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Getting Your First car and Starting to Drive in a Foreign Country

By: Awino Fredrick

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Getting Your First car and Starting to Drive in a Foreign Country

As the world quickly becomes a global village, so is the need to always have convenient means of mobility. Nothing makes traveling easier and enjoyable, especially when in a new country like having your own car. When you get your own car, it only takes your own decision to decide where to go, when and for how long. Although public transport may equally be accessible, they often work on fixed schedules which may even delay at times.

So, the need for your personal car when in a new county can never be overstated. Imagine cruising the long, straight, and well-tarmacked roads crisscrossing the beautiful landscape in Norway, Denmark, or whichever county you go. Isn’t that so lively? It is even possible to make stops at will, take pictures and get back to your car again. That is the convenience that having a car gives you in a new country.

What it takes to get a first car in a new county

Although the process of changing ownership of cars or buying one is pretty much the same, there are always a few differences in what one needs to do, more so when buying a used car. You find that most used cars have a history of damage or anything of such kind that may haunt you in case it is not properly checked before buying.

Aside from the common checks such as car mileage, mechanical damage, controls, fuel consumption, efficiency, it would be necessary to also check the information about the car usage. The need to assess the car history is even important where you inherit the registration number of the car. Remember, some of the car sellers, especially if it is a private person, will not accept to return your money in case the car develops issues a few days later. As a matter of fact, people who sell their old cars do not give any form of warranty whatsoever because they are often cheap.

To get a car under your name in a new county, you obviously need to be a legal resident. It means that your name should be found in the civil register. A civil registration number will be enough to trace you in the system. Thereafter, the car will be registered under your property ownership. With this registration, anything about the car will be tracked to you irrespective of who was diving it as at the time an incident occurred, if any.

Buying car from private person or dealer

I presume that your decision to buy a car is not just out of pleasure. As anyone understands, a car can be a liability, damn expensive liability if it bought without a need for it. So, I can imagine you have sacrificed a lot of things that you could have otherwise spent your money on. Probably, you have skipped an important vacation just to save up some dollars enough to buy a good car. It would be improper and careless to not be choosy about whom to buy the car from.

From general experience, buying a car from private people who maybe have more than one car or just want to dispose of their used cars is cheaper. Someone will typically sell their used cars at a throw-away price. But, you have to be smart because it may turn out that the car has serious mechanical issues that will be costly to fix. So if you have to buy a car from a private person, it would be proper to take it for on-demand inspection or walk with a professional mechanic to check everything for you beforehand.

Just like already mentioned, people who sell their used cars will not give you any guarantees or warranty whatsoever. It means as soon as you make the payment and drive out of his compound or wherever it is, he or she will have forgotten about the car.

Buying a car from a dealer, whether it is a new or used car is the best decision but this comes at a cost. Cars sold by dealers are obviously more expensive because such cars have been properly checked and up to date. It means that such cars are in a buy and drive condition and will even be roadworthy to serve you longer.

Car dealers will give you a warranty even on used cars so that within the period of such warranty, any mechanical problem with the car can be fixed for you at the dealers’ own cost. You simply have to inform them of the mechanical issue with the car and they will organize ways of getting it fixed. Isn’t this amazing?

Getting Insurance For Your Car

After buying your car, sometimes it is possible to be overjoyed and jump into it to start driving. It is a big mistake that nobody should make, even if you consider yourself a proficient driver. Experienced drivers or anyone who has had a car for long enough will tell you that the security of any car is in its insurance. The cost of damage to or caused by your car when it is not insured can literally bring your financials crumbling.

Be a diligent car owner by checking out available car insurance companies, compare their insurance packages and buy whichever suits your case and budget. It is better to buy insurance for car damage, damage caused to a third party, and even a cash payout in case your car is written off due to an accident. The cost will always vary depending on which other services you need. If you have multiple insurances with the same company, they will give a waiver for you.

Putting Your Foreign Driving Documents in Order before beginning to drive

Buying and having a car registered under your name is just one step in the journey towards driving yourself as a foreigner in any county. It is ridiculous but the rules often require that your foreign driving documents be authenticated and registered for you to continue driving.

I can imagine how it gets annoying that you have mastered all the traffic rules and can steer a car without causing an accident but still have to submit the foreign documents to the authorities before getting an okay drive. More serious is the fact that if you do not get properly registered into the system and getting permission to drive, a fine will be imposed on you. The penalty for driving without a proper change of driving license to the host country may be even heftier if you get involved in an accident that costs a life.

The process of changing a foreign driver’s license to a host country’s one may be short or long depending on how your home country driving training compares to that of the host country. In most cases, countries classify countries based on their perceived level of rigor in training drivers. If you have an international driving license or your country is listed among the best, the process will be quicker.

Your car is now ready, Get out and cruise

Now, you have finally bought your first car in a new county, it is properly insured and your foreign driving documents have been accepted; it is now time to go out and drive. But, you have not gotten used to the road connections around, traffic rules, or any other things that may be unique to this new country. Your first driving is primarily to experience the road networks, traffic situations, and other things. Observe speed, check out for parking rules and be safe behind the wheels.