You’ve passed your test and now it’s time to start being a motorist. You were fine with the test, confident even. You didn’t mind the written part either, all over that with your preparation. BUT are you actually prepared to be a car owner? Do you know what it takes to own and maintain a car? Did they teach you about fuel economy, services, tyres and insurance while you were learning to drive?
Fear not, intrepid explorer, for we have you covered. Before you hop into your shiny new chariot and discover the world here are some things that will help you to keep you and your car safe and happy on the roads.
Following the tips below should keep your car running smoothly, keep your budget healthy AND help with fuel efficiency. And let’s face it, anything that helps keep down the running costs of a car have got to be good! So….
🚗 Keep your tyres roadworthy – read our blog on This very subject to help you out
🚗 Keep on top of your Five Essential Fluids too
🚗 Keep it clean inside and out; washing it not only makes it look shiny and lovely but also gets rid of road grime, salts, bird poop – all things that can corrode your car over time. Top Tidy Tip – get a boot tidy and keep a carrier to hand for rubbish. BE A RESPONSIBLE MOTORIST AND TAKE YOUR LITTER HOME WITH YOU ❤
🚗 Getting a regular service means a professional is looking at all the bits you can’t see and can save you time and money in the long run. You don’t have to take it to the manufacturer but do find a reputable garage and become a regular there – it helps if they can get to know your car. Regular serving also helps with any warranty issues and will be a plus when it comes to selling.
Buying your first car privately?
Don’t get caught out – know how to handle a Private Test Drive
🚗 Read your service manual. It will tell you things like the life of your cam belt (and what a cam belt is!) – usually 70,000 to 80,000 but it’s good to know which end yours is at; if it goes while you’re driving it will do a lot more expensive damage to your engine. It will also help you learn about the scary lights on your dash – not the ones that always come on but the ones you don’t really want to see come on! Knowing what these lights mean can save you a lot of heartache (and money ache!).
🚗 Don’t load up your boot. If you don’t need to lug stuff about, take it out. The heavier your car, the more fuel it will use.
🚗 Check for chips! Your windscreen takes a beating from stuff on the road so keep an eye out for little chips and cracks. If they don’t expand you can usually get them taken care of, but leave it and you’ll have the whole screen to replace (which may or may not be covered by your insurance…so check).
Here are some other things you should know:
🚗 A garage will quote for work – this is not the final the cost as they don’t know what they’ll find when they start work (which is why it’s key to find a reputable garage), AND they rarely include VAT so you will need to add that to get the final cost.
🚗 A ‘brand’ is not always your best bet. A small, independently owned business is more likely to do a better job for as they won’t risk the negative reviews in this technological world.
🚗 Servicing is not necessarily an annual thing – it’s often linked to the number of miles you do too (especially for things like filters).
So there you have it. Now check your tyres and your fluids, grab your keys and go forth to explore!
Oak Road have everything you need to keep on top of your motor. Get down to any branch for stuff to keep it clean, stuff to keep your tyres happy, stuff to top up your fluids and stuff to make it smell nice! 🚗