Cars are one of the biggest investments many people make over the course of their lives, spending thousands on vehicles that can transport themselves and their families from A to B. In that respect, they’re very valuable commodities – but in purely financial terms, cars begin to depreciate in value the moment you sit in the driver’s seat and turn on the ignition for the first time. It’s important to keep maintaining the value of your car.
If you ever plan on exchanging or selling your vehicle, it’s really important to try and maintain its value. Keeping your car healthy internally and externally is crucial to make sure your car fetches a top price at trade in. Of course, cars lose value over time and mileage is an important factor, but there are some simple ways you can secure a decent sale. Follow these top tips from the car experts at Windmill and you’ll be impressed with the end result and the impact it has on the value of your car!
Keep the car indoors as much possible
If you have a garage, make good use of it! Lots of people with garages simply use the space for storage (or an extra room), leaving their car on the drive. But protecting the vehicle from the elements can keep it in good condition for longer, helping it to maintain its value as much as possible. Not to mention it reduces the risk of it being stolen!
Keep it running and keep it clean
It seems quite obvious, but cars need to be in good shape under the bonnet to be attractive to buyers. Keeping up with engine maintenance and annual checks will pay off when you decide to sell. Many drivers will avoid a car service in the hope of saving some cash, but in the long run it will maintain the value of the vehicle. New parts and tyres could be quite costly at the time, but will keep the car in prime condition for a lot longer.
The interior of the car also needs looking after if you want a fair sale. Bad odours and stains on the seating can put buyers off completely. This means you shouldn’t eat, drink or smoke in the vehicle, and get it cleaned professionally every few months. A deep clean will work wonders for getting a better price.
Don’t smoke in your vehicle
Luckily, there are already some UK laws in place which prevent smoking in vehicles when children are present – it’s now illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under the age of 18. Refraining from smoking in your vehicle will also keep your interiors fresh and clean. If you’ve ever got into a smoker’s car, you’ll know that the smell can be hard to shift, even after a deep clean. When it comes to selling your car, that tell-tale smoky odour can knock hundreds of pounds off your asking price.
Investigate problems as soon as they arise
Every car will encounter some kind of problem in its lifespan – it’s important not to just ignore it and hope it will go away. If you hear an odd sound from the engine, if your check-engine light flicks on, or if you’re having trouble with the gearbox, get the problem checked out right away. Otherwise, the problem could progress and you may need to invest in extensive repairs before you sell.
Care for the paintwork
Minor scratches and dents on the exterior of the car can seem insignificant to you, but they can potentially be a big turn off for buyers. Cosmetic imperfections can be repaired or patched up – or even better, avoided! Be extra careful when parking near other cars and opening your doors. Washing and waxing your car regularly can also improve its appearance and remove marks.
Keep hold of all your service records
If you’re going to sell the vehicle privately, it’s a good idea to keep hold of all the service records you accumulate over the years. This will demonstrate that you’ve kept the car in great condition, and you’ll have proof to show any potential buyers. Nobody wants to buy car with a dubious or unproven history, and if you can’t provide any records, you might be forced to compromise on price.
A vehicle without all the correct documentation will instantly lose value. A full vehicle history, including service records, will prove that you have looked after the car’s mechanics and everything is in working order. Whether you’re selling your vehicle privately or trading in, both parties will want a service history.