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5 Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Your Car’s Resale Value

Resale values for an automobile drop as much as 20% within the first 12 months of ownership. A $30,000 vehicle, when it is new off of the lot, would be worth $24,000 after just a year of ownership. How you treat your vehicle can cause your auto’s value to depreciate even faster.

But you can help lower the pace at which your car depreciates.

If you want your vehicle to hold its value and hopefully maximize the resale value, you’ll need to do a few things:

1. Log and Perform Recommended Maintenance

A regular maintenance schedule is vital to your automobile’s resale value. There was a time when people would save all of the receipts for the maintenance that they performed on their automobiles.


Because it provides proof that you have been diligent in the care of your car. I recommend that everyone follow a regular maintenance schedule. You’ll be able to keep your vehicle running properly and increase the resale value of your vehicle.

If you have a check engine light on, you need to make sure that this is taken care of before selling your vehicle.

In fact, I recommend investing in a product like UberFix MD which will connect to a Mini OBD II app. Using the app, you’ll be able to see all of the repairs that your vehicle needs. Regular health updates are provided for your vehicle, so you always know which repairs your vehicle may need.

Keeping your vehicle in proper operating condition will maximize your vehicle’s resale value.

2. Try and Keep Your Mileage Low

How fast do you plan on selling your vehicle? If you plan on selling your vehicle in the next few years, you may want to take public transportation or rent a vehicle before going on a long road trip. The average person drives over 13,500 miles per year.

If you drive more than this amount, you’re going to greatly decrease the resale value of your vehicle.

There are a lot of factors that go into this equation, too.

Some vehicles are driven more often than others. High-end sports cars may be driven less, and additional mileage may impact the resale value of the vehicle. This happens when the vehicle is often kept in the garage and only driven on special occasions.

If you decide to drive this vehicle daily, you may be lowering the resale value drastically.

Of course, you own a vehicle to drive it, so while you may want to do your best to lower your annual mileage, don’t negate the benefit of actually owning a vehicle. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to lower mileage by:

  • Opting to rent a vehicle for long road trips
  • Walking or biking to some local destinations

3. Keep the Interior Clean and in Good Condition

If you ever take a look at the Kelly Blue Book value of your vehicle, you’ll find that your car is essentially rated by condition. Well, this condition takes into account the wear and tear on the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Dents and dings will lower the value of the vehicle.

An interior that has cigarette burn marks or that has rips will also lead to a lower resale value. One tip is to have the interior completely detailed before going to sell the vehicle. Detailing is not expensive, and it will remove all of the dirt and debris in the interior that you cannot get out on your own.

Professionals may even remove the seats so that they can detail hard-to-reach areas.

Touch-up paint can also be used to remove unwanted scratches or blemishes on your vehicle. While this may seem like a minor fix, people will pay significantly more for a vehicle that has been thoroughly cleaned and well kept.

4. Wax Your Vehicle Every Season

You may wash your car a lot, but do you wax your vehicle often? I didn’t know that waxing a vehicle actually protects the paint from oxidation damage. You see, I had a Honda Civic, and I lived in a very hot climate.

I washed my car often, but I never really waxed the vehicle.

After a single summer, my car’s paint started to oxidize. This is when the sun starts to peel the paint and leaves white oxidation on the paint. If I would have caught the issue early on, I may have been able to save my vehicle’s paint.
But I didn’t.

There was no way to buffer out the blemishes. My only option was to get a new paint job if I wanted my paint to look good again. I didn’t plan on selling the vehicle, so I didn’t pay for the expensive paint job.

5. Drive with Caution

Accidents are added to your car’s report, and this report can be found online. You don’t want to get into an accident – no one does – and it will lower your vehicle’s value. The extent of the damage will be a deciding factor in how much value the vehicle lost in the accident.

Buyers prefer cars that have not been in a collision.

Drive carefully and with caution. Accidents can happen no matter how cautious you have been, and if they do, you should have an expert do the repairs. The expert will be able to fix any body damage and internal damage that your vehicle sustained.

Proving that your vehicle was fixed by a high-end professional can help you recuperate some of the lost value in the vehicle.

Even if you perform all of these tasks and follow all of these tips, your vehicle’s value will fall. The only exception is with other vehicles that have prices that appreciate over time. Unfortunately, many of the newer cars on the road today will not be worth as much as classics from the 50s and 60s.


Vehicles are mass produced in such a high volume that the vehicles of today are likely to continue to lose their value without any upside. Exotic sports cars may be the only exception. The best you can do as an owner is try to maintain the vehicle’s resale value.

June 19, 2019


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