When you purchase a brand new vehicle, within the first five years of ownership, you’ve lost 60% of its value. Of course there are vehicles that hold their value a bit better than others, but overall, buying new off-the-lot is not always the smartest investment. Buying a used car, in the sweet spot between price, mileage, and age of vehicle, is by far the sounder choice.

If you’re considering purchasing a new-to-you vehicle, we’ve got 5 used car upgrades that will make your well-loved wheels feel brand new.

It’s All In The Details

One of the best parts about a new car is how shiny they feel driving off the lot. One of the easiest ways to upgrade your car? Take it to a detailer, where your car will receive a thorough cleaning on both the exterior and interior of the vehicle. For the exterior, this is often a thorough cleaning of the entire car; sometimes, this even includes a new paint job or touch-up or two. The interior will receive a complete cleaning of the cabin.

The spotless car you drive away in will feel--and look--brand new to you.

Upgrade To a Bluetooth

Brand new vehicles always come equipped with the latest in technology. This means that the standard now is often bluetooth, navigation, backup cameras, and even side-mirror navigational tools. If you’re still driving around in a car that doesn’t have any bluetooth capabilities, consider a simple fix: a car music adapter allows you to stream music from your phone, make and answer hands-free calls, and otherwise acts as a bluetooth transmitter.

Install a Remote Car Starter

If you live in a climate with drastic seasonal temperature shifts, this one is a big deal: install a remote car starter. On those hot summer days, you’ll have a cool vehicle to enter; on those icy winter days, no more scraping and freezing as you wait for your car to warm up enough to drive.

Typically costing around $200, this is a quick, handy upgrade for not all that much in cost.

Know Your Sensors

The last three tips aren’t necessary for safety (okay, the bluetooth is if you’re one to chat on the phone while driving), but this one is a big one: know your sensors. A big one that’s often missed? The TPMS sensor.

So what is TPMS on a car? TPS stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and it’s your vehicles gauge for the tire pressure of your wheels. Why is this important? Well, underinflated tires increases a drivers chance of a serious accident by 300 percent. Knowing your sensors is crucial to being safe on the road.

Clean the Lenses

Another big one for safety: clean the lenses of your vehicle. Over time, the plastic composite on your headlamps dull, causing lights to dim. This, of course, translates to unsafe driving conditions.

The fix? A cheap (typically around $30) headlight restoration will return lights to the clear, bright light that’s safe for nighttime driving.

Published by Kristin Perry