How to Increase the Value of Your Car
By: Alex Barba
24 June 2019
We’re all aware of the fact that, once you first lower your foot on the gas pedal, your newly bought car’s price drops dramatically. The devaluation varies from vehicle to vehicle but is typically between 15 to 35% after the first year and up or just over 50% over a three year period.
The following tips will explain how to increase the value of your car once you’ve decided it’s time to resell.
How to Increase the Resale Value of Your Car
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1. Keep up with maintenance
Keeping up with car checks and making sure that you take great care of your car from day one will ensure that your vehicle’s value doesn’t decrease as much to begin with. If you aren’t careful and aren’t always on the lookout for warning signs that your car might need to undergo repairs, you could end up overlooking important problems. Neglect can, and most often does, lead to small issues turning into significant problems down the line, leading to drastic decreases in your car’s resale value.
Even if you consider yourself a car expert, it’s best to have a professional look at your car at regular intervals (check the maintenance schedule in your vehicle’s manual for indicators as to when these should be booked). A trained eye will spot minor problems much easier than an amateur mechanic ever could, and this might save you lots in repair bills. Furthermore, a car which has been regularly maintained and which hasn’t ever had serious issues will not decrease in resale value as drastically as one that has.
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2. Get your paperwork in order
Keeping up with car maintenance is one thing, but when reselling you’ll need to prove to the buyer that you’ve taken good care of the vehicle. The only way of doing this is to keep:
- All service records
- The finance contract
- The warranty
- The manual
Keep detailed records of every trip to the mechanic, whether it was for an oil change or for more important repairs. The easiest way to do this is to have a file containing all the car’s maintenance records; just add papers to it as you move forward. When a prospective buyer starts asking questions regarding how the car was maintained, the papers will speak for themselves; there’ll be no need for them to take your word for it.
Having an organised file presenting the maintenance history of the car, as well as a vehicle history report, will also show prospective buyers that you’ve genuinely cared about your car while you’ve owned it. This will give them an even better indication when it comes to the likelihood of hidden issues surfacing after the purchase is made.
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3. Make easy cosmetic fixes before meeting a buyer
When considering how to increase the resale value of your car, you might want to take into account small aesthetic issues which, even though won’t cost much to fix, will make the car look substantially better once the prospective buyer inspects it.
Some of these include:
- Small dents and scratches
- Dirty, grimy wheels
- Old tires
Wheels and tires are the fastest car components to wear. Cosmetic damage to your vehicle’s wheels can seem like a non-issue to those who’ve taken good care of their cars. However, to your buyer, wheels and tires which are dirty and visibly worn can signal that the car might not have been as well kept as your maintenance history file suggest.
It’s best to polish your wheels, or else if they are heavily worn, to replace them before you take pictures of your car for the sale listing, as well as before you have buyers inspect the vehicle.
Clean any dirt or dust from the wheels and polish them thoroughly. Use a tire shine product on the tires too. This is especially important if your tires are quite old and you’re apprehensive about spending money to replace them right before selling the car.
When it comes to small dents and scratches, these can easily be fixed without the need for a full paint job and, most of the time, without the help of a professional mechanic. Many slight scratches to your paintjob can just be polished out; no need to spend a fortune on a new paint job.
However, be careful and keep in mind that badly done fixes can actually result in your car’s value decreasing. If you don’t think you’ll be able to fix a particular scruff it’s probably better to just let your prospective buyer know the car is in need of minor bodywork than to present him with a car that looks patched up.
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4. Drive Safely
Wondering how to increase the value of your car? Avoid speeding and stop driving so aggressively.
Driving aggressively and speeding will cause your car’s mechanical parts to deteriorate much faster than they would otherwise. Furthermore, these driving habits will increase your chances of being involved in an accident. A car which has been involved in an accident will not only see its value decrease, it could make the car impossible to sell altogether as many buyers tend to avoid vehicles which have been heavily damaged.
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Some Tips Moving Forward
Your car is an important asset, and one that depreciates over time. Taking good care of it and keeping careful logs of how exactly you’ve maintained it will go a long way in ensuring that you can increase its value once you decide to resell it.
After you’ve sold your car and purchased a new one, it’s time to move your personalised number plate from one to the other. We’ve written a few useful guides for custom number plate owners in order to make number plate fitting and assigning a private number plate to a vehicle easier.
Alternatively, if your private number plate had something to do with the car you’ve just sold, you’re probably going to want to find a buyer for the number plate as well.
For a bit of help, you can check out our guide to gauging how much your personalised license plate is worth. If it turns out it’s not that expensive, finding cheap number plates for your new car will be high on the to-do list.
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