We’ve all heard about how much a car drops in value the moment you drive it off the lot. That’s why it’s so important to look after it well, so it can serve you for years to come (or you can sell it for a great price when you’re ready to upgrade).

Here are a few things to consider if you want to keep your car in a great condition:

Consider where you park

Never leave your car in the street at night, if you can help it. Otherwise, it can be at risk for dents and scrapes caused by walker-byes, animals, and so on. Bird droppings and tree sap can also damage your paint. During the day, try to use a car cover, so the sun won’t be damaging it (and it’ll be protected from birds)

Wash it regularly

If you wash your car once a week, not only will it stay looking like new for longer, but it’ll be easier to clean than if it has weeks or months of grime and dirt built up. Use a mild detergent, since many car was detergents will actually remove the polish and wax on the surface of the paint while they’re removing grime and dirt. Then rinse the car so that there is no detergent left.

Don’t forget to polish

Not only does a polished car look amazing, but polish will also protect the painted surface of your car. At least every six months, use a quality polish and applicator, follow the instructions carefully, and use a clean, soft rag to ensure you don’t scratch the paint.

Avoid car washes

Car washes may seem like a great idea, but often, their brushes haven’t been cleaned for a while and may be too stiff and rough. They also use abrasive detergents that could cause premature wear to the exterior of your car.

Do Touch-ups yourself

If you do need to touch-up a few scratches, dents or even rust, you can easily do this yourself with a paint that’s custom-matched to your car. Make sure you’re using premium quality automotive paint so that the final result is seamless to the rest and lasts a long time.