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Purchasing a new car provides a wonderful feeling to a driver. You’ve likely been saving up for that perfect automobile for a long time (and be a renter or leaser for much longer). The opportunity to finally get behind the wheel of your own car and drive off is a picture-perfect moment. But there are a few things that you have to consider before finally pulling the trigger on your purchase.

These tips will help you make the most of any car buying opportunity so that your next few months or years of ownership feel just as good as the time spent researching the exact model you were looking for.

1. Read up on car ownership before buying your first vehicle.

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A car has a lot of needs. Any car will require routine cleaning and servicing, as well as up-to-date insurance coverage, deductible considerations, oil changes, and tire checks and repairs. There are a lot of moving parts in a vehicle (literally!). Reading a few user’s guides, like Automotives and Insurance – A Savvy Buyers Guide, is a must for any new car owners who are making their first purchase.

Owning your own car can be a life-changing watershed moment. However, without the proper knowledge to responsibly maintain your new car, this can easily become a nightmare scenario. Take the time to read up on car ownership in order to maintain your credit score, driving record, and peace of mind.

2. Make sure your auto insurer provides the level of coverage and deductibles you need.

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Car insurance is a must for all drivers. Getting a car insurance quote from a few different providers (for collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and any other options or exclusions you might be contemplating) is a great way to price out the best rate and car insurance coverage combination that works with your needs and budget. Bagging a discount on your car insurance doesn’t have to be a unicorn event. When you buy a new car, great collision coverage and an insurance policy that you can trust in should be a top priority to safeguard your new purchase, as well as protecting you in case of bodily injury in the event of an accident.

3. Check the vehicle’s history.

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No car buying experience can be completed without a thorough check of the car’s history. This means perusing the Carfax report and evaluating it against the Kelley Blue Book standard. Within the history, you will easily be able to find reports of any car accidents or damage to the vehicle that the previous owner might not want to disclose. Most sellers—and particularly those at dealerships—are honest representatives of the vehicle, but there are some people out there who will try to hide these facets of the vehicle’s condition in order to make a quick sale or boost the price unfairly.

A vehicle history check is something that’s a must for anyone buying a used car. Limit your exposure to any fraud or liabilities with this simple background check.

4. Enjoy your new ride!

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A car is the most personal and stress-reducing way to travel around for school or work. Rather than having to wait for the bus, subway, or a taxi or Uber to pick you up, you can travel at your own leisure. Enjoying this change in your life is something that you should focus on. Buying your new car can be a great experience if you let it, but the freedom that comes afterward is truly liberating. Make sure you take the time to revel in the enjoyment of owning your own vehicle. It doesn’t just have to serve your transportation needs. Use your car to go to the beach or just go for a joyride to get to know the ins and outs of your new wheels.

With these tips in mind, owning a car and keeping it insured against property damage and collision coverage is a great step in life. Make the smart call when buying your first car.

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