Most people accept that the price they pay for a car today won’t be the price they get when they sell their cars at a later stage. Depreciation is a fact of life when talking about cars, and it’s something that hits certain models more than others.
A lot of mass-produced cars suffer from bad depreciation. And so many car owners face the prospect of not getting much money for their cars a few years after buying them. In some cases, the problem is so severe they can lose several grand off the value in just 12 months!
But the news isn’t so bad if you know the secrets of sustaining your car’s value. If you want to know what they are, keep reading this blog post to find out!
- Don’t buy cars that depreciate loads
It might sound obvious to you, but it’s not to a lot of people! When you next buy a car, you should take the time to learn how rapid the rate of depreciation is on it. For example, a Vauxhall Astra will depreciate a lot more than a BMW 3 Series car.
The What Car? website has a nifty depreciation calculator that can tell you what a brand new car is likely to be worth in a few years’ time. But if you only buy used cars, there is another way to find out.
All you need to do is go onto websites like AutoTrader and eBay to find out how much cars go for by specific years and mileage. The average selling price will show you what the depreciation for those cars will be.
Of course, an Astra will always be cheaper to buy than the 3 Series. Still, you should consider this factor when you decide what car you want to buy. Is it important for you to own a car that holds its value, or do you just want a newer car to drive?
- Don’t blame it on the boogie
One surprising fact that pushes down the value of a car is the entertainment (i.e. stereo) system it has! Let’s say that you want to buy a car that’s ten years old. There are two models you are quite interested in. They are both identical apart from one thing: the entertainment system.
Car one has a cassette tape player in the dashboard. Whereas car two has a touchscreen display with built-in satellite navigation. Which car do you think will be more desirable to buyers? Car two, of course!
If you want to maintain the value of your car, it’s worth keeping its technology up-to-date. Most modern cars have entertainment systems that are a “straight swap.” All you have to do is pull the unit out of the dashboard with some extractor keys, and slot in the replacement.
Don’t just go out and buy a brand new system! Go onto your favourite auction site and search for used units that got fitted to higher-spec models. The increase in value is often more than the price you pay for the replacement entertainment system!
- Change those carpets
A lot of motorists use car mats in their workhorses. They protect the car’s carpets from wear, and there are plenty of stylish mats to choose from. Fabric, rubber or chequer-plate; the choice is yours!
Do you intend to sell your car soon? If so, invest in a set of new car mats. They don’t cost a lot of money and can transform the interior of your car. Buyers are more likely to pay an amount nearer to your asking price with just this one simple change to your car.
- Renew interior trim items
Does your car look like it’s done about a million miles on the clock? If so, its interior is going to look like it’s been through a war zone.
Think about replacing items like gear lever and handbrake leathers, and rubber pedal covers.
Again, these are inexpensive items that anyone can replace. And they can revive an otherwise tired-looking interior.
- Clean your car’s exterior
Perhaps the biggest reason car values plummet is down to their exterior appearance. Even if your car is only five years old, if it looks uncared-for, you aren’t likely to get a good price for it.
If you’re up for it, spend a day giving it the valet and detailing treatment it deserves. Start by using your trusty pressure washer to clean the alloy wheels. Brake dust is often hard to remove, so you might need to use alloy wheel cleaner at the same time. While you’re there, give the wheel arches a good rinse too.
Next, rinse the entire body of the car. Don’t forget door shuts, gaps between windows and bodywork and the car’s exterior lights. Consider removing the licence plates to clean behind those areas too.
Once you have rinsed the car, it’s time to give it the snow foam effect. According to Gary from www.rrg-group.com, snow foam has many advantages over conventional car shampoo.
It can remove dirt and grime with little effort, and it looks pretty cool too! Usually, you have to wait around 20 minutes before you can rinse the snow foam off. Once you have done that, dry the car with microfibre cloths.
The next stage is to get a clay bar and run it over the bodywork. The job of the clay bar is to pick up small dirt particles that the pressure washer and snow foam can’t shift. You’ll know you did a good job when you run your hand over the bodywork, and it feels silky smooth.
The final stage is to polish and wax the bodywork. Car polish removes any light scratches in the paintwork, and the wax protects the paint and the bodywork. Use a machine polisher to speed up the job. Otherwise, it might take you two days to valet and detail your car!
For added effect, apply some tyre shine to your tyres for that ultimate showroom look.
Now you know the secrets to sustaining your car’s value!