Many of our customers at Fairway Auto Repair plan to keep their car going until it can’t go another mile. If you are in that category, this article is not necessarily for you. If you do plan to sell your car in the near future, or trade it in someday, read on! I was reading an article by AAA and they estimate that a vehicle's depreciation costs American car owners $3,571 per year, up less than 1 percent from previous years. They went on to give us pointers on how to give our vehicle more value when it is time to part ways!
1. Keep up with regular maintenance. A good technician can always tell if a driver skipped oil changes or other maintenance. When we do a used car inspection at Fairway Auto Repair for our customers prior to purchase, our technician runs tests that can tell if the fluids have been changed or not. Some leasing companies in Phoenix charge lessees for unperformed maintenance. Make sure you keep receipts to prove you have kept current with your vehicle’s service.
2. Mileage. Keeping your mileage between 10,000 and 12,000 miles per year gets you more at trade in. If you're driving significantly more than 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year - especially if the high mileage pushes the vehicle out of the manufacturer's warranty - that could lower the car's value. Many drivers rent a car when they have to travel far distances, for example, to keep the mileage on their vehicle lower.
3. Make Changes That Increase, Not Decrease! Modifying your car to suit your style might make you feel great…but it might just hurt the value when you want to sell it or trade it in. Keep that in mind before you spend the money to install any feature. Research to see what changes may help…and what changes may hurt. Do not do any change that will affect the vehicle’s warranty.
4. Color! I have seen everything under the rainbow when it comes to paint colors on cars. When you have been in the industry as long as I have, nothing will surprise you. Just keep in mind that painting your car an unusual color could deter potential buyers. Stay with a generic color like a silver or white because those tend to be the most popular colors.
5. Fresh! Cigarette or pet smells often linger and could give the impression you haven't taken the best care of the vehicle. If you smoke in the car, then that smell will remain in there so someone who gets into the car will be able to tell. The smoke can also discolor the ceiling and other areas. Before trading in or selling, you might want to visit an auto parts store and ask what they suggest to remove the smell. Keep pet hair removed. If it is not coming off for you, go to a car wash that does a great inside job as well and explain your predicament. Hopefully, they can help.
6. Keep it Clean! Wash your car regularly to maintain its appearance. Try to wash your car once a week and wax it once a month. If the car looks good that will absolutely improve its value and you will feel good driving it as well. "It's part of proving that the car is well-maintained." It shows you care!