If you have just passed your driving test and can’t wait to get out on the open road, there’s a lot to take onboard. Driving can be fun but as a vehicle owner, there’s a lot of responsibility; maintaining your car and making sure you are always legal. Here are a few tips to ensure that your driving experience is always positive.
- Buying your first car – Of course, this is an exciting time and it can be a costly exercise; if you are planning to buy a new car on finance, take your time and look around – car sales are down right now and there are some great deals. Make sure that you can afford to own a vehicle, in terms of fuel and maintenance and a new car demands car insurance type 1, which is available from a leading Thai insurer. If you prefer to buy a second-hand vehicle, make sure you buy from a dealership, as they offer a warranty on all cars sold. While you might find a great deal from a private seller, there are no guarantees; the vehicle is sold as seen and if something major goes wrong, you are on your own.
- Servicing & repairs – Your car needs regular servicing, which is set at specific mileage intervals; if you buy a new car, the dealership will give you a few services free, otherwise you have to pay. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can miss one or two services; be religious in your approach to car maintenance and every service should be stamped into your owner’s manual by the garage.
- Used components – If your car is no longer under warranty and you need a new radiator or water pump, why not opt for used parts? When vehicle is written off due to an accident, the scrap yard workers strip all components, recondition and offer them for sale; most scrap yards do offer a limited warranty and you can save up to 60% when you buy used car parts. Here is a guide to removing small dents using rubber suckers, which can save you a lot of money.
- Understand the road rules & regulations – Safety is obviously paramount and while passing your test shows competence, there’s nothing that can beat hands-on experience and always stay within speed limits, which are set for a reason. Never assume anything when driving in Thailand, or anywhere else for that matter, as this is often the cause of an accident. Click here for government information on applying for a Thai driving licence, which you obviously will need.
- Install a dash cam – If you are involved in an accident and you have a dash cam, the footage can be used to settle any arguments over who is to blame for the collision. The latest version of dash cam has a hi-res camera and the footage is clear, even at night. Ordering online gets you the best deal and fitting a dash cam is easy.
As you get older and gain more hands-on experience, your driving skills will be honed and you can enjoy getting around in your own car.