I’m a big fan of driving cars for as long as I can. They offer true value after they are paid off and then continue to run. The Subaru Impreza I own is an ’02. I bought it in ’05 and I’ve had it paid off for many years now. Most years I’ve had no trouble with it either so my only expense was general maintenance, gas, and insurance. I’ve saved a bunch by continuing to drive it.
My family bought a used Armada that we still own and have paid off. It is an ’06 and we bought it in ’12. And a used Nissan Titan.
As you can see we are not only big fans of driving cars for long lengths of time, we maximize our money by buying used vehicles. We find the biggest bang for our buck is to buy used vehicles and keep them well maintained and looking nice.
They do feel like ‘new cars’ if we do our best to stick to these 7 top ways of making a used vehicle seem new.
1- Smell. A vehicle that smells good leaves a great impression for friends and family that ride in it and it also is nice for us as owners to have wonderful smells in our used cars. Usually, auto air fresheners go stale rather quickly. But PERK air freshener doesn’t! PERK has a patent-pending StediScent™ technology, which delivers consistent, high-quality fragrance which lasts at least 30 days. Every scent is awesome-seriously they are all amazing! New cars always smell good. It makes a big difference to get into a great smelling car vs. the alternative.
2- Wash the vehicle well. I like to go to the self wash places and wash my own cars. Afterward while I’m drying it with a towel I use a gentle cleanser and really soft scrub pad to get spots off that could cause rust to build. Doing this on my ’02 Impreza for many years has made the paint job last much longer (esp. in an area that uses a lot of salt on the roads each winter). Also, wash the under carriage if you live in a place that uses a lot of salt on the roads as well.
3- Tint the windows. Tinted windows make the car much cooler, the upholstery lasts longer, discourages thieves (as they can’t see what is inside very well), and the A/C doesn’t have to work as hard to keep everyone cool… Plus, tinted windows make the car look nicer/newer (in my opinion).
4- Wipe up messes immediately. Cleaning something that spills or something your child did soon after the fact will help your vehicle stay in much better shape.
5- Take out what you put in (or store it in the truck). I’m a bit of a hypocrite here as I don’t always do this. But I know I should so I’m mentioning it. While it’s easy to leave stuff in the car when you get home if you clean everything out each time you arrive home it will not pile up and accumulate. I’m much better at this than I was a few years ago but I could still improve more. A vehicle will definitely feel much newer if it is not cluttered. And give it a good vacuum now and again.
6- Detail (step-by-step instructions here) or pay for a car detail once every few years. I usually give our vehicles a really deep clean once every year or two. This is more than a vacuum and wipes down. I clean every crevice. Paying someone to do it if you have it in your budget is a great option as well.
7- Use preventative measures. We use car seat mats to go under our baby and toddler car seats in the vehicle with a leather interior to protect it. That’s helped keep it looking new despite the constant movement and weight of the plastic car seats.
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I would love to try summer berry!
Sarah @ SarahTitus.com says
Detailing a car can definitely make it look and feel brand new. 🙂 The one I’d love to win is new car smell. 🙂
flavia henry says
I would love to try the new car scent. I am on a mission to find a new car scent that really works. Thanks for the tips.
Anita Fowler says
The PERK new car scent is excellent-best ever!
Sara Moore says
This sounds like a great product! Would love to try the Caribbean Colada scent to ‘perk’ up the smell of my 2004 vehicle 🙂
latanya t says
New Car scent.
new car scent – it would be nice if it could make my 2003 car smell like new 😉
I’d like to try either the golden vanilla or the new car.
I have used Glade in the past, but Perk sounds much better! Would love to try the new car scent
Lou Ann says
Would Love to try Golden Vanilla!
Golden vanilla/ new car 🙂
Perk car fresheners sound like a great idea. I would love to try Caribbean colada.
I would love to try Golden Vanilla and New Car scent. I am going to either print this page out or write it down and put it in my glove compartment. This will be a new shopping list just before I go clean the car. Thank you for the suggestions. 😀 😀
Summer berry sounds so refreshing for the summertime. Thanks for the tips!
Steven Epstein says
I would love to try summer berry! love the smell of berries mmmmmmm
I would like to try the new car scent. Thanks for tips.
denise low says
I always wash my car. I don’t take it to the car wash. I think if I wash it myself it is cleaner. And I love the new car smell. Thanks for the entry.
michelle k. says
I have never seen these Perk Visor wraps before, this is a great idea. I would like the new car smell since my car is very old
mary anne says
I prefer lavender, new car, and pine scents. These products look cool!
Who wouldn’t want to PERK up their drive time with a wonderful smelling car…I would truly love to try them ALL, but I think my fav would be the Caribbean Colada! Thanks you’ve PERKED UP MY DAY!!
I would lover to try new car smell!
Randi Getchell says
I would love to win the new car smell or golden vanilla!
Having a clean car always makes me feel better about life in general…and I much prefer washing it at home…it is usually cleaner. Would love the new car scent.
I would love to try the new car scent.
I’ve been on a quest to find a “new car” scent that actually smells like a new car. These have a neat design as well. Clean cars just run better, don’t you think?!
I meant Caribbean colada…lol…
Nicole Carter says
I think I would like Caribbean Colada the best!
I would love Caribbean Colada…..
