Your car is one of your assets that make a very good investment. However, cars depreciate by 20% as soon as you purchase it. But this does not mean that you cannot resell it for a better value. If you want to sell your used car, you can still improve its resale value when you keep it in good condition. It is crucial that you properly maintain your car and equip it with practical and useful accessories for the next prospective buyer.
What do you need to do to get top dollar for your used car? What are the things that you need to keep in mind to improve its value?
- Invest on Practical Extras — While most people consider a good sound system an investment, there are some people who don’t look at the sound system as valuable. You may want to invest in navigation devices that will be useful for a traveler. Safety equipment is also a practical investment. You may want to purchase extras such as airbags, an antilock braking system, steering wheel lock, and even a portable car air bed.
- Regular maintenance and check-ups — Diligently adhere to your scheduled maintenance. Other than that, your car’s oil and air filter need to be changed every 3000 to 3500 miles. Perform tire inspections and make sure that your tires don’t show signs of wear and bulging. Bring it to a mechanic to check the wheel alignment. Improper wheel alignment causes tires to wear out quickly. Regular maintenance will not only improve your car’s mileage, but it will get you top dollar for your used car. The next owner will thank you for keeping your car well-maintained.
- Save your receipts and car documents – Keep a paper trail of maintenance receipts as proof. Keep receipts in case some parts are still covered by warranty. It will also help you determine a fair cost for your used car.
- Check your vehicle’s VIN (vehicle identification number) – Yes, your car also has its own ID. Your car’s VIN is used to track the history of your vehicle. Changes in ownership, accident history and violations, and servicing can be tracked using the VIN. If you see anything suspicious with the records, report it to your insurance company or the car dealer. A car with a bad record is a bad deal. Make sure your car is “clean.”
- Keep your car’s mileage to a minimum – This does not mean that you should not use your car. A car that has more mileage is an overused car. If there is no need to use the car, you can either take the public transportation or carpool with neighbors. You not only save on gas but save your car’s mileage. Mileage is a big factor when setting your car’s premiums. The US Department of Transportation recommends an annual mileage of approximately 13,500. Keeping your car’s mileage under control will ensure you get top dollar for your used car.
- Protect your car’s appearance inside and out – Your car reflects your personality. Therefore, your personal hygiene is reflected by the cleanliness of your car. Who would want to buy a car that smells stinky and looks like it’s been inhabited by animals? Do not neglect the small problems such as scratches and dents. Replace your floor mats if they already look worn out. Change the seat cover if they are already stained or faded. Subject your car to an engine wash at least every 3 months. Maintaining a clean car will also prevent bad odors, bacteria, and pests from infesting your car. And since you are still using it, you wouldn’t be comfortable using your car if it’s not clean.
- Respect your car – Don’t abuse your car. Avoid extreme driving and overloading your car. These will exert extra effort on your car’s engine and will lessen the lifespan. Treat your car like a baby, and it will not give you headaches. It will also save you cost on repairs. Imagine selling a car that has been overused and has a long history of repairs. Treating your car with respect will help you get the best value for your used car and improve its value.
When you have finally decided to sell your car, be realistic in determining a price. That is where the paper trail comes in handy. It would be best to give your car an overall wash before taking pictures. Take photos of the car’s interior and exterior, even the engines. This will help market the car to prospective buyers and show them how well you took care of the car.
As a car owner, you know what you want in a car. Place yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Looking at the condition of your car, would you be willing to buy it?
Did you like what you have read? Do you have other tips that you can share with us? Feel free to share your feedback and comments below. Please share these tips with your friends and other car enthusiasts, too.