Taking care of a car can involve a lot of work. While some people just focus on how to make sure it’s fine in time for passing their MOT, it’s a good idea to look a little further than that.
Your car may have sustained damage in the past, be it from an accident, the weather, or even vandalism. Damage can greatly affect not just how a car looks, but also how susceptible to rust and other issues it is.
In this article we’re going to look at easy ways to give your car the protection it needs.
Get your car waxed
The single best thing you can do to protect the paint job of your car is to get it waxed, or to wax it yourself.
If you decide to wax your car yourself, make sure you use a reliable weather-proof wax. This will provide a barrier that stops things like rain and hail hitting the paint directly. Wax needs to be reapplied now and then to maintain that barrier, so follow the product instructions to make sure you protect your car from damage.
Wax can even make your car easier to clean. The dirt and debris in rainwater can start to coat the paint, but wax stops this from happening.
Give your car some extra care in summer
In the summer, UV rays can do real damage to your car if you’re not careful. As well as ruining the paint job by heating up the paint, UV rays can also fade the interior surfaces due to the way that glass can intensify the strength of light.
One simple way to minimise UV damage to your car is to park it in the shade whenever you can. You should also wash the car more frequently. Dirt buildup can weaken the paint surface and make it more vulnerable to UV light penetration.
Consider paint protection films for new cars
If you’re getting a new car, then there is an option that’s a good deal more expensive than wax, but you also don’t have to do it anywhere near as often.
New car paint protection, also known as preservative film, is great at stopping paintwork from getting worn down by dirt and the elements. It’s also strong enough to prevent chipping and minor damage from scratches and stones, and can even protect your car from damage sustained by UV rays. With this method you have to rely on a professional, who will apply the film by hand.
Get a magnetic windscreen cover
If you’re worried about the damage that snow and ice might do to your car, then the first place you should look is your windscreen. These can become extremely brittle when they have been exposed to cold temperatures, and might shatter if moved too much while frozen.
Whatever you do, don’t try and defrost cold windows with hot or boiling water. This will increase the risk of shattering. Instead, you should invest in magnetic windscreen covers that can prevent the windows from freezing over in the first place.
Give your car some shelter
If you have a garage, then using it to give your car full shelter from the weather and potential vandals is a very good approach. However, if you don’t have a garage, that doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
As we’ve already mentioned, parking in the shade can prevent UV damage to paint and interior surfaces, but you can also consider options like carports that can be installed anywhere. This way, you can make sure that you protect your car from damage wherever you park.
A lot of carports are easily transportable, too, so if you’re going on a trip you can bring the protection with you, as long as you have space to set it up.
Do what you can to deter vandalism
Car vandalism can happen to anyone, especially those who park in an accessible public place. The best thing you can do to prevent vandalism is to keep your car somewhere that’s not easy to reach. Most car vandals do it for the simple gratification of causing damage, so it’s rarely a repeated, targeted crime.
Think about investing in good lighting, and even visible CCTV units, for the area where you park your car. This can act as a deterrent to most criminals who would otherwise take the opportunity.
If your car doesn’t already have an alarm, it’s worth getting one installed, as they offer individuals much less time to cause damage.
Consider parking sensors for your car
One of the easiest ways to damage your car, especially its bumpers or wing mirrors, is to accidentally back into something that you didn’t see. While it might be one of the more expensive safety features to add to a car, you should never underestimate just how effective parking sensor kits can be.
As the name implies, these sensors read the proximity of objects behind the car, and alert you as you get closer to them. Some of them come with cameras that can be connected to an infotainment system inside the car, giving you a much better view of what you’re backing towards.
If your car doesn’t come with parking sensors, you might want to check out aftermarket parking sensor kits.
Add a dash cam to your car
Dash cams can’t protect your car from damage, but they can provide a very useful service by recording any collision, bump, or physical movement, whether your car is moving or parked.
You can even buy dash cams that automatically activate when there is motion, to ensure that you’re able to get whatever footage you might need. This can help with insurance claims if your car is damaged and you need to prove how it happened.
Make sure that your insurance covers you fully
It’s mandatory for any driver on the road to have some level of car insurance. However, you should make sure that your insurance covers you for the kinds of damage that you can’t directly protect your car from. For example, most standard car insurance policies probably won’t cover things like vandalism or hail damage.
You need to consider the level of risk that you’re willing to tolerate, and whether or not you’re going to opt for insurance that will cover these kinds of damage. What is the real risk of it happening to you? Has there been vandalism or car damage in your area? Is it cold enough to hail heavily at least once a year?
Every car is going to experience wear and tear. By adopting some or all of these car protection methods, you can minimise the risk of damage and keep your car looking good for longer.