You’ve taken the time to thoroughly research cars, you spent afternoons test driving and comparing and then finally, you found the perfect one! But buying your car is only the first step. Now that you have it, there are some more things to consider in order to properly budget your car owner duties and extend the life of your vehicle.
Maintenance for Long Life
- In order to increase the life of your car, it’s extremely important to maintain it with regular engine, transmission, break, and tire check-ups. Among other things, your car will need its oil changed a few times a year and tires rotated and then replaced every few thousand miles. Paying for each check-up can be costly so, for many, it may be beneficial to buy a maintenance package in advance. Check with your dealer to see what kind of maintenance packages they offer and also research a few from independent companies.
- One often overlooked way to take care of your car is to protect the body and the cabin. With the simple design of a car cover, you can protect your car during harsh weather and increase the lifetime of paint if garage-keeping is not an option. Additionally, by having the windows blocked, you are also able to keep the sun from shining in and ruining upholstery or cracking the dashboard. Loving car owners will also consider buying seat covers to protect the cloth or leather from normal wear and tear. Not only will these simple investments keep your car looking new, if you plan to sell it later on, it will sell easier and possibly bring you a higher sale amount.
- Be prepared for the unexpected. If you haven’t thought about those times when your car needs a jump-start or a tire change, then you’re likely to be unprepared when the time comes. Buying or assembling a roadside emergency car kit to keep in the trunk will save you from a big headache later on. You may never need it, but you’ll be happy you have it if the time comes. Packing a survival emergency kit is also a smart idea.
Technology for Fun, Safe Times
- There are some new fun inventions you can add to your car. One of the most popular additions is a wireless router. These routers leverage 3 or 4G networks and allow you to use your phone, tablet, laptop or any Wi-Fi device while in the car. However, car manufacturers are now are selling cars with built-in routers. Imagine how much easier those cross country trips to grandma’s house will be if passengers can peruse the internet or get much needed work done! For these services, you have the option to go through the cell phone carrier you already use or you can go through a 3rd-party provider such as OnStar.
- Technology is fun but it is also distracting. Distractions while driving are seriously dangerous. While we love the idea of having a 3 or 4G network traveling with you in the car for passengers, it is also important to limit any distractions for the driver. One way of doing that is with free or paid apps that block the cell phone signal of the driver. These apps will send an auto-text and voice a pre-disposed message to callers informing them that the person they are trying to reach is driving.
Because You Have To
- Every vehicle owner in every state must register and renew their vehicle registration. No one like to pay these fees and remembering to do so can be annoying but it doesn’t have to be difficult. The fastest way to get your tags renewed is in person at a local DMV office but if you can’t make that trip and can’t wait for the snail mail option, renewing online is the easiest way to get this done. Most states offer an online renewal option and in California and Florida, you have multiple online renewal Companies like eTags.com can process your renewal faster and with some much needed conveniences.
- Nobody likes to have to pay for car insurance but since it is the law in every state, look at the bright side. If you get in a car crash, you won’t be on the hook for the property damages and medical bills of any other parties involved. Depending on what level of coverage you choose or are required to have, you may be covered for any damages to your car and have your own medical bills paid. One thing that is very important to remember is that you always have to shop around. Many people think that if they remain with one insurance provider for a long period of time they will get lower rates but the true is actually opposite. Unfortunately, “loyalty” discounts do anything but lower your rate.