Buying a car is a big expense, but also one of those milestones of one’s life. Everyone remembers their first car what model or brand it was. It evokes nostalgia. But apart from the heavy initial expenses incurred in a car purchase, what most consumers also don’t realize is that a car is one of the very few commodities that depreciate with age. In other words, say for example if you purchase a house and a car for 5 lakh at the same time. Ten years down the line, the market value of the house would be 15 lakh, but that of your car would only be 50,000(if that).
So does this mean all hope is lost regarding making some money on that used car you have lying in your garage? Well, it depends. Depends on a few factors that you can implement to make sure your car goes for a reasonable rate when you decide to sell it.
Maintain, Maintain and some more Maintenance
It goes without saying that maintenance is the key to not just making sure your car runs smoothly but also for your car to have a higher resale value. Always make sure the car is serviced and have regular check-ups of all the components: engine, oil change, air conditioner. This insures that the car is up to date at any given time. Most car salesmen will tell you that well maintained cars fetch way more than a rusty one, even if they’re both of the same age and model. Most second hand buyers look at a well maintained vehicle and conclude that they do not have to spend a lot for it’s upkeeping.
It is always a good idea to keep records of all the repair and maintenance you’ve done. It will show the prospective buyer that you have indeed done the required duty that he may not have to do later. It is a well known fact in the used car industry that a proof of regular oil change dramatically increases the chance of the car selling.
The receipts you get from the mechanic should be safely put away in a specific log book to make it easier to present it at the time of resale. There are also websites like carfax and Experian, which can be used as virtual logs to keep records.
Looks are everything. Unfortunately this rings true for cars also, especially if you want to resell it. Nobody wants to buy a car that looks like it was picked up from a junkyard. Going back to the maintenance point: clean the car, if possible daily. Whilst it is impossible to make it look like what it looked like on Day 1, you’d be surprised to find how quickly a car sells if it looks half as good as when you bought it. A periodic visit to a carwash gets the job done. A quick waxing of the surface insures that the car remains damage free from nature’s elements like rain, snow or sunlight.
The interiors are as important as the exterior. Make it a habit of not eating inside, or worse- smoking. Ash tends to destroy the car seats regardless of the material it is made of. What’s worse is that cigarette smoke and stains are hard to remove and dramatically affect the appearance- all of which can result in a lower resale value.
In the end, what matters is how you take care of your vehicle and not the mileage or date of purchase. Many old cars sell for a bomb simply because they have been cared for with utmost respect and dedication.