Why it pays to keep your car in good shape

So you’ve got the car, what’s next? Well we think it’s time to start thinking of it as part of the family – something that needs to be cared for and kept in good shape. Because, like us all, the healthier it is, the more efficient it’s going be.

It starts with regular services

Most cars should go in for a service every year, or every 12,000 miles. Think of it as a yearly health check – where a mechanic will thoroughly check all the working parts of your car inside and out.

During a service a mechanic will also have a look to see if any parts have any wear and tear and will usually replace the oil filter in your engine. It’s during these that they can also spot if there are any problems, so that they can be sorted there and then, rather than waiting for them to get worse or even dangerous. This makes things more cost effective too, because the earlier you can catch potential problems and get them fixed, the less it’s likely to cost.

If you do look to sell your car in the future, having a complete service record can also help you get a better resale value.

What to watch out for in between services

You need to be on top of things in between services too. And one of the main things to look out for are any warning messages popping up on your dashboard. These messages can cover a wide range of potential problems, including issues with the engine, oil and coolant levels, tyre pressure and the braking system. If you see something pop up that you’re not so sure about, it should all be explained within the car’s manual.

Some of the messages won’t be as urgent as others, but it’s always worth checking it out as soon as you can, to avoid the problem getting worse over time.

Don’t forget your MOT

By law cars over three years old must pass a yearly MOT test to show that they’re ok to be on the road. The test itself involves checks on your car, ranging from the brakes and fuel system to the lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and exhaust system. The test will result in either a pass or fail, and if it has failed the garage will be able to show you why. You’ll also be able to get a quote for the work needed from the garage but that doesn’t mean that you’re tied to getting it done there; you can always shop around and get some quotes from other local garages.

To help you keep on top of remembering to get your car MOT-ed, you can register to get free reminders through the government website so that you’ll get a text or email a month before it’s due. Find out more here.

Keeping on top of repairs

Finally, if you do spot anything that needs fixing, try and be on top of this too. As much as it can feel like a chore, it’s best to get things sorted before they develop into a bigger problem.

If you’re a bit short on time, try whocanfixmycar.com. Here you can register what work you need doing and then get quotes from local garages sent directly to your inbox, meaning you don’t have to spend hours on the phone getting this information. You can compare prices, reviews and location, and even get your car booked in online.

For more information on keeping costs down when it comes to fuel, click here.