I bought my first car when I was 17 and have owned a car continuously for the past 30 (mmm something) years. I think I’m old school because I can’t imagine not owning a car. There are plenty of advantages like freedom, convenience, safety and status (for those who drive the fancy cars). Getting an Uber with the grocery shopping and two kids in tow would do my head in.
But the downside of owning a car is that they’re not an investment, unless you own a fleet of vintage Ferraris or a star car like Kit from Knight Rider. As a result your car loses value each year. The highest rate of depreciation occurs when you drive your brand spanker out of the dealership. To prove this when you pick up your new car, drive it around the block and back into the dealership and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to offer you the same money you paid for it!
There are a couple of ways you can maximise your car’s value. The first is to buy a used car because it was the car’s first owner who took the brunt of the depreciation rate.
Regardless of whether you buy a new or used car, here are my top five tips on how to get the most for your car when selling it.
1. Regular cleaning
Wash your car inside and out once a week, or more often if you’ve driven off road. Removing road grime, mud, bird droppings and tree sap with ensure that your paintwork will stay shiny and new for as long as possible. Cleaning regularly on the inside will remove hair, dirt, sand and those stray chips that manage to find their way under the seats. If you spill your coffee or anything with dairy clean this up as soon as possible because the smell of rancid milk in a car is really hard to remove.
2. Regular servicing
Follow the car service schedule in your log book and service the car when required. This will avoid any major mechanical issues that may occur.
3. Log book records
Each time you get your car serviced ensure the log book are completed. Buyers have preference for buying a car that’s been regularly serviced and the log book is the proof of this.
4. Smoke-free zone
Cigarette smoke not only makes you car smell but can stain the inside roof of your car. This can turn buyers off and result in a lower price.
5. Avoid a build up scratches and dents
A girlfriend gave me this tip. Get the mishaps fixed as soon as possible. If you’ve got a couple of scrapes, then there tends to be less of a concern when you get the next one. Before you know if there’s a dent in every panel, which can be costly to fix. Removing the scratches also reduces the likelihood of rust.
Finally, if you sell your car with HelloCars, we will offer you at least $1,000 more than a dealer’s written quote. Click here to find out what your car is worth now!