Everyone knows that owning a car is one sure way of losing money fast. Unlike a house, there’s no investment involved in owning a motor vehicle; instead they depreciate faster than almost anything else that you can buy.
There are however a number of ways that you can slow this rate of depreciation down, and help your car to maintain its value for longer. Start by following some of these top tips.
Keep it serviced regularly
Having your car serviced at regular intervals instantly keeps its value up, and makes it far more appealing to future purchasers, as well as garages that may be willing to offer a part-exchange deal for it in the future. Stick to the guidelines set by the manufacturer in terms of mileage and time intervals. It also helps if you get the car serviced at the manufacturer’s own garage – while this can cost more, it’s a sure way for future owners to know that authentic parts have been used in any work that has been carried out.
Keep it clean inside and out
Taking your car for a wash, or running a vacuum cleaner over the upholstery may seem like a bit of a chore, but it’s important to ensure that no long-term damage is caused to the car. A build-up of dirt can cause discoloration to the paintwork and even rust to form, so ensure that you are giving the car a proper wash and shampoo, with a good quality wax used to protect the paintwork. Also avoid things like food, drink and smoking cigarettes inside the car – these can lead to permanent damage to the interior, not to mention irremovable smells which won’t appeal to any potential buyers in the future.
Avoid silly modifications
Whilst there are some improvements that you can make to a car to ensure it is kept up to date and looking good, for example alloy wheel refurbishment or the installation of a modern sound-system, you should avoid making too many changes which make it only appeal to 17-year-old wannabe boy racers. If it doesn’t already have them, don’t add things like body kits, racing suspensions, turbochargers or exhausts.
Consider where you leave it
There are a couple of reasons why you need to consider where you park your car – first of all, damage can be caused if you leave it in a tight space in a car park, or in the supermarket where lots of people pass with their trolleys. Although you love your car and want to take care of it, it’s fair to say that nobody else feels the same. Then there are the external factors that can play a part. For example, if left in direct sunlight on a hot day it can lead to damage to the paintwork, while on the other extreme, ice and snow can result in damage to the car’s internal components. Where possible, park under cover, preferably in a garage, and if out in public make the effort to park in a less busy area, even if it means a slightly further walk to the shops!