After one year of ownership, a new car can be worth 20% less of its original price, increasing to 60% after five years. This is based on mileage, vehicle condition, and desirability. Americans, on average, keep their cars for around 6.5 years and when it’s time to sell you can improve the chance of it selling for the most money possible by following these tips.
Make It Shine
A little elbow grease goes a long way to creating a favorable first impression for potential buyers. Washing and waxing the exterior and detailing the interior will increase its aesthetic appeal.
A car can develop certain smells from normal operations which get trapped in the interior, becoming difficult to remove. Professional detailing and deodorization will eliminate odors instead of masking them.
Repair Dents and Dings
Fixing exterior damage is an exercise in cost vs benefit. People accept minor dents and dings when buying a used car but noticeable damage can diminish a car’s value.
Service history gives potential buyers a snapshot of your car’s health and history. The owner’s manual should be included to show where the car was originally sold and vehicle specifications.
Perform Routine Maintenance
Oil leaks or noisy brakes may prevent a potential buyer from purchasing your vehicle. Sticking to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule indicates you’ve looked after your car.
Your floormats have been with you through thick and thin and seen you track dirt and snow through your vehicle. Buying new floormats is the simplest way to give your car a cosmetic upgrade.
Know What It’s Worth
Dealer stock shortages and market fluctuations can affect car resale value overnight. Knowing the current market value of your car will ensure you aren’t leaving money on the table when it’s time to negotiate a price.
Watch Where You Park
UV rays and melted snow can cause damage to a car’s exterior and interior that’s expensive to repair and can be prevented by parking where your car isn’t exposed to the elements.
Original Is Best
It’s hard to resist the urge to personalize your car but potential buyers may not be a fan of your vehicle modifications. Returning your vehicle to its original condition will almost certainly broaden its appeal.
Upgrade The Interior
That said, some tasteful upgrades can increase resale value such as fitting seat covers or a more modern car stereo with streaming capability. Anything that doesn’t make a car less functional is worth considering.