In a way, our cars have two kinds of value to us as motorists. Firstly there is the obvious monetary value of your car, secondly there is the role that the car plays in your life, taking you to and from work, allowing you freedom of movement, and reflecting your personal values and image.
In order for your car to work well for you it must be a safe and legal case vehicle for you to use each day. Some of the key actions that you need to take are:-
- Tyres – it is inevitable that tyres will become worn over time but knowing about and keeping an eye on correct pressure will reduce wear and ensure peak performance and optimal fuel consumption. Check your pressure regularly and check tyres for wear. If you are unsure, a reputable dealer such as Ultracar will be happy to check with you, show you what to look out for and advise you on the safe life of your tyres.
- Brakes – again it is important to be aware of the life of your braking system. Brake pads wear over time and should be replaced regularly to avoid damage to the rest of the braking system. Part of managing and caring for your braking system rests in the quality of your driving, so think brakes when driving. Again, a reputable dealer will happily check your pads and discs and advise on wear and the need to replace.
- Fluids – in many modern cars there is less need to check oil and water levels frequently but it is always worthwhile to know how to do this and to maintain a regular check. One often neglected area is the amount of screen wash available. In many driving conditions, access to effective screen washing is vital to maintain good visibility.
Performance and economy
- Fuel consumption – a well maintained car will consume fuel at the expected rate and will be economical to drive. Keeping tyres well inflated contributes to this as do regular checks at times of routine maintenance.
- Wear and tear – All cars suffer from a degree of wear and tear over time but it is possible to mitigate against this by looking after the interior and exterior finish of the car. Think too about items that you routinely carry in the car, for work or leisure activities and store these safely in a way that minimises the likelihood of spillage and damage.
- Visibility to self and others – being visible and having good visibility are equally important. Replace failed bulbs promptly, keeping a spare kit available to use at the first opportunity. It’s very worthwhile to know how to replace bulbs yourself so that this can be done as soon as possible. Keep your lighting system and, of course, vehicle registration plates, clean. Equally keeping windows, windscreen and mirrors clean and clear ensures good visibility and observation of the road.
- If you maintain your vehicle well it will give you driving pleasure and provide you with a valuable asset to exchange as you move on. A well maintained car is much more likely to be easy and well valued when you come to sell it or trade it in.
- It is imperative that you make sure your vehicle has a current MOT and that its taxed to be on the road. A car tax reminder can be found at https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax.