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Tips to maintain your car to protect its resale value

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It’s a well-known fact that a car begins to depreciate in value as soon as it drives off the forecourt.  Unlike other assets such as houses which increase in value over time, a car will always go down in value.

This isn’t all bad though as you will get lots of life and value out of your car before it comes to the time to sell it on.  You are essentially paying to use the car and for the freedom that it provides - a cost that is well worth it.

As with most things in life, if you maintain your car and care for it, then its value will stay as high as possible.  This is true whether you own a Ford, a BMW or even a Ferrari.  Maintaining your car will keep it looking great, driving smoothly and make it more appealing to future buyers.

Of course you will need to have an annual MOT if your car is over three years old and that’s a legal requirement.  This will ensure your car is roadworthy each year.

But what other ways are there to maintain your car and potentially increase its resale value?

If you are wondering how to keep your car well maintained and your car resale value as high as possible then read on.  It is possible to sell a ruined car too, if it comes to it, but it's a much better idea to look after your car, drive safely and maintain it as best as you can to get the best price possible.


First impressions matter

Looks matter, both inside and out.  The first thing a buyer will judge your car on is how it looks on the outside.  Next they’ll look inside and continue their judgement.  This is before even turning the key and starting the engine up to see if it runs.

If a car doesn’t look attractive, then it’s likely a buyer will be put off instantly unless they’re specifically looking for a banged up run-around!

With this in mind, you’ll want to ensure your car is kept as spotless as possible inside and out whilst you are the owner.  You don’t need to go overboard and have a car wash every week, but keep an eye on things and if your car is starting to look dirty then give it a wash.

The same goes for the inside.  Keep it clean and tidy and immediately mop up any spills to prevent stains.

Use floor mats to protect the floor and vacuum them regularly to prevent a build-up of hard to remove debris.

Car buyers are more likely to choose a well-kept car over one with a lot of obvious wear and tear.  They are also more likely to pay a higher price in comparison.

Keep it smelling fresh

A car that smells bad inside will put potential buyers off.  It’s something else they have to deal with when all they really want is a car that’s ready to drive away and be their own.

Never ever smoke in your car!

Smoking in a car can really lower its resale value.  The stench of smoke will cling to the fabrics and heavy smoking can even cause discoloration to the interiors.  It’s a tricky smell to totally get rid of, so it’s better to not smoke inside a car at all.

If you will have pets in your car then cover the seats appropriately.  Again, that wet dog smell that is soaked into the car seats can be difficult to remove, so protect fabrics with waterproof covers if you need to transport pets.

Source the correct spare parts

If you have your car for a long period of time then it’s likely that you’ll eventually need to replace some of the car’s parts.  Replacing broken or faulty parts is a must to ensure the car is safe, drives correctly and is well maintained.  It can be a good idea to make sure you buy a car that is easy to source spare parts for, such as a Ford or BMW.  The more readily available the spare parts are, the better the value you can source them for.

Make sure you source high quality parts and don't scrimp to save a few pounds if the part then lacks in quality.

Keep your car in a garage

If you have a garage on your property then don’t use it to store junk, but use it for it’s intended purpose - storing your car!

A garage will protect your car from the elements when it is not in use.  Wind, rain, hail, snow and blistering heat in the summer will not be able to touch it, protecting it from any damage caused by the elements as well as dirt and rust.

Don’t hike up the mileage unnecessarily

Having a car means you can pop to the local shops in seconds and in privacy if you don’t fancy bumping into your neighbours!  But all these short trips are bad for the environment and your mileage counter.

It’s no secret that cars with a lower mileage are more favourable and get a higher resale price.  Don’t rack up your mileage if you don’t need to and instead, get used to walking to places that are only a couple of kilometres away or less, not only is this better for the environment, but you'll save money on travel too.

Keep records of repairs + receipts

Make sure you get your service history book stamped every time you have a service, which is recommended at least once per year or every 10,000 or so miles.  Also keep receipts for all other work completed on your car.  This is proof of any repairs you have carried out as well as proof that you have well maintained the car.

Accessorise properly

If you will use your car to carry bikes and extra weight in roof racks, then do your research at to ensure you buy the correct exterior accessories for your needs and vehicle.  You'll need to know weight restrictions and limits to ensure you don't cause any damage to your vehicle.

Shop smart in the first place

You are more likely to secure a good resale price for a car that is reliable, with low mileage and in good condition.  The best way to ensure this is to shop smart when you buy a car in the first place.  Make sure you are looking for all these desirable qualities in a car and then make sure you secure the best price possible.

Don’t be afraid to barter when buying a used car.  After all, the lowest price you pay will mean the less you will lose in the long run.

Final word

There are lots of ways you can look after your vehicle to ensure it stays in good working order and in great condition.  The better kept a car, the better price it will fetch when resold.