As they get older, many things increase in value and their quality improves. Unfortunately, this is not the case when it comes to cars. As soon as a car exits the new car lot, its value decreases up to 20% and it becomes a “used car” even though it’s still practically brand new. However, if you keep your car in a good condition while it is still your property, you will probably be able to resell it for a good price. Here’s what you can do to keep the value of your car from decreasing:
Keep your car clean. This means avoid eating and drinking inside your car, because you can easily get it stained and then it will be much harder to keep it clean. As smell is also a big part of cleanliness, in order to ‘keep it clean’, you should avoid smoking in your car. The next most important thing having to do with the cleanliness is washing your car frequently, inside and out. If you don’t do this, and your car gets stained and doesn’t smell very nice (to put it gently), it will lower the price when you decide to sell it.
Make sure your car looks good. The looks have always been important, especially of the things you are trying to sell. That first impression your car will make on potential buyers is the impression based on which they will decide whether or not to buy it. If they don’t like it on the first sight, they will probably just walk away. Keeping your car clean definitely contributes to its good looks. Also, there are some other ways to keep it looking good for a long time, such as keeping it in the shade, so the color doesn’t fade on the sun, or cracks due to cold. Besides the color, the cold can also damage the engine components, so keeping it in a dry place with a mild temperature might kelp you a lot in protecting its looks, and therefore its value. Moreover, if your car has some visible damage, make sure you fix it (along with those that cannot be seen, if you are an honest seller), because damages can lower the price of your car, and fixing them will not cost you much.
Install seat covers. This will protect the seats in your car in case you spill something or if you are driving your pets around and don’t want hair or drool all over your seats. These seats aren’t expensive, and can save you a lot of money, that you would need to spend washing the stains. You can also put some mats on the floors, so when you enter your car from a muddy street, you will only have the mats to clean, which is much easier than cleaning the floor of your car.
Do small repairs whenever needed. If the color of your car gets scratched, paint it over with the matching color – it will cost you less than dealing with rust which will definitely appear after a while if you don’t paint over it. Waiting until your car breaks down to make repairs is simply a bad idea – while taking care of each problem as soon as it appears can do much for you in the long run, especially concerning money and stress.
Buy a used car. As the value of a car drops as soon as it leaves the store, buying a ‘used car’ or a car that has actually been used for a year or two can really pay off. You will get a relatively new car that hasn’t gone through too many miles, and you will probably get a warrantee from your dealer as well.
Don’t repair everything on your own. Some things you can really do yourself, such as cleaning, for example. On the other hand, some repairs and touch ups need to be done by a professional, if you want to increase and not decrease the value of your car. For instance, doing window tinting on your own will probably be visible to your potential buyers, and look unattractive. So leave something to the people whose job it is to make your car look good, and don’t stress about it.
Treat your car well. You can prevent your car from getting torn up too much by doing less start-stop action. Also, carrying or towing more weight than the manual of the car recommends can be harmful to your car, along with frequent and excessive speeding, especially over bad roads. Always try to drive your car as conscientiously as possible and make sure that you don’t let anyone irresponsible drive it.
Finally, keep the maintenance records. This is basically your only evidence of what you did to the car (repairs, touch ups, etc.). Showing those receipts to your potential buyer can really increase your credibility and make your car more desirable, while ensuring that the price you set doesn’t drop (of course, assuming that the records show that you took good care for your car).
Your car’s value is bound to depreciate but you can always try to minimize your losses. Use the above mentioned tips and you will have twofold benefits – you will be driving a car in mint condition that will not leave you on the side of the road and when you plan on selling it you will be delighted with the cash you will be able to get for it.