Getting your first car as a teenager is one of the most exciting experiences you can have as you grow up. Besides the excitement, it also ushers you into a place of responsibility for the ride as you have to factor in how to maintain it, take it for service, and exercise caution and safety as you drive. Maintenance is essential as it is the key determinant of your safety, repair costs, and the vehicle‘s performance. There are imperative car tips for teens that you should be aware of even as you take your first vehicle to the road, including the following points.
Research Local Attorneys
When you become a car owner, extreme caution must be taken whenever you are on the roads to avoid accidents. There are times when accidents are unavoidable due to issues beyond your control or an error by a different road user. In such scenarios, you may be forced to file a claim with your insurance company, and this may need the help of an auto accident lawyer.
This action is crucial because the insurance companies are known to exploit victims who seem vulnerable, depriving them of legal compensation. When you are caught up in a legal battle with the insurance company, among the essential car tips for teens is that you should not walk this path alone.
The insurance companies have full-time lawyers who represent them daily in multiple cases, so you may not be a match for them. An experienced attorney in auto accident practice is your best shot at getting compensated fully. Remember that despite the severity of the injury or extent of damage to the vehicle or property, every minute that passes counts, and having information on the local attorneys available in your area is a huge advantage.
Find a Great Mechanic
A good mechanic who is reliable and experienced is necessary to take care of your vehicle. Whenever you have any mechanical issues, this individual will be responsible for conducting diagnosis and repairs. While sourcing for a good mechanic may not be easy, getting recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors will quicken the process. The ideal mechanic would be an individual who operates close by at a local auto repair shop.
Consider choosing a mechanic who has certifications from recognized industry bodies and is licensed to repair your vehicle. As part of the essential car tips for teens, pick an individual who has a strong work ethic, good problem-solving skills, and technical aptitude. Apart from asking from your close acquaintance, consider conducting online research or finding a shop that deals with your car brand.
Choose the Right Car for Your Lifestyle
Owning a vehicle comes with additional recurrent costs. Owning an expensive car that is beyond your ability in terms of maintenance is a wreck-less decision. You should also buy a vehicle that will fit into the most common duties and responsibilities you undertake. Choose a car that has low fuel consumption and fewer maintenance demands to eliminate expenses that are way beyond your ability. It is often good to consider safety since most teens do not have much experience driving, and a car that doesn’t easily roll over is more appropriate.
Consider buying a vehicle that does not encourage speeding, as this helps minimize accidents that may arise from over-speeding. Your local car dealership can be instrumental in finding the perfect car for your teen.
Don’t Be Afraid of Upgrades
When considering a purchase for your teen’s vehicle, you should not be afraid of getting auto upgrades. Some of the essential car tips for teens help you save money in the long run. While upgrading the vehicle may seem like an additional expense, it carries many advantages that you will be able to enjoy. The electric and hybrid models are economical as most of them have zero road taxes which largely decrease your expenses.
Lower running costs are one of the key benefits of upgrading your car. A powerful engine is more appropriate for shorter distances in fuel consumption, while diesel engines are more suitable for longer distances. Getting upgrades also ensures the vehicle has increased reliability due to the advancement in technology. The increased security features, antilock brake systems, stability controls, and traction controls are all benefits that you stand to get with the upgrades.
Invest in a Roadside Assistance Service
There are instances where you may have traveled far away from your usual garage, and there is no immediate access to the garage. It is still possible to access help from wherever you may be through clubs at any given time since they provide round-the-clock roadside assistance. Joining a motor club is one of the essential car tips for teens that you should consider as it comes in handy when you have a flat tire, need towing, or in case of a breakdown.
If you have auto insurance, you should contact them to find out whether they have any affiliations with a motor club that offers auto roadside assistance. The roadside assistance is inexpensive, especially in situations where you may need to call a mechanic. Typical breakdowns covered in this plan include fuel delivery, towing, jumpstarting the battery, flat tire services, and winching. Having these services can help you get out of tricky situations that can also prove to be dangerous.
Keep Your Brakes in Good Condition
The car breaks are responsible for your safety on the road. For the vehicle to stop, the brake pads have to press against the metallic discs. These ceramic pads are bound to wear out with continued use, necessitating an auto brake repair or replacement. Ensuring the brakes are in the best condition is an important safety factor to help avoid accidents.
There are several braking systems that you can choose to invest in for enhanced efficiency. Recent statistics show that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road accidents. The use of mobile phones and other personal devices among teen drivers is the greatest known contributor to this distraction.
