Car values depreciate and there’s no stopping it. On average, as soon as a car is driven off the lot, it loses around 20-percent of its value. Granted as the years progress the depreciation slows but regardless, it’s an unstoppable force. However, there are measures you can take to slow that down.
If you keep consistent oil change intervals, you can ensure your car’s engine will last for (optimistically) 300,000+ miles. Don’t forget regular maintenance also means changing brakes and tires. If either of those are left unattended, things like suspension and steering systems start to break.
Let’s say you go over a pothole, and now when you take your hands off of the steering wheel while driving in a straight line, the car veers left or right. This is a problem, as the car should always go straight. If you don’t fix this right away, the tread on your tires will wear unevenly causing vibrations, which eventually break steering systems and wheel bearings. At that point you’ll be pouring needless amounts of money when you could have avoided all of this with a simple trip to the shop.
As a buyer of a used car you want to know the vehicle’s history, and cold hard service records are the best way to know what’s been happening to the car internally. Some buyers base their decision on whether or not the seller has kept records, because not only does it say something about the car, but about the owner’s character as well. They were meticulous enough to keep track of their car instead of ignoring broken parts and running it into the ground.
Keeping a car clean on the outside obviously makes a big difference in resale value, but so does keeping up the interior. In fact for some people it's probably more important than the exterior. Interiors can be more difficult to maintain, fix and clean up than the outside, so a well-kept interior shows that the car hasn't been abused in some irreversible ways, like coffee stains or a spilled soda that was never cleaned up.
To improve your chances of selling your car quickly and at a good price, keep the car as close to factory spec as possible. Don’t upgrade or modify the car, as some buyers don’t want fancy wheels or TVs in the head rests, especially when the car wasn’t designed for them. This can lead to many more problems down the line for the buyer, so they can be more inclined to purchase a car that has been kept original.
If you want to preserve the resale value of your car, don’t drive it hard. That means turning too fast or too abrupt, braking late and flooring the throttle are all things that serve to weaken the car and chip away at its life. If you want the car to last, don’t push it past its limits and use the car as it was intended. Keep your Honda Civic on the street. When you get a GTR then you can take that to the track.
Keeping resale value intact is hard meticulous work, but if you take care of the car then by the time you decide to sell, you’ll have a car that’s in great shape and has more of a chance to sell for a decent price than if you had neglected the maintenance and care.
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