Most cars change hands eventually. But for most people, it is one of the biggest investments they would make over a lifetime. While cars are pitched as investments, they depreciate faster than most other assets, which makes them less so. The depletion in your car’s value begins from the moment you drive it away from the dealer. However, that doesn’t mean it’s value will be written off completely in a few year. Long after depreciation and being written off completely from your financial books, it will hold some value. Moreover, if the car is sparingly used, or cautiously driven, it can have good sales value. The key is to maintain value, so that you can sell it off at a good price in the end.
While the process of selling a car is confusing altogether, there are many other factors like model year, mode make, car condition, mileage, and the inherent factor of desirability becomes very crucial to the valuation of the vehicle. It is highly important that your car achieves a good score during valuation. Most people believe that vehicle value goes down with time. However, that is only partially true.
There are some things, very little things, that you take care of in your day to day life to retain, or even increase the valuation of your vehicle. It means that while most of the factors are out of your control, some of them are.
To understand what’s under your control in retaining the value of your car, you will need to consider the interior and exterior condition of the vehicle.
Here is a list of some important aspects to take care of to retain your car’s value in the best possible manner:
Clean your car regularly
Most obvious action, but very important. The first thing a buyer will see in the car is the exterior and interior. If you avoid cleaning it regularly, the exterior will corrode, and carpets will retain stains permanently. A dirty looking steering wheel is enough to lose buyer interest. The vehicle will not only look ugly, but even repulsive to some. Thoroughly clearing the vehicle at least twice a year is an easy recommendation to maintain good body condition. Additionally, a one-time investment in seat covers can keep it safe from everyday wear and tear.
Most of the car owners have this complain – the car picks up dents not while driving but when it is parked. If you simply watch where you park your car, and what’s beside it, you will save yourself from a whole lot of trouble. Park it at a fair distance from other vehicles, especially the ones with long doors that are often responsible for door-dings. Parking your car in a shade can also help. Vinyl dashboards tend to crack due to long exposure to sun.
Perform Scheduled Maintenance
Servicing your car regularly can help retain its value for a longer period of time. Make sure you keep track of the maintenance schedule. If possible, retain receipts of all the services like washes, oil changes, engine tuning, tire rotations. This will help you convince the next buyer that the car has been taken care of properly, and that their purchase will serve them well. Vehicle maintenance history is a viable proof for good car value.
Regularly Changing Engine Oil
Servicing is alright, but making sure you use good quality engine oil and also change it regularly. A car tells a lot about itself from the engine depreciation. It tells a buyer how rashly it is driven, and also how well it has been maintained. Engine oils are the essential lubricants that prevent overheating of engines, by decreasing the friction heat generated by the motor.
Keep track of mileage
The first thing any salesperson, broker, or anyone interested in your car will ask is mileage. The higher the number, the less the value. The average mileage is considered between 12k to 15k per year. Heavy users can drive up to 20k miles per year. A car’s value drops quickly once the mileage reaches 100k miles in total. However, that shouldn’t stop you from using the car to its full potential. It just means driving sparingly, or only when required, can help retain its value.
Keeping some of these things in mind will retain your car’s value in the long run. A car’s value is defined by many factors, but eventually, it is in your hands to negotiate the best and highest value at the time of sale. Factors like user sentiments play a huge part in the sales process. If the buyer feels good about the car, they will buy it. Everything you do to make your car as little uncomforting as possible to the next buyer will help you get more value out of it. Cars purchases are often emotional decisions, for most buyers, which is the reason why maintain a car is more of an emotional decision and not only financial.