If you ever plan to replace your car in the future, then you’ll know just how important it is to maintain its value. While the value of your car is mostly going to be down to market conditions, most cars are surprisingly effective at maintaining their value for several years. However, there are also plenty of ways to ensure that your car doesn’t continue to drop in value due to wear and tear from general use. Everything from the cosmetic condition of your vehicle to the internals should be adequately maintained to ensure that your car looks and runs exactly the same as the day you bought it.

So to help you ensure your car maintains its value, we’ve put together a list of some simple habits that you should develop in order to keep your vehicle looking and feeling great.

1. Take Your Car to a Mechanic on a Regular Basis

It’s crucial that you take your car to a mechanic every six months to have it inspected. If you use your car a lot, then taking your vehicle in for a check-up every 10,000km is also a good idea. Even if you only drive it occasionally, having an inspection every six months will ensure that no problems are building up. Small issues such as a strange sound coming from your car or a weird feeling when you start up the engine can develop into much larger issues. The last thing you want is to discover a severe engine problem or fault with the electronics when you go to sell your vehicle.

To prevent this, it’s essential to have regular inspections every six months or 10,000 km so that a professional can inspect your vehicle. A car that is serviced on a regular basis will ultimately run more efficiently and even quieter. This helps it maintain good mileage and protects it against long-term issues that will eventually ruin its performance. Keeping a log of these inspections is also a good idea, if possible. It will help offer the buyer peace of mind when they go to purchase your vehicle.

2. Protect Your Car When It’s Not in Use

Far too many people use their garage for everything but their car. It’s understandable if you have a lot of belongings that you want to keep organized, but you should remember that your garage is designed to store your car! Keeping a roof over your car will ensure that it’s protected from the elements. This means it will be protected from things like hail, UV rays, wind, and even snow. It will also protect your car from debris when the winds are strong, such as branches and rocks. Most importantly, having your car off the road and in a safe place will prevent thieves from attempting to steal it or break into your car. This is arguably the most dangerous threat because someone can do serious damage to your vehicle, forcing you to pay a high price for repairs. You could even lose your car if you’re unlucky and it’ll be challenging to recover it even with the help of the authorities.

As such, you must protect your car when it’s not being used. We recommend using your garage if possible, but if you don’t have that luxury, then there are still a couple of things you can do to protect your car. First, if you’re going away for an extended period of time, then we suggest using some cover such as a tarp to shield it from the elements. Secondly, always keep your belongings out of the car so that it doesn’t attract thieves. Lastly, park it in a public location that you know is covered by CCTV. This is usually the case for most public parking spaces where you can store your car, but you could also consider parking it in a safe location that is made specifically for storing vehicles.

Car in the middle of nowhere

3. Develop Safe Driving Habits

One of the most common reasons for car-related damage and deprecation is down to user error. Car crashes are usually always the fault of the driver, and it’s essential to brush up on your driving ability and safety habits to ensure you avoid accidents. Car body repairs can cost a lot, and you’ll need their services to keep your vehicle looking brand-new if you drive recklessly. We recommend that you take a defensive driving course if you’re a new driver that hasn’t built the confidence needed to drive safely on the road. We also recommend a defensive driving course if it’s been a long time since your last lesson. There could be many new driving habits that have been developed, which would be beneficial to learn. Alternatively, you may have forgotten some common safe driving habits, so it’s worth brushing up on your knowledge.

Not only will safe driving habits keep you and your vehicle safe, but it can also prolong the life of your car. Habits such as rapid acceleration and sudden stops can wear out your tires, which contribute to the value of your vehicle. So even if you’re not directly involved in some kind of accident, it’s important to drive carefully and also treat your car with respect to help maintain its value.

4. Wash Your Car

We can’t stress how important something as simple as washing your car is. Keeping your car clean will help it maintain its value and ensure that it looks brand-new at all times. When selling your car, the last thing you want is to offer a dusty, grimy, and dull-looking vehicle that hasn’t been taken care of. Washing your car regularly will help ensure that no dirt or grime cakes on your car. It will also make subsequent cleans much easier. Certain things like bird droppings can even damage the paintwork of your vehicle if its not cleaned quickly. As such, we recommend that you develop a habit of cleaning up stains, dirt, and other grime on your car as soon as possible. This will keep your car looking brand-new and help it maintain its value over a longer period.

If you’ve not washed your vehicle for a long time, then a car detailing service can help you restore your vehicle to its former glory. Car detailing can help you return your vehicle to the best condition possible, increasing its value and even protecting it from further damage if you choose additional services. Car detailing often includes polishing as well, which will help your vehicle achieve an incredible shine that allows it stand out. We recommend that you seek out a car detailing service before you plan to sell your vehicle, or consider doing it at least once a year if you’ve neglected to take care of the cosmetic appearance of your car.

Tips to help maintain your car

5. Clean the Interior

While cleaning the exterior will help your vehicle appear brand new, it’s just as important to clean the inside of your car as well. This will help remove any funky smells, it will ensure that the upholstery isn’t damaged or stained, and it will improve the value of your vehicle when you decide to sell or trade it. It’s usually not enough to use a vacuum to clean up dust and debris, hence why it’s important to develop good cleaning habits. Make sure you clean up any spills as soon as possible to avoid staining your upholstery and consider using a cover over the seats to keep the seats as clean as possible. We also recommend that you avoid smoking or doing anything that could leave lingering smells in your car to make it more welcoming.

Most car wash and car detailing services will also include interior cleaning services, making it a lot easier to maintain the inside of your vehicle. However, developing good habits to keep your interior clean will also help your vehicle retain value and also prevent long-term stains and other issues from becoming an issue. We recommend that you establish some rules for your car, such as never eating inside the car or using air fresheners to keep nasty smells away. We also suggest that you use seat covers if you’re concerned about the upholstery and use floor mats to keep dirt and mud off the floor of your car. These simple habits will make cleaning the interior a lot easier in the future, resulting in less work for you and a higher value for your vehicle.

As you can see, maintaining the value of your car is all down to building simple habits which will keep your car safe and clean. These are five simple habits that are ideal for maintaining the value of your vehicle but can also keep your car looking and running great. Even if you don’t plan to trade or sell your vehicle in the future, these tips will ensure that you get a lot of use out of your car and that it lasts many years.