Very few people drive a car from new until it’s ready for the breaker’s yard. At some point, you’ll probably want to sell your auto, whether in a private deal or as part of a trade-in.
How well you look after your car along the way will make a massive difference to the price you can expect to receive later on. Here’s what to do to keep its value high.
First Impressions Count
If your car looks badly maintained on the surface, it’s not going to command a good price when it’s time to sell. It’s much easier to keep a car looking good throughout its life than it is to fix years of neglect.
Wash and wax your car regularly to keep it looking dean and shiny, and this will also reduce the chances of corrosion. Pay for a professional detailing job every six months to keep the inside looking showroom-fresh. Deal with any spills as soon as you can to keep the damage to a minimum, and think twice before allowing dirty pets onto the passenger seats.
If you smoke, don’t do it inside the car. And politely discourage your passengers from smoking too. Even with the windows open, the smell and smoke stains will start to stick after a while. This will be an instant turn-off to the majority of buyers who don’t smoke.
Protect from the Weather
If possible, keep your car in a garage or under cover to protect it from the elements If you can’t do this, invest in a heavy tarp to ward off the worst of the wet or winter weather
Park in Shade
In hot weather, try and park in the shade whenever you can. Not only will this make it more comfortable for you when you return, but it’ll reduce the heat-wear on the plastic and vinyl parts of the interior
It may cost a little cash to have a mechanic regularly check over your car, but it’ll save you plenty in the long run. You’ll pay less for repairs if you catch problems early, and a good service history will bump up the price you can ask for when you sell.
Make sure oil changes are included in the maintenance, and those other important fluids such as brake and transmission are checked. Keep receipts for all the work you have done so that you can show proof to a future buyer
Between mechanical services, keep a close eye on oil, coolant, and other fluid levels. If there seem to be constant leaks, there’s probably a problem that needs dealing with before it gets too expensive. Double-check by looking underneath your vehicle for spots and stains, and if you find anything to take action as soon as you can.
Checking fluid levels will also get you into the habit of taking a look under the hood, helping you spot other signs of wear and tear before they run out of control.
Lastly, try and drive as smoothly as you can at all times, without hard acceleration, braking, and steering. The less stress you put your vehicle under, the longer it’ll stay in good condition.
Make the most of this by rotating and replacing your tires as often as the manufacturer recommends Also, remember to keep them inflated to the right pressure at all times
Looking after your car properly may mean spending a little more time, effort, and money, but it’ll mean you get a better price when you sell. And what’s more, you’ll enjoy driving a clean and comfortable car much more in the meantime