As the price of a new automobile continues to get higher every year it is necessary to begin thinking of them in the long tem instead of trading as often as we used to. I know I intend to drive my 2005 Nissan Titan until the wheels fall off. I broke my own rule of not buying a new car because I was so enamored with looks and performance of the truck.
There are numerous things that you can do to make your car or truck last longer some cost money and some do not. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Never neglect the finish of your car. Wash your vehicle regularly and do not let things like bug splatter and road tar stay on your paint. These items can cause persistent pitting and scarring. If you live in an area that is near the coast or up north where they sort the roads you will need to wash more frequently to remove the salt that can cause rusting. You also want to keep a good protectant on your finish to help protect it. I recommend you look at a good PTFE based product. This is the same thing used on Teflon frying pans. In my opinion you do not want wax on your car. Wax is good for one thing, candles. It is made to melt under heat, I do not think I want that on my vehicle.
If you are not driving your car keep it out of the elements by garaging it or parking it under some kind of covered parking. If you do not have access to something like this then buy a water repellant cover for it. I have seen many vehicles ruined just because they were left out in the sun everyday and it oxidized the paint. This will happen quickly on darker colors and red is especially suspect.
On the list of items that should just be common sense is regular maintenance. Having your oil changed, tune-ups, and things like belt replacements are all regular upkeep things that must be done if you want your car to last as long as possible. Regular maintenance will go a long way to prolonging the life of your vehicle.
It's easy to tell the vehicles that are owned by people who care about their vehicles because they will invariably look almost as good as they did when they were bought and in some cases my even look better.