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Tips to retain your car’s value

When you buy a car, you expect it to hold its value. But, over time, all vehicles depreciate. The average car loses between 10-30% of its value as soon as it drives off the car yard and continues to lose value each year after that (unless you’ve fortuitously purchased a future classic). However, there are things you can do to help retain your car’s value. By following a few simple tips, you can keep your car looking and running like new for longer, preserving its resale value down the road.

Schedule regular maintenance

Keeping up with regular maintenance is one of the best ways to retain your car’s value. Just like with any other machine, cars must be regularly serviced to run properly. That means regularly changing the oil and filter and checking the brakes, tyres, and suspension. Neglecting these basic maintenance tasks can lead to serious problems down the road, devaluing your car and putting your safety at risk.

Be proactive about potential problems. For instance, if you notice your car pulling to one side while driving, check the wheel alignment as soon as possible; Don’t wait until the problem gets worse and costs you more money to fix or, in this case, causes extra wear on your tyres.

Be sure to keep all receipts and records of your work on your car so that you can show potential buyers that you’ve taken good care of it. If you’re unsure what services your car needs and when consult the owner’s manual or ask a trusted mechanic.

Invest in car covers

If you want to keep your car’s value high, it’s crucial to protect it from the elements. The sun can damage the paint and upholstery, while the rain and snow can rust and corrode the car’s metal parts. To protect your car, invest in a good quality car cover. Car covers protect your car from the elements, and they come in various materials and types. You can even get portable car covers that are easy to store and take with you on the go. They are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most auto parts stores. When shopping for a car cover, compare prices and features. And make sure you get a cover specifically designed for your car. That way, you can ensure it will fit properly and provide the best protection.

No matter what type of cover you choose, get one that fits your car snugly. A loose cover can blow off in the wind and damage your car. And be sure to clean the car before you put the cover on. Otherwise, dirt and dust will get trapped underneath and cause scratches. Also, clean the cover regularly to prevent mold and mildew from growing. And if you live in an area with severe weather, get a cover that can withstand high winds, the baking sun or heavy snowfall.

Store it in a cool, dry place when you’re not using the car cover. And be sure to check it regularly for holes or tears. If you find any damage, repair or replace the cover as soon as possible. A good car cover will protect your car from the elements and keep it looking new for years to come.

Keep it clean, both inside and out

A clean car is a happy car, and a happy car is valuable. Keeping your car clean inside and out will help it retain its value and stay looking new for longer. Start by washing the outside of your car regularly. It will remove any dirt, grime, or salt that could damage the paint. Waxing your car will also help protect the paint and keep it looking shiny. On the inside, be sure to vacuum regularly and clean all of the surfaces. This includes the dashboard, console, door panels, and upholstery. Clean the windows and mirrors to ensure a clear view of the road. Dirty carpets wear more quickly than clean carpets as the dirt degrades the carpet fibres.

Also, take care of any cosmetic damage as soon as possible. Fixing scratches, dents, and other blemishes will prevent them from worsening and make your car look better overall. Even small imperfections can devalue a car, so it’s best to take care of them immediately. Look into touch-up paint or other repair options to keep your car’s finish looking like new.

Drive responsibly

The way you drive has a big impact on your car’s value. If you’re constantly speeding, making sudden stops, or driving recklessly, you will wear down your car more quickly. This will lead to more repairs and maintenance being needed, which will cost you money and lower your car’s value. These will be reflected in your service history and could make the car look like it’s going to be trouble for a new owner.

In addition, responsible driving means using extra caution in adverse weather conditions and areas where pedestrians are present. It will help you avoid accidents, which can cause major damage to your car and lower its value.

Avoid accidents

Accidents can still happen even if you’re the safest driver in the world. And when they do, they can greatly impact your car’s value. That’s why it’s important to avoid them at all costs. Drive defensively and be aware of your surroundings so that you can react quickly if someone else is driving erratically. And always wear your seatbelt to protect yourself in case of an accident. If you do get into an accident, be sure to get it fixed by a reputable repair shop. Using sub-par parts or materials will decrease the value of your car. Also, be sure to get any required safety inspections and have any necessary repairs done promptly.

