When you calculate the true cost of a car, you probably take into account the monthly car payments, the cost of fuel, and the cost of future repairs. Have you also factored in the cost of depreciation? Although new cars take the biggest immediate hit, even used cars will still depreciate in value each year that they are driven. This is an inevitable part of owning a car, but there are ways to delay depreciation. If you’re guilty of any of the following bad habits, you may be hastening your car’s decline in value.
1. Skipping your Service Appointments
One of the best ways to beat depreciation is by taking your car in for regular service and maintenance. Changing oil, coolant, and brake fluid regularly and replacing worn filters can go a long way towards keeping your car in its best possible shape. Keep all of your receipts for service appointments so that you can show these to the dealer or buyer down the road. If you’re looking at used car listings sites, you would want to see a paper trail to determine how the car has been treated over the years. You can do the same to help sell your car in the future.
2. Modifying the Engine
One of the greatest pleasures of buying a car is giving it your own unique personality. While it’s great to pick and choose from different trim levels and add high-value aftermarket accessories like satellite navigation, there are other types of customization that could devalue the car. One example of this is modifying your car’s engine. If you add a turbocharger to a regular city car, it will deter buyers who will think that the car has been driven too hard during its lifespan. Furthermore, this might void the manufacturer’s warranty. As a general rule of thumb, try to stick to modifications that suit your car’s class.
3. Choosing a Strange Paint Colour
You might think that a Barbie-shade of pink looks cute, but future buyers might disagree. If you plan to sell your car in the future, you’ll want to paint it back to a normal, neutral shade like white or red.
4. Smoking in the Car
One of the easiest ways to decrease your car’s value is to smoke in it regularly. That hanging pine-scented air freshener won’t be able to cover it up, and even if you smoke with the window open the scent could still linger in the seat fabric. Smoking in the car could also lead to accidents such as staining or burning the seats, which is a definite turn-off to buyers.
5. Taking Unnecessary Cruises
Although in most cases it doesn’t make sense to buy a car unless you plan to use it, it’s an unavoidable fact that high mileage will decrease value. If possible, try to consolidate trips so that you run several errands at once, and avoid taking your car for long, meandering cruises around town. Not only will you save money on fuel, but you could also lower insurance costs and keep your car’s resale value high.
By avoiding these pitfalls, you can help slow down the rate of depreciation and ensure that when the time comes to sell, you’ll get more money for your car.