If there's anyone who is qualified to give advice to people who are owning their first car, that would definitely be me. I had my first car at age 22, fresh out of university, and I then relocated from the Midwest to California. So yes, I was a girl in a new city and had to buy myself a car from the money I got as graduation presents. Without a lot of help from friends and family, I ventured out into the world, and what an adventure it was (and still is)!
The thing about starting a new existence so far from everything familiar to you your entire life is that you have to be a full-blown adult. With every liberty and ounce of independence you experience in living by yourself, you are also given a lot of responsibilities you need to fulfill.
Most, if not all of the time, there's no one and nothing to guide you on how to deal with these responsibilities. From car body repair to paying off your student loans and setting up your utilities in your first apartment, these things are matters you have to deal by yourself, and in most cases without a lot of help from other people.
So, here I am, ready to dispense advice on the things you need to remember so that you can have an easy time with your first car. Think of it as details I got from experience that I hope can help some people also venturing out into their own adventures:
Make sure you have all the paperwork intact.
First thing you need to be on the lookout for is the compatibility of your vehicles with the laws of your state. Make sure you have diligently taken care of all the paper work, that they are done according to state regulations and approved according to its statuary requirements. If you are buying a new car in a state you’ve just moved into, have everything in place – license, registration, and insurance for both you and the car. If it is a used car, it is of utmost importance that you get the papers of the vehicle bear your name. Also make sure that the vehicle is registered in your new state and city. This is especially true if you are transferring to a new state. Make sure that if you are bringing your car from your old state, your license and registration is in your new state within the first week.
Wise driving gets you places.
A new car or driving around a new city is definitely an exciting and exhilarating experience. But then, for some, it can also be overwhelming, which may lead to reckless driving habits. These habits ultimately contribute to the performance and life of your car. Thus, revving up and accelerating in excess may make the car conk out in the long run. Being careful with your car also means you may need to be careful with your driving. Obviously, the wiser and more careful you are when you drive, the longer you can expect your car to last.
Get a reputable car restoration service.
Yes, you do have a body shop tied to your insurance, but to really have peace of mind, do have an expert shop that you have actually visited and can vouch for their impeccable service. For me, it’s D&D Body Shop, since I’ve been in San Mateo from the start of my move to California. I have visited their facilities, and they have I-CAR GOLD-certified technicians ready to solve any vehicle restoration concerns from windshield repair to paint detailing, the whole works! They can repair American, European, and even Japanese car models.
Hopefully, getting your first car will usher in more memorable experiences in your fun and adventure-filled new life!