Most people underestimate the responsibilities of becoming a motorist. It’s one thing to drive a car, and it’s another to own one and rely on it every day.
Successful car ownership ultimately comes down to two things: a dependable vehicle and a responsible driver. However, zoom out a bit further, and you’ll see six keys providing the foundation for being a successful car owner:
The majority of new cars get bought using loans. Many factors go into financing the purchase of a new vehicle, including the down payment, buyer credit history, and whether there’s a trade-in vehicle involved. The important thing is to walk away with a reasonable payment plan you can manage, with the car paid off within four years.
Cars consist of hundreds of moving parts, many of which eventually fail and get replaced. Successful car ownership involves being able to cover the cost of these repairs when necessary. For instance, car owners in St. Louis might use Missouri installment loans to pay for a new catalytic converter or fuel pump. Credit cards and savings are other familiar sources of car repair funds. As long as there’s an option available, car owners can get the fix needed to stay on the road.
The best way to prevent your car from breaking down is to keep it well maintained. Regular oil changes, tire rotation, and inspections are essential for prolonging the life of your automobile. While occasional repairs will still be needed now and then, basic routine maintenance is the single most effective way of keeping your car running longer. Even if you don’t plan on owning your car for longer than a few years, proper maintenance will help the resale and trade-in values.
In most states, cars are subject to a one-time sales tax followed by property tax owed once a year. These taxes must be paid to get your license plates renewed. Most of the time, new tags can be ordered online and received via mail. Even if it means spending half a day at the DMV, you don’t want to be driving around with expired plates. Doing so will eventually draw the attention of law enforcement and subject you to fines and other penalties.
Auto insurance is required by law in every state except New Hampshire. Driving without insurance is treated as a serious infraction, one which can result in a revoked license if done too often. It might seem like a pesky monthly bill, but having car insurance is not only the law, it’s the right thing to do.
Being a good car owner means being a safe motorist. You can’t do much about the driving habits of others on the road, but it’s entirely within your power to be a responsible driver. It means avoiding distractions, abiding by the rules of the road, and – as always – wearing your seatbelt.
Driving a car can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Owning one, however, can be one hassle after another. Successful car ownership means overcoming these obstacles and safely hitting the road.