So many of us rely on our cars as our primary mode of transport, but do we look after them well enough? Some keener petrol heads care for their pride and joy as if it were their own child, whereas others simply see their vehicles as a way to get from A to B.
There are so many people on the roads – 38.9 million licensed vehicles in Great Britain as of September 2019 – but how many understand how much a car can drop in value? It’s estimated that the average new car will depreciate 60% over three years, which could make for a nasty surprise when the time comes to sell.
Of course, gaining an accurate valuation of your car can help to keep you in the picture of how much your vehicle is worth, but there are things you can do during ownership to ensure its value remains as high as possible.
Here are a few of them…
Reduce your mileage
Where possible, try to limit your usage as much as you can. Do you really need to drive to the shops that are just a 10-minute walk away? These journeys may seem insignificant in isolation, but if you add them up over the course of a year then you could be talking potentially hundreds of miles needlessly added to the clock. Similarly, if you have the option of taking the train for long trips rather than getting behind the wheel, you could see a significant reduction in your mileage.
Take it for regular checks
We all need a little TLC from time to time, and cars are no different. Make sure it gets serviced and has an MOT on a consistent basis, and be sure to address any issues as soon as they crop up. Putting them off or ignoring them altogether could make the problem worse, and leave you further out of pocket later on. Things like tyres, brakes, bodywork and even the windscreen wipers should all be thoroughly maintained and replaced if faulty. You’ll reap the benefits when it comes to selling.
Keep it in a garage
This might not be an option open to everyone but, where possible, storing your vehicle under cover is a great way to uphold its value. If it’s protected from the elements, it won’t suffer potentially costly damage to the bodywork, tyres, windshield and mirrors that can be caused by the likes of rain, snow, wind and hail.
Look after the interior
Don’t forget about the inside! If you’re a smoker, for example, perhaps introduce a self-imposed rule that prevents you from lighting up when you buckle in. Studies have shown that cars that have been smoked in can lose as much as £2,000 in value – a significant amount of money in anyone’s book. Apart from anything else, holding a cigarette means you have a weaker grip on the wheel, which could endanger yourself and other road users.