Other than your house, a car is often the largest investment you may ever make. Whether you buy a top of the range vehicle with all the toys to cruise the motorways or a reliable run-about to get you to work and back, automobiles play an important part in our lives. It’s important then to ensure your car maintains its worth, both in terms of its financial value and its roadworthiness. Let’s take a look at some ways to keep your car at the higher end of the valuation equation.
Unlike your house which will (hopefully) only increase in value, cars, despite the financial investment they require, only ever seem to depreciate. Unless it’s a very rare or classic car, most will decrease in value a little every day, but there are things you can do to halt that slide. Knowing how to maintain the value of your car for as long a period as possible isn’t just common sense, it makes great financial sense too. Cars themselves are expensive, that is without adding in the cost of fuel, road tax and insurance. There’s no doubt about it, driving is a very expensive way to live. Cars depreciate, on average, by around 65% in just five years. When its time to trade in or sell your car for a new model, it’s important to get as much money back from it as is humanly possible.
One of the most important factors when it comes to your car’s value is its mileage. On average, according to figures from the RAC, UK cars travel 7900 miles per year, that’s only around 20 miles per day. That isn’t very much when you factor in commutes to and from work, trips to the shops, the school run and weekends away. This figure has been steadily declining in recent years due, in part, to the high cost of fuel and greater emphasis on public transport. If your mileage is way above that, then it might be time to reign in your driving a little. Cars with a high mileage, relative to their age, lose a lot of value. Even if the car has been looked after, people will always prefer cars with lower than average mileage and are often willing to pay more to get them. Try car sharing the journey to work with colleagues or taking public transport on local trips around town to bring down the number of miles your car travels.
Cars are basically just machines in a metal box. As modern cars get more technically advanced, at the heart of them is still an old-fashioned combustion engine. Which brings us to our next tip. Keeping that engine well maintained is vital, not only to getting to your destination but also to its resale value. Ensuring your car is regularly maintained by a reputable mechanic and always keep your service records. These will show a potential buyer that they are getting a car that has been taken care of. It’s no guarantee of ever-lasting motoring, but it will show that they are potentially buying a car that has been looked after and maintained responsibly, heightening their chances of trouble-free motoring.
Our final tip is probably the easiest one to achieve. Drive well. When you’re in the car, avoiding unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle will benefit you in a number of ways. Firstly, driving with due consideration to yourself and other road users means you are less likely to get into accidents. A sure fire way to reduce the value of the car. Also, paying attention not to speed, accelerate excessively, unnecessarily rapid braking, turning at excessive speeds and driving over poorly maintained roads are all easily achieved. They will also limit the strain on the mechanical parts of your car. The longer they last, the less time and money you will have to spend replacing them.
Cars can be expensive to buy and expensive to run, but you can turn the depreciation gauge back in your favour. Another benefit of keeping the cars value high is if you ever need to use it as security for a ‘log book loan’. Life is full of twists and turns and problems can occur at any time. If you need to use your car as collateral to borrow money in an emergency, the more your car is worth, the more money you can borrow. Happy driving.