6 Essential Things Every First-Time Car Owner Should Know

There’s nothing like the excitement of owning your first car. That’s because car ownership brings a certain amount of freedom. However, a lot of responsibility comes with owning a car. One of the first things an owner should learn is insurance law. Further, owners need to know something about car maintenance.

Automobile Insurance

The car has to be insured before it’s driven. Find out the mandatory liability insurance requirements in your state. It may be a good idea to meet with an insurance agent. As an alternative, consumers can shop for insurance online at sites like abetterchoiceinsurance.com. The government wants drivers to have liability coverage because it protects others if you’re at fault in an accident.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is shown as three numbers like 100/300/50, This means the policy pays up to $100,000 to an injured person. Further, the policy pays $50,000 for property damage and $300,000 for all injury claims. The legal liability limits may be $15,000, but drivers should have more. You want to be financially covered in the event of an accident. Medical bills and damages are likely to be more than $15,000 in a serious accident. The liable party is responsible for any damages insurance does not cover.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Of course, drivers need insurance to protect themselves. In difficult financial times, individuals are likely to let insurance policies lapse. Don’t be on the bad end of being hit by a driver with no insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if this happens. Your property damage and medical bills will be paid. Moreover, uninsured coverage becomes underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage kicks in when the liable party doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages.

The Owner’s Manual

Every vehicle comes with an owner’s manual in the glove compartment. Find yours and read it. The owner’s manual contains important information like the car’s recommended maintenance schedule. It will list the type of tires the car is equipped with. Most importantly, the owner’s manual states the meaning of dashboard lights. Some lights are warning lights and shouldn’t be ignored.

Tire Pressure

All drivers need to know about tire pressure. Tires must contain a certain amount of air to operate properly. Under-inflated tires cause wear and tear on the tires and car. The correct pressure is printed on the side of the driver’s door. Invest in a tire gauge and learn how to use it. Further, learn how to use the air machine at the local convenience store or purchase a small compressor to keep at home.

Many drivers don’t know what to do if they have a flat tire. It’s smart to know how to change a flat and put on the spare tire. Join a motor club like AAA if changing a tire sounds like Greek to you. One can simply call the club in the event of a flat tire or another mishap. These groups provide 24-hour roadside assistance. They’ll even come to your home to change a tire.

Oil Change

First-time car owners frequently forget about changing the oil. The oil in a car needs to be replenished and changed every so often. The owner’s manual tells you what kind of oil to use. The best rule of thumb is to find a mechanic and let them change the oil.

First-time car owners have a lot of homework to do. Don’t drive without buying all the insurance you need. Make sure everyone is protected in the event of an accident. Read the owner’s manual and learn about basic car maintenance.


Arnel Ariate is the webmaster of Money Soldiers.

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