much you’re going to finance (if any), how much you’ll be putting down (if any), and how long of a term you’re going to need.

Related Reading:  How to Change Brake Pads: The Ultimate Guide for Cars

After you’ve jumped through those hoops and made your purchase, it’s time for the aftermath. Let’s keep going!

1. Set Up a General Checklist

The first part of what to do after buying a new car is to get your obligations straight. Do this by creating a simple checklist consisting of the following:

  • Car title
  • Proof of safety inspection
  • Insurance
  • Emissions check if required
  • Proof of sale/financing paperwork
  • Registration

This is your (pardon us) roadmap for becoming street-legal. The rest is about checking the boxes.

2. Obtain the Car Title

The car title is to be requested from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state where it is sold. You will need the vehicle identification (VIN) number when making your request, which can usually be done online. The car title is yours once you’ve made the purchase, or it will be held in your name by the financial institution should you be required to purchase in installments.

3. Get Registration Handled

The bill of sale and a government-issued ID are required to get registration going. You’ll also need the title certificate and an odometer reading. Prepared with this information, you can complete registration through your state’s DMV.

4. Look at the Inspection Standards for Your State

After buying a new car, you should keep safety at the forefront of your thoughts. Just because a car is new, that doesn’t mean it’s without its faults. Car companies issue many recalls on new cars each year, ranging from minor to urgent.

Get a safety inspection as soon as you can. Check here to see if there are any existing recalls issued on your VIN.

5. Visit Your Insurance Agent

Already got an insurance agent? Great news, but don’t be afraid to shop around either. Insurance companies typically sell policies in six-month contracts, and they’re highly competitive for your business. It’s not a bad idea to play those odds to your advantage.

When you know what you’re going to do, it’s time to decide on which type of insurance you’re going to get. Will it be a minimum liability insurance policy, comprehensive or collision?

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Minimum liability covers bodily injury and damages to the other motorist’s vehicle in the event the accident is your fault. States differ on their minimum requirements, but you can almost be guaranteed the minimum isn’t enough for any kind of serious accident.

Collision coverage takes care of your vehicle as well, while comprehensive pays out for all parties involved (bodily injury and property damage). Determine the amount of your deductible when making a final purchase. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium will be.

6. Gather Your Financing Paperwork

Another of the important steps after buying a car is to keep your financial paperwork together in one place. This will show you in simple terms what you bought, what your payments will be, and which warranties are in place.

7. Study the User Manual

Learn to love your manual. Major car manufacturers usually make these available online. Here are some current Ford manuals as an example.

Your manual will tell you how to care for your car, which scheduled maintenance plans to adhere to, and many of the features and benefits that you may or may not already know.

8. Go Easy

You are now “street legal.” Don’t get carried away, though. Learn everything about the operations of your car before you get too comfortable with it.

Taking your time is important. It helps you get used to everything your car can do and operate it more safely over time.

Do Not Waste a Moment If You Just Bought a New Car

If you’ve just bought a new car, then you are embarking on a very exciting time. By taking the steps we’ve shared here, you can ensure that you’re ready to enjoy it without annoying red tape getting in the way. Before you go, check out some of our other great blog posts for new car buyers.

Driving in the Rain Safely

Driving In the Rain Safely

 

 

Whether it’s drizzling or pouring hard, driving in the rain is always a tough challenge. The rainy season is fun and beautiful, but at the same time, it can be quite dangerous. Many traffic reports have reported the heavy rainfall is even more dangerous than a snowstorm. Approximately, 46% of car crashes and accidents related to weather conditions are caused by rain and only 17% of them are caused by the snow. One of the main reasons for this huge disparity is the fact that many people don’t know how to drive and adapt to rainy conditions. They usually don’t know how to adjust to the hazardous conditions.

The rainy season is directly associated with a higher crash rate. Because of the rain, a lot of factors need to be taken in to account while driving. Reduced visibility and wet roads are the main issues a driver encounters firsthand. Your safety depends on the way you drive and handle your vehicle during hazardous conditions. It’s important to know and follow these safety tips during driving in the rain.

Make sure your tires are perfectly fine
Because of a high-temperature drop, you will have to check and adjust your tires accordingly. Wet roads produce less friction and to maximize friction, your tires need to be inflated properly or else you might lose vehicle control at some point. When roads are slick, your tires will do a lot to increase your safety. Maintaining the pressure in the tire is important. Make sure the pressure is within the suggested pressure limit of the tires. Using a tire pressure gauge to regulate your tire’s inflation will increase the tire’s contact with the road which will maximize vehicle control

Double-check your vehicle
Make sure you always double-check each and every car equipment before setting out on the road in the rain. You need to be prepared for emergencies. Make sure the taillights, headlights; the wipers are all efficiently working. Check out the car’s heater and exhaust function, the battery and if the tank is full or not.

Slow down on the road
This is the most obvious safety tip when driving in the rain. Not only do you need to drive under the speed limit, but you also need to slow down the speed under the speed limit because wet roads are scary and there are high chances of losing vehicle control. Low speed is very important in this season.

Always keep your headlights on
Turn on your vehicle’s headlights while driving in the rain. Many states have made it a law to keep the headlights on while driving in the rain. This will increase your visibility in the rain and also make it easier for the other cars on the road to see you.

Use the wipers effectively
Many people forget to use the windshield wiper in the rain. Many wipers are designed in a way so that the speed can be adjusted accordingly whether it’s to clear out heavy downpour or mist.

Maintain distance
Keep a safe distance between the car in front of you and your car. Hitting the brakes and stopping your car will be difficult on a wet road and therefore distance is needed to avoid any accidents.

