If you have spent your whole life going goo-goo eyed over the idea of owning your own car, then you may have made it your mission to purchase lessons and pass your test as early as you are possibly able.
The freedom that comes with being on the road, not constrained by the timetables and schedules of public transport, is priceless for those who crave a little adventure. It’s also priceless for those who don’t want to spend their morning commute stuck under the arm of a stranger while strap-hanging on the underground!
Buying a car can be just as complicated as passing your driving theory and your test, but it’s so much fun that people tend not to notice. Bringing an experienced driver with you to buy your car, explain DVLA registration and talk you through insurance just makes good sense.
If you have never had experience buying a used car before, having someone on hand to answer the awkward questions is going to make a difference to your purchasing experience. If you are a total newbie at buying a car, there are some things that you need to know about what comes AFTER you find your dream car.
Get It Licensed, Registered & Insured
Seems like an obvious one, doesn’t it? Driving a car that is unregistered or has no insurance can result in a fine and your new car being seized by the police.
There is never a time that you are allowed to drive without insurance, either, especially since the birth of the smartphone has meant you can insure your car online before you leave the car forecourt.
There is no point in pretending to forget to insure or register your car, either, because the authorities won’t care.
Have A Mechanic Inspect It
Okay, so really this should be in a list for what you are supposed to do BEFORE you drive away with your new car. Unfortunately, a car showroom tends not to let you drive a car to an independent garage for a check over.
You can take a car to a garage after you’ve bought it, and if there is anything wrong with it you can rely on the warranty to cover you for the fact you’ve been sold a faulty car.
It doesn’t matter whether you buy from a showroom or you buy privately, you need to get it checked over.
Replace The Filters
You’ve bought a used car, but that doesn’t mean all the parts have to be old and used up.
Change the air, fuel, gearbox oil and water purifier filters. It doesn’t matter if they look okay, you haven’t a clue how many people have tested out the car, so you need to have new filters put in to get the best out of the car you’ve just bought.
Read The Manual
Not many people do this anymore, but reading the manual of your car is the only way you’re going to learn how to change the clock for daylight savings, and learn the service intervals of your vehicle.
It may not be the done thing for most, but reading the manual is the only way you are going to learn the quirks of your car, and there’s nothing wrong with a little information on what a particular noise is if one starts up!
Get It Cleaned
A used car is often sold with a cleaned interior and a shiny exterior, but buying privately can change this fact. A shiny car is a nice one to have, but paying for it to be professionally detailed on the inside is so important.
Previous owners may be lovely people, but you have no idea the things that are left behind – snot, trash, food – you name it, it could be in the car. It’s not nice to think about, so before you go on long journeys, why not get it cleared out properly.
Change The Fluids
Water, oil, lubricants – all of these could have been sitting in the car for a while, so the best thing that you can do is change out all of the fluids.
A car with fresh fluid works so much better than a car packed with used, dirty fluid that was never changed over. Your car is a used one, but it doesn’t mean you have to keep it looking like it’s an old one!
Test The Brakes
Before you start properly using your car, you need to get the brakes checked over. Wear and tear on the brake pads and general wear on the breaks as a whole means that they may need replacement. Brakes are a vital part of the running of the car; you can’t get going if you aren’t able to stop!
Change The Tires
As with the brakes, the tires need a proper test. You can have a mechanic do this, or you can cast your eagle eye over the tread and the depth of the tires yourself and get them changed based on that.
All four of your tires should match so that they wear down evenly, preventing you from having to constantly change them! They’re the only thing connecting you to the road, so you should be looking at them as a priority!
Now that you have everything you need for your car, you should get onto the road and get driving. Ensuring that your car is safe, clean and ready for the road is an important part of buying and using a used car.
Make sure you’ve set yourself up with a breakdown service, just in case, and get your paperwork in place. Keep the paperwork handy at all times, though, because you never know when you may need it.
You can get so much more pleasure out of driving when you know you are driving a vehicle that is up to scratch and actually ready for the road. Enjoy your newfound freedom – you never know where it may take you!