Main image for post: Top five tips for giving your car a spring clean

March is one of the most important months on the calendar - the spring equinox brings the first days with more than 12 hours of daylight, the clocks go forward, making those lighter evenings last even longer, and winter finally gives way to spring.

So for many of us, those longer days will be taken as a chance to do some proper spring cleaning around the house - but you should not neglect your car, as spring is the perfect time for a deep clean of your vehicle too.

On the outside, it's a chance to wash away the dirt and grime that may have built up during the winter months, as well as making sure any salt residue from gritted icy roads is not left to damage your paintwork or corrode the metal.

A clean windscreen will be important as the brighter sunnier days set in, so make sure the glass is free from any greasy residues, and that your wiper blades are clean too - this is also a good time to top up your screen wash bottle and consider adding some suitable detergent to it.

And on the inside, remove your floor mats and give them a good shake or a wash to remove winter mud, and vacuum the interior to get rid of any dust, which should help to keep any summer allergies at bay for a little longer.

Top tips for car spring cleaning

1. Take your time - This might be the one really deep clean your car gets each year, so be more thorough about it. If you're using a jet wash, give the underbody a blast too, so any corrosive salt picked up from gritted roads is washed away.

2. Open all hatches - The bins and storage compartments, not to mention the boot of your car, can get cluttered especially over the winter months when you're less likely to spend time outside tidying your vehicle, so empty them out and reorganise any accessories you keep in door pockets and the glove compartment.

3. Check your lights - Testing your car's various lights and bulbs is an important pre-winter step, but it's worth checking them again at the end of the season when they've just taken the most strain.

4. Buff it, baby - Baby wipes are a handy alternative to a damp cloth for wiping down leather upholstery as well as the dashboard and console - convenient, quick-drying and with sterilising agents pre-loaded, just make sure they don't contain anything harsh that your vehicle's surfaces will react badly to.

5. Wax is back - Once your exterior paintwork is gleaming, add a layer of a suitable vehicle wax, which will not only bring out the shine, but should repel future dirt and water and keep your car looking cleaner for longer.