What to know about car ownership

On the Road 2 min read

Proper vehicle ownership means more than having the right car insurance policy. Learn about vehicle recall notices and crash test videos, plus get tips for owning a car that can help protect your investment from theft and harsh weather.

Tips for owning a car

The responsibility of car ownership starts before you even make a purchase and continues as long as you own your vehicle. Fortunately, there are car ownership resources that can help you choose the right vehicle and keep it in good working order for the vehicle’s whole life.

Vehicle recall search

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a searchable database to see if recalls exist for your vehicle. Enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a vehicle to start your search. This resource is great for both shopping and vehicle maintenance. Anyone buying a car from a private party can use the database to see if there are known recalls about the vehicle they’re considering. Owners can monitor their vehicle periodically to address any issues that come to light.

Crash test ratings and videos

One of the most important things new car owners should know is how to find a safe vehicle. If you’re buying a new or used car, check with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS website lets you see crash test ratings and videos for many current and vintage vehicles — some models show ratings from as far back as the early 1990s.

Car maintenance

Vehicle ownership is a lot of work, but proper maintenance can help your car perform well, look its best, and last as long as possible. Follow a few car maintenance tips to keep your vehicle in good shape.

Car theft

Car theft is a broad category. Common forms of car theft include catalytic converter theft, stolen personal belongings from your car, and having your car stolen. Learn more about tips for car theft prevention and what to do if your car is stolen.

Other considerations for vehicle ownership

There are plenty of things that all car owners should know, but the number one car tip for every vehicle owner is to stay informed, no matter where you are in the car ownership process. For example, if you’re still shopping, having more information can help narrow your choices. Once you’ve chosen a vehicle, knowing how to perform a title transfer is crucial to closing the sale. If you already own a car, knowing how to maintain and protect it can help you have the best possible car ownership experience.

Was this article helpful?

2 min
3 min
3 min
2 min
4 min