If you have just splashed out and bought a brand new car, or if you have just had the body work repainted, you will want to keep that bodywork looking pristine for as long as possible. This is by no means an easy task, but there are several steps which you can take to try and protect your car’s paintwork to keep it looking brand new for much longer.
Park in a secure place
This sounds like an obvious point, but there is very little that you can do to protect your car from vandalism, except to park it somewhere where it will be safe. Brand new cars are an enticing target for people who derive some pleasure from defacing other people’s property, so locking your car away in a garage is one of the only things that you can do to stop this from happening.
Park under cover
If you do not have your own garage in which you can store your car safely, the next best thing is to park in a covered car park or under some sort of shelter. The acidic nature of rainwater can take its toll on your paintwork over time and parking the car inside or under a roof will protect it whilst you are not driving it. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can also have damaging consequences, so parking somewhere which is in the shade or protected from UV rays will help to keep your car looking brighter for longer.
Try not to park under trees
Whilst it may seem like a good idea to park under a tree in order to keep your car cool and in the shade, tall trees are the perfect roosting spot for birds whose droppings can have devastating effects on your paintwork. Bird excrement is highly acidic and can corrode the paint on your car or erode the clear coating put on to protect it. Try not to park in spaces where the floor is covered in droppings as this is a clear indicator that there are birds around who will not discriminate between car and floor when it comes to looking for a toilet opportunity. If you are lucky enough to end up with bird droppings all over your car (apparently it brings good luck!) you should wash them off as soon as possible. Even once dry they can eat away at the paintwork, so it is best to rinse them off as soon as you can.
Clear coat paint
Most car manufacturers do apply a layer of clear coating over the top of the paint in order to protect the paintwork from external elements. It is worth getting this touched up every few years or so and investing in one if your car comes without. It will not protect the paint from everything but it will help to keep the paint looking fresher for longer.
Wash your car regularly
It might seem counter intuitive, but washing your car regularly will help to keep your paintwork looking brighter. It is logical to assume that the more water and cleaning products that you apply to the bodywork, the faster the colour will fade away but this is not always the case. After driving for just a few hours your car could end up being covered in all sorts of substances which may be harmful to the paintwork. Rainwater residue, mud splashes, bird droppings and condensed fumes will gather on the exterior of the car and will take their toll on the paintwork after a while. Washing these substances away on a regular basis will help preserve the shiny finish of your new paintwork.
Apply a wax coat finish
A wax layer on top of your clear coat will provide another barrier of protection between the elements and your car’s paint finish. Wax helps water to run off more easily, prevents dirt and mud from sticking to the car as much and some waxes even have UV protection built in to protect against sunlight. The wax finish doesn’t last as long as the clear coat though, so you will need to have it reapplied fairly regularly for it to have the best effects. Most car washes offer the option to add a wax coating once your car has been cleaned and it takes less than a couple of minutes to apply but could make all the difference.