THERE'S a common belief that your car always drives better after you’ve spent hours cleaning and waxing it.

But what it really needs is a a regular service. 

What with running the kids here and there during the summer holidays, doing the gardening or clearing out the garage, looking after your car is often overlooked at this time of year . 

But don’t forget that regular servicing of your vehicle will not only improve its reliability, safety and environmental performance, but also significantly protect its re-sale or trade-in value. 

Research has shown that many motorists rely purely on the annual MOT, which is both a false economy and potentially dangerous. 

A vehicle’s service history can not only boost its value, but also make the difference between a desirable and completely unwanted car. 

The absence of a service history may reduce the car’s value or, even worse, put off potential buyers completely. 

The advice from the Institute of the Motor Industry, the professional association for individuals working in the motor trade, is ensure your car is maintained by qualified professionals. 

Modern vehicles have more computing power and electronics than the Apollo moon rocket and systems such as ABS, ASC, AWD, EBA and ESP are commonplace. 

Such technology demands a high level of technical knowledge and expertise, so it is paramount that your vehicle is entrusted to safe hands. 

An IMI member said: “Most of us rely on a car every day so it’s vital that it is maintained properly and at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. 

“When it comes to a service, communication with the garage is everything, and you have a right to deal with fully trained and qualified staff. 

“If you are shopping around for the best deal, make sure that technicians are adequately qualified to work on your particular make of vehicle.”