July 22, 2021
So, you bought a new car. You’re ready to get behind the wheel and drive, but there are some general housekeeping things to cross off the list before you hit the road. Read on for our buying a used car tips and what to do after buying a used car.
One of the first things to do after buying a used car, and probably one of the most important steps, is to secure a clean title for the vehicle. The title serves as official proof of ownership after purchasing a used car and this is especially important if you are buying a used car from a private seller. If you bought a used car from a dealership, then they probably completed the necessary title and registration paperwork for you while you were crossing the Ts and dotting the Is to complete your purchase.
If you went the private party route then you’ll need to make sure there are no liens listed on the back of the title document and if there are, make sure the seller provides official statements from the bank and/or other lien holders that all prior loans have been paid off. Title transfer requirements vary from state to state so be sure to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Department of Licensing (DOL) for the specifics on what you need to transfer the title of the car. You can find requirements for the Washington State DOL here and for the Oregon DMV here.
There is a lot of paperwork that comes after purchasing a used car and it doesn’t end with transferring the title. Once you have your new car’s title in hand, it’s time to insure it. In fact, most states require you to have insurance ready before they will even let you register the car and get license plates. Shop around and get estimates from different auto insurance companies so you have a better idea of what kind of a monthly payment, in total (car payment + car insurance payment), you’ll have on your plate. Insurance is a must since you can’t even legally drive the vehicle if it isn’t insured.
Not sure where to start on the auto insurance front? Talk to one of our Dick Hannah Auto Insurance agents and let them help you find the best deal and coverage for you and your new car.
On the list of What to Check When Buying a Used Car this step is probably one of the less exciting ones, but it is definitely still something everyone should take the time to do. The owner’s manual will give you a great rundown of information that will help you take care of your new car. Don’t worry about reading it from cover to cover but you should definitely be familiar with the manual that you’ll know where some of the more important topics are, like; maintenance recommendations, service intervals, type of oil you’ll need, tire pressure requirements, and more.
Here’s to hoping you took the car for a test drive and then had a certified mechanic run a full inspection on the vehicle to see if there were any major problems that needed fixing. If there were a couple of problems that were found but you were still comfortable buying the car and fixing them after the purchase then now is the time to get those fixed. Getting these repairs done now rather than waiting till you’re broke down on the side of the road is one of the best decisions you can make. Also, checking to see if there are any service recalls on the vehicle is always a good move, check with the previous owner or a dealership to see if the recall repairs have been taken care of.
Now that you’ve read up on the service schedule in the owner’s manual, you’ll want to make sure you are sticking to that timetable. You want this car to keep running and regular service is the best way to do that. Everything from oil changes, tire rotation, battery upkeep, and replacing the fluids, helps keep the car running. Make sure your new car is up-to-date on all its regular maintenance, if it is then it’s time for step six.
You bought the car. You’ve gone through the must-dos after buying a used car list. Now it’s time to get behind the wheel and take it for a spin. Drive around the block, hit the highway, sit in your driveway and get accustomed to the feel of your car and acclimate yourself with all the bells and whistles it comes with. Buying a new car is a big deal, go enjoy it. We’ll see you on the road. Happy driving!
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