Tips for Maintaining Your Car's Value
If you’re buying a car only to resell it later, it’s a terrible investment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of it well enough to get a bigger return on its resale. A little love and a lot of work can not only keep your car running but also make it worth buying. To that end, here are several tips for maintaining your car’s value.
Regular Visits to the “Doctor”
You know your car best, but your mechanic knows it even better. The manufacturer may have its own recommendations about how often to bring your car in for a full-service inspection, but a good rule of thumb is every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Likewise, oil should be changed every three months or 3,000 miles, wheels rotated every six months, and transmission fluid should be replaced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. A well-maintained car isn’t just a happy car, it’s a valuable one.
Keep it Covered
The environment has it in for your car. Between the sun, rain, snow, sleet, ice, dirt, dust, grit, and grime of the road, your car takes quite a beating. When you park, ensure it’s in a garage or similarly covered area. If that’s not possible, buy a car cover and use it during your car’s downtime. Try not to park next to other vehicles too closely so you can avoid all those “oops” moments that scratch and dent the body and other parts. Stay in the shade when you park and avoid trees and their winged residents.
Your car already has a record at every mechanic you’ve visited, and buyers can purchase a mostly complete history of your car that includes every owner, the mileage, recalls, repairs, accidents, and more. We’ve covered staying on top of those things that can diminish your car’s value. Now, stay on top of them with your own set of records. Note every time you’ve brought it in for maintenance, repaired damage, receipts for automotive care and so forth. A buyer will be more impressed with a conscientious owner than a less fastidious one.
Keep Things Clean
Among the many tips for maintaining your car’s value, it should go without saying that a clean car sells better than a dingy, dirty, or rusty one. Regularly wash the body and ensure it has a coat of protective wax. The latter will especially prevent rust, corrosion, and other interior and exterior wear and tear. And even though all tires need to be replaced eventually—every six months at least—keeping them clean, maintaining proper air pressure, and watching them for damage gives the car greater visual value. Finally, resist the urge to eat, drink, or smoke in your car. Buyers will notice the various sights and smells of a messy car.