Navratri brings with it the auspicious season to buy new cars in India. Many of you wait from the moment your dream car is launched until this festive season to bring it home. To ensure that the joy of owning and driving your new car continues beyond these nine days of celebration, here are the five steps you need to follow before you take delivery of your new car:
Matching numbers: Ensure your new car's chassis number and engine number match those mentioned on all the ownership papers and purchase receipt. This will give you the assurance that your car is indeed the car you identified from the dealer yard. It helps to have valid papers if something does go wrong, while your car is still under warranty.
Number plates: Make sure your car's registration number plates are fastened properly. It might not seem like a big deal, but you would be surprised to know how often the number plate is the first thing to fall off a new car. This is the only part that dealership staff affix to the otherwise ready car during delivery. Given the rush to deliver during the festive season, it is always a good idea to check this before you set off.
Insurance: Check if your car's insurance is valid and that you have all the requisite paperwork. Many new car buyers are also new drivers and minor accidents in the traffic of most cities is more likely when you are still getting used to the size and dynamics of a new vehicle. So confirm your insurer is ready to cover the costs before you set off.
Lamps: Check all the lamps on your new car are working. You will, in all likelihood, take delivery, leave the dealership before sunset and will only switch on the car's lamps while you are driving it around town with a proud grin. If you don't check the headlamps before you leave the dealership and one of the headlamps is not working, you will see people making that strange hand gesture - you know the one - at you while they drive in the opposite direction. More importantly, it will hamper your visibility which may result in untoward incidents.
Fuel: Ensure you have your dealer fuel up the car. The excitement of taking your new car for its first drive with your partner, family, friends, may make you forget that the car needs more than just excitement to run. New cars are delivered with a couple of litres of fuel at most places, barely enough to reach the closest fuel station. If you forget to fuel up before you head out for a drive, you will end up pushing your car to the fuel station if not the workshop after running out.
BONUS: While traditions and religious rites are part of our culture, try to crack open that auspicious coconut a few feet away from the car. If the coconut decides to slip out of your hand, your new car's bumper or headlamp or hood will thank you for keeping it away.
Making sure you follow these steps will not only increase the longevity of your car ownership but also the quality of your experience with it. Always make sure you buckle up. Happy driving!