Expert Tips on Maintaining Your Car’s Resale Value


Steps to Take to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Resale Value 

The way you drive, handle, and maintain your car will have an impact on the next car you buy.  Resale value is highly important because it directly impacts the price you receive one day when you go to sell your vehicle.

This is because many people use their current car’s resale value towards the down payment for the new one, especially if they are trading it in. You will get more money for your car if it is in a better shape.  Also if you are borrowing money for a car, then the price you get for your vehicle either trade in or private sale will impact how quickly you can get out of your loan.

Here are the steps you can take to maintain and improve your vehicle’s resale value today.  

Stick To Recommended Service Intervals

You need to stick to your car’s service intervals and make sure to maintain a record of it. All new cars are issued with service booklets, and you need to make sure the service shop duly stamps and signs it, whenever the car is serviced.  

This is a precious document that can go a long way in increasing the market value of your car, come selling time. Ensure it is filled out whenever your car is serviced and store it in a secure place.  

If you lose this document, it will instantly impact the resale value of your car. Service documents are testament that your car has been maintained according to manufacturer specifications. 

Your car should be serviced according to the intervals indicated in the service book, which goes without saying. But, if you bought your car without a service book, then look up the manufacturer recommended service intervals online and make sure you retain all receipts generated.  

Consider Purchasing an Extended Warranty 

If you buy a car with a warranty longer than the industry average of 3 years, you can significantly contribute towards boosting its value.  

Used-car buyers get some assurance where they may be potentially concerned about mounting repair bills. You can choose a warranty which is dealership backed or provided by a factory.  Usually most providers require the purchase of the warranty at the same time as you buy a vehicle. Useful to keep in mind when buying or selling a car.

Some brands offer 5 years as well, such as Hyundai, Isuzu, Haval, Proton, Mitsubishi, and Renault.  

Kia has one of the best warranty periods at 7 years and is followed by Citroen at 6 years. Try to stay away from Lotus and Lamborghini since these come with just 2 years warranty. 

Present Your Vehicle For Sale In A Clean And Tidy Condition

The only way you can get top dollar for your car is if it looks that way. To ensure it gets its book value on sale or trade-in, you need to make sure you maintain the exterior and interior. This is one of the most obvious advices to improve resale, but judging by many vehicles on the road, it’s not always heeded.  

While it may be difficult to avoid knocks from doors in car parks, you can help avoid scratched wheels by parking clear of kerbs. You should also make sure your car is washed and polished at least monthly.  

The frequency should increase if you are living in a seaside town where it will be exposed to the corrosive combination of humidity and airborne salt.  

Consider investing in a pair of seat covers to protect your upholstery. You should also get decent floor mats to protect your carpet, if you don’t already have them.  

Keeping the car clean before you sell it is a great way to improve its market value. Clean the car in and out and keep it aesthetically pleasing from every angle. Fortunately, you don’t even have to spend a lot to achieve a neat-looking vehicle.  

With some decent amount of elbow work and the right cleaning products, your car should come out presentable after a few hours of cleaning sessions. 

While washing and cleaning your car (inside and out) is important, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Regular gentle cleaning goes a long way in maintaining the value of your car.  

Never use dirty brushes or water on your car because swirled or scratched paint as well as stone chips will be used by any potential buyer to push your price down.  

Try To Limit Sun Exposure

Sunlight means exposure to UV rays that will slowly but surely degrade the exterior and interior of your car, particularly the shiny new paint job. Faded paint, unsightly cracks in your dashboard and interior finishes can be avoided by parking your car under cover whenever possible. Australia is renowned for giving you car a sun tan – consider fabric protection, window tinting and paint protection as well as splash out on some dashmats if you anticipate the vehicle will be outside much.

Numerous components inside your car can be affected by leaving it in the sun for hours at a time. High levels of heat may also tamper or damage the airbags which will compromise the safety of future owners.  

