Many people see cars as investments. In some ways, perhaps it can be. You can sell it for a huge sum of money when you need to. With a car, you can go anywhere you need to in a jiffy (unless there’s traffic). It helps you get to work and earn money. And driving a car is much better than getting in cramped public vehicles, especially during a global pandemic when we need to be social distancing when outside.
In reality, though, a car is a liability. Even a self-made millionaire, David Bach, said that buying a new car may be the worst financial decision in one’s life. The value of a car depreciates over time. And if you put together your monthly payments for your car, insurance, and gas, the amount you’ll have to spend on a car will shoot up quickly.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a car at all though. If you have the money and really need one, whether for work or family, then go for it. And you can still sell your vehicle for a reasonable amount of money after a few years of use. But you can’t sell it for the same price that you bought it. Although, there are some simple things you can do to retain your car’s value as much as possible.
Keep Your Car in Your Garage
When you go home, make sure that you always put your car in your garage. Doing this will help you keep your car safe from the outside environment. For example, if your car is constantly exposed to the sun, its UV rays will affect the pigment of your car’s paint and start to fade.
You can always have your car repainted when you sell it. But you’ll also want to spend as little as possible since you might not be able to get a return on investment when you spend a lot on revamping your car before selling.
Be Careful Where You Park
Car door dings happen too commonly in parking lots, but you can minimize or avoid them by choosing carefully where you park. Make sure that you choose a spot wide enough for the size of your vehicle. This way, you can maintain a fair distance from neighboring vehicles. Grab an end spot when it’s available. Lastly, make sure that you park straight.
Wax On, Wax Off
Many buyers care about what a used car’s exterior looks like. A good exterior often indicates that the car is taken care of. Thus, to keep your car looking good all the time, consider waxing it every three months. The wax will add a protective layer to your car and maintain its color as well.
Fix Issues When They Arise
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, car problems do arise. You might accidentally bump into something and cause a dent. Ill-mannered passers-by might kick and scratch your car “just because.” Or perhaps your check engine light suddenly turns on. Most owners brush it off when they notice some light scratches and dents or when their check engine light is on. After all, repairs can get expensive. You might delay them because you’re saving money for a vacation, new tech, or other things.
But delaying things might result in bigger problems and bigger costs. For example, the most common check engine light problem is the need to replace a car’s catalytic converters, which may cost up to $1,376. Addressing issues as soon as you can prevents car problems from getting worse.
Go for a Regular Maintenance
It goes without saying that you need to have your car checked regularly for your own safety. Regular checkups will help you immediately identify any car issues and then have them fixed. Also, make sure that you keep your maintenance records. You can put them in your glove compartment, along with your other car paperwork.
When the time comes that you need to sell your car, you will have proof to show your buyer that your car is well-maintained. And as a result, the interested buyer will see that they’ll be getting the best value if they buy your car.
If you intend to sell your car after some years of use, make sure it’s taken care of from day one to maintain its value. Keep your car in your garage when you’re not using it. When you bring your car out, park properly and carefully. Also, clean your car regularly and address issues when they arise.