Regardless the year, make or model of vehicle you drive, there are steps you can take to help maintain your car’s value and longevity down the road.
Many factors are considered when evaluating a vehicle’s worth in all of these instances, including condition, age and total mileage. While some of these items are beyond your control, there are several within reach.
Even if you just want your car to last as long as possible, these tips can help! With a little time and consideration, these small steps can make a big difference when it comes to sell, trade or leverage your car.
1. Wash and Wax
The interior and exterior condition of the car is a major factor in determining value. Wash and wax your vehicle regularly.
A thorough washing and waxing on a regular basis will help maintain the quality of a vehicle internally and externally.
2. Invest in Seat Covers
The car seats are the most problematic to maintain and quite expensive to recondition or to replace. Stains, burns, tears and discoloring give them a used aspect and make the whole car look dated. Resell value is significantly affected as it looks older than it seems.
A good solution is to just invest in decent seat covers to protect the quality of interior leather or cloth seats, especially if you have pets or children. They might not look as good as the original seats but they have a functional purpose.
3. Do Not Smoke
Smoking can leave behind stains, discolorations, burns and tough-to-remove odor. All of these factors detract from the car’s value.
Cigarette smoke is tough to remove or cover up and can effect the overall value of a car. Consider keeping cigarette out of your car!
4. House in the Garage
If possible, house your car in a garage or keep it covered with a sturdy tarp. Weather and debris are major culprits in car wear.
A car that is parked in the garage is protected from the elements – that means cold, heat, bright sunshine, wind, hail and driving rain. It is even protected from branches and other debris that may fall out of nearby trees.
5. Follow a Regular Maintenance Schedule
This can help nip potentially drastic problems in the bud, saving money and value in the long run.
Mechanical problems with cars tend to be progressive in nature. That small issues become big problems, sooner or later. Since you never entirely sure when you may need to sell or trade in your car, it is best to have a car undergo regular tune ups, to avoid the kind of problems that can cut the value of your car substantially.
In addition, a car that has regular tune ups tends run better and quieter – and that’s something that car buyers notice.
6. Try to Minimise Mileage
Mileage is a massive factor in your car’s value. When possible, consolidate trips, carpool and go car-less a few days a month.
Consider biking or walking to nearby locations to give your car a rest.
To avoid parking lot blunders, be aware of where and how you park. Watch where and what you park next to as well!
Respect parking spot boundaries. Note if another car is too close to or overlapping a line. Open the door slowly and carefully to avoid obstacles. Park your car away from other vehicles if possible.
Park in the shade – some vehicles with vinyl dashboards crack due to regular sun exposure and UV rays can cause the paint colour to fade over time.
8. Get Regular Oil Changes
Oil plays a key role in your car’s engine health. This relatively inexpensive task can prevent many problems in the long run.
Use miles driven rather than a calendar date to determine when to change your next oil.
9. Check Fluids Regularly
At every oil change, ask the mechanic to check and top off the engine oil, power steering fluid, coolant, transmission fluid and brake fluid if needed.
This keeps the car running smoothly!
10. Save Receipts
Save receipts from car washes, oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations and other services that demonstrate long-term vehicle care. Providing a verified history of maintenance often helps maintain vehicle value.
This verifies that the vehicle has been well cared for over time, giving peace of mind to potential buyers.
*Photos are Courtesy of Google Image Search