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On the day that we celebrate our love for our other (and sometimes better) halves, why not show how much you appreciate the other real love of your life (apart from the kids, obviously) - your car?

Throughout the year you take it for granted, dragging it all over the place at a whim, use it as a dustbin, let the snow and rain do what they do worse without cover...so show it some love and consideration.

We are not saying flowers, chocolates, lingerie or underwear - because that would just be silly. But there are ways in which you can show your appreciation for what your car does for you all year round.

Get It Squeaky Clean and in ShipShape Fashion

I remember my dad saying to me that "Cars run better when they are clean." I know they don't really, and I think it was a way of getting me to keep mine clean(er), but when you are driving a clean car, it certainly feels like it does.

  • Get the vacuum cleaner out and give the inside a clean. 
  • Get rid of all the rubbish that has accumulated over the days/weeks/tears since you last had a car interior tidy up. 
  • Sort out the boot and take out stuff that has been there for ages that doesn't really need to be there (as this will help you increase your fuel economy too.) 
  • Give the car a good wash outside with good quality wash and wax - and don't forget the tyres and wheel trims.

You could go to one of those car wash places around the corner or at the local garage, but by doing it yourself, you will feel better too, giving the motor a bit of one-to-one attention - a bit of 'us' time. Just don't do it when you are supposed to be doing the same to your other half. The one-to-one time that is, not the wash and wax!)

Treat the Car to a Full Service

Much like the cleaning, you can feed the inner heart of your car by booking it into a reputable garage for the full treatment - like a spa treatment that you or your partner may have booked.

Feeling good inside is as important to a car as it is to a human - perhaps more so because of the amount of mechanical technology that it contains - so by looking after the small things, you are in fact prolonging life.

  • Get the car tuned-up so that its' performance is optimised. A well-tuned engine delivers the best balance of power and fuel economy, and produces the lowest level of emissions.
  • Get the oil checked and changed, and get the oil filter checked too.
  • Get the tyre pressure checked, and make sure that they ensure that the tyres are legal too. After all, your tyres are an important part of the comfort and ride that you will enjoy, the safety of you and your passengers, and the fuel economy too.
  • Get the wheel alignment checked as encounters with potholes and kerbs can throw this out. A wheel alignment reduces tyre wear, improves fuel economy and handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.
  • Get the water and screenwash checked and topped up too.

Buy the Car something that it needs

You may well be buying your loved one a piece of clothing that they might like to wear (or you might like THEM to wear) or they may need, and it is the same for your car.

Wear and tear affects cars over the years, and bits and bobs do need replacing; so rather than wait until they fall off or fail completely, as a Valentine's Day treat, why not get it sorted? 

Nationwide Vehicle Contract's Vehicle Maintenance Guide may help you decide what needs doing, but that wiper blade that is a little worn; why not replace that? The little bolt that is missing on the car seat restrainer; replace it. The handle that comes loose on the fold-down seat when you pull it; get that repaired. That scratch that happened in a car park back in July, and that paint job that needs doing; do them! All those little jobs that you never got round to - get them done as a treat for your car.

Get a New Set of Wheels

Yes, it's a bit of a big present, but just think how good your car would look with a complete new set of wheels. Wheels can completely transform a car, and at the same time transform what people think of you as you drive around in a car with new wheels. Just an idea!

Give the Car a Good Run Out

Do you spend all your time tootling about in the city on the work run, sat in traffic jams and occasionally hitting 40mph when it is safe and legal to do so? Would you not rather take your car out for a drive to open the throttle and test its limits (again in legal fashion)? Unless you’ve pushed your car to its limit and found it extremely lacking, you won't know that.

So try it. You'll never know unless you do.

As we said previously, your car is important, and it needs love, care and attention. But not to the detriment of any relationship you may well be in - or want to be. You could combine the two because, who would not want to be whisked away on a romantic drive in a clean and recently serviced car with a new set of wheels listening to a digital radio station playing love songs?

Happy Valentine's Day from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts.