Five Tips to Maintain the Resale Value of Your New Car

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Advice to help you get the most money for your car at resale or trade-in time

A new car is a significant investment — one that should be protected as much as possible during the time you own it.  Below, we offer simple tips to help you maintain the value of your new car. 

Tip1:  Regularly service your car

It's important to have your new car serviced on a regular basis by an accredited, certified mechanic.  The care your car receives throughout its lifetime is crucial in not only keeping it running properly, but also in maintaining its value at resale time.  Be sure to keep records of all maintenance and service appointments.  You may be able to ask a higher sales price if your car has been routinely serviced during the period in which you owned it.

Tip 2:  Keep your car in good condition

The condition of your new car has a significant impact on its resale value.  That's why it's important to have it detailed on a regular basis.  Make sure it's washed and waxed regularly to protect the finish from outside elements.  Have a qualified detailing company buff out surface scratches and whenever possible, fix minor body damage such as dents and dings.  If your car has sustained major damage, consult your insurance company to determine if it should be repaired or totaled depending on the cost.

Tip 3:  Avoid excessive wear and tear

Sure, your new car's engine will experience normal wear and tear throughout its lifetime.  Excessive wear and tear, however, can wreak havoc on its resale value.  Avoid excessive speeds, aggressive driving and exceeding maximum towing and hauling capacities as outlined by the manufacturer.  Engine and drivetrain repairs are expensive propositions.  The more you avoid unnecessary costs, the more money you stand to net at resale or trade-in time.

Tip 4:  Go easy on mileage

Like condition, excessive mileage can negatively impact a car's resale value.  Whenever possible, avoid racking up unnecessary miles on your car.  Good rules of thumb include carpooling or telecommuting to work, using public transportation such as buses, trains and subways whenever possible, biking short distances versus driving, and combining multiple short trips, like errands and shopping, into one longer trip.  If you're planning a long distance driving vacation, rent a car versus driving your own.   

Tip 5:  Store your car properly

Be sure to store your car properly to avoid extreme weather conditions such as sun, rain, ice and snow.  Sun causes paint, moldings, tires and trims to lose color.  Salt deposits and acid rain buildup can cause rust, water spots and mottling to the car's exterior finish, while extreme cold and heat can damage engine parts. Whenever possible, store your new car in a garage or under cover.  An interior, climate controlled environment is ideal. 

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