That famous ‘new car feeling’ comes from a combination of fresh interior, shiny exterior and a dose of pure joy. Here are our top tips for keeping your car looking and feeling new for longer.


Make taking care of your new car part of your weekly routine and you can keep it feeling special for months, if not years.


1. That brand-new car feeling doesn’t have to be fleeting

2. The right products can extend that new car smell and shine

3. Look after your car’s interior by banning food, drinks and cigarettes

Keeping that new car feeling on the inside

A few simple tips can help you prolong the joy of having a new car:

  • Find an air freshener that replicates that ‘new car smell’ and give it pride of place in your car. You don’t need to limit yourself to car air fresheners, you could also experiment with products designed for the home until you find one that smells ‘just right’. You can also look into odour removers that work through your car’s air system.
  • Get into the habit of regularly cleaning the inside of your car, including the dashboard, seats and mats. You can even get the kids involved if they want to earn some extra pocket money.
  • Choose high-quality interior cleaning products and learn cleaning techniques from online tutorials. You’ll need different products and cloths for the various sections of your car’s interior.
  • Be strict about not eating, drinking or smoking in your new car. Small crumbs can get into tiny crevices that are almost impossible to reach.

How to keep your new car’s exterior sleek and shiny

Cleaning the outside of your car regularly with high-quality products will help keep it looking shiny and new – and help keep the compliments flowing. The AA recommends you clean your car every two weeks but avoid cleaning it in the rain and extreme sunlight or heat [1]

Another good tip is to take extra care when driving and parking to avoid dents and scratches. Use your parking sensors and cameras, if you have them, to avoid damage to your brand-new hubcaps. And take care when parking in narrow spots in busy car parks. If you’re unlucky enough to scrape your new car, get it looked at as soon as possible. The same with any mud, dirt, debris or bird mess – clean it as soon as possible to avoid prolonged damage to your new car.

Alternative ways to get that new car feeling

If a new car is out of budget or you’ve moved to a more sustainable lifestyle, there are other ways to get that same feeling:

  1. Zhuzh up your current ride. If you can’t afford a new car, why not give your current vehicle some TLC? A popular homemade cleaning solution is to mix one part vinegar with two parts water, spray the mixture onto the seats, let it sit for 30 minutes and wipe or scrub away any residue. Make sure you do a patch test first, just in case.   

    Source: [2].

  2. Hire a flashy new car for the weekend. Choose one with lots of bells and whistles and take it for a nice road trip. Enjoy the new car feeling, and hand it back on Monday morning.

  3. Book a driving experience day and sample a selection of new cars in one day. All the cleaning and car maintenance are taken care of, you just need to smile for the photographer.
  4. Upgrade your bicycle to an electric bike and see how that ‘new bike feeling’ compares to that new car feeling. You’ll be in good company as E-Bike sales are predicted to hit 17 million by 2030 [3].

What is that unmistakable new car smell?

Ahhhh, the recognisable aroma of a new car. There’s just no mistaking it. People even buy air fresheners and sprays that replicate the scent of a brand-new car’s interior. The science behind it suggests that the smell comes from the plastics and adhesives used in manufacturing, and – despite its popularity – the smell may not be very healthy for us.

Fun fact: despite the popularity of the new car smell, new car owners in China tend to prefer no smell at all in their new vehicles [4]

Why is September a popular time to buy a new car?

In September, we tend to see a peak in new car purchases because, along with March, it’s when new registration plates are released. For September 2023, new cars have ‘73’ as their identifying number. Many new car owners may also be sporting a unique number plate as the personalised plate industry is now worth around £2 billion [5]

New car owners are slightly changing their purchase preferences too, as interest grows in electric vehicles and low-emissions vehicles. The widening of the ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) to cover greater London (September 2023) has meant drivers need to replace older, non-compliant vehicles. According to ZapMap, there are “850,000 fully electric cars on UK roads and a further 530,000 plug-in hybrids” [6]

Car icon in purple


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