Think Before You Park Your Car

When your car is out, it is exposed to the elements. Extreme weather conditions, like heat or cold can impact the paint job, making your car’s color look faded.  

Hot weather conditions can fade out the color of your vehicle, while cold weather can cause problems in the engine. 

Park the car in the garage or covered area to prevent harsh elements from getting to it. You might consider parking it in the shade, but that won’t be such a good idea though.  

Bird droppings can damage the car paint because they are acidic. Also, a branch may fall and damage your car. 

Smoking in Your Vehicle?

Avoid smoking inside your car as a habit because that will suffuse the interior with the odour of stale cigarette smoke. It can be very difficult to get rid of stale smoke which will be sufficient to lower its value when you present it to private buyers. 

Cigarette smoke also affects the interiors of your car causing dulling or yellow-brown nicotine stains on the interiors. Plus, most drivers are not too careful while smoking inside and accidentally drop burning ash tips on the inside armrests.  Also reducing nicotine intake is widely regarded to protect another asset – your health!

Upholstery burns created by dropped cigarettes can easily send your car’s value up in smoke. 

Keep Vehicle Modifications To A Minimum

Most Aussie buyers don’t prefer modified cars. You could seriously narrow the premium buyer pool by adding a spoiler, sports decal or customized manufacturer badge to your car.  

These modifications add absolutely no value to your car, and will actually decrease its value on re-sale. It is highly unlikely for your quirky preferences to be appealing to someone else.  

If you really want to indulge in modifications, make sure you consider doing so with parts provided by the original manufacturer.  

Low Km’s

Your car’s odometer reading is one of the main things your car will be assessed on when the time comes to pass it on and one of the major bargaining points. It is important to note that after the 100,000 km mark a psychological shift occurs in the brain of potential buyers.  

Your car will sell for significantly less and will automatically enter the bargain pool as soon as you cross the threshold.  

It is best to consider selling your vehicle when it has been driven for 75,000 to 90,000 km. You should aim for 15,000 km-a-year average to make the vehicle more appealing.  If you are thinking of selling your car, we at can help!

So, consider taking a bus, train, or plane if you can when traveling long distances. If you really have to drive, then consider using a rental where you can repay the cost of your high mileage as soon as your trip is over.  

Luxury cars in particular suffer more in terms of resale when they go overboard with mileage.  

Drive With Love and Care

Accept that redlining the revs on your car to generate high G-force acceleration will eventually impact the resale value of your vehicle.  

Hard braking and high speed cornering shall influence resale values as well. Cars exposed to rough treatment always show signs of wear when a potential buyer takes it out on a test drive.  

Looser suspension and less responsive engine are just some of the tell-tale signs. There are number of telematics apps which can help you identify whether you are driving your car well or not.  

Buy A Vehicle That Is Known To Hold It’s Resale Value

There are certain vehicles which are preferred in used car lots and are sold fairly quickly as compared to others. For instance, Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Passat are popular with personal buyers.  

These cars are not sold predominantly to companies, governments or fleets, which makes them stay out of the used car market for longer. Hence, they are likely to hold on to their value for much longer.  

Another factor to take into consideration is that the vast majority of Australian motorists prefer a self-shifter or an automatic. There will be considerably less value for a car if it comes with a manual gearbox, except when it is a collectible, sports, or other performance types.  

You should pay attention to the color you pick out as well. Red, white, black and silver are considered ‘safe’ colors in terms of cars.  

However, you need to be careful about the hues you pick out. For instance, a shiny bright red may lose its sheen over the years.  

Pick out hues that last longer and don’t require a paint job. Remember, you are not solely focused on driving the resale value up, but your profits on resale as well. You don’t want to spend thousands on repairs and paintwork.  

Unique colors work wonders when you have a limited edition or a performance model. Also, if possible try buying a rear wheel drive V8 since these are fast gaining popularity in the Australian market. 

About Car Planet

CarPlanet makes it easy to sell your car throughout Australia, including in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

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