Here’s some friendly advice from the guys at eimports4Less that will help you better care for your investment, so it’ll still be worth something when you’re ready to trade it in and get something fresh and new.
#1 Keep your ride clean. Road salt, bird poop and other junk that gets on your car’s finish can eat through the paint and ruin the look of your vehicle. We see this stuff almost every day here at eimports. We end up having to call a body shop to get an estimate to repair or refinish the damaged paint and then we have to deduct that amount from a customer’s trade-in value. Keeping up with general cleaning will help to avoid this issue and put more dough in your pocket at trade-in time.
#2 Don’t add aftermarket stuff. A body kit, exhaust, interior trim, etc will help to personalize your vehicle, but ultimately it diminishes the pool of people who will buy it pre-owned. You almost always lose every dollar that you paid for modifications, plus a big chunk of money deducted from your trade-in value to allow for that smaller pool of people to market to. Do yourself a big favor and buy a car that cool enough and fast enough right out of the box. Add nothing and save your money.
#3 Keep your service records. Your vehicle is always worth more money at trade-in or sale time if you have all the records to prove that you’ve taken care of it. Showing a track record of caring for the vehicle helps to establish a vehicle’s pedigree and always makes the car worth more than a car with no history. You pay more for a dog or horse with a pedigree and a history, it only makes sense that cars are worth more.
#4 Take your vehicle to the right place to be repaired. Taking your vehicle to the wrong place can cost you more in the long run. Take your time and find a shop that is a good fit for your vehicle. If you’re new to the area, ask other owners of similar vehicles or jump online and join the local car club for your brand of vehicle. There are thousands of great independent mechanics out there, just take your time and find the right guy to care for your baby.
#5 Never buy your vehicle new. Any resale value expert will tell you that buying a new vehicle is never a good idea. Most cars depreciate 15-25% in the first 12 months of being on the road. That new car smell is actually the smell of your cash being set on fire! Save yourself a boatload of money and do what the smart people do…buy pre-owned.