There’s plenty of advice out there about what you should do before buying a car, or how to handle the car buying process itself. But there’s hardly any information available about what you should do after you’ve purchased a vehicle.

So after you sign the paperwork and drive your next car off the lot (hopefully a car that I’ve helped you find), you should make sure you do these seven things:

1. Paperwork

Once you’ve purchased your vehicle, make sure that you complete your registration, get your license plates, get insurance coverage, and complete any other paperwork required by law. The rules and requirements will vary state by state, and your automotive salesperson should help you complete most of it in the dealership, but double-check to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

2. Read the owner’s manual

The chances are that you won’t spend an entire day reading your new vehicle owner’s manual cover to cover. But you should absolutely read the important parts so that you understand how to properly care for your vehicle. The parts you shouldn’t skip over are the vehicle’s fuel recommendations and maintenance schedule, safety features, and electronic/software setup. The other stuff you can look up as needed.

3. If it’s used, do a maintenance check

If you’ve bought a used vehicle, you should do a general maintenance check after bringing it home. While most dealerships will make sure a vehicle is roadworthy when it’s sold, it never hurts to make sure the details have been taken care of. Check the vehicle’s brakes, fluids, air filters, and engine oil. If you’d like to take a deeper dive and don’t know where to start, bring the vehicle to a reputable mechanic to inspect before you start putting a lot of miles on it.

4. Take it for a spin

This is the fun part of buying a new vehicle. Go on a nice long ride to enjoy your new purchase. Take it on the highway and down your favorite roads if you have any. Start to get a feel for the vehicle, since you’ll probably be spending a lot of your time in it. If it’s nice out, roll the windows down and make sure to put on your favorite song.

5. Show it off to friends and family

If you’re active on social media, you should post a photo of your new vehicle. You work hard to pay for it, so there’s nothing wrong with showing a little pride in the fruits of your labor. And of course, you’ll want to show your friends and family your new ride, especially while it’s still sparkly and clean.

6. Drive it to your favorite place

Yes, you might have just spent a bit of money to get into a new ride, but you should make the most out of the experience. Drive your new car to your favorite restaurant, or to some other place you love going, whether it’s the mountains or somewhere in the city. What’s the point of spending thousands of dollars on something if you don’t make the most out of it. You should always enjoy the ride, literally.


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