The proportion of female car owners has jumped significantly over the past two decades, according to the DfT, with more than two out of every five cars owned by women The average age of these cars is eight years old – though if you have just become a new car owner, think about extending the life of your vehicle as much as possible.
Finance experts Nimble Fins note that by keeping a car for around 15 years, you could save tens of thousands of pounds, limiting the impact of depreciation and avoiding making frequent purchases of new cars. How can you ensure your car passes the test of time, so you don’t even feel tempted to replace your ‘old faithful’ for the next few years?
Choosing The Perfect Car
If you are a woman choosing your household vehicle, try to think of where you will be in five, 10, and 15 years’ time. Do you plan on having kids? Will you have to drive many miles for work in another city? Will you be using the car in the city or in rural areas as well?
Your car will have to be big and sturdy enough for the activities you plan: otherwise, in a few years, you could find that it just doesn’t have the features you and your family need.
Raising Your Confidence
Despite the big strides made in equality, many women still need to hone their maintenance skills. A survey by car valuation specialist, CAP Automotive, for instance, showed that a third of women surveyed said they did not know how to release the lock on their hoods – which isn’t great news if you want to keep track of any issues your car may have.
If you’re insecure about maintenance, there is no time like now to change that.
The wealth of online resources makes it easy to hone these skills. Your car’s maintenance manual will be a good starting point, since it will let you know the maintenance jobs your car needs – including changing the oil, water, etc. Different models of vehicles will require different times for the required changing of oil, filters, spark plugs, etc.
Use a digital diary to remember appointments, and invest in professional cleaning at least once a year to keep your interiors looking as good as new. And last but not least; if you don’t drive your car very often, do check the fuel in your car as it has an expiration date – fuel shouldn’t sit longer than six months in the car.
Finding An Early Diagnosis
Car problems are more similar to health issues than many realize. Rather than waiting until symptoms manifest themselves, diagnosing car problems early is key when it comes to cutting down costs and putting out small fires rather than one big one.
Vehicle diagnostics aids like Code Readers, OBD Scanners, and Battery Testers work very easily (just plug them in) yet provide important information you can use to act quickly. These tools collect a wide array of data on your car, and let you know when a specific part or system isn’t working as well as it should be – whether it be the brakes, steering, tyres, pneumatic or hydraulic hoses.
Purchasing The Required Parts
Avoid saving on required parts. Cheap hoses, brake, or steering components may be tempting, but they probably won’t last as long as stipulated parts will. Your call will also require various fluids during its long life.
Use those recommended by the manufacturer to ensure compatibility with your car’s specific systems. Don’t scrimp on oil or the various fluids you will need. These include transmission, power steering, radiator, and brake fluids, as well as air conditioning coolants.
Research shows that hanging onto your car for many years can help reduce the impact of depreciation. However, this only works if you keep your car in good working condition. Keeping a maintenance diary and using diagnostics to identify problems will help you stay on top of your game and avoid costly damage.
Cleanliness is also key to the enjoyment of your car; aesthetics matter and a new appearance will enable you to postpone the replacement of your car for just a few more months or years.