Owning a car is a wonderful thing but it can also be something of a money pit, particularly if problems arise and persist, and particularly if it’s constantly failing to pass its MOT. So, how can you protect your initial investment as much as possible and maintain the value of your vehicle so that you aren’t pouring money down the drain?
Know what your car is worth
Initial car investments can be significant and if you’re paying on credit then it’s in your best interest to protect the equity that you’re building. Of course, the problem with buying a car (especially a brand-new car) is that value can never be completely maintained. It will lose a significant percentage of its value the moment you drive it off the forecourt and as you continue to drive, the mileage will increase and the value will start to decline exponentially.
However, you can protect the vehicle and maintain the value of your car using the following tips:-
Don’t miss your MOT – MOTs are absolutely key when it comes to identifying any issues with the vehicle and ensuring it is legally roadworthy. Indeed, an MOT certificate is a valuable item and it could be argued that a car without one will be worthless. Find out when your MOT is due, so you don’t miss the deadline.
Keep a regular servicing schedule – Consistent servicing will keep the car in fighting shape and will reduce the risk of serious faults and breakages. It doesn’t need to be something you obsess over but it shouldn’t be something you avoid either.
Look after the exterior and bodywork – First impressions count and a buyer will instantly look at the bodywork before anything else. Protecting your bodywork will ensure you don’t lose value. Regular cleaning and polishing will help to maintain the paintwork but you’ll also want to ensure there are no chips, cracks and dents. Careful driving goes a long way here, of course.
Protect the interior – The interior might not be as important as the body of the car but if it’s in a messy and smelly state then it could quickly turn a confirmed sale into a “no thanks, we’ll keep looking.” Avoiding spills and damage inside the car is important and if you’re lucky enough to have leather seats then you’re going to need to work extra hards to keep them looking and feeling their best.
Avoid driving where possible – If in doubt, don’t drive as much. Every mile is further wear on the vehicle and further depreciation of your car –so if you can avoid driving in some circumstances then all the saved miles will certainly add up. And just think of all the money you’ll save on fuel anyway!