What to do after buying a car

You just bought yourself a car. It does not matter if it is brand new or previously owned because it is new to you. Now that you have the car, is there anything you forget to do? What do you need to do after buying your car? This article will answer that question for you.

The first thing you should do after buying your car is to let your insurance agent know. You need to get insurance on the car as soon as possible. If you traded in a car, let your agent know so that vehicle can be taken off of your policy.

Since you are starting a new policy, you might use this time to shop around to make sure your insurance agent is giving you the best price. One place you can go online to compare insurance prices is CarInsurance.com. This site makes it easy for you to quickly but efficiently see multiple companies and their rates for your vehicle.

Next, read through the owner’s manual. Familiarize yourself with when you will need to bring in your car for oil changes and tune-ups. See what the tire pressure should be. Read how your controls work, there might be new buttons that your old car did not have.

Now that you have read about the inside controls now, sit in the car and see where they are. The windshield wipers are not always in the same place on each car or work the same. Little things like this you can familiarize yourself with now instead of in the middle of a rainstorm. See how the air conditioning and heating controls work and adjust them to how you will be most comfortable so you will not need to bother with that while driving the car.

Set up your radio. You will need to read about your radio and figure out how to set up your radio stations with the preset buttons. Not all radios are the same, and you do not want the radio stuck on a static-filled AM station on your drive to work because you do not know how the radio is set up.

Get under the hood. Maybe the dealer or private party you bought the car from showed you this previously, but now be sure you know how to pop the engine hood yourself. Find the dipstick and check your oil. Also, look and make sure that not only your other fluids are filled properly but that you know how to determine when they are low.

Now that you know your car inside and out, make it your own. If you have the money, you might want to put on specialized rims or upgrade the sound system. If you don’t have the money for big upgrades, why not find some car seat covers or even an antennae ball. This will make the car now feel like your own.

You have just bought yourself a car. You still have work to do. Get to know your car and make it your own special asset.

— Michelle Megna contributed to this story.

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

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John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Contributing Writer

Prachi is an insurance writer with a master’s degree in business administration. Through her writing, she hopes to help readers make smart and informed decisions about their finances. She loves to travel and write poetry.