There’s no feeling quite like driving off the forecourt in a brand new motor. That new car smell and look is a moment worth cherishing.
However, the reality of life is that things don’t stay shiny and new forever, and it’s easy to feel a bit down once your vehicle starts to show signs of wear, after a few months.
While it’s not possible to turn back the clock, there’s still plenty you can do to slow down the effects of wear and tear. With the right know-how, you could keep your car looking spic and span for years to come.
We’ll run through some of the steps you can take to keep your car in tip-top condition.
Have it washed regularly
It sounds obvious, but having your car washed regularly is key to keeping it in good nick.
Not only does washing your car have a noticeable short-term impact, but it’s vital for the long-term too, as not washing your car often enough can lead to a build up of dirt on its exterior, which will cause deterioration of the paintwork.
Particles can even build up and lead to scratches when the car is eventually washed, or if it comes under heavy rainfall.
Avoid automated car washes
There’s no denying that automated car washes make life easy. But they’re not always so kind on the body of your car.
Those giant “swirling brushes” could damage your paintwork. As there’s no way of knowing how often they’re cleaned of dirt and debris, any build up left on the brushes could cause small scratches that’ll take away from the ‘shiny new’ look of your car.
Either a home or professional hand wash would be a safer bet.
Remove bird droppings
Every driver will be familiar with the scourge of bird droppings. Unsightly though they may be, it can be tempting to leave scrubbing them off for another time.
However, removing them swiftly is vital when it comes to keeping your paintwork in good condition. The longer you leave them, the more force will be required to get them off, adding to the risk of scrapes and scratches - not to mention these can leave an irremovable stain if left for too long.
Have your car waxed
Waxing is something many drivers neglect, but it’s pretty essential if you want to keep your vehicle in top condition.
Waxing provides a protective coating for your paintwork, helping to avoid chipping and filling in any scratches, while giving your car a light sheen that just screams ‘brand new’.
Wax breaks down over time, though, so you’ll probably want to wax your car at least twice a year – ideally once at the onset of summer, and then again at the onset of winter.
Keep your distance
Did you know that the way you drive can have a big impact on how quickly your car shows signs of wear?
One sure-fire way to have your car lose its sparkle is to drive too close to vehicles in front of you. Tyres constantly pull up debris from the road as they go and, if you’re too close to the next car, these will end up hitting your bodywork and causing damage.
Over time this can have a noticeable effect, so it’s best to keep your distance – apart from the fact that it is the recommended and safer way to drive.
Protect your leather
If your car has leather upholstery on its interior, you’ll need to take action if you want to keep your vehicle in showroom condition.
Over time, leather will become worn and can even crack if not looked after properly. It’s worth investing in some leather cleaner and conditioner, and apply it as often as the product recommends.
If you have any questions or doubts, consult your car’s manual, as it should contain advice on how to look after the leather inside.
Park in the right place
Even if you use your car for hours every single day, odds are your car still spends several hours parked up close to where you live. And where exactly you to keep it could either help maintain or significantly worsen its condition.
For example, parking under a tree increases the risk of your car becoming covered in sap or bird droppings. On the other hand, leaving it exposed to direct sunlight will cause the paintwork to fade over time.
If you have the option, it’s best to always store your car in a garage – and it’s a more secure alternative, too.
You’ll also need to keep your car protected with insurance you can count on. Get a quote from Rias today, to see how our comprehensive car insurance can help.