Cars lose some of their value as time goes by – it's just the fact of life. The newer models are coming off the factory lines, and the older, worn-out vehicles are inevitably dropping down the price ladder. How much they will drop, on the other hand, depends entirely on the owner and the care that was put into the car.
The vehicles that have been cared for usually manage to preserve a great deal of their value and make one very lucrative purchase when they hit the used car market. The cars that are neglected sink like a rock. Let's see what you can do to avoid the latter outcome and increase the resale value of your ride.
Take proper care of the maintenance
As we pointed out in the introduction, proper maintenance is the most important step in keeping the car in good shape and preserving its resale value. Now, maintenance is a topic that deserves an entirely separate discussion, but you know what to do – try to limit the mileage, follow the maintenance schedule, drive safely and economically, park the car in a sheltered place, and regularly clean the body (twice a month should suffice). All these measures will keep the ride close to the state it was when it rolled out the factory.
Bring the paint to its former glory
Paint jobs have a nasty habit of gradually fading as time goes by – getting a new one costs a small fortune. But there are some more affordable solutions to this problem. For instance, high-quality DIY ceramic coating or doing regular waxing will slow down this process and keep the paint in pristine condition. If you perform these detailing options immediately pre-sale, the body will look as good as new. What's the difference between the two? Well, a ceramic coating provides a much more durable layer of protection and creates one stunning glass-like visual effect.
Upgrade the specs
Doing car mods does require some money. But, for the right customer, these upgrades will raise the value of the vehicle far above the price you are asked to pay initially. This comes especially true if you own some rare vehicle with a loyal fan base. Still, even if that is not the case, installing some of the race motors for touring cars in a worn-out city cruiser can turn even the biggest slog into a speeding bullet. Of course, the list of upgrades you can perform goes way beyond this, but you get the point – modded cars reach a much better market price than their baseline cousins.
Take care of the interior
The cabin of the vehicle speaks volumes about how well the vehicle was maintained. You can polish the outside of the car as much as you like, but if the upholstery is torn apart, interior surfaces faded, and ashtrays full, people will write it off without a second thought. People who truly care about their rides keep them clean inside. So, for a start, get yourself a set of seat covers to prevent further damage. The damage to the upholstery should be fixed, and you should take the car for deep cleaning. Plastic and leather surfaces can be easily restored with dedicated polish products.
Don't forget the wheels
In this case, wheels are not that different from the car interior. If you bring them into a factory state, you can add a lot to the vehicle's luster and potential value. Start by replacing the tires. We suggest that you go with the all-season M+S units. Although they are not quite the best performers on the market, future buyers will appreciate that they won't have to open up their wallets immediately at the end of the current season. As for the rest, rims should be cleaned of dirt and grime and restored to factory condition. Use hubcaps if all other methods fail.
Keep a detailed record of everything you do
Negotiations with the buyers can be a tricky thing – even if you have treated your car royally, people will try to dispute that and lower the price if you don't provide some physical evidence about the history of maintenance. Therefore, you should do your best to save all the invoices, warranties, and reports and create a detailed record of every fix and upgrade you have performed on the car. This way, you can easily negotiate a higher price based on the money you have invested in the vehicle.
We hope these few tips gave you some idea about the methods you can use to maximize the resale value of your current ride. Sure, vehicles lose some of their value as time goes by, so you can't expect to return your investment in total. How much of that value will they lose, on the other hand, depends entirely on you.