5 Habits to Drop if You Want to Raise Your Car’s Value
Everyone wants their car to sell for as much as possible, whether it is exotic, antique or a beater. True, depreciation makes that difficult sometimes, but no one want’s to feel that they’re at too much of a loss. But here’s the problem – too many drivers treat their cars in a way that lowers its value. It’s like a couch potato wanting a six pack. Unless they’ve got wicked genetics, eating doritos and watching Game of Thrones won’t get them ripped. Likewise, if you want to maintain your car value at an appreciable level, it’s important that you keep your car in good condition by eliminating some common bad habits.
1. Driving a “Slobmobile”
To say that your car should always be 100% spotless is ridiculous. There will be times when your car has a few specs of dirton it, and it’s normal to have a bit of rust or couple of scratches or dents closer to the end of your vehicle’s lifespan. And there’s a good chance the interior will be a bit messy too at times, with water bottles and food wrappers laying around. However, if your car looks like a trash bin on wheels, you’ll have a hard time selling it for a price you could actually brag about.
This goes two fold – it’s about perception and functionality. A car that performs well but looks dirty (or downright deplorable) will turn drivers off like dirty bathrooms do house guests. And of course, seemingly small issues such as rust can go beyond the aesthetic, and actually wear away the structural integrity of a car. The lesson here is, to clean, wash, wax, de-rust and do all the necessary detailing needed to make your car presentable.
2. Pushing it Past the Limit
There’s a dilemma that aggressive drivers and owners of sports cars have. It’s owning a car that’s meant to be driven, and being told that they should relax on the gas pedal. Let’s face it – high horsepower, quick acceleration – these are all the ingredients for a great driving experience, even if your car isn’t technically a sports car. However, when your daily drive consists of hard braking and redlining, then you’re accelerating the wear and tear your car will eventually face. For one, hard-braking will wear your brakes prematurely, but a bigger area of concern is what redlining will do to your vehicle.
When you’re always pushing to max rpm, your engine is under tremendous pressure since all its components are moving at their greatest speed. Engines normally have minor imbalances, which are emphasized at high rpm. If this happens frequently, you’ll likely damage your engine. Cars that have engine damage and other signs of stress lose value at a faster pace. That’s why it pays to treat your car with a break from speeding. You’ll thank yourself when your car sells for a healthy amount.
3. Turning it to a Fast & Furious Prop
If your passion is decking your car out with a ton of addons and accessories, then you should do what you love. Maybe you’ve got an addiction to spoilers, large diameter exhaust pipes and neon lights. But remember this – too many car modifications lower car value. When your car looks like it belongs in the next Fast and Furious movie, you’ll only attract a certain niche of drivers. The majority of car owners aren’t looking for such vehicles, and they’ll most likely turn away to check out other options.
Unlike the points we’ve mentioned in this post, there is no right or wrong answer in terms of how to customize your car – it’s really a matter of discretion. And if tweaking and tinkering with your car is your passion, then no one should take that away from you. Just keep in mind that it does affect car value, and the appeal it will have in the eyes of other drivers.
4. Throwing Your Records in the Recycling
See those receipts and service records given to you by mechanics and auto repair shops? Keep them. These are important if you have hopes of selling to a private buyer. They’ll want to see what work has been done to your car, so that they have a clearer picture of what they’re buying. Additionally, this is important for them since they’re not buying a car from a certified dealership. That’s why it’s vital for you to keep these records. Whether you see it or not, failing to have these documents on hand can make it harder to sell your vehicle, even if it’s in great shape.
5. Turning to Your BFF for Mechanic
It’s understandable to turn to your best buddy for car servicing if they’re mechanically-inclined. It can be a win-win situation – you put money into their pocket, and you spend less. But in many cases, it’s more of a win for them, than it is for you. Initially, you won’t spend as much on repairs. However, this is all an illusion, because their lack of training can lead them to make mistakes that end up costing you way more in the long run. There’s often a lot of guesswork involved, and when things go wrong, there can be a lot of awkward tension between your friend later on. The easiest way to prevent such trouble is by taking your vehicle to a licensed mechanic who has the tools and experience to properly handle your vehicle.
Changing Your Ways
If you have one of the bad habits listed above, understand that it will take some time to change things around. There are numerous numbers out there that say how long it takes to form new habits or break old ones. Some say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, while others disagree. Others say it actually takes 66 days and so forth. Don’t hold yourself up to these numbers – just accept that it might take some time to start doing things differently. As long as you try your best to correct these habits, you may see a time when your car gets a great offer from a buyer.