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Do These 5 Things After Buying Your First Car  

Feb 13, 2024 | Car, Tips & Tools

Buying your first car comes with a gambit of emotions, from the giddy feeling of independence and deep desire to drive everywhere for no other reason than to show off your new wheels, ranging all the way to the general panic of… ‘What now?’ 

This anxious frame of mind is completely normal.  

It’s mostly due to the fact that even if you don’t know exactly what, you’re sure there are things that you need to take care of before you can drive off into the sunset. Thankfully, we can help you figure out your next steps with a simple checklist for you to follow. 

Register Your Wheels 

The most important thing to do after buying your first vehicle is to have it registered. Typically, when you buy a new car from the dealership, your dealer can help you sort out the Big 3 – Registration, Insurance, and Financing. But let’s say they don’t, or there’s a fee you don’t want to pay for any of these extra services, or that you haven’t bought your car through a dealership.  

Whatever the case, your vehicle needs to be registered and licensed within 21 days after a change of ownership. If this doesn’t happen, you’ll have to pay arrears and penalties.  

A pro tip is to make sure that you’ve got your ID, proof of address, and vehicle manufacturer certificate when you register your car.  

Keep All Copies of Your Documents 

It’s tempting to store the vehicle documents in a drawer, to be forgotten about at your earliest convenience. Before you go ahead and do that, make sure you’ve made copies. Specifically, we urge you to make digital copies and store them in the Cloud. This way, you can easily access these forms from your phone. This is particularly useful when an emergency situation comes up that requires you to show your documents to the authorities. 

Get Car Insurance 

In South Africa, if you take out vehicle finance to buy a car (first time or not), it’s usually compulsory to get car insurance. And not just any car insurance. You’ll need to get comprehensive cover. Most of the time, the dealerships that provide assistance with finance also tend to help with insurance. However, you should know that neither the bank providing the finance nor the dealership can legally dictate which insurer you go with. You’re completely free to get your own comprehensive cover. 

Try the AA Insurance Supermarket, where you can compare up to 7 quotes and choose the option that suits you the best.  

The problem is that a lot of people delay getting insurance – and some choose not to get cover at all, especially if they aren’t obliged to do so. There’s no better way to say this, so we’ll cut to it… car insurance gives you the necessary financial protection against the costs of associated with an incident involving you and your car.  

Take Your New Car Out For A Spin 

Now it’s time to set the car to your preferences, which means you can press ahead with adjusting the seats to your liking, checking the mirrors, and exploring the controls. It’s not just about enjoying the driving experience, though. It’s also about preventing yourself from running into problems later when you’re on the road. 

Get To Know Your Car’s Manual 

Finally, take a few minutes (or more) to check out your new car’s manual. This is where you’ll learn about specific features, warning lights and what they mean, how to take care of your car, and the maintenance schedule.  

Look, you don’t have to know everything, but it’s good to be familiar with the important bits.  

Feel informed?  

We hope this info helps, but if there’s one last thing that we can leave you with, it’s to consider getting a warranty. The right warranty can help pay for mechanical, electrical, and electronic failures that may happen to your vehicle. What’s more, with an AA Warranty, any claims you put in won’t change the monthly cost. 

We haven’t put it on our checklist as one of your first To Dos, because there’s already a lot that you need to sort out. But once the dust has settled, you may want to check a warranty out. It can save you a lot of money in the long-run.  

If you’re interested in checking out our range of AA Warranties.

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