Many people have the fortunate opportunity to get new cars, but struggle to maintain them.
With the average car price approaching $36k, it is obvious that maintaining the condition of such an asset is key to preserving the value at time of sale. And with the average ownership just over 5 years, it is even more important to do so.
Here are several key strategies to maintain the condition of your vehicle so you can minimize depreciation at time of sale:
1) Engine/Drivetrain (Powertrain)
In order to maintain the powertrain of your vehicle, regular oil changes and scheduled maintenance is a must. Does this mean you need to go to the dealer? No. But be sure and keep records of your services so you can keep your warranty intact.
Regular service can mean:
Some people try and forego maintenance, but this is risky. Imagine missing an oil change and then having a catastrophic failure such as an engine or transmission go rogue. IF you failed to maintain the vehicle at service time you could be on the hook for $x,xxx- xx,xxx or worse.
2) Cosmetics (Paint and dent repair etc)
To keep the overall value of your ride in tip top shape, maintaining the cosmetic condition is very important. This means paint, body and interior. Keep your paint maintained with waxes, watch for dents and utilize paintless dent repair for dents and dings. PDR as it is known is a great way to massage out minor dents and dings while maintaining the integrity of original paint. Also it should be noted that you should regularly clean your interior and for leather make sure to condition it regularly. Leather can fade and dry out especially if in direct contact with the sun and heavy contact with the user, so lubricating with lexol or other leather conditioning product will help the interior stay fresh and supple.
3) Tires and Brakes (Safety and Mileage)
Keep your tires inflated and brakes regularly checked and serviced so your systems are in proper operating condition. Proper tires will not only help you maintain your mileage but will also help maintain safe driving. Good brakes will help you avoid accidents as well and also keep repair costs down,
In summary, taking care of your ride will help you minimize depreciation and also help you sell your vehicle faster at time of sale. People like clean and well maintained cars and when the owner does all of the above the chances of sale and profit are much greater than neglected vehicles. Studies have proven that for every dollar spent on maintaining a vehicle a 2-3 dollar return on average exists. Take advantage of this fact and not only will you minimize depreciation but speed the sale time and be on to your next car sooner and with more money in your pocket.