Ventilation is important
The level of humidity increases because of the rain. Your windows will become foggy and blurry in the rain. Having an efficient ventilation system will prevent the fog from being produced on the windshield and windows.

Driving After an Accident

Driving After an Accident

 

Driving after an accident couldn’t be more difficult. You may have saved yourself without getting hurt or you may have just witnessed an accident, but the scars and fears in your brain itself build a significant turmoil inside you and will leave you stunned. It is normal to feel anxious after you have gone through such a big incident, many psychologists stated that accidents do affect you mentally. This condition is known as ‘vehophobia,’ which means fear of driving; it is common among people who have gone through an accident or have anxiety about driving a vehicle.

It is extremely hard for someone who needs to drive daily to reach work or for college and have driving anxiety. These incidents not only shake your confidence but also disrupt your daily life. However, experts have come up with some fantastic and easy tips to help you overcome your fear and get you back behind the wheel!

Start from the passenger seat

You probably shouldn’t start with handling the steering wheel at the initial stage, you will face extreme anxiety, and that would reasonably not right for you or your fellow passenger. Start by gradually mustering up the courage by going on a drive with a trusted fellow, this will help the tension to ease out, and you will gain a little confidence.

Start with short driving

Do not overburden yourself. First, get comfortable behind the wheel than slowly ease back yourself into the driving routine. Drive at a quiet place with fewer people and almost no traffic. You can also ask your friend or a family member to accompany you so that you won’t feel alone, and there would be someone who can help you if you start feeling anxious.

Practice with an instructor

Driving instructors know much more than just teaching driving. They know what it feels like to be worried after an accident or what can be done to overcome the driving fears. Consult a driving instructor if you think you couldn’t overcome the fear, they have such methods and tricks that would help you with driving and will improve your ability to predict any such situations like car accidents or collisions.

Get help from a therapist

It is okay if you go to a therapist and pour out your thoughts and fears, there is absolutely nothing wrong with venting out to someone. There is nothing to be ashamed of pouring out your thoughts and getting professional help. A professional psychologist will help you work through those fears and stress that is averting you from getting back to action through anxiety releasing exercises. Going to a therapist depends on how severe the accident was and the severity of the trauma, however, mental therapy is the best step.

Defensive Driving

People who suffer from post-traumatic disorders related to driving often consider taking defensive driving courses. Defense driving course helps them to learn new skills and techniques to struggle against the fear on the road. This course helps people to regain their faith in their driving abilities and restore their confidence.

Accidents can be terrible and can change your life in a matter of seconds. It can shake your confidence and will forever be above you if you don’t try to overcome it. Some people can overcome their fears and regain their confidence; however, some people struggle with mustering up the courage to overcome their anxiety. Everyone’s healing process is different. However, it is essential to heal and recover yourself and get back yourself on the road again.

Avoid Car Trouble with a Belt Check

February 4, 2020

You may not see them, or know much about them, but engine belts are always working to keep your vehicle moving. Losing a belt can mean immediate trouble for the engine and a breakdown for you. To avoid being stranded, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends that motorists review the owner’s manual to ensure that belts are inspected and replaced at the proper intervals.

A vehicle’s belts are essential to the cooling, air conditioning and charging systems of the engine. Serpentine belts are used to turn the water pump, alternator, power steering and air-conditioning compressor. Older cars use V-belts for various accessories.

Always check serpentine and V-belts for looseness and their overall condition. Replace V-belts when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Noise in the belt system is a sign of wear and the smell of burnt rubber can indicate a slipping belt. When changing a serpentine belt, it is important to check all the components in the serpentine system as tensioners and pulleys wear at the same rate as the belt and should be inspected.

Typical serpentine belt replacement is 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Typical V-belt replacement is 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Replace timing belt per interval specified in the owner’s manual.

“Why risk being stranded when a bad belt can be diagnosed with simple routine maintenance?” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Inspecting and replacing belts as specified in your owner’s manual will help you avoid the hassle and expense of a sudden breakdown.”

The Car Care Council’s free 80-page Car Care Guide features several pages of information on the functionality of belts and when to replace them. Available in English and Spanish, the popular guide fits easily in a glove box and can be ordered by visiting www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

Invest a Portion of Tax Refund in Auto Care

With the average tax refund expected to be nearly $3,000, you might be thinking about splurging on something special. However, being practical with some of your refund might be a better choice. A new video from the Car Care Council explains how spending a portion of your tax refund on preventative vehicle maintenance can pay long-term dividends.

“Car owners can actually save more money in auto repairs in the long run by routinely spending small amounts on preventative maintenance, including a thorough annual vehicle inspection,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Following the recommended maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual is like insurance. By spending a small amount on auto care more regularly, you protect yourself from larger expenses later on.”

With proper care, the typical vehicle should deliver at least 200,000 miles of safe, dependable performance. The most common routine maintenance procedures and repairs include checking the oil, filters and fluids, belts and hoses, brakes, tires and the HVAC system. The non-profit Car Care Council also recommends an annual tune-up and wheel alignment.

“Routine car care will also help keep your vehicle running dependably and improve its fuel economy, so you can avoid unexpected car trouble and save more money at the pump,” concluded White.

Produced in conjunction with AutoNetTV Media (ANTV), the Car Care Council’s new video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/ZJUWahuxsSM and is also available in the ANTV digital management system for use by repair shops to share with their customers.

To help you get the most out of your vehicle investment and protect its long-term value, visit the Car Care Council’s website at www.carcare.org and sign up for the free custom service schedule.

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.