Get the Best Value When You Trade in Your Car

Smart Tips for Maintaining the Value of Your New Vehicle

New Car

Car Still Looks Like New

Next to buying a new home, purchasing a new vehicle is one of the largest investments the average American makes in a lifetime. One of the things that buyers need to remember is that the value of a new car can depreciate rather quickly depending on specific factors, but there are some common sense tips you can follow to help maintain the value of your automotive investment.

Caring for Your New Vehicle

First, it’s prudent to maintain the appearance of the car by washing and waxing it every month. This helps to maintain the car’s finish and keeps it looking brand new. This can make a big difference in the amount you can get for a trade-in or simply what a purchaser is willing to pay if you decide to sell. If it looks great, it sends the message that the vehicle has been well cared for.

Also, if you live in a region where the roads are salted in the winter, never let salt residue stay on your car for very long. Simply put, salt can eat away at sheet metal, causing a great risk for pitting and rust. Wash your car often in the winter months to avoid salt damage on the body and undercarriage of your car.

Make sure to have your car consistently maintained by factory certified mechanics and keep all the paperwork as proof of the maintenance history. This will help to avoid costly repairs in the long run and will keep your car running smoothing. Again, this is another simple, yet convincing factor in determining the car’s worth if you decide to sell.

Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Although your vehicle may feel like a condo on wheels if you spend a lot of time commuting, try to avoid treating it like it’s your own private dorm room. Don’t smoke inside the vehicle, because the odor can work its way into the upholstery and you may not ever be able to get the smell out. Try not to eat in your car. Again, this could create an odd scent over time, or worse: you could spill something and stain the upholstery.

Pay attention to where you park your car. Excessive exposure to the elements can damage your car’s finish and wreak havoc on interior and exterior elements like moldings and trims. The best scenario is to park your vehicle in a climate-controlled garage to help protect your investment.

One last thing to consider: try to avoid adding excessive mileage on your car. If you average over 13,000 miles on your vehicle in a year, this is often viewed as bad for the vehicle and can add undue stress on the mechanical components. If you have to take a long road trip for work, consider renting a vehicle to help maintain your own car’s value in the long run.

Taking Extra Care Pays Off

Taking the extra time and giving your vehicle some extra attention will help to maintain your new vehicle’s value. You’ll also enjoy it more yourself, since it will keep its sharp appearance and run smoothly for many miles down the road.

April 14, 2012 by Jamie Rettig