The Car Care Council has an easy New Year's resolution that almost everyone can get on board with. Because the prices of vehicles are on the rise, the council believes caring for your current vehicle is a resolution that makes financial sense.

While the average price of a new vehicle is up, vehicles are lasting longer than ever before too. According to IHS Markit, the average vehicle age is now 11.6 years. Who wouldn't want their car to last that long?

The Car Care Council reminds drivers that they can help their car last longer with proper care. They think an easy New Year's resolution to keep is following these three auto care tips.

1. Routine Maintenance is Very Important

Maintaining your vehicle at recommended intervals is one of the best ways you can help it last longer. You can find the service schedule your car's manufacturer recommends in the owner's manual.

That means keeping up with regular: oil, filter and fluid changes, tire checks (especially in the colder months); tire rotations, and other routine maintenance. Also, be ready to replace typical wear items, like brakes and tires, when needed. This can prevent long-term damage from happening.

2. Look at and Listen for What Your Car is Telling You

Car Caring

Vehicles often communicate that trouble may be on the horizon. Sometimes this comes via illuminated dashboard warning lights. Other times, it's simply a weird noise or even a smell coming from your car. Regardless, you need to be paying attention.

Warning lights that come on, such as your check engine light, indicate that certain systems need inspecting. Just as any unusual sounds (squealing, thumping, hissing, grinding, etc.) or smells can indicate an issue.

Resolving to address these problems early can help your car's longevity. If you put off fixing small problems, it can lead to larger (and more expensive) ones down the road.

3. Even Cleanliness Can Help

Keeping your car clean inside and out can also make it last longer and help it retain its value. For example, regularly washing and waxing your vehicle can reduce the potential of rust. This is because dirt buildup can wear down and weaken your car's paint, which protects the body of the car from the elements.

Cleaning the inside will also help your car stay in tip-top shape. Make a habit of properly cleaning messes promptly so stains and/or odor can't set in. Also, you can keep a trash bag inside and make a habit of always having your car clean, which will make you more inclined to keep it clean at all times.

The Bottom Line

Caring for your car is a resolution that is easy to not let go by the wayside. Auto care can help your vehicle last longer and protect its trade-in value.

If you need a car to care for, but your credit is keeping you from getting approved, Drivers Lane can help. We connect car buyers with imperfect credit to a dealership in their area that is trained in special finance. You may even be able to buy your car with little or no money down.

Get back on the road to start the New Year off right. Get started today by filling out our fast, free and easy online application.