Day in day out, your car is probably the glue that binds your life together.
It ferries you and yours around – usually uncomplainingly – while withstanding abuse ranging from extremes of weather to the shocking state of our roads. So it’s time to reward it and what better occasion than the run-up to Christmas, when it’s likely to be playing a key role in helping you enjoy the festivities.
Have it cleaned like never before
If you’ve never given your car a proper valet, you – and it – are in for a rare treat. Detailers as they’re known in the industry do far more than simply washing cars. On the outside they wash and dry it before setting about it with specialist products like clay bars.
These are designed to remove contaminants from the paintwork and restore that showroom-fresh glossy finish. Then comes wax or even protective layers of special liquid sealant.
Inside, the detailer will seek out and eradicate dirt in your car’s every nook and cranny. This will involve shampooing seats if they’re cloth or treating leather to nourishing balms or creams. The result can be quite simply spectacular.
Prices start at around £70 for a full valet on a small car.
Wax more life into it
Wax is the best way to keep your car looking good for longer. It also protects it against road grime and contaminants in the rain. Before you think about waxing your car, it needs a good clean with all the impurities removed so consider investing in a valet clean first. Then consider the kind of wax you want to use. There’s no point scrimping so go for a quality pure wax, rather than a cleaning or polishing wax. This will be much better suited to the kind of paint on modern cars.
In its 2015 test, Auto Express rated Bilt Hamber Double Speed-wax the best (£14.95).
Personalise those plates
Yes, they can be corny, but a personalised registration plate is a simple way of making your car stand out. The DVLA has millions of reg numbers available with prices starting at £250. There’s also a wide range of private companies offering the service online. Before you agree anything, satisfy yourself that you’re dealing with a legitimate operation and make sure that, as with the DVLA, any prices include the £80 fee for reassigning the new plate to your car.
As well as spelling out your nickname for the whole world to laugh at, the other benefit is no one will know how old your car is.
New wheels/parts upgrade
Why not give your car a bit of an upgrade? We’re not talking tacky aftermarket go-faster stripes and chrome 21-inch wheels. These will just harm the resale value of your car when it comes to selling it. We mean manufacturer-approved accessories. Some subtle upgrades of your car, perhaps tasteful new alloy wheels, will make it look better and not harm its value. Just make sure you tell your insurer as it may have an impact on your premium.
The key to it
Ok, so this is more for you than your car, but what about treating your high-tech modern motor to a classic key ring? You can buy quality leather fobs for virtually any make of car, with retro badges going back to the dawn of motoring.
Prices start at around £17.95. Classic Leather Fobs is a good place to start.