I would love to win the Perks Carribean Colada scent. I volunteer to drive veterans to the veteran’s hospital free of charge for those who don’t have any other means of transportion to get there so it would be a nice little treat to have my car smell nice for them.
Evelyn Chuter says
I like to have my deep cleaned and detailed. I’m not to crzy about doing my own car. And I would love to keep my new smelling new, but that Caribbean Colada scent sounds wonderful.
new car scent!!!
Anita Fowler says
You are the winner!! I’ll send you an email.
Rebecca Foughty says
New car, golden vanilla, or summer berry. I cant decide.
A clean car is a great feeling. I would love Golden Vanilla!
Heather Lawrence says
These were great tips Anita! I believe if something smells good it will make you feel good! I’m very interested in trying PERK New Car Scent! Not only because of the smell but for the convenience of it sliding on my visor! Therefore it will not block air from my A/C vents or my sight by dangling back and forth like those other brands! Thanks for the entry!
I am excited to try the Caribbean Colada!Thanks for the info regarding this great product;-).
Missi Davenport says
I have mats all over my vehicle and have done so for years. Had my Taurus for over 10 years and couldn’t stand to see it go! I would love to try the new car scent.
Kathy Meek says
I love the golden vanilla scent.
Amber Oliver says
I’d love to win the summer berry! I love all berry scents. So fresh smelling!
Andrea Seymour says
I would love to try the Caribbean Coconut! My car would smell like I’m on vacation every day!
When my car is clean, it even seems to ride better. Golden Vanilla would be a wonderful addition to my daily travels!
Daphne Trumps says
These are great tips. I intend to keept ’10 Journey for a few more years. I would like to try the Caribbean Colada or the Summer Berry.
I live in the country and drive down dirt roads. It seems like I’m ALWAYS washing my car! 🙂 I’d love the Caribbean Colada scent!
Aubrey schow says
I would love to try the summer berry scent. Those are a cute way to freshen your car.
PERK fragrance Caribbean Colada scent!!
Golden vanilla sounds delicious!
Oh, they all sound delicious but if a decision needs to be made I’d go with Caribbean Colada. Thanks for the chance to win.
I’d love to try all of them but I’d have to try the Caribbean Colada first!
Theresa Goudeau says
I would love New Car Smell! I try to keep my car clean and looking good!
Syndi Farley says
New car smell would be awesome! I love this fantastic idea!
I would love to try the Summer Berry.
New Car! ❤️????
I would go with vanilla.
Would love Golden Vanilla.
Great tips!! Golden Vanilla would be my pick!
Vicki B. says
I love having a car that smells good!
Vicki B. says
oops! I would use the new car and summer berries mostly. I like to change the scent every so often to liven things up.
This could have my old car smelling like new again………….
Joy L. Wade says
I’D LOVE TO TRY GOLDEN VANILLA!!!
I would like to try the Caribbean Colada!
Carol Baker says
Our Subaru has 128K miles and still looks great. The golden vanilla would make it smell great too.
The Perk Summer Berry sounds great
Jamie M says
Golden Vanilla. mmm
I’d love to try the golden vanilla
Anita, Thanks so much for all your blogs! Much appreciated. I have five children and my van can get trashed pretty quickly! I have gotten better over the years at taking everything out when we unload. Maybe if it smelled like a new car we can do better? Lol I would love to receive the “New Car” scent. Thank you!
Anita Fowler says
You’re welcome. That’s so fun! I come from a family of five and our van was also almost always messy! I totally understand!
New car scent.
Leesha @ Living Contently says
Great tips! We’re all for holding onto (and eventually purchasing) our used vehicles. I’m going to have to show this list to my husband, so we can get to work making our vehicles feel at least semi-new again!
Anita Fowler says
Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.
I would love to try the summer berry!
For a used car lot clean up. Paint the fender wells Black or in cases of a truck paint them thr color of the vehicle.
2nd Wash around the fuel fill and make sure it is clean.
3rd If the floor mats are worn or nonexistent, buy an inexpensive set in the appropriate color. They give a car well kept look.
Wash the windshield inside and outside with ammonia with a few drops of Dawn dish washing detergent. Dry the exterior of the windshield with the black and white newspaper NOT color print. The black ink polishes the glass. However, if used on the interior the black will transfer to the dash and trim.
Clean all Jams, door, trunk lid and hood.
Polish the headlights to remove any fog.
Make sure all lights work.
Clean under the hood.
Change the oil and put in new air filters.
Wash the inside and outside of the tailpipe to remove any soot.
There’s a lot more but these along with the article contents will help get top dollar. Oh and Do Not use super Shiny tire gloss. Use a muted finish on the Tires.
Thank you for the great information!
Thank you for these tips! With three kids and tons of after-school activities, my car is always a mess. I finally got a car upholstery cleaning last week and have been trying to teach my kids to keep it clean. I need to pick up an air freshener and maybe a mini trash can to keep in the car now!
Thanks for stopping by and reading. I love the idea of a mini trash can in the car.
I am going to start using a lot of these tips! Thanks!
I’d really love to try these tips out on my older care. Just had it run through an auto repair shop too to fix a lot of the old functionality, so these tips will help make it feel even newer. Thanks!
you’re welcome, thanks for stopping by!