So you’ve found a new car perfect for your needs, signed the paperwork, picked up the keys and driven it off the forecourt. Now you need to ensure you protect it. There are many things that can damage your vehicle, from the weather to poor road conditions, and sneak thieves to other drivers. Here are some valuable tips to ensure that your new car stays in great shape for years to come.
High-tech security systems come as standard on many new cars, but if you’re buying second-hand and your model doesn’t include one, having one fitted needn’t be dramatically expensive. And in the long-run, this measure can save you money as it protects from the car being stolen, and lowers insurance costs.
Drive carefully when the road is in poor condition – taking a pothole at speed can wreck your suspension, and driving fast over a recently-gritted road is a short-cut to a cracked windscreen.
If you can, always park off-road or in well-lit areas. Likely to reduce the chances of theft and again will help reduce your car insurance.
There are a lot of bad drivers out there unfortunately, and accidents, from scratches to wrecks are common. If you get into a collision, make sure you collect the other driver’s insurance and contact details before they leave the scene.
A no-brainer really – nothing tempts a sneak-thief more than valuables such as purses, GPS systems or tools left in a parked car. Secure them in the trunk or take them with you.
Getting a protection plan such as that offered by drivetime.com ensures that all of the vital components of your car, including radiator, fan motor and hydraulic steering are covered against wear and tear for several years. It’s an additional cost, sure, but definitely a wise move.
Many car keys now have a chip inside them that makes it much more difficult for thieves to drive off without them. But if you leave them in your handbag while having lunch, or on a table near an open window at home, you’re asking for trouble.
If you live in an area where extreme hail damage is common, then you can go the extreme route and buy a Hail Tarpaulin, which inflates as soon as it detects incoming bad weather. Inflating in less than five minutes, and capable of being powered by the car’s cigarette lighter, it makes your car look like a little strange, but will definitely get the job done. And a sun-shade over the windscreen, as well as preventing the car getting too hot on a sunny day, will also protect the interior fabrics from fading.
Don’t park under trees if you can avoid it. Bird droppings, and scratches and dents from falling branches are a major hazard, especially when it’s windy.
Avail yourself of the thousands of car care products on the market such as polishes, waxes and lubricants. This will probably mean washing the weekend wash takes a bit longer, but it’s guaranteed to leave your car looking like a million dollars.