Even if you’re not planning on selling your vehicle in the near future, it is important to always be conscious of your car’s value and how your actions can affect that value on a daily basis. We’re here to offer you tips on how to maintain as much of your vehicle’s value as possible, regardless of whether you plan to sell it in ten months or ten years.
It seems obvious, but just to make sure it’s understood: More miles = less value. It’s important to be aware of all excessive mileage you may rack up on your car. For instance, going on a road trip? Opt for a rental and leave your vehicle at home. The potential depreciation in the value of your high mileage car at resale time will have the money you spent on that rental car looking like pennies—and you don’t want to be the person who waits until then to realize that.
Keep your car clean! It’s human nature to judge on appearances, so you want to be sure your car has its best foot (or is it wheel?) forward when the time comes to sell it. Stains, burns from cigarettes, and other blemishes can seriously reduce a car’s value. If you can, avoid eating, drinking, and applying makeup in your car, detail it regularly at home or at a car wash, and store it in a garage so the exterior will be exposed to as little elements as possible.
Rust and your vehicle will never, ever be friends. Think of rust as your car’s worst enemy. For those of you that live in colder climates that are known for harsh winters, be sure to wash your car often to remove salt deposits that can eventually lead to rust, and have your car undercoated to avoid salt deposits from building up on the frame and the underside of your quarter panels and fenders.
Be smart from the start. Determine which vehicles hold their value better than others before you purchase a car so you’ll be ahead of the game from the get-go.
A great reference for determining which vehicles hold their value over others is the Used Car Information Center at NADAguides.com. There you can compare the price of every new and used car you can imagine that is on the market today.