What You Need to Do After Buying a New Car

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After buying a new car, you’ll need to: insure it, register the car and transfer the title, study the owner’s manual, schedule routine maintenance, make any necessary repairs, take it for a drive, and keep the paperwork.
Out of all these steps, the first one might be the most intimidating. You probably spent a long time shopping for a car—now you have to shop for car insurance, too?
Make step number one easier by downloading Jerry, the car insurance comparison shopping app that saves you time and money. Jerry compares rates from leading insurance companies and handles all the paperwork for you!
Continue reading to learn about all the things you need to do after buying a car.
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Insure your new car

At a minimum, you’ll need liability insurance for your new car. This type of coverage pays for car repairs and medical bills for the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident, and it’s required by law in almost every state.
Most lenders also require liability coverage.
If you want to go beyond the basics, you should consider adding full-coverage insurance to your policy. Full-coverage insurance typically consists of:
  • Collision coverage, which covers damage to your vehicle in a collision
  • Comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to your vehicle from events other than a collision (think vandalism, natural disasters, or theft)
To save money and streamline the comparison shopping process, let car insurance broker app Jerry do the heavy lifting for you! You’ll get competitive quotes within seconds and Jerry users save an average of $827 a year on their car insurance.
Key Takeaway Check to see what discounts you may be eligible for. Many insurance companies offer discounts for clean driving records, high grades, or bundling multiple policies.

Register the car and transfer the title

It’s illegal to drive an unregistered car, so make sure you register your new car within the 30-day grace period.
If you bought the car used or new from a dealership, you may be in luck—most dealers will take care of the paperwork for you. You might be able to get your registration and permanent license plates right at the dealership, or you might get a temporary document and wait for the official papers and plate in the mail.
In some cases, you’ll need to go to the DMV to register your vehicle. Check the website in advance to see what’s required and be prepared to bring proof of insurance, loan documents, and the car’s title.
While you’re at the DMV, make sure the title is transferred to you.
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Study the owner’s manual

You might think you know everything you need to know about your new car, but make sure you read the owner’s manual. It’s important to understand your car’s features and needs.
You don’t need to read the manual cover to cover, but skim it carefully for key information. Or, if you bought a used car without an owner’s manual, look your car up online. You may be able to find an online manual, and you’ll also get access to useful information on forums.
If you bought your vehicle new, check for any recalls on your vehicle.
Don’t just do the reading—get to know your new car by trying out its features while you’re parked. It’s safer to know exactly how to turn on the windshield wipers or cruise control before you’re on the road and trying to find that button at 60 mph!
Key Takeaway Don’t wait till you’re on the road to learn how your new car drives—look it up before you start driving!

Schedule routine maintenance

If you bought a new car from a dealership, your vehicle probably doesn’t need maintenance right away—but don’t wait for something to go wrong—ask the dealership for a maintenance schedule for your car.
If you’re buying used, you might still get maintenance records from the dealer or seller that you can use to plan for routine maintenance. Ideally, it will have passed inspection and be up to date on all its maintenance. If you feel like you’re relying on guesswork, take your car to a mechanic and consult with them to create your maintenance schedule.
You can put reminders in your calendar to alert you when your car’s maintenance is due. Sticking to the schedule will save you money long-term, and making a plan right away means you won’t miss out on important maintenance.

Make any necessary repairs

A new car shouldn’t need any repairs, but if the inspection report for your used car turned up any issues, don’t delay. Schedule any necessary repairs right away, or make them yourself if you’re confident in your abilities.
Evaluate repairs to your new car carefully. If the issue is cosmetic, you might choose to put off fixing it. It might even be simple enough to handle on your own. However, mechanical problems should be dealt with promptly to avoid danger on the road and serious expenses later on.
Key Takeaway If you bought a new car, keep an eye out for recalls that might apply to your vehicle.

Take it for a drive

Take your new car for a spin, starting in your neighborhood to get a feel for the roads you’ll drive every day. This is the fun part!
Once you’ve registered, studied, and repaired your car, you’re ready to hit the road. Once you’re feeling comfortable behind the wheel, head onto the highway to get a sense of how the car handles at higher speeds.
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Keep the paperwork

Buying a new car means a lot of paperwork, but it’s important that you hang onto everything.
Between the bill of sale, the insurance certificate, financing documents, and tax receipts, you might start to feel like you’re drowning in documents, but you need to stay organized and file those documents away somewhere safe.
Keep your registration in your vehicle, and find a safe folder, filing cabinet, or document case to store the rest of your car-related papers. Your future self will thank you, especially if you choose to sell your car down the road.

Get help shopping for car insurance

All that paperwork might make you reluctant to comparison shop when it comes to insurance. But don’t settle for the first quote that sounds decent. Make sure you’re getting the best deal on your car insurance by downloading car insurance comparison shopping app Jerry.
As a licensed insurance broker, Jerry will compare rates from leading insurance companies and find competitive quotes that fit your needs. They’ll do the hard math and handle the paperwork: you just choose the rate you want!
To know that you’re paying the right price for insurance on your new car, get peace of mind with Jerry.
“When using Jerry, I just put in a bit of information, and they found lots of different quotes for me. I was paying $305 a month for 2 brand-new cars, but now I’m paying $150 a month for both with full coverage!” ––Robin U.
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