Being professional car buyers, we see hundreds of cars each week and thousands over the course of a year. We see big cars, little cars, new cars, old cars, shiny cars and more! You might say, we’ve seen them all! Based on our experience, some would call us experts at the car buying process. Examining and pricing are all things we handle on a daily basis.
Naturally, we also get asked the same questions too. Some questions are easy to answer while others aren’t as straightforward. However, the one that comes up the most, and one which we think might be the most important for our customers is, “How do I maintain my car’s value?”
It’s true that as soon as you leave the dealer’s lot your car starts to depreciate in value but with proper care, you can make sure it fetches as much money as possible when it comes time to sell your vehicle.
Below are five easy steps which will help your car’s value.
1.) Avoid dents and scrapes – One of the most common issues is scratches and dents on the exterior, especially around the doors and back bumper. These dents happen when opening car doors or accidentally backing-up too far. The problem is they are easy to get and expensive to repair. Normal wear and tear will happen but minimizing the amount and size of these dings can greatly improve your car’s value.
2.) Keep your service records – Service records are physical proof that you took care of the car. From making sure the oil was changed on time to completing factory service requirements at specific mile markers, service records are a report card for how your car is doing. Many people say they take care of their car but keeping a neat folder with all your service records proves you took care of the car.
3.) Keep the interior clean – Just like avoiding dents and dings to the outside of your vehicle, keeping the interior clean and tidy is one sure fire way to improve your car’s value. Cars with foul odors, stains and even rips, tears and cracks in the seats and paneling will look less attractive and fetch a smaller amount of money.
4.) Keep wheels off the curb – Alloy wheels can easily be scratched and dented on curbs. Whether you’re parallel parking or just pulling off to the side of the road for a moment, making sure to avoid curbs and other debris will help keep your car’s appearance looking spotless.
5.) Be aware of fading – The sun fades carpet and furniture in your home and it can also fade parts of your car. From interior seats to headlights, years of exposure to the sun can turn things yellow. For example headlights will yellow over time, reducing their effectiveness and making your car look older than it is. Headlights can be polished by auto dealers and it’s a quick and relatively inexpensive process.