One of the car tips for teens who are more likely to be involved in this practice is implementing an Automatic Emergency Braking system. This system is helpful in accident avoidance before they occur, which helps reduce repair costs while saving lives and reducing injuries. If you are not able to get this system for your vehicle, prioritize keeping the brakes of your car in the best condition.
Choose the Right Insurance Policy
You may be the most careful and safest driver on the roads at a given time, but this does not mean you are immune to accidents. While you may do your due diligence to observe all the traffic laws, a malfunction in your car, a drunk driver, an emergency stop, and other scenarios may occur. It is always important to be protected in case of such occurrences. It would be best if you considered getting auto insurance from a trustworthy, transparent, and honest company in its dealings.
There are several insurance policies that you can choose for a cover. You can decide to take auto liability coverage, collision coverage, personal injury protection, comprehensive coverage, or medical payments coverage. While some insurance coverage is mandatory in other states, it is crucial to pick an option that gives you the coverage needed. One of the best insurance car tips for teens is to select comprehensive auto insurance, which is the most preferred among these options since it allows you to customize and choose add-ons that help increase the extent of coverage you get.
Learn to Complete Simple Repairs Yourself
Having a qualified and experienced mechanic is among the best car tips for teens who are just beginning out. Still, it is always important to be prepared with the necessary skills to conduct simple repair routines. Your car may develop a mechanical problem far away from your mechanic, forcing you to look for an alternative solution to your problem. Remember that you will also have to pay for every repair and maintenance routine that your car receives. Having basic repair and maintenance skills up your sleeves will surely save you some money.
Basic maintenance routines such as checking oil levels in your vehicle and adding or changing it will help your vehicle run more efficiently and smoothly. Learn how to change the car battery even though they have long lifespans; you never know when you may need a change or require a cosmetic bumper repair. Jump-starting the battery is another tip among the car tips for teens regarding maintenance as it helps you when the vehicle stalls due to issues with dead batteries. It would be best to consider gaining skills in replacing the wipers, cleaning air filters and replacing them, changing the brake pads, maintaining the pressure on your tire, and replacing it when it is flat.
Don’t Ignore Windshield Cracks
It is not recommended that you drive around in a car with a cracked windshield since its primary duty is to protect you from road debris, harsh weather, and rocks. While most individuals ignore cracks on their windshields, the weather can cause these cracks to expand or even shutter the windshield. Another danger that you may be courting when driving with a cracked windshield is the failed deployment of the airbags in case of an impact. The crack causes the airbag to deploy upwards and not outwards, decreasing its effectiveness
As soon as you see a crack on your windshield, you should seek windshield repairs from your local garage. You should consider the cracks’ size and position, especially if it is in your line of vision, as it carries potential danger due to decreased visibility. A whole windshield is also an additional layer of protection if your car rolls over since it increases the structural support of your car.
Invest in an Emergency Kit
Having an emergency kit is critical among the car tips for teens as this could mean the difference between getting stranded for hours and resolving the problem in a few minutes. At times, the weather may get unpredictable, and the best way to have assurance is to get your emergency kit with you. The car’s trunk and the glove compartment provide adequate space for you to store the emergency kit.
You can use a lockbox or tool kit to get the different items that you need organized. Consider storing the smaller equipment and tools in the glove compartment since it may be easy to get them mixed up with other larger items in the trunk.
Some of the things you may need for your emergency kit include flashlights and spare batteries, jumper cables, a wheel wrench, a compass, a fully equipped first aid kit with bandages, scissors, tape, and antibiotics ointment. Consider carrying a car charger if your phone needs recharging, a fire extinguisher, reflective jacket or vest, clothes for cold weather, a rain poncho or umbrella, among other items. While it may take some time before you can have a fully equipped emergency kit, start by collecting items that are readily available in the house before making any new purchases.
Always Refer to Your Owner’s Manual
The owner’s manual is one of the most neglected documents by car owners. This document is crucial since it carries all the information you need to conduct the car’s routine maintenance. Take some time and carefully read through the manual with a keen consideration of the car alerts and signals that may need prompt attention.
Apart from carrying maintenance information, the owner’s manual also carries details on the car’s extra features, which you would not be aware of. With the entry of technology and smarter cars, several customizable features are now available such as steering wheel and seat adjustment options. The manual also contains basic initial operating commands, warranty details, warning lights and signals, and necessary security features.
The highlighted tips are some of the most important car tips for teens if you consider purchasing their first car. In order to make the process of learning much better, involve the teen from the initial stages of sourcing the car. Consider following these tips to ensure that your teen is catered for both in terms of security and convenience they get their first car.