10 ways to preserve your car’s resale value
Car depreciation, like death and taxes, is inevitable. Your car starts losing value the second you drive off the lot. While you can’t stop it, proper maintenance and a little attention to detail can help you earn hundreds or thousands more when you and your car eventually part ways. Here are 10 of the best ways to preserve your car’s resale value.
1. Stay up-to-date with regular maintenance
Don’t just wait for the check engine light to turn off on its own, take proper care of your car. You’ll avoid unnecessary repairs and save some cash while you’re driving it, but also potential buyers will pay a little extra for a car that has been well maintained.
2. Keep service records
All the time and money you spent taking care of your vehicle will be for nothing if you don’t have the proof. Used car buyers want to know a vehicle’s history, and meticulous service records are the best way to show how well you took care of your car.
3. Car wash, yeah
Weather and the elements can wreak havoc on your car’s exterior. Regularly washing and waxing will help preserve the paint job, remove blemishes and prevent fading. Pro tip: avoid car washes with tumbling or twirling scrubbers because repeated use may hurt your sparkling finish.
4. Use it, don’t abuse it
You’re not The Rock or Vin Diesel, so there’s no need to drive so fast and furiously. Don’t push your car past its limits, which means avoid racing, flooring the throttle, taking fast, abrupt turns or braking late. Never tow more weight than is recommended in your owner’s manual and whenever possible, steer clear of areas where road conditions are poor.
5. Avoid eating or smoking inside
Your car isn’t a restaurant with a smoking section, so don’t treat it like one. Spills, stains and smoke can ruin your car’s interior and create a pungent odor that will turn off buyers and put a big dent in your car’s resale value.
6. Park smarter
Dings and scratches are inevitable, but you can protect your doors and bumpers by watching where you park and what you park next to. Whenever possible, park in the far reaches of the lot, far away from other vehicles and those pesky cart corrals. Heading into the big city? Be prepared to parallel park and know there’s a good chance your car will get dinged.
7. Avoid unnecessary modifications
Giant rims, flat screens in the doors and an aquarium in the back might be your style, but if you hope to sell your car one day, you should keep it as close to factory spec as possible. If you add too much customization, buyers will look for another car that’s been kept closer to what they’re used to.
8. A garage is a car’s best friend
Protect your car from the harsh elements by parking inside whenever possible. Excessive sun exposure can fade paint, trim and other outer surfaces. Extreme cold can wear on your car’s engine. Parking your car in a climate-controlled environment can help you avoid costly repairs while you own it and get more money when you sell.
9. Road trip rental
Fewer miles means more resale dollars, so avoid driving excessive miles whenever possible. If you’re planning a long trip, rent a car and avoid adding unnecessary mileage and wear and tear on yours. Plus, you can opt for a more fuel-efficient vehicle and save a little extra on gas.
10. Be a smart car buyer
Obviously, it’s important to maintain your vehicle’s value, but you won’t get a good resale price if you have a car that no one wants. Think about your car’s future value while shopping. Do some research and ask a car-savvy friend about the makes and models that are known for reliability and desirability in the resale market. And you’ll be a step ahead when it comes time to sell.