Passing your test and achieving your driving license is only the beginning of your life long journey as a vehicle owner. Throughout your life, you will probably go through many cars, vans or motorcycles, depending on where your path takes you. Some might be used for business while most will be obtained for pleasure, but no matter what, there are always appropriate steps to car ownership that should be taken as you embark on your petrol fumed adventure (until you get the inevitable EV).

As a newly licensed driver, you will be eager to get out on the road and enjoy a new ride. But as a responsible and law-abiding citizen you should consider some of the following points, while others are required by law:

  • Buy a used car
  • Tax, insure and register
  • Drive for practice

Don’t Rush into a New Car Straight Away

Even if you can afford it straight away, buying an expensive new vehicle might not be the best course of action. According to recent data, almost 22% of new drivers in the UK are involved in a road traffic incident in their first year of driving. While some of these are caused by things such as intoxication, a large portion are caused by simple inexperience.

Because of this, it may not be the wisest decision to spend your hard-earned cash on a flashy new motor only to have it ruined by a poorly judged turn or your first night drive. Trusted used car establishments such as LMC provide great vehicles at reasonable prices, so your heart and your bank won’t be too broken should the worst happen.

Do the Paperwork and Get Protected

Following the purchase of your pride and joy there are some necessary steps still to complete in the form of tax, insurance and registration. Tax and insurance are required by law as they provide cover should you become one of the 22% who crashes in the first year. And while registration might not be required because the dealer will do this for you, they won’t always carry it out.

Purchasing the old tax disc is obsolete in the UK, but you can easily do it online. The car might already be taxed when you buy it, but check this first as you can get into a lot of trouble if it is not. Insurance is absolutely necessary and can also be done online and comparison sites such as Compare the Market can shop around for you. But as a first-time buyer, it’s possible you will pay a premium. Registration proves ownership of the vehicle so this must be checked and done ASAP with the DVLA.

Practice and Get Confident

Once all the correct procedures and certificates have been carried out, it’s time to get on the road. The best thing you can do with your car, as with anything, is practice. Try to ease yourself into the act of driving well and remember everything you were taught by your instructor. The more you drive, the more confident you will become – and this will help you when it comes to road and vehicle safety.

The best advice is to not be overconfident – and don’t attempt moves that you don’t yet feel comfortable with. And remember, if you haven’t got the correct cover then the police ANPR cameras will know it, and then you will be in trouble before you’ve even started.

NOTE: Since the UK left the European Union following Brexit in the new year, your driving license, tax and insurance might not be valid as an EU member, so check the government advice on this matter. There are some confusing issues around licensing, and individual countries have different rules.

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