Cars are a pretty necessary part of our lives, but they’re a complicated part of it, too. There are so many details and factors that involve cars, their value, and how well they function that it can seem overwhelming. It can be easy to feel nervous about your investment since, as they say, you lose money the moment you drive a brand new car off the lot. In a lot of ways, this is true — buying a brand new car means spending a decent amount of money that you simply won’t get back, but there are ways you can protect your investment so that when trade-in time does roll around you make sure you’re getting the most out of your vehicle.

One great way to keep your car’s value from too seriously falling is by simply maintaining it on a regular basis. As a driver, you know that your automobile is simply going to need fixing from time to time. Whether something just goes wrong in a way that wasn’t intended or anticipated, or it’s simply time for your regular oil change — cars are constantly in need of one kind of maintenance or another, so it’s important that you’re taking good care of your car on a very regular basis. Make sure you take your car in to get its oil changed every five thousand miles, and when you do have the workers check everything out. If there’s anything they recommend fixing, make sure you do it right away. Keep the air filters nice and clean and get your oil changed on a very regular basis to make sure your car’s engine functions beautifully all through your ownership.

Climate can wreak havoc on your car’s exterior, and this is one of things that a lot of auto owners don’t realize is an issue until it’s too late. This is mostly the case in coastal areas where there’s a good degree of moisture in the air, but it’s also important to keep in mind if you live in a place where constant humidity is a factor. If your car’s kept in a place that’s nearby to the ocean, there’s an especially high concentration of moisture in the air, and a good amount of salt particles that are floating around. This extra-ionized humid air will corrode the paint right off your car’s exterior, and is responsible for that rusted-out look you sometimes see on beat-up old cars parked around the beach. Keeping your car in a garage, structure, or some other situation that protects it from the outdoor air is an easy way to avoid this kind of situation.

The most simple way to keep your car in great shape is to avoid driving it too much. If you can keep from driving your car extremely long distances, and only use it for local traveling, then you’ll really be able to keep everything functioning nicely. Wear and tear from use is probably the number one factor in car value depreciation, so if you can drive conservatively you’re that much more likely to get your money’s worth when it’s time to find the next car. You can visit sites like to make sure you’re protected in case your car experience a serious emergency that requires a good amount of repairs — otherwise, dutiful maintenance and tender loving care will keep your car as close to its original value as possible.