Most assets increase in value over time but vehicles drop in value the moment they are driven off the
lot. Depending on the make and model, vehicles have different rates of depreciation with a typical loss
of 30% of value within the first year.
But there are some ways to slow the rate of depreciation down. While most of these things need to
happen when you first buy the car, it is almost never too late to raise your vehicle’s value.
1. Maintain the Maintenance
It is important to properly maintain your vehicle from day one. You can find the correct
maintenance schedule for your vehicle in the back of the owner’s manual. Future buyers want
to know that the car was properly cared for by its previous owner.
Whenever there is a problem or cosmetic issue, don’t put it off; make repairs as soon as you can
to prevent it from getting worse.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Mileage
The more miles you put on a vehicle, the faster it loses value. According to the Department of
Transportation, the average annual mileage for a car is 13,500. It is a good idea to keep your
mileage around that number to stay within the average market price.
If your mileage is close to a round number, like 80,000, it is better to keep it below the
upcoming borderline. The gap between 78,000 and 80,000 is wider than it looks and buyers will
be more inclined to buy if you stay under that next milestone.
3. Clean it Regularly
A clean car is a valuable car. Keeping your car clean before you sell it is one of the best ways to
improve its market value and you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg.
- Floor mats can prevent stains and are easily removable and washable
- Don’t let trash collect in cup holders or side compartments
- Keep the pets out; dog hair is almost impossible to remove completely
- The smell of smoke is really hard to eliminate, so limit smoking
4. Drive Safely but Expect Dents & Dings
It is hard to avoid the inevitable dents, dings, and scratches our vehicles may endure. But
fortunately, these minor issues are easy to fix. But any history of collision damage can negatively
impact your car’s resale value. Try to keep any body issues, to a minimum.
If your car is in a collision, find an experienced repair shop with a good reputation. It is also
important that you insist on only using factory parts. Save all receipts and be upfront about the
collision when it comes time to trade or sell so it doesn’t seem worse than it actually was.
5. Inspect and Replace Tires
The tires and wheels on your vehicle take the most beating due to everyday use. Over the years,
you may accumulate cosmetic and functional issues that can decrease your car’s value.
Wheels that look dull and dirty are a reflection of how the car was cared for in the long‐run. By
using a tire shine product and removing dirt and grime, you can bring your tires up to par with
the rest of your vehicle. Shiny wheels add luster and may make the buyer think the car is more
valuable than it may actual be.
6. Keep Up with Easy Fixes
Replace burned out headlights, taillights, and turn signals, top off your windshield washer fluid,
and make sure there are no warning lights glowing on the dashboard. Nothing scares off a
potential buyer more than a check engine light.
If the check engine light is on, have your engine inspected. If the problem is simple and
inexpensive, fix it. If not, you can either have it fixed or tell the potential buyer the truth.
When it comes time to sell or trade your old car, don’t forget to apply for a new auto loan through us!
Getting pre‐approved for your next vehicle gives you extra negotiating power to get the best possible
When you get your new, or new‐to‐you car, remember to stay on top of maintenance, watch your
mileage, keep it clean, and drive safely.
We can’t wait to see those shiny new wheels!