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Owning your own Car
As soon as you pass your practical test, you’ll probably want to buy your own car. Owning a car brings another ton of responsibilities. Driving safely is one thing, but the car has to be safe to be on the road, too, and you have to keep it that way to drive on the roads.
When you own a car, you need various documents that you have to keep up to date. If the police stop you, you need to be able to produce these documents. If you can’t, you have to take the following documents to your nearest police station within seven days:
- Insurance policy: You must have insurance. Car insurance is a legal requirement. See the section ‘Thinking about insurance,’ later in this chapter, for an explanation of the different types of policy.
- Drivers Registration document: A car has to be registered in the name of the keeper. The keeper is the person who keeps it, and that’s usually the person who owns it. When you sell your car, you have to hand the registration document to the new owner and let the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) know that it’s been sold. The DVLA has to know who to contact, if necessary – for example, in case of a speeding offence. The DVLA’s address is DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BU. You can find more information on the DVLA Web site or call 0870-240-0010.
- Tax disc: You must pay road tax or the road fund licence, and the tax disc is a paper disc that must be displayed on your windscreen – the passenger side – to show that you’ve paid. If you don’t pay your road tax, it’s an offence. You can pay at larger post offices. For more information, visit the DVLA Web site at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-licensing-agency.
- MOT certificate: If your car is three-years-old or more, you have to have it checked annually by an approved garage or MOT testing centre. If the car passes a thorough test on various aspects of safety, such as tyres, lights, and seat belts, you receive a certificate to say that on the day the certificate was issued, your car passed its test. You may need to have repairs done before you get the certificate. The tests are the responsibility of the Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA), and you can find out more from its Web site at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/vehicle-and-operator-services-agency or by calling 0870-606-0440.