Cars are not usually the type of investment that you will make money on. When you buy a car, you do so knowing that when it comes time to sell it will be worth far less than what you paid for it.
However, while you’re unlikely to make money on it, there are ways you can increase the car’s resale value – and thereby minimise the amount of money you will lose on it. And it doesn’t even take a lot of effort!
First of all, it’s never too early to start thinking about resale value so you should plan for the day you’ll sell it as early as is possible. Even as soon as when you’re shopping for a new car.
Step 1: Purchase the right car
Buy a make that holds value well. If you’re serious about maintaining and increasing resale value, start by buying a car that’s known for holding its value.
Makes and models that are known for being safe and reliable, even as they accumulate kilometres, are likely to hold resale value well.
Step 2: Avoid first-year models.
When a manufacturer introduces a new model, or simply remakes an existing model (ie. uses the name of an existing model on a totally new car), you should steer clear – at least of the first year’s release.
The first year of a new or renovated vehicle rarely ever holds resale value well because there are usually some issues that need to be ironed out. The manufacturer fixes these issues for year two.
Step 3: Store your car properly
Nothing wears down a car’s exterior like exposure to the elements. Especially in Australia, your vehicle battles against the scorching hot sun, the salt air blowing in from the coast, the dust, dirt, tree sap and bird droppings – which can all break down the exterior of the car and lead to faded and chipped paint.
Store your car in the garage if you have one, or a car cover will do the trick.
Step 4: Wash the car regularly.
Because matter such as bird droppings and tree sap will eat away at the car’s paint when left for long periods, wash it regularly to keep these things from accumulating and damaging the exterior of your vehicle.
If you go to the car wash, you can get the job done with just a few dollars – or save money by buying a handheld brush attachment to do it at home.
Step 5: Keep the interior clean.
Just like with the exterior, the interior of your car can fade and become damaged if not taken care of. The hot sun, grease from your hands, accumulation of dirt and dust can slowly take its toll on your dash, centre console, steering wheel, doors, and seats.
Get in the habit of cleaning the car’s interior every month. Simply cleaning the hard surfaces with interior wipes or microfiber cloth and interior cleaner, and regularly vacuuming your seats and floors can greatly improve its resale value.
Step 6: Maintain your car
It goes without saying that how well you maintain your car will have a direct impact on its resale value. Have regular tune-ups, check-ups, and servicing. When its time to sell, you’ll attract more buyers, a higher price and a faster sale if your vehicle’s maintenance schedule was followed.