When it comes to driving, there’s a lot to remember. It’s all massively important stuff too. You need to know your rules, have your smarts about you, know your car, but even on top of all that, you need to know your car documents too. More specifically, you need to know the most important car documents, why you need them, and what does what. Even if it seems obvious, you need to have it.
Now, like anything, you’ll have way more documents than you can even remember for most of the time, and on top of that, you’ll have even more if you don’t own the car yourself. If you’ve bought your car on finance, this is even more of a big deal. You might not need to have these things on your person 24/7, but it’s always smart to know where they are (and keeping some of them in your car isn’t a bad call either).
Let’s look at the list.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first of all. It’s the easiest place to start and the single most important part of driving a car. You need to be able to legally do it. That means you need to have your driving licence. Keep it in your wallet, in your bag, anywhere really. It’s proof of ID and proof you can drive. If you don’t have it and the worst does happen, don’t panic, but you do have a few days to produce it at a police station.
Even though you know how important it is, you also need to know that it has to be kept updated just as much as it does safe. The biggest part of that one is making sure that it’s in date. They do expire, so keep an eye out for that. It’s unlikely, but it can happen. On top of that, keep things fresh too. It’s always wise to update your picture every once in a while, as well as keeping your address valid too. If you move, change it on there. It’s easy.
Next up is an MOT this one has actually changed quite dramatically in recent years alongside your tax. We used to have discs for that too after all. Both of them are now readily available online, but either way, you need to have them updated at all costs. Your car is not legal to drive if it doesn’t have an in-date MOT.
Another awesome reason to keep this one safe too though is to make sure that you know what’s going on with your car. No one knows more about your car than the people who fix it after all (aside from the people that inspect it like us). Keep an eye out for any issues you have or have had, as well as the advisories too. Just because you passed doesn’t mean your car is all good. Keep an eye out for common car problems.
This one is still just as important as ever, and it’s a great call to keep it somewhere safe for that fateful day when you need to get rid of your car. The logbook is mega important car documents that consist of who owns a vehicle, and even who has done previously if needed. (That can be pretty vital info).
When you decide to get rid of your vehicle, you’ll need to change the owner on the logbook so that the car’s now registered in their name. This is essentially a record of who is actually the registered owner of the vehicle, and that carries a huge amount of weight. Make sure your car is legit and your car documents can prove it.
If you lose this one, it costs £25 to get a replacement, so keep that in mind too.
Bonus: service history
While we’re on the subject of how important the logbook is and the history of your vehicle, now is also a great time to throw this bonus into the mix. Your cars service history is a great thing to have too. While it’s not as vital as a lot of the other huge players on this list, it’s still a great thing to have. It’s a massive signifier of how your car has been looked after previously, and when it comes time for you to get rid too, it’ll really boost your value if it’s up to date.
As far as actual car documents go that you have really no excuse to be losing, one of the most important things you could ever have for your vehicle is the manual. Cars are seriously complicated, and there’s a lot of room for things to go wrong. When this is involved, that’s a lot less likely to happen. Even when it does, it helps you be able to fix it quickly too.
On top of letting you make some important fixes yourself as easily as possible, i.e. changing a bulb or even retuning your radio, your manual is great for upkeep too. Tyre pressure, controls, you name it. They’re all in the little book that’s all about your car; the manual.
(Plus, like a spare key for your car, they’re worth a penny or two.)
Another great car document to keep in your vehicle at all times is information about your insurance. That way, you know what’s going to nee dot happen if the worst ever does happen. If you’re ever in an accident, especially with another road user, having your details can make things a lot easier.
We’re not saying that you should keep your whole contract on hand at all times, but keeping your details, logins, policy number etc is never going to be a bad thing. It’s a great habit to get into quickly.
There’s always more to a car than just the engine, and the car documents that come with it are always up there with the most important. Keep them all safe and stored where they need to be, as well as current and updated regularly. It’s all about you and your car individually, so only you can do it. Take care, and safe driving!