Top five tips on maintaining vehicle value

December 16th 2015 | Benjamin Yong
A car's value begins to dip as the mileage increases, but you can nip premature depreciation in the bud by following five easy tips.


As you may know, buying a vehicle is often the second biggest purchase in a person’s life, next to a house. A residence, though, doesn’t begin depreciating the moment you get handed the keys. While you can’t stop that from happening with your car, there are measures, listed below, that can be taken to help maintain its value so you won’t be burned at trade-in or resale time. The folks at autoTRADER.ca recommend the following:

Honda Odyssey vacuum

Clean

Most people have a good habit of keeping the exterior of their vehicles clean through regular washes, whether by going to a professional wash bay or having a DIY session in the driveway. But the condition of the interior is just as important, if not more so, as a car ages.

Rather than waiting until just before someone else takes possession to detail the inside, clean it on a continuous basis by getting rid of old food wrappers and drink containers and vacuuming the seats and cloth floor mats. Have the leather option? Prevent surfaces from cracking by applying leather conditioner once or twice a year, and hose down rubber floor mats after the winter season.

OpenRoad Audi service department

Service

Stay on top of scheduled maintenance and bring your car into the shop for items like oil and fluid changes, tire rotations, and the bigger stuff like replacing spark plugs and timing belts. Make sure to keep all records of work done by a certified technician to show the dealership or potential buyer down the road that you’ve kept everything in tip-top shape.

Prevent

Winters in Canada are often either wet, frozen, or somewhere in-between. The elements can be harsh on the car, so take the time to rinse off stuck-on dirt, salt, and any other evidence of the cold season stuck to the paint. Applying a protective coat of wax can make grime removal an easier task.

Conserve

It’s no secret that a vehicle with fewer overall kilometres is worth more than one that has a lot. By no means should you let your prized possession sit in the driveway, but if you’re thinking of taking a long road-trip somewhere down south or across the country, it might be worthwhile to consider renting a car for that purpose — doing so will also cut down on the inevitable rock chips and general wear and tear from such activities.

Store

If, for whatever reason, your vehicle doesn’t get driven during certain weeks or months of the year, be mindful of a few things when you prepare it for storage. For instance, fill up the tank with gas to prevent moisture from collecting inside, and inflate the tires to their recommended psi to prevent flat spots from developing.

About the Author

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5.

Twitter: @b_yong
Instagram: @popuplights