Cars are one of the biggest purchases we make in our lives. Added to that, according to the Office for National Statistics, the average spend for car running costs in the UK is around £1,679 per year.
So if you’re buying a car then you’re looking at a pretty significant chunk of your earnings going towards that vehicle. Which makes it all the more important it’s kept in good condition. More often than not you can’t prevent a car’s depreciation in value, but what you can do is ensure it’s kept in great shape to get the most value for your car if you look to sell it further down the line.
So here are a few of our top tips to keep your car looking and driving great.
Regular servicing is the easiest way to keep your car in great condition so don’t keep putting it off. As a broad rule try to factor in servicing once a year. Keeping on top of it will most likely save you money in the long run. And find a good mechanic for when things do go wrong — take a recommendation from friends or family to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off.
Don’t let the battery go flat
Jump starting your battery can put a huge strain on it, so avoid letting your battery go flat if you can. And when charging use a trickle charger where possible. Another avoidable damage commonly inflicted on your battery is letting it go unused for weeks. So if you’re going away for an extended period then see if someone is able to give your car a weekly run out for you.
Stay on top of oil changes
Do this regularly. And while you’re at it, keep all other fluids in your car well topped up. Try to get into the habit of checking these weekly. If you aren’t sure how to then ask someone to demonstrate so you can start adding this into your regular upkeep routine.
Remove heavy loads
Don’t drive around with your boot needlessly full or bike racks on the back when not transporting any. Adding all this extra weight to the car that the manufacturers will have worked so hard to lighten is sure to increase wear-and-tear to your tyres, suspension, and brakes. So have a clear out — your car will thank you.
Air filters can easily become clogged, so keep on top of them by giving them a wash to elongate their life. Your oil filters can clog too so it’s best to stay on top of renewing both of these regularly.
It’s an obvious one but driving smoothly and avoiding being aggressive with your pedals, gears, and steering wheel will be rewarded in the long run. Take it easy and you’ll find yourself with fewer repair bills, as well as lower fuel costs.
Most cars these days are pretty resilient to rust. But rust really can destroy cars so it is important to keep an eye out and ensure yours is protected, especially if you have an older vehicle. This means staying on top of the cosmetic upkeep of your car, and if you do find any rust spots then use some touch-up paint as soon as possible.
It might sound like a lot of extra work initially, but mostly it’s simply a case of getting into the habit of carrying out these checks and learning certain behaviours until they become second nature. And remember, keeping your car in good condition does, quite literally, pay off.