9 Best Ways to Maintain Your Car's Value
The Not So Obvious …
Avoid excessive customization. "Just because you like that aggressive body kit doesn't mean anyone else will," Nerad says. "In addition, upgrades like turbochargers and racing suspensions can tip a perspective buyer off to things like how hard you drive the vehicle." The extra customization may also change the overall appearance and functionality of the car, making it harder for a buyer or dealer to determine its basic value.
Take it easy. Excessive wear and tear is not a favorable way to maintain the value of your car. Driving like you're training for the NASCAR circuit is both physically and fiscally irresponsible. Quick take-offs, hard braking, extreme speeding and driving over poor roads that can take a toll on a car's mechanicals. "This leads to the need for repairs and extra maintenance, which ultimately lowers the value of your car," Nerad says.
Buy smart from the get-go. Some brands hold their value better than others. "If you're selling a car that has a history of good resale value and you've maintained it over the years, you're always going to come out ahead of the guy selling something that doesn't have a history of good resale value, even if they, too, have been maintaining the car over the years," Nerad says. "It's in the genes." That said, make sure you buy a vehicle that has a history of maintaining its value.
Watch where you park. Yeah, we know: This is a duplicate. But the reasons it's listed here are different. This is because of human interaction, not weather. "Find a spot away from hordes of people and other cars at shopping malls or grocery stores," Nerad says. "Others will never respect your car as you would." This means dings from car doors that have been swung open haphazardly, dents from out-of-control shopping carts, and scratches from distracted drivers who misjudge the distance between their SUV and your subcompact while they talk or text on their mobile phone.
For nearly two decades, New York-based writer and editor Chuck Tannert has covered everything from automobiles to gadgets to travel. Before joining the MSN Autos team, Tannert served as senior automotive editor at Cargo and Popular Mechanics, and his work has appeared in many outlets, including Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Penthouse, Popular Science and Wired.
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The first item on the list should have been, "Do not smoke in your automobile."
To add on the "Avoid excessive customization" part. Not all cars should be customized. However, if you have a muscle car or sports car; or a car that could be considered a future collector, adding or modifying to it can help in the future for resale. If you add a spoiler, keep it OEM (of at least stock looking). Not everyone has your taste in wheels either. One of the most noticeable upgrades are wheels. SO, take care in matching wheels to your car. Also, don't go to autozone or walmart and buy stick on "anything" like those fender accents!
If you disagree think about this...Take for example a: 1965 Ford Fairlane bone stock with nothing fancy. Price would be pretty cheap. It wasn't a popular year for them. That price could double by finding one with factory air and the optional FM "stereo". Or even better yet, find one with an automobile turntable! If it sagging in the back, adding better shocks and lifting the back end changes that car into something people like and won't take away from it's stock form. Those may seem standard today, but back then they were aftermarket or options not readily avail.
I have a GN (ok, it's a WE-4 but most don't know what the difference is) and in it's stock form is worth the same as when it was new. It held up it's value better than most cars from the 80's. But by adding GNX flares and louvers, having the optional spoiler on the rear, GNX wheels, and finding an 80's style cd player (they didn't have cd's in cars yet) has upped its resale value by a lot more than the cost of those upgrades.
Bottom line is just be careful and think about your plans for you car when deciding on upgrades or mods. If you plan on making this car "yours" by adding what you like, then be prepared to keep it forever. If you want to mod it to a certain look, think about what it can do to the resale value like the article says. If you do it right though (and on the right car), you CAN add to the value.
The first 5 should all be DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO SMOKE IN THE CAR! And this coming from a smoker. I do follow my own advice though and NEVER smoke in cars.
@Wexy21..... I have to disagree that modifying "... a car that could be considered a future collector,..." is a good idea. People pay a lot more for collectable cars that are as original as possible.
1. Never buy new. Buy a low-mileage used car that is in good shape and let someone else take the new-car depreciation hit.
2. Keep the car clean inside and out as much as possible.
3. If you do nothing else maintenance wise, at least change the oil regularly.
4. Keep minor chips and scratches touched up with the factory color of touch-up paint.
5. Fix small problems as soon as they occur to avoid a buildup of multiple problems.
6. When you go to sell the car, spend $150 for a complete detail job, including cleaning the engine, exterior, and interior. You may get more for it than it blue books for if it is exceptionally clean.