Owning a vehicle is part of the American way. Especially for those living in the suburbs and rural areas in Texas, a car gets you where you need to go on your schedule.
And for many folks, driving starts promptly at 15 with your learner’s permit as a right of passage.
But many drivers forget about the responsibilities of car ownership. From having your financials in order and taking driving seriously, owning and driving a vehicle isn’t something to be taken lightly.
Financial Responsibilities of Car Ownership
Purchasing a car (new or used) takes money. And the financials don’t stop there.
Yearly, you’ll need to register your vehicle. Texas requires your state registration fee, local registration fee, and inspection costs. For a typical passenger car or truck, expect to spend around $80 per year.
You will also need to keep your car insurance current. The cost of insurance varies depending on your age, vehicle, and driving history, The average cost of car insurance in Texas is around $150 per month.
A car emergency fund is something every responsible car owner should contribute to monthly or yearly. It helps cover your maintenance appointments and any needed repairs to keep you safely on the road.
The bottom line? Car ownership isn’t cheap. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of the bills, fees, and costs before making your purchase.
Safe Driving Responsibilities
When you sit behind the wheel, you have a responsibility not only to yourself, but also to the drivers around you to take the responsibility seriously.
That includes staying alert, driving safely, and keeping your vehicle in working order.
Here is a list of things, in our opinion, all drivers should follow:
- Driving Sober. NEVER get behind the wheel if you are over the legal limit or taking substances that aren’t conducive to driving (either illegal substances or medications that cause impaired vision or drowsiness).
- Drive Distraction-Free. When driving, the road is your number one priority. That means no looking at your phone or texting, no trying to dig around for your phone charger, no intense conversations that pull your attention away, no making snacks — nothing that will become your priority instead of the road.
- Keeping Your Car in Working Order. That includes tires, blinkers, lights, windshield wipers, brakes, etc. It isn’t as safe if your car isn’t in top working order.
- Follow the Laws. Follow all of the posted speed limits, u-turn restrictions, passing lanes, and other road laws. They are, in fact, there for a reason.
Vehicle Maintenance Responsibilities
The responsibilities of car ownership include doing everything you can to take care of your vehicle. This goes beyond your scheduled maintenance visits to your local auto shop.
Vehicle maintenance starts at home. It’s making sure your car stays clean so that you reduce the wear on parts exposed to the road’s contaminants. And that you aren’t over-stressing your vehicle with an over loaded vehicle.
It means educating yourself on your vehicle’s various parts and components so you know how they work and when something may be wrong. Knowing the warning signs of arising issues saves you from small things becoming large (and expensive) repairs. One way to you can educate yourself is, by reading our auto care blog!
Owning a Car Takes Some Effort
Owning and driving a vehicle isn’t a walk in the park. There are several responsibilities vehicle owners need to prepare for and be ready to handle.
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