It’s no secret that car prices have soared in recent years. The reasons for this phenomenon range from computer chip shortages to the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifics aside, it adds up to one thing: more pressure on car owners to protect the value of their vehicles.
Whether you’re planning to trade it in, sell it yourself, or hold onto it for many years to come, there’s an incentive to protect the value of your car due to rising costs. With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven ways to protect the value of your vehicle going forward:
Follow the recommended maintenance schedule.
If you want to protect your vehicle’s value, you need to keep it maintained. Every vehicle comes with a recommended maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer. Everything from oil changes to tire rotations is listed, with corresponding mileage. For instance, most manufacturers recommend oil changes every 3000 to 5000 miles. By sticking to the recommended maintenance schedule, you help avoid a variety of problems that not only cost a small fortune to fix but will also reduce the vehicle’s overall value over time.
Park it under an awning or in a garage.
Cars parked on the street are constantly exposed to the elements. Over time, rain, sleet, and snow will degrade the exterior. With this in mind, car owners should keep their vehicles covered when not in use. While parking your car in a garage is ideal, a covered carport is almost as good. The affordability of canvas carport awnings makes covered parking a practical choice for virtually every homeowner. As a result, we recommend doing what it takes to keep your car shielded from the elements as much as possible.
Be a safe and responsible motorist.
Reckless driving can reduce your car’s value in multiple ways. For one thing, it’ll increase the wear and tear over time, leading to parts failures and other problems that require additional repairs and upkeep. There’s also the increased chance of getting in an accident that severely damages or even totals your vehicle. In addition to the safety concerns related to reckless driving, it’s essential for car owners to practice safe and responsible driving at all times.
Keep it clean.
The Kelley Blue Book – considered the gold standard of assessing vehicle values – places great emphasis on the state of the exterior and interior of an automobile. By making a habit of cleaning and washing your car on a regular basis – including vacuuming the carpet and scrubbing the rims – you go a long way in keeping the assessed value where you want it to be.
Limit the mileage.
With that said, keeping the mileage to a minimum will go a long way in preserving the value of your vehicle. For instance, the value of a car plummets the second the odometer reaches 100,000 miles. You could probably shave off as many as 500 miles each year by walking, cycling, or taking mass transit instead of driving. In doing so, you’ll limit the mileage and protect the value.
Get it repaired as soon as possible.
Many car owners have a habit of neglecting to fix problems that don’t compromise the safety or functionality of the vehicle. But the longer you wait, the more likely it is that an outstanding issue is causing additional damage. For instance, if the passenger-side window motor fails, water might be able to get in through a crack whenever it rains, damaging the carpeting and upholstery.
Opt for full coverage at all times.
Automobile accidents happen all the time. While liability insurance is enough to meet minimum coverage requirements in most states, it won’t cover the cost of repairs in the event your car is damaged due to your negligence. While full coverage is more costly, the benefits in terms of protecting your car’s value are worth the extra money.
The price of vehicles continues to go up. That puts increased pressure on car owners to take care of their vehicles. Doing so not only ensures your vehicle remains a reliable mode of transportation but is also worth more if ever sold or traded in for a new car.
Alex Farina is a freelance writer from Ohio. He enjoys writing about design, fashion, nature, and technology.