The excitement you experience the first time you get your own car, whether brand new or used, is one of the most incredible feelings in your life. However, there is so much more to it than getting your new wheels. It also means new liabilities and responsibilities, such as making sure that you know the proper care for it and how to fulfill your obligations as a new car owner. With tremendous amount of information available online, it can be intimidating and overwhelming to identify and absorb the essential information. To help, MICI rounds up the top things you need to know to become a smart, well-informed driver on the road.
1. Keep a copy of your vehicle documents in your glove compartment
Although there are no laws that require you to keep certain items in your car, MICI recommends storing a copy of your vehicle documents in the glove box. In case you get pulled over by a traffic cop, get into an accident, or want to be able to trade in your automobile, at least it will be easy for you to produce the necessary documents immediately. These include your owner’s manual, official receipt of registration (OR/CR), car maintenance receipts, and insurance proof.
2. Know when to renew your vehicle registration
Car registration is often considered a complicated procedure for first-time car owners. After the 3-year validity of a vehicle’s original or initial registration, you will now have to renew at LTO yearly. But worry not, there is an easy way to remember when your car registration is. You only have to look at the last two digits of your plate number. The ending number on your plate tells you your month of vehicle registration. In detail, number 1 stands for January, 2 for February, 3 for March, and so forth.
On the other hand, the week is determined by the second to the last digit of your plate. To know your specific renewal deadline, refer to the tables below.
Table 1. Renewal of Vehicle Registration (Monthly Schedule)
|Last Digit of Plate Number||Month|
Table 2. Renewal of Vehicle Registration (Weekly Schedule)
|2nd to the Last Digit of Plate Number||Week|
|1, 2, 3||1st Week|
|4, 5, 6||2nd Week|
|7, 8||3rd Week|
|9, 0||4th Week|
For example, your car’s plate number is ABC 0683. The number 3 stands for March, and the number 8 stands for the 3rd week. Therefore, your registration schedule is for the 3rd week of March. However, please note that registering your car one month in advance is allowed without extra charges.
3. Keep your vehicle well-maintained
Following your vehicle’s regular maintenance schedule does not cost much compared to repairs and replacements due to neglected upkeep. But reduced repair costs are not the only reason to take regular car maintenance seriously. It also increases your safety and keeps your car performing at its best. Moreover, it extends the life of your vehicle. Usually, auto manufacturers require certain things to be inspected, changed, or replaced at 30,000 miles, 60,000 miles, and 90,000 miles. You may refer to your owner’s manual for it, or if you cannot find a hard copy, an electronic version is typically available online.
4. Make sure your tires are properly inflated
Not many drivers realize the importance of properly inflated tires, let alone worry about too low or too high tire pressure–but you should. Inadequate tire inflation results in more rubber touching the ground, and when that happens, the tires heat up, putting you in danger of a blowout. Conversely, overinflated tires will make the center tread wear out faster than the side, therefore shortening the life of your car’s tires. It will also affect the ride quality, making it bumpier.
That’s why having your tires inflated to the correct pressure will not only last longer but will also positively affect your vehicle’s performance, making it safer to travel at high speeds and on long-distance trips. If you are worried about the fees associated with regularly checking your tire pressure, well, don’t be! Most gas stations, nowadays, offer this service for free.
5. Invest in the right insurance policy for your car
As a new car owner, you need to have Third Party Liability (TPL) insurance every time you renew your car’s registration and a Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance. These two differ from each other regarding their purpose and coverage. While a TPL policy only covers you against third-party damages, a Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance will cover you for your own damages as well. Before shopping for these and choosing an insurance provider, you must consider first how much coverage you need and how much coverage you can afford.
Fortunately, here at MICI, we offer an LTO-accredited TPL Policy that you can easily avail online for as low as ₱560 with one (1) year validity. With MICI’s Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance, on the other hand, you can opt for the right amount of solutions that best fit your needs at a competitive price.