Cars are the opposite of wine; they almost always lose value as they age. From the moment you first turn the key in the ignition, your car resale value will very likely go in one direction. Which, sadly, is down.
When reselling your car, the strategy for fetching the best possible price involves a well thought out approach. And unlike many other buy-to-sell ventures, rather than making a profit it’s about making the smallest possible loss.
Once you’ve accepted that, you’re just a few nifty maintenance tips away from getting the best car resale value for your trusty chariot.
1. Keep it clean for the best car resale value
Neat freaks have a point. When it comes down to it, everything from the environment to your teeth lasts longer when it’s consistently clean.
This may sound so obvious it’s not even worth mentioning. But ask yourself how often you clean your car and to what extent. How will others perceive its cleanliness, its smell, its shine…?
And do you clean it inside and out using the correct method? For instance, if you live within 8km of the coast, humid salty air can corrode your car up to 10 times faster than dry air. Find out the best methods for washing your car within a sea air vs car context.
Once it’s all spick and span you should also consider this advice on how to look after your car when you’re not driving it. That way you won’t have to repeat the cleaning process again and again until you finally sell.
2. Practice good driving habits
The longevity of your car does to a certain extent depend on the way you drive. Being overdependent on your hand brake wears it down. Driving too fast and braking too hard is bad for your wheels and suspension, as well as your brakes. Not to mention all the bits and pops they connect with.
A potential buyer who knows about cars will be able to feel, if not see, the wear and tear. Read up on these safe driving tips. Not only will they protect you and your family, but they’ll also keep your car in good nick, boosting its resale value.
Being the only driver of your car also counts favourably toward its overall health. Different drivers have different driving styles, which can cause additional wear and tear on cars. Find out these 7 financial perks of being the only driver of your car. And while you’re at it, know that PD Insurance offers discounts for people who are their car’s exclusive driver.
3. Keep up general maintenance
Car maintenance is for your car what healthy eating is for you. It keeps your car happy, healthy and going strong. And it helps keep it at its optimum resale value, regardless of when you decide to sell.
For many of us, our car’s inner workings will forever be a mystery. This is why you should find out how to choose a mechanic and have your car serviced regularly. For many of us, the details of what exactly happens during a car service is also a mystery. So arm yourself with this car servicing checklist.
If your car services are regular and done by a professional mechanic this will show in your log book, which will make your potential buyer more positive about taking ownership.
If you can also say you’re keeping up regular car maintenance yourself on top of servicing – things like doing an oil check and checking the car tyre pressure – your buyer will be encouraged by that too. Here are 6 maintenance tips you should commit to memory and perform on a consistent basis.
In summary, the more you’ve loved your car, the happier it and your buyer will be.
4. File your paperwork efficiently
Keeping your car’s paperwork filed and up to date is like doing your taxes. You can’t call it fun, but there are financial kickbacks. Anybody looking to buy your car should be able to check your car’s paperwork before they make a decision.
Even if your car looks brand spanking new and sounds good in the for sale ad, a buyer’s decision will very often come down to whether the paperwork checks out. Besides, if you keep this well ordered, it’s a reflection on how you treat your stuff. And that’s a good indicator of how you treat your car.
If you’re not looking forward to the potential negotiation during a car sale, the paperwork will answer many questions a buyer would otherwise need to ask. You should also have a realistic price in mind so that if there are negotiations, you know where you stand. Here is an online car evaluation resource to help you get there.
5. Choose your car wisely
When buying your car, you aren’t necessarily thinking ahead to a time when you may sell it. Which is why we’ve done it for you. Choose a car that depreciates more slowly. Do your research on which vehicle makes and models retain the best resale value.
The safest car colours are also the colours with the most widespread appeal. These are the colours you should consider for you, and for your prospective one-day-down-the-line-buyer. If your car resale value is a big consideration, that is.
6. Get comprehensive car insurance
If you choose wisely, you can get comprehensive car insurance that’s kind to your pocket and makes repair or accident-related costs considerably lower. This means you have more to spend on keeping your car in top shape all the time.
Then if you decide to sell it today, tomorrow, next week or next month, you can get the best resale value.
Best car resale value – over to you
If you’re looking to buy rather than sell, then read up on these common car buying costs. And if you are selling your car, then share your tips for the best way to sell a car with other drivers in the comments below.