The Good-As-New Gold Standard: 7 Tips for Keeping Your Car’s Exteriors Looking Brand New

Your car’s exterior is an opportunity to make a stellar first impression on fellow drivers on passing pedestrians. Whether you’re a classic car collector or a no-nonsense professional hoping to impress clients with your attention to detail, you’ll want to keep your vehicle looking as shiny and brand-new as the day you drove it off the lot. Luckily, small care practices can add up quickly when it comes to exterior care.

By keeping up with the basics, your vehicle will always be sharply dressed. Here are seven tips for keeping your car’s exteriors looking brand new.

Opt for a car shipping company with comprehensive insurance coverage

Shipping your car hundreds of miles is intimidating for first-time shippers, and it can be even more so if you don’t opt for comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive insurance coverage will cover any damages while your car is in transit so that you aren’t stuck with new knicks and dings.

When scouting out auto transport companies committed to damage-free deliveries, research is key. Make a list of car shipping companies that offer comprehensive insurance. From there, use an online car insurance estimator to compare rates and find the one that best suits your needs. Even if insurance adds to your ticket price, it’s still less expensive than a visit to the body shop.

As with anything, check the reputation of each shipping company. You are entrusting your car with them, so you want them to care about your vehicle as much as you do. Reliable companies, like those at Guardian Auto Transport (, will have all-encompassing insurance coverage and stellar customer reviews.

When shipping your vehicle, the value of your car is also a vital factor. Larger shipping companies have experience in a range of car values, so you can trust that they’ll have experience shipping a high-ticket car. Luxury car repairs are even more expensive than regular car repairs, so this is another example of why insurance is a must when shipping your vehicle.

If you’re looking to find the value of your scrap car, check out WeBuyTotaledCars. They give instant quotes and pick up your car for free

Wash your car regularly

Whether you have a used car or a new one, washing regularly can improve its looks and protect its finish. Try to wash your vehicle at least once a month or more if you live in an area prone to dust or pollution.

Paint preservative products pair well with soap and water cleaning methods. If your car has been parked outside and covered in salt from winter driving, wash off the salt using a hose, then apply a coat of paint preservative. This measure will protect your car from unsightly rust damage.

Wax and polish your car at least twice a year

Apply wax at least once or twice per year. This application helps protect your finish from acidic pollutants like airborne factory gases or cigarette smoke while also providing some protection against scratches and dings.

Apply a light coat of paste wax for a nice shine or liquid wax if your vehicle has darker paint. Liquid wax is especially helpful in protecting and improving the appearance of color over time (usually black).

Use a cover when your car is not in use

Use a tight and snug cover to protect your vehicle when you park it in outdoor areas. It will keep dust from sticking to its expanse and will prevent scratches from mucking up your paint job, among other threats that might affect the appearance of your favorite car. If your vehicle is in storage, use a sturdy dust cover to keep it looking new for the next time you drive it.

Wash off dirt, bugs, and bird droppings immediately

Dirt, bugs, and bird droppings can all damage your car’s finish if you leave them on your vehicle. Wash your car with soap and water as soon as possible to get rid of them. If you leave these pesky marks on your car, the sun’s rays will eventually bake them onto your vehicle and can damage the paint. If you must wait a few days, make sure to wash your car with soap and water as soon as possible. Aside from potential paint danger, dead bugs and dirt worsen your car’s appearance on their own.

After washing your car’s body, don’t forget to clean the wheels too. They can get dirty over time if you drive on filthy or dusty roads, and caked-on mud can make the tread less effective. Wash them with soap and water or use a car-wash solution to clean them thoroughly.

Use automotive cleaning products

Specialized cleaning products for cars will help you avoid scratching the paint and accomplish your cleaning goals faster. Buy a good-quality, non-abrasive microfiber cloth that can trap dirt particles without leaving scratches. Don’t wash your car in direct sunlight if you want to avoid streaks from drying water.

Just like you wouldn’t shower with dish soap, you shouldn’t wash your car with non-car soap. It may be tempting to use whatever you have around the house. However, you should be aware that dish soap cuts through grease, and it can leave a residue on your paint job that will dull the finish or even damage the paint.

Avoid using tar remover unless absolutely necessary. While tar removers are very effective, they can eat away at the finish of your car. This defacement will reduce the resale value and may eventually require repainting your vehicle. Opt for a less aggressive solution to keep your vehicle sitting pretty.

Don’t park under danger

Practice defensive parking as much as you practice defensive driving. For example, parking under trees can cause sap build-up on your car, scratches, and other damage. Falling branches might equal calls to the insurance company for you. You should also avoid parking near construction sites or other hazardous locations that put your vehicle at risk of flying debris.

Other hazards to watch out for include leaves, acorns, and bird droppings. Believe it or not, acorns and bird droppings can and will damage your car’s finish. These threats especially are light enough that you may not notice them until it’s too late, so it’s best to avoid parking without cover.


Your car is an extension of yourself, so you want it to look good and maintain its resale value. The short time it takes to park more carefully or wax your car is peanuts compared to the time and hassle of visiting the body shop or losing out on a high resale price. Following these simple tips will keep you and your car pretty and safe from stress lines.