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Responsibilities When Buying a New Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Responsibilities When Buying a New Car

Mark Etinger
October 22, 2012

Once you have gotten into your new car and driven off the dealer's lot, that cars is officially yours. Or more accurately, once you have signed on the dotted line, that car is something you are responsible for! Unlike car leasing, you will not be able to simply return the car to the dealer at the end of 36-48 months and wash your hands of it or start a new lease; that is the one and only option unless you go out and buy a new car. While getting a second car is not impossible, you do not want to spend that much money again, especially if you decided to pay for the car in its entirety instead of doing it month by month. With these points in mind, there are a bunch of responsibilities that come with owning a car.

First off, besides registering your car you are going to need auto insurance. You just do not know what the future holds for you and your car. Accidents do happen whether through human hands or an act of God - so you need at least partial coverage. That said, if you can find a price that you think is fair then go for full auto insurance coverage.

While insurance is important, your car needs tender loving care as well. Take it to a car wash once a month or at least wash it by hand. Washing your car by hand may be time-consuming but it can be fun and therapeutic. Also, washing your car by hand means you will take extra care of it, better than total strangers would; since they have to go through dozens of cars in a single day, the cleaning materials they use will be filthy from all the other cars they washed before they got to yours. Do you really want all that grime touching your new car?

Besides the outward appearance, you need maintain the complicated but all-too-important engine. This means changing the oil every several thousand miles, checking your fluids, checking the belts, and looking for any wear and tear. Traditionally it is held that you should change your oil every 3000 miles, but that is not really the case anymore with newer cars. However, do some research on your specific model to find out how often you should change your oil. If any of the belts are worn or cracked, replace them immediately!

Whether leasing a car or buying a car, you should always do your best to maintain it.

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