You may not plan on keeping a car forever. There will likely come a day when you decide to trade-in or sell your vehicle.
Thus, it’s important that you be aware of what you can do to preserve your car’s value. While it’s virtually impossible to maintain a car to keep it as valuable as it was when you first bought it, there are plenty of ways you can keep a car’s value from depreciating excessively.
Examples include the following:
Choose Parking Spots Wisely
Some of the most effective ways to maintain a car’s value are also some of the easiest to overlook. For example, where you park your vehicle can have a major impact on its condition.
Try to avoid parking near other cars whenever possible. Some vehicles have large doors that can strike your car and damage it when opened. Additionally, the closer your car is to others, the greater the odds someone will accidentally bump into it when parking or backing out of a space.
It’s also a good idea to park in the shade. Excessive sun exposure can damage interior surfaces and components. If you have garage space, park your car there instead of in your driveway.
Don’t Eat or Drink in the Car
This is another simple tip that’s nevertheless easy to forget. Essentially, food and beverages can stain a vehicle’s interior surfaces. You’re also more likely to spill food and beverages when you’re trying to eat while driving.
Make a point of not eating or drinking in the car. Keep in mind, this is also a common driver safety recommendation. Also, if you smoke, never do so in the car. You actually shouldn’t even store cigarettes in your vehicle.
Don’t Parallel Park if You Don’t Have To
Parallel parking can be a challenge when you’re trying to fit into a tight spot. Often, drivers attempting to parallel park run up against the curb.
When this happens, even if only for a moment, the wheels may be damaged. True, you can have your wheels repaired or replaced before selling your car, but this will be more expensive than simply preventing damage in the first place.
There may be instances when parallel parking is your only option. However, when you don’t have to parallel park, avoid doing so.
Keep a Maintenance History
You likely already know that ensuring your car is regularly serviced by professionals according to a recommended schedule is one of the smartest ways to maintain its value.
However, it’s also important to keep a record of your vehicle’s maintenance history. You may know you’ve prioritized regular maintenance and service over the years, but you could still be asked by a potential buyer to provide documentation proving as much. If you don’t have that documentation available, they may not believe your car is as valuable as you claim.
Use Floor Mats
A floor mat is a relatively inexpensive purchase that will pay for itself in the long run by protecting your car’s interior. Floor mats are particularly helpful if your job or lifestyle puts you at greater risk of tracking dirt or debris into the vehicle.
Just remember, none of this is meant to suggest your car’s value won’t diminish over the years if you follow simple tips. Cars naturally lose value. However, follow the advice here, and yours will lose less value than it otherwise might.