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How to Maintain the Value of Your Car

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Regardless of what kind of vehicle you drive, or how old the vehicle is there are several simple things you can do to slow its depreciation and maintain its value.

Eventually, you will sell your car, trade it in, or return it following a lease program. Many factors are considered when evaluating a vehicle's worth in all of these instances, including condition, age and total mileage. While some of these items are beyond your control, there are several within reach.

Kelley Blue Book's Executive Editor, Charlie Vogelheim, recommends simple ways to retain and maintain your vehicle's value. "If a consumer puts a little time and care into their vehicle, depending on the make and model, there could be up to a $1,000 difference in the car's value down the road."

Here are a few simple things you can do today.

  1. Interior/Exterior Condition:

    • A top factor in determining a vehicle's worth is the interior and exterior condition.

    • A thorough washing and waxing on a regular basis will help maintain the quality of a vehicle internally and externally.

    • A one time investment of $50 - $100 for seat covers is one way to help maintain the quality of the interior cloth or leather seats.

    • Smokers may want to consider keeping the cigarettes out of the car. Cigarette smoke is tough to remove or cover up and can affect the overall value of a car.

  2. Parking:

    • Watch where you park your car and what you park next to. While many have heard this for years, it is absolutely true.

    • Park your car away from other vehicles if possible. Some two-door vehicles have very long doors and are often the culprit of many a door-ding.

    • Park in the shade. Some vehicles with vinyl dashboards crack due to regular sun exposure.

  3. Maintenance History:

    • Have your car serviced regularly and keep track of the car's maintenance schedule.

    • Save receipts from car washes, oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations and other services that demonstrate long-term vehicle care. Providing a verified history of maintenance often helps maintain vehicle value.

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