There is no such thing as buying a car as an investment. No matter what you do, it will lose value every year until it bottoms out. Since depreciation is unavoidable, you should be doing whatever you can to keep lessen its effects. Of course, you could drive your car into the ground without worrying about resale, but most people like having an up-to-date car to get them from Point A to B.
When you go to sell or trade-in your car, you must have it in an acceptable condition. The better condition it’s in, the more you will get for it. The question then becomes, how to keep it in good shape? You can’t encase it in bubble wrap, and there’s no point in leaving it in your garage for years on end, either. Luckily, you don’t have to do either. Here’s how to keep your car resale value high.
The fact is, the more you drive your car, the more wear and tear it will get. The more wear and tear there is, the more it will depreciate in resale value. While you can’t leave it in your garage, you can be more selective about when you drive your car. If your grocery store is close by, then walk. Take a bike to work on nice days if you can, or take public transportation. If you plan on taking a long road trip, you can always rent a vehicle. This way, you will not only save the mileage on your own, but you can be sure that a rental is in good shape to make the trip.
Buy a Car That Depreciates Slowly
Every type of car depreciates at a different rate. Several factors come into play when it comes to resale value. One of them is how in-demand the vehicle tends to be, and another is how well they maintain their performance and looks over time. No matter what, your car will depreciate, but you can minimize the financial impact by purchasing one that will decrepitate more slowly.
Be Careful About Where and How You Park
You can get a lot of dents and dings when your car is parked. Other vehicles can back into your car, or shopping carts can get pushed into it. You can help keep your car protected by parking appropriately. For example, you can park far away from crowded areas of parking lots. Yes, you will have to walk a little farther, but you will keep your car safe. You can also back into your spots so that it’s easy to pull out. Undergrounds and covered parking will also protect your car from the elements.
Protect the Paint Job
Along with dents, your car can also suffer from scratches in the paint. When someone comes to check out a car for purchase, the first thing they see is the exterior. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression. If you have scuffed-up paint, a prospective buyer will immediately see that there is an expensive repair to come. However, you can get paint protection film in Charlotte, NC that will keep your paint pristine no matter what the road, the weather, or other vehicles throw at it.
Keep it Clean
If you don’t clean your car regularly, then dirt and grime can build up and become harder and harder to get rid of. Over time, the interior of your car will start to look shabby. Plus, debris that isn’t cleaned up can tear the upholstery, and food droppings can leave stains. Make sure that you regularly vacuum out the inside and clear out garbage. For the exterior, either clean it by hand or use a touchless wash. Make sure to use rust prevention products and apply wax.
Perhaps the best thing you can do to minimize depreciation is to ensure that it is in good shape. That means getting regular oil changes and annual maintenance checks. Your mechanic will be able to make sure that your engine, breaks, and other components are always in tip-top shape. When a prospective buyer looks to make a purchase, the car’s performance on the test drive will make a big difference. It won’t matter how nice your car looks if it does not function well. Buyers will also appreciate seeing that you’ve kept it maintained properly.
The time period when a car will lose the most value is during its first year. After that, it will still depreciate, just at a slower rate. If you are looking for a car that will depreciate slowly, then you can buy used. That way, the difference between the price at which you purchased your vehicle and the price at which you sell it will be minimized. The original buyer will have already taken the depreciation hit, and you can reap the rewards.
If you get in an accident, it will show up in the car’s history when someone searches for it. Accidents and major repairs play a big part in the depreciation of any vehicle. The safer you drive, the less likely you will get into an accident. Obey all traffic rules, and drive at the speed limit. You will be thankful for avoiding accidents, and it will help keep your car at its highest possible value.
The car you drive does a lot of work for you. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the few assets you own that will definitely depreciate over time, no matter what you do. By following these tips, you can keep your car’s value high and get the best possible return on your investment.