By admin on August 11, 2020
The harsh reality of car buying can be described in one word — depreciation. Depreciation is a scary word used to describe your car losing its value over time due to wear and tear. Edmunds states that a brand new car loses 11% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot. Although not much “wear and tear” happens from the time you get the keys to driving off the lot, the value of your car is now closer to its wholesale price. After that, your car will depreciate in value by 15% to 25% each year during its first five years – especially after driving in the Toledo winters!
Depreciation will not directly affect you if you plan on driving your car to the grave. You will only be directly affected if you plan on reselling or trading in your car later on. But pampering your car will allow you to keep driving it for years, well past its expiration date, keeping hundreds of dollars in your wallet every month by avoiding a new car payment. Fortunately, whether you decide to part ways with your car or keep driving until the wheels fall off, there are many things you can do to keep your car’s value up over time.
How Your Car’s Value Is Determined
First, let’s look into how your car’s value is determined to evaluate how fast your car will likely depreciate and how you can lessen the blow. A car’s value is determined by many factors: the popularity of the make and model of your car, vehicle specifications, trim levels, physical appearance, mileage, consistent maintenance and working condition.
Research a car’s resale value before you buy it to make sure it can retain its value over time. Some brands tend to have better car trade-in values than others because of their popularity and dependability, which usually commands higher resale prices. Conduct your own research with Sites like Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book to see which car will fit your budget and lifestyle while retaining its resale value.
How To Increase Your Car’s Value
Maintaining your car’s initial value isn’t easy. The process will take time, effort and money. But in the end, you will be rewarded with a car that will hopefully last you longer than your financing contract. More importantly, regular car maintenance will keep you and others around you safe.
Knowing the right car to buy, how to maintain the value of your car and when your car needs servicing is a great way to defeat the depreciation monster.
The amount that you need to budget for routine maintenance is different for every car. Consider the amount you drive your car when deciding your annual car budget. The more you drive your car, the more routine maintenance you will need. Budget for oil and filter changes every 3,000 to 7,000 miles to keep your engine properly lubricated. Change your transmission oil, coolant, brake fluid and power steering fluid: Take care of all of these based on your manufacturer’s recommendations.
Rotate, balance and align your tires frequently to avoid unnecessary wear on your car. If your tire tread is looking a little bald, invest in new tires because this will help you get a higher trade-in value for your car if you decide to sell later on. To really add value, add some tire shine to your tires to really make them pop!
Fix Windshield Chips and Cracks
It’s illegal in some states to drive with a cracked windshield, so check with your local highway patrol to verify. Not only is driving with a cracked windshield illegal, but this could also be dangerous to yourself and your passengers. If you intend on selling your car with a windshield chip or crack, you could be losing value on your car. If you have a small chip from a rock that is less than 1 inch in diameter, you can spend about $10 for a repair kit on Amazon.
Make It Shine With Car Detailing
It’s going to be just that much harder to retain your car’s value if you treat it like a dump. Coffee stains, ripped seats and a musty cigarette smell will depreciate the value of your car quickly. Keeping your car looking brand new will keep it valuable for years to come. Make sure you hit these marks when detailing your car yourself. Wash the exterior of your car and finish with a wax. Vacuum and wipe down the interior and clean the windows. Keep your engine clean, blacken the tires and clean the rims. If this all seems like too much work, schedule an appointment with a mobile car detailer.
Show Documentation of Your Car’s Good Condition
Every time you change your oil, check fluids, change brakes or replace tires, you should keep your receipts. Having proof of a properly maintained car will give you plenty of bargaining power to receive the price you deserve for it.
Clean Your Headlights
Clean, clear and bright headlights will make your car more appealing. Be sure to use a cleaner specifically designed to clean headlights to really do this effectively, CNN reported.
Replace Your Floormats
Floormats can take a beating over time. If yours are washable, be sure to wash them regularly to keep them in good shape. If they’re not, buy replacement mats before reselling your vehicle. New floormats typically only cost $20 to $30.
The exterior of your car can take a beating due to the elements, and even the interior of your car can if it sits out in the sun. Parking indoors whenever possible can keep your car’s value up.
Fix Your Dents and Scratches
Don’t think a dent isn’t worth fixing, it is.
While it probably isn’t worth investing in serious body work, some simple scratches and parking lot dings can be repaired without incurring huge bills. Many minor paint scratches and scuffs can be polished out. Be careful, though, not to resort to shoddy bodywork that could actually reduce the car’s value.