Your car’s value begins to decrease the moment you leave the dealership. In fact, it’s estimated to lose 11% the moment you step out of the dealership and then, gradually, 15% to 25% every year after. Even with depreciation expected, it’s beneficial to know how to take care of your car in order to preserve as much car market value as possible.
Many people are in the habit of swapping out their old car for a new car. Whether you fall in this category or not, it’s important your car is in good enough shape to retain its trade-in value. The overall look of your car, including both the exterior and the interior, is considered when the buyer is making their purchase. That, and the type, make, model, odometer reading, and years of use are all considered. Below, we’ll consider the most important areas.
Take note of these if you’re looking to retain your car’s value:
1. Clean Interior
Car owners generally appreciate a shiny and new appearance. Just like with most things, when an item looks damaged or used, it immediately decreases the value of that item. Although avoiding natural wear and tear is almost impossible, you can avoid excessive damage by regularly vacuuming dirt and removing dust or grime you find building up. Dirt, grime, and dust don’t immediately damage your car; however, it will leave marks or scratches on leather if they are left too long. We often recommend that you avoid using your car as a storage space. Additionally, taking time to deep clean your car’s interior at least once a month can maintain its good appearance. A clean, good-smelling interior helps a car sell itself.
2. Undamaged Exterior
Likewise, if your exterior has scratches, dents, or other damage, this can immediately drop the trade-in value, too. Getting these damages fixed is important. As is fixing the plastic trim coat that covers your car and gives it that shiny exterior. If left too long, the plastic trim gets damaged by sun and weather and can leave you with a dull looking vehicle. To keep your car’s paint looking shiny, we encourage you to try using a good paint protection product. These cosmetic auto body fixes and protection product applications can all be performed at your local auto body shop.
3. Proper Documentation
Many car buyers are curious about the history of the car. Who has owned it, how many kilometers it has driven, why is it being sold? These are normal questions that you should be prepared for. Failing to have answers to any of these questions might raise a red flag for a potential buyer.
When selling a used car in BC, it’s important to have your insurance, original vehicle registration (photocopies are not accepted) and a transfer/tax form that you can get from an Autoplan broker.
4. Regular Maintenance
Having regular maintenance done will not only help your car work smoothly and safely in the short term, but also in the long term. As obvious as it sounds, having a car that works the way it should is an excellent way to retain value. Make sure everything continues to run smoothly and fix any minor problem as soon as it comes up. Failure to do so could result in more problems that may or may not be able to be fixed and could also lead to an irreparable safety hazard. Don’t risk it, invest in proper maintenance early, and you save yourself a lot of money.
In order to maintain your car’s value, pay attention to your car. If something changes, get it checked. If something breaks, no matter how small, fix it. Cars naturally depreciate over time, but you could save yourself thousands of dollars by maintaining your car’s appearance. If you’re interested in having your car repainted, having the varnish touched up, or repairing cosmetic damage after an incident, we recommend you visit our auto body shop.