Increase the Value of Your Car With These 5 Tricks

August 12th, 2022 by

A mechanic is shown performing an oil change.

Since your car is one of the most expensive purchases you can make, you probably know how much you paid for it on the day you bought it. But have you ever wondered to yourself, “How would I value my car today?” The truth is, once you drove your vehicle off the dealership lot, its value depreciated significantly. We’re talking around 20% for that first year, and then depending on your vehicle, a good 15 to 20% every year afterward until it hits five years old.

That’s a lot of depreciation. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help keep the value. Even if you’re not in the market for a new car right now, it’s beneficial to know how to increase the value of your car so you can get the best resale value for it when you are ready to trade it in for another or sell it for cash to a dealership or in a private sale. Take a look at these five tricks that can help you increase the value of your car or at least slow down any unavoidable depreciation.

#1 Avoid Customizations

One of the best parts of buying a car is customizing it to fit your preferences and needs with trim, exterior paint, powertrain, and feature choices. After bringing it home, you might have even opened up your laptop or started browsing the web on your smartphone for accessories you could purchase to personalize your car even more. Maybe you decided on some new all-weather rubber floor mats for your 2020 Chevrolet Blazer for an easier time cleaning the interior. Or, maybe you bought a beefier suspension for the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 along with other aftermarket off-road modifications so you can venture into new territory on rougher terrain. Upgrading your vehicle is fine and can be beneficial depending on the upgrade itself, but you must customize your car mindfully.

All accessories and modifications should be manufacturer-recommended and approved, and professionally installed. Plus, it’s important to realize some could even be detrimental to the value of your car, truck, or SUV. Avoid customizations like window tinting, bumper stickers and decals, and some aftermarket modifications if you want to get the most money back when you’re ready to sell it.

A mechanic is shown pouring oil into an engine.

#2 Routine Maintenance

You might already know the importance of routine maintenance for your vehicle, but did you know that keeping up with the manufacturer’s recommended schedule can increase the value of your car? That’s right. Simply monitoring your vehicle’s fluid levels, topping them off when needed, and performing routine oil and filter changes can make your car worth more than if you hadn’t kept up with service.

While many of today’s automobiles are equipped with some type of tire pressure monitoring system to help you keep track of when it’s time to add air to your tires or an oil life monitoring system to determine the life expectancy of your vehicle’s oil based on mileage and driving conditions, it’s good to have a routine in place where you keep track of your vehicle’s components yourself. You never know if or when one of those systems will fail. The next time you feel like pushing that tire rotation out or driving with squealing brakes for a little longer, remember that vehicle maintenance will keep your car running safely and efficiently and increase your car’s value.

#3 Make Repairs

Another essential service for your vehicle that can increase its value that you might already keep up with is repair work. Simple repairs throughout ownership, such as pulling out small dents and touching up the paint on your 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, can prevent further damage like rust which can depreciate your car’s value just as much as age and mileage. Plus, when you are ready to sell, you will want to ensure that every aspect of your vehicle is in good condition and working properly. You’ll have a lesser chance of getting what your vehicle’s worth if the power windows aren’t all working properly or the headlights are cloudy or filled with moisture. Don’t risk it, just fix it!

#4 Record Keeping

You might not think an administrative task like record keeping is beneficial when it comes to the value of your car, but it is. Keeping track of all of your vehicle’s documents is very important. This includes records of your initial purchase, previous history if you bought your car pre-owned, all insurance claims documentation, maintenance reports and receipts, and any active warranty information. Today, much of this information might be digitized, such as the dealership you purchased it from, the mechanic’s shop that services your vehicle, or even found on the internet if you’re looking for a vehicle history report. It’s good practice to have a paper trail of the money and care you’ve put into your vehicle, or at least know where to find the documentation when the time comes.

A file cabinet is shown after someone searched 'value my car.'

#5 Regular Detailing

Clean, clean, clean. We can’t stress the importance of regular detailing enough. Whether you clean your vehicle top to bottom and inside out, or if you choose to have a professional take care of it, stepping into a recently detailed vehicle is not only refreshing for you, but it’s great for your car and its value. However, a good vacuuming of the interior and a thorough scrubbing of the exterior of your car isn’t going to cut it. Road salt, UV rays from the sun, tree pitch, and other environmental factors can damage the exterior paint and interior of your car, which is why it needs to receive a proper cleaning.

Routine exterior waxing is an essential part of your vehicle’s cleaning routine. It puts a protective layer over the clear coat on the body of your car, which preserves the color and protects the paint from environmental contaminants previously mentioned. Using protective cleaning products on the interior will keep your vehicle’s vinyl, leather, plastic, and rubber from fading, drying up, and ultimately cracking. It’s a given that you want your car to look its best when it’s time to sell, but it’s just as important to keep it pristine to maintain its value.

We Can Help You Keep the Value of Your Vehicle

The next time you wonder, “What’s the value of my car?” try to remember that the care you put into your vehicle today can greatly affect its value tomorrow. Vehicle depreciation is inevitable, but there are ways that you can help control the value of your car. You can slow down your car’s depreciation and even increase its value by making mindful decisions of the customizations you make to it, keeping up with routine maintenance, repairs, detailing, and keeping track of everything you do for your car. If this sounds like it might be too much for you to handle on your own, McCluskey Chevrolet can help.

We’re a full-service dealership that can assist you with all your automotive needs: from routine maintenance to repairs to supplying or ordering manufacturer parts and accessories. Plus, if you use our service professionals, we’ll even help you keep a record of your vehicle’s service history. If you purchased your car through us, we should have it on file too. When you’re ready to sell, we can even appraise it for you and take it as a trade-in for another vehicle or buy it off you. Your hands are not tied when it comes to the value of your car, so let McCluskey Chevrolet help you keep your vehicle’s worth right where it should be.

Posted in Value My Car