Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only. While Budget Direct has endeavoured to ensure the information we’ve relied on is accurate and current, we do not guarantee it. Budget Direct accepts no liability for this information.

There are times where we find ourselves driving less frequently. Whether you’re off on a holiday, working from home, or simply getting around more on foot – it’s easy to enjoy the savings of driving less.

However, those savings can quickly turn to expenses if your car isn’t properly maintained. To help ensure your car isn’t at risk while it’s not in use, we’ve compiled our top tips for maintaining a parked car.

Run your vehicle

A lot of modern cars have electronics that draw power from the battery when your car is parked. It helps keep the electronic systems alive and alarms active, but also means your battery can be depleted if it’s not recharged.

Your car’s alternator is the main method it has of keeping the battery going, but it only works when the engine is going.

Taking your car for a half-hour drive around once a week can help top up the battery and keep fluids/oils moving around.


Bird droppings, sap, and plenty of other common elements can damage your car’s paintwork over time. That’s why it’s incredibly important to ensure that if your car is parked for an extended period, no harmful materials can damage it.

It’s also worth cleaning the interior, so any potential stains don’t set in.

Related: Tips for washing your car at home

Oil change and fluids

Windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, and engine oil can all deteriorate with age. Keeping up with your car’s servicing schedule is the easier way to keep your car’s fluids in good nick.

If your servicing is done privately, make sure you always keep detailed records of when changes were made, and when fluids are due for a changeover.

Related: Car servicing and maintenance checklist

Tyre pressure

Your tyres naturally lose air over time – that’s why it’s important to check their pressure regularly and ensure they align with the manufacture’s recommendations.

Tyres can also develop flat spots if your car is left stationary for too long – that can increase your chances of a puncture on the open road.

Related: What are the correct tyre pressures for your car?

Fill up the tank

This might seem strange, given you know you won’t be driving. But keeping your fuel lines and tank full of fuel prevents air, moisture, and other elements from sitting for too long against the metal inside them. Over time, that prevents things like rust, mould or other nasty elements from getting into your fuel and engine.

Be prepared for anything back on the road

When cars are left idle for long enough, some unexpected issues can arise. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the sound your car makes when you’re back on the road.

It’s also worth making sure you have adequate roadside assistance, should something go wrong.

Budget Direct can either offer you either stand-alone Roadside Assistance, or add it to your existing car insurance policy.

You can find out more about Roadside Assistance online, or add it to your existing policy via your online account.