A significant factor that affects a car’s resale value is its depreciation. According to Edmunds.com, a new car loses 11% of its value the moment it leaves the dealer’s lot. After that, every passing year it depreciates by 15-25% and by the end of the fifth year, the car is only worth 37% of what you have paid for it at the dealership.
Depreciation varies from vehicle to vehicle and depends on the market conditions, the demand for a particular brand/model, vehicle’s mileage, and also on the condition of the car (both exterior and interior). However, you can increase your vehicles resale value by following these simple tips:
Fix the mechanical repairs: Never try to sell a car with a set of problems. Try to fix all sorts of mechanical repairs, particularly if they are small, before selling your car. Some small repairs like replacing the air filter, inspecting the breaks, checking the battery condition, etc., can be done on your own. But in some cases, if the problems are major, it’s better to get them fixed by a mechanic at a service center.
Fluid replacement: Fluid or oil change is also a part of vehicle maintenance. You should change your fluids regularly to ensure that your vehicle will run smoothly, and if any of the fluids like transmission fluid, lubricants, engine coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, etc., have a scheduled replacement, make sure to get it done from your end and show the receipts to the buyer to get a better impression.
Interior cleaning: Once all the mechanical repairs are done, the next task would be to clean the car’s interior. There are a couple of things which you can do here to make the buyer feel better about the car.
Try to remove all your belongings from your car. Resist eating and drinking inside the car once you have decided to sell it as they may cause stains or leave some smell inside the car.
Vacuum the car thoroughly before putting it up for resale. This removes all the dust and dirt accumulated on the seats, dashboard, windows and other interiors, and makes the interiors look more appealing.
After vacuuming, wipe down the interiors using a damp rag and use air fresheners to make sure that the interiors smell natural. Make sure to not overuse them as this may result in an overpowering smell that will deter some buyers.
Exterior care: While clean interiors can give positive impressions, it is the appealing exteriors of the car that will draw the attention of a prospective buyer. Here are some tips you can use to make the exteriors look good:
Wash the car: Washing the car is the first step towards cleaning the exteriors. You can either clean the car yourself or arrange a car wash before putting it up for resale. If you do wash it yourself, brush and scrub it thoroughly to ensure that the dust and stains get washed away. Also make sure to rinse it properly and pat dry the surface so that there are no drying marks.
Clean the tires: The appearance of the wheels also impacts the vehicle’s resale value. Make sure that the wheels look new and have enough tread. Clean dust off of the tires and use tire shine or tire black to make them look new and attractive.
Check for scratches and fix them: Scratches can affect the appearance of your car negatively, thus impacting the resale value of the car. So make sure that you fix any visible, ugly scratches and make your car completely scratch-free.
Store it safely: All the effort to give your car a facelift will be in vain if you expose your car to harsh, dusty environments. Hence, it is important to keep your car in a safe place to protect it from sunlight, snowfall, rain or winds. Do this in order to retain its sheen at least until it is sold.
Though it may be a little difficult, giving a facelift to your car increases its resale value greatly. Once you are ready to sell your used car, approach a reliable auto dealer it is better than selling it directly to a private party. Selling your used car to the dealer often saves you time and brings you profitable deals with less effort.