My vehicle broke down. Again. For the fifth time in 24-months. It’s also dropped 40% of its value. So that got me thinking, just how to do you maintain a car and keep its value?
A vehicle is one of the largest purchases any of us will ever make. Because of this, we need to understand how to take care of our investment. As many of us know, no vehicle of any sort holds their value. Depreciation begins the second you drive it away from the dealership. However, this does not mean you cannot influence the rate of depreciation somewhat. Today, I am going to give you some tips that will help you maintain your car’s value.
Keep Your Vehicle Clean
Let us get past the obvious first. Keeping your car clean is a no brainer, but it is often easier said than done. We all know that we should regularly clean the inside and outside of our vehicles, but life can get in the way. We all have busy lives, especially if kids are involved. But, over time, a consistently dirty interior or exterior can lead to body corrosion, faded carpets, seats and permanent stains.
These stains can impact the vehicles’ performance and make the car look like an eye sore, potentially putting off buyers when it comes around to selling the vehicle. It is good to give your car a deep clean at least twice a year, but the more often you can keep on top of the task the less of a huge job it will be if you leave it to twice a year.
Pick the Right Vehicle to Maintain Value
Not all cars hold their value like some others do. Making an intelligent choice when picking your car initially will help you reduce the amount you will lose in depreciation. There are plenty of fantastic online resources that can help you make an informed decision when you opt to buy a car. Comparing the price at both new and used will help give you a picture of how much that model of the car, truck, minivan, or SUV will lose over time.
It can be easy to get sucked into the look of the car and the price, but with a more wholistic approach, you can get a car you love that will not lose a lot in value as time goes along as well. Taking the time to assess the financial implications of long-term ownership will help you make smart decisions that result in maintaining more value.
Think of your Vehicle as a Financial Asset
They say that a car is a terrible investment as it is a depreciating asset. Also saying that it is never worth as much tomorrow as it is today. There is truth in these sayings, but a car does have value when resold or traded in at a dealership and used as a down payment on a new vehicle. With this in mind, it is helpful for some people to think of their vehicle as an investment. One that they intend to get some money for once they commit to selling it or trading it for something else.
This mindset can help vehicle owners to approach their vehicle with the care and respect it deserves. Because after all, this vehicle is enabling you to carry out your daily duties that you could not do otherwise. Respecting the freedom this asset provides for you should encourage owners to take the steps they need to appropriately maintain their car.
Watch the Mileage
On the second-hand market, one of the first questions you will be faced with about the vehicle is the number of miles it has on it. This is not a question that car dealerships ask. Anyone and everyone interested in your vehicle will ask that question. The number of miles on a vehicle is a big indicator for how much it is worth. The more miles your vehicle has travelled, the less value a car has. So, watching the mileage and keeping it low is critically important.
The average number of miles people drive a year is between 12,000 to 15,000. People who drive more than 20,000 miles a year are considered heavy users of their vehicle. And a car’s value drops steeply once it has more than 100,000 miles on it. Cross the 200,000-mile mark and the value falls even further. So seriously consider the impact of those cross-country drives have on the value of your vehicle.
To conclude, making financially informed decisions about your vehicle can help you sell your vehicle for a healthy price when you decide to sell it or trade it in. Keep your vehicle looking as presentable as possible and look to keep your mileage low. To help maintaining that, think of your vehicle as the valuable financial asset it is, and you will lose less on depreciation.