|Proper car maintenance optimizes resale value|
Despite hefty costs, there are lots of things that you can do to help retain the value of your car, so that when it does come time to sell or trade it in, its new price tag won't give you a nasty shock.
Buy a car that holds its value well
Some cars hold their value better than others, so when you're buying a car, think long term. Choose one that you know holds its value well, should you decide to sell it in the future. The Hyundai Accent, Mazda 3, Honda Accord and Toyota Avalon are currently vehicles that enjoy the best resale values.
Keep your car in good condition
It make sense really, but if you look after your car by giving it a regular wax and polish, it will keep in good shape for longer, thus holding onto its value for as long as possible. Moreover, according to Kelly Blue Book, a well kept record of vehicle maintenance helps retain value.
Maintain good interior care
Don't just look after the exterior of your car. The interior can make a difference to the resale value, so keep the inside of your vehicle in good condition. Keep it clean and tidy, and don't allow anyone to smoke inside the vehicle. Moreover, cleaning and polishing interior vinyl or leather preserves quality and appearance.
If children or pets are regular passengers in your car, then invest in some seat covers to protect the interiors from mucky paws. This will keep your car in good condition and won't compromise the resale value of it.
Protect it from the elements
If you have a garage or a car port, then make good use of it by storing your car in there to protect it from the outside elements. Icy conditions can cause problems with the engine, but be aware that strong sunlight can cause damage to paintwork, as well. In areas were salt is used in winter, early rust or corrosion of the undercarriage can occur. This can be limited with more frequent car washes in the winter season.
Drive it with care
Be kind to your car and don't treat it with disrespect. Don't make it do things that it's clearly not designed for. If you don't have a 4x4, then your small motor might not be too happy trudging up, off-road tracks, for instance. Overstretching your car will soon become apparent when it comes time to resell.
Keep on top of maintenance
Make sure your car is serviced regularly and maintenance checks are kept up to date. Get minor problems sorted before they develop into big (and very expensive) issues, which could potentially impact on the resale value of your vehicle.
Mind where you park
When cars get bumped or scraped it's often caused by bad parking, or parking in a place that leaves your vehicle vulnerable. When you park your car, be careful where you choose to place it, and avoid situations where it might come into contact with other cars.
Don't rack up too much mileage
A big mileage on the clock won't do much for the resale value of your car, so if there are any times when you could use other forms of transport instead of your car, it might be worth considering. For instance, on a sunny day, why not get on your bike to go to pick up a loaf of bread from the shops, instead of instantly hopping into your car? It might not seem like much in itself, but if you add up all the little trips to the shop, the mileage soon racks up.
Don't over customise your car
If you add too many extras and customisations to your car, it could affect the resale value in a negative way, because the changes might not to the taste and preference of other people.
About the author: Alex writes for Toolorders - market leaders in quality online tools
Image license: Ludovic Hirlliman; CC BY-SA 2.0