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21st December, 2023

Top Tips to Maintain the Value of Your Car

Buying a new car can be one of the most exciting purchasing experiences of your life. After all the research you’ve done – choosing a brand, a model, picking which colour you like best, choosing which options and extras you want – you’re finally ready to go pick up the car you’ve been waiting weeks or maybe even months for.

But unfortunately, there is a catch: new cars lose between 10-15% of their value the minute you drive them off the lot. Even a well-maintained and garaged secondhand car has a certain value that begins to drop once you buy it and drive it off the lot of a secondhand auto seller.

How To Maintain The Value Of Your Car

So how do you maintain the value of your car to ensure that you can get a maximal return on your auto investment once it’s time to sell again?

Our top tips to help you keep your new car in great condition over the course of your ownership are:

  1. Get suitable insurance
  2. Understand the importance of storage
  3. Find a car that is an investment
  4. Keep your car clean
  5. Keep the mileage low
  6. Ensure proper maintenance
  7. Don’t eat, drink, or smoke
  8. Look out for curbs

Sleek car that has maintained value over time

1. Get suitable insurance

First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your new vehicle is suitably insured. For new cars, the best type of insurance that you can acquire is comprehensive car insurance. This particular vehicle insurance covers both your vehicle and third party vehicles or property in the event that you’re found at fault for causing a collision or accident. As comprehensive car insurance provides cover for your vehicle as well, it’s generally considered to be more preferable for new car owners than third-party car insurance, which only covers third-party vehicles and property in the event that you’re found at fault for causing a vehicular collision.

Comprehensive car insurance policies typically also include cover for the loss of your vehicle (by theft), as well as costs to provide you with a replacement vehicle if your car cannot be driven due to requiring repairs. It’s important to read through your car insurance policy in full to ensure that you understand the extent of your insurance cover. It’s also worth revisiting your policy around your renewal period to see if you can get a better deal on your comprehensive (or even third-party) insurance elsewhere.

2. Understand the importance of storage

Where you park your car is as important as how you drive it, so be sure to keep your car garaged if you can. This is both to reduce the risks of your car being stolen or damaged by other cars passing or whilst street parking, but also to keep your vehicle protected from the elements.

Some car insurance quotes may also drop if you keep your car in a secured garage, as this reduces your risk to insurers. If you have no choice but to park your car on the street, however, then we strongly recommend that you consider parking away from trees. Falling branches can scratch paint or break glass, and bird droppings can also negatively impact your paint job.

3. Find a car that is an investment

As we said earlier, whenever you buy a car, you’re really making an investment – especially if you’re purchasing a car with the intention of selling it on in the near future, as most of us do. So considering that vehicles lose some value as soon as you buy them, it’s a good idea to do some research before you buy a car and choose one that depreciates at a lower rate.

You might find that a car you really dislike is at the top of that list, but you don’t have to choose that one. Rather, find the vehicle out of the ones that you do like that holds its value best, and go with that one.

You can also find car depreciation calculators online or use car depreciation formulas to provide an additional reference point.

4. Keep your car clean

Now this one’s a no brainer, but it’s often an overlooked part of car ownership. It may be difficult to keep your car clean if you’ve got a busy life that’s always keeping you on the move, or if you’ve got kids who like to be messy. However, keeping a car in a messy or even dirty state can affect it negatively.

Seats, carpets, and some of the buttons can all wear out quicker than they should. A build up of dust and dirt also affects the exterior of the car. Paint fade is a common issue amongst cars that aren’t cleaned often. These issues can make your car very undesirable to future buyers, or heavily decrease the trade in value when you buy a new car.

A helpful tip; keep air fresheners in your car at all times to keep it smelling fresh. It’s also worthwhile keeping track of how often you bring your car in for a good wash and wax.

5. Keep the mileage low

Depending on what kind of car you buy and what you’ll be using it for, it may be harder or easier to keep your usage to a slight minimum. Big people movers that are owned by families are likely to be driven everyday, whereas a couple with a car each can usually keep their driving to a minimum.

Some people won’t agree with this point and might want to drive their car as much as possible – after all, what was the point of buying it? However, it’s a well known fact that a car with lower mileage will have a higher value than a car with a higher mileage. If anything, this is just something to keep in mind.

6. Ensure proper maintenance

It should go without saying that maintaining your car is very important in retaining the highest value possible. Choosing a good mechanic for your mechanical repairs is important in keeping the standard of work higher. Getting your car serviced regularly is vital in keeping the value of the car as high as possible. Potential buyers will often ask about the service history and may even pay more for a car that has been well maintained and has a log book to prove it.

Not to mention, regularly servicing your car will help you avoid big, costly repairs in the future. The name of the game is preventative maintenance. Simply put, this means fixing potential minor issues before they become big enough to cause major issues.

7. Don’t eat, drink, or smoke in your car

If you live a fast paced life and hit drive-thrus regularly, you might want to consider waiting to get home before digging into your dinner. It’s simple enough; no eating or drinking in the car means no potential spills or stains. Worse than stains, however, is smoking.

Often, many people will avoid buying a car if they can still smell smoke in it from the previous owner. Even if you keep all your windows open when you smoke, the seats, carpets, and fabric lining will soak up the smell and it’s very difficult to remove. So think before you light up at a red light!

8. Look out for curbs

This one’s just an extra tip. When parking your car, specifically adjacent to a curb, take your time, drive carefully, make sure your mirrors are correctly calibrated, use cameras and sensors if you have them, and try your hardest to avoid scratching or denting your wheels. Simple enough right? Wheels are undervalued in car owners’ minds, but they can be quite expensive to repair or have changed. Take it slow, take it easy, and avoid the hassle.

The Final Word

Buying a new car is always such an exciting and thrilling experience, and selling it shouldn’t be such a hassle. Simply follow these steps, show some love to your car and you’ll keep its value as high as possible for the entirety of your ownership, making the selling or trading-in process a breeze!

For specialised European car servicing and more, contact S.S.C Mechanics today!


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