Cutting down on your car use and mileage might be a false economy in the long run, according to Vertu Motors.
Cars provide convenience and freedom to motorists, but, with the current pinch on the cost of living, many Brits may be looking to cut down their mileage to save money.
However, the experts at Vertu Motors have warned that car owners still need to maintain their vehicles, even if they aren’t being used frequently:
“Whether it is to save money or embrace a cycle to work scheme, there are many reasons why someone might be looking to reduce their reliance on a car.
“Nevertheless, it is still essential to maintain your vehicle. Even if your vehicle is not currently on the road, it is important that it’s kept in good working order for when you do need to drive, or perhaps want to sell it on. Otherwise, you could end up incurring significant costs on repairs and in fact be worse off than if you were regularly driving your vehicle.”
To help, the experts at Vertu Motors have shared essential maintenance tips for your car, even if it isn’t in use.
1. Start your car regularly
To charge its battery and circulate oil, turn your car engine on regularly for about 15 minutes.
The performance of your car’s battery is dependent on many factors, such as age and condition, but to be safe you should restart your car either once a week or every other week.
While your engine is running, use this time to drive a short distance. Doing this will help stop your car’s brakes and handbrake seizing up, while also allowing you to identify any issues or warnings on your dashboard.
2. Keep your car clean
If you aren’t using your car then washing it may well be a tempting chore to put off, but it is essential for keeping your motor in good nick.
When left unused, and especially if stored outside, cars can easily gather dirt, dust, and even rust or mould. To avoid your car’s exterior looking worse for wear, make sure to keep on top of cleaning and polishing it.
It is also worth considering purchasing a car cover that will keep it protected from harsh weather, dirt, and pollution, especially if you are looking to sell your car in the future.
3. Check your tyre pressure
Checking a vehicle’s tyre pressure should be part of every car owner’s monthly maintenance, including those who aren’t regularly using their car.
There are a number of factors that can cause tyre pressure fluctuation, including changing temperatures or unidentified punctures, so it is important that you don’t neglect this task even if you aren’t driving your motor frequently. Moreover, when a car is left unused, pressure can build where the weight of the vehicle is sitting, potentially causing flat spots on its tyres.
Make sure to regularly check your tyre pressure, and increase it when needed, especially if you are planning on driving for the first time in a while.
4. Stick to servicing schedules & insurance renewals
Just because you aren’t driving your vehicle, doesn’t mean you can skip on its servicing or documentation.
Your car still needs to have its MOT done once a year (if it’s three years old or over), even if it is regularly left unused, so make sure to set a reminder in advance of your MOT running out. An MOT will also identify any work your car needs doing, that you haven’t been able to identify from your manual checks.
Furthermore, if your car is going to be parked on the street, in a driveway, or even in a garage, then it is a legal requirement for this vehicle to be insured.
The only exception to this rule is if you SORN your vehicle. SORN stands for Statuary Off-Road Notice, which you can register for if you decide that you won’t be driving your car at all and will store it off the road.