As much as you love your current ride, there may come a time when you decide to sell it on. Selling a car privately can be challenging, particularly if you’re not being offered what you think your car is worth. The value of new vehicles depreciates by around 20-30% within their first year of ownership; however, that’s not to say you have to accept a poor offer. Protecting the value of your car means you can raise your asking price and get the best deal possible, so here are some tips to consider.
Keep It Clean
Over time, dirt and grime can build up, damaging your paintwork and increasing the likelihood of rust and corrosion. Keeping your car clean will preserve its value by acting as a preventative measure. It’s often recommended to wash your car once per fortnight, using high-quality wax and polish to protect the paintwork from the elements.
Repair Minor Scrapes and Dents
While minor dents, scratches and scrapes may not bother you, they can discourage potential buyers. Furthermore, ignoring these imperfections could lead to rust and rot, so it is always worth repairing any issues as soon as you notice them. You may be able to remove dents using a specialised suction cup, and minor scrapes can be buffed out using a scratch removal product and a microfibre cloth.
Deep Clean The Interior
As important as it is to keep your car’s exterior clean, don’t forget about your interior. Many of us are guilty of treating our cars like dustbins. However, this can have detrimental effects on your resale value, as dirty vehicles are at risk of harbouring all manner of mould and fungal spores. Keep your car’s interior squeaky clean by regularly vacuuming your carpets, clearing any clutter and wiping your seats and dashboard with diluted soapy water and a microfiber dish cloth. For stubborn stains, you can use a soft toothbrush and gentle stain remover.
Invest In a Service
One of the most crucial methods of retaining your car’s value is booking it for regular services - a necessary expense for all road users. As a rule of thumb, you should have your vehicle serviced every 12,000 miles to ensure everything is in good working order. Servicing can help to identify potential issues before they become problematic and costly. As well as protecting the value of your car, regular servicing will also keep you safe on the road, and you cannot put a price on safety.
Give The Wheels Some Attention
A great way to boost your car’s resale value is to invest in some smart aftermarket wheels. However, alloy wheels, although durable, are susceptible to scrapes and cracks caused by roadside debris and kerbs. To keep your alloys pristine, clean them regularly with soapy water and a soft sponge. Use a soft tyre brush to get in amongst the nooks and crannies, and once dry, coat your alloys with wheel protector to shield them from damage. Furthermore, you may want to invest in rim protectors for exceptional alloy longevity.
Consider Where You Park
Being strategic about where you park could protect your car from unnecessary damage. For example, parking under trees on a regular basis could lead to clogged drains and filter damage caused by tree sap and leaves. In remarkably unfortunate circumstances, your car could even be damaged by falling branches due to harsh weather conditions. At the same time, you should also avoid parking on busy roads when possible, as this increases the risk of your vehicle being involved in an incident. To cover all bases, it is advisable to park your car in a garage if you have access to one.
Be a Conscientious Driver
One of the most vital pieces of advice you can be given regarding your vehicle’s resale value is to consider how you drive. Not only do good driving habits promote the safety of yourself and other road users, but they can also reduce fuel and maintenance costs. While fast acceleration can be exciting, the harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use and the more wear and tear your vehicle will receive over time. As well as maintaining a steady speed, you should also avoid driving with worn-out tyres, as this reduces your road grip, increasing the likelihood of serious accidents.