The Ultimate Vehicle Ownership Guide


Owning a vehicle is a big responsibility. You might have known ever since you were young that you wanted to cruise down the streets on a motorcycle with somebody clutching their hands around your waist, head down open stretches of never ending road in a mammoth truck, or simply own your car for the very purpose of having your own independence. Whether you’re looking to own a vehicle for the purposes of recreation or practicality, there are still many different pieces of advice you have to take on board before you do so.

You obviously know that you need specific licenses to drive specific vehicles but there’s more to owning a vehicle than knowing how to drive it. That isn’t going to be the focus of this article. The focus of this article is going to be the importance of looking after your vehicle so as to keep yourself and other drivers or pedestrians on the road safe. This guide is going to talk through some of the main types of vehicles out there along with the pieces of advice you should take on board before buying one and certainly before taking one out onto the road.

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Motorcycles.

Owning a motorcycle is the dream of anybody who is still young at heart. They’re the symbol of adventure and many classic models are an aesthetic or iconic symbol of a past era. There’s an endless list of reasons as to why owning a motorcycle is a very attractive thing, whether you’re looking for a brand new model or a vintage one. Of course, whilst motorcycles might seem quite basic and straightforward when compared to larger vehicles such as cars, vans, and trucks, the truth is that there’s a lot going on beneath the surface of a motorcycle than you might think.

Keeping your bike in a well-functioning condition requires regular and continuous love and attention. You need to change your engine or gear oil frequently because it not only keeps the gears lubricated and moving smoothly but also serves to keep the engine cool. With a small piece of machinery such as a motorcycle (small in comparison to other vehicles), you can surely imagine that its engine heats up very rapidly and certainly needs to be kept as cool as possible. In addition, the failure to change engine oil on a regular basis can lead to gradual damage to the engine that won’t be noticeable on the surface. You just need to keep on top of checking underneath the surface with your motorcycle so that you can spot problems before they become real problems on the road. The point is that maintenance is definitely something you shouldn’t take lightly. An accident on a bike can be one of the most dangerous types of accidents on the road…

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That takes us to the final point: safety. If you have a car accident, your seatbelt and even the car itself might protect you, assuming that the accident was relatively minor. However, even the most minor of accidents on a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous given the lack of protective cover. That’s why it’s crucial to give yourself as much protection as possible in the form of the clothing you wear. Wearing a helmet is obviously the most important thing, as your skull is the main thing you wouldn’t want to take a heavy blow, but protective arm-pads, a jacket, and even trousers are also things you should look into purchasing. Falling off a motorcycle at even a moderately “slow” speed can cause nasty wounds or broken bones. It’s better not to take the risk, whether you’re experienced on a bike or not.

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Trucks.

When it comes to buying any vehicle, you need to do your research. However, with the world of trucks, you’re focusing not just on which vehicle will be the most comfortable and economical but which model will handle the best off-road, which model is the most supportive when carrying heavy weights, and many other things depending on the specific reason you have for wanting to purchase such a piece of machinery. You might want to start by looking at some of the best new trucks on the market that we’ve reviewed and discussed in detail elsewhere on our site. There are certainly a lot of options, and the very definition of a “truck” has evolved from the days of a standard pickup or 4×4.

Picking out the right truck for you is probably the easy part, however. You might have already done that long ago. The difficult part of owning a truck is learning how to maintain and respect this vehicle. You’re dealing with a machine that’s much heavier and more demanding than most road-vehicles, whether you’ve opted for a small and large truck. You should definitely do your research when you’re looking into buying equipment to replace certain parts of your vehicle because trucks are very complex machines. Replacing or upgrading the parts of any vehicle is a big undertaking but, when it comes to a truck, you’re definitely working with a heavy-duty piece of machinery. You want to be sure that you’re getting not only a high-quality piece of kit when you make changes or replacements but that you’re getting the exact piece of kit you need with regards to the manufacturer and model of truck that you own.

Of course, the final piece of advice depends on the purpose for your buying a truck. If you’re just planning on using it for leisure or as the family car (simply because you like trucks) then the main safety advice to take on board is everything mentioned above. If you’re looking for a truck for work use, however, then there are definitely some more helpful tips you need to take on board. Firstly, you need to respect the safety department. Trucking can often be a dangerous line of work but it’s also one that’s prone to vigorous inspection, at times, regardless of the types of good you’ll be transporting. It’s important that you’re patient and understanding of authorities who may need to check your vehicle to see that you’re compliant with regulations and such; it’s about your continued safety as a truck driver just as much as it is about the safety of others.

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Cars.

Obviously, the vast majority of people who own roadworthy vehicles are going to own cars. The standard automobile is the safest, cheapest, and most readily available type of vehicle out there. Whether you agree with those descriptors or not, there’s no denying that they are, at the very least, the most diverse type of vehicle on the market. That’s certainly the main factor which draws in the vast majority of customers. Whilst motorcycles, trucks, campervans, and other types of vehicles all appeal to a very niche market, cars come in all manner of shapes and sizes and appeal to all manner of people with different interests or priorities when it comes to buying a vehicle. Nonetheless, whether you’re looking to buy a sporty car for pleasure or a family car for work and pleasure, there are certainly some generalized rules and pieces of advice you should consider before owning a car.

As with all other vehicles we’ve mentioned, the most important responsibility you take on when you own a car is ensuring its continued maintenance. You’re responsible not only for your safety and the safety of the passengers in your car but also the safety of all other drivers on the road, their passengers, and any pedestrians who may be crossing the road. Being an observant driver is obviously crucial to driving safely but having a well-maintained car that won’t let you down at an unexpected moment is also vitally important. You should certainly take your car in for frequent check-ups at your local mechanic shop as well as checking oil levels and other aspects of your engine regularly so as to ensure that everything is in working order. This becomes even more important when you own a classic car because they’re even more temperamental and prone to failure. With older cars, it’s all about finding the balance between not over-exerting your vintage vehicle and not leaving it to rust away in your garage. Take it out a couple of times a month just to keep all the parts of the engine functioning but make sure it’s well-sheltered from the elements when not in use.

All in all, whatever kind of vehicle you own, there are certainly some recurring factors that you need to take on board in order to be a safe and responsible owner and driver when on the road. It comes down to a matter of basic human safety as well as taking good care of the expensive piece of machinery that you own. Remember that keeping your vehicle well-maintained doesn’t mean that you need to become a qualified mechanic overnight. The important thing is simply to spot issues when they arise and then take your vehicle to a qualified professional to fix any problems before they become real problems.


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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review – an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.

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