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Tips to Retain Vehicle Resale Value

Tips to Retain Resale Value

If you count yourself among those looking for a new ride in the near future, consider a few helpful tips to maximize the amount of money you can get when you trade-in or sell your current vehicle. The typical American car buyer keeps their wheels for an average of eight years.  So, the best way to get the most out of your current ride is to plan ahead. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few helpful tips to increase the resale value of your current vehicle.


Most immediately, a prospective car buyer is going to look at the miles you have put on your vehicle. Anything above 100,000 miles can be seen as a deterrent, regardless of the dependability of your ride. On average, a typical driver puts anywhere between 12,000 and 15,000 miles on their vehicle per year. Beyond that, you’re only welcoming potential mechanical issues that are bound to happen if you are in a position that requires you to constantly sit behind the wheel.

There are more obvious elements to take into consideration as well. In example, a car that runs on gas is going to sell in a considerably shorter time frame as compared to a car running on diesel fuel. In the same vein, it is easier to sell a vehicle with automatic transmission over manual, as there is simply a larger potential market of drivers. Other clear benefits include whether the vehicle has All-Wheel Drive and a decent average fuel economy.


Beyond choosing whether or not to include optional features to your ride, know that the brand plays a large part in returns as well. German and British vehicles have been known for shrinking resale value, while brands such as Mazda, Toyota, Subaru, and Honda have been known to retain up to 60% of their original value 3 years beyond the time of purchase.  Remember, however, that this data should be considered relative to your geographic location. Nobody is looking for a convertible Miata in Minnesota when the snow starts falling.

For the 2016 year, the NADA Used Car Guide looked at 241 current models of vehicles and the top ten spots all went to trucks and sport utility vehicles. This trend bounds beyond the current year, as trucks and SUV’s have consistently proven to retain the highest resale value of all vehicle types for many years.


The color you choose DOES matter. Sticking to neutral tones like black, gray, and white will give you the quickest turnaround time on selling your vehicle, as where a custom airbrush paint job of your girlfriend on the hood will likely only ensure that the car doesn’t sell.

Delores Hood Graphic


Whenever you are purchasing a vehicle, remember that while add-ons are great, with only some working to your advantage come trade-in time. Features such as leather interiors, sunroofs, moon roofs, smartkeys, and built-in navigation systems will be the most likely to increase your cars resale value.

However, modifications such as lowering the suspension or adding massive rims could work against you in the long run. In other words, if you were looking to add suicide doors to your Windstar, maybe think again. Aftermarket superchargers/turbo chargers are also to be avoided as they are essentially an advertisement to prospective buyers that the vehicle was driven aggressively. Vin Diesel might disagree, but your wallet will thank you.


In addition, there are several quick fixes you can do in your own time and on your own dime. Replacing the lights is quick, easy, and often important to prospective buyers. Consider the state of the tires on your vehicle as well. Not every situation will require their replacement, but you don’t want to show off your ride on bald tires. If this is the case, even purchasing used tires with a bit less wear and tear can do wonders in getting the price you want for your car. Updating the brakes will also work to your advantage, especially in luxury vehicles.

Regular maintenance is a must, and you should seriously consider following the manufactures’ recommended maintenance schedule, being sure to keep a record of service visits and what was done during each visit.



Finally, if the number of dents your vehicle requires more than one hand to count, consider hiring a dent repair specialist. Unsightly blemishes on a vehicle’s exterior are a major detractor in the eyes of potential buyers. If the vehicle has significant damage, however, consider trading it into a dealership, as they can often get major discounts when it comes to body work. They may not drop the resell value as significantly as an independent purchaser.

Really, it comes down to a mutual respect between man and machine. Treat your car well, maintain its visual appeal by keeping a clean exterior and fasten its internal integrity with regular tune-ups and maintenance.  Think about what you, yourself, look for when purchasing a used vehicle and question if you are holding yourself to the same standard of accountability. It can be a relatively painless experience to trade-in your vehicle if you simply take the time to consider that selling your car entails more than just selling your car.

If you are ready to start the new car buying process or you are interested in trending prices in your region for resale, check out Carsforsale.com today.

Caroline Rex

She's a graphic designer by trade, but loves writing blog posts on the side. As a closet car fanatic, Caroline enjoy sprinkling knowledge about the unique ins and outs of the underdogs of the auto world. #neonsruletheworld

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