Person checking under bonnet with flash light
Laura Henley

Laura Henley

Laura is a Digital Copywriter in our (award-winning) marketing team, tasked with keeping you up to date with all the latest industry news and gossip. With a wealth of experience under her belt, there's no one better to keep you entertained and informed.

Read time of 5 minutes.

Car maintenance 101: How to look after your vehicle

There’s nothing worse than that feeling of regret because your lease car is in the garage for an expensive fix that you probably could have prevented if you had just carried out some routine maintenance.

Some regular TLC is all your car needs to keep it running smoothly and for longer. You’ll save money in the short run by not having to visit a mechanic so often and it’ll save you money in the long run by maintaining its resale value.

Plus, by keeping on top of your maintenance, you’ll spend less time dealing with larger issues.

If something goes seriously wrong with your car, you could be without one for a few days or more while it gets fixed, which can be a big inconvenience.

But taking care of your car isn’t just about saving time and money, it’s about improving your safety on the road too. Regularly checking that your car is working the way it’s supposed to will ensure it’s performing at its best and reduce the chance of any accidents.

In order to keep your vehicle in roadworthy condition, here are five easy ways to look after your car.

The car maintenance basics that everyone needs to know.

1. Keep on top of your car servicing

Considering a car service can cost you a few hundred pounds each time, it can feel like an annoying expense.

But one of the best ways to keep your car in good shape is to book in a service regularly.

A car service allows fully qualified mechanics to inspect your car and ensure everything is running as it should be. They’ll be able to spot any issues your vehicle might have and offer some possible fixes.

As a rule of thumb, you should get your car booked in for a service every year, but some newer cars even alert you in the driver display when your car needs to be serviced.

Make sure you check your vehicle’s handbook as the different models and engines will have an individual service plan.

Person with clipboard making car checks

2. Keep your battery healthy

You need a battery to keep your car running. Ensuring your car is driven regularly will help keep your battery healthy and avoid you getting stuck with a dead battery.

If you drive down the road to the shop for a bottle of milk and back, we’d recommend you ditch your car and start walking these shorter journeys.


A lot of power is used to start your car and your car’s alternator spends the rest of the journey recharging the battery.

Shorter journeys might not give your alternator enough time to recharge the battery and doing this often will reduce your battery’s voltage until it can no longer start your car.

So, frequent but longer journeys are much better for your car’s battery.

Also make sure you haven’t left any lights on, your heated seats on or a sat nav plugged in to charge.

All these can drain your battery. So, checking you haven’t accidentally left a door slightly open, thus leaving the door light on could ensure your battery doesn’t completely drain.

3. Check your tyres

First of all, you want to maintain the correct pressure on your tyres. This should be checked weekly, or at least before a long journey.

The correct tyre pressure keeps your vehicle stable as its weight is evenly distributed.

Underinflated tyres can cause damage to the overall structure of your tyres, can make steering heavier and create a bumpy ride. Due to increased friction, your car has to work harder and use more fuel.

If you’ve overinflated your tyres, this can lead to increased wear and tear and reduced traction, stability and grip which can be very dangerous.

If you don’t have your own tyre pump, you can visit a petrol station to check your tyre pressure, though you may have to pay for the use of air.

The second thing you should check is the condition of your tyres.

The legal tyre tread depth for cars is 1.6mm and if your tyres are found to be under this, you could receive a hefty fine of up to £2500 and three penalty points on your license for each illegal tyre.

As you can see your tyres can affect your driving in so many different ways, so it’s important to keep on top of these routine checks to avoid any unnecessary costly repairs and replacements.

Checking tyre pressures

4. Regular oil checks

It’s recommended that you check your engine oil as regularly as every week, and you can do this yourself too.

You want to make sure your engine is cool before you open up the bonnet and look for the dipstick. You’ll need to pull the dipstick out, wipe off any oil on it using an old cloth, put it back in and then pull it back out.

There will be two lines on the stick, if the oil level sits within the gap, it doesn’t need filling up, but if it’s below the gap, the oil will need topping up.

5. Clean your car

Driving around in a squeaky-clean car feels great but it pays off to keep it clean too.

A dirty car can increase the wear and tear on your vehicle. By regularly washing it, you’ll preserve your car’s paint and prevent it from rusting.

Things like road salt, dirt and grime, which your car can pick up off the road, can cause damage over time so keeping it clean will help maintain your car for longer.

It can also improve your fuel consumption, maintain its value and ensure your safety.

Tesla Model Y

Keeping electric vehicles in good condition

If you have an electric car lease, you probably won’t be visiting a garage for repairs that often, but they still need to be looked after as general wear is expected and minor issues could turn into something a lot more significant if not cared for. 

They’re often more reliable since they have fewer moving parts, and you won’t need to worry about things like checking the engine oil.

But the battery, tyres, windscreen wipers and general paintwork will need to be regularly maintained.

Interested in a maintenance package?