There are few better feelings than getting a new car. The excitement of going to the dealership, having a look around, and having a test drive of a couple of models you like the look of most.
However, it's fairly common knowledge that your car starts to lose value the moment you drive it off of the dealer's forecourt. This is also known as depreciation, something your car will drastically do over time.
But, it is possible to slow down this process and that is quite simply by taking extra care of your new car and making sure you don't ignore some of the most basic signs that need to be kept in good order.
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No matter how you've paid for your car, whether it be upfront in full, or using some sort of finance, it's important that you maintain your car as best you can, even if you intend on keeping it or handing it back to the finance company at some point in the future.
We've put together some of the easiest ways to take care of your car so you can be sure that it will hold its value for as long as possible, giving you the best chance to sell it for a good price later on, or allowing you to hand it back and upgrade to a new car sooner than expected.
Your car will face all of the elements at different times of the year and so it's important that you keep the exterior as fresh and shiny as you possibly can.
The blazing sun is likely to wear the colour away over time, so keeping it waxed and polished regularly will ensure that your vehicle is always looking smart.
If your car comes into contact with bugs or bird droppings, they can permanently scar your paintwork if you don't get rid of them fairly quickly. If you ever do notice your car with splatterings on it, then it's advised to get them washed off before they become a permanent resident.
If you can wash your car at least twice per month, either by hand or at a professional car washing service, then it will dramatically increase your chances of keeping your exterior looking brand new and holding your car's value.
It's easy to forget to check your car's fluid levels when they are hidden under the bonnet, but not having them topped up could seriously increase the likelihood of damage to your engine, and if that goes, then it's potentially game over for your car.
You should aim to check your fluids at least once per month, keeping them topped up as required. It will save you a great deal of time and money by staying on top of this as you'll be less likely to have to head to the garage for repair work.
Unfortunately, like anything, the more you use something, the less valuable it becomes, and that's no different with cars when it comes to how many miles you drive.
If you can limit the amount you drive, the value of the car will be sustained for far longer. If you were looking to sell it yourself privately, you would have to declare how many miles it has done which could end up putting people off if it's a substantial number.
When you take out a car finance deal, you have to indicate how many miles you think you will drive in a year, and it's incredibly important you do not underestimate your mileage because if you go over it, you will be expected to pay an excess mileage charge.
Obviously, a lot depends on how far you have to drive to work, pick the kids up from school, or if you like to take regular road trips for your holidays, but just be very mindful that the more you drive, the more it will depreciate.
Try to book an annual service to let the experts take a look at all aspects of your car to keep it in tip-top condition. If you are able to, it's worth trying to fit a second one into a year to have that extra reassurance that everything is okay with it.
If you hear any strange noises or your dashboard becomes illuminated with warning symbols, then it's worth getting your car checked out as soon as you can to avoid further damage and costs incurring.
Keeping your car in good condition through servicing will only make it more durable and hopefully more valuable when you look to get a new car in the future.
General driving style
You can reduce the amount of wear and tear your car takes on by practicing a good driving style. That is a very vague phrase, but harsh braking and flooring of the accelerator are only going to negatively affect your car.
You also need to take fuel consumption into consideration, and the kinder you are to your car when driving about, the less fuel will be guzzled and the heavier your wallets will be.
Depreciation is part and parcel of buying a new car and although it's frustrating, it can be slowed down by following the above advice.