Drive Like an Adult

The admin and maintenance of owning a car

There’s a significant amount of admin and maintenance that comes with driving a car. Here’s how to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

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Insurance isn’t optional – even if it is an added expense. If you’re worried about costs, Standard Insurance Limited suggests you go for third-party insurance, which covers you for the damage you may cause to another person’s car. You can also up your security (keeping your car in a locked garage or fitting it with a tracker device) to make sure you pay less for your cover. Go online to make use of aggregators that will help you find the lowest insurance quote. Another option is to go for a product that will help you look after the car’s appearance – a great help when it’s time to sell because it will have retained its value. For example, Auto Car Care from The Unlimited costs R120 per month, and in return your chips and scratches will be tended to. 

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• Buying or selling? Whether it’s new or pre-owned, your car has to be registered in your name before you start to drive it. This can be done at the appropriate registering authority; you’ll need to take along your ID and, if the car is new, a manufacturer’s certificate. If you bought your car second-hand, you’ll need to complete a ‘Notification of Change of Ownership’ form. You must also bring along the vehicle registration certificate in the seller’s name, as well as a roadworthy certificate, proof of purchase and a valid motor-vehicle licence. Don’t forget to complete the ‘Application for Registration and Licensing of Motor Vehicle’ form. (Before the car is registered in your name, it needs to be certified as roadworthy. You can have this done at a vehicle testing station. Remember your ID, the vehicle’s registration certificate and the fee.)

Related: 5 Things to Do When Selling Your Car Online

• Written off or stolen? You’ll need to get your car deregistered. Go to the nearest registering authority with certified copies of your ID and proof of ownership, and the registration certificate. You’ll have to complete an ‘Application for Deregistration of Vehicle’ form.

Keep an eye on the expiry date of the vehicle licence. If you’re late in renewing it, you’ll not only pay the renewal fee but also chip in for a fine. Luckily, it’s easily done at your nearest post office – or download the necessary forms at Licenserenewal.co.za.

• Take care of it daily. It’s much cheaper to maintain your car properly than to have it fixed. Make sure that you perform all the necessary checks every time you fill up: vehicle fluids (including oil) and tyre pressure should get a thorough once-over.
• Service it regularly. Even if your car hasn’t reached the recommended service interval, it’s a good idea to have it serviced every 12 months to keep it running smoothly.
Regular checks Replace tyres, globes and windscreen wipers when they start to show signs of wear and tear.

Related: What to Do When Your Car Breaks Down

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