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Top 7 Tips to Make a Used Vehicle Seem New

Top 7 Tips to Make a Used Vehicle Seem New

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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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Top 7 Tips to Make a Used Vehicle Seem New


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Wednesday 31st of August 2022

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!


Saturday 1st of October 2022

you're welcome, thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday 1st of June 2022

I am going to start using a lot of these tips! Thanks!


Thursday 14th of October 2021

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!


Friday 12th of November 2021

Thanks for stopping by and reading. I love the idea of a mini trash can in the car.


Sunday 4th of July 2021

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.


Friday 12th of November 2021

Thank you for the great information!

Tips To Making Your Used Car Look Like New | Safford CJDR of Warrenton

Monday 28th of June 2021

[…] If you’re looking for some ways to make your used vehicle feel like new,┬áread along for seven tips to live […]