5 of the Most Common Car-Related Questions Answered

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If you’re a licensed driver, maybe you’ve been on the road for years. However, perhaps you’re a young driver who just passed the test. You might also be an older individual who just got your license if you didn’t want to get it as a teen.

If you’re a more experienced driver, you may know what to do in a variety of vehicle-related situations. If you’re a neophyte, though, you might have some car questions to which you don’t know the answer.

In this article, we’ll answer a few questions about cars you might have. Hopefully, you can use this information as you become more experienced as a driver.

 

Is Driving Barefoot Illegal?

This question sometimes comes into a young driver’s mind, especially if it’s summer or they live by an ocean or lake. Maybe you like walking around barefoot or in sandals. When you get in the car, perhaps driving barefoot appeals. Can you legally do it, though?

As it turns out, you can legally drive barefoot throughout the country. No state has a law specifically saying you can’t do it. Interestingly, some police officers don’t know this.

Every once in a while, you might hear about a police officer pulling someone over and ticketing them because they’re not wearing shoes. They can’t legally do that, though. You can fight the ticket if the police ever try this with you.

When it comes to driving barefoot, you should remember that if it’s not impeding your ability to drive, you should be able to do it with no issues. If it’s hampering your ability to operate the vehicle safely, that’s when you probably shouldn’t do it.  

What Do the Terms At-Fault or No-Fault State Mean?

You might hear that you’re living in an at-fault driving state or a no-fault one. At-fault means that if you get in an accident, you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance if they caused the crash. If you caused it, then they can file a claim with your insurance.

No-fault states will have you file a claim with your insurance company. You will do this regardless of whether you or the other driver caused the wreck. If you live in a no-fault state, you must legally have PIP insurance. This stands for personal injury protection. In most of these states, you must have a policy worth at least $10K.

Some drivers live in at-fault states, while some prefer no-fault states. Each system has its benefits as well as potential drawbacks.  

Should You Buy a Used Car or a New One?

Many people ask this question, both experienced drivers and less knowledgeable ones. There’s no obvious answer, though, since both have their benefits.

If you buy a brand-new car, it will likely cost more than a used one. That’s the bad news. There’s good news as well, though, mainly that since you’re getting the car brand-new, it’s far less likely that it might break down. You can also usually get a generous warranty with it, usually for at least 2-3 years.

If you purchase a used car, it will not cost as much. If you need a vehicle and don’t have very much money, buying a used one makes a lot more sense. However, if you purchase a used car, it might only come with a 30-day warranty, or maybe even none at all.

That means if you buy a used vehicle, it might not cost you anywhere near as much upfront as you’d pay with a used one. The car could break down within a day of you driving it off the lot, though. You’re taking somewhat of a risk when you buy a used vehicle for this reason.

How Can You Feel Sure You Should Trust Your Mechanic?

If you don’t know very much about cars, you may not feel sure you can trust your local mechanic. If they say your vehicle needs some work or replacement parts, or if you don’t know the terminology they’re throwing at you, you may feel perplexed or confused.

You may not feel sure the car needs the repairs the mechanic says it does. There are a couple of ways you can combat this potential issue.

You might ask someone who knows about cars to come with you when you take the vehicle to the mechanic. They can pull you aside and tell you whether the mechanic wants to do something the vehicle legitimately needs.

You can also pull out your smartphone and instantly look up the terminology the mechanic’s using and the problem they say the car has. That’s not a foolproof solution, but usually, the internet can tell you whether the mechanic wants to do something to the vehicle that it needs or whether they’re making up nonsense to charge you some extra money.

 

Do You Need to Get a Car Inspection Every Year?

You might also notice as a new driver that on the car’s windshield on its lower half, you’ll see an up-to-date inspection sticker. That sticker means a credible mechanic inspected the vehicle and found that it met the minimum requirements for it to be on the road with no obvious problems.

Do you have to get someone to inspect the vehicle every year, though? Yes, legally, you must do this. You only need to do it once yearly, but you shouldn’t forget.

If you forget or decide you’re not doing it one year, you can drive around with the expired sticker. If you’re lucky, no one will notice for a while. If the cops ever pull you over, though, and they see you have an expired sticker, they can give you a ticket. They can even impound your vehicle or not let you drive it till you get an inspection from a state-recognized garage.

Luckily, an inspection doesn’t cost very much. It’s also likely you can find an auto body shop or garage that does these inspections close to your home.