We get it – you’ve just bought a new set of wheels and are only thinking about hitting the road and enjoying it.
But the day you drive out of the dealership is also the day you want to start thinking about looking after your car and preparing for that day way off into the future when you’ll need to sell it and step into something else.
By thinking ahead and taking care of your car from day one you’ll have something that’s easier to sell and should sell for a little more than the other cars like yours also on the market.
Here are some things you can do to maximise your car’s resale value.
A service logbook that’s up to date is crucial to getting a good price on the used car market. Dealers in particular don’t like cars that haven’t been properly maintained, something that can also pay off with a car that’s nicer to drive. So make sure you service it as stipulated by the manufacturer from day one.
Drive it like you own it
The harder you drive a car, the faster it will show signs of wear and eventually give up. Rev the engine hard all day every day and it won’t be as fresh as one that’s been driven gently over the same distance. Similarly, hard braking and jolty gear shifts can all take their toll on a car’s longevity. By driving sensibly and smoothly you’ll potentially have fewer issues and have a more appealing car when it comes time to sell.
Road grime, bird poo, tree sap, bugs and other things that float from the sky can build up to the point where they’ll get harder to remove over time. Best to get rid of them as soon as they land on the car. That’s particularly important with bird poo and tree sap, which can eat through the protective layer of your paint and leave a permanent blemish (it’ll be excluded from the car’s warranty). Best to get onto it early and keep the car looking fresh.
Get it undercover
Sun and rain will eventually weather everything, from houses to surfboards … and cars. The more you can keep your car out of the elements, the more likely it is to be looking fresh years down the track.
Keep it protected
Wax and other protective coatings can make a big difference to paint over time. A fresh coat every year or so should keep the car looking like new. Sure, it’ll cost a bit – in effort or paying someone else to do it – but on the right car it can more than pay itself back.
Smoking a car regularly for years on end can leave one heck of a stench. And that smoky smell is almost impossible to eliminate. So make sure no one smokes in the car from day one.
Keep the pets at bay
As much as you love your mutt they may not be the cleanest or sweetest-smelling creature you can add to a new car, especially over many years. So if your dog has to come along for the ride consider putting down a towel or rug to keep the dog hairs out of the carpet or seat trim.
Be careful with modifications
A modified exhaust system or massive set of alloy wheels could be worth every cent to you when you’re customising your car. But often aftermarket extras – especially ones with a performance focus – aren’t exactly hot property in the used car market. And with some cars they can actually make the car worth less than it would have been without those extras.
So be careful what you’re adding and if you are making mods consider holding on to the original parts and bringing the car back to standard before you offload it.
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