Vehicles aren’t exactly known for being a great investment. They don’t do well holding their value, and brand new vehicles depreciate embarrassingly fast when they’re driven off a dealer’s lot. Financial experts recommend you don’t buy a car brand new for that reason, and many people refuse to have a car payment. It’s a nasty cycle having a car payment. You pay on a vehicle for five years or so, and then you trade it in or sell it for next-to-nothing since very few hold their value well. Even if you know your car is a bad investment, you can still do your part to maintain as much value as possible by learning how that’s done. It’s true your vehicle will lose most of its value when you drive it off the lot and in the first year of its life, but it could lose far more if you don’t abide by these simple tips.
Park in the Back
Do yourself a favor and never park near anyone. You want to avoid dents, scratches, marks, and accidents in your car. If you can avoid any of these things, you can keep the value of your car in place. Park in the back of parking lots to avoid car doors being slammed into yours by careless people. You’ll also avoid rogue shopping carts back here, too. Keep the car in the garage, drive safely, and follow traffic laws to minimize your chances of being in an accident. Stay off dirt roads, drive far behind others, and do your very best to keep your exterior in perfect condition.
Maintain Interior Cleanliness
When shopping for a used car, do you want the one that looks as if it’s never had a passenger inside, or do you want one that looks well lived-in? You want the clean one. Don’t let people eat in your car. Don’t let the floors get dirty or muddy, and clean it out regularly. The cleaner your floors, seats, doors, and dash, the more valuable your car. People want to buy used cars that look brand new, and that’s not something they’re willing to forgo. Dealers will pay you more money for your car when it’s well-maintained inside.
Walk When You Can
You bought a car for the convenience of driving it, but you shouldn’t drive too much. Cars with fewer miles are far more valuable than those with a lot of miles on it. You want to be sure your car never goes more than 10,000 per year, but staying well under that is even better. If you spend a few minutes looking up used cars online, you’ll see that those with fewer miles are more expensive than those with high miles. In fact, you’ll see that cars become progressively less expensive the higher the miles are listed. Cars aren’t meant to last forever. They’re meant to last a few years, but they’re not meant to drive hundreds of thousands of miles without serious repair.
The more miles on a car, the more likely you are to see the value decrease significantly. No one wants to drive a car they know is close to needing major engine repair or work thanks to high mileage. That’s going to mean your car is less likely to garner much money. Keep the miles low, and the price stays higher.
It doesn’t seem like much advice, but it means more than you might imagine. No one wants to drive a car that smells like smoke, and your car doesn’t get rid of that smell easily. Even if you have leather seats, you’re not going to get as much money if your car smells like smoke. Buyers want the new car smell, not the smell of a cigarette. Even if the car is newer, has very low miles, and is in mint condition, you’ll see a lot money knocked off the value if you can smell smoke in it.
Never Miss Maintenance
Car manufacturers don’t recommend oil changes and tire rotations in addition to other basic maintenance at specific time frames just to annoy you. It might feel that way every time you schedule a maintenance or service appointment when you have no free time, but it’s not intended. Cars need their maintenance to keep them in their best working order. When you have a machine, it requires service to keep it going. This means getting all oil changes, maintaining your brakes, your tire, your engine and every other part. When you do this, your car maintains a bit of its value. People want a car that’s been maintained more than they want one that’s been ignored.
Keeping your car for a long time and paying it off means you can drive a nice car without a payment. It also means you always have the option of applying for Florida title loans when you need a few extra dollars here and there. This is a great way to pay for emergency expenses when they pop up. Keeping your car in mint condition means it’s worth more money, which means you’re in a better financial position. Don’t let what you think you know about cars detract you from what you should actually be doing to keep your car in great shape. It’s not difficult, but it does take a little time to keep a car in great condition.