It doesn’t take much to protect the value of your vehicle. Here are 6 steps that you can take to keep your vehicle worth as much money as possible. They are incredibly easy things to do, but you have to take action.
1) Keep Maintenance Records
First, you should keep maintenance records. Keep a notebook with what service was performed and then keep the receipt with you. This can be an effective way to keep your vehicle value up, even if you perform your own maintenance. You may not have a shop receipt, but you can still show that you purchased the parts or supplies.
The reason this works is that it gives a potential buyer security. When you are buying a used car, you really never know what you are getting. Sure, you can ask the former owner if they performed regular maintenance, but without proof, who is to say it ever really happened. Your receipts are your proof and they could net you a higher selling price for the right buyer.
2) Protect The Paint
Your vehicles exterior appearance will be one of the biggest determining factors of its future value. Protect that paint job and you can add hundreds and even thousands of dollars to the bottom line. Here are the two best ways to do it.
First, you should wash and wax it on a regular basis, weekly is ideal. Washing your vehicle keeps potentially damaging soil off of your car’s finish. Soil can be abrasive and can wear down your paint over time, making it dull. Further protect it by waxing your vehicle once a month. This will protect your vehicles clear-coat, keeping your paint from oxidizing.
Next, touch up your paint as needed. Buy a touch up pen of the right color and fix those scratches and chips as they occur. Attacking them as they happen will keep the job from becoming overwhelming and will protect your vehicle from rust.
It pays to put the effort into protecting your paint job, especially considering that it could cost up to 3000 dollars to do a full repaint at a good shop.
3) Keep Things Stock
Modifications to a vehicle make people question the history. This is particularly true with trucks and sports cars. These are vehicles that are often abused and modifications to them make it more likely that they were used hard.
If you absolutely must modify your vehicle, try to return it to stock before you sell it. You will get more money for your modifications by removing them and selling them separately and you will remove much of the doubt about how your vehicle was taken care of in the past.
4) Buy Some Seat Covers
One of the highest wear parts of your vehicle, besides the tires, is the seats. You are constantly getting in and out of your vehicle and each time you do, you are creating a little bit of wear. Over time, this can cause damage, whether it be a tear or simply an abrasion spot.
Prevent the damage from happening by buying an inexpensive set of seat covers. They will shield your vehicle from damage and will make it much easier to clean your seats in the future.
5) When You Find It, Fix It
Too often we let little things go until they become a big problem. That paint chip is easy enough to take care of until you get a few more or until the exposed metal starts to rough. The piece of trim could be easily glued back into place, until you wait too long and it falls off.
All of these little things, when combined can cause your vehicle to lose a lot of value, but they could have been handled easily and probably cheaply if you addressed them as soon as they occurred. When any sort of damage happens to your vehicle, address it quickly and take care of your value.
6) Never Smoke In Your Car
This one should be obvious, but never ever smoke in your vehicle. Unless of course you want to limit your future sales audience to only smokers.
Even if you think that you can get the odor out when it comes time to sell, avoid smoking in your car or truck. Since smoke gets into every crevice of your vehicle and your vehicle interior is made up heavily of fabric, it is a lot harder to clean than you might expect. You might not smell the odor, but you better believe that potential buyer will, so just don’t do it.