When you buy a new car, it fast becomes your pride and joy. In the first few weeks, you’ll wash it regularly, avoid driving through puddles, and you won’t let anyone near it if they look like they might sneeze. Before too long, however, you can become a bit lazy about maintenance and focus more on getting from A to B. The exciting new car experience fades just like the smell of the upholstery.
It’s a shame we become less focused on cleanliness the longer we own a car, especially as it may come back to bite us. We all tend to trade our old car in when we buy a new one, which means keeping one eye on the future trade-in value of your current ride. The interior has as big a part to play as the bodywork when it comes to maximizing that value. As you can’t run the inside of a car through a car wash, you’ll benefit from returning to the diligence of those early days of ownership by engaging in these three tips.
Wipe Your Feet
You wouldn’t walk into your house on a rainy day without either removing your shoes or — at the very least — wiping them on the mat. Your car should be no different. Before getting in, kick the tires or stamp on the ground to remove the worst of any mud, grit, or anything else you might have picked up on your shoes.
Top Tip: Take a second pair of shoes with you when you go anywhere in the car. This gives you the opportunity to change your footwear if necessary, and put the dirty pair in a plastic bag where they can’t damage your upholstery.
Tint Your Windows
It’s not just mud that you have to worry about damaging your car interior– and oddly enough, tinted windows can help solve the next problem. Tinted windows reduce how much sunlight is able to penetrate into your car interior. This is vital if you’re concerned about appearances; UV rays can fade and damage your upholstery to a quite staggering degree. To help prevent this from happening, an auto glass tint is a sound investment towards your future trade-in value.
Top Tip: When tinting, be wary of regulations: if your car was made post-1985 then the front side windows and windscreen need to let at least 70% light through.
Don’t Eat In There
We all know how it is; you’re running late and have missed breakfast, so you grab a sandwich to eat in the car. But food creates debris: crumbs, ketchup, you name it — it can all take a toll on your interior, and even a dedicated valet may not be able to get it all out. Not great news if you’re thinking of resale value.
If you can at all avoid it, don’t eat in your car. On long road trips, combine having a snack break with the chance to stretch your legs rather than eating in the car.
Top Tip: Okay, sometimes it’s raining, or you don’t have time to get out – so keep a bin bag in the car. Better the packaging and any food debris go in there than under the seats to leak and fester.
One final note: we all know that accidents happen – especially if you have kids. If those accidents happen inside your car, there’s not much you can do about it. Just make sure you clean it as best you can, and get it to a valet as soon as possible afterwards.