Limit the amount of mileage

Mileage is a good indicator of how many more kilometres of use a new owner can get from your car. So, if you can limit the amount of mileage on your car, you’ll be able to sell it for a higher price later. One way to do this is to use your car only for essential trips. If you can walk or take public transportation for short errands, do that instead of driving. Carpool or ride-share when possible. It will help you save gas money and reduce the wear and tear on your car.

If you have to drive a lot for work or other commitments, try to take advantage of the downtime by running errands or errand-related activities during your commute. To help you limit the amount of time your car is actually on the road, it will also help you save time in the long run. Every mile counts, so the less you drive, the better. Of course, there will be times when you have to drive long distances. If you do, take care of your car by getting regular oil changes and tune-ups. This will help keep it running smoothly and prevent any major problems from developing.

Keep up with scheduled oil changes

One of the most important things you can do to maintain your car’s value is to keep up with scheduled oil changes. Oil helps lubricate the engine and prevents parts from rubbing together and breaking down. Over time, oil breaks down and becomes less effective. So, change it regularly to ensure that your engine is running properly. Most car makers recommend changing the oil every 10000 km, but you should check your owner’s manual to be sure.

You should also have your car’s engine checked periodically. An engine check can identify any potential problems to fix them before they cause significant damage. Be sure to take your car to a reputable mechanic for an engine check. And don’t forget other essential maintenance tasks, like tyre rotation and alignment, brake pad replacement, and transmission service. Keeping up with all of these things will help you avoid expensive repairs down the road and keep your car running smoothly for years to come.

Don’t smoke in your car

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your car’s value. The smoke from cigarettes contains nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance. Nicotine stains everything it comes into contact with, and it’s tough to remove. Over time, the nicotine will discolor your car’s upholstery, carpets, and windows. It will also leave a lingering smell that will be hard to eliminate. If you smoke in your car, you’re essentially destroying its value.

If you can’t quit smoking altogether, try not to smoke in your car. If you smoke, open the windows and air out the car as much as possible. You should also clean the car regularly to remove any nicotine buildup. And if you’re planning to sell your car, be honest with the buyer about the smoking issue. It’s better to be upfront than try to hide the problem and have the buyer find out later.

There are also other things you should avoid doing in your car. For example, don’t eat or drink in the car. Spills and stains are difficult to remove and can damage the upholstery. If you must eat or drink in the car, use a coaster or place a napkin under your cup. And never leave food wrappers or other trash in the car. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also attract pests like rodents and insects. Also, be careful when using cleaning products in the car. Some cleaners are too harsh and can damage the finish or upholstery. When in doubt, test a small area first to be sure. And always read the labels carefully to ensure you’re using the product correctly.

Maintain tyre pressures on your car

The tyres keep your car on the road, and they need to be in good condition to function properly. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize how important it is to maintain tyre pressure. Over time, the air in the tyres can leak out, causing the tyre to deflate. If the tyre is low on air, it can cause several problems. For one, the car will have to work harder to move, leading to decreased fuel efficiency. Additionally, a low tyre can cause the car to handle poorly and make it more difficult to control. In extreme cases, a low tyre can even blow out, which can be extremely dangerous.

To avoid these problems, check the tyre pressure regularly and add air if necessary. It’s also a good idea to check the tyre pressure before long road trips, and increase the pressure if you’ll be carrying a heavy load. That way, you can ensure your tyres are in good condition before hitting the open road.

Fight rust

One of the biggest enemies of your car is rust. Rust can cause serious damage to your car and can be difficult to repair. Once rust starts, it can quickly spread and cause even more damage. That’s why it’s vital to take steps to prevent rust from occurring in the first place. One way to prevent rust is to wash your car regularly. It will remove any dirt, grime, or salt that could cause rust. Be sure to wash the undercarriage of the car as well. That is where most rust occurs, so keeping it clean is essential. 

You should also wax your car regularly. Waxing creates a barrier between the paint and the elements, which can help prevent rust. If you live in an area with a lot of snow and salt, it’s a good idea to get your car winterized. This process involves applying a special coating to the car’s undercarriage to protect it from rust.

These are just a few tips to help you keep your car’s value. By taking care of your car and keeping it in good condition, you can ensure that it will last for years. Additionally, if you ever decide to sell your car, you can be sure it will retain its value and fetch a higher price. Don’t neglect your car. Give it the care it deserves, and it will serve you well for years.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

Posted in Advice

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