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Has your new car got a future?

GaryGary Wray ~ 19/08/04

If you are buying a new car, then the last thing on your mind will be what you are going to do with it in three years time. But it's worth bearing in mind that at some point you will want to sell it, and how you treat it in the mean time will have a huge bearing on the resale value.

These days' cars have extended service periods and are more reliable. This means two things, firstly it is worth getting them serviced by an approved dealer that you have a full service history when it comes to selling, and secondly, mechanical condition is taken for granted and instead a greater emphasis placed on cosmetic appearances when calculating value.

That's why it makes sense to try and keep your car in the pristine condition it is in now, because in three years time the difference in value between a car in poor condition and on in A1 condition could run to thousands of pounds.

Keep your car looking mint
You should start off at the dealership, when you collect your car, make sure you also purchase a colour coded touch-in-pencil. Keeping on top of stone chips and small scratches is probably the single most important thing you can do. While most other problems can be rectified, broken paintwork leads to rust which is car-cancer for which there is no easy cure. Once it starts, it spreads and is almost impossible to get rid of. Touching in small areas of damage will keep the water out and the rust at bay.

Next you need to keep your car clean because there are all sorts of nasty pollutants contained in road muck, these will eat into your paintwork and age your car. The longer the dirt is allowed to stay on your car, the more damage it will do, this is especially true for bird droppings and tree sap which should be removed at the earliest opportunity before they can cause etching.
Unfortunately, washing your car can cause almost as much damage as anything else if not done right. Automated car washes use harsh brushes which cause scratches, so washing by hand is the best option. Kit yourself out with a soft sponge or a washing mitt and use only a purpose made car shampoo. Cheap synthetic sponges trap dirt which scratches your car, and you should never use washing up liquid on a car as it will strip off all the wax, it also contains lots of salt which is harmful to car paint.

You should wax your car regularly as wax creates a shiny barrier which protects your paintwork. Bear in mind that you will probably start off as you mean to go on, washing and waxing your car every Sunday, but we all lead busy lives and soon this will become a chore. If you feel this may be the case, then a paint sealant will probably be a better option than wax. A paint sealant offers greater protection against the environment and lasts many times longer than a wax. Sealant packages also offer protective coatings for your carpers, fabric and leather upholstery, all helping to keep your car looking younger.
Sealant packages are available at the dealership and although expensive, are worth every penny. It's worth shopping around as Valet companies often sell them far cheaper than the dealerships.
Whatever option you choose, waxes and sealants keep your car shiny and make it easier to wash the dirt from your car, making life much easier as well as providing protection.

This may all amount to time, effort and expense, but when you come to sell your car you will find that will have been more than worth it. Your car will command more money and sell quickly and easily.



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