Pro Tips—5 Things to Do After Buying a Car

Posted June 3, 2022 by in Lifestyle
man driving a convertible in LA with the top down with a female passenger

You might think buying a car simply involves choosing a model and paying for it at the accounting office. However, there’s more to car ownership than that. Most of the important aspects of being a car owner starts after you drive it off the dealership. And while first-time buyers may be blissfully unaware of that, there’s no reason that you should be, too. 

To help you get informed, here are five things to do after buying a car

Tip 1: Get Car Insurance

It’s best to get all your insurance needs sorted out before taking your car out for a long ride. You can do this before you drive your car off the lot—provided you have your car’s VIN ahead of time. This way, you and your car are protected as soon as you drive out of the dealership. Tons of auto insurance providers—like GEICO—offer competitive rates and excellent coverage, especially for first-time car owners with great credit. Make sure to check out GEICO insurance reviews online or get in touch with an agent to ask for a proper quote. 

Most lenders won’t allow you to take out a loan unless you also take out an insurance policy for your vehicle. This is standard in most states, so make sure to research what requirements your state needs before visiting your local dealership.

Tip 2: Secure the Car Title

If you’re paying for the car in full, the dealership is required to provide you with the title within a limited period – depending on your state. This piece of paper works basically like a birth certificate. Written on it are important details about your vehicle. It also addresses you as the official owner of the car.

But if you took out a loan from a private lender or opted for in-house financing, you won’t get your vehicle’s title until you pay off all your debt. Once your bills are fully settled, your dealer should process everything with the DMV, transferring ownership rights to you. 

Tip 3: Keep the Bill of Sale

The bill of sale is like your vehicle’s receipt. It’s what you use to register your vehicle at the DMV while your vehicle title is still unavailable. A bill of sale document will contain the following important details: 

  • Car Description (including year, make, model, VIN, current mileage, and license plate number)
  • Details for Warranty
  • Vehicle Selling Price
  • Seller Details

The details may vary depending on the state you’re from. This is just a general list of features you may see on a bill of sale document. 

Tip 4: Ask for Temporary Tags

Registering your new vehicle can take time. It’s not something that most people can process in a day—if they did, they were probably very lucky during their application. 

To help car owners register vehicles on time, you’re given what’s called a temporary tag. This tag gives you 30 days to complete your vehicle registration, as well as other necessary documents, e.g., insurance, warranties, and titles. 

It also serves as proof that you’re the owner of the vehicle you’re driving. 

Tip 5: Get Registered

Your tags won’t last forever—it’s why they’re called temporary. So, before you run out of time, you should secure your vehicle’s registration ASAP. This saves you from getting hit by expensive legal charges along the way. 

You can finalize your registration at your dealer’s. They’ll help you compile all the paperwork and documents. But in some cases, you may need to go to your state DMV office in person. 

If you need to do the latter, make sure to bring a copy of your loan documents, vehicle title, proof of insurance, and your bill of sale. Additionally, you’ll have to show your DMV proof that your new car has passed the state emissions test and is safe to operate within the city. 

After completing everything and complying with all requirements, make sure to keep all your documents in a single, secure file. The last thing you want is to lose important paperwork like insurance certificates and loan documents. If possible, keep extra copies of these documents and store them someplace safe.

Back view of a couple in a convertible driving on an LA street with palm trees

Being a car owner is a huge responsibility. Besides making sure you complete all the registration and paperwork, you also must consider things like gas budget, maintenance, and insurance. If you’re unsure what other aspects of car ownership you need to cover, above are five tips that can help you get all your needs in line. Take the time to review each one and apply them in real life. Last but not the least, when you get a car it is the right time to get going on a road trip with family and friends. Let’s say you went to Amsterdam and found yourselves having less space inside the car for luggage, you can always store them at Vertoe locations and enjoy your trip. Check bag storage Amsterdam for all details. 

Read more: