Buying a vehicle is a big investment.
And, like any other investment, you want to get a great return. The better you maintain your vehicle’s value, the more you’ll reap when it’s time to sell.
Here are 10 steps to maintain your vehicle’s value.
Vehicles don’t depreciate equally. Some makes and models are more popular than others in the used market. Before you buy, check out used car prices in your area. Look for popular features like leather interiors, automatic transmissions and rear-entertainment systems.
Rides with the widest appeal typically have the highest resale value. Remember that before sinking money into an unusual paint job or oversized wheels.
Good Clean Fun
No one wants a dirty car. The better you maintain your vehicle’s interior and exterior, the more attractive it will be in the used market. Vacuum and wash your vehicle regularly, and don’t be afraid to apply a good coat of wax whenever possible.
No Pets Allowed
Bringing Fido along on family road trips is nice, but pets can do serious harm to a vehicle’s resale value. While you can vacuum up fur, scratches and rips on the upholstery are a bit harder to fix. And it can be nearly impossible to get rid of that lingering dog smell.
Cigarette smoke can impart strong odors and discolor a vehicle’s interior. Smokers should avoid or cut down on smoking in their cars.
Dependability is a big factor in used vehicle value. Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual, and keep paperwork that shows what was done and when. Keeping windshield wipers and tires in good shape also helps.
Parking lots can be treacherous. We’ve all seen vehicles parked too close to each other, just begging for dings and dents. Parking a bit further from the door will help spare your car and prevent you from sinking money into avoidable cosmetic repairs.
To Drive or Not to Drive
Outside of car collectors, most people buy a vehicle with the intent of driving it. That said, your car depreciates with every mile. Consider renting a vehicle for long road trips and walking or biking around town for short errands. These short drives add up over time, and who wouldn’t benefit from some exercise?
Just Stay Home
Avoid going out in adverse weather like snow and hail. These elements can damage your vehicle and affect the resale value.
Where to Sell?
Selling your car to a private owner can result in a bigger payday, but can be challenging if your vehicle is only in fair condition. Consider trading it in at a dealership, or donating it to charity for a tax deduction.
Go to AAA.com/CarsTrucks to read more about car maintenance.