Your car is one of the most significant investments a majority of people have, and the money you get back when you go to sell it depends largely on how you maintain and take care of your car while you own it. While it is true that some depreciation is unavoidable, maximizing the money you can sell the vehicle for is more in your own hands than you might realize.
Here are five hot tips that you can follow to make sure you are getting the most out of your car not only while you are driving it, but also when it comes time to sell it and move on.
1) Maintenance Matters
As you might be able to guess, a broken car that makes strange noises or otherwise doesn’t operate properly is going to hurt you when it comes time to sell. Keep up with all of the recommended maintenance suggested by the manufacturer, even if it doesn’t seem necessary at the moment. The cost to fix it may seem high but will only get more expensive the longer you wait, especially when it starts to cause additional problems!
2) Be Mindful of Mileage
Mileage is one of the most important factors that people consider when going to purchase a car. It is a key indicator of how much wear and tear is on the engine and other components and is one of the most accessible numbers that can throw off the value of your otherwise well-maintained car. When planning long road trips or volunteering your car for the carpool, keep in mind that the mileage you are racking up will cost you later. Some mileage is unavoidable, but limiting it where you can makes a world of difference when it comes time to resell.
3) Keep it Clean
It’s fair to say that nobody wants to buy a dirty, disgusting car that smells like an old gym locker. The mess you make today could affect your resale tomorrow, especially if you let it get out of hand. Damage to the interior surfaces and upholstery, not to mention the potential smell, will build on itself and become a long term problem if you let it get out of hand. A minute or two every day makes the difference between a used car dream and a pile of junk!
4) Avoid the Permanent Messes
Smoke and dog hair are two common problems that can throw off your chances of a successful sale. Used car buyers have many options when they go to buy a car, and so if your vehicle is covered with (nearly) impossible to remove dog hair or smells like smoke, chances are you will take a hit in the resale value. Keep the eventual sale in mind before you choose to invite your furry friend, you’ll be glad you did! One version of a permanent mess that many people neglect to realize is so important when it comes time to selling their car are hard to remove smells. Often coming from incense, habitual air fresheners, or worst of all, cigarettes, these smells are offensive to pretty much anyone who might be interested in buying your car. The problem with these smells is that, especially if you have cloth seats, the smells can stick to the fabric and become nearly impossible to remove. If you’ve ever sat in a car with someone that has a habit of smoking cigarettes you know exactly how gross this is and can likely envision how costly the smell is when it comes time to resell the car.
5) Paperwork or it Didn’t Happen
Upgrades and repairs can be a significant asset when it comes time to resell your car and can be the deciding factor for your buyer. Unfortunately, some other sellers are dishonest and will claim to have done work that never actually happened. This means that if you want to get the maximum value for your car with the upgrades and repairs you’ve done, it’s best to be able to prove it! Keep all paperwork and receipts; you will see the payoff when it comes time to sell!
The process of selling a used car can be time consuming but doesn’t have to be a headache or be hard on your wallet. Taking these steps while you own your vehicle only takes a little effort but will pay off immensely for you when it comes time to sell. You likely invested a lot of your hard earned money into your car, and hopefully have some good memories with it to. Getting the most out of your car when it comes time to sell will leave you satisfied with your investment and excited to start a new journey with your next car! Best of luck!